Month: December 2014

Curvy CEO’s Top Ten Posts of 2014!

curvy ceo's top ten posts of 2014curvy ceo's top ten posts of 2014

10. All Wrapped Up in Love: Curvy Girlz Lingerie. This post featured a recap of my partnership with friend Precious Williams of Curvy Girlz Lingerie, when she brought her exclusive brand of plus-size intimate apparel to the ladies of Washington, DC last February. Sips, sweets, and spicy conversation topped off the evening. Could a repeat event be on the calendar? Stay tuned....

9. Inspiration from the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC. Last January, I partnered with my girl Arlett of Chasing Joy to bring her signature event, the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn to Washington, DC. It was a day of motivational speakers, giveaways, and, of course, BRUNCH! This particular post included pictures from the event as well as some of my favorite takeaway messages from the day.

8. What to Wear to Work in the Heat of Summer. In Washington, DC, dressing well in the heat of summer is an art form. In this post, I outline my favorite tried and true tips for keeping it professional and stylish when the heat index is 103. I'm proud not only of this post, but also of the fact that my expertise landed me an interview with Washingtonian magazine on this very subject.

7.My Thoughts on Gabourey, Beauty, Body Image...and Lupita, Too! I love Gabourey Sidibe because she openly challenges society on its hypocritical practice of preaching "self-esteem" and "loving yourself" on the one hand and then demonizing anyone who dares to defy Madison Avenue's beauty standards without apology. With awards season approaching, a re-read of this post seems quite timely.

6. Shop Your Salary: Leather Handbags! As you can tell from the number of socially-charged and/or event-related posts on this lists, this year I veered a little off-course and got away from my first love: fashion. So with the introduction of the newest feature to Curvy CEO - "Shop Your Salary" - I've come back to basics, so to speak. Personally I really enjoy this new feature for two reasons. First, it shows you just how repetitious some styles can be. Second, it's just fun to "shop" for something at the CEO level. (Yeah, I'm not quite at the level where I'm ready to drop thousands of dollars for a handbag...but it's nice to imagine that I am.)

5. Why That Black Lady in Your Office Seems "Angry" All the Time This post represents a lot of what me and many of my friends had discussed behind closed doors for so long. Unfortunately, the media storm surrounding Shonda Rhimes' new drama starring Viola Davis forced me put these feelings into words. It was actually quite cathartic to do so. Hopefully I educated - and didn't scare off - readers who are not women of color and/or who may not share the same perspective.

4. Shopaholics Suite = Success! This post is an event recap of the secondhand shopping event I hosted with eight other plus-size bloggers this past November. This was truly the largest undertaking I had ever been a part of and while the event itself was loads of fun, the biggest takeaway for me was that nothing great is ever achieved alone. Teamwork truly does make the dream work. What I was able to bring in event management skills, Vivi was able to complement through creativity and her connections. Meanwhile, Sherra brought several key ideas to the table based out of her own experience hosting events. The entire group engaged in event promotion ("Hello, Street Team!") and contributing food, decorations, etc. On a similar note, through my membership to blogger network BLM Girls I am continuing to learn the value of a "support group." Now, I am no longer afraid of partnering with others. That fear - which was really a fear of competition - has been replaced with the knowledge that we all accomplish more when we work together.

3. From the "Fairly Heavy Black Woman" in Your Yoga Class. Like pretty much everyone on the internet, I was extremely disturbed when this utterly insensitive and incredibly naive piece appeared on XO Jane recounting a young white woman's assumptions about a "fairly heavy black woman" who participated in her yoga class. I recall being particularly tired and overworked the day that article came out, but as a budding yogi myself, I *had* to respond.

2. GarnerStyle is #BoycottingTarget - Will You? I am supremely proud of not only this post, but the movement that inspired it. From the exclusion of plus-sizes in their high-end designer collaborations to mislabeling their clothes and models (or photoshopping out entire body parts altogether), Target has a long list of offenses that caused me to join Chasity Garner and others in the movement to stop patronizing Target. It has definitely been a challenge and, admittedly, I've slipped a few times, but for the most part, I've been able to stick with it. I like to think that the movement has had an impact. At the least, we saw Wal-Mart quickly reverse course and apologize when its customers complained that its website had a category called "fat girl costumes" during the Halloween season. Hopefully, we will see Target reverse course as well and show greater respect to its full-figured customers.

1. Wisdom from Oprah's Life You Want Tour. This special edition of my Monday Morning Memo was a recap of some of the best take aways from Oprah's Life You Want Tour stop in Washington, DC. Attending this event was one of the absolute BEST things I did all year. It was, in a word, awesome. I learned SO much during that amazing weekend. But one of the biggest lessons I learned wasn't taught on stage by Oprah, Iyanla, or any of the other experts on the tour. It was to listen to my instincts and to invest in my dreams.

