Freshen Up Styles Without Going Broke!

As a blogger and fashion addict, I constantly receive special sales and discounts in my email, and there’s SO MANY awesome styles out right now…but…

Like most people, I am not flush in cash! So what’s a girl to do when I want to freshen my looks and don’t have funds to blow?

Accessories, accessories!

A new necklace goes a long way in making an older style look new again. Check this beautiful piece I got from Paparazzi Jewelry for only $5! (matching earrings came with this, too!)

IMG_20141113_145336 IMG_20141113_145400

Want to find cool necklaces like this? Or rings, bracelets? Just $5 a piece! Click here:

This look (below) is made up of a dress from four years ago, a long cardigan from five years ago, and leggings from last year. I made everything look new again by adding my Fashion to Figure moto jacket, Just Fab bag and boots, and an eternity scarf knitted by my friend and blogger Signe Savant!

An older dress & cardigan.

An older dress & cardigan.

Presto!

Presto!

Refresh style 2

So cozy!

So cozy!

Go through your closet. See which dresses, tops, or sweaters can be updated by just adding a new piece of jewelry or a jacket. Try different combinations to create a new style!

And HEY! Have you entered my Thirty One Gifts Makeup Bag Giveaway Yet? Click on the Rafflecopter banner!

Show me how you’ve updated your looks! I heart comments!

Love, laughter and shoes –

xx Melanie

 

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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.

 

 

 

Where Did You Inherit Your Love of Fashion?

My mom made her dress (that lace is gorgeous!) and mine for my christening.

My mom made her dress (that lace is gorgeous!) and mine for my christening.

 

Hey all! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! It’s a day to celebrate moms everywhere, be they moms to human kids or fur kids. 🙂

I’m paying tribute to my mom, who passed away 17 years ago (and miss so much!) and gave me my love of fashion. She could design and sew just about any style I admired (made a gorgeous prom dress, evening gown, and my 1st wedding dress). If she were here today, I know she would be amazing on Project Runway! Like me, she could appreciate a great vintage find, recycle a hand-me-down, and marvel over a bargain. I sure wish I inherited her ability to sew, but I lack the patience! I miss and love you, Mom.

Speaking of bargains, Mom would’ve loved this dress I got recently from Fashion to Figure. I love the “painting style” of it, and the color is my favorite color of blue! Fashion to Figure is a great site for we curvy gals (sizes 12-24), where the on-trend styles are very affordable, plus the fit and quality receives high marks from me.

Merry Go Round 2

Dress, Fashion to Figure. Tunic, Charlotte Russe.

 

Merry Go Round 3

Merry Go Round 1

Notre Dame blue

Give your Mom a call, a hug, a dinner. And if you’re a Mom, enjoy your special day!

My hubby surprised me with a brunch to celebrate his “furry baby mama.” Ha ha! Love this man.

Bacon, hashbrowns, and cheesy eggs!!

Bacon, hashbrowns, and cheesy eggs!!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

A Reunion in Paris, 10 Years in the Making

Bonjour, my dear readers! Today I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I’m chilling out and looking through pics from last month’s Paris adventure, so I thought I’d share a favorite moment it with you.

I love the signs in Paris.

I love the signs in Paris.

I think I’ve already shared that I have a background as a professional actress (still do), and one of the best parts about acting is making many friends over the course of a production. About 10 years ago, I did a touring production of My Way, a Tribute to Frank Sinatra for The Springer Opera House in Columbus, Georgia. Working/living with the same dozen people for six months will either make you  great friends or sworn enemies, but happily I am still friends with all the cast to this day.

And who would’ve guessed that I would have a reunion with Jessie, my cast mate, in PARIS 10 years later?!!

Cue the song: “It’s a Small World After All….”

She and her husband moved to the City of Lights this past year, and with the magic of Facebook, we re-connected and had a wonderful double date night! Jessie and I traded touring tales with our hubbies, devoured delicious French cuisine, and made plans for our next get together.

