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Manolo for the Big Girl | Archive | May, 2011
Archive - May, 2011

Your Weekly Humpletter: Admittedly Less Weekly Edition

Kiyonna is one of my favorite plus size boutiques but their coupon codes run few and far between. Use GOODBUY20 until midnight tonight to save 20% off and get free shipping too.

Here they thoughtfully provide you with Flaunt, aka your First Date Dress and your Third Date Dress (your third dates may vary) with the Satin Siren, all in one convenient location and made in the U.S.A. Thanks Kiyonna!

Saks Fifth Avenue is having a Designer Sale with items up to 40% off. I will not know a moment’s peace until I track down this Kay Unger silk dupioni party dress in my size, and not that I’ve been married once, but how cute would this be for an informal second or third wedding? I’m also digging this intarsia striped linen-blend drawstring “sweater” from Lafayette 148. I just know it’d be one of those things I’d hem and haw about spending money on, and then wear it twice a week for the next million summers.

Bluefly has an additional 20% discount all clearance items, making some products up to 80% off. I would be lying if I told you “it looks like you’re giving someone the finger…elegantly” is not on the list of reasons I love this gold-plated starfish ring from Kenneth Jay Lane and as long as we’re going Mrs Roper, we should go the FULL Mrs Roper and give a little love to this beetle ring.

No one does great summer jewelry like KJL, and it’s hard to find proper Kenneth Jay Lane at prices as good as these. Get you some.



Sealed With a Kiss Designs
is also knocking off 20% if you use code MEMORIAL2011. I love this Sweet Pea Dress I’m buying this one for myself, because there are few things I love more than white cotton eyelet for summer, but how perfect would this be for a graduation dress? Also it’s, lined and bra-strap friendly. What more could a girl want in a sundress?

The Audrey Dress is one of those classic day-to-night pieces that you’ll grab again and again, so why not grab it on sale? Sizes and colors are limited, but I think the SWAK girls will still go above and beyond to help a sister out when the items are out of stock.


Ashley Stewart
has some very pretty baubles available for a song in their clearance section including the turquoise-colored stone necklace that is shockingly similar to one I paid $300 for on sale at Nieman’s in 2008 and this fun stacked-look stretch bracelet, which is a smart option for those of us who yearn to wear bracelets but shy away because it makes our arms look short. The clear stones give sparkle and polish without the visual weight and associated enstumpening.

Enstumpening is totally a word, don’t pretend it’s not.

Remember

In a few moments I’m going to walk the hundred or so yards to Arlington National Cemetery and decorate the graves of my ancestors and friends who died in military service. There are probably a million sales posts I could be running, but that’s not what Memorial Day is about, Charlie Brown. Take a moment and remember.

Food Friendly May: Give Yourself Over to Absolute Pleasure

I know, I know… Meatloaf again?!

Eating is a basic biological need. It’s a function of existence much the same way as breathing or occasionally requiring… well, it’s usually the smallest room in the house and let’s not get any more graphic about it than that in a family-friendly blog, shall we?

But just as there are those moments when the world stops and spins dizzily for joy because that particular lungful of oxygen feels so darn good, there are meals where we eat because if we don’t we fall over and die… and there are meals that are transcendently delightful experiences.

We all have days when the most we can manage is a quickly-grabbed  snack or hastily-microwaved plate of something vaguely resembling an unfortunate biological experiment. It happens. It’s nothing to sweat too much.

On the other hand, the more often we can feed ourselves thoughtfully, and with our feet firmly planted in the moment, the better food becomes and the more grounded we feel.

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Miss Plumcake’s Rules for Sexual Health

Don’t Be Stupid.
Don’t Hurt Yourself.
Don’t Hurt Anyone Else More Than Necessary.
Get Yours. Repeatedly.

As much as I like poking fun at my own uh, poking fun, I don’t actually like to talk much about sex on this blog. One it’s a family show and I’m actually kind of a prude, but the whole subject is so fraught with fraughtness that it’s almost impossible to say something meaningful in 600 words which The University of the Internet tells me is about how many words I’ve got before you get distracted by your reflection in the toaster or start googling “Xabi Alonso Shirtless” for the 247th time that afternoon.

If you’re old enough to read, you’re old enough to know not to have unprotected sex outside of a committed relationship where both have you have tested clean, so that’s not the sort of stupid I’m talking about. What I mean is make sure you’re doing what –by which I mean who– you’re doing, for a not-stupid reason.

We’ve all done stupid stuff. The first professional soccer player I ever dated was a rebound guy carefully selected because he was Belgian and my first love –who now gratifyingly looks like Ooter from The Simpsons– was Dutch and hated the Belgians. I did that poor guy wrong and it still bothers me more than ten years later.

