No excuses

I planned on posting some style photos, I got really cool items in the mail. Trust me a ton of snow days and you kinda of wander around online and spend. I have no regrets. I made another video that features my favorite sports bras, new yoga toys, and a few books I’m getting into. Check it out it’s a bit lengthy, thanks for checking it out! XO!

– Michelle

I’m Giving Up

This blog is sort of like a personal (public) journal of sorts. I’ve talked about my hypertension/diabetes on here before. I hope to talk about it a little more by making delicious foods that go hand and hand with a healthier lifestyle. I made my first youtube video as a intro that touches on the “concern” people have with plus size or body positive bloggers, and what I’m giving up in order to live a healthier life. Check it out, and see Vittles pop all up in the conversation. It’s a bit long, but you know what. #whocaresIdowhatIwant

Seafood Gumbo

Gumbo DC Food Bloggers

 

Gumbo is heaven in a bowl to me. There have been a few dishes that I scrutinize heavily. Seafood gumbo is one of them. “it’s just soup girl” most would say.  Yet, gumbo is one of those things that my grandmother made  and for me it was always special. I remember spending my summers in South Carolina and Florida with her. We’d hop on the Amtrak and drive to a place called Yemmasee, the middle of nowhere. Then we’d hop on down to Jacksonville Florida. Florida was a heavenly hell, I loved being near the beach, the water, sun kissed skin, but I didn’t  get on too well with some of my cousins and gravitated towards “get the hell out of my face” mode yes, even at nine years old.

My grandmother took me with her to what we here in DC call the Wharf, the same in Florida I guess. She picked up all  like all the seafood there. Crab, Scallops, Shrimp….everything. Then she headed to the store and picked up corn, chicken, sausage, and a huge bag of rice. I sat in the back of the car eyes wide. “Seafood GUMBO….oh god yes”. She got to work, and two hours later I was fighting to be first in line for the biggest pot of Gumbo I ever saw her cook. It was literally the best thing I’ve ever had, even in the dead of July “ass” summer. Needless to say, I really don’t try other peoples seafood gumbo, sometimes the combos are off, or the seasoning is lacking. I have yet to taste anything like that day in Florida. Before grams passed away she neatly put her wedding album, Sorority pledge book and two recipes in plain sight for me. She left me a note and told me that these were now mine. (Who’s chopping onions?)….the first recipe for Gumbo, a basic recipe that I knew to add things to and one for carrot cake…one that my aunt makes to death.

Seafood Gumbo
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When I think of my grandmother I think of nothing but good memories. Her joking around with me, forcing me to watch game shows and the redskins. Most of all I remember her taking her time to show me how she cooked. I’ve been craving gumbo all week, to the point that I had a hilarious dream were she told me to “make the damn gumbo”. Foolishly I went out to the grocery store right before this snow hit.  …I stress the word FOOL. of course the store was packed, and I forgot sausage but I made this work. I hit you with a classic Barbara (grandma) move and threw crab clusters in there. I caught the clusters on sale for 3 bucks, and plump shrimp. I guess this was all white meat gumbo, which was okay by me. It came out well, if a could have done anything i would have used mini ears of corn instead of loose corn and of course andouille.  If you’re wondering about these Soup/Pasta bowls I got them from here. They are gorgeous for hosting.

 

Here is the Recipe.

||Seafood Gumbo||

Ingredients –

3T butter

3T Flour

1 onion Chopped

1 Green Pepper

1 Orange Pepper

2 Ts Oregano

1 1/2 Ts Salt

1/2 Ts Black Pepper

3 Bay Leaves

1 3/4 Ts of Thyme

1/4 Ts Red Pepper Flakes

2 cups Frozen Chopped Okra

1 cup (2 stalks of Chopped Celery)

2 cups Tomato Puree

1 Quart Chicken Stock or Broth

I large chicken breast (Tenderized and cut into small chunks.

4 Half Crab Clusters

1/2 pound of Shrimp

4 Ears of Mini Corn, or 1 cup of Frozen Loose Corn

 

Instructions

1. In a Large Dutch over or heavy bottomed pot heat the butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until the mixture is bubbly and starts to turn brown. This takes about 5 minutes.

2. Reduce heat and add onion, bell peppers, celery, and stir constantly until it’s coated with the mixture and softens.

3. After about 7 – 9 minutes, add okra,  seasonings from Oregano down to Red Pepper Flakes, and tomatoes. Stir throughly and cover. Cook until tomatoes start to bubble 5-8 minutes.

