A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Bethan Loves: Bravissimo

I am not afraid to admit that I love my boobs. They are easily my favourite asset and I have never been scared to show them off in bodysuits and v-neck tops. However, I have also really struggled in finding a bra that properly fits over the years. I have had countless trips to M&S for bra fittings since I was at least 12 and I am even guilty of getting the tape measure out and doing it myself from time to time. So when Bravissimo invited me to visit their brand new store in Birmingham, I couldn't refuse! 

Bravissimo's aim is to give women with bigger boobs an 'uplifting' experience when purchasing lingerie - excuse the pun! It is funny really, because I have never classed myself as a big boobed woman. However, I started to find earlier this year when I measured myself at a 36D that I couldn't find bras that fit me well in the likes of H&M and other high street stores. I'm not exactly a skinny girl and don't tend to fit into the tiny outfits that Topshop and River Island display, so to have pretty lingerie as a big no as well is a super frustrating experience. 

I headed to the store an evening after work last week and was surprised at what I found. I genuinely though that Bravissimo only did lingerie, but they also offer swimsuits, bikinis and alongside Pepperberry, they offer a whole range of clothes to flatter your boobs. The store has a really stylish vibe to it and suits its surroundings very well. It is based on Cannon Street right in the city centre and is in a gorgeous building. I met with Laura once I got there who was going to do my fitting and I was blown away with how different the experience was. 

The fitting rooms have a lounge area to relax in, meaning you have time to look and think about what set you would like and what style you fancy going for. Each dressing room is also a different girls name, which I loved! There were also quotes from customers around the fitting area and pictures of those happy with their purchases. The whole store in fact felt very personal to its customers and felt more like I was joining some kind of boob gang rather than just looking at lingerie in a store. The staff were incredibly warm and friendly too and made me feel very relaxed in what can be quite an uncomfortable situation.

At Bravissimo, there are no tape measures involved with the fitting process and instead they look for these three things when finding the perfect bra for you: two fingers can sit comfortably all the way round the bra, the bridge is sat flat against the breast bone and the wire sits outside of the breast tissue. Laura explained these to me whilst she fitted me and then went off to pick out some bras for me to try based on what size she thought I was. 

After trying on a few, and picking a style I liked the most, I was told what size I really am; turns out my 36D's are actually 34F's! As you can imagine, I was gobsmacked. I guess I always thought that F meant BIG boobs, but mine aren't huge at all. But I found that 34F actually is my perfect size! I suffer with incredibly painful back pain regularly and it only clicked recently that my boobs are impacting it as well as my posture and time spent sat at a desk. So a good bra genuinely is really important.
The set I chose was the 'Etta Longline Bra' which came with either a brief, a thong or high waisted brief. I chose the high waisted brief, purely because they make me feel much more supported and more importantly, sexy! Bravissimo were lovely enough to gift me the set and I am in love with it. However, there are just so many options available and each set is beautiful, even the very simple bras and briefs. 

Bravissimo recommend that you have a fitting every six months, so from now on I have vowed to myself to keep my boobs in check and treat them to good fitted bras regularly. I'll be honest, Bravissimo sets aren't the cheapest compared to Primark and ASDA, but they are an investment and who doesn't love treating themselves to lovely lingerie every now and then? I always find that if I'm wearing a nice set, I feel much more confident. 

If you also fancy checking Bravissimo in Birmingham out, the team there are offering a discount to my readers, so treat yourself and find out for yourself just why I loved my time at the store so much! 

10% off full price Bravissimo purchases for readers of BethanTrolley
Quote ‘Love Brum’ in store.
39-40 Cannon St, Birmingham, B2 5EE
Terms and conditions apply. This offer is valid on full price styles only at our Birmingham shop until 16th October 2016. It cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

*Disclosure – I was gifted the Etta Longline Bra and matching underwear set

Sunday, 2 October 2016

7 ways to handle getting dumped...

I know you're probably thinking 'another relationship post?!' but I enjoy writing about love, relationships and dating because it is so REAL. Back in June I started seeing a guy and within no time he was my boyfriend and we were an item. This was a huge deal for me as he was the first guy I had actually been serious with since my ex, which I discussed in a previous post here. See, it takes a lot for me to really like someone and actually want to be with them. I've dated and seen a range of different types of guys, but it is rare for any of them to stand out so much that I want to spend my time with them and put effort into something.

I've mentioned this a few times on my site, but I really do enjoy spending time by myself. It is precious and I appreciate those moments to reflect and think about what the hell has been going on recently. Especially since I started my job in April, my days are very busy and a lot of my nights are taken up too, so those times by myself mean a lot to me. So when I am willing to ditch those moments and replace them with a GUY, it is a pretty big deal for me.

