Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fabulous, Fun Favorites

Well hey there, y'all! How was your week? This has been a busy one at our house and it won't slow down any time soon. This time of year is full of activities, birthdays, and all the good stuff that comes with the autumn season. When life gets really busy, I always find myself getting into routines, coming back to things that I really enjoy or make my life easier. This week I thought I would share some recent favorites with you - everything from fashion and beauty to general lifestyle. Here's what I've been loving lately. Enjoy!
*This post contains some affiliate links. Although I may make a small commission from a few of these items, there is no additional cost to you.

First things first - if you watch beauty videos on YouTube, then you've probably heard of Emilynoel83. If you haven't, open a new tab and go to her channel. She got her start working in TV news and as her beauty channel grew, it eventually became her full time job. She's known for being honest and never pushing sketchy brands just to make a buck. She recently did a collaboration with Makeup Revolution and the end result was fabulous. I picked up the huge eyeshadow palette called The Wants and took it with me to Vegas. It was the only shadow I brought and it met every need I had from quick easy makeup to a photo shoot at the Neon Museum. I'll throw a picture in of the palette itself and the makeup I did with it! At just $20 it's such a steal and Emily is someone I'm happy to support. Grab The Wants Palette here.


If you like hair products that smell good, you'll love this. But let me tell you what it really does - because it basically does the most. You can use it in place of a dry shampoo, but what I really love it for is texture and volume. I actually used it in the photo above and it had no problem withstanding the Vegas heat! It's awesome for reviving your hair if you've gone a few days without washing, but even on a day when you're starting from scratch, you could use this product. I usually use spray waxes, but I think I like this even better. A really sweet girl at my Ulta recommended it and I have not been disappointed. You can snag it here!

Now obviously, I'm a jewelry lover in general. But big earrings are the real MVP (see photographic proof throughout this blog). They're so quick and easy to throw on, it looks like I put some effort into getting dressed, and when these hot, humid temps are still trying to hang on for dear life, it's nice to not have anything touching my neck or wrist. Big earrings have been carrying me through a lot lately. I wore this pair of rose gold, leather stunners to our state fair last weekend and they were so lightweight and finished off what I was wearing perfectly. 

If you read last week's post (check it out here) then you know I'm a fan of Amazon fashion. For the record, they are not paying me and have no idea who I am. Ha! This skirt is another Amazon gem that I recently wore in Vegas and I got so many compliments on it. It comes in size S up to 3X and in a ton of different patterns. I have my eye on another one for family pictures! Here's the link to check them out! If you are someone who finds it difficult to get the perfect fit in cocktail/formal attire, I can't recommend separates like this enough. I am two completely different sizes on bottom and top. Every bridesmaid dress I've ever worn has required extensive alterations because standard sizing makes the assumption someone with my hip size must have a really large chest. Wrong. Well, not completely wrong. I used to. I had a breast reduction at about 19, but that's another post for another day. Anyway, doing two pieces makes it easy for me to customize the size and fit and that's what fashion is all about. This top is from Nordstrom and I couldn't find the exact one, but I did find a similar option that's really cute here.

Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am obsessed with true crime. I watch Dateline like it's my job. I used to think there was probably something wrong with me, until I realized there are so many people just like me who prefer to spend their Friday night in, watching shows about murder. Imagine my delight when I was introduced to podcasts and found out I could take murder with me to the office, the gym, and the car. Life changing. I'm always on the hunt for something new to listen to, and last week I found two absolute GEMS - Crime Junkie and Dr. Death. If you enjoy true crime, go download these on whatever platform you use. I promise you won't regret it! (Images from Stitcher)

Spoiler alert: it's NOT a pumpkin spice latte, although those are delish. I never get tired of this drink and if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen me talk about it many, many times. It requires a little bit of DIY, but it's well worth it. All you need is one Premier Protein shake (I love the Caramel flavor for this drink the most) and either refrigerated iced coffee at home, or 2-3 shots of espresso on ice (at Starbucks get a Venti cup so you'll have room). If I'm making it at home I usually get Stok or Starbucks brand coffee from the refrigerator section of my grocery store. I just add ice, coffee, and the shake to a big tumbler and stir it all up. If I go to Starbucks I ask for 2-3 shots of espresso over ice in a Venti cup then I dump the shake over it and stir with my straw. It tastes so good but it's extremely low in sugar so I never, ever feel guilty about drinking it. If you follow Weight Watchers, it's 2 points for the entire, giant drink!

