Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/big/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Uncategorized | Manolo for the Big Girl
Archive - Uncategorized RSS Feed

Happy St David’s Day! Also Richard Burton! Also I want to Strangle This Woman!

As I’m sure you all know, Sunday is the Feast of Saint David of Wales. Saint David’s Day is the Welsh –and thus infinitely more awesome– equivalent to Saint Patrick’s Day.  Being a daughter of Cymru myself, I firmly believe in observing Saint David’s Day and bringing the spirit of The Dragon to the poor unfortunates who for some unfathomable reason known only to God, aren’t even partly Welsh.

I’ve got my daffodils and leeks all ready to pin on all and sundry, I’ve got a white dress –or maybe not, depending if my red haired cousin from the country comes early*– and for later I’ve got a dark room and a night full of Richard Burton films. (Note: I am a Christian woman, but if you call me during Night of The Iguana, I WILL cut you. Next Monday Hotness is totally going to be Richard Burton. I would have hit that twelve ways to Sunday.)

Mmm Hmmm Richard Burton



The only thing I lacked was a potato-free recipe for leek soup. So I went to Chef Google and found this particularly dismal recipe from Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat.

Magical Leek Soup (Broth)

Serves 1 for the weekend


2 pounds leeks

1. Clean the leeks and rinse well to get rid of sand and soil. Cut off the ends of the dark green parts, leaving all the white parts plus a suggestion of pale green. (Reserve the extra greens for soup stock.)

2. Put the leeks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Pour off the liquid and reserve. Place the leeks in a bowl.

The juice is to be drunk (reheated or at room temperature to taste) every 2 to 3 hours, 1 cup at a time. For meals, or whenever hungry, have some of the leeks themselves, 1/2 cup at a time. Drizzle with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season sparingly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if you wish.

This will be your nourishment for both days, until Sunday dinner, when you can have a small piece of meat or fish (4 to 6 ounces — don’t lose that scale yet!), with 2 vegetables, steamed with a bit of butter or olive oil, and a piece of fruit.

What the [redacted]ing [redacted]???

“This will be your nourishment for both days”?! Really? Nourishment?  Where exactly is the nourishment? Because here is the nutritional value of a half-cup of boiled leeks:

courtesy of whfoods.org

Even if you eat ten servings over the weekend –and though I am loath to speak ill of my patron root vegetable, that’s not an appetizing suggestion– you’d still clock in at 80 calories a day.  The strictest medical supervised starvation diet (which I still find highly questionable) according to the NIH is about 800 calories a day. So essentially you would have to eat ten times as much JUST to get to “starvation”.

That is ten pounds of screwed up in a five pound bag. And if Guiliano is trying to talk about the pleasure of eating, where is the pleasure in eating that? Oh yum! Leek broth every three  hours? And I can have parsley too?! The last person to be Alive with Pleasure from a leek. Well, I don’t even want to know about that, but I can’t imagine it’s healthy.

Also, French women DO get fat. One of my favorite big girl blogs is  Le Blog de Big Beauty from Stéphanie Zwicky. Granted, her sartorial choices are not always in line with my own particular taste, but she serves it unapologetically and à la mode, and for that I love her.

So go, buy a leek, wear a daffodil and if you’re Welsh thank your lucky stars, but for the love of Richard Burton (and that’s a whoooole lot of love) DO NOT spend you weekend drinking this juice.

A Big, Good Deed

Our internet friend Ashlea has alerted us to the fact that Dress for Success, a non-profit organization which provides professional, interview-appropriate suits and dresses to disadvantaged women who are entering the workforce, is in great need of plus-size suits and other work-wear.

From their website:

The clothing that Dress for Success provides to our clients symbolizes our faith in every woman’s ability to succeed.

Dress for Success solves the catch-22 that confronts disadvantaged women trying to enter the workforce: without a job, how can you afford a suit?  But without a suit, how can you get a job?

Shortly after Dress for Success was founded, we became well-known for providing suits to disadvantaged women returning to or entering the workforce. Although our mission has expanded, the suiting program remains a crucial part of our work and a vital first-step in a woman’s journey toward self-sufficiency.

