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Unboxing Part 2 (Summer Haul)

Okay so as promised here is my post on my second unboxing but this time there’s a twist! The company I am trying out this time is Gwynnie Bee. Unlike Dia & Co., I didn’t try the full service because they are a bit pricier compared to my budget. Since I am trying the 30 day trial you can only try two things at a time. I’m not too upset about that because the way they do their boxing service is different.

With Dia & Co. you try on the five items sent in your box and get five days to try them on before sending them back. If you do not want everything in your box be sure to send back what you don’t want within the time frame. If you use Gwynnie Bee it acts an online closet of sorts. You are basically renting the clothes that you wear for a set price each month. If hearing the word rent turns you off, remember a lot of celebrities do essentially the same thing when attending events. So just think of yourself as an A-list celebrity trying on brands from different companies.

Gwynnie Bee allows you to pick items you really like online or using the app and you add them to your online closet. If you’re especially fond of something, be sure to mark it as top priority in order to increase the likelihood that it is what they send to you first. Their pricing is based on the number of items you can check out at a time. For example, to have three items out at a time means you would be paying $95 a month.

I will include a picture below of how the pricing works:

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As you can see, the pricing is not for the faint of heart but it might be worth trying first for 30 days like I did and deciding for yourself whether it is a service you want to continue. It’s my goal to try several of these types of services and give my honest opinion of it. Besides, who doesn’t the idea of shopping made easy. Just like Dia & Co., you can send these back, exchange them, and buy them a lower retail price if you fall in love with it.

Now, time for the juicy stuff! When you receive your box it should come in a box like this:

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Purple is my favorite color so I was oddly excited that my return bag was purple. Inside the box is a cute little letter, the purple return bag, and your clothes are wrapped in purple tissue paper. For my first box, I opted for two dresses. One is a denim dress and the other is a light almost washed out blue colored dress.

This is the denim dress:

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Here is the other dress:

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On the models both of these dresses seemed like great additions to my wardrobe. The reviews on the first dress were mixed so I decided it would be best to see for myself. I was not completely against the idea of liking it because I’ve been wanting a dress like it for a while now. The second dress had virtually no good reviews. Most of the reviews I read either centered on the fact that the corset-belt was not tight enough around the waist of the dress or they felt that the dress made them look shapeless. I held fairly high hopes for the first dress and just sent up a prayer for the second one.

Item #1- Plenty dress by Tracy Reese

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Pros:
The dress itself is well made and the color is identical to the picture on the website. I also feel that if you have a fuller bosom, this dress would compliment it well and emphasize the cleavage. If you have a little more to love around the midsection, do not be afraid of this dress. It is fairly roomy in the stomach area so it will probably hug your belly without making it the focal point of your outfit.

Cons:

As you can see, this dress fit me nothing like it did the model. This dress was the one I was most excited for but did not end up liking. At first I thought maybe I had ordered a size too big but some areas were a little snug while others were loose. If I had gone down a size, I’m sure that it would be too tight. Sizing aside, the fit itself is a bit problematic. I believe that part of it has to do with my shape. The bottom half of the dress fit fairly well but the top half of the dress swallowed me. Despite my wide hips, my waist is somewhat small in comparison. This means that even though the dress was able to accommodate my hips, it was not made to fit a waist that is not as wide as the hips themselves. Some people disliked the split so I’ll mention. I personally didn’t find this to be very problematic.

Item #2- Front Tie Corset Tiered Sleeve Blue Dress2018-05-29_168445476072098829466.jpg20180518_1912363083752941633098900.jpg

Pros:

If you can’t tell by my poses, I was getting my life in this dress! It gave me a medieval feel mixed with a little bit of flower child. Although some people felt that this dressed swallowed them up, I felt that it fit my body just right. There are three types of dresses that I love: flowy, body-con, and maxi. This dress had all the frills and flow I could want. It didn’t feel baggy on me or heavy. The material was nice and surprisingly had very little wrinkles on it. The dress had a very feminine feel to it and made me feel girly (contrary to popular belief, I am definitely a tomboy). If you have larger breast and don’t feel the need to emphasize your rear-end this dress leaves a good deal of room up top. I feel that one of the biggest pros is that this dress is diverse. It can fit in a lot of different style categories.

