Change of Season = Change of Mind

Hello lovelies,

Believe it or not, fall is almost here (though in Guam, it just means a little less rain!). Like many of you, I enjoy checking out all the September issues of Vogue, Marie Claire, and Glamour. Seeing the runway shows on YouTube is as close as most of us will get to being at a show, and I’m glad for that technology!

But I want to share with you something I’ve been dealing with lately.

 

Dress, Kenzie.

Dress, Kenzie.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling very sluggish and dealing with low energy. At first I chalked it up to an inconsistent sleep schedule, so even after going to bed/getting up at regular hours, I still felt draggy and lacking motivation.

Kenzie 1

Was I depressed? I didn’t think so. Though I’ve been missing friends and family, my job and my husband bring me joy. I had to look at something else.

I’m neglecting my body.

Shoes, Just Fab.

Shoes, Just Fab.

Don’t get me wrong. I am still very much about body acceptance. I believe in loving who you are, right at this moment. I still love who I am, and my curves. However, I cannot deny that my body needs more exercise, more greens. I don’t need to be a certain size to be happy. I just want more energy. I also don’t want to be diagnosed with diabetes, which is a reality for someone who is overweight.

So, I am taking this a step at a time. No crazy diet or intense workouts here.

Kenzie 3

But I’m still rocking my outfits, no matter what! I believe in living loud, so what’s louder than red?

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xoxo, Melanie.

#ShopMyCloset Part 2: Being Comfortably Chic with Athleisure

Blk floral

Hello Lovelies!

One of the new trends in fashion I’m LOVING is the “athleisure” look. The best way I describe the style is “yoga gone glam.” It’s not just throwing on sweatpants and sneaks (though those are comfy!); it’s selecting the type of material and cut of the clothes that takes the “workout” out of the look.  Since Guam is such a laid back place, this style works PERFECTLY for me. It’s more elevated than t shirts and shorts.

For instance: Here’s a typical gym look.

CELEBRITY-WORKOUT-STYLE

Athleisure has a more structured look and feel, though it borrows heavily from yoga wear.  The pants are tailored; the shoes are either glam kicks, booties, or heels.

abcnews_stylish-athletic-wear-is-new-fashion-trend-for-women

athleisure 1

The key to nailing the look is to keep it grounded. If you are a 20 something or younger, you can get away with more embellishments and brighter colors. However, those of us 30 and older look more chic in neutrals, black, whites.

I shopped my closet and came up with this look with a beach hoodie, a high/low t shirt dress from Express, leggings from Forever 21 Plus, and wedge sandals from Shoedazzle.  I added a little sparkle with accessories.

BW floral 2

BW floral long

I love this hoodie!

I love this hoodie!

BW Ring

What I love the most about athleisure is that I can wear it from running errands to joining my hubby to dinner and still be comfy and chic!

Show me YOUR best athleisure looks!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

 

Prints Charming

Island pant 2

Hello lovelies!

I know, long time, no see…actually, I’ve been suffering from some writer’s block. Until recently, my life has been in limbo, waiting to start a new job and waiting for our belongings to arrive.

The good news is, I am enjoying my new job teaching theatre VERY much. The downside? Pretty much all of my professional clothes are still en route, so I had to do a little shopping (well, that’s not such a bad thing…).

Fortunately, I didn’t have to spend much money to look good! Taking advantage of some AMAZING sales at our Macy’s, I bought a couple of dressy “breezy” pants, two pencil skirts, and a couple of tops. Plus, I joined ShoeDazzle and got two pairs of cute mules for $40!

Here’s one of my new pants (only $11 after discounts!). LOVE this print!

Island pant 3

Island pant 1

We curvy girls have been conditioned to not wear prints on the bottom, however, that’s just a silly rule. The print just needs to be in proportion to the body, and keep the rest of the outfit simple.

Shoedazzle mule

These mules are SUPER comfy, and so stylish! I’m a new ShoeDazzle fan:)

Island makeup

I think I’ve got the sunkissed makeup look down pat. Creamy pink and bronze tints on my eyes and cheeks from Temptu give me “lit from within” glow. So easy!

Here’s to hoping the next time I write, my organizers and most importantly, MY BED is here!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xx Melanie.

Fear of the “What If”

This cute sundress was FREE! Bag, Nine West.

This cute sundress was FREE!
Bag, Nine West.

Hello lovelies,

The past couple of months have been filled with lots of changes, ups and downs, and a recent health scare. I’m a pretty resilient person, however, this latest episode has brought the worst visitor in my life, the What If.

Two days ago, I was trying to pick up some larger pieces of cardboard all at once. My footing slipped, and suddenly a HUGE shot of pain ripped down my right leg. I gasped, and I fell forward. Flashes of what happened to me the last time this happened filled my mind. I ended up having back surgery; I prayed it wouldn’t be the same fate.

Thankful to be standing!

Thankful to be standing!

