How I am Learning to be Single

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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

Spring has Sprung!

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Hello Southernistas and Happy Spring! At the risk of being a broken record I do so love Spring! I know this time of year can be miserable for allergy suffers and I am so sorry the pollen is making your life miserable but SPRING IS HERE…WHOO HOOO! It is just something about seeing the Earth waking up from its long winter nap that lifts my spirits. To see the trees budding, feel the sunshine, the flowers blooming, and the most important thing the Spring fashions and swimsuits my favorite brands rollout well a girl can’t help but be happy.

In this blog I’m going to post some of my favorite pieces I’m loving right now from two of my favorite brands Eloqui and Lane Bryant!

Until next time Southernistas!

Eloquii Textured Full Empire Dress
Eloquii Wrap Around Dress
Lane Bryant Cami Dress
Lane Bryant Ruffle Hem Eyelet Fit & Flare Dress

The Bodycon Dress

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Hello Southernistas! Hope you’ve had a great week and that you have an even better weekend! I confess the one article of clothing that puts me way outside my comfort zone is the bodycon dress. What is a bodycon dress you ask. Bodycon is a dress that hugs your body and trust me I realize this dress makes many plus size women uncomfortable and many avoid this dress . I understand because I was one of those women for years because of my tummy. My comfort zone is an A-line or fit and flare dress that doesn’t draw attention to my middle.

As you can see from the numerous pictures of me on this blog I carry my weight in my middle so in my mind bodycon dresses are more suited for an hourglass shape or a pear share. If you’ve wanted to try a bodycon dress but have been hesitant I recommend a sweater dress they have stretch and they tend to skim the body so they’re not too bodycon which I personally believe is the perfect dress to start with or size up the dress will not hug your curves as much. If you’re self conscious about your tummy or another part of your body you don’t want to draw attention to add a duster, cardigan, moto jacket, or blazer to give you a little more coverage. I cannot stress the importance of the right foundation garments! The right shapewear and bra with the dress will not make you slimmer but smooths everything out so the dress fits you like it should!

I promise you bodycon dresses are nothing to be afraid of and there is a dress out there for you that will make you feel sexy and a total bombshell. Don’t let the negative voices or doubts stop you from dipping your toe in this part of the fashion waters. If you’re still not ready to try full on bodycon look go with a pencil skirt to begin with and work your way up to the dress.

You have a wide selection of brands to choose from but I highly recommend Fashion to Figure they are my go to for bodycon dresses and this little red bodycon sweater dress (buttons are not functional) is FIRE! I wore a cami under it for the office and wore this red moto jacket to complete the look. This dress is sold out but click here and here for an alternate

There is a bodycon dress out there for you I promise!

Until next time Southernistas

Dress — Fashion to Figure (sold out), Moto Jacket — Eloquii (sold out) alternateShoes — Just Fab

Why I Love Shoes…especially Heels!

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“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!” Marilyn Monroe

Hello Southernistas! Well I hope y’all are having a great week and that you have great plans (or not) for this last weekend in February! You might not know this but I love shoes! I actually own a little over 100 pair of shoes. I’ve actually written previously about two of my favorite shoe brands Nine West and Just Fab. Now I can hear the men saying “what woman doesn’t love shoes”…LOL! But my love of shoes especially heels border on obsession okay it is an obsession. I mean I use to watch Sex and the City just to get my shoe fix. I wear heels 6 days out of 7. My motto is the higher the heel the closer to God!

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love high heel shoes it is definitely a life long love affair. I think I get my love from my grandmother who loved heels and tried to pass it on to my mother but it skipped her and passed to me. I remember going out shopping with her and how she would bypass the flats and go straight to the heels section of the store. I guess it rubbed off on me because I’ve been wearing heels since I was 13 and as I got older my heels got higher. At one point I actually owned a pair of 5 1/2 inch heels.

Why do I love heels maybe its because I’m 5’3′ and I love how “tall” I feel when I wear them. I love how great my legs look in heels and as a short girl when I wear maxi dresses, skirts, or certain pants heels assist in “lifting” the hems so I’m not tripping over my hems and I don’t have to pay a visit to my tailor. They give a little extra oomph when I walk. Heels can take a plain ordinary look and kick it up a whole level. You’re wearing a LBD (little black dress) just add a killer pair of red stilettoes, animal print, sassy pattern or a jeweled sparkly shoe and boom just sit back and watch the compliments roll in!

The best things about heels is that unlike shopping for clothes they fit regardless of dress size. I love that heels come in different heights, types, and styles. I love a wedge heel for a relaxed and causal look and they are the best type to wear if you want to wear heels and be comfortable. Block heels are right up there with wedges when it comes to comfort but are dressier and perfect for the office and church. Stilettoes are for the ultimate girly girl and when you want to totally vamp it up! I myself am personally a stiletto girl and they make up a large percentage of my shoe collection but when I want to feel sexy, fierce, and unstoppable then my go to shoe is a pair of killer stilettoes and I feel like I can take on anything or anyone!

Now I know that many of you can’t wear heels or any kind for health reasons. Some of you have had surgeries, suffered sports related injuries, are dealing with a chronic illness, back issues and other reasons. I have friends who love heels but are just not able to wear them. But for those of you who are just a teeny, tiny bit hesitant about wearing heels my best advice is to start with a kitten heel (2″) or a cute little wedge and work your way up and stop at the heel height that feels comfortable for you.

I absolutely love shoes and I’m pretty sure when I’m 95 I’ll still be wearing high heels and they will probably be orthopedic and I’ll probably be using a walker but I’ll still be wearing them and loving them!

Until next time Southernistas! Keep your head, standards, and heels high!

The Southernista

I’m a 50 something southern girl who has a passion for fashion. Join me on my fashion journey. Follow me on Instagram: @reginathesouthernista

Yes You Can!

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Hello Southernistas! As I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to y’all about the campaign slogan from President Obama’s 2008 first presidential run popped in my brain! His slogan was Yes We Can except I substituted the we for you (you get it). This also lead me to Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” So many times in this life we live we are more often told no you can’t do that in one way or another but as then Senator Barack Obama proved Yes…You…Can! The Apostle Paul list a number of situations he had experienced but then followed up with verse 13 in chapter 4 which is every Christian’s go to scripture (and Romans 8:28). I think about all the times I allowed the negative words from well meaning and some not well meaning people to tell me I couldn’t do something or you can’t wear this or you shouldn’t wear that because of my size but I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to listen to the no you can’t/shouldn’t and start to listen to the yes you can Regina voices!

