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.

 

 

 

 

 

Forever 21 After Christmas Bargains!

Who doesn’t love after Christmas sales? I am a sucker for a bargain, and Forever 21 (one of my favorite stores for curvy girls), is having a mad sale! I COULD have been very dangerous, but keeping in mind that we are moving to a completely different climate soon, I just bought a couple of styles. Here they are:

Heather gray maxi

I cannot wait to rock this split maxi tunic with some necklaces and pleather pants!

f21 terry dress

This terry cloth dress is only $14.90! Plus, it has pockets!

Need something to rock for the New Year? Here’s a few looks I fell in love with:

Love the chain down the back! Under $25!

Love the chain down the back! Under $25!

 

Va Va Va Voom!  Under $20!

Va Va Va Voom!
Under $20!

 

Under $30!

Under $30!

So many sexy styles to rock at your party! Here’s my look from last New Year’s Eve:

Lace top and skirt, H&M.

Lace top and skirt, H&M.

Headband by Bijou Brigitte, strand of pearls by Claire's.

Headband by Bijou Brigitte,
strand of pearls by Claire’s.

Hmmmm…what will I wear this year?

What will YOU wear? I heart comments!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

 

 

Mondo Italiano!

Bonjurno! I apologize for being M.I.A. for 2 weeks, but the Hubby & I are vacationing in ITALY!  We’ve roamed Rome, strolled in Florence, decompressed in Verona. and are currently marveling at the wonder of Venice!

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Trying a Trend: Florals

 

I love flowers. Their beauty and fragrance just creates happiness.

However…I have not liked wearing florals my entire life! For as long as I can remember, floral patterns have not been a part of my wardrobe. Those kind of patterns just felt “grandma” to me, and I didn’t think there was a way to wear them that looked fashionable.

This year, though, I have pledged to step out of my box a bit and try some new looks. I decided that if I tried out a floral pattern, it would have to be a skirt, because big flowers on my top half would not do me any favors.

I bought this skirt on sale from Macy’s, (only $25.99!) and you know what? I like it!

Even the Hubby likes it, and he’s not a fan of flower patterns, either.

Floral skt 2

Floral skt 1

To keep the look from seeming too “sweet,” I added an edge with my chain necklace and strappy wedges.

Floral skt CU

Floral skt shoe

What I love about this skirt is that it’s lined, pull on style, and best of all…MACHINE WASHABLE!

And ladies, it’s available up to a 3x! (I’m a 14, wearing the 1x, and it’s just a tad too loose, but that’s ok)

It’ll look great with a tank, a blouse, or a t shirt. Dress it up or down!

I don’t expect to wear a lot more of florals, but this skirt will definitely get some mileage.

What trend did you not expect to wear, but did?

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Skirt: ELEMENTZ (from Macy’s) Get it here.

Top: KOHL’S

Wedges: CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Earrings: bought secondhand

Necklace: CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

IFB_SEAL_RED

 

 

Paris, Part Deux

Ah Paris! This is our third time visiting, and with each time, I fall in love with you a little more. Paris is truly the “City of Lovers!”

In fact, the Hubby and I decided to “lock our love” on a bridge over the Seine, a tradition of many couples.

Four years of a wonderful marriage, nine years together!

“Come What May, I will love you until my dying day.” -our vows.

Lock in Paris

This day, I opted to be comfy by dressing in layers since we’d be out all day.

Locked Mel

But of course, I added a little sparkle with these Eiffel Tower earrings to jazz up my look!

mel cu eiffel ear

One of my favorite things about Paris is visiting museums, and I loved seeing the Musee Rodin which included the iconic statue, The Thinker.

Of course, everyone has to “think” with The Thinker!

Mel and Thinker

 

The Musee Rodin has an AMAZING garden full of fantastic sculptures! Also, a beautiful pond area and café to enjoy a coffee!

Musee Garden full 2

Channeling "Eve's Shame"

Channeling “Eve’s Shame”

The Three Shades.

The Three Shades.

Spring is everywhere!

Spring is everywhere!

Rodin Museum1

There’s a great view of Napoleon’s Tomb (and with the over the top ornate décor of his tomb, there’s no doubt in my mind that Napoleon would’ve been a fashion designer if he didn’t decide to rule the world).

Napoleon tomb 2

We checked it out, and yep – this is an example of “Little Man Syndrome.” Great taste in final resting digs, though!

Stunning!

Stunning!

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There are few places in this world that can make me drop my mouth with awe. Paris is one of them!

More Parisian adventures to come!

On another note…I found out today I have 100 followers on Bloglovin now! Thank you so much for following and reading. Your comments and likes mean so much! Please leave your links so I can follow you too!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

IFB_SEAL_RED

 

 

Pressing Forward with Patience

Ah, Daylight Savings Time…gotta love losing that hour! The time change falls a bit later here in Germany, and I’m sure I’m going to feel that loss tomorrow!

