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!

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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.

 

 

 

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

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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

 

 

 

Reflection of a Journey

Summer is winding down, and as I look ahead, I realize that our time in Germany is coming to a close. In a few short months it will be time to get ready for a new adventure! Such is the life of a military family.

I have really enjoyed living in Europe these past three years.  This girl who grew up in a small town in Michigan used to fantasize about seeing the Eiffel Tower, and I still shake my head in disbelief that I did!

Mel Paris shrt

Ahh Paris! Tourist shirt over an H&M dress.

From Amsterdam, to Paris, Switzerland, Crete, Berlin, Venice, Milan, Verona, Rome, Florence, Innsbruck, Munich – and all of the little towns we visited in Germany, it’s been an amazing ride. I appreciate and treasure the wonderful opportunity for all the travel we’ve been able to do.

Calling Romeo on Juliet's Balcony in Verona!

Calling Romeo on Juliet’s Balcony in Verona!

It’s been a trade off, though. For all the wonderful memories made, we’ve missed out on weddings, a funeral, Christmas parties, birthdays, and everyday hangout time with family and friends. Our time away definitely makes me more appreciative of the time we do get with them, and with every passing year, I know there is less time for all those things. It’s hard being away sometimes.

Wearing an icon from Deb Shops in front of the iconic Gucci store in Rome.

Wearing an icon from Deb Shops in front of the iconic Gucci store in Rome.

Someday we will be back living in the States, and though I will be glad to be closer to loved ones, I know I will be in for culture shock. I will miss the charm of a small village, the castle on a hill, a designer store just minutes away, the ancient architecture.

Will I be able to adapt back to a city with strip malls, Wal Marts, and fast food on every exit? I don’t know.

But until then, I will make as many memories here as possible!

With Cleopatra and Marc Antony in Verona.

With Cleopatra and Marc Antony in Verona.

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

forever maxi 6

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is “Plus Size,” Anyway?

“She’s too small to be plus sized.”

I’ve read that response quite often whenever a designer or a magazine features a plus size model. Granted, some of these models are 5’10 and wear a size 12, which in the “real world,” would be considered “straight size.”

However, I just stumbled across a tweet from The Curvy Fashionista (@MarieDenee), where she posts a link from retailer Addition Elle, which asks,

“What is Plus Size?”

Addition Elle’s philosophy on the issue hits the nail on the head for me:

“Plus size” includes a range of shapes and sizes. Some women are short, some are tall, some have wide hips, some have straight hips, some have larger busts, some have smaller busts…but regardless of their features, they have one thing in common.

What is it? Well, that clothing in “traditional” sizes does not fit them, for whatever reason.”

Case in point: I have the WORST time buying shorts. They are usually too tight in the hip, or too loose in the waist. For some reason, I’m in a “no woman’s land” as a size 14.  I don’t want booty shorts or Daisy Dukes. I guess designers must think I want elasticized, pull on polyester shorts (BLEAH!). Apparently, a mid thigh, stylish denim pair in my size is just not possible.

Then I wonder:

But what about a woman who is a size medium on top (say, an 8 or 10), and is pear shaped (a size 12 or 14) on the bottom? Or someone who is a 12 on the bottom, and wears a 38 DD on top? According to the size charts, she’d be “plus size.”

It’s all a bit nuts. 

Men’s fashion is not complex. Pants are the waist size, shirts are the chest/neck measurement. If a guy is larger, he goes to the Big and Tall department.

Why can’t women’s fashion convert to such a system?

By the way, after a lot of searching, I DID finally find a pair of denim shorts! I found these from DEB.

Stylish, comfy, and fit great!

DEB Shops, you get the gold star.

FINALLY, shorts that FIT. Thanks, Deb Shops!

FINALLY, shorts that FIT. Thanks, Deb Shops!

I may be "plus size," but I have a great ass.

I may be “plus size,” but I have a great ass.

Got this tank from Deb, too. I'm showing my arms off, would you believe?

Got this tank from Deb, too. I’m showing my arms off, would you believe?

Deb face

Handmade glass ring from Venice!

Handmade glass ring from Venice!

Love me some gladiator sandals!

Love me some gladiator sandals!

I’d love to read your thoughts on what “plus size” is, or anything on your mind!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx

 

 

 

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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