Category Archives: Beauty

Embracing My Selfie, Or Why I Take Lots of Pictures of Myself

I’ve been taking selfies since before they had a name. I avoided the camera for years, but at some point on my journey through life, it became common for me to snap photos of myself.

Kenlie

Last week I got to spend time with a long time blog friend, Cathy, who was in New Orleans visiting for a conference. When she told me about her upcoming trip, we knew we’d meet up, and we did. We met at Cafe Dumonde, where I resisted beignets. (Yay for me!) We also walked around Jackson Square, which is the prettiest part of the French Quarter in my opinion.

This woman has been my friend since at least 2010. The moment I saw her, it was like seeing someone that I hadn't seen in ages!

This woman has been my friend since at least 2010. The moment I saw her, it was like seeing someone that I hadn’t seen in ages!

As we walked down Royal St, we stopped at CVS to pick up a few things, and I found a selfie stick! I obviously bought it on the spot, and it’s the best $10 I’ve spent in a while. I haven’t used it to take any selfies because doing that would be ridiculous, but I’ve been in some hilarious group photos that wouldn’t have been possible without my Mono Pod de Narcissism.

I’m surrounded by an uplifting group of friends, many of whom take selfies, with exception of a few because they’re too narcissistic, and I understand that. I really do, and even though I kind of agree, I look at it from a different perspective.

There was a time when I hated myself so much that i avoided mirrors at all costs. I looked at myself long enough to style my hair and apply makeup, but I was mortified when I caught my reflection in store windows. I hated the way I looked in photos. I still took them, but I didn’t post them online because of my shame. For years the only photo that I had one Facebook was a picture of my hair blowing in the wind while driving with the top down. I didn’t want to be seen by others, nor did I want to take a look at myself either.

Sometimes I take full body photos to send to Ariel, so she can say yes to the outfit or no.

Sometimes I take full body photos to send to Ariel, so she can say yes to the outfit or no.

Now, years later, I’m still not skinny, but I love myself. I’m not pleased with myself for still having so much weight to lose, but I love myself. I haven’t accomplished every goal that I set yet, but I love myself. (You get the idea, right?)

Full body Selfie Lane Bryant

I also think that it’s okay to wear horizontal stripes even though I always hear that I shouldn’t. Whatever, folks. I’m doing it.

Sometimes when I take a selfie, I’m reminded of how much work I have to do. It’s also hard to accept the fact that I could have done so much more over the last few years. Those thoughts are important to face because it has helped me make better decisions over the last few months – decisions that bring me closer to my goal.

Gym Selfie

I was frustrated seeing myself in the giant gym mirrors when I took this around the holidays because I should be smaller now, then I remembered that I was in the gym doing something good for myself. I like capturing those moments.

Some days I post selfies because I want to hear that I’m cute, pretty, etc., and when that happens I admit it with proper hashtags. #PAYATTENTIONTOME

See? I have some pretty uplifting friends who encourage me when I need it.

See? I have some pretty uplifting friends who encourage me when I need it.

And some days (many lately) I take selfies because I feel pretty. I’ve been using a few products on my face since Christmas, and the result is that my makeup is still mostly in tact even after singing (sweating guts out) on Sunday morning. (Thank you, Smashsbox Photo Finish!)

Kenlie Naps

I took this selfie last week right before I took a long afternoon nap on my sofa. Sundays start early for me, so sometimes I nap.

Some people find success, at least temporarily, by tearing themselves down. I feel successful when I see myself and love the person that I see.

I have a lot to accomplish, and I’m happy to say that I’ve lost week for the last five weeks in a row. It may not sound like much, but I’m experiencing more consistency in my food choices than I have in a long time. I haven’t had a doughnut since September, and I haven’t indulged in any desserts in over two weeks.

I’m feeling good about my tiny steps in the right direction, and the selfies will continue to be a small representation of that. They might also lead to encouragement from people who care on days that I need that too.

Kenlie Car

How do you feel about selfies? Are they good? Bad? Do you care either way?

 

 

Wish List 2015

I know that Christmas is over. I also know that it makes more sense to post wish lists before Christmas, but I didn’t make a list this year. I received some really thoughtful gifts, and I loved each happy little surprise. I have everything I need, but as a girl who loves to shop, it’s fun to daydream about these little things that I think are awesome.

