Why I’ll Never Be “Skinny” Again

This week, plus size diva Tess Holliday (Munster) made modeling history as being the largest model to be signed to a major modeling agency. Her beauty and talent as a model is what caught the attention of Milk Model Management, and how refreshing is it to see the fashion industry including a more diverse talent pool. Beauty is beauty, after all!

Go Tess!

Go Tess!

When I learned of Tess’ historic signing, I couldn’t help but think if only she and other models like her had been around when I was a struggling young professional actor/dancer, I would have not gone through the madness I did.

When I was a size 8/10 (pictured below), I kept getting small character parts and not being taken seriously as a dancer (I thought).

Size 8 10

As a result, I convinced myself I needed to be skinner to get better roles.  So over the course of a year, I upped my workouts, cut sugar and a lot of fat out of my diet, and got down to a size 4.

Size 3 4 2

Everyone noticed. Suddenly I started to be seen as a leading lady/sexpot type for casting. However, I constantly lived every day in fear that the weight would come back. If the weight came back, would all the attention and roles go away? Convinced that gaining weight would ruin everything, food became the enemy. So I decided if a size 4 was good, a 2 must be better. That’s what the leading ladies in Hollywood wear….

At the height of my madness.

At the height of my madness.

During this time, I was living on coffee, water, protein bars and plain veggies. I’d get up at 6 am and run for 45 minutes before starting the day, then come home and work out again (this time including hundreds of crunches). I’d then go out at night, dancing until the wee hours and drink a lot of booze. If I didn’t follow my food/exercise regimen EXACTLY, I was a failure and add “punishment exercises” the next day.  Little did I realize how miserable I was.

The tipping point came when I went on an audition for a musical. The part called for a lot of dancing, and I was ready. After rocking the dance combinations, those of us who “made the cut” stood in a line before the choreographer and director.

They looked at each of us, quietly whispering (not that quiet, mind you) comments as they took note.

“Good execution, pretty. Need to hear her sing again.”

“Not sure yet. Maybe.”

These kind of comments escaped their little bubble, making all of us anxious. Then, they glanced at me.

“Really good…a bit thick, though.”

I was stunned. After we were dismissed, I couldn’t get the words out of my ears.  I was a size 2, and losing my mind trying to stay that way.

Devastated, I threw out my scale.

Flash forward several years, my weight has fluctuated a bit. After my back injury, I became the heaviest I’ve ever been, but you know what? I don’t care.

I’ve been gradually become more active, focusing on getting my strength & flexibility back. I’ve cut out soda and drink more water. I try to watch the amount of sugar I eat. All I want is to feel healthy. I don’t give a shit what size that will be. No one will ever determine my self-worth again.

So here’s to you, Tess. Thank you for showing us all that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

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.

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Resurrecting My You Tube Channel!

 

Hey lovelies!

How has your week been? It’s been a bit up and down for me, as I ended up having to get a molar pulled this morning (yuck!). So, I’m all drugged up with nothing to do on a Friday night – except I can devote some time to you!

Anyway, I have a You Tube channel that I recently brought back from the dead by making a new video! Now, I don’t have a fancy pants camera or special lighting, but I do my best to be entertaining. Here I reveal some tricks on looking younger and taking care of the skin!

I review the fantastic Younique magic lashes, Josie Maran Argan Oil, and Acure Moisturizer.  Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Here’s a look I rocked a few days ago – a new dress from my London shopping at Primark! Five pounds for this dress! Oh yeah.

Working it with a Forever 21 cardigan.

Working it with a Forever 21 cardigan.

Primark leopard 2

 

My FIFTY CENT clutch from a thrift market!

My FIFTY CENT clutch from a thrift market!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

What are YOU rockin’ this weekend? Let me know!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Ready for a New Adventure

Cranberry dress 3

Guten Tag, everyone!

How was your weekend? A few days ago, it was a little warmer than usual so I was able to do some outdoor pics for a change. We have this lovely country area around where we live, and it’s perfect for going on long walks.

As I strutted, twirled, and played Supermodel, I realized that very soon we would be leaving Germany. As much I am looking forward to our next adventure (in GUAM!), I’ve become attached to the culture, the friends I’ve made, and this beautiful area.

