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)

Beyond What’s On the Scale

Hello Lovelies!

As you are aware, I am on a quest to reclaim my fitness. The truth is, there is no “magic trick” to losing weight. It’s hard work and watching what you eat, plain and simple. However, there’s a lot more to the story than numbers on a scale. I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve gained (and lost!) during these past 30 days:

  1. Eating REAL food makes a big difference! I didn’t realize just how much processed food I was eating until I began paying attention to my diet. I’ve dumped a lot of canned and frozen veggies from my diet and added in a bunch of fresh veggies and fruit. Watching the kind of starchy carbs (and how much I eat) has made a difference in my calorie intake. I feel a lot less sluggish and have more energy.
  2. Fitness Apps keep me on track. What did we do before smartphones? A lot of math and calorie burning guesswork! There’s a number of fitness apps out there, but the ones I use every day is My Fitness Pal and FitBit. What I really love about My Fitness Pal is that I put in my goal weight and it automatically figures out how many calories I need a day based on my activity level. It also can get all the nutrition info on any food with a barcode! I’ve also found it has the food info on LOTS of dishes served in restaurant chains. FitBit keeps me motivated and tracks my steps/exercise, and that info is linked to My Fitness Pal, which figures out how many calories I’ve burned! Yay!
  3. No Excuses. I decided that exercise MUST come first with me before doing anything else. To reach my goals, I do at least 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise 4-5 times a week, switching between cardio and strength training. I’ve rediscovered my inner athlete, regained flexibility and strength, and my endurance is so much better!
    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    I am a BEAST!

    I am a BEAST!

     

  4. Planning ahead is EVERYTHING! One of the bad habits I had was letting myself get too hungry, then I’d reach for the quickest food possible (and it was usually something processed or fast food). Now I make sure to eat 4-5 small meals a day to keep my blood sugar up and the food is low calorie and nutritious.
  5. Giving Myself a Break. I love food. I love celebrating good times with friends. To keep my sanity and stay on course, I allow myself one “cheat” meal a week. For example, last Saturday I enjoyed an 8 oz steak and mashed potatoes with friends. That is my indulgence until next Saturday. I also let my body rest the day after a harder workout.
  6. Rewards are Necessary. When I lost my first five lbs., I treated myself to a pair of pretty sandals. Then, when I realized I’d lost 8″ off my body last week, I got some “new to me” things from the local Airman’s Attic. When I meet a goal, I am sure to give myself a reward to stay motivated!
"New" wrap top, purse and earrings!

“New” wrap top, purse and earrings!

Purple earring

Can't believe this was FREE!

Can’t believe this was FREE!

Most of all…I am happier. Feeling lighter and having more energy has made all the difference with my depression issues. I hope to be 30 lbs. lighter by September, but I’m looking at this experience as a marathon, not a sprint, and to live my life this way for good.

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

Time for a Makeover: Body, Mind, and Hair!

Hello Lovelies!

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, mostly because I’ve been busy making myself and my life over! 

You know when you get the feeling that something needs to change? I’d been feeling a bit stressed lately, and as a result my rosacea flared up. Ugh! Nothing I tried was helping to keep the redness and the little breakouts down…until my friend Lisa turned me on to Rodan & Fields. 

The curse of the Irish, rosacea!

The curse of the Irish, rosacea!

Lisa suggested the Soothe regimen, which included a mild cleanser, treatment lotion, moisturizer, and a gentle SPF. After about two weeks, the rosacea has calmed WAY down. Plus, my skin is super glowy and soft! Rodan & Fields also has skin regimens for acne and anti aging. THESE PRODUCTS ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY!

No makeup, and NO PHOTO TOUCH UP. My skin looks so much better!

No makeup, and NO PHOTO TOUCH UP. My skin looks so much better!

I also decided to get a better makeup to keep my complexion looking fantastic, so I bought the Bare Minerals starter kit. I’ve got primer, the mineral foundation, a warming bronzer, and the finishing Mineral Veil. Here I am with just the foundation & bronzer, then a full makeup look:

With the Bare Minerals products on.

With the Bare Minerals products on.

My "done" look. Love the glow!

My “done” look. Love the glow!

