Lifestyle, Mental Health, self love

Grieving: It’s OK to not be OK

Yesterday was my GrammyBear’s birthday, she passed away from cancer almost eight months ago and I struggle with the grief of missing her every day… Which is why I decided to work on this piece; for those grieving, going through the loss of someone you love or are preparing yourself for loss – you are not alone, and this is how I handled my loss.

Before I begin I want to start with the fact that EVERYONE GRIEVES DIFFERENTLY and as long as you are not hurting yourself physically or mentally or hurting others, then I say feel what you are going to feel… I also want to add that death tends to either bring out the best or worst in people so prepare yourself by enforcing boundaries that keep you sane and healthy during this heartbreaking time.

I wanted to talk about the grieving process for quite some time but just felt due to my mental health that I wasn’t ready… When I visited my grandmothers grave for the first time after her service I believe, as I was leaving I received my sign that I was ready… As my husband drove me out of the cemetery we heard an acorn fall on the roof and strike it three times. When we got out to look for it there wasn’t a single acorn under that tree or our truck except for the solitary one that struck our roof. The thing is… my Grammy loved little acorns and even left me a brooch that holds acorns, and the three knocks – well I think she was just saying hi and letting us know she heard us and felt us , and appreciated us thinking of her. And with her “sign” I felt like I was ready… Ready to start talking, ready to remember with tears AND happiness, and to know that I’ll never really get over losing her but with time it helps to make things more bearable.

One of the things that helped during her hospice care was this little book the wonderful nurses provided: Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience – this book was very short and basic but had helpful and useful information and also brought me some comfort. Those dealing with hospice care and are unsure of what to expect – this one is for you. Especially appreciated the lack of religion aspect; although my grandmother was a devoted Christian I’m not and didn’t need the overly religious texts at that moment – I needed facts and a very straightforward approach and this book provided me that.

Music is one of the things that truly helped me during trying times, transporting me to a place of safety and nurturing… Soothing my soul in ways words couldn’t…. Music saved my sanity in times when I felt the grief was too dark and I just needed comfort provided by a soul I didn’t have to pretend everything was ok in front of. W

Another aspect that seriously helped was talking. That’s right just talking – chatting about how my Grammy introduced me to the King and all things swing that helped create the vintage-retro loving gal I am today, chatting about how my Grammy would both love and hate my new tattoo, or how I wished I had written down her secret family recipe for her world famous potato salad, or how I wanted her with us when we first visited Disneyland with Lilith because she was there for my first Disney trip… Seeking out an online grief support group helped immensely; talking with others who understood how the pain can just suddenly creep up on you leaving behind a trail of tears and morose made such a difference. I didn’t feel like I needed to “suck it up, because she wouldn’t want me to be sad.” Well guess what? I was sad and I needed to experience that and having others understand that was incredibly healing.

I went ahead and dug out all of my old photo albums and spent hours reminiscing about family trips together, fights over breadsticks, how she taught my sister to forcefully burp lol even now as I cry while I type I’m still giggling at those past memories reminding me that the reason I feel so much pain is because she was SO loved and gave all her LOVE to those around her… including me.

Also, I still talk out loud to my GrammyBear… When my Mom is running over an hour late and I can just feel that my Grammy would be giving her crap and commiserating with me – I’ll say out-loud, “Well she’s late again Grandma.” And I can see her rolling her eyes and smiling at my mother’s antics. When Lilith picks up her favorite baby doll and hugs it, it’ll bring a tear to my eye but I’ll still say out loud, “Well Grams, it’s still her favorite.” And I can visualize the lit up smile that would grace her whole beautiful face in pride and joy. I recently had an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity and as I sat at her grave I told her everything about it… She may not have answered the way she use to be able to but I could feel her pride, her happiness and love for me. And that’s enough…

So the tips I have for you Loves while your suffering or preparing for loss:

– Feel the pain, let the tears run free, and take whatever time you may need for yourself.

– Accept that you’ll always miss this person and that’s OK.

– You have to keep moving forward, living in the past with regrets of what you did or didn’t say, or did and didn’t do won’t help you right now. They are listening and it’s never too late to say what you need to say.

– Talk to your passed Loved ones, they may not be able to answer but you should be able to feel their love just from invoking their memory to share something that’s happening currently in your life.

– If you are feeling like you are in a bad place mentally or physically don’t hesitate to reach out. You are not alone in your grief.

And lastly know that we all experience loss, we all have an expiration date and to live the life you’ve got to the best of your capabilities because who knows how long we’ve got – better to enjoy the time we have then to never take the time to stop and smell the roses…

Sending out so much and love and light to each of you.

