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Tag Archives: plus size blogger

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Plus Size Brand Spotlight: City Chic

Collage of City Chic Dresses I own.

I decided to do a series of Plus Size Brand Spotlights because I wanted to start sharing more focused information on plus size brands. I want to show off some of the things I have from the brand as well as some of the things that are currently available for purchase. But I also wanted to go beyond just the clothing and maybe talk about some of the other things that make some of my favorite companies great.

I decided to talk about City Chic for the very first Brand Spotlight. I have talked about how they are one of my favorite brands many times, and I thought it only made sense to talk about them here.

Clothing I Own

Over the last few years I have shown you a lot of great items from City Chic over the last few years. Let’s start by taking a look at some of the items in my closet. So if you have been following me for a while you probably have seen many of these. To see each picture larger, just click on them.

Currently only the Fleetwood Black Chiffon Wrap Maxi Dress and the Hot Summer Days Printed Chiffon Maxi Dress are available. However, City Chic often brings items back, especially if they know their customers want an item. So if you see an item you like, make sure to contact them and know you would like to see them bring it back.

The Fit & Style

For the most part City Chic fits very similarly to the clothing at Torrid. Being an hourglass shape, most of their clothes fits me very well. The one exception is bottoms. Not so much skirts, but anything with leg holes in them.

I have had a hard time finding something with the right fit for me. I have tried jeans, shorts, and pants and a couple were okayish, they just were not good enough of a fit to wear on the regular. That is not to say that I wouldn’t try any more pants, only the ones I have tried were not meant to fit my body shape. Based on what I have tried I would assume their pants were meant more for someone with an apple shape.

I think they do a good job with their sizing and consistency of the clothing being that size. But like anywhere there are occasional items that haven’t been exact. Overall I would say that 95% of the time clothing I order from City Chic fits me as I expect. I typically wear a 20 at Lane Bryant and Torrid, and at City Chic I wear their size L which they say is a 20.

The style available changes a bit season to season. If I had to compare them to other stores I would say take one part Torrid, one part ModCloth, and one part Eloquii. Mix those together and you would have the essentials of what City Chic is. Now if you are for some reason not familiar those other stores either, let me put it in terms of styles. I think City Chic gives you a bit of trendy fast fashion, there is also some elements of vintage, and you have some more unusual pieces that look more fashion forward.


What’s Available Now


Here are some of my favorite things currently available on City Chic’s website. I actually have a couple of them, I just don’t have pictures of me in them yet. I have the Pink Lulu Wrap Dress, and it is one of the few I would recommend sizing down one on.


Beyond The Clothing

In order to become one of my favorite companies, you have to do more than just offer a product I want. Having the product is just the start. Your customer service and how you choose to handle problems when they arise are what can make or break your company, at least in my eyes.

The way I look at it, there is no such thing as a company that doesn’t make some sort of mistake or have some sort of accident happen. When those things inevitably happen are you going to treat your customers like they are thieves just trying to take something from you, or are you going to address the problem and treat your customer with total respect and do the best you can to make things right? I have only ever had a couple of small problems when shopping with city chic, and I can honestly say that their customer service department is so great. They are doing it right, and treating customers the way they should be.

Add to that they now offer free shipping both ways(purchases and returns), and a guarantee on their fit. What more could I ask for in a company. They have a loyal customer for life.


Tell me in the comments below if you have tried City Chic. What was your experience with them?


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Coming Soon To A My Plus Size Life Blog Post Near You

I wanted to keep everyone updated on some things coming up. I have a lot of different things in the works. I will be introducing several new things here on the blog. We will be trying them out, at least for a while.

In my recent post about the benefits of Amazon Prime I mentioned I would be reviewing some of the features and products you can get as a Prime member. I have the first one of those almost ready for you. And as always if there is something in particular you want to hear about let me know so I can move that to the front of the line.

Also in the works are a couple of guest posts that I hope you will enjoy. Not only do I have a couple of people who are going to write some posts here, I will also be doing a guest post on someone else’s blog, so I will keep you updated on when that happens.

I will be continuing to do the outfit posts, Amazon Hidden Gems, and makeup reviews as usual. But this year I wanted to add some brand focused posts in both fashion and makeup, and possibly skin care. I would do a more focused look at the overall brand and their sizing (if fashion related) and quality as well as share any pictures of items I own from them. I would like to help you guys discover brands that work for you. On the flip side of that, I will also occasionally be doing a flop post. This is where I would share products that either just didn’t work for me or maybe even downright disasters.

I also have planned some topics based around the discussions being had over on my Facebook page. I have been trying to be more interactive on all of my social media. And I really love hearing from all of you who participate. During discussions we have had I thought there were certain topics that really needed a blog post. Some of these are taking longer to do because of the research that has to go into them. If you aren’t already following me on Facebook, I really encourage you to do so. I would love for you to come be a part of the discussion that will help shape the future of this blog.

I will also be on a personal mission this year to fins hair care product that goes beyond not causing an allergic reaction. I hope to find something that actually helps both my hair and scalp. I will be reviewing all the products I try.

I also want to make an effort to share more health and social justice related topics. I would really like for my blog to be the type of place that we can talk about everything and I hope I earn your trust while doing it.

