How to Deal With Family Members Bringing Up Your Weight & Eating Habits at Holiday Gatherings

With the colder months comes all the wonderful family gatherings.  Warm fires in the fireplace as family and friends meet to enjoy each other’s company and everything is all warm, fuzzy & fabulous, right?!?  Yeah me either! I am of the firm belief that family gatherings are sent by the Gods to remind us of how wonderful adulthood (and the ability to run fast and far, far away) is.  I don’t know about you other plus size gals, but there are some times that being in a huge, boisterous family can be a bit of a curse.  Especially if said family isn’t the most, circumspect, shall we say, with their (hopefully) well-meant yet awful comments on one’s appearance. I think that there is no worse time of the year to be self-conscious about your size.  Of course, some of us are capable of telling a family member to mind their own business with no problem but not everyone has that kind of gall.  So here are a few simple tips for those of us who just want to make it through the holidays and just hold onto our sanity.

How to Deal With Family Members Bringing Up Your Weight & Eating Habits at Holiday Gatherings

In the light of the fact that a lot of people really subscribe to the “looks are everything” theory, one of the best ways to be forearmed is to make sure you are practicing excellent self-care.  I am not just talking about the journaling, long baths and candles kind of self-care, either. I am talking about the more physical self-care- getting “all dolled up”.  Clothing, jewelry, make up and great hair are all things that as a plus size woman, I use as pieces of my defense. When I am well dressed and have taken the time to really take care of myself, I feel strong and much more on point. A killer bracelet, having your nails done, and other little things make me feel put together and therefore much more confident.  As a plus size girl, I find that there are so many times that a really good outfit makes me feel so strong and self-confident. When planning for one of the multitude of family events that come with the holiday season, I make sure to plan my clothes a few days before. If I am happy with what I am wearing, then it is much easier to deflect great aunt Gertie when she is obnoxiously inquiring about how your “diet” is going- mind you, you aren’t on a diet because you are happy with yourself.  Another good idea is to take the time to get a killer haircut/’do before the events.  As a larger woman, taking care of things like gorgeous hair with a fresh cut and color works wonders for my self-esteem-   Aunt Gertie be darned, I know I am awesome. Having my nails done, and taking the time to have my make-up set all help build on an extra layer of mental armor.

How to Deal With Family Members Bringing Up Your Weight & Eating Habits at Holiday Gatherings

I know that there is going to be random people who make comments- these things happen on every Thanksgiving all around the United States. Watching social media, I see so many beautiful plus size woman come into their private groups, the closed spaces where no one can see and they vent, cry and lament over the harsh words of “family and friends”.  Now while I wish I could just go up to all these bullies- yes Aunt Gertie, I am pointing my finger at you here, and smack the stupid out of them… I know that doing so isn’t possible so I’m making sure that my all plus size and curvy sisters know that they are beautiful and worthy of having a wonderful time without having to sideline Ol’ Gertie and her “advice”.

Sooner or later, it will get easier to put people in their place. You’ll find that it’s necessary at times.  It’s perfectly ok to set boundaries but I know that with family it can be really hard.  Let them know that uninvited comments about your weigh and eating habits are not okay.  You don’t have to be mean but you deserve the right to be comfortable and making comments about the size of your body or the amount of food on your plate are unacceptable.


How do you deal with unwanted comments from family around the holidays?





Until Next Time...



http://bit.ly/TLCSHoliday

How to Deal With Family Members Bringing Up Your Weight & Eating Habits at Holiday Gatherings

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#THEPMSPACKAGE, The PMS Package review

If you’ve kept up with my social media, you probably noticed that I did a Facebook live on #ThePMSPackage.   The amazing folks at The PMS package sent me out my very own box to review!   I had so much fun showing you guys what was inside and I wanted to talk a little bit on the blog and share my thoughts regarding the products inside and the box overall. Here's a little bit about company.



