Monday, August 31, 2015

Good Bye to Summer - Part 1

Jewelry | Fall Fashion | Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration

Hi Ladies,
Greetings from D.C.! We actually decided to go here instead of Charleston. My parent's used to own a company that had an office in D.C., so I pretty much grew up here. My parents would go every other week and we would get to come up to go to the Smithsonian or shopping. It's probably my favorite city in America. I have never had a bad or even just okay meal here! Every time we go to a restaurant it's phenomenal!

Friday, August 28, 2015

How much do you spend on makeup? | August Budget

How much do you spend on makeup? | MY FAVORITE UNDER $50 MAKEUP | August Budget
Hi Ladies,

I didn't spend any money on clothes this month! Wow! I can't make a claim like that since middle school when my mom bought all my clothes. Instead of shopping for clothes I decide to update my makeup box. I haven't bought any in over a year, and I was out of foundation, mascara, etc. I also wanted a kit that was easy to apply and could be kept in my purse. I realized that since I now own my own personal styling service, I need to represent my brand while I'm out and about. :) Since I hate taking the time to put on makeup and having to use tools to apply it, everything I bought can be put on directly from the tube or with your hands. It feels more fun that way. What are your favorite inexpensive makeup products?

Oil Infusion Lip Gloss • Fresh Berries
Blush Me • Out of Control
Radiant Luminizing Drops • Ultralight
Neutrogena® Healthy Lengths Mascara • Black
Brow Enhancer • Pearly Opal
Tinted Brow Freeze • Medium 
Highlight Lowlight Face Contour Duo • Tan
Even Better Compact Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 • Deep Natural
MicroSmooth Baked Foundation Face Powder • Medium



Linking up with:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pink & Blue Floral | Business Casual Attire

Hi Ladies,
I'm going to be doing quickie posts this week. I'm switching over to my summer/ fall transition wardrobe, because I'm feeling very uninspired with my summer stuff. Plus I'm going to Charleston this weekend! Anyone have any restaurants to recommend?

Do you love monthly prizes? Checkout the @UbyKotex contest today for your chance to win! Click Here!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Choosing the Perfect Pair of Undies w/ U by Kotex Panty Liners

Choosing the Perfect Pair of Undies w/ U bu Kotex Panty Liners | Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | Fall Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration

Hi Ladies,
You know that feeling when something's not right? Why is that feeling so often linked to our undergarments? When I was in High School, I loved Victoria Secret's cotton undies. Every few months, I would go and buy up all their colors, but then the media started making a lot of fuss about  panty lines. (That was a dark day for comfort.) Eventually, I joined the band wagon and knew I needed to find some that didn't. This kicked off a hunt for the perfect "line-free" yet comfortable undies, and I finally came upon the boy short! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Last Hurrah for Summer!

SWING TOP | DRESSY CASUAL | Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | Fall Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration

Hi Ladies,
Happy Wednesday! If you want to know what I'm up to, check out this post! Can you believe that summer's almost over? That means Halloween is almost here. Yay! What's your favorite Holiday between Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas? I'm voting for Halloween. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The War Against Popcorn & Zone Bars

Hi Ladies,
I'm Merrie and I'm a Carb-aholic. I'm addicted to Zone Fudge Graham bars, among other things. Once you are done reading this, please consider driving to Charlotte and prying the bars out of my hands. (I promise not to bite or scratch.) Then I'll need you to run down to Target, buy up all their bars and destroy them. While you're on the way, can you pop over to the popcorn shop across the street and shut them down? I don't have the will power to live near a store that sells 50 different kinds of popcorn, and I'm grown enough to admit that. Especially, when they have 4 different Caramel & Cheese mixes. Four different kinds!!  Also, they don't post any of their nutritional information online, so you know there are a million calories in each bag. In addition, can you tell them that no, it's not ok to just buy two bags instead of one if you want to mix them? First, I feel it's wrong to spend $10 on popcorn, and second...who do you think is going to eat that other bag of popcorn? Me! That's who! So, instead of getting one bag of god-knows-how-many-calories-are-in-it-popcorn, I'll be forced to eat 2!
Ok...calm down. This is not the end of the world. You've faced candy down before. But, I'm so weak now. I'm not in top form. I'm one bar away from saying "forget it" and just moving into their factory. How am I gonna get out of this? I just lost 10 pounds and am in jeopardy of gaining it all back. In addition, this is a very dangerous time of year for me. First, there's my birthday in August. Then Halloween hits in October. Then, "Bam!" it's Thanksgiving and Christmas, and before you know it it's Valentine's day. I'm on a slippery slope that's gonna lead  to having my stomach pumped for candy corn and conversation heart over dose. What am I gonna do?
Maybe I can get arrested. There's no gourmet popcorn in jail, right? Or maybe I can join the Navy and live on a submarine...I bet there's no popcorn down there either. But then I'd be cramped in a tiny capsule with 30 men, under 1000 tons of water. That might not be worth it...Sigh...I worked so hard to get here! It's not fair! Why can't I be too young to buy junk food? Or too old? Maybe they should have warning labels on junk food like cigarette cartons do. "Warning! This product is highly addictive and will be impossible to put down. You know that dress you love to wear? Try fitting into it after you've downed a box a Zone bars four nights in a row!" Anyone agree? If so, I'll get a petition started.
Having a  free will is a slippery slope. A tasty slope, but a slippery one none the less. I think this is the point where I admit that my life is outta control and not in my hands. This is when I appeal to a higher power:

