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Posted on Jun 21, 2012 in Dear Diary | 12 comments

(Swim)suit Up!

This post is underwritten by Old Navy. Whether you’re looking for a tankini, bikini, or a one piece, Old Navy has you confidently covered at a great price.

I’ve talked about my fake-it-’til-you-make-it bikini confidence before. I spent years living in full-coverage tankinis and strategically colorblocked one-pieces that did nothing for my self-confidence (nor for my tan lines), constantly telling myself that “one day” I’d be thin enough, gorgeous enough, confident enough to strut my stuff on a beach in a bikini. Well, as it turned out, “one day” was evidently not soon enough. As I began to lose even the slightest bit of weight, my confidence rose skyrocketed. Even though I wasn’t (and still am not) at what my former self would have considered “bikini weight”, I started to care less and less. Why shouldn’t I be able to rock the adorable patterns and silhouettes that seem to be almost exclusively reserved for two-piece suits? Why shouldn’t I be able to get a tan stomach and back? (It helps hides the stretch marks, after all! Hahahahaha.)


So last summer, I really took the plunge. I had lost a considerable amount of weight, my prior swimsuits no longer fit particularly well, and I finally starting to really see myself in my new body. It wasn’t anything quite as poetic as purchasing my very first bikini, putting it on, and strutting out with all my confidence shining. No, I had already clandestinely purchased one or two bikinis in the past. I think I had maybe worn one of them in public one time before self-shaming myself into tucking them into the back of my underwear drawer, and trying my best to forget about them. But I did take the plunge in that I picked out an adorable halter-topped ‘kini from Old Navy, put it on, and actually felt good about myself in it.


And that’s how it all began. I know, I hardly have the “ideal” bikini-wearing body. I’m still curvy and squishy and soft, I have stretch marks on my stomach, and I have sometimes seemingly untameable bazoomas… but I also have long legs and a lean back and skin that gets beautifully golden brown. Surely those latter attributes deserve their time in the sun (heh), even if society might not think the former ones do.

Sure, there are still times when I feel too bloated or too self-conscious or have some other excuse for not getting out there in the swimsuit I really want to be wearing. Luckily, I have a couple of cute and flattering one-pieces for those days. It took a little while to come to the realization that don’t have to resign myself to “old lady suits” just because I’m not feeling the ‘kini on a particular day either.


I was absolutely ecstatic when I got an email from the Clever Girls Collective, notifying me of a sponsored post opportunity from Old Navy swimwear. I actually had just come to the realization when I was in St. Maarten last month that every single bathing suit I own is from Old Navy. So you see, I was already a convert long before this opportunity arose and thus my opinion is all the more valid, no? Ahaha. I firmly believe that any woman, no matter what her size, can look beautiful in a bikini as long as she has the confidence to go along with it. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true! I also believe that said confidence comes not only from learning to appreciate your body as it is, but also from knowing that you’re in a flattering and supportive bikini for your body type.


I know from one horrific dressing room experience that I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be able to wear a triangle/string bikini. Even trying one on was a serious mistake, hahaha. I think that thick-banded halters like the paisley, zebra, and navy tops above, tend to suit (heh) my body a little better, but as far as style goes, I really love retro-styled bandeau tops like the yellow polka-dotted one above. If I was looking to supplement my swimsuit wardrobe any more this summer (I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, I really shouldn’t… right?), then these current styles would be the first ones in my cart:

plaidbandeautop uringbandeautop

My personal aesthetic tends to stray towards fun patterns, like polka dots and paisley, bright colors, and hardware. I’m a big fan of anything with a touch of vintage, and for bottoms, I am all about a wide band. Not too wide, though: I find boy-short or hipster-cut bottoms are incredibly unflattering on me. If the sides are adjustable, even better!

Nobody’s saying you HAVE to wear a bikini. It’s not as if I’m trying to say, “You only wear one-pieces, therefore you must be ashamed of your body!” Please. No. I’m just saying that if you WANT to wear a bikini, but for whatever reason have always felt like you can’t, or shouldn’t, or both… well, I’m just saying that’s a fat load of crap. You can, and you should! I bet you’ll look gorgeous. No matter what your preferred swimsuit type, it’s really just about wearing what you want: something fun, hopefully flattering, and that makes you feel beautiful all summer long.

Thank you again to Old Navy for sponsoring my post. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

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Posted on Jan 27, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 6 comments

Final Vacation Post – Adios Miami!

Before I jump into things, has everyone had a chance to see the article on Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! in the Falls Church News-Press today? Okay, sorry, had to do another shameless plug. Onto the actual post!

Well, here we are mi amigos, the final (and extremely belated) vacation post! Where we last left off, we had just finished the final port stop: Roatan, Honduras! All that was left on the cruise was a final day at sea (sorry, not too many pictures taken of that rainy day!) and then our couple of days left in Miami before heading back up north!

We did get to have one last delicious dinner on the cruise that day, but because of I was so stuffed from eating throughout the day I only partook in 2 of the customary 4 courses, hahaha.



A delicious, perfectly cooked medium-rare filet mignon (wrapped in bacon, naturally!) with a pea puree pyramid and carrot mash.



An almond amaretto cake. Mm-mmm. It a nice portion (a small sliver) and I looooove almond-flavored anything! It was the perfect finish to all of the amazing meals we (over)ate while cruising.

Admittedly, it wasn’t as good as the almond-pistachio cake we ended up having at Icebox Cafe in Miami, but then again, Oprah did declare their cake “the best cake in America” so I don’t think our sweet little cruise could compete.

Here’s a photo of that deliciousness that Ben took while while we were visiting Icebox:

Seriously, Oprah. You know your cake.

We spent the last two days of vacation lounging around Miami Beach, including eating at the famous Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach! We hung out by the pool, walked along the beach, and got to check out the awesome Art Deco fair that they had going on!


Hokay! So, here we are. I promised you pictures of me, lounging in all my swimsuited glory. While yes, you have probably a few already via some past cruise posts (here and here), the fact that I was wearing a swimsuit was kind of incidental. So I forced myself to pull out all my knowledge from watching 16 cycles of America’s Next Top Model, channel my inner Tyra, and posed for a couple of pics. Mortifying though it may be is.

Click the “Read More” to see them… if you dare (does this qualify as “NSFW”? I have no idea. Well, at least you’re prepared.) And try not to judge too harshly. I’ve still got at least 30 pounds to go! And also bear in mind how hard I would have laughed in your face had you asked me to do this 40 pounds ago.

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