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.

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What “Being Fat” Has Taught Me

forever maxi 1

Hello All!

I just celebrated a birthday (I’m keeping the number a secret – for now!) and I’ve been reflecting on the changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

After a car accident two years ago, I injured my back and my ability to exercise got compromised. My weight went up, my size grew from a size 12 to a 14/16, and I realized that I had become fat.

At first, my size depressed me. I felt unsexy and undesirable. Not being able to go into just any store and find my size added to my funk.

I’m a strong believer that “everything happens for a reason,” and I’ve learned lessons and developed a stronger sense of compassion throughout this chapter in my life.

1. Size Doesn’t Equate Sexiness.

After I discovered blogging and found sites such as The Curvy Fashionista, Daily Venus Diva, and Tess Munster, there are a LOT of sexy, confident, and inspirational curvy women out there. They own their size and make it work. I’ve learned that it’s not my shell that’s sexy; it’s the way I own it! I wasted time during my smaller days obsessing over “needing to lose 10 lbs” versus living in the moment. I won’t obsess any more.

2. Fashion is Still Fun!

True, there are some retailers I can’t shop from now. However, I’ve discovered Forever 21 Plus, Deb, Asos Plus, Elloquii, H&M, and Zara. Thankfully, more retailers are getting on board and adding additional sizes with fashion-forward styles. I’m so glad I can still enjoy clothes!

Werk!

Werk!

3. Don’t Hide.

Fat people (especially women) have been conditioned to be ashamed of their bodies. We don’t want to draw attention, we hide in bulky clothes, and walk around as if apologetic for our size. I’ve learned that life does not stop because I’ve gained weight. I still have a voice and talent to contribute. If someone seems uncomfortable because I’m fat, that’s their issue. I can’t control that. However, I can control how I deal with my weight day to day.

4. Everyone Has Body Issues!

Recently, the Hubby and I went to a cookout that his work was hosting. The event took place by a beach, so naturally a number of people were swimming and sunning. What struck me was the number of body self loathing comments from these fit military people! These weren’t the “competitive” type of body comparison comments (I’m so fat – no, you’re not, I’m fat!), but a sincere wistfulness to look better. I realized we all have our body issues. Isn’t it a shame we can’t “just be”?

So, the takeaway for me is –

Sure, I would like to lose weight. My energy would be better, it’s easier on my back (which is doing much better!), and it’s good for my overall health. I believe that I will end up losing weight as I continue to get stronger. But, I’m not going to stop fully living my life or being happy because I’m fat.

And if I do go down in size, I’m not going to cringe at my pictures or “fat shame” myself. I am still ME!

I hope we all can embrace who we are for what we are!

forever maxi 3

forever maxi 4

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

Maxi Dress – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Necklace – H & M

Sandals – FOREVER 21

Bra – VICTORIA’S SECRET

Earrings – thrift shop find!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystals Can Also Be a Girl’s Best Friend…

During our Thanksgiving getaway, the Hubby and I took a day tour to Innsbruck, Austria, where not only did we see a large and festive Christmas market, but also the world famous Swarovski Museum and Shop!

As someone who is attracted to anything shiny (much like a raccoon), this tour was truly a dream come true. At the museum, we saw crystals used as fine art, clothing, moving installations, and lighting. I should have brought a bib to wipe the drool from my mouth as I looked at all of the amazing work.

For instance, here is my dream chandelier:

I'll take one for the dining room, please.

I’ll take one for the dining room, please.

 

 

 

And also, I think we should have this beautiful crystal tiger, only 14,000 Euro (that’s $18,977!). If only…

Here, Kitty Kitty

Here, Kitty Kitty

 

But of course, I was blown away by the “wearable” Swarovski art, such as this bra (worn in a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show) and these AMAZING strappy heels!

A bra that I could only dream of wearing!

A bra that I could only dream of wearing!

The Ultimate Shoes!

The Ultimate Shoes!

How nice of Swarovski to make those shoes for me! Notice the “M” on one?!!!

 

Luckily for my husband, I took it easy and left the gift shop with one pair of earrings. I love early Christmas gifts!

My new studs!

My new studs!

The rest of our day was spent drinking Gluhwein, eating fresh mini donuts, and taking in sights such as the Golden Roof, Innsbruck’s most famous landmark. It’s amazing that this landmark has been around since 1500!

So beautiful against the skyline!

So beautiful against the skyline!

 

I have to say that Innsbruck is one of my favorite places so far. The city still has a lot of its old charm, and the people are very kind. How can anyone be crabby when surrounded by such beauty?

The hills are alive...

The hills are alive…

 

The day was chilly, but I’ve learned the trick to staying warm without looking like a Puffalump. Thick leggings by Charlotte Russe with a hooded sweatshirt under my coat kept me toasty warm! This sweatshirt by Under Armour is unique because it includes “fingerless gloves” at the end of the sleeves! I added this plaid Charlotte Russe skirt to finish the look with my boots.

Keeping warm and trendy!

Keeping warm and trendy!