Today I want to let you know: YES YOU CAN! Yes you can start that business, blog, YouTube channel. Yes you can wear that swimsuit, pattern, print, color. Yes you can leave that toxic relationship weather it is a romantic, a friendship, or a work relationship. Yes you can write that book. Yes you can heal from unspeakable trauma with the help of a great therapist and Jesus. Yes you can take that trip by yourself or with your girls. Yes you can buy that house all by yourself. Yes you can take that chance on that new relationship. Yes You Can! Yes You Can! Yes You Can! YES…YOU…CAN! God will give the strength you need to make the steps you need to make.

It is so important to surround yourself — not with yes people — but with cheerleaders who will always bring out the best in you, cheer you on, encourage you, tell you the truth, help you achieve your goals. I am blessed to have some great cheerleaders in my life. People who saw my potential when I didn’t and couldn’t see it and was listening to the negative voices. People who loved me, encouraged me, pushed me, cheered me, and wouldn’t let me accept less than in my life. Who said to me yes you can until I could say if for myself. This blog exists because of my mom, a friend at work, my church (love you AHOD) especially, and my besties Lisa and Laura. When I first thought about starting a blog I talked to my cheerleaders and they helped me pick out the name of my blog and gave me really great input and not one word of negativity or discouragement was spoken.

So if you’ve been thinking about taking that first step in a new direction in life and you’re wondering if you should let me be one of your cheerleaders to tell you YES YOU CAN with the help of God (always seek God first), therapy (if needed), and great people in your life you can achieve your goals!

Until next time Southernistas!

Skirt & Top from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Faux Leather Blazer from Eloquii, Shoes from Just Fab (sold out)
Cropped Blazer, Top, Skirt from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Shoes are Just Fab (sold out)
Blazer and Jacket from Lane Bryant (old), Turtleneck from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Shoes are Torrid (old)
Faux Leather Blazer and Pants from Eloquii, Sweater from Old Navy, Booties from Just Fab

How I Handle SAD

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Hello Southernistas! Well here we are at the end of January and unless you live in the Caribbean, Canary Islands, or some other year round warm haven then you like me are in the depths of winter. I am sure that some of you like me are tired of winter and ready for the H.E.A.T! Here in NC we started last week with snow and ended with snow and now the weatherman is predicting more snow this weekend. Make…it….STOP!

So I suffer from a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a thing and it affects some 3 million people. This occurs during the winter when the days are shorter so longer nights (how do people in the Arctic Circle survive) and some of the symptoms are depression, fatigue, hopelessness and social withdrawal pile on top of this pandemic. This can be treated with therapy and in some cases medication. If you can afford it a vacation to warmer climes it is a wonderful boost.

Last week with the frigid temperatures coupled with snow and ice I really struggles. I just didn’t want to get out of bed and felt so low so I recognized the signs and knew I needed to practice my coping skills when I began to experience some symptoms.

Here is how I handle the winter blues:

  1. I lean more into my quite time with God when I get up I grab my Bible, devotional, journal and I spend time praying and letting God’s word speak to my soul. I try to spend at least an hour and when I come to the end of that hour reluctantly I feel lifted and ready for the day.
  2. Exercise! Weather it’s just 15 mins or you go full on beast research shows that exercise releases those wonderful endorphins which gives you a boost. I am by no means a morning person but when I get up and go walking at the YMCA, because hello it’s cold outside, for 45 minutes at the end of my walk I feel in the words James Brown good and I am in a better had space! So get moving
  3. Fashion (I mean you knew it was coming) I am firm believer in the Regina Brett quote “No matter how you feel get up, dress up, show up!” and that is what I do! Last week and this week has been a real struggle for me. I didn’t want to get up and do #1 or #2 but this quote would pop in my head and after my quiet time and walk after I shower and go through my morning routine I hit my closet and pull on something fabulous. By the time I dress and step into my heels I am ready and in a totally different place. Now I know there are many who don’t believe in the power of fashion but I am telling you there is nothing like putting on that dress or suit that gives you boss feelings! When you put on that outfit you know the one that puts a big smile on your face. There is indeed power in fashion and there is something to be said for the feeling you get when you see yourself dressed and ready to take on the world.

Now as I said my SAD is very mild and I am in no way a psychiatrist or therapist so please seek treatment if you are suffering from SAD. These are what work for me and hopefully along with other treatment these suggestions can be incorporated into your treatment.

Until next Southernistas! Stay Safe! Stay Warm!

Top Ashley Stewart, Faux Leather Skirt alternativealternateShoes Just Fab
Blazer, Pants, Sweater Ashley Stewart sold out
AlternateAlternate
Top, Pants & Coat — Eloquii (sold out) alternatealternate, coat alternate
Dress (sold out)— Elquii alternate, Shoes — Just Fab
Blazer & Pants — Eloquii

Sweater Dress Season

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Hello Southernistas! I hope each and everyone of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that y’all are enjoying the leftovers! If you traveled I hope you had a stress less travel holiday with no delayed flights and not (too) crazy traffic. In the next few blog posts I will be talking about sweater dresses and the brands I love. This week’s post is about Lane Bryant sweater dresses but it is not sponsored by Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant is my go to for affordable and stylish dresses and sweater dresses are included. I actually bought 6 sweater dresses (there was a sale) and I don’t regret a single purchase. I love that Lane Bryant’s sweater dresses are feminine and come in different styles from A-line to bodycon and you just can’t go wrong!

I’ve stated before and even wrote about how much I don’t like Fall but with that being said I must amend that because I do love fall fashion and I especially love when I can break out the sweater dresses…oh yeah! Fall is referred to as sweater weather, cuffing season, and cozy season but I like to refer to it as sweater dress season. I love a great sweater dress they give you a cozy feeling and warmth. Every year when I add to my sweater dress collection and this year is no different. Some are very heavy and warm and some of them are very light weight for 60 plus degree weather.

