Welcome to Erica Exposed, a plus-size fashion blog designed to inspire everyone to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.
Remember, fashion is not limited by size. No matter what size you are, have been or will be, you are beautiful.
I sincerely apologize for the delay of this post. I had intended on posting it last Friday, but ended up in the Emergency Room all night. I am thankfully feeling a bit better but unfortunately, my health issues won't be going away anytime soon. In the mean time, I am actively working on myself and my communication skills. If you're curious, check out my recent Instagram post for more insight. Basically, I have been confronting issues head on instead of avoiding them (as I usually do). I didn't want to scrap this post, just because life has decided to place a roadblock in front of me! Plus, I really love this outfit and wanted to share it with you!
Fashion is a political statement; it has been for years and it continues to serve this purpose today! Fashion and style do not only serve as a form of self-expression, but also have historically done quite the job distinguishing certain groups from one another (i.e. often demonstrating classism, sexism, racism, etc). As a woman (also as someone who respects and values trans, queer and non-binary folx) I just want to stop for a minute and appreciate something. If I had been born prior to the Cultural Revolution, there's a good chance I wouldn't be able to wear what I want, when I want to.
Counterculture was a political movement that began in 1960s United Kingdom and expanded through the Western world. Essentially an anti-establishment socialist group, with stakes in Civil Rights movements such as: sexual freedom, positions of authority, women's rights, and famously, The Drug Act. Much of the references in pop culture refer to Counterculture as a fashionable time as well, because you guessed it! Fashion is political! What is depicted are mostly the use of slogans and irony to shout a message (or stance) back to the government and corporations. However, it's also known for representing equality -- especially when it came to women's fashion.
During the mid-1960s and early 1970s, women's fashion changed. Couture designers (i.e. as Balenciaga and Yves St. Laurent)'s fashion, showcased women in a certain new light, empowering them to dress any way they wanted. This challenged the feminine expectation, or what I like to call "Housewife Syndrome". Really, it's just as simple as women could finally be seen wearing t-shirts and jeans. The shift towards equality in fashion during this time demonstrates that society had (at least somewhat) developed willingness to accept and tolerate differences. Perhaps, acting as the catalyst to the resurgence of the modern-day feminist movement.
The counterculture movement allowed for fashion to progress significantly and rapidly in its time. Fashion was finally accessible to all! Fashion was less of a cash-grab (I see you couture) and more about the heart. When fashion celebrates self-expression over classism, we are rewarded with trends such as: DIY (i.e. tie dye, macrame), thrifting and "more risque" options as joining the free the nipple movement. It also helped to break down many gendered norms that no longer exist today. Observe trends such as: body hair, flower crowns, flowy garments, simpler silhouettes, androdgyny, etc. Although many cultures were being appreciated (coming long before conversations about cultural appropriation) and integrated into fashion, there still remained to be a lot of progress to come in support of our racialized communities.
Outfit Details// Kimono: Target (main range not plus); Jeans: Forever 21+ (available here); Tank Top: Addition Elle (available here); Boots: Winners; Purse: Ban.do (available here); Necklace: Lea Alexandra (available here); Earrings: Zara
I am really into the look of long kimonos right now. I love how effortless yet special they appear. It's a look! Target has a wonderful selection of kimonos right now. I picked this one up there in the clearance section for $12 USD. The kimono I am wearing is an XXL from Target's "straight size" collection - Xhiliration. It is honestly a bit tight in the chest area, which is unfortunate but not surprising. It comes with a robe-style tie (it's tied in the back for the pictures) and is super flowy. What really sold me (other than the price) were the unique colour and the embroidered flower detailing!
I hit the jackpot with these jeans! They are the trifecta of Spring trends and have: raw hem, flare and rips! I picked them up in the clearance section of Forever 21... but it seems that they are no longer on clearance? Online, they're on sale for $30 CDN now, but I picked them up for $15... so check in store!
They are so comfortable and they're full of stretch! Usually I find Forever 21+ sizes to run small, but I definitely recommend sizing down if you're between sizes (like me). It's interesting to note how many compliments I've received on these jeans, because they're not at all my go-to style. If you're a long-time reader, you probably know that I am a huge fan of skinny jeans (they just fit my body type the best). However the seasons change and so do the trends, might as well embrace them!
I'd be all for it if someone could create a time machine that would transport me back to August 1969 so I could attend Woodstock. I can only imagine how magical it would feel, among friends in a simpler time: feeding off of love, joy and camaraderie.
It seems like just yesterday that I was posting about fitness and fashion (because it was). I guess that means I am getting better at this consistency thing! If you missed it, yesterday I shared a look that will be included in this week's "Activewear Recap". It was a head-to-toe (well, ankle) Torrid look that I felt really needed to take its place in the spotlight. If you missed it, check it out here because it's an extremely in-depth review of a beautiful co-ord set. As I have mentioned on social media, I recently picked up quite a few new pieces of activewear and footwear. I purchased three pairs of Nike runners recently for $100 total (I'm such a bargain shopper).
If this is your first time reading one of these posts (by me), I must inform you of the following: I exercise multiple times per week to build strength, endurance and honestly, a routine. This is absolutely not a weight-loss thing. If you are interested in understanding a bit more about the "why", please direct yourself to my YouTube video. In this video, I discuss how I almost became paralyzed and how I was hospitalized last year.
Monday I returned home from my mini staycation on Monday afternoon. Following this, I had an in-home essential oil massage (DoTerra products have been really influential in my sensation recovery) in the evening. I had such a busy day, that I hardly had time to visit the gym. I had to think fast and really just threw on whatever I could find because I knew that I had less than an hour for my workout.
As I was rushed, I knew that I had to pack a lot into a little time. I brought my baby weights (8LBS) to the gym and used them while simultaneously riding the recumbent bike. When I carry my weights to the gym, I don't have much free hand-space (obvs). Therefore, these Old Navy shorts with pockets(!!!) really came in handy on Monday. My undershorts are Nike (my old baseball sliders) which I basically wear to avoid flashing people. In comparison to the rest of my body, my legs are a lot smaller; therefore, shorts are often quite roomy. This is why you will almost always see me in skintight pants/shorts.
My shirt is from a previous season at Lane Bryant which I was wearing as a "day-to-day" top and not activewear until it lost its lustre (I also searched for anything remotely similar to link, but I came up short). I just threw on my slip on Champion shoes (that I link every week) and ran out the door.
Tuesday The real shining star of the week is this Torrid co-ord set, which my friend Steph did a beautiful job at photographing. Working out with Steph is always a treat; she is incredibly knowledgeable and motivating. I find myself learning new techniques and exercises to safely perform in the aerobics room when we're together. However, Steph is usually focused on calisthenics and didn't have an interest in cardio that day, so I ended up slipping away to the pool toward the end of our time together. What you see in the pictures is what I actually did. Additionally, I did some core work on the mats (planks, crunches, twists, etc.) which was not photographed.
