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Warm Up With Lane Bryant’s Resort Collection

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“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” – Earl Wilson

January is proving to be the longest month ever, am I right? While I’m really loving this new 2020 energy (so long, 2019, a.k.a. the worst year ever!), I am a bit tired of the cold. I’m longing for hot summer days and long summer nights! 

Thankfully, Lane Bryant recently released their new (online only!) Resort Collection featuring a selection of the cutest pieces, perfect for showing a little (or a lot of) skin on your pre-Spring/Summer vacation!

I took a little trip this past weekend to Malibu and I was really feeling the summertime vibes. I had dinner at this cute little Mexican restaurant near the beach called The Cliffdiver and had to snap some photos in their adorable front patio!

Here I’m wearing a full LB look: medium wash denim jacket, longline bikini top, crisp white skinny jeans, woven slide sandals and a woven floppy hat. I actually loved the denim jacket so much, I had to get it in white, too!

As soon as it warms up a bit, I plan to head to Joshua Tree. I’m looking forward to to sipping fruity cocktails under the night stars in an outdoor jacuzzi, wearing my favorite Lane Bryant bikini, of course.

Are you planning a getaway? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, wearing fashion forward plus size pieces from the Lane Bryant and Cacique online only Resort Collection

 

Thank you to Lane Bryant for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own.

Fall in Love with Lane Bryant this Season

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“We may be losing Summer, but a least we have Fall fashion!” -Rosalynn Mejia

Nothing screams Fall in Los Angeles like a classic blazer. You really can’t do wrong investing in this type of statement piece.

I completed this look with distressed jeans, rhinestone heels (featuring a wide width and a comfortable heel height), and a white short sleeve crew neck t-shirt.

Blazers can be dressed up, dressed down or paired with any number of pieces: pants/jeans, leggings, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits…the list goes on and on. This double-breasted tweed blazer is my new favorite staple piece! The gold buttons are such a cute accent and combined with the quality fabric and tailored-like fit, make for it a very luxe wardrobe staple.

If I were to style this fab blazer differently, I might wear black faux leather leggings and a band t-shirt or drape it over my shoulders like a cape. I love preppy chic vibes during the Fall. And, doing a little pattern mixing, to give this blazer some vintage vibes would be fantastic too!

How would you style a blazer like this? Have you ever tried Lane Bryant’s plus size blazers? They really are so well-made and perfect for investing in such a stylish staple piece. I highly recommend you give your favorite one a try! (And don’t forget to check out their plus size accessories. I’m currently in LOVE with their stackable rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces!)

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, in a lane bryant blazer and plus size distressed jeans and a rhinestone thank you bag

 

Thank you to Lane Bryant for sponsoring this post. As always, all views expressed are my own.

My Big Fig Mattress Review

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For those who don’t know (which is probably most, if not all of you), I suffer from lower back pain due to a spine condition called spondylolisthesis. There’s not a single moment during my day when I don’t feel at least some type of discomfort (or excruciating pain) in my lower back (specifically, my L-5, S-1 and S-2). Over the years, the issue with my lower back has contributed to pain felt in my upper back, shoulders, neck and radiating pain down my the backs of my legs. In order to keep the pain at bay, I have to switch my position regularly and take pain medication. That said, my lower back pain has made falling asleep and staying asleep rather difficult.

I’ve purchased three mattresses in my adult life. All of them claimed to be ideal for back pain sufferers, but none of them helped me. Enter the Big Fig mattress

I first heard about Big Fig on Instagram. One of my fellow blogger-friends shared her experience sleeping on a Big Fig and I was curious. I did a little research of my own and I felt cautiously optimistic that this might be the ideal bed for me. So, when I was given the opportunity to try one in exchange for a review and some promotion, I jumped at the chance!

I was admittedly very nervous about trading in my two year-old department store mattress for a Big Fig first and foremost because I never got the chance to try one out to see how comfortable it was. But, I stepped out on faith and hoped and prayed I would like it once it arrived.

Had I known two years ago that I’d have the best sleep of my life on a Big Fig mattress, I would have never bought a department store mattress!

