Getting Graphic about My Closet

Supermodel

Top, Charlotte Russe. Maxi skirt, Material Girl.

Lovelies, I hope your summer has been wonderful. I’ve been so busy unpacking box after box of belongings, trying to organize my closet.

Graphic stand 1

After unpacking so much, I realize just how much clothing I’ve collected over the last few years.  It’s actually a bit embarrassing. Call it an obsession or a result of being a fashion blogger, but I’ve discovered that I really do not need so much.

Graphic vignette

The last few days, I’ve said goodbye to several pairs of shoes, tops, pants, and many pairs of favorite leggings. All of these will go to charity for someone else to enjoy. Life is not about collecting things, and it’s time for me to go on a shopping diet!

Graphic BW

I’ve made a pledge to not buy any new clothes for the next three months.  All the looks I’ll show will be “shopped from my closet.” Who else wants to join the pledge? Share your “re-shopped” looks with me!

Graphic CU

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie

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Blogger on a Budget: Transitioning Looks for Fall

Hi all!

If you’re a fashion addict on a budget (like I am!), you’re probably on the lookout for pieces to wear for more than one season.

I’ll be showing ways to transition summer favorites for cooler days in my next couple posts!

Budget Blogger Tip: Buy summer looks at the end of season to save cash, then layer cardigans, sweaters, or add leggings!

One of my favorite pieces I got this summer is this tribal jumpsuit from Deb Shops. Jumpsuits are great for dressing up or down, and as I’ve discovered, easy to layer for colder weather!

On a warmer day (like today was), I can rock the jumpsuit with just a belt and sandals:

Deb jump 2

Yep...Mama got back!

Yep…Mama got back!

I found this belt for just $5!

I found this belt for just $5!

F21 sandals

Then, on a cooler day, I threw on this cute open arm sweater I found in a thrift store! Later, I’ll add booties and a sweater dress. Presto! Year round outfit:)

Deb jump sweater

And guess what? I’ve got a new giveaway prize to announce in the next post! So stay tuned!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Tribal jumpsuit – DEB SHOPS

Belt – AMAZON.COM

Thong sandals – FOREVER 21

Sweater- a thrift find!

Am I Promoting Obesity?

I stumbled across this article called “Do Plus Sized Clothes Promote Obesity?” and as a plus size fashionista, it got me thinking. At first I thought, of course not!

But then I read a quote from MeMe Roth, president of the organization National Action Against Obesity, who stated

“When you look at the human cost, what we’re doing is we’re on the Titanic and rather than forcing our children into the lifeboat, we’re telling them to join the band. Worrying about fashion rather than worrying about the food is a horrible message that we’re sending these kids.”

True… One’s health is definitely more important than clothes. Americans do have an obesity epidemic; we are the kings/queens of fast food consumption, prepacked food, and our activity levels are much less than our European counterparts (which I have witnessed).

However…

If we’re discussing if plus lines such as Forever 21 Plus, Deb Shops, ASOS Plus, Lane Bryant, etc. are promoting obesity, I totally disagree. Ask anyone who is outside the size 0-12 spectrum if they LIKE being plus size, and I ‘ll bet the majority will say no.

For most of my adult life, I was around a size 8 (size 4 at my smallest), and once I began gaining weight, it really shook my self esteem to give away clothes I loved. It is not fun to spend more time finding styles that fit and flatter, and I am incredibly grateful to those brands that help me feel better about myself.

Fashion to Figure jacket,  H&M sweaterdress (as a top), Forever 21 Plus skirt.

Fashion to Figure jacket,
H&M sweaterdress (as a top),
Forever 21 Plus skirt.

Just because I have a bigger ass or a thicker waist does not mean I don’t care about myself, or how I look.

FF Jacket 2

So, the question I’d ask MeMe is, if straight sized women can get sick and get disease just like we plus size gals can, don’t we both deserve to look good?

Plus size women are typically passed over for promotions, hiring, and have a tougher time dating. We need ALL the tools possible to feel and look our best!

Zara necklace.

Zara necklace.

I’d also like to let MeMe know that MANY of us do exercise and eat healthy food (most of the time!). Sometimes, the metabolism does not cooperate. So, don’t blame plus size retailers for our size.  We just want great and affordable clothes to shine!

*drops mike*

The one thing about me that's still a size 8- shoes! Boots, Just Fab.

The one thing about me that’s still a size 8- shoes!
Boots, Just Fab.

And HEY! Did you enter my Gemstone Ring by A Wild Violet yet?

Click on the “Rafflecopter Giveaway” banner on the left!

Love, laughter, and shoes…

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

What “Being Fat” Has Taught Me

forever maxi 1

Hello All!

I just celebrated a birthday (I’m keeping the number a secret – for now!) and I’ve been reflecting on the changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

After a car accident two years ago, I injured my back and my ability to exercise got compromised. My weight went up, my size grew from a size 12 to a 14/16, and I realized that I had become fat.

At first, my size depressed me. I felt unsexy and undesirable. Not being able to go into just any store and find my size added to my funk.

I’m a strong believer that “everything happens for a reason,” and I’ve learned lessons and developed a stronger sense of compassion throughout this chapter in my life.

