Monthly Archives: July 2014

Beauty is who you are-Today I’m a chef

I remember writing papers in school, and we were taught to start with something catchy. This often meant I found the key word that I was writing about, looked it up in the dictionary and my paper started as such:

Webster’s dictionary defines you as (feel free to skip to next paragraph here) “used to refer to the person or group of people that is being addressed as the subject of a verb or as the object of a verb or preposition.”

It worked as it took up a lot space on the page, and at the time I thought it was catchy. I then agreed or disagreed with the definition. You can all guess, although grammatically I agree with the definition, that is not where I am going here.

Last week I wrote that we do not, should not, define ourselves by a number (even a sleep number). That said we also do not need to define ourselves by our body and being plus size.

What I see in this industry is there are often two groups of plus size women- those that embrace it, scream it from the hill tops, that shove it in people’s faces and say if you don’t like me I don’t care. For those that are loud and proud- you go get ‘em girl! I got your back. You rock and I stand by you. The other group is the exact opposite, they hope to make their body disappear and want to apologize for it. For those that want to hide- please stop. You are so much more! You are amazing, and beautiful! And for the fashion thing, I’m your girl and here to help. But my point is that there is a whole other group. We don’t define ourselves solely as being plus size. We are professionals, we are moms, we are daughters, we are wives, we are girlfriends, we are fun, we are smart, we are adventurous, we are nerds, we are anything and everything, and so much more than just our bodies.

Be who you are, not what you look like!

Be who you are, not what you look like!

I recently read an article from Business Insider from April of 2013 about how H&M launched their swimsuit line using a plus size model. They did not publicize that she was plus size. The campaign just was. This is how I feel when I look at me. It’s a non-issue. It’s who I am in that it’s part of my career, but when I am busy being mom, or best friend, or nerd it has nothing to do with me at that point. Yes, I want to see more models that resemble my body type, and your body type, and different body types. Part of that is so I can get a better feel of what the clothes will look like, part of that is because I don’t want my daughter to grow up with a warped sense of beauty. But day-to-day I’m not about being on a soapbox, I just want to be me. I’m here so I can help you be you.   So before I get on it, I’m stepping off today. I’m going to be me. And because one of the many facets of me is about being in the kitchen I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes. Enjoy.

Something healthy to start:

Arugula Salad– Arugula, sunflower seeds, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and toss. SO YUMMY you won’t believe it.

Veg:

Pizza Tomatoes-

Cut the tops off tomatoes, sprinkle with kosher salt and bake at 350 until it starts to caramelize. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and celery salt then broil until cheese melts. Pizza taste, but yummy veg.

Pizza Tomato

Pizza Tomato

The best part of the meal, better known as the starch:

White wine potatoes, AKA crack potatoes-Slice potatoes in rounds and toss with olive oil and salt and thyme. Put in a oven safe dish and fill up ½ to ¾ of the way with white wine (anything but Riesling) Bake at 350 until ½ the liquid has evaporated and potatoes are brown on top. Toss potatoes every 20-30 minutes as so.

White Wine Potatoes- So good we call them crack potatoes

White Wine Potatoes- So good we call them crack potatoes

Impressive Entrée:

Salt crusted whole fish-

Buy a whole fish (head and tail on- I know it can be scary). Have the fish guy or gal scale it, and gut it. Stuff the cavity with slices of lemon and orange, fennel fronds, and parsley. In a bowl mix egg whites and kosher salt until you get a paste that is thick but still malleable. I usually start with 4 cups of salt, and 8 large egg whites. Coat pan with olive oil and put a layer of the salt mixture down. Place fish on top of the salt mixture. Cover the fish with the rest of the salt mixture. Make sure fish is completely covered. Make more salt mixture if necessary. Bake at 425 for about 40 minutes. Turn the pan after 20 minutes.

Brooklyn preparing salt crusted whole snapper

Brooklyn preparing salt crusted whole snapper

Dessert:

Check out these salted caramel chocolate crinkle cookies-OMG just amazing!

3 Questions for 3 Zeros

I recently saw the article that J. Crew (one of my favorites in terms of design) is releasing size 000 jeans. They have gotten a lot of negative press about this. Their defense is that the Asian market is calling for it.   Of course this has everyone discussing what this does about female body image, and I agree. However I think the issue runs deeper and it has raised a few questions for me.

To write this post I wanted to know what percent of American women are considered plus size. I found numbers in a heartbeat. Then I googled what percent of American women are a size 0. I tried rewording the question a few different ways. I couldn’t find the answer. I know a few women who face similar issues that us curvy girls face. They are genuinely petit women and have been forced to find clothing at children’s stores. However, there are fewer of them than there are of us. So here is my first question:

  1. Why do we allow 000 sizing in stores, but size 12’s and 14’s are being phased out of stores and only sold online or in specialty sections?

No matter what your body type we shouldn’t let stores shame us. Over half of the market is a size 12 and up. Why aren’t stores embracing that? If nothing else, financially it makes sense. I do think it’s ridiculous that I can’t go shopping at the same stores as my straight size friends. (For the record junior  plus size starts at 10, and plus is considered 14) I’d like to see that change. And really it should, considering much of this stems from vanity sizing. I found articles going back at least to 2009 about how insane size 0 is. Yet we are having the same conversation five years later about 000 sizing.