Cranberry dress 5

We’ve been here almost four years, and it blows my mind how many countries and landmarks we’ve seen, the wonderful people who’ve come into our lives, and the opportunities I’ve gained as a performer.

Most of all, I’ve gained a greater sense of comfort about who I am.  If I’m curvier or slimmer, it does not matter. I’m still fine.

Cranberry dress 1

And so, Germany – I thank you for the adventure. I will treasure these last few weeks, and the memories made.

Cranberry dress 4

And just a reminder….I’m giving away this Marilyn Monroe wallet! Giveaway ends soon, so good luck!

Marilyn wallet 1

Love, laughter and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I WORE:

Boyfriend Jacket – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Dress – PRIMARK

Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Earrings –  BIJOU BRIGITTE

Bracelet – gift from hubby:)

I’ve Got 100 Posts and a Giveaway is One!

Hello all!

I can’t believe it, but this is my 100th post! I just got back from a wonderful time in London (more on that later) and I thought we should celebrate this milestone! So, this is my last giveaway before we leave Europe. Check out this adorable wallet I picked up – it’s the original beauty icon, Marilyn!

Marilyn wallet 1

The back view -so cute!

The back view -so cute!

I’m excited for one of you to win it! So just click on the giveaway banner to the right and GOOD LUCK!

And yes, LONDON was fantastic. Too many places to see and do within a few days, but we managed to pack in quite a few sights. Here’s a few highlights:

At Westminster Abbey – where the royal weddings take place!

Us at Westminster 1

Enjoying a cocktail before seeing The Book of Mormon (which is HILARIOUS!)

A tasty Vodka Collins!

A tasty Vodka Collins!

We originally wanted to walk across the Tower Bridge, but it was WINDY! Check out my “lovely” hair! However, the bridge is gorgeously lit at night.

Brrrr!

Brrrr!

Despite my limited luggage allowance, I did bring back some hot bargains from Primark! I’ll be modeling those very soon. I could’ve been very dangerous in that store…but I was good and set my budget!

Hope you are enjoying your 2015, and thanks so much for following! Good luck on the giveaway!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xx Melanie.

 

Bucket List: Shopping in London!

Hello lovelies!

I am so psyched up because this week we finally get to see London! I have waited all my life to see The Globe, London Bridge, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace!

Of course, I am drooling about the SHOPPING possibilities!

Now, two things: I am a blogger  on a budget, and we limited on our luggage size (boo, Ryanair!), so after doing a little research, I have Primark and Topshop on my radar! Here’s hoping I can choose just a few things from a buffet of styles!

What I’m coveting so far:

GORGEOUS evening bag!

GORGEOUS evening bag!

I could rock this duster!

I could rock this duster!

Such a chic bodycon dress!

Such a chic bodycon dress!

I have been wanting a lightweight kimono for months!

I have been wanting a lightweight kimono for months!

Super cute culottes for when we move to Guam!

Super cute culottes for when we move to Guam!

ALL of these looks are from Primark and all under 20 pounds!

UK Bloggers: Where else should I look for affordable fashion in London? Please comment!

I’ll share my travels when we return!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xx Melanie.

2015 – Celebrating Who YOU Are!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Did you have a fun filled crazy celebration, or did you keep things more low key? Are you waking up with the “holy God, why did I drink all that Long Island tea and champagne” feeling?

No? Oh, well yes- that is me! HA!

Anyway, here’s to a brand new year. As we close out 2014, I’d like to offer a wish for all of us to begin 2015. Let’s enjoy ourselves more!

Oh the tasty gluhwein!

Oh the tasty gluhwein!

Every year, there is a big push to “fix ourselves.” On just about every advertisement or magazine this month, we will be promised that “this is the year to get fit,” or “get a bikini body,” so we sign up for gym memberships and hope that THIS time we’ll make it happen.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting healthier. However, shouldn’t we enjoy who and what we are NOW, versus waiting to be happy?

New Victoria's Secret sweatshirt! So cozy!

New Victoria’s Secret sweatshirt! So cozy!

So, yes – start a new fitness program. Stop smoking. Be kinder. Save money. Chase a new interest. Whatever it is you want to do this year, DO IT. And have FUN while doing it!

VS top 2

VS Top 5

On another note…

Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog this past year! I really appreciate all the likes, follows, shares, and comments. I’m excited about what’s to come this year, and you lovelies can expect many more giveaways!!