I did a full review for this look, which I published here on Tuesday (it is literally the post under this). I won't really go into much detail about the look then, but I will provide you with the direct links! The criss-cross strappy bra is available here & leggings you can find here. My similar patterned "Spring Bloom Multi" headband is from Lululemon (available here).
On Easter weekend, I picked these runners up at the Nike Outlet in Niagara Falls for about $50 CDN and I couldn't be happier with them. I have a wide foot and a high instep to begin with and in conjunction with my sensation loss, good-fitting shoes are hard to come by. The laces really open up and they are extremely comfortable in my regular size 11. They have a wide base of support which is important due to my proprioceptive issues. I seriously needed a new pair after running my last ones into the ground; these definitely fit the bill. There are white & colour versions in stores right now, and there are even more colours available online. Google "Nike Free TR6" if you're looking!
Mid-week, I was seriously lacking the energy to accomplish much. The last two weeks have brought many significant bodily changes, especially in sensation and pain tolerance. My right knee has been absolutely killing me, which is likely due to my post-op diagnosis of tendinitis. My left hip (and its bursitis diagnosis) are feeling it too. This is likely due to the overcompensation of my muscles and diversion from my chronic sciatic pain (which has unfortunately returned). I am seeing my specialist about this today (publishing day) actually.
I am wearing my old alma matter sweatpants because I knew I wouldn't be working too hard or sweating profusely. I noticed that my average cycling time/tolerance was cut by 75% due to knee pain and had to switch to walking on the treadmill with the slightest incline. My tank top is from Penningtons, but was off the clearance rack in the winter (I always size down in Penningtons activewear BTW). The highlight of the outfit are probably my Nike Training runners "In Season TR7" which can be found in multiple colours here at DSW (also at Nike Outlets). These too have a great base of support, which is crucial! They are also comfortable and roomy enough in my usual size 11.
Thursday Thursday was a pretty great gym day! I'm sure this is because again, I went with my gym buddy, Steph. Steph is a nurse but also has personal training experience and that has been really beneficial during my recovery. I have sustained many gym injuries since my fall in January 2014, so it is nice to be around someone who knows what they are doing (especially because my body is so fragile). We spent most of the time in my aerobics room doing every calisthenic exercise under the sun. I also managed to squeeze in a bit of restorative yoga.
Steph didn't feel like doing cardio (again LOL), so after she left, I went back down to hop on the bike. I am wearing my trusty NOLA leggings from Addition Elle. I have posted about them multiple times on here.. but I have found a link this time around for the same pair (in a different colour). Jordyn Woods released a collection with Addition Elle last December and these leggings are from her line! The print is a bit abstract; however, they are reversible and they other side is grey. However, I always make the mistake of wearing these leggings on the bike because they get pretty tight while sitting.
I picked up this activewear top at Torrid recently because I finally threw out my awfully large NOLA top with a built-in bra (which I have worn and complained about multiple times if you have been following these posts). Essentially, I was needing a replacement and I found a great one! I loved this shirt-bra combo so much when I purchased it. Unfortunately, the bra was hanging on by a thread so I just decided to remove it. It is now two separates (which is a great bang for your buck if you ask me), but was not really what I was seeking to replace. Regardless, this bra is amazing. I would recommend just cutting out the bra if you're looking for one that's black, simple and actually keeps the tatas secure.
showing off my scar
Friday My body was feeling a bit better, but it still wasn't perfect. I spent most of my time on the treadmill, slowly chipping away at the incline and and increase of speed. I also worked on my balance via our pulley system. I kept my outfit pretty simple and didn't wear anything that was new. I had on my Old Navy top with a built-in-bra; it is from so many years ago and it should probably go to the grave with my other NOLA shirt. If anyone has any recommendations for activewear shirts with built-in-bras for plus size babes, let me know please!
My leggings are the same NOLA pair from Thursday (I have two pairs) and I just reversed them for the grey side. My old teal Nike's were calling to me for the colour combo. My zipup sweater is from Addition Elle (previous season) which was needed due to the lack of support in the built-in-bra and use of the pulleys.
Thanks for reading! Remember, this is not about weight loss. Please don't prescribe to diet or weight-loss culture. This is about health, both physical and emotional. See you next week for the 5th instalment! XOXO
Lately, my social media has been somewhat dominated by fitness and activewear. However, I wouldn't want my blog to reflect something different than my reality, so it is what it is! Let's face it, fitness has become a huge part of my life since my Spinal Cord Injury. I am constantly at the gym or doing something active, so naturally I wear a lot of spandex. Since deciding to recap and publicize my weeks' workout gear, I have felt that I needed more options to chose from. Lately, I feel that activewear is the only thing I can justify purchasing, because I do wear it so often. A couple weeks ago, I picked up a few new pieces (including this long-coveted set) and I can't wait to share them all.
Last week, Torrid posted this picture on their Instagram account. After this was posted, I had several friends and family members text asking if it was me (including my own mother!). Sadly it was not; oh, how I wish to be featured on Torrid's Instagram! However, this inspired me to put together my own little Torrid activewear ensemble.
I have been shopping at Torrid for years, long before they had expanded to Canada. However, I hadn't tried any of their activewear until recently, when I starting scouring my wardrobe for more diverse options. I picked up this bra (in blue) on the clearance rack last summer and didn't get a chance to wear it until last month. The print is what they call "Space Dye" (even though it doesn't feel very "space-y" to me). You can check out what the bra looks like on me here, at the bottom of my "Week 2" activewear recap. I had purchased the 2X as it was the only one left in the clearance, but really wish I had it in the 3X. There is a full back panel which kind of hurts my back if I'm being honest. However, it makes my tatas look amazing.
Due to the sizing issue with the older clearance bra, I decided to spring for the 3X this time. I'm glad I did, because the fit is perfect! It actually holds my size 42G tatas in (which is a rarity). The criss-cross (AKA "strappy lattice") back is very comfortable and does not dig into my skin. To be honest, if I sized down to a 2X, I wouldn't have felt the same way about the back. I could have gotten away with the 2X in terms of overall fit, but because numbers on tags don't trip me up... I just picked up the 3X.
Now, Torrid has a lot going on in their activewear department right now. Some noticeable trends are: mantras (think of phrases, such as "badass" & "strong"), characters and cinema (Minnie Mouse, Harry Potter, Star Trek), camouflage and of course, galaxy print.
I was researching for a previous Activewear Recap post and came across this stunning celestial print set on Torrid's website. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to have it. If we're friends in real life or if you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I am obsessed with the moon, sun, stars and planets (mostly due to their astrological influence). Traditional galaxy print doesn't really strike my fancy because it is so colourful. However, this monochrome set feels much more appropriate and on-brand for me. Honestly though, the moon & stars really make it for me. There is also regular galaxy print activewear on Torrid's website here.