Each Dress for Success client receives one suit when she has a job interview and additional apparel—up to a week’s worth of clothing—when she becomes employed.


What would you wear to a job interview? That is exactly the type of clothing we are looking for to distribute to our clients. Your fabulous suits and other professional apparel could furnish another woman with the confidence to enter or return to the workplace, make a great first impression and land a job that could change her life.

To suit our clients in style, Dress for Success currently accepts new or nearly-new and cleaned:

Coordinated, contemporary, interview-appropriate skirt and pant suits
Beautiful, crisp blouses
Gorgeous blazers and jackets
Professional shoes

We are particularly in need of larger-size suits and apparel

If you have plus-size clothes that could help another Big Girl land a job, go here to see where your nearest Dress for Success office is (they have affiliates around the world).

Big Girls helping each other!

I Hate the Oscars. Also, Wear a Bra.

Okay. The Oscars. I don’t care about the red carpet. Truly, TRULY I do not. Because all it ever is is an endless parade of skintight strapless mermaid skirt dresses. Over and over and over again.  And then I get mad because every single adventurous, directional look gets put on the worst dressed lists.  After looking at the photo service shots, all I could think of was “I only liked Tilda Swinton, but Heidi Klum was interesting, and Marisa Tomei was too, though a bit more predictable.” OF COURSE they all ended up on the worst dressed list. WHATEVER because there hasn’t been a red carpet reporter in the history of time who could tell Lanvin from a hole in the ground.  THERE IS LIFE BEYOND THE MERMAID DRESS YOU KNOW. GOD. IT JUST MAKES ME SO MAD.

Do you know what ALSO makes me mad? This:

Frank Langella and Daughter Sarah

This is the lovely and talented Frank Langella and his daughter Sarah.  First I want to say that I love that he’s got a normal-looking daughter and that he brought her to the Oscars, which must have been a huge thrill, and I love that she’s not wearing some overwrought mermaid mess.


You know.

This is Not a Good Look. At all. Really. AT ALL.

It’s Mrs Roper, but not in a good way. Also, there’s uh, support issues.

Okay. I’m just putting it out there. Breasts sag. They just do, and there’s no arguing it. You can be 19 years old and be more suited for a 36 long than a 42 C. It just happens. But you know what else happens? Bras.

I’m not saying jack them up to Jesus (COUGHsarahjessicaparkerCOUGH) just…you know, do SOMETHING. Breasts are like children. You can grow them yourself or buy a cuter pair in Costa Rica, but either way, they really do need healthy boundaries.

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The High-Flying Edition: The Result

Greetings, avionic aerobics fans!

Last week I presented you with this image:

Victorian Trapeze Artists and you responded with six truly inspired captions.

This was a very difficult decision, but alas, there can be only one winner. This time, however, there were two that were so close that I’m declaring a winner and a runner up.

In a remarkably close second place is Margo for this bit of athletic awesomeness:

“London 2012 will be the first Olympics to feature Synchronised Levitation. Extra marks will be awarded for non-laddered hose.”

Well done, Margo, and I hope to see you in London. After all, I wouldn’t want to miss an event like that!

And in first place is gemdiva for combining my love of medieval paintings and really stinky puns with this superfantastic caption:

This weekend saw the unveiling of a previously undiscovered work by Hieronymous Bosch entitled “Garden of the Cirquely Delights”…….

Congratulations to both Margo and gemdiva! And thanks to everyone who played.

From Francesca’s Inbox: “Yes, there is more” Edition

Ha! Fooled you! You thought I told you all there was to know this morning! Ha! Francesca outdoes herself.

Some news you may find interesting:

MonifC reminds us that spaces on their upcomingCurvy Girls At Sea cruise are going quickly. If you want to joint this vacation to Bermuda, August 29-September 3, sign up here.

Igigi has announced their new arrivals, the superfantastic Coco dress and the cute Gabriella dress. Both are black-and-white dresses that can be worn very nicely to the office.

Liz Claiborne New York is giving away free Isaac Mizrahi handbags. All you have to do is join their mailing list and you might be picked to win one of these superfantastic goodies. Francesca says: You never know.

