My Tips for Online Shopping

Hello Southernistas! Happy Friday to everyone. I hope everyone’s week has been a great week and not too stressful. I can’t believe it has been two weeks since my last blog post and I missed y’all. If you haven’t noticed I’ve changed the name of my blog to Regina the Southernista instead of the Southernista let me know what you think.

There is no doubt plus size fashion has come a long way and I am very happy to see the number of new fashion forward plus size designers along with the established and older brands. I love all the options that are now available to me but what I don’t love is the fact that I do the majority of my shopping online. More and more straight size brands are extending there sizes but only making it available online or in select stores (yes I’m talking about you Anthopologie and Loft). I talk to many of my friends who are hesitant to shop online because they are afraid the clothes will not fit and I totally understand that because I was nervous when I first started shopping online because lets face it there is nothing like going to the store and trying on the clothes. Plus with the inconsistencies of sizing it is better to try on everything because you could wear a size 18 at one store but a size 22 at another store.

To help you better navigate online shopping here some tips that I use when I am shopping online.

  1. Know your measurements – this is the most important thing you can do before you buy anything online. You can take your measurements, have a friend do it or go to a tailor and have your measurements taken. By knowing your measurements you can look at the sizing chart and determine what size you should purchase. Also if you like styling services like Dia & Co, Stitch Fix, Trunk Club etc you can send them your measurements for better picks.
  1. Read the reviews – Trust me reviews are very helpful. By reading the reviews it has helped me avoid some big mistakes.
  2. Bloggers – Find bloggers that are your body shape or close to your body shape. Those who are full time bloggers are very honest in their reviews of brands plus you get to see what that brand may look like on your body.
  3. Become familiar with the brand’s return policy. Some brands will give you a refund and some will give you a store credit. Some have very easy return policies and some are complicated.
  4. When in doubt size up.
  5. Learn if the brand is Junior plus or Plus trust me there is a difference. If you are ordering from an Asian company please be aware that Asian sizing runs very small so you will need to size up 2 sizes or more.

Shopping online doesn’t have to be scary and can be fun once you get the hang of it. I hope there tips help you in your online shopping adventures.

Until next time Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Lip Care

Happy Friday Southernistas! I hope you’ve had a great week and although you couldn’t tell by the weather Wednesday was the first day of Spring! Happy Spring everyone! I’ll do a spring fashion post soon…promise.

Today I want to talk to y’all about lip care. Last year I realized that as fanatical as I’ve been about taking care of my skin especially as I am getting closer to 50 (yikes) I have never given my lips the same attention. Our lips go though a lot! In the winter they can become dry and chapped. Lips can also become severely cracked and bleeding in the winter if they are not taken care of and due to excessive lip licking too. As you get older you will also start to see a lot of lines on your lips. At 47 I realized that I have mistreated and sadly neglected my lips but I also know it’s not too late to start caring for my lips.

To begin my lip care journey I turned to Burt’s Bee’s lip care products to develop a lip care routine now let me say this is in no way a sponsored post by Burt’s Bees I just really love the products. I have been using their lip care products for about 6 months with amazing results. The lip scrub is great, the lip mask is only five minutes and I use the ultra conditioning lip balm before I put on any lip gloss or lipstick. I find that my lip gloss or lipstick lasts longer after I put on the lip balm. At night before I go to bed I apply the overnight intensive lip treatment which feels so good on my lips. If you’re worried about chemicals don’t worry Burt’s Bees is all natural.

Since I’ve started my lip care routine I’ve gotten a lot a compliments on how great my lips have been looking and I owe it all to Burt’s Bees! Before I end this blog I just want to say that Chapstick has just introduced a lip care kit too and it is a kit that includes everything with Burt’s Bees you have to buy each item separately it doesn’t come as a kit.


Wearing Burt’s Bees tinted Lip Balm

You can purchase these products from any drugstore. Wal-mart, Ulta or you can go to their website http://www.burtsbees.com to purchase.