Cons:

The belted part does not tighten so if you are looking for a more cinched look, this dress is not the one for you. The color of the dress is also a little darker than the one the model is wearing.

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Final Verdict:

I definitely feel that it is worth trying the 30 day trial. Getting the subscription itself is still to be determined. The biggest factor turning me away from investing in this service is the price range. While the items you receive are of great quality, the pricing is not feasible if you are on a tight budget. I also feel that the selection of items is fairly limited in terms of diversity. Most of the clothes I’ve seen appear to be for women who wear a lot of busness attire.

I do like that they apply sizing suggestions for all the clothes you look at based on the size you entered. It is also convenient to be able to see what it is that will be sent to in your next box. Having more input in what is sent to you is definitely a plus. Another upside to this service is that you can recycle the same clothes back. You can also keep the clothes for as long as you want. They even dry clean the clothes you send back you don’t have to worry about washing them yourselves. Shipping is also free so you don’t have to worry your pretty little head over that!

I will be sending back both dresses soon, so I will be sure to update you guys on the next set of clothes I receive. If you decide to try this service for yourself let me know in the comments. If there are any other services you want me to try just shoot me a comment with the name of the company. Hopefully you enjoyed this post and it was informative. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Don’t forget to please like, comment, share, and follow me for more content! Tell your friends, family, coworkers, or a random stranger (I’m not picky) to check out my blog as well!

 

 

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QTTH aka Quick Tricks, Tips, or Hacks

Welcome to my new segment which I like to call…*drum roll*.. QTTH aka quick tricks, tips, or hacks. Every week I’ll post a few tips, maybe some tricks, and probably some hacks. It’ll be largely random so don’t expect much rhyme or reason (don’t judge). Instead I’ll be sure to post some things I found have helped me. I might even try some new things and let you know whether they’re even worth trying yourself and possibly give a better alternative for it. With that being said, let’s get into it!

Tip #1:

I don’t know about anyone else but when you eat eggs there is a fine balance between underseasoned and overseasoned: and there is nothing worse than eating eggs that have been overseasoned. Faced with this issue what do you do?! It’s simple! When you crack your eggs and place it in the bowl done scramble them up yet.

They shouldn’t look like this:

They should look like this:

The reason I do this is because I can see how evenly my seasoning is being spread. Now, take a pinch of salt and spring it on each individual egg yolk. You should be able to see how much salt is on each yolk. For me, a pinch and a half is the sweet spot. Take on pinch and sprinkle a little evenly on each yolk. Then take a half a pinch and sprinkle it in the areas around the yolk. Now you can scramble it in the bowl or in the pan itself. You should end up with scrambled eggs that are delicious each time. If they aren’t salty enough for you, add half a pinch of salt more each time until it’s salty enough for you. Since I’ve started doing this, my eggs are seasoned right every time.

Tip #2

Eating healthier is something I think most of us struggle with. One of the first things you learn when changing up your diet is healthier options for what you usually eat. An example of this is substituting ground turkey for ground beef. For instance, if you’re making spaghetti, you would sub out ground beef for ground turkey.

If you’re like me, that’s a great idea in theory, but I am not a huge fan of the taste of ground turkey. Sliced turkey is a wonderful thing but ground turkey as a substitute just feels wrong to me. It’s quite the dilemma. One day I found myself in the grocery store and low and behold I came across beef bouillon. For those of you who do not know, bouillon cubes are cubes of concentrated stock, used for making bouillon. It can also be found in a powder form that is easier to use. Bouillon is

a broth made by stewing meat, fish, or vegetables in water.

