An Eye Opener About Fast Fashion

Hello lovelies,

Like many of you, I love to shop. I love a good bargain for a hot style. Many of my clothes have been bought from Forever 21, H&M, and Charlotte Russe – retailers who specialize in “fast fashion.” 

Fast Fashion Retailers – Many are My Favorite!

Trendy, of the moment, affordable style? Sure, sign me up. Stores like these are super attractive for a fashionista like me.

However, today my view of fast fashion has drastically changed, due to a documentary called The True Cost

This film showed me how my pursuit of a $8 top is at the cost of workers in Bangladesh, China, India, and Cambodia. Many of these workers are in dangerous working conditions to keep the costs of manufacturing low. In 2013, a large building collapsed in the Rana Plaza where much of the garment industry is centered. 1,100 workers died as a result of factory managers neglecting the deteriorating conditions of the building. This event is just one of the tragedies at garment factories in these areas.

Is it worth the cost?

Not only are people being affected by the low wages and dangerous working conditions, but our environment is taking a hit by the use of pesticides on the cottons used in the material. Dyes used for leathers in India are full of chemicals, which end up leaking in water supplies.

Most of these women make just $3 USD a day.

I don’t want to preach to others that they shouldn’t buy from our favorite retailers, but maybe we can slow down how much we buy. Maybe we can recycle more of our clothes. Maybe we can give our business to more fair trade retailers and designers. 

My mission now is to profile fair trade brands and also show looks I created from secondhand stores.

I hope you will join me! Let’s share our fair trade and recycled looks!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo Melanie.

 

Blogger on a Budget: Fabulous Fringe!

Blk floral fringe1

Hello lovelies!

As you know, I love a bargain, and with a lot of ’70s influence in this season’s looks, I hit Macy’s to find something to rock.

Blk floral fringe side

Macy’s never fails me. I can always find something chic that fits me beautifully for an awesome price. This adorable black floral coverall with sassy fringe from American Rag was marked down to $12! I can wear it with shorts, a jumpsuit, a dress, a skirt!

FREE thrift find!

I paired it with my fantastic thrift find – an Old Navy cotton dress that fits me great! My waist is defined, giving me more of an hourglass. I got this for FREE!!

Of course, I have to trick out my look with a few accessories, so I went gold with this chain necklace and gold cuff from Claire’s Accessories, and lengthened my legs with these beige wedges from Charlotte Russe. Love it!

Blk Floral fringe2

You might notice I’ve got a black bracelet on. I’ve been working on developing a healthier lifestyle, so I got a Fit Bit! So, I’m tracking steps, exercise, food, and water. Having this definitely makes me more accountable to myself!

However, as you know, I’m not about being a certain size. We all should find beauty in ourselves, regardless of size. My Fit Bit makes me make better decisions about how I treat my body. So, if I end up losing weight, my back would definitely be better for it, plus I want more energy! Who wouldn’t want more energy?

I hope your November is off to a great start! Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger on a Budget: Chasing the Fall Blues

Hello Lovelies!

Are you enjoying autumn? Pulling out my fall/winter wardrobe was always something I enjoyed doing, as it was like a mini-Christmas! Hello sweaters, hello leggings, hello boots!

But here in Guam, it is like a endless summer! I can feel slight changes in the temperature with less humidity, so I guess this is fall! Since I’m not going to get any new clothes for the season, I have to get creative…so after visiting the Airman’s Attic,  I found some GREAT pieces for free!

Old Navy Dress 2

I found this adorable Old Navy cotton dress (love the polka dots!) which looks great with my Charlotte Russe duster! Add my cage sandals from JustFab, and I’ve got a great day look.

Old Navy dress1

But that’s not all, folks! I picked up these awesome bangles for free as well! I’m especially nuts about the “rocker” one. Wearing these with this outfit keeps it from looking too sweet.

Bangle CU

Bangles

What else is fun and free? Going through makeup bags and rediscovering lip and eye colors!

Old Navy CU

I’ve had a subscription to Ipsy for almost two years, so you can imagine I’ve collected quite a few beauty products! I decided to rock this warm pink lip from NYX. Originally I thought the color was “too pink” for me, but after adding some lip crayon in Spicy Berry from Ulta,  I really love it!

I admit, it’s a little sad to not shop for the new fall styles. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t switch up my looks! Plus it doesn’t mean I need to spend a fortune (which the Hubby appreciates!).

What is your favorite fall find so far? Please share! 

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

#ShopMyCloset Part 1: The ABCs

Glasses, Cover Girl

Glasses, Cover Girl

Hey Divas! So, I’ve been keeping my pledge to #shopmycloset and not buy anything new for three months, BUT I do get bored easily with my style. How to change it up? By using the ABCs – Accessories, Bold Color, and Cosmetics!

A is for Accessories

A couple of years ago, I finally accepted that I needed reading glasses.  Not wanting to settle for anything dowdy, I chose this foxy pair from Cover Girl. Now, I like to put these on for a “nice but naughty” look for date night!

Glasses 1

Who can forget the power of a hot pair of heels? Since I was rocking all black for my outfit, I had to go all out with these gold metallic from Charlotte Russe.

