Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Walmart Gift Guide

Welcome to my Walmart Gift Guide for 2019!

If you have been with me for a while, you've seen my gift guides before. If you just found me, then welcome to one of my favorite kinds of content to create! I'm not even going to pretend like I don't love getting gifts. It's one of my love languages for sure. But I love giving gifts, too. I love finding the perfect thing and putting care into every detail, down to cards and wrapping. 

I know gift giving isn't everyone's fave, though. And that's where gift guides come in! I take a deep dive into every website and sale email to find fabulous gifts at great prices so you don't have to and it literally brings joy to my heart to create these little photo collage masterpieces. Haha!

The absolute easiest way to shop these gift guides is by clicking on the "Shop My Looks" section at the top of the blog. Once you click on the picture, every single item will be there for you! Please note all links are affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I love Walmart and I think most people who have been following me on Instagram or reading my blog for any length of time know how deeply that love runs! So it only makes sense that my first gift guide of the season is a round up of all the best #walmartfinds for the gals. There's everything from comfy, cozy to sleek and chic and even items for the beauty junkie in your life. 

One of the most important things to note is that any clothing item featured comes in a full range of sizes from S-3X, including the robe! And nothing here is over $25 which means you can get something really cute and stay on budget. The awesome thing about shopping online with Walmart is that you can have it shipped for free to a store, but any order over $35 is eligible for free two day shipping - watch out, Amazon!

If you'd like to see each item individually here are the links:
Pajama Pants -
Ugg Dupes -
Robe -
Yeti Dupe -
Makeup Brushes -
Fuzzy Cardi -
Sherpa Throw -
Lip Kit -
12 Days of Masks -
Planner -
Makeup Mirror -
Leopard Purse -
Snakeskin Purse -
Poncho -
Bow Gloves -

So here's to kicking off the holiday season and giving cute, affordable gifts! Be sure to click on the Shop My Looks tab to access all the goods in one place, follow me on Instagram for more holiday ideas and inspiration, and come back here for more gift guides over the next few weeks.

What's the best gift you've ever gotten? Let me know!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

STOP Doing These 5 Things

Hello, friends! 

Let's talk about some things. When was the last time you did something really scary? Something really vulnerable? I'm talking hands shaking, butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms scary.

For me, it was just a few weeks ago. An active wear company reached out to me about working on their campaign for new, extended sizing within the line. Your girl is all about any strides towards size inclusion, so naturally I said yes! When I was originally reviewing the email, I thought the outfit they were sending me included a full length tank top. I conquered the fear of showing my arms long ago so I thought eh, no big deal.

Fast forward to opening my shipment. The items inside were beautiful. There was a complete, matching ensemble that was so gorgeous. It included leggings, a sherpa pullover, and.....something they called a "demi bra." It's basically just a sports bra, folks. Just a sports bra. I'm certain the color drained from my face when I realized I was going to have to wear just the leggings and the sports bra in my Instagram stories to hold up to my end of the bargain on the campaign. I am ALL ABOUT women of every size wearing what makes them feel good and showing it off. But I definitely have a comfort zone, and this look was not it.

I had to have a serious talk with myself. The entire reason I do what I do is because I want women to show up for their lives, no matter what they look like. I've come a long way on a personal level, but I am very aware that I get the privilege of curating how I show up in social spaces. I started to wonder how I could continue telling women to stop being afraid to live their best lives if in this moment, I was hiding, too. 

So I sucked it up. I did the thing I didn't want to. I got on my Instagram stories and I showed myself in the leggings and demi bra. And you know what? I didn't die. In fact, I got so much love and positive feedback, it was overwhelming. It was truly a moment of growth, and a reminder to walk the walk and talk the talk.

It was also a reminder of how far I've come, and what I had to do to get there. So today, I thought I would share 5 things you can STOP doing right now to live an empowered, beautiful life. And, in the spirit of transparency, these are things I need to be reminded of, too. Let's tackle them together, friends!

1. STOP doubting your own greatness. Your whole life, you're going to find people who enjoy placing their own fears and limitations on your life. Sometimes it's because they want to protect you. Sometimes it's because they're afraid of what's going to happen if you rise. Just know this - you are filled with greatness. Don't believe me? That's okay. But do me a favor. Even if you don't believe it, write it down and read it everyday. Say it out loud when you're getting ready in the morning. Keep it at the front of your mind as you close your eyes each night. Our thoughts become our reality. I truly believe that. Keep believing you are the smartest, most beautiful, funny as hell, sh*t completely together babe on the planet - because it is already so. 

2. STOP assuming you know what others think of you. I have been so guilty of this. I grew up with so many ideas about what people thought of me based on how I looked, and I always assumed the worst. I often let those assumptions get in the way of building relationships, giving people a chance, or letting my guard down. There will always be people who don't like you, and that's okay. Everyone doesn't have to like you. But if you don't give people a chance to know you because you've made an assumption about them, that's on you. And you'll continue to miss out on opportunities to meet people who will change your life! 

