My Obsessions

Follow Me




I fully admit it, when I love something I obsess on it. I can’t quit thinking about it, and usually I can’t quit talking about it either. So, I want to share with you all the things I am obsessing about, whether it be a product, an idea, or fashion. Give me a shout out and let me know what you are obsessing over.

What I Tried On Pinterest This Week

2017-03-13 12:09:56 karenmsmith77

Pinterest

I have had request from a few of you to share more about what I try on Pinterest, especially when in comes to recipes. I actually try a lot of things on Pinterest, so I am more than happy to accommodate that. I try various crafts and recipes at whim, so I can’t make promises on how regular these posts will be.

I know Pinterest gets a lot of criticism because the crafts often don’t actually work the way people say they do or they are unrealistic. Because of this Pinterest has recently added a new feature where people can rate whether they had success when they tried making what was on individual pins. Along with it you can leave a note. For instance there have been a few times recipes have been successful for me, but I had to make some small adjustments.

I think overall I have been pretty successful with my Pinterest attempts. I think there are three keys to making sure that you have successful Pinterest attempts too.

  1.  Be realistic about your skill level. Just because someone else makes something look easy, it doesn’t mean that  you have the same skill level they do.
  2.  Don’t be afraid to have some failures. No one is perfect at anything the first time they do anything, unless they are a prodigy.
  3.  Don’t be afraid to alter things and go with you gut. Let’s take the recipes for an example. There are a lot of things that can a recipe correct that is posted, but still need to be changed for you. The cookware you are using, temperature variations on the stove or oven you are using, environmental factors, dietary needs, and so much more can be reasons you may need to change a recipe slightly.

Just remember to have fun, and don’t take things so serious.

This past week had me trying two different recipes. The first was for a friend’s birthday party who wanted everyone to bring tapas style food. I hadn’t been feeling well for a while, so my energy levels were on low, but most of my friends are foodies so they expect big things. I wanted to find something to make that would take not too much effort, but make a big impression.

What I ultimately ended up making were these Baked Brie & Bacon Jam Phyllo Cups shared from the blog Wry Toast.

Baked Brie & Bacon Jam Phyllo Cups

This did go over incredibly well at the party. But I did have to make some small adjustments. The portions on the cheese and bacon seemed way off. I made a double batch, but the only thing I actually ended up using double of was the phyllo cups. I used maybe a quarter more of the ingredients to double it than to just make one batch.

The second recipe I tried out, you may already know about if you follow me on Instagram. I decided to give this Garlic Butter Chicken and Pasta  Slow Cooker Recipe a try. This was shared from The Magical Slow Cooker.

Garlic Butter Chicken and Pasta

I also made some alterations with this recipe, but I only found one of them to be necessary, and that was the I doubled the butter. The rest of my alterations were for personal taste.

For this dish I did snaps some pictures of the progression of making it.

The prep for the Garlic Butter Chicken and Pasta

This was the original ingredients that went into the crock pot. As you can see I decided to use whole baby carrots in mine instead of the slice carrots the original recipe calls for.

Adding extra ingredients to the Garlic Butter Chicken and Pasta

This picture didn’t turn out the best, but this is the point where the chicken got shredded and the peas are added.

Final results for the Garlic Butter Chicken and Pasta

And this was the end results after adding my pasta and cheese. My husband absolutely loved this. It had a lot of flavor, and the work load was minimal. If you can cook pasta, you can make this.

 

Tell me in the comments below what you tried on Pinterest last and how it went. And please share any tips you have for making Pinterest endeavors successful.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: ObsessTagged in: Baked BrieBaked Brie and Bacon Jam Phyllo CupBaked Brie Bitescookingcrock potCrock pot recipesFoodieGarlic Butter Chicken and Pasta Slow Cooker RecipePinterestPinterest Recipesplus size bloggerrecipesslow cookerslow cooker recipesThe Magical Slow CookerWhat I tried on PinterestWry Toast Read more... 0 comments

Are Apps The New Ebay? Three Places To Shop For Plus Size Clothing and Beauty Products That Will Make You Forget Ebay Was Even A Thing

2016-09-27 13:51:41 karenmsmith77

For years I have been both an online seller and buyer. Most of those experiences, like for many people looking to either sell or to purchase a good bargain, were spent with eBay. While I still do occasionally buy or sell a few items on eBay, over the last few years it has been on a serious decline for both. I have tried out buying and selling on a few other websites, I have even tried out some Facebook groups, but most of them just don’t have the exposure or amount of people involved to really have the potential most people are looking for.

theres-an-app-for-that

But late last year I really went on a search for new places to buy and sell and I came across some apps people were talking about. I decided to give them a try, and well they are pretty great. I am sure some of you are already using them, but some of you probably have never heard of them. So I am here to tell you all about it. And just so you know, there are way more than just three out there, but these are the top three that I feel comfortable recommending.