Please share in the comments what topic you would like me to cover on the blog or if there is a product you would like to see reviewed.


e.l.f. cosmetics

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Update: After One Month Of Sleeping On Purple

The purple bed

The purple bed
Last month I posted all about getting a bed from Purple and my impression after sleeping on it for a week. So if you want to hear all about the buying process and my first week of sleep, make sure to check that out if you haven’t already. At the end of that post I promised that I would be doing some updates, and here I am back with my update after one month.

If you read the last post then you know I was having a couple of issues that left me unsure whether I was going to keep the mattress or not. They recommend that people give it at least thirty days before making a decisions, and say that some people with back issues have a harder time adjusting. And since you have a one hundred day period to try the mattress out at home, I wanted to give it as much of a chance as possible.

I am happy to report that things are going much better with the mattress. When I did my first weeks impression post I was very much torn and it was a 50/50 toss on whether I was going to keep the mattress. But the mystery pain I was having seems to be gone. I am actually sleeping solidly through most nights now, which is a rarity. If I do wake up its more like I turn over once and go right back to sleep. So I am now at a 90% sure that I am keeping the mattress.

I have actually went back to trying the pillow out too. I am still a bit more torn on the pillow because there are things I like about it and things I don’t. I love that it alleviates the neck pain I would often get at night. I also love that it never gets hot. But it is the worlds heaviest pillow. If I try to sleep like I normally would with my arm under the pillow, the weight will cut off circulation in my arm and it will go to sleep.

So at this point I probably won’t do another update on the mattress unless something changes drastically and I decide to get rid of it, or if I feel it starts to wear out faster than it should. I will definitely share those types of things with you.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the bed or the pillow.


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Two Affordable Plus Size Dresses You Can Still Get In Time For Valentine’s Day

Two affordable plus size dresses available on Amazon Prime

Valentine’s Day is upon us in just a few short days. Perhaps you have special plans for that day, or like me you are waiting for the following weekend to have a special evening with the one you love, because after all it should be about spending time with someone special and not about the date.

Maybe you want something special to wear, but you haven’t had time to find something. Or maybe you are on a budget and haven’t found something affordable that you like. Well I have a couple of great dresses to show you that are both affordable and should be able to make it to most people in the US before actual Valentine’s Day.

Two affordable plus size dresses available on Amazon Prime

On the left is the Agnes Orinda Sweetheart Neckline Dress, and on the right is the ESPRLIA Plus Size Lace Off The Shoulder Bodycon Dress. Both of these dresses would normally be in one of the Hidden Gems of Amazon feature, but I thought since they both seemed like good affordable options for Valentine’s Day date dresses we would go this route. But honestly they both can be worn for many other occasions.

Before we get started, I will once again go over my sizing to give you a reference for these dresses. I typically wear a 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 42″ Hips: 54″. I wear a 40DDD bra.

Lets take a look at the Agnes Orinda dress first.

Here is the size chart they have posted:

International Size—-Chest Girth—-Waist Girth—-Hip Girth—–Shoulder Width
1X————————–46—————–39—————48—————–16 1/2
3X————————–50—————–43—————52—————–17 1/2

I ordered the 3X, and it does fit okay, but I think I would have been okay ordering the size 2X as well. The fabric has more stretch than I expected. It is a thicker fabric, so it works well for the winter if you live in a colder climate. In the coldest weather you would still need coat to pair with it. Overall I thought it was a nice, pretty dress that also happens to be very comfortable.

This dress comes in just this dark purple color. Available in sizes 1X to 3X, as the size chart implies. It sells for just $18.99 and free Prime Shipping. This brand has lots of other affordable options as well if this dress is not your style.


And now lets look at the ESPRILIA dress:

Here is the size chart posted for this dress:

Esprlia Size Chart

I ordered this dress in the 2X size. I think the fit was perfect on this one. I think if I ordered up most of the body would have been okay, but the way the shoulders are made would have left that area too big. The fabric on this one is much thinner. I actually put a light shaper on with this one. This wasn’t for shaping my body, but just for modesty and warmth. I would have used a slip, but I couldn’t find mine. This is going to be a better option for those of you that live in warmer weather, if you want it for Valentine’s Day. But it would be a great Spring and Summer dress everywhere.

This dress comes in two color options. There is a black option and this one. The page says it is pink, though it is closer to peach in person. Available in sizes 0X to 4X. It sells for just $23.99 with free Prime Shipping. This brand also has several other affordable options to try.


Let me know in the comments what you will be wearing for Valentine’s Day.




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Subscription Service Review: InstaCandy

Instacandy Logo

Do you like candy? Because I like candy. I mean who doesn’t like candy? What I also like is subscription boxes. It’s no surprise that these two things have been combined. There are pretty much subscription boxes out there for just about everything you can think of. And there are even multiple candy subscription boxes out there. Today we are taking a look at InstaCandy.

Instacandy Logo

InstaCandy offers both personal and gift subscriptions. Subscription options come in terms of one, three, and six months. I decided to go with the one month subscription and I kept it for two months to get a full idea of the type of items they send.

The one month subscription cost $24.99 a month, though there are significant discounts for taking the larger term subscription. In each box you get eight full size items along with occasional extra treats.

