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Blogging Through Podcasts (Under Construction)

Hello you wonderful people! This post is meant to just be a quick update. I have been seriously M.I.A lately and that is because I am seriously under construction in a lot of ways right now. I want to develop this blog into something a little more visual, verbal, and also keep with the written part of what blogging is all about. Unfortunately I don’t have the funds at this moment to upgrade to the plan needed for my vision. Don’t fret though! I am putting things in place and soon I will be back better than ever. So please please please stay tuned for more. If you really miss me, make sure you are following my on Instagram @keyradominique and you can also keep up with what’s going on my liking and visiting my model page on Facebook (also Keyra Dominique). For now I am dropping a few links to my podcast ‘Vitamin Key’ which you can find on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Anchor.

Anchor: https://anchor.fm/keyra-dominique

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/show/7e21GpBz19Q2z0dry4Jm1J?si=4VWQ0K8yQbG2OGX2oe2AXA

Thanks for the patience, love, and support!

Toodles,

Keyra

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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!

 

 

Posted in blog

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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Speak Up & Speak Out

It’s never easy to admit when we need help. In fact it’s one of the hardest things to do. I’m not sure if it’s because of pride or fear but when things get overwhelming, most of us slip into our cocoon and try to figure it all out on our own. We force ourselves to carry the burden alone. It isn’t until things start to fall apart that others realize just how much pain we are in.

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Fear can be a huge determining factor in our lack of eagerness in seeking out help from others. There is a fear of appearing weak to others. We are taught that you should not be weak and when you express an inability to handle your problems on your own, it makes you weak. There is also fear of someone mishandling your emotions. In the back of your mind, you question if that person even cares about how you feel. That feeling can be valid at times but not because of something you’ve done wrong.

Some people do not know how to be a source of encouragement and support. When they get confronted with your feelings they are not sure how to process what you’re saying and most importantly, how to help you. Still, don’t let that discourage you! There are times where just telling someone you’re not okay can make you feel better. There are also times where other people feel so overwhelmed with their own problems that they don’t even realize just how much you have been struggling. That is why it is important to let people know when we feel like the walls are closing in.

I remember telling my mom how I got bullied in middle school and junior high. I made it to my junior year in high school before telling her and she was shocked. Being the oldest of five kids means that I spent a lot of time trying to hide my problems so my mom could focus on taking care of my younger siblings. She was hurt to find out that I had kept something like that from her and that she hadn’t been able to see it at the time. Looking back on that moment made me see how not trying to bear the burden alone could have helped me get through a very dark time in my life much easier. It also helped me see that even though she wanted to be there for me, I never gave her the chance to be.

We should also be aware that sometimes our own pride can stop us from getting the help we need. In an effort to not appear weak or look bad in front of the people in our lives we keep our hurt hidden. You have to recognize that pride is also a part of what is stopping you from letting the people you care about be there for you when you need it most. I understand how difficult it is to let anyone in that deep. It’s like baring your soul to them and asking them not to judge it.

In the past, I let anxiety rule my life. It influenced my health, my sleep, and my relationships. I didn’t want to leave the house because I believed everyone could see my anxiety. I thought they would judge me and in all honesty some of them probably did. I hid away in my room and pushed away my family, friends, and my boyfriend at the time. Most people assumed I was just being antisocial. Others didn’t press further to find out if there was a problem. At some point I was eating to find comfort and hardly slept three hours every night. Eventually I broke down to my mom and told her how bad my anxiety had gotten and through prayer and some much needed t.l.c. I was able to start healing (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually).

Whether or not you realize it, you don’t have to be afraid of saying that something is wrong. It’s okay to tell someone how anxious you are. It’s okay to tell your friends “not today” because of your depression. It is alright to let your family know you need help. If they do not understand, educate them or ask them to educate themselves about what it is you are dealing with. More often than not, most people are not well-versed on mental health. They genuinely do not understand what it is that you are going through so educating them is a must.

Research and seek information together about what you are dealing with. DO NOT be afraid of speaking up. Sometimes the people around you have struggles of their own that they are afraid to tell you. If you or anyone you know needs more information about mental health visit:

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https://schools.au.reachout.com/articles/recommended-mental-health-websites

This website (ReachOut.com) lists some websites to visit that pertain to mental health. You can visit:

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https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

The National Institute of Mental Health gives a more detailed explanation about different mental health issues with information about treatment, symptoms, and links to booklets, brochures, and etc. You can also visit:

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https://www.nami.org/

This website has ways to find support and even get involved in helping others who also struggle with mental health. There is no shame in seeking help. It takes a significant amount of strength to admit that you need help and even more strength to seek it. So speak up and speak out.

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Learning To Love You #L2LU

Day 2

Today marks Day number to of my 30 day Learning To Love You challenge and the topic for today is selfishness.

