21
Dec
09

Last Minute Holiday Shopping and Coupon Code!

Yeah, I’m not usually one to wait till the week of Christmas to get shopping going, but when one works retail, it’s all one can do to remember to brush your teeth and take a shower in the morning before work.

Tis the season, y’all.

Anyhow, this year, I’ll be doing all my shopping online and shipping the stuff out, ’cause it’s all snowy and cold and if I decided to move back home, it’d be because of this weather.

Ok, I’m done whining.

I’ll probably be sporadically posting this week (heh! ok, most of my posts have been sporadic. sorry!) but since Jennifer from Eshakti emailed me a coupon code, I figured I’d share.

At checkout, enter AMFGC3 to take $20 off of your order. The beauty of this code is that there’s no minimum purchase to use it: if you pick a $20 item, you can still use your code! Also, if you’re a new customer and you register, you’ll get a $15 gift certificate. But, you cannot use them together: you gotta pick one or the other.

You’ve got till Christmas to use the Eshakti code (come on now. I know some of you still haven’t found yourselves a present.) Go forth and shop!

As for me? I’m going to have a cup of hot cocoa and start clicking away at some gifts. If I don’t post before Friday, have a Merry Christmas (or a happy holiday!)

11
Dec
09

Reminder–Enter to win clothing from Shop Translated!

Just a quick heads up, folks: today is the last day to enter to win a piece of your choice from Shop Translated! All you have to do is click here, read the post, and leave a comment to enter. At midnight tonight, December 11, I’m shutting the comments down on that post and picking my two winners.

It’s time to treat yourselves. So, go and enter to win.

Oh, I’ll be at work today, so if you get caught in moderation, don’t worry. I’ll make sure to pull everyone out before I shut comments down.

Good Luck!

07
Dec
09

Coupon Code and My First Giveaway!

ETA: The contest is over! Thanks for all who entered and good luck! Winners, expect an email from me no later than Sunday.

Alrighty. So while I was away with the technical difficulties, Cortney from Shop Translated emailed me to ask if I’d be doing a Cyber Monday post, and if so, here, take a coupon code for your readers!

Y’all, I’d intended on doing a Cyber Monday post, and getting an extra coupon code just for y’all? All over it!

Except I got the email too late for Cyber Monday. But, Cortney is really sweet and has extended the coupon code till January 1, 2010. Enter in “hydeandseek25” (minus the quotes) at checkout to save an extra 25% off your purchase. Naturally, I’ve already scoped out the dress I want. It’s this lovely number from the INES line:

I'm all over the purple this season, folks.

Now, it is cold up here. Cold. As in, it SNOWED up here, cold. And all I want is a sleeveless dress. Only me. I’ll probably pair it with a cardigan, belt, tights, and some flats or boots so I don’t freeze to death.

Now, if y’all like that dress up there, y’all should enter to win it! Or any other piece on the site. That’s right folks: The first Hyde and Seek giveaway! Cortney has two pieces avaliable for y’all to win. Which ones? That’s the beauty: you get to pick! The only stipulation: it cannot be from the new arrivals. But anything else is up for grabs.

Here are the rules: to enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post that answers this question: “What is your favorite piece, or type, of clothing?” Here, I’ll get y’all started:

I have a thing about pajamas. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved them. From the little feety pajamas to night gowns and everything in between, I love pajamas. Last weekend, when I managed to save a ton of money on a winter coat, I stuck my head into Lane Bryant during their 40% off sale to see what I could see. I could have used some jeans and work clothes and some going out clothes…nope. Gravitated towards pajamas, which I have not bought for some time. So after some deliberation, I chose a purple plaid chemise and these:

All the better to watch James Bond in!

I am such a huge James Bond fan (and yes, I prefer my martinis shaken and not stirred), it just made sense for me to get these. Love them!

So, what about y’all? Tell me about your favorite piece or type of clothing, and be entered to win! You have until midnight (eastern standard time) on Friday, December 11 to get your comment in. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the two winners; they’ll be notified on Saturday. Please, please, please make sure you leave a valid email address with your comment, because that’s how I’ll contact you to get your information should you win.

Good luck and happy shopping!

02
Dec
09

Tis the Season…

…for technological problems. Y’all, my internet has been broken, then my computer was wonky…all this to say, I managed to be blacked out during the best shopping weekend of the year.

But no worries, I still got some good things up my sleeve for y’all. There’s some giveaways in the works that I’m super excited to share with y’all. More is coming, stay tuned. (And by hook or by crook, I’m gonna make sure it actually makes it on the blog!)

