Thrifted Thursday: Winter into Summer Wear

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Ladies, learn to make your wardrobe STRETCH and I don’t mean in the physical sense lol. When you shop for pieces whether you are thrifting or not, you want to envision multiple ways to utilize your clothing. I like to wear my clothing all year long, I don’t believe in seasonal pieces. A summer dress can be worn in the winter if layered right. This outfit, minus the boots and jewelry, was thrifted and came in at $8 total! Living in Virginia our weather changes daily, I mean we can have 4 seasons in a matter of days! So learning how to style your entire wardrobe is a must!

For this look I paired this Lane Bryant dress that I found at my favorite local thrift store, with a simple black turtleneck that I found at Salvation Army. To keep going with the winter wear I threw on a pair of tall black boots and finished the look with turquoise jewelry from my local Paparazzi jeweler, Just Right Pieces . Seriously I’ve become obsessed with their pieces and have really been thinking about becoming a consultant with them because these pieces are soo cute and literally only $5!!! Let me know what you think below. Anywho ,back to the look lol. This is such a chic look that can easily be replicated with any sleeveless wrap dress, which by the way is so flattering on all body types!

Obviously transitioning this back to summer wear is super easy. Throw some cute heels on, a fun scarf, grab your favorite purse and GO!! Ya’ll know how much I love mixing my colors and patterns, so throwing yellow with this purple tie dyed style dress was a lot of fun. Remember for summer there are no rules!! Colors are so much fun to play around with, so don’t be afraid of it!

Shoes: JustFab

Purse: Target, but they no longer have it so I found a similar one for you in my Amazon shop here

Jewelry: Paparazzi

Scarf: Thrifted

So here’s a tip I want to leave you with to help with your thrift store shopping, screenshot outfit ideas that you want to replicate. Going in with outfits in mind makes it easier to navigate your shopping. I always go in with a plan because there is a lot of clothing to go through. And in closing, make sure you have FUN with your wardrobe!!!

Until next time,

Hugs, Lissa

Thrifted Thursday: Plus Size Vintage Addition

Welcome Back!

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Hello Dolls! So last week I started my Thrifted Thursday blog segment in order to offer tips and tricks to thrifting and how to style your pieces. I know not everyone is a lover of thrifting, it can be a very overwhelming and daunting task that can also be frustrating. So what do you do if you love vintage pieces but do not want to spend the time it takes to seek out the treasures, well you turn to businesses like Francheska Louies. Marquisha Daniels, owner of FL, has made it her mission to seek out the hottest vintage pieces with a focus on plus size. She is also a stylist with a great eye for fashion that is reminiscent of the 90’s New York fashion scene. I have always been a fan of the pieces that she carefully curates, then sells on both her instagram and local pop up shops. She has styled me before, for both my anniversary shoot with my husband a few years ago, and for a shoot we both collaborated on. So recently when I saw her at a Vintage Sunday pop up shop at Selden Market I knew I had to check out her newest collection. As soon as I saw this gorgeous dress I got excited!! The color and print jumped out at me and I prayed it would fit me!! To my surprise it did and the second I brought it home I thought of all the ways I could style it! I love it as is, and I know that I could literally wear any color shoe with this and it would all work, but I settled on a soft yellow because the dress is colorful enough that this butter yellow compliments it without competing.

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I’m swooning over here because honestly I felt so pretty and timeless in this dress. There is something about a belted swing dress that is so feminine and works for so many body types!! As much as I love it as a dress I knew I needed to find other ways to style it because as I stated on last week’s blog post when you make any clothing purchase you want to make sure to find pieces you can wear multiple ways to really get your money’s worth!! I decided to make this dress a duster by taking off the belt and pairing it with a simple white spaghetti strap tank top from Walmart, linked here and my current FAVORITE jeans from Rainbow, linked here !

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Be prepared to see this look worn many ways because I am not ashamed of re-wearing something but best believe I like the challenge of making it look different each time!!!

The beauty of what Marquisha does is the fact that most of her pieces are one of a kind and most likely will not be able to be found anywhere else. So when you invest in her pieces you are investing in timeless, one of a kind designs that you can proudly wear knowing it won’t be seen anywhere else!!