1. Poshmark

I have been both buying and selling on Poshmark since January of this year. My experience has been overall a positive one. Though I highly recommend if you are going to get into the selling aspect you join a group for help. One like The Best Poshmark Tips Facebook group is good. There are restrictions on what you can sell, so make sure you read everything before listing to sell. I really like that they made it easy to create a widget so I could share my listing and some of my favorite sellers with you guys.

 

 

 

And if you are new to Poshmark, if you sign up using the code JUPTZ you will save $5 off your first purchase. I don’t think there is any kind of minimum purchase requirements either.

I have lots more up for sale than the few items showing in the widget, that is just to give you a preview. But I wanted to also give you an idea of some the things I have bought from other people and what kind of price I paid.

City Chic Spotty Dot Top in Pink

This is the City Chic Spotty Dot Top. I already had one in gray, and had really wanted this pink one for the longest but they were all sold out. I found one in my size new with the tags on it on Poshmark. I paid $15.

Unicorn HandbagI found these unique unicorn clutches on Poshmark. I purchased the silver one, it has a rainbow metallic look to it in person. I paid $19 on Poshmark.

m_565caec4feba1f94a6039b64I needed a tiered lace skirt for the new steampunk costume I put together this year. I found this new with tags Torrid three tier skirt. The seller was originally asking $17, I ended up paying $13.

That is right you can negotiate on Posh. Though here is a solid tip for those looking for a bargain, most sellers don’t mind you asking for a deal but don’t be offensive with your requests and take no for an answer. For instance if a seller just put out a brand new item you think  t’s a little too high, don’t offer less than half their asking price. That is a good way to get blocked by sellers. Most people are already selling items 30% to 50% off the original retail price anyway, and most items on Poshmark are either new or gently used. There are exceptions, so make sure you ask lots of questions before buying if you are unsure of anything.

Poshmark seems pretty fair to both the seller and buyer. When you make a purchase the money goes into a holding account until the transaction is finished. The seller has so many days to ship, if they don’t ship before seven days (though they are encouraged to ship much quicker) the buyer then has the option to cancel their purchase and get a refund. But if the item was shipped on time, when the buyer receives it they have up to three days to inspect it. It is encouraged that you inspect quicker than that, but it is a time allowance for in case you just don’t have time the day you receive. Once you inspect you either release the funds and rate the seller or you tell Poshmark there was an issue. If there is an issue Poshmark has you send the item back to the seller and when they have the item back you get your money back.  It works quite well, and this is my #1 pick for apps to use.

 

2. Vinted

I signed up for Vinted around the same time I did Poshmark. I haven’t ever listed anything for sale on there, at least not yet. I have bought some things though. It doesn’t look like Vinted has any widgets to share your favorite sellers or anything. But my favorite item I have purchased were these Steve Madden Troopa Boots gently used.

Steve Madden Troopa Boots in Cognac

These retailed for close to $200, but I paid $18 for them on Vinted.

There doesn’t appear to be any code to share for shopping credits, if I find anything different I will update this later.

 

3. Mercari

I have only recently signed up for Mercari. I haven’t bought or sold anything yet. I decided to sign up because I have heard so many great things from other people I thought it was worth checking out. If you download the app and use the code XMMXCB you will receive $2 off your first purchase.

I thought I would share some things I have found on there that might interest some of you.

Plus Size Top found on Mercari2X UNITY WORLD WEAR WOMAN PULLOVER SHIRT – Seller is just asking $5 plus shipping.

Plus Size BB Dakota Dress found on MercariBB Dakota Lace Sauron Dress in Blue – Seller is asking $10 plus shipping

Plus Size bodycon dress found on MercariNew size 3X – Seller is asking $20 plus shipping.

Plus Size Old Navy dress found on MercariOld Navy Sweater Dress – This is a 4X and the Seller is asking $15 plus shipping.

The items I listed were available to purchase as I was writing this, so I am sorry if they have sold before you saw this. Obviously there are more options available on Mercari in plus sizes than what I have posted here, but I wanted to give you some idea of what is on there.

There is however fewer options in plus sizes here than on the other two apps. But they do have other categories to shop the other apps don’t, like housewares.