This set is available online and in stores (Canada & USA)! Thankfully, I was able to them on to avoid any sizing mishaps. The bra is available here and (as mentioned) I am wearing the 3X. The leggings are available here and I am wearing a 2X. The leggings have a 27" inseam, which is a tad bit short for my liking, but not a deal breaker for me. I am 5'9" for reference.
For example: You can catch my ankle peeking out a little!
I've often read that Torrid's activewear runs pretty true to size, but I'm not entirely sure I feel the same way. What I recommend is that you try on their bras and leggings to make sure you feel comfortable. Try not to get caught up on the sizing. You should be able to tell how they will fit if you compare the waistband of two different styles. In those with more stretch, I wear my "normal size" (2X). However, sometimes the material Torrid uses can be quite structured and rigid. I have a pair of Size 3X Torrid active leggings that fit tighter than these. That's really the only critique I have.
In addition to their beauty and fit, this activewear set keeps well. First off, it doesn't get drenched in sweat because of the material which kind of feels like a spandex-scuba combo (it's actually 83% nylon and 17% spandex). When I left the gym feeling dry that day (I worked hard too), I was happily shocked.
I scored a great deal on this and picked up the set for 40% off (on a special promotion). However, it seems that since I purchased them, they are further discounted. At the time of this post, the leggings retail for $42 and the bra retails for $32 CDN. They seem to be on sale for 25% off right now!
I honestly think that this is the most impressive thing I've been able to do at the gym thus far. Even in my peak fitness phase (in undergrad university), I wouldn't have been able to achieve this. My arms/shoulders/chest have picked up so much slack for my legs over the past year. This is truly mind blowing, and I honestly teared up after being able to do this (even if just for 5 reps).
Thank you so much for reading! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, when I re-share this OOTD along side the rest of my week's gym apparel XOXO
I'm baaaaaack and I'm working as hard as I can to keep this series consistent. However, the recent Easter Holidays and my mini-travel staycation has put me behind schedule a little bit. I am honestly more excited for next week's activewear recap as I have picked up a few new items that are shoppable and current, over the past week! Still, here is a roundup of last week's activewear choices, by day and exercise. As this concept develops, I hope to bring new elements for you to enjoy! Would you be interested in a more detailed description of my gym activities???
If this is your first time reading one of these posts (by me), I must inform you of the following: I exercise multiple times per week to build strength, endurance and honestly, a routine. This is absolutely not a weight-loss thing. If you are interested in understanding a bit more about the "why" - please direct yourself to my YouTube video. In this video, I discuss how I almost became paralyzed and how I was hospitalized last year.
I had a busy day, which left me very little time on Monday so my workout was pretty basic. I was on the bicycle for 40 minutes and I lifted some weights. I hadn't used our pulley mechanism to work on my balance in a while, so I took to that as well as the leg extension/curl machine. These were all exercises I have been instructed to do by my physiotherapist at the rehab centre.
These reversible workout legging from Addition Elle's NOLA brand are probably my favourite pair of workout pants. Except, I keep forgetting that because they are extremely form-fitting, I struggle with comfort while on the recumbent bicycle (my go-to). My shirt is a super super old GAP find (which used to be small on me so it sat in my closet). I just felt like I needed a pop of colour because my workout was super late and I was not particularly motivated. I was carrying a bunch of stuff to the gym, including my hand weights and kettlebells. Due to lack of time, I lifted these weights while simultaneously riding the bicycle. The sweater was necessary so I could toss my keys, phone, headphones and water bottle. I'm not an octopus you know?????
This was a "new" kind of look for me and it gave off a distinctly different vibe (I think). I was in the middle of laundry day and was low on suitable athletic gear. I obviously have more than a week's worth of activewear, but nothing really seemed to match in my closet. However, when you're writing a blog post specifically about what you wore to the gym, you probably should look coordinated at least.
I chose to wear this sweater, which I inherited from my late grandfather (love you, Papa!) and is from the early 1980s I believe. This is both his and my ALMA MATTER! He attended Teacher's College there and I completed my Masters of Social Work in the next door building 60-ish years later! How coincidental! There is a common misconception that wearing sweaters/long-sleeves/hoodies to the gym will increase your body temperature enough to "burn more calories" or "lose weight". However, this is not correct! Wearing heavier clothing that makes you sweat, will only make you sweat. Technically, it might make you lose fluids or "water weight" but you will just gain that back when you eat/drink again. This is not sustainable and honestly to me, feels like it fits in with dietculture and associated fads. However, excessive sweating can be a great natural detoxifier from all the chemicals and well... toxins we ingest on a daily basis! For me, I prefer to stay cool when I workout so I probably won't be attempting this again.
The shorts were a conscious choice, because of what I had planned to accomplish that day at the gym. I have been having some intermittent problems with sitting lately, due to my Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). I knew that I would be skipping the recumbent bike this day, so I took the opportunity to wear my super short shorts from Forever 21+. They are from a previous season, so they're gone but I have seen similar styles at Nike (here is a different Forever 21+ pick). I tend to avoid any sitting or laying down at the gym when I am in shorts because they ride up and have the potential to flash a whole lot of people! I love these shorts because they are so damn comfortable, but I don't really wear them outside of my apartment because of the flash-factor. My well-loved black and white Nikes were chosen to compliment the athleisure vibes of the shorts. I just purchased a new pair of Nikes, so these have moved on to my mom's house as a backup pair of shoes! Hallelujah!
I was struggling hard on Wednesday. Honestly, it was the first time I had been in the pool in a while. In the summertime, I literally swim everyday that I am home. My happy place is anywhere the water is! For me, swimming is incredibly relaxing and it almost puts me in a trance-like state, meditative state. However, I had only been in the pool a handful of times since the summer and I think only on one occasion was recent. The pool that I visited with my hometown bestie is a full-sized training pool and it is extremely deep. Now, I don't mind this; however, it is not what I have gotten used to (Read: dinky condo pools). Also, my goggles broke during my laps... so that sucked.
I have a typical routine that I stick to when I swim. I alternate between my four favourite strokes (in this order): Breast Stroke, Back Crawl, Front Crawl, Sidestroke. My rationale is this: breast stroke is my absolute favourite. It's so smooth and it stretches your hip flexors (which is integral in my SCI recovery). Then, I switch to a stroke where my face is not submerged, so I can catch my breath...back to front crawl underwater (my stroke when I used to competitively swim) and sidestroke is just a breeze. Depending on the length of the pool, the number of laps change, but I try to swim 100-150 metres of each stroke for a total of 400-600 metres.
Fun Fact: You might have guessed that holding your breath underwater works to increase your lung capacity. I just learned that it improves the balance of our nervous system as well! How cool is that? The nervous system is essentially the switchboard of our body, controlling anything and everything including: sensory impulses, organ function and our functional abilities. I guess it keeps everything stable acting almost like a mini-reset button for your body. I love that!
