Mrsphatandnaptural Turns 3 years old today! Whoo hoo! I may not be where some have risen to in 3 years, but I’m still here! Over these 3 short years I have found many new friends both online and in person. I’ve attended, held, and hosted many events. I’ve even traveled to 2 states that I had never been to for just to attend Plus Sized Fashion and or Natural Hair events. I’ve have also been featured on a few online sites, namely Essence.com.
Still I’d have to say the biggest “get” from the last 3 years of blogging has to be tapping into a supportive sisterhood that I didn’t even realize existed. They are an encouraging, loving, creative bastion of knowledge and experiences that I can’t seem to go a day without…( okay so I’m a social media junkie) lol. That aside I love being apart of this collective!
As I move forward with Mrsphatandnaptural some things will change. In the spirit of serving those who need what I’m cooking up, I will commit to staying honest, current, and open to God using me. I will continue to give you all the tips tricks and styles of the latest conversation. I will do the product reviews and include you into my battle with this belly! But I will also share with you my love for God and all things good for your soul!
Remember to celebrate yourself! And just know God doesn’t make any mistakes, and that includes you!
Sometimes I see my coworkers push the limits of our dress code in ther desire to get cubicle cute. I’ve seen skirts and dresses too short, heels too high, and inappropriate tops. On one casual Friday, I’ve even seen a coworker wear sweatpants.
Or the equally as bad other end of the spectrum, when people just dress like a granny, in an effort to look conservative. Just bad! Although I am a grandmother, there’s no granny dressing here!
Here’s how I got cubicle cute. To add some flavor I went with these “everything” pink pants from Ashley Stewart. When I say everything, I mean they are every- thang! They wear like slacks, and are comfortable like leggings! The blush color is great for spring, yet they are warm enough to hold up to the Artic Blast tempeture of my office! Instead of a regular cami, I went with this white faux leather cut out cami from Lane Bryant. My classic black blazer from Lane Bryant, nude heels from Nine West, and white faux pearls from Walmart anchor the look.
This blazer is one on of my favorite items in my wardrobe right now. Its just the right touch to keep my jeans office appropriate on casual Friday, and it still looks great with slacks, or over a skirt or dress. Now keep it cubicle cute, but stay out of HR lol!
Tis the season for free food and sparkly dresses ! In other words the office Christmas party! Having trouble figuring out what to wear? No worries I’ve been eyeing my Instagram feed and here are 12 fabulous looks to inspire you. BTW if you aren’t following us on the gram why not?!
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, we have to be careful to make time to keep ourselves spiritual strong. Sometimes we women loose ourselves trying to meet all the needs of those around us. We serve our husbands, children, bosses, and communities and we forget or are just too tired to serve ourselves. I know for me, doing things for myself makes me feel a little guilty at times. But when the guilt starts to seep in, I just remember who I am. I remember that I can do anything and everything I decide to do. My grandmother use to say ” you just have to set your mind to it”
You do know you are what dreams are made of right? You are magic! You have that thing that only you have that makes you special! That’s your magic! You can’t let fear, doubt, guilt, are anything else take your magic.
I love words of affirmation, so when I found this poem It reminded me of the beauty I posses. Everyone should feel this way about themselves.
My Pledge of Allegiance to Me
Written by Letitia L. Hodge
There’s more to me than the human eye can see.
I’m a woman of purpose and destiny.
A perfect design, I’m special and unique.
I won’t be identified by the parts that make
up my physique.
My beauty is not defined by my skin or my hair
and my soul has more value than
the clothes that I wear.
I’m not a symbol of pleasure or sex appeal;
I have the natural ability to comfort
and the power to heal.
When God made me, He created a gem
because He fashioned me in the likeness of Him.
I refuse to do anything that will put God to shame.
I deserve to be treated with reverence
and called by my name.
I can’t be purchased or sold at any price
because I’ve already been bought and paid
for by the precious blood of Christ!
