Tagged: Montreal

Lower Belly Love

I have a confession to make… Although  y’all know I’m all about that self-love, I’ve had a really hard time making peace with my lower belly for most of my life… 

This shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise if you’ve been following me for any good amount of time, I’ve said it before, but I think it’s important to keep bringing it up because it serves as a reminder for those of you who are struggling out there, that even the most body positive, fat accepting individuals still deal with self-doubt. We don’t exist in a bubble of unattainably heightened self-esteem contrary to how it seems on social media, and we all have our hang-ups just like anybody else. 


Most days I love my belly, and have no issues flaunting what I’ve got, but there are those times when I feel like it’s stopping me from being great. They’re usually fleeting moments, they come, I remind myself how my body deserves to exist as it is, and they go… but there is still one particular thing that I have a tough time with: allowing my lower belly to show while wearing pants. 


I’ve done it already and I was happy with how it looked, but I’m not going to lie, I definitely felt exposed. I refuse to let my I securities win though, so just like I’ve challenged myself to accept other parts of my body that I’ve been conditioned to believe were flaws, I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and wear clothes that push my own personal boundaries in the best possible way! 


The pairing of this nude mesh bodysuit and lace-up jeggings by Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle do definitely that. On their own, Wearing these pieces wouldn’t be such a personal challenge for me. I could wear the bodysuit under a skirt, or wear a long top with the jeans and hide my lower belly with ease… but no. Seeing these two pieces together inspired me to confront my lingering belly insecurities, and the outcome was pure fierceness!!! It totally erased any feelings of self-doubt. It’s so perfect, so chic, and most of all, unapologetic AF!



I love the nude mesh because it’s almost like going topless, and the lace-up details on the jeans are sooo sexy!!! I topped it off with another piece from Nadia’s collection which just happens to be one of my favourite accessories ever, this super cute and totally practical plus size fanny pack! 




When it comes to overcoming our insecurities, we tend to leave the toughest hurdles till last, but with my bodysuit obviously tucked into my pants, and not even a purse to hide behind, I flaunted my belly like nobody’s business, and took one more very much needed step towards total body love! 


Bodysuit, Nadia Abouhosn for Addition Elle – here 

Jeggings, Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle – here 

Fanny Pack, Nadia Aboulhosn for Addition Elle – similar (sort of)

Shoes, Aldo – similar  

About That Athleisure Life

Every now and again, a new trend hits the scene that manages to combine style and comfort in the best possible way. The latest of these trends to really tickle my fancy: athleisure


It’s a little sporty, a little fancy, and a lot perfect. The combination of athletic pieces like baggy sweats & sneakers, with more luxurious fabrics, all topped off with some bling just speaks to my soul in a way that very few styles do. 

These joggers from ASOS are probably among the most interesting pieces in my wardrobe right now. I mean, faux sweatshirt arms are both the strangest and best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Like, really though… they’re super weird, but I’m kind of obsessed. 



Also, they are the perfect thing for rocking with a dressy, structured crop top as an unapologetic homage to the very apologetic 90s hoodie-around-the-waist style from my teens that I wore very strategically to hide my exposed belly from a society that didn’t approve of it, and that I hadn’t yet learned to just tell to fuck off. 


The sweats, this gorgeous crop top, and soft jersey longline vest are the ultimate pieces for  a little fall warmth and layered style. 



Paired with my beloved gold chain necklace from Ready To Stare, hoop earrings, and these sexy nude sneakers from Aldo, this look is the definition of what athleisure is all about, with the added bonus of challenging societal beauty standards as well. 


Athleisure may not be for everyone, but it is definitely one of my fave fall trends! It combines all of the things my fashion loving soul likes best, with the comfort of athletic wear. These days, there are very few things I value more when it comes to how I dress, than comfort that requires no sacrifice, or limitations on style, and athleisure is definitely the business! 


Sweatpants, ASOS – here 

Vest, Addition Elle – similar 

Crop Top, ASOS – here 

Necklace, Ready To Stare – here 

Sneakers, Aldo – here 

Long Sleeves For Fall 

I love a dress with long sleeves. There aren’t as many out there as I would like, especially when it comes to dressier dresses, but when it comes to fall in Montreal, a pretty long sleeve dress is a must have!


I’m long past my days of wearing long sleeves for the sole purpose of hiding what I thought were my hideous upper arms. It’s just that it’s nice to be able to keep my arms out of the brisk fall breeze without having to cover up, which is in the case of this adorable dress from SexyPlus, an absolutely gorgeous neckline! 


Its off the shoulder style and ruffle detail is flirty and fun, and I love that I can show it off while still keeping things seasonally appropriate. 



The fall transition period can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to dressing up. More often than not, it comes down to a a choice between style and comfort, but this dress is the best of both worlds! 


Super chic, with its classic polka dot print, and sleeves long enough to extend no-coat-check season for at least a few more weeks— what’s not to love!? And can we talk about how it hugs my curves!!! Yassssss!!! 


Paired with silver shoes and accessories, and a rhinestone clutch, this a fabulous look for atending any fall event! 


