Redefining Healthy: Taking a mental break and what I learned by doing so


A few weeks back I embarked on a girls trip to Vermont. I will admit, the trip couldn't have come at a worse time. My work life balance was way off and had turned into more work than life, my health wasn't doing well and I was in the middle of a home remodel. Yea, talk about bad timing. As I loaded up my suitcase with warm weather essentials I thought about the possibility of canceling and let me tell you the temptation was real. I already had a long "to do" list running on replay in my head and there was so much I could get done if I didn't go. Well ladies, as tempting as it was to throw on my superwoman cape and get back to "work", I decided to finish packing, call my car service and head to the airport and yes it was one of the best things that I could have done for myself. So today, in the spirit of redefining healthy, I want to take you on an inside look of my trip with Catherines and share with you what I learned from taking a mental time-out.


Sometimes you need to shut out the noise and change your environment.

Growing up and living in NYC I guess you kind of become immune to the sound of loud noises. In the city that never sleeps, there is always something happening and you are always on call. When I landed in Vermont I was truly surprised by how quiet and peaceful it was. As I walked into our “home” for the next few days I felt the weight of all my “to-do’s” just melt away. I sat on the porch for a while and just gazed at the beautiful fall foliage.


Now, I will admit, I am a busy city girl and being in the middle of the woods, with minimal cell phone access was a challenge. I did spend a good 30 minutes trying to find the right spot to get a cell phone signal. A task which proved impossible and left me annoyed and frustrated. How was it that with so much amazingness around me I couldn't unplug. For the past few months I’ve struggled with this concept. I’ve used my work as an excuse to reach for my phone and I’ve spent more time on my screen than I care to admit. So I will say that one of the most important things I learned from this trip was to take a time out, place the world on pause, turn off all of the noise and chatter around you and take a good look at life. Yes, I know it’s hard to do but maybe try it at first for 5 minutes a day. Sometimes we get so caught up in the adrenaline of life that we lose sight of what’s actually passing us by.


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Things don't need to be so complicated.

From yummy fresh food made with a handful of ingredients that you can easily read, to homemade products created by local entrepreneurs, one of the things that I loved the most about Vermont was how simple things felt.


My favorite activity of the trip was heading out to Bread And Butter Farm to make cheese with Henry's Dairy. Ladies, I love cheese and I was so excited to learn firsthand from a local farmer.  


After our cheese making experience the ladies and I made it over to Shelburne Orchards to go apple picking. I know it seems silly but just hanging out and enjoying the moment as it passed us by was pretty amazing.


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There was no complicated agenda or crazy schedule. We just enjoyed the day, each other’s company and there was no big “to-do” about it.


A good laugh and a late night chat can truly put life into prospective.

Sometimes we forget just how important it is to have some girl time. Getting together with your gal-pals and just having a good laugh, cry, gossip, dance, whatever.  I honestly feel that sometimes I get so caught up in adulting that I forget to just be a girl. Yes, no makeup, hair down, pj’s on and old school slumber party.


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That night was a blast and it really left me with the biggest cheese smile. Bonding, connecting and sharing is so important for our mental state but we often push it to the side as a non-necessity. Ladies, this time is needed. Like I mentioned earlier, I know taking three days off to travel is not an option for everyone but start small. Pencil in 5 minutes a day, schedule in date night with your girls and go agenda free even if it’s just for one afternoon a month.


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I must say that Vermont taught me the most important life lesson; time for me and just me matters, it is important and a healthy necessity.  Ladies, how are you taking time out for yourself?


Me – Allison from  – Chante from


Who said outerwear has to be boring?



Coat; Dress, Shoes (similar), Bag (similar)


For a long time I looked at outerwear solely as a source of protection. You know, the thing you put on to keep you warm or dry. I will admit that I never really looked at it as a fashion item even though it is one of the most visible items worn during the colder months.




Well this year, your girl is starting early looking for coats that provide function, aka keeps me warm during these cold and crazy upcoming months, but also makes a statement. No more hiding behind boring and dull coats.




So ladies, make sure to check back with me over the next few months to see what outerwear items I find.


How are you staying warm and cute this fall and upcoming winter season? 




