You're Not "Too Fat" For Spring Break

You're Not "Too Fat" For Spring Break

Wear whatever the heck you want to.

Dear Girl Worrying About How She'll Look In a Bikini On Spring Break,

First off, girlfriend, have fun at the beach! Coming from someone who goes to school in the middle of the corn fields where it is gray out 90% of the time, please enjoy every single minute. The sun and the water are honestly the best way to recharge and refresh after half a semester of grinding. School is tough and exhausting, spring break is a much-deserved pause.

However, I get that for some of us it isn't all that straightforward. Because with going to the beach comes wearing a swimsuit, and with wearing a swimsuit comes exposing parts of your body that you may not usually. This world can be a mean place, from fat shaming the tiny Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl, to encouraging women to crash diet in order to look "good," there is no end to the body shaming and unrealistic expectations. Nobody can look the same as another, everybody's genes and lifestyles are different. That is just how it is. Expecting every female body to fit into a specific set of guidelines is actually ridiculous. Unfortunately, this society's expectations for women's bodies are ridiculous.

The beach can be a scary place, wearing little more than neoprene undergarments. But, listen, in the grand scheme of things, how you look is really not going to affect your experience. Does not looking like a Victoria's Secret Angel in a swimsuit impair your swimming abilities? Will you drown because of it? Will it cause you to be less able to soak up the sun and have fun? The answer to all of these questions is no. Your physical appearance truly has nothing to do with how you are going to experience your vacation, so don't let it affect your outlook on the situation that much. Worst case scenario, if someone makes a rude comment to you about how you look, you can tell them not to talk to you and move on with your trip and your life. If someone thinks they have the right to belittle you or treat you anything but respectfully, they are stupid and don't need to be in your life. They are especially stupid if they belittle you or disrespect you on a basis of your physical appearance. You don't need that. You deserve better.

Sweet girl, spend your time before your trip getting excited about surfing the waves and feeling the salty breeze in your hair, not going on a "spring break diet," being mean to your body and ruining your self-esteem. Spring break is supposed to be a fun time, and not just for the people who look how society believes they should.

So, get packing, and pack whatever the heck you want. Wear whatever the heck you want, because it won't do anything for your experience if you wear one thing versus another. Wear what you like and what you feel confident it, and just remember - you are NOT too fat for spring break.


The "Fat" Girl You'll See On The Beach In a Bikini

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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22 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

Your wedding will not miss these money savers, promise.

Weddings are supposed to be magical and everything your dreams could ever want. Most girls dream about their weddings their whole life, but they never quite know the price tag for this dream. Most people aren't planning a wedding in 30 days like I did, but that doesn't mean you can't budget your big day so you can still have a bank account afterward! Trust me, your wedding won't miss these cut outs.

1. Fake flowers

Real flowers are expensive, especially roses. Also, flowers wilt horribly on hot days and in the sun. Who wants wilted flowers before the wedding is even over? No one. I choose the Hobby Lobby fake flower option. Best parts? They look real AND my bouquet still looks perfect. My marriage will last as long as my roses, forever! (Yes this is a real picture of my flowers and my maid of honor's flowers!)

2. Buy off the RACK!

Some girls might struggle with this, but the amount of money that you can save is huge! You do not need a designer to have a beautiful dress. Always check out those pageant evening gowns, some of them are actually wedding dresses and are perfect for the big day!

3. Don't buy those tacky silky robes

These come across on Pinterest all the time but here are the cold hard facts, they are ugly AND they cost a fortune, even more, if you want them monogrammed. Sure you might not be buying all of them, but expecting your bridesmaids? Don't. Spending all that money for something that really too short to be practical, save the money! Do you need something that says 'bride' after you are married? No, no you do not.

4. Decorations? Dollar Tree & Amazon

Decorations can be expensive, but don't discount Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Amazon. These places might seem too cheap, their products are great for the day. Most of your guests won't be able to tell. More than likely you will only use these once, so there is no reason to spend a bunch. Above was my centerpieces from my outdoor, 4th of July themed wedding. I had the jars and the wheat, so buying everything else was cheap. That is a money saver. Bonus tip: have a handyman in your family or your friend group? Build that Pinterest arch! It can be so cheap and easy. If you have extra wood laying around, use it!