In other words beef bouillon and beef bouillon cubes are a wonderful thing that should not be underestimated. I’ve used chicken bouillon cubes in the past but never had a need for beef bouillon cubes. Since you know, I was eating as much beef as I wanted. Alas, a change in my diet meant I needed to cut back on beef. The great thing about ground turkey is that is cooks without hardly any grease (if any) and it’s actually easier to cook with. It takes way more effort to burn ground turkey. Just in case you want to try this tip out and don’t know what you’re looking for here’s an example of what it looks like:

Pictured below is the wonderful beef bouillon in powder form:

You can usually find it in any grocery store but not always in the same section. Typically they can be found on the aisle where seasonings are or broths and stocks.

When you use bouillon you don’t have to use a lot because the flavor goes a looong way. When you incorporate it in your ground turkey be sure to work it in with your hands so that the flavor is spread throughout the meat. DO NOT be afraid to get your hands dirty. The darkness of the bouillon contrasts well with the lightness of turkey so you’re able to see how much you’ve sprinkled over the meat.

You can also try adding a few drops of Worcestershire sauce or liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is a magical bottle of hopes and dreams that does wonders for all sorts of meat but only use it and the Worcestershire sauce for things like burgers, hotdogs, or bbq types of meats. Beef bouillon is diverse in that it can be used for burgers, pasta dishes, turkey loaf, or pretty much anything you would use ground turkey for. I’ll drop a picture of liquid smoke below for you to see:

Last but not least is tip#3:

This last tip is for those of us who use thick lotion like me. With my eczema it is extremely necessary for me to use a lotion with a formula that is thick. It has to be thick so that it lasts long and moisturizes deep. The downside of that is that it’s so thick it’s hard to spread and as a result I use waaay more than I want to. What I find helps me, is using something we all should have in our house and is completely free!

*deep breath* Water

Yes, water! The key is to not use a lot but just enough to help spread out the lotion on water body part you’re moisturizing at the time. I use a spray bottle to make things easier.

What I do is squirt some lotion on my hand and apply to what I’m moisturizing. Once applied, spray the water twice on the area with the lotion and on the places surrounding it that you need to lotion. You can also pour about a cap full of water if you don’t have a spray bottle. Don’t go overboard! You don’t want to thin out your lotion too much since it will defeat the purpose.

Something I also use is oil or oil gel. If you want the benefits of the magnificent glow that oil provides without that extra greasy feeling, I suggest diffusing it with your lotion. Try to shy away from mixing it with your strongly scented lotions. Instead opt for lotions that are unscented or that have a small scent that won’t be very overpowering. All you need a one or two nickel-sized drops in the middle of your palm where your lotion is.

My personal

favorites to use are:

What I love about the last two are that you can use them for hair, nails, and scalp. It’s more bang for your buck and when you use it for your skin, adding it to your lotion stretches it for longer.

I hope these tips for helpful! If so let me know in the comments below. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment if there are any tips you want to request. Also, please like, comment, share, and follow!

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Love You Without Hating Them

This post is inspired by a comment I saw recently on Instagram. Someone commented “this is what real women look like” on a post of a plus size blogger. Now I realize this was meant to be a compliment and it was meant as a way to uplift. I did not misunderstand the intent but still felt unsettled by it. Phrases like “real women” and “real bodies” are terms that have never really sat right with me because they are usually made in reference to plus size women or women who have a little more to love around the midsection.

As many of you know, I am a body positivity activist. I want people to love their bodies: period. While I do advocate for plus size people, that is mostly as a result of the fact that I am plus size myself. I recognize the need for people like me to see themselves represented in a positive way so that they can learn to feel the same about themselves. That does not mean that this desire extends ONLY to plus sized people.

There are many people who do not have positive body images of themselves. This problem is relevant to many people and is an issue that I recognize is not only relevant to one type of person. So when I hear or read things that emphasize any one body type as being “real” it makes me uncomfortable. It allows for a line to be drawn in the sand that helps no one but could potentially harm a lot of people. The image below is an example that shows just how diverse beauty can be. Which of them represents real beauty? Trick question. They all do. Every woman in this picture is a real woman that represents a real body that other women can identify with and see themselves in.