I reached out to Marquisha about featuring her on today’s post because I believe in what she’s doing and I believe in supporting other small business owners, especially other Female owned businesses!! We need to create a space of community over competitions, and instead of talking about it, we need to actually do it. So please take the time to check out her pages and support!! I asked Marquisha to do a write up about herself and her business to help all of you get to know her better. Check it out below and thank you all for your support! I appreciate every person who finds their way to my little space here and takes the time to read what I have to say and those who take the time to send me a message or comment!! I hope you have a blessed day!! Hugs, Lissa

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My name is Marquisha Daniels. I am the owner of Francheska Louies, LLC "Plus Size Vintage". I cater to sizes (12-24). We specialize in one of a kind, exclusive, unique vintage to add to your everyday wardrobe. I started this business because I felt the need to supply more options for the plus size. community. Growing up not having access to designer clothing and shoes, my parents simply could not afford it. I’ve always been fluffy. I didn't have access to the trendy options but of course I made a way out of no way. I fell in love with vintage trying to recreate current trends from my mothers walk in closet. She had tons of timeless vintage pieces from my grandmother, trips she had taken over the years and my absolute favorite, thrifting. Attending church as a young adult my mother started allowing me to style myself for Sunday Service. This is when the magic started to happen. My mom was not my biggest fan at the time but everyone else loved to see what new looks I would create every Sunday. Thrifting became a thing, it even became a lifestyle. I would shop with my mom and sister at local thrifts in the neighborhood such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and CHKD. I would find shoes, accessories and clothing. Everything I would find was trending in magazines, TV shows and the internet during the 2000s was accessible and reasonably priced at the thirft store. Thrifting allowed me to create a lane of my own. I became so good at thrifting and styling that I was even nominated for best dressed in high school. My passion for fashion gave me the drive to attend The Art Institute Of Philadelphia where I majored in Fashion Design. Throughout the years I worked heavily in fashion retail. I grew from a simple sales associate to a visual merchandiser, becoming a coordinator and even a store manager. I had the pleasure of working for three plus size companies and two small black owned businesses. These things and more are the main reason as to why I started my business. On top of running a small business I offer services such as Personal Styling, Personal Shopping, Alterations, Photo Shoots, Visual Merchandising, Creative Direction & Motivational Speaking. If you live locally in the seven cities area I often vend at Selden Market located Downtown Norfolk in Virginia throughout the year. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to check out our highlights @Frncheskalouies & @Fracnheskaloui3s. Email us at F.louies.md@gmail.com. Contact us at (757) 447-4024.

Thrifted Thursday

So i’m super excited to start a weekly fashion blog post on thrifting!!! How many of you are thrifters? It was once very taboo, lol…I mean no one wanted to admit that they shopped through other people’s donations. But then it became a trend and alas here we are! I honestly have thrifted since I was a kid. I remember my parents, who had 3 kids that were all only a year apart, having to school shop on a tight budget. I lived in a small town and we only had a few thrift stores, and one Goodwill that was smack dab in the middle of town!! They would hang styled outfits in the window and my freshman year of high school my mother took me there to do a little shopping. There was this hot pink dress hanging in the window and my mom insisted I try it on. I was NOT happy about that, but I knew better then to argue with her too much so I grabbed it from the sales associate and went to their plywood dressing room…no lie guys this thing was like a standing coffin!! I put it on came out and my mother LOVED it!!! So much that she bought it and whatever my mother bought I wore. So fast forward a few months into the school year and I finally wear the hot pink dress. I go to the bathroom where there was a large group of girls doing their makeup and one of the girls smiles at me and says “nice dress!” As much as I wanted to be appreciative of her compliment, I was terrified to see that this girl was the same girl who sold this dress to my mother at Goodwill!! Thankfully she kept my secret and all was right in the world thereafter.

I look back on that and honestly laugh at how much I cared, like my peers, about things that hold no value. I had two parents who worked their butts off to provide for us, and gave us all we ever needed. My mother always had us looking our best and she taught us to live within our means. That is something I am most proud of. We didn’t showboat for the sake of other’s opinions. There was no need to spend a fortune on clothes that we would only wear a few times. We had a beautiful home, home cooked meals and a family unit that was full of love.

