Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dreams can come true

I wrote this in 2010... unfortunately I lost 60 pounds and gave up. I've since gained that back and more... I am re-posting an excerpt from the original article,"The Road to a Beautiful Life" published 6/22/10,  because I am re-inspired to start making some healthy changes in my life and hopefully get back some of  the joy and freedom I have lost. I hope this inspires you to make healthy choices as well.

Over the years I have been a plus size advocate, a fashion consultant and wardrobe stylist and I have resigned myself to be a happy, healthy and vibrant plus size woman, BBW whatever you want to call it. a happy fat girl. I wanted to show the world that a big woman can be happy confident and secure... and well dressed ;). For years I was happy and energetic and content at a size 20. I had an accident that hurt my spine and my hips and I have gone from being a size 20 to a 26. I still tried to be that girl... happy.

But in the back of my mind there were little disappointments. Times where I would realize that every pound I gained was  like  loosing another a piece of myself.  I couldn't hike up a mountain like I used to. Traveling has become harder. I cant walk for hours and hours and explore a city. There are times I long for a Chanel  suit or a Marc Jacobs dress and know it will never happen. Knowing I cant ride a horse like I used to, or ride a bike as far as I would like to go. I know I want children and the doctor told me how my weight would prevent me from becoming pregnant, I want to get married and be the most beautiful person in the wedding party... but I know that the dress selection for girls like me is like looking for fine china at Walmart. And if I did have kids how sad will it be, If i can't run around with them and play. I refused to think about all of these things I had lost. I chose to make the best of what I had. I know a lot of it is because of my injury it just takes time to heal, but my weight isn't helping the healing process and it's the weight that makes me look different than I did. Makes people stare. Makes me feel socially awkward and unwelcome. Makes me feel heavy.. and makes my jeans dig into my skin and leave red marks. I don't want to live this way... indefinably.

Maya Angelou once said "to survive is necessary, to thrive is elegant." I want to thrive. I want to be happy and to see all my dreams come true. I don't want to live the rest of my life with the expectancy of an early death. I choose life and life more abundantly. I fear I may fail but I'm going to try. If we are faithful to pursue good, God is faithful to complete that work in us. My body is my temple so the Lord said and as I sat in church and listened for the call of missionaries to go to  Haiti to help the poor  my spirit felt moved to serve and realized my body would prevent me from really being a help to them. I felt, I would just slow everyone down and be an extra burden to the team and that's when I realized what I had done to my body. When The body interrupts the call of the lord on your life. When it prevents you from finding true love and enjoying the things you love, Fashion... the outdoors... travel... It's time to make a BIG change.

 In pursuit of my hopes and dreams and all the hopes I put aside  in the trash can of impossibility.  I am going to change my life. Someone told me that if I lost the weight they would buy me a Chanel handbag. This has always been a dream of mine to own one so we will see. I will bring you updates and thoughts from my journey. I am still the happy confident woman, I will still bring you style advice and continue to feature plus size women.

I hope my story  and complete honesty encourages you to take the necessary steps toward a happy life whatever it looks like for you.  Freedom is having the ability to choose your own path. The feminist movement was meant to give women options to work if they wanted to or needed to. We often defend our choices by putting down others choices. That is not and will never be my heart for you. Be you, be happy just be honest about what that means for you and do not settle for anything less than exactly what you want.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Trend alert: cut out booties

Is it a shoe? Is it a boot? Is it a sandle? No! It's a cut-out bootie and Whatever it is it's HOT!!! There are sooo many styles and options I wish I could have them all.

I love wearing cowboy boots with summer dresses or shorts.  Cut out booties  give you a great alternative. They will look cute with a casual outfit  such as jeans and a tee or add some edge when paired with a dress. I'm in love with the tobacco cage booties and the red ones. Maybe I'll be my own sweet heart and treat myself for valentines day :)

All of the styles pictured below are available at Nordstrom.

I am in love with the shoeTie version these look like pumps iwirh some edge. I think these are lady like and very sexy... Even office appropriate. kinda like business in the front party in the back... The mullet of shoes.
I have these the hardware is shiny and looks very expensive... These are by Jeffery Cambell. They run a little small so go a size up.
I love the tobacco ones above.

