Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have all had a wonderful week and the upcoming weekend is filled with great things. I can’t believe it but we are coming to the end of this year’s #HolidayDoubleSlay! What a crazy fun week it has been, thank you to everyone for their love and support of all of our looks. We had a blast sharing them with you! But don’t worry I have one last post for you and we are doing something new this year and ending the celebrations with a bang – a GROUP SLAY!
One of my girls that is near and dear to my heart, Amanda of the blog, Latest Wrinkle wasn’t able to make our shooting date for the look book so sadly she couldn’t slay with me again this year but I sure hope she will be back next year. So while I was bummed out I managed to have a brilliant (well I think it was lol) idea of doing a group look. And I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than one of my favourite pieces of clothing – PJs. And I mean don’t we change into them after we get home from all our holiday festivities anyways? I might also keep mine on for a good portion of Christmas Day, just saying…
I reached out to my friends at Lane Bryant and they loved the idea so they agreed to partner with us on this post. It was natural for me to choose them to partner with because they are probably my favourite brand for PJs, I definitely own more than a few pairs. And I love that they have so many different options available. You can get separates which allow you to buy different sizes if you need them in tops and bottoms and it also allows you to mix and match.
They offer pieces in collections too so there are multiple options within a certain colour palette or print. They also have sets so you have an easy one item to throw in your cart. Included in their collection is a wide variety of lounge wear pieces that are perfect for putting on when you get home for work, running to the store or lounging in on a cold afternoon spent inside. And of course you can’t forget the endless amount of sexy options that they have if you want to spice things up. LB is definitely know for keeping things interesting in the bedroom.
Given that this is a Holiday themed post we decided that we wanted to stick to a warm and cozy theme and choose pieces that are perfect for a cold day or a slumber party. In fact I think I need to have everyone over for a sleep over soon, it would be so fun.
While we spent the day on set the girls and I had a chance to catch up and just have fun. We all have full time jobs in addition to being bloggers/influencers which is a really a full time job in itself so life can get hectic as we try and manage all our of commitments. I am sure that this is something that you can all relate to especially if you throw significant others, children, elderly parents etc. into the mix. And as women I think we all struggle with the idea of saying no, we are inherently people pleasers.
So what happens when the holidays hit and there are so many more expectations thrown on top of what we already have on our plates? I know a dirty word that comes to mind when I think about it – STRESS. I personally have been guilty of trying to be super woman and doing it all. I can’t tell you the last time I wasn’t up till 4 am in the morning on Christmas Eve wrapping presents still. If you remember my first Christmas post from 2015 you will see that I love to wrap and I am just a tad bit obsessive about every gift looking perfect.
But what I have realized is that I needed to stop focusing on things that aren’t that important and focus on what is. The holidays are a time of celebration, spending time with loved ones, reflecting on the year past and hoping for what the year ahead will bring. It shouldn’t be stressful because that takes all the joy out of it. Now I know that we can’t just drop everything or it wouldn’t be the same but its okay to be reflective and pick and choose what we do.
It’s also important that we take the time to look after ourselves, that’s right, self care is critical at this time of year. Because if we don’t look after ourselves we will just be run down and we won’t be able to care for our loved ones. Self care doesn’t have to be time consuming and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. I haven’t really talked about this on the blog but I do suffer from anxiety. It’s something that developed when I was in my early 30’s. Since then I have learned to manage it but I definitely have my ups and downs.
One of the main things that happens to me when I get anxious is my mind constantly races, I can’t shut my brain off. Because of that I will have a hard time falling asleep when I am really anxious because I am constantly thinking of everything I have to do. When I get in this state of heightened anxiety I have found that deep breathing really helps. I sit in a dark quiet room and I take deep breaths and I talk to myself, reinforcing positive thoughts and focusing on one single thing on my to do list and how I can get that done. As I breath, with my eyes closed, I will feel my heart beat calm down and I will start to relax and I can feel the tension start to go away. When I feel calm and I have come up with what I am going to do next or I simply accept the thing that is making me anxious then I open my eyes, I take one last deep breath in and out and I make a mental promise to myself to do what I said I would do. This simple exercise only takes 5 to 10 minutes but greatly improves my focus and my productivity.
We were at a management retreat this week for work and we had a naturopath come in to talk to us about health and wellness. I have to admit I am more a fan of modern medicine but I really enjoyed listening to this doctor because she was realistic. She also gave us a stress quiz and let me tell you based on my score its definitely time to make some changes. But what she said that I thought was really important is that they don’t have to be big changes. That you would be surprised at the impact that 1 or 2 small changes that you can commit to will make in your overall well being and reducing your stress levels. The other thing that I learned is that as much as I personally don’t like mediation, you know the stereotypical hold your hands out, sit crossed legged and moan kind, that the deep breathing exercises that I do are your most basic level of mediation and mindfulness. OK I will admit that was a little deep but I try to be open and honest with you as dealing with this has been part of my journey. Yes I have a successful professional career and blog but I am not perfect and I have certainly faced challenges along the way. I hope that sharing my struggle with you will let you know that you can be successful and happy despite challenges you may face in life.
And self care can be as simple as a bubble bath and a glass of wine, reading a book, watching TV, taking a walk, buying a new dress, or working out. Its whatever rejuvenates you, mind, body and spirit. The other thing that I love to do is get together with my good girlfriends, enjoy a nice meal and just have some girl talk. Its a safe environment where we can say whatever we feel. I know that I will get encouragement, support, love and a good kick in the ass when I need it. I always walk away from spending time with them ready to take on the world.
So I guess I should give you the scoop on my look right, lol? This was a brave choice for me because it is the first time that I am sharing a picture of me that completely shows my bra. I have always been hesitant to do this because of my career and wanting to be professional but bras are one of the number one things I get asked about so I have decided that its time to share my knowledge and resources and that as long as it is done in a tasteful way, there is nothing wrong with it. Are you with me?
I also decided to try this look because I saw them style it this way on the website and I thought it looked really cute. This bra is the comfy full coverage unlined cotton style with the cutest festive print on it. I am wearing a 44G. I was fitted by a world renown professional bra fitter this past year and I have learned that I have been generally wearing the wrong cup size. So I am adjusting my sizing a bit. I did find that I probably actually could have gotten an H cup in this bra for a little more room in the cup as I am differently larger on one side which by the way is totally normal. I loved how soft the material is and I am okay with no padding because I certainly don’t need any lol. For the PJ’s I am wearing a 26/28 in the sweater and bottoms and I find LB’s sizing is pretty consistent. I was a bit nervous when we first got on set but my girls had my back and I got comfortable pretty quickly.
Well there you have it folks, this is the end of my 2017 #HolidayDoubleSlay. I want to give a huge thank you to all of my girls for being a part of this project this year, I couldn’t do it without you. And that includes my amazing photographer and friend Katie who has taken my photography to new heights. And she also does my hair and make up so she is a triple threat! To all of my followers, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you. Your likes, your comments, your messages, I read them all and they are what motivate me to do what I do.
Body Diversity is something that is very important to me and that will be something that I really want to focus on for 2018. Something that I am truly proud of with this project is that it is size inclusive for LB’s size offerings and we are showing different body types. We have two 14/16’s, one tall and one petite, an 18/20, a 22/24 and me as a 26/28. We have hourglass, apple, rectangle and pear shapes. But in the end we ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL and Lane Bryant fits us all.
This post was proudly sponsored by Lane Bryant but all opinions are my own.
Thanks to Katie of Katiuska Idrovo Photography for these amazing photos of this project!
My crew’s looks: