Month: June 2014

Lingerie Sale Alert!!

SALESALE Feeling left out of Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale? Never fear! Several shops offering fabulous plus-size lingerie are having their OWN sales!!!  
  • Bare Necessities is offering up to 50% off on select styles through July 7!
  • CurvyGirlz Lingerie is offering 30% off from June 30 to July 15. Just use the code "JULY4HOLIDAY" at check out!
  • Frederick's of Hollywood is having its semi-annual sale - didn't know they had plus-size? You betta ask somebody!!
  • Full Beauty, an online retailer, is also having a semi-annual sale on bras (although it's not clear precisely when the sale ends).
  • Hips & Curves is offering a bunch of specials - check it out!
  • Just My Size, perennial favorite of plus-size ladies everywhere, is also offering summer deals on everything from bras and panties to swimwear and clothes!
  • Lane Bryant's lingerie line, Cacique, is having a semi-annual sale through July 20, where you can get 4 bras for the price of 2 (woot, woot!) and 5 panties for $25.
  • You can find more info about shops offering plus-size lingerie at my shopping guide, Curvy Shops.
  I am especially feeling motivated to re-stock my lingerie collection after last week's event at Le Bustiere where I learned that I was *totally* wearing the wrong bra size. (Just goes to show you that you need to get your measurements done regularly because you might gain weight things change.)

Monday Morning Memo – What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

NEW monday-morning-memo "We must be willing to give up the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come." You say you want to spend more time with family, get more sleep, or take advantage of that free yoga pass before it expires. Yet you find yourself still working extra hours, schlepping home exhausted, and then passing out in front of the television only to wake up and do the same thing all over again the next day. How long will we continue to repeat this same cycle? When will we make a real, honest assessment of our lives and the finite amount of time we have to achieve that which we say we want? Not just in terms of our careers, but in terms of our lives? Then - and here's the big question - what are we willing to sacrifice in order to get it? These are all tough questions...and will yield a tough, but important answer. Here's hoping for some major breakthroughs. Have a great week, everyone!

What to Wear to Work in the Heat of Summer

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Once again, temperatures are soaring and the summer is upon us. While it may be tempting to let all concerns about fashion and style slide to the wayside, you still have meetings to attend, interviews to ace, and businesses to run. So, here are a few tips to help you keep up your corporate cuteness despite the heat of summer.



Stick to lightweight, yet sturdy fabrics. This first tip might seem pretty obvious, but you would be amazed at how many things that seem like they would work perfectly for the office due to their lightweight nature end up turning into a frumbled mess before you've even set foot behind your desk. In my experience, 100% cotton or linen pieces, though very comfortable and cooling, tend to wrinkle entirely too easily. If you go for items with a blend of synthetic and natural fibers (like linen and jersey, cotton and polyester, etc.), you will have a winning combination - something that is breathable, but sturdy; comfortable, yet not entirely too cheap or cheesy looking (always a risk with the synthetic stuff).



Let your clothes do the work. Now you know I love a great statement necklace. However, with temperatures tip-toeing around triple digits, I'm not eager to wear my usual chunky necklace. (Unless, of course, we are speaking of my beloved Hot Girls Pearls.) So, another great way to amp up your look without piling on accessories is to let your clothes do the work for you. What does this mean? Well, first off, you can chose apparel in bold colors or prints. Perhaps do a bit of color blocking, which is STILL going strong as a trend. Another great option is to go for items with embellished features - little accents like beads, bows, or lace in the design that give it that extra za za zu...and saves you from having to do too much more to stand out with your look. Even a unique neckline could do the trick. Here are a few examples...



embellished tops

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dresses with an accent

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The dress code is still in effect. Sorry ladies. As much as I promote our right to bare arms, sleeveless looks are still a no-no for a corporate office environment. (Yes, I do realize I just posted a bunch of sleeveless dresses. This is where layering comes into play.) If layering is too much of a hassle, consider some alternatives - like a piece with 3/4 length or kimono sleeves - that will give you coverage but also give you a bit of breathing room in the heat![pullquote]Exception to the Rule: Even though it is generally unacceptable to wear open-toed shoes in the office, I have observed enough high-powered women in action to feel confident in advising that it is oh-kay to wear open-toed sandals during the summer. But I'm talking SANDALS here, ladies. NOT flip-flops. Not even during your commute and then switching underneath your desk. Just don't do it.[/pullquote]



Don't forget the pretty! Yes. I know. It seems almost laughable to think about wearing makeup in the dog days of summer. However, I do try to decorate my face at least a *little* in the summer. In case you missed it the first time around, be sure to check out my seven steps to stay-put summer beauty. (One tip that isn't in this list, but that I subsequently learned from August Skin is using powder-based foundation. Honestly, I usually just gave up on the idea of foundation altogether during the summer. But with this little tip, I'm rocking powder foundation AND blush on days when the heat and humidity are behaving themselves.)



