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!

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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.

 

 

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I Have a Leopard Problem!

Ahhh leopard print! For the past couple of seasons, it’s been hot for purses, shoes, dresses, pants…well, EVERYTHING.

This is awesome and bad for me at the same time.

Let me explain. I have a leopard print throw blanket, pillows, and sheets.

Three leopard print purses.

Four pairs of leopard print shoes.

And, several shades and colors of leopard print shirts and dresses!

My current favorite piece? This Michael Michael Kors print dress! I got to rock this while shopping in Milan.

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Michael Michael Kors dress, Just Fab bag.

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I also have a problem with earrings – love these Betsey Johnsons (a gift from my stepmom!)

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Even my nails are leopard inspired!

Midi rings by A Wild Violet. (That's a Michigan mitten ring!)

Midi rings by A Wild Violet. (That’s a Michigan mitten ring!)

So, yes- I’m addicted!

You can count on seeing more leopard, but I also promised the Hubby I’d change things up décor wise, too!

What’s your fashion addiction?

I love comments:)

Love, light, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

When you have a bad hair day…

Ah, summer. It’s a time of lightweight tees, floaty maxi dresses, sandals, and shorts! With all these wonderful things we love to wear, it’s also a time for humidity, which means…BAD HAIR DAYS!

As you can see, I keep my hair short in a hybrid of Halle Berry and mid 1980s Sheena Easton. Most times, it looks like this:

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But since my hair is thick and naturally curly, on those especially sticky days, there’s no amount of product that can tame my curly top!

So during our trip to Italy, I took a cue from Jennifer Lopez and worked a mini turban with a scarf!

Ready to take on Florence!

Ready to take on Florence!

Have I mentioned how gorgeous Florence, Italy is? On “Turban Day,” we checked out this beautiful Basilica.

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Cardigan, Charlotte Russe. Skater dress, Forever 21 Plus Gladiator sandals, Graceland. Accessories, thrift shop finds!

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When I have “manageable” frizz, these are my favorite go to products:

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John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation works wonders on bushy curls and unruly bangs!

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My new favorite hairspray is L’Oreal’s Elnett Satin. Yes, it is a bit pricey (usually around $16), but TOTALLY worth it.

I’ve never had a hairspray that allowed a good hold AND I could still run my fingers through!

What’s YOUR favorite hair tricks and products for summer?

BY THE WAY…CONGRATULATIONS to my Parisian Giveaway winner, Cheryl from fatandfabulousme!

Be sure to check out her blog, it’s pretty awesome!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Don’t worry, I will be starting a ONCE A MONTH GIVEAWAY, so stay tuned for August!

Love, laugher 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

 

 

 

Forever 21 Jumpsuit – Italian Style

Ready to take Rome at night!

Ready to take Rome at night!

Hello all! Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans, and a belated Happy Canada Day! Hope you all are enjoying the summer!

Who is loving jumpsuits this season?!! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would look good in one of those, but Forever 21 Plus makes great jumpsuits! So comfortable and very affordable (this one was $21.99!). They are perfect for day or night, and I can dress them up or down.

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For sightseeing in Venice during the day, I paired the jumpsuit with this flowy JollyChic top.

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Love the lacy detail in this top!

Love the lacy detail in this top!

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While in Italy, I saw quite a few women of all shapes rockin’ the jumpsuit. Floral and tribal prints seem to be the most popular.

Have you rocked a jumpsuit this summer? Show me pics or send me a link in the comments!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Lido sunset

 

 

 

Be Italian: The Vatican

Bonjourno! The Hubby and I are home now in Germany, safe and sound, with a TON of pictures! I’m going to spread out my tales of Italy over several posts with fashion musings mixed in, so I hope you will enjoy!

In St. Peter's Square.

In St. Peter’s Square.

We arrived in Rome around 10 p.m., and the first impression was not great. The area where our train stopped looked sketchy;  a LOT of graffiti on buildings, dark streets, and the rain didn’t help matters, either! I would learn later that unfortunately, Rome has a lot of graffiti. However, Italians are very friendly people and many of them speak good English. Thanks to a helpful waiter in a café we stumbled into, we were pointed in the right direction and found our B & B.

A tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square began our first full day. I cannot say this enough; GO TO THE VATICAN IF YOU EVER GET THE OPPORTUNITY. For one thing, you are visiting a separate state within the city of Rome ( you can buy post cards and send them from the Vatican’s post office!), and the artwork is absolutely STUNNING.  If you do visit Italy, book tours with Dark Rome. You’ll get an excellent guide, and a lot of bang for your buck.

Entrance to the Vatican.

Entrance to the Vatican.

Just one of the hundreds of frescos!

Just one of the hundreds of frescos!

My neck became sore by constantly looking up to see the genius works by Michaelangelo and Raphael.

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I cannot really fully describe what it was like to see the Sistine Chapel. Absolutely no photos were allowed, and what I’ll call “professional shush-ers” stood on the edges of the area to keep people quiet (it is considered a church, after all). But looking up and ACTUALLY SEEING “The Creation of Adam” got me emotional. Just unbelievably beautiful!

Since we had a full day of seeing sights, I kept my look comfy and light. My new tunic from American Rag (available through Macy’s), leggings from Forever 21 Plus, and comfy sneaks did the trick. I wore my new rings from A Wild Violet, an Etsy store that does custom work. Check out the Michigan midi ring!

I got the Michigan and crown ring BOTH for just $23.00! The owners often offer discount codes, so be sure to check them out!

rings wild violet

Wild V rings CU

Me outside Constantine

Gotta keep it simple for all the walking! My JustFab bag held EVERYTHING I needed for the day!

Many more adventures to come, so stay tuned!

Us in St Peters

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

 

Milan: A Fashion Addict’s Paradise!

As I write this post on my Android, we’re waiting to board a plane home. So many adventures and sights from our Italy tour to reflect upon! In the coming days, I’ll write tales of this amazing experience (since I’ll have my laptop!).

In the meantime, I’ll show you the drool worthy sights and shoes I found in Milan! I spared the Hubby from financial ruin by only purchasing this adorable top by Zara, maxi skirt (with pockets!) and silver metal necklace from H&M.

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Ahhh Jimmy Choo!

Ahhh Jimmy Choo!