Dear Mother Nature,
It's me again, Merrie! Thanks for making my cat's ring worm start to clear up, although giving Mary feline acne was a bit of a surprise. (Cats get acne? It's caused by using plastic bowls? Huh? What are you playing at?) Anyway, I'm sure I'll learn a lot from this experience. I have one more favor to ask: "Could you possibly smite the popcorn shop down the street?" I know it's a mom and pop store and the guy who owns it is really sweet, but I gotta think about myself now. Maybe you don't have to send a tornado to destroy it; maybe you could just make the owner realize that his true calling is in real estate, not popcorn. Yeah, that will work.
Thanks again for letting me know what you think and I look forward to hearing your response! I'm also open to any other ideas you may have. :)
Kind Regards,
Merrie K. (aka Desperately Dieting in Charlotte)

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Neon and Stripes | Dressy Casual

Neon and Stripes | Dressy Casual | Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | summer Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration

Hi Ladies,
Today is gonna be a quickie post! I've got a few new series coming up this week, so make sure you stop by! (Hint: I'm getting us ready for fall!) In honor or Old Navy's Sitewide 40% off Sale (ending today), I've included a great selection of their dresses at the bottom. Have I mentioned how much I've been loving their dresses this season? If you need more inspiration, check out my Review of Old Navy's Excercise Clothing. Happy Monday!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Best Place for Cheap Workout Clothes - Old Navy!

Hi Ladies,
About two months ago, I decided to start exercising again. I had not run or done aerobics in a good 18 months, so I'd never been that out of shape before. I'm going to tell you now that it was hard running again. HARD! Running is probably an overstatement of what I did. Actually, I jogged for a few blocks, gasped for air, walked a little and then repeated the process. :)

Two bra sizes ago, I would run in any jog bra. Now, I get it! I understand why women spend $60 on a bra from Nordstrom - they are super comfortable! When I started, I didn't have any workout clothes, but I didn't want that to be a barrier for me. Plus, I knew that I didn't want to spend a lot of money on them. I almost didn't check Old Navy out, because I had tried them a few years ago and found their workout clothes a little flimsy. I'm glad I did, though! Check out what I got...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Orange Swing Dress | Dressy Casual

Hi Ladies,
You almost got to see a whole "new me" today! I went to the salon this afternoon with the intention of getting the rest of my relaxed hair cut off. I thought it would only be about 2 inches, but when we looked at it in the salon it was about 4 inches. I wasn't ready to do that. I'm really excited though. My hair is naturally curly, and I haven't worn it that way since I was about 5 years old. However, I want to make sure my hair is long enough to put in a ponytail and cutting it now would've made it too short. Sooo...I've probably got another 4 months before I can go completely natural, but I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to Choose a Career | Wordy Wednesdays

How to Choose a Career
Hi Ladies,
Late last year I was introduced to a post idea by The Ladders to suggest career advice for soon-to-be college grads. If you are a regular follower of my blog, you know that I had a "few" things going on at that time and was going through an early mid-life crisis. So, at that moment, I didn't have the time nor feel qualified to give anyone advice, so I declined.