– I am in love with this Urban Decay Naked On the Run palette. My mom gave me the original Naked palette for Christmas, and I use it everyday. I lust after this one too every time I’m at Ulta or Sephora. It’s only available “for a limited time.” Who knows how long that is?

Urban Decay Naked on the Run

– And while we’re on the topic of makeup, I want this mini Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette too. It’s inexpensive, and I like the idea of keeping it in my bag with Naked On the Go so I’m always ready..

Urban Decay naked Basics 2

– I’d also love a new pair of Ugg Slippers. I have two pairs now, but one is on its way out. I’ve had that pair since Christmas of 2009, so I’d say I certainly got a lot of wear out of them. The draw to the ones that I want right now, the Ugg Dakota Slipper, is that they have rubber soles that I could wear when I need to walk down to my building’s lobby and stuff.

Ugg Slippers

I can’t decide if I want them in Espresso or Pewter, which is okay since I’m not buying them at this point anyway. (Is it selfish to want all the colors? Ha)  I wanted them for Christmas until I realized that I needed them in a size 10. I usually wear a 9, but whatever. Mom and I agreed that they made my feet look bigger than usual, but I want them anyway.

I’m so thankful that I have everything I need. I just think it would be fun to list things that I’d like to own in 2015. Do you own any of them? Do you love them?

 

Can Componeers Give Me the Smile I’ve Always Wanted?

If you know me, you know that I smile a lot. I havedecent teeth.  They’re pretty straight and whiter than average, but they’re far from perfect.  As an adult, I made the decision to wear clear braces, which I’ve talked about on my blog before.

I have used teeth whitener in the past, making them really white at times, and when I feel motivated to wear my Invisaligns, I do it.  Sadly, I’m not as committed to doing that as I should be, and it seems to be directly correlated to my weight.  When I was in the 280’s, I happily wore them, but once my weight creeped up over 300 again, I found myself failing to wear them.  My teeth have shifted a little, but I’ve also begun wearing them again so there’s hope!

kenzteeth

It seems that I lack consistency in some key areas of my life, but I’m trying to change that.  And while some might say that my teeth shouldn’t be a concern right now, they are.  My ability to smile and like what I see directly affects how I feel about myself.  I feel fairly confident about my smile most of the time, but it’s fun to imagine how amazing I’d feel if I had a perfect, Hollywood smile.

smile-closeupI receive compliments on my teeth, but I often wonder what  it would be like to have veneers.  I know people who have taken drastic measures to improve their smile, and for the most part, they look great.  I like to imagine a world in which my teeth are always flawless, but I don’t like to idea of spending thousands of dollars to watch someone shave my natural teeth off, only to replace them with something temporary.

Componeers are a newer kind of veneer that can create a smile without going through such a drastic process.  It also costs half of what the older, more invasive veneers cost, and a dentist can do the procedure in one office visit.  For those reasons, I’m day dreaming about a trip to the dentist again.  (Did I really just say that I am day dreaming about a trip to the dentist? Hehe)

Does anyone here have veneers, or some form of them?  Would you consider getting Componeers to improve your smile?

 

 

 

What Do You Think?

I’ve made some incredible friends through blogging.  Many of them understand my abnormal desire for cupcakes, my struggle to make healthy eating a habit…and some even share my love for nail polish.  We’ve bonded over books, makeup and Weight Watchers points, and we share great hope for the future.

One of my blog pals will undergo weight-loss surgery soon, and when I saw this personalized medical gown from www.securethreads.com I thought “Hmmm, is that something my friend would use in the hospital?  Would this be a good gift for a relative who spends time in the hospital?”

These days we personalize everything – gym bags, license plates and cell phone covers.  Why not personalize a hospital gown?

Going into the hospital isn’t fun for anyone, but being prepared can ease the stress, right?  So my question for you is would you want a personalized, embroidered hospital gown if you knew you were heading to the hospital?

At first, the idea seemed silly, but maybe it’s not such a bad idea.  I mean, I’d rather wear a pink, properly-sized gown that covers everything it’s supposed to cover than a common puke green gown.

