Putting yourself out there…

 

Relaxing

Hello everyone,

As many of you know this blog is a new endeavor for me and frankly when I decided to write about fashion I did not think through how I would feel looking at my own pictures and having to feel proud of them. This has certainly been a lesson in feeling vulnerable and still putting myself out there. I have always considered myself a fashionista, but through the years I have gained and lost weight quite a bit and have been many different sizes.

I have been judged based on my size a lot too and it is not always easy to see the looks of disapproval of people or even hearing comments such as “You are so lazy!” “What are you two up to?” (Referring to only me), “You only eat sugar and sweets.” “Why don’t you eat healthier?” “Why don’t you exercise more?”

To be honest, I have been exercising on a regular basis for the past 15 years and it does not seem to help much as far as losing weight goes. I continue because I know it is the healthy thing to do but it does not help me lose weight. Therefore, people sho see my size assume I do not exercise because most people think those who exercise are skinny.  I have tried many different diets in my lifetime too and while some were successful I have finally come to the conclusion that unless I want to live eating on a diet for the rest of my life I will never be able to maintain a lower weight. What I mean is that I would need to never eat anything I actually enjoy eating, because the day I go to a restaurant and have a treat I immediately gain weight which is very frustrating. So lately I have made the commitment to make some healthy choices when I can but I also don’t deprive myself of things I enjoy. I am just really careful so that I don’t continue gaining weight, rather I try to maintain my weight even though it is not an ideal weight.

Anyway, going back to making myself vulnerable, this blog has sure put me out there. I guess when I see myself in the mirror I don’t really see how big I am, when I see my pictures is when I realize where I really am. Don’t get me wrong, this has been great to help me accept myself and be comfortable in my own skin. I hope this blog can serve as an example and a comforting idea for other women out there who don’t always feel good about their shapes. I would also have to say, that buying beautiful clothes and accessories helps a lot when it comes to our self-esteem. I know we should be able to feel good about ourselves despite of material things but it is not always easy to look at the mirror and feel that way. It sure helps when you see yourself in a certain outfit that just makes you feel incredible. It can go a long way for your self-esteem and self-confidence.

So, my suggestion to all of you, is to get out there and find that one piece that makes you feel good. Frankly, it does not really matter what others think, what really matters is how YOU feel in the outfit that matters the most. Taste can vary so much from person to person that it would be very difficult to please everyone anyway.  Also, another small tip is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money, you can find something you love and still be a bargain, which are my favorite finds. Many think that you can only look good if you spend a lot of money, I don’t think that is true, I am a savvy shopper and I always hunt for the good deals. Make sure you try things on and find that perfect piece.

Thank you for reading,

Juliana

Ten easy tips for always looking professional at work…

10 easy tips

Hello everyone,

One thing that has always been a big thing for me is how people should look professional at work and so many miss the mark. I have heard many times how people should not be judged on the way they look and the clothes they wear. Well, I have always disagreed with that because it is somewhat in our nature to judge others for a myriad of reasons. Now, do I find that ok to do? No, I wish we lived in a world where nobody ever judged anybody but that is simply not the reality.

I know I am judged on a regular basis on the fact that I am overweight, many might not say anything to my face but I know they are thinking.  In Brazil, I am considered lazy and have been told that to my face even though I exercise on a regular basis. In fact, people have suggested that I am lying when I say I exercise, because based on my size I must be lazy and eat all day. Just to set the record straight, I don’t think I am either.

So anyway, because we tend to judge each other, in order to get the job of our dreams or keep the job of our dreams, we need to dress in a certain way so that we look professional.  There are different expectations depending on the industry you work in, I myself am a teacher and our dress code is a bit more relaxed than other jobs. (I used to work at banks and that was way more traditional and conservative than schools)

Here are 10 easy tips that should help in most work places:

  1. Always cover up, would it be appropriate for church? If not, maybe leave it for the weekend outing.
  2. Leggings are not pants and you should wear a very long tunic or a skirt with them.
  3. Work places are not always the place to try your more trendy outfits unless you have a very relaxed dress code.
  4. Short, mini skirts are not for the office.
  5. Spaghetti straps have no place in the office either.
  6. Blazers/Jackets can help any outfit look more professional.
  7. Traditional sheath dresses are always a good option and it looks good in most body types. (Find the best cut for your body).
  8. The bra should never show in any outfit for any reason.
  9. Plain rubber flip flops do not belong in the office either. Leave them for the pool.
  10. Always look groomed, and clean. Your hair should look clean and nails should be groomed. Depending on the job, there are strict rules about the length of your nails and if you can or not have color on them.

Hope you enjoy these tips and that they are helpful!