4. Meanwhile heat a non-stick skillet an oil with olive oil, cook chicken over medium heat until it’s slightly pink, we’ll cook it through in the gumbo.

5. Pour in the Broth, and crab cluster, and corn cobs,  bring to a boil and then reduce heat, add chicken and simmer for 15 minutes. Add Shrimp and cook for 5- 8 minutes. If you’re using loose corn add it in with Shrimp.

 

Seafood Gumbo Eat Style Play

 

This was so delicious, it was seasoned well, and again, we love a messy soup over crusty bread around the dining room table. Use a good crusty loaf to soak up the broth in this Seafood Gumbo. If you make this get creative, throw in your favorite sausage, throw in chicken drummers, or bay scallops. Trust me there is NO wrong way to make this. I think as long as you keep the seasonings balanced you’re a – okay.

 

– Michshi

Victoria Who?

I was listening to Sarah, Ty and Mel on my way to work yesterday. They were talking about a petition that’s been started to get Victoria’s Secret to add plus size bras and lingerie to their collections. I haven’t been able to shop in Victoria’s Secret since Jr. High when I spilled out of my 40DD bra. Fast forward to now, I’m a 38HH, and last year I found out that my only option wasn’t Ashley Stewart, or Lane Bryant. No shade to them because I did collaborate with Lane Bryant last year around this time. After a visit to Le Bustiere Boutique in DC I found out my real bra size, and I found a bunch of brands that now cater to plus size women, and fuller bust women. Victorias Secret doesn’t want our business, and they act like they haven’t heard out complaints over the past few years, actually decades. I’ve heard tons of stories about being sent to Lane Bryant by VS employees, or being embarrassed because one has naturally large breast and still not being able to find anything there.

Personally I will not be signing the petition, and here’s why. I’m going to list a bunch five other  brands that cater to our needs. A quick trip to you local mall for a bra fittingwill help aid you in the search for sexier, supportive, bras from brands that sell online, and sell to smaller b0utiques. I urge you to shop small and find the smaller boutiques in your community for great customer service, and a better selection of sizes. If you’re not sure about purchasing online find the Stockist online. I’ve always made it my business to buy from a small boutique and maybe mix it up and buy online since I know my size.

 

1. Curvy Kate

Curvy Kate sells bras at bunch of online stores like Amazon,  Her Room, and Fig Leaves. I think they have a great price point, and I love that the material is thinner, it’s supportive don’t worry. I have three pieces from this collection, and I love them all. I also love that they have a range of colors, because it’s insanely had to find bright colored bras. Curvy Kate Caters to women up to a K cup. (Umm coffee)

Curvy Kate Collage

 

2. Freya Lingerie I haven’t gotten my hands on Freya Lingerie. They got up to a K Cup as well and 40 for the bandsizes. Now this company might not cater to “plus size women” but it caters to some women on the plus size spectum, it also caters to women who might be smaller but have much larger breast. I love that they make gorgeous swimwear as well that looks really supportive. I would also recommend that you get a great bra fitting in general because you would be shocked. When I was fitted at Lane Bryant I was put in a 44, now I’m fitting in a 38 and trust me it makes a hell of a difference. You can find all the strores that sell Freya here. Freya Collage

 

  3. Elomi Lingerie Elomi states flat out that they were created to cater to the curvier woman. They have gorgeous set and some got up to 4x. I’ve never purchased a bra using that sizing format, but for those who have check out their size guide before purchasing. The list of stores they sell to online is listed here.   Elomi Collage    

||Stella and Friends||

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Life has been crazy, right now I should be studying, but wanted to throw a post together of my new purchases. Right now, I’m hitting these sales left and right. I found an amazing pair of shoes that I’ve been lusting over for about a year. I love the Stella McCartney brand, and while I eat meat, and sometimes wear fur. I love that she doesn’t use animals to produce a great shoe. Man made materials doesn’t always mean cheap, she proves that they can be chic. I also found a cool 90’s vibe pair of Mules from Asos, which you can find here.  While attending the 10th Annual Old Town Boutique District Warehouse Sale I found the last pair of lace up shoes. That sort of shoe has been on my list of things I need in my closet for awhile. I was always nervous about them hurting. I took a leap and got them along with a pair of Kate Spade ‘Kit’ Boots that I don’t have pictured. All I can say is the deal was too good to pass up.   I found all of my shoes on sale thanks to a warehouse sale, and Ebates. I’m telling you Ebates is no scam, I’ve made about 250.00 back since join, and of course the link to join is to the right. All you need is you email to join and start shopping. So what do you think of Stella and her new friends? (psst the shoes). Have you started shopping for Spring shoes yet?