A few months later, after the dust storm that was my life settled, I started wondering what I would have written in that article. No doubt, if President Obama had been writing it, he would've told you to reach for the stars. (Heck! Why stop at being a Noble Laureate? You can be President of the Free World too!) Former President Clinton would tell you to make sure you get the most out of your company's perks. (All of it's "perks".) What about me, though? Could I come up with something equally wise, but true? Actually, the answer for me became very simple. If I'm being honest, I'd tell you to choose your career very wisely. Your company's culture can make or break your experience and money, really, really isn't everything.

Yeah, right though...I was told this a million times in college and didn't listen. Well, I listened, but I didn't know what it meant. I think it's one of those thing adults say, but find it impossible to communicate the actual meaning. Even now, I wonder what I would've done differently. Strangely, the one piece of advice that I remember being given, is not what you would normally consider as advice. I have no idea where I read it, but this is the gist: "when picking your career, think of the one situation that you would hate working in and the one thing you would do if money was no object. Then you should do the thing that you want to do, but in the situation you hate." See, I told you it was strange, but hang in with me for a moment...

For me, I would choose being a babysitter as the one thing I would hate to do. (Sorry, but I'd rather stick a hot needle into my eye than take care of someone else's kids.) On the happy side, I would love to do something that involves cats. Therefore, when I put those two together, the answer was simple: I should be a cat babysitter! Makes sense, right? Well, interestingly enough, that job does appeal to me at face value. I would love to be paid to play with cats all day. It sounds great!

However, if we dig a little deeper, certain concerns arise. I also like being able to pay my bills and being a cat sitter doesn't sound like a very lucrative career. My income would be cut even smaller, because I would also only be able to be around happy, healthy cats. I’m one of those people who tears up in Pet Smart when she sees all the kitties in cages with no owner to love them. I can't imagine there being enough Prozac in the world to keep me sane, if I had to deal with a sad situation involving cats.

So, where does this leave us? By now, you've probably put together that I'm saying that you don't know and can't possibly understand the impact of the decisions you are making now. (No matter how many internships you've done.) I'm also saying that there is a lot of crazy/ crappy career advice out there and you should be very careful who you listen to. However, all is not lost! Here's my advice: take a chance, do whatever, listen to your parents, ignore them, become a computer scientist or major in history. Just choose whatever career you think is going to make you happy, then graduate from college and do it! If you catch yourself one day, looking at the last few years and thinking that you were miserable for most of them, then stop! Take some time to yourself and think. Be aware of how you felt working those long hours or how you felt only being able to afford Ramen noodles.

Next, look at your options. Don't just look at the far off options, for instance if you were once a real estate attorney, but feel that you've earned the equivalent of medical degree diagnosing your mystery illnesses on WebMD, don't just look at becoming a doctor. Consider it, but also consider small tweaks to your current role that might make your quality of life better. Perhaps you could find a less strenuous law firm. Or you could meld the two fields together and focus on suing doctors for malpractice. There's plenty of opportunity in that! Anyway, I sincerely mean everything I've said and wish you the best of luck and happiness. I doubt  that this is the only way to handle this decision, and I certainly would've had a nervous break down in college had I know I was going to be doing this, but I can only share my life experiences as they are. And there you go...

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kiyonna Maxi Dress Remix | Dressy Casual

Kiyonna Maxi Dress Remake | Dressy Casual | Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | Summer Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration

Hi Ladies,
While it's still warm, I wanted to do another look with this Kiyonna Maxi Dress. I love the versatility of it! I literally couldn't decide which set of accessories to use, so I went for a Flower Girl look. In honor of the end of summer, I paired this long cream maxi with a pink, statement necklace and bright lip gloss. I kept the rest of my accessories neutral so that the necklace would pop. I'm also determined to rock this dress in the fall, since it's actually a cream color instead of white. I'm thinking of wearing it with dark leather "fall sandals" and a denim jacket? Hmm...we'll see...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nautical Style | Dressy Casual

Nautical Style | Dressy Casual| Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | Summer Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration

Hi Ladies,
Good Morning! I'm finally feeling rested after the personal styling launch, guest posting and all the traveling I was doing. Whew! Also, I'm excited about the fun posts coming up this week AND I'm working on a vlog! :) (Eek!) I'm excited, but nervous. I've always loved public speaking, but the minute you record my voice I start wondering "Who is that? Is that what I really sound like??" To me, I sound like a valley girl. When I first started blogging, I recorded a vlog that I thought was a really cute concept. The video turned out good, I really liked my outfits in it and I thought it was a cool topic. However, when I turned the sound on...all I heard was this high, whiny voice that loved to use the word "like". Needless to say, I have never published it. So, here goes another adventure!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Yesterday was my Birthday!!

