Tag Archives: fashion and

Been Very Busy Lately

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I am the type of person that becomes obsessed with an idea once it takes hold in my pea-brain.  That can be a good thing and that can be a bad thing.

I will follow through and research to the point of being ridiculous!  But once I am done researching and following through on my latest obsession, I know enough about the current topic to make an informed decision.

The bad thing is I obsess over the latest thing to the point of excluding all else in my life.  I leave other things to flounder and survive on their own while I chase down information on my latest object of desire.

What is the latest “thing” I am obsessing about, you ask?  Dog training.

I thought at the beginning of 2011 that I wanted to be a Style Consultant because I really like fashion and clothing.  I explored, researched, spent money on, and totally dove head first into that for the first 6 months of the year.  In the end, I discovered that I had spent way more than I ever intended on clothing I “just had to have” and had made zero on the adventure.

I discovered too that even though I really like clothing and fashion, I don’t want to make it my career or life.  It’s way too expensive for my income.  I think the biggest struggle I had with it is that it seemed a little superficial.

I really had to convince myself some days that clothing was really important to your self esteem and confidence.  More important than the War in Iraq or the homeless on the streets or the millions of people that are unemployed.  When the tornado hit my town, I struggled even more with the concept of fashion being really important to me.  I was thankful to just be alive and have my home in tact.  Clothing just didn’t seem all that important any more, but I pressed on with it anyway.

The last Image Workshop that I did, one of the ladies has been unemployed for over a year.  The only reason she has a home is because her grandparents left their home to her in their will.  She came to the workshop and listened to me talk about buying clothing and budgeting for it and how important your image is to getting a job.  Then, when they served lunch, she let it slip out that she had not eaten in 2 days.

That was it.  That was the end of it for me.  Yes, looking good and taking pride in your appearance is very important to your self esteem and confidence.  Yes, you should put effort into looking your best.  However, whether you are wearing the latest trend or a shirt that accentuates your small waist just doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you can’t eat.

I realized right at that moment that I couldn’t talk myself into making this be more important that it really was.  My heart just was not in it anymore.

As you may know, I have 4 dogs.  I post pictures and talk about them all the time.  I have had dogs in my life all my life.  I put myself through a dog training program.  I have helped many people train their dogs.  I started a program here in Cleveland, TN at the local library for kids to build their reading skills by reading to dogs.  I have never struggled with whether dogs are important or not.  There is no question or ambiguity in my mind that they are very important and relevant.

To me, there is nothing more fun than teaching a dog a new trick or watching a dog’s owner learn how to communicate with their dog and form a stronger bond with that dog.

I have dreamed of having my own training center for years and years.  And I finally have the courage and confidence to take the steps necessary to make that dream come true.  It started off as just calling around to see what would happen.  I figured if I was met with any resistance then it wasn’t meant to be.  So far, there has not been one obstacle placed in my way.  Well, except my own self-doubt and fears of failure.  But as far as location, equipment, money and time – all have fallen into place without a hitch.

So, I am really looking forward to 2012!  I hope to finally be able to relax and enjoy my life by finally being where I am happy and satisfied.

Do you have any big plans for 2012?  Do you obsess over an idea like I do?  How do you manage everything?

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Iris Apfel can kiss my size 18 ass!!

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Iris Apfel

Ok, yes, I am pissed.  And maybe this struck a  nerve with me because this freak of a designer, Iris Apfel,  looks like my mother, who holds pretty much the same type of attitudes about curvy people (people in general).

Added later today:  I have been fuming about this all day long.  I think another thing that pisses me off so much about what this woman said is that she thinks that she is so much smarter and better than everyone else that she has the right to make judgements like this about them.

She doesn’t know that maybe they can’t afford to buy fancy clothes because they have been unemployed for months and are struggling to keep their home and feed their family.  She doesn’t know if their job was outsourced by one of the company’s she owns stock in.

So what did she say to piss me off so much? This:

‘Now when I walk down Fifth Avenue in the summertime I just want to throw up.

‘It seems that the fatter and uglier people are, the fewer clothes they wear. The shorts and flip-flops and tight jeans on butts that go from here to Poughkeepsie.

‘I always say they should put people in jail for wearing clothes like that. Especially stretch jeans over [US] size 10 – they should be outlawed. Ten years ago people were starting to look like slobs in New York, now it’s an epidemic.’