So, there you have it! My best bets for maintaining your fashion sense when the weather makes absolutely no sense. Are there any areas that you think I might have missed? Please ask questions and share your own tips in the comments section!

Monday Morning Memo – Love Your Job, But….

NEW monday-morning-memo"Love your job, but don't love your company, because you may not know when your company stops loving you." - Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India       I stumbled upon this quote as part of a larger post on Facebook about work/life balance. Because the post itself was so rich, I decided to include it as well. There is tons of commentary I could add, but honestly, I think the image below speaks for itself. always leave the office on time Thought-provoking, eh? While I don't think that working long hours inherently means that you are inefficient (because I'm sorry, there actually IS enough work to do that you could work constantly for weeks on end and still never finish), this definitely gives you some food for thought. Have a great week, everyone!

Did someone say FREE TICKETS!?!?!

Sip. Swap. Shop.(FB)Tomorrow evening, T. Espinosa, aka The Style Medic will be hosting a Curvy Girl version of one of her fabulous Sip. Swap. Shop. events and yours truly has TEN tickets to giveaway to the event!   Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so e-mail me right away!!   Sip. Swap. Shop.(FB)   For more details about the swap CLICK HERE!   Hope to see you there!!!

Monday Morning Memo – Love Yourself Like Kanye Loves Himself

NEW monday-morning-memoNEW monday-morning-memo"Come on, now! How could someone be me and want to be someone else?" - Kanye West   Do ever find yourself wrestling with low self-esteem? Well, if you ever find that those affirmations aren't just getting the job done, just pretend to be Kanye West. The Kanye-Fidence Generator should help. (Shout outs to Kendra of EmbraceSelfLove for hipping me to this resource via The Kendra Sebelius Daily.) Seriously, even if you hate the guy, you have to check this thing out. It amazing to read all of his ridiculousness in succession. Enjoy!

Real-Life Curvy CEO! Safiya Jafari Simmons

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I'm so excited to bring you this next featured entrepreneur, Safiya Jafari Simmons, owner of Safiya Jafari Simmons Consulting. She is a new acquaintance of mine, but is already proving to be a true source of inspiration and encouragement. When I learned more about her story, I knew that I had to feature her as a Real-Life Curvy CEO!

1. Tell me about your company, Safiya Jafari Simmons Consulting. Safiya Jafari Simmons Consulting is a boutique communications and strategy firm in Washington, DC. We specialize in, as our motto says, "Giving Voice to Your Vision™." We aim to help purpose-passionate clients develop compelling messages, and then make sure they get those messages in front of the appropriate audiences through strategic communications, PR and media relations work. We also offer operations strategy, helping small businesses, individuals, nonprofits and organizations run more effectively and efficiently. Our mission is to support and empower others to do their best work!

2. Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? My husband would say he always knew, but I didn't. My father has always been an entrepreneur, often with more than one venture at a time. So I grew up in a home where if there wasn't a road, you were expected to blaze one. I've had a number of fantastic (and frightening!) employment opportunities, but I always came back to consulting. Being self-employed enables me to invest my time in my husband and children and in the organizations, people and issues that encourage and inspire me. And, as I've grown, I've realized that I've needed each of my employment experiences in order to really appreciate and understand this season.

3. What has been the most surprising thing about being an entrepreneur? The most challenging? The most rewarding? I am consistently having "pinch myself" moments when I can't believe that I'm doing what I'm doing, going where I'm going, or meeting who I'm meeting. That's always a welcomed surprise every time I think about it: you can be fulfilled in your job; it's not just a necessary evil of adulthood.

The most challenging? The most challenging is definitely the amount of faith it takes. To do this, and do it well and successfully, I am constantly checking my anxieties, worries and concerns at the door. I know that the talents I have, the gifts I have, they were instilled in me for a reason - to do exactly what I'm doing now for these precise clients. So when things get tight - money, pipeline to clients, or project deadlines - I reassure myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. This is all orchestrated and ordained. All I have to do is trust my God and work the plan; the rest will be taken care of!

The most rewarding? The flexibility that I have. I am finally in a space where I can invest as much in my husband and kids as I have in previous bosses and jobs. It is priceless to be able to land a client interview or op-ed in the morning, watch my children perform at school, and then network and court new business before putting the kids to bed. That feeling -- that I've invested my 24 hours in things that are important to me - is absolutely the best feeling.

