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

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Frugally Fly Cont.

Late January/Early February is one of my favorite times of the year to go shopping. The stores are usually clearing out their old inventory to make room for the spring and summer fashions. So if you have the patience to look or you just love to shop like me, then you can really rack up. Just over the weekend, I went to Ross looking for inexpensive household trinkets (I'm in the process of decorating my dressing room/office). Well because I can never walk into a store and not look at the clothes and purses I stumbled upon a clearance rack full of marked down tops for literally dollars. I snatched up all that I saw, which I thought would fit me and even if I couldn't fit them I knew I would know someone who could. The prices were so low, I just couldn't leave them in the store. I got two tops and two sweaters for a grand total of $7.38. And surprisingly, they all fit really well! So if you're in the need and/or want for some new items, now's the time to head to the stores. You can feel like you're on a shopping spree without putting a dent in your wallet ... that's my favorite kind of shopping. Checkout these tops I got for the low-low!

$1.00

50 cents

$1.50

$4.00

Friday, January 4, 2019

Twenty Nineteen

Happy Twenty Nineteen to ALL of my BBBThink Divas!!!!! I launched this blog in 2011 to share the beauty of being a plus size woman through the experiences that I encounter. And I'm thankful to still have the opportunity to share BBBThink almost eight years later. Thank you family, friends and readers for continuing to ride this journey with me. So now that I've got the mushy stuff out of the way, I'm ready to reveal my fabulous New Years Eve ensemble. Let me preface by saying that Fashion to Figure strikes again! I purchased the dress at Fashion to Figure in December 2018. It's part of the new Danielle Brooks FTF clothing line (aka Tasty from Orange is the New Black) that was launched in the Fall. Other than having the dress hemmed, because I'm super short, I didn't have to make any other alterations. It fit beautifully around my curves and even better after I got a new push up bra (LOL) which I purchased from Target (I think it's by playtex). I love the dress, the way it's made, the way it fits the sylish/modern yet old Hollywood vibe ... it's perfect. So without further ado!
Ooops, I almost forgot ... Remember in my previous post I mentioned that this dress was not my first choice but my backup option. Well the first dress that I chose was soldout by the time I tried to purchase, well I'm glad it was because another woman at the NYE party was wearing that dress. LOL!!! By the way, the party was super lit. DJ Biz Markie and DJ Quicksilver were excellent. And last but not least, my friends and I looked and had a great time. Also, shoutout to 19-year-old makeup artist Dyavion ... She beat my face to the Gods (LOL!). Call her for your next event. So now without further ado...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sparkle and Shine

It's that time of year again when I start scavenging through my closet, plus size clothing stores and BBBThink approved websites searching for the perfect amount of sparkle and shine for NYE. For many years I was in a relationship and generally spent the Eve w/ my significant other. And although I would still get dolled up, it's different when you're single and going out for a night on the town with your girls. So this year, like last year, I'll bring in 2019 with my friends Keina and Crystal both of which are curvy girls and love a cute fit! Have you ever heard that women dress more for other women than men...well I can attest to that. I love dressing up for the fellas but they don't always appreciate the work that goes into a fabulous look. But the ladies, they know! And when you're rocking a hot ensemble and you have good friends (ie, non-haters), they will hype you up and make you feel like a million bucks. Well, this year I decided to start looking early, last year I went shopping but didn't find anything, ordered a few dresses from ASOS then sent some back, made alterations to the final dress. Needless to say I was doing the most and unfortunately in a short amount of time. So this year, I went shopping right after Thanksgiving. Decided on two dresses at Fashion to Figure. Waited for a good sale/coupon code, which I got on Green Monday ... I'm still not sure what that holiday sale was all about but I'm thankful for the 30% off and FREE shipping that FTF offered, LOL. Glad I picked two dresses because choice number one was sold out in my size by the time I ordered. But I'm also glad that I waited because I knew I'd spend equal or more than the savings getting the dress hemmed. Well the dress has arrived, it's at the seamstress and will be ready tomorrow. By the way, I saved $24 and spent $25 on the alterations. Anyway, now I'm ready to accessorize. I need my jewelry - go big or go home, I need my purse - go bold or bust, and I need my shoes - go comfy or die (LOL). Of course I can't show you the finished look ... 1. It's not complete ... 2. I prefer to leave an element of surprise. But I will show you some of the contenders and my first choice dress. By the way, H&M always has super cute jewelry that's extremely inexpensive. And this time of year the sales are usually even better ... so if you have time stop by and rack up. Oh, please excuse the Uggs and lack of proper undergarments!

Black and Gold Sequin Bodycon Dress
Sold Out  

Red Hot Sheer and Studded Bodycon Dress
Still Available at Fashion to Figure
Holiday Green Oblong Should Evening Dress
Choice Number One ... Sold out 

Jewelry Sale Section at the H&M in Union Station

A few of the Big, Bold & Beautiful pieces I scooped!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

L.A. Vibes

With only a few weeks left in 2018, I can't help but to reflect on the blessed year that I've had. Many of my 2018 blessings came in the form of travel.  I'm fortunate enough to be able to jump up and go when I please and I did a lot of that over the last year. Now that I'm back on the dating scene, I realize that men ask the same boring questions over and over. Well the one that I hate the most after "tell me about yourself" is "what do you do for fun" ... it's such a boring, generic question. But responding "travel" is just as generic regardless of how true, LOL. So where have my jet-setting adventures taken me this year ... San Francisco, San Jose, Cuba, Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Minneapolis, Madison, Virginia Beach, New York, Chicago, Richmond and most recently Los Angeles.