They are a wonderful couple, and we can’t wait to hang out again.

Paris Jessica

The weather changes quickly in Paris, so I decided to keep it casual, comfortable, and chic!

Paris jacket 1

Paris jacket 2

NEWS!!! On another note, I just did my first GUEST BLOG! I want to thank Jasmine of FOR A REAL WOMAN for asking me to write, and I appreciate the opportunity so much. Check out my picks for affordable and stylish plus size wear here!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

WHAT I WORE:

Moto jacket: FASHION TO FIGURE

Gold necklace: FASHION TO FIGURE

Cranberry T shirt: H &M

Black shorts: TJ MAXX

Gold flats: AK ANNE KLEIN

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Am I a Fashion Victim?

I really enjoy blogging about fashion; it’s become a new passion in my life. However, I am noticing that I am much more susceptible to buying clothes and makeup than ever before! Other bloggers’ looks, enticing emails of special sales, magazine layouts, and Birchbox sample boxes make me feel compelled to “stay current.” The pressure to create a great outfit for pictures is real, and I worry about what I have is “blog worthy.”

Anyone else feel like me? At times, I feel so silly for worrying about this at all.

I also wonder if I’m becoming a slave to trends. For example, I just ordered a floral skirt, thinking “well, floral prints are in right now” versus “will I look utterly ridiculous in that?” I’ve never been a florals kind of gal! Am I stepping out the box, or just boxing myself in to trendiness?

Let’s talk crop tops for a second. They are HOT this season, and I’ve seen examples of curvy gals rocking them well. I’ve actually starting thinking, “which top should I choose for my blog?”

Not considering: “YOUR BOOBS ARE HUGE, AND YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A BOX.”

Perhaps we’ll skip that one!

One thing’s for sure, I don’t want to lose my own sense of style.

My New Pledge:

1. I’m Not 20, and It’s OK.

2. Not Every Trend is For Me.

3. I Don’t Have to Try to Impress.

4. Stay True to Me.

5. Don’t Buy it Because it’s on Sale!

6. Have Fun with Fashion, Don’t Take it So Seriously!

So, keeping with my new pledge, here are a couple of my new favorite looks. This is truly my style:)

Toughing it in a Moto Jacket at the Tough Mudder.

Toughing it in a Moto Jacket at the Tough Mudder.

Eiffel Tower Leggings and Hot Pink Tights. Because...Why Not.

Eiffel Tower Leggings and Hot Pink Tights. Because…Why Not.

 

Blue and white is my new favorite combination!

Blue and white is my new favorite combination!

Look close - the skirt has yellow in the print! I almost never wear yellow!

Look close – the skirt has yellow in the print! I almost never wear yellow!

It’s important to try new things to avoid getting in a rut. However, there’s a fine line between being stylish and becoming a fashion victim.

So, if you catch me wearing those Teva inspired Prada sandals – please stop me and send me to an intervention, because I’ve gone too far.

Not for me.

Not for me.

Love, laughter,  and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

LOOK #1 –

Moto Jacket: FASHION TO FIGURE

T shirt: H & M

Eiffel Leggings: H & M

Pink Tights: FOREVER 21 PLUS

Union Jack Flats: GRACELAND

LOOK #2-

White Tunic w/lace detail: JOLLYCHIC.COM

Skirt: PASSPORTS

Silver sandals: PAYLESS

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Perfect Paris, Part 1

Bonjour all! I got back from a mini-vacation and I’m so excited to show and tell you all about it. Definitely the BEST part about being stationed in Germany is the ability to travel to fantastic places! One of my very favorite places is Paris, the city that offers it all – fashion, art, museums, delicious food, breathtaking views, historic sites…what can I say, it’s AMAZING.

This was our third visit, so the Hubby and I took three full days to check off some things on the bucket list. First for me was to check out an exhibition I read about in Glamour a couple months back, Glossy Paper – A Century of Fashion with Conde Nast. Presented by Vogue, this photo exhibit included historic images by legendary photographers, including Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst, Patrick Demarchier, and Irving Penn.