I personally got November and December 2017 boxes. I originally hoped to have this review up way before Christmas, but I just didn’t think one month of this box was enough for me to make a full review. I did however only take pictures of November’s box. So lets take a look at what I got. (I will be linking to individual items on Amazon so you can get an idea of the value of products or alternatively buy anything you want.)

InstaCandy Subscription Box

InstaCandy arrives in the standard sort of box that most subscription boxed come in these days. As you can see they have their logo printed on their boxes, so there is no mistaking who it’s from. And don’t worry about my shipping label being on there. I had it shipped to the mail box that I get mail for the blog at.

Inside of the InstaCandy Box

When you open it up it comes with the standard gift cards and ads for other subscription services that seem to arrive in every box. Side note: You know when I first started getting subscription boxes back about sever years ago you rarely got anything other than a card listing the products in your box. Now its rare to get a card listing your products and you almost always get multiple ads. If I get one more ad for Hello Fresh I might scream. Okay, back to your regularly scheduled post.

Road Crew Crunch, Milk Chocolate Mile Flavor in Novembers InstaCandy Box

The first item I got in November’s box was this Road Crew Crunch in the Milk Chocolate Mile variety. It is made with Gluten Free Ingredients and it’s Fair Trade Certified. I had never heard of or tried this before. It wasn’t my favorite thing in the box, but it was okay for what it was. I am just personally not a fan of peanuts.

Smash Mallow in the November InstaCandy Box

Next I got this bag of Smash Mallow in Cinnamon Churro flavor. I again had never heard of tried this item. This was probably the item I felt the most skeptical about before trying it. However, I can honestly say this was a pleasant surprise. This actually ended up being my favorite thing that came in the box. It turns out these come in lots of flavors and I most likely will be trying some of them.

Candy Raisins in the November InstaCandy Box

There were also a pack of Original Candy Raisins in the box. This is yet another item I had not heard of or tried before. These were odd and I don’t know what to say beyond that. I don’t even know how to describe the taste, but I know I didn’t care for them.

A mix of Sour Pops and Bon Bon Boom Pop in the November InstaCandy Box

A mix of Sour Pops from BonBon Boom were included in November’s box. And we come to the first item I have actually tried before. I use to enjoy these when I was a kid, but now because of my allergies I can’t really have these. I passed them on in some kids Christmas gifts, and they were quite excited to get them.

Sour Power Sortz in Novembers InstaCandy Box

Next there was a package of Sour Power Sortz. I had heard of these, but never tried them. Again I use to be a fan of sour candy when I was a kid, but not so much anymore. I did give it a try in one of the flavors that wouldn’t bother my allergy, but while I didn’t find it horrible, I am still was not a fan.

Single wrapped gummy bears in the November InstaCandy Box

I also got these Land of the Gummies Individually Wrapped Gourmet Gummy in Cherry Red. I had not heard or tried this before. This was probably my second favorite thing in the box. I really wish there had been more. And I will most definitely look into trying more flavors from this brand.

Haribo Sour Gold-Bears Gummi Candy in the November InstaCandy Box

And there was a bag of Haribo Sour Gold-Bears Gummi Candy in the box. I have had these in the past as a kid, but again not a fan of them as an adult. Though they were more edible than the other sour candy for me.

Also included in the box was a packet of nutiva Organic Hazelnut Spread With Cocoa in the Dark Variety. It was a one serving packet. It was supposed to be one of the items in the box I think, but I personally would not consider this candy.

So that is everything that came in November 2017’s box. Now if I were I basing my opinion solely on November’s box then I would say that InstaCandy is just meh. It had some good stuff and some bad stuff, but not really enough to sway me either way. However, having tried a lot of subscription services in the last few years I knew that sometimes even the best boxes are like that. So I also got Decembers.

As already stated, there are no pictures of what I received for December, but here are some of the items that were included in the box:

  1. 2 Large Bags of Haribo Gold Bears Christmas Edition Gummi Candy
  2. 1 Bag of Candy Raisins
  3. 2 Poppies Belgium Coconut Macaroon Cookies in the chocolate drizzle variety.
  4. A 3 pack of Santa Shaped Milk Chocolates

There were a few other items included as well in December’s box, but what they were seems to escape me at the moment. But in my personal opinion, December’s box was phenomenally better. With the exceptions of the Candy Raisins I really enjoyed everything in the December box.

I would definitely give this another try in the future or potentially give it as a gift. I know there are a lot of candy and sweet lovers out there who would love to receive something like this as a gift. It does seem like they are giving a decent variety of items. And it also seems to be the best value I have ever seen for a candy subscription.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried InstaCandy. And if you did, what did you think?



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Plus Size OOTD: A Walk On The Wildside

Plus size outfit of the day incorporating animal print.

One trend that has become more and more apart for the winter and on into spring for plus size fashion is animal prints. Whether it be a more traditional animal print or something more abstract they will be here at least for a little while.

I know some people can find animal prints intimidating. So I wanted to make sure and share some looks that incorporate animal prints in various ways. Today I am sharing my first look.

As a fit reminder I wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″

Plus size outfit of the day incorporating animal print.

The skirt is the Leopard Lover Skirt from City Chic. It is a mini skirt length, but definitely not a super mini. It is a mid weight fabric, perfect for spring in most places, or winter if you live somewhere that doesn’t get very cold. It is available in sizes 14/XS to 24/XXL. I have on the 20/L.