Every brand offers several dresses in every color, length, type (A-line, bodycon, sheath), and weight (heavy and light). This is the perfect time to grab them up with all the sales that are happening and if you’re not a dress girl they would make a great gift for the dress girl you know.

Until next time Southernistas!

Lane Bryant Fit & Flare Sweater Dress (Sold out) Alternate
Lane Bryant Mock Rib Sweater Dress
Lane Bryant Rib Mix Sweater Dress, Shoes — Just Fab (old)

The Southernista

I’m a 50 something southern girl who has a passion for fashion. Join me on my fashion journey. Follow me on Instagram: @reginathesouthernistaTHE SOUTHERNISTA FOLLOWS

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Sofistafunk Girl

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Hello Southernistas! I hope you’ve had a great week and are getting ready for not only the weekend but to regain an hour of sleep as we turn back out clocks. Today I want to talk about an independent size inclusive brand that is woman and black owned and a totally cool and unique fashion brand and that is Sofistafunk the Skirt Co . I discovered this brand about 3 maybe 4 years ago thanks to an Instagram ad. Arlinda McIntosh is the owner and incredible designer of this brand and trust me when I say once you see her designs you will find yourself reaching for your credit card. 

The designs really are one of a kind I mean Arlinda elevates the denim skirt to a whole new level and believe me you’ll get nothing but compliments. I’m not going to lie to y’all some of her pieces are expensive but they are worth your dollars and she offers customization plus this brand is environmentally responsible and most of their designs produce zero waste! If you have any questions you can reach out to Arlinda and she will respond to you pretty quickly. This brand doesn’t just offer denim skirts I just love the denim skirts but you will find dresses, tops, and accessories also.

As a plus size woman independent brands are a plus size girls best friend! They really do design with a larger body in mind and they give us the fashion that we want and demand and they are worth every dollar. I have purchased two denim skirts from Sofistafunk and I have never been disappointed. 

When you order from Sofistafunk keep in mind everything is hand made so it will not ship out that same day you order it takes about 10–14 days without customization. She does offer customization which can add to how long it takes to receive your order but it is well worth the wait and Arlinda always adds some little extra goodies in your order. 

I recently purchase this lovely maxi denim skirt and it fit my 5″3 frame perfectly and I’ve gotten nothing but compliments. Don’t sleep on this brand!

Until next time Southernistas!

Sofistafunk Denim Maxi Skirt, Top — Ashley Stewart, Denim Booties — Nine West

Print Love: Houndstooth

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Hi Southernistas! Let’s talk about houndstooth! Now I know for many of you any print is scary to wear because we’ve all heard “the rules” no polka dots, no florals, no strips, and only wear black to make us look “smaller.” Well throw those rules out the window and embrace….houndstooth! I love this print in fact it’s right up there with my love of all things gingham and polka dot. If you look in my closet you will see plenty of all three prints but houndstooth to me is by far the boldest of the prints (I also call it the optical illusion print).Houndstooth is a very sophisticated print and it can make you look very pulled together and elegant. This print is as previously stated a bold print and you have to wear it with equal boldness and fierceness! This print not only comes in black and white but you can find it in other bold colors like this print from Ashley Stewart who does has really taken it up when it comes to this particular print.

I encourage you to give this print a try. If you don’t want to do a head to toe look try wearing a pant or skirt or a blazer/jacket in this print. You’ll feel elegant and trust me the compliments will come!

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

Duster & Pants– Ashley Stewart

Created for Purpose

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For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesian 2:10

Hello Southernistas! I was actually working on something else as I struggled to come up with a topic for this week’s blog post then this week then I felt the Holy Spirit whisper you are created for purpose! The verse that immediately came to me is Ephesians 2:10 which has become my life verse and I often speak this verse over me when I am bombarded with self doubt.

So I abandoned the blog I was working on for this week and wanted to let you know that God has created you for purpose. There are so many self help books and gurus out here that say they can help you find your purpose but the only book you need is the Bible, God’s holy word, that speaks truth. There are times when we wonder why am I here what is my purpose? To know what your purpose is you need to know who Jesus is and once you come into relationship with Jesus and begin to walk with Him trust me you will begin to realize that you are created for purpose and He will help you to walk in your purpose and live out your purpose.

For so long I wondered what my purpose was in life I even read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren but still felt like my life had no purpose. Then one day during my quiet time with God I was lead to Ephesians 2:10 and this verse just stuck me and made me realize that I am His masterpiece and I was not created just to exist but to do and everyday I strive to live my life with purpose. I am not just talking fashion but to be that light that points others to Jesus. 

Just know that God has created you for purpose and where ever God has planted you He put you there weather it be temporary or permanent you are there for purpose. You are there to be an agent of change for good and to have a positive affect on the lives of those you come into contact with. Purpose doesn’t require wealth or celebrity status all it requires is a willing heart and faith in Jesus.

Until next time Southernistas! Live with Purpose!

Healthy at Any Size

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Hello Southernistas! The one thing I never ever talk about on my blog is weight loss or exercising or anything remotely like it but as I was wondering what to talk about I just couldn’t get away from this subject so I want to talk to y’all today about being healthy at any size. Now before you move on just hear me out first. I’ve spent most of my life on one diet or another I mean literally since I was 13 years old I’ve been dieting. I’ve lost weight and gained (more) weight. I decided in my 40s that I was getting off the diet hamster wheel and just make peace with my weight and live in my body and live my life and that is what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years.

Let me say right now before I continue that I am not getting weight loss surgery or starting a new diet in fact I’ve started a healthy lifestyle. Also I am not here to judge or put down weight loss or weight loss surgery. You have to do what is best for you! I had to make changes due to high blood pressure and I now use a CPAP machine so I knew I needed to make some changes but it took me a long time because all I heard was loose weight i.e. go on a diet.

Once I realized that getting healthy does not mean going on a diet but making life changes then I was able to realize that healthy does not equal dieting. So I’ve stopped eating fast food every day but I try to limit my fast food stops to once a week, I walk 2 miles or more 3–4 times a week, I eat at home more and bring my lunch to work but again to get to this point I had to stop looking at exercise and healthy eating as “dieting” which was a major obstacle for me. As a plus size woman diet culture it constantly pushed in my face and I constantly get unsolicited weight loss ads and suggestions on my social media sites when I block. It wasn’t easy but it helps when I go walking and I see bodies of all shapes and sizes being active, I see plus size influencers who work out not for weight loss but to take care of their bodies and I have an amazing doctor who really talks to me and not at me and treats ME the person.