It’s also that time of year where you sometimes find yourself having to explain to, ahem, well meaning friends and family why you are not on a diet, why you don’t want any of their tips, and yes, you are indeed going to eat all of that.

It’s the holidays, y’all. I can feel the excitement coming through the screen.

There was a time when I was younger that I found myself dreading this time of year. Yeah, lights and trees and presents were all good, but I didn’t want to go to dinner. Ok, that’s not true. I definitely wanted dinner. I wanted a couple of plates, because this was the only time of year Great-Aunt G would make her apple pie, and let me tell you…that pie could end wars, man. I didn’t want dinner with family that scrutinized everything that went on my plate. I always had a well-meaning great aunt or uncle asking if I was really gonna eat all that food. Did I really want all that starch on my plate? Aren’t I gonna save some room for later?

Ugh. Most people look forward to being able to eat what they want and as much of it, because the holidays are a time of indulgence and pleasure. Me? I just wanted to go to one holiday dinner and not feel like all eyes are on me when I went to the kitchen for a glass of water. I know some of y’all out there have endured (and continue to endure) this same agony. My awesome mother (who was the subject of the same scrutiny) found a way to solve the problem: she made a meal for us at home. That way, I could eat the one plate of food in front of the family (and then get praised for being “so good!” as the offending family member ambled to the kitchen for more dressing), and thoroughly enjoy my dinner at home where I wouldn’t be bothered.

But I always felt bad about that. Why did we have to hide? I should be able to eat my meal without shame, especially this time of year, but that’s not always the case. I always felt like I needed to have some license to eat my food and enjoy it, and that’s extremely sad. Yet, it’s how it went on for years.

This year, since going home wasn’t in the budget, I spent Thanksgiving with all of my friends. BuddingStarlet and I cooked tons of food and we had a full house until about two in the morning (I had to tap out around midnight; I had to work the next day.) We all had multiple plates of food, complimented each other on our favorite dishes, and in general had an amazing time.

Food has always been an integral part of my life. My maternal grandmother was a pastry chef, and she passed that love of baking on to me. For me, the holidays isn’t just about eating yummy food, or even the cooking of yummy food (although it’s one of my favorite things to do), it’s about sharing it. I’m thankful to her for introducing me to cooking, and how to make sure everything I make has love in it. I’m thankful to my mother for doing her best to keep my morale up when faced with some irritating family members. And finally, I’m thankful this year about having friends who I love enough to cook for and share a meal with, and that don’t give me any grief for eating as much as I want.

And my wish for all of you, my dear readers, would be that all of you are able to have love and peace of mind this holiday season. It’s late, but Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

13
Nov
09

Fashionable Friday—Thanksgiving Outfit

So, the holidays are upon us once again, and it’s all about visiting with friends and family. You want to look fabulous, naturally. As for me, the budget is too tight to make it home to Texas to see my mom, so BuddingStarlet and I are entertaining at our spot.

Now, this is my first Thanksgiving here in the Big Apple. And y’all know I have to look good, right? So when the good folks at Eshakti contacted me about reviewing a piece, I jumped all over it. I’ve spoken at length before about their service and their dresses, and I was looking forward to purchasing a fall frock for the shindig at the apartment.

So, I looked, and looked, and looked, and I finally settled on this beautiful piece:

CL0017432L

Purple! And gold!

Y’all, I fell in love when I saw it online, and when I got it in the mail earlier this week, I fell in love again. The dress is a beautiful aubergine color, and the embroidery isn’t metallic. It’s a golden tan. It has the sash to cinch it, and for those of us who are not a fan of the trapeze dress, you’re gonna need that sash. The fit is amazing. Now, my boobs are not on Rack of doom status, so whenever I get a wrap dress or some trapeze dresses, they never fit in the boob area. It’s usually a sad, flat area. But now when you order, you can provide your bra size (and height, and other measurements too; it’s a bit extra to get that done) to get a great fit. This dress fits my boobs perfectly, and when it’s perfectly cinched, it looks gorgeous. I even had them shorten it a bit, so that it hits right at the knee instead of the standard below the knee length. Now, I may not actually use the sash. I love the embroidery so much, I think I may get myself a bronze belt instead, and some cute little bronze flats like this from Target:

B001HXGJWM_16__SX400_SCLZZZZZZZ_V242144311_

Bronzed slippers

I love a heel, but since my job is the cooking (BuddingStarlet is decorating) I don’t need my feet screaming for mercy before the guests arrive. I’ll do simple, natural makeup. In fact, if y’all are up for some luxe makeup, head over to Urban Decay (y’all know how I feel about Urban Decay). They’re currently having their friends and family promotion; 30% off your order from November 9-20. Enter code FNFW1 at checkout. Luxe not in the budget? I understand. Y’all know how I love me some Eyes Lips Face, right? Oh, and Payless has their BOGO going on, so stop in and grab yourself some cute flats, or heels…or slippers. Y’all know I love to spread the sales around!