 

Tips For Shopping On Apps

Most people selling on these apps are honest, however people make mistakes and forget to mention things sometimes, and unfortunately there are some people strictly trying to scam you. To make things easy on everyone here are some easy things to make your app shopping experience ten times easier. ask lots of questions.

  •  Read the listing, and then reread it. I can not tell you how many times I have heard people say they were unhappy with purchases, or that it just wasn’t what they expected, but had they read the listing instead of just looking at the title and picture they would have known what to expect.
  •  If you are buying clothing, know your measurements not just your sizing. And ask for measurements. There are no returns on these apps.
  •  Ask lots of questions. If you aren’t sure about something, after you have read the listing, then don’t be afraid to ask. And seller that is being honest with you will happily answer your questions.
  •  Ask for more pictures. If you really like an item but something still doesn’t feel right or they have posted pictures that are hard to see ask for more pictures.
  •  Be patient and courteous to the seller. Try to remember this is not most of these people’s full time jobs. Most people are just selling on their off time to help make ends meet or to clear out their closets. So they aren’t always available to answer your questions immediately.
  •  This is not a yard sale. Haggling on most of these apps is allowed, but don’t offer yard sale prices. Most items are either brand new or like new, so offering someone $5 for an item that was originally $200 is very insulting.
  •  And finally, don’t forget to rate your seller. Keep your ratings based on things like shipping time. Did they answer your questions. Was the item described accurately. So if you receive an item and you decide you just don’t like the way it looks on you, please don’t give the seller a bad rating. You are not rating the item, you are rating the seller and it affects them.

Tips For Selling On Apps

Most buyers are honest and just looking for a good deal. However, just like the occasional seller, there are some buyers who are out to run scams. And if you want to make sure to have done your best as a seller and give the app you are selling through no reason to side against you, then here are some quick tips for selling.

  •  Always be willing to answer questions, even if you have already answered them.
  • Take lots of pictures. Using stock photos are great for details, but always either post or be willing to produce without hesitation actual pictures of your items. This is for both the information of your customer and your own safety of sorts.
  •  Keep a tape measure handy. You can either post measurements in your listing or give them out when asked. I tend to do a mixture. If the brand I am selling is known for being consistent in their sizing I usually wait to be asked. But if I know the sizing is odd for something I will either post it runs small or large, and post measurements.
  •  Be courteous to your buyers. Everyone has bad days, so you may even have someone say things that seem not so nice. Just brush it off and move on. If it’s really bad you can always block them.
  •  Always find out what the rules are for selling and what can be sold on each app or place you are selling.
  • Keep all your records or documentation like pictures and measurements until after you receive a rating from your customer. If for some reason you do have someone open a case against you, you may need it as proof to back up your statements.

 

I hope these tips help anyone thinking of buying and selling on an app. There really is nothing to worry about, you just need to be informed before buying.

So tell me have you shopped on one of these apps before? Is there another app I didn’t mention you think we should all know about? Have a tip for making shopping easier? Please share in the comments below. And I would love to see some of your favorite purchases.

 

 

 

Posted in: ObsessTagged in: appseBayeffyourbeautystndardsfor salegently used clothing for saleMercarinew clothing for saleplus sizeplus size bloggerplus size fashionPoshPoshmarkselling on appsVintedtheres-an-app-for-that Read more... 2 comments

