Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Puerto Rican Foodie

I'm currently planning my retirement for the year 2000 and IDK. Regardless of when it will occur, at least I know the location ... beautiful Puerto Rico it is. I have traveled to a number of places throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. As a matter of fact, this was my second time visiting Puerto Rico. However, this trip hit different. Not sure if it's because I desperately needed a vacation coming off of months of recovery. Or the stress of working in media during an impeachment inquiry. Nevertheless, it was right on time and did not disappoint. The weather was 85 degrees during the day and 75 at night. The people were extremely friendly and although I used my Spanish a little, most people spoke English. I loved that I didn't have to worry about converting the dollar since of course it's a U.S. territory. I also enjoyed not having to go through airport customs because that's always a pain. And last but certainly not least, the FOOD!!!! Everything that I ate was delicious!!! Lots of fried breads and dough, lots of cheese, lots of rich seasonings and flavor. Basically everything that I love! Mmmmm writing about it makes me want to book another flight right now, just to get some of the amazing dishes that I ate. Hopefully by the time I retire, I wont care what the breads and cheeses do to my waistline. So I know I usually recap what I wore, but since this trip was all about what I ate, I think it's more fun to relive that. If you're ever visiting PR, here are the places you must go to.

1. Bistro Cafe, Isla Verde ... Best Brunch EVER!





2. Los Chamos Arepas ... Best 24 Hour Food Joint!




3. Raices ... Best Traditional Puerto Rican Dishes!




4. La Pocita, Pinones ... Best Authentic Latin American Food!




5. Cala Pool Bar and Grill ... Best Poolside Bar!



6. Isla Verde Beach ... Best Beach Vendors for Food and Drinks!



7. Brava Night Club ... Best Cheap Drinks and Music!


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Bermuda Bombshell

To say this summer was a rough one is an understatement. After undergoing knee surgery and months of recovery, which I'm still going through, a vacay was desperately needed. Thankfully, I booked a trip to Bermuda back in December, long before I knew I'd be having surgery this June. So, basically God knew I needed Bermuda long-before I knew. Well it was a trip to remember! Bermuda is picture perfect, foodie approved, adventure equipped and a relaxation haven. It has everything a traveler might be interested in doing and seeing or not doing and seeing. The goal for my trip leaned more toward the not doing and seeing side, primarily because relaxation was on my mind after the stressful couple of months that I've had. But I'm too much of an explorer/adventurer type not to get into a little something-something.  So, my friends and I enjoyed a chill day at Horseshoe Bay Beach which was gorgeous even with a few rain drops and partially cloudy skies. We also toured the inside of Bermuda's Crystal Caves. I still can't believe I managed the 83 steps down and back up ... slowly of course but still an accomplishment. Our driving tour of the island facilitated by Gloria with Winsome Tours was amazing. She gave us a great history lesson and feel for life on the island of Bermuda. We drove through several cities and towns including Hamilton, the capital. We visited one of Bermuda's historical churches, crossed the smallest draw bridge in the world, saw Bermuda's beautiful lighthouse, drove by celebrities homes, saw where the Prime Minister lives aka Bermuda's White House and more. Oh and the food! I had one of the best fish sandwiches that I've had in life at Anchor Bar in the Dock Yard. I also had the most delicious fish nuggets at the little cafe located at the Crystal Caves. Yummm, I'm still thinking about the food! We also got a taste of Bermuda's night life when we went out for drinks and music at Bone Fish Bar and Grill and dancing at Snorkel Bar Beach which was lots of fun. As for affordability, we saved a little money by taking a cruise which cut down on hotel fees. However, in comparison to other Caribbean islands that I've visited, it was on the pricey side. For example, that amazing fish sandwich came with fries and I also ordered one cocktail to help wash it down of course :) ... well my bill came to $35. Locals explained that Bermuda exports almost everything and tourism is their largest industry. Despite the $35 sandwich and drink, it's still well worth the trip. Bermudians take pride in their country and it shows. Next time I'd love to spend more time in Hamilton and visit St. George. As for what I wore ... here are my favorite two swim looks / beach outfits from the trip. And yes, I kept it #FrugallyFly.  Peep my new inexpensive accessories, like this $1 brim hat, $4 turban and $5 beach bag.

