I’m leaving…

I can’t tell you how many times I sat down to write a blog post. 2018 has been one manic ride! Every time I sit down to write I become so overwhelmed with the reality of it all that I simply abort mission…”it’s not the right time.” I keep telling myself.

[INSERT Chris Brown “There’s never a right time to say goodbye”] LOL

In less than 2 months I will board a plane with my 3 kiddios (yes…THREE…say a little prayer for me) to Auckland, New Zealand to join my husband in our new home.

Darling husband (bless his fineness) has been there since August setting up (our new life basically) and the 4 of us are set to join him as soon as the kids finish the school year – which I cannot wait for because 1) I miss his fineness and 2) I’m tired (parenting is currently 80% driving & comforting crying kids!)

Uprooting our lives, leaving our place of birth, our family (this is the worst), friends, our church, a business, a home we’ve lived in for 12 years, our dogs, a comfort zone, everything that has made me me up until this very moment is no mean feat! The stress has me piling on the kilos fast  – so there’s that! Needless to say, I feel somewhat lost in the chaos…kinda in a state of limbo…

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Prayer, hard work, conflict, prayer, sacrifices, exhaustion, some more prayer, doubts, fears, more sacrifices, prayer and copious amounts of tears (AND there’s more to come) is just some of what this year has been for us – Jesus take the wheel! We’ve been tried, tested and stretched in every way imaginable and yet – we’ve learned to rely on God for absolutely EVERYTHING and anything, we’ve learned to trust Him in ways we never could before and therein lies my silver lining…GROWTH!!!

Hard as it’s been – I stand in awe of God’s faithfulness. Man, oh man! God. Is. Good. All. The. Time. And. All. The. Time. God. Is. Good!!! Jehovah Jireh has provided everything from significant people to a home and everything in between (job, cars, furniture, you name it)  – God has provided! And all in like 2 monthsTHAT’S MY GOD!!!!

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I know there will be hard days and probably some VERY, VERY hard days – days where I’ll miss loved ones so much it will physically hurt – but I also know that it will make me run deeper into the arms of God.

 

 

 

My husband asked me if I’ll continue blogging and the simple answer is…absolutely YES…plus size fashion & writing are two things very dear to me, it’s taught me so much about myself and helped me out of a very dark place once upon a time. I probably will be taking some time to get settled into living down under and trying to make the transition as easy as possible for my kids but soon I’ll be back, bigger (not in surface area though), better, stronger & wiser!

So while I don’t know what the future holds – I can rest in the fact that I know the One who holds it!

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xoxo

Lauren

Deliver ME from ME!

I’ve been on a journey of self discovery for most of the year (probably for most of my life hahahaha) – hence the sparse blog posts & #OOTDs or any sort of active social media life for that matter. 

It started with my spiritual walk, then having to relearn & reaffirm some truths about myself (especially after gaining back all the weight I lost last year) – I’m still learning – then came the decision to join the natural hair movement (NOT as easy as I assumed) –  spiritually, physically & mentally a lot was/is going on but the most prominent lesson I’m learning over and over is that I am my only hinderance. I am in my own way! 

My state of mind, the way I see myself – and I don’t just mean physically – it restricts me in every way in every area. Allowing fear, insecurities and a negative self image to cripple me. Constantly second guessing myself and doubting my abilities, living in a loop de loop of self-doubt & self shame. It’s time I break the cycle!!! 

I challenged myself to take these pics & do a blog post – totally unprepared – I had to get out of my own head , go against the grain, regardless of the weight I’ve gained or how I think I look with my big “boskop/kroeskop” because let me tell you, going natural has challenged every thought and every belief I had about myself, my appearance and my self image – Yes…hair…hair can do that!!! It’s a good thing though – it’s pushed me further out of my comfort zone – literally forcing me to embrace my truth! 

So with big arms, big hips and my now big hair – I smiled (a genuine happy smile) and posed for the camera! 

I’m big and that’s how I am right now. And this is who I am right now. And I want to live right now!!! I’m tired of hiding behind extra weight or heat damaged hair or jiggly thighs – constantly obsessing about the bathroom scale, shying away from cameras…NO… life is happening and I want to live it! 

This past week we said goodbye to 2 friends, 1 went to bed and never woke up – she wasn’t even 45yrs old – the other succumbed to injuries he sustained in a car crash – only 25yrs old – life is too short Lauren, quit fretting the small stuff! 

