Visual Aid / Instagram Action – #OOTDs + Favorite Things

Just some fun and inspiration from my Instagram!


The best cake in the world – Crazy Cake, made with vinegar and baking soda instead of eggs.


Having a great laugh with my new bronzed friend, Orville Redenbacher.


The only ice cream, and dairy products for that matter, worth having.  Mmmmmmm….


Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  I definitely did not get many genes from her… I’m all Dad.  Norwegian viking DNA 4-eva!


A fabulous bar find in Chicago!  Untitled!  It literally has no title or sign on the street.  It’s right next to the CVS!


Finally embracing the plus size crop top trend with this cute, yet sophisticated find from… you’d never guess it… Dress Barn!  Shocking, I know.


Smints.  A lifelong obsession that can now only be fed via Amazon and international shipping.


Lastly, a confidence boosting quote via plus size model Alexa Rosa!  Follow her too!

#OOTD – Kentucky Derby

So I’m a little late in posting about the Derby and only had a few pics that turned out.  Here’s what I have from the Derby Party in Chicago benefiting the National Kidney Foundation.  My horse didn’t even win!  Darn you California Chrome!

I wore a Ralph Lauren polka dot jersey dress (from a few seasons ago), a vintage hat, my Calvin Klein d’orsay flats and red lips via Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm #250.






Gabi, Tess, Nadia… #everyBODYisflawless

Emergency Post!

The body positivity, fat acceptance, eff your beauty standards, honor your curves

— whatever you want to call it–

movements are in full force tonight since this video was released.

Gabi, Tess and Nadia are not only bloggers, activists, models and celebrities in the plus size

fashion and beauty communities, they are role models.

I am so excited they all came together to create such an amazing video

and dropped everything to share it with you as soon as I caught wind of it on Instagram.





Links to their original posts:


Tess Munster

Nadia Aboulhosn

#OOTD / Black White Coral Blue

80 degree weather means I can finally wear my:

Sleeveless black jumpsuit from Style&Co. at Macy’s

Long coral Jamie Knit Cardigan from SWAK (very lightweight!)

Peep toe white espadrilles from Coach (they’re from many seasons past, but here’s something similar)

Sunglasses from Target

Necklace from Lane Bryant last spring (here are some similar options)





Jumpsuits are so incredibly comfortable.  I want to wear them all the time!




Visual Aid / What’s in my bag

1. Bulova Watch.  This is the watch that finally turned me into a watch/bracelet person.  I hadn’t worn any in YEARS until I found this watch Christmas shopping at Macy’s.  I love the deco bracelet style and it will stay in my jewelery collection indefinitely.

2. iPhone 5S + Trina Turk Case.  The top button on my iPhone 4 died, so this past October I had to get a new one.  I chose the gold 15gb 5S and my good friend, who works at the phone store, found me this lovely turquoise case by Trina Turk.  It’s not a case for the accident-prone, as it doesn’t cover the whole phone, but it does great for protective-types like me.

3. Bare Minerals Joyous Jennifer Blush.  To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of blush.  I use it because I know I should, but with my big round apple cheeks and ever-present flush, it tends to be overwhelming.  However, I’ve found I like using Bare Mineral’s blushes because you have great control over the amount of product you use and it blends very well in case you get a little over zealous.

4. Eclipse Spearmint Mints.  The ONLY mints I ever consumed up until 2014 were Smints.  They were my lifeblood.  But, they’re only available online and with the limited budget I’m under right now, I had to find an alternative.  I discovered, after some experimentation, that I hated peppermint and wintergreen, so spearmint was my only option.  They’re tasty and do the job, but the case is metal and very loud when you go through half the pack!  I can’t wait to go back to the plastic recyclable packaging of Smints.

5. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm.  Hydrates my lips, stays put, all-natural and doesn’t smell funky.

6. Revlon Eyelash Curler.  My lashes are straight and blonde, so I have to enhance them in any and every way possible.  This includes a 2-3 minute curling technique for each eye going from root to tip.  I’ve used this brand curler for years and it works great.  Less than $10 at the drugstore!

