Lifestyle, self love

Unboxing with Athena’s!

In this time of uncertainty and most of us being sequestered inside I’ve noticed quite a bit of self reflection happening on my part. One of the things I truly wanted to focus on in this blog was sex positivity as well as body positivity. So often plus bodies are shamed and therefore undeserving of pleasure – gasp – how dare that cat person love themselves and enjoy their own pleasure. Insert dramatic eye roll lol! So I will be releasing fat and sex positive content on a more regular basis – starting with this fun Athena’s unboxing.

Athena’s Home Novelties was started over 22 years ago with the mission to provide a safe, inclusive, and comfortable place to learn about self care and better sex.

With packages arriving pretty consistently with the lack of being able to go “out” and shop I always got nervous ordering toys for myself. What if a neighbor saw the big label and knew I was ordering myself something naughty – not that there’s a thing wrong with that – but I’d rather the neighbors not know hubby and I ordered a sex swing lol get where I’m going with this? One of the things I love about Athena’s is the discreet shipping and packaging – no nosey neighbors will have any idea of what goodies are being dropped off.

Here’s a fun unboxing video to show you exactly what I’m talking about:

Items Featured:

Heavenly Goddess Shampoo & Conditioner

Mighty Tidy Toy Cleaner Mist

Happy Penis

Hydra Natural Glide

Heart Warming Massage Stone

The Masseuse

In Goddess We Thrust

sASSy Training Kit

Anal Ease

Womanizer Premium

Sportsheets Curvy Collection Doggy Strap

Silver Beaded Nipple Clamps

Hand Roller Massager

Pumice Stone with Foot Scrub

Soy Candle/Massage Oil

Ayate Sponge

In the upcoming segments I’ve got planned we’ll discuss and cover each item in the box and tips and tricks for bigger bodies on how to utilize them!

Shop-able links here: Athena’s By

Kat

As always sending my thanks and appreciation to each of you, the links above are affiliate links and without your clicks and support I wouldn’t be able to make the content that I do, so truly thank you!

Until next time,

Kat Stroud XO

Lifestyle, self love

Quarantine Quality Time: How To Do Gel Nails From Home

With all of us being stuck inside and unable to pamper ourselves the ways we normally would, I decided to treat myself in a unique way… I taught myself a new skill: salon worthy gel nails! Now I’m going to share what I learned with you all so if you decide you need a nail salon day you can throw one together in the comfort of your own home.

First off your gonna need supplies: UV light, cuticle pusher, nail clippers, buff nail file and 80-100 nail file (coarse ones that quickly help you shape a nail), cuticle oil and cuticle remover, brush to swipe away the left over dust, acetone to remove any polish, cotton pads, rubbing alcohol, a top coat and base coat as well as your color choices. And if you decide to add tips like I’ve done you’ll need nail tips and nail glue as well. Here’s a link for the basic set up kit I found online: ” target=”_blank”>Beetles Gel Kit

First off Apply you’ll want to apply the cuticle remover onto your cuticles and rub it on. Then use the steel cuticle remover and the scraper to push down cuticles and scrape them off your nail. Use the cuticle clipper to cut off any remains. The use your nail file to make sure you’d nail bed is clean and clear.

Second step: Clip your nails to the length you want, use the nail file to shape them and then use the buffer to take a little bit off the top layer of the nail. This will help the gel polish to adhere to your nail better. This is also the step where you’d want to adhere your nail tip to the nail bed.

Step three: wash your hands with water to get rid of the excess dust – no soap. Now your ready to start the polish process!

Step four: apply a light layer of the base coat, make sure it covers entire nail surface evenly and then let sit under UV light for 120 seconds.

Step Five: apply one coat of gel polish – now I want to add this layer should be as thin as possible! It is super easy with gel to make a mess, so not like regular polish, apply lightly and evenly and set for 120 seconds under the light. If you get polish on your skin use the acetone to swipe away before putting hand under the light. The key is to avoid getting polish on your cuticles because it causes the nail polish to lift quicker! Let the polish sit under the lamp for 120 seconds, then do another layer and sit for another 120 seconds. Some lighter polish needs a 3rd layer, and if so, do a 3rd layer of polish then sit for 120 seconds

Step Six is to apply the top coat and to let it sit for 120 seconds under the lamp.

Step Seven is where you’ll use the nail file to finish shaping your nail, you’ll then need to soak a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol and rub each nail well. You’re done! Your nails will be completely dry and you can touch anything. Just love gel nails!!

Two reminders before you go:

  • You are not going to get perfect nails right away! Practice makes perfect. Be patient and let yourself learn by doing it multiple times.
  • Your nails will probably peel quickly the first few times, you are not going to be perfect at this right from the start. With practice you will be an at home gel nail pro in no time.

Until next time Loves,

Kat XO

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

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.

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, Plus Size Fashion, Reviews, self love

Kearney Street Workshop: Celebrate Your Body 2019 Runway Event

Over 300 attendees celebrated a night of diverse fashion and the diverse bodies that wear it!

I had the honor of walking for Swankety Swank , a San Francisco based designer who focuses on sustainable fashion separates for strong and sassy souls by offering hemp garments in ALL sizes!

Now before we dive more in to the fashion aspect I wanted to share a bit about the Kearney Street Workshop and the AMAZING community they’ve built!! K.S.W was founded in 1972, during the height of the Asian American cultural movement, Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is the oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary arts organization in the country. And they offer classes and workshops, salons, and student presentations, as well as professionally curated and produced exhibitions, performances, readings, and screenings. KSW makes artists out of community members and community members out of artists. For the past 45 years, KSW has nurtured the creative spirit, offered an important platform for new voices to be heard, and connected artists with community. And I can attest to the amazing community that I was so welcomed in to – so many walks of life all coming together to support one another and I have to say it was beyond freaking magical!!

I also want to thank Jason and Nina for making everyone feel welcome and accepted, as well as for bringing everyone together!

As more images and videos of the entire show surface I’ll make sure to update it here because I want you Loves to see it ALL!! From the amazing designers to the utterly fabulous models to our amazing DJ and host – I want you guys to see it all so next year you might come out in person!!

Group shot including models tags below!

Left to right:

Valerie – @Valerienicolelee

Laurel – @laureldickmanwrites

Saucye West – @saucyewest

Tiff Marie – @tiff_exclusive

Nazelah – @supernaz_your_superfriend

Francis – @francizzzle

Micheal Foulk – @michealfoulk

Emma – not listed

And yours truly 😘

Fashion by @swanketyswank / @yabetteswank

Huge shout out to Christine A Donley of @christineadonley_artlover for the amazing shots!!

As a petite fat babe (plus size) it’s not very often I get the chance to participate in runway and honestly – it’s too bad because I belong there. This was one of the most diverse shows I’ve ever had the honor of being apart of! So many talented and amazing people – representation truly matters.

Below are behind the scenes shots and I’ll be adding more images and video as I get them so keep checking back Loves!