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Front View of shoes

 

Lace Up Pour La Victorie

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FYI, the warehouse sale was amazing and fun, nice to take a break from class and get out and enjoy myself. Check out my Instagram for a few pictures from the event.

Vision Board Party

Vision Board Brunch

January was all about stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve always wanted to have friends over to my house. For some insane reason I didn’t see my house as a place for entertaining. Again, silly reasons. It wasn’t until my mom asked why, and once she heard my reasons, she bluntly said “that’s kinda silly, nobody will care trust me”. I got over it, and put a fun vision board party “brunch” together. All the ladies had to do was bring all of their old magazines and themselves. I provided the foam board, scissors, glue sticks and mimosas.

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I wanted a cute “tea party” vibe for my vision board party without the cost. Dollar store candlesticks and holders, and Frill and Frosty paper plates from Amazon. My bigger plates where a solid color and I loved these Party Essentials One piece Flutes. One piece flutes means there’s a slim chance that the base will fall off while drinking the 3 pitchers of mimosas we went through. I had a cool idea to hang these Martha Stewart Paper Pom Poms but I didn’t take in account that I needed string, so I placed a few on the floor, and one on the round table I used to seat guest. I hope Martha sees this and thinks to include some sort of device to hang these with.

 

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Lox Spread

 

The brunch spread was great, I did my first lox spread, which I think I’ll skip out on the cukes. I did a delicious Blueberry Puff Recipe from “The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog”. I also put out a fruit platter, two types of bacon and fluffy scrambled eggs. The gals brought extra treats that made the fruit platter more interesting!

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Once we got the food out of the way, it was time to bring out the magazines, and foam boards. There was lots of conversation around the table while we snipped pieces of paper and went crazy with the glue sticks. Overall the entire brunch was so fun, especially catching up with friends.

Vision Board Brunch Ideas

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Vision Board Ideas

 

All photos by Carletta of Carletta G Photography

 

 

It’s not too late to throw a vision board together. I’m a firm believer that you can make these every quarter of the year to stay on track. If anything to have fun with your magazines before you recycle them. You could always write a list too, but always update throughout the year to make sure you’ve met some goals. What are some of your goals for 2015? Share in the comments and lets get some ideas out there into the universe!

_Elle

Obie Soup

 

Using Bones to make Soup Eat Style Play

My grandfather is the cutest, grumpiest man. He has weird habits, he repeats stories all the time, and his eyes light up if he mets anybody who shares his love for history. It’s winter, duh but my goodness it’s cold and I’ve been on a soup kick lately. Believe it or not, I go in and out of kitchen phases, but a bowl of lentil soup from potbelly’s gave me the idea to make a simple soup that I think grandpa will love. My grandfather loves bones, I get it, because so do I. I’m never the person who leaves a ton of meat on the bones when eating. I strip it down to the marrow sometimes. I was way ahead of my time when restaurants started rolling out Bone Marrow on their menus. I made this bone soup as a tribute to him, and I’ll drop it off for him to enjoy. 

We’ve taken on the challenge of not wasting food this year. So far so good, my mom brought me a rotisserie chicken that we ate off of for a few days. We ate most of it, but there was enough left to make some sort of warm goodness according to this bone lover. It’s a simple crockpot soup loaded with wild rice, veggies, and a small amount of actual meat. I loaded it with typical dry herbs and a bit of red pepper for a little kick. 

Obie Soup Recipes Eat Style Play

 

This bone soup unlike others I’ve made was full of things I love, and seasoned so well. A lot of the times I thought I had a good idea. They didn’t make it to the blog, and they didn’t make it to my stomach either. I’m kinda of picky about soups but I can say that this was really good, especially during this bitter cold weather. 

 

 

Recipe for Obie Soup

1 Whole Chicken Frame with visible meat left over. (Roasted or Baked) Do not use raw part.

2 celery stalks shopped 

8 Brussels Sprouts shredded or chopped into a slaw like texture. 

2 Carrots shaved and sliced

1 Spanish or Yellow onion chopped 

1 cup Wild Rice 

1 14oz can of diced tomatoes in their juice

4 cups of chicken broth 

1 cup of filtered water

1/2 tbsp each of Oregano and Basil (this is up to you, use as much as you like, this is the minimum)

Red pepper flakes to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions – 

In a crock pot, add all of the items in layers. First layer celery, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Onion. Measure out rice and layer on top, then tomatoes with the juice. Place chicken parts on top and make sure to trim any skin that remains. Pour in liquids, broth and water and then spices. Let it cook on high for about 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. Carrots should be tender and rice fully cooked. Check half way through and taste, add any more seasonings if you think it needs it. Spoon into bowl and enjoy with a piece of crusty bread. 

