5 Ways I Rewrite the Rules

5 ways to rewrite the rules for your self-care
Hey Loves,
Lately, I have been on the path of self-reflection, not intentionally, but I am quite grateful. It also happens to coincide with my collaboration with Always Infinity. As a woman, a plus size woman, a plus-size woman of color, I am constantly on the move and dealing with tons of emotions whether I want to or not. However, I have made a point to stop & reflect on things I need to work on, and things that I have changed even if I didn’t notice it. This post is talking all about the 5 ways I #rewritetherules.
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Rewriting Your Self Care

Hey Loves,
How many times has your close circle constantly remind you to take care of yourself? How many times do you tell yourself I need to unplug from the world? How many times do you say I’m going to take a solo vacay this year? Now ask yourself how often do you listen to your close circle, do you actually unplug, did you take that vacation? I know in today’s world, we as women are constantly moving, but taking time for self care seems to be something we don’t often. I’m guilty of all of the above.

I’m partnering with Always Infinity again to talk all about the little things I can do to make sure I include self care on my ever growing ‘to-do’ lists.
For me going to my favorite Zumba class leaves me feeling ultra energized. Even after a super long day of events, blog pictures and editing. Especially during that dreaded time of the month, when all I want to do is be lazy. But Always Infinity’s Smartfoam/Flexfoam allows for me to be comfortable during class like any other day. It contours to my body and keeps me feeling confident because my mind is on how my body is moving & grooving to the music of class, not wondering if I’m still protected.
Polar FT4 Watch & Zulu Water Bottle
After sweating my butt off, I need to unwind. Many times I have to force myself to not just take a basic shower and sit down with my laptop & work. I have to remind myself to slow down, take a hot bath to calm my muscles and just reflect on the day. 
ArtNaturals Bathbombs
Once I’m ready for bed, I’m learning to take a page of Marie Denee’s book, of removing the work energy and just relax. I’m often very wired, thinking about the next video to film, or the next post to write. I like to grab a glass of wine, light a few candles and munch on a couple of candies (because why not?!) 
Seattle Chocolates
To some these things may not seem like a lot of self care, but it’s the little things that help me unwind and relax me. Tell me, what are some of your favorite ways of self care?
xoxo
Shay
This post is sponsored by Always Infinity through Socialstars. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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How hating basketball changed my Life

Hey Loves,
Every now & again I like to share a bit of myself with you guys. This post was inspired by a sign I saw the other day. It was advertising the annual girls’ basketball summer camp held at my high school. It immediately brought back TONS of memories both good and bad. You may or may not know I played basketball for 4 years in high school. I played close to 10 months a year. My school team went from November to March then AAU went from April to August. Basically, my life was consumed by basketball. It left little time to do any other sports or after school activities. Something I can honestly regret now. I wanted to do other sports or other things in school but I was constantly reminded that if it interfered with basketball, it was out of the question.

I’ll be honest I was not a good player. Which always shocked people. People were always surprised that at my height & body size I wasn’t one of the best players on the team. My parents tried to get me help, they made sure I got help in the offseason or during the summer. But I never took it seriously. I never wanted to get better on my own. I never took the initiative to go out on my time & work on my game. I found every excuse as to why I couldn’t get better. I would say that “everyone else had brothers to practice with” or “their parents play so they can help” For the life of me I couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to get better. I question why didn’t I have the passion. Why couldn’t I be like my teammates; Jade, Emily, or Megan, who lived & breath the game! So many of teammates would get to practice early to get some extra practice time. They would be at the park on the weekends getting better. They would join the boy’s summer league & play against the best boys so they could get better. And me, well I couldn’t care less about practicing on my own.