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4. How do you negotiate all of the various hats your wear - businesswoman, wife, mother? It's never easy, but having a supporting partner - a man who believes in me, my dreams and my abilities to an unbelievable degree - and a strong faith are the only way I can accomplish anything. And I try to remember that if I take care of home well and consistently (my first and most important job) then doing the other things will be easier and that much more fulfilling.

5. What advice would you give to another young woman who is thinking about going into business for herself? Don't run into self-employment with reckless abandon, no plan, and simply to escape the 9-to-5 grind. I work more hours now than I did in all of my jobs. Continue to strategically entertain traditional opportunities that can equip you to be your best you and build your network and skillset. Put a plan in place, and then work that plan. I learned a tremendous amount at every job - the good, the bad and the painful - and I needed each of those experiences to prepare me for this. Also, get a mentor or a sponsor who is fully invested in and who completely believes in your ability.

6. What is your vision for Safiya Jafari Simmons Consulting - 2 years from now? 5 years? 10 years? There's a scripture in the Bible that says, "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." I think the plain version of that is, "if you want to make God laugh, make plans!"SJS Logo Having said that, if it's my path, two years from now, I will have fully established the foundation of the Safiya Jafari Simmons Consulting brand, from areas of expertise, to consistent clientele and consultants, to identified audiences and network pipelines. Five years from now, I endeavor to have a small, full-time staff to manage our dynamic and growing clientele, and I hope to have established myself as a public speaker and executive coach. In 10 years, I will have shepherded SJS Consulting from a boutique practice to a full-fledged firm with a philanthropic arm as well. My firm will be known as a hub for creative strategists, thoughtful communicators, and knowledgeable and reliable subject-matter experts who are passionate about amplifying the work of our clients.

7. Is there anything else you'd like to share? Making the leap to self-employment taught me one great thing about myself: embrace every aspect of who you are. For a very long time I wondered why I could be so loud, or assertive, or opinionated. Why was I so different? I wasn't UNpopular growing up, but I wasn't a cool kid. I always wondered why. But everything I need to fulfill my purpose was instilled in me from before my birth. That means that every trait, talent and ability - whether I understand it or whether the world appreciates it - plays a vital role in me making my mark. Embrace all of you. Love all of you. And watch everything come together for your good. It's a promise!

8. How can my readers keep in touch with you? I welcome your readers to check out my website (the new site will launch soon!) at www.safiyasimmons.com. They may also check out my blog at www.radicalnewu.com. I would welcome their emails at safiya@safiyasimmons.com.

Clearly, Safiya is a dynamic force - please be sure to visit her sites and check her out online!

Curvy CEO’s Top Picks from UllaPopken.com

officeOne little known site in the plus-size shop is Ulla Popken - an online site that specializes in affordable and stylish clothing from sizes 12W up. Targeting a more mature shopper, Ulla Popken is a great place to find apparel that is totally suitable for the office, such as tunics, dresses, etc. (And shoes - tons and tons of shoes! Large sizes, wide widths, tons of brands. It's even where I got my beloved leopard flats! *swoon*) Here are some of my top picks from their site...appropriate for the office, evening, or wherever!

office (Want more details about these items? Click here!)

accessories (For shopping details, click here!)

evening (More information about these items is available here!)

Are you familiar with Ulla Popken? Share your thoughts in the comments section! This post was sponsored by Ulla Popken. All opinions are my own.

Monday Morning Memo – Give Every Day a Chance

NEW monday-morning-memoNEW monday-morning-memo"Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life." - Mark Twain Recently, I decided that the time had come for me to stop waiting for "some day." You know, your intention to slow down and actually enjoy all of the things you've worked so hard to acquire someday. The idea that, in the midst of being so busy, you will randomly bump into the love of your life and stumble into the life of your dreams someday. The notion of white-knuckling it through daily living in hopes that this will lead you to a blissful existence someday. I'm not sure exactly when, how, or why, but recently it occurred to me -- someday ain't coming. If I am to have the life that I want, I have to create it for myself, every. single. day. Part of achieving this is practicing gratitude...which, I'm finding, actually does take practice. (Fortunately, I found this great app called Gratitude 365 that is helping me do so.) It also includes taking the time to enjoy the small things that can make a big difference in my mood. There is no guarantee that taking these steps will automatically lead me to the achieving the goals I have in life. But, at a minimum, they will make the journey a lot more enjoyable. Here's to giving yourself the opportunity to make each day beautiful. Have a great week, ladies!