Friday, August 9, 2019

Why I Stopped Living for Someday

Hello, everyone! 

I hope this post finds you doing well and feeling fabulous. 

Although a lot of my content is focused on fashion, style, and finding good deals, that's certainly not the only reason I'm here. The mission is so much more than clothes. Friends, I am here to make sure you understand the worth and the value YOU bring to the table. Even though I write and post through a plus size lens, I think we can agree most women find themselves feeling insecure at one time or another. We all struggle with something. Let me say that again. WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH SOMETHING.

I was talking with my aunt recently, who I treasure and love dearly, and we were discussing the blog, Instagram, etc. and where it was all going. I told her, as I'm telling you now, fashion is the vehicle that moves the underlying message I want to share. And in fact, I intend to expand the blogger/influencer gig into taking the stage as a speaker. Whether that's a large or small group, a keynote address or a workshop session - I want to serve where I am needed and spread this message: The time to live your best life is NOW. Not 20 pounds from now. Not when you get in better shape. Not when you look a certain way.  

For most of my life, I lived on the "someday" plan. Someday when I lose weight, I'll do all the things. Someday, when I lose weight, I'll be at peace. Someday, when I lose weight, I'll be good enough, and then when I'm good enough, I'll like myself. I waged war on myself daily. I was obsessed. Some days I was obsessed with counting every calorie or carb and running up stairs until my legs felt like they would give out. Other days I was so over the misery I put myself through I would eat everything I could find and not stop until I was sick. No matter which version of that scenario played out, the tape in my head said I sucked at life, I was disgusting, and despite every other good thing I had going on, none of it mattered because I wasn't skinny. Can I just tell you that was not a fun way to live? 

Here's a perfect example of how I used to operate. 

The other day I came across an email with pictures of me in my original wedding dress. Yes, I had two. I really did like the first dress, but part of why I liked it was because it felt like the most acceptable dress I could hope for if I was doomed to be a plus size bride. I looked least offensive in that one. But I vowed to lose weight. I swore I would need to get it altered because it would be too big.

That's exactly what happened. So much so, I had to get a new dress. It was too much to alter. I'm not even going to get into all the ways I lost that weight, and it certainly didn't stay off. As I looked at those pictures and relived that moment, my heart sank. There was nothing wrong with me in that first dress. Nothing. I wasn't disgusting. It broke my heart to think about how much I hated myself in that dress back then. Most people have never seen the original dress, but I'm going to show you now.

I really can't believe how awful I felt about myself. I liked the dress, I just didn't like me. When I see the picture now I think, "Oh look how cute and young I am!" My weight and size don't even cross my mind. But at the time, I was obsessed with those things and in the end, I wore the dress below (and I did truly love that second dress). I probably still had doubts about how I looked either way.

Image may contain: 1 person

So what does this story have to do with living for someday? 

Here's the deal. When we grow up dreaming about our wedding, it's a someday moment. Someday I'll get married and wear a beautiful dress it will be perfect. And if you're me, you think, "Someday before I'm married, I'll also lose a bunch of weight before my wedding because I can't get married looking like this." Someday snuck up on me really fast and when it was time, I wasn't ready. So I panicked and did the only thing I knew how to do, which was engage in extreme behavior to get fast results. 

What I know now at 36, is life is full of somedays. And we will never be perfect. So if you're living on that same plan and you're constantly disappointed, I know how it feels. I was, too. I was always thinking about losing weight, gaining weight, eating food, not eating food, what people thought about the way I looked, and those thoughts were always framed by a general self-loathing that never went away. I struggled to live in the moment, because I always felt like I wasn't good enough and someday, I would fix it. And so it was with my wedding. The tale of two wedding dresses is really just a metaphor for how I lived life. And I'm here to tell you, there's a much better way to live.

Change doesn't happen overnight. How many times have you heard that? A million, right? Because it's true. But if you want to live differently, you have to think and act differently. Different can be uncomfortable. It can also be liberating. Different is where you'll find freedom. Different is where you will release the negative things you've told yourself and start rewriting a new ending to your story. 

Give yourself permission to be good enough, no matter what you look like. No matter where you are in life. No matter what you've done in the past. There is actually so much joy in knowing none of us is getting it right 100% of the time. Have you ever beat yourself up because you didn't look like someone else? I used to do it all the time. Here's what I know for sure - that person has something they don't like about themselves. That person is battling something we don't know about. There are things about me that person wishes they had. Size isn't everything. It does not define the life you live, unless you choose that. 

Today? I'm not the girl in either of those pictures. I'm a veteran in the wife and mom game. I'm pushing 40. I have deeply rooted beliefs but constantly look for opportunities to learn. I am not thin. But I am okay. In fact, I'm more than okay. I know I am surrounded by people who love me, just the way I am. I know my size is not what controls my happiness. ME. I do that. And you can, too. Start today. Someday is NOW. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Triple Your Style: 3 Ways to Wear a Camo Tee

If it seems like you've been seeing camo clothing pop up everywhere lately, that's because you have! I would say camo has been present in mainstream fashion for quite a while, but it definitely seems like it's experiencing a hardcore moment of popularity and I am 100% here for it. Why? I consider the olive green tones in camo to be a neutral which means it's versatile - plus it's just a fun pattern to play with! It pairs really well with things like stripes and leopard, but it also looks awesome with unexpected pairings like pastel pink or vivid brights. 

