Everything old is new again


Me and some of my cousins from the mid-70’s. I’m the one on the left with the dirty blonde hair, brown top and what appears to be me sticking out my tongue or a lollipop.

I am a very nostalgic kind of person. I can spend hour pouring over old photos and retelling stories of my youth to my husband and kids. I especially love to get together with my cousins and talk about great times we had together. We had such good times growing up.

I often get a kick out of looking at my various hair styles I’ve had over the years, as well as fashion.

If you are a forty-something year old person like me, do you remember the 80’s with neon clothing, big hair and leg warmers? I even wore blue eye shadow back then. BLUE EYE SHADOW!!! Seriously, who wears blue eye shadow.

Questionable hair style from the 70’s. I think I looked like a boy that entire decade.

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. Of the two decades, the fashion choices of the 70’s were a bit more my style. I’m still not keen on bell bottom pants (I never was fond of those), I do however like the hippie-like style with the (faux) suede, fringe, Earthy tones/colors and bohemian looks.

It’s true what they say – everything old is new again. That can be said for the fashion of the 1970’s. Many of those styles are coming back and are considered “hip” and “trendy” these days.

Sadly, even if I could find any of my clothing from the 70’s they wouldn’t fit. I was a child back then.

If you are into the 70’s look, you should check out what’s available at T.J. Maxx. They have plenty of great choices to upgrade your wardrobe to a whole new (or old) look.

Here are just a few examples of goodies that you can find at your local T.J. Maxx store.

Drapey Trench Coat – $19.99 | Leather Block Heel Booties – $229.99 | Sterling Silver Polished Heart Profile Ring – $19.99 | Beaded Tassel Frontal Hoop Earrings – $12.99 | Jadeisle Moroccan Top – $39.99 | Designer Sunglasses With Case – $119.99| Linear Stone Fringe Earrings – $14.99| Faux Suede Fringe Jacket – 19.99 | Rose Plated Sterling Silver Flower Ring – $49.99 | Velvet Over The Knee Boots – $34.99 | Leather Belt Bag With Suede Tassel – $12.99 | Multi Row Beaded Choker Necklace – $16.99 | Mesh Overlay Midi Dress – $16.99 | Perforated Hobo – $34.99 | One Band Block Heels – $39.99| Striped Romper – $14.99 | Fray Hem Culottes – $19.99 |

Tie Sleeve Top – $19.99 | Crowning Glory Designer Sunglasses – $34.99 | Gold Plate Sterling Silver Pearl And Cubic Zirconia Bar Wrap Necklace – $29.99| Lace Up Biker Jacket – $29.99 | Petite Choker Bell Sleeve Blouse – $14.99 | Lace Up Sneakers – $24.99 | 2pc Platform Heels – $15.00 | Pull On Printed Pants – $16.99 | Labradorite Feather Bypass Cuff Bracelet –  $29.99 | Suede Peep Toe Tassel Booties – $39.99 | Sterling Silver Pearl Bypass Ring – $29.99 | Pop Over Faux Suede Dress – $29.99 | Sterling Silver Obstude Triangle Earrings – $24.99 | Leather Pouch With Wristlet – $19.99 | Milano Striped Crepe Pants – $10.00 | Plunging Bell Sleeve Mini Dress – $119.99 |

Exaggerated Lantern Sleeve Top – $29.99 | Turquoise Beaded Fringe Lariat Necklace – $15.00 | Oversized Denim Jacket – $24.99 | Floral Triple Ruffle Blouse – $14.99 | Flap Leather Crossbody – $29.99 | Classic Fit Ankle Dress Pants – $19.99 | 14K Gold London Blue Topaz Flower Stud Earrings – $79.99 |Patchwork Suede Booties – $69.99 | Backpack With Tassel Detail – $19.99 | Sterling Silver Opal Medallion Earrings – $24.99| Sterling Silver Moon Bangle Bracelet – $34.99 | Frayed Hem Skinny Ankle Jeans – $19.99 | Turtleneck Striped Dress – $29.99 | Velvet Rose Patch Slip On Sneakers – $24.99 |

I am in LOVE with the Floral Triple Ruffle Blouse (pictured above). That would look amazing with black leggings and knee high black boots.

