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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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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!

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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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Posted in blog

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!