Luckily there are loads of resources (listed below) out there to help you get started towards a healthy lifestyle regardless of what the scale says. Plus more and more brands are creating plus size workout wear we can be just as cute and stylish as we move our bodies. If you’re looking at being healthy as dieting just know that you are not alone in this thinking. Once we get off that diet wheel we don’t want to fine ourselves back on the weight loss/weight gain merry go round but I just want to encourage you to get moving weather it’s dancing, walking, bike riding, skating or whatever it may be just enjoy moving your body.

Until next Southernistas! The fashion will be back in the next blog…PROMISE!

If you’re wanting to start a health journey check out these websites:

Health At Every Size Community

National Eating Disorder Website

Association for Size Diversity and Health

What I’m Loving – Skincare

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Hi Southernistas! I hope y’all are staying safe, washing your hands, practicing social distancing, staying home and most importantly staying sane in the pandemic!

I have been doing a lot less shopping since I’ve been home and been tackling my quarantine reading list (if you’d like to know what I’m reading check out my IG @reginathesouthernista) but I’ve also been overhauling my skincare products. These products are inexpensive but just as effective as the more expensive brands with the most expensive product being $16.00. If your budget is stretched thin right now but you don’t want to forgo your skincare routine I hope you will find these products kinder to your pocketbook and they are vegan and natural products.

First product – Botanics All Bright Foam Cleanser

I discovered this cleanser at Walgreens and it was one of my best discoveries! I was looking to purchase my usual cleanser which is close to $20 then my eyes fell on this cleanser and it is under $10.00! It is a very light and gentle cleanser so perfect for sensitive skin and it left my skin feeling truly clean and bright.

Second Product – Burt’s Bee’s Cleansing Oil

The first time I heard about cleansing oil was on thatgirlarlene blog and I was intrigued but hesitant and one of the biggest obstacles was the price. I love Arlene’s blog but the prices for the cleansing oils were a little on the pricey side then I found Burt’s Bee’s cleansing oil and at $16.00 it is still a little pricey but compared to other cleansing oils this is truly inexpensive. I have nothing but good things to say about cleansing oil it leaves your skin clean and so soft. Don’t let the word oil scare you it is all natural and very gentle. I highly recommend.

Third Product – Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner

Now I know there are some that don’t think toner needs to be a part of your skincare routine and I will admit I was in the camp for a long time but within the last few years I have reincorporated it back into my routine. Toner removes excess dirt and oil from your face and further helps open up those pores. This toner is gentle and under $10.00.

Fourth product – Cleen Beauty

I had never heard of this product but I’m so glad I found this product through a Google search. I was looking for skincare products under $10.00 and this brand popped up first in my search and imagine my delight when I found it could be purchased at Wal-mart. All of Cleen Beauty products are under $10.00 and vegan. I purchased their serum, night moisturizer, and night mask and I am happy with each of these products. My skin definitely has even more of glow then ever.

I cannot recommend these products enough! They are either natural or vegan and since I’ve been using these products I don’t suffer the slight tingling or discomfort I use to deal with when using other products because they don’t have harsh ingredients. They can be purchased from drug stores, Wal-mart, or online. My skin is smoother, brighter, and softer. It doesn’t hurt that they are extremely affordable!

Until next time Southenistas! Remember Be safe, Stay home, wash your hands, and practice social distancing!

Regina

Best Tights I’ve Ever Worn

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Hello Southernistas! Well I know I’ve been M.I.A in fact I haven’t blogged since October and I can only apologize. I decided to just enjoy the holiday season and I was really going to resume at the beginning of the year but then I took a 21 day social media fast to reconnect with God. After the fast I just got use to not blogging but those days are behind me and I am back feeling refreshed, renewed, and restored.

For my first 2020 blog I wanted to talk about as the title says the best tights I’ve ever worn and it’s all because I took a chance and responded to an Instagram ad about Snag Tights. I will admit I am very wary when it comes to Instagram and Facebook advertising because the product doesn’t always live up to the hype unless it’s an ad from an established company but with winter around the corner I decided to see if the hype was real. Snag promised that their tights are not just size inclusive but height inclusive also which was what caught my attention. At 5’3 my biggest complaint about wearing tights are that when I put them on I can literally pull them all the way up to my underarms! I always go by the size chart recommendations on my tights but I swear they make tights for Amazons and not shorties like myself or the tights I do purchase that fit I only get 1 or 2 wears out of them before I have to throw them away with the exception of Lane Bryant. Not to mention tights I’ve worn in the past have either been too big once I put them on or too small. What made up my mind to try these was Gloria Shuri Henry who is a YouTuber (glowpinkstah) and is in the add wearing their tights.

Once the decision was made to purchase the tights I went to their website and was very surprised at the variety of tights they offer but they also have chub rub shorts, fishnets, sheer pantyhose and skin tone tights. They have opaque tights, woolies (merino wool), and semi opaques too. Depending on the type you purchase they cost from $20 (woolies) to $12 and the chub rub shorts are $13 but if you order 3 pair you get a 10% discount, 5 pair 15%, and 10 pair 25% off . I ordered their short F according to the size chart in black and caramel. Snag Tights is a British company so be prepared for a wait to receive your order it was 3 weeks before I received my order but they do offer next day delivery . When they arrived I was excited to try them out and OH MY they fit my short little legs perfectly! The short F black tights fit me and stopped at my natural waist. I can’t begin to tell y’all how wonderful it was to put on a pair of tights that stop at my waist with no sagging. They are so comfortable and feel so good on my legs.

I highly recommend Snag Tights it will be the best money you spend!

Until next time remember BE BOLD! BE BEAUTIFUL! BE CONFIDENT!

This post is not sponsored by Snag Tights

Snag Tights Black| Calvin Klein White Button Down Blouse and 41 Hawthorne Skirt from Stitch Fix|Blazer from Lane Bryant (old similar here and here).

