Where I shop for bathing suits and find zebras

If you live in Texas you know that for all practical purposes, we really only have two seasons: Hot, and less hot.

texas weather

Texas, where it will be 75 degrees the entire month of February, only so that we can have two cold fronts in April.

But OFFICIALLY, as far as the calendar is concerned, we have 4 seasons.

I am ready for spring to be over. I’ve never really considered myself has having a favorite season, because there are things that I love about each one. I am always excited at the start of a new season. I love summer because it’s a time for traveling, a time for day trips to the beach and the water park. I love Autumn because it’s where Texas decides to be 85 degrees instead of 105. Halloween is in the Autumn, and Starbucks is selling pumpkin spice lattes. Then winter has Christmas, there are all sorts of parties and family get-togethers, and Starbucks is selling peppermint lattes. And then comes spring. Spring has…allergies.

Once Easter is over and all the bluebonnets have all gone away, I am pretty much ready to be done with spring. Because summer…oh summer. Summer has all of this:

summer drink

lounging

rafting2

flag cake

17 and baking blog

I love summer. I love all of the things that you get to do in the summer. And much more so than when I was younger, I also love the heat of the summer. Since I’ve lost a lot of weight, my tolerance for even mildly cold weather has gone way down.

fat cat

You’ll probably see many posts from me about summer activities, and old stories. But right now, in this lull between April and June, it is time to prepare for summer. Last time we talked about how I was trying to find adorable summer dresses to wear. I told you I would take a photo of that blue dress that I purchased.

me in blue

 Here I am wearing it at a Fiesta event, looking deathly pale. It’s not because we just left winter, I’ll be maintaining that shade the whole summer.

Having gotten that out of the way, it is time to go Swim Suit Shopping. I used to dread shopping for swimsuits A LOT, and it’s still not one of my favorite things to do. The reason I don’t dread it quite so much is because of this:

before and after

And then the girl on the left ate the one on the right.

 Since 2008 I’ve lost approximately 120 pounds due to weight loss surgery. So understandably, swimsuit shopping has gotten a lot less depressing, but you would be surprised at how narrow the choices still are.  I’m still a large woman, and not really comfortable with wearing bikinis. I envy girls who can wear bikinis, not even so much because they have great bodies, but because there are THOUSANDS of cute choices. You can get a Wonder Woman themed bathing suit! You can get any color, any pattern, I’m just jealous of how cute everything is!

victoria secret

victoria secret2

I really like the bikini’s of Victoria Secret, but I feel like these photos are not shot with a female audience in mind. Like, I appreciate what you’re going for ladies, but I really just want to look at the swimsuit. You don’t need to jut your hips out quite so aggressively. via

Meanwhile in the plus size departments for the last ten years that I have been shopping there, it has been nothing but a parade of black animal prints, and dark colored floral. Occasionally they will compensate for all the blackness by offering one brightly colored horizontal striped bathing suit. Horizontal stripes are not flattering on large women, but for some reason they are ALWAYS everywhere in plus sized sections. It’s like they WANT us to look fatter.

avenue

Plus size women have two choices for swim suits. African safari,via

 lane bryant

or 1970’s upholstery via

And thus my search begins. I’ll let you know how fruitful it is. I’m always on the look out for flattering plus sized clothing, and if you know of any good options, please let me know. If I don’t get back to you, just be on the look out for dark zebras or your grandmothers couch on the beach. It will probably be me. 

-Tara

Where I try to look like the girls on pinterest

It’s almost summer! In preparation I’ve decided that it’s time to get cute summer outfits. I have two main obstacles in the path of me becoming a summer fashionista however, and they are as follows,

1.      1.I’m uhhhhhh….cheap.

pink dress

This dress costs over 500 dollars on pinterest! Is it made of gold?! via

The acceptable cost of a purse to me is $18. The acceptable cost of a dress is $25. I bought a dress for $40 the other day and it kind of freaked me out a little bit. Spending hundreds of dollars on one article of clothing just boggles my mind. I know that there are people who buy purses that cost $100 dollars. That cost $900 dollars. Why!? All you do is put your stuff in it! Unless my “stuff” is diamonds and caviar there is nothing I could be carrying around that could equal the cost of the purse.

chanel wallet

I was going to make a “except for my $___ chanel wallet!” joke here, but chanel is literally so fancy and expensive that they don’t have prices on their website. I can’t even… via

So yes, I want to be cute, and have accessories, and look like one of those girls frolicking on pinterest, but there’s a limit to the amount of money I want to spend. 

2.      2. I’m ridiculous. I love my tacky wonder woman Chuck Taylors. I love my earrings that have a woven image of Frida Kahlo. I found these earrings the other day and I FREAKED OUT:

mario earrings

Earrings themed after the Mario 64 video game. Amazing. But they cost $40 dollars, and I’m willing to spend about $8 on a pair of earrings so… via

Loving eclectic things means that sometimes putting together a whole outfit comes out crazy. On our trip to SXSW I wore the Frida earrings and the Wonder Woman shoes at the same time. Ridiculous.