You see, when I first decided to attend this event, my plan was met with skepticism and even criticism by family and friends.

"Tickets are HOW much?!?!"

"Is Iyanla going to fix YOUR life?!?"

"Oprah is already a billionaire. Why are you giving her more of your hard earned money?"


Certainly these remarks made me second guess my choice. However, the experience proved to be more than worth the value of the ticket. Months later I am STILL reflecting on the lessons shared and contemplating ways to integrate the advice into my daily life. Another thing that makes this post so great is the fact that it includes a link-up where other bloggers who attended the tour (sometimes in other cities) included links to write-ups of their experiences as well. So much goodness, you almost can't take it all in.

BONUS: You Know You're a Fashion Blogger When... Inspired by Buzzfeed, I thought I'd take a stab at coming up with a bunch of gifs that signify life as a fashion blogger. This is the result (and, it's quite funny if I do say so myself).

Well, those are my top posts of 2014. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Stay safe and have a wonderful, blessed New Year!!!

P.S. - As we prepare for 2015, let me know what YOU want to see form Curvy CEO in the New Year. Please take five minutes to respond to the reader survey. Simply click here or visit http://bit.ly/1Be9fxl. One lucky respondent will win a bundle of Haute Cash from Torrid! Responses must be received by NOON on Sunday, January 4. Thank you!

We Want Your Feedback!

We Want Your Feedback Concept Hey Everyone! As 2014 draws to a close, I would love to get your feedback on your experience here at Curvy CEO. I would especially like to learn more about YOU, my dear readers, so that I can tailor future content to meet your specific needs. Therefore, I ask that you take a few minutes to take the Reader Survey below. (Having trouble with the form? Just CLICK HERE.) As an extra incentive, one lucky survey respondent will win a bundle of Haute Cash from Torrid! To be eligible for the prize, please enter your responses by NOON on Sunday, January 4, 2015 January 11, 2015. Thanks so much for being a faithful reader of CurvyCEO.com!
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Merry Christmas from Curvy CEO!

merry christmas 2014

So writing yesterday's brutally honest annual holiday letter was a really eye-opening experience. While it was designed to be satirical, it was, in some ways a little depressing. Not because it's true. It is. *shrug* But, because it focuses on what I lack, not my blessings. Just like one of my favorite Oprah quotes (and one of my favorite Monday Morning Memos states): "Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough."

When I reflect on the last year though - which I will do more in depth in a post next week - I realize that 2014 has been a year of tremendous personal and professional growth for Curvy CEO. I pray the same is true for you. Merry Christmas everyone! merry christmas 2014

My Brutally Honest Annual Holiday Letter

single girl at Christmas lonely for the holidays

brutally honest holiday letter

Dearest Family and Friends:



Thanks so much for the lovely pictures of you and your growing families in front of your big new houses in the suburbs. As for me? Well, I'm still single. Living in my same cramped apartment as I was in law school. No kids yet, just my cat. BUT, that means I get to spend all of my money on myself. (If I'm still not married next year, I think I might send out a picture of myself surrounded by my collection of designer handbags with my holiday letter. Kind of like the way this gal poses with her alcohol.)

single for the holidaysTruth be told, I have no business spending any money at all given the level of debt I have...but as long as I can keep up a good front - wearing fancy clothes, eating at fancy restaurants - it's all good right?

Had a good year at work - a great year, in fact. While you were out raising your family and having a life, I was grinding away at the office. Got a raise and a promotion for my trouble. The good news is that I was able to use some of that extra money on a therapist...but I later ended up "breaking up" with her when she started to dig too much into my personal affairs. *sucks teef*

lonely at Christmas I went through another break up this year...this one with a guy who I actually thought could've been "the One." To say it was a bummer is like calling the Titanic a little tugboat. The fact of the matter is that I'm no longer in the bridal shower/bridesmaid season of life. I have now entered the baby shower season of life with new announcements from friends and Facebook photos cropping up everyday. Meanwhile, I can't even seem to find a guy who can use correct punctuation on Match.com...and don't even get me started on the public restroom selfies. *sigh*

Despite what you might think, dear family and friends, I'm really, really trying my best not to become that stereotypical "career woman" who dies an old maid surrounded by cats. No really. Stop laughing!

Well, whatever. Let me get back to wrapping these presents. I really hope you like them. I'm going to be paying them off for the next several months. But, please, at least pretend to be impressed. Honestly, besides my good character, your opinion of me is kind of all I have left.

Happy @#$% Holidays,

Curvy CEO

This post was inspired by this post that I discovered over at Blogher. Obviously it's tongue-in-cheek...all about breaking down walls and being honest. I have invited fellow BLM Girls to participate. You are welcome, too! Simply add your post to the link up below before midnight on December 31, 2014.


