Category

Travel

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!

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Traveling While Fat #PSBTravels

In Travel

The title sounds straight to the point huh? And YES/NO this may or may not be one of those “complainey” posts but oh well.

4 months ago, me and the ladies planned a trip to Jamaica for Anita’s birthday. We were given a list of excursions to choose from and even opted for a couple of spa treatments. We were convinced that we were going be in paradise! Now aside from the fact that all of us were sick, we were physically in paradise. The sun was shining, the water beautiful and the food was divine. No one could take away our initial feelings when we arrived in Jamaica.

Then day two came around and we were scheduling out the excursions. Originally we booked Horseback riding, ATV, Dolphin Swim, Jungle River Tubing and Sunset Tour. When we arrived, the representative took one look at me and said, “By the way, there’s a weight limit for some of these excursions.” Now, I know it’s her job to enforce the rules, so I didn’t take any offense to it. The weight limits were as follows:



Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica
Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in JamaicaPlus Size Traveling in Jamaica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



It was this moment where I realized that being 320llbs was more than a hindrance for clothing choice. Today, I saw that 4 of the activities we booked were not made for people my size. Of course, upon receiving the information, I kept the poker face. I said, oh well— let’s just see what we can do. My friends, well under 250 lbs, all made the cut. But, they still stood by me in not booking the excursions. We continued with the trip as scheduled and ended an almost perfect vacation.

From this trip, I realized that I loved to travel. I loved exploring a new culture and I loved the sun. I loved doing outdoorsy things and even walking far distances. But as I was researching other places to go, I noticed that I am too big to participate in resort activities. Skydiving, zip lining, sky lift, Bamboo River Rafting, and more. Now that I’ve contracted the wanderlust bug, does that mean I am forced to only stick to things within my weight range? Do I have to do extensive research on places that don’t have weight restrictions? I remember polling my friends on Facebook to ask if I would be turned away. An overwhelming majority said I wouldn’t. Boy were they wrong.

So I’ve decided to take some time and mull over this experience. I really want to do and see more. For my birthday, I was planning a trip to the Maldives until I realized that jetskis were involved…, weight wins again!

Go figures! So I think I am 99% sure about what my next steps are gonna be. Tune in next week as I share them. Til then, enjoy my flicks from the trip :).

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica
Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica
Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Plus Size Traveling in Jamaica

Yea, clearly you can tell I was on the struggle bus

Plus Size Traveling in JamaicaGlasses: Amazon

Beach Cover Up: Amazon

Faux Locs: Amazon

Sandals (super comfortable for travel) : Amazon

Grad School Acceptance to Boston University

Chardline Gets Ready for Grad School

In Beauty, Body Positive, Fitness & Health, Lifestyle, Personal Style, Travel

-inserts cliché- There comes a time in every person’s life where opportunities arise and there is nothing you can do but accept it. On August 5th, I got my opportunity in the form of one phrase: “On behalf of Boston University Metropolitan College’s Admissions Committee, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance into the Master of Urban Affairs Program at Boston University. “

YOUR GIRL IS GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL ON A FULL RIDE!

Boston University Grad School

I’ve been putting off this feat for the past few years.  As soon as I graduated, I continued to work in public service. I must admit, from time to time I would get overwhelmed because of work life and blog life. But now that I have a handle on everything, I feel confident enough to take the plunge.

Before committing to school, I researched a few ways to make sure that I have productive two years. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t sacrifice my blog, my job, my health, or my grades.  With some great advice from Nicole of Curves on a Budget , meeting with a time management specialist, and some insight from alumni, I learned 8 effective practices that are going to aide me with my journey to diploma #2. And guess what?  I am going to take you ALL on my journey. With each practice, I will include some links and resources as to how I’m getting through this rat race called graduate school. But most importantly, I will make sure each post includes some style attributes. Don’t worry; I am still going be the best dressed lady in the library.

So here’s a preview of some of the practices and tips that will help me get through these next two grueling years!

