#BlackOutFriday

Happy Thanksgiving, my US loves! I hope it is a day filled with food and fun, or if you’re working like me, a day where customers don’t make you want to break things. 🙂

Now, in the States, one of the biggest family traditions around this time of year, after carving up the turkey, is to go shopping and get all types of gifts and goodies.

I normally try to put together a whole post of places I’m shopping for Black Friday, to help y’all get some great deals. And I still intend on doing that today, but with a bit of a twist.

First, some background:

If you haven’t heard about the Michael Brown case, go here for some good information. Monday, the nation (and world) received word that his murderer, Officer Darren Wilson, would not be brought up on charges. And this started a string of protests, one of which is called Black Out Friday. Essentially, folks of color are not going to shop at the big box retailers (Target, WalMart, etc) and are instead either not shopping at all for Black Friday or are patronizing Black-owned businesses.

I am in the latter camp. I won’t get into the social and political implications of Wilson not being brought up on charges, but I am willing to protest in any way that I can. And since I am in a position to do so with my dollars, I will.

So, this year, I’m spending my dollars Black. It’s a small gesture, but one I do in solidarity with the Brown family.

If you’re participating in #BlackOutFriday as well, Huffington Post has a good list of businesses here, and Afrobella built upon that list here. I found some great sample sales and deals on my Instagram, which I’m going to share with you now.

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Girl With Curves has amazing style, and now an amazing line. If you’ve been wanting to pick up a piece or two, now is the time to do so! I’m eyeing this dress. Gorgeous!

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I love this brand for their quirky, cheeky t-shirts. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on my I Wear What I Want crop tee, get online tomorrow to score this and some other new designs!

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If you’re looking to do your shopping in person, and you happen to be in NYC for the weekend, TruDiva Designs is having a sample sale on Saturday! I’ve loved just about everything I’ve seen on the runway, and let me tell you, I am looking forward to scoring a piece or two! Go here to see her collections.

So, there you have it! A few places I’ll be shopping for the weekend. I’ll do my best to do an update as I see other deals pop up on my Instagram feed.

Oh, and if you do decide to go shopping on Black Friday (no judgment here, seriously!), please be nice to the employees and to each other. Keep in mind that no item is worth sacrificing being polite.

Happy shopping and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Fatshionista Cooks: Hatchery Tasting Box Review

Hello my lovelies!

I am back with a review of deliciousness.

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the States, otherwise known as “Eat all of the things and Buy all of the things week.”

We’ll discuss the buy all of the things aspect later on this week, but for today? Today is about eating all of the things.

So, I love to cook. I really love to cook. Part of the reason I even have cable is for Food Network and the Cooking Channel. I have a list of food bloggers that I love to visit regularly to get new ideas on what to try next.

And it was from The Kitchenista (the AMAZING chef that runs The Kitchenista Diaries) that I saw that there was a subscription box for cooks called Hatchery. Needless to say, I was quite intrigued.

I finally took the time to order one, and it came today. The best part about foodie subscription boxes is that you don’t have to wait to see if it works, like with beauty things. You can just eat it and know immediately if it’s the best! Here’s what I got:

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All wrapped up in brown paper…

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And all of the goodies!

Each box comes with a tasting guide that gives information about the folks who make the edibles, and even give recipes that showcase each sample sized ingredient. I received Whole Spice Paella Spice Mix (I can smell it through the baggie and OMG, y’all), Bill’s Best BBQ Sauce, Glico’s Pasta Gravy (gravy=sauce), Mustard and Co.Mustard sauce, Other Brother Olive Oil, and Potlicker Kitchen Spiced Wine Jelly. The Paella Spice Mix is going in my black beans. It has a smoky smell (smoked paprika, mmm) that I know will work well with them. Can’t wait to hook it up and report back!

I’ll totally give you the recipe for the black beans if y’all want it, by the way. It involves a slow cooker and not standing over a stove. Always the best recipe, in my book.

Now, I’m off to finish my sweet potato pies. My coworkers heard I bake an amazing one…and so now I’m baking four. 😀

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: 5 Coats I’m Loving This Season

Naturally, I’m writing this when it’s a balmy 60 degrees outside.

NYC, please pick a season. *side eye*

Anyhow! I love coats, and even coat weather. I use them like accessories, mixing and matching them with my outfits like I do my shoes and bag. This year, there are so many different coats to love and play around with. Here’s a look at what I’m loving so much this year.

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From Lane Bryant.

Peacoats make me happy. Wool peacoats make my body happy (and warm), and a wool ombre peacoat? Clothing nirvana! I have to wear black to work every day, so I try to make my outerwear as not-black as I can. This fits the bill. Also, I’d want to do my nails to match.

Don’t judge me! 😀

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From Eloquii.

Char, didn’t you JUST say that–

Yes. I did say I like my outerwear to be as not-black as possible. But do you see how cute this is?! This would be more of a special occasion/going out somewhere fancy type of coat. And as much as I hate to admit it: fancy wear tends towards black because it’s classic. I’d probably switch up the belt or make a new sash to go with it and coordinate it with my outfits, though.

