Tag: events

Event Recap – Rest in the City 2015

yoga retreat dcyoga retreat dc

Two weeks ago, I hosted the FIRST Rest in the City Retreat. This event had been a dream of mine ever since I started the blog. I designed it to be just what *I* need myself as an overworked, stressed out professional woman - a chance to "get away from it all," tend to my mental and emotional health, and enjoy a little pampering - all without having to go halfway across the globe.

The event itself took place at the Pure Nuphoria Bed & Breakfast in Fort Washington, MD. (Shout outs to my blogger boo Nae for the referral!) It made an ideal event location as it is situated in a quiet, suburban neighborhood just minutes outside of DC. Pure Nuphoria is deceptively small from the outside as the inside is pleasingly overwhelming in its opulent grandeur. The proprietor, Candice Camille - aka "The Wellologist" - greeted every visitor, along with soothing aromatherapy and ambient music.

We kicked off the evening with a yoga class taught by my friend, Crystal Moore, owner and founder of Serenity Place DC. [pullquote]Did you know that Crystal's studio offers a class designed specifically for plus size women? Check out "Stacked Yoga" on her website.[/pullquote] Her teaching was nothing short of spectacular - she crafted a class that easily accommodated the various levels of experience in the room. Additionally, we stretched and curled to tunes by Michael Jackson and Jay-Z. Most inspiring of all, as Crystal taught, she shared with us the personal history that brought her to yoga, including health challenges caused by lupus and going through a divorce.

After working up an appetite, we moved onto dinner, which was catered by Woodlands Vegan Bistro in DC. We then moved right into an expressive arts session with licensed clinical therapist, Martina Martin. She led us through a series of guided questions like, "What are concrete things you'd like to bring into your life?", before we began working on our individual paint projects. From that session we moved seamlessly into our vision board party, which lasted almost until midnight. The next day, we enjoyed a hot breakfast before indulging in facials and massages.

[gallery type="slideshow" columns="1" size="large" ids="9612,9615,9611,9613,9610,9614"]

The one "negative" aspect of the retreat was the fact that the turnout was smaller than I had hoped. But, as our expressive arts facilitator said, "Everyone who is supposed to be here is here." And I couldn't agree more. The small group setting made for a cozy, intimate environment where everyone had the opportunity and felt comfortable enough to share. Afterwards, one guest followed up to say that the retreat was "just the jump start [she] needed." Another later reported that, through a connection she made at the retreat, she found a mentor to help guide her in her new career path. Hearing this type of feedback warmed my heart and confirmed to me that ultimately the event WAS a success.

Will there be another Rest in the City Retreat? You will just have to stay tuned!

Plus-Size in Paradise: FashionlinkVI Fashion Week 2015

vacation travel USVI St. CroixWell, if you follow me at all on Instagram or Twitter, you know that I spent Memorial Day Weekend in the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands attending FashionlinkVI Fashion Week. It was an absolutely awesome experience to take in plus-size fashion and body positivity in the Caribbean.

Let's by chatting a bit about the USVI, first.

The main events took place on St. Croix. As tropical islands go, it is truly beautiful. Despite the hot temperature, a sweet cool breeze consistently blew over the island. The amazing weather made it absolutely impossible to be in a bad mood. As a result I found myself ditching my usual "mean mugging" as I interacted with strangers. This made the whole experience so much more pleasant.

People are extremely friendly and the men were nothing but respectful. I have to admit that I was a little unsure about traveling solo [caption id="attachment_9383" align="alignright" width="300"]vacation travel USVI St. Croix A view from the private beach at The Palms at Pelican Cove in St. Croix, USVI.[/caption]to the Caribbean, but I had nothing to worry about. The service at the resort where I stayed - the Palms at Pelican Cove - were extremely accommodating and did everything from provide tram rides to and from guest rooms to fetching cabs when you wanted to venture off the property. Oh and did I mention the private beach?

Gas was surprisingly cheap - only a dollar more than in the mainland. BUT, I didn't attempt to drive - and it's a good thing. Turns out that, even though they're part of a US territory, folks drive on the opposite side of the road! (I nearly had a heart attack when my taxi left the airport until I realized what was going on.)

In case you're wondering, island time is a REAL thing. *lol* But for the most part I didn't mind...I was there to relax.