Not that she would ever intervene on a bad case of misjudged style. ‘Oh, now that would be horrible. It’s a free country – if you want to look like a freak, that’s your problem.’

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  And yes, I know that by bringing attention to this woman, I am just helping her to become more famous.  I just couldn’t let it go, though.

So, I wanted to say to Iris Apfel today:

Kiss My Size 18 Ass, Iris Apfel!

“Kiss my Size 18 ass dressed in stretch skinny jeans.  I don’t feel like a freak, I feel beautiful!  And I can rock my curves better than your skinny little white ass ever could!!!!”

And, lest you think that I am too old to rock a pair of skinny jeans, below is Kelsea.  Kelsea is 18 years old and can wear a pair of skinny jeans better than anyone I know!!

Kelsea - photo shoot for PrimpMe Chattanooga

And yes, I realize that I live in America and she has the right to express her opinion.  Guess what?  So do I.  And my opinion is, that her opinion sucks!  And it is opinions and ideals like hers in the fashion industry that only serve to alienate them more and more from the average woman.  Of course, we all know that runway designers don’t design for the average woman – they design for stick thin models who will probably be the only people who ever wear their designs because they are so far-fetched and crazy that no one in their right mind would be caught dead in them.  But that’s ok because, “it’s a free country – if you want to look like a freak, that’s your problem.” Right?

Now, I would like to tip my hat to designers that truly know how to dress women of all sizes.  Real women that live in the real world!

    
Yuliya Raquel – IGigi        
Kiyonna
Ashley Stewart
And there are a gazillion more, but I am so upset I can’t think of them.

Count your blessings.

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You know, I have had a pretty shitty year.  And over this last weekend I wallowed in self-pity and said a thousand woe-is-me’s.  Today, I am so sick of myself and my pity-party!

Today, I am going to find the blessings in all of the events over this year.  Yea, yea, I know.  It is only October.  How can I possibly be wanting this year to be over already, right?  Aren’t we always told that tomorrow is a new day?  Aren’t we supposed to get a fresh new start every morning?  Isn’t that what all the positive self-image people say?

Well, I think I need to take full advantage of those fresh new starts and new days – right now!

So, at the first of the year, I decided to start a Plus Sized Fashion Blog.  Came up with a name and an idea and started writing and taking pictures and buying clothes and buying clothes and buying clothes.  Oh, and did I mention that I started buying clothes.  Well, needless to say, a maxed out credit card later, I am no longer “starting” anything.  I am done buying clothes and shoes and anything else remotely related to fashion.  I do, however, have a very well stocked wardrobe from which to draw my clothing ideas from for the rest of the year or two.  Ding!  Blessing!

The blessing in disguise is that now I have to tell myself no.  I have to discipline myself to not go binge shopping.  I have to be frugal and show self-restraint.  But, it also makes me really think about whether I need something or not.  Or if I can come up with something similar in my current wardrobe with a couple of tweeks here and there.

The blog itself has morphed into this online journal, of sorts.  Ding! Blessing! A wonderful release for me with a little entertainment for you, my few followers and readers.  I think that is a blessing too, really.  The less people I think are reading my blogs, the more honest I tend to be.

Even though I did not become this big Stylist like I wanted to.  I did hook up with an incredible group of women in the Common Bond Christian Women’s Job Corp.  I get to host an image workshop and share all the knowledge that I gained over the years about fashion and dressing. Ding! Blessing!

This year, my daughter graduated from high school and my son from elementary school.  May was supposed to be this wonderful month of joy and family gatherings.  Instead, we had a tornado rip through the neighborhood on April 27, 2011.  Thankfully, no one was killed in our neighborhood – Ding! Blessing!  And our house was not seriously damaged – Ding! Blessing!  The neighbors all pulled together and helped each other – Ding! Blessing!  And the kids got out of school and finals a week early, but still got to graduate – Ding! Blessing!  By the time the graduations rolled around, the power, phone and cable were all back on – Ding! Blessing!  And we still got to gather with family and friends to celebrate – Ding! Blessing!

My mother decided that she did not want me relying on her for friendship or have a relationship with me or my children – Ding! Blessing!  I know, I know, you are saying, “Whaaattt?”  I said, Ding! Blessing!  She is a manipulative, passive-aggressive Bitch and we are better off without her being around to wreak her havoc on our lives.