So now that i’ve taken you down memory lane, I lead you to why I thrift. So as you see from above it’s something my family has always done, and as i’ve gotten older it’s become something that truly makes me happy. There is nothing like finding treasures for literally a fraction of the original cost. Thrifting can be time consuming, but if you are patient it truly will be worth it. Years ago when plus fashion wasn’t the best, it was really hard to find anything in the thrift store that was worth purchasing so I stuck with looking mostly for my kids. Thankfully times are different and like I stated before, if you are patient you truly will be delighted with what you can find!! I love clothes, and I love to shop, but I am still raising kids and honestly I also have decided that I want to be more responsible with my purchases. I still believe in splurging on those staple pieces, you know the one that will stay with you season after season. But for the on trend looks, definitely utilize your local thrift stores for that. And bonus, you are actually doing a lot for your local community, charities and the Earth when you thrift!! Ok are you sold yet??

Most of you who read my blog are coming from my instagram and you see that I work with clothing companies as a brand ambassador. I absolutely love doing that, but I also love styling outfits from thrifted pieces that I find. Because of that I decided I wanted to start a weekly Thursday Thrift post where I will show you what key things to look for, how to shop and more importantly how to style those pieces!!! Last week my husband and I took an afternoon and hit up our favorite spots. Now if you are new to thrifting you will have to take some time to check out the ones around you. Some thrift stores are not worth the hunting, and then there are ones that you will feel like you a hit a jackpot!! Make sure you ask around to find out the ones that are worth going and of course utilize Google…it will be your best friend!! For the national thrift stores, Salvation Army is one of my favorites. Mainly because every Wednesday is half off all clothing and shoes!! Of course it’s a mad house on that day but if you start early you can avoid the craziness!! This outfit that I am showing you today was all bought at Salvation Army and was half off!!! Total spent for t-shirt and skirt….$5!!! So let’s check it out!!

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So let’s talk prints!! I LOVE prints, and my favorite thing to do with prints is to pair it with…wait for it…more prints!!! Seriously, nothing adds spice to your wardrobe like a statement print. Leopard is, and honestly probably will always be a staple print. It’s best used on the smaller scale, like in pieces and not a full on head to toe look. This skirt is originally from Lane Bryant and still had it’s tags!! It’s original cost was $59 and I got it for $3!!! Yea, I was pretty stoked!! I knew the second I saw it that I wanted to pair it with a fun t-shirt, so I went on over to the men’s area and searched all through the t-shirts. Vintage t’s are on trend right now when paired with something that would be deemed dressy. I knew I wanted the base color to be black so I searched through the black t’s (another reason I love Salvation Army…they organize everything by color!) and I found this super cute Marvel t-shirt. It’s a size small, but it had stretch and for $2 I knew that if it didn’t work out I could just give it to one of my kiddos. Thankfully it fit great and once paired with the skirt I fell in love!! Now normally I like to turn my thrift t’s into either a crop top or off the shoulder top. I just grab a pair of scissors and start hacking away, but with this t I wanted to keep it the way it was because I want to be able to tuck it into a pair of jeans or sweats. So I rolled it up to create a cropped look…and this look was produced! I ended the look with a fun pair of super trendy white booties!!! This look can be worn out for drinks with the girls, a concert or a dinner date with your significant other. It’s super versatile and can easily be worn day or night!

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I added a leather jacket that I draped on my shoulder to give it more of an evening look.

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Now if heels aren’t your thing and you want to wear this to a festival or to run around shopping, just throw on a crossbody bag and your favorite pair of sneakers!! Another big trend….sneakers with skirts and dresses!! It can tone down a super dressy look and let’s be real….they are COMFORTABLE!!!!

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As much as I love this look, I wanted to show another way to wear this skirt. Prints can be scary to some, and I know that the t-shirt with it might not be the best look for everyone. So if you’re scared of prints, don’t shy away from it!! And if you are a plus girl like me…PLEASE do not buy into the “plus bodies shouldn’t wear prints, especially on the biggest parts of their body”. You know we have heard this before and it’s bs! As you can see, I am rocking a print, and rocking it at the biggest part of my body, and I did so confidently!! I truly believe, if it makes you happy…WEAR IT!! Ok so back to the original program, I paired the skirt with a Fashion Nova off the shoulder top. I chose black but you could also1 do a camel color and if you are bold a bright color solid top would be killer with this!! Think hot pink or teal!!