The fit on this was great for me, which coming from City Chic I should not be surprised. I would say if you are an hourglass like me or a pear shape, you should probably order your usual size in this. If you are an apple, then you might want to consider ordering a size up as there is no elastic or stretch to the waist band.

Back of plus size leopard print skirt

The colors in this skirt all stay pretty traditional for a leopard print. However it still has a unique look because it has an added ombre effect.

The exposed zipper and clean lines help keep it looking stylish. The simplicity makes it easy to pair with other items.

Plus size outfit of the day featuring City Chic, Avenue, and Torrid.

I have it paired with the Super Soft Ruffle Cold Shoulder Tee from Torrid. Available in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2. Sizes online are limited now. If your size is no longer available, I think most black tops or sweaters will work with this.

I also have on the Kimberly Over the Knee Wide Width & Wide Calf Boot from the Avenue. They come in sizes 7 to 12, and in two color options. I have them on in a size 9 in black.

Plus size animal print skirt from City Chic

I think this is the perfect outfit for the woman who wants to feel sexy but doesn’t want to go the route of skin-tight clothing or showing a lot of skin. It is a much more subtle sexy.


Let me know in the comments what you think about the animal print trend. Is it for you? If not, what trends do you like right now?


e.l.f. cosmetics


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Product Review: The Purple Mattress First Weeks Impression

Purple mattress all set up on a slat bed frame

If you follow me on any of my social media, then you most likely know I have been working on my house for the last couple of weeks and that I got a purple mattress. More than one person has expressed interest in hearing about my experience with purple. Because of the nature of this mattress and the way that it is purchased I thought it was best to do at least a couple of these reviews in stages. In this first review I will take you through my decision process to buy this particular mattress, the ordering process, receiving and setting it up, and my first impressions after sleeping on it for a week.

Before we begin, I want to make clear this is not a sponsored post. Purple has not contacted me in any way other than emails about my purchase. I paid for this mattress with my own money and all the opinions expressed here are my own and free of any outside influence. Any links to purple are simply for your navigation ease, they are not affiliate links.

Why I Decided To Purchase A Purple Mattress

I have had back issues and pain for more than twenty years now. I have ruptured discs, bone spurs, and pinched nerves causing a plethora of issues. Needless to say what I sleep on is very important. I also wanted to take into consideration my weight since many mattresses do have weight limits. It’s not so much that you can’t use any mattress, but they make them for certain weights and the more weight you add over that can cut down on the longevity of the bed. It seems a lot of companies don’t openly share their weight limit, no surprise there.

The last bed I got was purchased a little over ten years ago and was a combination of an extra firm mattress and a 5″ memory foam topper. Overall I would say that it worked pretty well for me, but things could have been better. But its been over ten years of use, and above average on wear and tear in that time. With the illnesses I have that means I stay in bed more than the average individual at times. In the last year I have really noticed my bed deteriorating a bit. Like it’s not horrible and probably wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t have all the back issue, but it’s just not at the comfort level I need now. So after much discussion, my husband and I decided it was time to purchase a bed soon.

That decision was about six months ago. I knew I could make do for a while and that I didn’t want to rush my decision on what to buy. I originally started off thinking I was going to go with one of the Simmons Beauty Sleep Mattresses or a Heavenly Bed from Westin, but I still wanted to test them out since it had been a while since I seriously looked at mattresses. Not too long after that was when I started seeing and hearing ads for Purple and became very intrigued. I really liked the science aspect behind the bed, and I felt like the aspects I liked in the other two beds that interested me were in this bed but more amped up.

When I discussed the mattress with my husband he mentioned there were a couple of other brands he had been hearing about that he would like me to look into as well. I did take the time to look at those other beds, and while I did think they had some great things going for them they didn’t necessarily have what I needed.

In the end what really sold me on trying the Purple Mattress was the total uniqueness of their design, their fantastic return policy/home trial period, reviews from people with the same or similar back problems, and the egg test ad which I also saw individual recreate on their own YouTube video reviews. In case any of you haven’t seen the egg test, here is the video I refer to.

As a bonus is their weight limit. Here is what they have to say about that:

There is no weight limit for the Purple Mattress, although we do suggest 300 lbs per person or 600 lbs total. If you exceed this recommendation it will not void the 10-year warranty and you will still get plenty of the benefits Purple has to offer. Regardless of weight, we are confident you will love your Purple Mattress.

If you are like me, before you make any kind of major purchase you research it to death. You take time to look at both the good and the bad that is said about a product. And you try to weigh that out with how much you think is hype on the good side and how much the negative posted might be from competitors or people just being petty. Now I already shared with you a lot of the positive points that I found when researching Purple, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t share what was said that was negative and explain it a bit.

I doesn’t take much research about Purple to come across rumors about the white powder people are seeing on their purple products. And with the internet being what it is, let’s just say some of the rumors have gotten super crazy. I have seen everything from it’s a sign that the mattress is disintegrating to it’s a cancer inducing agent and everything in between. But what is it really? For now I will just tell you what Purple had to say and later in the post I will show you why what they say actually makes sense along with my thoughts on some of the issues people were reporting with it.