Coat; Dress, Shoes (similar), Bag (similar)

Three Sweater Looks Perfect for This Fall


The leaves are changing color, the weather is dropping and yes fall is officially here. Fall is my favorite season mainly because I am a sucker for cozy movie dates, hot cocoa and throwing on a comfy warm sweater. If you follow me on social media than you might have noticed that I'm kind of obsessed with sweaters. From fancy bedazzled ones to oversized ponchos, I just love how they make feel. So for today's post I've rounded up a few sweater looks that will have you covered from the office to the weekend.


pic-2Top, Bottom, Sneakers, Bag

Business Casual

img_1628This look was recycled from my closet. Here are a few similar options.
Top, Bottom, Shoes

Date Night

img_1575This look was recycled from my closet. Here are a few similar options.
Top, Skirt, Shoes

This entry was posted in Fashion.

Luxury Plus Size Career Wear with Gwynnie Bee


Over the past few years, plus size fashion has come a long way. I love to see the new options available from exclusive designer collections to brands. 

I especially love when these new styles address the needs of women who are not the traditional hourglass shape or average height, as you saw last week with my feature on Eloquii's new petites collection. From budget to luxury, plus size fashion options are definitely growing and for this fashionista, it's inspiring. 


This week, I had the amazing opportunity to pair up with the Gwynnie Bee team to try out their new TOCCA collection. 

When I first learned of TOCCA's exclusive collection for Gwynnie Bee, I was pleasantly surprised since I was familiar with the brand exclusively for their beauty collection. 

Well, it turns out TOCCA has been in the fashion industry for over 20 years with a vision of creating beautiful clothing with unique styling, unexpected details and surprisingly affordable pricing.


Needless to say, I was beyond excited to give the collection a whirl so I grabbed my three favorite pieces and off we went to enjoy the city!

The first of the three Tocca styles I tried was my all time favorite of the bunch. Talk about an easy grab-and-go piece that gives off a classy, elegant and pulled together vibe. Yes, this is definitely all that and more!


I can easily see myself pairing this gorgeous dress with boots for fall or sandals for summer. So versatile and timeless! As soon as I slipped it on, I felt like it was time to sashay my way to a fun night in the city. Bonus: the special detailing such as the fully lined inside made me feel secure and in control. 

With the next Tocca piece, it was all about hitting the office with class and lots of sass. And this dress is all that and more!


I absolutely loved the weight of the fabric, especially that it has a nice stretch to it. It still maintained its shape while offering comfort with the stretch aspect. The shade of blue is so gorgeous and perfectly on-trend for the season. Paired with a little moto jacket, I was ready for a day full of meetings with a pumped up attitude.


Last but certainly not least, the third Tocca style I chose was this stunning top that's definitely a must-have statement piece. 


Who doesn't like a great transitional top that you can wear to the office or with jeans on casual Friday? I loved everything about this top from the bold print to the amazing detailing that made it feel like a high-end designer piece. It made my Friday night look effortless, which as all of you know is a must for me. 


In my opinion, TOCCA and Gwynnie Bee hit it out of the park with this collection. I loved that everything felt high-end and unique but was still effortless enough to seamlessly incorporate into my everyday life. Best part? No alternations needed! As a solid size 18, everything fit perfectly. That was a huge plus for me. 

So ladies, I strongly encourage you to check this collection out.  It ranges from sizes 14-24W and can be found exclusively via Gwynnie Bee. Click here to see the full collection.

Want a chance to win a deluxe Tocca scent to accompany your wardrobe? Enter here and you could win a full-size Eau De Parfum in Giulietta.


If you're not familiar with Gwynnie Bee, you must check them out! I personally consider them the Netflix of the plus size fashion world. Gwynnie Bee has enabled me to try so many new options of clothing without breaking the bank. 

Stay tuned to the blog for more about Gwynnie Bee. I will be doing a follow up post soon, reviewing their services and also offering you my tips on how to maximize your membership. 

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.


No Tailoring Needed: Eloquii’s Petite Capsule Collection


Love this look? There's more! Head over to Eloquii's Style & Substance page to see all five looks.