3. STOP killing yourself to meet imaginary expectations. It goes without saying that social media has made this worse. Like, so much worse. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to live in a house with an all-white marble kitchen. You don't have to go on beach vacations once a quarter. You don't have to be doing the freaking most all.the.time. And listen, sometimes I suck at this. Sometimes I'll go on an Instagram bender looking at pictures and rather than feeling inspired, I feel like I need a new house, new car, new life, new everything. At the end of the day, all anyone can really expect from anyone else is some kindness, empathy, and respect. Don't get caught up in trying to achieve things no one asked you to do. It's not worth the time and worry and frustration. Every now and then, give yourself permission to do the least. Trust me, it feels amazing.

4. STOP waiting for perfection before taking action. How many times have you had an amazing idea or a spark of creativity and then you freeze because you don't know how it's going to look start to finish? You don't know every single detail of the execution? You don't have all the answers up front? Friends, we are given that spark for a reason. The moments God fills your heart with a dream are not accidents. It took me far too long to start this blog because I was reading all the things and trying to do everything perfectly and check every item off the list and become an overnight expert in things I didn't understand. Then I got some really good advice from someone who has been doing this a lot longer than me and essentially she told me to go with what I could manage and don't worry about the rest. That's what I did, and that's why I'm writing this today, and it changed everything for me.

5. STOP thinking there's not a place at the table for you. I was talking to a friend about this recently and how the scarcity mindset is such a lie. There's more than enough of everything to go around - readers, followers, customers, whatever it is. Something I also heard that stuck with me is that if you choose not to share your story, you're robbing someone else of a potential breakthrough. No one can share your story like you can. Whatever you've been through, whatever perspective you've gained, whatever experiences you've lived - someone needs to hear what you have to say. Don't ever think you're not qualified, not relevant, or not needed. Another favorite thing I heard - "God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."  How powerful is that?

You may be reading this and remembering a time when you felt rejected, scared, defeated, overwhelmed. We all have those moments. Even the most beautiful life will come with disappointment at times. But what's worse - trying something and missing the mark? Or never trying at all and living with regret? 

Dreams can be really, really big and scary or they can be small and sweet. You don't have to aspire to an empire. But maybe you've been avoiding having your picture taken. Maybe you've been afraid to start that blog or Instagram account. Maybe you have an idea for a business but you're afraid no one will take you seriously. Whatever is in your heart is there for a divine purpose, no matter how big or small. 

STOP the doubt. Embrace the fear and tell it to shut up. You've already got what it takes. I'm here cheering for you, friends. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Where I Shop + FREE Style Guide

Hello, friends! So glad you're here. I'm excited to bring you not only this post, but a little something extra to go with it! Be sure to read to the end and download my FREE Style Guide. In it, you'll find:
  • 5 closet staples you should always have on hand
  • Where to shop them
  • How to turn the staples into fail-proof outfits 
  • On-trend pieces to mix and match them with 
  • Bonus outfit ideas
If you have ever asked me anything about where I shop, building outfits, or anything style related, this is the post for you. Want even more style guidance? Check out this post and this post - keep in mind items in these posts may no longer be available, but they will give you some great tips and visual examples! *Please note that I did not link the clothing items in the guide. These are just included to give you some inspiration and ideas because eventually all of the items will sell out and become unavailable, even though the post will continue to float around on my blog, Pinterest, etc.*

When it comes to shopping, I am an equal opportunity kind of gal. I've shopped everywhere from my local dollar store to street vendor carts on Canal Street in New York. I love designer goods, but honestly, labels don't matter as long as what you're wearing makes you happy. So just know, when you ask me where I shop, it's a mixed bag!

Places I shop when I'm in bed, scrolling.....

Even though many more retailers have started carrying plus sizes, they don't all offer the option to shop it in store. Or they offer it in a limited number of locations, usually major cities. I live near Oklahoma City so guess what? I never get to shop in store at those retailers! *sad face* The good news is, after shopping with them a few times, I can get a pretty good feel for what will work and what won't. Always check to see if they offer a free shipping option for in-store pickup, get on email lists for coupons, and note their return policies.
  • Old Navy. Girlfriends, this is my go-to place for dresses! They offer so many different shapes and lengths, and when you catch a sale, you cannot beat their prices. I also enjoy some of their athlesiure and layering pieces but when I'm looking for a cute dress, one of my first stops is the Old Navy website. 
  • LOFT. I don't think I've ever paid full price at LOFT. You know how Hobby Lobby always has a sale going on? Same thing. What I really love from LOFT are sweaters and ponchos. They do great ones every single year and the sizing is always on point, along with the quality. Their return policy can be tricky though, so make sure you read all the fine print!
  • Nordstrom. I love Nordstrom, but sometimes the price point doesn't love me back. But did you know they carry a brand called BP that is super afforadable? True story. I love the BP brand and it's the first thing I check when Nordstrom does their huge anniversary sale in the summer. But if you're in the mood to treat yourself, check out Barefoot Dreams during the sale! It's as if angels floating on marshmallow clouds came down from heaven and gave you a hug. But like, in the form of a cardigan.
  • Jessica London. Over on Instagram (be sure to follow me HERE) you've probably seen me talk about Jessica London. I work with them on monthly style campaigns and I have to tell you, they don't get enough love! They are such a great option for extended sizing in work wear and things like pajamas and lounge wear. It sounds silly, but a cute pair of PJs that fit well are not always easy to come by when you're plus size. Theirs are awesome!
***Bonus tip - if you're pregnant, Old Navy goes up to 4X online (and in select stores) and saved my life when I was mega pregnant and couldn't find what I wanted in maternity. I also lived in LOFT ponchos! 