Until next time Southernistas remember Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Brave!

The Wearing of the Green

Happy Friday Southernistas and a early Happy Saint Patrick’s Day which is this weekend (Sunday). I hope y’all’s week has been a great week. My week started off a little rough but it got better.

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner I would be remiss if I didn’t delve into my closet and pull out my green to celebrate this fun and festive holiday. For me this holiday feels like the unofficial start of Spring and I am all for that! I am so over winter! Green is such a rich a vibrant color and I can’t think of another color that represents Spring than the color green.

If you are saying that you can’t wear green first remove the can’t from your vocabulary and know that you can wear green. If you are not comfortable with a head to toe look try wearing a print with pops of green or a cute skirt or pants in celebration. Think about a cute pair of shoes, bag, or jewelry for that pop of green. There are so many ways to incorporate green into your look.

So make sure you break out your green this weekend and HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Until next time Southernistas remember Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Beautiful!

Dress from Eloquii (no longer available) click Here and here and here for alternatives

Eulogy for Payless Shoe Source

Happy Friday Southernistas! I know it has been a while since I’ve blogged and I ask your forgiveness but the weather here in North Carolina has not lent itself to photo shoots but the rain seems to be holding off so I can create more content for the blog! I hope everyone has had a great week and that you have a great weekend.

Today Southernistas and fellow shoe addicts as you can tell from the title this blog is a memorial for my absolute favorite shoe store Payless Shoe Source. Last month the news broke that after 62 years Payless doors are closing and I am devastated. This news came out of nowhere and to say I was blindsided would be an understatement. Payless has always been my go to store for affordable and stylish shoes for years. In 2008 they partnered with Christian Siriano and it has been a very successful partnership. Payless has appeared on the runway at NYFW and who could forget the recent commercial where bloggers pair hundreds of dollars for their shoes because they though they were designer shoes.

There is no other shoe store you could go to with a $100 and walk out with 6 pairs of shoes a cute bag and still have change! That was the beauty of Payless your dollar went a long way especially for families. I can’t count the number of times I stood in line behind families who were buying shoes for the whole family especially during buy one get one half off. When I was really strapped for cash I knew I could always go to Payless and get a few pair shoes at a really great price.

There is no doubt I am going to miss Payless Shoe Source! I am going to miss Christian Siriano’s shoe line. I am going to miss the savings there is no doubt. I am just going to miss Payless!

So thank you Payless Shoe Source for the Christina Siriano collection, the great sales, but most of all the great shoes! I am going to miss you dear friend. R.I.P


Until next time Southernistas remember Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Beautiful

The Ultimate Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day Southernistas! I hope you are having an awesome day and that you are sharing it with you love one(s).

I must confess that Valentine’s day has never been one of my favorite days. After Christmas I always began to the countdown to February 14th with growing dread and depression. As a single girl it is hard to see everyone getting flowers and candy and all the other romantic and sweet gestures that go along with this day and not feel some kind of way about this day. For years my friends Beth & John would always send me a beautiful gift that had all kinds of goodies in it and it just made my day. Of course my daughter and Mom also gave me gifts as well as my sister and my best friend Lisa and I did appreciate it BUT my heart ached for a special someone to give me those things.

This year is different and it’s not because I’m seeing anyone but my perspective about February 14th has changed. Today I celebrate my ultimate valentine gift which is God’s love. I know this scripture is quoted all the time but John 3:16 tells us of the best gift this world was given: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. How can we ever top that gift! This morning in my prayer time I began to thank God for his son Jesus. Jesus loves us perfectly, completely, and whole. His love is without strings and everyday He gives us gifts and again its without any strings attached. Jesus will never break your heart, abandon you or hurt you but he will heal and mend your broken heart and let you know that you are loved with an everlasting love.