Cheers!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Forever 21 After Christmas Bargains!

Who doesn’t love after Christmas sales? I am a sucker for a bargain, and Forever 21 (one of my favorite stores for curvy girls), is having a mad sale! I COULD have been very dangerous, but keeping in mind that we are moving to a completely different climate soon, I just bought a couple of styles. Here they are:

Heather gray maxi

I cannot wait to rock this split maxi tunic with some necklaces and pleather pants!

f21 terry dress

This terry cloth dress is only $14.90! Plus, it has pockets!

Need something to rock for the New Year? Here’s a few looks I fell in love with:

Love the chain down the back! Under $25!

Love the chain down the back! Under $25!

 

Va Va Va Voom!  Under $20!

Va Va Va Voom!
Under $20!

 

Under $30!

Under $30!

So many sexy styles to rock at your party! Here’s my look from last New Year’s Eve:

Lace top and skirt, H&M.

Lace top and skirt, H&M.

Headband by Bijou Brigitte, strand of pearls by Claire's.

Headband by Bijou Brigitte,
strand of pearls by Claire’s.

Hmmmm…what will I wear this year?

What will YOU wear? I heart comments!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx 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.

Working It, Holiday Style

Hello and Happy Holidays!
I apologize for not blogging lately, but last week was CRAZY busy! The Hubby finished a class, my vocal students gave a terrific vocal recital, we started sorting out items for moving, AND we went to the Hubby’s Christmas party! Lots of activity going on, to say the least!
Let me tell you about this Christmas party. The invite said “business casual,” but as you can see, people turned it out! Even the guys were weeerking it!
One of my favorite looks of the evening was this Jackie O inspired dress and hat! LOVE IT!
Jackie O

I say these two fine gentlemen make the “Man of Style” section! Check out the kilts!

Man of Style 1Man of style 2

Of course, I can’t leave out my own Man of Style. The Hubby looks sharp in his black Express shirt and hot red tie! I kept it more simple in my INC sweater tunic and H&M faux leather skirt. I got to debut my new rhinestone earrings by Bijou Brigitte (a bargain buy at 4 euro!).

Xmas Party

Xmas selfie

arrow earring

Are you done with your holiday preparations? Ha, I am so not! Still  tree to put up (yep, a slacker) and a few gifts to buy.

However, I hope not to be slacking on future posts! I’ve got a number of new beauty products to try out and review this week, so stay tuned!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Cozy Comforts and Cyber Monday Madness!

 

Hello all!

So, I admit it: I’m not a huge fan of cold weather. Though I’m originally from Michigan, I just could not get into skiing, snowmobiling, or any kind of cold weather sport. However, I do enjoy wrapping myself up in a cozy sweater and drinking some coffee with Kahlua!

As some of you curvy gals know, sometimes it’s hard to find sweaters that don’t add bulk or offer no shape. However, I found this great sweater dress from H&M which works with leggings, tights, or skinny jeans!

HM sweaterdress

Relaxing at the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

Relaxing at the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

HM sweater 3

I  recently got these cute Forever 21 booties. They’re very comfortable and go with so many looks!

f21 booties

Here’s some chic sweater dresses from H&M in straight and plus sizes! Both are under $35.

hmprod32X9MCNDhmprodDYI5HPQH

Yay for cute and warm affordable clothes!

Did you do any shopping on Cyber Monday? I got all my hubby’s shopping done, and I ordered items through my Ebates account. What’s Ebates? Only the most awesome way to shop online! Just sign up, select a retailer, and shop! You can earn anywhere from 1-18% CASH BACK from your shopping trip! I am getting over $17 back (so far!).  Sign up, save with coupons, and earn $!

Click here! http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=YQvuaf2PAQvnIFOicHk9Qg%3D%3D&eeid=26471

By the way, fashionistas – you get referrals for others who sign up! When a friend signs up and makes a shopping trip, YOU GET $25 back! Oh yeah!

I’m all about getting a little more green during the holidays – how about you?!!!!

Until next time, stay warm and enjoy some tasty hot beverage:)

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

What I’m Wearing:

Sweater Dress – H&M

Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Booties – FOREVER 21

Scarf – KOHL’S