……It was the worst of times – FEATURING the Paragon Hotel.

Hi all!

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful plus-size event called Style XL put on by one of my loveliest blogger friends – Leah Shafik. As much as I had a lovely time at the event, the venue was atrocious and it’s taken me a few weeks to calm down and be able to write about it in a frank manner.

The Paragon Hotel, Birmingham.

I was excited when I found out about Style XL, and even more excited when I found out the venue was a hotel. Being disabled AND pregnant, comfort is key and I kept thinking about how convenient it would be to have little rests through the day and be able to change shoes/items of clothing. I was a little disheartened when I read some reviews online, however after speaking to the hotel and telling them I was blogging about the event, they gave me a good deal and assured me we would be in an “updated” room.

The day came and we drove down getting stuck in slight traffic which can’t be avoided. Our first impressions of the hotel weren’t great – there was already a police van parked outside. Unfortunately this was’t the only time the police would visit in the 48 hours we were there. We then went to park in the “private” hotel parking which was basically an old, decrepit warehouse which was full of rubbish, old mattress’ and tons of beer cans everywhere. We crossed the glass covered road to the hotel and felt the sinking feeling of regret in our stomachs. We checked in after having to queue a short while and were told we had to choose between an updated room or wifi access. We chose the updated room.

Up on the third floor, we found our room (which oddly had a different door to every other room we passed and the most awkward key lock system which just felt unsafe. Upon entering the room, we had to way to turn on the electricity and so we then had to wait for somebody to come and jam a screwdriver in the slot in the wall. So what did we get for an updated room? We got a tiny cramped room which was as wide as the bed and two tiny side tables and we could barely move down the sides of it. Also in the room was a heater which hung off the wall, 3 windows (one of which had a massive crack down it) a desk, chair and built in wardrobe. It was all VERY basic.  The attention to detail was pathetic – my walls had dints, patchy paintwork and an actual plaster over a crack. The bathroom was slightly better but the flooring was very slippery and this wasn’t made any easier after a shower. The shower was annoying and you had to hold it as the shower head holder didn’t hold it and it fell on your head which was painful! The toilet was on an angle which made it annoying to use and they gave us half a toilet roll to use which is disgusting and unsanitary. The final straw with the bathroom was the postage stamp sized threadbare rough towels. .

We tried to make the best out of a bad situation after being informed there were no more rooms to swap into, and so we went out to dinner and enjoyed out night. We then went back to the bar which was a shambles. It was overpriced, badly staffed and the staff had no clue. The member of staff behind the bar was serving coca cola from litre bottles which had been sat out in the warm not in the fridges. For a pint of this warm, flat diet coke it cost £3. We then took to buying our own from the corner shop, this was actually colder and faster. We stayed up with some other guests who had various issues – including problems with the public toilets having no loo rolls and lighting issues in corridors. We finally decided to turn in after a long day as more and more drunken people passed shouting and screaming.

The next day we were rudely awoken at 6 to people running up and down corridors smashing lights and leaving trails of blood which were still there the next day when we were leaving. There was also homeless people sat outside among the trees singing and talking loudly. Through the next day, police had come another 2 times, the bar kept promising to open but didn’t open till late leaving hundreds of us needing drinks as the venue was absolutely boiling and the staff didn’t know how to turn on the air conditioning. Thankfully we had our handy corner shop and a bin full of ice to keep us in cool drinks. Being pregnant, I don’t think I’d of coped without the corner shop being there!

We went out for dinner again and enjoyed a lovely evening at Style XL but this was tainted when armed police stormed the building and wouldn’t let anybody move. There was also a car broken into right outside the hotel, the bar again ran out of the few drinks they had and there was some awful men hanging around the venue trying to hit on the girls who had been taking part in the event. They also kept running in our room to take food from our buffet which was annoying. We decided to call it an early night and headed to our room where we felt like we couldn’t relax because we didn’t know what was going to happen next.

The following morning we packed and left as soon as we could and were glad to leave. Since leaving, I’ve spoken to other people who stayed who had even worse problems so it turns out we were actually lucky with the shambles of a room we had.

I still had a pretty good time at the event and that was down to the amazing planning and would highly recommend Style XL as an event to anybody. Even Adam had fun!


I’m up for the award of Best New Blog at the British Plus Size Awards and would love it if you could click here and vote for Fabulously Fat Fashion! It means the world to be nominated and to win would just be excellent!


Hannah x


It was the best of times…..FEATURING Style XL

Hi all!

So recently I had the pleasure of attending the wonderful event which was Style XL!

 Me and Adam drove down for the event the night before which was held in Birmingham at The Paragon Hotel. Knowing we were heading for a long journey I dressed casually in one of my ebay swing cami’s which I’ve been loving for my growing bump, leggings and flats. Oh and course the sunglasses made a trip out as the weather was beautiful!