Places I shop at the mall.....
  • Lane Bryant. It's just the OG of plus size fashion, y'all. If you need it, you can probably find it at Lane Bryant. The price point can be a bit higher than other places, but the quality is awesome and the clothes are true to size. If you aren't utilizing coupons and rewards from Lane Bryant, you should be. They also have huge sales, sometimes with a BOGO Free option on clearance. So if you like their clothes but it's not in your budget, just remember to get on the email list to know when the best deals are going on. 
  • .JCPenney. I feel like JCP often tends to fly under the radar but listen.....there are hidden gems all over the place. I particularly love the brands a.n.a. and Boutique. A lot of the pieces I buy at JCP are trendy and of the moment, and I do that because they are almost always on sale and I have a coupon. Another thing you might not know is that JCP also offers extended sizing online, so if you see it in the store but it doesn't fit, hop online and check for larger sizes than 3X. 
  • Forever 21. I know it probably seems ridiculous to shop at Forever 21 when I'm absolutely 36, but you just never know what kinds of fun things you'll find there. I'll be the first to admit sometimes their sizing is off, but when it's on - it's great. I don't ever go into F21 expecting anything, which means when I do score something awesome, it's that much more satisfying! Aside from clothing, I love F21 for accessories. Some of my favorite bags and sunglasses have come from there. My advice when shopping there is to know you may not find anything, but it's worth stopping in because that may be the trip when you snag something you can't live without!
Other favorites I'm obsessed with.....
  • Walmart.I make no secret about my love for Walmart. I have shopped there for years and I know people think they just recently stepped up their game, but I have been finding hidden gems there for a long time. I actually have an entire blog post about shopping Walmart like a pro - you can read it HERE. The main plus size brand at Walmart is Terra and Sky. Sometimes they make items in the Time and Tru brand that go up to a 22, but they run smaller. I wish they would just make it all the same because I know women of all sizes who see things in one brand or the other that they wish fit them. The thing I love about Walmart is that they carry a great mix of basics and on-trend pieces. If you are on a really tight budget, you can truly outfit yourself and your family in great pieces at Walmart. 
  • Cato Fashions. They are a regional retailer, but if you have one near you, you have to check them out. They carry all sizes and their price point is fantastic. You can find everything from work wear, to denim, to shape wear, and lots of cute styles that reflect whatever is currently hot in fashion. They get new shipments weekly, and that means they move things out often, which means their clearance racks are always full of good deals. I do buy things at regular price from Cato, and I'll tell you why - things sell fast there. If you see it in your size and you love it, you better grab it, because odds are, it will be gone quickly. 
  • Torrid. Remember when Torrid was just plus size Hot Topic? It is so, so much more than that nowadays and I am a huge fan. It can also be a bit more expensive than other places, but again, coupons and email lists are your friend! I love that they carry an amazing selection of wide width shoes and I love that they cater to so many different styles. Whether you're very classic or preppy or boho or goth, they have something for you, and I think that's awesome. They truly are an inclusive brand and we need more of that in all fashion, but especially plus size fashion. 
  • Boutiques. I've said it before and I'll say it again - support your local boutiques and online boutiques. Especially if they carry plus sizes! Larger sizes cost more. They just do. So when a boutique owner decides to carry plus, they automatically pay more for those pieces. When you shop with them, it helps them continue to run their business and continue serving the plus size shopper. 
  • Places I love but don't get to shop all the time. Belk and ELOQUII are absolutely it. I don't have a Belk super close to me, but when I'm visiting a city with a huge Belk store, I always go. The Belk in the Dallas Galleria is my fave. I also love ELOQUII but there are zero stores in OK and the price point is more of a splurge for me. However, their clothes are stunning and the pieces I do have, I love. 
  • The place I want to try but haven't yet. Hands down, Anthropologie! They now carry plus sizes and everything looks so beautiful online. Unfortunately the price point is beyond a splurge for me. I'm sure at some point I will buy myself something there, but for right now I just scroll the website and dream.....
Recent favorite outfits.....

Hat available HERE, bag HERE, cardigan HERE. Affiliate links.
Hat available HERE, skirt HERE, shoes HERE. Affiliate links. Dolly tee is from local boutique. 
Cardigan available HERE, hat HERE, earrings HERE. Affiliate links.

If you've enjoyed this post, I think you'll enjoy this even more - a little something from me to you! Click the link to download my FREE Style Guide It's packed with ideas, tips, and visuals for creating a closet you love. I hope you enjoy!

In the meantime, where are your favorite places to shop? Let me know where I should be doing some retail therapy! Thanks so much for reading, and remember - the time to live your best life is RIGHT NOW!