Crusty Bread Soup

 I can’t wait to take my grandpa some of this soup that I have affectionately named after him. This soup isn’t for those who want to be look pretty while eating. A lot of weird noises are a must as you search for bits of meat on the bone just like grandpa. Probably not the best etiquette but, who cares, this is so yummy for me, as I stop consuming so much meat at meals. Wild rice is also great for Diabetics like myself as well, and best of all I control what’s put in unlike a can of soup. Also, check out my friends Chef D’s Bone Broth Soup, just so happens that she posted her own recipe for bone broth soup that I will be trying as well. 

 

Enjoy XO, 

_Elle 

Knot it Nasty Gal

Nastygal Knot Me Sweater Dress Eat Style Play Plus Size Bloggers

Dress| Nasty Gal, Shoes| New Look, Coat|Old Navy (Old, but check out their other coats)

 

If you told me I’d be paying for a dress with two sets of sleeves, I’d probably point and laugh at you. I mean the idea without an image sounds ridiculous right?  I was stalking around on Instagram and saw Ivory Jinelle rocking this sweater dress. I love that you can knot it right int he front without the bulk of using something like a jacket or shirt around your waist. She mentioned how it was from Nasty Gal and it was sized medium to large but it fit her well on her curvy frame. Falling in line with the #PlusSizePlease crusade she proved to us that brands like Nasty Gal could stand to make their clothes in a plus size version because we rock it well and we are willing to pay for it. I actually love a bit of Nasty Gal clothing, but it’s very rare that I can get into anything they sell on their site. I’m hoping with the new changes around there, that maybe they will consider some love to the curvy gals.

I was curious if this would look good one me, by no means do I have the envious curves like Ivory, she filled hers out well; I mean that in the least creepiest way. As I lose weight my hips quit on me, and my legs, well you all know my legs are “skinty”. My body is just doing it’s own thing these days but I’m still gonna love it and adorn it with cool finds. I just don’t have that curvy bottom that I kinda would trade in for less up top.

Eat Style Play Plus Size Blogger Washington DC

Creep Chic

 EatStylePlay Plus Size Blogger

Eat Style Play Nastygal Knot me Sweater Dress

 Long story short, I actually like the looser fit and I plan on rocking this at brunch that I’m hosting this Sunday. It’s super comfy, and I think I’ll have fun switching up my shoes, and jackets as it gets a little warmer. I paired it this Old Navy coat that I scored as a blogger sale, and New Look shoes. I found out that Nasty Gal is part of Ebates as well I provided a link below if you want to sign up.

 _Elle

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Black Magic

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I love color, but lately I’ve been into dark colors, all black looks as well. I don’t know, I love it, get over it. Of course on my day off, I get the energy to go outside to take a few shots before heading to lunch with my mom. Out of 120 clicks, these are the only two that came out decently. Gotta love moms who stand in one space and hold the button down. Enough shade, she cracks me up. I’m happy to share this awesome coat I got from the Gap, vintage skirt that I had altered into a much flattering look, and black turtleneck. I found these “over the knee” boots at DSW, but honestly my freak legs won’t let these boots be great. They are pretty cool though but still not the over the knee factor I really wanted, but they are still comfy and a perfect fit. 

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Fur Collars

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Coat – Wet Seal+ | Jeans Old Navy | Shoes – New Look

 

I love a good coat. Last year I thought it was a great idea to go for comfort when I purchased an army green puffer coat from Eddie Bauer. Yes, it was smart, I mean it was freezing last year, but that coat was not a good idea, hideous. I was okay with the coat until I caught a glimpse of myself in a camera at Costco’s. I looked all of 12 years old with this long coat, and crazy infinity scarf that didn’t really match. Then another picture was taken and that coat looked so awful. It was time to get another coat a mature looking coat; A bit of fur wouldn’t hurt either. 

 

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I found this coat at Wet Seal plus. I had no idea they have actual stores, but they were having a crazy sale, everything in the store was 15 bucks. I saw this coat, and it fit just right. It’s a light coat but with this crazy weather it’s perfect. It reached 63 degrees when I took this picture and that is insane for January, but I guess I’ll enjoy this while I can. I went on to find another rad coat that I’ll post soon as well. It was long overdue to find a grown up coat to wear around, and I totally get that vibe with this one. Also in love with these shoes, they give me an Alexander Wang vibe in the front. 

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_Elle