Now, onto the fashion part of my adventure!

[caption id="attachment_9385" align="alignleft" width="300"]FashionlinkVI Founder Anastasia Rivers gives a pre-event interview to Full Blossom Magazine. FashionlinkVI Founder Anastasia Rivers gives a pre-event interview to Full Blossom Magazine.[/caption]FashionlinkVI Fashion Week is the brainchild of Ms. Anastasia Rivers, owner of Kisura's Fashion, an online boutique (currently under re-construction) and host of Kisura's Fashion TV, a local plus-size fashion shopping television show. ms. Rivers is truly a renaissance woman as she has worked in multiple industries, including law enforcement and food, before turning to fashion.

The three-day event includes shows both on St. Croix and St. Thomas and featured designers from across the Caribbean as well as a few from the States. My personal favorites included the collections by SkinTone Clothing, Lipstick Killers Collection, and Pearlina Designs.

Here are a few images from the Saturday evening show. Hope you enjoy!

Top Five Spring Picks from CJ Banks!

white twill jacketToday I am so pleased to welcome Christopher and Banks as the first sponsor of the Rest in the City Retreat! Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Christopher and Banks has a core mission of providing women with high quality apparel to fit their lifestyle. Through its "CJ Banks" line, Christopher and Banks caters to customers who wear sizes 14W to 24W.

Let's take a peak at five of my favorite picks from CJ Banks' spring collection!

colorblock stripe dress
I absolutely *love* this dress. It's super-cute and the stripe of fuschia adds just that extra pop of fun! This dress can easily be worn to work, to church, or even a spring wedding!

flex stretch capri
*NeNe voice* I liiiiive for a capri pant, honey! No really, I do. Even though shorts are back in a major way and even culottes are also having a moment, if you are a thick-thighed lady like myself, capris are your best friend during the summer - they cover up your "wobbly bits" but also give your legs a chance to get a little air. NOTE: One thing to be careful with when it comes to capris - be sure that the length does NOT hit you at the widest part of your calf...otherwise, you're going to look shorter and wider. If that's the look you're going for...well, nevermind. But as for me, I'm always trying to slenderize as much as possible. So capris that taper-in like these do are the way go!

wrinkle resistant animal print top
How many things are great about this shirt? First off, it's more of a tunic, so it gives coverage over your tummy, hips, and backside. Then it's animal print - leopard at that. You all know that I loooove leopard print! It's practically a neutral in my book. Finally, the shirt is WRINKLE-RESISTANT. Hello?!! Can you get any better than that? STYLE TIP: To eliminate any bulk around the midsection, add a belt! Whether skinny or wide, a belt will help break up your torso and define your waist, ensuring you look as long and lean as possible. Also, don't be afraid to go for a more daring color - personally I think a burnt orange belt would look amazing with this top as opposed to the more typical black or brown.

white twill jacket
White jackets are fantastic fashion picks for the warm weather months. This denim-like twill version allows you to rock the look with a more outfit. This would be great for pairing over a simple t-shirt or even a sleeveless maxi.

These are just a few of the great pieces available over at Christopher and Banks. Be sure to stop by soon - they are currently offering $30 off for a $100 purchase or $10 off a $50 purchase! If you see anything you like, let me know in the comments section or on social media!

Plus-Size Fashion Hits the Beach! FashionlinkVI Fashion Weekend 2015

Join Me at FVIFWIf you can't tell from the tone of my recent post, I've been working hard lately. Like, really hard. Sixteen hour days. Business trips on the weekend. My whole life for the last few months has just been a non-stop series of activity. Home has become just someplace I shower and sleep. My friends and family? Well, I'm lucky they're still talking to me after how much I've neglected them. Through it all, though, I've been dreaming of how I can take a moment to catch my breath and get away from it all. (Well, that's not entirely true. I *did* manage to sneak away for a bit of a tropical break this winter. I'll be blogging about that soon!) I was looking for just the right opportunity when I learned about...

fashionlink virgin islands plus-size fashion week
FashionlinkVI Fashion Week - a weekend of plus-size fashion in the U.S. Virgin Islands! And not just any weekend - Memorial Day weekend, so most of us have a built-in break. I mean, what more could you ask for? Three fashion shows, mini-tours of St. Croix, workshops on hair and makeup, a brunch on St. Thomas, and an after-party on a boat! Plus, my girl Chenese Lewis is one of the celebrity hosts! While you can buy individual event tickets, the entire package deal costs only $130! Get your tickets here and...
Join Me at FVIFW
Will I see you there???