That was stupid.

Sleeping with a guy because you want to feel better about your body, your desirability, rebel against mommy or daddy or try to develop a relationship by injection so you won’t feel so alone? That’s even stupider.

It’s also self-destructive, which brings me to my second point. Don’t Hurt Yourself. You can’t, you CANNOT, screw your way to self-worth. If you could, there wouldn’t be strippers or therapists or strippers (I won’t say which I find more crazypants as a species, but I will say they don’t pay their rent in glitter-covered singles.) A big part of Not Treating Yourself Like Crap is not treating yourself like crap, and while I understand –boy do I understand– that mama needs to get herses, you gotta think about the long game. If what you really want is cookies, you can’t eat all the dough before they go in the oven. You’ll just end up sick, cookieless and probably in the hospital with salmonella.

Don’t hurt anyone else is almost as important as not hurting yourself, and for me, much more difficult. It takes discipline, and it’s a subtler art than not being self-destructive. It’s also more of a relationshipy thing, and thus it doesn’t really fit into the subject of sexual health, but seriously…don’t be a jerk.

Finally, Get Yours.

A good sense of your sexual self is the gift that keeps on giving, and no partner is required. Knowing what you like and what gets you where you need to go (and making sure you get there as often as you desire) is one of the best parts of being a grown up, with the bonus that if you know your body can make the earth move (for yourself and possibly a friend) it’s pretty hard to hate it.

It also saves you from a LOT of bad sex and there are few things worse on God’s green gumball than bad sex.

Okay gang, I’ve fixed the world and I’ve got some strawberries in balsamic waiting for me so I’m blowing this popsicle stand. Have a great weekend, don’t be stupid, don’t hurt anyone including yourself and get yours. Just don’t tell me about it. I said I was kind of a prude.

Valuable Food

Vegetables.
You should eat them.

There, world saved (yet again) by your favorite pastry-based blogger. Cocktails anyone? Just kidding. These cocktails are all for me. Don’t look at me like that. As if you’ve never seen someone put a crazy straw in a bottle of Hendrick’s before. Hmph.

This is kind of a touchy subject for me because in the Library of Alexandria-size archives of Things I Hate, the Food Police is right on up there with genocide and drop waists after 1937 except for Hubert Givenchy.

I hate moralizing about food inasmuch as when you eat “good” foods and/or deprive yourself you are “being good” and when you eat “bad” foods you’re “being bad.” There’s no such thing as BAD food. There’s Valuable Food and food that’s not as valuable. If you get good nutritional stuff out of it, it’s valuable. See? World fixed twice in one day and I haven’t even put my bra on yet.

Part of the whole Not Treating Yourself Like Crap master plan is giving your body what it needs and your body needs Valuable Food because malnutrition –much like the Wu Tang Clan– ain’t nothin’ to, uh, have intimate genital-based relations with.

It so easy, SO easy as big girls to ignore the whole concept of malnutrition because look at us, we’re not exactly wasting away, but let me tell you something gang I was malnourished for almost a decade and it sucked.

I actually didn’t KNOW I was malnourished, I was taking in vitamins and minerals and although not everything that passed through my ruby lips could be whole-heartedly considered Good For Me (and that goes for food, too) I was doing pretty well at getting near that five a day, and that’s not even counting Bloody Marys.

I was taking in vitamins and minerals, but for some at-that-point-undetected reason, I wasn’t absorbing them. I didn’t feel especially sick or lethargic, and except for that one time when I was 26 and ate nothing but Halloween Candy for an entire weekend, I’m pretty sure I’ve never given myself scurvy.

I’m young and strong and have a hearty constitution so I didn’t realize my insides were going to pot, but when I started actually absorbing all the valuable stuff that was passing through my immaculately-appointed gullet, it was like a whole new ball game.

I’m still not where the docs want me to be on a few things –I have to take rx vitamin D, I heartily suggest everyone getting their D levels checked– but the difference is huge. Thus, I experienced first hand the importance of Valuable Food.

What gets me is this idea that to get good nutrition, it has to be grim and joyless. It’s not virtuous unless it’s miserable. What sort of screwed up Calvinist crazy talk is that (Just kidding Presbyterians! I heart you! Institutio Christianae Religionis 1536 por vida, my predestined homies!)?

I don’t care about virtue when it comes to food, I care about making sure my body has all the power it needs to be the All Singing All Dancing Miss Plumcake Ass Kicking Revue. I also care whether it tastes good, because if I don’t like it, I’m not going to do it and Brussels sprouts with bacon on it (broiled into delicious, delicious crispness) have a one-zillion percent chance of actually making it into my stomach while steamed penitential Sprouts of Grimness will absolutely not.