So purple has made two post regarding the white powder this past year on their blog. The first post explained, “It is a food-contact-grade material, meaning that this family of plastic materials can be used for eating utensils, children’s toys, etc.”. They essentially use it to keep the bed from sticking together after the compression it goes through in the shipping process. And they said, “Purple is keeping the exact type of plastic a “trade secret,” which helps protect the jobs of those 600 people from competitors who would love to figure out how to do what Purple does.” Now in the second post they told everyone the non-toxic plastic powder coating they use is polyethylene and cited several studies they had done independently.

Ordering From Purple

The ordering process was super simple. It only took a few minutes and it didn’t take any more time than say ordering a top from Torrid. Because of the size of the package and weight, you will want to make sure to have it delivered directly to the place it will be used.

When we ordered they had a special going on for Black Friday, you got a free pillow with the purchase of a mattress. Since then I have noticed they almost always seem to have some sort of special going on, and it will be listed at the top of the main page.

Deliver Of The Mattress And Setting It Up

The mattress and pillow were delivered separately. Both were delivered via FedEx. The pillow was delivered first, though I did have a bit of anxiety over the pillow and the issue that arose over its delivery.

Let me say first that what happened with the pillow was not the fault of purple at all, it was completely at the fault of FedEx. I got a notice the day before Christmas Eve, so on a Saturday, that the pillow had been delivered. I was out running last-minute errands before going to my in laws house for Christmas. I got home and look for the package. Nothing outside and no notes that I had missed a delivery either. I ask my husband if he had picked it up, and he said he had not seen the delivery. After looking around the house, just in case, I decided to call purple.

However it seems Purple is also good to its employees and gave everyone an extra day off for Christmas, so no one to talk to there. So I called FedEx. They did start an investigation, but I had to explain to them three times it didn’t actually show up here. So Tuesday morning rolls around, which is the next time Purple would be open. I get up and I am having my morning coffee. I was planning on calling Purple right after, but before I finished my coffee the doorbell rings. Someone three blocks away had gotten my delivery and was nice enough to return it. Thankfully there are still decent and honest people still in the world.

Now you know that had me holding my breath waiting on the mattress. But thankfully no such drama happened with the mattress delivery.

I actually forgot to snag a picture of the packaging everything arrived in because we were so busy. We were still in the process of getting the room ready when the mattress was delivered. It ended up setting in our front hall for about a week while we finished everything up with the bedroom. This included putting the new bed frame together. (If you do purchase a purple mattress be aware they can no go on a regular box springs) Once we got the room ready we used our dolly to move the mattress to the bedroom. And then the plastic casing the mattress is in has handles at both ends so two people can easily lift it onto the bed frame.

They do provide a tool to cut through the bag. It is supposed to be attached to the top of the lid when you open the bag. Ours however had come unattached since there was very little glue on it. We ended up finding it about 3/4 of the way down in the bag. Thankfully we had a box knife on hand or we would have never gotten it open. Once the bag was open it was just a matter of rolling the mattress out, it was really quite easy.

Here is a look at the mattress set up on the frame, and no the exterior is not purple.

Purple mattress all set up on a slat bed frame

First Impressions

Once the bed was set up, I actually was not able to sleep on it the first two nights. It was ready, but it definitely had a very strong plastic smell that was on the verge of giving me a migraine. So I essentially had to air the room out to get it to a point where it wouldn’t bother me. After two nights the odor was not completely gone, but it definitely was at a tolerable level for me.

And this is the point where I wanted to talk to you about what I thought was going on with all of the rumors about the white powder. First let me say, I do completely believe what Purple’s explanation is about the powder. The gel material they use to make the beds are extremely sticky, and in the way they are condensed for shipping they have to coat them with something to prevent that. The best way I can show you this is by the showing you the gel pieces they sent and what they do.

Here is what one of the purple gel cells look like:

One of the gel cells from a Purple mattress

You can see just a touch of the white powder people are talking about on it. I actually got two of these cells because they included one with the mattress and one with the pillow. Since I had two, I decided to play around with them a bit. I wanted to see if I could stick them together, and I did quite easily.

Two purple cells stuck together and not falling apartThese were stuck together with just loose pressure. No adhesive used. This picture was actually taken after they had been laying stuck together for a few days. I picked it up and they were still firmly stuck together. So for me, this shows purple absolutely has to coat their beds with powder before shipping.

So what do I think is actually going on? Well as I said it does have a strong plastic smell when you initially take it out of the bag. It definitely affected me. Also, just because something isn’t toxic doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be a select group of people who are either allergic or going to have reactions to it. Just like with my allergy to Balsam of Peru. It and the hundreds of items it causes me to react to are not toxic, but I am still allergic. So, most likely there has been a small group that reacted to it or the smell or both. Then it blew up on the internet and people are over reacting.

My husband did sleep on it the first night. He typically snores, loudly. I did not hear him snore once. Then the next night he went back to the other mattress, the one he is use to. It was back to snore city. I have never heard him so silent, I can only guess that it was something about the bed and the position it puts your body in.

After the smell aired out, I myself have slept on the bed a full week now. I was hoping to be able to tell you I had the same response a lot of people were having. I hoped it would be a miraculously different experience for me where I actually got a full night of rest with no pain and no waking up. But I honestly can’t say that, and I am not sure what I think about the bed yet.

