Monday, April 4, 2016

Missguided Plus | Missguided Plus My Hips Don'T Lie T-Shirt at ASOS

Missguided Plus | Missguided Plus My Hips Don'T Lie T-Shirt at ASOS

Belted scarf-hem dress | Lane Bryant

Belted scarf-hem dress | Lane Bryant

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Event Recap; Opulence

On Saturday, the 6th, I had a chance to witness self love in the form of fashion and spoken word. I was a guest at Opulence: A Lavish Evening of Sensual Arts ft/the Fuller Woman. This event was hosted by The International Fuller Woman Network. The hilariously funny Erica Watson was on the mic all night and definitely kept the energy up. If you see her, just shout, "5, 6, 7, 8!" and watch her twerk to the Gods! 
"We are socialized to fear and even hate our bodies. In those rare instances in the media when there is a portrayal of a plus size woman as sensual being it is always met with ridicule and fat shaming. 
There are several things that we know to be true:We are desired and feel desirable. We are worthy of having healthy relationships that honor and affirm our desires. We don't need to wait for a partner to acknowledge our beauty.We should be free to discover our own sexuality without feeling shame for doing so. This Valentine season join us as we highlight the sensual side of the Fuller Woman through artistic expression from amazing women and men in our network."
The event was filled with body positivity from spoken word artists, the SoPhat Burlesque dance troupe, and voluptuous bodies struttin' the runway in Spring fashions from Lane Bryant and Pink Clubwear, as well as lingerie from Hips and Curves and Lane Bryant. The So Phat Burlesque dance troupe totally got the party started. Those women were full of energy and oozed sex appeal. I was in the back dancing in my chair. While they were on stage, I could not contain my booty to just that plastic chair. In between performances, Erica Watson, a comedienne from the Chi, had me laughing so hard that I was in tears. She even called on the audience to strut their stuff down the runway. The crowd lost it when the men took center stage and showed us women how to really do it. The fashion show was beautiful and now I have more reasons to get dressed. The models were a great range of plus sizes. They were beautiful and confident. I definitely took a little bit of that back with me. Check out the gallery below for some of the images from the night.


Snow Day with Carter and Maverick

If you live in Michigan, you may have received the same rude awakening this morning when mother nature reminded us that, yes, it is February and it's still Winter. Message received. I hit up my former boss, who is currently building her blog, Running the Halls, and asked her if she wanted to take the boys to a nearby park for a snow day playdate. It was also a chance for the both of us to play with our cameras, since we both want to explore photography more.

I struggled with getting the exposure correct. The snow was blinding and I didn't get a lot of good shots. I also managed to push my camera into the snow while setting Carter up for a shot. Way to go Nik! *face palm* My lens didn't fully dry until I got home.

While I'm happy that I was able to capture the boys in action, I was hoping that these would a little less snapshot-ish and more like a lifestyle/action shot. Guess I gotta keep working on it. Oh, and I'm also working on my watermark. Trying to figure out if I like it or not. Hmm.

I am open to feedback! If you have any tips or tricks for shooting in the snow, please, leave 'em in the comments. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What Do Moms of Small Children Wear to the Grocery Store?

Dress, Wetseal - Fur Vest, Target - Boots, Avenue

I am trying to make a habit out of getting dressed on my days off. I am also trying to make a habit of photographing those outfits as well. My husband bought me a remote and a tripod for Christmas for this very purpose. It is quite encouraging, but I still feel quite awkward lugging around a tripod and setting up shop somewhere to snap pictures. I already feel like a narcissist when I ask him to take my picture. I can take pictures of people all day long, but lately, I've been shying away from the camera. It hasn't been on purpose, I just feel like most days my sense of style and dress is unremarkable. Nonetheless, I promised that I would photograph what I wear, mostly for me to get me out of this fashion "I only wear yoga pants and tees" rut.

I have been scouring the blogs for moms around my age with toddlers. Everyone seems to wear heels and super cute dresses every. damn. day. Welp, that's not me! I chase this kid around, he's got a lot of energy and my clothing has to reflect those type of days. I don't want to just photograph cute outfits. I need to wear them and they have to be kid friendly. Maybe once he is older, and he stops rubbing his grubby lil' hands on me, I'll look into a more sophisticated wardrobe. For now, I need comfy, stretchy clothes with lots of movement and a pair of sneaks.

If you guys know of any mommy type fashion blogs, I am all ears, heh, well eyes! Leave them in the comments below!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Funday at the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

My mom friends and I took our kiddos out for a playdate. It's been a good 8 months or more since we last saw each other. It's Michigan and it's Winter, so we weren't quite sure what exactly we would end up doing. One friend suggested that we go to Sea Life Michigan Aquarium located inside of Great Lakes Crossing. I'll admit, I was a little nervous for Carter since he was so apprehensive about eating in the Rainforest Cafe.

