All Things Beauty · Green Witchery · Self Care

An Initiation into the Realm of Goddesses

{I know this is way outside of the normal things I write about in this space, but my heart woke up, and I felt this was important to talk about. The next post will return to the normal broadcasting, but all of this is behind the drive of this blog.}

Earth my body
Water my blood
Air my breath
Fire my spirit

These words are chanting around my head today as I settle back in to “normal” life after an incredible weekend spent with warrior goddesses. This is a side of myself I have not shared so far in this space and I think it’s time to stop hiding it.

I am an aspiring Green Witch and am finding the things that make my spirit sing. Paganism, worshiping and honoring the Goddesses, and learning about the things that are the roots of legends and myths are the things igniting a fire within me. I’m still wading through the information I was given this past weekend, but it was my initiation into the realm of Goddesses and I couldn’t be more thrilled and eager to learn more.

So what is a Green Witch? Well, basically it’s someone who works with the earth, their environment, the native plants and flowers around them, and creates meaningful things from those plants and flowers. (ssssuper basic description) I discovered a book called The Green Witch: your complete guide to the natural magic of herbs, flowers, essential oils, and more back in April. I started reading through it and realized that I had finally found a part of Paganism that was deeply speaking to me. I both like the singular nature of being a Green Witch. There are no high priests/priestesses in Green Witchery. There isn’t a leader you have to follow. It’s more of learning and using and respecting/honoring what you have around you. Learning about the natural states of your environment, using the plants and flowers available to you, and respecting and honoring Mother Earth (Gaia). This really calls to me because it’s that mindful living that I’m striving for.

This is the current running under my desire to clean out my makeup, skin care, food, and overall habits of toxicity. It’s the thing holding up my desire to honor and respect my own body, and then pass on that desire to those around me. It is what is feeding my longing for acknowledging and uplifting the natural beauty around me and IN me.

I spent about 30 hours with 17 of the most beautiful and inspiring and incredible women I have ever met. We went through initiation into the beauty of being Mermaids and were introduced/re-introduced to the Goddesses. We were given tools to help us stay grounded as we work through our traumas surrounding our femininity and our womb space. Being a childhood sexual abuse survivor, this was especially potent for me as I am deeply aware of massive trauma around my womb space.

We spent time cleansing our bodies and floating in a saltwater pool while experiencing Reiki to help activate the healing of our womb space and to bring back our power. Then returned to the pool the next day to move and shift in a Water Shakti dance.

We stretched and pushed our bodies and spirits through morning yoga out under the morning sunshine and refreshing mountain air. Then called upon the Goddesses to join us as we lifted each other up and rejoin our spirits.

I discovered multiple soul-sisters and am so excited to know them better and to finally, after years of longing for, found my family; my community; the place my soul/spirit can solely call home. There up on that mountain top, in the fresh air, surrounded by warrior goddesses, meeting the Goddesses who have been with me for so long, I found my heart opening and my body moving in ways I’ve never experienced before. I shed lots of tears as I felt the releasing of trauma tension I’ve been holding in for a long time. I was held as tears overflowed and space was held for the trauma; respecting and honoring the pain as it was released. I was honored to then hold space for those around me as their own traumas were released and I hope healing was then able to start.

We all came from different backgrounds, but a lot of us came from very similar places. We were all different, but those very differences were what brought us together. We learned about some herbs and flower essences that are good for calming anxiety, uplifting the spirit, and releasing/healing trauma responses.

I left the weekend feeling tired but also like I had received an immense boost to my drive forward. I learned a lot, gained a lot of answers to questions I had been asking, or wasn’t even aware I had asked. I have been given next steps to take as I move forward, as well as cautions against shrinking and going backwards. After the health struggles of the first half of this year, it is a huge breath of relief to feel like I can finally move forward instead of just barely being able to hold my head above water. I am excited to see what the next few months bring.

I am a red woman, a mermaid goddess, and an aspiring Green Witch.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled broadcasting!

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Capsule Wardrobe = Yes or No?

Hello Beauties!