Why not look a little cuter for the people who would, no doubt, visit me if I were in the hospital? ;)  If you know me personally, then you know that I don’t stop taking pictures of myself just because I’m in the hospital.  Seriously, I might be the only person I know who snaps photos while writhing in pain the ER.

And the idea that your information is embroidered on your gown so nurses and doctors can easily reference your blood type, allergies, etc. seems like a solid plan for anyone entering the hospital.

I hope I don’t need a hospital gown for a long, long time, but if I do, I’d like a cute one.

What do you think?  Would it be strange to gift this to someone you know is going to spend time in the hospital?   Is a personalized hospital gown something you’d want?

 

That Was Quick

I flew to New York Sunday evening then returned to New Orleans Monday night, and it was a busy 24 hours!  When the rain finally stopped it was still cold and gloomy so I’m glad I brought my coat!  When I was in New York in March I tweeted about scoring a coat at Lane Bryant that was originally $200.00 for only ten dollars, but I forgot to post a photo.

It was originally $200.00, and I paid $10.00! Score!

I bought a size 22/24 even though it was slightly snug thinking that I could wear it during next season’s chilly temps, but it kept me warm yesterday.  It also kept my dress from flying up in the breeze!  :)  I’m glad I took Mom’s advice when she said to bring my coat because I hadn’t planned on it.

When I arrived at home last night I was greeted with a package containing six bottles of nail lacquer from OPI.  Actually, they’re from a friend who works for OPI.  I knew she was sending a color that I’ve been trying to find for months, but she sent five additional colors as well.  And must understand me because every color is incredible!  I want to paint my nails with every color today, but I’ll try to stick to one.  ;)

Which one should I choose first?!?

The next couple of weeks are going to be busy as I prepare for finals.  Tomorrow’s class will be devoted to preparing for the final next week.   And I have to work on an important paper for my Monday class.   I can’t believe it’s already that time of year!  It feels like my classes just started!

What’s happening in your world today?  Will you workout?  What’s for dinner?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: What Makes YOU Beautiful?

Last week was incredibly busy for me, and I’m looking forward to being back in class today so I can get back into my routine (at least until I’m gone again next week.)  A few of you asked how I could travel so much while taking classes so I figured I’d answer your questions today.  I am not doing online classes this semester.  I sit in a classroom (in a regular desk which is victory, by the way,) but I only go two days a week.  And last week was Mardi Gras (and in New Orleans that means no classes for the first part of the week) so I didn’t have to miss class to be gone.  The rest of my travels typically take place in the later half of the week though I will miss one class next week when I head back to New York for a while.

Now let’s talk about FMM.  If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Last Summer I met a talented, young girl named Dorian and her mother while shopping for groceries in Los Angeles, and we talked a few times before parting ways.  And last week, she shared a link on my Facebook wall that had a profound effect on me when I finally took the time to watch it.

The 5 minute video that can be seen here, shared a simple message: You are beautiful.  And in the video, people took a moment to write something beautiful about themselves which has inspired me to ask this question…What makes you beautiful?

Take a few minutes to share what makes you beautiful, and don’t be shy!  I know we’re often our own worse critics, but there’s something beautiful about every single person reading this.  And today seems like a good day to reflect on what makes us beautiful so let’s do it together.  (Come on…this will be good for all of us!)

 

Fmm: What makes YOU beautiful?

Leave out all of the negative stuff, and concentrate on the beauty that’s within you – seen and unseen.

 

  • I have beautiful lips and teeth.
  • I’m easy to talk to.
  • I also have pretty hands and nails (maybe that’s why I’m obsessed with nail polish?)
  • I have a nice voice too.
  • My eyes are bright and animated.
  • My hair is healthy and shiny.
  • I push myself even when it’s scary.
  • I like my thin ankles.

Now it’s your turn to share what makes you beautiful! Don’t forget to come back and post your link in the comments! Happy Monday friends….

 

Does This Mean I’m Getting Old?