Plus Size Fashion at the 2016 International Steampunk Symposium

2016-05-02 16:08:46 karenmsmith77

2016 Steampunk SymposiumI may be boring some of you by now with my many post that have included thing about the 2016 Internation Steampunk Symposium. Since it has overlapped with doing the All Dress April Challenge that means that my personal fashion for the weekend has been covered for the most part. I did leave some of the details out so that we would still have some things to talk about, but I also have some things outside of my own fashion that I have not shared yet. So for those of you who are not into steampunk, I will get back to normal (well normal for me) after this post. But also, if you aren’t into steampunk, why? Yes its nerdy or geeky, whichever you prefer to call it. But it really is 90% fashion, and fashion forwards/backwards (time travel is confusing) at that. So lets talk about the things I haven’t shared first. I think I mentioned last year how much it really pleased me to see the number of beautiful plus size curvy ladies that were there. And this year was no let down. I think that the curvy women outdid themselves this year. t seemed as though there was an even larger number of plus size ladies participating this year, and the talent in costume construction was even more spectacular. Here are just a few of the ladies and their costumes that I thought were highlights: (Anyone I have a link to or permission to post their name will be listed below their picture)   This costume and lady was amazing. You might remember her from last years post from the Steampunk Symposium, she was one of the few that I didn’t get her info. She had the beautiful Russian Queen looking costume. This year it took a little thought to figure out what her costume was. Once you had it, you realized it was not only visually stunning, but absolutely brilliant. She was a hot air balloon. Even down to her feet there was a little caged basket. Well this year I actually managed to get her name, and a link to her business. This beautiful and talented ladies name is Brittney Benjamin. And you can find her new costuming business on Facebook as Shewolf Studios. I highly recommend you check her items out, you won’t regret it.   SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Any other Doctor Who fans in the house? I knew The Doctor was really a woman. I don’t know where she found her jacket or if she made it(in hind sight I should have asked), but it was so spot on The Doctor and I loved it.   SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Representing the Airship Ashanti is the beautiful Ofeibea Loveless. (Side note: If you are not familiar with how steampunk cons work, groups can form airships that compete in competitions to earn points for winning.) If you would like info on Airship Ashanti you can contact them through their Facebook Page. This costume just looked so regal, and I loved the mix of fabrics. And best of all it was unique to her and the character she was embodying. If I remember correctly, she did make this herself.   Plus Size costume from the Steampunk Symposium This lady and her family were walking around enjoying the festivities. I found out that her mother made the outfit. But the whole family were very talented. The umbrella she is carrying she made. And the gentleman walking around with the ladies (I assume he was related, but I did not have that verified) had made his own hat with moving parts. And we both laughed that she and I have the same necklace, well not exactly the same as they are all hand made and made unique.   SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES  And this gorgeous lady was such a delight to meet. She is starting out a brand new plus size modeling career. Her name is Persephone Jones. Go give her Facebook fan page some love and check out some of her pictures.

 

Now I have already posted the pictures of my costumes on Instagram and in the Looks From Week Two Of #AllDressApril post. But I will share them again here in case you missed them, and share the details I didn’t in the other posts.

Plus Size Costume for Steampunk Symposium

I was going for a steampunk version of a gypsy/witch. I listed most of the clothing and where I got them in the previous article. But I left the accessories out. In this particular costume I have three accessories. There are the shoes, a necklace and a bag that goes around your waist or hip. You can choose how to wear the bag. So both the shoes and the necklace I purchased them gently used off of shopping apps. I will talk about which ones and how they work in an upcoming post I have planned. The bag at my waist though came from The Pyramid Collection. It is their Unisex Hip Pack. I really was quite thankful for this item. One of the best investments I have made for a costume. It was great to have somewhere to put my things without having to carry a purse.

 

Steampunk look for Day 10 of All Dress April

Everything has already been posted for this look in either of the previous two articles listed. But I also managed to get some decent shots of my makeup this year.

Steampunk Unicorn Makeup

 

Steampunk Unicorn Makeup

 

Steampunk Unicorn Makeup

 

Steampunk Unicorn Makeup

 

Outside of all the costuming and beautiful plus size ladies, there is a lot more to the Steampunk Symposium. Here are just a couple of the highlights from this year.

Derigible races from the Steampunk Symposium

Derigible races are always a fun time. And this was one of my favorite ships to run. It didn’t win, but the design concept was awesome.

All kinds of neat wares can be purchased or just browsed if you don't have the money to spend.

These were some of the neatest toys in the sellers market. They were all kids animated toys that had been stripped down and made steampunk.

Spending time with frieds at the Steampunk Symposium

And of course, nothing is better than getting to spend time with friends.

 

Posted in: ObsessTagged in: Airship AshantiDoctor WhoInternational Steampunk SymposiumOfeibea LovelessPersephone Jonesplus sizeplus size cosplayplus size costumeplus size steampunkShewolf Studiossteampunksteampunk cosplaysteampunk symposiumsteampunk unicorn2016 Steampunk Symposium Read more... 2 comments

Supporting Art of All Kinds

2015-08-26 13:50:34 karenmsmith77

3889780_orig

I have not kept my love of art secret at all on this blog. It is really a part of our lives, and really one of the few activities that I really love about the town I live in. There is always some sort of art exhibit or other event revolving around art going on. One of the biggest events that happens every year is the Woodland Art Fair hosted by The Lexington Art League. We were joined by my friend Libby (a.k.a. Bluegrass Geek Mom) and her family.

While I always try to throw some fashion pictures into the mix, this was just one of those times that it just didn’t happen. We were just having too great of a time enjoying and looking at everything I forgot to snag a picture of what I was wearing, but I still wanted to share some of my favorite things from the Art Fair.

One of the first things that caught my attention were these fabulous costume pieces (yes I know, your thinking how unlike me to gravitate towards the fashion).