We are closing in to my absolutely favorite time of the year; FALL!! I adore the cooler weather, the weather when I can comfortable wear jeans and a sweater, or start pulling out my leggings and longer tunic like tops. But as we get close to pulling out those fall/winter wardrobes, I wanted to take a minute to talk about capsule wardrobes.

Now, the people who know me know that I have thing against capsule wardrobes. I am equally for them and against them. But before I get in to my reasons, let’s talk about what a capsule wardrobe essentially is.

Capsule Wardrobe –

  • Focused on minimizing one’s wardrobe/closet
  • Typically neutral colors with the emphasis on mixing and matching 10x over
  • Includes accessories (hand bags, shoes, jewelry, outerwear)
  • Usually includes 25-50 pieces (clothing AND accessories…50+ if it’s a year round wardrobe)
  • Focused on having clothes and accessories you really love and actually wear

There are a lot articles praising the pros of a capsule wardrobe, and even one of the things that drew me to researching them was the idea of only having what you completely LOVE in your closet/wardrobe. One of the deepest, consistent ideologies that go with capsule wardrobes is this idea of using what you love and using it consistently. Basically, if you don’t like a piece of clothing or an accessory in your closet, get rid of it.

This mindset of the pin above is where I sit with capsule wardrobes. I don’t think it’s helpful at all to have a closet full of clothes that you never wear or are only keeping because you liked it once. Or even hanging on to clothes that most definitely do not fit or have utterly worn out. There are creative ways of keeping or hanging on to clothes that you adore but have worn out and are not longer wearable the way they are. But, I’ll do a post about that another time!

Minimizing your wardrobe down to pieces you consistently use and wear I think it a smart use of space. It certainly cuts down on time getting dressed in the morning if everything you see when you open your drawers or closet are pieces you love. But here’s where I differ with the idea of a capsule wardrobe.

Almost every sample capsule wardrobe I’ve seen in my research consists of pretty neutral toned clothes, and styles that just do not work for my body shape. Now, okay okay, the beauty of capsule wardrobes is that you can create a capsule wardrobe around pieces you love. But for people who need a visual of what a capsule wardrobe “should” look like, all they’re going to find are blacks, grays, and beige! I get that having a basis wardrobe of neutral colors means there is a lot of room to play and add in fun accessories, but what happens if the clothes you gravitate towards are brightly colored, not quickly so easily mixed and matched?

That’s where my gripe with capsule wardrobes begins and ends. Like I said above, I LOVE the concept of having a closet full of clothes that you adore and love to wear. That is such a good mindset to have. I find that if I love what I’m wearing then that only helps me feel good about myself and my appearance and helps towards having a positive outlook about your body. So how do you have a capsule wardrobe when your clothes just don’t quite fit the “standard” guidelines of a capsule wardrobe? Well here are some tips that I’ve come up with.

Maeve’s “Capsule Wardrobe” Tips 

  • Wear what you LOVE – if this means having super bright colors and patterns, then go for it!
  • But keep it limited to only pieces you wear consistently
  • If you haven’t worn a piece at all during that season, get rid of it
  • If you only wear one (or however many) piece at least once during a season, then hang on to it


Getting More Detailed – 

My current summer wardrobe consists of the following –

  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 5-6 tees and tanks
  • 3 t-shirt/swing dresses
  • flip flops
  • sandals
  • hiking shoes
  • Converse
  • tennis shoes that I can work out in or just wear

I do technically have 3 other short sleeve tops, but those work better in the winter as they are thicker material and don’t work so well with bralettes, which is what I’m wearing about every day right now. All three pairs of shorts can be mixed and matched all of my shirts. One of my pairs of short is literally falling apart at the hem, so I’m trying to make those last until the end of summer. Almost every one of my t-shirts has a pattern and certainly doesn’t fit the standard capsule wardrobe “guidelines. But that is what works for me. I am still whittling down my wardrobe and getting rid of tops I’ve saved from the past two summers, and now they’re going in the give away pile. I am constantly tweaking things and re-evaluating if I still wear something or if I haven’t worn it enough to warrant keeping it.

I read a tip once that said if you saw that certain piece on the shelf or rack would you grab it? If the answer is no, get rid of it. If yes, then keep it!

So I guess, long story short, yes, I recommend and love the mentality of wearing only what you love and what you feel comfortable in. But no, do not feel so rigid with your wardrobe. “Break the rules” and have those bright colors if they make you happy, or stick with the neutrals if those make you feel safe! Either way, whether capsule wardrobes are for you or not, I do strongly recommend going – at whatever rate is comfortable with you – through your closet and drawers and getting rid of the pieces that make you feel bleh, uncomfortable, or just never get worn. Not only is that a cathartic exercise, it also helps you see what exactly you like to wear and gives you the knowledge that you have clothes that you LOVE to wear.

Cheers, Beauties! I’ll see you next week.

 

Chronic Illnesses · Endometriosis · Fibromylagia · Hypothyroidism · IBS · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products

Breaking A Stigma – Health Edition

Hello Beauties (again)!

Most of my posts have to do with my chronic illnesses (yes, plural). But one of the things I have’t talked about are the supplements I take and the medications I have taken or am no longer taking.

With having fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and hypothyroidism, flare ups are sometimes hard to avoid. I have noticed that when I have multiple emotional/mental triggers, having a physical reaction or flare up is nearly impossible to avoid. I have been able to push myself physically more this past month than I have been able to in a long time. And I contribute that to one single supplement; CBD oil.

Now, hold on, before you start judging me, hear me out.

I was raised conservative Christian, the kind of christianity that doesn’t acknowledge mental health or that trauma is even something that would strongly affect the body/mind. I was raised to view pot and those who smoked as beneath me and irresponsible people. However, as I am no longer in that world anymore, AND considering I now live in Colorado (and no, there are not high people on every street corner…CO is considered one of the healthiest states in the nation….and it’s not because of all of the pot smokers), I started doing some research on CBD oil. I discovered something interesting, as long as there is less than 0.3% THC in the oil, it is 100% legal in all 50 states and multiple countries world wide. The THC is what makes someone high. But there is a lot of anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety/depression benefits to the CBD oil. Because my spouse works on a job that would mean he could very quickly lose his job if he had any contact with THC, I had to make sure that CBD oil would be okay to use.

Two months ago I was hitting a really low low, and physically was starting to feel so utterly defeated with my health. I was taking extra strong doses of Aleve (the only pain reliever that ever does anything for me) and I knew that was only destroying my gut/stomach even more. A friend uses CBD oil for Interstitial Cystitis and had told me how much the oil was really helping her. I was getting desperate so I ordered a bottle. My only hesitation with using the oil was the price. CBD oil in its purest form and from a reputable seller is pricey. Living in Colorado, I was able to find a seller with a highly concentrated formula with a bottle that would last 3-5 months for $89. Like I said, it’s pricey, and I didn’t want to start taking it, discover it works for me, and then try to figure out how to afford a bottle every month. Which is why I’ll be switching to this new seller in two weeks when my current bottle runs out.

Before I jump in to how CBD oil has helped me, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of the oil.

Adding in CBD oil to my daily supplements has significantly improved my quality of life. I had a really rough therapy session on Tuesday, slept terribly Tuesday night because of a BAD fibro flare up due to emotional/mental triggers. Woke up Wednesday feeling like crap, but had to run a lot of errands and keep the boys out of the house since some of our windows were getting replaced. Wednesday was even worse than Tuesday night. Woke up yesterday morning (Thursday morning) barely able to move without significant pain. I took a full dropper of CBD oil instead of the 1/3 of a dropper I usually take. Within a half hour, my pain levels had dropped from 7/8 down to about 4/5.

I have been using this website, ThoughtCloud.net, but because of how small their bottles are and because of how much they cost, I will be switching to another company I found at a local farmer’s market.