Over the summer, I lost 2 very dear friends to me.  They both had health issues.  They both were not doing well.  I will miss them terribly.  There isn’t a whole lot of blessing I can find in losing either of them, but I am trying.  Now I can be assured that they will no longer be sick or hurting.  Their families can find comfort in that too. Ding. Blessing.  I am finding a strength inside myself to cope and deal with losing friends that I never knew I had. Ding. Blessing.

The whole contractor fiasco has taught me that I can do alot more handyman things around this house than I thought I could.  That has given me confidence in being a home owner. Ding! Blessing!  I am being forced to tackle a project that I really didn’t think i could handle – but I guess we are fixin’ to find out if I am up to the task.

So, even though I have had some pretty big obstacles and problems thrown my way, I just keep reminding myself that God never gives us more than we can handle, that there is always a lesson to be learned and that if you try, you can find the blessings in the tragedy of life.

What about you?  What blessings have you found in the awful things that have happened in your life?

Image Velocitation

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I’m not super hot or gorgeous.. . I don’t have an amazing figure or a flat stomach… I’m far from being considered a model, but I’m ME… I eat food, have curves, love to wear my PJ’s and will go without makeup…. I’m random & crazy & I don’t pretend to be someone I’m not…… I am who I am, love me or not, it won’t change ME!!! Ladies put this your status… if you’re proud of who u are… I AM!!!!!

I was thinking about a blog I was going to write today about not feeling so great about my figure when this post popped up on my Facebook.

Well, now I don’t feel the need anymore.  I was going to talk about having one of those days where you picture this great outfit you are going to pull together and wear.  But when you put it all on, it doesn’t look quite the way you pictured it in your head.  There are lumps and bumps where it should be smooth and wonderful, there are belly pooches that should not be there, hips, butt, you know, the usually tirade against my body.

See, I got my InStyle magazine yesterday with all the new Fall Fashions.  I have combed through it twice now and put little sticky’s on the items I want to re-fashion for plus sized ladies.  I guess in doing that, I was having a little crisis of identity because when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t look like the stick figures I have been looking at for the last 24 hours.

Have you ever heard of highway velocitation?  It’s where you have been driving for a really long time at the same speed and you lose track of how fast you are really going.  You get accustomed to the speed so that when you slow down, it really feels like you are going really, really slow.

I am horning in on that term and calling it Image Velocitation.   Usually I am accustomed to my plus sized figure because I am always looking at plus sized models on the websites I go to.

I tried on a new pair of jeans that I just got from Ashley Stewart today and they are too big.  So I had to put on a different pair from last year, well, they don’t fit as well as they did last year.  That is when my “voice” began talking crap to me.  Then I put on that white sweater and white cami that I got from Cato’s, that I haven’t worn yet, and I have back bulges showing up – UGH!

So what I settled on was a white peasant top with my capri jeans and neutral wedges.  And I quit beating myself up.

Do you ever have days like that?  Tell me about it…

You never know, do you.

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1978 was when all hell broke loose in my sister and my world and she ran away from home.   She was 15 and I was 12.

She was being tormented and emotionally abused and I was completely powerless to stop it.  She finally had enough and ran away from home.  Our step-father was mean, abusive, manipulative, a drug addict and an alcoholic.  Our mother was addicted to prescription pain killers and also an alcoholic.  They were completely out of touch with what was going on in our world.  And so my sister did the only thing she could do in order to survive.  She left.

I had spent the last few years watching the systematic destruction of my sister and had become pretty good at becoming invisible, or so I thought.  You be good, you do everything your told, plus some and everyone will leave you alone.  It worked pretty well on the home front.  I thought it worked pretty well wherever I went.

I just figured out today, that this is not so.

When I started high school, I was terrified.  My big sister was not going to be there to protect me.  I wasn’t going to have that automatic in with all the older kids.  You know how terrifying it is to be a freshman – anything is fair game on freshman. I did what came the most naturally to me.  I tried to become invisible.  I tried to blend into the walls so that I wouldn’t rock the boat or draw attention to myself.  So, I drifted through my entire freshman year like that.  Just trying to not be seen.

The next year, I was ready to come out of my shell, a little.  My girlfriends were trying to talk me into joining a club or team so that I would have something in my life.  I tried out for cheerleading, which was a colossal failure.  First of all, I am not that coordinated when it comes to dance routines; and second of all, I am not outgoing – at all.  So my next trial was the cross country running team.  There I fit right in.  I could run for miles and escape my troubles.  I had an excuse to stay after school and not have to go home.  And I was actually pretty decent at it, who knew?!