I was just in T.J. Maxx last week looking for soap for our bathroom and kitchen. I love the scented soaps you can find at T.J. Maxx. You can get a huge bottle of soap that will last a long time for about $6.00. You can’t beat that.

I was also going to see if they had begun to roll out their fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving goodies yet. I am a HUGE fan of decorating for the holiday and seasons. T.J. Maxx is one of my “go-to” places for new holiday and seasonal decor.

I know it’s a bit early, but I’m in the mood for Autumn right now. I’m so over summer (I”m not a fan of summer).

T.J. Maxx is a great place to find current fashion trends (like the beautiful 70’s inspired pieces pictured above) as well as other brand name products for affordable prices.

To find a T.J. Maxx location near you visit TJMaxx.com. You can also find the brand on social media.

Are you a fan of the 70’s fashion? What decade of fashion is your favorite?


*I have partnered with T.J. Maxx to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Make a “splash” with Bella Donna this summer (and beyond)


Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

I am a plus size lady. I always have been and sadly, I think I always will be. I do make a conscious effort to eat right, exercise and drink plenty of water. I tend to lose weight, gain weight, lose weight and gain weight. It’s a vicious cycle that I can’t seem to change.

When you are a plus size woman, shopping is easier said than done. Most places either don’t have clothing in your size, or the clothing they have is NOT something you want to wear. I like trendy clothing, not “frumpy old lady” moo moos and smocks. Plus size fashions also tend to be very expensive too. Sigh…

If there is one thing that strikes fear in the hearts of plus size ladies is bathing suits. I think even “normal size” women are not too keen on wearing bathing suits either. After all, bathing suits let is all hang out and exposes your rolls and flab.

I have worn the same bathing suit for probably 10+ years now. It’s the only suit I found that looks “ok” on me. It’s also a bit trendy, so I didn’t feel “frumpy” wearing it.

Are you familiar with a “tankini”? A tankini is a two piece bathing suit. Unlike a bikini, a tankini covers you up a wee bit more. It’s a tank top and bottoms.

Photo Source: Bella Donna Swimwear’s Facebook Page

As a plus size woman, the idea of wearing something that comes in two pieces and risking my belly being seen scares me. I would never consider even the notion of wearing one. BUT… nothing is “written in stone.”

I was introduced to a company called Bella Donna Swimwear. They carry tankinis for plus size woman. They asked me if I would like to do a review. I was hesitant, but figured it was worth giving it a try.

I was sent a tankini to review.

Normally I wear only black when it come to bathing suits (in hopes that it makes me look slimmer). I received to review a blue’ish/purple’ish tankini set in the color Aubergine. At first I wasn’t sure how I liked the color, but it grew on me.

The top and bottom can be sized differently in case you are a different size on top or bottom. I tend to be larger in the hip/waist area than my bust area. I appreciate that Bella Donna Swimwear gives consumers the option of selecting the right size top and bottom. That means you can order a larger/smaller top and/or bottom depending on what works best for your figure.

Bella Jayne Tankini Top & Bottom in Aubergine

The specific tankini I received to review is called Bella Jayne Tankini Top & Bottom. It’s available in sizes 14-26 in tops and 14-26 in bottoms.

The top and bottom seem to be true to size. I ordered them both in what I felt was the appropriate size for me and I found the fit to be spot on.

I know readers what to see me in the Bella Donna tankini. I DO have a photo of me in the suit. I WANT to share it in my review, but, I am VERY self conscious about how I look (I run and hide when I see a camera). I’m overweight. I know I’m overweight. But the idea of having thousands of people see me in a bathing suit is something that I had a hard time getting over. I have agonized over this for a long time. I simply couldn’t bring myself to do it.

If/When I am brave enough I’ll update this post with the photo. I am sorry that I couldn’t do it at the time of this review. It’s not easy to do. If you are a plus size person I’m sure you can relate.

Bella Donna Tankini

I have only had the opportunity to wear the tankini twice this summer. We had planned on going to the beach but we haven’t had a chance to go yet. I’ve only worn it in a pool so far.