Swim Top - Torrid
Wide Leg Pants - I don't remember ... they're old! LOL
Hat - Dollar Store
Swim Set - Swimsuits for All
Cover Up - Rainbow
Turban - Local Beauty Supply Store
Purse - Five Below

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Model On

I'm often asked what are my favorite plus size stores, how do I decide what to wear, where do I buy accessories and who are my style inspirations. Honestly, I'm not sure that I have specific style inspirations. Everything is an inspiration to me ... the weather, art, friends, family, decades, movies, food, furniture. I tend to go with how I'm feeling, the vibe of the event, or simply I just bought this new thing and I'm dying to wear it. LOL! However, I do have several plus size models that I follow and whom give me a different type of inspiration. I'm talking about that inspiration that comes when you see someone that looks like you, posing on the cover of a magazine and rocking an outfit that society would say they shouldn't wear. I'm talking about that inspiration that comes when you've eaten one too many carbs that week but you see a plus size diva on Instagram letting all her rolls hangout proudly. Those women give me inspiration that I can conquer the world. So if you're looking for style inspiration and/or body positive inspiration, follow these plus size divas because they're serving both.

Chasity Garner

Nakitende Esther

Leslie Sidora

Ashley Graham

Tess Holliday

Gabi (Fresh) Gregg

Denise Mercedes

Francie Maupin

Nicole Simone 

Kristine Thompson

La'Tecia Thomas

Chasity Saunders


Friday, August 2, 2019

Crutching My Style

We've all heard the phrase "cramping my style" right? Well for the first time in my life I truly understand the definition. No my parents haven't become over-protective in my 30s, I don't have a jealous boyfriend to speak of and I haven't miraculously become a mother within the last month. However, I did have meniscus repair surgery which left me hopping around on one leg for six weeks, living with my mother in rural Virginia and missing all signs of sanity, summer and style. If you've never had to use crutches then let me spare you the horrible details. But if you have, then you know "the struggle is real." I'm blessed to be on the second leg of my recovery (literally). I'm still walking with the crutches but at least I'm putting weight on both legs now. I quickly learned to maneuver my body on crutches but I hate to admit it took me a little longer to maneuver my style. However, once I found a mix between practical and popping, I was good to go. So, I hope you NEVER have to use this list, but just in case you do. Here are the top three wardrobe necessities that will make your life A LOT easier while preventing crutches from cramping your style.
1. Dresses
--Specifically knee length dresses. Long dresses can trip you up and pants add an extra level of difficulty when using the facilities ... try pulling up your pants standing on one leg. :)

Rainbow Plus Size Camo Cami Dress

2. Sneakers
--Sandals and heels aren't ideal when relearning to walk, so I've worn sneakers more in the past two months than I have in my entire life. Sneakers with dresses are very trendy right now, which is a plus.

Puma Suede Bow Block Women's Sneakers

3. Backpack
--Luckily stylish bookbags are also trending but regardless you'll need it to help you carry everything from food to your iPad from point A to point B. So in other words, leave the hobo bag at home.

Women's Fashion Quilted Backpack

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lovin Lizzo

Yes, I'm lovin Lizzo!  If you're wondering who's Lizzo ... you betta ask somebody baby (said in my 90's voice). Lizzo is a singer/dancer/performer and body positive activist. She's confident, talented and yes, she's plus size. I began following her more than a year ago when I got a glimpse of her plus size black girl magic IG page and fell in love. Well since then, Lizzo's career has taken off. Just within the past week, she's performed at the BET Awards and MTV Movie and TV Awards. I was already in her corner but I watched both shows and fell in love with her even more. To semi copy when Issa said she's "rooting for everybody black" ... well I'm rooting for everybody plus size and Lizzo is no exception. And just to add, she's well deserving of my support and not just because she proudly shows off her curves, dimples, stretchmarks and all. She got on stage at the BET awards with a bodysuit on and danced while singing and playing the flute. Yes, I did say the flute. So how can I not love and support her. So if you haven't listened to her music, caught a glimpse of one of her performances or scrolled through her fabulously body positive IG page please do so immediately. In the meantime, here's her super cute BET performance. Lizzo, keep up the great work! I'm rooting for you!!!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Fashionista vs. Budgetista in Colombia