Petite Jacket, Top, Skirt

One of my biggest challenges as a 5'3 woman is finding items that truly work for my size and as a plus size woman that challenge is even more evident and frustrating.  Often times, ordering something online or purchasing clothing in-store means a second trip to the tailor and with that an additional expense. Even worse, I am often left making purchasing decisions, not based on loving a piece of clothing but on if it can be tailored, how many adjustments would be needed and how much extra will it cost me. Oh and if you think that taking up a hem is all that is needed, then I am here to tell you that it takes a lot more than that and sometimes the final product is not as great as you hoped.


Petite Jumpsuit, Vest, Belt

So when Eloquii shared with me their thoughts of launching a petite capsule collection I was nearly in tears.  The idea of ordering one of their amazing dresses and knowing it was designed to fit my curves and my height was a dream.  Early on in the development process I sat down with Eloquii and shared my thoughts about fit and styling for a petite woman. I shared many of the concerns I had and some of the problems I had experiences with their pieces. They took a lot of notes and let me tell you ladies, they listened! A few months ago a went back in for a fitting and all I can tell you is that I could not stop looking at myself in awe at how amazing everything looked.  Finally, everything hit perfectly the small of my waist and didn't feel long and overwhelming. I honestly left wanting every single piece from the collection!


Petite Pants, Top

So ladies to celebrate the newest addition to the Eloquii family, I took the Eloquii team along with me on a crazy career girl, blogger life, family woman, fun-filled weekend and showed them how their Petite Cinched Waist Faux Leather Jacket paired with some of my favorite petite pieces saved the day!   Now you guys know that I am one busy gal, so make sure to head over to Eloquii's Style & Substance to see how our crazy weekend went, which looks I picked and how this hot jacket and this amazing capsule works just as hard as I do.

A special thank you goes out to Trevon James for these beautiful images.


Transitioning Into Fall: Booties and Denim


Hey ladies! So the weather here in NY has turned and yes, you can finally feel the beginning of the crisp cool fall air. I don't know about you but I've already gone a little shopping crazy prepping for the fall. From boots to motos, fall fashion is my favorite and I am all here for it.


Dress; Shoes; Jacket; Bag (similar, similar, similar)

For today's look I decided to pull out two of my favorite transitional fall items; ankle boots and a denim jacket! Ankle boots are perfect during this time of the year.  They are fun and sassy but still not too warm.  Plus you can go traditional or a little more funky as I did for this look. 


To finish of the look I grabbed my favorite denim jacket. Fall is all about crazy weather and tons of highs and lows so a jacket is always a must. A denim jacket is extra fun because its comfy and casual, plus it pretty much goes with everything. 

Ladies, how are you prepping for fall?


Falling into Color for NYFW


So NYFW is in full swing which mean lots and lots of events. In my last post I shared with you my easy, breezy fashion week ensemble from over the weekend. This year I've been completely focused on looks that are chic but comfortable. So when it came to planing my outfit for my next fashion week event I decided to channel the same mindset. 


I quickly gravitated towards this gorgeous Jibri skirt. Ladies, if you are not familiar with Jibri, you have to check it out! This skirt made me feel like a queen. It was flowy, light and had the perfect pops of colors. Best of all the skirt was so incredible comfortable. 


I paired the skirt with a simple top and blazer for a super sharp and elegant look perfect for fashion week. 


Ladies, what are your favorite trends from NYFW?

Blazer (similar, similar, similar); Top; Skirt (similar); Shoes; Clutch (similar, similar, similar)



Tackling NYFW in All Black


New York Fashion Week is in full effect and the city has literally been taken over by fashionistas, fashion lovers and fashion admirers.  Fashion week is always a fun sight.  You typically see people go completely all out, pushing style trends and testing what is "normally" socially acceptable.  The pressure is on to outdo your neighbor and get your look captured by one of the many photographers strolling the city for fabulous street style. Yes, the whole thing is a little overwhelming – even for veteran fashion divas.

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My Redefining Healthy Story – Kristen O’Neil


Our society assumes that "healthy" means one thing.  #iamredefininghealthy is proving them wrong! Last month I asked you to submit your stories about how you are redefining healthy and boy did you answer. Stories of bad a$$ women filed my inbox and I am so excited to share a few of those stories with you. So each month I will feature a new Redefining Healthy Ambassador and share with you how they are redefining healthy.  First up is the beautiful Kristen O'Neil.


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