At this point I would have to say my feelings are very mixed. Each time I lay on the bed I do get that initial feeling of “Oh this is super comfy”. I am definitely waking up less. As for the bed staying cool, I am not sure I am getting that. I lay on the pillow and it always feels cool, which I love. But when I lay in the bed it just feels the same as any other mattress temperature to me. I am not having the same pain I was having in my old bed, but I am now having some new small pains I haven’t had before.

During my research I did see that Purple said for a small portion of people it can take up to thirty days to adjust to the bed. You have up to one hundred nights from the time you received the bed to return it. So I am committed to at least giving it thirty days to find out how it does for me. At the end of thirty days I will do another of these reviews to update you with how I am doing with the bed.


In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Do you have a purple mattress? If so what has been your experience with it? Let us know in the comments.



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Goals Not Resolutions

No New Year's Resolutions

According to the statistics, every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions. (About 133,414,000 to 188,732,000 people depending on the year. I did the math for you.) But out of all those people, only about nine percent feel like they are successful most of the time compared to the 42 percent who feel they never succeed.

And it should be no surprise that one of the largest groups of resolutions revolve around weight loss. We do after all live in a culture that forever tells us that we are not enough unless we weigh the perfect weight. Also at the top of the list are goals involving money and relationships (undoubtedly made by all the single people who just spent a week with their family harassing them about when they were going to get married and have kids).

I have talked about this before, but for anyone who is not aware I have a couple of rules about New Year’s Resolutions. Rule number one, I don’t make New Years Resolutions. Rule number two, refer to rule number one.

No New Year's Resolutions

I think it is great if someone wants to do something that will improve their life in some way. The problem that I see with most New Year’s Resolutions is that 1. they are usually very lofty goals that leave you set up to fail, and 2. they are often not made for your own betterment, but instead out of feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

I encourage everyone to dump the New Year’s Resolution with me from now on. What I like to do instead is take a few days at the beginning of the new year to reflect on how the year has went and think about what I want to achieve during the following year. I then make a list of small achievable goals, both personal and business wise. I have even shared them here on the blog before. I like to be in the mind-space that as long as I achieve most of my goals by the end of the year I am happy.

Here are some of my goals for the year:

  1. I want to create a more balanced work/life schedule.
  2. I need to make time at least once a week for meditation preferably out in nature.
  3. I want to double my twitter following.
  4. I want to improve the quality of my Instagram pictures.

I would love to see some of you join me in creating some reasonable goals for yourselves and stepping away from those unachievable resolutions. Share some with me using the hashtag #goalsnotresolutions


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Holiday Look Book 2017

Holiday 2017 Lookbook

Holiday 2017 Lookbook

Looking for something special to wear to one of those many Holiday Parties? Don’t worry, I got you covered. I have looks to share for every occasion and budget. Whether you are looking for something low-key for that office party or something super sexy to wear out on New Years Eve, I have it all.B

When I put this look book together I wanted to include some styles you don’t always see in most look books. I think there are lots of people who feel a little left out of these. Not everyone gets super dressed up. Maybe you are more of jeans and tee kind of girl and you just want to add a little sparkle to your look. I wanted to make sure you were included as well. So keep in mind while looking through this that not every look will be what you traditionally think of as a holiday look.

I will be showing these in order of most casual to dressiest. I will include links to items available as well as sizes I am wearing. I will try to include any other relevant information I think is important to have as well as occasional styling suggestions. As always I hope you guys find this helpful.

For reference, I typically wear a size 20W or 2X at most plus size stores like Lane Bryant or Torrid. My measurements are Bust: 49″ Waist: 43″ Hips: 54″. I wear a 40DDD/E Bra in most brands. I wear a size 9 shoe, and I am in between a medium and wide width.


Alternative Holiday look for the jeans and tshirt kind of girl

You can still be in jeans and look and feel more dressed up. I wanted to do this look for all you ladies who hate dresses and feel more at home in jeans. I totally get that dresses are not practical for everyone. To make this feel more fit for the occasion I chose a pair of jeggings that had rhinestone trim at the hem. And all of the other pieces, including the shoes, are in a velvet fabric to give this outfit a more luxe feel for the holidays. And that jacket is all about the little details. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: Velvet Moto Jacket from Torrid – comes in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2.

Top: Floral Burnout Velvet Mock Neck Top from Torrid – comes in sizes 00 to 6. I have on a size 2.

Jegging: Virtual Stretch® Chevron Stone Jegging in Dark Wash from the Avenue – comes in sizes 14 to 26. Available in Average, Petite, and Tall sizes. I have on a 20 average.

Shoes: Wanted Womens Valance Slip On Tennis Shoes – comes in sizes 6 to 10 Medium Width. I have on a size 9 and they fit quite comfortably. They come in three colors options. I have on the nude color, but I think they look pink.


Plus Size Holiday look featuring Simply Be and Avenue

For this look I wanted to give you something that was both fashionable but super comfortable. Maybe you’re the girl who likes to take lots of family photos on Christmas morning, or maybe you aren’t into dresses but jeans aren’t your thing either. And whether this is the holiday outfit for you or not, I highly recommend getting a pair of leggings. They feel so soft and luxurious. I could wear them for days. Here is what I have on:

Headband: Velvet Stretch Headband from Forever 21 – not currently available online.