Sleeping on my Big Fig mattress is like sleeping on a cloud, but a supportive cloud that doesn’t make you hot when you sleep (like many memory foam mattresses). Big Fig is made for larger bodies (the name Big Fig comes from “bigger figure”), so it’s a plus size-friendly mattress, but can work for anyone of any size. Some of my favorite features of the Big Fig are:

  • ThermoGel cooling technology which regulates temperature
  • 1600 pocketed coil springs to support the neck and back
  • three layers of high density poly foam for a firm cushion
  • foundation supports 5x the weight of a typical foundation
  • And, all mattresses come with a 20 year warranty!

If you’re on the market for a new mattress (or yours just doesn’t cut it anymore), do yourself a favor and consider investing in a Big Fig mattress. I promise you won’t be sorry!

They even make their mattresses in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen King and California King. And, best of all, the process to order a mattress along with their white glove delivery service couldn’t be smoother. From ordering to sleeping, Big Fig gets it right.

They’re currently having a holiday sale for $199 off the cost of a mattress and white glove delivery with code WHITEGLOVE. Why not start 2019 with a good night’s sleep? New year, new you, right?

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style and her Big Fig mattress

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style and her Big Fig mattress

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style and her Big Fig mattress

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style and her Big Fig mattress

 

*Thank you to Big Fig Mattress for sending me a mattress to review. As always, all views expressed are my true and honest opinions.

That Time I Went to NYC Pride with Dove and Mic

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This past weekend, I was in New York City to work with news outlet, Mic, on a self-love and body positivity campaign for Dove. In it, I talk about being a queer femme of color and what Pride means to me. I’m excited to share the final product with you.

I also had the chance to speak with real women about what this year’s Pride theme “Defiantly Different” means to them and what #RealBeauty really is. Check out the interviews on my Instagram (posted on 6/25).

Here are a couple of behind-the-scenes photos from the day.

 

 

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, at NYC Pride 2018 with Mic for Dove

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, at NYC Pride 2018 with Mic for Dove

Amy Stretten, The Chief of Style, at NYC Pride 2018 with Mic for Dove

Happy Pride, babes!

😘💕🌈

Self-love and Happiness at Any Size

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“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde

I’ve been on every weight loss plan you can think of. I had a nutritionist at age 12 and a personal trainer by the time I was 13; I’ve been a weight watcher (several times) and tried being friends with Jenny Craig (twice); I’ve taken diet pills and even considered scheduling a consultation with my doctor to discuss gastric bypass surgery. Whether a size 6 or a 16, I have always wanted to fix my weight “problem.”

I spent every January planning my new diet and scheduling daily workouts. I’d convince my friends to be my accountability partners. Waist trainers, pedometers and trackers, health apps, new workout clothes and counting calories…I’ve done it all. I thought the only way I’d ever be happy was to be thin and the only way to be thin was to hate the weight off. No matter how many weight loss programs I followed or how many inches I lost, I still hated my body and I hated myself. I was miserable and clinically depressed. I honestly can’t think of a time in my life when I was truly happy.

That is, until last year.

Last January, I didn’t make a resolution to lose 20, 40 or 60 pounds. Instead, I made a resolution to fall madly in love with myself.

Until last year, I never knew you could love yourself and be confident in your own skin and be curvy, thick or even fat. I thought self-esteem was something only physically fit people could have. But now I know the secret.

All you have to do to be happy is make the choice to be.

Over the past year, I’ve made a conscious decision every day, every second possible, to love myself and be happy. I choose happiness at every turn. When I could choose to be negative, I, instead, see the positive no matter the situation. I spend time thinking about my ideal outcomes rather than fearing the worst. I put my thoughts and attention into what I want rather than what I don’t. I’m not perfect at it, but 9 out of 10 I’m aware and able to ‘choose happy.’ And it has made a world of difference in my life! Not only do people receive me more positively, I just feel so much lighter. I’m finally floating through life.

Have you ever struggled with loving yourself? What did or do you do to stay happy? Please share in the comments!

xo,

Amy

* This Valentine’s Day, Parfait Lingerie is doing a two-part giveaway called the “Love Your Body Sweepstakes.” To learn how to enter, go here.

This month, I’m wearing Parfait Lingerie’s Ava . This set is possibly my favorite that Parfait makes. I love the lace detail combined with the gorgeous tropical print. And, the buttons on both the bra and panty are so adorable!

Don’t know where to buy Parfait Lingerie? Click here.

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Amy Stretten Chief of Style Parfait Lingerie 2018 Perfect Figure Campaign

Thank you to Parfait Lingerie for sponsoring this post as part of their 2018 #PerfectFigure campaign.