“Since our start in 2015, we've been focused on curating a monthly care package that helps women feel better about themselves and better overall when that dreaded time of the month arrives. The PMS Package is more than a little pink box; it is a care package that provides comfort, care and a little cheer…we have helped thousands of women feel better and lifted their spirits while dealing with PMS symptoms…PMS symptoms are real and while every woman has different symptoms, we know that women feel pain, discomfort, fatigue, and sometimes bad moods associated with the PMS cycle. Our goal is to create a package that addresses her every need - we also add some surprise and delight items to cheer her up just because she deserves it….Thousands of women have enjoyed the benefits of The PMS Package…Mothers, boyfriends, sisters, and friends have found The PMS package a great way to say "I care".

#THEPMSPACKAGE, The PMS Package review

Overall I really loved this little box!  I'm addicted to subscription boxes.  I think I have subscribed to at least a dozen of them and it looks like I found a new one!  The packaging is so cute and pretty.  I love the pink box and the beautiful pink tissue paper that everything is wrapped up in.  This box was loaded down with lots of goodies for that certain time of the month.  It was definitely a holistic approach to care during the menstrual cycle.  It was filled with snack goodies, cute stationery items, aromatherapy things and so much more.  If you'd like to see the live video and you can click here or click the first photo above.  I definitely enjoyed going through this box and gobbling up all of these goodies- even though my mom completely robbed me of all the snacks in the Box. I had to sneak them back from her in order to enjoy them for myself.   Looks like she's a fan too!   LOL

#THEPMSPACKAGE, The PMS Package review

This month’s box included:  a small box of Kotex, 5 chocolatey snacks, packets of Midol, a 12 hour heating pad, feminine wipes, apple scented body butter, a scented candle, a diamond top pen, and a journal.

#THEPMSPACKAGE, The PMS Package review

Tons of stuff, right?!?  My only suggestion would be that it would be great to have some alternative snacks for those that aren’t so into chocolate.  I know that chocolate is the general go to comfort snack during PMS but not everyone is a fan.  Lucky for me, I LOVE chocolate.  My favorite chocolatey snack from the box was the Cheryl’s chocolate chunk cookies.  Imagine Chips Ahoy but like a thousand times better!  The journal was also one of my favorite things as well.

#THEPMSPACKAGE, The PMS Package review

The box is extremely affordable and the FREE shipping is definitely a plus!   Boxes start at just $29.99 a month.   You can save even more if you sign up for multiple months.  You can even set your own personal delivery date so that you package arrives right when you need it! If you're interested in a PMS package for yourself, the folks at PMS package have offered my readers a discount code for $5 off your first box!  Head to:  http://www.thepmspackage.com/influencer and
Type in code:   PMS5
After that your subscription renews every month and you'll get an amazingly packaged and beautiful care package that's filled with even more amazing treats!  I'm sure the months just get better and better! 

Have you tried the PMS package? If so what are your thoughts?
Are you addicted to subscription boxes like me? Let me know which ones you love!




Until Next Time...



#THEPMSPACKAGE, The PMS Package reviewhttp://bit.ly/TLCSPMSPackage  *This post is sponsored by The PMS Package.  No monetary compensation was received- only product for review.  All opinions are my own.
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The Low Country Socialite, Kirsten Jackson, eshakti

Almost 15 or so years ago, I shared with someone really close to me that I might be interested in becoming a plus-size model.  It was something that I heard from everyone, like everywhere that I went that.   People often said that I wear clothes really well and they questioned if I were ever interested in doing doing plus size modeling.  I knew nothing about the industry- where or how to get started but I figured that if more than one person was saying it then there had to be something to it.


The Low Country Socialite, Kirsten Jackson, eshakti

I wear around a size 26 now but then I was probably around a size 20.   The person that I shared this with, their reply was, “you're definitely pretty enough but you're way TOO PLUS.”  I know right?  That killed my spirit something major and instead of deciding for myself, I took this person's advice to heart and never pursued this path. That was the absolute worst advice I've ever taken from someone. My confidence was already very fragile back then and it was really easy to crush me.  Who knows what could have become of that. 


