Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tank Inspiration

Date: 7/19/14
Time: 11:00pm
Inspiration: My tank top; It read: “Keep your head up high beautiful”

Everything used to be one big blur…I knew that I wanted to make an impact on the world but had no idea where to start.  Then it dawned on me, that in order to make a difference, it was imperative that I start with myself first – and so my journey began. 

For starters, I had to lose those things that were hindering me from moving forward.  Perhaps, you may be holding on to these things too, but I am here to let you know that it is time…time to let them go!

Doubt and fear were the first to get the boot (steel toes needed lol).   I had to get rid of the idea that I couldn’t/shouldn’t.  There were way too many opportunities out here that I passed up as a result of holding on to these twins.  Today, as I press forward, not really sure of how I will reach my goals, I believe wholeheartedly that as long as I work towards them, the way will be made.  The key is to keep the dream in my heart and keep the faith, no matter the time or process it takes.

Next, I had to get rid of low self-esteem and its cousins, low (or no) confidence and negative body image.  I read in my bible that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and once I got that down in my heart, life has made so much more sense.  I thought at one time that happiness would come once I reached a certain weight – and boy was I wrong!  The day that I fell in love with me, the heavens opened up.  It took some years but my daily prayer was: “God, help me to see what you see.”  In time  my prayer was answered!  Although I don’t remember the exact day that it happened, I just know that things were different.  I wasn’t the same person anymore and I had gotten a sweet taste of freedom!  I can smile on the outside, because my heart is truly glad.  I am happy with me…to be me…and I love me, unconditionally and unapologetically. 

I also had to get rid of unforgiveness.  It did not mean I act as if hurtful things didn’t happen, but to forgive those people.  Truth is, they had moved on with their lives and here I was still here “holding the bag”.  It took some time but I was finally able to release the hurtful things of the past.  All along I thought forgiving someone was a sign of weakness.  In actuality, forgiving those who hurt you is strength at its finest!  Moreover, I also had to forgive myself for choosing to live beneath my privilege.

Now that I am free, it has become my mission to spread messages of self-love everywhere I go.  I want every young lady out there to know (and walk in) the power that they have.  Loving yourself will help you avoid so many pitfalls in life because you will not only know your self-worth but value it as well.  As I stated in my pageant speech, “It is written that when you have been strengthened now you go and strengthen your brother.  [Now that I am] crowned Ms. Full Figured USA 2014, I will strengthen my sisters!”

And that ladies and gentleman,  is how I plan to leave my mark on the world!!! 

Nijah J.

Here's a pic of me wearing the tank.
It was purchased at the $10 Spot for $7

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bandeau Review!!!

Oh Instagram, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!!!!!

The purpose of this blog post is to share my thoughts on this cute bandeau that I won from an Instagram giveaway given by @ivoryjinelle.  For starters, I had to google what it was since I had never heard of a bandeau before *adjusts glasses*.  Next, I followed the directions to enter the contest- never thinking I would win…but wait – when, where, why and how in the world was I going to wear one? 

Welp, I won and was challenged to both wear it and post pics.  Believe it or not, I wasn't hesitant but more so determined to make it work.  Here are the results!  I loved the outfit and I felt super cute and confident – yes, all while showing a tad bit of tummy...besides, y’all ain’t ready for my 6 pack anyway, lol!!!!!!!!!!!!! *winks*

                                                                                       Outfit details:
                                                                        Distressed Jeans - Forman Mills
                                                                            Bandeau- ZelieforShe
                                                                              Pumps- Nine West
                                                                                 Blouse- Macy’s
                                                                           Sunglasses- Old Navy
                                                                           Necklace- Avenue
                                                                            Ring- Ashley Stewart
                                                                 Ruffled Bonnet- Beauty Supply Store

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I love BOOSHIE & you should too!!

Today’s post highlights these fabulous earrings.  They were custom made by Shy Booshie, of Booshie Raggz, LLC.  The company specializes in unique and custom made hair bows & accessories, but is most widely known for their bedtime bonnets - all of which vary in prices and can be purchased directly through her website.

