Tagged: mtl

What The F* 

When I’m in the mood to keep things casual, I love a cheeky graphic tee! So, when Addition Elle hooked me up with this What The F* T-shirt, I knew I’d make good use of it! 



The “F” in What The F* of course, stands for Fashion (yes, fashion, you potty mouthed fiends… just kidding I love you), but the ability to interpret that F* in any way you want is basically the whole point! 




Paired with my fave distressed jeans, a thick gold chain and my Fenty Puma slides, this What The Fashion tee says it all. 

Although I would love to see more size diversity in Addition Elle campaigns, I do love their concept of Fashion Democracy, and I agree with them, and this tee on the fact that fashion is something that is totally up for interpretation! 

T-shirt, Addition Elle – here 

Jeans, Penningtons – similar 

Shoes, Foot Locker – here 

Advertisements

Obsessed With Tess

No, I’m not a creep, I swear… It’s just that my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Tess Holliday, her amazing husband Nick (who is so supportive and delightful,  by the way), and their adorbale newest wee one, Bowie, last month when they were in Montreal, and I’m still in awe of her just a little bit (okay, a lot). 

Tess was in town, of course, working on her clothing line, MBLM by Tess Holliday, at the Penningtons head office which in conveniently located in my city. She had just flown out of Montreal to NYC and back again in the same day in true boss babe fashion when we grabbed our late supper, which to be honest, was hella impressive because I don’t think I would have still been standing after a crazy day like that, let alone giving blogger fan girls like me the time of day! Alas, She was incredibly gracious and we ate, and chatted about our kids, our families, and of course her clothing line! 


As it turns out, this busy beauty has been working really, REALLY hard on this, and honestly, it shows! Looking at the whole line, you can really see her in it… And I don’t just mean you can see her wearing all of it (which you totally can), but if you’ve been following Tess Holliday for any amount of time, you can see how she brought all of herself into this line truly making it her own. Tess never shies away from bold fashion choices and turning up the sex appeal, and thanks to her, now Penningtons customers, and plus size women, especially in Canada (although her line is available in the US as well), who are looking for affordable pieces that that are youthful, fashion forward, and sexy, can enjoy some long needed edgier options! 


One of my favourite pieces (although it’s pretty hard to choose) was this little black dress— simple at first glance, but it’s all in the details! The 3/4 sleeves, tone on tone coated trim, and studs are super cute, and my favourite part is the the sexy thigh high slit! I love showing a little leg and this dress definitely does just that.

Patent leather oxfords, a gold choker, some dangly chain earring, and a totally chic “doggy bag” (so I can tote my pretty little chihuahua girl around in style with me like the shamefully obnoxious small dog owner that I’ve become), have just the right amount of glam and attitude to compliment the dress perfectly. 


Honestly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again— I’m totally obsessed this line (and so is my thirteen-year-old daughter)!!! 


It’s the breath of fresh air we so very much needed on the Canadian market where the choices for young plus size women, especially when it comes to options that are available in brick and mortar establishments, remain somewhat limited. 


We needed this line, we needed Tess Holliday, and thankfully Penningtons brought to us, her bold, badass style in what has been a total game changer in Canadian plus size fashion! 


Shop Tess’ entire line here!

Dress, Penningtons – here 

Shoes, Aldo (from ASOS) – here 

Choker, Forever 21 – here 

Dog Carrier (“doggy bag”), Mondou – here 

The Here, The Now, And The Leopard Print Dress 

Is it really almost August!? In just over a month, will I really be back to fighting with my kids to wake up in the morning, packing school lunches, and arguing over homework!? Ugh. Where has the time gone? Am I the only parent that dreads the start of the school year every fall? I’m sorry, (not sorry) but those “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” Staples (or, Bureau en Gros, here is Quebec) commercials are all lies, and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise. 

We still have another month to go though, so rather than get ahead of myself, which is hard to do with my daughter already breathing down my neck about locker accessories (She’s probably the only kid I’ve ever known who was actually excited about back to school, and did you know they sell locker chandeliers and carpets? Me neither.), I’m trying to make the most of what’s left before the leaves start to fall off the trees, spiralling downward, alongside my sanity. 

It’s all about bright colours and all things summery for me these days (except when I just feel like wearing back, because black) and this dress from IBBI is basically my whole life right now. 


I wore the magenta version of it recently on the blog, and you can imagine my surprise when its turquoise blue sister showed up on my doorstep! It’s not everyday your blogger mail is so absolutely perfect, and unexpected, to boot! 