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors…

plus-size lingerie shopping party dmvplus-size lingerie shopping party dmv The Curvy Girlz Lingerie Shopping Soiree is just DAYS away and I couldn't be more excited! This Saturday, I will be joined by superstar entrepreneur and "Killer Pitch Master" Precious Williams of Curvy Girlz Lingerie and intimacy and relationship coach E.B. Davis of CupidsPlanner.com for an evening of shopping, chatting, sips and sweets! [pullquote]You saw Precious' exclusive guest post for Curvy CEO where she shared five tips for taking your "pitch" to the next level, right? Right?!?! No? Girl, CLICK HERE NOW![/pullquote]Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we will also have a host of great goodie bag freebies and raffle giveaways!!! [caption id="attachment_8750" align="alignleft" width="300"]Our First Sponsor! Our First Sponsor![/caption] Certified Wellness Coach, Model, Body Positive Advocate and Blogger Boo, Kym Nichole of WellFitCurves, will be raffling away her "Mindset Reset" program, which includes a workbook and private consultation with the woman herself to help you get you on track with your wellness goals! DB Photography LogoMeanwhile, glamour and portrait photographer Denise Belnavis is offering a 40% discount - and free perfume to complement the new lingerie - to any event guest that signs up for a portrait package at the event. (This is a savings of $200!) ALL guests will receive coupons for 15% of session fees with Denise Belnavis Photography after the event. And speaking of coupons, be on the look out from savings provided by Jord. Curvy Chix ChariotAnd, weather-permitting, don't forget to stop by Curvy Chix Chariot on your way to the event...yes, Curvy Chix Chariot, the DC area's FIRST mobile shopping experience for full-figured ladies just might make an appearance thanks to event sponsor and industry pal Donna Hundley. Ladies who stop by the Chariot will get an extra opportunity to win prizes as Donna will have an extra batch of raffle tickets to give away!!! ?????I am extra excited to announce that each and every guest will receive jewerly (yes, JEWELRY) from up and coming custom design house, Roni's Jewels. This sister travels across the globe to find the most exquisite beads and baubles to use in her hand-crafted, custom jewelry line which will be launching this summer. TCF logoFinally, I want to give an extra special shout out to Marie over at The Curvy Fashionista who is also an event sponsor...not because is promoting a product or giving something away. Just because. Love ya, babe. Mwah! There are more surprises and goodies in store...hope you will come out and join us THIS Saturday at 5pm at the Melrose Georgetown Hotel! Get your tickets at http://curvygirlzdc.eventbrite.com!

Shopaholics Suite = SUCCESS!!!

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The Shopaholics Suite occurred last Saturday in Silver Spring, I must say, it was quite the success! I was overwhelmed by the support from blog readers who came out as well as sponsors like Fashion to Figure and partners like the Aveda Institute of Washington.

But enough of me and all my talk...see for yourself, courtesy of these great images captured by Mickey Armstrong...

[caption id="attachment_8426" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]A glimpse of the clothes, the snacks, and the shoppers. (I actually still have that that purple sequin purse. If anyone would like to buy it, drop me a line!!!) A glimpse of the clothes, the snacks, and the shoppers. (I actually still have that that purple sequin purse. If anyone would like to buy it, drop me a line!!!)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8431" align="aligncenter" width="868"]Nel's Shoe Game! Nel's Shoe Game![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8432" align="aligncenter" width="667"]Ola of the Road to Fashionable making sales!!! Ola of the Road to Fashionable making sales!!![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8434" align="aligncenter" width="749"]Students from the Aveda Institute of DC provided FREE hair styling and hand, neck, and shoulder massages for guests. (You KNOW this was a huge hit!) Students from the Aveda Institute of DC provided FREE hair styling and hand, neck, and shoulder massages for guests. (You KNOW this was a huge hit!)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8435" align="aligncenter" width="965"]My girl Tekisha, Independent Sales Representative for Silpada Designs! My girl Tekisha, Independent Sales Representative for Silpada Designs![/caption]

Now, one thing we promised at the Shopaholics Suite was lots of giveaways...and give away, we did!!! Thanks to sponsors and partners like SimplyBe, Torrid, Dress Barn, Avenue, Shoba, Your Hair to There, and the aforementioned Fashion to Figure, we were able to give away several hundred dollars worth of prizes!

