Thursday, May 31, 2012

:::drools::: Ashley Madekwe-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

I haven't done a plus size fashionistas post in awhile, I know. Please know that just because I'm on my Get Healthy path with a vengeance, it doesn't mean in the least bit that I don't love love LOVE recreating celebrity fashions for my full-figured sistren!

The honest reason why I haven't posted yet, is because I've been dying to do a outfit remix featuring leopard and/or camo print jeans!!! I love that look, and while scores of celebrities have been seen rocking them, they weren't women I'd necessarily want to feature in my blog. Not being mean, I'm just really am particular about who I give my energy to. And to me, dedicating time to locating photographs, and recreating outfits is giving away my energy!

Enter actress/blogger/fashionista/friend-in-my-head Ashley Madekwe of ABC's "Revenge" (Did y'all check out that season finale?!? I thought my head was going to explode!!). I have blogged about how much I dig her style before, but I literally said "Yes!!" when I viewed her recent blog post, "London Calling". Why? Because she's rocking the hell out of some leopard print jeans, of course!!!

It's like she's saying in this picture, "Oh you want to do a post about leopard print jeans, Audrey? I've got your back, girl!!" LOL

And the great thing about this outfit, aside from the fact that's it's effin' FLY... is that one of the items Ashley's wearing is totally something we can purchase to recreate the look... without our lights being cut off!  LOL Here's what I've come up with:

Top: Ivory Crochet Bling Tank Top ($38.50, Torrid)
Jeans: Camo Jeggings by DKNY Jeans ($98.00, Lane Bryant)
Sunglasses: Oversized Retro Sunglasses ($20.87, ASOS)
Sandals: Shine Studded Sandals ($12.99, Payless)
Satchel: Leather Leopard Metal Buckle Satchel ($83.50, ASOS)

I am really really liking this outfit. If those jeans ever come down in price at Lane Bryant (It's been MORE than a few months, LB! Get with it!), you might see me rocking a variation of this look!

Be sure to visit Ashley's blog, Seriously, it's dope!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wanna Wanna Wednesday... FitPlate Serving Size Portion Control Plate

This week's Wanna Wanna Wednesday is very much a Miss Moon Gets Healthy collaboration. I am doing great on my journey. The one area of improvement I recognize is that I need to master the art of portion control. I suck at it!!

This most often comes into practice when eating dinner. What I usually do now is put way too little on my plate, which results in me be still hungry a few hours after my meal! When I found out that there are specifically designed plates for portion control, I was very very excited!! There are literally dozens of these things on the market, but FitPlate ($20.90, caught my eye. For a lot of reasons...

I like the fact that the product claims that will help in controlling my portions (Which is goal #1) and balancing my dinner with foods from different food groups (Which I do anyway, but its all good!). 

What really caught my eye is that printed on the plate are reminders of the food options available for each food group, highlighting the very best foods in each group (In gold). 
According to their official website, " FitPlate takes the guesswork out of what to eat and how much to eat. Simply build a meal on your FitPlate and you’re done." Sounds good to me! LOL

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

maniCURATIVE: Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips

I've been dying to do a maniCURATIVE posts for ages, and thought now would be the perfect time to do one on Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips, which I use at least once a month and love to pieces!!! So....... let's get started! Here's what I used:

Step One: Opi Ridge Filler Base Coat (I'm using this for the first time, since my favorite base coat, Essie Fill the Gap! seems to have dropped off the map!)
Step Two: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips (In  Haute and Naughty .. plus a surprise!)

The first thing I do is assemble everything I need on one surface. I lay the strips out for easy access, which makes it easy to grab and use when I'm ready to.

Haute and Naughty (pictured above) is not the only shade I ended up using, but since the second color was a last minute decision, I didn't have it ready on hand.

Anyway, I started with applying a single layer of the base coat, O.P.I's Ridge Filling Base Coat... I like so far. It dries very fast, which is always a plus!

Once the Base Coat is completely dried, I find the best sized strip to fit my nail bed. Once the best one has been selected, I peel the clear protective plastic cover.