I can distinctly remember my mother saying to me on MULTIPLE occasions “your goal is to get a basketball scholarship” She drilled that into my head time & time again. In retrospect, I knew deep in my heart that she wanted that scholarship, not me. All I would do at the time is just agree with her, hoping that with time I would convince myself to want it as much as she did. Funny enough, even though deep down I knew that basketball wasn’t something I wanted to do, I was still scouted by a number of different division 2 & division 3 schools. Even had some real interest from Harvard University. I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider playing ball for Harvard. I mean let’s be real college is expensive and if I could take some of that burden off my parents, why not. Right?! However, when I really sat with myself and thought about if another 4 years of giving my life to basketball were something I wanted, I found myself feeling lost, feeling confused & empty. Especially when my teammates were getting excited about what teams were scouting them. Sometimes I look back on my relationships with my teammates, I wasn’t the best teammate. I was often reclusive & never felt like I fit in. And as much as I want to blame that on my teammates, I just can’t. You’re involved in something that you knew never cared about in the first place, you don’t make a great teammate. That was my reality at that point.
But in the middle of all that, that’s when it hit me that basketball just wasn’t my passion. Now at 26 years old I have come to terms with the fact that basketball was NEVER my passion. I didn’t care enough about the sport to go out of my way to get better. I didn’t care enough to bust my ass to get a scholarship. Because I knew then, even if I didn’t recognize it, that I was only playing basketball because that’s what a girl my size was SUPPOSE to do. At 6 feet 200+ pounds, you play basketball. You don’t do anything else. 

Why is this relevant now? Why is something from high school so prevalent in my adult? It’s simple, my choice to not play in college was me taking some sort of control over my life. That is something I’m making a point to do now as an adult. We hear it all the time, we’re supposed to get a job when school is over (regardless of whether or not it’s what you went to school even like) your happiness is not a factor because you have to get a job to play bills. You take anything cause real life waits for no one. 

When I made the choice to become a full-time blogger, I was scared out of my mind because I didn’t know how I would pay my bills. There were a number of people that I didn’t tell because I knew they would try their best to dissuade me from doing what felt I was meant to do. And when you’re about to make a major life choice like that, the last thing you need or want is someone drilling into your head all the wrong that can happen. Blogging isn’t practical to some people because I don’t go to an office from 9-5 Monday through Friday. Sure, in the beginning, the cash flow isn’t always reliable, but I’ve never been happier. Why? Because I stop doing what I was SUPPOSE to do & starting doing what I was MEANT to do. While it isn’t easy, sometimes miserable, thankless & I’m constantly hustling with no guarantees. It’s totally worth it because I’m living & planning my life according to what God has for me.
Even though I never like playing basketball, it’s a part of my story and I’m grateful for my experiences. And I say all of this to say, sometimes in order to find your happiness you have to stop doing what you’re suppose to do and do what you’re meant to do.
See you in my next post.
xoxo
Shay
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September Inspirational & Motivational Challenge

Inspiration, Motivation
Hey Loves,
I honestly can’t believe that it’s ALREADY September. I feel like we just rang in the new year. But September for me means fall is on it’s way and that is one of my favorite season. I mean let’s be real I know you all are anxious for Starbucks to re-release that Pumpkin Spice latte…don’t lie lol. But for this post, I wanted to do something a bit different. I have been thinking about ways to change my thought process and ways to put myself in healthier state of mind. A lot of times when we talk about health we tend to neglect the mental aspect. So I want to make September an Inspirational & Motivational month.

I’m sure some of you are like “girl what?” I know this is a bit left field for me, but I think I’m going make changes in my life that will ultimately impact the blog (in a good way) I need to change how I think and I need to introduce calming positive vibes into my space. I do have a strong faith in God, but this in no way is trying to convert any of you. I’m sharing this with you because I want to bring you all in on this challenge. 
I challenge myself and you all to do a number of things every single day.
  • Daily Morning Devotional
  • Something physically active
  • -Replace all my negative thoughts & energy with Positive ones
  • -Write something good that happened each day no matter how small it may be.
I’m sure some of you already have some sort of morning routine in place. Kudos to you. I pray that I can keep up with this every single day! I really do hope you all join me in this September Inspirational & Motivational Challenge.
See you all in my next post
xoxo
Shay
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Learning to be okay with not Knowing