The Shape of Things

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This post is not sponsored by Lane Bryant or Catos I just really love their shapewear.

Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all enjoyed this last weekend of Summer and are ready to kick of the first day of Fall! I can’t believe Summer is over! I hope your Summer was full of fun in the sun (with sunscreen) and travel.

Today I want to talk foundation garments specifically shapewear now there are those who don’t wear it and those who want leave the house without their Spanx. I am one who wears shapewear when needed but I was also that person who wouldn’t wear shape wear. I found it uncomfortable and at times very painful plus I also believed that if I wore it I was trying to make myself look smaller but I have come to realize that is not the purpose of shapewea. Shapewear is not about trying to look “smaller” as many A list actresses wear shapewear and proudly admit that they wear shapers. I have come to realize that the purpose of shapewear is not to make you look smaller but to smooth you out and when you are wearing that body con dress or jeans/pants it gives you a smooth clean look.

Shapewear is not necessarily one size fits all and gone are the days of our grandmother’s girdle that only came in super painful. There are different types of shapewear depending on what look you are going for. There is shapewear that is very firm and really holds you in to shapewear that smooths you out with no firmness at all. I personally like Lane Bryant and Catos shapewear. Lane Bryant’s Cacique’s line comes in different levels ranging from 4 being extra hold to 1 which is no firmness and it doesn’t roll down. Catos’ is perfect to once again smooth you out especially their panties and they are not expensive whereas Lane Bryant is a little pricey. Also when purchasing shapewear do not size down or up get the shapewear in your size! So don’t be afraid of shapewear there is something out there for everyone and tons of videos on YouTube by plus size bloggers with their shapewear recommendations.

I bought this beautiful yellow body con maxi dress from Just Fab and the first time I wore it I didn’t wear shapewear as you can see but when I wore it again I made sure I wore shapewear and you can see the difference. I am wearing Lane Bryant’s Cacique #1 shapewear which is not firm and it just makes me look good in this dress.

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

Dress from JustFab.com (sold out) alternate, alternate| Shoes from JustFab.com (sold out) alternate

Rock Your Runway

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Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all had an absolutely fabulous weekend and that you are relaxed and recharged. If you attended church on Sunday I pray you are fully restored and filled and ready for Monday.

This weekend I attended a plus size fashion show with my beautiful friend and style sister Laura of the blog wonderfullymadestyle, y’all go check out her blog. The fashion show was produced by the talented Mrs. Jenica who is the founder and CEO of Plushy Jenica and she truly put on an amazing fashion show! The models were different shapes, sizes, and heights but they were all beautiful and fierce as were the fashion they rocked. As we enjoyed the fashion show the audience was invited to rock the runway between collections and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you Laura and I were more than happy to struct our stuff on the runway!

I want to encourage you today whatever size you are to rock your runway! You may never walk in New York Fashion Week but everyday that you get up, get dressed and step outside your house you can rock your runway ladies and gents! Whether you are going to work, running errands, or keeping up with the little ones you can step out onto your own personal runway and work your style with confidence. You never know who you will inspire!

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

Here are some pictures from the Plushy Jenica Fashion Show. If you would like information about any of the outfits from the fashion show check out Plushy Jenica’s Facebook page.

Laura https://wonderfullymadestyle.wordpress.com/ in Eloquii
Laura of wonderfullymadestyle and I ready for the Show
The Fabulous Jenica of Plushy Jenica

My Dress is from the Betsy Johnson x Dia & Co Collection (sold out)| Shoes from Just Fab

My Second Favorite Color

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Happy Monday Southernistas! I hope I y’all had a great weekend and that you are feeling rested, renewed, and restored and ready to conquer your week.

It is not secret that my absolutely favorite color is red! I look amazing in the color red and I feel bold, confident and sexy in red too. I mean what girl doesn’t feel a total boss babe or a sexy siren when they put on a red dress or lipstick or even a killer pair of red stilettos. But I must confess there is another color I am starting to fall in love with and that is the color green. Now don’t get me wrong it will never replace my first love red but over the last year I find myself gravitating to the color green whenever I go shopping. I discovered this beautiful green maxi dress at Ashley Stewart and it is so comfortable and stylish but alas it is sold out but I will provide links to alternates. Green always reminds of Spring and Summer and it is such a restful and peaceful color and it is a soft color. Green can also be a bold color like every color there is a shade of green for everyone.

With fall just around the corner I’ve been checking out the darker tones of the color Green and can’t wait to incorporate them in my fall closet. If you are looking in your closet and wondering what’s missing I would suggest you incorporate a little green in your closet and just enjoy all the compliments.

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

Dress from Ashley Stewart (sold out) alternate, alternate, alternate| Shoes from Payless Shoe Source

My New Skincare Routine

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Hello Souternistas! I hope everyone had a great weekend and that you are now recharged and refreshed and ready for Monday.

If you’ve been following me for any time you’ll know that I did a post all about my skincare routine a while ago but since then my routine has changed. I was introduced a few months ago to Yeouth Skincare and since then more and more of Yeouth’s products have been replacing my other skincare products that I thought I would never let go. Yeouth is fragrance free, sulfate free, cruelty free, paraben free, and gmo free so you don’t have to worry about harsh ingredients. I started out with incorporating their Retinol Serum into my skincare routing and I quickly saw wonderful results. I now use Yeouth’s hyaluronic acid, vitamin C & E Serum, and the Glycolic Acid 30% gel peel and my skin looks great! Not only does my skin look great but I love how gentle they are on my skin also. The products I use to use could sometimes irritate my skin but since I’ve been using Yeouth I have experienced no skin irritation.

I am so glad I was introduced to Yeouth Skincare products. They are gentle on my skin and I love the results since I’ve been using these products. If you are looking for an all natural skincare line please check out Yeouth and let me know what you think of their products. To get 20% off your first order use SOCIAL20.

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

Finding Inspiration

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Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all have had a wonderful weekend and that you stayed cool and fashionable in this heat.

I must admit that lately I’ve just felt like I’ve lost my fashion mojo. The great thing about fashion is that there is so much great plus size fashion out there and my closet reflects this the problem is there is so much great plus size fashion and my closet reflects this. I honestly don’t know how full time bloggers do it! Once upon a time I hardly had anything to wear and now I have an overwhelming selection. Usually I plan out my outfits for the week but lately I have been lacking inspiration. I have just felt so uninspired the last few weeks and I find myself looking in my closet thinking whatever my hand lands on that is what I will wear and sometimes that works.