I also paired it with my favorite Jessica Simpson gold glittered heels because…STATEMENT!!!

I hope you have enjoyed my first segment of Thrifted Thursday!!! Please take a moment and leave a comment and let me know what, if anything you’d like to know about becoming a thrifter!! I am already working on next week’s post because I was able to grab some killer pieces recently!! I will make sure to show you different ways to wear one peice because I truly believe you should utilize your wardrobe to the fullest!!! We out here trying to buy homes, secure our children’s futures..clothing is fun and can make us feel really good but it shouldn’t break the bank. Trends come and go, seasons change quickly..I want to help you find pieces that will stand the test of time! Hope you have a beautiful day and until next time…

Hugs,

Lissa

My Year in Review

Here we are, the last day of 2018. New Year’s Eve and day are always a time to reflect on your life. We set new goals or resolutions, we think about everything that happened in the past year sometimes with happiness and other times with sorrow. I think this year was my most transformative. I’ve never wanted to blog more about a year then I do of 2018. Why? Because this year started out horrible, I mean one of our lowest points, and it ended so dramatically high that I just know I need to share it with all of you so you can see how much your life can change in a short time. I want to show you that life can get better, after all we all need to know that things will get better, and please understand me when I tell you that it can and will change!! So join me as I reminisce…..

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January 2018

This was a great month, I got to take Brian to Texas for the first time. He got to meet all of my family there and I got to get a picture of a future I have always wanted. The best part is it ended with us finding out we were expecting again!

What a beautiful start to my year! But unfortunately Brian and I would suffer another loss. Our third angel would never make it to this world. I need you to understand something. I have 4 healthy, amazing children. Brian has a beautiful son, and we by no means feel as though we need a child together to feel complete, but my goodness when you find out that you have created life with the person you love more than yourself…that is the most amazing, euphoric feeling and when it is taken from you it is a loss that hurts so deeply that you bury it deep. Together we yet again found ourselves at the same hospital, having the same procedure we just had less then 6 months before. It was heart wrenching to say the least. We were in the middle of wedding planning, and dealing with court issues with my ex, it was all so overwhelming! Because of our miscarriage we had to reschedule our wedding and we lost our wedding venue. Talk about dark days!! I just felt so incredibly low. I wanted so bad to just escape from reality, I couldn’t come to terms with the why’s. All I knew was my heart was so broken, Brian’s heart was broken and together we had to find a way to deal with our pain. I remember one afternoon I was sitting on the couch in a haze of numbness. Brian was sitting across from me watching tv and all of a sudden I just burst into tears. As he tried to find out what had caused my outburst I blurted out to him, I think God is trying to send us a sign that we aren’t meant to be together…I mean why else would he allow us to suffer a third miscarriage??? Brian looked over at me, tears in his eyes..a pain that I was all too familiar with and he said, Lissa please don’t think just because I’m trying to remain strong for you that I am not hurting just as bad as you, and it’s unfair for you to say things that are so hurtful and untrue. Instantly I felt such shame and hurt for trying to hurt the only other person who was feeling my pain!!! I knew at that point that God wasn’t putting us through all of this pain because he didn’t think we should be together, yet he was giving us strength and a love to help us endure our pain together. From that day on I started to move forward, planning our wedding and putting everything else in God’s hands!

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We begin to heal…

Learning to heal is a process, one that takes time and patience. For us we just needed to find joy in the little moments. Of course our children were a huge part of that, but learning to reconnect as a couple was key too. When you experience a loss with your partner it can either divide you or bring you closer together, but that has to be a choice you make. You have to learn to completely rely on the other person, crying, talking and being there for them as much as they are for you. Sometimes this is hard because naturally a lot of us use our defense mechanism of shutting down during times of pain and hurt, but again it is a choice you have to make to stay connected and allow your partner to help you through it. These choices are not always easy, by no means do I want to paint a pretty picture of one day waking up and being okay. We spent many nights distant numb but we were together. Brian has the same love language as I do, which is touch. We are physical affirmation kind of people and while we are watching tv at night, or laying in bed, his hand is always on me. I began to notice it even more and allow that touch to be my comfort, my sign that things would be okay. We also made sure to go on as many date nights as we could. It could be a simple trip to the grocery store that we did together, we began to use any excuse to be out together as a “date night”. I began to focus on everything I was blessed with, and it was and is a lot.