I was recently asked "how much do you spend on clothing for your many trips?" Well the answer is simple and complicated. In short, it depends. The more elaborate answer, it depends on where I'm going, how much I'm trying to spend, whether it's for work or pleasure, how excited I am about the trip, etc. LOL! The fashionista in me wants to buy ALL new clothes for EVERY trip. But the budgetista in me wants to spend as little as possible. Therefore, I often re-purpose pieces that are veterans to my closet. However, re-purposing has become quite difficult with the popularity of social media posting. I can admit I fall into the category of paranoid people who dread being seen in an outfit more than once. But in the words of my dear friend Crystal, "clothes are made to be worn, so wear them as many times as you want." So as I continue my frugally fly journey (cuz this single girl has responsibilities), I often repeat the words of Crystal when my Fashionista heart and Budgetista mind are having an inner conflict. A great example of this was my recent birthday trip. I embarked on a five-day exploration to Colombia, South America with my cousin Dee and friends Keina and Crystal (yes, same wise-words Crystal). We soaked up the sun during a day of island hoping, we got a dose of Afro Colombian culture while touring Palenque, and we danced, walked and explored throughout the city of Cartagena. There were several great trip moments but there were three trip highlight. One, visiting Isla Baru was a vibe. As we docked on the island shores we saw people who looked like us, we heard Caribbean music playing, we smelled grilled food in the air and it was definitely all the feels.  Two, visiting Palenque which is a town originally founded by escaped slaves was very rewarding. I truly enjoyed learning about the history and culture of Afro Colombians (which I did not realize was so prominent until I began my pre-trip research). Three, bar-hopping with a party bus was soooooo much fun! We met people from all over the world, we drank Colombian liquor, ate street food, danced til our feet hurt and even made up our own line-dance that everyone in the club began doing. LOL! My favorite restaurant, that we visited, was Arsenal Rum Box because of the great customer service and overall experience. My favorite area of Cartagena was Getsamani because I loved the murals and street art. And my biggest piece of advice, don't worry about trying to figure out their money. Take dollars and pay with your ATM or Credit card when possible.  Trying to figure out their currency and the exchange rate was confusing at times and took away from the experience. But needless to say the trip was a AMAZING.  As for my attire, well Cartagena in April ranges from mid to high 80's and is extremely humid so less and lose fitting clothing came highly suggested. However, the less doesn't always suit my fancy because I'm very particular about exposing my arms, legs and stomach but I managed to look cute and be comfortable. And how much did I spend? I surprisingly stayed well within my budget by purchasing a few new items and re-purposing a few veterans. The key ingredient to staying  under budget was separates! I could get away with wearing a top or bottom that I've worn hundreds of times but it looked completely different because I paired it with a new item. Cheap jumpsuits and dresses were also very helpful and for lack of better words, a double win (I got the top and bottom for one price low price). And last but not least, accessorize ~ accessorize! I wore jewelry, shoes and purses that I've had FOREVER but in new ways. So here are the LEWKS...


Getsamani
New Shorts - Fashion to Figure
All other clothing/accessories previously owned.

Party Bus/Bar Hoping
New Pants - Burlington
All other clothing/accessories previously owned.

Downtown Cartagena
New Jumpsuit - Ross
Shoes/accessories previously owned.

Palenque
New Jumpsuit - Ross
Shoes/accessories previously owned.

Plaza de Santo Domingo
New Crop Top - Fashion to Figure
All other clothing/accessories previously owned.

Group shot in the elevator of the Air BnB :)
New Dress - Ross
Shoes/accessories previously owned.








Rosario Islands
New Swim Cover - Rainbow
Swimsuit/accessories previously owned.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Serving Oscar Curves

I love watching award shows! From the Emmys to the Golden Globes to the Grammys and most definitely the Oscars ... award season is a true highlight of my year. There's something glitzy and magical about the biggest night in Hollywood that I've been drawn to since high school. I enjoy listening to the speeches which of course are filled with thanks to God and Moms from around the globe. Both of which are extremely important to me so I'm here for all of it. However, the fashion is my favorite thing to observe. Who's wearing who, what's the color of the night, who's hair is flawless, which evening bags and shoes make a bold statement, and ooh-la-la THE JEWELRY. In my teenage years I immediately noticed the lack of body diversity at all of the awards but in particular at the Oscars. So I seek out the curvy women in the room and praise their accomplishments. Not just the accomplishment for their work in the arts but the accomplishment of strutting their stuff on the runway alongside women who are half their size with style, grace and confidence. This year was no different. I sat in my favorite chair and smiled at the sights of Octavia Spencer, Melissa McCarthy and other women whose body reflects what I see in the mirror. It's a nice reminder that regardless of my size, I can do whatever I want to do! All hail to these Curvy Queens who graced the 2019 Oscars!

Octavia Spencer

Melissa McCarthy

Queen Latifah

Ruth Carter

Ashley Graham