So there you have it, friends. My current obsessions - all of which make my life just a little better and brighter. I love finding and trying new things, but I really love it when those new things become staples I can count on. Do we share any of the same favorites? Do you have a favorite I should know about? Drop 'em down in the comments! Have a wonderful day and as always, thank you so much for reading. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

One Amazon Maxi Dress, Styled 3 Ways

Hi everyone! It's been two weeks since I posted last, and I'm so sorry about that. I have been traveling, my kiddo has been slammed with cheer practices, and we have had some bouts of germs. Yuck. But I've been planning this post for a while and I'm so excited to bring it to you today! Let's talk Amazon fashion.

If you've never shopped on Amazon for clothing or accessories, I can see how it might sound sketchy. How can you tell what you're getting? How can you trust the fit? It's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and there are some true gems out there. The best part? You can have them on your doorstep in two days. Genius.

Today I'm featuring one of my most favorite Amazon finds of all time. It's a basic black maxi dress and it's easily one of the most worn items in my closet. It's under $30 and you can find it here. The fit is forgiving, the fabric isn't see through, and it has short sleeves which is so nice if showing your arms makes you uneasy. So how do I shop Amazon and feel confident about what I'm getting? Reviews, reviews, reviews. If people truly love or truly hate something from Amazon, they will shout it from the rooftops and they will document it with photos. People upload real life pictures of themselves in most reviews, and that makes it easy to tell how something might look on you. Most reviews will give you details about fit, fabric, how the item holds up after washing, and more. It's also really easy to return items that don't work so if you've felt hesitant about shopping for something like clothing on Amazon in the past, put it to rest. It's crazy easy!

I really wanted to show you how to style this maxi dress for fall specifically, because I think it's a perfect transition piece. Your legs won't get cold (and you don't have to shave them!), you can layer it up with a variety of other pieces, and black is the perfect backdrop for fun accessories! Ready to see what I mean? Let's do it.

Look #1

So listen y'all, I love a good jean jacket, but a jean jacket covered in pearls makes my heart burst! This jacket is from one of my favorite plus size boutiques, Kervology. The jacket combines pearls and distressed denim for a look that is equal parts glam and casual. Basically, it's perfection for under $30. Plus, the owner of Kervology is super sweet and passionate about providing amazing clothing for plus women at a great price. I added my favorite Kate Spade sunglasses (similar linked here) and Plunder Design over-sized flower earrings that are under $15 (similar linked here and here). Head over to Kervology and level up your jean jacket game before this sells out!

Look #2

One of my favorite fall color combos is mustard yellow with turquoise. Something about it just works! Here's another piece of good news - this cardi is from my beloved Walmart and under $15! This cardigan comes in several different colors, and is specifically plus size. Don't worry though, there are lots of other great cardi options in the store in a range of sizes, so be sure to check out this post for all my tips on finding the BEST Walmart gems. Now let's talk about turquoise. In my opinion, it never goes out of style and you can wear it every season. You can shop everything in the collage here!

Look #3

Utility vests are such a staple item and go with just about everything. In these early fall months when temperatures are still fairly high, a vest like this is ideal for layering over tops and dresses. Olive will always be my favorite color for this style of vest, but you can find them in navy, khaki, rust, and mauve for an unexpected twist. The exact vest I'm wearing in the photographs can be found here. I paired this look with another favorite neutral - gray. Gray and gold jewelry elevates this look to a place that is perfectly casual, and perfectly dressed up, all at the same time. Find my exact necklace here and exact earrings here

And there you have it! One comfortable, affordable maxi dress with endless options for styling. Do you shop Amazon for clothing? Are there any hidden treasures out there I should know about? I hope this gives you some ideas about how to stretch your wardrobe further this fall - let me know if you try any of these looks and be sure to tag me on social media. HAPPY WEEKEND! (This post contains affiliate links. Although there is no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission if you shop through them.)

Friday, August 24, 2018


Normally I talk style and fashion here on Taylors and Tiaras, but today I'm switching gears. Why? Because I never would have gotten to the place where I could blog about fashion and devote my social platforms to my own style journey without the things I'm presenting to you today. Over and over I receive comments and messages that center around confidence. 

