Day in the Life

On Mogul asked me to post a day in the life to support their #Dayinthelife campaign. I thought it was a fun idea, and for a good cause. Keep reading for a typical day in my life, and be sure to check out other posts on onmogul.com

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Name: Alison Elizabeth

Age: 31

Home city/ country: New York City, USA

Current Occupation: (student, current job, etc.): Media Strategist & Plus Size Blogger

Time I wake up: 7am (I am not a morning person!)

First thing I do in the morning: Check What’s app. As a British expat my friends and family back home are 5 hours ahead of me, so I usually wake up to their messages

My typical breakfast: Porridge and a large coffee

Here’s what my morning commute is like: It’s fun! I use it as a chance to have a bit of me time; listening to my favourite podcasts, catching up on articles I want to read, finishing off my latest book. I Like that it’s a selfish 30 minutes where I don’t have to think about work, deadlines and life admin!

I spend most of my day doing: Research, account management and media strategies for my client. In the evenings I switch gears to my blog

After work or school, I like to: Eat out at a new restaurant with friends. New York has so many options that it’s not hard to find new places

A fun night for me includes: Cocktails, dancing and karaoke

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Time I go to sleep: 11pm

Last thing I do at night: I drink a peppermint tea, read a little and then meditate for 5 minutes using my Calm app. It’s a great way to relax and clear my mind so I don’t wake up in the night

My favorite thing to do for fun: Writing, exploring the US and spending random, unplanned days with friends, just seeing where we end up

My biggest fear right now: Not fulfilling my potential

My biggest hope right now: I’d like to keep blogging and writing. It’s something I enjoy so I want to always make time for it

Someday I’d like to: Finish the novel I’m writing

The biggest challenge I have overcome so far: Moving to New York. I only knew a couple of people and had never been to America before. I had no idea what to expect, or if I would like it. Fortunately I fell in love with city immediately

The biggest challenge I hope to overcome: I’d love to get to a place where body positivity is just a given, and not something women have to strive for

#Dayinthelife

Being a woman is wonderful because: We have the best of both worlds! We’re smart, passionate and adventurous, and we get to wear great shoes!

Being a woman is a challenge because: There are so many expectations of women that it can feel overwhelming at times

What’s one thing people don’t understand about your culture that you’d like to clarify to the international community? English food is actually very nice!

What’s your favorite meal or recipe that is a specialty of your culture? Toad in the hole.  It’s sausages cooked in a pancake style batter that puffs up and goes crispy. It’s delicious, and reminds me of summers spent with my nan

If you could ask the Mogul community anything, what would it be? How do you deal with everything life throws at you? I’m always trying to learn how to do better!

I am a Mogul because: I want to empower women to be the best versions of themselves

 

~ X ~

How to Get Voluminous Hair

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Do you have flat hair? Join the club! I have very fine, poker straight hair. It’s the kind of hair that can have hours spent curling and primping, but after 10 minutes is completely straight again. And it’s not just when I style it. Hairdressers don’t have any more luck than I do! I’d resigned myself to living a limp hair life, but then I changed up my routine and noticed big results. Read on for my top tips on how to get voluminous hair.

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My Top 5 Health & Wellbeing Apps

Health & Wellbeing

I love technology for its entertainment and social offerings, but an area where it has made a real difference in my life is my general health and wellbeing. I use apps on my iPhone and Apple Watch every day to track and improve my mental and physical health. Here a my top 5 health and wellbeing apps.

1. Apple Activity Rings and Workouts

I got an Apple Watch back in April and have been using it to track my workouts and general activity. There’s something really satisfying about closing my 3 rings every day, and it’s definitely made me more aware of the habits I need to break. For example the ‘stand’ alert goes off when I’ve been sat too long, making me get up and walk away from my desk. Sometimes I find myself jumping around my apartment in an effort to hit my final steps for the day. I’d look like an idiot to anyone watching, but at least I’m moving more.
The Apple workout app is also a great feature as it allows me to see if I’m improving. The app tracks your heart rate, distance etc and gives you awards when you beat a personal best. The workouts it can track are limited at the moment, but it has most cardio machines in there. It also has an ‘other’ workout for anything not listed.

2. Calm

If you’d have told me a couple of years ago I would become the type to practice yoga and meditation, I wouldn’t have believed you, but that’s what’s happened! The Calm app is fantastic for helping me relax and find some peace for a few minutes. I use it every night for 5-10 minutes before I go to sleep, as a way to empty my brain and relax. Calm is easy to use, comes with guided or unguided sessions and has multiple scenes. My personal favourite is ‘rain on leaves’.

