Category: Blogging

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
 

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 

Montreal + Fashion Week Is Comiiing

As most of you know, I’m a Montreal girl, born and raised! I love my city, especially its rich history and diversity—a veritable melting pot of culture and language, and just an amazing place to call home! 

The plus size community here however, has faced many obstacles. We are a group of people desperately in need of the unity it takes to raise each other up and support one another, so when I was asked to join the first annual Montreal + Fashion Week team as the official blogger I was, how you say, f*cking exciteddddd!!! 

  
 
Led by the fabulous Emily Roy of the blog Entre Montréal et New York, and Nadine Moore of the plus size boutique Catapulp, and moi of course, Montreal + Fashion Week will be a celebration of plus size fashion, beauty, life and style, right here in my own beautiful city from May 20th-22nd. 

I’ve been helping out behind the scenes, and was lucky enough to attend all three model castings, first in Quebec City, then Toronto, and finally wrapping up right here in Montreal. It was such a blast to see all those beautiful babes show us how it’s done! 

With all that running around, I didn’t get a chance to do a post about what I wore, but luckily I managed to shoot my favourite look of the bunch this week! 

  

This fly AF quilted gold number from Your Big Sister’s Closet was what I wore to the Quebec City casting.

   
 
It’s literally everything… Like seriously!!! 

  
  
  
It’s total perfection paired with my fave pair of white jeans from Penningtons!

  
 
And with its edgy fabric and elegant cut, it may possibly be the most glorious springtime piece I’ve ever worn! Just saying.

  
  

Especially when accessorized with a little LV, some baubles from Aldo, and my chic Coach flats! 

  

  
  
  

  
The absolute ideal look to wear to a fashiony (yes, fashion-y) type event!

I hope to see all of you at Montreal + Fashion week! I’m really looking forward to meeting and mingling with my followers and plus size fashionistas, so be sure to get your tickets (here) before they’re gone, and come see me this May!!! 

For more details on the event, please visit: www.montrealplusfashionweek.com and check out the schedule here

Purchase tickets at here (English), or here (French). 

Be sure to stay tuned all this week and next, as I will be bringing you more info, special announcements and discussions about the event, as well as tips for making the most of your visit to Montreal if you’re coming from out of town! 

In the meantime, don’t forget to use the #MTLplusFWstyle hashtag on social media for a chance to be featured on @montreal.plus.fashion.week’s Instagram! 
  
Top, Your Big Sister’s Closet – similar 

Jeans, Penningtons – here 

Necklaces: Aldo – similar

Bag, Louis Vuitton – here 

An Open Letter To The Woman Who Tried To Make Me Feel Ashamed Of My Body

Dear woman who tried to shame my body today,

There are a few things I’d like to say to you — a few things that I think you need to know; and I will lace my words with an excessive amount of photos of my glorious bod in a hot pink, see-through dress and bright red bikini, because I think it would do you good to see more of the body you decided to pick apart on social media today. 

  
As a blogger, in one of my weekly contributions to another blog, I was asking followers to help me pick between three outfits that I chose for an upcoming date night with my husband. I think I looked really cute in all of them, for the record — and, sometimes a girl just wants a little feedback! 

  
Anyway, you told me that “[my] belly sticks out,” that my shirt is “making [my] butt look larger” and that “[b]urgundy pants are not for [me]” because they “[s]how[] the cellulite in my legs.”

  

I answered you so politely when you criticized body. I told you that “I love my belly, my big butt, and my cellulite, as does my hubby! They’re part of me — no need to hide them! 😊 It’s not about looking thinner. The beauty of body acceptance is learning to love our flaws! ❤️”

  
You’re welcome to disagree with my view points and clothing choices all you want, but never once did I mention anything about your thoughts on my outfits. I also didn’t get upset… In fact, I think I gave a pretty polite and friendly response that spoke only of how I wasn’t ashamed of my body parts that you seemed to feel weren’t attractive. 