Adam wore one of his new shirts from Who? clothing which he got for his birthday…


…Sadly this didn’t stay white very long and ended up with me scrubbing it with a baby wipe in a random lay-by on route to the hotel. We decided to head out for dinner, and I wore my Polly Grace Clara dress which I couldn’t get a decent photo of due to my room being tiny and without a light, but I’ve previously reviewed here. This dress has been a staple piece of mine during my pregnancy and has been worn time and time again and is still perfect. We had an “interesting” dinner ending in us leaving the restaurant and getting a takeaway instead and taking it back to our room. Later on we met up with some other bloggers in the bar and hung out until the wee hours!

The next day was the first day of Style XL and knowing it was going to be a long day with clothing changes, I went for this deep orange/red jersey midi dress from ASOS Curve


I love this dress because it is super comfortable but can be dressed up/down as i need to.


Me and adam enjoyed taking selfies at the bon prix stand!


Adam was very sad that he didn’t win the coat – he looked rad!


Even though I have crippling SPD, I managed to get up on stage and model for Monroe Knows (who are currently having a huge sale). I DID smile I promise. After a good few hours enjoying the event, I went back to my room and got changed for an early dinner before the evening event started.



As before, I didn’t manage to get a decent full length photo in the hotel, and so here’s one of me from home! I did however ditch the leggings.


I chose this dress because I knew it would be comfortable on my expanding bump but still look elegant and not like a generic maternity tent. It’s currently on sale here.


A snap of me and Adam at the evening event!

We caught the end of Model XL and were super happy to see Sarah from Plus Size & Proud who picked up an  award for both Model XL Personality AND Model XL Charity!

After Model XL there was time for a buffet, dancing and socialising which I really enjoyed. It was a great night of women championing each other and empowering each other. I’m so used to going on nights out and being picked apart for my looks that it was so refreshing to go somewhere and actually be boosted by other people who all want to have a good time.

These events are so important to me and to others because for many of us – more so those of us who live far away from most other bloggers – this is one of the rare opportunities we actually get to spend time with other like minded people and feel like we ACTUALLY fit in to a community, because that is what we are. We, as bloggers are a community and this has built from us writing online and putting ourselves out there. This is why I am SO thankful to people like Leah who take the time out to put on these much needed and much loved events.

I went to bed that night with a newly charged feeling of self worth. I’ve been down lately and feeling frumpy/unattractive due to my body changing in pregnancy – however being around these fantastic people reminded me that there’s not a single thing wrong with my body and suddenly everything seemed a little brighter.

I didn’t manage to attend any of the workshops on Sunday as due to issues with the hotel we just wanted to leave, however I’m informed people had another excellent day.

Once again, thank you so much to Leah, her family and all those who volunteered and helped out for a fabulous day. I can’t wait for the next one!

Hannah x

My baby shower! Featuring Simply Be Lace Detail Swing Dress

Hi all!

A few weeks back, I had my baby shower/gender reveal party for my baba and it was a wonderful day. It was held a lot earlier than a typical shower, however my best friend/babies godmum was heading off to go travelling around Europe for a couple of months and so I really didn’t want to not have her there! A huge thank you has to be said to my mum for organizing such a lovely day and for getting everybody together.

It took me ages to decide what to wear, and I actually went back onto my blog for inspiration and found a previous post where I had visited Simply Be to review some clothes and spied a dress which I knew would be perfect.


I put a tweet out attaching the above picture and asking for peoples opinions of the dress for a shower, and Simply Be kindly contacted me and gifted me the dress for my shower which was so kind of them!

I decided to ditch the coat this time and glam up the makeup a little bit more and really loved how the dress looked. I sized up to a 26 to accommodate my bump and felt a million dollars!



I added a black wig which looks like my usual hair (before I chopped it off for charity!), my usual flamingo handbag, little white shiny flats and a simple flower crown and I was ready to go!

The shower was held in a local pub important to my family – we have pretty much every event there so of course my shower would be there!


My balloon!



My very talented cousin Kelly made the cakes!


The main cake had a coloured buttercream to surprise everybody and reveal the gender!


And she’s a girl! We also revealed her name – Eleanor Bridie Lister.


My mum threw a few games in such as pin the dummy on the baby, guess the weight and people decorated little onesies! Here’s my best friend Chloe hard at work!



Some of the decorated onesies!

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Eleanor was well and truly spoiled! Thank you so much to those who bought us gifts and those who came from far and wide to be there – I’m looking at you Miki & Chloe!!


Also super thanks for lip stain and MUA liquid eyeliner for staying in place even though I cried a LOT.


My final thanks goes to these two beautiful ladies for doing me the honour of agreeing to be Eleanor’s Godmothers alongside Adam’s sister Sara. We’re very lucky that Eleanor will have such incredible, strong and wonderful women to look up to and to guide her through her life.


I’m up for the award of Best New Blog at the British Plus Size Awards and would love it if you could click here and vote for Fabulously Fat Fashion! It means the world to be nominated and to win would just be excellent!


Hannah x