Orange you glad I’m back?

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I have been extremely busy ‘cleaning out my closet’ – Literally! And let me just confess that I am indeed a (recovering) hoarder -Eeeeek!

I mentioned in a previous post that I was planning a DECLUTTER – and that’s exactly what I did (yay me)! I – was – merciless! I threw out years and years of stuff. I mean, I had birthdays cards from my 2nd birthday – yes – 31 yr old birthday cards from people I don’t  even know! Why in the world was I holding onto that?!?!?

My home feels brand new, it’s amazing! The husband walked in from work on Friday and asked if we’re moving house – ha ha! There’s so much space – I can see what he meant!

The Spring-clean has done wonders for our home and my sanity as well. I feel more in control AND – it’s changed my mindset. I only kept things that we absolutley need and love. Everything else was either dumped or donated. It was kind of bitter-sweet because I realized how much money was being thrown out but on the upside, I feel like I’ll make wiser choices in future when purchasing things – be it clothing or things for the home.

So tomorrow is officicially the 1st day of Spring here in South-Africa!!!!!

It’s such a wonderful time,  everyone has a ‘Spring’ in their step! People come out of hibernation and straight to working on those much needed tans. Spring is synonymous for braai’s and pool parties, picnics and camping (my husband’s favourite thing) and for me – hayfever! But I never let that keep me from enjoying this beautiful season.

I’m wearing the perfect dress to welcome Spring. It’s light and the high-low hem shows just enough leg. I love the fit as it hugs my curves in all the right places and the colour is very spring!

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Style Breakdown:

Dress, earrings & bangles – Truworths

Shoes – Makro_SA

Bag – Mr P

Aviators – China Town

Lips – LA Girls matte lip colour in Instinct

Hair – My signature bun (because I’m transitioning and my hair is just frustrating lol!)

Stay Cute xxx

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(Lu is the nickname my mama gave me when I was little)

Me In the Middle…


[Disclosure: This is just Another Random thought!]

Have you ever felt “in the middle”?

I suppose we’ve all felt “in the middle” at some point in our lives, for some maybe being the middle child and living with “The Syndrome”, or being “in the middle” of a conflict (boy have I had my fair share of THAT) or just stuck in a place in your life/career or whatever where you’re just kinda in limbo – neither here nor there.
Yeah, I guess we can all bare witness to that sort of “in the middle”.
For a long time I’ve looked at myself as “in the middle” – an average-kind of girl. At school, I was an average student, I did ok I guess, I mean I never ever failed but I wasn’t top of my class either. In sport, I wasn’t great (I do get points for participation don’t I?!?!) but I didn’t suck either (I think LOL). I’m not the world’s greatest wife (although my husband would disagree – love you babe), I’m not the greatest mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, worker, blogger etc. I’m just “in the middle” and for a long time I felt that this was negative thing. A dark cloud that loomed over me, banishing me to a life of mediocrity.
But *What IF…
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘halfway’ to something great.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘between’ – where you come from and where you’re headed to.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘surrounded by’  – opportunity.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘seperating’   – the old from the new.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘enclosed by’ – Grace.
*What if ‘in the middle’ means ‘inserted’ – into a specific place and time to bring about change.
That’s how I feel about being ‘in the middle’ right now, no longer a negative thing but rather preperation, a period of reflection. I’m not where I’m supposed to be but I’m definitely not where I used to be.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” Anonymous

“Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.” ~Chris Guillebeau

“Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.” ~Natalie Goldberg

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” ~Florence Nightingale

All About That Bass

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Meghan Trainor is a pop singer-songwriter from Nantucket. She entered pop stardom with the controversial but danceable body-positivity anthem “All About That Bass”, released in June 2014.

Why I chose this song title as my blog title…

  1. It’s Body-Positive – Meghan has that thickness, big booty and waist. She is proud of all of it, even though the expectation of modern women is a pencil-thin figure.
  2. It’s REAL – Models are often Photoshopped to get rid of their wrinkles and fat rolls -(can the REAL slim shady please stand up!)
  3. It’s Encouraging – Momma was reassuring Meghan that being fat wasn’t something to be ashamed about, and there’s some benefits that she should embrace (thanks Mom).
  4. It resonates with almost every female – even the little ones – The world famous Barbie doll may be just a doll little kids play with, but there have been many occurrences of little girls trying to be as skinny as the Barbie doll is. Meghan doesn’t care for a figure as unrealistic as a barbie doll’s figure, she is comfortable being just the way she is. She wishes to be her own size instead of conforming to society’s.
  5. “I’m bringing booty back” – This is a reference of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”, but she rewrites the song’s infamous line for her own purposes – I find this very clever – I mean who actually sets the standard for what sexy should look like?
  6.  It’s Empowering – “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top” – Due to the misconceptions concerning women created by media in our culture, seemingly all girls complain about being fat — even when they really aren’t. Meghan addresses them with a message of female empowerment: you’re perfect the way you are! Be you and don’t care about what other people think.
  7. Bass instruments are the deepest and biggest in an orchestra – I simply love the sounds bass intruments produce – you could say I’m intrgued by them.