My favorite, and Carter's favorite, was the touch pool that houses starfish, sea urchin, and crab. Carter loved it cause, well, water, duh. Oh, oh, did I mention Jellyfish!? Those things were pretty dreamy. The walk through right before you exit was cool with the small sharks and fish swimming above your head. The exhibit seemed to be well maintained and clean. There was even a guy who just so happened to be present as Carter decided to rip up a pair of cardboard swim goggles. I apologized and he was kind and told me it was not a problem.

For the price, I do wish that it was more interactive and larger. It's inside of a mall and while I know they can't do much more, the ticket price left me wanting more. If  we hadn't let the kids lead at their pace, we would have been in and out within 25 minutes, maybe even less. Kids 3 and under are free, which is a perk, but for my friend and her 5 year old, the price just didn't match the actual experience. Would I take Carter again? Maybe, he seemed to really enjoy it. Would I take a family of 4 or 5? Meh, not on the weekend, but possibly a day throughout the week where the tickets are cheaper. I'd rather save more coins and take him to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Legoland opens inside Great Lakes Crossing on March 25th, Carter's 2nd birthday. We haven't decided if we will go that day, but we will for sure check it out. What did your weekend consist of? What fun things do you do with the kids during the Winter months to get them out of the house?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mini Shopping Haul from Dot & Bo

I am obsessed with online shopping for home items. I rarely ever buy, but I do fill up my cart, apply the coupons, and never actually purchase the items. I know I'm not the only one.

Almost a year ago, I signed up for the deals at Dot & Bo.

"Dot & Bo is a service for discovering and buying things you love for your home. We combine the personalized advice of an interior decorator with the entertainment experience of watching your favorite home design television show."
I always drool at the design, but a lot of things I reaalllllly want are out of my price range.. I obsess over their eclectic furniture and decor. It wasn't until recently that I actually took the plunge and ordered some knick knacks. I ordered these items on Christmas, I guess I was in the spirit. I just received them yesterday (shipping is sort of like Zulily. Items will tell you an estimated date as to when they will ship.) They also have daily deals in addition to regular online shopping. That's where I snagged my stuff.

I just wanted to share really quickly, some of the things I purchased.

Are these not the cutest damn salt and pepper shakers ever?! Of course, Carter thinks that they are toys. Now, I keep thinking about starting a collection. You can still grab these cuties here
We always keep beer in the house, so this beverage wall opener is a must. This is still available here as well!
Even though I prefer more sleek and modern kitchen decor, I could not pass up these darling little measuring cups, find them here. They are a bit country meets rustic, but they will do the job just fine. The colors are fitting with my kitchen.

I freaking love them all and I can't wait to put them to use. I do plan on making more purchases! I have some home projects that I want to tackle. I am all about design and that can be tough seeing as how my apartment is usually cluttered with toys. 

If you like what you see on Dot & Bo, you can use my invitation link and receive $20 off of your first purchase of $50 or more. I wish I would have had an invitation first, cause I probably would have bought a ton more lol Y'all know I like to save money.

See anything that you want?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to make Valentine's Day Sexy, Even When You're a Tired Mom

Valentine's Day is just a few short weeks away and I want to make it special. While I know that The Walking Dead will for sure be a part of our date night, I want to make it sexy and hot. I can admit it, I am not that sexy pre-mommy vixen that I once was. I left my bag of tricks in the closet and buried it deep, probably somewhere along with my sense of style. I have fallen into this rut of wiping off my work face, putting my hair into a pineapple and sleeping in clothing that my kid stained. And while I'm sure that Ryan would love me no matter what I wear to bed, I still yearn to be the hottie that attracted him almost 6 years ago. I know I am not the only mom who feels as if she has abandoned her Samantha Jones for a Miranda Hobbes lifestyle.

How am I supposed to turn on my inner sex kitten when I don't even feel like it? Here is a short list of things that I plan to do and you can to.

Buy something sexy. This seems pretty obvious, but it's not always the easiest thing to do. I am a bargain shopper. I won't buy 99% of ANYTHING without a coupon. Hell, right now, I'm looking at Lane Bryant's clearance Christmas jammies. Judge me if you must, but I need something to sleep in that is not what I wore to work. I scroll through the sites and I see all of this seductive lingerie and I can't stop adding the fleece pajamas with deer on them, cause hey, those are virtually free with all of my coupons. But even still, nothing beats the instant sexiness that you feel when you shimmy into a red satin chemise with some cheeky panties. If you can't get into a chemise or a sexy teddy, buy yourself some new intimates that go under your clothes. Feeling sexy under your clothing is a marvelous feeling, even when you are chasing your toddler around. I scored with the Semi Annual Cacique sale from Lane Bryant. Almost instantly, I felt like my sex appeal went up 100 points. Maybe that had something to do with my boobs being lifted to the heavens in that new bra, but ya know, I'll take it either way.

