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In Stylzoo 

Every year I get really excited about fall fashion — the layering, the boots,  the rich, deep colours, and did I mention the layering?

Navy blue will forever be one of my favourite fall shades. It offers all the benefits of wearing black (and no, I’m not talking “flattering,” I’m talking versatility), while actually bringing a little colour to the table.


This navy wrap dress from Stylzoo is total perfection! It hugs my curves beautifully, and I’m seriously feeling the sexy V neckline!



 I paired it with a this super chic, longline blazer from Penningtons…

  
And threw on my trusty, grey combat boots, to complete my look’s military-meets-90s-grunge inspired attitude.


I decided to be bold and pick up on the tones in the lining of my boots, and accessorize with my emerald green Kate Spade Clutch, silver and pastel blue earrings, and my most daring lippie yet, a deep teal/green shade called Dr. M, from ColourPop Cosmetics!


I love how refreshing the mix of classic and edgier elements turned out to be!

Armed with great pieces like my Stylzoo wrap dress, and adventurous lipstick shades like this one, I am definitely fall fashion ready!

Dress, Stylzoo – here

Blazer, Penningtons- sold out online, may still be available in store

Lippie, ColourPop Cosmetics- here

A Tale Of Interspecies Love

I’m telling you right now — this faux-fur MBLM vest from Penningtons is life itself.

It doesn’t even require an intro. It is the intro. It also happens to be the body, and the conclusion, because it’s… Just. That. Good.



It looks like the product of one night of passion between a pheasant and a llamaa (which, in case you were wondering, is as fabulous as it is impossible).

It is, without a doubt, one of my most prized pieces this season!

I’ve paired it with these amazing ripped jeans and thee most perfect black tee ever, both from Penningtons as well.


To top off the look, some sexy heels and silver bling, and of course, a great pair of specs from Zenni Optical!


  
I will definitely be staying chic and keeping cozy in my faux-llamapheasant vest allllll fallllll lonnnnng, but I must admit I’ll be wondering… What came first, the llamapheasant, or the egg???

Vest, Penningtons – here

Jeans, Penningtons – here

Tee, Penningtons – here

Glasses, Zenni Optical – here

No, Honey 

I’m 100% body positive. I love my fat peeps, my skinny peeps, my short, tall, black, white, and everything-in-between peeps! I truly believe that every body is beautiful in its own unique way.

I’ve been fat my whole life. Even when I was suffering from anorexia and bulimia, and had shed over 100 lbs. In my mind, I was still fat.


It took me a hell of a lot of hard work to learn that I was worth loving. The fact that I truly believe it is something I’m proud of, because that realization may come easily to some, but it didn’t for me.

When somebody tries to take that kind of self-love away from me, or from anyone — I get angry.


I’m so sick of seeing women tear each other down in order to build themselves up!


Because I’m fat and pretty, it doesn’t mean you can’t be pretty and thin!


There is more than one way to be beautiful, and more than enough beauty in this world to go around!


Who is anyone to assume that it has anything to do with size?


Size is a tangible thing. You can see size, measure it — feel it… Beauty is all in our heads.


What I’m really trying to say here is — if you’re thin, go ahead and believe that you’re prettier than me. If that’s how you see it, than to you, it’s the truth.


But know, that my truth looks different. In my mind, the fact that you are thin doesn’t automatically qualify you to be beautiful.


Thinness isn’t a prerequisite to beauty — kindness is.



So no, honey. If you can’t see that your beauty standards do not define me, then just know that you’re thinner than me — not prettier — and don’t get the two confused.


Crop top, Flaws of Couture – here

Skirt, Eloquii – here

Clutch, Aldo – similar

Shoes, Payless – here

PS. Here are a few things I find beautiful, from an abandoned building, one of my favourite places to shoot!


  
  

Jorts

As I stepped out a couple of weeks ago in my denim shorts, my teenage son sarcastically commented, “mum, are you wearing jorts?”


“Jorts?” I wondered. The look of confusion on my face, obvious.


“Jean shorts…? Jean. Shorts? Jorts..?” He exclaimed.


Ahhh, of course. JORTS!!! How have I never heard this portmanteau? It’s brilliant! And it seems that I’m the last person to be aware of its existence!!!


And yes — yes I am wearing jorts. And they’re awesome — even though my son seems to think otherwise.