ALL ABOUT THAT BASS

MEGHAN TRAINOR

ALL ABOUT THAT BASS

Because you know I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass… bass… bass… bassYeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it, like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right placesI see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real, come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me “don’t worry about your size”
(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night”
(That booty, uh, that booty booty)
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that what you’re into, then go ‘head and move along

Because you know I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass… Hey!

I’m bringing booty back
Go ‘head and tell them skinny b*&^#@s that
No, I’m just playing, I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell you…
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah my mama she told me, “don’t worry about your size”
(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night”
(That booty booty, uh, that booty booty)
You know I won’t be no stick figure, silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into, then go ‘head and move along

Because you know I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass…

You know I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I said I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass…

Because you know I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass, no treble
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass… Hey!
I’m all about that bass
‘Bout that bass… Hey!
I’m all about that bass
Bout that bass…
Hey!
Yeah yeah… ohh… You know you like this bass… Hey…

Until next time, Shalom & BE BEAUTIFUL
xxx
( In response to the Daily Prompt – All About Me)

On the Plus Side

I remember back in 2011, my niece’s wedding was coming up and I was really stressed about finding/making a dress that would fit my fuller figure. So, like most of us do these days, I turned to my good friend Google and boy am I happy I did that. That day, I came across many stylish plus size women – who like me – had a love for fashion. Since then I’ve come across numerous, fabulous plus size bloggers and even engaged with some of them.

I thought I’d put a list together of some of the blogs I follow.

  1. The very first Plus Size Fashion blogger I followed was GabiFresh – I love her style – very Nouveau!

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2. Chastity Garner from GarnerStyle was an inspiration to me from the get-go!

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3. Tanesha Awasthi from Girl with Curves – I love her girly style and that hair!

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4. Marie Denee from The Curvy Fashionista – breaks all the PS Fashion “rules”!

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5. The Girl in the Pearls from Mind the   Curves – through her blog I found many South-African Plus Size Designers which was an added bonus!

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6.Tammy from Painting in Pink – Tammy’s a DIY girl which I totally love!

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7. Nastassja from Mrs Rogéro – Straight Size Blogger/Image Consultant!

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8. Nicole from Curves on a Budget – ALWAYS slaying!

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9. Jolene from Boardroom Blonde – this chic never disappoints with her #OOTDS.

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10. Nadia from Nadia Aboulhosn – bold and daring – not your average girl – PERFECT!

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[Disclosure: These are NOT all of the blogs I follow, there many, many more!]

Different Bloggers, Different Body Shapes – ALL FABULOUS!!!

Hope you enjoyed the list!

Until next time, Shalom & be Beautiful 💋

xxxx

Utter Clutter 

I was reading fellow blogger, Kerry Heathfield‘s post Days Of Decluttering and O-M-G!!!

I feel like Kerry is my best friend (I’ve never even met her), and she just spilled my deepest, darkest secrets (the kind that you only tell to your bestest, bestest friend in the whole wide world) to the whole wide world!!!!!! I feel betrayed and encouraged all at once – I’m weird, I know!

On a serious note though- that post spoke to me. Just the other day I was telling the husband how cluttered our home is and how I really need to get my behind behind it!

My mother, who is currently living with us, dies a-thousand-deaths-a-day (Mom’s got OCD tendencies – sorry MA) because she can’t stand the clutter!

I normally do a big clean up and declutter every now and again but it currently just seems like there’s so much junk that needs to be thrown out immediately! 

I swear if I see another Happy Meal Toy I will lose it!

I’m generally quite ruthless when it comes to big clean ups but since trying to live THE FRUGAL LIFE, I think I’ve let my guard down a little too far. In the past I would get rid of things that probably could’ve still been put to use. I remember once I gave away my daughter’s doll prams ( I mean why does a four year old’s doll need four prams?) well, she was VERY upset for a VERY long time because I kept the one I thought she liked the most and gave away the one she loved (not a good move). 

I wouldn’t say we hoard things, our home is just full of things that we don’t need ( ha ha – am I in denial here LOL!)

So, on the road to recovery, I bought the book Kerry recommended in her post, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (any excuse to buy a new book) and I’ve put in some leave for the coming week to tackle the clutter.

