Shopping While Plus-Sized

Shopping while plus-sized?  Feel frustrated in a fitting room?  I feel ya.  Limited choices often limit plus-size women from wearing clothing they really love.  With my busy life, it’s not unusual for me to attend several events in a week, in addition to meetings.  I am constantly shopping and trying on clothes.  As a plus size woman, this can be immensely frustrating.  Here’s some shopping tips I’ve come to live by:

Wear what you love.

75642445_543120503189762_2245747947067146240_nI can’t repeat this enough.  If an outfit does not put a megawatt smile on your face, if you feel insecure in any way, don’t buy it.  I only wear what I love.  I don’t wear colors I don’t like.  Shape wear may make you look better in a frock, but if you feel insecure in any way, I strongly suggest that you don’t spend the money.  Wear what makes you feel bold and beautiful and ready to be seen.  If you find your outfit hides “flaws” more than it makes you feel bodacious and beautiful, nix it.

If something works well, and it comes in colors you love, duplicate!

Shoe shopping drives me batty.  I wear an 11 W, so finding cute, comfortable footwear is always an adventure.  I always buy duplicates of shoes that I find comfortable, in several colors.  I do this with dresses and blazers too.  If it ain’t broke, I don’t fix it and I also don’t have to search as much for that elusive 11W.

Merge trendy and classic.

Let’s face it.  Most trends are showcased to the world in fashion mags on lithe bodies–bodies that don’t look plus-sized.  I look great in classic wear, but I want to be on trend as much as makes sense for me.  I never invest fully in the color of the year from head to toe or other fashion phenomenons.  I integrate what’s trendy that I like with what I know works for me.  Once again, if I don’t feel FABULOUS in it, I don’t wear it.

You CAN wear patterns.

polka dot blue and vermillionSo many plus-sized women lament the horrible patterns in shapeless designs that line clothing racks.  Because there’s so much bad available, we sometimes don’t  look for the good.  I love patterns when they are right for me:  polka dots, some paisley,  leopard print.  Sometimes I can do zebra print and snake print.  You will rarely see me wear horizontal stripes, because I am a broad broad!  Open your mind to some patterns, but it may take some hunting.

Don’t agonize.  Accessorize.

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I have a few simple black dresses that are mainstays of my wardrobe.  They could be seen as blah–but I offset the blah with some bling.  I love a great scarf too.  Accessorizing the tried-and-true is a fun way to revamp a classic wardrobe.

 

 

 

These are just a few of my fave tips for shopping.  Share yours in the comments!

 

Getting Organized Month

It’s Getting Organized Month.  Already feel behind?

It’s already been an eventful 2020, and we’re just barely a week in.  We invest a lot of hope and enthusiasm for the new year.  It can seem daunting to have so many goals and aspirations and need to keep track and plan them.  I know one of the biggest challenges I have is forming new habits.

If you’re ready to toss out a traditional planner or date book or are fed up with keeping track of everything on your phone, it might be time to look into bullet journaling.  My bullet journal is part art journal, part diary, part calendar and part project management system.  It fits me…and if you’re a quirky creator, it might be fit for you too.  My #bujo is a bit messy and whimsical–sort of like me, with little hidden surprises.  I postponed bullet journaling for a long time because I was intimidated by how pretty and perfect some of them look.  Mine is perfectly imperfect for me!

To learn more about bullet journaling, I highly recommend you check out:

bullet journal

Truth be told, my journal is a bit different than many examples out there.  Instead of grid paper, I use an old-school lined composition book and each page, front and back, is dedicated to the week.   Instead of pretty calligraphy, my journal is personalized with stickers and cuttings from magazines I like.  I added coloring pages.  Here’s one!

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I also really love re-purposing old magazines, cards and flyers.  Here’s a few examples.

 

If you are glued to your phone, and wondering if it’s even possible for you to go to a completely analog system, don’t stress.   There is a bullet journal app designed by Ryder Carroll that gives you bullet journaling on the go, if you’re not toting yours with you.  Also, I back up my journal before my week begins on Evernote.  That way, if my journal is in my car, or left at home, it’s still there for me digitally and I have digital record of my itinerary if needed.  If I am traveling, I also back up my travel itinerary.

I think one of the best things I’ve learned from bullet journaling is that I do have a habit of over-scheduling myself, mistaking busier for better.  Bullet journaling has helped me break large projects down into more manageable steps and help me spread workload over days and anticipate my busy-ness and business better.  I’ve also adapted the bullet journal methods to the editing of a documentary feature I’m working on!

Plan your successes in 2020!  I hope “Getting Organized Month” is a good month, and 2020, a productive, profitable New Year for You.  Your bullet journal doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect.  It, like you, is a work in progress!  Here’s to making a masterpiece of 2020.