Thanks for reading,

Juliana

5 tips to look cute and stay warm…

5 ways to stay warm and look cute
Stylish and Effortless

We all have to deal with those cold days when we need to stay warm but we still want to look cute. This can be hard because let’s be honest, most of the coats made for plus size women are pretty bulky and not very flattering. Since I have moved to Portland, it is not nearly as cold as it used to be when I lived in the midwest but we still have some colder days. So I figured out a way to stay warm and still look cute outside without those huge bulky coats.

5 ways

First of all, I find sweaters that are warm and can go over other clothes so that I can layer. Layering is key for this to work. I have one more challenge to face which is that I am allergic to wool and acrylic sweaters so I need to find clothes that are made of other materials and winter clothes are difficult to find. This sweater has a nice cute fluffy collar and it is a nice sweater to put on top of other sweaters or long sleeve shirts that keep me warm.

So here are 5 tips that I usually follow and it seems to work:

  1. Layer whenever possible with comfy and soft materials.
  2. Find stylish sweaters that can go over other thicker shirts.
  3. Pants that will work with boots, especially thicker materials like jeans.
  4. Cute boots are a must, if you are the type who gets really cold, then tall boots with warm long boot socks that peak over the boots.
  5. Wear warm long sleeve tight shirts under the sweater you want to show off.

There are a few other tips I could share. Here is one of them and I will add more as time goes on.

#1

Stocking caps can be very cute and helpful to complete an outfit. I would also say that keeping warmers in your pockets could help and you would not need to have such heavy and bulky clothes on then. On the day I took these pictures it was in the 40s and I was pretty comfortable outside with the 2 layers of sweaters.  The stocking caps also help with keeping you warm. Again, I had to find the ones that were not wool or acrylic and many of them have a lining inside that is fleece so it works for me.

Thank you for reading,

Juliana

New Year’s Eve Traditions…

 

Hello 2018

 

New Year’s Eve Meal

So, as many of you know I am from Brazil and even though I have lived in the US for almost two decades I still hold on to some old traditions of my home country. One of them is the New Year’s eve traditional meal. As a little girl I grew up hearing that one should not eat any kind of bird on New Year’s Eve since they scratch backwards and that would be bad luck, so we should eat pork because it roots forward and that is a sign of good luck. Here we are, new year’s eve in 2017 and my dad prepared the traditional Brazilian meal, pork, potatoes, pineapple and peaches, ‘farofa’ and rice.

Traditional Meal

I don’t know that this is traditional all over Brazil but it certainly was around the area where I grew up which was in the southern part of the country.

Another big thing for us Brazilians, is to wear white on New Year’s Eve. It has become harder and harder for me to keep that tradition since here it is the middle of winter and white is not really a color one wears in the winter, but today I was able to wear at least one white piece. I wore a comfy, white, flannel shirt so I could say I wore at least one thing in white.

White Flannel Shirt

It is so different from what I used to wear on this evening. Since it is summer in Brazil, I would wear summery dresses, some sparkles and most of us would be close to the beach celebrating the new year… nowadays, I am lucky if I make it to midnight awake.

Staying in

Thank you for reading and I hope you come back for more. Don’t forget to sign up for email updates and promotions.

Juliana

 

How to pack for a quick Christmas getaway…

Quick Getaway
Packing for a quick getaway

One of the best things in life is traveling and we actually travel more than I would like to admit. Some even ask if I like my house because it seems like I am always gone.  Actually, I would love to travel even more but it is an expensive hobby.  Anyway, some of the trips are short and sweet and sometimes packing for them could be a little more difficult. Especially if space is an issue. We have traveled so much that we have gotten pretty good at packing light but still having all the essentials.

First, I decide on the shoes that would be most comfortable for what we are doing. If we are walking a lot, I usually choose shoes that will be comfortable walking long distances and that I won’t regret in the middle of the trip. I also consider the weather, if it is going to rain, I choose shoes that can get wet and will either dry easily or clean easily (this also depends if it is winter or summer).  Once I have my shoes picked out – by the way, if it is a 2-5 day trip I take at least 2 pairs of shoes, if I were the same shoes too much my feet hurt, my legs hurt or my back, you get the picture… Anyway, once I have my shoes picked out then I move to finding outfits that will go with these shoes.  Sometimes this is easier than others, I am not going to lie.  This weekend getaway in particular, was over Christmas weekend and it was to the coast. When I packed and checked the weather it was not supposed to rain, to my surprise it rained most of the time we were there but since I took boots I was ok.

So, in the name of saving space since we had to fit enough bags for 5 of us and food in our car, I decided to take 4 full outfits (we were there for just about 3 days, so I took one extra outfit just in case).

