Category

Lifestyle

Turning a New Leaf feat. Teri Jon

In Body Positive, Fashion, Personal Style

At 28 years old, I feel like I’ve experienced more than I needed to. I’ve had like five near death experiences; I’ve had to make tough decisions that I wake up regretting every day and to make matters worse, I keep finding myself in a lot of the same experiences. I think the greats call this insanity.

One of life’s most challenging aspects is understanding love + partnership with a significant other. I swear, in high school, it was so simple. Love meant holding hands, going to the movies, and the worst thing your significant other can do is cheat on you.

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

As I’m getting older, love is starting to mean tough conversations, holding your tongue for the sake of bruising your partner’s ego, understanding that there is a gray area that isn’t always the prettiest place to hang out in, realizing that sex more than a physical act–it’s 90% mental, knowing that honest and direct communication will make or break a relationship, etc.

Now, there are more nuances to love but–even then, I still welcome it with open arms. Why? Love has the power to transform and heal you. I once had a friend who said, “Sha, you are brave! You go into dating with the hopes of you establishing something long lasting. You don’t seem to be scared of externalities such as hurt, depression, weight fluctuation, internalized views about yourself and men in general, etc.” As endearing as his speculation about me was, he was kind of wrong. I’m terrified of love. It can be horrifying!

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

It’s 2017, and society still dictates where a person should be in their late twenties. If it were up to my family, I would have been married with two kids by now. But, by the grace of God, I’m not even close. Being married isn’t a life goal for me. Being happy and making others happy is a better fit for me. Does that mean I’m going to put a pause on love? NAH! I’m going to love harder than I’ve ever loved before. But not in search of the dream guy—in search of Chardline. I’ve been relationships that have changed me for the worst. I honestly lost more and more of myself with every relationship.

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

While this post is only PART ONE, I hope you guys follow me as I figure out what it means to take the time to and LOVE ME! FINALLY! I’ve identified six things that kept me from loving me. With each layer revealed, I am going to share some of the tips and revelations that led me to this impetus. I’m also low key excited that I’m going to partner with people who’ve watched me grow and break down for the past 10+ years. Visuals, Interviews, and Testimonies!

No fancy production here, but this project means more to me than you all know. And yes, we can talk about this dress! The reason why I had to roll out my “Turning a New Leaf” project with this dress by Teri Jon is that I am still a style blogger and partnering with brands who are turning new leaves of their own is especially near and dear to my heart! Teri Jon just rolled out their #JustMySize campaign. Check out their video to learn more about it.

Even though my dress is sold out, check out these Fall classics that I know you’ll see on the blog again!! I am wearing a size 20 if it helps for reference. Also, I found the same dress on Saks!

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

Plus Size Wedding Dress by Teri Jon

Do me a favor? Hug yourself every night before you go to sleep. I promise it makes a world of a difference.

-Char.

Dove Intensive Repair for Natural Hair

In Beauty

The summer has a way of damaging my hair like no other. Moreover, since I have a 4b natural hair type, trying to revive my after heat damage and chlorine damage from all the pool parties felt near impossible…until now. So far I have been to three tropical locations, and every time I came back to the United States, my hair would feel unmanageable and brittle. While I have hair products that aid in placating my damaged ends, it was hard finding something that would bring my hair back to life. Moreover, naturalistas, we know the summer struggle is real!

While searching for products that specialize in natural hair care, I stumbled upon  Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. Now, I know that my fellow naturalistas may think I am kidding, but it works! In the past, I have spent over 30.00 dollars in trying to find products that repair my damaged and ends and brittle hair. However, Dove’s Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner does the trick, and it is very affordable. I am usually against using products that have sulfates, but this duo has an ingredient that helps with softening damaged hair: Nutri-Keratin Repair Actives. Keratin is an essential protein that combats frizzy, dry ends. It is every natural girl’s best friend! Kudos to Dove for adding an important ingredient that helps support our tresses!

Since I have purchased the product, I have used it about three times, and the Intensive Repair Conditioner is a perfect co-wash. I live for products that are multi-functional. With today being the second day of a heat wave, I feel at ease about jumping into the pool. Since Dove Intensive Repair works to repair hair and stop 90% of hair damage before it happens, I am ready to enjoy the rest of my summer and my luscious locs!

What are your thoughts? Ready to try Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner? Let me know what your results are!

Until next time,
Char!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wearing my Awkward Crown

In Body Positive

Remember that time when being awkward was cool? It lasted a whole seven days; then people went back to following the “IT GIRL.” You see, I was always awkward. I have done a pretty good job at masking it, but from time to time you will catch me in my natural state.

