Month: November 2015

31 Days of Holiday Gift Ideas

holiday gift ideas 2015holiday gift ideas 2015

Tomorrow is December 1. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or all three, December is month that is full of gifts. So, what could be better than 31 days of holiday gift ideas? My picks will range from luxury items from high-end retailers to handmade gifts by small business owners.

Now, this is an ambitious undertaking, y'all. I have never blogged for 31 days in a row. Aaaand, I've got a special surprise coming up that will likely require the blog to go dark for a day or two this month. But, I'm still going to give it a shot. And, in my typical Curvy CEO fashion, this will not only feature gifts for the special people in your life, but a few (well, okay, several) self-gifting options as well.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday Morning Memo – Don’t Give Up Just Yet

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"Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more." - Edward H. Harriman, railroad executive

Here it is ladies. We are just one day away from December 1st - the first day of the last month of 2015. It feels like just yesterday we were making resolutions and setting goals. Now we are getting ready to do year-end assessments and reviews!

I know that you all are tired. I am, too. But whether it's sticking to that health-inspired "lifestyle change" or getting your new business venture off the ground, trying to purchase a new home or expand your family, here is my word of encouragement to you: don't give up. Not now. Not yet. You've come too far to throw away all that you've put into your goals to walk away. Take a short breather if you must, but please just don't give up.

Here is a little Mary Mary to further inspire you to keep on going.

Mary Mary - "Can't Give Up Now"

Monday Morning Memo – God’s Dreams for You

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"God can dream a bigger dream for me, for you, than you could ever dream for yourself." - Oprah Winfrey

Even though it is tempting just to subscribe the idea behind this inspirational quote to Oprah Winfrey, I think she might have gotten a little bit of help from 1 Corinthians 2:9, which states that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (KJ21). In any event, I know that I have some pretty big dreams for myself...so I cannot WAIT to see all that the Almighty has in store for me.

Have a blessed week, everyone!

Curvy CEO Reviews: Xpandasox

xpandasox logoIf you have wide calves like me, you are well acquainted with certain struggles.

Of course, there is the well-documented, seemingly never-ending journey to find wide calf boots.

But, there is also the less-discussed, but still frustrating issue of finding dress socks that won't end up swimming around your ankles by lunchtime.

Enter Xpandasox.

xpandasox site logo Designed to comfortably accommodate calves up to 24 inches, Xpandasox feature the sewn-in "Xpandapanel" that stretches and contracts to stay up without binding.

I first learned about Xpandasox via The Curvy Fashionista. As I was just in the process of assembling my cold-weather wardrobe, I knew that this would be the perfect addition.

xpandasox logoEven though Xpandasox come in a variety of colors, styles, and designs -- including leopard and lace! -- I decided to start with basic black to go with my work dress pants.

The first thing that struck me when I put on my Xpandasox was how comfortable they felt. Just cozy. It was immediately clear that, at a not inexpensive $18 per pair, they put the money into the quality of the garment.

However, I wasn't entirely sold yet. I mean, any piece of apparel can feel good for the first few minutes you put it on. (Yes, high heels, I'm looking at you!) Thr real test would come at the end of the day.

Would the Xpandasox stay up or wouldn't they?

[caption id="attachment_10126" align="alignright" width="281"]My Xpandasox stayed up! Well, kinda...definitely better than most brands. My Xpandasox stayed up! Well, kinda...definitely better than most brands.[/caption]I am pleased to report that the Xpandasox actually. stayed. up. all. day. Well, sorta. They slipped down to about mid-calf. But they were so comfortable, I didn't even notice! After ending many work days with trouser socks stuffed into the to box of my shoe, I consider this a major victory.

Here is another cool thing about Xpandasox -- it is a Christian company that actually puts its money where it's mouth is. Besides including a little card with scripture with your order, they make a matching contribution for every pair of socks purchased. Their goal is to donate 200,000 pairs of socks by March 2016.

Help yourself and help the less fortunate by ordering some Xpandasox today!

Monday Morning Memo – Just Keep Going

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"If you're going through hell, keep going." These words of the formidable British Prime Minister Winston Churchill mean a lot to me right now. Even though we have several months to go before the end of the year...the full load of this year is beginning to weigh on me...heavily. But, alas, there is still much work to do...and at least two more weeks before we get a brief rest for Thanksgiving.

So, we must keep going.

Hang in there, ladies.

“I Love Myself Because….”

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As you know, this weekend the I Love Myself Fashion Show is taking place on Saturday, November 14, 2015 in Beltsville, MD. As a supporter of the event, we sponsored a contest on Facebook asking people to answer the question, "What do you love about yourself?"

There were some fantastic answers. One person wrote: "I love my eyes, my smile and my thighs!!!" Meanwhile, another person shared, " I love that I'm different. I love my willingness to give. I work with the homeless population and I love my work and the families I advocate for. I love my journey. I went from homeless to fearless. I love everything that it went through because it has shaped me into the beautiful woman I am now."

Simply beautiful!

The winning entry, which was chosen at random, shared, "I'm really soft hearted. I have a care for people and their needs over my own. I'm also a great listener. My personality stand out and I have great energy!"

So now I'm asking you - "What do you love about yourself?" Please share in the comments section or on Facebook. Let's get to celebrating ourselves ladies!!!