 Despite  these difficulties, I do look cute sometimes. Recently I’ve become very fond of a-line dresses and pencil skirts. Anything that gets me closer to looking like Joan from Mad Men.

me in skirt

Look at that! I am ready to be saucy and scandalous at my 1960’s advertisement agency.

This week I decided to go shopping for cute lace, or lace inspired dresses.

pink dress2

via

I love this look. It puts me in a mood to frolic through forests, and drink pink lemonade out of mason jars or something.  

Old Navy was first. I have a love hate relationship with old navy. I like their jeans, but all of their other clothing has a tendency to be made of paper thin material, in baggy styles, and everything comes in horizontal stripes.

horizontal stripes

First rule of plus sized women: NO horizontal stripes. Let’s just agree to burn all of the horizontal stripes never speak of them again.

 me in orange

I liked this dress, but they had it in bright yellow or bright orange. Ugh. You’ll also notice that I block my face in all these shots. I wasn’t wearing a lot of make up and my hair was gross. As a consequence all you get to see is my creepy eyes staring at you over my cellphone.

maniquins

Also, their mannequins are so creepy that I feel uncomfortable spending more than 15 minutes in that store.

 So I had little success at Old Navy. After that I went to JC Penny and I freaked out. There were cute lace dresses everywhere.  I rushed off to the dressing room. I found one awesome blue lace dress that looked great once I got it on. Even though it cost more than $25 dollars I was totally ready to buy it. But then I couldn’t get it off.

It was a zip dress, so knowing that I wouldn’t be able to zip it up once I had it on, I squeezed it over my head. But then I couldn’t UNZIP it.  It was suddenly too small to go back over my boobs, too small to go down over my hips. This is why you should always try on cloths with a friend. The zipper got stuck. I turned red, I started sweating. It was probably the most traumatic changing room experience of my entire life.  I started envisioning a scene where the girls who work at JC penny would have to come into the dressing room and cut this dress off of me. It would be like the scene in the Nutty Professor where the firemen shake their heads in disgust as they have to cut Sherman Clump out of a too small sports car with the jaws of life, after he transforms back into his fat self.

nutty professor

There would be a lot of, “How did you get this dress on in the first place???” questions

Eventually I somehow got it off without busting any seams and got a larger size. It’s a pretty awesome dress, my boyfriend liked it especially. I don’t have any photos yet because I’m waiting to find a sunset lit meadow where I can pose in it.

girl in meadow

I’ve got to remember to be holding flowers, or spreading my arms wide, that’s important. via

That’s all for today readers, what are you doing right now in preparation for summer?

-Tara

Where I list the 5 most terrible songs from my IPOD

My coworkers are mean to me.

raul stealing

This is a picture of Raul, shamelessly stealing candy from my locker while I am not at work, taken by Jason, who ALSO shamelessly steals candy from my locker when I’m not at work.

Nah, just kidding, they aren’t really mean to me, they just tease me every day. (And take candy from my locker.) They like to tease me partly because I drop things at work on a continual basis, partly because I am what my boss Nuffie calls, “gullible” and what I call, “loyally trusting of what my supervisor Nuffie instructs me to do, even if it seems a little suspicious, because I am a good employee”, and partly because they all CLAIM that I listen to horrible music.

nickelback

Raul tells me I listen to horrible music and then makes us listen to Nickleback for an hour and a half. You be the judge of who has terrible music

I do not have terrible taste in music, I have eclectic taste in music.  I listen to everything from Eminem to Rogers and Hammerstein show tunes. The Beatles to N’SYNC. Frank Sinatra to tejano. I’m not a person who loves specific albums or artists, so this age of the itunes “buy it by the song” is PERFECT for me.

All that said though, I do have a few songs on my ipod that are somewhat embarrassing. I thought I would round up a few and try to explain myself.

5. The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-Veggie Tales

I LOVE this song. Do I even need to explain myself? I’ve told you about how silly I am, and about how I love silly things, and this song  opens up with an explanation about how it is going to be a silly song. It’s hard for me to imagine a situation where this song  could not cheer me up. It is a perfect marriage of all of the things that I love. Animation, silliness, randomness, and references to cereal mascots.

As a matter of fact, why did I even put this song on the list? I am not ashamed! Well a little bit. This song comes from a children’s program and it is embarrassing and awkward to explain when it comes on over the stereo at your adult job The boys in the deli were not satisfied with my explanation of, “But it’s so silly! They’re pirates, for one, ANNNNNNNDDD they don’t DO anything!” and then they made me turn off my ipod. Foiled again.

4. Year 3000-The Jonas Brothers

No matter how much you hate Justin Beiber I can assure you right now that the Jonas Brothers hate him much more for taking all of their spotlight. Way back around the year 2008, the Jonas brothers were pretty reasonably popular with the Disney crowd. I was not personally obsessed with them, I was a few years past my frantic, boy-band-loving stage ( oh don’t worry, that’s later on the list), but I DID go through this stage where I secretly enjoyed the Jonas Brothers, bought their new album as soon as it was released on itunes, and tried desperately to keep anyone from finding out about it.

