Guest Post: Derby Girls!

Roller derby

Something a bit different for today's guest post. I'm a derby girl in training and so I thought I'd get the lovely Juliet to explain the game to you all. Try and find out if there are any local teams near you, and if not - start one yourself! It's a wonderful sport and a great chance to make friends. And believe me, I am NOT a sporty person and I love it - Roller Derby for everyone! - Claire xo

Roller derby face

Hi! My name is Juliet and I blog over at Ever So Juliet. Claire asked me to write an introduction to roller derby, and I was more than happy to oblige!

Roller derby is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I absolutely hated sports at school, and went out of my way to avoid them, but one day in 2010 my lovely boyfriend bought us tickets to go to a local bout for our Valentine's date. Not sure what to expect I went along and was blown away by a group of passionate, fast skating, hard hitting women (and only a tiny part of that enthusiasm was fuelled by the drunken picnic we'd had earlier!). I signed up to the fresh meat programme the next day.

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Image by Chris Scott

If you've never heard of derby, let me explain. Roller derby is an all-female, full contact sport played on quad skates. Players skate anti-clockwise around a track in a pack, where they try to get their Jammer (point scorer) past the opposing team's Blockers whilst also blocking the opposing Jammer. Phew. It's fast paced and very tactical with many rules to make sure the game is played safely and fairly.

This video sums up the basic concept very well!

I've been training with the Auld Reekie Roller Girls for over a year now and every practice is a challenge. When I first strapped on skates (plus obligatory knee and elbow pads, wrist guard, helmet and mouthguard!) I couldn't even stand up, and spent much of the two hours wobbling and falling over. Even after a month I was still looking like bambi on ice. But something kept making me come back to practice, pushing myself to hit a little harder and to get that little bit faster. It's been a challenge – I've strained muscles in my feet (meaning I had a limp for two months), missed many practices due to work or holidays, and had to keep my confidence up when newer skaters progressed at an incredible rate and made the team in no time.

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Image by Chris Scott

It's scary and it's tough and it requires so much effort to keep on going. But you know what? It's absolutely worth it. My league are now expanding to include a rec team for people who love to skate but can't commit as much time as competitive skaters, which fits me perfectly.

Roller derby teams are cropping up all over the country – find one near you and go to watch a bout. Teams are run for the skaters, by the skaters, and are made up of every type of girl (and guy) you can imagine. When you first skate you'll hurt, and you'll ache. A lot. But it gets better - it'll stop hurting so much, you'll get stronger, and it feels amazing when things start to make sense. You'll also meet wonderful, crazy people and only refer to each other by derby nick names (I'm Miss Chief by the way. I think nothing of calling my friends "Moo”, "Stitches" or "Slam" in public).

It's fast. It's scary. It's exhilarating. It's basically bloody brilliant.

(Oh, and if you've seen the film Whip It, let me just say in “real” derby you aren't allowed to punch anyone in the face!)

Guest post: The Arched Eyebrow's Guide to Fat Fashion

Bethany blogs at The Arched Eyebrow. She is a good friend of mine, and a daily inspiration (also hopefully my future wife). I hope you enjoy this amazing post she put together for you all! Also, she hasn't asked me to do this but it would be super rad if you could vote for her blog in the Cosmo Blog Awards in the student blog category. Come on, she deserves it! - Claire xo

In fashion, as in life, the world revolves around people telling other people what to do. In fashion, as in life, the people that tend to get told what to do are fat people. Chubby girls like me are on the receiving end of ‘well-meaning’ ‘fashion’ ‘advice’ far more often than I’d like to acknowledge, and to be frank, a lot of the time it’s absolute balls. So I’m here to bust the myths that every fun-crushing, confidence-starving feature on DRESSING FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE!!!! have been shoving down our well-fed throats since time immemorial.

