Reviews

Supporting Women Owned Businesses

Supporting small businesses has always been important to me, and if you have been following me for a bit, you know I love to give shout outs from time to time to some of my favorite small businesses! With it being International Women’s Day, I thought it would be a good time to share about my birthday day trip up to Lakewood, OH that I took and spent the day supporting small women-owned businesses and loving every bit of it!

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Sign in front of Fear’s Confections

 
Lakewood is one of my favorite places to spend a day. It is nestled close to Cleveland along Lake Erie. There are a ton of cute little shops and some amazing eateries as well! The first stop on this trip was Fear’s Confections. Fear’s Confections is a woman-owned business that serves up handmade confections, many in which have a geeky flair! They also host events from time to time. You can order things like a chocolate chess set and find things like Star Wars shaped chocolates. No matter what you get, they are all delicious! Also, the owner is super awesome!
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This is what I chose this past time. The buckeyes are the best!

After visiting there, we walked through some antique stores and headed to lunch at Thai Thai. Thai Thai serves delicious Bangkok street food and is also women-owned. They also have the most amazing and creative bubble teas.
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Doesn’t this make you hungry?

The service is great, and the bubble tea made me so super happy! They even have events where they do really wild bubble tea flavors. Most recently, they did a mermaid one. I am really hoping to get to one of the events late this spring!
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Bubble tea is my new key to happiness! Top, Jacket, Shoes are all Torrid. Headband is Hot Topic. Flower is by NicCoCo creations, a woman owned designer of headpieces. Leggings are Du North, which is a woman-owned company that I am a proud distributor for.

I finished out the day by heading to Retro Rosie because…well..why wouldn’t I? Retro Rosie carries vintage inspired and pin up clothing. I have gotten some gorgeous pin up dresses there, and the owner is just an amazing person that I am so happy to have met this past year. She carries Lindy Bop and Unique Vintage, just to name a few of the brands you can find there. Oh, and the best part is that she carries sizes for just about everybody! It is one of my favorite places to shop.
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Taken from an earlier shopping haul there!

I had a fabulous day, and I felt good knowing that my birthday trip was spent supporting women-owned businesses. It is important to support one another. What is your favorite woman-owned business? I would love to hear about all the women owned businesses you support!

Health

Moving Forward with Chronic Pain

When you have a chronic illness or a long-term illness, sometimes it is hard to think about creating goals when you are in pain. Sometimes, it is hard to think about the future when your life revolves around constant pain and very frequent doctor visits. There is a grieving period involved too when your whole entire life changes, and you are unsure about the future or your life’s dreams. I get it. I have been there. I am still sometimes there. However, my goal right now is to move forward from that. I am determined that while some of my dreams in life may not be obtainable anymore, that it is time to be flexible and creative in thinking of ways of getting to experience some of those dreams in some form.
I went to college to study English. My dream was to teach students of other languages. I wanted to travel. I also loved writing and wanted to be a fiction writer. I put that dream aside shortly after my accident when I was struggling to type, and my reading ability was not as strong as before the accident. However, I never gave consideration until years after I started my first blog (back in 2009/2010) that while I am not writing novels, I am writing. Prissy Missy Loves is my newer blog and one that I started about the time of my relapse, but with this blog, I get to explore things that I cannot in my other blog, and between them both, I get to share stories. I get to connect with people on a personal level. It gives me happiness to know that I can still write, even if it is not how I first envisioned. As for writing novels, I am still fairly young. Maybe my time just has not come yet.
When I had my relapse, I had this idea that I was going to finish college and go forward in my career choice. However, considering that I never know what my pain level is going to be when I wake up, and some days I cannot concentrate, cannot do much without pain, and have other issues, I have been frustrated and deep down, I think that my dream of this is probably not going to ever happen the way I wanted. However, I started looking at other options. I could finish my degree online. It might take a while, but I could work with my body and issues and make it work. I also recently discovered that there are tutoring opportunities that I can do from home on the computer. The whole idea is so exciting and something I never considered. Again, it is not my original dream, but being flexible in the form can help me obtain that dream.
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Being flexible is also giving me the opportunity to explore possibilities that I never thought would happen. When I was a little girl, I wanted to model. I was short, and I was chubby. The whole idea seemed totally and utterly unreachable. And yet, here I am. I am not, nor will I ever most likely be a supermodel. However, I get to model for small boutiques. Right now, I cannot do as much as I would like, but when I see an opportunity that can work for me right now, I take it. It may never bring me lots of money, but it is so much fun, and it has been a huge confidence boost too!
The point I am trying to make here is that when you are starting to get frustrated with everything that has gone wrong and all you have had to give up, take a moment to see how you can change things to still make it work for you. Also try to put things into perspective. My big thing is that I have started to remind myself that I am still fairly young. While my issues may prevent me from my original plans, there is no reason that I have to give up on life or all my dreams. I just need to modify them to fit the situation. It is not perfect, but doing this can give you a better outlook. Having a more positive outlook can affect the way you live your life. You deserve to be happy. Just because you are stuck with an illness or condition does not mean that it has to define you as a person. Be flexible and as always, be gentle with yourself!

