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!

 

Marvelous Modcloth and Polyvore fun!

Hello! It is definitely summer in Germany now (been in the 90s!) and I’m so ready for cold sangrias and fruit salad!

While trying to keep cool, I started a new Polyvore account and have lost my mind.  I can create looks and shop at the same time?!! GENIUS!

Even better, Amy from Modcloth.com reached out to me to create looks using Modcloth’s fabulous items! Squee!!!! Thanks, Amy! ūüôā

Now that I have taken a breath and focused myself, here is my first look, using the adorable Vivacious and Vibrant Dress in Noir as my featured piece.

Ladies, this is only $39.99, and goes up to a 3x!

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(all pieces can be found at Modcloth.com)

Who doesn’t love a dress that can work double duty? On the left, I chose “Great Gatsby” inspired pieces for date night or a party. Check out the T strap oxford heels! When I party, I want to be able to dance, and this shoe looks like it can last for hours on the floor.

Switch out the shoes and accessories, and on the right, you can wear it to work, a wedding, or church. Wearing mint with black is very on trend, and the peacock design on the heels adds an unique flair.

I love how I could pack this dress and wear it ladylike, or more sassy!

Speaking of great looks, check out my friend Laura in her Modcloth dress and shoes!

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She is the ultimate 50’s pinup girl!

 

Best of all, Modcloth has a great variety of plus size styles for we curvy girls to rock! I can’t wait to rock some looks!

Til next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

 

Trying a Trend: Florals

 

I love flowers. Their beauty and fragrance just creates happiness.

However…I have not liked wearing florals my entire life! For as long as I can remember, floral patterns have not been a part of my wardrobe. Those kind of patterns just felt “grandma” to me, and I didn’t think there was¬†a way to wear them that looked fashionable.

This year, though, I have pledged to step out of my box a bit and try some new looks. I decided that if I tried out a floral pattern, it would have to be a skirt, because big flowers on my top half would not do me any favors.

I bought this skirt on sale¬†from Macy’s, (only $25.99!)¬†and you know what? I like it!

Even the Hubby likes it, and he’s not a fan of flower patterns, either.

Floral skt 2

Floral skt 1

To keep the look from¬†seeming too “sweet,” I added an edge with my chain necklace and strappy wedges.

Floral skt CU

Floral skt shoe

What I love about this skirt is that it’s lined, pull on style, and best of all…MACHINE WASHABLE!

And ladies, it’s available up to a 3x! (I’m a 14, wearing the 1x, and it’s just a tad too loose, but that’s ok)

It’ll look great with a tank, a blouse, or a t shirt. Dress it up or down!

I don’t expect to wear a lot more of florals, but this skirt will definitely get some mileage.

What trend did you not expect to wear, but did?

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Skirt: ELEMENTZ (from Macy’s) Get it here.

Top: KOHL’S

Wedges: CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Earrings: bought secondhand

Necklace: CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

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One Jumpsuit, Two Ways

Hello everyone! Happy Memorial Day to my American readers! It’s a lovely weekend in Germany, with temps in the low 70s. PERFECT weather for wearing my new Forever 21 Plus jumpsuit!

I admit, I was on the fence for awhile with the jumpsuit trend. I wasn’t so sure if a curvy, mid size gal like myself could carry it off. However, to my surprise, this jumpsuit is one of my favorite things to wear this summer. It’s so comfy and lightweight!

I've got a Charlotte Russe tunic paired with the Forever 21 jumpsuit.

I’ve got a Charlotte Russe tunic paired with the Forever 21 jumpsuit.

Feel like Wonder Woman with this gold cuff!

Feel like Wonder Woman with this gold cuff!

Today, the Hubby and I took a trip to a local zoo to hang out with the animals. The llamas and the giraffes loved to photo bomb!

Sporting a Rue 21 top and belt this time.

Sporting a Rue 21 top and belt this time.

Giraffe jumpsuit

AND here’s¬†a steal I got from our Airman’s Attic – a Dooney & Burke purse, FREE!!! Yes, you read that right. I can’t believe someone gave it away, but thank you to whoever did!

Dooney Burke bag

All in all, I am 100% sure I will be grabbing a couple more jumpsuits this season. I love how I can dress them up or down; they look great with heels, or with flip flops! Change the accessories, and it’s a whole new look.

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

Melanie.

 

Bloggers Unite in Black & White!

With the fabulous Signe Savant!

With the fabulous Signe Savant!

There’s the old saying, “great minds think alike.” For me and fellow blogger and friend Signe Savant, “great fashionistas style alike!”