 

Why I Love Faerie Doors

So often, we get in the trap of waiting, watching and hoping for that “big opportunity”.  Then, we end up sitting on our hands.  Waiting in itself is not bad.  Being choosy is not bad.  However, it’s rare that a “big opportunity”  just shows up out of nowhere.  More often and more likely,  large, big and important things come out of very small things, like saying hello to a new person.

img_3375I love having faerie doors in my home because my faerie doors remind me to create space for the smaller, unseen, unplanned things in my life.  You may or may not believe in faeries, but seeing the tiny doors throughout my home on a daily basis reminds me that great things often enter our life in small interactions, small moments and small kindnesses.  I’ve opened my home and my heart to a little magic and in that opening, some nice insights have come through those small doors.

We sometimes focus so much on the “big” things in life that we don’t give credence to the seemingly small.  The small builds the large.  While we’re waiting on a large knock on a big door, perhaps we can create some small doors too and see what comes in too.

For more of my fave things, check out my Amazon store.

 

The Simple Joy of a Bubble Bath

Just a reminder that in 2019, self care doesn’t have to be lavish.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It doesn’t have to be hours of your time.  I took a bubble bath last night, and WOW…it did me a world of good.  What was different though, why I am bothering to write about it, is that I approached it in a mindful way.

close up of frozen water

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We have so much stimuli coming at us.  Our mind can’t process it all.  Our minds filter out so much information.  We do things to get them done, to check tasks off the list.  I decided last night the most meditative thing I could do was be fully present in washing off the cares of the day.  I try to begin and end my day with some kind of meditation.

There’s an exercise I do to get present.  It’s especially useful when I’m feeling frantic, hurried or scattered.

Here it is:

I identify five things I can see.

  • the hundreds of bubbles in the water of varying sizes
  • the pink of my bar soap
  • the red of my wash cloth
  • a nearby candle, unlit
  • my facial cleanser

I identify four things I can hear.

  • plumbing sounds
  • tiny pops of bubbles
  • my hand moving through the water
  • footsteps in another part of the house

I identify three things I can touch or feel.

  • the warmth of the water
  • the crunch of the bubbles in my hands as I play with them
  • the coldness of my shoulders, which were not underwater

I identify two things I can smell.

  • the smell of the bubble bath, bright with a hint of charcoal
  • the eucalyptus smell of my cold cream

I identify one thing I can taste.

  • the mint of freshly brushed teeth

This exercise helps me to get really present in what I am doing and sensitizes me to my environment.  It encourages me to observe, not just do for doing’s sake.  We can buy all the self care our wallets can stand, but we must also invest our time and thought.  We must invest our Self in the self care.

For my favorite things and self care ideas, find them on Amazon!

 

 

 

Deep Coughs, Deep Breaths, Deep Insights

From 12/22 to New Year’s Eve, I caught that nasty bug.  After gallons of cough syrup, mountains of tissue and a lot of rest, I’ve shook most of the nastiness off.  It’s not the first time I’ve been sick during the holidays.  However, this sickness was definitely teaching me something.

I had been keeping a breakneck pace up almost from October forward.  I had crisscrossed the country and also dealt with some decidedly un-fun situations too.  Right before I caught the bug, I felt like I was fighting nearly everything and everyone.  I was hyper-vigilant and agitated.  I feel inadequacy often, and I felt like I was steamrolling into 2019 without a plan and I was a nervous wreck in early December.  Definitely wasn’t feeling “all is calm; all is bright”.

On 12/22, there was a hot tickle in my throat that I knew wasn’t strep.  It’s funny when your throat chakra is out of whack, because it seems like everyone and everything suddenly wants to hear from you.  And there I sat, on my couch, with a a hot lump at the bottom of my throat.

As the illness progressed, it dropped into my chest and I coughed so hard at times that my sides hurt.   Of course the gunk came out in many Pantone shades of yellow to near chartreuse.  I’d tire easily and it was hard to breathe.

photo of plants on white pot

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I’d put a steamy towel on my face with eucalyptus oil and just inhale.  It helped me get up in the morning.  It would calm my cough down enough to sleep too.  I had to take time just to breathe, with full focus, with full intent.  It’s so important that we breathe, especially if in our stressful moments, especially if our tendency is to hold our breath.  Breath can heal and I was reminded of that as I journeyed with this bug.

Stillness heals too.  How often to we allow ourselves the healing that’s available in stillness–not expecting anything of ourselves, not moving, not doing?  I need more stillness in my life.  The world didn’t end because I wasn’t managing it.

 

I slept with intention.  I’ve been learning to set an intention before I sleep, especially to heal what needs healing, resolve that which needs resolving.  I had very thick, metaphoric dreams when I was ill.  I paid attention to them.  The struggle in my dream world reflected the tensions I felt when supposedly wide awake.

alcohol alcoholic beverage celebrate

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I finally shook off most of this illness on NYE.  I still have a shallow cough, but I’m mostly back to being Kristin, but Kristin with a new perspective–one that is paying attention to her breath and giving herself enough stillness.

My wish for you is that you have a wonderful, healthy, happy 2019.

Thank you for journeying with me!