Two weeks ago, the guy I was actually 'in a relationship' with dumped me. Lets just say, you can always trust your gut can't you, right? I knew something was up and in a way had already mentally prepared myself to be dumped. So when he pulled me aside on a busy high street in Birmingham to tell me he wasn't happy, I can't say I was surprised. At first, I was pretty gutted. I was annoyed when he told me that he had felt this way for a few weeks, who wants to find out that the person you admired so much has been living a lie?! I was upset that YET AGAIN I was the dumpee and not the dumper. I was fuming that I had just given him a lip balm that I did actually need myself. But most of all, I was annoyed with myself. Because yet again, I had let myself be ruled by a guy. I had done what I tell all my mates not to do; I wanted to be the perfect girlfriend but by doing so, I was losing the real me in the process. Thankfully, this isn't the first time I have been dumped is it?! So I wiped the tears away and got a grip. Here are the five things I did to help myself get through the rejection...

1. I got away...
Thankfully, within a few days of being dumped I was off on holiday, which meant that I didn't really have time to cry and overthink things because I was off on my jolly days! Even if you can't get abroad for the week, go and discover a local town or village and try new things. By doing so, you will keep yourself occupied and inspired. After my last dumping, I spent months in bed eating ice cream. Do not do it! (Well, ONE tub is allowed) Spend your money on something more worthwhile and get away even if it is just for a day or two. I was fortunate to jet off to Crete for a few days which did me the world of good. There was something about chilling in the pool, eating Greek food and discovering the local towns that made me remember that there really is more to life than a guy you spent just a few months caring about.

2. I caught up on the things I had missed
I am incredibly guilty of putting my life on hold when something new and exciting enters it. I was half way through a book when I got together with my ex. I was just getting into the blogging rhythm and I was about to sign up to the gym and get my fat arse in shape. However, having the honeymoon phrase of a relationship is incredibly distracting and I found myself putting all these things on the bottom of my priorities list and him at the top. I think it is a pretty normal thing to do when you first start a relationship. But the moment I got dumped I thought, right, I'll get back to what I was starting then! Over the past two weeks, I have almost finished the book, I have a list of things I intend to write about and I am off to my first gym session on Thursday night. Lets do this!

                                                                  3. I pampered myself                                                                              I'll be honest, I'm so crap at being a girl. Although I try and look nice, I'm very guilty of not putting effort in. Whilst I was away, I made a list of things I NEEDED. I jumped on ASOS and ordered myself a new winter coat, a few cute dresses and a snazzy new pair of shoes to come home to. I booked myself in to have my hair, brows and nails done and LOVED my day of spending a ridiculous amount of money on my looks rather than a meal out or an uber or two because it is something I just barely ever do. I headed to Boots and treated myself to some new products and I also picked up a new perfume in duty free at the airport on my flight back. There is nothing better than treating yourself and putting your confidence up a bit. I am a pretty insecure girl, so anything that brings a bit of confidence to my life I am all for and I recommend that to girls and guys.

4. I got myself back out there
I didn't do it straight away, but I eventually put myself back onto a couple of dating apps. I'll be honest, I'm not looking for a boyfriend but what is the harm in keeping your options open, right? It is always fun talking to new people anyway, even if you fancy them or you don't. Also, a couple of hours on a dating app is sure to make you a bit confident again, it helped with mine. After all, just because your ex no longer thinks you're gorgeous and the best thing on earth doesn't mean some other guy won't! It is cool to get talking to people again and discovering more about what you like in someone, and what you could do without.

5. I made a list...
You know me, I love a good list! Not only do they give me a guideline and something to follow, there is always so much satisfaction in ticking things off a list. In fact, I think it is very under appreciated! On the night of getting dumped, I wrote a list of things I am fortunate to have in life and things I have to look forward to. I also wrote a list of things I like about myself and things I want to work on. By doing so, I remembered what was really important to me other than a love life and what I need to focus on in the future. It may sound like a corny thing to do, but by taking that time to reassess your current life situation, you're working towards something and evolving with yourself, giving yourself small tasks to work towards goals.

6. Make yourself a banging playlist!
Music has always been the first thing I have turned to in times of happiness and sadness and it is the number one thing that always works. Last week, I made myself a 'single vibes' playlist and I have no regrets! I have packed it full to the brim of tunes that just scream independence, with everything from TLC, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny's Child to Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon and Madonna. Not only do these songs put a huge smile on my face, they make me super happy and lift me right up when I have a 'oh I've just been dumped' moment.

7. I remembered what was important 
This was the exact conversation I had in my mind last week: "Beth, you are 22 years old. You probably weren't going to marry the guy and it was never going to be incredibly serious because you were both in such different times of your lives. Let it go and just roll with it." I would be lying if I said that I didn't want a marriage and kids and a home etc etc in years to come, but if these things are meant to be, they will HAPPEN! I think in times when you've been rejected and you're feeling down, you need to remember that you will not always feel this way. It is also important to remember that a quality an ex didn't like in you could be something that another guy adores about you, so don't bother changing yourself because you weren't good enough for them, because you are good enough for someone out there and if they are meant to be in your life, they will find their way to you.

A good way to think about it is this; all the lessons you learn in love mean something. In relationships, you learn about yourself and what you want in someone else. With each person, we learn more and more. All these lessons learned mean something and even if you can't point out why at this moment in time, in years to come you will learn to understand why some things worked, and others didn't. 
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