So today I celebrate that I am loved by Jesus so much that he was willing to die for me so that I could have eternal life. I celebrate His resurrection and how everyday I feel his love surrounding me and filling me and I know I am never along and I am always loved. Because I know Jesus loves me I allow myself to celebrate and be my own Valentine because I know I’m not celebrating this day alone. Today I celebrate the Ultimate Valentine – JESUS!

Until next Southernistas Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Brave!

Dress from Lane Bryant | Shoes from Payless Shoe Source (old) | Pearls from Ashley Stewart (no longer available)


How I am Learning to be Single

for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Phil 4:11b

Happy Friday Southernistas and also Happy February 1st! There is nothing like starting the weekend off in a new month!

When I was thinking about content for this week’s blog I was trying to decided what I wanted to talk about regarding fashion and style but the I felt the prompted to talk about something I’m not comfortable talking about…my singleness especially in February. My martial status is something I try not to think about mostly because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy thinking about my martial status. The closer I get to 50 (I’ll be 48 this year) the more aware I am of the fact that I am still single and I mean single never been married single. I always thought that by now I would be married for a number of years and provided my daughter with siblings.

Then I realized last year that although I am single I never really learned how to be single I mean your status is single when you come into the world but then as we get older and discover the opposite sex we feel the pressure to be coupled up with someone. I remember desperately wanting a boyfriend all though high school and college (not one date in college) especially when you see everyone all lovey dovey. The month of February was torture for me but I had friends that made it bearable. Except for one brief relationship in my 20s I have been very, very, very single and for most of this time I have been very sad, lonely, and depressed about being single.

The number of times I cried on my best friend shoulder about being single are too many to count! The times I’ve spent in prayer asking God why am I still single again too many to count. My Pastor and First Lady encouraged me that it would happen for me but it just seemed that every year it never happened. One year at my church it seemed like all I did was announce upcoming nuptials! To encourage myself I would ready 1 Corinthians 7 to remind myself the benefits of being single versus being married.

I look back over those years and realize now that I wasn’t ready for a real relationship. I was needy, desperate and was looking for someone to fulfill all my emotional needs. I had a lot of baggage that needed to be unpacked and dealt with. I also realize now that I wanted to be a relationship so I could say I was in a relationship so I was more committed and in love with the idea of being in a relationship.

Then last year it happened! No I didn’t meet a man but I realized that I had to learn how to be single. I had to learn to truly appreciate being single and being happy with my state until God changes my status. I had to learn that I can go out by myself and shop, eat, visit museums and enjoy my own company. Also I also realize how great it is to have the freedom to come and go as I please without having to consider someone else. My spending choices are mine alone. Most importantly this is the time when you can really focus on God and really seek Him.

As I was thinking about what to say the latter part verse 11 from Philippians chapter 4 came to me in this last chapter the Apostle Paul is encouraging the Philippians to rejoice, not to worry and if you do what to think on to ease the worry, and then he begins to let them know that he has experienced different circumstances the one thing he has learned is to be content. Now I want say I’m content with being single but I am learning to be content. I am learning that my life is not dependent on having a man in my life but it is dependent on having Jesus in my life!

Yes I am still single but the difference now is that I am waiting for that someone that is right for me and not doing anymore is moping around discontent and depressed because I don’t have someone in my life. I know longer dread February 14th. I am learning in this phase of my life to be single and content and that has made all the difference.

Until next time Southernistas Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Dress from Eloquii x Draper James Collection (no longer available) | Shoes from Payless

Breaking the Rules

Happy Friday Southernistas! I hope y’all had a great work week and that you are ready for the weekend! For some of us it was a four day work week due to the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t know about y’all but winter has really arrived here in North Carolina and we’ve had more rainy and cloudy days then sunny days. The temperature has dropped with the exception of two days of 60+ degree weather this week. With the days being so gray I’ve taken the opportunity to wear more color and the one color I decided to wear was white. I usually don’t wear white because as a southern girl it was ingrained in me that you don’t wear white after Labor Day. This is so ingrained in me that I really don’t even think about wearing white in the winter unless it is for a church service.