Monday Morning Memo – Will THIS Make You Happy?

inspirational-quotemonday-morning-memo NEW"If you examine your motive for doing anything, you'll soon discover that your reason is that you believe it will make you happy." - Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

We spend quite a bit of time talking about happiness here at Curvy CEO. How you define it. The work you put in to achieve it. However, as today's Monday Morning Memo points out, every action we take - from trying to lose weight to overdosing on reality television - we do so because, at some fundamental level, we believe it will make us happy. This is quite an interesting perspective when you consider how you feel after having engaged in certain things. Like, did you really need that entire pint of Ben & Jerry's? I mean, sure, it made you "happy" in the moment...but how are you feeling now?

In this season of overindulgence, I thought I would serve up some food food for thought. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season ladies. Be well and be safe!

Shop Your Salary: The Formal Office Holiday Party

Formal Holiday Party Look for a Plus-Size CEOIt's time for the next installment of our newest feature, Shop Your Salary, which offers various takes on the same theme based on your position and income level at your company. Building off of last week's tips for networking at the holiday party, I thought we would look at how to dress appropriately for the holiday party. But not just the typical in-the-office, happy-hour-style office party. Given that many of my blog readers are, in fact, employees of corporations that host swanky, after five affairs, I thought it would be fun to look at formalwear options! (If you're so inclined, you can read about the foolishness I witness as a first-year associate at my old law firm's holiday ball here. *shudders*)

One thing that is interesting to remember is that that sometimes it's not just a matter of price point, but the overall quality, look, and feel of a garment. Take, for example, the Rose Jacquard Bustier Dress by Isabel Toledo from Lane Bryant

Rose Jacquard Bustier Dress by Isabel Toledo from Lane Bryant

*drool* Now, at just $158 it's on the more affordable end as far as formalwear goes. However, the entire look of it - the commanding color of blood red, the bold and form-fitting cut, the authoritative and sophisticated jacket - just screams "BOSSLADY"! Therefore, I just had to include it in my CEO collection, alongside much pricier items....

Formal Holiday Party Look for a Plus-Size CEO

For more details and shopping info, click here.



Meanwhile, the Vice President is able to pull off very similar looks for a slightly lower price point....

Formal Holiday Party Look for a Plus-Size Vice President

For more details and shopping info, click here.



Now, the Project Director, she has some options here. Depending on her age, comfort level, and, quite frankly, her ambitions within the company, she can dress a little more fun and flirty. But, be careful - you don't want to go too youthful. You don't want to get mistaken for an intern.

Formal Holiday Party Look for a Plus-Size Project Director

For more details and shopping info, click here.



Finally, the Executive Assistant. She is probably geeked - this is probably the first formal event she's been to since Prom. And that's the issue - she must be sure to avoid looking like she just left the mall with her friends and is heading to the "junior dance." Your colleagues know that you only make a fraction of what everyone else makes - but that's no excuse to be in appropriate. Do your absolute best to be on par with your peers. Sign up for Rent the Runway, if you must (why yes, they DO, have plus sizes!) - just be sure not to overdo it. Here are some simple looks that would be quite fitting for an executive assistant at a formal office holiday party. (NOTE: If, the office assistant is not a youngster who is fresh out of school, she might want to dress more like the project director. The price points for the items are pretty similar; the skirt lengths are not ;)

Formal Holiday Party Look for a Plus-Size Executive Assistant

For more details and shopping info, click here.



What do you think? Any looks you particularly love? Hate? Let's chat it up in the comments section!

Holiday Sweaters That Are Actually Cute!

cute plus size holiday sweatersEven though some have declared that the ugly holiday sweater is now a fashion DO instead of a fashion DON'T, I just can't get into it. Spend my hard earned money on something that looks like roadkill? No thank you! Instead, I've curated a collection of plus-size holiday sweaters that are actually CUTE! This actually took some real digging on my part so I hope you enjoy!

cute plus size holiday sweaters

(For shopping info and other details, click here.)



What do you think? Personally I love the jeweled merino sweater from Talbots - festive enough for the holidays, but not SO holiday-centric that you are limited to wearing it only once a year.

Which one is your favorite? Answer in the comments section!

Monday Morning Memo – Make Self-Care a Priority

inspirational-quote

monday-morning-memo NEW"Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Less me. Because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to be too much or push people away. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to be cared for and valued. I wanted to be wanted. So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, I suffered. But I’m tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking. It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. I am worthwhile. Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. My voice matters. And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth. Even if it makes people angry. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave. I refuse to shrink. I choose to take up space. I choose to honour my feelings. I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met. I choose to make self-care a priority. I choose me. - Daniell Koepke



At this time of year, when it's SO easy to focus on everyone else, let's remember to make self-care a priority.
Be well, ladies!