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New Year, Take 2: Monkey Business

In the spirit of building open and honest relationships through communication (Zappos Core Value no. 6), I’m going to let you in on a secret … January has been absolutely horrible for me on a personal level. A health crisis with my mom, a good friend in a horrible accident and a number of other small things have all added up to the point that I already want to tell 2016 it is fired. 

Fortunately, this week marked the start of the Chinese New Year and the year of the Monkey, and I am determined to salvage the rest of the year’s remaining 10 months. I am celebrating with my friends and family, much like the Chinese diaspora around the world. While in the United States New Year’s Eve is a night of revelry, Chinese New Year’s Eve is marked by reunion dinners with family members who have travelled home to honor the family’s ancestors, as well as to prepare for good fortune to come.

 

 

 

 

During these celebrations you will see red everywhere, from clothing to the lai see, which are envelopes that married people give to children and unmarried relatives and friends, as well as their employees. The money must be in an even denomination and cannot contain the digit four for good luck. As come upon the year of the Monkey, we are celebrating those who are intelligent, witty, curious and playful. Those who are born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004 will probably agree with that, as they are all monkeys as well! 

So while we push the reset on 2016, take a moment to enjoy a tangerine, pomelo (e.g. an orange) to bring luck, dumplings or egg rolls for prosperity, and some jai to celebrate the new beginnings. Let’s also create an outfit that that will bring together all of these elements to make you feel fabulous, and draw in a little luck!

 

 

 

 

GOLD and yellow are good for bringing in money, and to symbolize the power and royalty of the throne. The first emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor. The primary river in China is the Yellow River. And you can always count on yellow and gold to brighten up your outlook!

 

 

 

 

GREEN is the symbol for money in all of its shades. Jade green is especially powerful as it is believed to bless everything it touches, thus why you’ll see many in China and Vietnam wearing jade and gold charms.

 

 

 

 

RED is the Chinese national color, and represents happiness, beauty, success and good fortune. As mentioned above, red is found everywhere, even to double rows of red “xi” symbols on gates and doors to invite happiness. It is considered the happiest color in China, and is the color of wedding gowns! As a double bonus, 2016 is a Fire year, making this year’s monkeys even more ambitious and adventurous.

 

 

 

MONKEYING AROUND One of the most beloved stories in China is the story of the Monkey King. There are still articles written in many publications about “Calming the Monkey Mind.” The monkey is known to love being the center of attention, as well as being witty, intelligent and a little rebellious. What better way to celebrate the year of the Monkey than with a fabulous bag featuring a playful monkey, a playful earring or a sophisticated monkey’s fist — a symbol of friendship — which reminds us that each friendship is different, but built around a solid base.

 

If you’re celebrating in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style!

 

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8 White Haute Looks in the Winter Cold

Once upon a time there used to be a rule about wearing white after Labor Day, and if you wore white after it ... the hounds of heck would be unleashed upon the wearer with the wrath of the old biddies who enforced the rules of fashion, and wielded them against the “nouveau riche” during Reconstruction to keep them in their place. Thankfully, we now live in a time when we don’t have to worry about coal soot in the air staining our clothes as the temperatures drop, and we are no longer held to a limit of “winter white."

White can be fresh and clean or crisp and ready to go. Indoors or outdoors, there are a million different ways to wear white, and a myriad of ways to feel fabulous while doing it. Now, I know many people on the East Coast have had it with too much white stuff, but why not dismiss Old Man Winter with a nod to summer and the heat to come?

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, columbia, JAG, lauren ralph lauren, michael michael kors, NYDJ, plus fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

 

SWEET DREAMS Nothing brings on sweet dreams like a little fresh and clean cotton to wrap ourselves in at bed time as we head to the land of Nod.

 

 

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TOP IT OFF Comfortable clothes, great tops and little pops of color to break up the monochrome look?  Yes, please — and thank you!

 

 

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BOTTOMS UP There is nothing like a well-cut white pant to take a look to the next level. These great pieces highlight your assets while hiding your flaws, making them a perfect accompaniment.

 

 

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SNOWBUNNY DOES IT BETTER When it’s cold outside, and you want to stay warm while enjoying the great outdoors, nothing does it better than these great pieces by Columbia.

 

For sweet dreams or days on the slopes, you’re covered and feeling white haute. If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW- we’d love to see your style!