  Nature’s Best Relief – 2oz $89 (this is the bottle that’s supposed to last up to 5 months)

I am grateful for CBD oil, it’s made my pain a lot less and has had a positive effect on my anxiety and depression. So maybe put aside your negative connotations of CBD and consider possibly trying it? I am not a health nut, I am not a conspiracy theorists, I am only someone who’s struggled with chronic pain for a very long time, and when I find something that helps my pain and inflammation I want to share it. I also believe the CBD oil has helped my IBS too. That and eating very low carb, my IBS has seriously calmed down and I rarely have a reaction anymore. Which, okay, it’s been YEARS since I’ve gone this long without having almost daily IBS flare ups. It’s still weird to me that I can actually eat and not get sick anymore.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I know there are a lot of bad stigmas about CBD oil and I hope maybe this can help change some of them.

All Things Beauty · Fashion · Products · Self Care · That Curvy Girl

Bralettes – My latest *COMFORT* obsession

Hello Beauties,

Ugh, I just can’t seem to keep up with posting. This past break hasn’t meant bad things though. I have been doing fairly well lately and the month of July was actually “crisis” free with my health. Considering every other month this year has contained at least one crisis with my health, it was a welcome break.

I’m going to do double posts today because there is something I want to write about that has been on my mind for a while and I think I’m at a place now where I can comfortably write about it. But first, let’s talk BRALETTES!

When I was a young budding woman, I was so desperate to having bigger breasts, that I almost exclusively wore push-up/padded underwire bras. I picked out and tried on and bought all of my own bras, and because of that, ended up wearing the wrong size for many years. However, when I had my first child, nursing changed things a lot. And that’s when I found out that I had not only been wearing the wrong bra size, my bra size had also changed! I used to wear a 36B, turns out I’m a 34D, and was a DD when I was nursing the first time around. Second time, second kid, I stayed consistently a 34D. Even after having gone through the post-nursing deflation, I’m still a on-the-smaller-side 34D. One of the things I worried about as a young girl, was having even a smidgen of a shadow of a nipple poking through my bra. I will not elaborate on this, but I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor, and from a very young age, breasts, the female body, was over-sexualized for me and not feeling full “protected” around my chest made me feel not safe.

This was part of why I felt like I had to look bigger “up top” than I really was. It was difficult for me to accept my body shape and size and it’s only been in the past three-ish years that I have been able to get to a place where I not only am okay with the shape and size of my body, but I actually have a decent relationship with my own skin.

With the addition of several more chronic illnesses, having dealt with significant rib pain the past 4 1/2 years, I have found myself surprisingly drifting away from underwire bras. Which, okay let me see if I can get the significance of this across – as a young girl, and most of my current adult life, I have felt a deep drive to make sure that my breasts look big, or at least bigger than they possibly/probably are. So to feel 100% comfortable NOT wearing an underwire/push-up bra is kind of a really big deal. My mindset has shifted, and for the past year and a half, my sole focus on my body has been comfort; still adoring and loving staying fashionable, but comfort is definitely key.

I went to visit a friend in April and she mentioned that she wears just bralettes now. I was still wearing underwire bras, but the idea of wearing bralettes began to get more and more appealing. I had my gallbladder removed 2 1/2 years ago but my ribs still both me on the right hand side. I strongly suspect my endometriosis has crawled up there, but eh that’s a topic for another time.

Anyway, since April I have kept my eyes peeled for bralette sales and specifically kept a look out for padded bralettes. I absolutely cannot do unpadded. Which is a bit annoying since there are some gorgeous UNpadded bralettes out there! I have managed to find some really good and comfortable bralettes. I don’t believe I’ve spent more than $15 on one pair, most $10 or less (or even for a few, $5 and less). I used to feel really uncomfortable about having any bra lines showing through my shirt, but one of the things I really adore about the bralettes I have, is most have gorgeous lacy straps, and when those show around my neckline I feel like it doesn’t matter if a texture shows through my shirt.

Really quickly though before I start sharing links, there is something super annoying about sharing my joy of bralettes with you. Bralettes are made with A-C (and some D’s) cups in mind. Anyone really bigger than a D/DD will find bralettes aren’t supportive enough. This is really frustrating to me because I’d love for all of my friends to thoroughly enjoy the comfort I’ve discovered in bralettes. So keeping that in mind, I am always on the look out for a supportive AND pretty bralette for the bigger gals. 