But whatever. He doesn’t know my life…


That’s a lie. Yes he does — but I’m gonna keep wearing my jorts anyway!!!


  
Jorts (shorts), Penningtons – similar

Top, Walmart – still available in store

Sandals, Penningtons – here

Dice ring, Ready To Stare – here

Clutch, Ted Baker – old

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

Much Ado About Mother’s Day 

I’d like to start off by saying that I garbage picked a park bench last Thursday and it has filled a void I didn’t realize I had, and now my life is complete… Aside from the fact that said bench will be appearing in most of the photos you’re about to see, this information isn’t really relevant to this post… I just felt like I had to tell you. I’m still pretty excited.

Immediately after I found it and hoisted it up into my truck (as a nosey neighbour stared me down – yeah that’s right, I’m taking it!) I called my mum because I couldn’t contain my excitement. It was 7 AM and I woke her from a dead sleep… I knew I would as I dialed too, I just didn’t care. I had to share my life changing news!!!

Me: “Mum!!! I just garbage picked a bench and it’s glorious!!!” My mother (in her telltale, throaty, where-am-I, I-just-woke-up [like this?] whisper): “What time is it?” 

Anyone who knows her, knows that when she’s sleeping, you don’t wake the beast… Let’s just say that in that moment she had less interest in my bench than she had the time I called her to come rescue me at 1 o’clock in the morning that time my dog got sprayed by a skunk… But that’s what moms are for – always there for you when you need saving, or feel like bragging about how awesome a scavenger you are in the wee hours of the morning.

But there was much more than just my fantastic new (well, old) bench to celebrate over the weekend!

It was Mother’s Day, a time to celebrate all those times when anyone but your mum would have just hung up in your face… And, for us, that usually means brunch with the entire gang (my mum, grandmother, aunts & uncles, cousins – the works). As any other organized outing often goes in my family, it also usually means at least one of my kids will get mad at something and either threaten to stay home, or have me threaten to leave them there, and it did, but I digress…

All the standard mom/bratty kid stuff aside (they do make it hard for us to love them sometimes, don’t they) I actually had a fabulous Mother’s Day!

I had the most delicious smoked salmon eggs Benedict, spent time with the fam, and I looked hella cute too!!!

My Mother’s Day ensemble consisted of one of my fave new dresses – this completely adorable, floral T-shirt dress from ASOS, which is actually made from a wonderfully silky material, instead of the usual jersey, which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.


      

I love it’s casual style and minimalist silhouette, and it paired perfectly with my cute, eye motif, espadrille flatforms (another ASOS find).


 I topped my look off with thee freaking coolest gold chain necklace and dice ring from Ready to Stare, and threw some more bling on my fingers for good measure, then I got ready to be showered with gifts for being the badass mom that I am!!!



No seriously, I hit the jackpot! My daughter made me some pretty paper flowers! I got a lovely bouquet from my middle son. My little guy drew me a picture at preschool – and I quote: “Mum, you’re the fat one.” Gahhh, I love it!!! My oldest son gave me the rare gift of shooting my blog photos without complaining even once, when I said just a few more. Like… Not even an eye roll (okay, maybe one)…


And for the cherry on top of my Mother’s Day sundae, the hubby picked me out an amazing perfume (La Vie Est Belle from Lancôme – SOOO nice) aaand, because he was looking so fresh, agreed to pose for so pictures!!! Whaaaaat!? I know right!? 

  

All in all, I can’t complain… I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I’m incredibly thankful for my family. They’re not perfect… My kids fight with each other (and me) like cats & dogs, my mum & grandmother both have a ridiculously well-honed ability to get under my skin, and my husband most definitely has his moments where I’d rather punch his face off instead of kiss it… But I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world, and I can only hope they feel the same way about me… Fingers crossed!!!


Dress, ASOS – here

Shoes, ASOS – here

Necklace, Ready to Stare – here

Dice ring, Ready to Stare – here

Hubby’s outfit, in case anyone’s curious:

Shirt, Forever 21 – similar style

Pants, Zara – similar

Belt, Coach – here

Shoes, ASOS – here

Confident to the Maxi

I remember when I first really noticed a woman in a maxi dress. It was sometime during the mid 2000s, and she had “the perfect body” (or at least the body I hadn’t realized yet, wasn’t the only kind anyone thought was beautiful). I’m sure I had seen others before her, sashaying about in ankle-length dresses, but this girl just caught my attention. In my still unaccepting-of-my-own-body mind, she was everything I wished I could be. Slim, large-breasted, beautiful, and she seemed to almost float along in that long, flowy dress like nothing else mattered but her and the breeze that lifted her hem every now and again, to reveal her ultra chic gladiator sandals, and perfect pedicure…

She was noticeable, right down to her bohemian, beaded necklace, and bangles that slid all the way up her slender arms, to her elbows when she lifted her hand to brush the hair from her face.