However, I received my earrings for FREE because I participated in the Instagram/Facebook 30 Day Spiritual Cleanse Challenge given by @aliyah_cherrisse and @shy_booshie was the sponsor.  By the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Ms. Aliyah Cherrisse competed in the Ms. Full Figured Pageant last year and is currently a print model for Ashley Stewart!!!

My free custom accessories bundle came beautifully packaged in a lilac sheer organza bag, along with a business card and Booshie Hair Bow!  The earrings are just the right amount of gaudy (and lightweight, which is a plus) colorful and are guaranteed to make a statement!!!  I wore them today and received so many compliments! 

Kudos to both ladies for the collaboration and well wishes on their future endeavors!!!!
A few selfies! :-)
Outfit details
Shrug- Rainbow Shop
Cami- Old Navy
Skirt- Macy's
Shoes- Payless

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

NYDJ Review

So I went to Macys with the intent to browse.  I repeat: I DID NOT GO THERE TO BUY ANYTHING! (I know yall have used this excuse before too, lol).  While searching through the racks, I came across a pair of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans in a size 16.  Honestly, my first reaction was “Oh great…mom jeans!”  But I ignored that assumption, removed the jeans from the rack and added them to the growing bunch of clothes already folded over my arms.  Besides, they were my size, so why not try them on?

I get in the fitting room and I’m still eyeing the jeans, wondering how they were going to fit.  I remembered hearing that they were referred to as the “tummy tuck” jeans.  So being the “plush tummy-nista” that I am, finding a pair of jeans that doesn’t accentuate that area can be a hassle. 

To my surprise, the NYDJ fit like a glove!!!!  That tummy panel/fabric in the jeans acts as a band, which holds my stomach in and gives me a nice sleek silhouette.  Also, it has a higher waist, which is an extra plus!!  So for a mere $28, I got a steal, especially since the original price was $130.00.  

Outfit details: I got the tank from the $10 Spot.  It's actually part of a 2 piece outfit I got from there.  I can’t wait to do a review on that outfit!!!!  The shoes were purchased on clearance from Payless Shoes last year and the hat is from Old Navy - clearance too of course!  (I’m ballin’ on a budget, lol!)  
Face:  I want to say that I was never into colored lips, but I fell in love with bright colors with a matte look.  I am wearing Forever 21 Matte Lipstick in Red with a Sephora Cream Lip Stain on top and I am very pleased with the look.  With the Sephora lip stain, you don't have to keep reapplying it throughout the day.

Lastly, this is my latest “unit”.  It is by Model Model Hair and it was purchased at my local beauty supply store.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I loooooove the 27 piece look in jet black, but I decided to give it a rest until next fall, and opted for a lighter look…and I’m loving it too!! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

17 Sundays review!!!!!

Hello everyone in blog land!!  It’s Nijah AKA Pursuing My Passion.  It’s been about 2 months since I last blogged but so much has been going on…and yes they are all good things - so much so, that I am cheezin’ as I type! 

The purpose of this blog post is to review a  jacket that I WON (yes, you read that right) on Instagram.  It’s funny, I just logged on one day and the giveaway was right there.  It was given by @fullfiguredfierce for @myleighanns .  I followed the directions for the giveaway and like the other participants, I crossed my fingers in hopes I’d win…and to my surprise I did!!

This gorgeous jacket by 17 Sundays was ordered in a size 16 and I matched it with a pair of harem pants, a bright tee and some pumps.  I felt super cute on this fabulous spring day!  In my opinion, this jacket is an excellent addition to my growing wardrobe because it’s so versatile and can be worn with a number of pieces. 

Feel free to check out the website to purchase one of your own…or perhaps follow her on FB, IG or Twitter.  Who knows you may be the next winner!!

Here is how the model on the website was featured.

Outfit details:
Orange tee,  Shades & Earrings- Old Navy
Pants- Forman Mills
Shoes- Sam Edelman, purchased at TJ Maxx

So readers, I welcome your feedback!  What do you think??

Monday, February 3, 2014

Big girls & Crop Tops...oh my!!!

