Saturday, June 28, 2014

Now chanting - No More Solid!

It is officially summer time, plus beauties!  That means it's time to show off some skin.  Legs, arms, feet, etc, but keep it classy.  Also, summer is the great time to try some new styles.  

Now, I didn't have an elaborate shopping trip today, but it was enough for me to tell you about it here.  In other words, this is probably not going to be a long shopping post.  So, I went to Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) today with the goal of only getting underwear.  I had said I would get a top, IFF (math geeks know this as if and only if - I have a math minor, LOL) I found something I really liked and knew that I would get a lot of wear out of it.  With panties on my mind, something else caught my eye.  There was an absolutely gorgeous top that had my name (well, my gov't name) on it, but that price did not.  I went in today on a budget and that was truly out of range.  Disappointed, I went to go find me some panties (smaller size, if I may add) and then proceeded to check out.  

The lady that was checking me out asked, "That's all for today?"  With a somber sound, I said, "Yes".  She asked, "You didn't see a top you wanted?"  Well, of course I had to tell her about the top I saw, but the fact I didn't want to pay that much for it.  That's when she told me about the sale and coupon I could use.  I was on such a one track mind today that I didn't even pay attention to that as I was walking in the door.  So, luckily, they had the top in my size (yes, smaller) and I was to thrilled to give it to the associate so I could check out.  I cannot wait to wear that top tomorrow.  

So, same associate had on a skirt I saw in the store and I asked her about it because it came with a matching top.  Instead of buying the matching top, she used something different and it was too cute on her today!  We talked about it and I realized I had this one thing in common with her - neither of us are afraid to experiment with clothes.  I really wish I would have gotten a photo of her because it was absolutely awesome.  

Here's the thing - the days of plus beauties having to wear all black and/or solid colors only are out the window.  We are so much more than that and we deserve to wear to much more than that.  Thankfully, the designers are taking note, but I really need for more of them to get on the bandwagon.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The art of the flashback

So, I've been doing this blog for over a year now and I'm pretty sure that you have learned a lot about me.  I know a few weeks ago I told you what type of underwear I liked and you know that I haven't had a bikini wax.  You know some other things to, but I've told you so much that I don't remember what I haven't told you.  However, something happened today that brought something back to my memory.  It wasn't anything major, but it was enough for me to remember a day in college.  

College is the place where I met many of my best friends.  There is something about college that brings people together because we are all finding ourselves.  The really great things is that if you can all survive each other during that time, you are basically friends for life.  I wasn't the confident writer in college.  In fact, I wasn't even a confident person.  However, everyone that I hung around still loved the outfits that I wore.  

One day, the group of 3 amigas (that's what we called ourselves because we met in Spanish class) were talking and one of my friends asked about my outfit.  I gladly told her where I got it from.  She asked what all the store had.  Instead of answering her question, I said "you're too skinny to wear anything in there".  Looking back at it, I simply could have told her their sister store and told her that she might have some luck finding a similar outfit there.  

The thing is, we as plus divas are quick to say we are hurt because our friends drag us in stores we cannot shop in, yet won't go in a store we can fit in.  However, in our own backwards way, we do the same thing to them.  I didn't have to respond to her like that.  Looking back on it, I wonder if she felt the same way I felt when people told me I wouldn't find their outfit in my size?

In other words, we can all do better.  If we can all work together to make each other feel better about ourselves, then it will all work out and we can be better to and for each other.  Just think about that.  We need each other more than we know.    

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The skinny diaries

Well, for the second time in 72 hours, I have been told that I am getting skinny.  Ok, people, I think that I have made it very clear that I am not the size of what America considers skinny.  However, with my weight loss, people are loving to call me skinny.  In fact, someone told me today that if they blinked, they would have missed me. 

This is all totally cool and flattering, but I just decided to make a lifestyle change.  I'm not doing anything special.  I am still eating what I want, just smaller portions.  I've changed my diet to account for me not being able to work out.  And, I have incorporated 5 to 10 minute workouts to tone myself and to keep myself active.  I'm really proud of myself.  Also thanks to Kymberly Nichole (@Kym_Nichole), I've been motivated to do infused water again and I am loving trying different combos.  (Go follow her people because she is awesome!)