The outfits included:

  • 3 pairs of jeans – 1 plain, 1 with holes and 1 with design
  • 1 legging
  • 2 sweaters (1 hot pink and 1 white)
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 plaid flannel shirt
  • 4 tank tops (2 black, 1 hot pink, 1 white)
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 4 underwear
  • 2 bras (1 light and 1 dark)
  • 1 pair of tall black boots
  • 1 pair of short caramel color boots
  • 2 pairs of silver earrings
  • 2 pairs of gold earrings
  • 1 silver ring
  • 1 gold ring
  • 2 scarves (although I did end up buying one at the aquarium)

On the pictures above you can see my cute plaid shirt. It was perfect for the weather and I was even able to walk around the aquarium without a coat (It was the small window when it did not rain). The white scarf did help me keep my neck warm. The boots were super comfortable for walking around all day.

On our way home I needed to look nice for celebrating Christmas as soon as we got home so I went ahead and took my outfit with me. That is where I am wearing the painted pants and the white sweater with my new scarf. I will say this though, the painted pants are from Melissa McCarthy’s collection and they are so comfortable and made me feel so good about myself.

All of these clothes fit in a small duffel bag. I traveled wearing one of the boots so that helped with space too. I hope this was helpful and I do plan on adding more of these kinds of posts when I travel in the future.

Gilmore Girls Fan

Plaid Shirt
Gilmore Girls outfit

Hello,

I am a HUGE fan of Gilmore Girls and just recently I joined a fan group on Facebook and they shared where I could find clothes from the show. Needless to say I ran to the nearest store and found this amazing Luke’s shirt. I was so excited that not only they had the Gilmore Girls stuff, but that they had my size too.  To make things even better, when I got home I found the perfect matching tank top to put under the plaid shirt. I absolutely love this outfit and I thought I would share this in case I have some big Gilmore Girls fans out there.

It does help that the plaid on the shirt is nice and the color combination is beautiful. The only downside for me is that I can’t really wear jeans at work so I can only wear it on weekends or going out with my family.  It is a cozy winter outfit though and I loved the fact I could wear the shirt from my favorite show of all times. I own all of the DVDs, including the revival that Netflix put out. I have seen the whole series more times than I can count and I can even recite some of the dialogues. The show is always comforting to watch and it always puts me in a good mood.

Thank you for reading and if you are a big fan, join my email list because I am sure I will talk about the show many more times…

Soft Warm Cozy

Shopping

Hello everyone,

So today I went shopping and I was able to find some cool pieces that they are all warm and cozy. I can’t wait to wear them. Next weekend we are going to the coast and they will be perfect for that kind of weather and outing. I was super excited because Maurices was having a great sale, it was a BOGO 75% off… So I “had” to buy two sweaters and two leggings. They are so cute and my favorite has got to be the leggings that have an ombre effect going from dark turquoise green to black. The other legging is a dark maroon color which seems to be really in this winter. The cool thing is that I own other pieces from there which are in the same color schemes so this should be easy to match. The white sweatshirt is a Christmas looking one since the plaid in it is red and black and it reminds anyone of Christmas. You can see it better on the picture below. I plan on wearing that with my black leggings with black boots.

Sweater
Soft, Warm and Cozy sweater

Doesn’t this just scream relaxing winter day???

After these wonderful finds I then went for the clearance section and found two amazing faux leather jackets for an even more amazing price. I only paid $17.50 for each. (Not sure how long this price will be the same so please don’t quote me…) I believe these great prices are around because the spring collection is already out and they need to make room for it so the winter stuff is on its way out even though we have not officially started winter yet.

I love when I go shopping and find great deals and I love even more being able to share with others what I found and where they can find it too. I hope you enjoy this post and come back for more tips on shopping for good deals.

Jackets
Faux Leather Jackets

My weekend…

Hello everyone,

It has been a few days since I last wrote. This was a busy week and even though I made sure I got pictures of my outfits I did not have much time to put a post together. Here I am, with my different outfits of this week. I have to say, this might be my favorite streak yet, when I look at these pictures I don’t see myself as a big mess; in fact, these outfits seem very flattering. I am not going to lie, getting up in the morning, putting an outfit together and looking at myself in the mirror is not always easy and looking at these pictures a few days later has helped.