  
 
You, a plus size woman yourself, stated that you were entitled to your opinion, then proceeded to tell me that loving my body was a copout because I am too lazy to try to better myself and my health. (Really, you said it!) 

  
When I, again very politely, explained that I am in very good health, and wished you would realize that your comment was judgemental and uncalled for, you said that I must not be as secure as I claim to be because I was being defensive and over-sensitive. 

  
You told me there is classy and trashy, and that you guessed I had made my choice. You also reminded me, in case I had forgotten since your previous comment, that you had a right to your opinion. 

  
So, now, not only did you try to shame my body and my lifestyle, but you also went and called me trashy. 

  

You went on to say that that you had balls, and stood by your opinion… And that I shouldn’t be a blogger if I didn’t like it — somehow believing that it is your right to police my body, call me names, be blatantly rude, and that, because I have a blog, I’m not supposed to call you on it. 

  
Others jumped to my defence, but you attacked them too, and laughed at the whole situation, referring to a comment I had posted for someone else, explaining to them how taking back the word ‘fat’ had empowered me.

 
 
I politely excused myself from the conversation, stating that your perseverance was admirable, that you had so much potential, and I wished you could have used it to uplift your fellow women rather than tear them down. 

  
Soon after, your comment was removed. Obviously nobody was in agreement with your insults disguised as opinions, and false sense of entitlement… So, my apologies if the events may seem a little out of sequence, because again, your comment was deleted, which took all of your, my, and everyone else’s carefully crafted rebuttals with it, leaving me with only my tear-filled (sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on that) memories to refer to. You are entitled to your opinion, let’s just get that out of the way so you don’t have to say it again, but I will not let you believe, when you attack my body and character then accuse me of being insecure when I respond, that I can’t see right through your smug facade, to a woman who is filled with self-doubt, insecurity, envy and fear. 

  
I will also not allow you make me love myself any less than I did before reading your enlightening comments — in fact, they’ve made me love myself more! You see, when you show your true colours, and they’re dim, grey and muddy, they make mine shine much brighter. 

  

What you thought would stop me really just propelled me forward, and reaffirmed how important my blogging truly is. 

  

So what I’m really saying here, is thank you. Thank you for making me feel even more beautiful, secure, and important today. 

  
I know your intention was to make yourself feel better by trying to bring me down, so I’m sorry (not sorry) that I couldn’t help, but I would gladly love to offer you a compliment if you ever decide to actually post a profile picture of yourself one day. I’m sure you have all kinds of beauty that you just don’t see when you look in the mirror. 

   

And lastly, even though your attempts at hurting me failed miserably, I hope you come to understand that not everyone is as strong and confident as me. Not everyone will be able to take something wonderfully positive away from the experience of having a person try to publicly humiliate them; and not everyone will understand that your attempts at trashing their self-esteem, are really just projections of your own insecurities. 

Warmest regards, 
                            Cynthia xx

   
 
Dress, Zelie For She – here, or similar 

Bikini, Addition Elle – here 

Breaking Rules on The Penningtons Blog 

As many of you know, I have done a few guest blog posts for Penningtons, but this week I started on a new journey with the Penningtons team, and have been hired as weekly contributor to The Penningtons Blog!!!

I’m very proud of my first adventure as weekly contributor – breaking the ever eyeroll-worthy plus size fashion “rule” of never wearing horizontal stripes! 

In this post, I styled six different looks, with the help of the ever helpful Penningtons Pointe-Claire staff, and I couldn’t be more proud of how I proved that horizontal stripes are most definitely not off limits to us full figured ladies!!! 

So here’s a peek, but to see the full size shots, read what I had to say, and to find out all the deets on these great outfits for yourselves, just head on over to The Penningtons Blog to check out the post, and be sure to check back with them each week to view my latest contribution!!! 