I already own a few camo items that I wear on a pretty regular basis, most notably a camo utility jacket that I never want to be without. However, if you're new to wearing the print or you don't want to invest in a piece like a jacket, the most simple option that will give you the most bang for your buck is a camo tee. The idea for this post was actually inspired by a recent purchase of a new camo tee I scored for less than $10 in one of my favorite secret fashion spots - the MEN'S department at Walmart! The George brand at Walmart does some really fun items for men and I have zero shame about snapping them up when I think they'll work for me. This tee is available in stores and online but I anticipate it will sell out pretty fast both places. If you don't have time to go look, go check it out online HERE. 
(On a side note, if you happen to see the flamingo print they did this shirt in as well, just know I have that bad boy too, and it will be making an appearance soon!)
*Post contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.*

I wanted to show you a few simple, fun ways to style a tee like this. Whether you plan to go grab this great deal from Walmart or you already have one of these tees in your closet, odds are you already own tons of great things you can pair it with. That's the beauty of getting a great deal on a fun trend like this one - no need to spend a lot on it, and no need to buy other things to go with it. Let's get into the details - I will link everything I can or a similar version for you!

Even if your style is a little more glam, you can still do camo! Add some pops of pink and sparkly, fun jewelry and you're all set. If your style is ultimately feminine or girly, I bet there's a fun statement necklace sitting in your jewelry box right now and a pretty pink cardi, jacket, or layering piece you can throw over it. Easy peasy!

Cardigan (similar) | Earrings (similar) | Necklace (similar) | Booties (similar) | Jeans (similar)

The beauty of a piece like this is its ability to make an outfit instantly feel just a little more special than say, a plain white tee. I mean, we love a good white tee moment, but a fun print just elevates an outfit without even having to try. This look is perfect for going out to run errands, hauling your kiddo(s) to a birthday party, or just meeting friends for coffee. I paired it with my favorite $10 black joggers also from Walmart and the hardest working gal in fashion - the denim jacket. Cute sneaks, minimal jewelry, and boom - effortless, casual, chic. You could also sub black leggings or black denim!

Joggers | Leopard bag (similar) | Shoes (similar) | Denim Jacket | Necklace | Earrings (similar)
I think this is one of the most universally flattering ways to style this tee because it's definitely casual, but a bit more dressed up than the look above. There are also an unlimited number of little tweaks or changes you could do to make this work for every season - trade a lightweight cardi or vest for a neutral colored coat or chunky knit cardi in the winter, or swap out regular denim and ankle boots for white denim and sandals in the summer. The key is neutral colors, interesting textures, and letting the camo print do the talking!
Booties | Crossbody (similar) | Necklace | Sweater Vest (similar)
No matter how you wear it, this tee is so inexpensive and versatile. If you have any interest in trying the camo trend at all, I can't recommend it enough. Since it is a men's cut, you may want to size down of course, but I love that it has a slightly oversized fit. For the price, you just can't beat it! Are you currently wearing camo? If so, how are you wearing it? I hope this gives you some inspiration and gets you thinking about creative ways to style pieces in your closet. Happy shopping!
Thursday, July 11, 2019

My Summer Style Must Haves!

Hello, friends and happy summer!

Summer in Oklahoma started out with so much rain and we're just now starting to experience what our meteorologists call "the heat dome." I'm a native Oklahoman and I know what's coming, but every year in June through August, I'm outraged by the rudeness of Mother Nature. Ha!

When it comes to getting dressed in the summer, I have a few staple items I rely on to keep things easy. I thought I would share them with you today because so many of them are affordable and just too good to keep to myself!

1. HATS. Give me all of them. Some days it's a baseball cap because, #momlife and #dirtyhairdontcare but my favorite is a fedora. Whether it's a classic shape or a wide brim, I just love them for summer. These have been my two most worn hats and both come in under $20! And honestly, I feel just a little bit more like a cool mom when I look like I'm going to a music festival instead of the Chick-fil-a drive thru. 

2. DRESSES. I'm telling y'all right now, dresses are the lazy girl's saving grace when it comes to looking put together. It's one easy piece to slip over your head and you're done! Bonus points if it's a maxi and you don't have to shave your legs, am I right? I also love the versatility of a dress. You can layer with jackets and kimonos or wear them just as they are, and they are so easy to dress up or down. You can make the same dress look completely boho or completely classic just depending on how you style it. 

3. BAGS AND ACCESSORIES. I love a good, sturdy designer handbag but honestly there's just something fun about a trendy, seasonal bag that has all the bells and whistles. Likewise, I have had sunglasses from Chanel, Dolce & Gabana, and others, but I love my cheap Amazon sunglasses so much. They add so much to an outfit without spending a lot of money. 
Don't worry, I'm not going to leave you hanging on jewelry, either! I might be biased but I think we offer some of the cutest jewelry EVER at Plunder Design. I've been a jewelry stylist with Plunder for almost 3 years and the vast majority of the jewelry you see me wear is right from my website! Check it out HERE.

As for the rest of these treasures? Shop them all right down below! Thank you so much for reading and stay cool out there! (By purchasing any of the items below I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)