As you may or may not be aware, I lost more than 100 pounds a couple of years ago. When I finally hit the big 1-0-0 in December 2013, I released a video showing my progress. Here it is (be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the updated video!):
At that time, I got many positive comments from people who had watched and felt inspired by the video. Comments such as one from a user named Nina who said, “You look BEAUTIFUL!!!!! IF You did it I know I can,” made me feel great–like I was inspiring others to get healthier. Helping others get healthy is an absolutely beautiful thing, something I aspire to do–something that makes me feel good.
Another user said, “Even at your heaviest you are an attractive woman. Now you are unusually good looking. Keep it up. I have just started my journey,” which of course stroked my ego a little.
And Britva613, a fellow Weight Watchers member, said, “What an inspiration!! I also started out a size 24 (well 24-26 by the stretchy labels I wore) I got down to a 16 and am back up to an 18 I just put on the breaks and went back to WW and this video collage is great! Way to go and it looks like you husband lost along with you.”
There were many more really positive comments too, and I’m grateful for them.
And then there were the negative ones. Now, I could publish them or acknowledge them directly, but I won’t, because I don’t want to add fuel to any negativity fires. There was one user who felt so passionately that I had lied about my size and who felt the need to tell me how fat my arms were, rather than to offer support.
While I chose not to respond to the comments, other users jumped in and defended me, which I appreciated. But honestly, I don’t care what some mean-spirited YouTuber thinks. I know what size my jeans are, and guess what? I know my arms are one of my problem areas. Everyone’s body is different, and I know how much better I am than I was before.
So, to the lady who chose to try to bring me down–I feel sorry for you. You’ve obviously got some really difficult issues in your life and maybe it helped you to feel better to try to destroy a random stranger’s self-confidence. But luckily, my confidence doesn’t come from you or anyone else–it’s all about me and what I choose to believe about myself.
And I’m not so unique–everyone gets to decide who they want to be and how they choose to perceive themselves and their lives.
Anyhoo, enough about all of that.
Here’s the big update: I’ve maintained the loss and even dropped a few more pounds. The loss is going slower now of course, but I’m also in a sort of maintenance/loss rotation. I am relatively happy with my size now, actually. I just want to tone up a bit, and maybe lose 30 or 40 more pounds in the long run to reach my ideal weight. But ideal is all in our heads anyway, right? It’s about being happy, healthy and feeling good, for me anyway. 🙂
So here are a few updated photos from 2013 and Jan. 2014.
Jan. 2014 Weight Loss Update: 100+ Plus Loss Maintained, Continued
“My professional inspiration has no separation from my personal inspiration: it is people who will stop at nothing to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. I am fortunate to come across quite a few of these game-changing people, and the desire to help (and keep up with them!) is what drives me.'” ~Richard Branson
So what I’m saying is, I know blogging (I’ve even been known to blog about blogging, no kidding). But when it comes to fashion blogging, specifically, I’m kind of a newbie. Not going to lie. While I’ve always loved fashion and style, I only recently began to dabble in the fashion blogging world–so be gentle with me, huh?
Anyhoo, in case you wondered, I am the kind of person who, when she’s interested in something, does her research, and who sort of teaches herself the ropes from the inside out. Part of my little self-led fashion-bl0gging study includes following amazing style bloggers with huge followings. Why? Because they’re doing something right–but not because I want to imitate them–I know who I am and I’m totally ok with it. It’s because I am inspired by them.
That’s why I’m starting this new feature–and, bonus for you, it’ll introduce you to some of the most amazing fashion bloggers on the ‘net. I’m calling the series “Fashion Blogger Crush,” but for the record, there are no sexual undertones intended–I just get bloggy crushes on really great bloggers sometimes. Kind of like how a musician might get a musical crush on another artist if they dig their style, for example.
But I digress. Please allow me to introduce my very first FBC.
“I find inspiration in art, nature, culture, architecture, food, people, and music. And for me, fashion is a compilation of all that. Fashion is a vehicle for me to play with shapes and colors in order to uncover my personal style.” ~Wendy Nguyen
I’m starting this series with a blogger who was introduced to me by Jane Cuddehe, the owner and creative mind behind Scialle Fine Shawls. This blogger happens to be Jane’s very favorite–her own fashion crush, as it were.