5a. Make your own invitations!

It is not that hard to do, and it can save you a lot of money. What do you need? Cardstock, envelopes, printer, and scissors. Most of the time you can even luck out and find designs on Pinterest that all you have to do is put in your names, address of event, RSVP and your registration information. You can go a little fancier and make separate sheets for your RSVP and your register. They didn't take long to cut or stuff the envelopes, and I already had all the supplies I needed. (Obviously, don't black out all of your important information when making your own!)

5b. Print your own envelopes

Those caligraphy wrote addresses are beautiful, but buying them or buying the label stickers rack up those dollars really quickly. The way around it? Print your envelopes. Microsoft Word and even Pages on your Mac makes it super easy, and you can choose want font you want exactly. It saves lots of time and money. Another tip with this, buy those envelopes on Amazon.

6. Cupcakes!

Sure there are some really nice wedding cakes that you can find, but what is the best way to really save money and keep from over ordering? Cupcakes! They are simple and easy. If you still want a cake to cut in with your new spouse, get it! It is an old tradition to eat (the top part) it on every anniversary, so it is just for you.

7. Programs, no thank you!

They will start sitting on the chairs and end there too. Grandma and your mom will be the only ones who will keep them, so just save the time and the money! Most people know how a wedding goes anyhow, so are they really necessary? No.

8. Seating charts

This can take up so much time, and those little cards or a way of showing it can take a lot of money. Chances are people are going to want to socialize so they are going to sit however they want anyhow. So there is no need. Have your table for the wedding party marked, and then let your guests choose how they sit.

9. Party favors

Sure they may seem nice, but do you really have to make a goodie bag with a lot of stuff? No. You are already paying for the food and providing entertainment. Keep it simple if you decide to do them. I gave out flags for the farewell!

10. Big wedding parties, cut

You see these Pinterest weddings with three or more girls and guys. Is it really necessary? Unless you have a lot of brothers and sisters and you just have to have them in the wedding. But other than that, do you really have THAT many close relationships? Just because you were sorority sisters doesn't mean they need a spot in your wedding party. Be picky, a small wedding party is much better. It makes it more intimate in the end and there won't be as much jealousy and fighting that can come with it.

11. Intimate weddings

Do you need a production? To answer that answer this, are you the British Royal Family? No, you do not need a production of a wedding. It is not a Broadway musical or the Oscars, you do not need to have hundreds of people unless your family has 13 brothers and sisters and about 100 cousins and grandkids. Narrow down that guest list.

Just because you don't like Sarah from high school because thought she was better than you, doesn't need you have to invite her to make her jealous. Invite your family and your close friends. You won't miss Jimmie that has been your on - and - off friend since freshman of college year when you had 8 a.m. Enligsh together. And trust me, don't just invite someone so you could get a gift from them.

12. Booze

Needed? NO! You do NOT need alcohol to have fun. So do you need to have this extra expense? Negative. Even if you do a cash bar, you still have to pay to get it there. It is an easy thing to cut out. What do you do if someone won't come because there isn't alcohol? Tell them that you didn't want them at your wedding that bad anyhow and they must not really care, sorry definitely not sorry.

13. Make your own playlist

Does your friend have a speaker set up? Ask if they will do your music, and make your own playlist. No need to hire a DJ when you have iTunes! Even if you pay your friend, it is still going to be a cheaper route.

14. Choose wisely on who marries you

I choose a close family friend who is basically family marry me and my husband. It is not that hard to get ordained, Joey did it in "Friends!" Have a family member or close friend, it will save money! It makes your day really special.

15. Wedding planner? You have Pinterest, right?

You do not need a wedding planner to plan a wedding. Pinterest has ever list imaginable of what you will need. Also, sit down with your mom, grandma, aunts and even close family friends. You won't miss anything super important, promise!

16. Utilize what your soon-to-be-husband has

Does he have a suit? USE IT! Renting tuxes can be expensive, ask any mom who sent a guy to the prom. It is cheaper to use that suit and buy a new tie. Besides, have you seen a Macy's sales on ties? I mean even JC Penny's and Kholes have great deals! Marrying a military man? Use those dress uniforms, ladies, they look GOOD!