Bathing suit is from Addition Elle (previous season); similar style found here
If you follow along on my Instagram, you would know that last weekend I went to Niagara Falls, ON with my mom! We stayed at a Hampton Inn, which I am quite fond of. In addition to the great ammenities they offer (full breakfast, 24/7 coffee & tea, pool, gym), I absolutely love their branding. How cute is this little mantra printed on the top of the mirror? Energizing my mood is one of the main reasons why I workout. It has become my safe and healthy coping mechanism, instead of me reaching to more harmful tools that I had once used to cope. There was another mirror in the gym as well that said "Energize your Strength" which is also compatible with my gym goals.
How was this my first ever hotel workout??? I guess that question is actually rhetorical because I already know the answer. I wasn't motivated to work on my well-being; I was stuck in a place of complacency. Also, I have been on quite the consistency streak lately. I work out 5 days per week (no excuses) unless I am travelling somewhere and don't have the time or proper equipment. If you know me well enough, you will recognize that being on a "streak" is one of the most motivating factors for me. I hate breaking a streak because it feels as if I am failing myself. However, since working on being more self-compassionate I have come to understand and accept my shortcomings a bit more.
This workout ensemble was probably one of my most hodgepodge ones yet. Due to traveling, I had minimal space available in my one duffel bag. I'm wearing the same reversible Addition Elle leggings I wore Monday (I have two pairs) and I forgot to pack an activewear top, so I just wore this grey tank. I also only had room to pack two pairs of shoes, my teal Nike's (see Tuesday) and these. They are Champion from Payless Shoes (available here) and I love them so much that I own 3 pairs in different colours (P.S. they're on sale for $20 right now). I mostly reserve these heather grey slides for walking and everyday life but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. I had left the Nike's in the car and it was raining... so these won.
Friday This was one of my favourite workouts of the week because I was on vacation and in the pool! I had warmed up after Wednesday's tough session and was good to go! I am wearing the same bathing suit as Wednesday, because of space in my suitcase. I felt there was no need to bring a second suit just for the diversity while traveling.
After I finished my regular laps, my mom seemed to have quite the fun time snapping pictures of me in the pool. I might post some more of those pictures later, but this probably gives you a good glimpse at who I am as a person. I am smiley and social but also weird and quirky. I enjoy being a bit of a goof or as my mom calls me a "ham" in front of the camera. So basically, this is the real me.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day! Workout at your own pace and for your own interest. Don't prescribe to diet or weight-loss culture. This is about health, both physical and emotional! Catch you next week for the 4th instalment! XOXO
I guess this is technically a week four (?) recap, although only the second post of this sort. Unfortunately, I have been fighting with a lot of back pain over the past couple of weeks. Therefore, my gym activity was significantly decreased. If you follow along on my Instagram, you might know that I am listening to my body and taking note of its pain, stress, fatigue, etc. This is especially important since I've neglected doing so for years and it almost cost me my ability to walk.
If this is your first time this kind of post, I must remind you of the following: I workout multiple times per week to build strength, endurance and honestly, a routine. This is absolutely not a weight-loss thing. If you're interested in understanding a bit more about the "why" - please take a look at my YouTube video where I discuss the time I almost became paralyzed and was hospitalized for a spinal cord injury!
Monday OK so first thing's first: After seeing these pictures, I have officially decided to get rid of this top! It is only 1 of 3 activewear shirts I own with a built-in bra and one of those shirts that I can just grab-and-go with when my sports bras are in the laundry! Unfortunately, it no longer supports my tatas and honestly, I hate how it looks on me because of it. Due to its lack of support, I often have to bring a jacket to the gym if I spend any time bending forward, or plan to be on the treadmill. On Monday, I did both of these things. I guess I will have to finally start searching for a replacement!!!! P.S. I am sorry! I definitely forgot that I've already blogged this exact outfit, with the exception of different Nike runners (because I wore it originally 3 weeks ago).
(NOLA Activewear Jacket in-tote below)
Tuesday I took to Intstagram to share a glimpse of my yoga practice and progress on Tuesday. I am finally able to do a Yoga Squat, after years and years of debilitating pain. I specifically intended on yoga because of some health issues I was having that day. I did not want to overexert myself and I wanted to be kind to my body. Therefore, Tuesday called for comfy, flowy and over-sized fitness gear. This was a lovely break from my go-to tight performance leggings. I am wearing a wide-leg yoga pant from Penningtons (technically called the "relaxed fit"). You can currently find these pants in a solid black here (retail for $46 CDN). I knew I wouldn't be wearing shoes much during this sesh because of the poses yoga requires you to get into. The grip is absolutely everything during a yoga practice, especially in positions such as: downward dog & tree pose.
My favourite part of this outfit though, has to be my shirt. It has a fully sheer (but black) chiffon back to it, which is quite the stiff fabric and was not designed specifically for fitness. It had been sitting in my wardrobe for years, and only pulled it out in 2017. I used to own a couple other tops (from the same place, Torrid) like this, but unfortunately have gotten rid of them over the years. However, it has since become about half size big on me, so it doesn't get stuck to me or rip when I workout in it. It's all about flexibility! It is really difficult to see, but it reads "Always Namaste" and has a sun on it. This is soooo "on brand" for me, you don't even know. You may have followed a bit about my gratitude journey and spiritual shift post-surgery on the blog. If you didn't but are interested in reading, check it out here.
I am trying to diversify my gym shots because even I was getting a bit bored of my pictures!
I had to stop myself mid-week and think about what I wore during my first fitness roundup here. I realized that I had repeated a couple of items earlier on in the week, so I knew I had to switch it up. Otherwise, this wouldn't be a very interesting segment, would it? I was tidying my bedroom (this week was all about the Spring Cleaning for me) and found these old-ish Aerie yoga pants (similar updated style). Aerie have totally stepped up their game in the athletic department since purchasing these way back when (check it out) and now I am obsessing over them all... UH OH. For all my curvies, listen up!!! When I was a younin', Aerie only carried up to an XL (which I am wearing here), but now they even carry up to an XXL - they know how to make a stretchy pant that would probably work on up to a size 24 IMO. Wearing these pants prompted me to take the perfect opportunity to do some yoga. I also worked on my core muscles, since I was already on the ground for the yoga. I took to the bike for a bit after, as I had chosen footwear that wouldn't provide me with much support or security (due to my sensory issues) if I were to walk/run on the treadmill or use the elliptical.
I have been to Cuba twice; as a Canadian citizen, this is a privilege that I am lucky to have. Cuba has some absolutely amazing culture, people, music and beaches! Because it is a Communist country, Cuba is not saturated by shopping centres and stores. Instead, vendors often take to their local communities (and resort communities) to sell their goods. Ironically, this shirt was not purchased in Cuba, because this is obviously an over-commercialized shirt. It is from many moons ago at Forever 21+. I am also a big fan of Addition Elle's "low impact" bras from their brand, NOLA. I am wearing last Fall's style, a reversible Red and Blue & White stripe bra here. Here and here you can shop similar style (in different colours) at Addition Elle. Shoes are Champio - Payless Shoes (not necessarily the cutest pair of shoes, but they are so comfy).