Now, I joke (mostly) about dreading the the end of summer, but if there’s one thing that can remind me that it’s not over yet, it’s vibrantly coloured leopard print! It’s bold, flashy, and everything summer clothes should look like! The irony is, that because of its incredibly versatile fabric, oddly enough it will actually be the ideal fall dress too!


It kind of makes it hard to resent a whole season when you realize that one of your favourite dresses will be perfect for it. So what if happy summer mommy transforms into her alter ego, stressed irritable mommy? At least she’ll look fab, right!? 


I kid, I kid… But for real though, it’s always awesome when great clothes have the undisputed potential to transition effortlessly into another season, especially summer to fall. Let’s face it, for many of us, that’s already a frustrating enough passage, so not needing to rethink our wardrobes is a definite bonus! 


This gorgeous leopard print dress from IBBI, paired with cute, lace-up wedges from Penningtons, and flamboyant yellow earrings is everything I need to keep me in the present. Its ability to be the perfect fall dress too, however, is a friendly reminder that it’s okay for me to plan for the future without getting ahead of myself. 


Sometimes we just need to live in the here and now, and while it’s still summer, I will do my best to savour it instead of (as my mother would say) wishing my life away (which I have a tendency of doing each year around this time). 

I have no choice but to think ahead. I’ve got my oldest son commencing his final year of high school (holy crap) and my youngest son starting his first day of kindergarten (um, also holy crap), not to mention my two middles (that’s what I like to call them) going into grades 5 and 8. Life now requires more planning than ever, but those little things that keep us focused on the present moment are key. 


Who would have thought that a leopard print dress would have such a profound effect on me… But hey! Who am I to question the things that contribute to my mental health!? 


The important thing to take away from all of this is that we all need to recognize the little reminders that the universe sends out to us. They come in many forms, in my case, in the form of a surprise package on my doorstep. Don’t find yourself worrying so much about what’s to come (back to school, yuck), that you don’t let yourself enjoy what already is (summer, yay). We all need our own leopard print dresses every now and again… Mine just happened to be a literal one this time. See blog post about pink version of this dress here


Dress, IBBI Collection – here

 Shoes, Penningtons – similar 

Earrings, eBay – old 

(A special shoutout to my bestie, Crystal for the awesome shots!!! 🙂 

Silly Little Reminders Of A Not So Silly Reality 

A little while ago I took a brief, unplanned blogging hiatus. I had been feeling extremely exhausted, I’d been sick, and I was also dealing with some stressful family stuff as well. I kept meaning to blog, and went to bed each night with the idea that tomorrow’s going to be the day, but no matter how much I tried to convince myself, I always just ended up putting it off because something inside of me just wouldn’t let me be productive. 

That’s all I thought it was… Just me procrastinating, but when I look back on those couple of months, the reality was that I was having a bit of an anxiety induced melt down. I was still functioning— going about the motions, putting a brave face on, but inside I was at the point of breaking down. 

I did my best to remember to keep up with those little self-care rituals that helped keep me sane. I cooked, cleaned, took care of my kids. I took bubble baths, got my nails done, but my struggle with blogging slowly began to weigh on me… I started resenting it, because I hated the feeling of having an obligation, even if it was self-imposed. 


It’s strange because, I love being a blogger. Blogging is at the top of my list of self-care activities because it makes me feel good, from getting made up and dressed in beautiful clothes, right down to the writing process, which I find calming and therapeutic… So why was I running away from it!? 


The answer: because I was in denial about what I was really running from. It was much simpler to tell myself that I was taking a nap instead of blogging, rather than taking it to avoid my own thoughts, not to mention that writing would have forced me to confront myself about how I was feeling. In that moment, my only defence mechanism was to flee my own brain altogether.  


You may be wondering what all of this has to to with this dusty pink/blush coloured dress I’m wearing… It’s such a silly little thing, yet it’s all I can think of when I look at these photos… My nails don’t match it. 


I had purchased it (as well as in another colour) from ASOS as an attempt to rekindle my blogging spirit. I remember being excited because I had gotten my nails done in the exact same pink to match. I never shot any blog pics though. Hell, I never even wore it, and my nails grew out. Still determined, I got my refill and asked for the exact same colour again! Dusty pink nails, take two, but again, I just couldn’t make myself get dressed for a shoot. Slowly, they grew out once more and I forgot about the dress. 


At some point in May, I came out of this difficult period. I had blogging obligations and had no choice but to fulfill them. Once I started back at it, the anxiety was lifted. I remembered that this wasn’t some cruel form of punishment, but rather an activity that fills me with joy!


