Neon BIKINI

Two swim posts in one summer??? WHAA WHAAAT? I’ve had this Rue 107 suit for a year now and it’s definitely one of my favs to wear at the pool. The bottoms are super comfy and I don’t have to worry about them sliding down at all. The top is a bit flimsy so I paired mine with a nude strapless bra. Do what you gotta do I say.

Pool party anyone?

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#stopthebeautymadness

Let me first start by saying that beauty is not a size. It’s not a color. It doesn’t it have anything to do with sexual orientation or age. Beauty is the light you see in someones eye after a good joke. It’s the captivating confidence that exudes from the soul.

I spent a good part of my younger years buying into what the media was telling me about beauty ideals (and hey let’s be honest I still have days where I feel inadequate). I’ve been plus-size since high school, and because of my size, I felt segregated from my peers. I couldn’t shop the same stores, and felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt different. It took many years of struggling with an eating disorder to finally snap out of it. Part of my own journey of self-discovery was taking a good hard look in the mirror and realizing what I was doing to my body. I credit plus-size bloggers for paving the way to my recovery. It’s always easier to see the beauty in someone else. I believe most of us can admit that we’re harder on ourselves than others. But what’s the point?

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Today marks the launch of the #stopthebeautymadness campaign, spearheaded by Robin Rice with help from Frontline Voices, author Kerry Cohen, Supermodel Emme, Valerie Weisler, and fellow blogger Marie Southard Ospina from MiggMag. I urge you guys to check out these amazing women and sign up for the free 10 week #stopthebeautymadness audio series here. Along with the audio series, #stopthebeautymadness is releasing an ad campaign to encourage discussion surrounding cultural issues such as weight, self-esteem, sexuality and race.

This topic speaks to me, and lends itself to my own aspirations of changing how our culture interprets beauty. I started this blog as an extension of my own healing, and I hope to encourage others to be themselves, and embrace their flaws. For even more inspiration head on over to this pinterest page. As always, remember that you are beautiful regardless of your age, size, or race. Your beauty is within you.

Kitschy Carnival

There’s nothing quite like the carnival. The energy, the music, the smells. Kettlecorn… need I say more? Jess @ Operation Skinny Jeans invited me to relive our childhood at our local fair Parker Days. The magical weekend comes once a year, and it’s filled with fantastic people watching, the faint smell of vomit if you get too close to “The Zipper,” and my favorite… cotton candy (see my food porn below).

I’ve been waiting for an occasion to wear a crop top. I’ve been seeing tons of them on some of my favorite bloggers and had to work up the courage to style my own. I love the retro feel of this look with the crop and the high-waisted acid wash jeans I scored at Forever 21. I topped it all off with my current favorite bag from Betsey Johnson. Just the perfect amount of kitsch for the carnival. IMG_6297_1IMG_6197_1IMG_6255_1IMG_6300_1IMG_6294_1IMG_6387_1IMG_6470_1IMG_6569_1IMG_6583_1IMG_6420_1

| Crop Top, Jeans, and Sunnies all Forever 21 | Belt – Lane Bryant (old) | Handbag – Betsey Johnson | Shoes – Zigisoho (similar here) |

Plus-Size in Paris

When Modcloth asked me to create a Polyvore collage featuring their Vivacious and Vibrant Dress in Noir (in sizes up to 4x), I knew I wanted to style a look that was quirky and fun. The dress is in classic black-and-white with an A-line silhouette, so I punched it up with pops of color and adorable knee-high socks. If you can’t visit the Eiffel Tower this summer, at least you can play Paris for a day.

Picnic in Paris

Plus Summer Swim

It’s that time of the year again. Swim season. I spent so many years feeling uncomfortable at the pool simply because the options for plus-size swimwear was seriously lacking. Luckily, the times are a changin’. With new fuller bottoms, supportive tops, and fun patterns, there’s no reason to hide that bod in hawaiian print.

I’m wearing the Gabifresh designed bikini from SwimsuitsForAll. Unfortunately it’s sold out, but there’s some seriously adorable options still available like this lip print beauty. Other stores to check out for cute suits are Forever 21, Rue 107, and Monif C. Bonus… tons of online shops have sales running until June 10th!

Happy Summer!!

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| Swimsuit – Gabifresh for Swimsuits for All | Cover-up – Torrid | Sunglasses - Coach (old) |

#YesAllWomen

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I know some of you know this, but in the wake of the Santa Monica shootings and the #YesAllWomen campaign that followed, I feel now is the time to open up about my own experience.

The relationship started off as many do. He was attractive, said all the right things, and made me feel special at a time in my life where I was desperate for reassurance. Looking back, I realize I was the perfect target for him. I don’t remember when things started to change. It wasn’t all of a sudden. Slowly I started seeing the red flags. He drank too much, had a temper, and picked fights with me constantly. I was his punching bag both physically and emotionally, and yet I thought I was in love with him.

I was walking on eggshells, apologizing for his behavior everywhere we went. I distanced myself from my family, and felt utterly lost. I blamed myself and believed his lies. I thought things would change. They didn’t.

It took me finding out that he’d been cheating on me to finally walk away. It stung. I cried. I was broken. Looking back, it’s one of my proudest moments. I empowered myself and stopped the cycle of abuse.

Unfortunately my story is NOT unique. Hopefully by speaking out and sharing my experience, I can help someone walk away from abuse.

So #YesAllWomen because I refuse to be silenced or blamed for his actions.

Coffee to Cocktails

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I reconnected with my old friend Jess who’s the genius behind Operation Skinny Jeans. She is an absolute doll and I’m so happy to have someone to help me update and take photos. I feel like Curvy Maven has been a little dusty as of late. Let me tell you, it’s not so easy to take photos of yourself. But I’m back and ready to jump into summer with some new outfit posts.

I’ve always loved the classic silhouette of a blazer. It’s the perfect piece to transition from day to night. I paired mine with a peplum top and some fun floral trousers. Slip on your blazer for a casual meeting over coffee, and whip that baby off for a night on the town.

Enjoy!

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| Pants – Worthington from JCPenney (Psst. they’re on sale for $21.99 here) | Peplum Top – Worthington from JCPenney (also on sale!) | Belt – similar here | Blazer – Forever 21 similar here |