The body positivity movement was largely born as a result of a need for acceptance: self-acceptance and making society see that it needs to accept more body types as being beautiful. People who don’t fit society’s static idea of beauty wanted to see a shift in the narrative of what can and should be considered beautiful. The problem is, in an effort to fight for that acceptance, we isolate other people who fit into the traditional idea of beauty.

You’ve seen it before: skinny girl fat shames plus sized girl and/or plus sized girl shames skinny girl for being skinny. The fixation society has with pitting women against each other is sad. You see it all the time with movies. The skinny girl is made to be the bully and the fluffier girl is written as a character who is bullied. It’s no wonder that real life imitates this very toxic relationship. The difference is, now the bullying is being done by both parties and hiding behind a mask of positivity.

This leads me back to my original point about “real women” and “real bodies”. Who defines what real is? What makes me with all of my fluff, a more realistic version of what women look like? The very idea of what real women look like is flawed because we are all different. Not only that, but it rests more on the idea that women who don’t fit traditional ideas of beauty are flawed and therefore more authentic. It embraces the idea that a real woman is not the model you see on runways or on the cover of magazines. It excludes these women without considering their feelings and own issues with body image. It adds to the narrative instead of creating a new one.

I have a best friend who is skinny but eats like a horse. That is no exaggeration. She can eat me under the table any day and it’s largely because of genetics. Her metabolism is extremely fast so even if she slacks off from the gym for a couple of months, she’d be hard pressed to even gain a pound. By all accounts she checks off the list of all the things that make up a traditional beauty: thin but curvy, short but can photograph tall, gorgeous skin, and lovely hair. Still, as beautiful as she is, she struggles with body image. To others the very idea of someone like her not oozing self-confidence comes as a huge surprise, but it’s not uncommon for most women to struggle with body image.

Being plus sized does not mean we are the only ones who struggle to find the beauty in ourselves. Our struggle does not give us the right to insult other women or put them down in order to build ourselves up. A real woman is everyone woman. A real body is everybody. Our journey to self-love cannot be taken by putting down other people to do it. Body-shaming doesn’t just happen to women who are plus sized, it can also happen in the reverse. Placing your insecurities on others is unfair and whatever confidence is built as a result will be based on an extremely faulty foundation. All women are beautiful.

What we should strive for is inclusiveness not separation. I want to expand the idea of what is beautiful by helping others see their beautiful. You read that right. Their beautiful. Your beautiful. Own it and flaunt your beautiful. There is no one type of beauty, no “real beauty” or “real body”, but a beauty that is uniquely your own.

It’s possible to love yourself and not put down others in the process.

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Skincare Tips

We aren’t all fortunate enough to have perfect skin, genetics just doesn’t work like that. I know my skin is not flawless but I embrace that. It’s okay not to have picture perfect skin and own it. That also means that it is necessary to take care of my skin and be sure to show it some tlc. You might be like me and have to work a little harder than most. That’s okay because what we can do is work with what we have, take care of it, and work on improving it little by little. I am always looking to find new tips, tricks, or hacks for skincare so when I do, you better believe I will share them. One recent tip I have totally been sleeping on is the use of steam. You know that wonderful thing that happens when you’re taking a much needed hot shower, yes that! Something so simple (and inexpensive) can be very beneficial to your skin.

I am very vocal about using masks to help hydrate your skin and would you believe it, you can combine the two. What you want to do is take a face towel or rag and soak it in water. Wring it out just enough to avoid water dripping everywhere but you want to make sure there is enough water on there for it not dry out quickly. Place the towel in the microwave and let it heat up for about 40 to 45 seconds. I do this so it holds heat for longer but you do not have to let it stay in for that long. Aim for no less than 30 seconds. After applying your facial mask, take the towel and place it over your face. Keep the mask and towel on your face for the amount of time specified by the mask’s instructions. Once time has passed, wipe off the excess mask with the towel and rinse the rest off with water. If you’re using a sheet mask just take off the towel, remove the sheet mask, and depending on the instructions rinse off/pat ingredients into skin. When I tell you it will not only make your face feel refreshed but your skin will feel revitalized.

