Thank you, Maya.

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As I'm sure most of you have heard, Maya Angelou passed away yesterday. Normally, I'm not one to pause and really reflect on a celebrity death, though I did do a research paper in grad school about our societal obsession with them. It's a little weird for me to actually mourn someone I never met. That was until yesterday. 

Yes, I am normal and am sad to heard about anyone dying, but if it's a celebrity, it's hard to really grasp because these people are so easy to be in contact with, without really ever being in contact with them. Does that make sense? But Maya Angelou is different. She's not really a celebrity like we might normally define them. But she is an icon, a role model, a pillar of strength and a movement in herself. And her writing makes her so relatable even if her journey is really unimaginable to me. I really fell in love with her and her writing on my own during college and have been captivated by her strength and grace ever since. 

Surprisingly, with all of the writing classes I've had, none of her work was ever assigned reading, so discovering all of her work on my own and really enjoying it is really what makes me actually mourn her. What a life. If you don't know about her or know of anything beyond the few great quotes you can find online, I really suggest that you look into reading her work. My favorites of hers are Phenomenal Woman and Letter to My Daughter, but her most well-known is probably I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, which is also wonderful and really lets you peek into her soul and begin to grasp where she's been.

Today I'll be remembering her. Through the rest of my life though, I'm sure I'll remember her writing and continue to read and reread it. I cannot even describe the impact she's made on my life as a woman, a writer, an activist, and just a person in general. Such a great example of faith and perseverance.

April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014


Memorial Day Happenings

Top: The view from our seats | Left: Eric eating | Right: Selfie with my new flag scarf

So, Eric and I had a pretty uneventful Memorial Day planned until one of the regulars at the bar I work at told me about the Erie SeaWolves game. Mondays are dollar days, meaning everything is only a dollar and since it was Memorial Day, what else did we have to do? Since we've never been we thought it'd be a great first trip and it was! We enjoyed watching the SeaWolves play against the Altoona Curve (a Pittsburgh Pirates double-A affiliate team), drank some crazy cheap beer, ate hot dogs and soaked in the sun. 

It was a great way to spend our first Memorial Day away from the traditional Ellwood City parade and picnic that we are used to. Maybe a new tradition? At least it will become a frequent stop during the summer. I didn't take many pictures because I'm horrible at remembering that I'm a blogger apparently. Hope you all had a great day. And of course, thank you to those who have and are serving. A special shout out to my blogger friend, Jess, who is in the Navy and who is an amazing young woman. I hope you had a wonderful day, sweet girl. Thank you.


Plus Size Swimsuits That Don't Suck

ModCloth: Flamingo | Retro | Chevron | Seagulls
You guys, it's a rough world we live in when it takes (seriously) days to find a good swimsuit for us bigger girls. Here's what I hate most about swimsuit shopping, be it in person or online, some companies like the pretend that chunky ladies don't like the most common of summer activities. Hello, I'm a big girl and I like to swim and get my tan on, just make that cute suit you designed...bigger.

No but really, swimsuit shopping in general bothers me because, 1) no boob support, 2) those little skirt things, 3) tankini tops are weird. Why is it so hard to create a bathing suit with a bra in it? Like women want to be wearing silky nylon fabric without some support...come on now. I know I'm in the very small minority of women who actually like wearing a bra, but let's be real, unless you have real support in your swimsuit, nothing looks good in that area. Slap some under wire in there. Also, I assume that a lot of places think like this when designing for plus size..."oh, put a little skirt on it so she doesn't worry about her thighs showing! Oh, not to long though, still needs to be like the normal swimsuits! There, perfect!" No, no, not perfect, those skirts cut off right at the largest part of my thighs, what was the point of adding it? Nothing is modest or slimming about those poorly cut skirts. The only exception to this is the flamingo suit from ModCloth that is shown above and only because the skirt isn't frilly and I like the illusion sides. Final swimsuit pet peeve, tankini tops. Just because I don't get what the point of wearing a cami top is since they just float up once you're in the water anyway. Why not just wear a regular bikini top? Someone can explain that to me in the comments I guess.
Torrid: Pink | Multi-Color | Swimsuits For All: Black Fringe | Dragonfruit
Anyway! I found some suits I actually like and now I need to figure out which to buy! I need a one piece because I'll be running a camp this summer and the dress code says no two pieces, but I also really love that the high waisted two pieces are back on trend and want one because I plan on spending too much time at Lake Erie this summer, you know, since it's like right here. These are my favorites and while not all of them have as much support in them as I'd prefer, the reviews seemed positive and if worse comes to worse I can just sew an old bra into one. I should probably just sew my own suit altogether.
Torrid: Tie-Dye | Swimsuits For All: Polka Dots | ModCloth: Blue Fringe
All of my current suits are from Victoria's Secret but I see that they are becoming less and less accommodating to the big girls, which is depressing because I love their stuff. But I had some good luck with finding suits at ModCloth, Torrid, and Swimsuits For All. Which of these do you like best? How do you feel about swimsuit shopping?