I can always count on SexyPlus when I’m looking for the perfect dress, and this one does not disappoint. 


Dress, SexyPlus Clothing – here 

Shoes, ASOS – here 

Clutch, Aldo – similar 

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 

Can I Get A Do Over?

When I look back upon my younger days, my angsty, early teenage years play in my head like old yearbook slideshow on a school projector screen. Images of dark lipstick, sticky eye makeup, and blonde hair with dark roots flip to a grungy 90s soundtrack of alternative rock, and I can’t help but feel nostalgic. 

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t think I could pull off most of my nineties looks anymore even if I wanted to… Let’s just say, my days of greasy hair and beaten up skater shoes are behind me, but I have been finding myself drawing a lot of inspiration from the grunge trend that is in full force this fall! 

Dark roots for example… Um, yeah— got that covered. Peeling nail polish, check! If there’s one thing about 90s style that I love, it’s how low maintenance you can be and still get away with looking trendy! Also, eyegloss is now a thing. That’s right! I no longer need to fight with my mom or get turned down by a boy (story of my 90s life) to get that trademark just-broken-up-with, been-crying-all-day  look! If only I had known that  I had to do was slap some gloss on my eyes, and finish up with a deep burgundy lip to look perfectly, gorgeously, existential. 


I wore a lot of men’s clothes back then (mostly because I couldn’t fit into a lot of the women’s stuff that I liked), so my grandfather’s old Burberry trench and scarf (which incidentally, have lived through the 90s just like me) are a definite homage to that. Besides, they look freaking gorge over this stunning cutout dress from SmartGlamour!


Its silhouette is reminiscent of the 90s slip dresses that I never wore because they showed too much belly, and the cutouts are a shoutout to the bare midriff that never had the courage to show off when every girl and her BFF were rocking crop tops! 


Also, Jennifer Anniston on any episode of Friends will confirm, going braless was also pretty big in the 90s, so I had to keep things authentic (any excuse not to wear a bra, basically). 


As much as a pair of Doc Martens would have worked with this outfit, I didn’t wanna go full grunge, so I slipped on a pretty pair of lace up flats to complete my 90s inspired look!  

It makes me feel super old, but I love that the iconic style I grew up with is cool again. I also love how it’s been stripped down to its dirty, dingy core, and has come back minus the butterfly clips (not gonna pretend I’m not relieved). So give me all the 90s Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morrissette and Courtney Love vibes, because I think it’s about time that teenage me got a style do over!!! 

Dress, SmartGlamour – here (use discount code CynthiaSG for 10% off any SmartGlamour purchase, plus free shipping)

Trench, scarf – vintage Burberry 

Shoes, Aldo – similar 

Fall Off The Shoulder 

Well, it’s officially fall! Time for all the layering, all the scarves, sweaters, and boots… Right? Well… Maybe not just yet.

Just because it’s fall, doesn’t mean we have to start tossing out our fave trends from summer! Most of them carry just beautifully over into fall, and this (and last) summer’s off-the-shoulder trend is no different! 


This stunning royal blue dress from SexyPlus is a must have for any fall wardrobe. It’s incredibly comfortable yet impressively structured. Look at those gorgeous pleats! Look at them!!!


Its off-the-shoulder style is elegant and alluring, and its rich jewel tone is perfect for the current seasonal transition period as well as the cooler months ahead.  



Paired with a pretty lace choker (also from SexyPlus), a great pair of sunnies, a vintage clutch, and a cute pair of black leather gloves just in case it does get a little chilly out, this whole ensemble has a classic, old world feel about it that I seem to find myself drawn to like a magnet this season… Maybe it’s my hair (which has taken on some sort of retro vibe of its own as I’ve been trying to grow it out), but I can’t seem to get enough of it! 


And can we talk about how good this dress looks with these galaxy coloured, sparkly kitten heels? If perfection were one inch of the ground, this look would be it, and I’m not sorry! 


So don’t be so quick to stash your more summery pieces at the back of your closet just yet. You’ve still got plenty of time to take them out to play this fall, and who knows, you may even find yourself reworking them again come winter! 


Dress, SexyPlus Clothing- here

Choker, SexyPlus Clothing- here  

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 Girl Who Dates Her Own Body 

I love my body. I didn’t always, but this pasty white, jiggly mass of flesh and bones that is the vessel of my consciousness, we’re cool now. 


It’s a good thing too, because this bod and I, are kind of stuck with each other. We may as well get along… After all, life is a lot easier when you’re in a mutually beneficial relationship, especially when it’s the one you share with yourself!



I used to avoid taking my body out to certain places. I didn’t want to be seen in public with it. I was ashamed. This hurt my body very much. It also hurt me. I began to resent it. I wished it looked better. I wished I had a different one. 


I didn’t like eating in out because I would worry that my body might not fit into the booths. I worried that people would stare at us as we ate. I rarely went to places like the pool, or the beach. I couldn’t bear the thought of people seeing my body in a bathing suit. 


I wanted to love it. I wanted to be able to look at my body and like what I saw, the same way everyone on TV and in magazines seemed to be able to. I just didn’t hadn’t yet realized that the answer wasn’t that I needed to change my body, but rather, I needed to change the way I saw it.  