Hey Loves,

This post comes from multiple streams of inspiration. As so many of my readers or friends of my readers are graduating, and moving on to the next chapter in their lives…I thought this post is a perfect time to be a bit open with you all. So here goes…
I was sitting in a meeting with the VP of marketing for one of my favorite brands just chatting & catching up, and she asked me about how things were going…you know outside of the blog. She knew from the last time we spoke that I was struggling career wise. While I’m in a better place than I was a year ago, I am FAR from where I want to be or where I see myself. And as I was talking to her, I realized that I really & truly have no earthly clue or idea of what I’m suppose to being doing or should be doing with my life.
I think to openly admit that I am sincerely lost in what I want to do it life is a bit disheartening & rather disappointing because sometimes I feel like I’m moving like tumbleweed…which ever way the wind blows, that’s where I go. And I really don’t want to be that way. 
At 25 I feel like I should be doing soooooo much more with my career and I don’t even know where to start. Of course it’s even harder to see my friends & peers walk into their careers. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for everyone’s success. But I would be lying if I said it did it make me stop & think “what is it that I’m not doing right” Or “what and I doing wrong” So for the sake of my sanity I try not to dwell on all that. And many days I don’t think about it. I just go about my day; blogging, writing, working and in those moments when my mind is occupied, I’m fine. I can function. But there are days and moments when I’m remind that the light bill is due, my cell phone bill is due, Sallie Mae is calling about my loans, I need to upgrade my blog, I have buy certain items to complete a look for the blog etc. & my pay check just doesn’t cover all of that.
Some days I just want to shut down, because I’m constantly reminded by certain people ( I won’t say their name because they might read this) that I should be doing this or I should be doing that…or I should be working here  or working there because they know a friend’s kid is doing well and we’re the same age. I feel like I’m suppose to have the answer because everyone seems to have the answer. You know because they’re coming out of college with jobs, they’re going to grad school and getting their Master’s or J.D. or some other advanced degree and I’m just here with my blog, my laptop & my camera.
I stop and think everyday, maybe I should just do what’s expected, take something with a pay check and live my life. But that’s not where my heart is. Then it hits me, I don’t have the luxury of following my heart. Bills come first. I’m a firm believer in all things happen for a reason. I believe God does things to you and for you, for a plethora of reasons. He’ll take you out of situations that he knows aren’t good for you in the long run. He moves you in directions that will help you build the proper foundation for something awesome that will come when you are ready. 
When I was working full time at a major media company, I was making a decent amount of money for a recent college grad. The company I was at, was very well known and could possibly open a million doors with the right experience. But I was utterly miserable at work. Actually I think miserable is an understatement. When I lost that job, of course it was a major blow. Of course I thought damn, there goes my pay check…how am I gonna pay my bills. I cried about it for a weekend, but by that Monday I went back on my grind to finding a job in the same field. But I started to see that jobs in which I knew I was more than qualified for, I just wasn’t getting them. It made me think, like clearly God is telling me this is not the place for you. And I’ve been spiraling ever since. 
I’ll be honest, my keyboard is wet with tears after writing this post. I’m trying my best to remain positive. In my prayers I continue to ask for guidance, for understanding and I continue to be thankful for the blessings in front of me. I have more than I had last year. The blog is doing better than it was last year, my relationship is in an even better place than it was last year. 
This is a process for me and everyday I just have to learn to stay strong. So many times some of my readers think I don’t know what they’re going through. Some tend to think I live in a different world because I blog, go to fun events, and get free stuff. But I live a very real life, that is not always glamorous. I wanted to share this because I’m sure someone else out there is going through the same thing. If that is you, please know that you are not alone. 
Let me know if you’ve ever felt like this. See you in my next post.
xoxo
Shay 
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ATGC Inspiration; Quelsz

I’m really excited to do this post, it is long over due. I’m always about supporting and celebrating women that are doing positive things. So I immediately thought of my friend Quelsz. I met her through a mutual friend of ours and ever since then I have kept up with her weight loss journey for the last couple years. I think for all us who are looking to loss weight, change our lifestyles, she is the ultimate inspiration. I know #lowkey when I don’t wanna do my squats or anything, I look at her pictures and it pushes me. So lets meet her shall we?  