Signe Savant, of thedailysavant.com, is “responsible” for turning me on to blogging. She and I are both instructors for a youth facility on a military base (she was assisting me with a pom pom squad!), and I kept noticing her fabulous sense of style. When I asked her one day where she got her clothes, she explained about her blogging and the opportunities/freebies she’s received from various retailers. Well, that definitely got me interested!

Yesterday, at a “good bye” party for a mutual co-worker,¬†we¬†both showed up¬†rocking black and white!

I love her crop top and floral skirt! So chic!

I debuted my new Forever 21 Plus chevron sundress. It’s so super comfortable, and easy to dress up or down.

 

Working some fierce accessories!

Working some fierce accessories!

 

Love that statement necklace!

Love that statement necklace!

Mel sunnies

I also picked up these¬†“Fresh Cat Eye” sunnies¬†from Forever 21 for only $5.80! Love me a bargain.

Feelin' foxy!

Feelin’ foxy!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:

How did you get started blogging? Have you met or collaborated with any other bloggers?

 

Let me know!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

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Where Did You Inherit Your Love of Fashion?

My mom made her dress (that lace is gorgeous!) and mine for my christening.

My mom made her dress (that lace is gorgeous!) and mine for my christening.

 

Hey all! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! It’s a day to celebrate moms everywhere, be they moms to human kids or fur kids. ūüôā

I’m paying tribute to my mom, who passed away 17 years ago (and miss so much!) and gave me my love of fashion. She could design and sew just about any style I admired (made a gorgeous prom dress, evening gown, and my 1st wedding dress). If she were here today, I know she would be amazing on Project Runway! Like me, she could appreciate a great vintage find, recycle a hand-me-down, and marvel over a bargain. I sure wish I inherited her ability to sew, but I lack the patience! I miss and love you, Mom.

Speaking of bargains, Mom would’ve loved this dress I got recently from Fashion to Figure. I love the “painting style” of it, and the color is my favorite color of blue! Fashion to Figure is¬†a great site for we curvy gals (sizes 12-24),¬†where¬†the on-trend styles¬†are very affordable, plus the fit and quality receives high marks from me.

Merry Go Round 2

Dress, Fashion to Figure. Tunic, Charlotte Russe.

 

Merry Go Round 3

Merry Go Round 1

Notre Dame blue

Give your Mom a call, a hug, a dinner. And if you’re a Mom, enjoy your special day!

My hubby surprised me with a brunch to celebrate his “furry baby mama.” Ha ha! Love this man.

Bacon, hashbrowns, and cheesy eggs!!

Bacon, hashbrowns, and cheesy eggs!!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

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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The Show Must Go On!

Ralph Lauren BW

Does it get any better than having a great event to wear your foxiest dress and perform in front of hundreds of people? That’s what I did last night at the 19th annual TOPPER Awards.

Toppers 2014 trophies

What is TOPPERS? It is the yearly recognition of excellence in military community theatre, with awards that range from “Best Prop Design” to “Best Debut Performance” to the coveted “Best Actor/Actress” trophies, to “Best Play” and “Best Musical.”¬† Roughly¬†a dozen¬†theatres from around Italy, Germany, and Belgium compete and cheer each other on. It is one GREAT time!

Best Actress in a Comedy, 2013!

Best Actress in a Comedy, 2013!

I’ve had the honor to perform twice as a “Toppers Singer,” which involves learning six songs with choreography. Miraculously, we rehearse only about a handful of times before 11 of us get in front of our peers, either to be cheered or silently judged. Thankfully, we all passed the test and received enthusiastic applause. WHEW.

Remembering words/movements aside, I sprained my knee (yep, the one that’s been giving me trouble!) the day before performing!

So, what do I do? I tape it up, add a painkiller cream (courtesy of fellow singer Annie), and go out there and give it all I’ve got. YES, it hurt like hell to do some of the movements, but as every performer knows, THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Toppers 2014 medley

Toppers 2014 slow song

Toppers 2014 broadway

Toppers 2014 performing

Fashion wise, I couldn’t work any cute heels, however, I did get to wear this fierce Lauren by Ralph Lauren gown I got on sale from Nordstrom. LOVE the lace and sequin detail!!! (There is a sexy side slit, but my knee is wrapped, so I didn’t show that off)

Ralph Lauren gown

Ralph Lauren 2

After the last award was handed out, pictures taken, and cake consumed, the Hubby and I ended our evening at an “after awards” party, where MORE drinks and laughter followed. ūüôā

I’m so grateful for this experience! Hopefully, if I do get to go to Toppers next year, I won’t be injured!