Thank you Kerry for inspiring me to get my decluttering done. I will let you know how it goes and look forward to that refreshing feeling! 

  

Until then, Stay Beautiful 💋

Shalom xoxo 

Versatility 

 

When it comes to clothing, I like to choose items that are transitional and versatile. So it might seem like I own closets and closets full of clothing but I really don’t! I’m  sure you’ve noticed me wearing a few items more than once in my posts. I’m not one to buy into every single trend that pops up. Not that’s it’s necessarily a bad thing – to follow trends – I just don’t follow ALL of them! 

This red knit I’m wearing, is one of those versatile items. I posted a “summer” look with this very same knit – well technically it was what we would call “Autumn” but it was quite warm then. 

Today I layered it over a plaid shirt and a pair of leggings. I originally wore an old black pencil pants but had to change into these leggings when those pants decided to split right in the centre of my derrière ( you served me well dear friend). 

I took advantage of the warmer weather – although I am sporting my old, faithful “spencer” underneath the shirt – and decided to wear these cute pointy pumps from MrP (I have a thing for pointy flats!)

Truthfully, I’ve only recently become comfortable with wearing leggings sans the extra long, oversized top but I’ve grown – hallelujah! 

   
    
  My hair’s been in this bun forever and a day  I’m just lazy to get it done ( hides face). 

MrP shirt , Pumps & earrings. Truworths leggings & knit.  China Town sunnies. 

 

Be Beautiful 💋

Who, what and why! 

 Hello World…

I spoke at a friend’s event this past weekend and many of the women there suggested I do a post on “My Story” which actually ties in perfectly with my first task on “blogging101” – a basic online course into the world of Blogging.

So this post is more of an introductory post on who I am and why I’m here…

My name is Lauren. I’m a thirty-something wife and mother and I’m a “FAT” chic!

I’ve been a “fat chic” most of my life and lived with self-hatred because of it. I measured my worth by the number on the scale, every time it increased, so did the self-hate. In 2005 I went for weight-loss surgery and in the year following my op I went from 120 kgs to 70 kgs (265 pounds to 155 pounds). I was finally “skinny”, I was finally “normal” (by my standards) but I was SICK!!!

I was told that my weight-loss would stall when I was at an ‘ideal’ weight but that never happened. I kept losing weight and eventually got down to 40kgs (88 pounds). I ended up in ICU a few times, had my gall bladder removed and in 2007 went paralyzed. Tests revealed that my electrolytes were severely depleted and I was at risk of going into cardiac arrest. This caused all my muscles in my body to spasm, similar to seizures.

I couldn’t walk or talk and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.

Doctors recommended I have the operation reversed as soon as possible because I was dying but at the same time, no doctor was willing to do the reversal because they were afraid that my body wouldn’t make it through surgery – none of them were willing to take that risk. I was forced to go back to the doctor who did the initial op.

I remember, the night before the reversal was scheduled, I sat in my car, and cried. Not because I was afraid of dying, NO, but because I was afraid that I’d gain weight again! I was THAT obsessed with being skinny!?!?!?!

I had the reversal done but recovery was tough, I was weak and there were some complications but through God’s grace I recovered.

Needless to say, I gained back most of the weight I had lost. My body had been severely starved for five years and was holding onto everything I put into it. Soon I was right back where I started. Fat and depressed.

The turning point…

One day, while chatting to my husband about seeing a dietitian to help me lose weight, my daughter overheard our conversation and went into a panic. She begged me not to lose weight and it was then that I learned that she associated me being skinny with hospitals and constantly being sick. That’s when something shifted. I realized the damage I was causing and I was forced to do some introspection, for my daughters sake as well as mine.

I’m learning to accept and love my body for what it is rather than focusing on everything it’s not and constantly wishing it were different. I’m getting to know myself on such a level that I’m often surprised at my own strengths and abilities. And most of all I’m taking better care of my body since I’m not spending all my time hating it.

I started this blog to help women like myself. To inspire them to find their beauty within. To own who they are and do so with confidence because you’re going to be inside this skin your whole life, might as well love it and use it the best way you can. I’ve learned that it’s impossible to take care of your body when you’re hating on it. I have gone from fat to thin and every size in between but I’ve never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am right now. “Beauty and style has no size!” – I live by these words and I believe them to be true. It’s just a matter of changing the way you see things.

Another aim for this blog is hopefully to get retailers and designers to pay attention to the plus size community and realize that we love to be stylish too. It’s so hard to find stylish plus size clothing in South-Africa.

So that’s who I am and that’s why I’m here. I hope my story helps you to change the way you look at yourself.

Thanks for stopping by and stay beautiful xxx