I've never been one to follow the trends.  However, occasionally, something catches my eye.  In the case of this blog post, the crop tops were of interest.  Now I know you all are saying, but Nij summer is over…not to mention we’re in the middle of a snowstorm!  And yeah, that is true but I decided to try them out for myself anyway - in February (chuckles)!!

Let’s be clear, I wanted to make one last summer but didn't know how and all the DIY videos I came across were rather complicated.  Even bigger than that is that I am not the owner of a flat tummy - which I thought was the prerequisite for wearing one!  So truthfully speaking, that was the main reason for my hesitation.  *confession time* Nevertheless last night, I just decided to make one and tweak it a little bit to suit my shape.  (In my opinion, it looked better with a tie, rather than just hanging down.  For that effect, I should have gotten a larger tee.)

More importantly, the lesson I learned is to not shy away from fashion that is normally geared towards slimmer women.  As long as it is figure flattering, and you wear it with confidence, then I say go for it!  So here’s a toast to my very first one and it won’t be my last.  

Outfit details: Everything was purchased with my own money.   I used an Old navy tee ($2.49), paired it with a pair of Old Navy jeans (size 16) and denim & tan heels from Nine West. 
How did I do???  I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!    ~Nijah~ 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chin Up! You have a reason to SMILE!

“If I could just lose this love handle, then I’ll be fine”…

“I need to lose 15 pounds, then I’ll feel better”…

“I hate my stomach…”

Admit it and be honest.  At one time or another you have said something like this about yourself at least once in your life or perhaps you thought you could never compare to one of the models in a magazine.   Well if you won’t tell the truth, I will because it’s time to expose this monster of low esteem and negative body image! 

Truthfully these are just some of the things I used to say about myself.  Whenever I would get into conversations with my friends or peers, the self-loathing would begin.  I would criticize this body part because it was too big, or that body part because it was too small…and so the cycle continued.   It is truly a vicious cycle that is so damaging to the human psyche.  I mean who said just because I’m plus size that I must have low self-esteem?  Who said that plus size women aren’t beautiful?  Where did this misnomer come from? 

For so long I believed the lies, hiding behind big clothes to make myself invisible.  I never felt good enough or cute enough.  My thoughts were all negative and it was pure madness!  If I continued to look at society and their definition of “true beauty”, I might as well have crawled under a rock and stay or the rock fall on me.  Unfortunately, society has not totally embraced diversity with respect to the plus size community, and rather than wait for them, I decided to be proactive. 


At that point, something happened.  I had taken my power back.  At that moment, I was Popeye right after he had eaten his spinach!  I decided to look in the mirror and point out what I liked about my body.   I was grateful to have my size double digit feet.  (Nine West became my best friend!)  I learned to appreciate my jiggly arms and non-flat stomach.   My chubby cheeks helped form the biggest smile ever.  I began to love me…I mean truly love me!  It was so freeing, fun and filled with 'fabulosity'!  From that point on, it was no turning back.  Instead of speaking negative, I decided to speak life and words of encouragement over myself.    Once I embraced every flaw and every imperfection, I flipped the script.  It’s as if the blinders were removed from my eyes and I saw myself for the beautiful young lady who I was created to be!

Today I am a young woman who has embraced her flaws and imperfections.  I love life now more than ever.  I smile more, and it is truly from the inside.  As quiet as it’s kept, weight loss is NOT the anecdote for low self-esteem. 

So ladies, if you are like the old me, TODAY, IN THIS MOMENT learn to love you!  Listed below are a few of life’s lessons that I learned on my journey to self-discovery.
·           Find out who you are and do some soul searching and be honest about it.
·          Keep a daily journal.
·          Refuse at all costs to allow anyone to dictate how you should feel about you.
·          Spend quality time with yourself. 
·         Treat yourself how you would want someone else to treat you.

By practicing these tips each day, you will become empowered.  Know that you are beautiful! Own it!  “Chin up - you have a reason to smile!”  There are millions of girls all over the world looking for examples of confident curvy chicas…I challenge you to be one!