Hey Fab! As per our disclosure policy, we use affiliate links that may result in compensation if you click links & make purchases. By doing so, you help to keep this blog going & I appreciate & thank you for it.

{In The Magazines} My First Print Magazine Feature

Hey Delights!

I am over the moon to be featured in the latest issue of one of my favorite magazines, Mantra Yoga & Health which drops TODAY!

Mantra & it's sister magazines, Origin & Thrive have become staples in our home. They are some of the most beautifully designed magazines that I have ever read.  They are always full of the creative & talented people, amazing photography, delicious recipes, lots of beauty and wellness brands, some of which will soon be showing up here on le blog.
Obviously being featured in any magazine is always a fabulous thing.  But for me, being featured in this particular magazine as my first magazine feature is extra special. Mantra represents and celebrates so many of the things that are important for me, conscious living, embracing your life fully, challenging yourself to do better, be better, explore more, step outside of the box.
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{Luxaholic} Afternoon Tea & Bouquets #CurvyGirlsTea

Hey Fab! As per our disclosure policy, we use affiliate links that may result in compensation if you click links & make purchases. By doing so, you help to keep this blog going & I appreciate & thank you for it. 

Hey Delights!

I recently hosted an afternoon tea for some of my Chicago blogger boos that was co-sponsored by Contessa of Plus Navigator and we had a really lovely time. There was lots of conversation and laughs and I wanted to share some of it with you.

The theme I created was centered around tea and bouquets, two of my favorite things. So I set up a bouquet bar and an ice tea bar along with hot tea & sweets and eats served at the table. Here is the bouquet bar. It was so lovely to have the big picture windows with the trees in full bloom framing it.
Lightbox (last seen here) | Gold Foil Sheets (last seen here) | Flowers: Trader Joe's | Bucket {was red and I painted it gold with this Rustoleum spray paint, which I am obsessed with and also used it to change the color of the 3 tier trays on the table (below)} | Vases: Dollar Tree (amazing at $1 each & I loved being able to order them in bulk online and picking them up already boxed to go).
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The CurvaCast Episode 15: A Rant & More Plus Size Fashion Wins

Hey Fab! As per our disclosure policy, we use affiliate links that may result in compensation if you click links & make purchases. By doing so, you help to keep this blog going & I appreciate & thank you for it. 

Hey Delights!

I wasn't planning to record this podcast but a couple of things happened as I was scrolling through insta stories yesterday that I had to rant about.

Also, there are new collections from plus size bloggers that have dropped. Essie Golden has once again partnered with Rebdolls on a collection that features palm print & the prettiest blush neutrals like this cut out high low dress.

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{Link Love} Shouts & Raves | Vol 3

Hey Girl!

It's been a minute since my last Link Love: Shouts & Raves post, but I have a lot I want to share with you.

+ In case you missed it, I was asked to add my two cents to this Shape Magazine article, Would You Be Mad If Someone Called You Fat?. And if you have been riding with me for any amount of time, I think you know my answer but what about you? Would you be mad?

+ Speaking of mad, I know I am not the only person who feels like there isn't enough time to do ANYTHING! The days feels like they are flying by and there is so much I want to accomplish and way too many moments where I fall short.

Soooo...I have reached out to my Audible library for some much needed inspiration/help/guidance and I am currently listening to & loving 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam.

I started listening to it forever ago but ironically, that whole not enough time thing got in the way, but this time I am committed because, girl...ish is out of hand around these parts and I am just not about that life anymore. For realssss...


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{Link Love} Shouts & Raves | Vol 2

So much is happening in the plus size world and of course I have to start with the history making Sports Illustrated cover featuring Ashley Graham. This has of course been a long time coming.

Ashley, who posted an ugly cry video on her instagram page from when she found out she would be in the issue, said that she is "Truly speechless!!! This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn't beautiful enough because of her size. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to"

JAMES MACARI/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

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Come Thru With The Body Diversity Barbie! #TheDollEvolves

Introducing the 2016 Barbie® Fashionistas™ Dolls. The dolls, which comes in 4 body types, including Curvy, Petite &Tall, 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles will be available at various times throughout the year.  Here's a look at the new Curvy versions. They all come with their own fashion personalities & accessories, from sporty to everyday chic.