The suit wears well in the water. I worried that it might roll up from the bottom of the tank/top part while swimming, but that didn’t happen at all. It stayed snug and in place. The top didn’t move around at all (no slipping or sliding).

It seems to make that the tankini dried fairly quickly when I got out of the water. My former bathing suit had a skirt on it and the skirt always seemed to take forever to dry. This tankini dried much faster.

You are also able to adjust the straps (I prefer criss cross), as well as make the bottoms tighter or looser to suit your needs and comfort. Not too many swimsuits let you customize them in that way.

I like that I am able to wear a trendy/fashionable bathing suit and not something my great aunt Edna would wear. It’s a nice style.

Bella Donna Swimwear offers their tankinis as a set or you can buy the individual pieces (top or bottom) in case you already own a tankini and just need a new piece.

This is a very nice suit. I am so happy with it that I FINALLY tossed out my old bathing suit that I had for 10+ years. Out with the old, in with the new.

If you would like to learn more about Bella Donna Swimwear visit BellaDonnaSwimwear.com. You can also visit them online on Facebook and Twitter.

Are you a plus size lady? Do you find it difficult to find a good fitting swimsuit that is not only comfortable but fashionable too?


*I received a free product to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Must have fashions for your vacation getaway

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

Memorial weekend is a traditional time to meet with your family for a picnic or barbecue or maybe to do some camping. But is it what you really want? Just think about it – those few days can become a perfect mini-vacation! So, call your best friend, check plane tickets, and get ready for a beach getaway!

Here are some great summer time fashion essentials you might want to consider for your next weekend or summer getaway.


Of course, you need a swimsuit! You are going to impress everyone with your perfect tan, so grab a nice flattering bikini for your lazy beach time. But make sure that you also have a comfortable one piece swimsuit that is so good for swimming, playing beach volleyball or chilling in a bar.

Beach Clothes
Pareo (beach cover up)

A beach cover up is an absolute must-have for a vacation, but why not try something new (and so much better!) – a beach cardigan. It protects your skin from a sunburn and chilly breeze along with creating a sophisticated resort look.


You are not going to spend every minute on the beach. You care going to want to go exploring the area or maybe go on a souvenir hunt. You’ll need some cute shorts to wear around town.


Your feet need to rest – so flats are the best option for vacationing.

A few light weight tops

So versatile, so comfy and so flattering – the best way to instantly create summer mood!

A dress

A light, beautiful, bright dress is something you surely want to have in your suitcase – so great for taking walks on a pier or checking local cafes.


Even if you are absolutely not planning to be on public, that’s something you need just in case – you never know what kind of surprises are waiting for you!


Bright earrings are exactly what you want for your little vacation, like these colorful floral earrings – and there are so many colors of those at Xehar.com!

8 simple steps, and you are all set for a few days of that long-awaited getaway!

And yes, you still have time to order your new amazing summer clothes, because Xehar delivers your order in just a few days!

What are YOUR “must have” summer fashion essentials? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.



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Fashion Goals – Century 21


Me at my “goal weight” (around 175)

I have been overweight all my life. I have tired just about everything to lose weight – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Optifast, hypnosis, cabbage soup, pills, bing/purging, staving myself, exercising like a crazy person… nothing worked. I’d lose weight but the moment I stopped I’d gain the weight back – and more. I even had weight loss surgery (Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass) back in 1991. At that point I was 364 pounds. Seeing as how I’m only 5’3″, that was A LOT of weight.

After surgery I dropped down to 178 pounds. I was happy at that weight. I looked and felt great. I was even able to wear clothing that didn’t include a lot of X’s (XXL, XXXL, XXXXL…). I was able to wear a large. I was able to shop in regular clothing stores.

My weight eventually ballooned to the 270-280 range, eventually settling in the 250-260 range.

Fast forward to today. For some odd reason I have been losing weight without really trying. I do make a conscious effort to watch what I eat and drink. My husband also thinks it’s because I run around a lot at work. Whatever the reason is, I am happy that I have been able to drop some weight. Currently I am about 34 pounds more than what I was when we got married. I actually was able to fit into the dress I wore at our wedding. That was a great feeling.