Skinny?  That is so not me.  I am grateful for the compliment, but at the same time, I refuse to let that word take power over me.  Just like I refuse to let the words fat, big, obese, and any other thing we plus divas are called take ownership over me.  I am simply Shayla (well, it's not my government name, but you get my point).  I'm not defined by my size, my writing, or anything else.  At the end of the day, I am my personality, style, and smile, and that is just perfect for me.  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Shopaholic Diva

I don't know if you have been following on twitter for the past couple of days.  You can find me @TheShaylaEm.  However, I have been talking about cleaning up and out my closet and donating my clothes to others.  Well, I posted that same photo to my personal Facebook page -you know that one that is actually my government name.  LOL.  A former classmate of mine reached out to me and asked what size they were because she was in need.  She told me her story about what was going on and I was more than happy to help her.  On the other hand, there was something else that she said that really made me smile.  She told me, "you have a great sense of style".  That made me think about how blessed I was and it made me think about my style.  

Her saying that to me made me realize that more people are paying attention to my style than what I think.  I love taking photos and I love sharing my experiences with people.  I never thought that people would be paying attention to the outfits I had on in those photos, but they do.  So, since I've been told I have a great sense of style, I feel like I need to share where I shop and what I like and dislike about each store.  So here goes with some of my favorite places.  Keep in mind, these are in no particular order.  

Ashley Stewart:
I have discovered that this store has more styles that fit my still youthful clothing style.  The dresses are always beautiful and in my opinion, they have more of a selection of dresses that can be worn to parties and to church.  Yes, I double a lot of my clothing like that.  I just make sure to accessorize well and make sure I have the outfit looking right for whatever need I want.  Also, there jegging collection is amazing.  However, the way my body is shaped, I am not a fan of their jeans.  I have beautiful leg muscles (LOL) and their jeans just don't show that off enough for me.  Their tops are also wonderful and fit well over my large chest.  I won't give you the exact size, but I have been in a DD for probably a decade now and even with the weight loss, they just won't go away.  However, I do come from a family of busty women, so that could very well be in my genes.  In the photo to your right, I have worn this as a top, but also got brave enough to wear it as a dress for this photo shoot.  In other words, take chances with your outfits!

Since I ended with my bust size at Ashley Stewart, I will start with it here.  In my opinion, Avenue has the best bras for me and my comfort level.  Don't worry, you won't see a photo of me in my bra.  This store also has some beautiful shoes.  However, with my clothing style that I love, the store is not really a good fit for me.  The clothes in that store seem to appeal to an older generation and I am just not that conservative yet.  I probably should be in age, but my clothes do not reflect my age and I am 100% cool with that.  

My mom likes to call this the burlesque store.  I like to call it my "sexy" store.  I think price wise, this might be the most expensive store on my list, but if you can hit it just right for a clearance sale, you will not be disappointed.  However, Torrid has a no return policy on clearance items, so make sure you try on the clothes.  Their jeans don't really fit me well either, but their skirts do.  Weird, I know.  However, just make sure that you try on the clothes.  I cannot stress that enough.  In fact, you should do that in any store.  The maxi dresses are beautiful, but since I am short, I always have to get them hemmed.  But don't let that stop you - find someone you trust to do the alterations and buy those dresses.  Torrid also has a great jewelry selection!  I have almost gone broke in there buying jewelry, but it is all worth it.  Also, their legging and tight selection is always on point.  In my opinion, they have the most creative designs and take the most risk with the leggings and tights.  Their tops are adorable, but a little too strange for my taste.  I know, that sounds weird coming from me.  For the past few years, this has been the only store I have bought a bathing suit from because it flatters me so well.  Their shoe game is also tight.  I bought my first pair of knee high boots out of there and I hated it when I had to get rid of them.  I am sure that you will find something you like in the store.  The photo about is featuring a top for Torrid from a few seasons ago. 