17. Transportation

Do you want a limo? Really who doesn't, because I did. Who wants that cost? Not you, or your parents, or your soon to be spouses parents or really anyone. Best way to go? Use your own car, or if a friend or a family member has a cool car, ask to borrow it. Decorations on the car? I mean seriously, it isn't necessary. How to get to the wedding? Car pull easy!

Note, if you are choosing to window paint a car, check with the owner of that car BEFORE doing it.

18. Designer bridesmaid dresses? Nahh

No one is going to ask who they are wearing unless you are in a royal wedding. No one is going to know the difference between Macy's brand and Michael Kors. Go off of looks not off of the brand! Your bridesmaids or your bank account would be very thankful. Go for something simple, if you are having an outdoor wedding, consider sundresses until of gowns.

19. Professional makeup? Maybe not

Professional makeup can be super expensive. Do it yourself, or have a bridesmaid or even your mom do it. It will save big bucks! If you really want 'professionally' done, try Ulta or your local mall! They could do it a lot cheaper!

20. Do your own nails or shop around!

There is no shame in painting your own nails for your wedding day. But if you want to have acrylics, shop around, call local places and see what they can do for a price. Some places might strike a deal with you because you are a bride.

21. Something borrowed? Money saver!

Something borrowed is in that old line. Borrow jewelry, shoes, even a dress, or veil. Anything you can that you can get from family and friends, use it. It makes your wedding day even more special. If they are just married friends and family, see if they have decorations you could borrow too! I wore a pair of my grandma's earrings that she ended up letting me keep!

22. Venue expensive? Not a problem

Rent an old barn or park area! It is can so much more cost-effective. Do you know someone who owns a farm or has a beautiful pond on their property? Utilize your country relatives and friends to create that Pinterest rustic wedding venue, and save money. It can be so special to get married at a place that you grew up.

I got married at my grandparent's farm, a place I spent much of my life and it was very cheap, best gift they could ever give. It means, even more, when you move far away from home. The outdoors can bring the beauty of nature in with flowers so do you really need a lot of decorations? Nope!

Cover Image Credit: EMusselman Photography & Design

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5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

Put the eyeliner down!

As my junior year of college is quickly coming to a close, I've been reflecting back on my younger self. All the mistakes I made, all the memories I shared, the friends I met and kept. It's all been flooding into my head lately. Here are a few things that I wish I knew when I was younger.

1. Stop straightening your hair every day.

I don't know why, but for some reason when I was in high school I had this odd obsession with my hair being perfectly pin straight. My hair wasn't even curly. It had a slight natural wave to it that looked fine, but for some reason every morning I took a flat iron to it and burned it until it felt nice crispy, like dry spaghetti.

2. Go to sleep!

I've never been good at sleeping early, but from eighth to twelfth grade it was particularly bad. I'd say I was going to go to sleep around 10 pm, then I'd just lay in bed wide awake for three hours on my phone. My teachers sort of got use to me falling asleep in class, so instead of yelling at me most of the time, they'd just get a classmate to wake me up and continue teaching.

3. Stop caking your face.

The second I turned thirteen I started packing on the makeup. Keep in mind that this was pre-Instagram makeup tutorials, and no one knew what a cut crease was yet. I really did, and still do, love the artistry of makeup but back in 2010 there was limited access to learning make up looks. As a result, I'd come to class with a full-on smokey eye just to take my algebra quiz. It actually didn't look that bad, but I didn't need to be so glammed out every single day. Once or twice a week would have sufficed. Now, it takes all my effort just to put on some mascara.

4. Eat regularly.

As I stated in my previous article, Confessions of a Former Fat Girl, I had a bit of an eating problem when I was younger. I'd either eat too much or not enough, going back and forth trying to even out my diet. Eating a regular three meals a day would have given me a sense of structure with my food intake and noticeably would have improved my relationship towards food.

5. Be nicer to your parents.

Now I actually had a very good relationship with my parents growing up, but I did have a slight attitude problem. I especially feel bad thinking back on every time I'd get upset with my parents when they were literally just trying to help me. We still disagree on things now, just like any other family, but I keep my attitude in check...most of the time (hey nobody's perfect -Hannah Montana).

Cover Image Credit: Simmi Uppaladadium

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