Besides the time change, I’m dealing with changing feelings regarding my body. I started physical therapy last week (I had back surgery this past January), and I was hoping my therapist would give me the green light to start swimming and doing yoga. As a former dancer, I miss feeling movement and working up a sweat, plus those things can get me back into better shape.

However, my therapist doesn’t think it’s quite time yet. “We’re going to do strengthening exercises first, but no twisting movements yet. Be patient, and you’ll get there.”

Honestly, I’ve been patient since June 25, 2012 when a car plowed into ours. Ever since then, my flexibility, my ability to go on long walks, exercise vigorously, and dance has been greatly compromised. It’s like my body has been stuck in a long winter, waiting to thaw out and bloom. Patience is starting to wear thin.

Yesterday, a friend tagged me on Facebook to post a #nomakeupselfie for breast cancer awareness. Even though I am frustrated with what I currently cannot do, I AM HEALTHY AND BLESSED.

I am healthy, and have great love!

I am healthy, and have great love! #nomakeupselfie

Being thankful is something that isn’t just reserved for Thanksgiving. I have many blessings – love, family, friends, pets!  Today I am thankful for all these things, plus being able to express myself freely on my blog.:)

I also love to express myself through fashion and makeup, of course! A little sparkle lifts the spirits. Here are a few pieces I decided to debut today!

Spring accessory1

Spring accessory2

Spring accessory4

Spring accessory3

It’s hard to be patient sometimes, but I am learning the embrace the mantra of, “this too shall pass.”

What is difficult for you to be patient about? Please comment!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Floral headband – CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

Silver bow ear cuff w/stud – CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

Floral ring – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Silver chain w/high heel – JOLLYCHIC

IFB_SEAL_RED

 

Black and White and Chanel

The signs of spring bring forth...Chanel sunglasses!

The signs of spring bring forth…Chanel sunglasses!

It’s been a bizarrely mild winter in Germany! While my friends and family back home in Michigan are having one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record, not ONE snowflake has dropped here in the Kaiserslautern area. Today made it up to 53 degrees, so I decided to celebrate the early signs of spring by breaking out my treasured Chanel sunglasses.

These glasses are a gift from my stepmom, who has the best knack for finding designer duds for a fraction of the original price. I don’t wear these glasses very often because I’m terrified I’ll break them, but today felt like a good day to rock them!

Hello...lovah!

Hello…lovah!

I’m still not pleased with Mr. Lagerfeld’s comments about curvy girls, but that’s no need to throw these away. So, I’m showing him just how good a curvy girl can look wearing his brand. Take that, Karl!

Chanel and headband

Eat your heart out, Karl.

I also wanted to rock my tuxedo leggings from INC, which I got from Macy’s a few months back. Macy’s is one of the few larger retailers that carry stylish, affordable looks for curvy gals. These leggings have a thicker fabric, so I thought I’d better get a few more wears before the summer comes!

Tuxedo leggings

I LOVE the black and white trend for spring! It can look crisp, sophisticated, punkish, rock n roll, expensive, modern…so many ways to wear it!

What do you look forward to wearing for spring?

Love, laughter and shoes! xx Melanie.

WHAT I WORE:

Sunglasses – CHANEL

Headband – BIJOU BIJOU

Earrings – CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

Top – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Leggings – ING

Flats – GRACELAND

Bracelet – MY HUBBY:)

IFB_SEAL_RED

DailyVenusDiva.com Rocks!

What made me literally SQUEAL with delight today? Seeing my newest article on DailyVenusDiva.com‘s website! I had my first article  (regarding my love affair with Clinique products) published with this wonderful online magazine last month, and thankfully Editor in Chief Stephanie Penn took another chance on me! I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with DailyVenusDiva. It’s not often enough that women of all sizes and color are celebrated for who they are, and this magazine is all about that appreciation. Curves definitely rule!

To read my article, “Finally – A Retailer Goes ‘Real’: Retailer Aerie Pledges To Stop Retouching Photos” click here!

I’m not quite ready to walk around in my heels, but I couldn’t resist pulling out one of my favorite pairs in anticipating of spring! The weather in the Ramstein area has been curiously mild for winter (perpetually stuck in the 40s) and not one flake of snow, but it does rain quite a bit and the days tend to be a bit starved for sunlight. Here’s hoping for more color soon!!!

#OOTD:

Leopard trim cotton cardigan, Saks Fifth Avenue. Bag, Chanel. Shoes, Charlotte Russe.

Leopard trim cotton cardigan, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Bag, Chanel.
Shoes, Charlotte Russe.