I praise You because I am fearfully and
Ya feel me? Better yet do you feel yourself? Stay in your magic and Be blessed💋
Ok ladies this is it! Finally stylish clothes created for plus sized women by a plus sized women! Ashley Nell Tipton has done it again! The ready to wear plus sized godmother has unveiled her 2016 boutique collection for JC Penney and it’s hotter than ever! And guess what? She used real plus sized women of every shape, height, and size! Bravo to Miss Ashley! Take a peak below…oh yeah don’t be shocked she used some of our favorite real women! 😍
I just have to say I am still on a high from the experience of basking in the presence of over 150 women representing NJ Curlfriends. We had a ball! I surly hope everyone got more than they expected because I sure did! It was 4 hours of entertainment, education, shopping, food, and dancing! All while celebrating our fellow sisters and a few brothers lol, in a positive encouraging space. What’s better than that?
Speaking of the space, the place was beautiful! For the third year Cabriella from International Hair Design was the ever gracious New Jersey Host for the Montclair NJ leg of this 40 city, 3 country, 3 continent affair. It was held in the Montclair State University Conference Center! Surrounded on two sides with massive window that seem to reach the sky! If you could imagine it was elegantly casual! Yeah that’s it! Although the space is obviously a beautiful state of the art space, the warm nature and inclusive vibe made it ok to let your guard down and bare and share in the wealth of love, information, and kinship.
Thirty-Five Curlfriends purchased VIP admission which gave them early entry,a VIP reception, as well as swag bags sponsored by the INHMD 2016 title sponsors with full sized products from Made Beautiful, Eden Bodyworks, and others!
What’s a movie with out a soundtrack? DJ Twin kept us rocking with his Jersey blend of Club and Soul tunes.
We started the day off with New Jersey based motivation speaker Iamlunic. She set the room a blaze with her energy! Unfortunately, I was so caught up in her speech that I didn’t think to record her!
Next up was Quality Healthcare, who spoke about the heart health. As you must have heard Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for African American Women.
There were 2 demos, first was a hair demo by Scarlet of Wondercurl. She demonstrated a wash n go style using her hair products.
Next was local Naturalist and Holistic Hair Healer Ahava Feliciadad. Her presentation was “natural” is a four letter word, F. R. E. E. She spoke about the freedom of being natural.
There were many vendors selling everything from skinny tea, butters, African fashions, and the most beautiful clutches and earrings!
I was honored to be one of two New Jersey based bloggers to be in the Social Media Lounge. It was Spencer ( Curly Empress) and myself. Curlfriends that came over to our corner were gifted mini hair journals or detangling combs. The first visitors were also gifted a full size bottle leave-in sponsored none other than the maker of my favorite scalp and hair oil Janomi hair products. Thanks to Adrienne of Janomi 2 other Curlfriends also received full sized bottles of the oil! We also had a selfie station set up with our Glam light.
The final segment was a question and answer panel where we got to answer direct questions from Curlfriend regarding, working out with natural hair, hair porosity, dryness, and so on. Missed out on the fun? No worries, I got you! Although INHMD is only once a year, if you are following us on social media👉 ( Instagram,Facbook, Twitter ) we will be sure to keep you updated on all the latest happening!
So, this post started out as a list of some of my favorite places to shop. Then as I was literally writing out a draft of that post, I received two emails that changed my direction. One was from someone who wanted to know where I shop at, and the other was from someone who said they were going on vacation and wanted to know what I think they should take.
That got me reminiscing about the days, when I would go into the store, and look for my size and buy it. No matter if I liked it or not. It was my size ( size 20) and fit reasonably well (actually too big), so it came home with me. How pathetic was I?
I know this is the plight of so many plus size women! I hear it all the time. Especially young plus size women. It’s as if there’s no in between, there’s overly sexual ( a whole other post right here) and then there’s frumpy! Well later for all that!
Fast forward to today, ( size 22-24) I love shopping straight size trends and look for classic pieces to keep my wardrobe ever fresh!
Now, I can do outfit of the day posts all day long, and I still get the same question. Where did I get this or that? I want to make this as easy as possible. Below I’ve highlighted some of my favorite straight size 2016 Spring Trends, and listed the stores where you can pick them up.
Cold Shoulder: This is definitely a more feminine trend that looks great on plus sized women. The bare shoulders draws the eye up to your beauty.
Florals: You’ll see this one in small and large prints, appliques, and even combined with other trends. After all Spring Showers Bring May Flowers!
