Thank you, Sherman Oaks Fatburger

In a world where so much is disheartening, Fatburger in Sherman Oaks, managed to make me happier–and not just because of the delicious burger.

While waiting in a socially-distanced line to pick up my order, I saw this posted on the window:

I am not sure if the manager chose to do this or if this is company wide. What I do know is that the business cares. In a time of callous disregard by those refusing to distance and refusing to wear masks, it was refreshing to see that this Fatburger location cared enough to spread helpful information to our community.

FatBurger at 14402 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA.

Please patronize the Fatburger at 14402 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 . They also have delivery through GrubHub, Postmates, et al. We need to support businesses that truly act on their message of “We’re all in this together.” Thank you, Sherman Oaks Fatburger, for connecting your customers to this helpful information during this difficult time.

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!

 

The Holiday Gift Guide is Out!

gift boxes

Photo by Amy Texter on Pexels.com

I am so excited  by this year’s gift guide.

We often talk about “surviving” the holidays, and I took that to heart in this year’s guide.  Too often, the holidays induce stress, worry and exhaustion–and it doesn’t have to be that way.

This year’s unique guide features:

Stocking Stuffers–Affordable, upscale stocking stuffers for adults and kids

Everyday Glamour–Luxury finds at a great price, from couture clothing from Global Intuition, to fine porcelain from Herend.

Holiday Must-Haves–These are your survival supplies.  Read Chicken Soup for the Soul’s latest book on forgiveness while sipping on a delightful mixed drink.  Thrive during the holidays with these items.

Santa’s Little Helpers–This collection features services and gift memberships to services like Amazon Prime.

A Happy New Year–Come into 2020 primed to succeed.  These gifts focus on enhancing your creativity, productivity and well-being.

Click here to start shopping.  Clicking on the product description takes you to the product.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

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!

 

Not Every Day Has to be a Big Day

Not every day has to be a big day.  I’m learning that, seemingly over and over again.  Sometimes, the smallest progress is the hardest gained.  Sometimes, the small details add up to something much bigger, like a pointillist painting or a mosaic.

I love thru-lines and themes and big picture thinking, but I am finding what is most healing and most grounding right now is to take a careful, close look at the day-to-day.  Some patterns smack us in the face and often those hurt, but what about the patterns we’re missing, simply because we’re not taking a close enough look?

When things and situations hurt, the temptation is to paint the wrong and the wrongdoers in very broad, caricature-like strokes.  It takes a lot of love and patience (mostly for and and with yourself) not to gloss over the painful details.  That’s why I recommend trying to check in with yourself daily.  one line a day journal

Some of us don’t have the time to journal several pages today, although that’s a wonderful practice that was made popular by Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way.  When you have a lot going on, you may not be able to “steal” an hour away from work, which is why lately I’ve found that this One-Line-a-Day journal can snap you back into the present.  If you can’t steal an hour, steal a few moments just to check-in.