Then I peel the nail polish strip itself from the backing paper.

I'm now ready to apply. So placing the strip against my cuticle line, I slowly press the strip to my nail, rubbing and smoothing the strip along my nail, to ensure it will bond to my nails.

Once the strip is secured to the nail beds, I gently run it across the tips of my nails and when I'm confident the strip is exactly the way I want it, I gently pull the excess strip away. If this is your first time using the strips and you're afraid of going overboard, feel free to use the handy file included with the kit to file away the excess.

Once the first nail is done, I repeat the process on the other nails. At this point, I decided it might be fun to try two different shades, so in addition to Haute and Naughty, I also used Mod About You on the ring fingers of my hands.

I thought that the pattern would be a nice pop of color in contrast with the dark and dramatic shade.

Once all the strips have been applied, this is what it looks liked...

Now, the last steps is to fill away any jagged pieces or excess to smooth and apply the top coat. I love Seche Vite because it is super fast drying, which means in a few minutes... I'm done!!

Have you tried Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips before? What has been your experience? What is your favorite shades?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
~ George Bernard Shaw

" We must not say every mistake is a foolish one."
~ Cicero

" If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner."
~ Tallulah Bankhead

A few weeks ago, a major setback with my Father's health left me devastated. He was feeling defeated, and my family and I all felt powerless, because we felt like he was giving up and might not possess the willingness to prevail.

I was so despondent, I lacked the energy to do anything, so for three days, I didn't go on my walks, I wasn't trying to eat healthy, I wasn't sleeping, I didn't go to a meet up I was really looking forward to... In other words, I checked out for a while. And the whole time I was in limbo, I was feeling horrible about giving up. A part of me was urging me to keep going, with the promise that walking and moving will improve my mood... but I really wasn't trying to hear it.

Last week, after visiting my Dad (He's on the mend!) and seeing him in much better spirits, I felt an enormous weight being lifted off of my shoulders. All of the shame, and regret and disappointment I felt about the days past left me as well.

I've known for a while that nothing can make you feel stagnant like shame, and in knowing that... I refused to feel that way anymore. If I stayed curled up in bed out of fear of making another mistake... what's the lesson in that? Where's the growth? I told myself that this set back doesn't ruin my progress, at all. And in doing so, I felt ready to pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. And I did! I went for my walk, even though I didn't want to and hadn't slept in almost twenty four hours. But I took BOTH of my walks that day, and I learned something very important in the process.

I actually found gratitude for a mistake I had made. That's HUGE for me, because I usually wring my hands and just feel overall ickiness for past mistakes. I found the best lesson and blessing in making a mistake.... the fact that you can change it! You have the power to turn it around if you want it turned. I did, and so... I did! And in honor of making mistakes, this week's Music Therapy with Miss Moon is from Fiona Apple. It's a song not only about making mistakes, but openly seeking them out! There's a wisdom in that, I think!!

Here's "A Mistake". I hope that all of you will embrace your mistakes and learn from them.

I'm gonna make a mistake-
I'm gonna do it on purpose
I'm gonna waste my time
'cause I'm full as a tick
And I'm scratching at the surface
And what I find is mine

And when the day is done, and I look back
And the fact is I had fun, fumbling around
All the advice I shunned, and I ran
Where they told me not to run, but I sure
Had fun, so

I'm gonna f**k it up again
I'm gonna do another detour
Unpave my path
And if you wanna make sense
Whatcha looking at me for
I'm no good at math

And when I find my way back,
The fact is I just may stay, or I may not
I've acquired quite a taste
For a well-made mistake
I wanna mistake why can't I make a mistake?

I'm always doing what I think I should
Almost always doing everybody good

Do I wanna do right, of course but
Do I really wanna feel I'm forced to
Answer you, hell no
I've acquired quite a taste
For a well-made mistake, I wanna
Make a mistake, why can't I make a mistake

I'm always doing what I think I should
Almost always doing everybody good

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Little [RUFUS featuring CHAKA KHAN] for a Saturday Night

While I am really enjoying being single and working on giving my life a major upgrade, I admit I do miss romance. 