I decided to rock a bit of the Visible Belly Outline (VBO) because I am comfortable and confident in my body!
Thursday I went HAM with the weights on Thursday. I brought my own kettlebells (6LBS) to the gym because we still don't have a free-weight setup there. What the heck??? I also took to the pulley weight system to work on my balance, shoulders, chest and triceps/biceps. I also was feeling a bit of extra pep in my step that night, so I jogged on the treadmill for a while, following it up with the stationary bike (as per usual). I left the gym completely drenched on Thursday. I had to make sure I wore these runners, as they are my most supportive ones. This is so necessary for jogging on the treadmill when you have sensation loss in your feet. Support, support, support! They are on their last leg, but I am planning on picking up a new pair of Nikes this weekend!
These pants are in my "Top 3" of workout pants that I currently own, and are my favourite pair that are capris. They are from this past Summer's NOLA collection, again at Addition Elle. They are so comfortable and my bottom half feels basically weightless in these. They stay up very well, but do not have the compressing technology that many activewear bottoms do this day. Perfect for the days when I spend an extended period of time having my stomach squished on the bicycle. This old tank is a very breathable material from Gap. I bought it a couple years ago at a Gap outlet, but rarely wore it because I was self-conscious in it. At the time, I was less comfortable in my body and didn't like to wear anything remotely form-fitting. Now, I like to rock it because it's a great grey neutral!
I'm not sure if I just look silly in the photo below, but I am trying to shakeup my gym poses because they can feel quite repetitive.
I decided to step up my fitness OOTD game by snapping some better quality photographs on this day. Unfortunately, I really can only set up my tripod/camera situation in the daytime when the gym isn't as populated. I feel like it's kind of awkward to stage a bunch of fitness photos in a space where other people might be coming and going as they please. I wouldn't want to disrupt anyone or make them uncomfortable because of my camera. I was lucky that I had the Aerobics room to myself for all of these pictures. Unfortunately, a good chunk of them came out blurry (boo!).
I wrote about this outfit and experience, a little on a recent Instagram post. I worked out in just my bra and a pair of leggings I think for the first time ever? I have taken fitness photographs in bras, but never actually completed a workout, moving around in strange positions with no shirt on in public. It was unbelievably liberating! The gym wasn't especially busy that day, but I did get a couple of strange "looks" from those I was sharing the space with. I basically just ignored the narrow-minded jerks ;) In the Aerobics Room, I did some squats and exercises with medicine balls, went skipping and had some time leftover for stretching! I spent time on the bicycle and elliptical as well. I added in a few stationary weight machines at the end.
My bra is from Torrid and I am obsessed with it (similar here). When I picked it up on clearance last summer, there was only a size 2X left and I usually would take a 3X in a sports bra. Since I was just informed that I wear a G Cup, things felt a bit more "squished" than usual. However, they make my tatas look bloody fantastic (what a dramatic difference in the boob department between Monday & Friday this week). I am wearing my trusty (and fave pair of) active leggings from Svelte Shapewear.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day! Workout at your own pace and for your own interest. Don't prescribe to diet or weight-loss culture. This is about health, both physical and emotional! Catch you next Monday for this weeks instalment! XOXO
Last week while walking to the gym, a lightbulb went off in my head. I am still recovering from my surgery (it's one year anniversary is literally this week OMG). I don't have many places to go and I don't travel much. I'm pretty restricted in ways that I never could have imagined. The gym is my catwalk. I hop on Instagram stories in the Yoga Room and make timelapses of my workouts to share with you. I enjoy coordinating my gym outfits. So, why not combine my love for fashion & fitness? I intend on making this a weekly occurrence, on Mondays. I am always looking for new activewear brands, so if you have any suggestions -- let me know in the comments below. I'm also open to athletic brand collaborations - email or DM me.
Growing up, I would have never had access to this kind of innovative fitness/health content. There were virtually no fat bodies in [fitness] media (that is, unless you count Richard Simmons LOL). Pilates, aerobics and jazzercise tapes and infomercials saturated the market. Today, abs and obliques adorn the cover of world renowned fitness magazines such as: Men's Health, Women's Health, Women's Fitness and Muscle & Fitness. Fitness and health aren't all achieved through crunches and muscles! (although v cool to see curvy babe, Iskra on the cover of Women's Health UK in 2017 - see here).
Plus size women are rarely seen in sport, let alone, celebrated. However, if you peep at Olympic Track & Field Teams (and what once were the softball teams) you may recognize a few visibly plus size women (and men... helllooooo Joe Kovacs). The most well-known perhaps being, Sarah Robles (USA) who won an Olympic Bronze Medal in weightlifting at the 2016 Summer Winter Olympics. Side Note: Fun news that made my morning -- After being voted out of the 2012 & 2016 Olympics, baseball & softball are making a return for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (YESSSSS!).
I'm sure many are intimidated by and frustrated with (myself included) the idealization of thin-white-cis-able bodies in society and the media. Today, I want to begin to deconstruct the health & fitness industry (don't worry, I am just getting started). We watch in horror as we place those with the right % of body fat and the correct BMIs on a pedestal, but we do little to challenge it. Not to mention, there are the domineering overtones of living in a male-dominated world.
People of colour (especially women & non-binary folx) rarely make the cover of magazines. Discussions about disability in sport are limited to the Paralympics and the Para Pan Am Games (AKA: The Capitalist extortion of marginalized folx). But not for long! These images are not realistic representations of the world. I want to break down the image and reputation of health and fitness in the media. It is not a one-size-fits all industry. It does have the potential to be a magnificent world of possibility and thinking outside the box. If only we allow it to be so. I want to change the way society and the media view health and fitness! Neither are a means to an end (i.e. weightloss, beauty, etc.), but are rather a lifestyle.
Health and Fitness can be fun in many different ways. For me, I allow it to be an outlet for my creativity and spunk. I thought it would be fun to share my passion with others by showcasing what I wear to the gym each week. No staging required. I am only wearing items that I actually worked out in. Most of these shots are before my workout; however, some may be from throughout or afterwards. Note: In some photos, I am wearing makeup and in others, I am not. I have edited the images in order to address lighting barriers to the horrendous mirror selfie shot under fluorescent lighting. Since I do 99% of my workouts solo, the best photo method has proven to be the cliche mirror selfie. I'm not trying to break any fashion barriers with this - not showing off couture here. I'm at times awkward, but that's the real me!