So……being selfish. It’s a bad thing right? By definition, being selfish means:

● Being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.

This is according to Merriam-webster’s definition but their definition seems a bit pessimistic so let’s look at it another way:

● Being selfish means being concerned with oneself and seeking or concentrating on one’s own well-being. (At least that’s how I look at it….sometimes)

While there are cases where being selfish can be a bad thing, there are times where being selfish is necessary. There are times where your physical/mental/spiritual health depends on you being selfish. Your well-being is important and helping others can mean very little if it means you never help yourself. You can become drained and eventually lose sight of yourself if you don’t take time for yourself.

It’s important to take time for you. Rediscover what is important to you or finally take the chance to find out. Trust me, it’s easy to look up one day and realize years have passed and you are still no closer to your dreams, your goals, or just genuine happiness. Don’t go through the motions and let life flash past you like a cheesy movie montage. Live out those moments to the fullest. Take note of those moments and treasure them.

I know that life happens. We all don’t have the luxury of just picking up and deciding to go. There’s bills, spouses, children, family, and all kinds of other things that take up a large amount of priority in your life. I’m not writing any of that off because that’s how life works. What I want you to see is that you deserve to still be present in your own life. You have the option of being the main character or being a supporting character. Contrary to popular belief, you can be a supporting character in your own life.

What I want you to do is to write down just one thing you wish you could do. Something simple that will make help you unwind and something that you know you are capable of doing. Once you write it down set aside a specific time/day to do it. Do not postpone doing it! Instead, make sure you do it as soon as possible. It’s something I’ve done plenty of times to remind myself to slow down and not take life for granted.

Need suggestions? Try doing a sheet mask! Most of them take as little as 15 minutes. Take 15 minutes to just lie down with the mask on and think about something soothing.

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(Yes…I know you’ve seen this picture once before but you get the point)

Try grabbing food from a place you’ve always wanted to try out but no one else was brave enough to try. For me that was Korean food. I tried it once and loved it. After that I got my cousin to try it and she fell in love with it too.

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Try on an outfit you’ve been too shy to wear and go somewhere! If a night on the town isn’t your speed, wear it to a bookstore or cafe. You’d be surprised how many outfits you could slay in but have been too afraid to try. If an outfit is too tall an order to fill, try rocking some jewelry you haven’t had a chance to rock yet. Let me know what you’re going to do or if you decide to take the challenge. No pressure.

P.S.

This challenge isn’t about letting the whole world see it but about allowing yourself to believe in the fact that you deserve to get back to loving you! If seeing my journey can help you decide to take this journey too, I’m happy. Let’s do it!

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Focus On the Goal and the Path Ahead

Have you ever played UNO? Getting a draw 4 is something everyone hopes to get but it’s only a good card if you use it at the right time. You can get a hand full of nothing but number cards and still UNO out before everyone else. It’s about how you use the cards and how you play the game. Don’t let yourself become distracted by what you don’t have. Look at it as I don’t have it YET but I WILL. Have faith in God’s purpose AND his timing.

I know how unfair it seems. I’ve been there. In school I saw so many kids wearing jordans and polo. I was so jealous and wanted to have it too. I got picked on for having regular uniform shirts and not rocking the latest j’s. I didn’t realize how much more my mom was doing for me because I was so concerned with not having what the kids around me did. What I didn’t know was, some of them didn’t have food at home or had bills go unpaid just to have the clothes and shoes they had. Instead of investing in what mattered, they sacrificed to have the material things they put so much stock in. If your lights are off so you can wear the newest shoes there are some priorities that need rearranging.

I learned later on that I had to focus on what I needed to do for me to be happy and at peace with my life. Your goals are attainable. You dreams can become your reality but the amount of work to get it depends on you. There are many things we can’t control in life. Some of the things we deal with are things we come into this world attached to. You can’t help those things and there is no point in focusing on them. What you can do it work on the things you can do. Your actions and the work ethic you have are things you can control. You have the choice of putting in as little work as possible or digging in your heels and getting the job done.

Do what needs to be done and don’t worry about the other people running this race. First place is nice but if you’re only focusing on how fast other people are running you’ve already lost. The people who succeed are people who create their own lanes. One of my favorite artists is Prince.

He had the ability to reinvent himself over and over again but still be completely himself. His style, his music, and his personality all made up layers that made him an amazing artist. You might compare people to him but rarely have I heard him compared to others. There are plenty of great artists out there but no one who can capture his essence just like there is no one like you. You have something no one can ever come close to having or being. Winning doesn’t always mean having the same opportunities as other people and not having the same opportunities doesn’t mean you will lose. Your success does have a direct relation to how much effort you put into achieving it. Never stop striving for what you want.