On my fashion journey I am constantly pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone and when I was deciding what to wear my eyes fell on this beautiful Karl Lagerfeld (yes that Karl) skirt I got from a previous Stitch Fix box I almost put it back thinking this is for Spring but then I said to myself “Regina break that no white after Labor day rule!” and so I pulled it out the closet again and paired it with my favorite white sweater from Full Beauty.

I am so glad I did because when I saw the total look it was an instant mood lifter for me and even though it is winter I felt like a beautiful Spring day! So remember to toss outdated fashion rules out the window and wear your white!

Until next time Southernistas remember to Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Skirt Stitch Fix | Sweater Full Beauty | Shoes DSW | Denim Trench Coat Eloquii | Bag Payless Shoe Source

Suit Up!

Hello Southernistas! I hope everyone has had a good week and that you are keeping warm. Here in North Carolina the week started out in the 60s but it is not freezing!

Southernistas there is nothing like a suit! I had forgotten how wonderful and versatile a suit can be and how timeless they are too. I think my main reason for avoiding suits for so long is because when I think of suits I think about the suits from the 80s shoulder pads and all (shudder) but that is not the case anymore. This week I rediscovered the power of a great suit. The great thing about a suit is that it instantly makes you feel stylish and pulled together. It gives you a polished and effortless look plus total girl boss vibes! You don’t have to go out a buy a suit if you have a great blazer and cute skirt voila you have a suit! Which is what I did with this outfit I paired this blazer from Lane Bryant with this cute skirt also from Lane Bryant and since we’ve had nothing but gray skies recently I wore this ultra feminine lavender floral top and I felt ready to go forth and conquer.

Suits never really go out of style but they are having their fashion moment. With a suit you can mix and match with pieces in your closet to create several different looks. So in the words of Barney from How I Met Your Mother….SUIT UP!

Unit next time Southernistas! Have a great weekend and remember to Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Bryant Blazer from Lane Bryant, Skirt from Lane Bryant (old), Shoes from Payless (old), Pocketbook from Nine West (Old)

The Year that Was

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my Southernistas! It is my prayer that 2019 will be a blessed and prosperous year for you in every area of your life!

I know we that it is January 1, 2019 buy I just wanted to take a moment to look back on 2018. The beginning of the year started out on a sad note for my family with the passing of my grandfather 8 days into 2018. It definitely left a large hole in our life! My Grandfather was 96 years old and he was more like a Father than a grandparent andI miss him so much!

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My Grandfather, Ray Dempson 

With the sadness came joy and many changes in my life I started this blog which I never thought I would ever have a blog I mean what in the world do I have to say or add for that matter that hasn’t already been said or done but I discovered that I do have something to say and I am really enjoying blogging.

I was part of Dia & Co ambassador pilot program which is now the Dia Domino program and I am happy to still be involved in this program. Through this program I met Laura Stanberry (check out her blog) who is not just my style sister and shopping buddy but a great friend. I also met an amazing group of women in the Dia community which lead to an epic girl’s weekend in Nashville, TN with these women who I now call friends. We talked, laughed, shopped, and truly bonded and we continue to keep in touch with each other. I love these ladies!

2018 was also a year that saw me stretch myself fashion wise I wore leggings/pants and animal prints and until 2018 I had never worn any of those items. I found out I love leggings and while I will always love and never give up my dresses and skirts I now have a new appreciation of leggings! Again I have Dia to thank for pushing me out of my fashion comfort zone. As far as my fashion  is concerned I really feel like I stepped up my fashion game. I also started playing with accessories and started taking better care of my skin.

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Leggings & purse from Dia&Co, Blouse from Stitch Fix, Cardigan from Lane Bryant (no longer available), Shoes from Payless (no longer available)
 

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Pants, Cardigan & Shirt from Dia, Shoes from Botkier (no longer available), Bag from Nine West

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Leopard Print Bryant Blazer & Allie Skinny Pant from Lane Bryant, Shoes and Bag from Payless Shoe Source Christian Siriano collection

These are just a few of the great things that happened to me in 2018! Even though the year started out sad it ended on a happy note and I am looking forward to what God has in store for me, my family and you in 2019.