Next week, stay tuned for the Thanksgiving spread I’ll prepare (and hopefully not mangle). Enjoy the weekend!

09
Nov
09

In Which I Ramble About Dating

So, in my last post, I said I’d found myself a boyfriend. We met online, and if anyone is a reader of the blog Fat Girl on a Date, you know that navigating the world of  online dating is a feat in itself. It was here that I (or maybe I’ve read it somewhere, I’m not sure) came up with the term DWF: Dating While Fat.

DWF really ought not be such a revolutionary thing, but really, especially in the online arena, it can be the biggest hindrance in the world. Although most dating sites nowadays will give you a list of body types to describe yourself, most folks do not read said type, and then will IM/email you and ask you about your build. Or, in their profiles, they’ll have some tripe listed such as ” I prefer height/weight proportionate women” or “thick girls apply” or “well curved women welcome”, which is about as clear as the water in the Mississippi River. Now, I’ve touched on what “thick” kind of means before (we’d call them an “inbetweenie” here in the Fat-O-Sphere), but what in the mauve hell does “well curved” mean? I think I’m well curved. Does it then mean me? Or is there some level of curve that I’m supposed to adhere to? Who the hell comes up with these rules, anyway?

The dating website I was on at the time didn’t have those neat little classifications, so I took the time to write a disclaimer of sorts in the profile itself. It was pretty cute, and culminated with the words “I’m fat. Don’t want y’all to think I’m holding back anything.” Succinct and to the point, right?

Y’all, I cannot explain the level of crazy I got. Everything from the married teacher asking me to strip on camera to the Nigerian gentleman who wanted me to be his 2nd wife. In between all of that, I actually got some promising hits. We’d have amazing conversation/IM sessions, and then we’d decide to meet.

And then it would all go to hell. It wouldn’t be personality conflicts (ok, not always) or that my oddities were just too odd, but my body type would cause some kind of issue.

I think that most of these men expected me to be what I call “vanity fat.” You know, where I just say I’m fat but am really thin?  Right. When they saw that I was, um, actually fat, it was a shock. And for some, it was indeed a problem. For example:

Dude: “Oh, I didn’t think you were really fat.”

Me: “Yeah. I am. Does this make you uncomfortable?”

Dude: “No, I just didn’t think you were really fat. Like, you know how you women are. Y’all exaggerate.”

Me: “…”

Now, I’m sure y’all are aware he got ditched more for the “you women” comment than him having an issue with my fat, right? But that’s really my point. Why exactly is weight so damn important? For me, it’s just a descriptor: I’m tall, I’m brown, I have long hair, I’m fat. Whatever. Why does it matter?

I’m not sure I understand why it is that weight has such leverage over who we deal with. I’m more concerned with if a man has a rap sheet, jilted and slightly crazy ex-girlfriends, is misogynistic, lacks ambition…you get my drift. I need to be able to hold an intelligent conversation with a man. Whether the man is fat or not is the last thing on my mind.

My man knows that I adore Shakespeare, that I want to be a diplomat, a writer, and a cook, that my favorite color is blue, and how I got that heart-shaped scar on my belly. He knows I adore calla lilies and gardenias, and that I collect teddy bears. As an addendum, I happen to be fat. He doesn’t care. All he sees is my beauty, both inside and out.

And at the end of the day, if a man can appreciate me in my entirety, that’s all that really matters.

25
Oct
09

I’m Back!…Kinda.

Hi y’all! I’ve kinda fallen off the face of the earth as of late. But as usual, I have pretty good reason.

I moved.

And it wasn’t just a little move, either.

I used to live in Texas. I now reside in the Big Apple. Country’s come to town, y’all!

As for the adjustments…eh. It’s loud. But I manage to get some rest. I have a great job. My writing projects are coming along nicely. IntellectualFeminist, who just had a birthday,  is getting ready to graduate soon, I’ve had this blog for two years now, and in general, life is good.

Oh, and I have a boyfriend. That’s a post in the making. Stay tuned.

I’ve been away for some time, but FA is always on my mind. I’ve got some things working, brewing, and I’m hoping I’ll have the time to share them all with you. Of course, there will be some shopping posts, because Texas weather and NY weather isn’t the same weather (ok, it is right now because NY can’t decide whether to be cold, hot, or rainy.)