The Low Country Socialite, Kirsten Jackson, eshakti


Would I like to be a plus size model right now?  Knowing more about the industry through blogging and other things, probably not. I've somewhat found the place that I like being in within the plus size fashion industry. But now I'll never really know. I'll never know if I initially wanted to be a plus size model because people kept recommending it and I'll also never know if I didn't do it because someone discouraged me.



The moral of this story is that you have gather your own dreams, decide things for yourself and sometimes you even have to keep it to yourself. There's nothing wrong with making your moves in silence. Your wildest and even dizziest fantasies can come true with persistence. I'm the type of person that has usually needed some type of validation before I pursue anything.  It's something that I'm working on but sometimes I fall right back into those old insecurities. What can I say, I'm a work in progress… LOL I'm learning to go confidently in the direction of my dreams without permission from anyone else. 


Photography:  Ng Photography
Dress:  eShakti Graphic Floral Print Crepe Bow-Tie Dress
Shoes:  Rainbow Shops
Earrings:  Vintage
Lippie:  Coloured Raine


What about you? Have you ever been discouraged from pursuing a dream or idea?
Until Next Time...

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   The Low Country Socialite, Kirsten Jackson, eshakti
Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday!  I think I say that every year!  lol  Another thing that I do every year is round up all of the awesome costumes across the internet in hopes that you’ll help me pick the best!  Below you’ll find a mix of tiny tots, wacky celebs, fab bloggers, spooky pets, family/group/couples costumes and everything in between!  But….there can only be one winner!  So tell me, who won #Halloween2017?!






@asheighthelion
The Plus Bloggers REALLY showed out this year and I am HERE for all of it!  Check out Ashleigh Shackelford as Winnie the Pooh?




The list of popular retailers who are finally shifting gears and joining the human race is steadily growing.    White House Black Market now offers plus sizes! The news dropped last week on their social media and already people are excited about being able to order their clothing in larger sizes.


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I went to the website to see some of the offerings and I really like what I see.   White House Black Market was always a store that my mother- who has been small all of her life, could shop in and she always felt good in their quality clothing.  It's so wonderful that trusted retailers- especially those that are known for good, sturdy, well-constructed pieces are joining the ranks and making their clothing available in plus sizes.  White House Black Market plus pieces go up to a size 24W and are only available online for now.  If you're worried about the price, sign up for their mailing list! That's the best way to find out about sales & drastic clearances, plus you get 10% off a future purchase just for signing up.  That's a great way to build your wardrobe with quality pieces that you otherwise might not be able to afford.

Here are some things that I like so far…




Do you see anything that you like?  What straight size retailer do you wish would go plus?


Until Next Time...


http://bit.ly/TLCSWHBM
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Ladies! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! HALLOWEEN!!!

As a plus size beauty, I am always vaguely annoyed at the selection of plus size costumes in stores and online. I want to be fashionable and have a great time during my absolute favorite holiday but the fact is, a lot of the plus size costumes out there totally suck!  So, I decided a long time ago that DIY costumes were the way to go- and because I am a busy, broke mom of three kids, I need something fast, fun and on a budget! So here are a few of my favorite- easy to accomplish DIY costumes for the plus size beauty in all of us! With just one or two accessories, these costumes will have you ready to be the best dressed plus size ghoul at the graveyard!

OK so really, I only have one thing to say to you-Wings!

There is such an array of fabulous wings out there nowadays that this versatile and fun costume accessory can be played up/down and in between!  Plus, they always fit!  Everything from angelic white feather wings to gorgeous black bat wings.  You can make dozens of costumes from your closet. For a simple but fun idea, pick a set of wings as a base- We will go on Amazon and take a quick look- When I searched costume wings a plethora of options amazed my plus size little heart. From soft fabric butterfly wings, to transparent dragonfly ones as well as bat wings, black and white and red feathered wings and even tattered and torn wings ideas were flying through my mind!