THOU SHALT NOT ‘HIDE YOUR CURVES’ IN BAGGY GARMENTS

Apparently if you have any semblance of a padded hourglass figure you should be wiggling around your respective place of work or education in an ensemble that would put Joan Holloway to shame. You should never even think about committing the heinous offence of wearing loose-fitting clothes. But what if you like the odd loose garment? What then? WEAR THEM! This is one of my new favourite outfits, especially for my forecasted ‘gothic autumn’. Saying that baggy clothes lead people to believe you have no shape implies that every member of the population possesses a power of imagination no greater than the assumption that one’s body shape is literally represented by their clothes. Like a snap-on outfit for a doll. I’m going to credit the human race and its optical abilities with greater powers than that. Also, it looks good.

NO STRIPES! EVER!

Ha, you fools! If I never wore stripes I’d never wear lovely clothes like this Primark dress or this Marc by Marc Jacobs coatigan. And aren’t they divine? And don’t you still, even in the presence of stripes, understand that my body is only the size it is, no more, no less? Can you accept that your eyes can accurately sense size, shape and scale, or are you still going to tell me that YOUR EYES ARE DRAWN OUTWARDS and IT ADDS AT LEAST TWO DRESS SIZES? Oh well, if you are, then that’s fine. Because the clothes are still beauteous and my body’s still super cool.

SMALL PRINTS ARE THE DEVIL INCARNATE!

Nah, Nadine Dorries is the devil incarnate. Small prints are just nice to look at and pretty to wear. How sweet are those stars? How fierce is that leopard print? I would be so much less happy if I were a person that denies myself the chance to wear things on the grounds that I once heard I shouldn’t wear them, and never went anywhere near stars and leopards and florals and polka dots and all the rest of it.

NO TIERS! NO RUFFLES!

OH ARE YOU SERIOUS? But look at how freakin’ great that dress is. I’m wearing swathes of material, there are ruffles and frills and tiers all over the shop and yet, I’m still standing. There’s nothing I love more than swishing around a dancefloor in a voluminous maxi dress, and besides, there’s something super romantic about loads of puffs and frills and layers. And don’t fat chicks deserve super romantic too?

I’m so grateful that simultaneously to me writing this, there is a sea-change in the perception of how fat girls should be dressing: this is embodied in the phrase FUCK FLATTERING. Flattering is just a sugar-coated way of saying ‘thinner’, and any sentient being knows that absolutely nothing you wear will make you look much more than 4lbs thinner, and anything that performs this task is probably no fun at all. Brights and glitter and prints and sequins and different lengths and textures and accessories are fun. Owning your look is fun. Walking down the street with a spring in your step is fun, not because you look the apparent 4lbs lighter, but because you would rather make your own choices about what you want to wear and how you want to wear it than let a sad, cynical narrow-minded someone tell you that because you’re fat you shouldn’t be seen within 40ft of a stripe.

Guest post: Maria's Outfit of the Day


Hi everyone, I'm Maria and I blog over at Frills 'n' Spills where I write about the food I make, the places I go and the clothes I wear. Claire has very kindly agreed to feature me on here whilst she is off on her holidays and I have an outfit post for you all today!

As a fashion blogger I think it is inevitable that you are quite aware of trends and what is popular on the catwalks but also what best suits you. If you are regularly taking photos of your outfits you soon seen what doesn't look right and even better, what does work for you. Whilst I think you should wear whatever takes your fancy (orange flares anyone?!) there are certain things that always look better. Until now, I hadn't worn jeans for 2 years but when I saw these berry beauties I knew that they had to be mine!

Jeans: Miss Selfridge, shirt: Mango, shoeboots: Office,belt: vintage Laura Ashley, bag: Fiorelli (gift)

I have to say, squeezing into these super skinny jeans came as a bit of a shock as I haven't worn anything this form-fitting for years... They certainly don't leave much room for seconds at dinner!


I paired it with this loose blouse to balance out how fitted the jeans were and added this vintage belt to bring in the colour of the shoes and the bag.


I really love rich jewel colours and brown together and these shoeboots are so comfy and perfect for Autumn. I decided to really show them off by rolling the hems of the jeans up but I'm not sure if it makes my legs look really short?


What do you think, did it pull off super skinny jeans? How would you have styled them?

Guest post: French Cupcakes for French for Cupcake!