I plan to find my inspiration by tapping into my style sisters at church, my friends, on Instagram, and the Dia Facebook community where there is sisterhood and I am always encouraged and inspired by the women in the Dia community who are fearless. These are great ways to rediscover my fashion mojo. If you’ve been feeling uninspired lately or have lost your fashion mojo tap into your community weather it is on online or in real life and rediscover you fashion inspiration.

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

Dress from Eloquii | Shoes from Payless Shoe Source | Bag from JustFab (sold out) alternative

Miss Dynasty

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Hello Southernistas! I hope y’all are having a fabulous 4th of July holiday and that hopefully you were able to have a 4 day weekend.

I want to introduce y’all to Miss Dynasty whose sizes range from XS to 4X. This is a great company with plenty of cute and affordable fashion. The sizing is junior plus so please use the size chart and check out the reviews before purchasing. When they reached out to me (my first) to give them a try I was hesitant to do so at first because my style is modest and I didn’t think I would find anything that would work with my style aesthetic but I was so wrong! I found this cute denim ruffle t-shirt dress and it checks all of my style boxes. The fit also is great for me especially in my arms and I liked how the dress moved with me. I have worn this dress multiple times and gotten so many compliments every time I’ve stepped out in this dress. I like that I can be super casual in this dress or dress it up and not sacrifice comfort. I’m sorry to say that this dress is sold out but I have linked an alternate that I think you will love.

The wonderful people at Miss Dynasty has given me a PROMO code that you can use, again a first for me, to receive 25% off your order with them which I have linked below. This discount if for you and I don’t receive any money when you use the promo code and this post is not sponsored by Miss Dynasty.

To receive 25% off your order use PROMO https://missdynasty.com/discount/REGINA

Denim Ruffle Dress (sold out) alternate

Until next Southernistas remember BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE BEAUTIFUL!

Another Year

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Hello to all my Southernistas! I hope y’all had a great weekend and that your Monday has been a good one.

Today is my birthday! That’s right today I turn 48 and I count myself blessed to see another year. In the past I’ve usually been so depressed when my birthday comes because I am so focused on the negative and what I don’t have instead of counting my blessings. Year 48 I am looking for greater blessings and even more love. I know I’m blessed to have a loving family, a beautiful daughter, awesome friends, the best church family (love you AHOD) and my fashion is ever evolving. I am embracing my natural salt and pepper hair and I have my hair stylist Angelia to thank for knowing what’s best for me even when I’m being stubborn. I changed the name of my blog and I have great things in store for the blog this year! I am also in great company in celebrating my birthday because I share it with the ah..mazing Stacey Jemison as well as Judy Garland.

To celebrate my birthday I turned to my favorite retailer Eloquii and got this beautiful strapless fringe dress I have been lusting over forever and paired it with my go to black lace bell sleeve top from Ashley Stewart for modesty. Pulled the whole look together with these cute silver shiny heels from JustFab.

So as I enter into year 48 I enter with expectation and anticipation! Who knows this could be the year I meet my husband.

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

Also I’ve included pictures of the birthday surprise from my daughter

Strapless Fringe Dress from Eloquii (no longer available) alternative, alternative, alternative| Lace Bell Sleeve from Ashley Stewart (no longer available)| Halsey Pointed Toe Shoes from Justfab.com

OMG…My Blog turned 1!

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Hello to all my Southernistas! I hope your week has been awesome and that you are ready for the three day weekend and remember to take time to remember those who paid the ultimate price in service to our country.

I can’t believe it has been a year since I started this blog! My actual blog birthday was May 6th but things got a little crazy at work. First I never thought I would ever start a blog and now I’ve blogging for a year so crazy. When I started this blog it was and still is my intention to share my fashion journey and a peek inside my life (not a lot happening) with my fellow fashion addicts. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I really thought a lot about weather to start a blog because there are so many awesome blogs out here now but with the encouragement of my Mom, my best friend Lisa, and the awesome Shelia Amir’s Blogging with Precision class I took the plunge and here I am 1 year later. So today I just want to share what I’ve learned in my first year.

First Lesson: Blogging is hard! It is one thing to say I’m going to start a blog but it’s a whole another world when you start! Blogging is a commitment and you have to be willing to commit time weather you are doing it as a hobby (me), part time, or pursuing it as a full time career you have to be committed.

Second Lesson: Blogger/Social Media Workshops are worth the money! When I decided to take that step and start a blog I had no idea where to begin (refer to lesson 1) and I was overwhelmed when I did a Google search. The great thing is I had enrolled in a social media workshop and it helped me so much and when I received an email that Shelia was offering a workshop all about blogging I gladly paid the money. It was money well spent and at the end of the blogging workshop I had the tools I needed to start my blog. Now there are free online blogging classes offered online too if the funds are just not there but if you can make the investment.

Third Lesson: Blogging requires organization! Yes you must be organized when it comes to blogging especially if you have decided to make it a career. There are so many tools available that will help you get organized and stay organized. There are blogging workshops, manuals, and every state has a blogger network you can join for a fee and YouTube is a great resource too. Seasoned bloggers who have a YouTube channel have shared great advice.

Fourth Lesson: Be You! I follow a lot of bloggers but I know that as much as I admire these bloggers I am not them and I have to be Regina and have my own voice. Make sure your blog reflects you. It is totally okay to admire and even to aspire to be like that blogger you love but don’t lose who you are because you are pretty cool yourself and the more authentic you are the more authentic your blog.

Fifth Lesson: Blogging doesn’t have to be expensive! I started my blog on Medium.com before I moved to WordPress but there are other sites you can go to and they are free. Also don’t stress over hiring a photographer. My mom takes all of my photos on my cell phone and I get asked all the time who my photographer is and when I say my mom the look on people’s face is priceless. Also I’m learning how to take my own pictures and check out my girl Laura of wonderfullymadestyle she takes her own photos! Don’t stress thinking you needs buckets of money all you need are people who love you and support you to help you make your dream come true.

