Monday, June 27, 2016

Get BBQ Ready With Us

Can you believe that the month of July is just around the corner?! Actually it’s right down the street, Friday marks July 1st! I CANNOT! I mean, where does the time go? With the month of July upon us, that also means that summer BBQs, outdoor family get-togethers, and other like events have begun. The question that often arises is: What should I wear?
Sometimes attending a casual outdoor event can be tricky. We want to look cute, but we also want to be comfortable and practical. Let’s take for instance a Summer BBQ. Picture this: You’re invited to an outdoor cook out. The afternoon will be filled with your favorite foods plus great company. The weather is most agreeable, the forecast predicts sunshine all day and there is no sign of rain for the entire weekend.
Today’s post is especially for you! I’ve teamed up with fellow plus size Babes Dionna of Made Me Pretty and Ivory Jinelle to offer you three options to slay comfortably at a Summer Barbecue! 
Check out each of their looks in detail on their blogs ;)
Rompers are an easy option for summertime events. They can be dressed up by means of accessories, or worn completely casually. There are many straight size and plus size options in-store and online. I opted to wear a black & white color palette- simple yet classic. 
I kept my accessories to a minimal, and added a white shirt tied at the waist for a touch of edge and additional coverage.
Of course wearing white to a Barbeque can be a bit of a risk, but what can I say, I’m a risk-taker! LOL!!! I'm loving the color palettes served up by Ivory and Dionna, aren't we gorgeous!?
Until next time Babes!!
Hat:Shiraleah | Romper:Juicy | Watch: c/o JORD Wood Watches| White shirt: Borrowed from my husband 
Peep toe booties: Marshalls| Lucite bangles: Nordstrom Rack| Sunnies: Nordstrom

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Curls & Color

If you’ve been following my blog over the years, you may have noticed that I like to change my hair styles frequently. I let my natural hair grow long for several years, but last Summer I was in the mood for a change, so I chopped it all off for a short haircut (picture here).
Of course, here we are one year later, and I’ve changed my mind, again… Alas I must patiently wait until my hair grows back. In the interim, I find protective styling to be a staple to my natural hair care regime. They offer me length and versatility all while maintaining the health of my natural hair. Protective styling comes in a number of styles. My two favorites protective styles are wigs and braided extensions (see examples here & here).
During the years that I wore my natural hair long, I had to forgo my favorite protective styling options simply because they weren't conducive. I cannot contain my excitement that I finally get to wear wigs again! I made my very first purchase of remi hair with Bobbi Boss almost 15 years ago. I am excited to be able to review and share my recent experience with one their premium human hair wigs!*
 I am wearing the Bobbi Boss “MHLF-G” lace front unit. The color is a “2”. This color is a bit lighter than I expected. I will darken it a bit with temporary dye.The wig has a lace inset in the front, around the hairline, and slightly to the side to allow for a natural looking part. There are 3 combs in the netted cap to help secure the unit, and 2 adjustable straps in the back to loosen or tighten for your personal comfort. I wear my hair in corn rows underneath, and find the combs to be most helpful. Note: you do not need to use adhesive to apply this unit.
The wig is made from 100% premium remi human hair. The texture is naturally curly, it has a wonderful sheen, and is very soft. I've washed it twice, using the same shampoos and conditioners that I use on my own natural hair (which is also curly).
This Bobbi Boss lace front unit is an excellent addition to my hair stash; I anticipate styling it in many ways! 
Stay tuned my Loves....

*Today’s post was sponsored by Bobbi Boss Hair.

