THE CS BOOK CLUB: Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking

The last few months, I think I have gotten the same piece of advice/instruction from almost everyone I know—“Stop stressing.” And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Mr. Socialite says it daily. My mother has been saying it a lot lately too. Even my physician went as far as to write a prescription literally saying….”Stop Stressing and go have fun.” Thanks Doc. Great advice but easier said than done.

The sad part is I know I stress a lot. Sometimes it’s warranted and other times it’s due to the stars. Yes, I said the stars. Being a Virgo has its privileges but there are some nasty side effects—one of them being the never-ending quest for perfection and the stress that comes with this (Ask me how many times I have actually started this post and why it’s taken me almost two weeks to finally post it, SMDH). But I am learning to manage stress and being a Virgo a lot better as I get older. One of my coping mechanisms is reading.

Just as much as I like to write, I love to read. Magazines (I’m subscribed to a million of them), the newspaper (I blame you Mama Socialite for that one….I read 3-4 different local newspapers every day. Seriously how different can each retelling of the same news item be?) , Blogs (Bloglovin’ is one of my most active apps on my phone) and of course books.

Books are like the ultimate vacation. Where else can you travel to exotic places, time warp to the past or future; or even live someone else’s life (without being on the lam) for free? Alright….maybe for the cost of the book or download but free if you go to the library (support your local library!). For me, books are the ultimate escape from the everyday. And sometimes they are almost as good as a therapist or sister-friend. So it’s no surprise that I am launching the Curvy Socialite Book Club. The CS Book Club will feature new and old books alike (truthfully what catches my fancy at the time) with my thoughts on the book, the author and more.

To kick things off, I will talk about fellow blogger extraordinaire, Brittany Gibbons’ book, Fat Girl Walking.

Many of you know Brittany Gibbons already—maybe not by her real name but at least by her blog’s name, Brittany Herself. She is ranked as one of the top bloggers in the Plus Size/Curvy, Mommy and Lifestyle categories. I think Brittany first came across my radar after I read some coverage about an experiment in body image and self-love were she had sex every day for a year with her husband, Andy (yeah you read that right—yeah she tells us all about it in her book). To be honest, I always thought she was brave as she bared everything for the world to see (she’s also known for wowing the crowd as she stripped down to a bikini during her TED Talk a few years back). But how did Brittany Gibbons become the fabulous body positive activist and champion for the everyday woman? Simple…she was just herself.

Fat Girl Walking is one of those books that reads more like a conversation with your BFF rather than an autobiography. In it, Brittany shares her life story of growing up as a “big girl” in Ohio and dealing with mental illness, obesity, family, dating (not easy at any size) , eating disorders and more. Chock full with hilarious stories riddled with pop culture references as well as some of raw painful moments that out right broke my heart, I found myself sitting their laughing out loud (and sometimes at the most inopportune times—try cracking up in the quiet car on the Metro North….if looks could kill….) and even shedding tears throughout the whole read. She pretty much bares her soul to the reader to giving us all the good, bad and sometimes out right gross details of it all (yeah the post childbirth stories will have you second guessing kids if you don’t have them already) At the end of the day, she takes us on an intimate journey of how she came to love herself despite—rather in spite of—her size.

Fat Girl Walking is definitely a must for your summer reading list….no matter your size.

Brittany Gibbons…herself

FUN IN THE SUN: Reviews of Becca Etc Swimwear & Tanee Tan Corrector Pen

So it’s officially the unofficial start to summer. LOL.

With the temperatures in the tri-state area hitting the 90s the past few days (seriously if it is this hot already, what’s it going to be like in August?), all I can think about is spending time at the beach. Who wants to be stuck indoors when you could play all day in the sun? I know I don’t.