Costumes Used At The Lexington Ballet CompanyThese were at the booth for The Lexington Ballet Company, where they were giving out schedules for the upcoming ballet season (which is another love of mine, well really any form of dance is).  Make sure to visit their website for theirs schedule if you live in the area, and are also a lover of dance.

There was large crowd, as there usually is. And every year it just seems to get larger. Here you can see just one small area of the park that the Art Fair has taken over. It has actually grown so much in the last few years that the park no longer contains it. It has spread to neighboring lots store fronts. That’s my friend Libby on the left, and her son Tim is in front of her walking around in the crowd.

2015-08-16 12.25.32For me when I am walking around in large crowds like this, it is really easy to get overwhelmed. Things often start to blur together. I have also noticed from year to year that it seems like there are always a lot of artists/booths that have very similar items or styles of work, so things don’t always stand out. You know you have spotted something really unique when it just snaps you to attention, or its something you can’t take your eyes off of.

 

My most favorite piece of the whole art fair came from an artist named Leif Erik Johansen. He had a lot of great pieces, but this was the big eye catcher of the whole show for me.

2015-08-16 12.27.17What you can’t see from the picture is that this piece, as well as several other pieces of his art are lighted. You can see much more detailed pictures as well as information on how he creates these fantastic pieces of art on his website. And check out his other styles of work as well, like the ones pictures below. I can honestly say that I am a fan, and I hope he comes back next year.

2015-08-16 12.27.11

 

One of the artist that my friend Libby was really drawn to were these large glass art pieces by an artist named Paula Marksbury.

2015-08-16 13.13.092015-08-16 13.13.19You can view these and other unique pieces of art on their art studios website. That is Buckhorn Ridge Studio.

 

And here are some pictures of a few other highlight things we saw and did while we were there. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to get cards from these places for various reasons, but I still wanted to share these with you.

2015-08-16 12.32.33My friend Mark (Libby’s husband) had to stop and try on one of these awesome handmade leather hats.

2015-08-16 13.19.28I wasn’t really sure what these figures were all about, but they certainly were interesting.

2015-08-16 13.53.46And of course we couldn’t leave without hitting up at least one of the many food vendors. Ahh fresh made Quesadillas. I promise there aint no shame in this girls food game. I had to say that, it made me laugh.

Truly, if you live in the are or find yourself passing by this time next year, make sure you check out the Woodlands Art Fair. In addition to these things, there are so many more activities for the kids, music for all ages, live performances. It is a day to enjoy.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: ObsessTagged in: artBuckhorn Ridge StudiosKentuckyLeif Erik JohansenLexingtonLexington Ballet CompanyMarksburyPaulaplus size bloggerWoodland Art Fair3889780_orig Read more... 0 comments

Feeding My Obsession With Art Through The Tiny Hobo

2015-07-23 13:12:51 karenmsmith77

79_i-love-art

Obsession may be a little strong of a word for what I feel for art, but I definitely have a real love for it as does my husband. In fact some of our first dates were of us double dating with my friend Jenny and her husband going to art shows. You could in some way say we fell in love over art, or perhaps through art. So I think its only natural that my love of art crossed over and encompasses some of the other things I love or feel passionate about.

So I thought I would take a moment and share one of my most recent art purchases with you. If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you may already be aware of her art, but you may not be. I recently made an order on Etsy from The Tiny Hobo.

For those of you who are not familiar, The Tiny Hobo makes art in the form of custom prints, postcard size prints, wearable buttons, and jewelry. Themes include being plus size, cats, pop culture, and geek references. Tiny Hobo, did you look into my soul and make art just for me?

When my order came in and I saw how cute the paper it was wrapped in was, I decided right then to grab the camera and snap some pictures of it all.

2015-06-01 17.35.36

I love the cute pink and black polka dot paper it came wrapped in.

2015-06-01 17.36.06

When I opened the paper there was a hand written note on the inside thanking me for the order. That was a really nice touch.

2015-06-01 17.59.19I got six postcard size print. Two of them were gifts for friends. I will be framing these soon. Look for pictures eventually on the my various social media accounts.

2015-06-01 18.00.28

And being the crazy cat lady that I am, I had to get these. I already put these on my Torrid Denim Jacket that I just got. Hello 90’s I’m waving at you. I’m sure there will be plenty of pictures of these being sported once Fall hits.

 

Are there any other art lovers out there? Who is your favorite artist? Do they incorporate plus size women in their art?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: ObsessTagged in: artart printsbuttonscatsJacketplus sizeplus size artThe Tiny HoboTorrid79_i-love-art Read more... 1 comment

Leave a Reply