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OOTD: The Summer of Freckled Shoulders

June 8, 2015

Oh, hey! Remember me? I’ve come out of my cave for this wonderful thing called summer, and I thought I’d come back to my blog and start showing you my favorite things I’m wearing this season. I’m noticing already that I am attracted to clothing that shows off my shoulders: strapless dresses, maxis with racer backs, and lots and lots of Bardot/off the shoulder tops. This can only lead to one thing: freckled shoulders.arIMG_0767

Today’s look is very relaxed. Something casual that works for going shopping, meeting with friends, or possibly even work, depending on the dress expectations. I wore this out to go to Target and to do some work at Starbucks. I started with just the top, jeans, and sandals, but I ran across this necklace at Target and added it to the outfit.


I’ve noticed that since I’ve slowed down on blogging, my style has gotten even simpler, especially when it is hot, so a 4-piece outfit is perfect for me. Instead of accessorizing my outfit a lot, I’ve been messing around with make-up more, not that you can tell much in these pictures(!). The next thing I want to tackle is learning some more hairstyles that I can easily do, especially casual up-dos.

arIMG_0722PinkClove Top, Torrid Jeans, Target Sandals (similar), Target Necklace

A little update on life: I’m still enjoying apartment life. I’ve just begun really enjoying living alone, but I think it’s because I’m on break and social life is easy again. No worries, though, because my cousin is moving in with me on July 1st, so there will be a whole new adventure for both of us (and a cat companion for Lola!). Teaching at the university has been great, and I was given a longer contract to continue teaching there. I also took a class this past semester to get back into research and figure out if I want to keep furthering my education (maybe in a few years?), and I’m doing a 3-week institute with the National Writing Project this summer. I’ve started a blog that will be all about writing stuff for NWP, so you can check that out here. Next year my teaching load decreases (only 2 classes), and I’ll step into a leadership role that helps run our university’s writing center (tutoring center). I’m excited, but I also think I like to punish myself a bit — I seem to never let myself get comfortable before I take on something new, but I guess that’s half the fun :). I’m going to try to keep updating my blog, but I am best at keeping Instagram up, so check it out if you also have an account.

What are you loving to wear this summer? 

OOTD: My Current Go-To Fall Outfit

October 19, 2014

Last night was my sister, Katie’s, annual anniversary bonfire. Her and her husband were celebrating 9 years married together (woot!). Never to miss a fashion moment, I pulled out my go-to fall outfit. I seriously wear some version of this 2 (*cough* 3) times a week. I also got to use two of my newest items, boots that actually zip all the way up and a new winter coat.


I purchased this H&M sweater a couple of weeks ago and realized the first time I wore it that it was the perfect fall sweater. The fabric is so soft, and it drapes and skims, which is what I like in the fall. I was going to buy another copy of this, but it sold out fast. I also purchased this scarf from H&M (not offered online, similar here). Again, the fabric is incredibly soft, and it’s long enough for me to knot and wear in many different ways.


I’ve been wearing Torrid’s jeggings since I got to try a pair at FFFWeek years ago, and I’ve always worn their regular length that hit me below my ankle. I finally decided to invest in the short length jeggings, and they fit perfectly, hitting right at the ankle. I also invested in boots, and let’s just say I didn’t have high hopes. Almost every “wide width” boot is not wide enough for me. I looked into Simply Be’s offerings and it seemed like I just fit into their size chart. When you purchase boots there, make sure you look at the calf sizes (curvy plus, etc) and the amount of E’s. I went with this style, and they do fit well. I’ve only worn them once, and I noticed that with driving and walking around they shimmied down and made the ankle area baggy. I’m hoping to figure out how to fix this soon, but if that’s my only problem then I can handle it.

I also recently purchased this Anorak jacket from Torrid with a Haute Cash coupon code. Without the code, the jacket is a bit pricey, but it is very well made and warm for winter. I could see myself using this even in really cold weather because it is lined with sherpa fabric. I love the faux-leather details, especially the shoulders and elbow patches, and you can remove the hood (yay for versatility!). My cousin Blythe and soon-to-be sister-in-law Brittany got in on the photo session as well.


What’s been your fall go-to outfit so far? 