I don't seek it out actively, but on nights like this, my mind does wander to that special someone... SOMEWHERE out there... who was made just for me! We're taking our time in finding each other, admittedly... but I know he's out there, and that one day we'll be face to face. At that moment, I know it will well worth the wait! 

So tonight, I'm playing Rufus featuring Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good". LOUDLY. In the hopes that he hears it and knows where to find me!! Yes, he's worth the wait... but I'm getting up there! I'm not a spring chicken anymore! LOL :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

D-I-Y Nappturaliciously: Ms. Mooch Gets Straightened Out!!!

Out of sheer boredom I decided to flat iron Ms. Mooch on Monday. I do not flat iron my hair often, so this was the first time in 2012.

Why did I flat iron my hair when it's been VERY hot and humid (when it's not raining) here in NYC and take walks twice a day with the major purpose of getting hot and sweaty?!?! Simple answer... I'm not very smart! LMAO

By yesterday, my hair showed no signs of ever being flat ironed. So I decided to flat iron it again, because I wanted to blog about it and because I promised to share more Ms. Mooch posts (and I'm a woman of my word!). I also had the opportunity to try out a new product in the process (Yay!), so I will talk a bit about that as well and give it a little bit of a preliminary review!

A WORD OF WARNING: I've never flat ironed my hair twice in one week before, and honestly wouldn't recommend it. But like I said, I promised to do more hair posts. Also, since last year, I have refined my technique a bit, so I thought I would share the process with you. And if my hair becomes horribly damaged I will expect you all to take up a collection to pay for my wig!! Just kidding! ;)

So first, I separated my hair into eight bantu knots. I find that they are perfect for keeping all of Ms. Mooch out of the way while I flat iron.

It's not that big of a secret, but I'm a total theater nerd! I love "Memphis: The Musical!!!!!

Once my flat iron's good and ready, I take down the first knot and apply a bit of Karen's Body Beautiful Creamylicious to the entire section. 

This stuff has edged out Carol's Daughter Healthy Hair Butter as my "go to" hair cream. I love this stuff with a passion and broke my "no buy" policy to get some more when she had her recent sale. Simple and all-natural ingredients, works like a dream, and the fact that I can get in my favorite "Vanilla Lavender" scent?!? Yessss!!!

Once the section of hair is nicely full of the "good stuff", I part my hair and get to flat ironing!!

Usually I end up doing three parts per section, so it doesn't take a ridiculously long time to complete a section.

Once a section is done, I bantu knot it again.Vee of The HodgePodge Files suggested this... Thank you, girl! I seriously just used to let it hang there. Once I bantu knotted the section, I moved on to the next one, repeating these last few steps.

SIDENOTE: These pictures really highlights my weight loss to me. My eyes look bigger, and my double chin is totally less chin-y! LOL It's all about the small things you notice, I'm learning!

It's about this time I start sweating up a storm... which is exactly what you want to have happen when flat ironing your hair! LOL

But (as I do when taking my walks) I say, "Bring it on, Sweat Monster!!! I ain't afraid of you.. I'm from BROOKLYN, son!!!" LOL

Yeah... the Sweat Monster brought it!!! LMAO But I was able to finish the job without major incident. Once I was done, I was very excited to finish the job with Karen's Body Beautiful Beauty Boss 101, which I used for the first time on Monday, instead Carol's Daughter Hair Balm, which was what I used last year. Monday I went OVERBOARD with the stuff, which made poor Ms. Moochie look like the Exxon Valdez crashed on top of her!! This time, I was a lot more conservative with each section.

I applied by undoing each of the now-straightened bantu knots, and working it through each section. That stuff makes my hair feel super soft, and did I mention that you can purchase it scented, too?!? Ms. Mooch and I are both in Lavender-Vanilla scented hair HEAVEN!!! Beauty Boss 101 gets a thumbs up from me so far!!

I wish there was an internet equivalent to "Smell-o-Vision".... Seriously!!! Monday I posted on the Miss Moon's Musings FB page that last year I felt like my straightened hair made me look like an extra in "Jesus Christ: Superstar" (::singing:: What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happenin'.. LOL). Theater dork!