plus size fashion

Finding Your Unicorn

As it would happen, at the beginning of the summer, I found the world’s most perfect dress! I was at a pin up pageant, and one of the contestants had this amazing Lindy Bop Circus print dress. I just had to have it! There was only one problem: it was out of stock at Lindy Bop! What’s a girl to do? Well, here is how I found my unicorn, and it might help you when you find that perfect piece that is out of stock at your favorite store!
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The first thing I did was to check with my favorite little boutiques. I love a lot of vintage inspired clothing, and I know a few boutiques that carry Lindy Bop, which is one of my favorite brands! First, I checked with Sudzy’s Pin Up Palace. She did not have it. So, of course, I checked with Retro Rosie‘s. I came up empty there too! Next I took to Facebook. Facebook has some awesome buy,sell, trade groups especially for plus size gals like myself. I tend to buy a lot of my clothes from them.
If you are a little hesitant to purchase, here are some things you can do to help make sure you don’t get burned.

  • choose groups that are heavily administered. When the administrators stay on top of things, you are less likely to encounter a fraud.
  • Start slow. Watch for sellers that seem to do a lot of business because if they are doing a lot of business, then you are less likely to have problems.
  • Always make sure that you get an invoice. All the groups in which I belong require Pay Pal transactions. Some people try to do a money request instead of an invoice. Never participate in a money request. If something goes wrong, you can file a claim with Pay Pal as long as you have an invoice.
  • Be sure you know the exact price. Is shipping included? Is shipping extra? Does the seller combine shipping? Always know before committing to purchase.
  • Finally, make sure you know the measurements and condition of item. Take snapshots of the Facebook post in case you need it for later.

I have never really had issues with buy,sell, trade groups, but I have heard stories. I am always cautious, but seriously, I get a lot of my clothes through these groups because you can find some amazing deals. I wear a lot of Cherry Velvet. I know a seller that holds flash sales for their dresses every so often. They have all been like brand new! It is a fabulous way to get your unicorn…
…Which brings me to how you should search for your unicorn in these groups. If you are looking for something, you want to post ISO along with a picture and possibly a price range you are willing to pay. A lot of times, I have great success in doing just that. Unfortunately, with my Circus Dress I did not have any luck.
Just about the time I wanted to give up, I went back to Retro Rosie, and lo and behold…there was my dress!!! Even more lucky for me, the store was having a sale that weekend, so I scored the dress for a great price! 20171123_132852_HDR
I was super excited, and I ended up wearing it for the first time for Thanksgiving dinner because I am a little extra like that. It is just as cute as the first time I saw it, and it is super comfy too. I felt super cute in it!
So if you happen to see something on Instagram or Pinterest…or even when you are out and about, but you don’t know how to get a hold of it in your size, try these tips. I very much suggest this especially when it comes to vintage inspired dresses because I see a lot of my favorite prints by my favorite designers being passed off on Amazon and Ebay as knockoffs. Also, when looking for something by your favorite brand, start keeping a list of small boutiques to try because they just might have what you are looking for, plus shopping small businesses is just awesome!
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Health

Living your dreams even when life throws you a curveball

I have not written here in a long time. The last several months have been in short, chaotic.