People are curious about how I, as a plus size woman, am confident in the things I wear. They want to know how I became okay with showing my arms in pictures. They want to know how I am okay with putting myself out there in the way I do. And I often hear "I wish I had your confidence." If there is one thing I could ever hope to accomplish with this blog or those social channels, it's helping someone else get to the point where the question isn't "Should I show my arms?" but rather, "Why wouldn't I show my arms?"

Exhibit A: Showed my arms, did not die.

So how did I end up at the point that I would dare show my very plus size arms to the world and not completely freak out? How can you do the same when it comes to your insecurities? Let's unpack it.

THE DECISION. It really all starts with making a decision. Loving yourself where you are, right this minute - not 50 pounds from now, not a million dollars from now, not a bigger house from now, not a nicer car from now - is not something that will appear out of thin air. It is a conscious act. It is an act you have to practice each day. And on the days when you try but you fall short, you have to try again. And it all starts with a decision to stop talking to yourself in a way that you would never talk to someone you love. I Regina George'd myself to a point that was unhealthy. Decide today that you're DONE being mean to YOU and it will change your entire life. 

Exhibit B: Arms and legs. Still alive.

THE REALITY. I had convinced myself that when I walked in a room, people were probably staring and probably saying ugly things about me. I had spent years not focusing on good things in my life because I couldn't stop thinking about the things I thought were wrong with me. And the absolute worst of all - I spent many years of my marriage thinking people looked at my husband and wondered why on earth he would be with someone who looked like me. That sentence is hard to write. But it's true. And the reality is, most people aren't paying that much attention to you. No one is obsessing over you as much as you're obsessing over yourself. And the other reality is that my husband chose me. He loves me. If the fact that he loves me unconditionally isn't enough, what else ever would be? I had to stop fixating on false realities and stop creating problems that didn't exist as a way to keep myself on the defense. Can you relate? 

Exhibit C: This guy is the best and I am so lucky to be his wife.

THE PAYOFF. The crazy thing about all of this is that when I stopped hiding, I was flooded with more love and reassurance than I ever could have imagined. A full body outfit shot on Instagram was not met with people fat shaming me and making jokes at my expense. Requests for style advice started rolling in. New friendships were created. I started this blog. The more I give of me, just the way I am right now, the more I seem to receive in return. No one is asking me to change myself in exchange for nice comments. When I treat myself well, the universe seems to follow suit. You know the saying, "Change your thoughts, change your life?" There is so much power in that, you can't even imagine. 

Exhibit D: Full bod, no fat shaming.

This is, of course, a very short version of what it has taken to get to this point. There's a lot more to the story. Going from 34 to 35 brought some of the most challenging moments of my life, including the loss of an unborn child while finishing my Master's degree. I think that was really when I knew I had to stop being so mean to myself. I was exhausted, I was sad, and I was broken. And during that time, I remember realizing I was so lucky to have everything and everyone already in my life. The loss hurt so badly, but it also made me aware of just how much other people loved me. The only person not loving me was me. I knew I couldn't spend another 35 years that way. Life goes by so quickly, and we all deserve to look back on it remembering how much we loved others and how much we loved ourselves. 

Everyone in the world could be bending over to kiss your behind and y'all, it would not make you happy if you were still treating yourself like garbage. Stop doing that. NOW. Is it easy? No. Is it a hard habit to break? Yes. But it's worth it. You are fabulous. You are worthy. You can conquer anything. You just have to believe it, because I promise, everyone else around you already does. Here's a quote from a lady I love, Jen Sincero: 

"Get mighty clear about what makes you happy and what makes you feel most alive, and then create it instead of pretending you can't have it. Or that you don't deserve it. Or that you're a greedy egomaniacal fathead for wanting more than you already have. It's about having the cojones to show up as the brightest, happiest, badassiest version of yourself. You need to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to change your life." 

Isn't that powerful? You can do anything. All you have to do is decide. 
I'll be here cheering you on.

If you're not already following me on Instagram, be sure to head over there and enter the giveaway I'm hosting with 9 other fabulous bloggers! Find this picture and follow the steps to enter! 
The winner will be announced on August 26th.

More Insta fun is coming next month when my dear friend Amanda and I partner up for our very first style challenge! We're hosting She's Got Style and September is our kickoff month. We couldn't be more excited and we hope you'll participate for a chance to win fun prizes and get creative with your style game! Keep an eye out here and on Instagram for details. While you're at it, go check out Amanda here.