I realize now, all these years later, that what I was so captivated by wasn’t this girl’s seemingly perfect silhouette, but rather, her confidence.

I never would have guessed then, that I could feel as good as she looked in that dress… I never could have imagined that her intoxicating vibe was something that I could have for my very own… But now I see it. Now, finally after all these years, I love my body, and when I step out the door in a gorgeous maxi dress, I know I look just as striking as she did. I know I walk with the same ease and carelessness as I remember her doing so well… And I know others see it too.

See, it’s not about having the perfect body. It’s not about having slim arms, or large breasts. None of those things will ever give you the intangible quality that I couldn’t quite pin down, until I experienced what self-love truly was for myself.

That woman felt beautiful, and that’s what drew me to her. I feel beautiful, and that’s what was shining through when I wore this stunning maxi from SexyPlus Clothing.

Once I stepped into it, I didn’t want to take it off, so I decided to take my look from day to night!

For daytime, I paired it with pretty, embellished sandals, sunnies, a straw hat, gold bangles (of course) and my Lilly Pulitzer for Target straw bag (my only score from the great Lilly for Target fiasco/triumph).


     And for my evening look, I switched out my sandals, hat, and beach bag for a cute pair of cork wedges, a vintage clutch, a great necklace, and a fab black tuxedo style bolero from SexyPlus, and headed off for a date night with my hubby!

  

Maxi dresses are super versatile, and really transition well from day to evening. This particular one is so fun, because it combines animal print and paisley, for a really fun combination of wild and classic.

Just a little note, I actually sized down in this dress, as it is made very generously, but I would recommend ordering your usual size if you’re particularly boobalicious (which I’m not). I have very big hips, and as you can see, even when sizing down, the cut is roomy.

So, while I must admit, I still yearn for a set of bangles that can actually slide all the way up to my elbows (seriously, where can I get some of those?)… I feel pretty f*cking fabulous in this dress!!!  

I can say with a huge degree of certainty, that if I had known then, back when I first saw that woman looking effortlessly cool in her maxi, that the greatest detail of her outfit was her confidence, my life would have gone a lot differently… But the important thing is that one fine day, I did learn her secret. I did start to love myself, and now, I can rock a maxi like nobodies business, and it feels glorious!!! 

Because you’re all so amazing, please use, code FREEFLIGHT to get free shipping from SexyPlus from now till May 25th 2015! Don’t miss out! This dress is still available in this print, as well as in a couple of others!!!

Dress, SexyPlus – here or other prints, here & here 

Tuxedo bolero, SexyPlus – here or similar, here 


Seduce Me With Cupcakes

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So it was Valentine’s Day last weekend. I haven’t really done anything major to celebrate it over the past few years… Sure, there’s always a gift/chocolate/pink/red candy exchange, and I always get a little something for the kiddies… But this year, the hubby and I felt like, you know what!? We should do it big like we used to!!!

Aaaaand then we remembered that we’d rather just wear jeans and drink beer!!!

So, in lieu of a lavish evening of champagne & dancing, we shared a good meal, watched a Canadiens game at a resto-pub (we won too!) and spent a relaxing night at a hotel!

Sure, the place was packed, our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, and my husband somehow managed to cut both of his hands (seriously, both?) unloading our bags from the car (only this guy could be gushing blood within the first five minutes of our date), and sure, he may or may not have snapped at me for laughing at his ridiculous misfortune… But…

It hit me that day, how the things that make me happy have changed pretty dramatically over the past few years…

How, not too long ago, there wasn’t much that could have convinced me to “waste” a night away from the kids on anything other than dressing up, waiting in line in the snow, taking a few shots (a few too many, that is), and dancing the night away…

It also hit me, that it really doesn’t take much to please me anymore… I’m completely thrilled to throw on a super cute & comfy outfit, crack open a few brewskis, share a laugh, and cozy up to the man I love!