[caption id="attachment_8439" align="aligncenter" width="369"]The winner of our "beauty basket" - including Your Hair to There Shea Butter and Torrid Haute Cash - strikes a pose! The winner of our "beauty basket" - including Your Hair to There Shea Butter and Torrid Haute Cash - strikes a pose![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8440" align="aligncenter" width="846"]The winner of the Fashion to Figure gift card giveaway strikes a pose with company reps! The winner of the Fashion to Figure gift card giveaway strikes a pose with company reps![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8441" align="aligncenter" width="667"]Our grand prize winner walked away with several prizes, including a $200 coupon from SimplyBe and her very own "Work Your Curves" sweatshirt courtesy of moi! Our grand prize winner walked away with several prizes, including a $200 coupon from SimplyBe and her very own "Work Your Curves" sweatshirt courtesy of moi![/caption]

Ok, self-promotional moment: Several people stopped by my table and expressed interest in purchasing the "Work Your Curves" sweatshirt that we were raffling away - blew me away! You can actually purchase "Work Your Curves" apparel - sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, pajamas, etc. via my Cafepress store. (You can also click the Products link at the top of the blog!) /self-promotion

[caption id="attachment_8443" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Team Picture (minus yours truly cuz...you know my deal :) Team Picture (minus yours truly cuz...you know my deal :)[/caption]
One of my favorite expressions is "Team work makes the dream work" and that was no more evident than with this event. The Shopaholics Suite was truly a humbling experience for a control freak like me. I learned that no matter how smart or how sufficient you think you are, you cannot accomplish anything great on your own. You absolutely need the support of other people to ensure success. So, I want to give a massive shout out to fellow co-organizers Vivi of Heart, Print, and Style and Sherra of Ivie Rose Boutique. Also, without bloggers to sell apparel, there would be no event, so extra special thanks to title vendors Kym of Curvy Girl's Kitchen, Elle of Eat Style Play, Jann'l of Girls of Plenty, Deb of Real Girl Runway, Ola of The Road to Fashionable, and ChiChi of SuppleChic. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention sweets vendor Leola's Bakery and Cameo Person of Perfectly Posh for providing swag for the gift bags.

I'm sure it will take me several weeks to recover from the Shopaholics Suite, but it was, indeed, a labor of love. I hope you all had as much fun as we did!!!

“Can DC Be a Fashion Capital?” My Review of The Politics of Fashion: DC UNBOXED


ticket Is there more to DC than just Hill staffers in conservative suits?

Is DC a good place for a new designer to really make a name for him- or herself in the fashion industry?

Can DC ever be a "fashion capital" like New York or Paris? Should it be?

What's up with DC Fashion Week, anyway?

These are just some of the questions tackled in the new documentary, The Politics of Fashion: DC UNBOXED. Written, produced, and directed by Elaine Mensah of Svelte LLC, this film explores DC fashion from the inside-out, tapping the minds of internationally known industry heavyweights, such as runway coach extraordinaire, J. Alexander and Pulitzer Prize-winning

[caption id="attachment_7650" align="alignright" width="177"]Film Writer, Director, & Producer Elaine Mensah Film Writer, Director, & Producer Elaine Mensah[/caption]

Washington Post columnist Robin Givhan and local designers, boutique owners, stylists, and even bloggers! (Massive shoutouts to Lacey and Liz, founders of CapFABB who were featured in the film.) You can actually see the entire cast of local talents here.

I must admit that even as someone who thinks of herself as reasonably knowledgeable about fashion, the film really opened my eyes to all that is involved in creating a real industry that people can count on not only for attire, but also a livelihood and a lifestyle. Also, it gave me comfort to know that, no, I'm not imagining things...DC really IS changing. Fashion is no longer seen as something "frivolous." As one contributor to the film stated, DC fashion is very "democratic" - you have the freedom to be who and what you are. (Within the bounds of reasonableness, of course - I don't want anyone to read this blog and then go into the office looking crazy.)

capfabbIf you weren't able to catch the premiere, not to worry! There will be other screenings of the film throughout the city this summer. Just keep an eye on thepoliticsoffashion.com for information about future screenings. Additionally, the film will also be available as a dvd via Amazon.com and other outlets. In the meantime, check out these clips....