Until next time,

Kat XO

See you again GrammyBear, love you with all of my heart and thank you…. for everything.

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Lifestyle, Plus Size Fashion, self love

NYFW: Dream Walk Fashion Runway Show

Oh My Loves… I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with a little chunky girl obsessed with fashion that she already knew she’d never fit in, she grew in to a teen who decided she’d make her own fashion and joined an ROP fashion 101 course where she won blue ribbons for her designs… Dreams of glittery runways, bright lights, beautiful fabrics draped in gorgeous designs while the hustle of the city created its own web of magic that entranced and made all dreams possible filled this fat teens head. Somewhere along the way this teen was discouraged by the lack of plus size representation and back shelved those runway dreams of attending NYFW and creating clothes that fat bodies deserved and loved. As we shift to the grown woman who I am today… it’s amazing I’m even here. From the beginning of my self love journey clothes where always a key factor; from dressing up, to wearing crop tops and showing off my belly, to showing my arms with no fear of thier girth. Clothing was a way to embrace my body and wear the clothes I had always dreamed of… We use fashion to depict our self style, make political statements, and overall give the world a glimpse of who we are in how we choose to dress ourselves.  Which is why we need more diversity being shown by these brands. We all have different body types that deserve clothing that’s fashionable and on trend.

I attended one show this year (besides the one I walked in) and was treated so absurdly that I didn’t even docuemnt the show or the clothing. I was ostricizded and treated like I didn’t belong, I even had one woman lift her lip in disgust becuase she had to brush agaisnt my side. Fat bodies deserve fashion, we deserve to sit and watch high end fashion runway shows becuase *gasp* we love fashion too. So we will keep “fatting” up those spaces, sorry not sorry. We’re not taking scraps anymore and we are demanding a seat at the table, and next year I plan on attending again and bringing my fat body to as many events as I can while pushing for more visibilty for plus bodies and plus fashion.

Now, enough about that haha below I’ve included my entire trip (minus the fat shaming runway event I attended) I hope you Loves enjoy 😉

Leaving on a jet plane… my view from the plane window when I first left Sacramento for New York…

City views apon arrival, New York has always been on my bucket list of travel destinations… The history, the architecture, this place has it’s own unique pulse that was incredible to tap into…

Dumbo Beach Brooklyn: my first location shoot of the trip with SWS Productions!

loved my make-up for this shoot! Side note: I found this bodysuit four months before this trip and had visualized the concept for months, thanks Shawn for capturig the vision in my head, fun selfie preview 😉

Second lcation shoot was in SoHo with the amazing Lydia Hudgens! this amazing soul was so fun to chat with, great to work with and I totally fan-girled her lol Lydia has been such a force in the plus photography industry. A voice for more representation, she has been a huge force in bringing more plus bodies visibilty and it was such an honor to work with her! She even shot me on traditional film!

This look:
Curvy Couture Intimates crochet bra
Torrid Mesh Top
FashionNova Curve Olive high waisted pants
Bait footwear pumps
Vintage Trench

Now let’s see some behind the scenes from the Dream Walk Fashion Show!

Make-up @Taina.alterego , hair @hairbydevinm

Custom Halter Set by http://www.bawdyloveclothing.com

Hair and makeup ready, taking a moment to soak it all in… Wearing ModCloth jumpsuit.

And She’s Dresssed…

Now for some fun behind the scenes!

Alyse Scaffidi & Lexi Scaffidi creators of the Dream Walk Fashion Show
@Bitesizedfitness & @bitesizedsis
Getting ready to film an interview for Dream Walk Fashion Show

The full recap of every beautiful soul that rocked the runway with runway shots!

The full recap of the 2019 Dream Walk Fashion Show
video credit @domcuch

After the Show 😉

Thank you Loves for joining me on this journey!

Until next time,
Kat XO

Show photographers credit:
Gabbi Townsend “Get PR”
@Manialenha
@irynashostakphotography
@emilytaylor.artist
@aasevo
@antaninaamihava
@fisher_visuals

Lifestyle, Parenting, Reviews

Having A Drink With Winc!Review: Winc Wine Subscription Service

Oh My Loves, if you have been following me on Instagram you’d know that Mama is a wine lover!

One of my favorite ways to unwind is in a bubble bath with a chilled glass of white wine. Which is why I was so excited to try out the Winc Wine Subscription service!