  1. Staycation: Taking time to reflect, plan and execute is going to be crucial to getting out of this unscathed. A staycation needs to happen somewhere that is free of distraction and an area that screams Feng Shui. You know the saying, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”
  2. Rest: Developing regular sleeping patterns is crucial to survival. I am going to have my first mattress review on the blog. This mattress will not only ease my way into snoozeville, but I will highlight the attributes it has for heavier women.
  3. Nutrition: Food is fuel! The wrong set of meals and all the sudden you’ll have a bad case of the itis. It’s important to make sure you are eating well and finding resources that help with planning out your meals for the week.
  4. Physical Activity: It’s very important to make sure your machine is well oiled. You have to make sure that all those school books feel as light as a feather and that you’re in great shape throughout the way.
  5. Organization: I am going to take a trip into everyone’s favorite one-stop shop to get supplies that will help organization and effectiveness. Whether it’s a new laptop or a drawing board, you have to be organized. From developing a shooting schedule with my photographer or answering emails in a timely manner, I will show you the ins and outs of getting through a successful week of work, school, and blogging.
  6. Time Management: My brain often goes off into la la land but luckily my time management specialist has showed me some way to beat this. Whoever knew that a watch can take your time management skills over the top?
  7. Vacation: Nothing says, “Good Job Chard” like a well-deserved vacation. When my semester is done, I will be vacationing on a resort in Haiti. When my parents left Haiti for the United States, their main goal was to raise a beautiful family that will go a lot further than they could afford to. I can’t wait to reflect on my parent’s homeland while bringing their vision to life.

But enough with the sappy story! Can’t wait to be so open and vulnerable throughout this entire journey. From long nights to delusional behaviors, you all are going to be on a bumpy ride!!

First stop, staycation!

Cheers!

Chardline celebrating her acceptance into grad school

 

5 Reasons Why Curves Rock Weekend ROCKED

In Plus Size Fashion, Travel

Last weekend, I had to privilege to attend the 5th Annual Curves Rock Weekend in Baltimore, Maryland. From an empowerment brunch to meeting some of the “Who is Who” in the plus size fashion industry, Curves Rock Weekend was a celebration of empowerment, femininity and CURVES! This year was Curves Rock’s 5th Anniversary, and instead of doing the same ole recap, I want to highlight 5 reasons why Curves Rocks Weekend was the place to be!

1. Size Diversity

This is the first time I’ve been to a fashion show where complete body diversity was clear. From size 8 to size 28, every single body shape was represented. Another interesting aspect the Curves Rock committee members covered was various heights on the models! There were women who were 5 feet tall and there were women who were as tall as 6’3. Seeing this amount of diversity was jaw dropping. For the most part, you see a lot of women who range from 5’7-6’1. The casting was amazing! A huge shout out to Samantha Lebbie for really making sure there was a lot of diversity in the runway show this year!

Plus Size Models at Curves Rock Weekend

Photography by, Doug Swaim of Never Forgotten Photography

2. You Got to Meet All of Your Online Fashionista Friends

It really warmed my heart to see some of the ladies that in interact with regularly via social media.  Seeing Yazzie receive her Humanitarian Award was one of the greatest highlights of my trip!

Yazzie Receiving Humanitarian Award at Curves Rocks Weekend

Photography by, Doug Swaim of Never Forgotten Photography

Seeing Elena rip the runway and pursuing her dreams of being a model.

 

Or my favorite; seeing Laura Lee so poised and killing the runway with every look. In the age of social media, it’s always a blessing when you actually get human interaction!

 

3. Baltimore Gets Turnt!

With such a diverse age of women, Curves Rocks Weekend doesn’t sleep. Although I was busy blogging in the hotel room, I saw so much footage of people cuttin’ up! It looks like everyone was having a ball! There’s something about being able to turn up in a judgement free zone. Heels on or off it was a great time Even at the Cuff-links Mixer, the turn up was real!