3. Daily Water

I’m hopeless at drinking water. I can get to 6pm on 1 coffee and not feel thirsty. So the Daily Water app is essential for me. I have alarms set every hour to remind me to drink water. The app is on my watch too so I get the reminder even when I’m not looking at my phone. You can track your intake with the app, but I don’t use that feature. It’s enough to know I’m drinking!

4. C25K

I found this app years ago, but still use it religiously. I like that it gently nudges me to run 5k and allows me to play my own music.

5. Sleep Cycle

This is another app I’ve used for years. It’s really handy to see how well I’m sleeping each night. The best feature is the ability to add custom habits so I can see how  my behaviors affect my sleep. For example I have ‘ate healthily’, ‘meditated’ and ‘worked late’ set up. I like being able to track what makes me sleep well so that I can adjust my routine as needed.
What are your favourite health and wellbeing apps? Any I should check out?
~ X ~

How and Where to Shop the Skinny Section If You’re Plus Size

I recently read a blog post from CeCe Olisa at Plus Size Princess on how to shop in the skinny section as a plus size woman, and thought it was great. Everything she said is so true – it’s  frustrating to feel restricted on choice when it comes to fashion and even shoes. But there are some great options in the skinny section if you know what to look for. Here’s a look complied completely of skinny section pieces: trousers H&M, top Banana Republic, Jacket New Look. Read on to see how I expand on CeCe’s tips and share some of the best stores to find the best skinny section deals.

Alison Elizabeth

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A Letter to Little Me

Alison Elizabeth

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my younger self and my outlook on life back then. If I could go back in time I’d have a lot of advice. I imagine we all would. Here’s just a few of the things I’d like to say…

 

Dear little me,

Hi! I’m your (somewhat) adult self. How you doing? I know how you’re doing and the answer isn’t good. That’s why I’m here to give you some advice.

 

1. Never cut your hair. And when mum tells you it’s a good idea, remind her that she is currently sporting a frizzy perm and knows nothing about modern hairstyles.

2. Love your body. It’s the only one you will ever have and it deserves your respect. Not only that, but if you don’t love your body you will start to drastically warp your perception of who you are, and it will take you a long time to find your way back.

3. Don’t listen to the people in your life that try to drag you down. They will not be around forever and their view is irrelevant.

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How To Figure Out Your Personal Style

Do you have a tough time figuring out your personal style? You’re not alone. I think one of the things I’ve found most challenging as a plus size woman and only child, has been identifying my personal style. When the world is lacking in positive role models, and you have no siblings to look up to where do you turn? It’s for that reason I made A LOT of mistakes growing up (unitards I’m talking about you!), and struggled to find my confidence.

I got it together a bit more in my twenties, but it’s only been in the last few years that I really feel I’ve nailed my style and know what I like. One of the things that’s helped me is Pinterest. I decided to put together some style rules to ensure I never succumbed to trends I wasn’t totally in love with, and always felt comfortable in what I wear.

Keep reading for my top tips to help figure out your personal style.

My Way 1

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How I’ve Fallen In Love With Yoga

I have never enjoyed working out. I hate the gym and have always felt uncomfortable in classes next to all the slim fit women. But thanks to a podcast I’ve finally found a workout I enjoy. I’ve fallen in love with yoga!

 

If you’ve read my ‘inspired by models’ post you will know that I am obsessed with podcasts! One of my new favourites is the Guilty Feminist. A podcast from two female comedians where they talk about ‘the noble goals of feminism, and the hypocrisies and insecurities that undermine them’. It’s hilarious, liberating and uplifting in equal measure.

 

A while ago I was listening to an episode starring the plus size American yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley, and was mesmerised by how passionate she was on the subject of exercise. She talked about fitness in a way I’d never considered before and positioned yoga as something to try ‘just because’, rather than because you’re trying to be the next gold medal olympian.

 

For me working out has always been an attempt to lose weight. But by putting the emphasis on body image rather than health, I’ve always felt like a failure for not looking like Kendall Jenner. That mentality has led me to give up again and again. But the podcast explored the idea that fitness could be about more than physical health, and Jessamyn described yoga as a personal experience disassociated from weight. This attitude clicked with me and I was totally sold! I signed up for a class the same day and headed to my local gym. All thoughts of hating workouts and fearing classes forgotten!