Love, laughter, and shoes:)

xx Melanie

WHAT I WORE (and where you can find it!):

Dress –¬† LAUREN BY RALPH LAUREN

Necklace – BIJOU BRIGITTE

Flower ring – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Crystal studs – SWARVORSKI

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Am I a Fashion Victim?

I really enjoy blogging about fashion; it’s become a new passion in my life. However, I am noticing that I am much more susceptible to buying clothes and makeup than ever before! Other bloggers’ looks, enticing emails of special sales, magazine layouts,¬†and Birchbox sample boxes make me feel compelled to “stay current.” The pressure to create a great outfit for pictures is real, and I worry about what¬†I have is “blog worthy.”

Anyone else feel like me? At times, I feel so silly for worrying about this at all.

I also wonder if I’m becoming a slave to trends. For example, I just ordered a floral skirt, thinking “well, floral prints are in right now” versus “will I look utterly ridiculous in that?” I’ve never been a florals kind of gal! Am I stepping out the box, or just boxing myself in to trendiness?

Let’s talk crop tops for a second. They are HOT this season, and I’ve seen examples of curvy gals rocking them well. I’ve actually starting thinking, “which top should I choose for my blog?”

Not considering: “YOUR BOOBS ARE HUGE, AND YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A BOX.”

Perhaps we’ll skip that one!

One thing’s for sure, I don’t want to lose my own sense of style.

My New Pledge:

1. I’m Not 20, and It’s OK.

2. Not Every Trend is For Me.

3. I Don’t Have to Try to Impress.

4. Stay True to Me.

5. Don’t Buy it Because it’s on Sale!

6. Have Fun with Fashion, Don’t Take it So Seriously!

So, keeping with my new pledge, here are a couple of my new favorite looks. This is truly my style:)

Toughing it in a Moto Jacket at the Tough Mudder.

Toughing it in a Moto Jacket at the Tough Mudder.

Eiffel Tower Leggings and Hot Pink Tights. Because...Why Not.

Eiffel Tower Leggings and Hot Pink Tights. Because…Why Not.

 

Blue and white is my new favorite combination!

Blue and white is my new favorite combination!

Look close - the skirt has yellow in the print! I almost never wear yellow!

Look close – the skirt has yellow in the print! I almost never wear yellow!

It’s important to try new things to avoid getting in a rut. However, there’s a fine line between being stylish and becoming a fashion victim.

So, if you catch me wearing those Teva inspired Prada sandals – please stop me and send me to an intervention, because I’ve gone too far.

Not for me.

Not for me.

Love, laughter,¬† and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

LOOK #1 –

Moto Jacket: FASHION TO FIGURE

T shirt: H & M

Eiffel Leggings: H & M

Pink Tights: FOREVER 21 PLUS

Union Jack Flats: GRACELAND

LOOK #2-

White Tunic w/lace detail: JOLLYCHIC.COM

Skirt: PASSPORTS

Silver sandals: PAYLESS

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Paris, Part Deux

Ah Paris! This is our third time visiting, and with each time, I fall in love with you a little more. Paris is truly the “City of Lovers!”

In fact, the Hubby and I decided to “lock our love” on a bridge over the Seine, a tradition of many couples.

Four years of a wonderful marriage, nine years together!

“Come What May, I will love you until my dying day.” -our vows.

Lock in Paris

This day, I opted to be comfy by dressing in layers since we’d be out all day.

Locked Mel

But of course, I added a little sparkle with these Eiffel Tower earrings to jazz up my look!

mel cu eiffel ear

One of my favorite things about Paris is visiting museums, and I loved seeing the Musee Rodin which included the iconic statue, The Thinker.

Of course, everyone has to “think” with The Thinker!

Mel and Thinker

 

The Musee Rodin has an AMAZING garden full of fantastic sculptures! Also, a beautiful pond area and café to enjoy a coffee!

Musee Garden full 2

Channeling "Eve's Shame"

Channeling “Eve’s Shame”

The Three Shades.

The Three Shades.

Spring is everywhere!

Spring is everywhere!

Rodin Museum1

There’s¬†a great view of Napoleon’s Tomb (and with the over the top ornate d√©cor of his tomb, there’s no doubt in my mind that Napoleon would’ve been a fashion designer if he didn’t decide to rule the world).

Napoleon tomb 2

We checked it out, and yep – this is¬†an example of “Little Man Syndrome.” Great taste in final resting digs, though!

Stunning!

Stunning!

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There are few places in this world that can make me drop my mouth with awe. Paris is one of them!

More Parisian adventures to come!

On another note…I found out today I have 100 followers on Bloglovin now! Thank you so much for following and reading. Your comments and likes mean so much! Please leave your links so I can follow you too!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

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