It’s finally the weekend, and I’m traveling…again.  I’ll be hitting a couple of states over the next week or so, and I’ll be doing it with a new hairstyle.  It has been a long time since my hair was this short, but I hope that will make it pretty easy to maintain.  Does this mean I’m getting old?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Makeup Favorites and Patting My Own Back

I can’t believe the weekend is already over, but I reached some major milestones that have helped me find a little of the confidence that I lost last year.  I posted that I completed 5 miles on the elliptical Friday night, trying to replace what could have been a food disaster with healthy habits, and it worked.  By the time I reached the end of the first mile, I knew I would not be going home to eat junk food.

Saturday was a much healthier day of eating, but it was also a busy day so I didn’t hit the gym for an intense workout.  I did some leisurely walking instead and accomplished some other things that needed to be done.  Then last night, after another day of excellent food choices, I was craving the gym so I went and completed 6 miles on the elliptical, and it felt great to know that I could have kept going!

I shaved 39 seconds off per mile...=)

When I tried the elliptical for the first time, doing 30 seconds seemed impossible so the fact that I can do 80 minutes without much thought feels incredible.  I may not be winning any races at this point, but I’m consistent.  And that’s enough to make me feel pretty good about my abilities right now.  I often talk about how far I have to go, but on days like today, it’s fun to think about how far I’ve already come.

And now that I’ve patted myself on the back, it’s time for FMM!   This week’s topic is courtesy of Bella, One of the lovely ladies that makes FMM so great. You might know her already, but if you don’t, you should so stop by her blog, http://bellaonthebeach.wordpress.com/ today and get to know her.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Makeup Favorites

 

  1. Do you wear makeup everyday? Hmmm, I wear it almost everyday, but I skip it when I’m just headed to the gym or the grocery store.
  2. Does your routine change if you’re going out with friends/on a date/to a party? If so, how? Definitely…I put in a little more effort if I know that photos could be involved.
  3. Are you loyal to one brand, or do you use different brands for different things? I use different brands for different things…I used to be loyal to one brand, but that was a long, long time ago.  Now I try to use what’s best for my skin regardless of the brand.
  4. Do you wear primer/concealer? If so, what’s your favorite kind?  Yes and yes…My favorite primer is by Arbonne.  I can sweat my guts out, and my makeup stays in place.  And I use the best concealer on the planet, Touche eclat by Yves Saint Laurent.
  5. What’s your favorite brand of foundation? Bobbi Brown – it’s the only brand I’ve found that works for me…I only wish I had known about it sooner.
  6. Do you use blush and/or bronzer?  If so, what’s your favorite kind?  I love Bobbi Brown blush too, but my bronzer (which I use constantly) is by Urban Decay.
  7. Do you wear eye shadow/eye liner?  If so, what’s your favorite kind? (Are you liking the theme here? :)) Yep…I adore cream shadows by Laura Mercier!  They don’t cake, and they still look good 24 hours later. (Don’t ask me why I know this..ha)  And my eye-liner has to be water-proof.  I usually go with Aqua Eyes or MAC.
  8. What’s your favorite kind of mascara?
  9. Lipstick? Lip gloss? Both? Favorite? When I’m applying it for the first time with the rest of my makeup, I use both.  But I wear lip gloss constantly…My favorite brands are Bare Escentuals and Buxom.  (Buxom gets minty after a minute or two.  I totally recommend it.)
  10. Do you wear nail polish regularly?  If so, share a few of your favorite brands/colors.  Oh yes, I change it every few days (sometimes more often than that!)  My favorite brand is OPI, but I really like Essie and Chanel as well.  I have too many favorite colors to mention, but you can see a few of my favorites on my pinterest board! (Yes, I paint my nails then post it on Pinterest.  Is anyone really surprised by this?)  Are we connected there?

    Today's color is Bobbing for Baubles by Essie!

  11. How do you remove your makeup at the end of the day?  I use Aveeno pads that are soft on one side and exfoliating on the other side, and I use makeup remover for my eye makeup.
  12. Do you feel prettier when you’re wearing makeup?  Yes, definitely.  My posture is better, and overall, I look more confident.
  13. Do you have any beauty tips that you could pass along?  I have chronic dark circles which are so much better now that I drink about a gallon of water a day.  But I tend to burn the candle at both ends, and when I want to look bright-eyed and alert, I use Laura Gellar’s Wonder Wand.  I discovered it a few years ago thanks to Sara at Bombshell Beauty, and it’s definitely my favorite way to brighten my look.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions!  Don’t forget to say hi to Bella and a few other bloggers!  And also be sure to come back and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments!  Happy Monday friends!

