FYI…

Hi friends, just a quick note to say I’m sticking to my New Year promises to myself and am taking my first vacation of the year. I’ll be exploring three countries in South East Asia with just the clothes on my back!!!

Looking forward to the warm weather, exotic foods and hopefully I’ll find some great plus-size clothing to bring back.  🙂

I won’t be doing regular blogposts while I’m away, but will be INSTAGRAMING on the regular.  Follow me and my Asian Adventures.  xo
ppmeow asia

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February: Detox Water

Here we are…the end of month 2 of the New Year.  Crazy, huh?

My personal goal for 2015 is a simple one:  Getting and Staying Happy.  In order to achieve this lofty goal I applied a START-STOP-CONTINUE approach.  Cooking is good for the mind, heart and soul.  Especially when shared with others.  And so I’ve decided to START cooking more – using recipes I’ve never tried before and sharing my culinary mis/adventures on the blog once a month.

I’ve even created a sub-menu on my homepage under REVIEWS on the homepage for you – my readers –  to find them easily…and hopefully try a few yourself. 🙂

Buuuuut with my upcoming Asian Adventure looming (I fly on Friday – akk!), I haven’t had much time nor desire to try a new recipe.  Plus, the snowy-wintery-weather hasn’t got me out socializing as much as I used to. Needless to say, I haven’t been very motivated in the kitchen this month.thing

In an effort to stick with my monthly commitment to PPMeow, I was determined to share something.

February’s recipe:  Detox Water

Detox waters have become very popular and there are many different recipes that you can make.

These waters contain ingredients like lemon which helps to flush harmful toxins from your body, mint which aids in digestion, cucumber which contains anti-inflammatory properties.

IMG_6605They are all very easy to make, require very few ingredients and the best part is you can mix and match ingredients to adapt the recipes to your personal taste.

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Just 6 to 8 glasses every day will help to keep you hydrated and keep your vital organs in their best possible health.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, aiming for clearer skin, or simply want to feel healthier, one of the best ways to rid your body of harmful toxins is to drink water.

Kicking up the flavour of your water by adding these tasty, natural ingredients just helps give you that extra boost. 🙂

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Salsa @ Lula Lounge

Oh man – this past weekend was a fun one!   I had the pleasure of celebrating a stagette Salsa style!!!

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The Lula Lounge (Dundas W/Duffrin Sts) in Toronto has a number of party packages, which makes celebrating a special event easy-peasy.

A gaggle of us -some more tipsy than others- with flowers in hair and penis-staws in hand …. visit my Instagram for that one friends 😉 … arrived for dinner (any appetizer + any main + any dessert), a beginner salsa lesson and then got to dance the night away to three sets by the live salsa orchestra (with a DJ in between sets.)  And before the night was done, we were served up a round of Blushing Bride shooters!!!  T.R.O.U.B.L.E. 😀

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My Entree: Red Snapper over Polenta, with zucchini-corn-bean salad    ~~~~~  My Dessert: Poached Pear. Delish!

Much thought had to be given to outfit choice for the evening.  The MOH (matron of honour) assured us that there was no ‘theme’ requirement in the dress-code for the party she had planned, which naturally translated to:

Saturday Night Titty City Attire was encouraged and welcomed!!! 😛

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I couldn’t find a hot pink hair flower …so feathers had to do 🙂

‘The Girls’, who too often are forced into hiding in an effort of making others more comfortable in their presence, extra precautions always need to be taken to keep them at demure levels of exposure.

But not tonight.

Tonight, “Thelma & Louise” (aka…’The Girls’) were coming out!!!  STAND BACK!

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All Black Everything – jumpsuit style!!!

The pants are a bit on the long side on my 5’2 bod.  So this outfit only really works with a significant heeled shoe.

I picked up these black booties recently – while in search for sandals for my upcoming Asian Adventure –  from Payless on sale for $33 and they work perfectly.

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Now, I bought this all-black jumpsuit online, from Reitmans, just after Christmas.  Buuuuuuut due to the amount of boobage I’ve avoided wearing it much.  This one-piece has a sexy deep-v, back tie-up belt and nice broad sleeveless-shoulders to hide a supportive bra – requirement for fast paced salsa dancing.

And….there are pockets!!! Perfect for lip gloss, iPhone, credit card & ID.  BOOM!

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End of the night outfit shot — bridesmaids came to my hair flower aid 🙂

How I Got The Look:  Black jumpsuit from Reitmans; Black booties from Payless;  Necklace from SexyPlus Clothing; Earrings from Aldo; Hot pink feathered headband, gifted.

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Salsa dancing with the Bride-To-Be + general stagette shenanigans. Fab Fun Saturday Night!

Now I wasn’t always a fan of the plus-sized jumpsuit.  For more jumpsuit action on the blog ….click here and here and here.