Okay, so! Here are links and references for bralettes I’ve found that are super comfortable, easy to wear, and decently priced.

Let’s look at American Eagle Aerie first. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see some of Aerie’s latest ad campaigns. I’m glad to see more body types and presentations being shown in their ads. That being said, I kind of really hate AE’s clothes. I feel like their jean sizes are getting smaller and smaller. BBbbuuuttt, that’s a gripe for another time! I have had at least one Aerie bra in my drawer at almost all times. I really liked some of their older styles, but lately, I did get two bralettes and it was worth it grabbing them while they were on sale!

 

Aerie Bralettes (all images from American Eagle ae.com and all prices current of post time)

Product Image   Aerie Boho Padded Bralette – on sale for $17.97

(there are consistently deal codes, so I’d recommend waiting for one of those codes to show up)

 

Product Image    Aerie Lace Racerback Bralette – on sale for $14.97

– uhm, so the model wearing this one is definitely a much larger size than a C or D cup!! This makes me excited! I would love to hear if any of my friends who do not fit a typical bralette size can fit comfortably in this particular bra!

 

Image for the product   Aerie Softest Lace Classic Bralette – on sale for $13.77

– this one is actually NOT padded, but I happened to have extra removable cups I wasn’t using and cut two small slits on the lining of this bra and just wear it with cups. The cups do shift funny since the bra wasn’t made with removable cups, but I’m going to try to stitch something in place to keep the cups where they need to. BUT! I will say that this bra in particular is incredibly soft and comfortable. I really like that it is convertible – i.e. regular straight straps can be turned in to an “x” back.

 

Here’s the link to all of Aerie’s bralettes! I am loving the selection, and the one thing about AE or Aerie bras, they are made to last…at least for more than a year!

 

Target Bralettes(all images from Target.com and all prices current of post time)

   Xhilaration Longline Bralette – on clearance for $11 (but I did see several IN STORE for $4-5)

– I have this bra in a navy blue (found at a thrift store) and the mint. This bralette is very comfortable, but the only thing that can get annoying is because I’m short-waisted, the longline part rolls up when I wear it. Not enough for me to not want to wear the bra, but enough that I adjust the bra several times during the day if it bothers me.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Lack Back bralette – $14.99

– I do not have this bra right now, but I love the comfort/sleep bra look of it. It is padded, and looks like it would fit smoothly under a top.

 

  Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Bralette – $16.99

– I will never need a nursing bra again, but for my nursing mama friends, I have LOVED Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras in the past!!!

 

  Xhilaration Push-up Racerback Lace Bralette – $12.99 with a 15% coupon code for online and cartwheel code in store

– I have this bralette in a gray and I should have gotten a Large instead of a Medium. It just doesn’t fit as well as my other bras. It is still comfortable, but I also feel like if I were to get a bigger size it would fit in the cup area, but the band would be way too loose.

Here’s a link to all of Target’s bralettes 

 

Aeropostale Bralettes(all images from aeropostale.com and all prices current of post time)

LLD Classic Lace Bralette  LLD Classic Lace Bralette – $12.00

– this bra runs small and it about the same quality as the Aerie bralettes

 LLD Geo Lace Racerback Bralette – $24.50

– I didn’t get this bra, but one similar to it, again, I’d say they run small, but are quite comfortable. Also, I’d say this isn’t worth spending almost $25 on. Wait till it’s on sale.

Here’s the link to all of Aeropostale’s Bralettes 

Those are all of the bras I either own, or have tried on in store. I know there are a few other that are considered “cult favorites” but when I realized that first of all, they’re not padded, and they’re pricey, I didn’t want to share a link to those. I am all about affordable fashion and paying over $30 for a bra that I wouldn’t even be comfortable in is not worth it. Let me know what you all think, or if you have an obscure place to get bras and would like to share!

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