It felt like coming home, and I couldn’t believe that for a while there, I had even debated going ghost on my followers. I had felt unable to keep the blog up, but feared the imagined humiliation of actually formally excusing myself from the community and exposing myself as a failure who just couldn’t cut the mustard.


I’m glad I didn’t, because getting up every morning, getting dressed, and maintaining the dialogue with myself that blogging requires me to uphold was what helped bring me back; and my followers, your kind words upon my return were more uplifting than you can imagine! I have once again been given the gift of being reminded of just how much support I have through blogging, and the amazing body positive community. 


So even though my manicure doesn’t match my dress, I wanted to wear it as a very personal symbol of the power we all have to give another person hope, encourage them when they feel hopeless, and raise them up when they’re feeling low, and also as a reminder that anxiety and mental illness are invisible. 


Coming from a person who, in the moment, when things get tough, is very guarded, and tends to withdraw into herself, you may think someone looks fine. They may smile, engage in conversation and list all the right reasons for why they’ve been acting a little differently— I’m just tired, I’ve been sick, I’ve been busy, etcetera etcetera… But it can be next to impossible to notice when those reasons begin to spill over into something more debilitating. 


I was fortunate that this was just a minor bout with anxiety brought on by temporary stressors, and solvable problems that pale in comparison to those of others, but not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has an amazing support system, or are able to recognize when it’s time to seek professional help. 


So, like this dress and my mismatched mani remind me, let me remind you to be kind, because your words can have more on an impact on a person’s life than you may ever realize. Remember that someone’s struggles may seem trivial to you, but are very real to that person, so be mindful. You can never truly know how someone is feeling inside, unless they are willing and able to express it, which I can tell you honestly, isn’t an easy thing to do. 


Dress, ASOS Curve – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here  

Bag, Louis Vuitton – here 

Necklace & Earrings, Walmart – old
 

Post-it Notes

Every once in a while, I get an amazing reminder that I deserve to love myself as much as anybody else does. This time it came in the form of this stunning, sequins embellished dress from SexyPlus Clothing. 


Seeing beautiful pieces like this reminds me just how far plus size fashion has come since I was growing up and struggling to find clothes that didn’t make me look like my grandmother (no shade, granny got style— just not mine). 


It may only be a little black dress, but this Joseph Ribkoff design is in no way ordinary. The sparkle, the detail, and the curve-hugging style scream look at me!!!! 


The simple fact that options like this exist now, which are very obviously not designed to mask our bodies, but to celebrate them, is proof that the world is recognizing that us fatties are refusing to hide in the shadows any longer!


We have the right to be viewed and admired if we wish it, and most of all, to feel worthy of wearing the fabulous clothes that we love without thinking we are somehow undeserving of style because we’re overweight. 

I know we’re not quite there yet when it comes to inclusivity, but I’m more than happy to rejoice in tangible victories like this dress, because bold, attention grabbing pieces validate my belief that I, as a plus size woman, am worthy of shining, turning heads, and feeling sexy. 

Obviously, I don’t need that validation, but it sure is nice to have it. It feels good to know that all those years I spent being crushed over not being able to wear what I wanted are behind me, and that speaking up in the name of fat women everywhere hasn’t been in vain. It feels good to be heard. 


All of this is to say, be aware of those reminders, life’s little Post-it notes telling you to remember that the frustrations of your past were for a reason, and your hopes for the future are possible! 


While you’re at it, let me remind you that you are important. You are worthy, and your existence, fat, thin, or anything in between, has more meaning and influence than you may ever even know…


Dress your body the way you want to, wear the clothes that make you feel beautiful, do the things that make you feel empowered and strong!



Be grateful when your opinions are validated, but never depend on that validation to come from anyone but you. Remember that to love yourself, you must listen to yourself. Don’t dismiss your feelings because you think you don’t deserve to have them… I did that for a very long time, and one of the greatest gifts I’ve given to myself has been allowing myself the right to acknowledge how I feel as a fat person, with a voice as true as anybody else’s. 

Dress, Joseph Ribkoff from SexyPlus – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here

Clutch, vintage 

 

My Montréal + Fashion Week Score

Well, it was a success!!! Montréal + Fashion Week, which took place last weekend and brought diversity and visibility to the plus size scene in my amazing city, was an absolute honour to be a part of! 