ANNNND….I decided it was time to tackle my weight. I’m in my 40s dealing with back issues, and it’s not going to get any better if I don’t take better care of myself. So, I started changing my diet and made exercise a priority. After about three weeks, I am 6.5 lbs down with 3.5 inches off my bod! 

A great workout day!

A great workout day!

THEN… I had to change the hair, of course! So I went to my favorite color, purple. I just love the hue and makes me feel happy:)

Out for Girl's Night!

Out for Girl’s Night!

Are YOU making changes to your life? I’d love to know. I’m planning on sharing food and exercise tips I’ve learned on The Divine Mz M as well. Let’s get out of our cocoons and become the butterflies we are meant to be!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

March-ing Forward into Spring Style!

Hafa Adai, Lovelies!

“Hafa Adai” in Guam is Chamorro for “Hello.” Although living here is pretty much an endless summer, I do enjoy changing up my style to reflect the season. After watching several Fashion Week videos, here’s what I’m loving so far:

  1. Silkscreen/Painted Prints.
Victoria Beckham, S/S 2016.

Victoria Beckham, S/S 2016.

Victoria Beckham and Gucci lead the charge using these types of photo prints. Gucci also brought more embroidered silks to the runway. Gorgeous!!

Gucci S/S 2016

Gucci S/S 2016

2. Easy Pieces.

DKNY S/S 2016

DKNY S/S 2016

Though DKNY and Calvin Klein stuck to mostly a black and white palette, I do love the mix and match of separates offered. Michael Kors also showed lots of jersey dresses and wrap skirts. Too many times, a designer will create a look that only works with EVERYTHING shown. We need mixing options! Glad to see these designers understand that!

Michael Kors S/S 2016

Michael Kors S/S 2016

3. Fashion REAL women can wear.

Carolina Herrera S/S 2016

Carolina Herrera S/S 2016

Fashion should be fun and have an element of fantasy. However, we still need to be able to wear clothes for work, weekends, etc., AND should be “wearable” for women of all sizes.

Carolina Herrera’s show offered several looks which work for real life and for women over a size 4. She showed many skirt/top combinations and dresses which emphasize the waist and hide possible problem areas for women.

Carolina Herrera S/S 2016

Carolina Herrera S/S 2016

Of course…we don’t all have the budgets to afford looks off the runway, but we can get inspired and find style that won’t break the bank!

I did a wardrobe purge and freshened it up with new pieces from Forever 21 Plus. 

I am in head to toe F21, working the black and white trend for Spring. These platform mules are crazy comfortable, and these cargo pants are lightweight and soft. Throw on a fun tee and sparkly accessories, and I’m ready for date night:)

Love the sunset in the background!

Love the sunset in the background!

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Love, Music, and Fashion.

Love, Music, and Fashion.

Are there looks you’re loving for Spring? Please share!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo Melanie.

 

More Boob, More Problems

Hello lovelies,

As many of you have probably noticed, I am a large breasted woman. I’ve been this way for most of my adult life. For the longest time, I wore a 36 C, then all of a sudden in my late 30s, they expanded to a 42 D. I blame the Hubby. I think he has a Jedi Mind Trick to do this.

My hubby loves me for me. I am very blessed.

Though breast enhancements continue to thrive, as any bountiful babe will tell you, more boob means more problems. I’ve come to the point where I’m seriously considering a breast reduction, much to the Hubby’s chagrin. Here’s just a sample of what I deal with all the time:

big-girl-problems

Back Pain. I have a double whammy in this department, as I have nerve damage in my lower back from a car accident. Standing in long lines are not fun. Neither is wearing huge balloons on my chest, adding to the strain. This is the number one reason I want these reduced!

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I’m a Walking Hazard. Unlike my smaller sisters, my boobs have been known to be deadly weapons. When in a grocery store, I wince when I have to reach up to grab something because I’m probably going to knock over a few items in front of me. I also have to sit away from a dinner table to make sure my gozangas don’t knock over glasses!

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Working Out is a Joke. Jogging is absolutely out of the question. Doing Zumba or any kind of jumping around aerobics involves two heavy duty sports bras and a prayer than I don’t pull a breast muscle (which has happened, by the way). I might suffocate if I try doing Downward Facing Dog. If I hope to get into better shape, these big girls need to go!