How old are you?
24 years young
How much weight have you lost?
As of 12/812, I’ve lost 100lbs. NATURALLY! 🙂
What really changed your mind to start you weight loss journey?
One day on my way to work an elderly woman stopped me and broke down crying. She told me I looked just like her granddaughter, who had a “beautiful face but was too overweight”. Her granddaughter died at 21. Being in my early 20s at 5’2 and 260+ lbs, something had to change. My weight was up and down at first and my lifestyle wasn’t permanent until about two years after that when I was really able to get into shape MENTALLY… Now, there’s no stopping me.
Who is your biggest supporter?
His name is Donnie, he’s like my better half. He’s been there rooting me on through every pound. When I didn’t have any family on my side, I always had him. Even when I drive him up the wall with my STUPIDNESS or when I feel like quitting, he didnt stray. That’s like my best friend. I love that guy with everything!
What are you favorite exercises?
Spin, turbo fire and Zumba! I love cardio! 
(I rock out to zumba!)
How do you stay focused? 
Simple, I think about returning to my old life and DYEING! Also, I look at how far I come, how great I feel and look and I just don’t ever wanna go back. Sonething else that helps its ive broadcasted my journey. everybody is watching me i cant stop now. I’m so HAPPY, a happiness I never knew I lacked.
What are some of your favorite stores to shop in?
Im loving forever 21 and h&m right now. Honestly, I’m just now branching out into shopping at new places. When I was bigger, I kept it so simple and cheap because I didn’t want to try new things. Now, I have a totally different confidence and I’m ready to SHOP!
What are some fashion trends that you are excited to try?
High-low dresses and shirts! Something so classy and sexy about it. Also, I was never really a fan of buttondowns because my stomach was freakishly huge. Now I freaking love a nice buttondown with skinny jeans. I lost weight in my feet so now I can shop for more boots and heels! WINNING!!!
(its always the little things in life that make a difference. I loved how she couldn’t wait to wear a simple button up!) 
A lot of girls (and guys) want to lose weight and try to but don’t see results right away. What advice would you give them?
Look, baby steps! Everybody will tell you the typical “eat right and exercise” and while that is key, you also have to have patience. Don’t rush it. Ask yourself this, would you rather go on a fad diet and lose a substantial amount of weight and gain or back, or would you rather take your time creating a healthy lifestyle, lose weight overtime and KEEP IT OFF?! Your ENTIRE journey will have some trial and error. Years later I still try new exercises or foods that just DON’T work and its ok. Don’t target train and DON’T expect to be perfect. Sometime there’s a WEEK where ill eat the FRIDGE! It happens. It’s all a learning experience. 
What goes through your head when someone says you’re their inspiration?
It’s surreal and flattering. I knew I was born to change and inspire, but I didn’t know this would be how. I’m saving lives, how do you take that? Those people keep me going!
Well she keeps me going. Even if I don’t tell her. I’ve watched very stage she has gone through. When I see her reach a new goal, it makes me think okay yea I can definitely do this. And I mean come she is rather fashionable. So its a total win/win lol But in all seriousness, check out her blog SizeQuelsz to keep up with her and see just how far she has come.  So this is why Quelsz is my inspiration. She struggled but she accomplished something AMAZING. She did what she needed to do in order to better her life. And as you can see it she has no plans on going back.
So until next time loves
xoxo
Shay
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ATGC Inspiration…Sukanya Krishnan

Sukanya Krishnan aka Suki is one of the morning anchors of PIX 11 in the NJ/NY metro area. As someone who has her degree in communications I am prone to watching the news for my own personal entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that Suki is one of my favorite anchors. She truly is hilarious but has a certain kind of charm.