There are times when I have pre-planned my workout and other times when I wing it. There must always be a certain level of flexibility assigned to this, due to my physical disability. Sometimes, I find myself weighting out machines that are occupied because I physically cannot use what is available. Therefore, I may end up doing some yoga or strengthening exercises that I hadn't intended to do (but always can benefit from). I rarely encounter this during the daytime due to the smaller presence. Plus, the busier it is, the greater risk of me falling (due to poorly placed equipment, overcrowding, etc.). This is why I don't like to leave my workout until the evening.
Above: pre-workout; Below: post-workout
Monday I did probably the most intense core workout of my life. Since I planned to spend a significant amount of time on the floor, I had to stay covered up. I definitely would have flashed people based on what I had planned for the workout. I went prepared. The undershorts are my old Nike sliders from my hardball days. I was never a very good slider (back problems) so the shorts are pretty pristine. It was my first time wearing these purple shorts that I picked up at Old Navy the weekend prior. I am wearing the XXL but definitely would rather had an XL (I'm a size 18/20 in bottoms). They are super comfy and aren't restrictive at all which is important when you're doing mat exercises (similar style here). I knew I wasn't running, so I threw on these comfy Champion slip-ons. My Poly/Rayon/Spandex shirt is also from Old Navy, but is ancient. It kind of looked weird with the black-white-purple combo but in a quirky kind of way, I think? I don't hate it! It was something different and a form of self-expression.
~ I matched the medicine ball ~
Tuesday I followed the momentum from yesterday and continued on with core exercises. I had exhausted myself the day before and hadn't realized until mid-workout. I made a mental note to avoid back-to-back core workouts. I lifted many weights this evening and even brought along my own free-weights and kettle bells (I still don't understand why our gym doesn't have free-weights). I matched the Medicine Ball that I was using for squats, twists and lifts -- so that was fun.
I've been doing some Spring Cleaning lately, especially in my closet. I found this Toronto Blue Jays T-Shirt of mine in my cupboard and was shocked at how big it looked. I purchased it at the beginning of last summer and it was snug on me then. Check out how it looks on me now! I think it's time for the shirt to retire as PJs & the odd-time workout shirt. I absolutely love these leggings by NOLA from Addition Elle. They hold everything in, they are high-rise & my panties don't bunch up under them (LOL). They appear to be sold out online, but check in the clearance section of your own store (or shop a similar pair here). Unfortunately, I did discover that I probably shouldn't wear them on bicycle days. Sitting down on that recumbent bicycle in these just uncomfortably squishes everything.
Wendesday I usually go straight through, Monday to Friday. Due to the intensity of Mon/Tues core workouts, I took the day off.
Thursday After having a rest day, I felt rejuvenated and was full of energy! I planned a rather lengthy workout that included many elements. I spent nearly 3 hours at the gym on Thursday and it felt amazing. I just wanted a taste of everything. I experimented a little with a few new exercises (starting to target my back now after almost an entire year-post op).
Thursday hosted a Full Moon in Virgo. I began my workout practice with a silent meditation (the yoga studio was empty thankfully) and transitioned into some grounding yoga. Yoga is tricky for me now more than ever because it places a lot of trust and attention on balance. My trusty old Nike's got me through my summer of physiotherapy, so I knew they'd still stand up in the gym. They have firmer toe, so it's easier to do yoga/planks while wearing these ones. Honestly, these pieces just all happened to be clean on my couch from laundry day. It's just a bonus that they all matched!
Here, I'd like to demonstrate the three phases of my workout ensemble.
Phase One: Top & Leggings (sweater worn only for photo cause I forgot to take it off)
Why: I'm moving around a lot within a confined space. I will get hot, fast. I have a place to set my sweater down.
Phase Two: Jacket secured around waist
Why: I start to move between the aerobics room and the cardio/weights room. I don't want to be carrying a bunch of stuff around (like when I bring my own free weights). It's too hot to wear while on the bicycle but acts as a comfy lap cushion.
Phase Three: Jacket On
Why: For one, it is my own personal sauna (more heat = your body is working harder). Secondly, I don't want to have a Janet Jackson slip at the gym. No matter what, my chest likes to escape from whatever it's bound by. In this case, I knew this yoga top from Old Navy (also ancient) would not keep my chest secure if I was running. I was keen to jog, so I sadistically suffered through this in my sweater.
Friday It was a busy day. My schedule had gotten shifted around which left me in a bit of a tizzy. I was ultimately on a time constraint. I went in the middle of the day, so I just threw something together. I was cleaning my apartment beforehand. I was really hot, so opted for shorts! I knew it would be a low impact day, so I wore this loose top with built-in bra (old season Addition Elle). Honestly, it's kind of big on me, so I think I need to consider recycling this one. One of three pairs of my runners. I am going to purchase some new runners soon actually. I'm excited.
The neuropathy in my glutes restricted me from using the recumbent bicycle (my go to) which was frustrating. I worked on my balance & arm strength (triceps & biceps) using some pulley-weights. I took to the treadmill instead to work on my endurance. I didn't feel well, so I didn't last long. But, I made a vow to listen to my body and I'm sticking to it.
Saturday I had a lot going on today, but wanted to make up for my day off on Wednesday. Sticking to a 5-day per week schedule (with a "no excuses" attitude) keeps me occupied, disciplined and accountable. I made a quick dip down to the bicycle for a quick spin. I also jumped on the leg machines and worked my quads & hammies doing leg extensions & curls. It is more comfortable to do this (or really any weight machine) in full pants. Bare legs (shorts) create too much friction and are a no-no! These are my trusty pair of electric NOLA legging from Addition Elle. I was already wearing a sports-bra that day (apartment cleaning) so I just found an old but cute t-shirt to accompany the leggings. I just love the athletic stripe details on the sleeves of this Disney Villains shirt.
That sums up my workout week! Make sure to visit back next Monday (post should be up by morning) for this week's plus-size activewear recap. I'm off to the gym now! XOXO
Today, I'm going to share something a bit different... something that I haven't really discussed much on the blog. I've wanted to write about hair for a while now. This post has given me an excuse to do that, and hopefully I can make this a semi-regular kind of occurrence. Let me give you a bit of backstory with this simple statement: I am not good with hair. I can style an outfit and apply makeup, but my hair is on another level (the level below LOL). I don't mind poking a bit of fun at myself because my hair-styling skills have at least improved over the years.
This post was intended to go live a bit earlier than this, but I was required to hold off for a couple reasons. First, I believe that in order to provide you with a genuine and authentic review, I must try a product out more than a few times. I wouldn't want to rush my testing. I want you to get the full experience, by proxy! Also, unfortunately my dad needed last-minute surgery and when he was discharged, my disabled self became his temporary nurse (LOL). This is all while I was also recovering from hand surgery, that left my dominant hand out of the game for about 5 weeks (it's mighty difficult to style your hair with on hand). It's been a fun year! Thank you to ZOI Agency PR and Schwarzkopf Professional who sent me these products! This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.