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Grab a coffee. It’s time for a story and a heart to heart

This spring, I had another weird relapse type of event. I spent the next few months having cognitive testing and having my primary care doctor do several tests to rule things out. It is all TBI related. I started doing some therapies this summer and spent the summer either at an appointment or waiting to see a specialist.
It has been a rough year. I have been bullied (which I plan on discussing in another post). I spent my summer worrying because I was having memory issues to a point that my doctor was starting to think I might have early dementia brought on by the TBI. I am thankful that my neurologist said that he does not believe that is the case and that he thinks what is going on is treatable. I have struggled with depression, and I was brought really low by all of this. To finish the summer, my father-in-law passed away, and while he was 80, he was a good and stubborn 80. He was the kind of old person that you thought would live forever. This year brought me really low.
I stopped doing pin up shoots. I stopped writing. I stopped trying to find modeling projects. I stopped exercising, which is something I love. I stopped living. I gave up.
Why am I saying all of this? How am I getting to the point of the title of my post? Well, it is like this. I hunkered down. I let all the emotions, pain, and worries get to me. I let it wash over me. Then I realized that I am still here. I am still alive. My neurologist said treatable. While I am going through another mess of dealing with insurance issues, going to new specialists, and still dealing with the problems, I am still alive. I cannot do everything the way I used to be able to, but maybe I really shouldn’t anyways. I used to be the type of person who was so over-scheduled that it was hard to breathe. I rest a lot. I have to. I need to. I should. I am still alive.
Because I am still breathing, I can still live my dreams. I started writing again for my other blog. I am not writing as much, but I gave this one and that one a new look. I have been writing a little here and a little there. If I get tired, I quit and then come back to it. I have been reading and trying to get caught up on blogging techniques and social media so that I can do something I want to do.
I have been taking small projects. I modeled for a boutique this fall. I did a few photo shoots. I submitted stuff to magazines. I did a pop up shop with my business. I am doing another this weekend. It’s not much, but it is a good place to start. Do I wish I could take every project I am offered or see an advertisement for? Of course. However, I know my limits and am living within them because I want to see myself get better. I cannot get better if I am stressed or tired.
Sometimes life happens in a way that makes us scared. Sometimes things happen that screw up our plans and goals so badly that we want to give up, that we can’t see a happy ending, or that we think we cannot obtain our dreams. Don’t give up on your dreams! Re-evaluate them. Start slowly. Start simply and build on that.
I am not positive and full of hope every day. Some days, I still get brought low, but I am working on it.
Taking a break from this blog has also given me new focus on what I want to share with all of you. I am hoping to add a bit more lifestyle as well as beauty and fashion tips and trends. I am also getting back into cosplaying and cons, so I cannot wait to show you what I am working on!
I hope that my blog helps somebody. If you are struggling, know you are not alone. Don’t give up on your dreams!
 
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plus size fashion

Fun Wear for the Lake

Today I finally got to wear my new dress I got from Sudzy’s Pin-Up Palace last month! Actually, I loved the whole style so much that I got the dress, the purse, and the parasol! What do you think?