Until next time Southernistas Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Nashville Photos by Tammi Montgomery NicPix Photography

 

December 29, 2013

Hello Southernistas! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Hard to believe that 2018 is almost over and 2019 is almost here! I know it’s been a while since I blogged but I just wanted to enjoy the holiday season. It was my plan to start 2019 off with a new blog but a few months ago this date popped in my mind and I couldn’t get away from it no matter how hard I tried. I knew it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to share with you why this date has special meaning. I hope as you read this you find encouragement, that it strengthens your walk with Jesus (if you have a relationship), that it leads you to a relationship with Jesus, and that it will help you to realize you are not alone.

2013 was not an easy year for me at all I was living in a one bedroom apartment and everyday I came home to an empty apartment was depressing. I always felt like I lived such a solitary life at that time. I remember waking up every morning with a feeling of hopelessness and I just didn’t know how to handle what I was feeling. These are not feelings that just suddenly came up I had been dealing with depression for years but it was now so crippling I could barely function. I remember going to church and feeling nothing, praying and feeling nothing, it seemed like I was just going through the motions of my life but I wasn’t living.

I was in a really bad car accident early in the year and thank God he brought me, my Mom, and my niece out alive. I was sued for an large sum of money I didn’t have and so I had to give a deposition and go back to the city the accident happened for a mediation and God was on my side and delivered me from that situation but I was still so sad. I spent that whole year putting on a mask while I sat at home and cried my heart out.

When December arrived I had had enough of this life and I had made the decision to end my life. I had really good reasons, at least to me, for taking this step. Life had just gotten so hard and although I have a loving family, a loving Church, and friends I felt so alone and isolated. I believed that if I died no one would miss me and my daughter is an adult now and she doesn’t need me. I’m single and over 40 and it seemed that no matter how hard I tried nothing was working out in my life. At that time these reasons seems valid. I remember wanting to talk to someone but couldn’t because there were no words there were only tears. I remember how abandoned I felt by God and that this was as good as it was going to get.

I remember getting up that Sunday so sad and getting ready for church. I remember the feeling of finality that Sunday and after church I felt like I was seeing everyone for the last time. I laughed, I smiled, I said my I love yous to my Pastor & my Assistant Pastor. I remember hugging everyone because I was saying good bye to them for one last time. When my mother dropped me at home I remember looking at her and thinking this is the last time I will see my her beautiful smiling face. I said good by to my daughter although she didn’t realize it at the time because again I had on the mask.

That evening I got out the bottle of pills I had and looked around my sad little apartment. Just when I was getting ready to take the pills I heard a voice and I know it was the voice of God and that voice spoke one word and that word was…LIVE! In that moment I knew that I wanted to live that I didn’t want to die that no matter how my life was it was still worth living. I begin to just sob my heart out and with every tear that fell I knew God was doing something inside. I don’t remember how long I stood there sobbing but I do remember after while flushing those pills down the toilet going on my knees and crying out to Jesus and He reached out to me and touched me and healed me.

Sometimes life gets so hard for us and it becomes unbearable but I encourage you who are reading this blog to seek help don’t try to go it alone like I did. Seeking help is not admitting you’re weak or that you don’t have a strong faith in God it means that you are strong enough to realize you can’t do it on your own. It means that you realize that how you are feeling is not how you want to fee. There is nothing wrong with getting professional help.

That was 5 years ago today and I am still single but in these 5 years I’ve learned how to be single, I moved back in with my Mom, and life is good! I think about all I would have missed if I had ignored God’s voice calling me to live and not die.

December 29, 2013 was suppose to be the day I died but it became the day I lived and I have never looked back.

Dress from Eloquii (red sold out), Shoes from Payless Shoe Source

Until next time Southernistas…LIVE!