  1. We haven’t done anything about it and what do we do to remedy it?

Get over it ladies! Do we really want a number to define us. I don’t define myself as being a 5’2” or having a size 7 foot, by my age (35) or by my sleep number. So why would I define myself by what the scale says (haven’t checked in over a month, but maybe 190ish) or better yet by what J. Crew (way tooo big for them) or Gap (size 14/16) or even what number Monif C (1x) puts on my clothes. I define myself by who I am. Do we really need vanity sizing? Does it really make you feel that good? Yes when I slip into a 14 over a 16 for a second I smile. And when I put on my 18 pants instead of my 16, I’m not particularly thrilled. But that is fleeting. It doesn’t define my happiness. Big corporations have vanity sizing so we will buy more. We are NOT that dumb. So I say once again, get over it. You want to feel great while shopping? Buy clothes that you love and that fit properly. They will make you feel like a rock star every time you wear them. I love my Svoboda jeans every time I put them on, because they do wonders for my bum. I covet a Monif C dress because it is stunning, and beautifully made. Neither of these things appeal to me due to being a certain size. So ladies don’t fall for this trick.

Perfect dress for day to night from Monif C.

Perfect dress for day to night from Monif C.

  1. Why do men have standard sizing and women don’t?

I learned a few more things with this article and being in this industry. Clothing has traditionally been scaled to a size eight and then going up and down as needed. This quits working at a point. Good plus size designers don’t necessarily use this formula. Furthermore, did you know there was standard sizing for women? It was created in the 1920s for catalogs, but slowly, inch by inch, it has been changing. A size 24 from the 1930s is currently a size 14! We really need to go back to standard sizing, measuring our waists and not being scared of it. It’s just a number, just as insignificant as the number of words in this post (885 by the way). It would make shopping so much easier, and so much more fun if we could get over numbers.

Gap pants show how vanity sizing works.

Gap pants show how vanity sizing works.

Let’s not break out the picket signs, let’s not NOT shop somewhere. Instead, believe in yourself. Focus on buying clothes that you love and that fit. We all have body issues and things we want to change. Instead of harping on those, embrace the things you love about yourself. I know this can be hard. So start small. Maybe your eyes, or your smile, or your hands, whatever it is embrace that. Feel good about yourself for that, and let’s take it one step at a time, together. We will get you clothing that is your style and fits and makes you feel great. I’m here to help.

On another minor note I have been to China numerous times and I can tell you that although the women are small, it is slowly taking on our American habits, and they are not all a size 000. But this is just a side note.

 

 

Some fun articles I used for my data:

http://seattletimes.com/html/living/2022092777_apxsizinggame.html

http://time.com/2970046/j-crew-000-small-size/

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/advice/a3031/vanity-sizing/

Fashion Faux Ta-Ta’s

We’ve all had those days that no matter what we do we just aren’t looking our best, even us fashionistas. It’s one thing when you just have a bad case of the blahs, but a whole other when you have a complete faux pas.

I debated telling my story as I kick off my business. I would prefer the world see me as professional, and stylish, and who is top of my game in this business. On the other hand I want to be honest, and I want you to know me. We will make a better team to dress you and figure out your style if you understand who I am. I am most definitely human. So here is my humanity at it’s best in terms of fashion.

So what did I do? Did I wear jeans to formal ball- nah nothing quite like that. Did I have my bra break on me in the middle of a public place? Yes, in high school, safety pin to the rescue, and no I miraculously was not embarrassed. (This is not me in the pic)

How to fixed a snapped strap on your bra

How to fixed a snapped strap on your bra

Did I bend down and split my pants in half? Done that too-twice, but once again covered easily and quickly and no one was the wiser. Ok two people were the wiser when I did it the second time. And for the record this was when I started wearing clothes that fit me and recognized the importance of it. (If you need help in this arena- call me please. I’m here to help!)

What was I not able to recover from recently? Pumping! I am very pro breastfeeding for myself. (To each mom her own. I do a combo of breastfeeding and formula feeding). When breastfeed in public at times I attempt to use the cover. I don’t have a lot of luck with the cover though. Although I’m not terribly shy, I also feel like I have to do this with the right company for my daughter and I to be fully relaxed.


Breastmilk is the new duct tape

 

So here’s the set up. Daughter in daycare. Professional office that I am familiar with. My over-exhausted wardrobe choice of the day. Every morning I wake up and think what can I easily breastfeed in or easily pump in depending on the day. I have yet to miss. In the spirit of the Fourth of July I got really excited when I saw my blue and white striped dress that I haven’t worn in a while (paired with a red necklace of course). I even thought to myself why haven’t I broken that out recently. I love it.

My blue and white striped dress from Target

My blue and white striped dress from Target

10:30 rolls around and it’s time to pump. I get everything together, and then I look down. Two boobs stuck in my dress. There is no way to get to them without hiking my dress up. It’s like they are looking back at me laughing, knowing that something funny is about to happen. That’s why I haven’t broken out that dress. There is no way to pump. There is no private room to pump in either. (Yes, legally a workplace has to provide the space, but I am not the employee of this space. And I’m not pumping in the bathroom. Just gross- the baby food/bathroom thing-germy to me) This has never been a problem as I always use my cover to pump when I’m there and just slide my dress/blouse over slightly. I couldn’t not pump, my ta-tas would be like the night’s fireworks. Shooting loud and proud and all over! I couldn’t go home. I had to sit there and pump with my dress hiked up to my waist. The rest of the way I managed to hold the pump parts in place so I wasn’t totally naked. To make this complete fashion faux ta-tas surpass the split pants, the CEO’s wife walked in.

So my point in telling this story…

  1. There are fun ways to dress festive for the holidays, and not look cheesy. Furthermore us curvy ladies can, do and should wear stripes.
  2. I would love to hear your stories. We all have them. Let’s share. Let’s laugh. Let’s be human. And then let’s get stylish!
  3. It’s important know your wardrobe. How it makes you feel, why love wearing something, and how to wear it. It’s also important to think about your day before you put it on.
  4. If you struggle with number 3, or even have stories similar to mine and need a hand- reach out and hire me. I’m here to help. I’ve been there and I understand.