Putting the towel on over a facial mask is just one option. This method also works after moisturizing or cleansing the skin. If you use it after moisturizing, do not wipe off your moisturizer. Just place the warm towel over you face and let it sit there for a about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the towel and then pat the moisturizer into you skin. If you use this method after cleansing, just remove the towel after 10 to 15 minutes, let skin dry, and continue the rest of your skincare routine. When using this, I recommend only doing it two to three times a week.

Another tip I have is for those of you that aren’t as obsessed with Korean skincare as I am. When you moisturize your skin it actually does help to pat in your moisturizer and gently massage in your essence. When putting on your essence you want it to soak into your skin so massage gently in an upwards motion. Start from your chin and work in small circular motions. Make your way up to your cheeks and nose, being careful not to tug in the eye area. Do not massage under your eyes, just pat gently because it is the most sensitive spot on your face. Work the essence up to your forehead and massage in circular motions towards the center where your fingers will meet.

When it comes to moisturizer, patting in your moisturizer stops you from pulling or stretching your skin more than necessary which will help keep you looking nice and youthful. Apply it as seen in the picture below. I love moisturizing so a pea-sized amount for me is really the size of a quarter. Don’t be me. It takes me longer to pat it out.

That’s all for today’s skincare tips! What are some of your favorite tips, tricks, and hacks? Let me know in the comments. I might try it out and make a post about it. Thanks for taking to time visit my blog. If you like what you read please like, share, and follow for more content.

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Spring Haul!! (Unboxing Part 1)

So we’ve all seen those clothing delivery services right? Some of them seem a little sketchy (I won’t name any names) but there are some that seem like it might be worth trying. The particular service that I decided to try is Dia & Co. One of the things that stood out about them is that I haven’t seen many bad reviews about them and they looked legitimate. I just recently decided to try the 30-day free trial from Gwynnie Bee so my next unboxing post will be about them, look forward to it!

One thing to note is that the styles from both of these companies seem to be somewhat similar. Just from browsing the styles they seem to be catered towards women who like workplace business chic. The biggest difference in style is that Dia & Co. is a little more business casual. Another difference between Dia & Co. and Gwynnie Bee is that there is a stylist that chooses items to send to you when you choose to use Dia & Co. With Gwynnie Bee you can choose items and add them to your closet. You choose which items have highest priority so if you see something you want more than something else, set that as your highest priority. Gwynnie Bee is also more expensive which is why I opted to try the 30-day free trial because I’m, you know, cheap.

So here’s the rundown on Dia & Co.

You pay $20 for each box and get 5 days to try on the items. Each box contains 5 items. What they send varies, but you can make suggestions about what you need or what you are looking for. For example, if you need more jeans you can send a note to your stylist and they’ll send you a box that will typically have a couple pairs of jeans per you request. You can also request for boxes to come sooner once you send back what you didn’t want and purchase what you want to keep. They will send boxes based on how often you want them and the returning process is really easy. One thing I love is the option to review the items in your boxes. You get the chance to tell them if you didn’t like the style, if it didn’t fit right, and etc.

This is what the box looks like (Cute right?):

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Inside the box you get a letter from your stylist, a paper with a list of the items you received and their prices, and a bag that you can return your items in. The return label is already attached to the bag which makes returns really easy. You can either drop it off at your local post office or ask you mailman/woman to take it with them. Returning your items is free so don’t stress over spending extra money on shipping.

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Item #1: First up we have the Tatum shoulder top. ($69) by Marybelle

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Pros: The style of this top is right up my alley. Ruffles and off the shoulder are a trend I love love love! The fit of this top is nice and the quality of the material is good. It is also flowy and anything flowy is a plus for me.