Hello there! My name is Katie from the blog Katiecakes and I'm here guest blogging for the lovely Claire while she's off having the time of her life in Japan! So jealous! As I'm here on French for Cupcake this fine day, I thought I'd create some French style cupcakes for you along with some basic instructions on how to whip them up yourselves. So here we go!

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First of all you'll need some basic equipment at your disposal including a rolling pin, cling film for rolling your fondant, a clean paint brush, luster dust in gold and pink (available from all cake decorating stores), a sharp knife (careful now), fondant in white, blue and pink, a beautiful cameo mould (I got mine from Designacake.com) and of course, your blank cupcakes.

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Next you want to roll out your fondant in your chosen colours, don't forget to roll between two sheets of cling film, saves a hell of a lot of cleaning up. Once rolled cut out circles using a pastry cutter large enough to cover your cakes (a wine glass is usually the perfect size). Pipe splodges of frosting atop each cake before covering with the fondant circle, taking care not to be too rough. Gently ladies, gently.

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Once you've topped all of your cupcake the fun can commence.

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For the cameo cake you first need to make the center of your cameo. Take a walnut sized piece of white fondant, dip it in icing sugar and press it into the cavity in your cameo mould. Taking a sharp knife, trim off the excess fondant leaving your cameo snug inside the mould. Turn the mould up side down and allow the sugared cameo to plop out. Next roll out a piece of white fondant just larger than your cameo center and paint it gold using your paintbrush and golden luster dust. Pop your cameo in the middle of the painted fondant and trim away any excess, leaving a .5cm border. And there you have your cameo, affix to your cupcake and admire your handywork.

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For the striped cake all you need is to roll a super long, thin sausage of white fondant. Cut eight equal lengths from your sausage and paint each string gold. Affix the sausages to your cupcake in a symmetrical pattern. Next roll a pea sized ball of white fondant in your hands and squish it to form a disk, paint gold and place on the center of your cupcake to hide the sausage joins. Using the same method, make a fondant cone, paint gold and affix to the disk. There you go!

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Now you've got the hand of it just let your creativity flow, you could make a dotty cake, or a cake topped with a bow. The world is your oyster!

Have fun and I'm sure both Claire and myself would adore to see your efforts!

Guest post: Zoey's make up favourites!

Hey I'm Zoey and run a small blog called Daisy Gin. Not specifically a fashion blog, I don't actually own a camera so use my blackberry so no outfit photos! I love make-up and beauty and have a love for Hendrick's Gin. I thought for this I would concentrate on a wonderful online only make-up brand which I am sure you have heard of, ELF. Every time ELF run a 50% off offer I instantly fill my basket with products to try. Some I love, some not so much.



My collection is ever expanding, favourite products include Complexion Perfection, Corrective Concealer, High Definition Powder, Natural Radiance Blusher and the Studio Stipple Brush. Products that I don't rate would be the Cream Eye-Liner (no staying power, as the photo below demonstrates!) and the Brightening Eye Liner (basically just scratches your skin and leaves no pigment).


The Flawless Finish Foundation is a product I was keen to try. As a pale girl most foundations are either too yellow or too orange. There is nothing wrong with the colour of this foundation, the finish however isn't perfect. I've tried to apply it a brush and with fingers but still it leaves a slightly cakey finish and doesn't have the best smell. It isn't the worst foundation I have ever used however, I've leave that to Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse. As a side note, my eye-liner isn't usually that bad. I was going to do a whole FOTD with ELF Products but found the cream eye-liner doesn't even hold up 10 minutes without a good primer and then a base eyeshadow.





ELF Nail Varnishes are a bargain at £1.50 each - currently I own Smoky Brown, Lilac and Fluorescent Pink. They take around 3 coats to be fully opaque and don't dry particularly quickly but are perfect for nail art.

So in all in all ELF is very hit and miss, however they are a firm favourite due to the price point and that the products I love I really do love and are very much at home in my makeup collection along side my MAC and Benefit!

Zoey xo

Guest post: Handmade Brooch Tutorial

Hello readers of French for Cupcake!

My name is Kerry and I write over at A Small Scoop where I blog about things that inspire me and document my own work and interests. It’s also an ongoing personal project to motivate myself to be more creative and expressive - whether it’s taking photographs or illustrating or even baking! For my guest post I’ve decided to write a tutorial, and I hope you guys enjoy it.