So this is me – boskoppy, saggy booby (I’m a mom of 3 & I probably could do with some new bras LoL – but good heavens who sets the prices for bras?!?!? – must be a man), big thighed & flabby armed – it’s me and it’s always going to be me, well, atleast physically maybe, BUT there’s another ME inside this ME and that ME is growing & learning everyday & in this moment, somehow, that’s enough! 


Leggings & Tunic: The Fix | Bag: MRP | Sandals: Gifted 

Lu 

xoxo 

I forget but God…

Hey Beautiful People 

Here’s a funny story…not funny like ha ha but you know…

My confidence as a person and as a blogger has taken a serious beating since gaining weight. Last year I was able to drop a good amount of weight – not really intentionally though – I had a really trying year, my personal & spiritual life were a mess, I was stressed and depressed and honestly, I hardly ate. I’m a happy eater – so therefore we can conclude that I am happy a lot of the time…ha ha! 

Because of this I’ve been unmotivated to blog or even shop – I’m sure many of you can relate – but God has a way of always reminding me where He’s brought me from. 


This morning I picked up this stethoscope for a cousin (her kid needed 1 for a school project) but it instantly reminded me of the time I was expecting Aimee. 

A little scene-setting…

I’d had a weight loss op done a few years prior to falling pregnant and I wasn’t in very good health. I started off at 63kgs in the beginning of my pregnancy and by the 7th month I’d dropped to 40kgs. I was sick, in constant pain, I wasn’t eating and numerous times I contemplated suicide (the pain was that bad). I remember being in such tremendous pain and speaking such horrible words during my pregnancy – death, abortion, suicide – to name a few and yet at the same time I prayed that little Aimee would make it. 

I purchased 1 of these stethoscopes because I was so afraid that she’d die inside my womb. The pain would keep me awake at night and I’d lie there with my stethoscope trying to make sure I could hear her heart beat – I’m not sure if I did hear it – but that’s what I did! 

Aimee had to be delivered prematurely, she just wasn’t thriving inside my womb so at 7months she was born at a tiny 1.4kgs – literally just skin and bone. She stayed in Neo ICU for close to 3 weeks and it was the hardest 3 weeks of my life. I blamed myself for everything that happened to her – it was all those terrible things I spoke over her – I’d say – but I was in so much pain that I just wasn’t thinking clearly – I know that’s no excuse though! 


This was a month before Aimee was delivered ☝🏽


Today God reminded me of His awesome, miracle-working power. He reminded me where He brought me from ( a dying bed in Milpark ICU), He reminded me that my story, my message, is so much more than anything as superficial as my weight. I look at Aimee and I’m in awe of Him – that even in my weakness, my pain, my sickness, He had a plan for us. I am so much more than the number on the back of my jeans. 

I’ll be doing a blog post on my story soon!


Thank You for the reminder Lord. 

Stay Slayin & Stay Prayin y’all 

Lu xxx 

Confidence 

  
“Confidence isn’t walking into a room knowing they’ll like you – It’s – I’ll be ok if they don’t!” 

And that is where I’m at at this point in my life. 

Darn! It took me long enough – almost 30years!!!!

And although my circle has decreased in size it’s increased in value. 

I know what I bring to any relationship/ friendship – be it friend, family, spouse. I no longer fret about who’s real and who’s not. And it’s made me a happier person. 

   
    
    
  
Jeans, shirt, neckpiece, sunnies, earrings – MrP | Shoes – Truworths | Lips – LA Girl matte gloss in Stunner. 

Fun Fashion Fact: 

“The average person owns 7 pairs of blue jeans.”

Stay Sassy xxx

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My Liebster Award Nomination

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Wow – Thank you Carly from BeYoutiful for Nominating me for the Liebster Award!

This is my 1st nomination of this kind…so let’s get to it then 😊

Here are the rules for this award…

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you with a link back to his/her blog
  2. Answer the questions asked by the nominator
  3. Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers with under 500 followers
  4. Create 10 questions for the nominees to answer.

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

 I want to inspire women, especially plus size women like myself.

I want them to know that Style AND Beauty comes in ALL shapes AND sizes.

2. How would you describe your blogging style?

 I have a very close friend who always tells me that I’m an extremist, so I’d say my

blogging style is a true reflection of me – there are days when it’s extremely chilled and

laid back and then there are days where I dig deep – I like to keep it real!

   3. What are your pet peeves when it comes to fashion?

 Fashion for plus size women is VERY limited. I wish retailers would wake up –

PLUS SIZE  WOMEN LIKE STYLISH CLOTHES TOO!