Last but not least I’ve learned to have fun! Blogging can be stressful but it can also be loads of fun too especially the photo shoots.

Well those are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned this first year of blogging and I’m constantly learning and discovering something new and neat everyday.

Thank you for following me and your comments and encouragement! This blog would not exist without my Southernistas! As always remember Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Dress from Fullbeauty.com (no longer available)| Shoes from Venus | Bag from Justfab.com

My Skincare Routine

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Hello my lovely Southernistas! I hope your week is off to a great start. My Monday was a little rocky at work but all in all in it was a good day.

I thought in this blog post I would share my skincare routine with y’all which takes me 30 minutes from start to finish and is well worth the time. I will confess I have been pretty lazy when it comes to my skincare routine and my skin has reflected this so I decided this year I would get serious about my skin after all it is the largest organ and as I get closer and closer to 50 I realize I need to take better care of this organ. One of the first things I’ve started doing is drinking more water! That is the best thing you can do for your skin. When you hydrate you will see your skin start to look clearer and healthier. Try drinking water for 30 days and if you don’t see any results let me know but I can guarantee you will see the results.

For my morning routine I usually use L’Oreal cleanser but I’m currently using Garnier sulfate free cleanser, Burt’s Bee’s lip scrub, L’Oreal toner, L’Oreal Revialift serum, L’Oreal eye cream, L’Oreal hyaluroinc acid (new addition), collagen that I buy from Family Dollar, and a moisturizer with SPF 25 sunscreen. Sunscreen is important regardless of race!

For my night routine I add Yeouth skincare retinol serum along with a face oil or mask. After I apply the collagen I use L’Oreal’s night cream and the last item I use before I go to bed is L’Oreal’s overnight mask.



Since I’ve started drinking more water and being consistent about day and night skincare routine my skin has never looked better. My skin look healthy and I’ve gotten so any compliments! This is not a sponsored post by any of these brands I just really love their products and they have worked for me. The prices range from $20.00 – $1.00. I didn’t list any of the masks I use but I use the Global Beauty brand mask and you can buy them at Family Dollar for $1.00 and they have a variety of masks.

Southernistas it is never too late to start a skincare routine no matter the age just get started and fine what works for you! Nor does it have to drain your pocketbook.

Until next Southernista remember Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

My Tips for Online Shopping

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)


Breaking the Rules

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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!

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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)

Finding Your Style

“Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it.” — Diane von Furstenberg

Happy Thursday Southernistas! We’ve almost made it to the weekend and I’m sure we are rejoicing that it is almost Friday. 

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time and now I’m going from thinking about it to writing about finding your style. The sage advice from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg are wise words to live by my friends. When it comes to fashion it also reminds me of the quote by Yves St. Laurent “fashions fades, style is eternal” which is so true and many of us tend to think of fashion and style as the same thing but it is not. Fashion is what you wear and fashions change all the time but style is who you are. It is finding what works for your personality and life and making it your own. For many years I struggled with this very thing I thought fashion was style so I spent a lot of years chasing trends and clothes and never liking anything because I was rolling with the fashion instead of defining who I am I let fashion define who I was. It took me a long time to find my style but I finally found it and so while I follow fashion (almost slavishly) I am looking at what I can incorporate into my closet and fits my style which is modest, classic, and super feminine I mean you’ve seen the pictures so I’m sure y’all already worked out what my style is by yourselves. 

Finding your style doesn’t happen overnight it takes trial and error and really knowing who you are and what works for your life. Style can be edgy, feminine, nerdy, sexy, vintage, eclectic and the list goes on and on. Maybe you’ve let others define your style for you and you’ve just worn what you were told to wear but was never comfortable well this is the day you declare your independence! If you’re plus size then I don’t need to tell you that for so many years our style was determined by a bunch of dos and don’ts and mumus. 

I can already hear some of you saying but how do I find my style? Glad you asked first take an self assessment of you ask yourself what makes you feel like you. Ask friends you trust what words would they use to describe you and take those words and use them to determine your style. Think about you automatically find yourself wearing or your what are your go to pieces. Is your go to a killer leather/pleather jacket and jeans and cool top sounds like you have edgy style or do you find yourself wearing that jacket with a cute little pencil or mini skirt is could be a mix of edgy/sexy. You can have more than one style but it needs to be unique to you.

Another great resource to help you find your style is a subscription service like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, Dia & Co, Wantable, Amazon and so so many other fashion subscription services. With these services you complete a style quiz which you can update and change as you find your style and depending on what service you use you can get between 5–10 pieces to try on in your home. You can keep what you like and return what you don’t like or you can return everything and all it will cost you (again depending on the service) is $20. You work with a stylist and some of these services the stylist will actually reach out to you and talk with you to get an idea of who you are before they actually send you a style box.

Style is all about who you are! It makes a statement about that all about you and nobody knows you better that you do! When you find your style and you will it may take some trial and error it did for me but once I stopped chasing fashion and thought about who I was my style reflected who Regina is and yours will too!

Until next time Southernistas!

Eloquii Sun Dress, Shoes & Tote Just Fab (NLA) alternate, alternate, alternate

Wednesday Reads

Happy Wednesday fellow readers! Ya girl has been on a reading roll…YES! Not only did I finish Put Out to Pasture by Amanda Flowers but I also read Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delaney and I am now reading No Good Tea Goes Unpunished by Bree Baker

As I already stated I finally finished reading the second book in Amanda Flower’s Farm to Trouble mystery series Put Out to Pasture and I loved it! I was lukewarm towards her debut novel Farm to Trouble the first book in the series but I live by personal rule of not dismissing a series based on the first book. Often times the next book in a series is better than the first and you find yourself a new cozy series or it you don’t.

That is the case with Put Out to Pasture I loved this second book in the series so much. Shiloh finds herself solving another murder when her best friend Kristy is accuse of murdering Minnie Devani who she has a very public fight with at Shiloh’s Fall Daze event she is hosting at Bellamy Farm to try and raise much needed funds and recognition of her fledgling organic farm business. But things go sideways when Minnie is found murdered later that day in the corn maze and Kristy is the prime suspect!