One visit to the ER and a shot for pain later, I was on the mend again. Thankfully after taking it easy for a day, I felt fine again.

But the question now lingers, “what if?”

I am hoping that this episode was a freak occurrence with my sciatica, but WHAT IF it happens again when…

we go for a hike

swim in the ocean

dance in my kitchen

pick up my cat?

Color dress 4

I don’t like this visitor, Mr. What If.  Living fearlessly pursuing my goals is important to me. To second guess or be scared of trying is something I do not want to begin doing.

Accepting that nerve damage has changed some things for me has been difficult. However, I need to keep Mr. What If quiet so I can focus on the things I CAN and WANT to do.

Like rocking a free dress from Airman’s Attic and going on a date with the Hubby, for instance:) Thought I’d try some dark grey and violet shadow for a new smoky eye, too.

Color dress 2

Breaking away from fear isn’t easy. However, I will not live my life running from it. So, bring it, Mr. What If.

What If….I do everything I dream of? Here’s hoping.

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xoxo Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pale Girl in Paradise

Hello lovelies!

I’m a proud mix of Irish and Swedish decent, and though I am proud, it does make me, well, stand out in a tropical area.

Hafa Adai!

Hafa Adai!

After four years in mostly cloudy Germany, the Hubby and I didn’t get much sunlight. Now that we are in Guam, the sun’s rays blind everyone who sees us, lol! However, I just slather on the SPF 50 and let the freckles come.

At sunrise.

At sunrise.

A few nights ago, the Hubby took me on a date and I got to wear this fierce Torrid dress. What is so especially cool about it are the small dark blue spots with the leopard print. Looks great with my Charlotte Russe top!

Torrid 1

Paired with Forever 21 sandals and a Nine West bag.

Paired with Forever 21 sandals and a Nine West bag.

Feel like Marilyn!

Feel like Marilyn!

Just like my curves, I’ll work my pale self to the max. I’ll probably end up a light coffee color eventually, but I’m ok with who I am now. So, if any of you out there are pale like me, take solace in knowing that you’ll have great skin for many years. Take it from me, a 40 something with no wrinkles:)

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xoxo

Melanie.

 

Sports Illustrated’s First “Plus Size” Model

Sports Illustrated made history by announcing the inclusion of the first Plus Size model in its annual “Swimsuit Issue.”

I have mixed feelings about this.

First, I am glad to see a curvier model being showcased; however, this is the “plus size” model they are including in their editorial: size 12 beauty Robyn Lawley.

1423165662_robyn-lawley-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-zoom

I am not taking anything away from Ms. Lawley. She is gorgeous, healthy, and is an advocate of the curvier movement in fashion. I’m thrilled that she landed this opportunity!

What bothers me is Sports Illustrated labeling Lawley as “plus size.” announcing to the world, “hey, we’re open minded! We include plus size models!”

Let’s get real for a moment. YES, at a size 12, Robyn is considered “plus size” in the modeling world. However- she is 6’2″! A size 12 is NOT plus size for her proportions.

Can we try this instead, SI? Let’s truly show diversity in beauty.

Use size 16 Ashley Graham IN the editorial, not just an advertisement.

ashley-graham-swimsuits-for-all-sports-illustrated-400x470

Maybe next year.

swim-600x450

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

Why I’ll Never Be “Skinny” Again

This week, plus size diva Tess Holliday (Munster) made modeling history as being the largest model to be signed to a major modeling agency. Her beauty and talent as a model is what caught the attention of Milk Model Management, and how refreshing is it to see the fashion industry including a more diverse talent pool. Beauty is beauty, after all!

Go Tess!

Go Tess!

When I learned of Tess’ historic signing, I couldn’t help but think if only she and other models like her had been around when I was a struggling young professional actor/dancer, I would have not gone through the madness I did.

When I was a size 8/10 (pictured below), I kept getting small character parts and not being taken seriously as a dancer (I thought).

Size 8 10

As a result, I convinced myself I needed to be skinner to get better roles.  So over the course of a year, I upped my workouts, cut sugar and a lot of fat out of my diet, and got down to a size 4.

Size 3 4 2

Everyone noticed. Suddenly I started to be seen as a leading lady/sexpot type for casting. However, I constantly lived every day in fear that the weight would come back. If the weight came back, would all the attention and roles go away? Convinced that gaining weight would ruin everything, food became the enemy. So I decided if a size 4 was good, a 2 must be better. That’s what the leading ladies in Hollywood wear….

At the height of my madness.

At the height of my madness.

During this time, I was living on coffee, water, protein bars and plain veggies. I’d get up at 6 am and run for 45 minutes before starting the day, then come home and work out again (this time including hundreds of crunches). I’d then go out at night, dancing until the wee hours and drink a lot of booze. If I didn’t follow my food/exercise regimen EXACTLY, I was a failure and add “punishment exercises” the next day.  Little did I realize how miserable I was.

