What #BeautyIs…

Hello lovelies,

What is beauty? What do you consider to be beautiful? I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea lately, mostly because so many women and girls are subjected to a marketed ideal which for many, is unattainable. As a beauty and fashion blogger, I am committed to writing about and showing diverse versions of beauty. Maybe if more of us did, we can combat the  unrealistic, photoshopped messages and embrace who we really are!

Beauty Is…

  1. Trying something new.
The awesome Carmen.

The awesome Carmen.

My dear friend Carmen, who is already an accomplished actor, director, and ballroom dancer, decided she wanted a new challenge and a new way to get healthy. So, in her late 30s, she picked up a whole new sport! Fierce.

2. Creating Your Own Trend.

The unique and awesome Jakey!

The unique and awesome Jakey!

Jakey (another dear friend!) has always followed her own lead in fashion. She’s worked every hair color you can think of, can pull off just about any style, because she’s fearless!

3. Making Your Life Happen.

My beautiful cousin, Jax.

My beautiful cousin, Jax.

Though she had a steady job and was doing well in her hometown’s college, Jax (real name: Jacqueline) wanted more. She took a risk, aimed high, and ended up becoming an Editor in Chief of a major college newspaper. She’s also about to graduate and launch a new career. Well done!

4. Not Settling for Less Than You Deserve.

My BFF of several years, Debby.

My BFF of several years, Debby.

Debby is practically my sister. We’ve been best friends since age 4, and we’ve seen one another through all kinds of ups and downs. A couple of years ago, she was in a miserable relationship which had practically stolen her bubbly lightness and joy. Though it was difficult, she summoned the courage to leave the man who brought her pain. By not setting for someone who did not appreciate the beautiful person she is, she now has a wonderful relationship! Don’t EVER settle. You don’t know what you are missing out on!

5. Celebrating Your Body, Your Spirit.

Bikini CU

 

Bikini, Forever 21 Plus.

Bikini, Forever 21 Plus.

So many of us wait until we’ve got the “perfect body” before we’ll put on a bikini, wear a swimsuit, or even go to the beach. I haven’t worn a bikini in 15 years, and I’m tired of waiting. Let’s not let media decide how we should feel about ourselves. Be proud to be you!

6. Facing the World Through Challenges.

The lovely Beth!

The lovely Beth!

Recently I learned that Beth, one of my high school classmates, is facing cancer. Though her prognosis is good, she is still dealing with the harshness of chemo. I love that she put herself out on Facebook with a red lip and a sparkle in her eye! Get ’em, girl! You’ve got this.

Beauty is not what comes out of a bottle, a syringe, by an Instagram filter, or off a clothes rack. It’s truly how we see ourselves and how we treat the world around us. Let’s celebrate what truly #BeautyIs!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

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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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