Slip into some red lipstick and black eyeliner. I will admit, red lips make me feel devilishly sexy. Right now, I'm even thinking about all the places I can leave little red lips all over my husbands body. I used to be afraid of red lipstick. I felt like everyone was staring at my lips. I would constantly put it on at home and then wipe it off before I reached my destination. Now, I know better and I know that every woman should own a red lipstick. The problem for most women is finding the right tone. I love a good true red, which has a blue base. My favorite is Urban Decay's F-Bomb Revolution lipstick. This stuff is creamy and wears well. If you're still apprehensive, check out these tips on AOL on how you can choose the perfect red for your skin tone. Oh, and don't let the thought of winging out your liner scare you! I promise, with a little practice, patience and makeup remover wipes, you can slay winged eyeliner. I didn't get it quite right until I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner. This stuff is amaze balls. The felt tip makes creating wings super easy. If you're still not sure if you can do it, youtube will be your bff. I like how this girl explains her winged liner.

valentine's day

Have sex. Seems pretty simple right? I get it, who has time when they have a toddler with the energy of the sun, laundry to put away, floors to mop, dinner to cook, homework to help with, and every other excuse. Having sex with your partner may seem like another chore on your list of things to get done for the day, but it shouldn't be. We are busy, and I know I am guilty of this some days, but I crave intimacy and With young kids, you will take it wherever and whenever you can. Some days it may be a quickie before the shower or during afternoon nap, early mornings seem to work best for lots of working couples. On Valentine's day, make it especially special. Take that time out for each other. Touch each other, be slow, be gentle, or be rough and raunchy, however you guys like it, just make sure to make the time. Don't pass out before you get some nookie. Valentine's Day is on a Sunday this year, and you better not use the excuse that you have to work in the morning. That is surely one reason that I enjoy being tired. I love Cosmo's 31 Days of Sex challenge. You can get a head start now and be all warmed up by the time the 14th rolls around.

Find a new sexy fragrance. I am absolutely in love with Sexy Sunset from Michael Kors. It smells amazing. I sprayed it on at work and when I got home, I found out that it was hubby approved. If you can't afford the full size bottle, you know because, bills, then grab the purse size spray. You don't have to take the plunge right away, you can do what I do. While you're out shopping, spritz yourself with something you've never worn before. It's like a trial run before you solidify the purchase. If your partner can't keep his hands off you, then you know you've found a winner. Make sure you spray it in all the places he will kiss, your neck, wrists, and knees. He will always remember the sexy good time you had on Valentine's night when he gets a wiff of you. That is enough to turn up the sexy.

Send a sexy text message during the day. Use your imagination and send him a sexy picture or use words to describe exactly what you want to do to him. I love setting the tone for the evening while I'm at work...and I'm certain that I will be working Valentine's Day, hooray retail life. Tell him all the naughty things that you are going to do, be as descriptive as you like. Just make sure you don't send that text to your mom, dad or the babysitter.

Moms, what other suggestions do you have for myself and others who are struggling to keep it sexy not just on Valentine's Day, but 365? Leave me a comment below and share! Sharing is caring you know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

When is it ok to Mush a Toddler in The Face?

As Carter approaches his second birthday, I am realizing that he is no longer this completely helpless baby who was always attached to my boob. He is now this super independent growing toddler with a giant personality. Some days, I have the patience of a saint, and other days he works my nerves down to the wire. I just want to crawl in my room and hide under the covers, but knowing Carter, he would just find me and jump all over my achy body. On those days, I find myself questioning if it is ever ok to face mush your almost terrible two year old. Parents, c'mon on. I need to know. Seriously, I cannot be the only mom who has several moments throughout the day where I think to myself, "If you do that again, I am going to mush you in the face."  It has to be better than a spanking and more effective than putting him in the corner. It's not the same face mush that you want to give the cashier at Target for ringing up your tampons twice. It's more the like the loving, semi-gentle mush that I would give Ryan. There are so many moments where I have to contain my side eye and bite my tongue. This little boy know that he is testing mama and da-da. Yeah, sure, he's all adorable and stuff with his wild hair and cheesy smile, but don't let all that cuteness get you caught up! He can be a terror on any given day.