Top: Soft Peplum Top With Contrast Bow Back from Simply Be – comes in sizes 8 to 28. Available in two color option. I have on a size 20 in the Dark Red color.

Leggings: Damask Embossed Velvet Legging from Avenue – comes in sizes S/M to L/XL. I have on the size M/L. Make sure you check out the size charts on this one, the sizing is very different.

Shoes: Jellypop Women’s Angel Dress Pump – no longer available online. However you might also like the Jellypop Women’s ELVA dress Pump or the Jellypop Women’s Cayla Dress Pump. Comes in sizes 6 to 11.


City Chic Garden Rose Fit & Flare Dress

It may not seem like it to people who don’t know me well, but I am actually a pretty practical person. So I wanted to offer an option that was a cocktail dress, appropriate for a holiday party, and still be wearable beyond just the holidays. This is just barely a cocktail dress, and so with the right accessories it could also be appropriate for work or church if that is part of your life. Here is what I have on:

Dress: Rose Garden Printed Fit & Flare Dress from City Chic – currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XXL24. I have on a L20. This is currently on sale for $69.00, plus City Chic has an extra 30% off sale items with code ‘XMAS30’.  If you love the print, but they are out of your size or the style isn’t for you, you should also take a look at the Blackberry Peplum Rose Dress from City Chic.

Shoes: My shoes are a pair of Steve Madden Pumps that I have had forever, and they are no longer sold in this style. However the Steve Madden Women’s Ulltra Pump is a very similar style. In my personal experience, I have Steve Madden heels to be more comfortable than the average heels. And because these are a lower heel they might be better for dancing if that is something on your agenda.


Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail on Amazon

This I think leans more towards the traditional cocktail dress look most people will be expecting. Even though it may not be in traditional Christmas colors, it is available in some of those colors. I did want to give you at least one traditional look, but I wanted to show it in this alternative color because I think it is something will last longer in your closet and be appropriate for more occasions. This is also a very affordable look for those of you on a budget. Here is what I have on:

Dress: Lace Plus Size 3/4 Sleeves Midi Business Cocktail Dress from GMHO – comes in sizes 0X to 5X. Available in four-color options. I have on a 2X in the blue color. Please note that their size chart is accurate and you will find it in the product description area, do not go by the link that takes you to Amazon’s general size chart.

Shoes: Envy Women’s Shoe Hugs N Kisses Retro Studded T-strap Genuine Leather Pump – comes in size 7M to 10M (half sizes available). Available in three color options. I have on a size 10M in Black.


Plus size Holiday outfit from City Chic and Forever 21

This look is definitely leaning towards New Years Eve, but its your life, don’t let me tell you when its appropriate to wear something. I really wanted to create a look that was both fun and glittery. But I wanted to make it for the girl who is part princess and all badass. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: I have on a sheer sleeve zip front jacket from City Chic. This particular jacket is no longer available. However, the Drapey Blazer Jacket from City Chic is very similar. The only real difference is that it does not zip up the front. It is currently available in most sizes between XS14 to XL22, some sizes sold out in this color. If you search the site there are also other colors available.

Bodysuit: Plus Size Sequin Bodysuit from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. I have on the size 3X(Forever 21 is Junior Plus, so I have to size up one size in most of their items). Just a couple of notes I thought people would be interested in. The sequins are strictly on the front upper body. Also, there are no snaps to secure, you simply step into this bodysuit. The fabric is very stretchy.

Tutu: This particular tutu was bought several years ago from a company that no longer exists. However, if you are looking for a high quality tutu at a reasonable price, I will always recommend the tutus from Society Plus. I have one in white that I have shown here on the blog several times, you can’t go wrong with them.

Shoes: I have on a pair of Madden Girl heeled sandals I have had for years. If you are looking for something similar you might try the Madden Girl Women’s Lexxx Heeled Sandal. I think they have a very similar look.


Forever 21 and Avenue come together to make a sexy holiday look

This is the final look in this Holiday look book. But I couldn’t wrap things up without sharing at least one full-out sexy and glam look. I can just imagine so many ladies loving this look for New Years. This is definitely the look for the woman who wants all eyes on her. Here is what I have on:

Jacket: Plus Size Faux Fur Coat from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in the Plum color.

Dress: Plus Size Lace-Up Combo Dress from Forever 21 – comes in sizes 0X to 3X. Available in two color options. I have on a size 3X in black. One note, on Forever 21’s website the models look like they have a cami on under the dress. That does not come with the dress. It is sheer on top. You will need to either have a cami or do like I did and wear a matching bra.

Shoes: Kimberly Over the Knee Boot from Avenue – comes in size 7W to 13W. They are wide calf as well. Comes in two color/fabric options. I have on the 9W in the black snake-skin print. (Just FYI, these seem to be on sale for 70% off right now, not sure how long this sale will last.)


And that is all for my Holiday Look Book. I welcome your feedback. And please tell me in the comments below if you had a favorite look.