   

For simplicities sake, we will choose a cute butterfly wing- these are only $20.98 by Shireake Baby and absolutely stunning. Now, we shop our closet! These wings are blue and teal, so first things first, I locate a pair of soft, black leggings (I am a mom- I have leggings in ALL the colors!) next is to decide- dress or shirt? Well for me this is a killer flowy party number that is black with teal and green swirls on it- you may have a sweater or dress that suits your needs already and if not a quick trip to a local second-hand store can usually fix that (an oversize men’s dress shirt over leggings with wings would look killer! Now just add boots or black shoes and some cute make up and Poof! This same theme can be used to make you into all manner of cute bugs, birds (ravens wings plus a fabulous black dress, lips stick and smoky eyeshadow anyone?) or of course Angels, Demons, and or Devils as your amusement prefers- Simple color shifts for each variation and you are cute costumed and ready to go!


I love the idea of the simple wings to build from because as you know these can be reused again and again. Maybe next year you would rather be a Zombie- take those beautiful white wings you used for your Dove of Peace (think angel but in soft whites and greys, more sweater and leggings with soft white make up- rather than the more iconic bright white dress and holy accruements for an angel costume) with a bit of spray paint to “dirty and zombify” them- think a bit of black, some red, pull a few feathers- make them look rough- add ripped up jeans and a top and your favorite zombie make up (with as much or as little fake blood as you wish!) and Poof- Zombie Winged Whatever!


Of course, for a more fantasy bend, there are literally dozens of amazing fairy, pixie and fancy wings just waiting to be added to your favorite long ladies gown or vine and leaf covered ensemble. Bright glittery make up, fun jewelry and a bright smile and you are the plus size fairy princess of the ball!
The great thing about costume wings is that you can literally shop your closet to pull together your outfit- and be comfortable and kick ass at the same time! I love being unique and with just a little money being able to pull something plus size prefect for me, in no time!


What accessory made your DIY costume this year?



Until Next Time...




http://bit.ly/TLCSHalloween


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MyheritageDNA, MyheritageDNA Kirsten results, MyheritageDNA results, MyheritageDNA the low country socialite

My DNA test results are finally in!  Yay!!!  Four weeks felt like forever to get here!  I'm so excited to find out about my ethnic Origins.  I've always said- and it's one of the things that I teach in my cultural diversity training, that one of the many disadvantages of slavery is that black Americans were robbed of the authentic chance to be hyphenated Americans.  Ya know, Italian-American, Mexican-American… that hyphen in between those ethnicities is important.  It means that you KNOW exactly where you come from.  Our safest choice is African-American but African is a huge continent with several countries!!  Plus, without records, we can’t even be too sure of that. 

Sadly, most of us just do not know our ethnic origins but now thanks to readily available DNA testing, we are able to have a better understanding of where exactly we come from.  The company that I used was MyHeritageDNA. Getting the sample was super easy.  Everything is pretty much done for you.  I just swabbed the insides of both cheeks, dropped the sample in the little, pre-labeled tubes that they send and toss it in the mail.  Off it goes to Houston, Texas for analysis and the whole process cost me only about 80 bucks. 

Here are my results.

MyheritageDNA, MyheritageDNA Kirsten results, MyheritageDNA results, MyheritageDNA the low country socialite
Overall it looks like I am 69.9% from the continent of Africa. Broken down a little further (below), I am 35.2% Nigerian.  That was the strongest percentage.  So awesome! I'm looking forward to learning more about my own unique culture, now that I know more about where I'm from. It looks like the rest of my background, 30.1% is from north &west Europe (Germany and France) and a little bit from east Europe (Ukraine and Balkan) . I'm so glad that I decided to do this.  It was worth every penny!