How it works:

Click this link: Winc

You’ll be prompted to fill out a taste test so Winc can figure out your palate and which wines should be suggested. You then can customize which four bottles you’d like to try. Process your order for at home delivery and that’s it!

What’s also great about Winc is that they ship directly to your door, there’s no monthly commitment and shipping is included.

I also enjoyed the follow up email with the dinner pairing suggestions that complimented the specific bottles of wine I had chosen, hubby and I even decided try one of the recipes out next week for our staycation date! Will keep you Loves posted on how that turns out!

Interested in trying out this amazing wine service that delivers to your door? Click the link here: Winc

You Loves will get a $22 discount and complimentary shipping which comes out to 4 bottles of wine for less than $40!

Here I’ve included two of the recipes Winc sent over in their follow up email and I’ve included a fun arts and crafts project that Lilith and I did with the left over packaging!

Recipe One: Warm Purple Potato Salad with Green beans, Radish and Lentils to be paired with 2017 Summer Water Rosé

  • 2 pounds medium purple potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ pounds green beans or haricot vert, trimmed
  • 6 medium radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  •  cups olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions:
  1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and let cool enough to handle. Peel and slice into ½-inch thick slices and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook 2 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Drain well and let cool enough to handle. Cut into 2-inch pieces and transfer to the bowl with potatoes. Add radishes and fennel and toss to combine.
  3. Whisk oil, juice, vinegar, shallot, and mustard in a small bowl to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat. Season salad to taste and garnish with reserved fennel fronds.
  • Recipe Two: Grilled Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps paired with 2018 Outer Sounds Sauvignon Blanc
    • For the Caesar dressing:
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets, drained, and minced
    • 2 lemons, juiced
    • 2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and minced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire, plus more to taste
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
    • For the chicken lettuce wraps: 
    • 4 chicken breasts, halved horizontally
    • 6 slices bread, ideally crusty and rustic
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
    • 1 small head radicchio, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan
    • 2 tablespoons drained capers
    • 3 hearts of romaine, broken into leafs for lettuce cups
    1. For the Caesar dressing:
    2. Make the Caesar dressing. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust accordingly. 
    1. For the chicken lettuce wraps: 
    2. Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken breasts to a big plastic bag and add 1/2 cup Caesar dressing. Mush around to completely coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge or up to 1 day. 
    3. Get your grill going. For charcoal: Set up for one-zone, high-temperature cooking. For gas: Heat to high until the temperature reaches about 600° F. Make sure the grill grates are clean, then lightly oil them. 
    4. Grill the chicken over direct heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until charred on the outside and cooked (about 165° F) on the inside. Transfer to a plate to rest. 
    5. Now grill the bread. First drizzle with olive oil, then grill over direct heat until charred, a couple minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool and crisp. 
    6. Chop the chicken into chicken chunks. Add to a bowl along with the radicchio, parmesan, and capers. Dress with the remaining Caesar dressing—use however much feels right to you. Taste and adjust salt accordingly. 
    7. Tear the grilled bread slices into crumbs. 
    8. Serve as such: lettuce cups on one plate, chicken salad in a bowl, crumbs on another plate. To assemble: Fill a lettuce cup with chicken salad and top with breadcrumbs.
  • Arts Project
  • Arts & Craft items needed:

    • Scissors
    • Crayons or markers
    • Colored pipe cleaners
    • Step one : cut out your doors/flaps
    • Step two: use discarded cut out piece to create a drawbridge using the pipe cleaners – I simply used the scissors to poke a hole on either side of the door cut out, stuck the pipe cleaner through and tied a knot on the inside and then laid the cardboard cut out piece down over the pipe cleaner to create the draw bridge.
    • Color in your details and BAM instant play castle!

    Until next time Loves! Cheers,

    Kat XO

    *The links above are affiliate codes which means I will earn a small commission which will help me to continue providing future content. Appreciate y’all!*

    Lifestyle, Plus Size Fashion, Reviews

    Amazing Intimacy Box Review

    Dating is what led you to committing to your partner and as your relationship grows there will be times where it can feel like the intimacy your sharing is growing stale. So how do you spice things up? Well, The Amazing Intimacy Box has a few ideas!

    What the box contains: a beautiful printed throw, MY JOY Collection A touch of Honey body dust, wireless Bluetooth speaker, two blank hard bound journals and a couple of prompts to get you Love birds going!