This year, the moment I saw the results, I was like, "Ms. Mooch you look like Irene Cara in 'Sparke'!!!!"

::singing:: If you look into your heart... with a positive mind. Take self-inventory... your woman and your glory... but the bad things behind...." LOL

I know my hair is not going to last a while, as the moment I go for walk #1 today, it will be O-VAH! To be honest, the frizz made it presence known hours later! LOL But it was fun in the process, and I love sharing my hair stories with you all!

This weekend I'm planning on giving Ms. Mooch a well deserved treat of deep conditioning with Anita Grant's Rhassoul Deep Condish. I will also be shampooing with Bumble and Bumble's Creme de Coco Shampoo and I will be doing a pre-poo with Karen's Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment (Yeah, I raked up during that sale!!), both for the first time, so be sure to check out my blog next week to see how Ms. Mooch liked them both!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wanna Wanna Wednesday... Zara Cutwork Ballet Flats

Welp, it's that time of the week again! Time for me to share another item on my "Wanna Wanna Wanna" list. I haven't been doing a lot of shoe shopping lately. Truth be told, most of my time is spent rocking my "Red Magic Shoes", so I think that a pretty pair of flats is JUST what the doctored ordered!!! These Cutwork Ballet Flats ($69.90, Zara) are so prettiful I can't stand it!!!! LOL

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Miss Moon Gets Healthy: And YES... She Has Snacks, Too!!

Hello, my name is Audrey... and, I like snacks! There. I've said it. I've given up on Mickey D's, I've given up on my beloved Snapple drinks and occasional Sprites... but do not ask me to forgo snacks entirely... I will cut you!! LOL

The good news is, I've recently discovered I don't have to! What was once a horrible feeling of deprivation (with the one or two relapses... I'm among friends, I'll admit it!) has turned into a beautiful moment of clarity when I came to the realization that I can eat healthily and enjoy treats that feel decadent... although they really aren't.

For this post, I will share four of my favorite go to snack choices: two sweet and two savory. And believe it or not, each of these treats are under 200 calories!

I've always enjoyed watermelon, but I must admit... It was never my favorite. I was always a cantaloupe girl, thanks to my Aunt Jo Ann, who would eat a slice of cantaloupe, toast and a cup of tea for breakfast all the time when I was growing up. She probably still does.

I recently read that watermelon is not only great way to trick your mind into thinking it's getting a sweet treat, it's totally good for you and is only 94 calories for a cup of the melon diced!

I am a potato chip junky... I love chips and can say quite wholeheartedly that they are my favorite thing to snack on. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a tried and true potato chip that is low in calories and won't fill my body with salt, salt, and more salt. Special K Cracker Chips are a nice alternative.

They aren't great, mind you. You pretty much know you are not eating potato chips (They are like a rice cake/ potato chip hybrid) but to enjoy 30 chips for 110 calories.. I'll take it! LOL
I do not play around with my fudge pops. Even before Getting Healthy, I avoided them because they can very easily become an obsession with me. When I spotted these Low Fat Greek Frozen Yogurt Fudge Bars from Jala, I was IMMEDIATELY suspicious about the taste. I mean it contains active probiotis, it's only 110 calories, low fat... how good can they taste?!?!?

My friends... these things are THE BOMB!!!!! After walking twice a day, getting hot and sweaty in the process... nothing soothes my sore muscles like these frozen yogurt bars... Seriously!

They also have Ice Cream Sandwiches, which I am planning on getting for Mizz Lennid, who is the Ice Cream Sandwich Queen! LOL
Popcorn and ABC's Revenge... that is my Wednesday night in a nutshell, as I've mentioned on FaceBook and Twitter quite often. I bet some of you were going,  "How are you eating popcorn and you're all 'Get Healthy', Audrey?!?".... The answer's quite simple, Light Popcorn. It tastes good.. really. And for the first time in my life my mouth doesn't HURT after eating popcorn from the abundance of salt. Have you ever had that feeling!?  Ugh, T.V.W... The very worse!!! 