I LOVE the detail on the Forever21 Plus leggings!

I LOVE the detail on the Forever21 Plus leggings!

Debuting this new H&M baseball style T shirt!

Debuting this new H&M baseball style T shirt!

Dreaming of visiting Paris again soon!  "Eiffel" earrings, Claire's Accessories.

Dreaming of visiting Paris again soon!
“Eiffel” earrings, Claire’s Accessories.

Chanel sitting

Thanks to Diane (my stepmom!) for the beautiful Chanel bag! I am very blessed:)

What do YOU hope to pull out of your closet for spring?

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xoxo Melanie.

Going Retro for Date Night at the Theatre!

The hubby and I decided to celebrate our Valentine’s Day a day late by taking in some theatre! I’ve been active in theatre practically my whole life, and one of my favorite things to do (besides performing!) is to watch friends rocking it onstage!

We’re very lucky to have a great community theatre program in our military, and the Hilltop Theatre’s production of “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” (in Baumholder, Germany) was wonderfully silly! I love the 1940s fashion and music anyway, so it was a double treat for me.

I love this Charlotte Russe ring! Looks way more expensive than it is!

I love this Charlotte Russe ring! Looks way more expensive than it is!

This theatre knows how to treat the patrons right! They offered free mocktails (which hubby and I both enjoyed), plus a regular bar (for a price, of course!). During intermission, I toasted the show’s success with Betty Boop in the lobby:)

Enjoying my Limeaid mocktail and posing with Betty!  Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Enjoying my Limeaid mocktail and posing with Betty!
Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Check it out…I am wearing a short sleeved dress! As I promised myself earlier this year, I wasn’t going to hide under sweaters and jackets. My arms may be bigger, but they are strong.

Boop boop a doop!

Boop boop a doop!

The retro feel of this show brought out some great fashion looks! Check out Oscar, fellow thespian, in this very cool mix of black/yellow/white! I LOVE her jacket with the vest detail!

This is one sharp lady! Great haircut, too!

This is one sharp lady! Great haircut, too!

I’ve been in a “reworking my closet” mood and I almost forgot about these great buckle heels from Target I bought 6 years ago! Perfect for pairing with my new peplum dress from Forever21 Plus  (link has a slightly different style, but still hot!) and rhinestone headband from Claire’s Accessories.

Six year old shoes still looking good! Very comfortable, too!

Six year old shoes still looking good! Very comfortable, too!

blk sparkle headband

Need an idea for date night? Take your sweetie to the theatre! It gives you a chance to dress up and support the arts! Cheers.

My "gypsy" silver purse with silver and white beadwork I picked up in Paris last year.

My “gypsy” silver purse with silver and white beadwork I picked up in Paris last year.

IFB_SEAL_RED

Recycling the Closet

Who doesn’t love getting new stuff? I certainly get excited when a package arrives, though my hubby just rolls his eyes and asks, “don’t you have enough (shoes, jewelry, bags, clothes)?”

Yes, I do. I probably have a lot more than I need, and sometimes it’s easy to forget some gems bought from a season back at the back of my closet. Today I decided to mix some oldies but goodies with a couple newer pieces.

Jacket, Forever 21 Plus. Black tunic, Victor. Gray t shirt (underneath), Charlotte Russe. Leggings, Forever 21 Plus. Boots, Forever 21.

Jacket, Forever 21 Plus. Black tunic, Victor. Gray t shirt (underneath), Charlotte Russe. Leggings, Forever 21 Plus. Boots, Forever 21.

The faux leather jacket, boots, and leggings are newer purchases from Forever 21. I’ve become a fan of the Forever 21 Plus line, as everything I’ve bought is definitely made for a curvier gal. Stylish, comfortable, and very affordable!

Earrings are recycled from pieces of jewelry!

Earrings are recycled from pieces of jewelry!

 

I had some fun today “making new earrings” by taking parts of necklaces and other earrings that were broken and made new hoops! I also found this necklace I bought from Claire’s Accessories a while back and pinned it to my black tunic! I’ve had this tunic from JC Penney for about four years, and I still love it. It’s great for layering over a t shirt!

While on my therapy walk today, I couldn’t help but try out some ballet positions:) I can’t wait to take a class again!

"Fifth" position -though it's closer to fourth. I'm on my way to getting my turnout back!

“Fifth” position -though it’s closer to fourth. I’m on my way to getting my turnout back!

I’m going to keep pulling out some “oldies but goodies” and mixing them up with newer things. Plus, it’s a good time to figure out what to donate. Clothes should be worn and loved, not left to sit at the bottom of a drawer. So…the purge begins!

What are some things YOU’VE rediscovered or recycled? Comment below!