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From Simply Be.

Y’all, I really, REALLY want a cape. Now, when it finally does decide to get and stay cold up here in NYC, it’s probably not going to be the most practical without plenty of layers. So why even want it? Arm room! I have large arms, and I have to often size my tops and coats to fit them, at the expense of fit everywhere else. Capes help alleviate that problem, as there’s plenty of arm room, so I can still get a really nice fit everywhere else. As for the layering, I’m always putting a giant sweater under my coat, so that wouldn’t be an issue.

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From Torrid.

I also really want a moto jacket. This is more appropriate for the weird shifty weather we’re having now. Not only that, it also feeds the tough tomboy side of me, while still being elegant. This is another coat I wouldn’t mind doing in all black, because it just adds to the bad-ass persona.

Hey, dress for the personality you have, or the personality you want! (Or both!)

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From Old Navy.

Normally, if I’m looking for a coat on a budget, I head to Old Navy. Now, they don’t carry plus sizes in the store (*side eye*), but I’ve had great success getting the 2xl (and no issues with the arms). This particular coat comes from the plus size collection, and I just got it in the mail a couple of days ago. I got the 4x, thinking about layering, and I could have just as easily done the 3 or even 2x and had plenty of room for both my arms AND my chunky sweaters. I picked this up because of the hood. When the wind whips around up here it can cause an instant migraine, and my ‘fro is starting to get too big for a proper hat. This hood is nice and warm, and it keeps the wind out of my face. Also handy for the snowy days that will soon be upon us.

So there you have it! My picks for elegant and warm coats for the season. Coming up soon: boots!

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Halloween Round Up

Hey lovelies!

Sorry for the radio silence over here last week. Halloween is an insanely busy week for me at work, what with the supplies and the painting…

You know the deal.

Anyhow, I did make it a point to adorn myself last week, so I wanted to give you the two nail looks and the Halloween face I did.

Let’s hop to it!

I love holidays because it always brings the really adorable seasonal beauty stuff. Eyelashes go on sale, special nail polish shades, glitters and kits come out. This is the time of year to stock up on things for my kit.

This year was no exception. I found some water decals in Walgreens. Water decals are like tattoos for the nails. Put them over a nail color or on bare nails=instant nail art without a lot of effort. I also found some nice nail wraps for me to try. So, on a particularly lazy Saturday, I set up shop and got started:

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I was still getting over a horrid cold, hence the Gatorade and tissues in the background. Feeling much better now, though. 🙂

Oh, yeah. I never know how to buy just ONE thing. Although, I did have some of that stuff already.

Listen, I have to tell myself that to keep from thinking I’m not such a beauty junkie. 😀

After getting my base colors down and decals on, here was my manicure for the first half of the week:

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The black nails glowed in the dark! The decals were quite easy to work with, although I will caution you to make sure your base colors are completely dry. This is not a case to have a slightly sticky nail, otherwise you will ruin your decals.

Later in the week, when I had an extra hour to myself, I decided to switch up the design. I had an event that week, and wanted to keep it festive, yet simple.

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Frankie there wasn’t hard to do at all. If you have a nail pen, it would be even easier to do. I don’t have one with as fine a tip as I like, so this was all stripers and dotting tools. Take your time; you’ll surprise yourself! Also, the other nails were glow in the dark. China Glaze has (had? I picked it up last year) glow in the dark polish that’s transparent: so you can layer it over any shade.

And finally: my costume. Ok. I’d originally planned to do a sugar skull themed costume, and the more I did research on it, the more I thought it might not be such a good idea. I was dressing for work, and did not wish to offend, so I decided to switch it to something else entirely.

I went as a Butterfly Garden.

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The wings are just printouts. Yep, printer paper! If you were reading me last year, you’ll note they are the exact same wings I used for my moth costume. (These are, in fact, moth wings.) So many people thought they were butterfly wings last year, I decided to recycle last year’s wings for this year’s look. Didn’t hurt that it matched my flower dress, either (Got it on clearance from CityChic earlier this year.)

I added some nail rhinestones to frame my brows and the inner corners of my eyes (I used eyelash glue to stick them on), and a chunky flower necklace. Lashes are by Ardell; came in one of the many kits they set out for Halloween this year. I wore my owl earrings (because birds are totally in gardens, of course) to finish off the look. It was a huge hit with my coworkers and customers alike.

For those who wonder what the fun in dressing up is: I get enjoyment watching others enjoy my work. The best reactions I got were from adults, from the lovely chef who told me how much she loved my wings to the lovely waitress who asked for a picture. I get a lot of pleasure from others enjoying the effort I put in. And, it’s fun!

And that will do it for Halloween 2014! Hope all of you enjoyed the day, if you participate. If you did, please leave me a pic in the comments! I’d love to see how you (and/or your nails) dressed for the occasion!

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