Ruffles: So, I’ve seen some articles describe this trend as “Spanish” however, be careful where you choose to display the ruffles they could add unwanted volume if the are sitting on the wrong curve!
Lace: Most recently, Beyoncé strutted a white lace number at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Yes just like that, all the lace pencil skirts went up! Lol. You see lace on skirts, dresses, shirts as the main fabric or as accents.
Stripes: Yeah, so that ” Big Girls Can’t Wear Stripes” not today! We are blurring the lines and rocking vertical, horizontal, and even diagonal stripes!
Romance: This one has the potential to be dangerous! It’s uber sexy and sometimes called “Daytime Lingerie”. I think you get the picture. Satin, sheers, laces, nets, but it can all be done in good taste. So let’s keep the raunchy out of romance ok.
Denim: This is one of those ever fresh categories. Like when was jeans ever not a trend?
Tulle: Yup, it’s still in! Yay! I love tulle skirts, you can dress them up with heels and a nice blouse, or down with Jean shirts. They go with sandals, sneakers,t-shirts and they fit great on everybody’s body. You can’t mess the look up!
Where I shop in store or online:
Fashion To Figure- mostly online but there are stores in Jersey. The clothes fit true to size and they always have sales.
Tip: Sign up for the email lists, I shop when they have discounts via email.
Burlington- In store, I have one close to my house and one close to my job. So, I’m always checking the racks.
Tip: If you like it, get it right then, because chances are it’ll be gone quick.
Eloquii- Only online. The clothes are a great quality for the price! These pieces last through washing and wearing and they are very fashion forward.
Tip: Same as above, I shop when they have deals and coupons via email.
Asos Curve- Online Only, again the clothes are great quality the sizes are true to size.
Tip: Make sure you by US sizes they not UK sizes. I know a few people that made this mistake.
Torrid- Both instore and online. They absolutely have the best fitting jeans! They always have sales and they have the loyalty rewards for being an insider.
Tip: Use your insider points, and buy ” staple” pieces, because the prices are not cheap.
Ashley Stewart- For years this was the only place I shopped but as of late ehh! It’s still a great resource, but things have changed.
Rebdolls- Online only, I love them but you have to get the extended sizes fast because they sell out quickly! A lot of these pieces are a little young for me. But they are great for the plus sized millennial woman.
Lane Bryant- In store just because it’s close to my house. Sometimes the prices take me down though! I try not to shop in a rush, but if there is ever a last minute need, I go there.
Full Beauty.com- Online only,You can usually find any and everything on this site! That’s their whole niche. Wide shoes, classic trends and the new in thing ” Swimsuits For All”; you name it they have it!
Do you have a favorite store? Drop it in the comments below!
Have you ever heard the saying, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” ? Well, there’s another side to this coin. Duplication is the surest way to fail. In this era of social media we are constantly bombarded with images, ads, and words that tailor our thinking one way or another. Although we have begun to tout this mantra of self-love and body acceptance, it’s no secret that everyone wants to be like someone. It’s human nature to imitate and implement the things we love about someone or something else in our own life.
In fact as followers of Christ we are charged to live a life that can be imitated by others. We are to be Christlike as Christ imitates The Father to be Godlike. The bible says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew ??chapter and verse
The real danger comes from trying to duplicate others actions, looks and or life.
“Why Be A Copy When You Were Born Original” by Oscar Wilde
Follow me now, this relationship with trying duplicate others is a slippery slope.
For one, it’s not authentic and you will not be able to keep it up.
For two, when you can no longer keep up the charade it will cause feelings of defeat.
For three, people can tell when you are not real.
Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t look to others for inspiration, but we need to apply these thing to our life as it fits us. I believe we need examples of how to be, as well examples of how not to be!
I remember the older women always saying
“ Take It Home and Make It Look Like You”.
In this picture I was inspired by ChiChi from Supple Chic. I could have gone out and had a skirt like hers made or tried to buy one, but instead I went to my closet and found this plaid pencil skirt that I got from Torrid. In fact the cut of that skirt may have been a little easier on my mid section lol.