I would like to point out that in the picture in the middle, I am wearing a yellow and white scarf that I made myself. Very proud of that fact since it had been over 20 years since I had knitted anything. I do a lot of crafts and creative things on the side because that is what keeps me sane. I need a creative outlet so that I can continue to produce at my regular job. I took up knitting just this year after many years without touching a knitting needle. I have quilted some, I do mix media art, I can do oil paintings, paper crafts and so on. The sky is the limit I guess. We all need to find something that helps us alleviate the stress from our regular jobs and lives. I know that my job is very demanding and even though I love it and it is the best job I have ever had, it still has those stressful days or moments. I have also found that it is really easy for me to fall on the trap of working 24/7 and that is not healthy. We have been doing some mindfulness activities at work and I have made a commitment to myself to find creative things to do on the weekends so I can take care of myself. This blog is one thing I have found that is very helpful.

On another note, but still in the creative realm, we went to see the Broadway show Beauty and the Beast yesterday and it was amazing. My favorite character was Lumiére and I would say the Beast has a much more funny side in the musical than the movie. Here are some pictures of the event.

It was a great family outing and I got to get my boys dressed up which is next to impossible. But they do clean up well and looked great in their dress up clothes. The show was beautiful and totally worth it. We are hoping to go to more shows from now on and already have tickets for Les Miserables for the summer.

Thank you for reading,

Juliana

The art of shopping and gift giving…

When I took the pictures of the outfit I had planned on wearing my necklace with my two boys but today I decided to wear a multi strand silver necklace instead. I got many compliments on the pink. I know it looks a little red on the picture but it is actually a hot pink. Very bright and it helps bring some color to the rainy days of winter. I was lucky it was sunny today so I could wear my hot pink TOMS though. Had it been raining I would have worn black shoes instead.  The sweater is nice and warm too, I just got it at Maurices. When I shop for clothes, I truly try to envision the whole outfit and I always keep the tags on the clothes until I actually wear them just in case I change my mind. Since the clothes I buy for myself are like presents to myself and I reserve the right to exchange them if necessary. There have been many times that I envisioned the outfit in the store but when I got home it did not work, so back to the store it went. I will be honest though, that most of the time that happens if I am encouraged by someone else, or the store clerk to buy it and then it really does not work for me. That is ok!!!

I would like to talk about something a little different today. I have been told many times that I am a great shopper and gift giver. I personally think I have a real gift for shopping for gifts. I try to get to know the person really well and when I shop for her or him I look for things that they would like regardless of what I like or don’t like. The gift is about the person receiving it. I have bought many things that I would have never considered buying but they were the right things for the people I was buying them for. I am not going to lie, some people are way easier than shopping for than others but I always find the right thing for them anyway. The people I have the most in common with are the easiest to shop for.  I always find lots of things for them, the ones I have less in common can be a challenge but I think I do pretty well even for them. I think if I lived in a bigger city I could have been a personal shopper. I always manage to find the right clothes for people too. It is all about getting to know them and paying a lot of attention to what they wear on a regular basis, what they talk about, their likes and dislikes. It does help he fact that I have a very good memory and remember everything I hear.

Here are some basic tips:

Sports fans: find out their favorite team and pay attention to what they already own.

Girly girls: find out their favorite color and pay attention to their style.

Men: find out if they like techie stuff, sports, clothes, wallets – you can do this by paying attention to what they talk about and make some mental notes. If you are ever out to eat with them pay attention to what they use for a wallet, is it worn out by any chance?

Facebook can be a huge help too, anything they have posted and reposted that could become a gift.

Pinterest – do they have boards? what kinds of boards? can they become gifts?

Well, hope these ideas help you shop for your loved ones this holiday season…

Thanks for reading,

Juliana

Sunday dress up…

Hello,

So, Sundays bring the ultimate question of what I should wear to go to church with my family. Growing up I did not go to church regularly, but I remember talk that one should dress up and look fancy for church. I remember hearing my grandma’s friends talking about special outfits they would buy to wear for church, so needless to say in my mind, church meant dressing up.

When I first moved to the US, I also did not go to church regularly but I know people talked about getting church clothes for their kids and how church meant dressing up again. Even at Easter the stores target shoppers to buy pretty dresses and little suits for kids. They show these beautiful family portraits being taken in pastel colors and beautiful colorful dresses for little girls.

Well, things sure have changed over the years. As I started to go to church more often I have noticed an obvious change in how things are now. Some teenagers wear very casual clothing (including my own two boys who refuse to dress up no matter what we say). Jeans are perfectly ok now and even as a lector I have a lot of freedom. I still think there should be some level of respect and certain outfits belong to the club and not church but I guess whatever makes people happy, right?

Any of the outfits above would work for church and they are all very comfortable so I have good options regularly. I usually wear similar outfits I would wear for work. I do avoid wearing jeans if I have to lector though. But at the end of the day, we should wear whatever makes us feel beautiful and comfortable. It is important we fell beautiful everyday, no matter where we are going or what we are doing.

Thank you,

Juliana