CR gold heels

Blk Peplum 1a

Blk Peplum 2

On the rooftop of Papa’s Restaurant, overlooking Tumon Bay.

B: Bold Color

The easiest way to change up your look without a commitment is using temporary color in the hair. When I was in between hair appointments and the white hairs were popping out, I grabbed some lip stain and streaked it in. I loved the effect so much, I ended up getting red highlights at my appointment!

This was just some lip stain! Washed out easily!

This was just some lip stain! Washed out easily!

C: Cosmetics

Of course, makeup can change the whole feel and mood of your look. I’ve been experimenting with glam and natural, and I’ve really come to embrace the minimal as well as the glamorous.

Pared back and pretty.

Pared back and pretty.

 

Glamour face!

Glamour face!

So,  when you want to break out of  rut or try something unexpected, try some ABCs. Show me your ways how you change your look!

Ready for date night! Top, Forever 21 Plus. Skirt, INC.

Ready for date night!
Top, Forever 21 Plus.
Skirt, INC.

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

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

What Paradise Means to Me

Romper 1

Hafa Adai! (Chamorro for “How are you?”)

Recently I read an article about a woman who had a 95k job in New York City who tired of the hustle and bustle of the stress, so she decided moving to a small island in the Bahamas and simplifying life would be the answer. She now scoops ice cream and bartends, and couldn’t be happier.

The Hubby and I have been here in Guam for about 6 weeks now, and yes – this place is paradise. So much sun, water, beach, and greenery to see! Although we were assigned here because of Hubby’s job, I think about if Guam would be my paradise if given the choice.

Ah, the palm trees!

Ah, the palm trees!

After living in several places during my life, I’ve come to believe that paradise is a state of mind. Location is important, but it is equally important to be surrounded by support and people who care.

I won’t lie, the first few weeks here were a bit tough. Transitions are stressful, no matter where you go.

Romper 3

Thankfully, I have met a few ladies who have welcomed me and I can begin to breathe in the tropical air and relax.

I’m also loving this new Charlotte Russe Plus romper! It’s super cute and very comfy. Hooray for Charlotte Russe for getting on board and putting cute clothes out for we curvy gals!

Such a cute tie in the back!

Such a cute tie in the back!

Once all of our furniture comes, then our home will truly be in Paradise.

What is paradise to you?

Pink lip 3

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.

 

And Now For Somewhere Completely Different…GUAM!

Outside hotel

HAFA ADAI, all!

Yes, I am LITERALLY on the other side of the world since I last posted! The hubby and I got into Guam two days ago, and whoa, the jet lag is kicking my behind, but I’m very excited for the new adventure:)

Leaving our friends and family in Michigan was very emotional for us.  We had so much fun hanging out and enjoying each others’ company, and when it was time to go, my heart sunk. We don’t get to see our family except for once every couple of years, and that is the toughest part of being in a military family.

However, I find some comfort in being in the sun and being able to rock my newest looks from Charlotte Russe and H&M! Curvy gals, did you know Charlotte Russe just debuted their plus line? Check out this adorable romper!

Char Russe romper 1

And…CR is doing a 30% off sale right now! Ohhhh yeahhhh!

I also got adventurous and decided to mix prints. Here’s a cute lipstick kiss tee from H&M paired with this skater skirt from Charlotte Russe! Forgive the mirror selfies; hubby is busy getting our stuff processed!

Lipstick shirt 2

Lipstick print shirt

Lipstick print CU

 

Kiss, kiss!

Kiss, kiss!

Lots of pics to come soon of this lovely island – but here is a view from our hotel balcony!

Hotel view

Until next time – love, laughter, and shoes!

xoxo

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:)

Labor Day and a New Giveaway!

It’s Labor Day! In the U.S., it means a day off  (for some lucky people!) and a chance to have some last minute summer fun.

It’s also a new month, and it means A NEW GIVEAWAY!

but more about that later….:)

Labor Day also means SHOPPING DEALS! Woo-hoo!

I recently got some sweet swag in the mail from Deb Shops and Modcloth, and the timing was perfect to wear my new fun things to a wine tasting! That’s one of many great things in Germany; the abundance of vineyards and all the tasting of delicious wine!

fountain 2

fountain 3

Debuting my new Jessica Simpson clutch (a b day gift!)

Debuting my new Jessica Simpson clutch (a b day gift!)

fountain 1

I lucked out and got the top (with attached necklace!) and the floral skater skirt from Deb for a steal!

Paired with these super cute and comfy oxfords from Modcloth, I felt like dancing! (Psst, they’re on sale!)

modcloth oxfords

OHHHH…how I could I forget? IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!

Jennifer from A Wild Violet is sponsoring this month’s giveaway, and it’s awesome!

Check out these beautiful stackable rings! And you can win one with the birthstone of your choice!

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All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the left! You can tweet, comment, and “like” to get more entries!

Giveaway ends September 22nd, so enter now! Thanks, Jennifer:)

Love, laughter, and shoes…

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Blue cozy – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Coral peplum tank – DEB SHOPS

Floral skater skirt – DEB SHOPS

Oxfords – MODCLOTH

Clutch – JESSICA SIMPSON