Kushyfoot Review: Stylish & Comfy Footwear

Some of the products that Kushyfoot sent to me. (Anchor flats: Target | Heels: Charlotte Russe)

I have to admit two things before going on with this review, 1) I hate socks and 2) I really hate silky socks. So when Kushyfoot sent me a bunch of their products to test out for this review I was very hesitant to try them out. I have heard great things about this company through some blog friends, most specifically their thicker tights an comfy feet cushions, so I knew that these couldn't be too bad. 

While I still don't like the silky feel to them and I'm not going to convert to wearing socks or foot covers under all my heels now, I have to say that wearing these do save my feet from pain. I actually have really sensitive feet and they begin to hurt easily in any kind of shoes (including flats) so it was nice to be able to save myself some grief thanks to the cushioning in all of these socks. 

I also really like that they come in all kinds of styles and cover various areas of the foot. Not all of these would work with every pair of shoes and I really like that Kushyfoot has obviously taken the time to figure out which kinds would work for different kinds of footwear. Kushyfoot also offers; tights, knee-highs, slippers, flats and a men's sock line, in addition to the women's socks and foot covers. You can order online but also I have seen a lot of Kushyfoot products make their way to Rite Aid and CVS stores recently in case you want to try some out before buying different styles online. Hopefully you will give these a try soon and be able to keep your feet comfy and still stylish this summer!

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.


Chels Wears: Dressy Gothic

Dress: Walmart | Shoes: Guess | Necklace: Charlotte Russe
Anytime I wear a lot of black, my mom always asks if I'm Gothic. I'm not sure she totally knows what that means but this is the first black outfit that I've worn in front of her that she did not ask me that question. That was before I decided to pose for these pictures in front of a rundown graveyard though.

I am in love with this dress. I saw it at Walmart about a month ago and have been lusting after it ever since. So when I went there a week ago and saw it in my size, I had to have it. When I think about a piece that long, I know it's meant to be in my closet! I don't think I realized that the underneath part is much shorter than the sheer overlay until actually putting it on, but I think I like it even more because of that. It gives it a little something extra. Also, not pictured is an awesome little cutout in the back which is the real reason I was lusting for this dress. I am always hooked when an interesting back is on a dress or shirt. In other news, these shoes are Guess and my old college roommate gave them to me for free because she said they just didn't fit her right. Score! Thanks, Sara!


What's In My Bag: Everyday

I've seen a good number of these kind of posts and have to say that I'm obsessed with them. I'm a pretty nosy person in general so seeing bloggers post about stupid stuff like what's in their purses is right up my alley. So I thought I'd share the same with you guys today. This will be a super-mini series, but I'm hoping you'll think it's fun! To start us off I did the everyday bag because it's the most essential. I usually mix up my bag every other week or so, but the contents are always the same. However, not pictured is a water bottle from Victoria's Secret. It was taking up too much room in my photos so I decided to take it out, even though I don't go anywhere without one!

As you can see, I've got plenty of reading material! I have recently canceled all of my magazine subscriptions, so I only buy them now if someone I really like is on the cover, which seems to be less and less, haha. This is the first ever issue of Vanity Fair that I've bought and it's all because of that stud, Jon Hamm. And I always have a book and the current month's Family Video release list, I feel like I always have to have it on hand. People know I work there and will ask me randomly if anything good is coming out soon, so I like to be prepared. Besides that, I feel like everything else is pretty standard; wallet, keys, phone, bobby pins and hair ties, pens and highlighters (I highlight my planner), eos lip balm (I'm obsessed!), planner, headphones, tampon case cleverly disguised as a makeup bag, a little mist, glasses case and of course my checkbook in a Steelers cover. Who doesn't have one of those?

What's in your everyday bag?


Fashion Forward Fridays: Summer Festivals

All I can think about recently is going to summer festivals. So I thought why not use that for Fashion Forward Fridays? I know that I will be heading to a lot more than usual because I need to get Marion Claire off the ground and summer festivals seems like the way to go for me. But I don't think I'll be able to make it to any of the awesome music festivals that Eric and I really wanted to head out to, which is sad. So here's some fashion inspiration for those of you heading out to all kinds of festivals this summer!
I always want to wear sandals to festivals and then hate myself afterwards for doing that. So much dirt, so much walking, don't wear sandals unless it's in a mostly paved area. (Like the Three Rivers Arts Festival.) And you always need a bag that can hold a lot of stuff in, water bottle, blanket to sit on at any notice, wallet and necessities, camera, and room for stuff you buy. I'm getting excited just thinking about going to festivals! Where are you guys heading this summer?