Over the years I’ve built up quite the collection of jewellery, and during a recent clean-out I decided to make use of all those old earrings, bracelets, and necklaces I no longer get any more wear out of. Inspired by my love of brooches and this image I decided to create a little DIY version.

Image from the J.Crew 2010 Lookbook.

- Use the pliers to carefully remove the charms from the chain or clasp

- Once you have selected which charms you’d like to use, line them up in the order you want to arrange them in and make sure the length corresponds to the length of your safety pin (otherwise it won’t all fit!). Play around with the order until you’re happy with how it looks.

- Start putting the charms onto the safety pin. You can use the pliers, or if it fits, just weave it through the safety pin loop.

- Use beads in-between the charms to help hold everything in place.

- Keep going…

Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can start experimenting some more. It’s a great way to recycle jewellery, especially odd earrings which are missing the other pair or all those old bracelets from your teen years which you have slightly outgrown! There’s so much you can add on for more elaborate designs – buttons, ribbons, fabric, etc! They also make a great idea for a gift :)

Before I end the post I’d like to thank the wonderful Claire for giving me the opportunity to guest blog here. I hope this tutorial gives you some ideas and inspiration for your own creative projects. If you make one do send me a picture, I’d love to see how they came out!

Goodbye for a little while!

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Dress - A-wear
Bag - Topshop
Necklace - H&M

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I'm off to Japan for a few weeks. I'll be back early October. I'm leaving you all with some amazing guest bloggers, I hope you'll love their posts as much as I do! Can't wait to share my photos with you once I return. Bye! xo

It's hard to dance with the devil on your back...

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Dress - Dorothy Perkins
Tights - Dorothy Perkins
Belt - off a Primark dress
Shoes - Office
Necklace - Topshop

Sometimes all you need is a simple black dress. And then to make sure your necklace is lying properly, and that your camera isn't on the lowest quality setting. Oops! Still, I love this dress so much I wanted to share and it was only £22. I might have to go back and get it in some other colours!

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Topshop bird necklace.

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Also, are you all as in love with Florence's new song as I am?


Time for tea...

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So I have to apologise for being a bit absent in the last week. I do have a good excuse though! Today I handed in my MA dissertation. It's consumed my life for the best part of the last 12 months, so it's a huge relief to have it printed, bound and dropped into the submission box. I don't know what to do with myself now! The thought that I might never again write an academic essay is slightly terrifying to me if I'm honest.

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I had plans of dressing up and looking fancy for afternoon tea but getting ready time lost out to sleep.

Top - New Look
Jeans - Evans
Shoes - Topshop
Bag - H&M
Scarf - New Look

I have only had two hours sleep in the last 2 days so please excuse this entry if it is a bit lacking in decent grammar. I have a lot to carry on with though, no slacking for me yet. I'm on a panel planning a Film Festival in Belfast so I have plenty to do there (we are going on a tour of the Game of Thrones set next month!) and on Monday I start my placement as Marketing assistant at the local art house cinema here in Belfast. I'm really excited though, and I can't complain about being too busy as I am off to Japan at the end of next week.

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So today I went and handed in my dissertation and thought that was some cause for celebration. I decided instead of spending lots of money on going out drinking and taxis when I really don't have the energy, that it might be nice to go for Afternoon Tea at the Merchant Hotel with my best friend Sarah Kane. It was such a treat, I could get used to the luxury! The Merchant is a beautiful 5* Hotel, there's a hot tub on the roof! It's so beautiful. I've been for cocktails there before (my favorite cocktail ever is a White Russian) but this was my first time there for afternoon tea.

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I would definitely recommend afternoon tea at The Merchant if you're in Belfast! It was £19 (£10 more if you wanted champagne), the staff were just amazing and the food was wonderful. We filled ourselves up and still had things left to take home! As well as that it was made even more special for me as the chef sent out a complimentary cake for me, I must have been gushing loudly about my hand in! It was such a lovely thing to do, it made my day (and tasted delicious). Now, I sleep!

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