Sunnies: Forever 21| Statement necklace: Nordstrom Rack| Vest: NY Collection 
Dress: Cynthia Rowley, worn here also| Sandals: Kelly & Katie

Monday, June 20, 2016

Step into Summer with SWAK

Hi Dolls!!! June 20th marks the official first day of Summer 2016 {eagerly inserts happy dance emoji}.Unbelievably we are already in the middle of our very first heatwave of the season. How's the weather in your part of the world? In typical girly, style loving fashion, I'm celebrating the very first day of Summer by sharing with you a few of my favorite summer pieces, c/o SWAK Designs. SWAK sells plus size clothing from size 1x-6x. Last month when I received SWAK’s Splish Splash Summer 2016 Look Book via email, I was blown away!!! Beautiful colors, fantastic prints, and summertime goodness was served! 
For starters, take a gander at this wonderful butterfly print duster (Darla Duster). I’m wearing a size 1X. I absolutely swoon over it each and every single time that I wear it. I’ve mentioned before how usually when I acquire a new piece, I like to wear it several times in short succession. This helps me to get a true feel for the piece, and to generate more ideas of how I’d like to style it in the future. So far with this duster I’m already up to 4 times of wear and counting -and I’ve only had it for 2 weeks! The look as pictured here was worn on a getaway with my husband. I found it to be fabulously suitable for day life on the resort and night life out with the girls. During the day, I opted to pair it with flat black suede thong sandals.I wore it actually as pictured, for the night. This duster flows gloriously, and the fabric breathes.  An added bonus for gals on the short side: The length. Despite my height, even without my heels, it does not touch the ground, at all.
Next up we have a great floral maxi dress staple. Maxi dresses are synonymous with warm weather as is floral prints, this dress is no exception. Her name is ‘Erin’ and she has a fantastic print with wonderfully soft material that ebbs and flows. One thing that I really appreciate in all clothing items is versatility. I try to think about how many ways an item can be styled, prior to purchasing it. I can see this dress styled with a belt and cardigan (lightweight or heavy duty, depending on your need/preference) making for a great look in the Spring or Fall. Since the temperatures were in the triple digit zone when I wore/styled this, I opted for a minimal approach. Doesn't going minimal always equate to feeling 'cooler'? LOL! I added a simple gold filigree necklace along with cork heels to fit the bill. Note: This dress is long. If you have long legs and or are tall, you can wear heels with this dress, and it will still look like a maxi dress. If you're on the shorter side like me, not to worry, it can be knotted in a variety of ways, including as pictured here. I wore it with a side knot and frontal knot, and noticed that both ways vary up the length considerably. Plus, I have on four inch heels ;)
Last but certainly not least, we take a stroll over to the tropics via the Lani Wrap Dress. Lani has a wonderful print that makes me think of Hawaiian luau under the stars. It is very generous in size. I’m wearing a size 1X, but could have easily sized down. Actually, I couldn't size down because SWAK starts at at 1x :) Wearing a US size fourteen offers me opportunities to shop straight sizes along with plus sizes. One added benefit that I appreciate about shopping plus sizes is that the sizing is generally generous, versus on the small/tight side. 

Actually, I’ve blogged several looks from SWAK in the past that you may enjoy; See examples here, here, and here
Well Loves, I hope that this stroll through down summertime lane via SWAK designs has left you inspired and brimming with new ideas.
Until next time,
1st look: Duster, c/o SWAK Designs-Halter top: Buffalo- Satin Pants: Sejour -Black shoes: Aldo- Sunnies: Marshalls
2nd look: Maxi dress, c/o SWAK Designs- Sunnies: Francesca’s- Cork sandals: Market

3rd look: Wrap dress, c/o SWAK Designs – Headscarf: Vintage- Sunnies: Nordstrom- Statement necklace: TJMAXX- Floral print heels: Unisa

Friday, June 17, 2016

Little White Dress

It is summertime Dolls, lets start talking about our summer essentials! To start, every gal needs an LWD, that is a little white dress! LWD (Little White Dress) season is upon us!!!
Sure, sure, we've all heard about the importance of the LBD (little black dress) wardrobe staple, but how often do we focus on its distant cousin, the little white dress?
One thing to note: You may want to make a new purchase each summer, as white is challenging to keep crisp and clean while you're out and about having fun. I cannot count how many white dresses I have gone through to date, but that doesn't lessen my love for them one bit! In fact, one thing that helps me is: shop the clearance racks and the thrift shop ;)
I opted to go a slightly different route this sunny season, this dress isn't a crisp white, but rather more so an 'off white'. Additionally due to the cut and style of it, it is easily paired with a pencil skirt (I wore it like that to the office), bell bottom jeans, or leggings. Versatility is the name of my game!
The weather has been such a ball of confusion lately, I need to dress for extreme heat shortly followed by a stiff breeze (as soon as the evening hours begin). Layers are a SoCal mandatory style practice, I like to use textural interest as my focus.
Furry outer layer, smooth interior layer, fringed edges, and suede + knit to boot :)
True to my style heart (vintage love) most of my looks incorporate a vintage piece or two in some way/shape/ or form. Can you spot the vintage goodies sprinkled in this look?
I hope you're staying cool & stylish in your neck of the woods Babes, until next time!