Naturally, I was curious, and once I caught a glimpse of Wendy’s gorgeous looks (both personal and styled) and her simple but fabulous blog (not to mention her crazy-huge following), I was in love. And her friendly, down-to-earth writing style is just the bow on the already perfect package Wendy’s Lookbook offers.
It’s such a classic look that it is nearly timeless.
“The Infinity vs. DIY Infinity
The difference is very subtle – the first fold. The Infinity is folded along the diagonal while the DIY Infinity is folded in half, horizontally. The Infinity starts off as a triangle, whereas the DIY Infinity begins as a rectangle. It seems like a trivial difference, but due to the shape, the Infinity fold works best with square scarves whereas the DIY version can be pulled off on thicker longer scarves. Also, because of the different starting shapes, the way the scarves drape are also slightly different. I wanted to include both in case people had trouble with the Infinity fold on their scarves, but due to the speed of the video, the first step was a bit harder to convey
There are actually a lot of ways in which you can wear scarves and shawls. You need not stick to the usual neckpiece or bandana anymore as with these tricks, your scarf can become your favorite accessory in no time at all.” ~Wendy Nguyen
So am I alone in my love for Wendy? Absolutely not. In addition to Jane, Wendy’s got LITERALLY hundreds of thousands of fans.
Hats off to you, Wendy! Keep up the amazing work. We love your style!
Who else loves Wendy? Let me hear it! And what other fashion bloggers do you love? Maybe I’ll feature one in an upcoming post! Share your thoughts, feelings and experiences in the comments section, below! And don’t forget those blog links.
Can’t miss deal: Scialle hits Groupon with rare 80% discount
“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” ~Karl Lagerfeld
Listen up, ladies. You need a little black dress in your wardrobe. I don’t care if you’re a factory worker who rarely has occasion to dress up–you never know when you’ll need to attend a special event, go on a date or even just dress up for the holidays or a fancy family get-together.
Did you know?
We are actively building our Blissful Style Guides resource section, so stay tuned for updates.
Blissful Style Guide: How to Find the Perfect Little Black Dress Within Your Budget
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way for finding the right little black dress to fit your budget.
Shop the sales: Since a little black dress is a timeless piece that can be easily dressed up or down for nearly any occasion, there’s nothing wrong with hitting clearance sales, especially through the online venues.
For example, I purchased the dress I’m wearing in the photo to the right at KMART.com from the Sofia Vergara collection and absolutely love it!
And it was on clearance. (Worth mentioning: since I got such a deal, i also picked up the same dress in an alternate, trendier orange color.) For the record, I also love NoMoreRack.com for stuff like this.
Need labels carefully: Listen, as the proud owner of several “real” designer handbags, most of which were second-hand (and a few hand-me-downs), I totally feel you on the need to have “real” labels.
Sometimes, you need a label–but MOST times, a label is a luxury that may not be necessary.
For example, if you wanted to dress down your look with a shawl or scarf, you could consider one of these options based on your budget.
*NOTE: I consider this one the “best bang for your buck” because the quality matches even the Hermes scarf listed above, but the fact that the company’s not well-known yet means the label can’t drive up the price.
Experts say that you spend roughly one-third of your life sleeping. Certainly, you want to make every moment count toward the physical and mental rejuvenation that a good sleep provides! So, how can you enjoy a restful night of slumber?
Put these 8 tips into action now to experience some of the best sleep of your life:
Investigate your evening routine. Think about the activities you’re involved in from the time you walk in the door to the moment your head hits the pillow. The goal is to increase your awareness about what you’re doing and see if it could be interrupting your sleep.
Are you playing catch-up by bringing work home from the office? If so, your mind may be on overdrive and unable to turn off.
Do you find yourself consumed with doing household chores like laundry and house-cleaning? In that case, you’re probably lacking time for relaxation.
Plan to be in bed with the lights out for at least eight hours. Do you stay up until after midnight? Try to schedule evening activities early, so you can still get eight hours of sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to make it eight and a half hours.
Allow time to unwind. If you’re super busy, you’ll probably be rushing around until you finally collapse on the bed in hopes of getting a few winks.
Instead, give yourself at least an hour to shift gears and relax before bed. Everyone needs some downtime.