Y’all, I’ve gone through some changes, but all have been for the better. Stay tuned, ’cause I’m gonna get you all caught up.

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend!

25
Mar
09

Does our body dictate what kind of person we are?

Tonight, I was walking out of my cultural theory class and I had a conversation with one of my classmates that went something like this:

Classmate: My legs hurt.

Me: Why?

Classmate: I’ve been working with this personal trainer. I’m trying to become a better person.

Me: Through working out?

Classmate: Well, I can’t treat other people right before I learn how to treat myself. 

My first thought, as I suppose you can tell from my immediate reaction, was that going to the gym is not the way that I would love my body. This is because gyms contain 2 things that I dislike most in life: (1) exercise machinery and (2) large groups of women in spandex. 

Secondly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with working out or attaching a certain level of pleasure to it (although I don’t understand it). But, it seems to me that there is something very dangerous about employing it in this context. If we gauge our own ethics by the way we “treat” our bodies, do we then make external judgments about the bodies of others?

Being a vegetarian I feel like I walk that fine line. Although, my commitment to vegetarianism has more to do with my impact on the world than that of my own body I have to be very careful about not making judgment about what other people choose to put into their bodies. 

My classmate, who is also my friend, derives her belief about exercise from a distinctly religious context. She, too, is a vegetarian, because her religion equates diet with the way she treats her body as well as the way she treats the world. She extends this tenet into a belief that working out has some sort of attachment to morality based on this relationship. 

Did I mention that I just got out of cultural theory class? Sorry if my academic brain took over there. The point it that this is certainly not the first time we have all heard this logic before. That looking good by this narrow, exclusionary standard of beauty makes one a better person. And when it is explicit in that way it is very easy to critique because it seems so transparent. But the subtle ways that these ideas permeate our culture at so many levels…That really scares me.I really believe that it is this subtlety that allows violence against people who don’t fit these arbitrary standards to not warrant the sort of reaction that those of use in the fatosphere would expect. 

And because I was not able to share my thoughts with my friend during our short goodbye, I am so grateful to be able to flesh out my thoughts here. So, with that I am going to attempt to recover from the worst flu and get some rest.

23
Mar
09

Taking a Bite of the Big Apple Part Three: The Serious

TRIGGER WARNING: PLEASE READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

It has taken me some time to get this post up, partly because my thoughts are so scattered, and partly because I’ve had to confront some of my own inner demons. But I think part of my continued healing comes from reading other folks’ experiences and taking the time to face my own.

So, in the first post of the series I told you all about my outfit I wore to an event I went to my first day in NYC. The event was a book launch and panel discussion for an amazing book called The Cries of Men: Voices of Jamaican Men Who Have Been Raped and Sexually Abused, written by O’Brien Dennis.  This book is raw, and I had a rough time reading it. Sometimes, it got a bit too real, too much…sometimes people’s prejudices, which Dennis outlined beautifully, got to be too much for me and I had to put the book down and walk away before I lost all hope in humanity.

But I wanted, no, needed to finish it.

As I listened to Dennis’ story, my heart broke. It broke for him, it broke for other men who share his experience, and it broke for women who have been through this too.

For Dennis, this book was groundbreaking in more ways than one. Men rarely admit to being sexually abused, or hell, abused in any capacity because it isn’t seen as “manly”. In Jamaican culture, homosexuality is frowned upon (a vast understatement, let me tell you), and the publishing of this book basically insures he can never go back home.

As I listened to the panel, my mind wandered a bit.  What makes me so sad is that society is structured to where those who suffer traumatic experiences are not allowed to by societal norms to share what they’ve been through and ask for help. They’re made to feel ashamed, dirty, worthless, the whole nine. They’re made to feel that the abuse was their fault, that they somehow wanted what happened to them.

It ought not be this way. Period. Yet every day another boy or girl, man or woman goes through the exact same thing, and maybe one or two might seek help.

Now, this post is short, because I don’t want to ramble. I want y’all to take my snippet in, go read the book, go read other books like it, and do what I’ll be doing: go find a place and volunteer. Be that shoulder for someone who is being shamed into silence.

And if you are someone who is/has been that person shamed into silence, please, please, don’t go through this alone. There are resources and I beg of you, seek them out and take them.

19
Mar
09

Taking a Bite of the Big Apple Part Two: Shopping

So, this post was supposed to have gone up yesterday, but I got caught up taking care of other things. Per usual. I need to work on my time management.

Anyway.