Sunnies: Nordstrom| Pearl earrings: Lord & Taylor, old| Pearl necklace; Vintage| Vest: Ross Dress for Less| Sheath dress: Rachel Roy, size L (for sale here)| Knit clutch; Vintage| Fringe Boots: Minnetoka Moccasin Co.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

About Purple

Today’s post features a double dose of genius by way of designers A Leapof Style & K. Jones! Can we discuss this beyond fantastic purple-licious ankara “Garden Midi” in Aztec Berry?! If you follow A Leap of Style on Instagram, no doubt you’ve been swept away by her exhilarating designs and color implosions. I have several personal favorites...
I was so psyched about the opportunity to showcase one her creations that I just had to go double duty and style it in two ways!!! The first look (scroll down for the second look) is my idea of a gander on the casual side- think taking in a meal, meeting friends for Sunday brunch, date night, or even an afternoon of shopping.
I mentioned in my previous post (see here) how I love incorporating suede elements during warm weather versus saving it solely for cool temperatures. I added in a touch of teal by way of suede pumps (previously worn here) and a satin oversized clutch. It seemed like the perfect accompaniment to the purple dominated color palette. 
This custom-made, one of a kind necklace was designed and created by K.Jones. I first discovered it on Instagram. It is exquisite in every single way. I think it goes with this Ankara midi skirt in a way like no other. The necklace is from her “Sienna Sun Collection”. It is made of purple cedrella calantas pods, hand painted wood beads and coconut shells creating a statement in an effortlessly chic way. Visit K. Jones here, and take 10% off your order by using code “JOI10”.
For look number two, I aimed for a more classic approach, but with the unexpected element of a print toss-up. I heart mixed prints!!! See examples here, here, here, and here. This look translates well at the office, for worship, and for an evening out.
Truly, I like this skirt styled both ways, and I already have several additional ideas in mind...which may very well play out on the blog, eventually - stay tuned! 
Separates are made to be mixed and matched; Experiment with multiple ways of doing so, and never forget to have fun with it!!

Until next time Dolls,

Sunnies: Nordstrom & Marshalls |Statement necklace: c/o K. Jones| Tops: Express & Ralph Lauren| Watch: c/o JORD Wood Watches
Skirt: c/o A Leap of Style| Shoes: Audrey Brooke & Victoria’s Secret catalog| Clutch: Thrifted