While this is a long overdue move for the iconic franchise that has been under fire for years now because of it's unrealistic body proportions among other things, I give Mattel kudos for making this happen and in such a huge way.

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{Body Positive} The Power of Your Words


When I started on my journey of self-love, one of the first things I decided on was that I would change the words I used to speak to myself. You see, my lovelies, words are powerful and when wielded in the wrong manner they can cause irreversible harm, but when they are used with honesty, purpose and thoughtfulness the results can be absolutely beautiful.

Now, if I make a heartfelt promise to use my words in a more nurturing and loving manner towards myself― why would I then use those same words to tear another woman down. You see, my responsibility as the good human being I aim to be is not only to myself, but to other women as well. How do I uplift myself and then tear another woman's self-esteem down? How can I fight a problem I perpetuate?

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{Community} Welcome Merrie of Petite Career Girl

Hey Fabs!

I am so excited to announce the latest contributor to join Zadry, Sean and I here at Curvatude. Merrie is the curator of Petite Career Girl (soon to be Curves, Curls & Careers) and I love the perspective and vibe that I know she will contribute.


Check out my chat with Merrie and get to know her a bit.
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{Chatting Curvatude} Emmicia, Eloquii + Extended Style

Last week Eloquii set off a plus size frenzy when they dropped their latest extended sizes lookbook featuring Emmicia Bracey. I personally was so excited when I opened my Eloquii email and saw her beautiful, smiling face that I had to get to know a little more about her.
Emmicia is 28 years old, 5'8'' tall and a size 28 & she was recruited to model for Eloquii via her friend, Ashley Falcon who happens to be a stylist for the brand. Anyway, I chatted with Emmicia last week and here is a bit of our conversation.

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{Community} My Crop Top Advice to O Magazine

Hey fabs!

The Big O is my spirit animal and I have loved & learned from her for decades. I have also been a subscriber to O Magazine since it's inception and have always found it of value.

By now you have most likely seen the picture that popped up all over instagram & the other social feeds and I am writing this post because while it did not really surprise me, it really kinda bummed me out.

I am months behind on reading my mags but I went thru my stacks and pulled out the issue with the blurb that started it all and here is a full picture of the "advice".

The crazy thing is, so much of the issue is about feeling & being your best & celebrating yourself, which is why I read O Magazine in the first place. And this issue has more variety of fashion sizes represented than any other I have read in recent times.

But this "advice", a part of the "Personal Style" section written by O's Creative Director Adam Glassman just reeks of that subtle body shaming that we hear and see way too much.

Instead of taking that question and turning it into a moment of power, the response pretty much says if you are not "perfect" you should cover & hide and under two layers of clothes no less.

Now as a long time reader of O Mag, there have definitely been times over the years where I have read a feature or "advice" and rolled my eyes, which is why I noted above that I was not really surprised. 

I think one of the reasons for the obvious disconnect from where we are culturally or better yet where we are trying to be culturally is that Mr. Glassman and people like him live in a certain bubble kind of a world.

For them fashion is all about rules and dictates that have stood the test of time. Never mind that these rules have excluded so many of us in so many ways & have made women feel less at times or make women feel that we are not good enough as we are.  They are the rules dammit, these are the things you do if you want to look a certain way. (Insert uppity face pout)

And because of this, I am sure there wasn't a single moment of hesitation or second thought about the "advice" when he wrote it. Heck he might have even had a chuckle or two recounting some poor, fashion challened soul who wore a crop top that he felt most certainly should not have.

The only thing is, if you are trying to be a modern magazine for modern women who are OWNING (pun intended) their lives completely and fully as they are and making the most of it, it would've been so much more valuable & affirming for him to say here are a few ways to wear crops tops if you're comfortable showing your stomach & if you're not comfortable, here are some other options and BAM, good advice.

But sigh...heavy sigh...he did not. 