So, of course the biggest part of going to visit with my two best friends was going to shop. Now, BuddingStarlet and I did the clothes shopping thing before IntellectualFeminist made it to the city because, as she’s told y’all before, she hates clothes shopping. So, on an unseasonably warm Friday morning, we made a trip to the ATM and took a stroll down 125th street in Harlem.

Aside from the various shops, there were many people with their own tables set up selling everything from candles to elaborate blown-glass bongs (BuddingStarlet doesn’t know I really thought about buying one just to set on my dresser because it was so pretty.) I saw books, incense, “designer” handbags, a plethora of black art, Obama t-shirts…you name it, they had it. If they didn’t have it, they’d get it.

Of course, they had Ashley Stewart, Lane Bryant, and the Avenue for the usual plus size offerings. I actually ducked my head into the LB to see what I could see, and I found a beautiful cream, black, turquoise, and orange dress (cream background, black sash and hem at the bottom, turquoise and orange accents) which for some reason I cannot find online.  ETA: Thanks to Christie for putting a linky to a picture of the dress in comments! I still can’t find it online; but should you want to peruse the stores, this is what it looks like:

Let the spring dress shopping officially begin!

Let the spring dress shopping officially begin!

I was happy for the 30% off friends and family discount because let me tell you, I wasn’t excited to see the $69.50 price tag. But that discount, plus the added excitement of no sales tax on clothes in NY, brought it down to a reasonable $48. When I got home, I’d received some new coupons, so I’ll probably get this dress next time:

It's more beautiful in person.

It's more beautiful in person.

I also went to the MAC store to look at the purple eyeshadows, and I picked up two beautiful shimmery shades and a great pink creamsheen glass. And I managed to convince BuddingStarlet to try out some red lipstick…it looked amazing, just like I told her it would! (I wouldn’t be a friend if I didn’t rub it in! 🙂

The day before, BuddingStarlet, myself, and one of her gentleman friends (who I’ll introduce to y’all in the next post) walked around Times Square, looking at the lights, the sights, and of course, shopping. I got the opportunity to see the biggest damn Macy’s I’d ever seen before.

No, really. It’s MASSIVE. As in, we’re walking past, and I say, oh, this is the Macy’s you were telling me about! And then I look back across the street and realize WE’RE STILL WALKING PAST IT. I didn’t go in, because I was afraid I’d buy the whole world. Next trip, though, I’ll have to make a day of it.

We also went to H&M. Now, I’ve been to NYC before, when I was in high school, and I loved the accessories because they didn’t make any clothes in my size. Well, they still don’t make clothes in my size, but they still have amazing accessories. I picked up this beautiful white straw fedora (it’s a man’s hat, but whatever) with a blue striped ribbon trim for $7.90. I tried to find more hats because at that price, it’s totally a bargain, but no dice. It was ok though, because that hat will be in heavy rotation come this summer (BuddingStarlet picked one up too.)

When IntellectualFeminist made it to the city, we had one more shopping trip to go on. She wanted to go to the Old Navy. I, of course, was wary as all of the plus sizes have been taken out of the store. But you know, it’s like 4 or 5 floors of merchandise. Perhaps, just perhaps, this massive flagship store would have something there.

Not. A. Damn. Thing. It’s hard to sour my mood when it comes to shopping, mainly because I am so desensitized to not being able to find my size in stores, but this just pissed me off. All these floors, all of these pieces, not ONE thing for me? WTF? I simply leaned against a railing as BuddingStarlet and IntellectualFeminist looked at jeans. My co-blogger looks at my face and says: “Ah, we’re in protest mode, huh? I understand.” I’d tell the Old Navy to go to hell, but I know that there is stuff on that website RIGHT NOW that I want because on my salary, I can afford it. Bastards. Ugh.

Anyway.

My mood perked up pretty quickly by the time we made it to the bookstore. Not the Barnes and Noble or Borders, but the Strand Bookstore. It is this awesome store full of used books at amazing prices. I picked up a baking cookbook by Dorie Greenspan for HALF the price I would have gotten it in the BN. When BuddingStarlet first told me about the store, I told her I was pretty familiar with them because I think (and I’m pretty sure about this) they also sell books on Amazon too. I’ve gotten many a textbook from them at an amazing price.

So really, as much damage as I thought I’d do, I didn’t do so bad. A hat, a dress, a book, two eyeshadows, and a lip gloss. And I had a ton of fun exploring the city.

Coming up: the serious part of my trip. And y’all know that if serious doesn’t mean the shopping, it’s got to be deep. Stay tuned.




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