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Photo by CW Photography

All the pieces of this ensemble are Sourpuss. However, I found them through a pop-up shop at Sudzy’s last month. She has great stuff from Sourpuss, Lindy Bop, and other fun pin-up and rockabilly designers with great prices! I cannot wait to share more about her store later this month!
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Photo by CW Photography

This dress was perfect for a day at the lake. The parasol came in handy since I am kinda on the pale side. I burn easily. I don’t care how many people gave me weird looks, I am so just gonna rock parasols for the rest of the summer. I don’t even know how I lived without them before now. The dress is super comfy and well-made, and the handbag…Well, the handbag is not only made well (which is good because I am hard on my bags), but it is like the TARDIS of bags. I can fit a ton of stuff in it. I usually keep a sweater, snacks, my wallet, my phone, sunglasses, and other things as well. Plus, the design is just cool!
Sourpuss makes a lot of cool dresses and accessories. However, you can find their clothing at small retailers like Sudzy’s, which is nice because she is a peach, but also smaller retailers really help you find dresses that fit your style!
 
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Deals and Steals plus size fashion

Plus Size Summer Thrifting

 
The other week, I found this adorable black sundress at a local plus-size thrift store! Yep, you heard me right…an entire thrift store just for plus-sized women called Love Thy Curves! It is amazeballs! I originally was looking for something in a pin-up style, but I could not pass up this cutie! With the weather being a little cooler last week (seriously, Mother Nature make up your mind), I thought it would look great with this kimono I found on the clearance rack at my local Rue 21!
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While I did not pair this with a belt, which as you all know by now is my favorite thing to do because it defines my waist and gives an hour glass shape, this would look good with a belt. I love wearing these in the summer because they are shear enough that you don’t overheat, but they cover enough if you are in the air conditioning so that you are not too cold. I got a couple for this summer, and I am surprised at myself I did not do this sooner.
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Even if you don’t have a plus-size thrift store, your local thrift store is a good place to get fun pieces and stay on budget. Just make sure you try things on first and know their return policies just in case.
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Also, this is a good time of year to hit up your favorite shops for summer clothes too. You got two months left of summer, and a lot of the stores start doing clearance for summer now. You get to look cute af for the rest of the summer at a fraction of the cost. I got the kimono for under $10 and the dress as well.
Do you thrift shop? If so, what are your tips for a fun trip to the thrift store?

Deals and Steals plus size fashion

CowCow Cupcake Dress Cuteness

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Look what came in the mail the other day!!! I was so happy to finally get my newest addition to my CowCow dress collection! This Cupcake Dress is so comfy and just in time for summer!
 
CowCow dresses are my kryptonite! There are so many patterns from which to choose that I can and have spent hours trying to decide which one I want next. I have several in my closet, and the cap sleeve style is my favorite. This particular dress runs up to a size 3x. I am wearing a 2x. I will buy a 3x if something is out of my size, but it tends to run a bit big on me when I do.
 
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These dresses look great by themselves or with a cardi, especially in the spring or fall. Today I have paired it with a pair of Skecher flats and a belt I found on clearance at Torrid. I tend to buy all my belts there when they are on clearance. I think I have about 20 now. I should probably stop, but they really do have cute belts for my ever-growing dress collection.
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CowCow can be found on Amazon, which is where I got this one. A lot of the dresses are Prime shipping. However, this one is not, but it is still free shipping and takes about two weeks to receive from the time of order. Granted, I am impatient, but it still is not that long. The quality is pretty good. A lot of my dresses are still like brand new. They are super stretchy and may be a bit short for a taller person, but they pair great with leggings!
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I got a few more dresses in my latest CowCow haul and will be sharing them here in the near future! Most of them are under $20, so if you are in search of a bargain, I highly recommend giving one a try!