Being awkward is more than responding to common situations weirdly, it is also stressing over the reason why others do not react the same way you do. Each of my friends will collectively say, “Chardline is so awkward, but I love her though.” Moreover, as I grew older, I realized that being awkward is not such a bad thing—it is a great thing. While everyone is crying at a scene from Titanic, I still find solace in knowing that if I were on that ship, I would not have to pay my student loans anymore–I would be at peace.

Does that mean I am savage? Nah, it just means that I process things differently. I am writing this post not only to show off my dope fedora from Kuronne, but to encourage everyone to be the best version of yourself. We live in a time where our quirks and personalities are not celebrated. In fact, we are invited to be more like sheep than a flock of diversity.

Some days I wish I were normal. Sometimes I think to myself, “If I were less awkward, I would finally get the guy.” Alternatively, my favorite, “If I were less awkward, I would be able to express myself better instead of joking about matters that were serious to me.” However, God made me this way for a reason, and I am gonna let it fly.

However, don’t get me wrong be awkward is probably what led me to all of my accomplishments today. Too many to name but one of my favorites is my relationship with my nephew. No one in the family understands why we are as close –and I think it’s because awkwardly, we understand each other. 20 years apart and he’s the only person I can connect with in my house.

So today, celebrate the things about yourself that you’ve been trying to hide. Learn to embrace those things about yourself, too. Issa Rae did it when she first wrote The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, and now look where she is! AN AWKWARD BOSS! Jesse Eisenberg is my #MCE and I think it’s because he’s a pretty awkward guy himself.

See we are not all that strange!

Want to see how my homegirls expressed their Kuronne fedoras? Check out their Instagram pages. Bianca + Genevieve.

 

Which Kuronne hat best represents you?

Til next time, Char!

5 Reasons Why I’m Not Going Back to Mexico

In Fashion, Travel

…unless it’s with Parlour Magazine at UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya


It has been exactly a week since I left Mexico and I SO REGRET GOING! When Ty of Gorgeous in Grey posted the #TravelFlySolo17 trip, my interests were SLIGHTLY piqued! For some reason, all I could think about was a group trip in an uber-touristy place. UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya made sure to disappoint my assumptions.

Despite the title of this article being a little misleading, my five days in paradise was AMAZING! Every time someone asks me about how it was, I cannot help but smile. The premise of Parlour Magazine’s #TravelFlySol017 was to allow yourself to experience revolutionary rest! The #TravelFly Solo Weekend is for the luxe-loving woman (that I know you are) who wants to try solo travel or enjoys, but appreciates being around familiar faces (for safety) and having company for dinners, outing, etc. Just like Ty said, this trip was a completely self-designed weekend—NO itinerary, NO group think, NO feeling like you are in a machine. There was a digital guide that assisted in planning our weekend.

Dress from Rebdolls

Essentially, it is the “non-group trip” for the woman who hates the typical “group trip.”

At first, I went in thinking, “I cannot wait to hang out with all my blogger boos and get wasted” However, by day three, I found myself resting and thinking under the beautiful sunset in the Riviera Maya. I suggest that every person takes at least one trip of revolutionary rest, a phrase coined by Shannon Washington–co-founder of Parlour Magazine. I slept by the beach and let the salt water restore my wounds. I went on a small ATV tour and sped like I was a biker! I ate until I could not eat anymore! I was BLESSED! This is by far was the BEST VACATION that I have been on. So to that end, I wanted to list the five reasons why vacationing with Parlour Magazine at UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya was the best experience.

Location! Location! Location!

The RESORT was BREATHTAKING!! I am talking about an ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT with dirt cheap inclusions. Where can you get a full body exfoliation for $30.00? I mean they got in between every crevice and gave me a brand new layer of skin! Also, a huge shout out to Gavyn because I learned that my tan would look better if I got a full body exfoliation beforehand.

Unico also comes with an app that is very intuitive and user-friendly. With customized turn down service, scheduled resort activities for the day, and real-time food service, I do not think I could stay anywhere else!

Also, I know you saw my posts in my outdoor jacuzzi! Well, each room has an outdoor jacuzzi or a hammock/swim-up room! Like, COME ON! Lastly, this isn’t  Cabo; this was the Riviera Maya. Meaning, no rowdy people passing out drunk everywhere. It was full of Mayan ruins, rustic art; iguanas staring you down, swimming in the Cenotes cave, dining, and sailing, etc. If you are looking to relax, this is the place! Whether you I was at the Yucatan jungle or gazing at pyramids, it was amazing.

Swim set from Rebdolls

FOOD!

I cannot begin to tell you how good the food was. With four major restaurants on site, I was in a new country every night. The first night was Italian, then Japanese, then Mexico, etc. It was HEAVENLY! Paired with a buffet that opened from 7 am to 5 pm, it was impossible to starve. Also, room service was FREE! So when I wanted churros at 3 am, I got my churros at 3 am!