4. You Got to Hear About Health from Women Who Looked Like You

Time and time again, I end up learning about healthy living and proper workouts from women who do not look like me. This can be very discouraging. It sends out a message that I do not fit the standard of health associated with image. But when you see a woman who has curves and speak about their journey to health from a similar narrative to your own, it truly helps you explore the possibilities of creating your own journey. Anowa Adjah truly challenged us to take our fitness to a new level in a safe space! Plus, losing the gut and not the butt is my life motto.

Anowa Adjah teaching at Curves Rock Weekend Anowa Adjah teaching at Curves Rock Weekend

 

5. If you follow Chanell Jones and Tykesha Reed, You Finally Get to See All of Their Hard Work

Putting together a full week of events that challenge stereotypes of curvy women, elevate curvy women, and celebrate curvy women is hard work. I’ve had the honor of attending Curves Rock Weekend for two years and it’s always a sight to you see. Thank you ladies for all the work you continue to contribute towards the plus size industry.

Tykesha and Chanell of Curves Rock Weekend

Make sure you head to the Curves Rock Weekend’s  website to see what’s in store for next year. You already know I will be there!

Til next time,

Char.

Concourse Hotel

My Stay at Concourse Hotel Los Angeles- A Hyatt Affiliated Hotel

In Travel

Happy Friday!

As I am writing this post while en route to Baltimore for Curves Rocks Weekend, I am reflecting over last week’s trip to Los Angeles. Being that it’s my second time visiting LA, I never realized how many hidden gems there were. I know LA is known for Hollywood, celebrity sightings, and their heavenly beaches, but this time around I chose to stumble upon some places rather than hit the night life. 

I decided to stay closer to the airport because last time I went to Los Angeles, I missed my flight due to all that traffic! When looking for a hotel, I need something that’s going to match my aesthetic. Nothing says WORST TRIP EVER than sleeping in a hotel room that feels like a coffin. While I was looking online for newer hotels, I stumbled upon The Concourse Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport – A Hyatt Affiliated Hotel. 

Before booking the hotel, I had to take a look at the rooms. I am super into Feng Shui and if the bed is facing the door, unnecessary clutter is present, loud decorum for no reason, and has poor lighting — I won’t book/sleep there. Weird huh? But when you are sleeping in a state that is 3 hours behind, you want to make sure you are catching up on your sleep in the most peaceful atmosphere–plus I am a princess. From the pictures, the room looked amazing. But my rule of thumb is always to expect it to look a little less amazing upon arrival.

I went ahead and booked the room. Upon arrival, I was 4 hours earlier than expected. When I went to check in, I let Kelly, the front desk agent, know I wanted to leave my belongings in the hotel storage and I would be back to check in. She said, hold on, let me see if there is a room available. It in a matter of minutes, we were escorted to our room without having to pay an extra fee. Where else can you check in at 12:15pm? 

As soon as I arrived to the room, I was shocked! THE ROOM LOOKED BETTER THAN THE PICTURES! My view of the pool was amazing. And at night, you can see the airport runway light up. The room was beautifully decorated. Not too busy and 4 simple colors: grey, black, white, and yellow. The Concourse Hotel really took my breath away! I felt like I walked into a Crate and Barrel. The bed was firm, the decorations were modern, and the bathroom actually had toothpaste and mouthwash! The bed was so comfortable. Very sturdy and I didn’t feel like I was sinking.

As someone who weighs 315 lbs, my biggest pet peeves when it comes to hotel beds are:

  1. Poorly quality
  2. Poor support
  3. Too bouncy

I really lucked out staying at the Concourse Hotel!

Here are real-time photos of the room:

Concourse Hotel in Los Angeles

 

 

 Concourse Hotel

                                                          A hotel that still has toothpaste and mouthwash!

Concourse Hotel

 Concourse Hotel

Couch Decorum at Concourse Hotel

 Concourse Hotel

 

 Concourse Hotel

Concourse Hotel

Kelly, the desk agent left me a note with some fruit!

 Concourse Hotel

 

 

Please check out the Concourse Hotel when traveling to Los Angeles. It’s so close to the airport and so convenient when trying to get to different parts of the city.

What did you think? Have you been here before? Let me know your thoughts!

Until the next trip,

Char.