Lately, my sister and I have been having a conversation with a person on facebook.  We were talking about the old stomping grounds in CT and she was curious how this person knew both me and my sister.  There was only a couple of years that any one person could have gone to school with the both of us.  It would had to have been between 1975 and 1978, because those were the only years that we actually went to the same school, just not at the same time.

Turns out this person was was a freshman when my sister was a junior. And this same person was a Junior when I was a Sophomore.  So I actually ran with this person on the cross country team for 2 years before they graduated in 1980/1981.

This person witnessed my sister and I going through some of the toughest times in our lives.  During those times, both of us thought we were so alone in the world.  We thought no one cared about either one of us, that no one noticed the pain we were going through.  We both found solace in alcohol and drugs during those years of our lives.  We didn’t think anyone noticed us at all.

Now, almost 30 years later, this guy remembers both of us.  It made me feel comforted in a creepy sort of way.  Here we were so desperately alone in the world, and yet we were not alone – ever!  I am sure that this person was watching us spiral out of control with our drug and alcohol addictions.  Possibly this person was feeling powerless or maybe he didn’t care at all, who knows.  What does matter, is that he remembers us now.  Maybe our decent into hell, kept him from following the same path.  He seems to really have a good life now.

I guess my point with all this rambling is that you never know how you touch other people’s lives.  You never know if, just by saying hello to someone, that you just made a big enough difference in their life to keep living theirs.  Just by acknowledging to that person that you see them, you could be giving them strength.

So, say hello to that wall-flower or smile at someone on the street, you may make a difference in their life today!!!

Outfit Today 7.19.2011

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I like to browse through the InStyle Magazine each month.  I usually look at the section called YourLook and then see if I can translate their look into a flattering Plus Sized Look.

This was the outfit in their July 2011 issue that inspired my look:

 

Short-sleeved jacket – Fashion Bug $30

Orange Tank Top – Fashion Bug $15

Belt – Cato’s $5

Tan Skirt – Fashion Bug $30

Orange Wedges – Walmart $17

The items in the InStyle Magazine totaled $1220 (and I didn’t count the sunglasses, purse or necklace)

My recreation $97

I would love to see some of your recreated outfits.  How do you create the same looks at a fraction of the cost?

Plus Sized Women Have More Options Now!

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I have had some interesting conversations with some wonderful women in the last few weeks and it surprises me that the options that plus sized women have in clothing are not known more widely.

I helped out a Fit For A Queen Boutique a few weekends ago.  I was very surprised by the comments that the customers were making.  They were saying that they had no idea there were clothes that were fun and fashionable in their sizes.  They didn’t know that the boutique was there.  And sad to say, most of the women were wearing over-sized t-shirts and baggy shorts or pants.  I was sad and excited at the same time.  The opportunity to tell these women that they had other choices was exhilarating.  But saddened because they didn’t know that were other choices out there for them.

I was speaking with a fellow dog lover yesterday and she had recently moved to the area.  I mentioned Fit For A Queen and several other plus sized clothing stores.  She had no idea these places were here.  I also told her about lots of other website that she could go to.

So, tonight I was thinking that maybe I needed to let everyone know of all the other options they have for buying well-made, fashionable, flattering clothing for plus sized women.

In the Cleveland and Chattanooga areas, there are the following stores:

Fashion Bug – 283 PAUL HUFF PARKWAY NW, CLEVELAND, TN 37312.

Fit For A Queen Boutique – 7315 LEE HIGHWAY, CHATTANOOGA, TN.

Lane Bryant – 2040 HAMILTON PLACE BLVD, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37421.

Catherine’s – 2040 HAMILTON PL UNT 225, CHATTANOOGA, TN 37421.

Avenue – 2020 GUNBARREL ROAD, CHATTANOOGA,TN 37421.

Online provides additional sources for plus sized clothing.  Some of my favorites are:

Sonsi – Sonsi.com 

Ashley Stewart – AshleyStewart.com

One Plus Stop – OnePlusStop.com

IGigi – Igigi.com

Kiyonna – Kiyonna.com

Sonsi.com and OnePlusStop.com are websites that combine several different plus size designers on to their websites.  It saves times and gives you way more options for finding the perfect piece of clothing that you are looking for.

So, shop on my lovely full-figured ladies!  We have way more options than ever before.  There are no more excuses for baggy t-shirts and shorts.  We will be styling and feeling confident and beautiful in no time!!