Kiyonna Gives: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 3, 2014

I’ve gotten to work with Kiyonna many times over the last year, but, when they told me about their campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I was really excited to share with you what they are doing and what you can do to participate in raising awareness and money for a breast cancer foundation of Kiyonna’s choice. One in 1,000 men and 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and Kiyonna, with the help of you, wants to spread the word and help to find a cure.

For the entire month of October, Kiyonna is selling a Pretty in Pink option of their Sunset Stroll Bellini where 100% of their proceeds (75% of wholesale sales) go to an accredited breast cancer foundation. Along with the bellini proceeds, Kiyonna wants to spread the word by using the hashtags #ShowYourPink and #KiyonnaGives. Their goal is to have women across the country show their pink, whether it be their bellini or their other favorite pink fashion piece on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  At the end of the month Kiyonna will research the hashtag and donate $1 for every participating #ShowYourPink that includes #KiyonnaGives.

I’ve taken some pictures with Kiyonna’s Pretty in Pink Sunset Stroll Bellini, and I’ll be tagging my photos/tweets and retweeting/reposting those of you I see in my feed participating in the hashtags. I hope you will join me in raising money and awareness for this cause!







Thank you, Brittany, for taking my pictures! Lola says you’re the best, too :)



  • Sunset Stroll Bellini promotion is valid from 10/1/14 to 10/31/14.  Kiyonna Clothing will donate 100% of proceeds from the Pretty in Pink Sunset Stroll Bellini retail sales (and 75% of wholesale sales) to an accredited breast cancer foundation of their choice.
  • #ShowYourPink promotion is valid from 10/1/14 to 10/31/14.  Kiyonna Clothing will donate $1.00 for every Facebook, Instragram or Twitter post that includes a picture of something pink that represents fashion and/or breast cancer with the following hashtags (#ShowYourPink and #KiyonnaGives) with a cap of $5,000.00.  Picture must be tasteful and relevant to the cause in order to be eligible for donation.

I’m Okay, But I’m Not Okay

October 1, 2014

Let’s just call this a surge of feelings prompted by the following:

photo (4)

and I kind of dislike my voice, so here’s me being all vulnerable..

Review: Igigi’s Urban Jungle

September 15, 2014

Igigi let me select a few pieces of their Urban Jungle collection to try out and review. I was immediately drawn to the Lark Wrap Top in Emerald Escape, so they recommended the Olivia skirt and the Tabitha blazer to go with it. I love when I get to review a company that has a size range that I can get behind (Igigi goes up to a US 30/32!), and it’s extremely nice to be able to size up if I want! I definitely picked the right sizes for my top and skirt (both 26/28), but I should have gone down one size in the jacket (I ordered a 28). Below are a couple different ways that I styled these pieces.


The blazer is a softer, stretchier fabric than I imagined. In fact, the cuffs have elastics, so it’s easy to make this a more casual style.


I don’t have many tops with this kind of wrap style, and what I noticed is that the fabric can be a little overwhelming on my body shape. A simple belt let me break up the print and add more shape.raIMG_0399


The skirt fit perfectly and did not cling to my stomach like some pencil skirts are prone to do. It ended up being my favorite piece. I have it pulled up to my high waist, so I could lower it any time for a different style.

What do you think of this look? Check out Igigi’s Urban Jungle collection and let me know your favorite pieces.

New Additions: Back to School

September 1, 2014

The nice thing about being a teacher is that every start of the fall season has that same excitement that I had since I was a little kid going to elementary school. I love beginnings. I love school. Now it just looks a little different, and I’m forgoing the brightly colored folders for office decorations and figuring out my teaching style.

I started adding to my school wardrobe in July, and I recently added some more pieces with these Labor Day sales. You don’t realize what colors you are oriented toward until you put it all together. I’m obviously geared toward blues, pinkish corals, and black. I’m enjoying prints as well. Although I will never solely wear black, grays, and white, I do find that those pieces work really well for my work wear, and allow me to play around with accessories and make up instead. I’ve complained in the past that I struggle with my style in the office, so I’m pretty excited that I’m beginning to find pieces that work for me. One thing you’ll notice is a lack of pants/bottoms. I still swear by my ASOS Curve jersey pencil skirts, Torrid jeggings (in black and denim), and my new Lena fit pants from Lane Bryant. I also have some colored pants from Old Navy that isn’t carried right now.