Lane Bryant:
Honestly, I am just starting to fall back in love with Lane Bryant.  They had some tights this year that just really had me feeling myself and after that, I was hooked.  I love their panties.  I am a huge fan of the boy shorts (for walking around the house) and the hipster for everyday out and about use.  I cannot believe that I just told you my favorite underwear selection, but I just have to be that honest with you.  I cannot wear their jeans and I don't know why.  Another thing I cannot wear is their bras.  I have one strapless bra from them and that is the most comfortable bra I have ever had from them and we still only get along half of the time.  However, they have a beautiful dress selection.  Their blazers and tops are very comfortable and cute.  

Dress Barn:
I love them because of their dress selection.  This is my church wear store.  Since I do not frequent this store as often, there isn't much to say.  However, I say that when I go, I go hard.  During the winter season, keep an eye on them for their sweater selection.  You won't be disappointed.  Although I have never personally bought any from this store, the jewelry selection is really huge and full of beautiful colors.  You will be able to find your favorite color in that store.  The photo below is one of my recent purchases from Dress Barn.   

Old Navy:
If you know me personally and know my government name, you know my addiction and love for Old Navy.  When I started my weight loss journey, I wanted so much to lose weight so that I could fit in their jeans again.  Mission accomplished!  Honestly, they have the best quality and fit of jeans for me.  Plus, they have multiple fits and you can find something to fit your body shape.  The tops are amazing and flattering.  Their dresses are hit and miss for me because it depends on how they hug my chest.  Again, make sure you try your items on.  Also, I still cannot get into a bathing suit top.  They fit my tummy, but not my chest.  I love this store because I am comfortable in their clothes!  That is the most important thing - comfort!  Also, Old Navy is always having a sale.  You can go in there with a 100 bucks and leave with 150 bucks worth of clothes or more!  Truthfully, I had a bill come up to 150 and I spent just under 13.  Get on their mailing list and keep on the lookout for sales.  I know that this is a black and white, but this is an Old Navy outfit.  Black floral top and coral polka dot pants that have that wonderful 2 way stretch.  

Also, don't forget about Ross and other discount retailers.  You will have to look a little harder to find plus sizes and even harder to find your style in the selection, but you will find something.  Trust me, it is worth it.  

Those are my tops stores that I shop at and the pros and cons of each.  I love each one for different reasons and together, they help me put together amazing outfits for my photos.  So, if you were wondering about my sense of style and were too shy to ask, I hope this post helps you out a little bit.  Maybe fashion is another one of my callings.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fear of 14

Well, the one weight loss dilemma that I wanted to avoid has finally happened.  Thanks to me being so consistent with my new lifestyle and with the help of the fabulous app LoseIt, I have lost 41 pounds.  I have 14 more to reach my weight goal.  As happy as I am for myself, I'm a little bit scared.  

Losing those pounds has helped me make it to a size 16.  I probably haven't been that size since early college.  Well, of course, the next size for me to get down to will be a size 14.  Truth be told, that is when my weight started getting out of control in the first place.  

When I was a younger and a size 14, I was in that awkward stage of my body trying to figure out what it wanted to do with itself.  Not skinny by US standards, but I was good with myself.  However, people started telling me how not proportioned I was because of my chest size and the size of my behind.  What can I say?  My family is blessed in some parts of the body.  Those words really hurt me, so I thought let's put on some weight to help everything balance itself out.  It balanced alright and then it got out of control.  

Here's the thing.  I'm thrilled about my size and I am thrilled about my weight.  However, being a 14 has not been good to me in the past.  So, do I keep my 16 (which was my goal size) and just maintain the lifestyle to the best of my ability?  Or do I keep making the effort to reach my weight goal, knowing that I will more than likely pass that and jump down to a 14 or even a size 12?  Either way, I'm a adult now and I am better prepared to handle whatever comes my way when it comes to body proportioning.  I've come a long way since I was a size 14 and maybe I should look forward to being that size again.