Every morning I know will get a good laugh during the 3 hours that she is on air. But she also has a way of finding the right time to be serious and drive her points home. I enjoy the fact that she knows how to be herself and still be professional. She has her own voice. When I was in school I have heard many journalist that say you have to have your own voice when reporting the news. She is definitely one of my career idols, and at one point in time when I thought I was going to be a news anchor I looked up to all that is Suki lol

Krishnan has won numerous community service awards, including honors from the NYPD and the NJ State and Local Police Departments, as well as many others from Indian American organizations for representing South Asians in the media.
Her Emmy awards include a 2002 recognition for her coverage as a live reporter on 9-11, and back-to-back Emmys in 2005 and 2006 for On-Camera Achievement (NEWS) Anchor/Host.
Since 2002, Krishnan has been involved with World Cares, an organization that helps first responders and fosters safe and effective disaster response and resilient recovery within communities.

WPIX.com

But beyond her talent what really drew me to her obviously is fact that she is multicultural and that she is #teamcurvywoman. And she does support the movement of not just “pro curvy women” but body acceptance. Loving and accepting yourself regardless of your body size. check the insert from her interview with Plus Model Mag back in 2008 

[Mia] You’ve got fans in the curvy community for, among other things, covering the latest in plus fashions on the CW 11 Morning News.  Do you make a concerted effort to help out your fellow curvy fashionistas?


[Sukanya]  I love doing segments for everyone but the curvy woman, I think, is forgotten much of the time.  We live in such a society and we are fed these messages everyday that being skinny is beautiful. There’s is such an emphasis on it. I hope to put a different spin on it. Beauty comes in different shapes and sizes and I hate the “one size fit’s all” version of beauty. I just like putting forward a healthy idea of loving the skin that you are in and living a healthy lifestyle. It’s a lesson I’m learning about everyday. 

Plus Model Magazine

I remember when she was pregnant and think she is still so fly!
 My fave!

We all need people to look up to and Suki has been one of top favorite. Dont get me wrong I love the entire PIX 11 morning cast Frances Rivera, Linda Church, Tamsen Fadal, Lisa Mateo, Craig Treadway, James Ford, Lionel, Dan Mannarino, Hilary Whittier, and Mike Gilliam LOVE ALL YOU GUYS!

until next time,

xoxo
Shay

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Her Royal Flyness

A lot of ladies always ask me where do I get my inspiration from. And a lot of times I just scratch the surface. But to be honest I grab my inspiration from so many places. Of course other blogs dedicated to curvy women. Tumblr (i mean who doesn’t get inspired by Tumblr), fashion magazines, but really my inspiration is very much stereotypical. A lot of it comes from celebrities and models (yup straight size women). some of my favorite fashion icons are Rihanna, Cassie, Zoe Saldana, and Solange, just to name a few. When ever I see them in something that I like, I go into shopping mode. I either end up at the mall or I go shopping in my closet because I’m trying to find my own spin on what they have.

Clearly you all know I’m gonna find the budget friendly version, and tweaking it to fit my body. I look at women like Chanel Iman and salivate…not cause I wanna be her body size, but cause 9 times out of 10 I want the bag on her arm or the shoes on her feet.

I do follow quite a few straight size fashion blogs, because I am infatuated with how these women put outfits together. You all know I don’t let my body dictate what I wear. I’m always trying something different. I think that’s what fashion means to me. Being inspired, feeling good in what you’re wearing.