Just like your closet, you can supplement all you want with cheap and cheerful throwaway pieces, but at the core, your wardrobe (digestive or otherwise) should consist of good, strong, quality pieces that you love more than a boyfriend. Put what you want in addition to that in your body or on your hangers, but don’t neglect those core pieces.

And put bacon on it. It tastes better.

A Little Respect

If I’ve done my job, I’ve just given you a wicked Erasure earworm. For that you are welcome.

I may not be the smartest, or the nicest, or the prettiest girl in the room but I’m almost always the best dressed. Okay, I’m also almost always the smartest, nicest and prettiest too, but that’s because I spend a lot of time alone. Plus people find my modesty appealing.

You’re probably expecting me to bang on and on about how important it is to look your best at all times and don’t leave the house without full on pageant hair and makeup (butt paste and Vaseline optional) but I’m not going to. I actually don’t care about that. What I care about is respect.

Show of hands, back in college, how many of us every went to class in our jimjams or some jimjam-adjacent body covering? I never went the full pajama route, but I’m fairly sure I went to a botany lab in black slippers once. It’s a rite of passage, like your first Communion or flashing your first cab driver when you realize you didn’t have enough cash for a tip.

The thing is, that stuff doesn’t fly in the real world.

It’s not okay to leave the house in your pajamas unless you’re on the way to the emergency room. It’s disrespectful to the people around you and more importantly it’s disrespectful to yourself.

When I see a big girl wandering about in her pajamas, I automatically think “oh look, another sad fat girl who’s given up.”

Is it fair? Maybe not, but it’s accurate more times than not.

And I know, I know I’m going to get 800 comments from righteously indignant moms who Don’t Have Time to put on a pair of pants as they take little Madison and Mackenzie to their seventy-third holistic water polo lesson of the week. Yes, you do. I have taken off and put on all sorts of clothes in all sorts of locations, often in the dark and ALWAYS in a rush. You’re not proofing the Oppenheimer experiment, you’re throwing on a pair of cargo shorts because if you’re old enough to get knocked up on purpose, you’re old enough to leave the Makin’ Bacon’ novelty jammies at home. Or in the fire. Probably fire.

Important Life Lesson Week!

Happy Monday gang, I trust everyone is recovered from their post-fake-rapture-drinking-game hangovers. For Episcopalians, this translated to a shot every time your priest mentioned the rapture-that-wasn’t, two shots if they reference REM, U2, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. Three if they manage to work in Kierkegaard, Skeeter Davis or that NYT article we all read, and drain the chalice if they do the entire spoken-word part from Blondie’s 1981 classic. There just aren’t enough Fab 5 Freddy reference in the Anglican Communion these days.

Anyhoodle, it’s Monday, my liver is very graciously not pressing charges so I guess I better dance like the immaculately shod primate I am and serve up some steaming hot content for my favorite invisible friends, so with that in mind, I am about to give you some exhaustively-researched, life-changing advice that will change your world forever. Ready? Here goes:

You should probably not treat yourself like crap.

You’re welcome.

I am pretty rotten at a lot of things: I can’t cook rice, I can’t wax my own eyebrows without making it look like I spend large portions of my time chasing Moose and Squirrel with a short dude in a trench coat and although I can get a man from zero to will-you-marry-me in record time, I can’t ever manage to frogmarch myself into Holy Matrimony…even when there was a house in Cannes at stake.

One thing I am good at is treating myself pretty well.

The way I think about it, there are only too many people ready and willing to treat you like garbage, especially if you’re different (and thus wrong/scary/less-than-human) so uh, they don’t really need my help.

And then there’s the majority of people out there who are basically good and decent –they vote and pay taxes and use their turn signals at least 15% of the time (percentage may be slightly lower in Texas)– but don’t really have the time or energy to devote to making me happy. I can only assume this is some sort of divine tribulation or egregious celestial oversight, so one tries to take the broad view and tries to carry on through this mortal veil of tears.

To me, not treating myself like crap means doing my best most of the time to put good things in and on me, and have good things come out of me.

For the rest of the week, I’m going to focus on the importance of self-care, from the type that involves fruits and veggies and doctor’s offices to the type that requires double A batteries and soundproofing (there may be an overlap for some of you, I don’t know your lives.)

So in parting, lest you think I’m about to get all Gwyneth Paltrow your collective lady lumps, I leave you with a photo of Saint Tallulah Bankhead whose last words were “Codeine…bourbon.” The old bird didn’t live long –she died at 66– but she sure as hell lived well.

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