This is it! You guys, I am so excited to be launching the indiegogo project page for Marion Claire Stationery. This is where I need you! I cannot make this dream happen without your help. indiegogo is a crowd funding site that allows people to create projects and their family and friends go to the project page and send them money in exchange for some fun perks. 

I have racked my brain to create perks that are worth donating for, but when it really comes down to it, I know that the donations will either come or not based on your belief in this company. I want each of you to know, that your emotional support alone fuels me. The women behind the name push me forward and the decade of desire to have this company is leading my way. As I said before, creating a greeting card company has been a dream of mine since I was a pre-teen, I just didn't expect that dream would come true so soon. This wasn't the "plan" for when I wanted this company, but it has again and again become the first thing I think about each morning. That's something I cannot ignore. This is the time. This project has my full attention. If you do chose to donate, I promise that I do not take that lightly and your contribution will not be in vain or go to waste. 

The indiegogo project runs until May 31st and if I am fully funded or over, I will be able to complete the fulfillment for the donation perks and the start up of this company right away. I hope that you will consider helping me in this journey, it honestly cannot happen without you. Check out the perks and read the story, because, like I said, it's really the story that will get you hooked or not.
And I'm hoping that you'll be hooked.

with heart & sass


Chels Wears: Casual Cobalt

Necklace & Bracelets: Charlotte Russe | Scarf: American Eagle
Vest, Shirt & Jeans: WalMart | Boots: URBANOG | Bag: Strawberry

So. Let's talk about this outfit. It's matchy-matchy, which I don't like. And it's one of those outfits that the majority of people would label as cute, but in fashion blogger world, we label as "everyday" or typical. So I'm a bit indifferent about it. I like it, but am more posting it out of the feeling of needing a Chels Wears post, not that I'm really in love with it or anything. I wore this last night on my "date" with MJ...and my brother. We went to Cheddar's in Erie. Which is poorly named for how nice it actually looks inside. I was highly misled.

MJ was in town for an admissions fair and I certainly didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see him, but since I've also be fighting the good fight against this little cold, I didn't really feel like getting dressed up. This is what happens when you know you're going to see your boyfriend of four years and you both are just going to stuff your faces and then go home. I have to admit that I'm seeing a lot less of MJ then what I expected when I first moved and that was apparent after being so excited to see him all week and then realizing we only got to spend like an hour together. We are officially back to long distance when an hour of his time is the best part of my week. Next month we'll get some more quality time in, my friends (Hannah and Wade) are getting married and we're making a whole weekend out of it. So while that's a month away, my bridesmaid dress is cute, so that'll make up for him seeing me in such a casual outfit last night haha


Fashion Forward Fridays: Rain Boot Styles

Let's start this off right...thank you. You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for the positive response to my post and announcement yesterday! I'm so glad that so many of you are as excited as I am and are ready to go on this journey with me - I'll be sure to keep you updated on all the happenings of Marion Claire Stationery.

Now onto Fashion Forward Fridays! If you remember my post on Wednesday, then you know I need some new rainboots. And since I still have a black and white pair, I want a solid color. I loved the rainboots I wore Wednesday, but I always felt like I had to wear one of the colors in them and that usually felt limiting. So I want a color that I can wear with a lot of outfits and I have narrowed it down to either, pink, green, or yellow. And of course, I made style boards of Polyvore to go with each color.

Which outfit do you like best? And which color should I buy!? Happy Friday!


Marion Claire Stationery

Well, the big news is that I have started my own stationery company! And while I was hoping to launch a Kickstarter today, I didn't realize that it takes about a week to verify your bank information, so NEXT WEEK, that will happen too! This is seriously a life-long dream of mine and while I didn't think it would be happening this soon in life, I'm glad that it is and am excited to really establish this line and grow as a business.

So while there are still some edits that need to be done throughout social media world, which I'll be working on today, my website is up and rocking and if you'd like to learn more about why I have created this company, the reason behind the name and to see a sneak peek of some of my designs, please feel free to visit my website. And let me know what you think, seriously, tell me your opinon. I'm so excited, nervous, and ready for this journey to start and hope that you'll come along with me!

Marion Claire Stationery | About | Facebook | Twitter | Kickstarter & Etsy (coming soon!)

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