4. Name one blogger whom you look up to and why?

 I do love Chastity Garner from GarnerStyle – she is always on point with her outfits

and she doesn’t let her size hinder her style.

5. What are you wearing today?

Today I’m wearing a very comfortable dress I picked up from Mastik Couture – it’s grey in colour. I’m also wearing a pair of gladiator sandals I picked up from MrP as well as gold hoop earrings and a gold necklace also from MrP.

6. Favourite Song?

Mmmmmm – remember that I am an extremist?!?! So…my music taste varies A LOT but the last song I downloaded on iTunes is Flashlight by Jessie J.

7. Favourite Movie?

Ok, this is quite difficult but I’d say Dirty Dancing – Dont judge hahaha!

8. Ideal holiday destination?

Sun, Sand, blue waters, clear skies – that kinda thing!

9. One word to describe yourself ?

Quirky

10. Favourite time of the year?

I’m such a festive person – I love Chistmas – the carols playing everywhere you go, kids can’t contain their excitement, families and friends get together, there’s always an abundance of food and gifts – who doesn’t love gifts?!?!

Here are my questions for my nominees:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
  3. Do you prefer high end stores or do you wear clothing from any store?
  4. How often do you shop for clothing?
  5. Do you have a set budget for clothing purchases?
  6. What is your ideal day out?
  7. Which part of your body do you love the most and why?
  8. How would you describe your fashion style?
  9. What/Who are you currently using to take pictures for your blog?
  10. If you had a clothing line what would you call it and why?

I nominate the following bloggers:

The Mrs Paulsen

Guess What Girls

Sisters and Stilettos

Lisa Bonafide

Through Shaded Eyes

Thank you once again BeYoutiful for the nomination and shoutout 💋

Fun Fashion Fact:

“Today it is common to see women and girls wear their hair short but decades ago, if a woman was spotted with short hair she was considered to be an unfaithful wife.”

Stay cute xxx

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Little Lotta 


Little Lotta was a nickname given to me when I was a little girl by an older cousin.

About Little Lotta…


Little Lotta Plump was a fictional character published by Harvey Comics, the same publishers of the famous Richie Rich comics. In fact, Little Lotta appeared in many Richie Rich adventures.


Lotta Plump, has an obsession with (drum roll…) food! Her insatiable appetite (being her defining characteristic) however, doesn’t make her on obese slob, but rather, the more Lotta eats, the stronger she becomes, giving rise to superhuman strength. Lotta is depicted as friendly, kind-hearted and readily uses her tremendous strength to do good.

Lotta has a boyfriend, Gerald, who is the complete opposite (physically). Gerald is a tiny, shy, nerdy-type of guy. Together with Lotta, the twosome go on many adventures.

About Lauren as Little Lotta…

I can’t tell you how much I hated that nickname (little Lotta)  when I was growing up  (mind you I didn’t care much for the person who gave it to me either).

Obviously my cousin was referencing my weight when he gave me the name (because everyone knows that all fat people spend their days stuffing their faces with copious amounts food right?!?!)  For years that name gave rise to many negative emotions, especially when I knew I’d be seeing said cousin.

It wasn’t until recently that I actually learned more about Little Lotta’s character. Like the fact that she was friendly and kind-hearted. Or the fact that she used her strength to good in her community. The fact that she didn’t care how silly she and Gerald looked together. Or that people thought he was diminutive and weak. Lotta didn’t let her bullies get the better of her. No, she did what she deemed good regardless of anyone’s opinion.

So to you, my ‘dear’ cousin, thank you for the nickname. I own it now.

I am indeed friendly and kind-hearted. I am now using my strength to uplift and inspire many women, especially in the Plus Size community. I don’t care that my husband weighs half of what I do, and I certainly don’t care if people think we look odd together. I will no longer allow bullies, like yourself, to diminish me for looking different. I AM DIFFERENT DAMNIT! I will continue doing what I deem good – regardless of anyone’s opinion (even Nicole Arbour’s) AND I’ll do in style!

Me and my Gerald…  image image image image image image image image

Style Breakdown:

Cardigan – PEP Stores

Top – Truworths

Ripped Jeans, earrings, necklace & bag – Mr P

Shoes – Makro_SA

Sunnies – China Town

Lips – LA Girls Matte gloss in Tulle

Hair – you know my signature bun by now!

Here’s a Fun Fashion Fact:

Napoleon wasn’t just about war. He contributed to fashion in many ways too. The reason we have buttons on the sleeves of our jackets is because Napoleon got tired of his soldiers wiping their noses on their sleeves. 

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Stay Cute xxx

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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