1. Size Doesn’t Equate Sexiness.

After I discovered blogging and found sites such as The Curvy Fashionista, Daily Venus Diva, and Tess Munster, there are a LOT of sexy, confident, and inspirational curvy women out there. They own their size and make it work. I’ve learned that it’s not my shell that’s sexy; it’s the way I own it! I wasted time during my smaller days obsessing over “needing to lose 10 lbs” versus living in the moment. I won’t obsess any more.

2. Fashion is Still Fun!

True, there are some retailers I can’t shop from now. However, I’ve discovered Forever 21 Plus, Deb, Asos Plus, Elloquii, H&M, and Zara. Thankfully, more retailers are getting on board and adding additional sizes with fashion-forward styles. I’m so glad I can still enjoy clothes!

Werk!

Werk!

3. Don’t Hide.

Fat people (especially women) have been conditioned to be ashamed of their bodies. We don’t want to draw attention, we hide in bulky clothes, and walk around as if apologetic for our size. I’ve learned that life does not stop because I’ve gained weight. I still have a voice and talent to contribute. If someone seems uncomfortable because I’m fat, that’s their issue. I can’t control that. However, I can control how I deal with my weight day to day.

4. Everyone Has Body Issues!

Recently, the Hubby and I went to a cookout that his work was hosting. The event took place by a beach, so naturally a number of people were swimming and sunning. What struck me was the number of body self loathing comments from these fit military people! These weren’t the “competitive” type of body comparison comments (I’m so fat – no, you’re not, I’m fat!), but a sincere wistfulness to look better. I realized we all have our body issues. Isn’t it a shame we can’t “just be”?

So, the takeaway for me is –

Sure, I would like to lose weight. My energy would be better, it’s easier on my back (which is doing much better!), and it’s good for my overall health. I believe that I will end up losing weight as I continue to get stronger. But, I’m not going to stop fully living my life or being happy because I’m fat.

And if I do go down in size, I’m not going to cringe at my pictures or “fat shame” myself. I am still ME!

I hope we all can embrace who we are for what we are!

forever maxi 3

forever maxi 4

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

Maxi Dress – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Necklace – H & M

Sandals – FOREVER 21

Bra – VICTORIA’S SECRET

Earrings – thrift shop find!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You Say It’s My Birthday…” Time for a GIVEAWAY!

IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

This is a BIG week! It’s my birthday on Tuesday, plus I hit over 3,000 views here yesterday!

As a thank you to you all, I am hosting my very first giveaway!

So excited!

So excited!

SOOO…I picked up this adorable Eiffel Tower necklace in Paris, and I’ve been holding on to an extra one for my readers!

Love the delicate tower!

Love the delicate tower!

AND….you can’t possibly rock a Parisian necklace without a red lip, so here’s a sample size of Cynthia Rowley Lipstain in Valentine PLUS Evologie Stay Clear Cleanser to keep your face soft and blemish free this summer!

flower 6

 

THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY, so enter now! JUST CLICK ON THE “PARISIAN GIVEAWAY” on the sidebar:)

My new peplum top and leggings!

My new peplum top and leggings!

Flower 5

Casanova, the Photobombing Cat!

Casanova, the Photobombing Cat!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Peplum Top – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Floral Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Sandals – MADDEN GIRL

Good Luck to everyone!

Love, laughter, and shoes…

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

 

Vintage inspired by Modcloth!

Vintage inspired by Modcloth!
I’m drooling over this dress! Modcloth challenged me to create a couple of different ways to style it, so I did a night (left) and day look.
The two things I love about Modcloth? One, the styles are unique and affordable, and two, their styles come in a wide range of sizes!
WHAT? A RETAILER THAT CATERS TO WOMEN OF ALL SIZES?!! Scandalous!
Here’s where you can find everything!
Now…I just need to convince The Hubby that these things are necessary:)

Long black dress
modcloth.com

Peacock pumps
modcloth.com

Darling black purse
modcloth.com

Black handbag
modcloth.com

Chain necklace
modcloth.com

Gemstone jewelry
modcloth.com

Turquoise jewelry
modcloth.com

Vintage jewelry
modcloth.com

A Milestone: My First Sponsor!

Happy Sunday, All! You know the saying, “timing is everything”? Well, just as I was thinking about getting a third tattoo for my upcoming birthday, Meg from TT Tattoo (The Temporary Tattoo Store) reached out to me about joining their Blogger Affiliate Program!

My first sponsor! Yay!!

Not only do I love a great tattoo, but I love the idea of custom designing your own tat that’s temporary! That way, you can test drive it before committing the time, pain, and money for a permanent one!

TT Tattoo has ready made designs as well that are sized for your ankle, finger, hand, neck, arm, leg…just about anywhere!

I’m a singer, and would rock this one:

music-rain

And this one too, because I’m a crazy cat lady!

pet-set

Want to give these tats a try? Just click on the banner on the right!

THANKS, TT TATTOO! I appreciate the opportunity!:)

Bloggers – who were your first sponsors? With who have you had great working relationships? Comment below!

 

Love, laughter, and shoes (and tats!) –

xx Melanie.