    The cards… I have to say I loved these cards and the fact that they where themed and geared towards summer play but also had fun and naughty themes for role playing where a series plus! The office, the lake, a late night romp! So much Fun! For example, Card Two – Stranger in the Elevator: the role playing aspect was naughty and we enjoyed the scenario – immensely! It’s not an aspect we’ve particularly explored so it was nice to get out of our heads and do something a little new.

    My favorite item in the box, this is hubby’s vote for favorite item as well, had to be the My Joy Collection A Touch of Honey raspberry chocolate sexy body dust! Tasted phenomenal, didn’t clump up when we got sweaty, and didn’t make us sticky. I love an easy clean up 😉

    The wireless Bluetooth was such a nice touch, definitely help to set the mood and helped us to get in a positive and relaxed mindset after running around most of that morning. The throw that was included was also a nice touch, the bright pattern definitely helped to brighten our little summer “afternoon rendezvous” 😉

    I have to say that having a toddler can leave very little alone time for partners, usually by the end of the day you are both exhausted and ready to sleep so taking the time to set some much needed “Adult time” for your relationship is so important. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip or huge getaway – here hubby and I snuck out on our balcony while our little one was napping. Even if it’s on a time limit-one on one time is imperative. Romance and intimacy are what help keep relationships going so taking the time to invest in that relationship is just as important as taking a little me time for some healthy self care.

    Until next time Loves,

    Kat XO

    Lifestyle, Plus Size Fashion, Reviews

    Part & Parcel : Plus Size Fashion and Plus To Plus Shopping

    Part & Parcel’s mission is to make fashion that fits the plus community, and to empower the community to style and share their fabulousness while offering the option of earning real money, Plus to Plus.

    The foundation of Part & Parcel is based on sharing these garments with others, Plus body to Plus body – whether IRL or online, making meaningful connections with others and sharing fashion that actually is designed for plus bodies.

    *shown here is the long sleeve blouse paired with cigarette pant with the flat gladiator sandal.

    And that’s not all that’s different about Part & Parcel, wait for it…. Dimensional sizing!!! Dimensional Sizing is exclusive to Part & Parcel, and it’s changing the game for how you find your fit; let me break it down for you Loves, first you choose your clothing style and color, second you pick your size (from size 14 up to a 36) then you can opt for dimensional sizing in the bicep, bust, waist, or calf. And each pair of shoes already comes in a wide width – so no worries there.

    The price range for this current collection ranges from $45 to $140 and includes:

    The Shell – Standard or Bust+

    The Long-Sleeve Blouse – Standard or Bust+

    The Cigarette Pant

    The Stretch Ponte Pant

    The Flowy Circle Skirt

    The Sleeveless Wrap Dress

    The Flutter Dress

    The Longline Blazer – Standard or Bicep+

    The Go-to T-Shirt

    Shoes

    The Pointed Flat

    The Closed Toe Mule

    The Flat Gladiator Sandal

    The Block Heeled Sandal

    *shown here is the sleeveless wrap dress.

    Now, let’s talk FIT my Loves! First I want to say that everything fit phenomenally!!! The pants where comfortable, no muffin top and the fabric had give and stretch so I wasn’t fighting my way in to anything! The dress flowed and encased my curves like a dream!! The adjustable details make all the difference and the button snap enclosure on this inside kept my ladies from busting out but still kept the flowing look the dress was going for! The long sleeve top was also amazing – my arms are constantly struggling with tops because of those size so I’m usually forced to size up which leaves a gaping bust. With Part & Parcel’s sizing not only did this blouse fit perfectly but I was loose around my arms and the bust was perfect!

    The SHOES! Y’all the shoes are bloody amazing!! First of all the buckles on the shoes are actually clip in snaps so no needing your partner to help strap you in! The wide width makes all the difference and the soles are comfortable! I could have kept those gladiator sandals on for hours without even noticing I was wearing shoes.

    For reference when I discuss sizing and fit: I am a size 18/20 and wear a shoe size of 8w.

    Check out the Part & Parcel Catalogue here! To shop the collection send me a message here and we’ll get ya started! To order items you shop through partners which happens to be me 😉

    Interested in becoming a Part & Parcel partner to start making an income selling amazing garments to fellow plus bodies – send me a message here and we’ll get ya started on that too!!

    Any questions on sizing or how to order, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you Loves ASAP!!

    Leave those thoughts in the comments – I’d love to hear your opinions on the Plus to Plus selling/shopping aspect, as well as the dimensional sizing!! I have major arm issues when I order shirts or blazers so I’m exceptionally excited about this dimensional sizing options!!

    Until next time my Loves,

    Kat XO

    Unboxing Video of the Part & Parcel Partner starter box!