 

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Pajamas are Better in the Daytime

My sons created a great new family activity this year — pajama day. Once a month they ask me if we can have be a PJ’s day where we spend the day lounging, snuggling and reading, and we don’t do anything that involves getting dressed and leaving the house. There are no Cub Scouts, PTA or practice. We just focus on being with each other and enjoying one another’s company.

In the morning I make pancakes or a berries ‘n’ cream French toast casserole, and for dinner I throw something in the Crock-Pot. Some days we play video games, others we build amazing Lego creations or binge watch Minecraft videos cuddled up on the couch. Sometimes we just flop all over my bed with books. 

 

 

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While we make time to snuggle every day (I’m getting it in while they’re young, and every day they inch closer to that age when they’ll be too big to snuggle!), pajama day has become a precious thing to me, where no one else is invited to come over. 

Pajama day has reinforced me to be present in the present. Being willing to get on the floor and play and build opens up some amazing conversations between my sons and me. I love watching how my little guys’ mind works, and the stories and adventures they form around their “creations” give me such insight into his world. Example given, Darth Vader makes Minions pancakes and they all fight zombies together with banana boomerangs that Batman specially made for them. How cool of a place could that be to live? I mean, without the zombies.

We’re coming up on the holidays, and loungewear is huge for families all over. Our Elf on the Shelf, Tristan, has been leaving new pajamas for my sons the past few years. They love getting a gift before Santa comes, and I love that they have good looking jammies for Christmas morning pictures. This year I am treating myself to some new ones as well, since I’m unable to avoid having my picture taken on Christmas morning. (Thanks a lot, Mr. I’m the Favorite Uncle, for giving my oldest son a camera.) Regardless, I’ve found some amazing options for new sleepwear that will look and feel great whether you’re hibernating or enjoying your own pajama day with your favorite little people. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, bedhead, bella, Carole Hochman, cosabella, holiday gifting, jockey, lauren ralph lauren, natori, pajamas, plus fashion, robes, sleepwear, Well Rounded Wednesday, zappos, Zappos Plus

 

 

FEMININE CLASSICS There is something about the classics, and these menswear-inspired pajamas are definitely that. Updated in feminine fabrics and prints, these are great for lounging, and even better if the family paparazzi catches you unaware. 

 

 

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NIGHTS IN SATIN Satin pajamas not only help you sleep better (the satin slides across your sheets so you don’t get tangled up in them when you turn over), but they also just feel amazing against your skin. Implement beautiful patterns and you definitely can’t go wrong. 

 

 

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NIGHTGOWNS
Soft nightgowns are a great, feminine bit of sleepwear and are always my go-to when I’m feeling especially girlie. Warm flannel or soft-as-a-baby cotton, you’ll wish every day was pajama day with how amazing these feel. 

 

 

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ROBES When you need just a little bit of layer for warmth or a little more coverage, toss on a fabulous robe. These two are both super soft and, as an added bonus, will look fabulous in your Christmas morning pictures! 

 

If you’re celebrating the season in any of the looks shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style! 

 

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Isn’t It Romantic?: Valentine's Day Picks to LOVE

It’s that time of year again, when love is in the air and everywhere you look, you see images of love. Some days, it almost makes you want to throw things at your television, right? I’m going to make a confession here. It took me a while to come to love and accept my body, and some days I still don’t like it.  I know that’s okay, because I also know that no matter what size I am, or how I feel that I look, every woman has something they wish they could change. In fact, did you know that more women would choose a million dollars over having Giselle’s body?  I’ve learned as I have gotten older (and maybe a little wiser) that the best love you can have is for yourself.   

Love your amazing smile? Share it with the world.  Have a sexy brain that rocks at Trivia Crack? Take it on dates to the library, museums or a great speaker series to give it more. Learning to embrace the hips that carried and bore my two amazing sons has been an amazing exercise in learning to self-love. I know I will never be a size 2, but I am a size happy and healthy, and that is what matters the most.

Once you have learned to love the amazing, wonderful and miraculous body that you have been given, there’s nothing more amazing than enhancing and celebrating it with clothes that make you look and feel amazing.  An amazing dress that flatters and fits and just makes you feel like the vixen goddess you that you are! Thank you, Kiyonna!

Craving soft and romantic pieces for those times you are feeling more Jane Eyre than Hester Prynne? I am in LOVE with DKNY apparel’s soft blush hues for spring.  Wear a uniform every day but still want to feel a little fierce under it all? Hanky Panky has you covered. Rock your wardrobe and body comfortably, love yourself, and you just might be inspired to do something special or unexpected for YOU! And that, my friends, is the true definition of romance!