7. Bare Minerals Full Flawless Face Brush.  I use this to apply my blush.  It’s big, fluffy and blends everything out nicely.

My Bag with Numbers1

8. Sephora Collection Nano Lip Liner.  I love to layer my lips to make the color last longer and pop.  Lately, I’ve been using Sephora’s own lip pencils in the colors Real Red, Beau Bordeaux and Brilliant Berry.  Color your full pout and put a dab or two of lip gloss over them and you’re good to go.

9. NYX Slim Eye Pencil in Dark Brown.  I’ve found that unless dramatic, nighttime or event makeup is required, black eyeliner is just too stark against my pale skin.  So, I’ve switched to dark brown and love this NYX pencil.  It sets quickly and if you use primer, it really doesn’t go anywhere.  It’s great for tightlining too.

10. Maybelline MasterShape Eyebrow Pencil in Soft Brown.  I’m constantly battling with my brow look.  I really want to have Elizabeth Taylor brows, but it’s just not in the cards for me.  I do tint my brows a few shades darker than natural, just to give them a little color (they’re very very light blonde on their own) and then I fill them in with this pencil.  The spooly at the end is perfect to blend everything together.  Works for now, but talk to me in a few months.  I’ll be onto something new.

11. Warby Parker Glasses.  See my previous post for full details!

12. Norwex Optic Cloth.  The ONLY cloth I will use to clean my glasses ever again.  It gets all the gunk off and leaves no streaks.  Amazing.

13. Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Gloss.  Not sticky.  Not smelly.  Doesn’t move too much.  Great nude colors.  Maybelline FTW!

14. Chloe Rollerball Perfume.  My signature scent in its portable version.

15. Maybelline The Colossal VolumExpress Waterproof Mascara in Glam Black.  After trying out many waterproof mascaras last year, I found I liked this one the best.  It gives you volume, separation and length.  Just watch the formula once you’re four or so weeks into the tube.  It can get clumpy fast.

16. Kenneth Cole Wallet.  A purchase from many years ago.  I love the alligator embossing and the light blue color.

My Bag with Numbers2

17. Ariella Collection Ring.  I’ve featured these rings a few times already and I just love them.  I have it in gold and silver to go with absolutely everything I wear.  They’re a clean, classic style that’s large in size, but not gaudy.  I usually wear a 9.5 in rings but their 9 fits easily.

18. Zebra Pen.  Writes with ease and comes in many colors, like red!

19. Knit Infinity Scarf.  Another purchase from years ago.  Perhaps TJ Maxx?  Nonetheless it’s comfortable, warm and stylish.  A staple of any closet.

20. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  Eyeshadow DOES NOT MOVE.  Ever.  Enough said.

21. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream.  I don’t like to wear full foundation everyday and have dry skin, so when this was recommended in the comments on my favorite beauty vlogger’s Sharon Farrell‘s page (who’s great btw and pale too!), I picked it up.  It protects with SPF30, has light coverage and evens the skin tone out just enough.  It doesn’t dry or move until you take it off in normal weather.  We’ll see when the sweatiness of Chicago summer ensues…

22. Kerastase Cristalliste Lumiere Liquide.  I’ve been addicted to Kerastase’s products for over 10 years now and this one is a must have for almost any hair type.  It’s a lightweight serum that can be used on wet or dry hair to smooth and add lots of shine!

23.  J. Crew Tortoise Claw Clip.  What can I say?  I just love these things.  They’ll stay put wherever and however you put them and still look cute and fashionable.  I own many.

24.  Cole Haan Woven Leather Cross-Body Bag.  My favorite TJ Maxx find from…maybe ever.  It is supposed to be a laptop bag, but I re-purposed it as my everyday cross-body bag.  It’s Cole Haan, so the quality of the leather is fantastic and has held up very well, considering I’ve worn it everyday since I purchased it in August of 2012.