  

My Tutu Experience 

I’ve worn a tutu before. I own a pretty, light pink one, and it’s very much adorable, but I’ve always felt that it lacked a little drama for those times when I really wanted to slay. 

So, while scrolling through my newsfeed one day, I happened upon a post from Mo Handahu, better known to most of you as the fabulous, Halifax based life & style blogger/designer/spectacular sunglasses aficionado, Lion Hunter

She is just the epitome of cool, and takes the word chic to a whole new level with her consistently epic print mixing, and awe-inspiring accessories, so her posts always jump right off my screen, begging to be admired. 

In this particular one, she was wearing a vibrant blue tutu, a colour that struck me as uncommon as far as these puffy tulle skirts go. 

I soon discovered that not only was she wearing it five different ways with that flawless pizazz that only she can pull off (which is impressive in its own right), but she had hand crafted it herself as part of a lookbook for her own line, called “The Tutu Experience.” (Whaaaaaaaa!? No wayyyyyy, right!?)

So, I guess you can imagine my excitement upon finding out that not only could I now own one of Lion Hunter’s gorgeous tutus, but I could also have a chance to touch a piece of her, now somehow tangible, greatness!!! 

There were so many colour choices, and it was tough to make a decision, but I had always wanted a brown tutu. So after giving some measurements, and a special request or two, a few clicks later my tutu order was sent! 

    

  
All I can say is, OMIGAWWWWWD it’s everything!!! I’m not even kidding. I’m completely obsessed with it (like, I’ll take three more, obsessed)!!! 

  
  
I paired it with a cute leopard crop top from Rebdolls, because after all, I couldn’t wear a piece from Mo without paying homage to her by wearing at least one print! 

   
 I accessorized with some fierce, (albeit wickedly uncomfortable) cobalt blue pumps (probably my last attempt at heels ever) by Christian Siriano for Payless, a handmade Malian bronze & bead necklace, and topped it all off with my trusty yellow Ted Baker springbok hide clutch, for an edgy, vibrant touch. 

   
 I definitely turned heads in my tutu, between its rich brown colour, striking design, and the wind that kept blowing it up and showing off the goodies; and I can officially say this tutu experience was glorious!!! 

  
Check out more from Mo, including her entire line of custom-made tutus and skirts for every body on Etsy, and her incredible personal style and more on her blog, Lion-Hunter.com

 Tutu, The Tutu Experince – here 

Crop top, Rebdolls – here 

Shoes, Chritian Siriano for Payless – here

Clutch, Ted Baker – sold out, similar 

Throwback Thursday: The Penningtons Blog

I recently had the pleasure of trying on and giving my thoughts on six pairs of jeans from Penningtons, for a guest post on their blog! 

So, since it’s #TBT, I’m throwing it back to last weekend’s post on The Penningtons Blog! 

Can you guess which pair of these jeans came home with me? Find out in the original post!!!




Original post, and details: here

Silver Linings

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Well… I’m sick. It all started yesterday with a tickle in my throat and now I’ve gone full Gollum. It’s official, laryngitis is my nemesis.

Everyone is annoyed with me. Nobody knows what I’m saying, and they’re too fed up with listening to my incessant hissing and rasping, to care anymore. I’ve become white noise; and truth be told, I’m pretty sick of hearing my own voice at this point too. Is it possible that I actually talk MORE when I have laryngitis!? Ugh…

And it’s been one of those weeks too. We had an incident. A dead-squirrel-in-the-pool incident that I will probably have nightmares about for the rest of my life… Let’s just say, I may or may not have cried/gagged/cried some more. So that was fun.

But at least there are few silver linings… (Not for Mr. Squirrel, however – unless you count the lining of our pool.)

It’s been a long weekend for many of us here, and tomorrow is Canada Day! The hubby and I got our pool up and running better than ever after Squirrelmageddon; and the silverest (not a word, but who cares) lining of all…? My jewelry!!!