 

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Feeling Confident In Bold Lipstick

Berry lips

So many people responded to my Feeling Comfortable With Bare Arms post I’ve decided to do a full series on the internal fears we face as plus size women. The seemingly trivial yet constant thoughts that add up to the bigger problem of body negativity. Today I want to talk about one that’s been a secret hangup of mine for as long as I can remember, and that’s feeling confident in bold lipstick.

 

I love makeup. I’m a complete beauty addict. I have boxes upon boxes in my wardrobe full of every shade of eyeshadow, blusher and lipstick imaginable. But when it comes to actually doing my makeup I’ve stuck to the same look for years: smokey-ish eyes and a neutral lip. The reason? I’ve felt like my face was too big for bold lips and that wearing a bright colour would draw attention to my double chin. An area I try to disguise at all costs! How ridiculous is that? The sad thing is I know I’m not alone.

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July Favourites

Nandos

I love thinking about my favorites each month. It’s a great way to cleanse and purge both my mind and my cupboards because it makes me also think about what I haven’t enjoyed. Below are some of my favorite things from the month of July.

Oats

When I was 8 I went through a weird couple of weeks where I was addicted to oats. Or porridge if you’re a Brit like me! I’d have a bowl with jam every morning and loved it. But as quickly as I developed the taste it was gone and I didn’t eat them again for years. I’ve dabbled in my adult life, but can’t say I’ve really enjoyed them. Until now. When shopping a couple of weeks ago I noticed the strawberries and cream Quaker instant oats. Something about them appealed to me and I decided to give them a go. They are delicious!! They remind me of my childhood, are sweet enough to not taste boring and fill me up until lunch. I’m sold!

Opi Dulce de Leche

I’m having a 90s moment. I can’t get enough of chokers, high necked tops and sleeveless jackets. One of my other 90s obsessions is browny-nude lipsticks and nails. At the start of July I went for OPI Dulce de Leche on my fingers and toes, and I haven’t deviated all month. It’s the perfect pinky brown, extremely flattering but just bright enough for summer.

Blogging

I’ve blogged on and off for years, but after a very inspiring round table with Tiffany Pham, founder and CEO of Mogul, I decided to start writing full-time. I’ve always been passionate about body positivity, and wanted to write about what’s important to me. This month I’ve been pretty consistent and I’m loving the process.

Natural hair

This is a bit of a curve ball, because I have a love-hate relationship with my hair. But in the summer it leans more towards love. Being fine and straight is a bonus when it’s hot because I can blow-dry it in about 4 minutes or air dry it in about 10. Fortunately the 90s fashion resurgence means the undone, fluffy look is acceptable right now. All in all it works for me!

Birkenstocks

If you’ve read my post on foot pain you’ll know that I have been wearing Birkenstocks religiously this summer. They are my go-to sandal and I can’t get enough.

Yoga

I took up yoga in July and was surprised to discover how much I like it. My local gym has a class on Saturday mornings so it’s the perfect way to start my weekend and have a bit of time to reflect.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I am obsessed with Harry Potter. Obsessed. I have been stalking the release of this book since it was announced. The minute it came out on 31st July I downloaded it. I read the whole thing in 3 hours and absolutely adored it. I’m gutted now though because I completely squandered my last chance to ever not know what’s coming next. If you haven’t read it yet pleeeease take your time and savour it!

 

Nando’s Sauce

If you’re British no explanation is needed here. Nando’s sauce is the perfect marinade for chicken and I have been having a love affair with it recently. I brought some of the medium sauce back to NY the last time I was home and have been adding it to everything!It makes every meal more interesting.

 

What were you loving in July?

 

~X~

My Favourite Workout Clothes

My Favourite Workout Clothes

If you’ve read my ‘5 ways to move more at work‘ post, you’ll know that I’m on a mission to increase my fitness this year. So far so good. I wouldn’t say I’m a gym buff by any means, but I’ve definitely managed to keep going fairly regularly. Baby steps…!!

 

It can be hard to find cute workout clothes as a plus size woman, so whenever I find something I like I make a note of the store in my notes app (I’m a note junkie – more to come). But my two go-to stores are Forever 21 and Old Navy. Both have a really great plus size sports range and I know I’m guaranteed to find something every time I go in. My latest purchases were from Old Navy last Friday. Upon hearing it was going to be 37 degrees in NYC I rushed to the Chelsea store to buy some short leggings for my yoga class. They had a great range so I splurged on several pairs.

 

Below are some of my current favourite workout clothes from Old Navy and Forever 21.

Where do you guys buy plus size workout wear? Let me know what stores I should check out in the comments below.

~X~

 

My Favourite Workout Clothes My Favourite Workout Clothes My Favourite Workout Clothes