If you need a wide width version. Torrid has these sexy little numbers in black and grey faux suede. 

Color in the work place

Oregon is really drab this time of year the sky is grey and the leaves have all fallen off the trees. Most Oregonians take to wearing neutrals with their rain parkas.  The office staple here seems to be  khakis, . Not the beautiful crisp chinos, but the bad, ill fitting, pleated variety. Ug! 

I have been looking for a job and everyone I'm competing against wore black to the last several interviews. I have a colorful personality. So that should be reflected in my wardrobe choices. This weeks focus was on color. I certainly stood out from the rest of the candidate pool. But I think that have me an advantage I had one of the HR directors ask me about my MK bag. Another person remembered me from a provirus interview and commented that I have great taste

If color intimidates you ask yourself these simple questions. Do you have a signature color? Do you know what colors look good on you? Start with your favorite color and go from there.

My favorite colors are pinks, teals and yellow.   My signature color is pink. It is the color I get most often complemented on when I wear it and when people see something hot pink they think if me. My favorite lipstick is a gorgeous hot pink MAC "girl about town," it totally reminds me of gossip girl. 

To start wearing more color select a neautral color. Grey, black, white, cream, tan, olive green, or navy.  Then select a color that complements your neutral . You can wear orange with navy or white for a preppy look. Or pink with black. Teals with greys ect. The idea is to slowly add in color in pops until you feel comfortable. Color blocking is fun. If you have a navy blue suit you can wear it with an orange blouse. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Select a neutral that works for your coloring and life style. Neutrals are so boring when you wear them head to toe no one wants to eat plain oatmeal for breakfast everyday or stare at a drab you! My skin is khaki so when I wear it I look awful. So I flat out refuse. I can however wear navy, grey, cream and olive green as neutrals. My favorite neutral is charcoal grey because it is most often marbled or heatherd and does not show the dog hair that I battle with everyday. It is also almost black so it pairs with everything. I am of the impression that black is just as hard to care for as white. Both show stains mercilessly. While white yellows with age black fades. I tend to not buy anything black unless it passes the hand swipe test. I take a few dog hairs and place them on the garment if I swipe my hand once and they don't fly off its a waste of money, I'll never wear it. I'm loving the faux leather skirts and tops that are available right now. They add some edge to florals and will look great for evenings. And the dog hair doesn't stick. 

I hope my thoughts inspire you to wear color and let your personality shine. 

Look for outfit of the day posts on Instagram @aleansimone #aleansimone #aleansimonestyle #inspirationforabeautifullife 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Service Ad: Clutter buster New Years special rates

This service is available to residents in Portland OR,  PDX/ Beaverton/ Vancouver metro areas.

I am the clutter buster. If you have clutter, piles of paper, an over stuffed garage or a non- functional closet. I can help you.

My standard rate is $25 an hour for clearing "clean" clutter and creating an organized space. 

I am offering a special rate for your New Years resolution and spring cleaning goals.  $40  includes a  consultation, a two hour organizing session, removal and drop off of usable donations  to local charities and my helpful tips for maintaining the organization of your new functional spaces. 

This offer is valid now through May. This is a $10 savings.  This offer is only available for clean clutter* see below for information on  hoarding and hazardous conditions.

If the home has  a large hoard , excessive dust, pet hair, pet waste, mold or mildew issues, strong odors  or  safety hazards I charge $50 an hr.  These services are offered in four session installments; as these types of projects tend to take planning and more time  and energy to complete. In addition hazardous hoards  also require special equipment and ventilation.

 I can set up an assessment with you prior to beginning work. We will work together to create a safe place for you and create a plan of attack.

I can also work with you to develop  tools and skills to keep your home organized.

I have  tips and photo's of my work on my blog  if you would like to check it out, click the link below.


From Intentional design to intentional living

I always say to create the beautiful space you want you have to be willing to let go of all the ugliness. As a desugner I have to make cuts. I streamline clutter to reduce the visual impairments and distractions from the room In order to maximize the impact of the design aesthetic I want to accomplish. 