I’ve noticed that I’ve been neglecting my silver jewelry lately, so regardless of the fact that when I speak, I’m pretty sure I sound like what I would imagine the late Mr. Squirrel’s last moments sounded quite similar to, I decided that today was as good a day as any to take a few of my favorite pieces out for a spin!

I’ve gotten caught up in the whole cool/warm, silver/gold skin tone debate before. With my fair skin, cool, pink undertones, and blue veins, I always thought I should look better in silver, so for a long time that was all I ever wore. I only started wearing gold jewelry a couple of years ago, when I realized that my year round, generous covering of golden, tawny freckles looks totally fabulous in gold too! As it ends up, I’ve converted almost exclusively to gold, but I do still love me some silver jewelry.

I also happen to love me a fancy statement ring, and this ring from Forever 21 is the perfect combination of both! I mean, is it not freaking gorgeous!? With it, I went with a large silver chain necklace, also from Forever 21, these cute, big silver dome studs from Aldo Accessories, and of course, my trusty bangles.

Since I love the look of of silver with white and brights, I decided on wearing both! I find it can look a little abrasive paired with dark colors at times, (which can be hot if you’re going for a rocker chic look, but better for winter than summertime) so I paired my lovely, silver bobbles with some simple, white capris, a cute, striped neon coral top, (both from Addition Elle) and my fantastic, metal-toed, silver flats from Aldo, for a polished, casual look that definitely helped me to forget that I’m sick, and that I allegedly lost my sh*t (which I will neither confirm, nor deny) during the squirrelpocalypse.

PS. Unfortunate fact: There is no squirrel emoji. Gahhh!!! Why is there no squirrel emoji!? I really could have used one this week.

PPS. Not as unfortunate as the fate of Mr. Squirrel, however. May he rest in peace.

Paradise Print

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Ok… I’ve been SO excited to wear this dress, and now that I have it on, I can’t stop smiling!!!

From the minute I first laid eyes on it, I just knew… This is the one. The flattering length, bodycon cut, and the print… Ohhh, the PRINT!!! I can’t even!!! When I look at it, it evokes images of coconuts, sand, and ocean waves… A dusty roadside marketplace, colorful linens and mangoes for sale… It is, in a word, perfection.

I’ve paired this fabulous dress from Posh Shoppe with this stunning, regal necklace and twisted hoop earrings from Forever 21, my signature gold bangles, and pretty yellow and cognac colored wedges.

I’ve pulled my hair up in a big, luxurious bun for an elegant, exotic look that definitely lives up to this dress’s fantastic tropical print.

And so… I’m just gonna come right out and say it – I look HOT!!! So hot, in fact, that I couldn’t help myself… I even took a belfie!!! That’s a butt selfie, by the way!

YAAASSSSS!!!

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Fat Girl And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamkimono

Fat Girl and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamkimono

Yes…  Dreamkimono.

It’s been raining for two days straight here in Montreal, so I figured I would brighten up my day (and hopefully yours, regardless of the weather) with this very colorful post, featuring this stunning, multi-colored floral kimono from Forever 21+ and this amazingly vibrant necklace from ALDO Accessories.

I’ve paired these pieces with my trusty black leggings from Additon Elle, a reddish-orange tank top (Forever 21+) which matches perfectly with the kimono, cute T-strap flats (Forever 21) and some colorful bracelets, to create a bold, lively look that could brighten up just about anyone’s day!

Since the start of this year, I challenged myself, and I went from someone who feared wearing color, to… Well… This girl that you see here! I’ve already received so many compliments on this outfit – it’s crazy! I never could have imagined that I would feel so free and confident wearing such bright, bold hues, but let me tell you, it feels amazing!!!

All can say is this – never be afraid to be seen. Do not feel like you should be invisible. Wear color! There is a joy that comes from wearing beautiful colors that I never new existed until I really gave it a shot; and I would hate for any of you to miss out on this fantastic feeling!!!