Seeing original prints that dated back to Vogue’s earliest days just blew me away, plus the exhibit included some classic designs by Coco Chanel HERSELF, Yoji Yamamoto, Christian Dior, and Lanvin! Even Hubby was impressed with the works (and I feared he would be bored silly) and I enjoyed educating him about the various photographers. However, unfortunately, the museum had a strict “no photos” policy 😦 If any of you lovely European bloggers get a chance, GO SEE THIS! It will be at the Palais Galliera until May 25.

Ah, the Eiffel Tower. Le sigh!

Ah, the Eiffel Tower. Le sigh!

Outside the Palais Galliera.

Outside the Palais Galliera.

Musee Galleria5

 

So excited to go in!

So excited to go in!

Comfy and stylin'!

Comfy and stylin’!

This bag holds EVERYTHING!

This bag holds EVERYTHING!

Musee Galleria2

The day was GORGEOUS. Warming up to 70 degrees, the Hubby and I strolled down by the Seine to see the original Statue of Liberty. She is MUCH smaller than her sister in New York, but still a lovely sight!

Shades Statue Lib

The Original!

The Original!

The following day was stuffed with activity – which I’ll tell you about in tomorrow’s post! Au revoir!

 

WHAT I WORE:

Gray Moto Jacket – FASHION TO FIGURE

Gray Leopard T shirt Dress – H & M

Gray Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Brown Studded Bag – JUST FAB (best travel bag EVER!)

Blue Leopard Sneakers – FOREVER 21

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The Great Wait for Spring!

March is one of those “waiting” months. Waiting to shift out of winter, but it’s just a bit unsure when or how. Back in my home state of Michigan, Winter has set up camp for a LOOOONNGG while with no urgency to leave! Thankfully, here in Germany, it’s been more of a long Fall with sneak peeks of Spring along the way. Of course, the warmer spells whets my appetite for SPRING FASHION!

Today was on the cooler side (low 50s), so I had a good excuse to break out my brand spanking new faux leather moto jacket from Fashion to Figure.   I LOVE this jacket, mostly because it’s nice and roomy in the front with plenty of zipping up space! If you are busty like me, you know how HARD it is to find a jacket that has a good fit and zips all the way up!

Ready for a day strolling the downtown!

Ready for a day strolling the downtown!

FF leather CU

LOVE the watercolor design!

LOVE the watercolor design!

A Crazy Cat Lady needs her kitty earrings.

A Crazy Cat Lady needs her kitty earrings.

 

My cats are going through Spring Fever, too. Whenever we luck out and have a warm, sunny afternoon, Casanova & Roxie can’t wait to sun themselves on our balcony! They can’t seem to understand that we can’t make the sun happen on command…:(

Ahhhhh...sun!

Ahhhhh…sun!

TODAY’S BARGAIN BEAUTY FIND!!! One of the spring trends I’m loving right now is the color blush. While dragging the Hubby around downtown Kaisersalutern (he was a really good sport), I spied this fantastic Glam Eyes HD five color shadow by Rimmel London. Named Burgundy Palace, it’s hardly a royal’s extravagance -just $3.50!

Love the crown!

Love the crown!

Rimmel 3

...and on my eyes!

…and on my eyes!

Thankfully, we don’t need to wait to wear spring eye colors!

And so, with this Saturday winding down, I pack my newest purchases in my closet to wait…and wait…for Spring to stay for awhile. Let’s hope it’s soon!

What are YOU looking forward to finally wearing?

WHAT I WORE:

Moto Jacket – FASHION TO FIGURE (1x)

Gray Skater Dress – FOREVER 21

Gray Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Pink Tunic – OLD NAVY

White Scarf w/design – TAKKO FASHIONS

Earrings – JOLLYCHIC.COM

Camel boots – GRACELAND

 

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

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