As Francesca is writing this, she notices that the Liz Claiborne Woman site has disappeared, along with Liz Claiborne petites and other areas. She must investigate. She hopes there is an innocuous answer as to why this is the case!

Home Hair Color. Francesca says: Tread Carefully


Our internet friend Rachel wrote:

Like many recessionistas, I’ve finally decided I’m ready to face home hair coloring again, even going so far as to consider a coloring-highlighting combo. As an unabashed nerd, I began searching around in cyberspace for advice, and I distinctly remember one of you posting about your love for L’Oreal Experte.  Sadly, your search engine came up empty, but I’m certain I remember this post.

That said, might I request from whichever diva created the original mention that you post it once more … along with whatever tips you have to share for those of us whose last home-highlighting experience was back in a 1987 college dorm room? I — and I am certain many others — would be eternally grateful.

Francesca says:

Indeed, I freely admit to coloring my hair myself, with L’Oreal Couleur Experte. I posted about it once before here. Ever since, there have been requests for more details about how to color at home. Here is what I wrote to Rachel:

The best thing to do first is to find a stylist who will work in  your price range. If you have a relationship with someone, ask if they can “throw in” services, for example, if you pay for a pricey color and highlighting, ask if they’ll do the haircut for free. If you ask nicely,
especially at a one-woman hair boutique, you may get a “yes.”

That having been said, indeed Francesca has been coloring her own hair ever since her own just-out-of-college, parents-won’t-support-Francesca-because-she-must-build-character days. Once she found a color that looked SO NATURAL THAT NO ONE KNEW SHE COLORED IT, she stuck with it.

It is IMPERATIVE that you find a color that looks very, very natural on  you. Do not stray far from the color of your eyebrows. None of this  Bozo-the-clown magenta, OK? No going blonde unless your hair is already very  light. No going raven black unless you are Native American. We understand?  The idea should be that once your roots start to show, there is so little  difference between the roots and the color that your friends are hard-pressed to even see that your roots are showing at all. You want to find a color that is “you, plus.”

If  you want to do something very dramatic, Do Not Try It At Home. The chances of choosing something all wrong for your skin tone are just too  dire. You will come away looking either like a washed-out vampire or like a pink newborn piggy.

(The only exception is if you are the artsy or goth or rebellious teenager or college student and we are talking about colors like green or purple, in which case Francesca says to go for it and be creative in whatever way you like, while you are still young and free and need not worry about getting the corporate job.)

Next. Regarding the highlights in  the L’Oreal product. Indeed they make all the difference. Our hair naturally has highlights and lowlights, so the highlighting makes everything look natural …

… IF you do them properly. This means following the instructions exactly. It means giving yourself only the teeniest, tiniest of highlights  on very leetle, itsy-bitsy strands of hair. No dramatic streaks!!!

It is important not only to put highlights on the top  layer of hair, but to pin up the hair and highlight a few strands around the  bottom, then a few more strands in the middle layer, and finally a number of strands around the top of the head. Again, we are talking about itsy-bitsy strands.

Also, make sure the highlights are not evenly spaced. Evenly-spaced highlights are a tip-off that they are man-made.

Again, I cannot stress enough that this process works well for Francesca only because she has had much practice and knows what she is doing.

But it does work for her, and it is quite convenient, and the money she saves she uses to buy more dresses from Igigi.

Good luck! xoxo!


The Monday Hotness: We Will Hotness on the Beaches Edition

 Oh. Hell. Yes.


and I don’t care if no one else thinks he’s cute. I LOVE HIM AND IT’S MY BLOG SO THERE (oh! Hi Manolo! Uh, you sure look handsome today! I regard your new cravat! Francesca, Twistie…didn’t see you there! Why are you all carrying cricket bats? Ow! No! Stop! Don’t!)

Well accessorized.

Yeah I know, pinstripes and a tommy gun; it’s Been Done, but the chapeau makes it workPortrait of the Artist as a Young Dandy

Uh. I like her…hat. And because he couldn’t have been an easy man to be married to, I will not mention that Clemmie looks not a little like that Sam The Eagle muppet had a love child with a petit four.


I mean seriously. And you KNOW he was fun, uh, oh the beaches.