(Left) Me about 3 years ago. (Right) Me recently. You can see in my face that I’ve lost weight (I don’t have a body shot of me currently).

My overall goal is to get down to 178 again (maybe 175). I’ll be over-the-moon if I can drop below 200 pounds. I have been over 200 pounds for the past 20 years.

With weight loss comes loose clothing. Recently I purchased a lot of clothing from an online shop that specializes in plus size clothing. I purchased the size I normally do, 3X. I did order a few 2X. I even accidentally purchased a size 1X top. I was SHOCKED when I tried on all the clothes and they were ALL too big on me – except the top that was 1X. Now I have to return all that clothing. That is a GREAT thing!

Things I’ve love to be able to wear some day soon.

Plus size clothing is so expensive. I am anxiously waiting for the time where I can walk into any store and purchase clothing and not have to shop at specialty stores or in special sections. I can’t wait to pay for AFFORDABLE clothing instead of over priced plus size clothing.

My goal is to shop at one of my daughter’s favorite stores – Century 21. Not to be confused with the Real Estate company. I thought my daughter was nuts when she said she wanted to look for a Century 21 store in New York City once when we went to visit.

Century 21 (or C21) is a department store that not only carries trendy and affordable clothing, but they also carry home goods, tech products, shoes, handbags, beauty products and more. They also carry products for men and children.

My daughter and one of her friends made a trip to the city once to specifically shop at Century 21 and she came back with a lot of great clothing that didn’t “break the bank.” When I checked them out online I saw that they do carry clothing for larger size women including large, extra large and XXL.

Not only do they carry trendy, stylish fashions, but they also carry designer labels like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Betsy Johnson, Givenchy, Michael Kors, Jessica Simpson and Ugg, to name a few.

My “game plan” is to set aside a few dollars here and there. When I get under 200 pounds I am going to donate all my larger size clothing and take my daughter to New York City and shop at Century 21 for a new wardrobe. I’ve never been able to wear (or afford) designer labels, so it will be a lot of fun to FINALLY have the opportunity to do so. Talk about a fun day out.

I want to donate my larger clothing to force me NOT to put weight on again. Besides, once I see how lovely I look in beautiful clothing, and feeling better about myself and the way I look, I hope that will inspire me not to put weight on again.

My daughter is already anxious about going. She has been setting aside money too. She asks me almost every day if I have got under 200 pounds yet. Not yet… but hopefully in the next few months.

Century 21 has stores in the New York City/Tri-State area, and a location in Sunrise Florida (not far from Miami). It’s OK if you don’t live near a Century 21 store. You can shop online at www.C21Stores.com. They even ship internationally.

The brand is also available on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

Have you ever shopped at a Century 21 store?

Do you think you’ll check the store out (online or a retail location)?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.


*I have partnered with C21 to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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How to Navigate “Sprinter” with TJMaxx.com


Are you experiencing crazy weather in your “neck of the woods?” Here in New York I think we’re experiencing “weather whiplash.” The weather goes up and down all week long. One day you are cranking up the heat because it’s bitter cold outside, and then the next day you are wearing a short sleeve shirt with the windows opened. It’s crazy!

I have heart people use the term “sprinter” (Spring + Winter). I have to agree – this is some crazy “sprinter” we are having.

How exactly are you supposed to dress during a “sprinter?” Do you dress for the cold – or for the warmth? Or do you dress a little in between?

I would recommend dressing in layers. That way if it becomes to warm you can remove an article of clothing, such as a scarf or a sweater.

If you are looking to spruce up your wardrobe so that you are prepared for whatever “sprinter” has to offer, check out what is new at your local T.J. Maxx.

Here are just a few looks you can create with pieces found at T.J. Maxx.

Look #1: Pair a classic LBD with a leather jacket, ankle booties and a colorful scarf.

Look #2: Wear a long-sleeve tee under an over-sized anorak with cuffed jeans and fashionable sneakers.