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Asia: Clothes vs. Backpack

In exactly TWO Fridays, I’ll be at the airport on my way to the tropics to explore and live as beach bum for nearly a month with only the items I bring on my back – literally.

With all my many flights and connections, I’ve decided NOT to check any luggage.  Which means, I’ve gotta come up with 22-days worth of outfits NEEDS to fit into my 1 piece of carry-on below … yikes! 😮

My immediate thought:  Where Do The SHOES Go!??!?!

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When I did my big trip to India, I bought myself a sturdy Women’s North Face backpack with Opti Fit™ System provides an intuitive, adjustable, easy-to-use-tool to measure torso length to ensure a correct fit.  This was a big deal since I’m all of 5’2 – these adjustments were critical.  The shoulder harness easily slides up or down according to user’s back length, and cam locks pack in place. This pack is also tough enough to withstand the forces of nature and airport security.

It was pretty expensive (I picked it up on sale when I bought it back in 2012), but within the world of backpacks and suitcases it’s certainly worth the investment if you’re planning on traveling long-term.

 

Thank you for your comments and suggestions on the Petite Plus, Meow’s FB page … it has helped me come up with a checklist to pack the essentials.

I went out and bought myself a new Travel Purse aka Day-Trip Bag … its material is apparently slash-proof and has a cut-proof shoulder strap too.  I’ve been warned about aggressive pickpockets where I’m headed, so it’s kinda nice knowing my bag won’t be such as easy victim.  Especially since this will be the bag I keep my most prized possessions like money, credit cards, passport and snacks from airport to airport.

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Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag in black

 

The weather is expected to be tropical super-summer-heat for the month of  March (30+ degrees).  Plus, the main religions present in the three countries I’ll be exploring are: Islam, with significant Buddhist, Hindu and Christian minorities.  These are the two factors I’ve gotta keep in mind when coming up with outfit choices for the trip.

If you’ve been following my Instagram, you know that ROUND 1 of determining what to pack was an epic fail!!!  😦

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ROUND 2 was much better.

Tah-Dah!!!  This is what I’ve managed to streamline my choices.  Here’s what I’ll be bring in my backpack …

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  1. Thin long pants.  I plan on wearing these on my flight days.
  2. Sun hat.  Packed one that bounces back into shape, regardless of being packed in my carry-on.
  3. Large, thin scarf.  This is great for a chilly night out and useful for covering up shoulders, head and cleavage as needed.   Plus it dresses up an ordinary outfit – cute scarves make it look like I’m at least trying.
  4. Belt.  Figured it would give me more options when mix and matching, giving an outfit a different/new look.
  5. Comfort tank tops (x4).  For daytime activities and easy beachwear.
  6. Sarong.  This not only can be a cover up at the beach…. but it can act as a fast trying towel, a sheet to picnic on, blanket for an over air-conditioned bus ride.
  7. Swimsuits (x2-3).  I just got my GabiFresh Swimsuitsforall – my first two-piece ever! These will be making their debut Fo Sho!!
  8. Sun dresses (x5). These are basically what I wear everyday.  Plus one extra one that currently fits me perfectly that I’m hoping to get copied by a tailor in Vietnam.
  9. Lounge shorts. I’m not a bit shorts wearer, but figured in 30+ degree weather I may want something quick n’ easy to pull for those lazy mornings.
  10. Nice tank tops (x3) for dinners out or party evenings.
  11. Sleep clothes.
  12. Small cross-body purse.  Great for heading out to dinner when I don’t need to carry much – this one has a wristlet strap too. The cross-body strap is nice because I never have to take it off, even when sitting.  And I can adjust the strap to fit across my waist (like a fanny pack) at swing dancing events.  This helps deter would-be purse snatchers.
  13. Sun glasses (x2).  I’m known for losing a pair of sunnies on every vacation I take, so I always bring along two … lesson learned
  14. Flip flops.  Bring one pair that can get wet for the beach.  Plus, need something to walk around in the hotel room (and possibly in the shower).
  15. Slip-on shoes.  I plan on swing dancing while I’m there, and my usual dance shoes needed replacement and more support.  So I bought myself some cute black Champions memory foam that can be sporty or dressed up.  These will likely be what I wear on planes too (with a pair of socks).
  16. Walking sandals.  Something light, breathable, and easy to slip on is fantastic in hot, beachy climates…, or if I have a big day sight-seeing.  I plan on wearing these the most all trip, so these are also memory foam supported.
  17. Black pencil skirt.  This basic piece will help transform any of the top options into evening/party wear.
  18. Tee-shirts (x2).  For travel days so my backpack doesn’t rub on my bare shoulders.