Clear your mind from the day’s chaos. Maybe it’s reading your kids a bedtime story or taking 20 minutes to meditate. Focus on shifting your thoughts from the intense to the trivial. A tranquil mind invites more sleep than a chaotic one.
Create an uncluttered, relaxing bedroom environment. Although you may think that a cluttered bedroom is benign, it may be preventing relaxation and interfering with your sleep. Besides, clutter draws dust, which can cause breathing difficulties during the night.
The first step is to put everything away. Clothes can go into drawers or the closet. Put junk mail and magazines into the recycling bin.
The second step is to organize what you have left. Place a lamp, reading materials, and your alarm clock on your night stand. Set the scene for a comfortable night’s slumber.
The third step is dusting. Use a damp cloth and clean all the surfaces in your bedroom each week to ensure an environment where you can breathe easily. If you spend just 15 minutes dusting and tidying your bedroom, you can prevent future clutter.
Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed. The light emanating from backlit screens like cell phones, tablets, and e-readers can trick your body into thinking it’s daylight and time to be awake. Plus, it’s best to rest your eyes from such gadgets before trying to sleep.
Take a warm bath rather than a shower. If you tend to struggle with sleep quality, it may be that your shower routine is invigorating you rather than relaxing you. Sitting for a few minutes in warm water can help your muscles relax and prepare for sleep.
Practice breathing in bed. Take deep breaths through your nose, hold them for five to eight seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Do four of these breaths after you switch off the lights, and you’ll feel your body immediately relax.
Adopt these practices will help you create a restful bedtime routine. When you establish consistent relaxation habits, your body will become accustomed to them, and restful sleep will follow. Soon, you’ll be sawing logs with the best of them. Sweet dreams!
A wardrobe isn’t complete without stylish handbags to fit every mood and season. One way to add a touch of elegance to your wardrobe is with designer luxury handbags. designer handbag styles are exquisite and the fabrics are sumptuous. The various types of design work allow you to express your personality and taste in fashion through your purse.
Whether you shop online or at a local retailer, you’ll notice there are many shapes and styles of designer luxury handbags. The handbags may look similar to other types of handbags in shape and size, but often reflect amazing quality with the use of real leather materials or even exotic animal leathers that aren’t found just anywhere. You might see designer purses made with real crocodile skin, python snake skin, or even ostrich skin! These exotic purses often have exclusive designs that will turn many heads as you voyage on an evening out or if you carry the purse as you do everyday tasks.
Styles to choose from include classical, evening, office or workplace, fashion, and elegant. There are shoulder bags, wide handbags, tote bags, clutches, and professional bags for men or women. No matter what type or size you’re looking for, the quality and look and feel of designer luxury handbags will cause you to crave more and more styles and colors to blend with every outfit and occasion.
Prices for designer luxury handbags made with real skin leather often range from $600 to $1200. To save money on crocodile skin handbags, look for “realized” leather that has been created using the ligator process, which blends natural fibers of crocodile to create a skin similar to real crocodile skin while saving you dollars on the final price tag.
Look for Handmade Quality
Even with the various types of skin leathers used with designer handbags, they can be hand-painted with bright colors in gorgeous shades of blue, brown, light green, orange, and red. If you want a really unique design, shop online for designer luxury handbags that are 100 percent handmade in Italy. You’ll find high-quality purses with creative designs that will amaze all your friends at social gatherings.
But wait! Before clicking that online payment button, read the designer purse descriptions very carefully. Handmade purses should be made with care and with a very unique process to ensure fine quality. Examine the quality of the straps, zippers, and stitching. Also, look for interior materials such as real leather or real calf skin for the handbag’s lining. Be sure the website offers photos of the purses or bags from various perspectives so you’ll have a good idea of what you’re getting.
If you really like the elegant look and feel of designer luxury handbags, you might even want to start your own business selling these amazing bags. Some retailers will offer wholesale handbags as well so you can easily get started with your own business. It’s a great way to earn a part-time or full-time income.
Look for websites that offer fashion accessories and handbags that are made of extremely high quality. These handbags also make excellent gifts for Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, or anniversaries. By shopping wisely, you’ll soon be able to adorn every outfit with your own collection of designer luxury handbags!