Monday, June 13, 2016

An Epiphany

Today’s look features a faux suede button-up dress by GITI online (see previous feature here) styled in two ways. Although it is a dress, I opted to style it as a cardigan. We often think of wearing suede solely during cooler months, but I find that it actually can be incorporated into the warmer weather months as well. 
For me, it takes a bit of forethought- which is no biggie, as I plan out my wardrobe 85% of the time! I couldn’t make up my mind on which look I liked best, so I decided to blog both of them for you. Which look is your favorite?
I had an opportunity to escape from city life for some R&R (rest and relaxation) for a few days, I now find myself feeling renewed and determined =) While away I had time to pamper myself each day, which felt wonderful because self-love is one of the most important kinds.
One of my favorite ways to pamper myself whether I’m away or at home, is by way of a long hot bath, with lots of bubbles, shortly followed by a full body exfoliation. I use a number of products, including a homemade mixture of granulated sugar, olive oil, and water. For several nights I indulged in a recently purchased chocolate scrub made with real cocoa (I discussed it on Snapchat/InMyJoi). It smells ah-mazing, and makes my skin feel fantastic!
One night during a bath I found myself deep in thought; A hot bath always helps me to sort out things in my mind and to eliminate toxic subject matter. I reflected on personal personality changes and my perception of the changes that I’ve undergone in the past few years. I realized in that moment, that within myself, I have resisted and even felt a measure of resentment in reference to some of the changes that I’ve observed in myself. It’s as if I’ve somehow told myself that the ‘old’ me was better and or superior to who I am today.
Internal change is often the result of personal growth and life experience(s). It occurred to me that there was nor is any valid reason for me feel resentment of any kind about the woman that I have become. This woman has weathered tall challenges and notable life changes. She has emerged no longer inexperienced, but brimming with wisdom, and a deeper understanding of who she is at her core. In fact, I realized that the woman that I am today is actually on the path to becoming the absolute best possible version of “me”! 
Change is an inevitable fact of life, and it is the only thing that is forever consistently constant. Instead of resisting changes within myself, I am on the path to understand them, and in turn: embrace them. Does that make sense? Well it most certainly did to me, at least during my ‘Aha’ moment with a glass of wine- LOL!!!
I look forward to reading your thoughts below!

P.S. You may take 5% off your order with GITI online by using code “joi” at checkout.

Until next time Loves,

Sunnies: Tildon & Forever 21|Dress: Express, worn previously here |Suede button-up dress: c/o GITI online, here (size 1X)
Top: Forever 21, worn here |Skirt: Vince Camuto, worn here |Shoes: Pour La Victoire, worn here & Market
Bangles: H&M, worn here |Watch: c/o JORD Wood Watches, see here & here |Clutch: Vintage, thrifted

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ruffles for the Win

Unitedly Plus returns today with a brand new style theme. Can you guess what it is?! That’s right: R U F F L E S! Ruffles are on total trend this summer, as was predicted last year. However, the fun frill actually falls under the category of ‘classic oldie but goody’. I’ve certainly worn my share of ruffles from elementary school onward... 
Romantic, girly, full of frills – nothing channels feminine vibes quite like ruffles. Yes, they’ve made a strong come back. You can find them along hemlines, shoulders, sleeves, and by way of cascading tiers.
To minimize the ultra feminine effect, you might opt to pair them with distressed and or boyfriend jeans – even a denim skirt. I am a girly girl in every single way, so I capitalized on this opportunity to take femininity to the max.
This dress creates a sense of drama and intrigue, which makes it perfect for a night out. I love how it also incorporates an off the shoulder tease, just for fun. It is most definitely Spanish-inspired, I can totally picture myself dancing the night away under the starry skies of Tulum…
When Sheena (I Am She Global) and Sahily (Pretty in Pigment) both agreed that we would go with ruffles as our theme this month, I was elated! But then, I had to think long and hard as to whether or not I actually still had a ruffle piece in my collection. You see, I generally rotate items out every few months and I remembered that I had donated several ruffled pieces.
I conducted a thorough search of my closet, and there appeared before my eyes this ruffled beauty that I’ve only worn a couple of times (see here). Although I simply love any “reason” to go shopping, I felt a sense of pride in shopping my very own closet for this look!
Today’s post is a collaboration with Sahily of Pretty in Pigment (Instagram), Sheena of I am She Global (Instagram) and myself. We are Unitedly PlusUnitedly Plus is a dedicated place to celebrate every woman, every body type, every clothing size, and every ethnicity.  We embody inclusivity, honoring the unique beauty that each woman possesses. We encourage all women to embrace and love who they are today. We show how personal style can encourage body positivity, foster self-confidence, and provide an outlet for personal self-expression. 
Please join us in our mission of uniting women from every part of the world, showcasing individual beauty, and authentic creativity! Use the hashtag #unitedlyplus  to be featured on our social media platforms and follow our journey on Instagram (click here) and Facebook (click here)!

Until next time my Loves,


Sunnies: Steve Madden| Dress: Free People (worn here)| Clutch: Forever 21| Watch: c/o JORD Wood Watches| Sandals: Steve Madden