Hi Ladies,
Guess what? Yesterday was my birthday! (My 21st, of course! Yep, I'm just old enough to drink, which is awesome! Last year I made the mistake of celebrating my Sweet 16th and realized my mistake as soon as we got to the restaurant.) I celebrated it by eating fondue at the Melting Pot with two of my best girlfriends. This is a long standing tradtion for us. We hang out with a bigger group of ladies, but no one else seems to like fondue except for us. Therefore, we celebrate every birthday or special occasion by going there. It's imperative and part of the tradition that we stuff ourselves for 3 hours straight and then roll home into bed. It's perfect!

I want to send a special thanks to these ladies, who I met completely randomly when I first moved to Charlotte (7 or 8 years ago). Even though I don't have any biological family in Charlotte, they always made sure that I had a family to take care of me. Did I mention that they threw me a 30th birthday party in their own house, where they invited a ton of people, made foundue from stcratch and all the drinks were red and pink? These are also the people who welcomed me into their house when someone tried to break into my condo and I was too afraid to sleep there. It was a wonderful way to spend a milestone!

For a present, I treated myself to photography lessons and an AC adapter for my camera!! (Yes, I'm officially a blogger nerd now.) Actually, this is a present for you guys, since I'm sure you are tired of seeing that white curtain and bamboo floor in all of my summer pics. This women was amazing and gave me lots of cool ideas and helped me with my posing. I can't wait to show you the results! Mother nature treated me to a little bit of luck by making the camera store return some equipment for me even though it was past the due date, and my real mother is taking me to Charleston next month for a girl's weekend. I can't wait!

Thank you to everyone for your company and support this year! It's been a blast and I can't wait for tomorrow. :)

 My lovely friends, Candace and Camile, who are twins! (But not in the Budweiser Beer Commercial kind of way. I swear, every time I mention to a man that they are twins their eyes light up and I'm like: "Ok, everyone lets calm down and take a deep breath. They are sisters. They aren't going to suddenly start making out with each other.")

 Fiesta cheese fondue from the Melting Pot which is essentially fresh, made-at-your-table queso dip. It's awesome and our favorite. They had taken it off the menu for a while and just returned it this month. (I think they did it for my birthday) :) 

 Spinach and Artichoke fondue which is also a tradition.

 Finally, a creme brulee covered strawberry, which was amazingly delicious! Did I mention that I was served this was after we'd already eaten two bowls of chocolate? Whew, we barely made it out of the parking lot.

Overall, it was a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cooking Disasters Pt.2

Cooking Disasters Pt.2 | Random Wednesdays
Hi Ladies, attempts to cook Italian Beef today, turned into Italian Blah. @#%$#, I hate it when that happens!! <pause to kick table> I couldn't even get the cats to eat it! Minnie just licked the salt off  and walked away. So, I wound up driving to the food store, buying bread, cheese and yogurt and eating what I call the "College Student Delight".

As I sit here semi-sated, I am reminded of the last cooking disaster I tried to foist onto my cats...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What to Wear to Work | Public Relations

What to Wear to Work | Public Relations| Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | Summer Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration
Hi Ladies,
This is the third post in my "What to Wear to Work" series. Today I'm a Public Relations gal, and I'm also guest posting on The Tiny Heart about "6 Ways to Add More YOU to your Business Casual Wardrobe", so stop by! I'm hosting a giveaway on her site too. :) 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Stacking Bracelets with Pura Vida (Review)

Stacking Bracelets with Pura Vida (Review)
Hi Ladies,
I wanted to take a little more time to talk about the Pura Vida Bracelets that I wore in my bracelet stack on Friday.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What to Wear to Work | Gallery Owner

What to Wear to Work | Gallery Owner | Curvy Outfit Ideas | Petite Outfit Ideas | Plus Size Fashion | Summer Fashion | OOTD | Professional Casual Chic Fashion and Style Inspiration
Hi Ladies,
Today is the second post in my "What to Wear to Work" series. (Are you a teacher wondering what to wear? Check out last week's post!) Today I'm pretending to be a Gallery Owner. I see myself wearing this to openings.