Although it was super scary, I managed face my fears and host alongside Emily Roy, the creator of the event, (without passing out) all while draped in the showstopping designs of Pheline Couture and Amadora JewelryWe showcased a fantastic selection of brands at the fashion show on Friday evening, ranging from active wear, evening wear, to bridal, and our models, including my boo, Sabrina Servance of Big Women Big Love, the beautiful Rosie Mercado, and Montreal’s own Joby Bach, along with an entire lineup of inspiring women, totally ripped the runway!!! 

Saturday, after coming down from the euphoria of such a high energy event, I enjoyed day one of the Montréal + Fashion Week sale expo where one particular piece really caught my attention—this gorgeous hot pink leopard print dress from i.b.b.i. Collection!


It was more on the pricey side, but I tried it on and instantly fell in love! I knew I couldn’t leave without it.

The quality of this garment is beyond superior. Luxury plus size clothing lines are few and far between, but i.b.b.i. Collection is getting it right! It’s really exciting to see more high end options available to the plus size consumer, because for a very long time, our choices were extremely limited. There is a whole world of curvy women out there just waiting to drop some dollars on some luxury pieces and I love that there are companies like i.b.b.i. who are taking notice of this! 

 I was honestly really impressed by the whole line, and if my wallet had permitted it, I would have walked out with an armful of fabulous frocks; but I definitely went home with my favourite one of the bunch!As I was trying it on, already wearing a thick gold chain, Rosie Mercado, the face of i.b.b.i., pointed out how great it looked with the dress. Needless to say, when I rocked it out on day two of the sale expo, I wore it with my fave piece of bling, this extravagant, layered chain necklace from Ready To Stare, a designer whose jewelry seems to have been made to pair with leopard print! 

These golden baubles and a simple pair of embellished, black leather flats from Aldo, and my look was complete! 


Even Rosie approved! 


I look forward to seeing which brands come out to play next year at Montréal + Fashion Week, and I am definitely looking forward to all the places I will wear my new dress! 

A huge thank you to my bestie, Crystal, for snapping these awesome graffiti shots! 

Check out more of Pheline designs at Pheline.ca or on Facebook and Instagram

Amadora Jewelry at Amadorajewellery.com

Dress, i.b.b.i. Collection – here 

Chain necklace, Ready To Stare – here 

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Stained Glass 

I used to shy away from attention. I would keep my head down, avoid eye contact so I wouldn’t get noticed. I walked around like a ghost, somehow making my large, fat body melt into the background. 


I could hide behind any pillar, disappear behind any wall, and though my ample hips would protrude, they were invisible… I, was invisible. 


You have such a pretty face, she said to me… She was my thin, beautiful, popular cousin’s thin, beautiful, popular friend. 


The words stung like hot blades cauterizing the wound as they cut, numbing me with the smell of my own burning flesh… Flesh. Pounds of it boiling over, seething, bubbling and molten under my clothes. 


I went crazy for a while. I watched them be attractive, be desired, be lovable. I wondered what it would feel like to be lovable too. I thought surely, there must be no better feeling than that of being wanted. 

I opened myself to any attention people payed me. I searched for it wherever I could. Just flaunt what you’ve got, they said, so I flaunted my fear of being alone.


They came running, saliva dripping down their necks, drawn by the intoxicating aroma of a woman who believes she is worthless. I let them abuse me, use my fears to control me. I let them break what was left of the girl with the pretty face and send me to my knees in a cloud of dust and broken dreams. 


But I was lucky… As I peered into the rubble that was left after I crumbled, the sun shone and I saw a glint of light, dusty, cracked, but twinkling. 


I pulled away the debris, brushed off the dirt, frantically rummaging for those shimmering bits of myself that I might still be able to salvage, and the flecks of smoked light began to transform. 


Before my eyes, the shards came together to form spectacular patchwork panes, stained by my memories, my shattered hopes, and the beauty in my reflection that I had never been able to see. 

I watched myself become whole again, or arguably, for the first time, bound together with lead, only toxic if I let it in; and the colours, they were glorious, refracting the sunlight, swallowing the darkness, all the while changing any light that passed through, making it fascinating and magnetic. 


Coloured glass, the proof of my existence, brittle yet magnificent. Lead, the reminder of my past, reinforcing my fractured pieces and making me strong. 

When I rose to my feet, I was not the girl with the pretty face. I was the girl with the pretty colours, all shades of light bouncing off one another, emanating from the core of the body I once thought unworthy of shining. 

My design, intricate. My pattern, complicated, but mesmerizing, and my colours, true and indelible. 


Dress (custom) – K Couture Customizable Formal Wear – customize your own here
Trench, Eleven60 by Kierra Sheard- here 


Clutch, Aldo – similar 


Shoes, Shoes Of Prey – design your own here