Great Wifi

That pretty much says it all! There was wifi throughout the entire resort–even on the beach! Also, free calls to the US! As a blogger, I had to keep you  updated on my travels, so Unico’s wifi made it possible!

Mesh Top from Fashion to Figure

 Revolutionary Rest

I am a woman who wears MANY HATS! I work a full-time job, I blog, and I am in school part time. Living by the motto, “Sleep when you die” has always been my excuse to keep working harder. The idea of taking time off to RELAX felt like a luxury. But #TravelFlySolo17 helped me destroy that myth of having to work all the time.

Getting full 10 hours of sleep, AMAZING!
Waking up at UNICO for a private yoga session, AMAZING!
Spending the morning exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, AMAZING!
Afternoon zip lining through the jungle, AMAZING!
Finishing with a beachside dinner back at UNICO was like a dream come true.

Ladies, rest is your friend!

My Girl Gang GREW

Although I knew about 6 to 8 ladies who were part of our travel group, I met six new friends who were just as awesome! Jenny from Brooklyn has to be my fav! She understands me. We tried to crash a Too Short concert by hopping on a random bus and trying to blend in with the crowd! Although we did not get in, this was one for the books! GUCCI! Ebony is an up and coming blogger who has so much soul and gets me!! Moreover, lastly, spending time with my blogger boo Katie was the icing on the cake! I love my new sisters!

GUCCI! Ebony is an up and coming blogger who has so much soul and gets me!! Moreover, lastly, spending time with my blogger boo Katie was the icing on the cake! I love my new sisters!

Ebony is an up and coming blogger who has so much soul and gets me!! Moreover, lastly, spending time with my blogger boo Katie was the icing on the cake! I love my new sisters!

When preparing to look for clothes for the tropical weather, your safest bets are always going to be Fashion to Figure and Rebdolls! From clubbing at Cannibal Beach to Cruising in my ATV, I had the perfect outtfit for every occasion! I shared most of the links to my outfits during my trip, but here they are in case you missed them:

Rebdolls

Swim Suit 

Maxi Dress

Fashion To Figure

Tankini Bathing Suit

Yellow Maxi Dress

Mesh Shirt

Beach Tote

Ruffle Dress

Mesh Top from Fashion to Figure

Accessories:

Sunglass Up:

Mirrored Glasses

Round Glasses



Amazon Fashion:

Cape Robbin Pom Pom Heels

So are you ready to Travel Fly SOLO? Make sure you follow Parlour Magazine for their next trip! I know I will be there!! Also, a special shout-out to Travel By Design for hooking us up with such a sweet deal!! I am using them from here on out!

Until next trip.

Char!

Dear Kurvy Katie

In Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Personal Style

Today’s post is short and sweet!


I want to dedicate the best blogger friend that I have: Kurvy Katie.

Y’all may know her as “the girl who has all the promo codes and gets things for the low-low,” but to me, she is so much more. We can talk about EVERYTHING and not feel a hint of judgment. In the blogging world, it’s so hard to know someone’s true intentions because it can be catty! Now don’t get me wrong, I have other friends that I vibe with and trust, but making friendships within any industry is tough.

To that end, I wanted to send my Katie a love letter cuz she’s the bee’s knees!

Dear Slim (cuz she loves hip hop and MIGHT like Eminem lol),
Thanks for being that friend that is down to turn up and turn down. Always providing me with direction, advice (like cut that dude off or “let me text him for you and tell him you like him lol”) and the truth! It’s easy to find people who will smile in your face but talk craziness behind your back! Ya mad dope son. From serving overseas to continuing to serve the community of armed forces back home, you truly are a gem!

Two weeks ago, I was going to spend 1500 in accommodations for training in DC…but you intercepted with the quickness and looked out for your homegirl! Thanks for looking out! Letting me lounge around and even kick it with you and Kiki (oooh—tell her she should start a Youtube called “Kickin’ It with Kiki).

Aside from letting me crash, when Boston Curvy Fashion Week just started, for two weeks in a row you came out and supported! That was deep, dude!

In a few short days, we are taking our first international trip together, and I can’t EFFIN wait! I couldn’t think of a better roommate and travel mate! So here’s to great vibes, Mexican guys, and Mai Tai’s! Love you
Char!

Chardline Outfit Details

Denim Dress (40% off using code SHOPJUNE): Eloquii 

Gingham Heels: Sold out, from Shoe Dazzle

Katie’s Outfit

Striped Dress (on sale for 25.00 now!) : Target

Chuck Taylor Sneakers: Macy’s