Buying an Affordable Bra is Impossible. Problem one: Most stores don’t carry sizes above a 40. Problem two: I will count on having to spend at least $50 to get a decent, well fitting bra. The $20 Playtex ones are useless, plus ugly as hell.

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Fashion Can be Tricky.  Button down blouses? Forget about it. I haven’t worn one in six years. Any top without stretch is not going to happen. Plus anything lacy, includes ruffles or bows, or satin is not happening with large breasts. Strapless? Yeah, right!

Ariel Winter...Good for you girl, but I can't do that to myself.

Ariel Winter…Good for you girl, but I can’t do that to myself.

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Trying Not to Look Like a Porn Star. Every day, I constantly walk the line of “am I showing too much cleavage?” Don’t get me wrong – I own who I am. However, for anyone to take me seriously, I have to watch the cleavage factor. Funny how we celebrate big boobs, but when we have them, we’re encouraged to cover them up. I. Can’t. Win.

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Sleeping Comfortably. On my back? Nope. I will suffocate myself. On my side? My boobs smash together. On my stomach? I need to place a pillow just the right way so I don’t feel like I’m being squeezed.

So ladies and gentlemen, wish for large boobs. I get it. They look fabulous! However, I can do with a little less va-va voom and more comfort! Here’s to my Big Boob Girls, “hang in there!”

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Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

 

 

New Launch – Target x Who What Wear

Hello Lovelies!

Can you believe it’s February?!! It’s the season for love, and I’m focusing on new looks I love! The first I’m loving is the new collaboration between Target and the editorial site, Who What Wear.   I’m applauding that Target is understanding that we curvy gals need modern, basic pieces at affordable prices. I love Elloqui as much as the next gal, but my budget allows only sale items from them. With Target X Who What Wear, I can get basic tees, jeans, work -worthy tops and skirts all under $40. 

Here are a few of my favorite pieces so far:

No frumpiness here!

No frumpiness here!

CUTE A line skirt!

CUTE A line skirt!

I need that trench in my life.

I need that trench in my life.

The collection isn’t flashy at all, but it is sharp and can be mixed easily with lots of pieces, which is what we all need, right?

Thanks to Marcy Cruz at Plus Model Magazine for turning me on to this collection!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

2016: New Experiences, New Obsessions

Hello Lovelies!

How was your holidays? As soon as we’re winding down from all the shopping, wrapping, travelling, and eating (!), it’s time to usher in a new year!

I’m starting off 2016 with a new look! Behold my PURPLE hair! I decided it was time to do something bold and I LOVE this color!

Time to switch things up!

Time to switch things up!

But why am I wearing a scarf when I live in Guam? Well, the Hubby and I decided to take a week long vacay to Seoul, South Korea for Christmas! We got a taste of winter like temps (without the snow) and experienced true Asian culture for the first time.

Look at the size of that rock!

Look at the size of that rock!

Korea is well known for fashion, cosmetics, and yes – amethysts! One of the places we stopped at during a tour is a amethyst jewelry factory, and for a fraction of what we’d pay in USD (likely around $700), I had a custom made ring created for under $300! Merry Christmas to me!

Totally unique!

Totally unique!

One of the sites I enjoyed the most was going up in the Seoul Tower. Although the journey begins with a LONG line to get into a cable car to the site, it’s so worth the view once you get to the top. Our timing was perfect since the sun was beginning to set, creating a gorgeous view over the city.

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I also loved the windows of the Tower. Cities of the world wound around us, and I was excited to find a window with cities we’ve visited!

Hello Berlin, Paris, and London!

Hello Berlin, Paris, and London!

Another attraction Korea has become known for is its cat cafes! As a “crazy cat lady,” of course I had to visit one. The place we visited, Hello Cat, served coffees and teas and lots of purring kitties for us to pet and spoil. This lovely gray striped tabby, Willie, made fast friends with me:)

Sweet Willie!

Sweet Willie!

What a cute coffee! Almost a shame to drink it!

What a cute coffee! Almost a shame to drink it!

Of course, I need to talk about the COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE! However, that is going to be in my next post because I went on a huge buying spree, and there’s LOTS to share!

What are YOU wearing for New Year’s Eve? I rocked a black jumpsuit, a sequined Calvin Klein jacket, and Dereon glittery booties for a Christmas party. This look would be fab for NYE as well!

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Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.