The Santa Monica Pier & Veterans Memorial
The Santa Monica Pier & Veterans Memorial

Not too long ago, I got to test drive my beach time while I was in California. I got to spend an afternoon in Santa Monica with Black Latina & Fabulous‘ Amaris Acosta and Tanya Sotillo of the amazing new lifestyle portal, Luxe Colore. With the three of us based in New York (which at the time was still on the cool and damp side) we wasted no time getting acquainted with the sands of the Santa Monica Pier.  My California trip also the perfect time to figure out what was going to be my staples in my beach bag this summer. Definitely a great opportunity to review some a new product and a new swimsuit.

The Curvy Socialite at the beach in Santa Monica
The Curvy Socialite at the beach in Santa Monica

So what’s going to be in my beach bag this summer?

BECCA ETC  BLACK CROSS BACK HALTER WITH BUCKLE W/ DRAPED BIKINI BOTTOM

Plus size bikinis are all the rage thanks to bloggers like Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh and Chastity Garner Valentine of Garner Style: The Curvy Girl Guide, rocking “fatkinis” and looking fabulous doing it. Now I admit, I am not always the most daring of girls when it comes to showcasing her curves in an itty bitty bikini, but I have to say that I will gladly due it in this fabulous bikini from Becca Etc.

Designed by Rebecca Virtue, the 2013 collection for Becca Etc is all about options (something that girls of a certain size didn’t have until recently). Full of prints, vibrant colors and interchangeable options (for cut and length), the collection features perfect vacation inspiring names like Sanctuary, Zanzibar and Havana. My black bikini came from the Color Scheme collection which also comes in Peacock (Blue) and Hibiscus (Fuchsia).

What do I love most about this swimsuit? Hands down…the fit. With a fuller figure, my biggest worry always centers around fit. Because my top and bottom are two different sizes I have a hard time finding the right suit. If you’re like me, bikinis/tankinis are actually the best option as they allow you to customize your size. I also have a fear of reprising Nipplegate (Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the half time show at the Super Bowl a few years back), I always look for optimal coverage and with an ample top, that can be hard. But the cross back halter from Becca Etc, takes care of all of that. With an adjustable back and support all through the top, the girls aren’t going anywhere! Giving the top a more fashion forward appeal are shirring in the bust and some antique finished hardware (double heart buckle).  Ladies you have a choice of bottoms including skirts, boy shorts and full coverage panties. I opted for the draped bikini bottom which provides a full coverage bottom for comfort without sacrificing style. Retailing for $144 ($86 for the top and $58 for the bottom), this Becca Etc bikini is a must have for the summer.

PS, did I mention that this was the first time as an adult that I wore a bikini????

Shop the 2013 Becca Etc swimsuit collection here.

My beach bag: Becca Etc Cross Back Halter Bikini
My beach bag: Becca Etc Cross Back Halter Bikini

 

Close up of the shirring detail and hardware on the bikini top
Close up of the shirring detail and hardware on the bikini top

 

The 2013 collection in Peacock Blue
The 2013 collection in Peacock Blue

TANEE TAN LINE CORRECTOR PEN

Now what’s going to beach without getting an awesome tan (yes even me with darker skin loved the bronzing effects of the sun)? After spending what seemed like a never ending winter in doors, I was definitely ready for some fun times in the sunshine. I love how healthy sun-kissed skin (with the right protection of course) looks but I HATE tan lines. They just seem to mess up your whole look afterwards.  But, have no fear…there is a fix for that. Introducing Tanee— a revolutionary 2-in-1 bronzer and sunless tanning liquid that comes in a compact cosmetic pen. This little miracle in a pen will temporarily disguise unwanted tan lines until you get a chance to get back in the sun again.  It’s super easy to use– seriously it works just like a marker and it works. Let me just say that if you are a little darker, it may take a few applications to work but it will work on all skin tones.  So no more worries about having tan lines from your day at the beach and trying to figure out how to cover them when you head out that night. Tanee is definitely going to be a staple in my beach bag this summer. Retailing for just under $6, you can’t go wrong.

Want one for yourself? By the Tanee here.

Tanee Tan Line Corrector Pen
Tanee Tan Line Corrector Pen