Choosing Happiness

April 2018

We decide to go away for our anniversary because that is the day we were supposed to be married! We went back to the place that our love story began, Richmond Va. We went to all the places we went on our first date, we found new places to make memories in and we reconnected in a way that only proved what I already knew, that we would be okay.

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May 2018

God knew what he was doing! One of the greatest days of my life!! My first grandchild was born and she has been my angel, healing my broken heart. She is the most perfect human and everyday I thank God for allowing her to be in my life and showing me that God never forgets us, he always knows exactly how to heal us!

May was a great month! I gained a huge blessing and was able to put to rest a battle that I had been fighting for almost 10 years!! I could finally see the light, and I could finally hear God in the midst of all I had been through. It was time to finally get ready to be Mrs. Borden!!!

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August 6, 2018

Fairytales are real….

I could go on for days about this day, but I will just say that nothing is impossible. Marrying Brian proved to me that nothing worth having will be easy!! We have endured so much but this day proved that the girl who got pregnant at 17, who tried desperately for so long to be loved the right way by others, who allowed people to treat her badly as long as they showed her attention, that girl..the girl that came with 4 kids, an imperfect body, who was no longer in her 20’s…that girl deserved to be loved and finally found the man who could and would love her better then anyone else ever could! It made every tear, every heart break worth it and after our wedding it put us on a new journey to better our lives..give our children a better future and now we get to do it together!!

And here I am writing this, tears in my eyes at how much I have changed this year. After my wedding I started to set goals for my life with Brian. I knew that I wanted to truly pursue a dream of running my business, completely without having a 9-5 as a backup. So with the support of my husband, I focused solely on my businesses and guess what, they started to thrive!! I am ending this year with more business then I have ever had…EVER!! I have so many orders to fulfill it keeps me up at night, but wow…I’m actually doing it!!! To top it off, I was invited to do my very first podcast to talk about my blog and businesses and it was soo much fun that I cannot wait to do another one!! Huge thank you to 75Junction for the amazing opportunity!! Just click the pic below to go watch it!! I feel like this interview is a preview of the upcoming year, yet another sign that i’m on the right track!

click here to check out my first podcast interview!!

click here to check out my first podcast interview!!

So 2019, I’m ready for you!! I now know that i’m capable of truly going through hell and remaining positive and focused! I’m ready for new business ventures, sharing my life more with all of you, loving my family , welcoming my newest granddaughter soon after we wish a happy 1st birthday to my first granddaughter, lol!! Seriously I think I was put on this earth to love. My heart has been trampled on, took advantage of but it keeps beating for those around me…including you!!

I honestly need to thank every single one of you who have been a huge part of how i’ve been able to evolve and get through the tough times. You sent me encouraging words, you prayed for me, sent positive vibes out and I felt it all. Whenever I feel like i’m babbling on or talking about something that you may care less about, I get a message from someone who tells me they need to hear me. There is nothing better then knowing you are able to help someone from all the ugly stuff you’ve been though!! You have been the ones to support my small business, to tell me to keep pushing when i’m exhausted! You have been the ones to bring a tear to my eye whenever I get a message telling me that you never were able to truly start loving yourself and your body until you saw me doing my best to love mine! I mean guys, that is some powerful stuff right there and I DO NOT take it lightly!! I have decided my mission in life now is to show you all how to live your best lives!!! Be authentic, LOVE without restrictions and without fear because guess what, we will all get hurt in our lifetime but all we want is to feel love and we can truly find it but we have to be willing to love 100%! Whew I said love like 10x there lol. But seriously I sum up 2018 with one word…LOVE. And i’ve decided I want to go into 2019 with one word…Goals!! Watch me crush them all, set new ones, dream HUGE and not let self doubt creep in! You want to go on this journey with me?? Then let’s start by telling each other our first goal of 2019. Mine will be my health, to stay focused, go to the dr’s appts that I keep putting off and show myself that I can have a healthy relationship with fitness and food!! Now let me hear yours….

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Love & Kisses,

Lissa “Maya”