All Wrapped Up in Love: Curvy Girlz Lingerie

On February 1, I partnered with Curvy Girlz Lingerie to bring its fabulous apparel to Washington, DC! Attorney Precious Williams, founded her company after being unable to find her ideal intimate attire for her first encounter with a new love. Two years later, Precious has become an award-winning entrepreneur who helps plus-size women feel sexy and beautiful! With some smooth r&b in the background, vanilla vodka cocktails, and chocolate-covered strawberries, each lady shared what made her feel romantic and sexy. It was an awesome event. Check out the slideshow below! (It might take a moment to load.) Be on the lookout for a repeat later this year! [gallery type="slideshow" ids="7421,7422,7423,7424,7427,7428,7425,7426"] [caption id="attachment_7413" align="alignleft" width="272"]My 1st adventure in a bodycon dress. Don't you *love* it? My 1st adventure in a bodycon dress. Don't you *love* it?[/caption] Oh, and I took a bold step myself, stepping out for the first time in a bodycon dress. Don't you *love* it? (It's the Love Letter Dress from Giti. You can find it here.)

Inspiration from the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC!

As you know, the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC went down about two weeks ago and it was a HUGE success! Today, I'm so delighted to share some images and inspirational messages from that day - enjoy!! acknowledge accomplishments Chasing Joy Brunch_Jan14-35 spend time [caption id="attachment_7258" align="aligncenter" width="541"]MY FAVORITE QUOTE OF THE DAY!!! MY FAVORITE QUOTE OF THE DAY!!![/caption] [caption id="attachment_7268" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Guest Speaker Jese Gary of LuxeGiving Guest Speaker Jese Gary of LuxeGiving[/caption] dress the part [caption id="attachment_7267" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Guest Speaker Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing Guest Speaker Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing[/caption] you dont need a million fastest makeover [caption id="attachment_7269" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Sponsors Judy Ford & Monica Barnett exchanging their books! Sponsors Judy Ford & Monica Barnett exchanging their books![/caption] cheer door [caption id="attachment_7266" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Sponsor Cherise Rollins of Ispaci Sponsor Cherise Rollins of Ispaci[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7264" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Ice Breakers!!! Ice Breakers!!![/caption] Itching for moe? Check out Arlett's list of 10 Things She Loved about the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC! Thanks again to all our phenomenal sponsors! Adorn You, Miss Sassy, CreekSide Naturals, Crystina Noel, Jin+Ja Drink, Soulevant Lingerie, Sweet Trinity Aromatherapy, Junonia, Sunrise Consulting, Cheveux Souffles, , Ispaci, and Blueprint for Style

Event Alerts!

Hey Everybody - Sorry I've been so quiet this week. There has been TONS going on in my "real life." But, the great news is that there are tons of fun fashion events coming up in the DC area as well! The first event is happening THIS weekend and is sponsored by the Curves Ahead Project...check it out! model Call Flyer 1.19.14 Gearing up for the 2nd Model Call for The Curves Ahead Project's District of Curves Plus Size Fashion Show coming to DC this Spring. Join our cast! Come out and show us how you rock your curves during the 2nd Model Call on January 19th @ MLK Library in DC!!! Interested in being a media sponsor, advertiser, corporate sponsor, partner, stylist, MUA, or volunteer? @curvesaheadproject would love to have you on board!!! For members of the press, please email info@AbovePrestigePR.com. The next event comes from YOURS TRULY!! *fanfare* Event Ad Calling all Full-Figure Divas and Plus-Size Fashionistas!! Are you and your friends ready for a lingerie party like no other? Great! Curvy CEO has partnered with Curvy Girlz Lingerie, LLC to bring you an intimate shopping experience - just in time for Valentine's Day 2014! Enjoy the feeling of finding that perfect piece in an inviting environment that is catered for you. Shop with confidence and ease for it is all about you!!! Guests will also enjoy sweet treats and spicy conversation! Admission is free, but guests must register! (Oh, and before you get any funny ideas, this event is LADIES ONLY!!) NOTE: The event is already at capacity. However, if you are serious about attending, please sign up for the waitlist as registration as required for event guests.