My favorite fashion bloggers
Dulce Tejeda from Dulcecandy
 Alissa from Stylishcurves


I spend a lot of time cruising different blogs just to see what other woman are wearing, to see what’s in (of course). And naturally I do a lot of online window shopping . One cause most of the time I’m broke lol but places will put together looks as advertisements for different items, and what ever catches my eye, I make a point to recreate.
 So all in all my inspirations comes from all over. like most you, but I figured I would answer all the questions in one shot!

Where do you get your inspiration?

xoxo
Shay

*photos are credited to their owners
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Love from my followers

One day I was cruising my email and I got an email from one of my followers. She showed me so much love. The email she sent me really moved me. It made me realize that even if my numbers say only 160 followers, God allows me to reach others beyond that.

Her name is LaShay and she’s from DC. She submitted a outift as well. But being that I love the email so much, I want to share it with you all.

Peace Shay!
My name is also Shay…well…Lashay. Im from the DC area & this is a casual fall outfit I wore to church. Im an avid thrift store connoisseur but my black cardigan & smoke gray sequined v-neck top are from Lerner NY, earrings are from a really kewl local african jewelry store, black tights are from Target, jeweled turtle brooche, black loafers {shoulda wore my heels to look taller lol}, & mustard yellow corduroy skirt from the thrift store. Hope you post my my pic on your blog even though im sure get like thousands of emails everyday from very beautifully, fashionable ladies. I love your blog & Tumblr. I wish you continued success & blessings in all you do. You’re a wonderful influence on thick females from all over as well as well non-thick ones lol. Im not an extreme fashionista but I mos def know what looks good. And you are fierce gurl! Aight that’s all, enjoy your day…lata 🙂

Ain’t she sweet?!?! Check out her outfit below!

much love to Shay from Shay lol

xoxo

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IFB Project; Fashion…Media…Evolution

Hey ladies, Independent Fashion Bloggers project #11…I love doing these projects and being apart of such fierce community. It’s fun to see what inspires other people!

Top Ten Magzines/Fashion Sites that inspire me!
Chictopia– I love seeing the outfits. It’s one thing to seeing just the clothes in a magazine, but to see them on someone, it makes the vision come to life.
Polyvore– What girl doesn’t like to play with her imagination. Polyvore lets me play dress up as a grown woman. #epicwin
Instyle– There are no words to explain wow awesome Instyle is. Fierce fashion, beautiful women, top designers, amazing ideas…#win
Plus Model Magazine– My blog is all about Showcasing, Supporting and celebrating fierce plus size fashionistas. This magazine lets me know that the industry is starting to realize that size is just a number. Being fierce comes in all sizes.
Frantic Dreams– Franceta’s blog just gives me life. Not only is she a thick female, she is tall and fierce. I stand at 6’0 Franceta is 6’5 and every time I see her clothes, I just drool cause she always looks amazing.
Self– Self magazine keeps me coming back because it allows me to read about ideas on how to stay healthy but still love amazing, and comfortable in my own skin.
The Sneakerette– Eileen is one of my favorite bloggers. I live a pair of sneakers just as much as a pair of heels. And Eileen feeds my sneaker soul. Her kicks are fly, and I love that she is still a girl. Meaning that she rocks these fly as sneakers, but pairs them with great make-up and nail art!
Cosmopolitan-Cosmo inspires me because I always feel like it is a magazine just for me. The young women that grace the cover are perfect for the nature of the magazine. It keeps me updated about all things in the media most definitely including the fashion.
Nadia– There are no words to explain the fierceness that is Nadia. She makes me proud to be curvy. Her imagination and creativity seem endless. I love that most of her outfits are thrifted, she brings new life to these clothes. And girl has got a FIERCE SHOE GAME!
Dulce Candy– I recently discovered her blog about 2 weeks ago, and I fell in love immediately. I saw her post on wearing pajama pants with a yellow top, and orange shoes. I promise you, I fell off my bed. I love her handbags, and the shoes…*2 snaps*
xoxo
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