Look #3: Keep it work appropriate by swapping out your traditional blazer for a bomber with a midi skirt and heeled booties.

You can find these types of clothing at your local T.J. Maxx department stores.

I think Look #2 is more my style. I could see myself wearing clothing like that. I work as a teacher’s assistant with a kindergarten class. I do a lot of getting up and down and deal with a lot of paint, glue and glitter. I need to keep it more casual. Plus I’m a “jeans and sneakers” kind of girl.

Not all styles are available at every T.J. Maxx store, however you should easily be able to find similar styles or just use these as an inspiration to create your own “sprinter” look/wardrobe.

While you are shopping for some new “sprinter” looks, be sure to check out their home section. There you’ll find not only great things for your home, but also fun and beautiful holiday/seasonal decor. Easter is coming up and I’ve already seen some nice Easter/Spring decorations at our local T.J. Maxx store. In fact, T.J. Maxx and it’s “sister stores” Marshall and Home Goods are my #1 go to stores when I am looking for holiday/seasonal decor and more. I always love their selections.

To find a T.J. Maxx near you visit TJMaxx.com. In fact, you can also shop online at T.J. Maxx.

You can also find the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can find their links on the bottom of their website.

Do you shop at T.J. Maxx?

Which “sprinter” look (one, two or three) is your favorite?


*I will be receiving a store gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compenstion. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Five Steps to Make Shopping a Breeze



According to a survey by Retailwire.com, one of the top 10 reasons women hate to shop for clothing is: Lack of awareness of what looks good on them. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? What, with so many great styles and options to choose from each season—and new trends popping up every few months.

Perhaps that’s the problem—women feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Shopping becomes a chore and a bore.  We can either respond in one of two ways: we just avoid shopping all together and find we have nothing to wear, or we buy everything in sight. And our closets simply explode—becoming bigger and bigger, not better and better.  Neither seems a sensible option.

In Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look, an entire chapter is devoted to shopping. We refer to it as creating your personal collection.

Shopping should be likened to an interviewing process, where you are the boss. You have certain criteria, and if the interviewee doesn’t meet that criterion, the potential candidate is eliminated right away. When there are only a few hopefuls left, you ultimately get to choose the best candidate (garment) for the job.


You can bypass about 95% of the clothing in a store through a simple process of elimination. But there is one caveat. You must know yourself: your best colors, the best styles for your body type, and most importantly, what it is you want to communicate through your appearance for the life you are living TODAY.

Here’s how it works. When you get to the store:

  1. Locate your size. (Sizes can vary. Don’t get stuck on a number).
  2. Eliminate all colors that are not flattering.
  3. Eliminate all prints/patterns that are not flattering.
  4. Eliminate all styles that are not flattering (for your body type).
  5. Eliminate anything that doesn’t fit your lifestyle and/or the event you are shopping for.

What’s left? Probably only a handful of garments. And those garments are precisely the items that should look most complementary on you. Go try them on. Don’t waste time on the rejects.

Once you discard the negatives, only the positives remain, and you get to choose. Don’t like any of them? Move on to the next rack or store.

Before you know it, you’ll find that you not only have a collection of garments you love and that go with you, but also a closet full of clothes that go with each other.

The key is knowing yourself and what looks great on you. The better you know yourself, the less shopping mistakes you’ll make, the more time (and money) you’ll save, and the more confident you’ll feel knowing you made the best possible choice for you. That’s quintessential style!

Multi-coloured wardrobe showcase, closeup

Authors Bio’s:

About Janna Beatty

Janna Beatty, owner of one of Texas’ premier makeover studios, is co-author of the book Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look (www.Qstylethebook.com). She has studied in New York and Paris with some of the most respected advisers in the fashion and beauty industry. A successful business owner for more than 30 years, Beatty speaks to corporations, professional organizations, and women’s groups. She also has been a guest on radio, podcasts, and television.

About Sharon White

Sharon White is an award-winning author who lives and writes in Central Texas. She has written for New York Daily News, Huffington Post, Fashion Bible and other online and print magazines. She publishes a popular lifestyle blog (qstylethebook.com) based on her book, Quintessential Style. 


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