Pictures Don’t Lie

BoM selfie

Hello Lovelies,

Oh, I am a bad blogger! I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I posted anything, but I HAVE been busy! First off, I went home to Michigan for a couple weeks to surprise my dad for his birthday – and was he surprised! Between myself, stepmom, best friend, and aunt, we pulled off an awesome surprise party! I’m so happy I was able to do that for him and spend time with people I love. It’s hard to be so far away.

One of the things that’s hardest to do when going on vacation or seeing your friends and family is sticking to a healthy routine. When I left for Michigan on June 14, I weighed 207 (17 lbs down from my heaviest in March). I watched portion sizes, how much sugar and fat I ate, and avoided simple carbs. I did some “power walks” in the mornings to get my cardio going. Coming back, I was 205. Now I am 202! That’s 21 lbs. gone.

Though I’ve seen progress on the scale, sometimes it’s difficult to truly see it in the mirror. However, going through some pictures gave me true perspective of what I’ve done. Here I am at the start of my journey in March (at 223 lbs):

When I began to take control of my health!

When I began to take control of my health!

March 2016 223

Here are my latest pics from the first week of July:

Dress, Just Fab. Belt, thrift store find.

Dress, Just Fab.
Belt, thrift store find.

Bag and sandals, Just Fab.

Bag and sandals, Just Fab.

Though I look and feel healthier, I am not going to put down the Melanie in the “before” pictures. That’s something I don’t like seeing people do who’ve lost weight (“Look at how fat I was!, What a slob!, How ugly! etc.). I don’t think it’s healthy for my soul to “name call” myself. Who I was then has brought me to now, so I am thankful for that.

I’ve also put in 500 lifetime miles on my FitBit! I had to celebrate my getting these cute black sandals from JustFab.com (unfortunately are now sold out!).

Blk JF sandals

Though I’m entering (what is horribly named) “middle age,” I find that the key to staying and feeling youthful is to surround myself with people who love to have fun and bring out the best in you. I am blessed to have several people in my life who do this, especially my best friend of 40 years, Debby. She may not be my blood sister, but she has been one to me in every sense of the word!

All dressed up to see the hilarious musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON.

All dressed up to see the hilarious musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON.

BFFs Forever!

BFFs Forever!

Question for you all: Is age “just a number?” Are there things you should stop doing at a “certain age?” Please comment:)

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

 

 

SHOP LINKS: Black T shirt dress (up to 3X)

Bag (available in cognac only)

Blogger on a Budget: Chasing the Fall Blues

Hello Lovelies!

Are you enjoying autumn? Pulling out my fall/winter wardrobe was always something I enjoyed doing, as it was like a mini-Christmas! Hello sweaters, hello leggings, hello boots!

But here in Guam, it is like a endless summer! I can feel slight changes in the temperature with less humidity, so I guess this is fall! Since I’m not going to get any new clothes for the season, I have to get creative…so after visiting the Airman’s Attic,  I found some GREAT pieces for free!

Old Navy Dress 2

I found this adorable Old Navy cotton dress (love the polka dots!) which looks great with my Charlotte Russe duster! Add my cage sandals from JustFab, and I’ve got a great day look.

Old Navy dress1

But that’s not all, folks! I picked up these awesome bangles for free as well! I’m especially nuts about the “rocker” one. Wearing these with this outfit keeps it from looking too sweet.

Bangle CU

Bangles

What else is fun and free? Going through makeup bags and rediscovering lip and eye colors!

Old Navy CU

I’ve had a subscription to Ipsy for almost two years, so you can imagine I’ve collected quite a few beauty products! I decided to rock this warm pink lip from NYX. Originally I thought the color was “too pink” for me, but after adding some lip crayon in Spicy Berry from Ulta,  I really love it!

I admit, it’s a little sad to not shop for the new fall styles. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t switch up my looks! Plus it doesn’t mean I need to spend a fortune (which the Hubby appreciates!).

What is your favorite fall find so far? Please share! 

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

Change of Season = Change of Mind

Hello lovelies,

Believe it or not, fall is almost here (though in Guam, it just means a little less rain!). Like many of you, I enjoy checking out all the September issues of Vogue, Marie Claire, and Glamour. Seeing the runway shows on YouTube is as close as most of us will get to being at a show, and I’m glad for that technology!

But I want to share with you something I’ve been dealing with lately.

 

Dress, Kenzie.

Dress, Kenzie.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling very sluggish and dealing with low energy. At first I chalked it up to an inconsistent sleep schedule, so even after going to bed/getting up at regular hours, I still felt draggy and lacking motivation.

Kenzie 1

Was I depressed? I didn’t think so. Though I’ve been missing friends and family, my job and my husband bring me joy. I had to look at something else.

I’m neglecting my body.

Shoes, Just Fab.

Shoes, Just Fab.

Don’t get me wrong. I am still very much about body acceptance. I believe in loving who you are, right at this moment. I still love who I am, and my curves. However, I cannot deny that my body needs more exercise, more greens. I don’t need to be a certain size to be happy. I just want more energy. I also don’t want to be diagnosed with diabetes, which is a reality for someone who is overweight.

So, I am taking this a step at a time. No crazy diet or intense workouts here.

Kenzie 3

But I’m still rocking my outfits, no matter what! I believe in living loud, so what’s louder than red?

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xoxo, Melanie.

Summer: A Season for Love

Surrounded by love!

Surrounded by love!

I couldn’t think of a better time for the Hubby and I to visit Two Lovers’ Point here in Guam. In light of the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing marriage rights to all, there’s no better place to be than taking in the sights in a beautiful place!

IMG_20150627_160553

Such a great day to celebrate love! The weather was perfect- warm, but not too hot with a slight breeze. Perfect for debuting my new romper from INC and bag from Just Fab. Comfy and cute!

BW INC 1

Got this beauty half off!

Got this beauty half off!

BW INC 3

Though the lovers in the legend die together (very Romeo and Juliet- forbidden love), their devotion reminds me how powerful love is. I cannot imagine my life without my husband, and I am so grateful I can legally be wed. Now all who love can do the same!

He photographs me so well!

He photographs me so well!

Here’s to love! (and laughter, and shoes…)

IMG_20150627_160701

xoxo

Melanie.

Looking Hot in the Big Chill

Michigan, aka Antartica.

Michigan, aka Anarctica.

Hello lovelies,

So, the Hubby and I are “back home” in Michigan, during one of the coldest freaking winters ever! Today it was actually a semi-tolerable 20 degrees, so the two of us (plus my dad) ventured out to the pier in Grand Haven. Lake Michigan is almost frozen solid! You’d think we were in the Artic!

Brrrrr! But beautiful.

Brrrrr! But beautiful.

Of course,  I had to attempt to be fashionable, so I wore TWO pairs of leggings (these are my new favorites from H&M), a cute knitted head wrap to keep the ears warm, a black peacoat from Paris, and my trusty Just Fab boots. Let the frostbite just try and get me!

Hurry and take the pic!

Hurry and take the pic!

Pier 1

Check out this ice sculpture Mother Nature made!

Pier 5

While my teeth chattered, I chanted under my breath, “soon I will be in Guam…soon I will be in Guam…”

How are you keeping warm and fashionable? Let me know!

Until next time-

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo Melanie.

 

Oh the Weather Outside is Not Exactly Frightful…

SWAK jacket 3

Merry Christmas, or Frohe Weihnachten, as they say here in Germany!

It’s Christmas Eve, but you wouldn’t know it except for the decorations around town. Germany is in a week long stretch of GRAY skies and RAIN. Not so pretty! Normally, I’m not a huge fan of snow, but it would be nice to see something glittery white for Christmas morning!

Despite the grayness, it is mild enough to still rock some fall styles.  This denim jacket from SWAK Designs is actually quite soft, and how refreshing it is to get a jacket that fits comfortably when buttoned up around the bust! You busty gals know what I’m talking about. It’s tricky to find something that doesn’t make you look like a box!

SWAK jacket 1

SWAK jacket 4

Forever 21 Plus leggings and skirt, Just Fab boots.

 

I’ve discovered a new site to obsess over – Sephora! How many of you have ordered beauty products from them? THREE FREE SAMPLES with an order? Plus when I bought just $30 in product, they threw in ANOTHER sample. Speaking of product…

Josie Maran Argan Oil for Face has CHANGED my skin. I only use a little bit all over after cleansing, and my face has never been softer or glowier, EVER.  This may be oil, but I don’t feel greasy and no breakouts at all! Check out my skin – I am wearing just a little CC cream as foundation:)

SWAK jacket 5

Not bad for a 40 something chick, hmm?

I hope you enjoy your holiday, and blessings to all of you. I will share in a few days what Santa brought me…so excited! Hope you share your surprises as well!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Thankful for Travel, Thrift Finds, and Beer!

Hello lovelies!

Back home, it’s Thanksgiving and a time for being thankful for all the blessings we have. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to travel while here in Europe, and since it’s our last Thanksgiving in Germany, we decided to head to one of our favorite places to stay, the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

It's like a storybook location!

It’s like a storybook location!

You know the “Sound of Music?” This area is where Julie Andrews was spinning around and singing about the hills being alive! Though there wasn’t any snow (which is a bit unusual this time of year), the view is still gorgeous.

The town of Garmisch is adorable with many unique shops and cozy cafes. Though it’s mainly a U.S. tradition, Germany has jumped on the Black Friday train (though they are more sane about it – no 4 a.m. openings here!). However, I discovered a thrift store on an army base and got this comfy and stylish sweatshirt dress for just $5!

My $5 find!

My $5 find!

Shirtdress pocket

Check out the cool little details on the pocket! The shoulders have faux leather patches. Looks great with my H&M skirt and Just Fab boots!

shirtdress selfie

Shirtdress boots

What else do I love? German beer! Especially when I can go on a brewery tour and taste many different kinds! The hubby and I got to sample all kinds of beer, even one with a chocolate base (Don’t worry; we had someone drive us)! Wolfgang, the brew master, presented us with honorary Brew Master diplomas!

shirtdress wolfgang

Why sure, I'll try another kind...

Why sure, I’ll try another kind…

On a more serious note, I am incredibly thankful for all the love and blessings in my life. Life can be very tough at times (and I have had my share of those moments), so when life is peaceful, I enjoy every bit of those moments.

I am also very thankful to all of YOU for reading my blog! I really appreciate the “likes,” comments, and sharing. Here’s to all of the blessings we enjoy!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

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

 

Sweater Weather!

Brrr! It looks like Fall is in full mode now in Germany. As much as I am missing the warm days, I do enjoy wearing fall fashion!
Today I got to debut my new cozy sweater from Forever 21 Plus. It’s soooo soft! Paired with my faux A line skirt, leggings, and new Just Fab boots, I’m ready to face the chillier days.
F21 sweater skirt 1

F21 sweater skirt 2

Just Fab blk boot

Love the detail on the back of these!

Do you love nail art? Before moving over here, I hardly ever painted my fingernails. But once I got turned on to gel nails, I never looked back! I love that I can have nice looking nails for weeks! No chipping or breaks!

F21 nail nov

Sparkly, sparkly!

Sparkly, sparkly!

I am ready to wrap up in a blanket and enjoy gluwein (a heated wine)! Stay warm, all!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie

 

 

 

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.