I don’t think I could have picked a more perfect piece to wear for our V Day date night than the absolute cutest, comfiest, and most perfectly fitting, “seduce me with cupcakes” tee from the UK based, Feminine Funk!

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To compliment it, a gorgeous statement necklace from Addition Elle, and my good old, red satin blazer.

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All that, paired with stunningly embellished Parasuco jeans from Addition Elle, my new, and super funky, black patent flatforms from ASOS, I was all set to spend some quality time with the mister!

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So seduce me with cupcakes!!! No need for diamonds or pearls… Come at me with inexplicably bleeding hands and give me a foot rub! (Haha!) And woo me with confections… Because at the end of the day, it’s those little things – life’s simple pleasures (minus the blood) that are the sweetest ones of all!!!

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T-shirt, Feminine Funk – here
Jeans, Addition Elle – here
Necklace, Addition Elle – here
Shoes, ASOS – here
Blazer, Penningons – similar

Lose Hate, Not Weight

So, I was called fat and ugly in front of my kids today by a woman who didn’t like hearing the truth.

While I was in a parking lot, driving away from the store, I witnessed a man in his car, cut off another car (this woman’s) as he left his parking spot. The woman stopped, rolled down her window and screamed at the man, who had a thick accent, calling him a son if a b*tch, and telling him to go back to his f*cking country.

As the man drove off, I looked at the woman like “really!?”

IMG_3534-1.JPGShe then pulled up next to my car with a grin, as if I were about to take her side… But I wasn’t. I told her what she said was wrong. Yes, he should have signalled, but I was disgusted by the words she chose to say to this man, who honestly, just made a mistake. See, my husband is a Haitian immigrant, and I would lose my sh*t if anyone ever spoke that way to him!!!

As she tried to defend herself, I rolled up my window, not having any of it. My son continued to look at her, so she drove around to the other side of the car, got out, and attempted to open his door! Like, really!? Luckily, I had locked them.

Frustrated that she couldn’t do whatever it was that she wanted to do to him, she began to scream at me through our closed windows “go on a diet (accompanied by gestures) you fat b*tch, you’re fat and ugly!!!” I just looked her straight in the eye, grinned, and she got back in her car and drove off unsatisfied by my lack of reaction.

All this, in front of my children. I’m so disgusted that she would be so low, but I am not insulted. She, and people like her, just continue to motivate me and fuel my mission. Her ignorance and lack of respect only make me realize how important what I’m doing truly is!!!

I am fat! Nobody can use that to insult me! And although I wish it hadn’t happened, I’m still glad my children got to see how strong I am and how her words of hate did not shake me.

IMG_3521.JPGJust figured I’d share, in case any of you ever need a bit of strength when facing a bully; and I’ll also take this opportunity to thank you all once again for being a part of my journey – you have no idea how much you keep me inspired!!!

A Big Girl In A Body Chain

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Some plus size things are harder to find than others; and when it comes to body jewelry, it can be next to impossible to find something to fit our frames – or so I thought, until I discovered Canadian jewelry designer, Cristy Ellen K!!!

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Cristy Ellen, the lady behind the brand, is an up and coming indie jewelry designer with belief that great style is great style, regardless of size!

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Her passion for her work shines through in her amazing, one-of-a-kind, pieces; and each piece is handcrafted with love, and attention to detail.

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While, when it comes to body jewelry, Cristy Ellen specializes in plus size pieces, she says “I make double zero to 6X because every body is beautiful.”

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Not only is the body positive philosophy of Cristy Ellen K inspiring, but her pieces are just so freaking cool!!!

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I mean… A plus size body chain that actually wraps around my waist at the hip and fits!? Craziness!!!

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Wearing it brought out my inner glam-rocker chick, so I slapped on some winged liner (more like, very carefully applied, trying super hard not to screw up) and paired it with my favourite (my only) jumpsuit & denim jacket, from ASOS Curve, some cute black & gold flats, and a pale grey, vintage leather clutch, for a edgy look that made me feel so fierce that I’m actually a little embarrassed to admit how many pics I was giving my resting bitch face (AKA the stink eye) in. Hahaaa!

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So check out Cristy Ellen K and see all the fab pieces she has to offer, and keep your eyes open for more of her pieces here on the blog!

Body chain, Cristy Ellen K – here
Jumpsuit, ASOS Curve – here