Monday Morning Memo – What Your “Off Days” Say About Your Style

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"Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress on their days off that are the most intriguing." - Alexander Wang

So, this blog is about plus-size professional fashion and style...you know, clothing you wear in the workplace. This results, in part, from the fact that this is really where I shine. Even if I'm off to a late start for a day filled with important appointments and meetings, I can cobble together a suit or pull together some version of my style uniform in mere minutes. It's actually on the weekends that I struggle a bit more. Because I take great pains to pull together my look Monday through Friday, it is so tempting to just schlepp through errand-filled Saturdays and church-filled Sundays. But lately I've been trying harder...incorporating a colorful scarf, cute hat, or stylish jacket into my looks. Keeping my own style tenets in mind helps motivate me, too.

Right now, my basic Saturday look is a pair of jeans, booties, sweater, and pop of color in the form of a scarf, hat, funky hair accessory, etc. As for Sundays, I can usually re-purpose a work look.

How do YOU dress on your "off days"? Do you have a "style uniform" or signature look?

Monday Morning Memo – Trust Yourself and Begin the Work

You know morethank you think you do.You know morethank you think you do.

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do....Don't take too seriously all that the neighbors say. Don't be overawed by what the experts say. Don't be afraid to trust your own common sense." And so begins the time-honored baby guide by Dr. Spock. In watching my friends and family members raise their little ones, I have seen them adopt this common sense, self-assured approach because, in truth, you have no other choice. Unexpected situations come up and you don't have time to grab the baby book or run to the internet to find out what to do. Nope. Sometimes, you've just got to roll that baby on its tummy and pat that little back until whatever it is becomes unlodged from his or her throat.

Pursuing our goals in life is very much the same. Only, save for a negative diagnosis from the doctor, there is no emergency situation that forces us to take action. So instead, we allow ourselves to get distracted by all of the "bright, shiny objects" in the form of magazine articles, webinars, and even *gasp* blog posts that promise to teach us just the right tricks and tips to guarantee us success on the road to losing weight, launching a new business, finding the love of our lives, or whatever our goals might be at that particular time. But, while there is always something more to be learned, the truth is that, much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we have everything we need inside of us...and we've had it all along. We just need to trust ourselves a little bit more; rely on our own inner wisdom; and just go for it.

We know more than we think we do.

Have a great week, ladies!

Event Alert: For Colored Girls–The Curvy Girls Edition

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If you've ever been to an African-American-themed talent show or beauty pageant, I guarantee you've seen at least one performance of a "choreopoem" from the acclaimed play For colored girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf. In my own lifetime, I have actually never seen a full-length production of the play from start to finish, unless you count Tyler Perry's feature film. So, you can imagine how excited I was to learn about the upcoming production of For Colored Girls featuring an entirely plus-size cast! This set of performances, which will take place from November 19-22, 2015 at the Anacostia Arts Center (1231 Good Hope Road SE, Washington DC, 20020), was the brainchild of actress and author, Cynthia L. Dorsey. Ms. Dorsey, who is also directing the show, was kind enough to spare a few moments to chat with us here at Curvy CEO about the upcoming production!

What motivated you to create a "curvy edition" of the heralded play, "For Colored Girls"? I decided to do a curvy girls edition of For Colored Girls because I wanted to a create an opportunity for the curvy and plus size Black actress to share her gift with the world without having to face type casting or not having a chance to be cast at all.

[caption id="attachment_10095" align="alignleft" width="300"]Cynthia L. Dorsey, Director of "For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition" Cynthia L. Dorsey, Director of "For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition"[/caption]How long has this been a goal of yours? I've always wanted to direct “For Colored Girls” since high school. Having been a plus size actress myself, going back forth between DC, New York, and Chicago auditioning and trying to get cast I am well aware of how difficult it is. It is also extremely discouraging when your talent is overlooked because of your size. So directing and producing “For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition” is my way of showing the world that talent, gift, and purpose should always be the focus and size is the accentuation.

[caption id="attachment_10094" align="alignright" width="300"]The cast of "For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition" The cast of "For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition"[/caption]Besides the plus-size cast, what other things distinguish this production from others we may have seen of this play? Ntozake Shange, the author of For Colored Girls, created this iconic piece to confront the daily issues women of color face from rape and abortion to heartache and abuse. It has been my goal to stay as true and authentic Shange's work as I can. So I haven't made many changes to her body of work. However, it wouldn't be called a Curvy Girls Edition without an added twist. Without giving way what we are adding to show I will say that the cast will also be confronting body image.

What is one thing you would say to anyone on the fence about attends the play? Lots of people think this play is a male bashing play and that men shouldn't come. Lots of people feel this is a play for only people of color. I want to encourage everyone, people of every race, sexuality, religious belief, and gender to come and see “For Colored Girls.” I am a strong believer that theater has the power to heal nations and bridge the racial, generational, sexual, religious, and gender divide in our society. Take the first step by coming to see SoulFLY's production of “For Colored Girls--The Curvy Girls Edition” and sharing in this journey of womanhood together.

I am soooo excited to attending the upcoming performances. Will I see you there? Snag your tickets here!

Monday Morning Memo – My Favorite Part of the Day

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"The joy of dressing is an art." - John Galliano

This might sound strange - especially because I *hate* to get out of my bed in the mornings - but my absolute, favorite part of my day is getting myself dressed in the morning. Just put me in my walk-in closet with some music and my coffee and I'm in Heaven.

Is it just me or do you find joy in getting ready, too?