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1. Kiyonna Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress

2. DKNY Jeans Plus Size Lace Back Top

3. MICHAEL Michael Kors Plus Size Long Sleeve Top w/ Chain

4. Columbia Plus Size Super Tamiami™ Shirt

5. DKNY Jeans Plus Size Lurex Top

6. Adrianna Papell Plus Size Pleated Slit Neck Sheath

7. Tahari by ASL Plus Size Lester Dress

8. Hanky Panky Plus Size Signature Lace Unlined Cami

9. Hanky Panky Plus Size Signature Solid Boyshort

10. LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Plus Size Brushed Twill PJ Set

SHOP PLUS SIZE CLOTHING >>

Rocking some amazing looks you’ve seen here on the blog? Tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram using #WellRoundedWednesday- we would LOVE to see your style!

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Moms Rock! 5 Looks for Every Amazing Mom

If you had told me when I was 25 that someday, I would be able to cook dinner (without burning anything), check homework, soothe a crying preschooler and fold laundry all at the same time, I would have laughed in your face.  Then, I became a mom and realized I could do that, as well as a few other things, all at the same time!

In the military, mom is known as the Commander in Charge of House; others refer to moms as the ultimate CEO or Project Management Professional.  Moms know where every sock, each can’t-live-without stuffed animal and each vital Lego piece can be found. Sometimes, while she’s focused on keeping everyone else organized and looking awesome, moms forget to make themselves look as amazing on the outside as they are on the inside. This week, our amazing Zappos Stylists have helped bring together some amazing looks from our great plus brands for the most amazing women of all- Moms.

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Gifting mom with any of the amazing pieces featured here on Well Rounded Wednesday? Please tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram using #WRW- we would LOVE to see mom’s style!

 SHOP PLUS SIZE CLOTHING >>

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Fresh Picks: Summery Totes

From sunscreen to magazines to road-trip snacks, our handbags tend to work overtime, particularly in the summer. When it comes to tote bags that have the ability to carry everything but the kitchen sink, it’s important to mind fashion as well as function.

Checks out some of our favorite fashion totes below for instance, not only are they roomy enough to carry all those summertime essentials, they’re perfectly stylish for everyday wear.

So go ahead, bring that paperback book! You never know when a poolside reading opportunity will arise!

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1. Nine West Large Beach Tote, 2. BCBGMAXAZRIA Pvc Zip Tote, 3.Ted Baker Anacon, 4. Betsey Johnson All at Sea Tote, 5. MICHAEL Michael Kors Devon Large Shoulder Tote, 6. LAUREN Ralph Lauren Cap D'Ail Regat Tote

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Fresh Picks: Flat Sandals

Have you ever wondered if the road less traveled would get more foot traffic if cute shoes were more comfortable? Thank goodness for one of spring and summer’s must-have shoe trends—the wear-everywhere flat sandal!

These lovely yet practical sandals allow us to give our sky-high heels and platforms a break every now and again. Going to a musical festival? Want to stroll the boardwalk to catch the sunset? Just slip your feet into one of these chic little numbers and show off that new spring pedicure while you’re at it!

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1. Isola "Adelina", 2. French Connection "Vicky", 3. DV by Dolce Vita "Archer", 4. LAUREN by Ralph Lauren "Albany", 5. Sam Edelman "Gideon", 6. Rebecca Minkoff "Bettina", 7. Joie "Nice", 8. Sam Edelman Gigi, 9. Matisse "All About"

For even more spring sandal options, check out our Sandal Shop where we carry tons of different styles for every occasion!

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Fresh Picks: Structured Satchels

Although we’ve yet to come across a handbag silhouette we didn’t like, there’s just something about the sophisticated feel of a structured satchel that keeps us coming back season after season.

There’s literally a satchel (or a few) out there for every occasion, whether it’s work or weekend, day or night. No matter what size, color or shape you opt for, one thing is for sure: the versatile satchel is here to stay!

Below are just a handful of our latest picks just in time to ease you in to your early spring wardrobe.

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1. Rebecca Minkoff Blake, 2. BCBGMAXAZRIA Python Duffel, 3. Fossil Marlow Flap, 4. Dooney & Bourke, 5. MICHAEL Michael Kors Fulton Large Top-Zip Satchel, 6. LAUREN Ralph Lauren Chandler Triple Compartment Satchel