Thankfully we women are speaking out and standing up for our ourselves and our right to live our lives by our own rules and not the antiquated ones that only serve to try to make us feel like something is wrong with us. Because, guess what? There isn't!

And hey Mr. Glassman, the answer to how you pull off a crop top is not that complicated...



What say you?



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{Plus Size News} Introducing AVA & VIV From Target

Hey Fabs!


{update} the pieces have slowly started trickling into store and some are available online.
{update} I have taken a look at the lookbook and posted some additional thoughts below.


As I mentioned in my piece about the Lilly Pulitzer collaboration three bloggers Gabi, Nicollete and Chastity were working with target on something new for plus sizes and the news was finally released.

Introducing AVA & VIV, the new in-house plus size line from Target. The line is set to arrive in all Target stores in mid-February through March and be available on Target.com on Feb. 22.


This is a sneak peek of the lookbook that they created but you know I love me some stripes, so those pieces definitely caught my eye and I can't wait to see what else is included.

Update: So after I posted this, I got a link to the lookbook for the Spring AVA & VIV Collection so I wanted to add some additional thoughts.

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{Plus Size News} Target's Lilly Pulitzer Collab Will Include Plus Size But...

We fat girls will have to get our plus size Lilly fill online ONLY.

Yep.

The plus size options will only be available online.


Sigh....sigh..

As my girl Jeniese put it..
I mean, come on. I love Target but I can not tell you the last time I even looked at the plus size selection that they have in store. It's to be frank, pathetic. So why not when you finally make the smart move of including plus size in a collaboration, do you taint it by not filling the stores with it.

Why not truly show that you get it? That this is not a pacifier or a PR move to add a little good faith.

And while I love that Chastity, who wrote the most recent lament regarding Target's lack of plus size inclusion in their collaborations & other bloggers are currently working with Target on some to be divulged at a later date campaigns, besides the Lilly steak on a garbage can lid, there is another thing that has left somewhat of a foul taste in my mouth.

And that is the fact that The Curvy Fashionista, Marie Denee does not appear to have been included.

You may or may not recall that Marie created a petition back in 2010 callling Target out for their lack of plus size inclusion. So...I definitely would've thought she would be included. 

And don't get it twisted, aint no "T" here.  I am geeked at any positive exposure for plus size bloggers and will be cheering them on but I just had to share my 2 cents about where I feel Target could've made this an EPIC move for me in more ways than one.

What say you? 

How do you feel about the online only option for the plus size options from Target's Lilly Pulitzer collaboration?





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{Community} All A Buzz...Feed...Fat Girls In Bikini's!

Yesterday one of my fabs brought it to my attention that a photograph of me in one of my bikinis was included in a Buzzfeed piece titled "Women Are Sharing Gorgeous Pictures Of Their Real Bodies With The #Fatkini Hashtag"  so I went to check it out.

Bravo to the ladies who are just doing their thing. Choosing to live their lives, on their own terns and not allowing others to shame them into feeling bad about and hiding their bodies.

Life is just too damn short.

And honestly I laugh at the rambling of fools because I simply...don't care. Maybe it's the west side of Chicago in me ;) but I have always been very firm about one thing:

I DEFINE ME.



And I was going to write a whole long post about the piece and the comments of course as I have previously at times (here oh this one was especially a good one from way back in 2009) but then I just left my short, simple comment on the piece responded to a few positive and negative ones that others left and went about my day.

Like I said, life is just too damn short and the wee one and I were too busy out having fun!

Strike a pose!


The irony of this post dropping when it did, was I had just returned from the beach snapping pics in yet another bikini (pictured above) and a couple of other swimsuits I mentioned I would review here.

Ohhhh...and I started the Oprah and Deepak meditation this morning and how timely it is. This particular 21 day series is all about happiness and how it's an internal job and our natural state of being and how the external ish can get in the way, aka ig-mos and their comments on the internet.

LOL

To close this out I just want to share as I have before, one of my favorite quotes to remind us all what life is really about.


Namaste


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{Featured} Pretty Little Things | #SaveTheUndies

This post is sponsored by U by Kotex® Pads and I will be compensated for writing it but don't get it twisted, 
the content and opinions expressed here are all my own ;). More on my sponsored posts policies here.