B2S Fall


B2S Fall by theplussideofme featuring cardigans
I was able to get the two Lane Bryant jackets for BOGO free. It was a great deal, and both jackets are incredibly well made. I also love both of the graphic tanks. I bought the palm tree top in person, and I don’t think that I would have been pulled to it online, but the trim has a sporty look to it, and the fabric lays really well. I’m loving longer cardigans for fall. The blue and black are great starter pieces, but I’m hoping to add in some printed cardigans over the next few months.
What pieces are you adding for your fall/winter wardrobe? What trends/colors are grabbing you?
P.S. A lot of these stores have sales going on through today, so if you click on the item I think you will be taken to those items.

A little fashion, a little reading, and a little teaching.

August 26, 2014

A little fashion…

I’m not on Twitter as much as I used to be, so sometimes I’m not as clued into the plus size fashion happenings as I used to be, but thankfully I follow lots of “in the know” bloggers who share great content, especially The Curvy Fashionista’s Facebook page. I saw on her page a link to a blogger/brand collaboration between P.S. It’s Fashion and Fame and Partners. The collection spans sizes 16-26 and offers special occasion wear. I’m really loving some of the designs, and I think the price point is on par with quality special occasion wear. My favorite is the Maya dress, but you can check out the full collection here.


Maya Dress

Another interesting thing I saw this week was‘s feature of women in the tech field in their Ada collection lookbook. One of the women featured is Sarah Conley of (see her post here), and I absolutely loved seeing someone near my size/shape featured in such an intimate setting. I’ve admired Sarah as a blogger for awhile, so it is also just really cool when you see someone you kinda know in these things. Apparently some people feel that the lookbook sexualizes women in the tech field, and I guess that means that sexual women in that field can’t also be seen as great workers (?!), but I found the lookbook fresh and exciting. As I said to Sarah, my read of it was that women can be powerful, confident, smart, intimate, and vulnerable. We can be all of those together, at the same time, and one doesn’t take away from the other.


By the way, I own their Rosa brief in a 3x, and it is a great product (fits up to a 26/28).

A little reading…

I’ve also been reading a lot of things to potentially use in my class, especially writing that comes out of personally-motivated inquiry. “The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit” was a really interesting read. My class looks at identity and how we use language to form the self, manage the self, etc. We also consider who we are recognized as and probe at how that recognition forms identity. So much of my life is connecting to others that I have a hard time thinking about going 2+ days alone, let alone decades alone. It made me think about my class subject in a new way.

“I did examine myself,” he said. “Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.”

A little teaching…

This week my classes are also thinking about the stories we associate with ourselves (those we tell or are told) and how places are connected to identity. We read this piece about how places are connected to our sense of self. It reminded me of the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. It’s a poem that is often imitated, and I had a chance to go back and look over the version I wrote in 2008. It’s fun to think about how my sense of place has changed over the years. How now at 26 I associate “Where I’m From” with other things (now probably more things that have happened in my adult years rather than only my childhood).

Here’s the version I wrote in 2008:

I am from rubber,

From weather-stripping and classic cars,

I am from the wooden dock,

(splintery, worn

it creaked beneath my feet.)

I am from the daffodils,

the paper tree

whose bark I peeled off

to become

secret notes for my sister.

I’m from skip-bo and the Droulliard nose,

from Evelyn and Giuseppa.

I’m from the laugh-too-louds,

and the speak-up-to-be-heard,

from the good old days and quit picking on your brother.

I’m from Mass on Christmas,

then never again

waiting for answers, but afraid to search.

I’m from Lincolnton and the Grammaticos,

lasagna and no-bake cookies.

From the years of my mother being

a caretaker

my grandma’s stroke that started it all.

In the basement is my plastic box

birthday cards, letters

old school yearbooks,

news articles of my deceased dear friend.

Each piece makes up my limbs-

A medley of people who’ve changed me-

Supporting me as I walk on.

What have you been reading and thinking about this week?


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