Con: Unfortunately, the design/pattern isn’t me. While I do like the colors, something about the pattern doesn’t flatter me the way I want it to. I look for a pattern to pop on me and this just wasn’t giving me what I wanted. For that reason alone, I cannot justify spending $69 on this top.

Item 2#: Second is the Chloe Off the Shoulder Ruffle Blouse ($59) by East Adeline

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Pros: This is yet another top that fits me the way I like. The color of this top is nice and compliments my skin.

Cons: Again, the pattern is not something I’m crazy about. Part of me feels that if this was a maxi dress I would be singing a different song, but as a shirt I am not sold on this top. It pops on me a little more than the other top but it’s still sort of a ‘meh’ reaction.

Item #3: Next up is the Kara Frayed Hem Jean ($79) by Slink Jeans

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Pros: I reeeeaaallly wanted to like these jeans. The way they look and are made is exactly my style.

Cons: The biggest con of all is how disappointed I was that I could not fit these jeans! I got them up to hips and had to stop because they were not agreeing with my rear-end. Besides the fact that I really wanted to love these jeans, they are freakin SLINK jeans. I had heard and read about how well they hug a fluffy girls curves and of course they didn’t get the chance to hug mine.

Sidenote: Dia & Co. does offer unlimited exchanges, so if it didn’t fit you can exchange it for another size.

Item #4: We also have the Sophia Straight Leg Pant ($82) by Lysse

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Pros: These pants are everything! I was skeptical at first but once I got through the traditional jeans dance (a lot of wiggling) they fit like a dream. They made my calves look great, hugged my curves, and had my backside poppin. Best of all is how they were long enough to cover my ankles. As a juicy woman with the height of an Amazon, it is not an easy task to find jeans or pants that don’t turn into capris. Normally I wouldn’t dream of spending that much money on jeans but remember, it’s important to invest in yourself. EVERYONE deserves a few pairs of pants/jeans that fit them just right. Needless to say, these pants are sold.

Cons: N/A

Item #5: Last but not least is the Minnesota Cold Shoulder Dress ($75) by London Times

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Pros: The color of this dress is one of the biggest things that stand out to me. My picture does not do the color of this dress justice. It is very well made and stands out in all the right ways. It is just right for a spring dress that can transition to a summer dress. It fits is a way that is not too tight or too loose which makes it perfect for an ordinary day out of a trip to the beach. Just throw on your sandals, shades, and sunhat then you’re on your way.

Cons: This dress fit me well but I am not sure how diverse the fit is for different body types. I would love to see this on someone more apple-shaped or triangle-shaped.

Final Verdict:

Is it worth it? That is the real question and to be completely honest, the jury is still out. Fair warning, the first box will probably make you feel iffy about continuing this service. Even after taking the style quiz, your stylist needs to get a feel for what you like and don’t like. Fortunately, each time I’ve gotten a new box the items have gotten better so don’t count them out just yet.

One thing I have to give them credit for is that all of the clothes I have received have been of great quality. Part of that may be because of the price-range for most of the clothing they send. If you are a diva on a budget I would say this service is not for you. It is worth it if you have the money to afford it but if not, you would be better off going to the store yourself or ordering online. You don’t have to buy anything but each box is a $20 styling fee.

The thing I liked most was that I was finally able to find jeans that fit me. As trivial as that sounds, it was a moment that almost made me tear up a little. Big and tall tends to cater to men and not to women so not having to roll up jeans and wear them as cuffed Capri pants was a wonderful feeling. It is also nice to be able to have clothes that are meant to hug my extra fluff and not hide it.

For now, I will wait until I order my next box to make a final decision. As of right now on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Dia & Co. at a 7. That score is mostly as a result of customer service, the quality of the clothing, and the speed of service. Make sure to be on the lookout for my next post about Dia & Co. Also, don’t forget to check out my other posts and like, share, and follow for more content!