Don't you just love pretty undies? You know, the kind that even if you are wearing the simplest outfit, you still feel a little extra cute knowing that you have them on.

That's how I feel about this lace and floral motif boyshort panty that I snagged a few weeks back. In addition to their cute factor, they are super comfortable and don't cut into my sensitive areas AND fully cover my tush! Viva la boyshorts!!


And speaking of sensitive areas, let's keep it real for a moment ladies and talk about that time of the month and how at one time or another we have all probably had the annoying misfortune of it ruining a great pair of undies. #sideeye

For me the worse time is when I am asleep, as gravity does her thang and things kinda flow however they choose.  Talk about waking up on the wrong side of the bed! NOOoooo!

So, when I was introduced to U by Kotex® featuring their 3D Capture Core and it's one-of-a-kind center made with technology that locks away liquid to help stop leaks, of course my interest was peeked.


I mean seriously, undies aren't cheap and who wants to lose the cute ones?  But the U by Kotex® 3D Capture Core technology is kinda amazing.  The pads are super thin, which is a huge plus in my book but they somehow handle the messy job.

And you don't have to just take my word for it (although you should..haha), you can snag a free multi-sample pack of your own HERE and help yourself #SaveTheUndies!


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{Shopping} #ELOQUIIIsBack and You Will Love It!

Curvy Girls REJOICE! 

Remember the profound disappointment that we felt when eloquii under The Limited folded? 

Well sometimes losing something turns out to be a blessing in disguise!

ELOQUII has relaunched under the astute design hand of creative director Jodi Arnold (Yay!) and it is looking better than EVER!


I remember when I had a long telephone conversation with Jodi Arnold back during eloquii 1.0 days and there were so many awesome pieces in a lookbook that I was sent that didn't make it beyond the book and I was like NO! But I am geeked that under Jodi's lead that the new ELOQUII seems to be going for it.

Pattern, color, texture, edge, basics, curve loving, you name it, these first pieces offer something for every plus size woman's style.

New items with limited availability will debut every two to three weeks. So, if you LOVE something, don't sleep on it! BUY IT!

ELOQUII will offer tops and sweaters, dresses and skirts, pants and denim, jackets, outerwear and accessories, with prices ranging from $18 - $198

WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE YOU EXCITED? 

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{Sponsored} Your Future Is Calling: TEACH

This post is sponsored by Participant Media and I will be compensated for writing it but don't get it twisted, 
the content and opinions expressed here are all my own ;). More on my sponsored posts policies here.

I wanted to share the TEACH documentary because I think it's probably pretty safe to say that at some point, most of us have encountered a great teacher who impacted our lives in a huge way.

For me it was my band teacher, Dale Crane. Everyone loved Mr. Crane because he was so invested and interested our lives. He shared his love of music and was a mentor but more importantly, he was a friend and remained one even after high school.

Davis Guggenheim’s third documentary film about education in America, TEACH, asks the question: 
What Does It Take to Be A Great Teacher Today?

The documentary, hosted by Queen Latifah follows four dedicated teachers from different schools across the country over the course of one school year. The filmmakers interviewed numerous schools in different states and filmed more than 50 teachers, Guggenheim says, before narrowing the field to their chosen four.

 TEACH is airing Wednesday, 9/18 on Pivot at 8PM ET/PT, be sure to check it out!

Here's a preview.



TEACH gives viewers a window into the challenges, demands and rewards of teaching, with the purpose of elevating and promoting the profession, as well as engaging new teachers and supporting current teachers.

TEACH shows that for the best teachers, it’s not just a job but a mission. It illustrates how tenacity, passion and a belief in innovation drive these educators as they navigate the daily ups and downs of the 2012-2013 school year. These educators use conventional and unconventional methods and do whatever it takes to overcome obstacles and strive for success.

Also, did you know it is estimated that within the next ten years, 65% of America’s teachers will retire? I didn't and I think it is really important to look at the profession of teaching and it's future with new eyes.