 

Beauty Pageants…Really?

If you read my blog, you already know that I wish I was skinnier/prettier, and it’s also no secret that I’m doing what it takes to make that happen.  I wish that I looked good in a swim suit or a form-fitting evening gown…I wish that I was half as pretty as some of the ladies who participated in the Miss America pageant over the weekend.  That’s the truth, and I admit it. </disclaimer>

After football just became too painful to watch, I found myself watching a portion of Miss America, and it left me feeling disgusted, smug and aggravated (just as it does anytime I witness a beauty pageant.)  Some of the ladies, most of whom were outwardly beautiful, sang songs about going to Disneyland during the talent portion while others gave bubblegum-type answers that I’d expect from tweens about the problems facing our nation.  But it doesn’t matter how ridiculous or out of touch these ladies are because they’re pretty, right?

My niece is outwardly beautiful, and if I had a daughter, I’d want the same for her.  I wouldn’t want her to struggle with obesity or her body image the way I struggle with mine, but I also wouldn’t want her to think that her looks alone define her.  And I wouldn’t want her to believe that looking hot in a bikini makes her “healthy” as they have portrayed in the the Miss America pageant.  That part really, really disgusted me.  Note to society: Being skinny does not make you physically fit!

I concede that maybe my perspective on beauty pageants could change as my body continues to change, but I don’t think it will.  I believe that women can and should be taken as seriously as men at work, at home, etc.  And I don’t think that’s likely to happen while they’re parading around on a stage wearing crowns or swim suits and stilettos.

I know that it’s my choice to watch or turn it off, and that’s what I did because witnessing weird and outdated contests that suggest that a woman’s most important job is to be skinny and pretty, makes me want to puke.  And changing “beauty pageant”  to “scholarship pageant” doesn’t make it any less vile.

How do you feel about beauty pageants?  Do you watch beauty pageants?  Do you think they’re awesome?  Outdated?

 

 

Can Obesity Be Sexy?

Being a plus-size girl has its challenges.  Piecing together fabulous outfits is harder (though it’s definitely easier for plus-size girls now than it was a decade ago.)  Working out is harder (I’ve talked about the side effects of tough workouts before even though I don’t regret them.)  And feeling desirable is harder too.

When a guy wants me, it’s not because of my body.  He wants me in spite of my body.  And while having a boyfriend who finds himself attracted to my sexy brain is awesome, I can’t help but wonder how incredible it would be if the outside were sexy too.  And that concept is completely foreign to me.

Some people say that “sexy” is a state of mind, but that’s not true inside my sexy brain.  Obesity isn’t sexy to  me, and I’m obese.  I hate using that term because it sounds so derogatory, but it’s the truth (even if I’m doing what I can to change it. )  And I wish it were different.  I wish I was different.

I’m not saying that I don’t have days in which I feel pretty.  I do.  I had a lot more of them when I weighed 10 pounds or so less than I do now, and I know I’ll probably have them again. And I feel cute a lot.  I wear cute clothes and quality make-up.  I have straight, pearly white teeth and full lips.  I know I’m not hideous, but I’ve never felt sexy...ever

I feel cute with braids in my hair...

I give myself pep talks.  I stare at myself in the mirror when my make-up is freshly applied, and I eat it up (yeah, I caught the pun) when Cal kisses my ears or my nose and tells me how cute I am which he often does.  But those things don’t make me sexy.  And if being sexy means having the right attitude then I’m in trouble because I don’t know how to change my attitude.

I will reach my health and weight goals someday, but what should I do until then?  Should I tell the world that “I am sexy the way I am, and if you don’t agree, forget you?”  Should I go back to thinking  “I don’t like how I look so why should anyone else?”  Is there a healthier middle-ground somewhere that I’m missing?

Are you plus-size?  If so, do you have insecurities about how you look? (Sorry folks…I love you all, but this question is directed to those who are similar in size to me right now.)  How do you feel about you body image?  Do you have a healthy perception of yourself?  Do you believe it when others say you’re sexy?  Do they say it?