This concept applies to our inner self and overall wellness of a person as well. There's a lot of noise and emotional clutter out there. Beauty for ashes is not just about making the outside of ourselves beautiful, but it's about the entire lifestyle. It is a philosophy of intentional living. 

When designing a space or styling an event I intentionally select items you'll use that are visually rewarding as well as practical. Both form and function are equally important for a beautiful and accessible space.

In fashion this is also true. Shoes can be extremely beautiful and push the envelope in sculptural heights, but if you can't walk in them you've missed the entire point of "shoes."

I am practicing Intentional living in my personal life as well. It means I do everything for its intrinsic purpose and seek the desired outcome. 

It's like when you play basketball and you make a shot.  If you visualize the ball going in the hoop, most often it will. That focused energy makes your body and mind work together so perfectly that the ball automatically goes in.  There I used a sports metaphor for the first time in my life... Did I score some points?

Intentionality sometimes means I have to put dating in  my back pocket. I'm content enough as I am without a man.   I'm not co-dependent and I don't need to be rescued. I hope for a life partner someday, but I will not become consumed by this pursuit. 

I have goals and accomplishments to focus on. I will not settle for anything less than I deserve. I will not settle for a distraction. I am looking for something that adds value, peace, joy, encouragement and beauty to my life.

I want to glorify god in my life and I need someone  whose goal is equally yoked with mine and going in the direction of that pursuit.

Dating is anything but casual. It may be casual to you, but you can't control how the other person will feel.  

Dating is time consuming, emotionally consuming and I  have realized it is not wise to go around investing in people who nonchalantly occupy their time with "casual dating." That enterprise is rooted in selfishness and ego. When did we as a culture become so cavalier about using each other for our own gratification?   No thanks, I'm saving my energy and sanity for my self and the future person I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. 

I  do take things slow, and I'm looking for good qualities that show me someone's worth my time and attention. 

Dating should be fun and light, but it should be intentional. You should be asking yourself if this person is compatible as a partner in life and  be in a position and if an age where you are ready to begin working to build your life with someone. Not, simply dating for sport or entertainment purposes.

I hope this post inspires, encourages and blesses you in your pursuit of truth and a beautiful life. Aleansimone.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The broke bank gift guide

If your like me you probably started shopping for Christmas gifts last January. I tend I plan ahead. If you didn't and your just getting started you may find that cash is running a little tight. I am a huge fan of the dollar store. If you know how to look and you have a little imagination you can turn dollar store finds into special gifts. Here are a few if my ideas.

Buy these popcorn buckets and a variety if popcorn options like kettle corn or cheese popcorn. Add the recipients favorite candy too. Then go through your DVD collection and re-gift DVDs you have watched. Or if you have the cash buy a movie you know they will enjoy.

For the dog lover the dollar store has many cute toys and novelty bones. These jars are probably only around for the holidays so snatch them up. You can buy treats and bones to fill them and give them to your furry friends. I also recently saw the mot adorable tee shirts for dogs at the dollar store. See below. 

This Christmas pickle ornament would make a great gift. This is a tradition in my house. You hide the pickle on the Christmas tree and te child that finds it gets an extra little gift. You can buy a holiday candy at the dollar store for this. You'd be giving a family new memories and a new tradition.

I am not a fan of Justin Beiber but I know a lot of little girls who are and I also know that wrapping a gift for any man in my life in this paper would make for a fun and memorable gift exchange experience. Hahah. The dollar store is amazing for finding gift wrap, bags, tape and scissors to wrap up your gifts.

If your still looking for gift ideas you could buy 4 wine glasses and a bottle of 5 buck chuck for a friend.  Or a set of four martini glass and a bottle of vodka.

For children the $ store offers tons of toys and little things kids love. You can buy a stocking and fill it to the brim with crayons and coloring books, trucks, candy, craft kits & dolls and pretty much anything you can think of.

This can also work for adults. There are many items to fill a stocking for adults too. 

A cute gift idea for a friend at the office is this toy gum all machine and a few bags I bum balls.