Want to learn more? Go to takepart.com/teach and find out how you can help play a role in keeping public education strong, vibrant and innovative.

Also, I would love to hear your stories about the great teachers you know, so please share them in the comments.


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{Fab Five} Link Love: Pin Up Girl, Fashion, Confidence & More

This Fab Five is all about links from some of my fav blogger girls,
a sweet new app and a song that's getting me thru!

Zadry of Curves a la Mode uses the most fab iconic pin up girl Hilda to share 7 Life Lessons we all should live by and I LOVE IT!


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{Community} Giving Fashion Rules The Finger!

I recently came across a post on a relatively well known site that listed things that they felt 
a women over 35 should not wear and it got a major eye roll from me.

For one, how boring it is to think that you can try to limit others
 because of your own biases and limits!

FASHION IS AN INDIVIDUAL STATEMENT.

And as a fat chick you know we get this kinda stuff about what we should & should 
not wear all the time, from the media & well meaning folks (insert sarcastic side eye).

So, while this type of post isn't brand new by any means, this particular article irked me AND 
made me laugh because THIS 44 year old rocks quite a few of the 
things that they wrote that you should not and does it quite well, thank you!


Crop Tops - this actually wasn't even really a top HA!

They also listed a few others that included ombre hair & overalls, two things that I most certainly would rock as well if I found the perfect wig and the perfect pair.

Life is too short to be bound by other peoples limits! 

Do YOU!

Connect: BloglovinTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest

p.s. i am participating in #31WriteNow



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{Community} Talk of IowaPR Size Discrimination Discussion

Earlier today I lent my voice to a conversation regarding being plus size and size discrimination on Iowa Public Radio's Talk of Iowa with Charity Nebbe.



As most of us who are fat know, fat shaming and discrimination is an everyday occurrence from the doctor's office to the corporate office to the aisles of department stores.

Katie Opperman, a baker starts the conversation off by walking us through her experience with a doctor, who it turns out misdiagnosed her because he basically attributed her health issues solely to her weight.

She also experienced other "medical professionals" who were just downright ugly to her before she found a doctor who actually diagnosed her properly and treated her appropriately.

She also talked about how being fat is basically the last "justified" subject that random people feel no qualms about giving their assumptive two cents, like maybe you should work out, or try to diet, etc

You hear all the time about people being randomly called fat on the street. I have had this happen to me a few times, when some dude didn't like how I responded to some randomness from them and while I personally could not possibly care any less, I know that this has/is a huge issue for a lot of other people.

Next up was Melissa Zimdars, a graduate student who specializes in the area of fat studies.

She and Charity presented some very interesting statistics about some of the myths and the realities of weight.

For example, there is a study from Yale that showed that weight prejudices start with women when they are 13lbs overweight and men tend to experience weight prejudice when they are 75lbs overweight. (side eye)

A guy named William called in to share his experience when he went out for a job and was told that "I am not supposed to tell you this, you are really big and I don't think that they would hire you".

And the interesting part about this is that there really aren't any laws that treat this kind of discrimination as a protective category, so usually there isn't much that can or is done about it.

Another caller, Angie talked about the online bullying that occurs a lot of times when fat folks post pictures of themselves online and how she and some of her friends shy away from doing so, to avoid the abuse.

I spoke about my views on the current state of fashion and the need for more space in the stores, more plus size models modeling plus size clothing, etc

It was a great, informative and I think important discussion about the state of fatness today.

Check it out HERE and welcome to those of you who found me on Iowa Public Radio!

p.s - I am still celebrating my birthday by raising money for charity: water, please consider donating! 


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{Community} AnnaFesta & Plus Size Fashion Denver Post Feature

Happy Friday lovelies & Welcome Denver Post Readers!

In recent months I have had the pleasure of getting to know a fabulous plus size designer named Anne Fanganello. Anne is based in Denver and she and her plus size fashion brand AnnaFesta was featured in the Denver Post yesterday and yours truly was tapped to give her two cents on the state of plus size fashion.

 Check it out!



p.s More from AnnaFesta to come on le blog soon!

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