MyheritageDNA, MyheritageDNA Kirsten results, MyheritageDNA results, MyheritageDNA the low country socialite

Were you surprised at my results? Have you done DNA testing to find out your Origins?
Leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts!


*This content was not sponsored by MyHeritageDNA.  All opinions are my own.
http://bit.ly/KirstenDNA




Until Next Time...




         

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Being put together is my job. As a plus size blogger I am kind of expected to always have my act together- you know the perfect shoes with the perfect purse. It is a wonderful thing to look in the mirror before heading out the door and knowing that you look amazing. When I am headed to an event, there are always certain things I do to make sure that I am ready to make the best impression possible!  I think that it is so important to always put your best face forward! Now does this mean I am shallow? Do I spend hours on creating a flawless face? Do I lament over my outfit and whether white is finally alright after Labor Day?! Nope!   But…. it does mean that I have a check list of things that I always do so that when I walk out the door, I am ready to take on the world!   I am gonna share some of my list with you.  Us plus size beauties have to stick together after all, right?!

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Number one: Always plan in advance! I love my calendars- I have several!   Of course I have the calendar on my phone- who doesn’t make mad use of that little handheld miracle now-a-days?  Besides that one though, I have a desk calendar and calendar on my bedroom wall- right beside my mirror- so not only can I see the what, where, and when- I also can look over it when I get up in the morning and see all the awesome things I have to look forward to.   If it’s a little bare, then I can work on my resolve to get more of those little boxes filled.  I am madly unorganized at times (my dirty little secret- shhh don’t tell!) SOOOO I have another calendar which is stuck right on the front of my fridge. When I am grabbing my yummy keto breakfast, I am also reassessing what I have to do- that day, week and month- for me planning is SO important!

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Number two: Have several go to outfits planned. I personally like to take pictures of myself in different outfits, several shirts with several bottoms- this way I can see myself from a more observant point of view- pictures are always better to see how other people will see you. Think of Cher’s closet in that old movie Clueless! I can flip through my closet catalogue and plan all my outfits for the week in a few clicks. If you are really organized you can take photos of all your accessories and shoes as well.

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Number three: Always have a good old fashioned pad of paper and a pen! I don’t know how many times I have accidentally let my phone die (also always have a spare charger in that oh-so-fashionable purse.  As a plus size fashionista, I love a big bag that can carry all sorts of things- including said notepad and cute, colorful pens.  You want to always be able to make notes while you are at an event- what if you meet an awesome contact and you don’t have something to write down the details!?

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Number four: Make sure you always have emergency numbers! I carry a small actual little black book- it has a paper contact list.  Old school, right?  LOL   Remember that whole phone dying stressor? Well once I realized that I didn’t even know my own mother’s phone number anymore, I took this to heart! Another good idea is having important numbers for people like towing companies and locksmiths, such as STL Local Locksmiths! I had a friend who ended up locking herself out of her car in the middle of the night after a movie premiere and she luckily had the STL Local Locksmiths number in her little black book. They were able come out quickly and get her on the go again!  Plus, they were amazingly affordable!

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Number five: Maybe the most important, my plus size princesses is this final tip- have an amazing time! There is simply no point in being a fabulous plus size blogging fashionista if I am not having a great time! I preplan as much as possible and then roll with the tide. Its raining on the day of an outside event? OK Cute raincoat and umbrella, CHECK!   Once you have the basics covered, the best part of an event is to simply enjoy the event! Whether you are going to a major blogging networking affair or your six year old nephew’s birthday party, remember to be present.   All the planning in the world, all the note taking and photo ops are nothing in comparison to having a great time and being able to recount that enthusiasm to your readers (and yourself!) later.

So those are my tips!  Do you have any go to tips and tricks to make sure you are 100% when you step out?

Share below!



Until Next Time...

http://bit.ly/PutTogether



           
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