At 5’3 and well over what is considered an acceptable weight, it’s no question that I have to be creative when dressing my body. My legs and hips are one of those features that I love about my body, so for me pencil skirts give me the curvy longer look that I prefer. I choose to wear my shirt on the outside because, to me it looks and feels better on the area (tummy time) that I don’t care for.
So, do look to others for inspiration. Do not try to duplicate them. While they say “For every one idea you have, three other people have it at the same time” but nobody has your version of it!
Remmber be the best you that you can be! Because everyone else is taken!
As I was writing this, I thought about how it makes me happy that my sons kiss me as soon as they see me. The other day I was trying to make a YouTube video (for the first time) and my middle son walked in and kissed me as I was taping. Before I could get upset, I laughed at myself. Even though I fussed at him, he came right in, kissed me and kept talking on his phone. I told him later that I was trying to tape and that his kiss was in the video and he thought it was so cool. Even now thinking back on that day it brings me Joy.
Now; for the business of “Cultivating Joy”, the term cultivate is usually used in an agricultural since. One definition means to nurture or help grow. So we are growing Joy here!
1. Acknowledge- See the little beauties that are with you every day. Experience the world through the eyes of gratitude. By taking time to be fully present in the thing you are doing, you are allowing yourself to experience the joy..
2. Connect- Surround yourself with the people, places and things that make you happy. If talking to your BFF or even your BF makes you happy, make an intentional effort to connect with them. If you took a vacation that was your favorite, print out the pictures and hang one or two of them up somewhere that will remind you of the fun!
3. Laugh- In today’s world of social media, there are more than enough Vines, Videos, and Snaps, that you can look up just to get a laugh! I know I love when someone shares a funny clip in the morning! That’s a sure way to get me on your page all day!
4. List Your Loves- it’s just what it sounds like. A list of things you love, it’s almost like a play list. I actually have a love list of bloggers that I can always get inspiration from. I also have a love list of quotes, bible scriptures, and of course songs.
5. Put It On- I used to be a holder onto(er) lol. My favorite perfume, clothes, shoes, what ever. For some reason I would hold onto my favorite things and not use them. I still don’t get why, but what I do get is, I don’t do it anymore. Now I wear my favorite perfume everyday! When I’m feeling a little glum, I get glam! That perks my right up.
For some of us joy is a fleeting emotion. Or something that can only be attained by others. Very often we attach our since of joy to certain accomplishments. These events can contribute to the feeling of joy, however to cultivate authentic joy, you have to look within. Only you can make you happy. What are some ways that you cultivate joy? Tell me in the comments below!
I’m sure it’s no secret that being a stylish plus sized woman is not cheap. It seems that paying more just goes with the territory. It’s even worse for me because I shop with my ears. If you can imagine I’m just walking through a particular store and I start hearing things speaking to me. “Psst hey over here” ” take me home with you”. Sometimes trying it on will help me make the decision to buy or not to buy, and other times it’s so right for me that I just have to get it. I usually set a limit per piece of what I will spend. Such as I don’t want to spend $39.00 for a t-shirt! Yeah that’s just crazy-town!
Now, when that piece that’s calling out to me has a markdown price, there’s almost nothing that’s going to keep me from owning it! That’s what happened with this Glam Rock look. The entire look was only $25 at Burlington Coat Factory! The vest and the top are size 2x and the bottoms are 3x. This particular store has a decent plus size section. I shop both Women’s and Junior’s. The fur vest was the most expensive (if I can even use that word) it was $14.99. I love these faux leather leggings ( yes I wear leggings, and I look great in them) they were a steal at $4.99 and the top was $5.99. That’s like getting a whole outfit for the price of my favorite jeans at 50% off. **tilts head and winks eye**. Well, what can I say, somethings are just worth the price.
Fashion can be frugal, and even plus sized fashion can be affordable and stylish. Now one word of caution when you find these low low prices you have to try them on. Very often there could be some fit issues. I always make sure the bottom of my shirts hits around the middle of my hips. That way it’s probably low enough in the back to cover some booty, and long enough in the front to cover my lower belly. The waist on bottoms is always my concern, sometimes it’s cut small but the legs fit great. That’s what works for me, but if you feel great in it, by all means get your Glam Rock on.
For more on how to look great in your clothes check out this post ( Plus size mistakes) .