 + tons of panties & bras that go with most of my outfits above.  There you have it….22 days of outfits in 1 backpack…HAZZA!!! 😀

Happy to report that I’ve done a practice run at packing my pack — using the ‘burrito method’, where you layer clothes flat onto of each other and then roll them all up together and end up with one giant burrito of travel clothes…which then easily fit into a long backpack (like mine), maximizing the space.

I’ll likely bring along a simple solid cardigan too for the flights … I haven’t figured out my “Pearson Airport” outfit yet, but I’m determined to wear items out of the above in layers, reducing the bulk of my backpack a bit more.  And, am aiming to leave my winter coat at home.

So glad I tackled this well in advance of my trip, as I was really anxious.  I hear it isn’t easy finding larger clothes in the cities I’ll be visiting.  With all my many connections, the possibility of losing my luggage filled with PLUS SIZE clothing was terrifying.  Even more motivation to only travel with carry-on!

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I’m very proud of myself for being able to streamline my choices as much as I have.  And I’m determined to continue treating the world as my runway … even if it means wearing pieces that are wrinkled repeats that have been slightly re-accessoried to give me a new look from my travel backpack.

South East Asia … here I come!  Akkk! 😀

To find out where exactly I’m going click here.  To find out what to know before you go, click here.

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The Roaring ’20s at Palais Royale

The most familiar symbol of the “Roaring Twenties” is probably the flapper: a young woman with bobbed hair and short skirts, excessive makeup and jewellery, who drank, smoked and said  “unladylike” things … and more sexually “free” than previous generations.

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Some of the lovelies behind the Toronto Vintage Society

The fashions of the ’20s are one of my faves…but sadly extremely difficult to find in my size, and even harder to make look good on my body shape.  The drop-waist isn’t something that I can pull off.

But I love me some fringe & feathers!!!  So when I found this getup on sale at an online costume shop – it had to be mine! ❤

And there was finally a reason to wear it as Toronto Vintage Society hosted a Selfie Photo Booth at Palais Royale’s Winterlicous night of dinner and dancing!

pubeve_2I have to admit, this might be the most glamorous venue in Toronto!!!  The Palais Royale Ballroom has been around for 92-years.  This space is oh-so magical.

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Winterlicious diners enjoying before the dancing begun.

Since I’m not the best with makeup application – I googled what a flapper in the 1920s would do and then tried to replicate it with what I had on hand.  Here’s what I found and my results…image001

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Volia! Me trying my hand at Gatsby makeup: base from PURMinerals, eyeshadows and blush from E.L.F., lipstick from MakeupForever, mascara from Younique 3D Fiber Lashes  (please ignore the hair curlers)

The best part of flapper wear…is all the accessories!!!

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T-strap shoes from Naturalizer; feather headband came with the dress; earrings from Necessities; pearls and bracelets picked up at Toronto Vintage Clothing Show

And…with all the pieces together – TAH-DAH!!!

 

IMG_6501I was pleasantly surprised how well my hair worked out.  There was a sh*t-ton of hairspray to keep these waves in.  And I’m happy to report that the doo lasted pretty much the whole night…including post-event libations in the wee hours of the AM…which is pretty impressive with my thin hair, blustery winter weather and Lindy Hopping all night. 🙂

IMG_6565Now that I had the hair, makeup and outfit all done…..it was time to dance my feet off to the music of Alex Pangman!

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Swing dancing to Alex Pangman + an excuse to get dressed up in 1920s garb – what better way to end the work week!

The Toronto Vintage Society had a fabulous Selfie Photo Booth set up, complete with fabulous authentic props!!!IMG_6503

Here’s a selection of moments captured “TVS-Selfie-Photo-Booth” style:

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Dapper swing dancers romancing me for the camera – Giddy Up! 😉

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All the fabulous vintage props at the TVS Photo Booth….
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This fab pic of the Toronto Vintage Society gang – at our fab Selfie Photo Booth — tons more on Instagram #palaisroyaleballroom

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Keepin’ It Klassy!!! 😉

 

 

Aveeno Fresh Essentials Skin Care – Product Review

For the past month and a bit I’ve been three NEW products in my facial care routine …

This Active Naturals line of AVEENO products feature an exclusive formula of Southernwood Extract with anti-oxidants and vitamins A,C, and E.10898041_299267566948995_2643798886394947879_n AVEENO FRESH ESSENTIALS Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30

Whenever I select a facial moisturizer I always make sure that it has an SPF baked into it … saving me one less thing to worry about.  Happy to say this product protects from the sun’s harmful UVA & UVB rays.  And the upright pump bottle doesn’t take up too much space in my already crowded ‘get-ready-station’ around my bathroom sink. 🙂

IMG_6451I have extremely dry skin in the winter, and while the lightweight daily moisturizer locks in existing moisture while adding extra hydration, I found that it wasn’t enough for my skin.  By mid-day I would notice certain spots on my face appeared dry and chapped, particularly my cheeks and forehead, requiring additional application throughout the day.  So this product might be a summertime ‘go-to”, rather than in winter.  I’ve got my big Asian Adventure in a few weeks…definitely gonna be bringing this slim bottle along to protect my skin in the tropics. (I’ll let y’all know how that goes.)