Photo Shoots Plus Size Pin Up

Why you should not be ashamed to love yourself

 
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When this photo showed up in my feed a few days ago, it made me smile…not because of my expression, but because of seeing how far I have come since then.
I like to think of myself as a body positive activist. However, even I have times where I doubt myself and pick myself apart. It feels like society is set up for self-hate. With summer upon us, my Facebook feed has been flooded by self-hate memes for not having a “beach ready” body and having arms that are too fat to be seen in public. There are so many women that are going to spend this summer either miserable and sweating because they are wearing layers because they are afraid someone is going to make fun of their bodies. There are women that will not go to the pool because they have been programmed by society to feel that they need to be able to present the “perfect body” in order to enjoy some sun and splash time.

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Sadly, two years ago, I could not see how awesome I looked in this picture!

Why do we do this to ourselves? No matter what size we are, we are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea! Even if I wake up tomorrow magically skinny, there will be something else about me that I am supposed to hate, according to haters on the internet. I don’t feel that I owe it to the internet to not enjoy the summer because of ridiculous standards. I spent years not wearing tank tops or cute dresses. I refrained from wearing a swimsuit in public because I was afraid of what some ignoramus might say. Do I know that I am fat? Yes, yes I do. Does it make me worth less as a person? No. No it does not.
I know I have said it before, and I am going to say it again. Whether or not, we get down to the perfect size, it is okay to love ourselves as we are right now. It is okay to be you. It is okay to enjoy life, and honestly, it will make you feel better about yourself. The more we bash ourselves and put ourselves down, the more we are just feeding into other people’s expectations. If you want to lose weight, that is fine. I am not saying you should not. I am saying that you should not think less of yourself because your weight, your butt, your boobs, your arms, your tummy, or (insert anything here) does not fit the mold.
This summer, I challenge you to be bold. I challenge you to hold your head high. I challenge you to hold yourself to different standards than what we are being brainwashed to believe. Wear what you want. Do what you want. Be what you want, but above all…LOVE YOURSELF WHILE DOING IT!
*All photos were taken by Victor Devilbliss with MUAH by Making Faces Professional Make Up
 
 

body confidence plus size fashion

Ditch the dark color rule

 
When you are plus-size, you may hear how you should wear dark colors. “They are slimming,” people say. Well…I say, “Screw that!”
Put some light and fun color into your life!
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It is that time of year, where we are just on the cusp of summer, meaning that I start out in a cardi, and I want a tank top by the end of the day. I found these cute boot cut jeans at Torrid on clearance a while back. I always wear darker colors for jeans, but at $15, I could not pass these up! I am glad I did not because these jeans are seriously cute, and I like how they look on me.
Speaking of things I do not usually try, I found the BMO cardigan on clearance at Hot Topic. I almost did not get it, but it is super cute, and I love having something lightweight like this for the beginning of summer. Also, who doesn’t like Adventure Time?
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The babydoll tank came from Rue 21. You may have heard they are restructuring. I am so glad that none of my local stores are closing. They have seriously cute clothes! Also, the quality has vastly improved since my teenage years. They have a great selection of plus-size clothing now, up to a size 24 and could seriously be a contender in the plus size market. Also, they have Rue bucks going on now, and well you can use them on pretty much anything during redemption. Let’s just say that I love this store!
I even have a bag to match the ensemble, thanks to Thirty-One Gifts. The “All About the Benjamins” wallet is like the TARDIS of wallets! I own an LG V20 because I tend to use it as a tablet more than a phone. I read on this thing! It is freaking huge! It also fits in this wallet, along with my cards and even my checkbook (and currently crayons. Don’t ask!) It is pretty awesome.
While the tank is a bit of a darker blue, it is a bit out of my usual style because it has white on it, and I am a bit of a mess at times. I love the lighter jeans and the cardigan. It inspired me to get a few more lighter colors for summer. I am even shooting with a lighter colored dress in a few weeks!
My point of all of this today is this: don’t get stuck in a rut of staying within the norms, especially if you are plus size! There are so many fun colors out there, and you will look fabulous!
What is something you have done that is out of the norm with fashion recently? I would love to hear about it! Don’t forget to share and follow my blog for more plus size fashion, beauty, and pin-up adventures!