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Splurge Worthy Beauty Items Of The 2017 Holiday Season

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Splurge worthy beauty products and tools

Whether you are looking to buy a more extravagant gift for someone else or just splurge on yourself, you want to know that your money is going towards something that is a quality product. To help you I have put together a brief list of items that in my opinion are totally splurge worthy.

Everything included in this list will be over $30, and I believe any beauty lover would be ecstatic to receive these items. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, you can check out my list of Beauty Gift Under $30.

For the sake of this post, I am going to divide this into two categories, Makeup & Skin Care and Beauty Tools. Some of these items are available at multiple locations. I will be providing links to either the place I purchased from, or alternatively somewhere you can purchase cheaper. Prices listed are full retail prices and do not reflect any sale prices or possible discounts or additional shipping. So let’s get started.

Makeup & Skin Care

Splurge worthy beauty sets and palettes of holidy 2017

1. Too Faced White Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette –  Sells for $49.00. One of two new palettes released in the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette Collection. This particular palette is filled with soft pastels and a couple of bold pops of color. Like the previous palettes released it has a nice mix of mattes and shimmers. And as always, every chocolate bar palette is infused with real cocoa powder and the smell of chocolate fills the air each time you use it. If you are looking for something bolder or flashier for the holidays, or are just into really cool packaging, you should check out the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Eyeshadow Palette.

2. LORAC Mega PRO Palette 4 – Sells for $59.00. This large palette is filled with 32 highly pigmented shades. It contains a mix of mattes and shimmers. I think this is the most unique Pro Palette LORAC has released. It has a wide range of colors that include both warm and cool tones.

3. Dr. Jart The Original BB Set – Sells for $34.00 (But I found several sellers on Amazon selling for $28.00, so that is where the link leads). This set includes each of the four types of BB Cream from Dr. Jart all in deluxe travel sizes. Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ Shade #01 is filled with peptides and antioxidants that smooth skin and even out tone for youthful-looking skin. Radiance Beauty Balm SPF 30 corrects uneven skin tone while brightening and hydrating. Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm smooths skin’s texture, covers blemishes and large pores, and tightens the look of pores. Black Label Detox Beauty Balm contains purifying botanical actives that soothe and smooth blemishes and camouflage uneven skin tone. This set delivers four subtly distinct finishes, from glowing and sheer to matte and fuller-coverage. If you haven’t tried a Dr. Jart BB Cream before, be prepared to fall in love.

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Smooth & Flawless: Peel + Moisturize – Sells for $48.00. This set includes 14 of the Dr. Dennis Gross’ iconic daily peels and a trial size of the Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion. The Alpha Beta Peels from Dr. Dennis Gross will leave your skin looking great and feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom. And if you are a makeup wearer it will leave your skin in the condition to be the perfect palette. This is the original formula, but you can also get two other formulas. If you have sensitive skin go for the Smooth & Silky Peel + Nourish Ultra Gentle 14-Day Challenge Set or if you need something a little stronger try the Smooth & Radiant: Peel + Brighten Set.

5. Clinique Moisture Overload Set – Sells for $42.00. This is a three-piece set from Clinique’s Moisture Surge line. You get a 1.7 oz size of the Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, a 1 oz size of the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, and a .17 oz size of the All About Eyes. I would recommend the Moisture Surge line to anyone for their skin care no matter their skin type. But if you are looking for a set with a little more variety in it, then check out the Holiday Swag Box.

6. Kevyn Aucoin Electropop Pro Eyeshadow Palette – $57.00. Sells for This palette contains 12 intensely pigmented metallic chrome shades. Designed to create three-dimensional looks. Shade vary from light and sheer to high impact opaque color.

7. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some More Lip – Sells for $68.00. Unfortunately this set is sold out online at Sephora, they are highly popular and for good reason. There is a decent chance your local Sephora will have them in store. If you do not live close to a Sephora then I highly recommend checking out the smaller versions like the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip or if you aren’t a lipstick fanatic you might like the Sephora Favorites Glow For It Kit.

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Beauty Tools

1.  str8glam Wet/Dry Hair Straightening Brush – Sells for $54.75.

I have very course thick hair. It is very hard to do anything with it. In the past I have tried a lot of tools including flat irons, but never had any success with them working on my hair. But in recent years I have tried a lot of new tools trying to find something to do with my hair. This has been one of the few success stories. It not only straightens my hair it does it quickly and easily. Plus its way less damaging to your hair and no worries about burning yourself either.

2. Valuetom Professional Ceramic Hair Curler with Temperature Control – Sells for $42.99  
Another one of my success stories for my hair is this unique hair curler. You may have even seen videos on YouTube of people trying them out and freaking out, or saying they were too afraid to use them. But this is the one and only thing that has worked to curl my hair. I have even had problems with getting perms to hold in the past. Curling by any other means falls out fast. In fact many of you commented on my hair in the BOHO styled post I did with Simply Be a couple of months ago. And this is what I used to get that curl. When I use this on my hair the curl lasts until I wash my hair. It is amazing. It even lets you decide what type of curl you want.

3. Akean Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer Machine – Sells for $49.99

Another product that I highly recommend and that a lot of you expressed interest in after I posted the video on Social Media of me using it is this makeup cleaner and dryer. It works fantastic and is a huge time saver. It literally cleans and dries your brushes in just seconds.

Tell me in the comments what your big beauty splurge is.


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