The tipping point came when I went on an audition for a musical. The part called for a lot of dancing, and I was ready. After rocking the dance combinations, those of us who “made the cut” stood in a line before the choreographer and director.

They looked at each of us, quietly whispering (not that quiet, mind you) comments as they took note.

“Good execution, pretty. Need to hear her sing again.”

“Not sure yet. Maybe.”

These kind of comments escaped their little bubble, making all of us anxious. Then, they glanced at me.

“Really good…a bit thick, though.”

I was stunned. After we were dismissed, I couldn’t get the words out of my ears.  I was a size 2, and losing my mind trying to stay that way.

Devastated, I threw out my scale.

Flash forward several years, my weight has fluctuated a bit. After my back injury, I became the heaviest I’ve ever been, but you know what? I don’t care.

I’ve been gradually become more active, focusing on getting my strength & flexibility back. I’ve cut out soda and drink more water. I try to watch the amount of sugar I eat. All I want is to feel healthy. I don’t give a shit what size that will be. No one will ever determine my self-worth again.

So here’s to you, Tess. Thank you for showing us all that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

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.

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Ready for a New Adventure

Cranberry dress 3

Guten Tag, everyone!

How was your weekend? A few days ago, it was a little warmer than usual so I was able to do some outdoor pics for a change. We have this lovely country area around where we live, and it’s perfect for going on long walks.

As I strutted, twirled, and played Supermodel, I realized that very soon we would be leaving Germany. As much I am looking forward to our next adventure (in GUAM!), I’ve become attached to the culture, the friends I’ve made, and this beautiful area.

Cranberry dress 5

We’ve been here almost four years, and it blows my mind how many countries and landmarks we’ve seen, the wonderful people who’ve come into our lives, and the opportunities I’ve gained as a performer.

Most of all, I’ve gained a greater sense of comfort about who I am.  If I’m curvier or slimmer, it does not matter. I’m still fine.

Cranberry dress 1

And so, Germany – I thank you for the adventure. I will treasure these last few weeks, and the memories made.

Cranberry dress 4

And just a reminder….I’m giving away this Marilyn Monroe wallet! Giveaway ends soon, so good luck!

Marilyn wallet 1

Love, laughter and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I WORE:

Boyfriend Jacket – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Dress – PRIMARK

Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Earrings –  BIJOU BRIGITTE

Bracelet – gift from hubby:)

2015 – Celebrating Who YOU Are!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Did you have a fun filled crazy celebration, or did you keep things more low key? Are you waking up with the “holy God, why did I drink all that Long Island tea and champagne” feeling?

No? Oh, well yes- that is me! HA!

Anyway, here’s to a brand new year. As we close out 2014, I’d like to offer a wish for all of us to begin 2015. Let’s enjoy ourselves more!

Oh the tasty gluhwein!

Oh the tasty gluhwein!

Every year, there is a big push to “fix ourselves.” On just about every advertisement or magazine this month, we will be promised that “this is the year to get fit,” or “get a bikini body,” so we sign up for gym memberships and hope that THIS time we’ll make it happen.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting healthier. However, shouldn’t we enjoy who and what we are NOW, versus waiting to be happy?

New Victoria's Secret sweatshirt! So cozy!

New Victoria’s Secret sweatshirt! So cozy!

So, yes – start a new fitness program. Stop smoking. Be kinder. Save money. Chase a new interest. Whatever it is you want to do this year, DO IT. And have FUN while doing it!

VS top 2

VS Top 5

On another note…

Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog this past year! I really appreciate all the likes, follows, shares, and comments. I’m excited about what’s to come this year, and you lovelies can expect many more giveaways!!

Cheers!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Plus Size Models Strut at NYFW!

How exciting is this? Two high end designers, Zana Bayne and Chromat sent out plus size models down the runway during New York Fashion Week!

Plus size models have received exposure in several magazines and retailers as of late, but have not quite made a mark on the “straight sized” runway world of modeling. However, up and coming designer Chromat, who designed Beyoncé’s Superbowl halftime show outfit, showcased model Denise Bidot in her creations. Zana Bayne, who specializes in bondage inspired wear, sent model Gia Geneiveve down the runway, along with other plus size models.

Werk it, girl!

Gia Geneieve for Zana Bayne.

Denise Bidot for Chromat.

Beyoncé rocks this Chromat design!

Beyoncé rocks this Chromat design!

Gia Geneieve

Gia Geneieve

Design by Chromat.

Design by Chromat.

Now, is this the kind of thing one would wear every day? Of course not! But how nice is it to see curves showcased, instead of carefully hidden! These models look amazing!

Here’s hoping more curvy girls walk the runway in years to come!

P.S. Just over a week left of the Gemstone Ring of Choice by A Wild Violet giveaway! Click on the Rafflecopter banner on the left!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Images from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2745477/Plus-size-officially-fashion-Two-coming-labels-send-curvy-models-catwalk-NYFW.html