 

AVEENO FRESH ESSENTIALS Daily Exfoliating Scrub

Typically, I only use a facial scrub product once a week.  I was nervous to use a scrub product daily like this one.  The exfoliates are super fine and gently sloughs off dead skin cells, leaving a light coconut scent upon your skin. This product is oil-free and hypoallergenic and super affordable at under $13 CAD.  IMG_6447IMG_6442

I did find that using the scrub every day for the first two-weeks brought redness and caused me to break out a bit on my cheeks.  Perhaps, that’s due to the scrub cleaning out all the pore-clogging impurities …leaving my pores more vulnerable to having crap fill them in again causing breakouts.  But once my skin got used to this new routine, it did seem to make my skin smoother and fresher looking.

 

 

 

AVEENO FRESH ESSENTIALS Hydrating Night Cream

This was my favourite of the three products I used over the last month!

The night cream’s rich and creamy texture left my skin dewy and soft in the morning.   My face looked refreshed and felt uber soft, smooth and renewed.   It even showed improvements with the dark under eye circles I struggle with, and patches of dry skin on my forehead and cheeks!   And at under $20 CAD for a jar — I love this night cream!!!

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Overall, the Fresh Essentials AVEENO line of products are effective, smell wonderful and are affordable.  I encourage you to try them out yourself and see if they work for you.

What’s your skin care in the winter?  Anything special or additional you do to your regular facial care routine to combat against the winter elements? Share them with me in the comment section below.

Products courtesy of Aveeno.

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Make ’em Swoon

Whether you need a special dress for a cocktail function, be a fabulous guest at a wedding or just want that va-va-voom dress for a special night,  Kiyonna will have a dress for you.

This purple Valentina Dress is kinda perfect for making that special someone swoon on Valentines Day.  It comes black, white, mauve, navy and burgundy (which I have also) 🙂

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Photo Credit: Rebecca Northcott Photography

No matter your shape, the contrasting side lace panels will give you a knockout hourglass silhouette.  The silky stretch fabric on the front of the dress elegantly flatters your curves while the ruching in the mid-section masks any tummy troubles.

It’s a fantastic dress!

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Kyionna has so many lovely black lace dress options that make every body type look and feel sensational!

Rebecca and I are both wearing dresses from Kiyonna — This line seems to have a ton of lace offerings to the plus population…and their sizing is nearly perfect for those in the petite category when it comes to arm & shoulder lengths too!

For other posts I’ve done on Kiyonna, click here, here and here.

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Kiyonna dresses that will make ’em swoon for Valentines Day

Want to save 20% off on Kiyonna order – click here friends!!!! 🙂  

Do you own any pieces from Kiyonna?  Which ones caught your eye?  Tell me about them in the comment section below.

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How I Got The Look: Dress from Kiyonna; Shoes from Torrid (click here & here to see them in other looks)

Photo credit: Rebecca Northcott Photography

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Layers and Leopard

I’m sick of winter!  I’m sick of wearing boots!  I’m sick of wearing my winter coat!

I’m sick of winter! And it’s making me moody!

I’ve found that wearing colors … even just a pop of color … often helps boost your mood 🙂

This is why I went with a aqua-teal blue collared shirt to pair with my leopard pencil skirt for spending a day in the office last week.

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Yikes! Dunno what happened with my iPhone camera …ignore the white lines on the shirt, camera malfunction 🙂

Layer your shirts, blouses, tops, etc! An outfit can go from blah to amazing by just adding a simple cardigan, jacket, or even a plaid shirt! (Maybe not with leopard.  Or then again..hummmmm)

I especially love this open 3/4 sleeved black cardi I picked up from Reitmans a few years ago …cuz there’s a bit of lace along the shoulders and down the front that just adds an extra oomph to anything worn underneath it.  Don’t you agree?

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How I Got The Look:

Leopard pencil skirt, SexyPlus Clothing (click here and here to see in other looks); Collared shirt, Lane Bryant; Black lace cardi, Reitmans; Jewellery set, Necessities; Black laced cardi , Reitmans; Booties, Nine West Outlet

IMG_6392Never underestimate the power of good accessories. Many a plain outfit has been saved by the addition of a scarf, belt, or piece of jewelry.   But try sticking to one focal point accessory. For example, if you’re wearing a big statement necklace, like me in this outfit, keep your earrings small or skip them altogether.

I picked up these baubles last week – you may have already seen them on my Instagram.  Are you following me yet? you should 😉

What tricks have you been using to keep warm, cozy and cute during the winter months that help you make the most of your current closet offerings? Tell me about them in the Comments Section below.

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