Here is my short list, because trust me, it could be much longer, of all the times, I could mush Carter in the face:

  • When he empties out his toy box all over the floor and simply walks a pimp.
  • When he gets mad that you gave him water instead of juice, so he throws his cup across the kitchen floor?
  • When he cries because he wants his food NOW. And when you oblige and he falls out into full tantrum because his food is too hot to eat.
  • When you ask him to keep his Picasso style drawings contained to coloring books and not the white walls of your apartment. Praise Oprah for magic erasers!
  • When he is sick and he doesn't want medicine, but you know he needs something to bring the fever down. He refuses and uses his brute strength to swiftly knock the medicine cup out of your hands and onto your work clothes before your shift.
  • When you ask him to not empty out your vanity trashcan and drag it all over the room.
  • When he wants you to spray his hair with detangler but not comb it.
  • When he wants to take a bath but not actually put the soap anywhere near his body. Oh, and don't you dare put that detangling shampoo in his hair or he will sing the song of a million cranky babies.
  • When he smells like the holes of a thousand anuses not even five minutes after changing his diaper. Hooray poop! 
But alas, even when my patience gets the best of me, I could not imagine my days without him. For all the boogery things that he does, he does something so charming, that I instantly forget that he just wiped yogurt all down my slacks. I can't resist that smile of his. 

Leave me a comment below and let me know what your child does that makes you want to mush him/her in the face. Maybe it's your niece or nephew, cause lawd knows that they can be boogers too. I just know I can't be the only one. I'm looking forward to sharing with you!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Happy 2016!

Happy New Year! It's like the middle of the January, I can still say that right? I hope you have all recovered from the holiday shenanigans! My holidays were filled with work and family, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I've been meaning to write my "It's a new year, new me post," but the norovirus hit me like a ton of bricks. Slowed me down for almost 5 whole days. If you aren't familiar with the norovirus, just be happy. That stuff is NOT fun and I was glued to my couch or footing it to the bathroom for 72+ hours.

I've been trying to decide if I really want to have resolutions this year. I mean, aren't they just meant to be broken? Has anyone truly went 365 days without breaking one? Did you really give up swearing for an entire year? Meh. After much thought, I figured that I would continue to work on the things that were opportunities in 2015.

My blog
This has suffered ever since I started working full time and things really took a dive after I had Carter. I really envy those mommy bloggers who seem to have their shit together. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how y'all do it. My kid thinks that my laptop is his, even though I never let him use it. It is pretty much impossible to type when he thinks that he is the boss of this here keyboard. With that said, he does nap and he does sleep solid at night. Oh, but when I get off work, cause you know I mostly close, I am pooped. I clean and sometimes I will even take the makeup off my face and next thing I know, I am face down in my pillow with a lil' bit of drool on my lip. (Don't you judge me) If I were more organized, I suppose. I could write posts when I have the time and schedule them out. My blog isn't this grand giant brand name type of blog, but I love it, it's me and it is all my thoughts. I definitely want to keep it. So I will continue to write and SNAP PICTURES. If y'all never read it, at least I will have something to look back on and see how far I've come.

Wear the clothes in my closet
There are clothes, cute and somewhat trendy clothing at that, hanging in my closet that have only seen the inside of my closet. Now that I have a decent wardrobe, when do I have the time to wear it? Since becoming a mom, when I put on clothing that wasn't made for yoga, I feel overdressed. I buy pretty things all the time, I even have a sequin skirt that never made a debut during the holidays. Everything just hangs there, staring at me as I pull out the same black slacks and black top to wear to work. I promised myself that I would start getting dressed on my days off and that is exactly what I shall do. Is there really a problem if I wear sequins on a random Tuesday in January? Pft! I will also document these outfits, in case anyone cares to get a visual of how a fat mom dresses.

Do at least one photoshoot
Everyone has been asking me why I stopped modeling. Well, life happened to be perfectly honest. I have gained weight, my body changed after having Carter and now I have issues wearing heels due to some major heel pain, I am not as young as the models you currently see and hell, Tess Holiday is the only plus model who is closest to my size that is booking anything. Now that I'm back in Michigan, I have no idea about the industry here. Midwest is great for commercial images, but mostly if you are signed. So we shall see where this goes. I feel like I want to be behind the camera, but some days, I miss being in front of the lens. I will book one shoot, just to see if I still even have "it."

Continue to push myself to learn photography
I thought about taking a class, but there is so much information online that I am slowly learning. The learning curve would be better if I truly picked up my Nikon everyday and practiced. I finally have something better than a kit lens, so I've been doing better, but there's always room for improvement. My ultimate goal is shooting children, maternity and even possibly birth photos. The only way that I will get there is by practicing.

For me, 2016 is all about balance. Balance is what is going to help create and maintain healthy, happy relationships. That is all that I can really strive for. Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2016? How do you manage to stay motivated! Please feel free to share your tips in the comment section.
Couldn't leave without sharing this pic of Carter that I snapped this week

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