Sunny, feel good L.A. gave me all the right kind of vibes. It was my first time there (surprising right) and I had a blast. I loved the weather, the scenic views, the food, the shopping but most importantly the people. L.A. folks were super friendly ... from the Uber drivers to the waiters, everyone was eager to give their suggestions on where to go and what to do.

I also loved the fashion sense. Although super trendy, most people were more casual and less avant-garde than New Yorkers. L.A. fashion was bohemian yet chic and sexy yet casual ... so, needless to say I fit right in. The men were also flirty and very outspoken with their compliments ... that's always refreshing ;). I honestly forgot how small "C" conservative D.C. is until strolling the L.A. streets.

Some of the highlights of the trip included the beautiful city views from Griffith Observatory, a mini-photo-shoot at the "Insecure" Dunes Apartment (one of my favorite TV shows), relaxing in the garden at the Getty (I love flowers), seeing Jean-Michel Basquiat's art in-person at the Broad Museum, hanging out with the "stars" on Hollywood Boulevard (LOL), taking in the fun sites and sounds of Venice Beach, walking Santa Monica Pier and of course shopping on Rodeo Drive which reminded me of "Pretty Woman" (one of my favorite movies).

So what did I wear? Well, I heard from locals that the weather can be tricky, varying 10 to 20 degrees from day to night and from town to town. So I made sure I took my moto jacket which transitions easily and pairs well with day and night attire. I also knew I'd be doing lots of walking so I took several neutral color flats that were comfortable and versatile (gold, black, blue). And, my most comfortable wedges for nightlife. Speaking of nightlife, I took several killer dresses/skirt and shirt combos for fancy dinners that I knew would be followed up by dancing. So here are the looks ... by the way, I still kept it frugally fly (most of these fits were less than $100).

Shirt - Rainbow
Sweat Pants - Ross
Shoes - Payless
Moto Jacket - Ashley Stewart
Necklace - Fashion to Figure
Dress - Forever 21+
Shoes - Rainbow
Purse - Clutch Instincts
Choker - Claire's
Crop Top & Pants - Mad Rag
Shoes - Payless
Skirt and Top - Burlington
Shoes - Rainbow
Purse - Steve Madden
Necklace - I made it!
Sweat Suit - Mad Rag
Shoes - Payless
Shirt - Rainbow
Skirt - Ashley Stewart
Shoes - Rainbow
Choker - Neighborhood Beauty Supply Store
Shirt - Rainbow
Jeans - Fashion to Figure
Shoes - Burlington
Necklace - I don't remember...LOL

Ladies, thanks for a great trip!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fall Fun

Well it's only a month into Fall but it has been a busy one. I'm not complaining though, I've had a blast. Unfortunately, I have neglected to update my BBB Fam. So what have I been doing...traveling, partying, eating out and enjoying my life to the fullest. Last Fall was extremely difficult for me. I had only been single a few months, it was turning cold outside and frankly, I just wasn't used to not having a snuggle buddy. Well this Fall, I'm elated to report that it's a new day. I'm not sulking in the coldness of the season, instead I'm embracing my singleness. In fact, I'm so busy that when I am home, I'm too tired to feel lonely. I'm excited to plop down in my favorite over-sized chair, prop my feet up on the matching cushy ottoman, sip a cup of hot chocolate and Netflix and chill with me, myself and I.  Recently, I had someone tell me that I keep myself busy because I'm not comfortable with being alone. I beg to differ! I keep myself busy because I'm an outgoing person by nature. Trust me, I had lots of time to deal with my breakup, I've cried more than one person should ever cry. Do I feel lonely sometimes, well of course. But even when I was in a relationship, I was always on the go and it wasn't always with my significant other.  I have a very large circle of family and friends so there's never a shortage of things going on and people for me to hangout with. My ex was a homebody, I definitely was not and never have been. I actually felt slightly offended by this persons statement and took a few minutes to think about if what they were saying was true. However, I came to the conclusion that regardless of the reasons why I stay on the go or as that person said "in these streets," I do what feels right and good to me and I urge others to do the same. On to where I've been, what I've done and what I've eaten. The highlights: I saw Hamilton at the Kennedy Center and it was amazing; I went to the Wendy Williams Show in New York and had so much fun; I traveled to Chicago to celebrate my friend/business partners birthday; I attended several CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) events and schmoozed with lots of great people; and have tried several new restaurants including two black owned spots in my neck of the woods ... Kitchen Cray and Milk & Honey. Both are brunch restaurants, which is the new "it thing." I'm digging the concept but as a marketing minded person I'm torn between the pros and cons of the business model. You miss out on potential customers who actually have 9 to 5, non-telework jobs but you also reduce over head costs because you're only open for 6 hours a day. Anyway, the food is bomb at both spots so I will continue to visit them when I can. So, what have I been wearing? And yes, I'm still saving money on clothes ... #FrugallyFly ... LOL!

Hamilton at The Kennedy Center
Dress: Fashion To Figure
Shoes: Payless
Clutch: Clutch Instincts
Necklace: Paparazzi
Rooftop CBC Party on Capitol Hill
Dress: Fashion to Figure
Shoes: Rainbow
Earrings: H&M
CBC Party at the Marriott
Jumpsuit: Fashion to Figure
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Clutch: Clutch Instincts
New York - Heading to Wendy Williams Show
Shirt: Ashley Stewart
High Waist Pants: Fashion to Figure
Shoes: Rainbow
Purse: BCBG
Earrings: H&M
Chicago - Downtown Hyde Park
Moto Jacket - Ashley Stewart
Jeans w/ Mesh Cutout - Ashley Stewart
Shoes - Payless
Purse - Steve Madden
Earrings - H&M