It was weird. I would only listen to their album alone in my car, or when no one else was in the house. I tried to pretend that I liked them in a snarky ironic way, but I liked them for real. I was right to be ashamed though. For one thing, Nick Jonas sings like he has a perpetual sinus infection. I don’t even know how he manages it, he must be doing it on purpose, there’s no way you could sing that nasally without purposely trying. For a second thing, some of their lyrics leave a lot to be desired.

“He took me to the future in the flux thing, and I saw everything. Boy bands, and another one, and another one, and another one.”

Really? You didn’t take time to note any technological advances to transportation, communication, or medicine? Just a boy band…and another one…and another one.

Terrible. Did it make an appearance on my ipod? Yes.

3. Unbeatiful- Lesley Roy

The actual song is coming, but first, let me explain: As I told you earlier, I am a song person. Thus, I am very susceptible to one hit wonders. Often I will buy a song that’s playing on the radio, listen to it obsessively, and then never want to hear it again. This is why songs like, “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj, and “One Thing” by One Direction are in my “Top 25 Most played” list. That is what happened with the song “Unbeautiful”, a one hit wonder if ever there was one. I know nothing about this woman, I don’t think anyone ever did. Her song was on the radio for 5 minutes, and then she disappeared forever, and rightly so.  You see, the song itself isn’t really terrible, but her voice, oh God her voice.

I feel like somewhere along the line this woman had a discussion with a vocal coach that went horribly awry.

Vocal Coach: Ok Leslie, there are a lot of young, blond, attractive female singers out there, you have to find a way to set yourself apart.

Leslie: Well how about I go for a Billie Holiday sound? Or maybe I could be known for my belting skills, like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston?

Vocal Coach: Solid ideas, but I was thinking you could go for a sound somewhere in between the growling from Nickelback and an 80 year old chain smoker.

Leslie Roy:

Vocal coach: I smell a grammy nomination.

2. Tell me Tell me…baby-NSYNC

Most girls go through a boy band phase, and at the age of 11 I dove into mine with frenzy and abandon. NSYNC was my crack and I didn’t kick that stuff for years. I had all of the albums including the Christmas album, posters all over my room, fan magazines exhaustively detailing all of the band members favorite colors, an Nysnc backpack, concert tickets, and I had a pinky ring with Justin Timberlake’s face on it.

All of that is not really embarrassing within itself(Ok, yes the pinky ring is a little bad). Most girls go through that phase, and a lot of the songs are very catchy. I still maintain that “This I Promise You” is a very sweet, romantic, and GOOD song. I can’t really say that about this one though.

Tell me Tell me…baby. Just the title is ridiculous. And it is one of my favorite songs. Like right now there is a “favorite songs” playlist on my ipod and this song is on it. Right alongside “Blackbird” by the Beatles and “Your Song” by Elton John. It’s not even good, the lyrics are ridiculous! I have no excuse, I just irrationally love the hell out of it.

1. Think Pink! -Barbie, Teresa, and Christie

Oh goodness, I’m so embarrassed. How do I even begin to explain this song? Even people who listen to and love the previous songs on this list have made fun of me for “Think Pink”. Let’s take a journey, shall we? All the way back to 1998.

 taras blog18

Oh God I take it back! Go back to the future where I know about hair conditioner!

Back in 1998 when I was ten years old, and still very much interested in Barbies, and all things associated with that brand, I found an album called “Beyond Pink!” at walmart. It wasn’t even heavily advertised by the company, I just sort of found it, sitting all by its lonesome. I listened to the samples of songs like, “Boys will be Boys“, “From the Jump”, and “Rainbow”, and was instantly charmed.

The great thing about the album “Beyond Pink” is that it isn’t like, “Songs inspired by Barbie”, or “Songs to listen to when you are playing with Barbie” No, it is songs BY Barbie. On itunes the actual artists listed on this album are Barbie, Teresa, and Christie…as in the dolls.

Barbie-Beyond-Pink

Yes. You can purchase this on itunes. $9.90. This is the miracle of modern technology and the internet at its finest.

I wore this CD out y’all. I was all about girl power, and pink, and rainbows for at least a year. Then as soon as I became a teenager I became intensely embarrassed at ever having owned such a dorky, childish thing.

But I kept it.

And then when I was an adult who had an ipod for the first time, guess what CD got uploaded just like all the rest?

Think Pink! Is definitely the stand out from this album. To this day, if I’m feeling low, and I need a little “You go girl!” style encouragement, this is what I listen to. I remember to Think Pink! Don’t judge me.

That’s all the embarrassment for today readers. I hope you have a wonderful day, and if you are feeling low, just let me offer these words of encouragement,

“Seek every possibility, take every opportunity, you know you got it goin’ on, THINK PINK!”

It’s the color of the world.

-Tara