Like I said, I am not much of a hair guru...so take all of this in with a grain of salt! However, I just got my haircut and I'm feeling more confident in my styling abilities right now. My hair is a lot shorter than it's been in a while; I was working on growing my hair, until I realized just how unhealthy it had become. I am kind of self-conscious about my hair/head which is probably why I don't talk about it all that much. I also find it incredibly challenging to do my own hair (don't we all?). I have been working on my upper body strength at the gym and I'm hoping it has an effect on my hair skills! Do you know how difficult it is to hold up a curling iron like a tricep extension???. Imagine the length of the reps too!
I was graciously sent 5 different hairstyling products from Schwarzkopf Professional, two of which are hairsprays. There are also two cream products, and the last item is a paste. Let me first start off by saying: I genuinely love these products.
I want to begin by discussing hairspray, as they were the highlight of the #MadeToRecreate campaign. I don't often use hairspray, unless I am doing an up-do, braid or something of the like (which is rare). However, I'm now sure that this was because I had not found the "it" hairspray. Let me just say, these hairsprays are freaking fantastic! I have tried many other hairsprays in my life and very few have come even close to the performance of these. I was sent both the Elastic and Freeze hairsprays. In my research for this post, I have discovered that there is a third hairspray (appropriately labelled #3) "Session Extreme Hold". I can only assume that with even faster drying time, this was designed for professional salon use.
Styled with: Freeze Hairspray & Tame Wild
I enjoy having the option to use either an elastic or freeze hold, by selecting one or the other. I usually gravitate toward the Elastic spray. I want added security and hold, while at the same time, benefiting from the freedom of flexibility. How naive of me that I wasn't even aware that hairsprays like this exist out there!
It's no surprise that with a name like "Freeze" it would be even stronger and longer-lasting than "Elastic". "Freeze" also blocks UV Rays and fights against humidity, which is amazing. I can absolutely see myself using this daily in the Summer because my hair hates humidity! Naturally, "Freeze" leaves your hair feeling much crunchier than "Elastic", but it does not feel brittle after application (which is important to note). Still in place, even hours later, it is really easy to brush out! Okay, so I actually just realized *mid-post* that Schwarzkopf Professional uses a numbers system to indicate hold (1 for loose, 2 for medium/strong hold and 3 for extremely secure).
In researching for this post, I discovered that Chatters Hair Salon sells Schwarzkopf Professional products (you can view the OSIS+ line here). While they are limited in Ontario locations, Chatters has Canada-wide free shipping today (this probably is a regular occurrence so check that out). Otherwise, it seems that your best bet would be at other local salon locations! Schwarzkopf Professional hairsprays seem to run an average of $15-20 (depending on hold). The other three products are listed for about $18 each. Now, I just need to get my hands on the Mess Up Matte Gum, Shine Sparkler Spray and the Ultra Hold Mousse (Note: I use mousse almost daily so I go through enough of it).
I will group my findings about Tame Wild and Curl Honey together, as they share a lot of the same positives. Both are non-sticky, lightweight creams (I am so not a gel person) and provide surface smoothness.
I have never found that miracle product that totally combats my frizzy flyways and baby hairs, but Tame Wild comes pretty close. Tame Wild has easily become one of my favourite hair products of all time. I am so intoxicated by this product, largely due to it's scent. It is infused with honey and for some reason, also reminds me of the smell of fresh black tea (Note: If you've ever smelt Fresh's Black Tea Masks from Sephora, that's what this smells like). Tame Wild is a smoothing Anti-Frizz cream. I also like the face that it uses heat resistant technology, which I assume means I can apply it prior to blowdrying and it assume it would work like a blow-dry balm. I actually have not tried this.
Curl Honey is also a smoothing cream, although that is not its full intended purpose. In addition to taming some frizz/flyways (IMO: not nearly as well as Tame Wild), it smooths and defines each curl and leaves your hair with a glossy finish. I personally prefer more voluminous curls, which Curl Honey does not provide me. It doesn't give me as formed curls as mousse does (my usual go-to) but when I want to achieve a casual look quickly, I totally use this! It's so fast just to run this through your hair and walk out the door!
Styled With: Curl Honey
I must admit that I don't tend to gravitate toward the Zero Grease Matte Paste (Coal Putty) as much. It just isn't what my hair needs to optimize it's beauty. I do appreciate that it is not greasy and provides a "medium hold". So, maybe as the weather changes, I will be able to break out of my mousse/cream bubble and experiment with paste/putties and gels!
For a full list of the OSIS+ product matrix, check it out on the Schwarzkopf Professional website here. I hope that if you try these products, you enjoy them as much as I do! I'd love to see your creations.
This week, you're getting a double dose of fashion! I guess this is a pretty rare circumstance for me; however, due to some personal circumstances this week, I just don't have the emotional fortitude to finish my dating blog as suggested. I hope that you can understand! I will be posting that next week though, so keep an eye out for it.
It's no secret that I've been largely attracted to celestial patterns and styles lately. You might have caught Monday's post about my obsession with the occult world (see here if you missed it!). I do feel especially connected to the moon and stars, but will gladly open the wardrobe to include things like planets or the sun as well (hahaha). I actually just received in the mail a bunch of celestial-influenced goodies and accessories that I ordered. I am always looking for more, so let me know if you find any amazing celestial/occult deals!
I am also obsessed with blue and it has quickly replaced the colour purple (LOL no pun intended) on the podium of favourites. As I have become more connected with astrology and my sign (fixed water sign over here), I am realizing just how drawn to blue I am. The more it looks like the ocean, the better (so this cobalt is everything!!!). I re-styled my bedroom with mostly blue decor (you can see that on my Instagram here). So, I hope you enjoy my All Blue Everything kinda vibe.
On Boxing Day last year, I did the tiniest bit of shopping. I had my eye on this pink Calvin Klein Outwear Vest, and it finally went on sale. I really hate paying for shipping, so I decided to find something else to supplement my cart; that way, shipping would be free. I found this gorgeous moon and star sweater in the straight-size section of HBC.
Not going to lie, until I wrote this post, I thought I had accidentally purchased it from the kids section. When it arrived, it looked so tiny! I am wearing the XL and it is SUPER short on me. I'm just saying. I basically can only wear it with this skirt or high-waisted pants as it kind of resembles a crop top (I also am very busty, so that doesn't help). It does have a LOT of stretch though and even fits me in the shoulders. I thought I was over the cold shoulder trend, I really did. I was over it years ago actually, never really owning much that could be considered the same. However, I just could not leave this sweater; I liked it too much.
A couple weeks ago, my blogger friend Sarah came over to do some work. We usually head to this super cute Parisian-influenced cafe in my area, because it's quiet there. We are usually able to get a lot of work done! We were supposed to be editing Youtube videos, but found ourselves shooting outfit pictures for most of the afternoon... oops! I like to think that I look sophisticated and even a bit Parisian here. I've never (yet) set foot in France, but I like to think that this is how women dress there, elegant, dreamy and magical. Also, although it is set in New York City, this outfit (especially the sweater) gives me 'It's a Wonderful Life' vibes. AKA this magical quote: "What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary". Swoooon. I'd take me a gentleman like George Bailey anytime.