Five cups of this popcorn (Which is almost half a bag!)? Only 100 calories!!! I usually pop up a bag on Wednesday night.. eat half, and then enjoy the other half Friday or Saturday night with a good movie!

What are your favorite healthy items to snack on.. I'm all about building my arsenal when a snack attack strikes, so leave a comment and share what you like!!! That rhymed! LOL

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

We've got to learn hard things in our lifetime, but it's love that gives you the strength. It's being nice to people and having a lot of fun and laughing harder than anything, hopefully every single day of your life.
~ Drew Barrymore

"Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it."
~ Eileen Caddy

"Fun is good."
~ Dr. Seuss

I've been working my but off lately. With "Getting Healthy", blogging, job searching and taking care of business around Casa di Miss Moon, there's a lot going on for me. One thing that is never EVER in short supply, however, is fun. I try to have fun and laugh as much as I can every single day.

It's easy to rush around feeling stressed about life, but what I've discovered is that when you have fun, it makes the challenges of the day a lot easier to deal with. So when I am tired from walking 8 miles, cooking dinner and cranking out resumes, I take time to devote myself to some fun. I veg out with my main man Spongebob Squarepants for an hour, I play with makeup and snap photos ("America's Next Top Model" style) or I listen to music on my iPod.... or Music Therapy, if you will! LOL

And speaking of Music Therapy, this week's song choice is dedicated to having fun and feeling great in the process. Even if you take a moment to read this blog post and listen to the song, be proud of yourself to dedicating less than 10 minutes of an otherwise busy day for something fun. And I hope that it IS fun for you, and why wouldn't it be? After all, it's the terrific Solange Knowles!!! I picked one of her songs that always lifts my spirits. This song just makes me so damn HAPPY!! In fact, it's one of my favorite songs to dance and sing a long to... Fun times! Please enjoy, "Sandcastle Disco". And have fun today... You deserve it!

Who would've known, the wind and the sunshine
Would oh baby, baby
Build up these walls of mine
And I can't see you or breathe you
Cause there's trouble right beneath you
It's all in the night
But oh baby, baby
Come pick me up in your ride

I'm a cool low Jane
With the skip on my feet
I play tough as nails
With my heart on my sleeve
I'm nothing but a sand castle
Baby don't blow me away, away

Baby I know, you do that to all the girls
You know that I'm fragile, oh
Bay ba ba ba baby, don't blow me away
Baby I know, you do that to all the girls
You know that I'm fragile, oh
Bay ba ba ba baby, don't blow me away

Who would've known, the storm of my past time
Would oh baby, make me
Losing the song of the eye
And I can't believe you or read you
Cause there's pleasure in your preview
It's all in your eyes
But oh Mr. DJ, baby
Can you meet me outside

You're an old school dude
With the kick on ya shoes
You've got groove in ya hands
The way you spend those tunes
I'm nothing but a sandcastle
Baby don't blow me away, away

Baby I know, you do that to all the girls
Baby I'm fragile, oh
Bay ba ba ba baby, don't blow me away
Baby I know, you do that to all the girls
You know that I'm fragile, oh
Bay ba ba ba baby, don't blow me away

Ooh, and just like the ocean
Lays right there behind me
Look over my sandcastle
And there's a sight to see
Don't blow me away
Don't blow me baby

Ooh baby I know, you do that to all the girls
You know that I'm fragile, oh
Bay ba ba ba baby, don't blow me away
Baby I know, you do that to all the girls
You know that I'm fragile, oh
Bay ba ba ba baby, please don't blow me away

Away, away
Away, away
Away, away

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Little [ESTHERO] for a Saturday Night

Happy Saturday, Everybody!!! This has been an emotionally draining week for yours truly, but the dark clouds that surrounded me seem to be lightening up a bit, and I know that some good days are coming.

I am also really in the mood for some wind down, chill out music or this Saturday Night. You can't go wrong with a little Esthero when you're in that sort of mood, so I hope you all will chill and vibe out with me to "Lounge"...