I liked Shiloh much more than I did in the first book but I much confess that I really wish she would have some serious heart to hearts with her father, cousin, and possible love interest Quinn. The author does a great job of character development, world building, and plot but she still leaves a lot of loose ends when it comes to family and possible romantic relationships and I am hoping that will not always be the case with this series.

Overall I give this book 4 stars!

My Reading Buddy

Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) Book 1 by Vicki Delany

Vicki Delaney is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. She is the author of several cozy series that I love and read and I’ve been wanting to read her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery for awhile and it has been on my virtual TBR (to be read) pile for a long time so I was so happy this was picked as the May of my Facebook book club.

This is another winner from Vicki! Gemma Doyle is a transplant from England to West London, Massachusetts in Cape Cope and co-owns Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium with her great uncle Arthur and the adjoining Mrs. Hudson Tearoom with her best friend Jayne but Gemma is not a Sherlock Holmes fan her great uncle Arthur and friend Jayne are the Holmes fan. While Gemma may not be a fan of the fictional detective she has the same observational skills as the great detective so much so that nothing gets past Gemma. I really enjoyed this first book in this series and I loved the Sherlock Holmes Easter eggs all through the book. If you are a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective you really should give this book a read.

When Gemma finds a possibly valuable Strand Magazine signed by Arthur Conan Doyle tucked among her bookshelves she remembers the lady that came in when she was in the mist of a rush of tourist and realizes she much have put it there. Gemma finds out where the lady is staying and along with her friend Jayne goes to the hotel she is staying at to let the woman she know she found her magazine but instead finds the woman dead. Now its up to Gemma and Jayne to find out who killed this mystery woman and remove themselves as suspects no matter how many times the police tell them to stay out of the investigation.

When I first started reading this novel I started out not liking Gemma very much but as I read I began to warm up to Gemma and found myself liking her very much!

I’ve just started reading the second book in Bree Baker’s Seaside Cafe Mystery Series No Good Tea Goes Unpunished and wow what a great book so far. If you’re looking for some great beach reads I highly recommend this series.

Such a Fun Read!

Embrace You

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde

Hello Southernistas! I hope ya’ll’s week has been a good one! First let me start off by saying Welcome MARCH! As far as I’m concerned when March arrives it’s Spring even if the 1st day of Spring is March 20th.

I want to encourage y’all to embrace who you are. Now if you’re thinking this sounds like something she has already talked about then I say it may very well be but I’m going to beat the drum until you get with the beat! I’m not just talking about accepting your body and learning to love the body you have now rather than the body you want but I’m talking about all of Y-O-U! Yes that’s right embrace all the loveliness of your person. Every quirky, weird, funny personality trait about yourself. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you are someone’s cup of tea. We spend way to much of our life trying to conform to the expectations of people who in reality don’t really matter in the grand scheme of thing. God made you and gave you your own individual idiosyncrasies that makes you unique. Our ultimate goal is to be who God has created us and called us to be.

It took me years to embrace myself and to stop trying to fit in with everyone just to have friends by changing who I am. I finally embraced that yes I like rock music, B movies, classic movies, and other things that people find weird but when I embraced me that’s when I found my real friends. Real friends love the person you are and they help you to grow as a person but not loose your spark or who you are. I am blessed to have real friends in my life who lift me up and have always loved and accepted me for me but have helped me to grow and do the whole adult thing.

There is no one like you. No one can bring to the table what you can bring to the table or offer what you have to offer. Only you have that particular skill set to do what needs to be done. No one has your sense of style, sense of taste, sense of humor, or problem solving skills that are unique to just you. So go ahead and embrace all of you. If you need help seek help from a great therapist who can help you on your journey of growth.

Y’all life is too short to bend ourselves to the will of others instead of just embracing who you are and being who God has created you to be so I encourage you today to embrace YOU! As Polonius said to Shakespeare’s Hamlet ‘This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.’

Until next time Southernistas!

My Favorite Cozy Mystery Podcasts

Hi Southernistas! Well we are 14 days into 2022 and I hope it’s going great for y’all and that y’all are being a fruitful and productive but most of all haven’t broken your resolutions (if you make one)!

Like many of you I love a good podcast mostly true crime and Christian podcasts but between the true crime and Christian podcasts I’ve discovered some great book podcasts. I am an avid reader of cozy mysteries in fact the last three posts were a wrap up of my favorite mysteries I read in 2021. So now I want to share some of my favorite cozy mystery podcasts. You can listen to these podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Goggle Podcasts or whatever platform you listen to podcasts.

Happy listening y’all!

  1. The Cozy Corner with Alexia Gordon — Alexia Gordon is the author of the Gethsemane Brown mystery series and the host of this podcast. I love this podcast and her interview style. It’s always great to hear an author interview another author about their writing process. New episodes every Wednesday. For more information you check out the podcasts website www.thecozycornerwithalexiagordon.com

2. Cozy Ink Podcast — Leah Bailey is the host and she is also a author. What I love about this podcast is that there are not only author interviews but Leah also has several authors on to discuss different aspects of publishing and writing. They give great advice and tips for aspiring authors. You can learn about Leah and the podcast on her website www.leahbaileyauthor.com. New episodes are not out yet but when she does they will come out every Tuesday.

3. Get Cozy Podcast with Krysti Meyer — Krysti discovered cozy mysteries at the beginning of 2021 and fell so in love with this genre of mysteries she decided to do a podcast and TA DAH…the Get Cozy Podcast is born. Krysti brings a millennial view point with her podcast and you clearly hear her love of cozy mysteries as she interviews the authors. Every episode deals with a particular topic in cozy mysteries the she talks with the authors about and I love it! At the end of every episode Krysti gives book recommendations. New episodes every Wednesday. You can follow the show on Instagram @getcozypodcast

4. Sister in Crime Writer’s Podcast — This podcast is hosted by Sisters in Crime Executive Director Julie Hennrikus. Julie interviews members and past presidents of Sisters in Crime about their writing journey. The authors are from every genre of mystery and don’t let the title of the podcast fool you male mystery authors are interviewed also. If you want to learn more about this organization check out their website www.sistersincrime.org.

5. Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast is produced by King’s River Magazine that features actor’s reading the first chapter of a mystery or a short story. For more information www.mysteryrat.com or http://www.kingsriverlife.com