Outfit Details// Top: Jessica Simpson via HBC (available here); Skirt: Fashion to Figure (available in black/cream here & similar blue skirt here ON SALE at Society+); Kimono: ASOS Curve (sold out) Booties: Penningtons (previous season); Earrings: A'Gaci (similar here)
Hi Everyone! It's a holiday in Canada (Family Day) and the US I believe (President's Day) so I am trying to relax and be productive at the same time. For me, writing (when I actually want to) is therapeutic. I am also highly motivated by stress and deadlines, so receiving these photos late last night only really pushed me further. Unfortunately, I've had some urgent personal stuff come up today, hence the delay.
I had spent many years minimizing my obsession with the occult, keeping it under wraps for fear that my safe haven would become the thing that ostracizes me. I'm a Scorpio though, so my interest in the unknown, morbid and occult runs through my veins. However, I've never had the affinity for Horror movies. One of my exes was obsessed -- looking back on it now, I'm not surprised, recognizing that he's also a Scorpio. To each their own in the land of the occult. You can be interested in one, two, five or an infinite areas. I personally connect with Astrology and Tarot the most, but I am constantly looking to expand my knowledge. I like to connect my intuition and natural gifts to service, sharing them with the world.
I've been trying to encourage Allie to explore Astrology a bit more, even if she's not as fluent. She's a Virgo and pretty grounded in logic, honestly. We're currently try to deduce her birth time, so I can dive into her Natal Chart a bit more. Allie is wearing a gorgeous Astrology dress from Plus BKLYN - which I have borrowed and basically lived in for a week.
Allie and I used to shoot coord outfits all the time; mind you, this was pre-surgery and I was much less of a hermit then. I can honestly say that I've really missed this. Allie and I have stunning on-camera chemistry. We just naturally feed off each other, and whatever we collab on is always magic. It was nice to bring that same magic to such magical fashion. Speaking of magic... I've become that crystal lady. You can often find me with a chunk of Amethyst around my neck, threaded by my talented sister Jenn (I've linked her Etsy shop in my outfit details below).
Outfit Details// Dress: ASOS Curve (available here); Kimono: ASOS Curve (sold out); Bag: Ban.do (available here - sold out of peach); Booties: Addition Elle (previous season); Necklace: Ausada Malas; Earrings: ASOS (sold out - similar here); Lipstick: Viva Glam Ariana Grande for MAC
I've actually become more fluent in my Astro knowledge lately -- definitely surpassing my knowledge of Tarot now. I have been working with tarot and have been actively learning since the summer (which you can read a little about here). What really gets me, is that I will pull some or all of the same cards on back-to-back days. That's my clue that I need to shake things up a bit! Usually that means, what I'm doing isn't working.
I have eluded to this before, but some of my tarot cards like to "stalk" me. Specifically, 'The Moon' and now the 4 of Cups. Wow, that's heavy! Neither card are particularly positive, nor negative. Rather, I find these two meet in the middle at indifference and apathy. Whatever is on the horizon, there are usually two ends of the spectrum. The 4 of Cups suggests there may be an opportunity presented that I might miss due to deep reflection or near-sightedness. Welcome to my life LOL. Then, The Moon suggests that the journey will lead to either wisdom, or into the oblivion. I like to think that I'm encountering a bit of both here. I have been trying to hone any potential intuitive/mediumship skills that I might have. My third eye and crown chakra are highly stimulated lately!
I hope you enjoyed a look into my occult world -- this is really who I am and I'm not going to hide it anymore. I stand in my quirky truth.
Galentine's Day has evolved from sitcom holiday to become a part of important movements, like #MeToo. For the first time in a long time, it seems that women have a voice again. It seems that popular proverb is right, there is strength in numbers. Togetherness can minimize fears of rejection and ostracization and empower women to courageously share their stories. Statistics show that if we don't have the numbers in our favour "backing up our claims", women are rarely able to gain the attention of our justice system. I believe survivors, but it seems that the media is scrambling to catch up. Women in "Show Business" and politics may feel empowered to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, but what about the rest of us? Those who don't have the financial or emotional resources to come forward? We can't stop, we won't stop! I also want to take this moment to acknowledge and make my stance known on the following: TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN and WOMEN OF COLOUR EXPERIENCE DISGUSTING, WRONGFUL SUBORDINATION by our society. White privilege still exists, even if you are a woman. No ifs, ands or buts. If you disagree, you might as well unfollow me, because I don't think we will ever get along. If this content makes you uncomfortable, brace yourself. You ain't seen nothin' yet!
Growing up as an only child left me always wanting more. More quality time with likeminded gals, the freedom to gossip about our crushes and the opportunity to learn to French-Braid (LOL Chloe asked us if any of us could, but we all said no. Point taken?). I have always been very social and have the natural ability to make friends, but I always wanted sister! I spent my childhood searching for a surrogate for this type of relationship, desperate for sisterhood. All I ever wanted was to have a core group of best gal pals that would have weekly sleepovers! I waited and waited, but it never happened... until now! Allie, Sarah, Chloe & I decided to have a Galentine's Day Sleepover last weekend. Ever since we planned this shoot, I was on Cloud 9! For days leading up to it, I could hardly contain my excitement! I am so appreciative of the bonds that I have made with these ladies. They are all unique in their own ways (like the way Chloe & I bond over Tarot, Allie & I can exchange just a glance, knowing exactly what the other is thinking; and Sarah & I can spend hours watching conspiracy documentaries or sappy movies). We always have a great time together and I wouldn't trade our friendship for the world!
We're fat babes, how could we not have snacks?!?!?
Living my best pre-teen life, reminiscing over J-14!
Literally my fave pic of the shoot - my BFFL
I want to extend a huge thank you to Chloe who let us use her FABULOUS bedroom for this photoshoot. It was exactly the vision we had in mind for this shoot! I can only hope that this becomes a fun annual event. I love spending Galentine's Day with my babes! What can I say? I'm not that mushy and I prefer to gush over my girls, okay?
Fun Fact: I am usually the first asleep at sleepovers!
Ban.do was incredibly kind to us and provided us with some goodies to make this happen! We were able to pick out a couple of items that fit our own individual style, which was super fun. I got lost in the Ban.do website for hours because I was honestly in love with everything (product details below). I had never worn any of Ban.do's apparel line. I was curious as to how the shirts would fit and not going to lie, a bit nervous too. I never veer from what I know, the plus-size market. I must say, I am glad I did! READ: Ban.do knows how to construct clothing for fat bodies, including us who are chest-heavy!!! I am wearing a size XXL here and am a size 20. I kid you not, this is one of the best fitting t-shirts I have ever worn.