I started looking for beauty in the parts of my body I had convinced myself weren’t beautiful. I began looking, and I mean, really looking at it in the mirror and in photographs, and changing the language I used to describe it. I started feeding it the foods it liked without worrying about their calorie count. I stopped treating my body like it deserved to be constantly punished for looking different than the way the movie stars and magazines told me it should. 

Now I take my body out on dates. We go to restaurants, movies, and out for ice cream in public together. We don’t care who sees us. We’re in love. 



We even go to the beach together… In a bikini… After hiding my body for all this time, it deserves to feel the warmth of the sunlight, and the caress of the beachside breeze.  


We’re so in tune with each other, my body and I, that we’ve basically become one… I mean, one could argue that we always have been, but it sure didn’t feel that way for most of my life. 


You see, I spent most of it telling myself how good I would look if only I had a better body, how I wished I could have somebody else’s— how much I hated it. The disassociation I made between my body and self became my reality. I separated myself from it as an act of self-preservation, and it took me all these years to get up the courage to apologize to my body for how badly I had treated it, and promise to it, that I would never let myself do that again. 


So to you, I may just look like a fat girl on the beach, strutting around showing off my swim body in a floral bikini, and on the surface, you’d be right… But if you dig a little deeper, what you’ll really see, is the foundation of a newly rekindled relationship between a once very broken girl, and her body, that never was. 

A big thank you to this bikini babe for these awesome shots!!! (Except for this one, which I can thank my mum for!)


Bikini, GabiFresh for Swimsuits For All – here 

Sandals, ASOS – similar 

Cover up, Zellers – old AF (Zellers doesn’t event exists anymore, haha)

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!!! 🙂 

A Dress Of A Different Colour 

I recently wrote a blog post speaking of a bout with anxiety that I had in the not too distant past, and in it, I shared photos of myself wearing this same grey dress from ASOS, but in a nudish, kinda dusty rose colour, where my VBO (visible belly outline) was very prominent. It was a meaningful post, where I discussed what I had been dealing with and how it related to the dress. 


I shared my article, as well as some shots from the post on social media, and I was really surprised by how much people hated the colour of the dress on me! I mean, I’m used to the hate I receive online, so it didn’t bother me, but it just struck me as odd that, aside from a few “with the proper undergarments she’d look great” comments, (which honestly, come with the territory of showing off your belly in a world where we’ve been taught to hide it at all cost) the comments were of a much different nature than what I was expecting. 


Instead of pointing out the parts of my body they thought I should be ashamed of, or mocking me for being fat and not giving a fuck, the way they usually do, they criticized the colour of the dress. Over and over again, the same type of comment popped up…


Stuff like, “she looks beautiful, but that colour isn’t flattering on her at all!” “The dress is cute, but that colour washes her out.” 


The thing is, people always like to make their unsolicited suggestions of how they think they can improve my outfits, but there was just such a unanimity in this case. They felt really passionate about their disdain for the hue, and all I kept thinking was why? Was it that they were attempting to disguise the fact that what they really wanted to say was “that nude pink really emphasizes your fat stomach which is unacceptable in our society,” or did they genuinely hate the colour? Personally I think it was a combination of the two, but for much more profound reasons than one might assume. 


Judging by the commentary, I feel like people seemed uncomfortable with the vulnerability of how I presented myself. A neutral shade that didn’t hide my body, paired with a similar, monochromatic  makeup palette consisting of variants of my own skin colour, which to me looked velvety like pudding, but to them, it would appear, looked like everything that scares them about looking at themselves naked, ironically, embodied in an outfit.


I think this is what scares people so much about wearing nudes. Regardless of skin colour, when we dress in a scheme that blends into our own bodies, we become human clay, a homogenous mass of flesh and fabric, melded together as one with nothing to hide under— and not hiding, can for many people, be downright incomprehensible. 

Oddly enough, when I purchased the dress, I loved it so much that I actually bought it in two colours— the oh so controversial dusty rose, as well as this gorgeous grey. I thought about not sharing it in this colour— about not letting the haters win, but I came to the conclusion that doing that would be more of a victory for them than if I just wore it and called them out on the fact that their negative comments were just a reflection of their own insecurities. 

The post in the pink dress was proof to myself that I could be both emotionally vulnerable and vulnerable in my style choices, but this post is to prove that I can also be anything else I want to be, too. 



Paired with an elegant felt hat, an absolutely stunning, and unique necklace from Amadora Jewelry, a rhinestone clutch and some flashy, neon yellow flats, this grey dress is now a reminder for me as well…

No matter how much anyone criticizes what you wear, whatever their reasons may be, they’re not seeing you, your clothes, or the thought you put into how you chose to present yourself, no. All they’re seeing is an image of themselves looking back at them and challenging that voice inside their heads that’s telling them they can’t. 

View the original post in the dusty pink dress here

Dress, ASOS Curve – here 

Necklaces, Amadora Jewelry – gorgeous pieces available here 

Shoes, Aldo – here 

Clutch, Aldo – here 

Hat, Addition Elle – old