Friday, March 31, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, March 31st

Happy Friday my loves!

Let's close out another week with Readables featuring how to make your own bath bombs, hilarious ways your hair will frustrate you, over 30 pretty products for under $10, Solange on intersectionality and feminism, and how to style your old sweatshirts.

Into The Gloss: DIY Bath Bombs
BuzzFeed: Over 20 different ways your hair will frustrate you, 33 pretty products under $10
The Cut: Solange talks intersectionality and feminism
Man Repeller: How to wear your old sweatshirts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trend Alert: Stylish Sweatshirts Under $50
Sweatshirts have been my go to for every season other than summer. Cozy, warm, and versatile, a good sweatshirt is the perfect companion to denim and an unexpected ally to a great midi skirt.

So it is nice to see that these comfy pieces that used to only be used for recreation and fitness are now accepted as more than just workout clothes.

With chic additions like lace up details, ruffles, and fancy sleeves, these are certainly not your old junky hoodie from PE.

Here are 11 deceptively expensive looking sweatshirts under $50.

Trend Alert: Stylish Sweatshirts Under $50

Long sleeve top
$37 -

Pink sweatshirt

Short sleeve shirt
$24 -

Halogen red top

Gap blue shirt

MANGO red top

MANGO white top
$45 -

ASOS yellow top

Pink sweatshirt

Love 21 pink sweatshirt

Reclaimed Readables, March 30th

Happy Thursday, beautiful people!

Today's Readables feature 100 different ways to improve your finances, free money coaching lessons, how 2017 has become the year of pretty lingerie, the most affordable workout brands for curvy girls, 9 cute rain jackets for under $50, and cheap sports bras are put to the ultimate workout test.

BuzzFeed: Cheap sports bras put to the test
The Budget Babe: 9 spring rain jackets under $45
The Zoe Report: The most affordable workout lines for plus girls
Refinery29: Free money coaching lessons, 2017 has become the year of lingerie
Apartment Therapy: Improving your financial picture

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Edit Your Life: How to make sex sexy again

There is a lot that comes to mind when we thing of the word sexy. Everything from Marilyn Monroe and Josephine Baker to Kim K and Rihanna comes to mind. We think of everything from flashing a little knee to wearing a little lipstick to things to sleazy to be discussed here.

So what exactly is sexy? Sexy is defined as "expressing sexual desire."

I think our view of sex, sexuality, and the sexual act has gone through so many changes. Think about it: in our short history as a country we have swung the pendulum from complete stifled expressions of sexuality way over to where I feel we are now: completely over sexualized. This has led to what I believe are distortions of what real sexiness and sexuality is.

There is no balance, no boundaries, no inhibitions. We have no control over ourselves, and then we call it liberation when really it is a lack of self control. Think about it: if someone was running around, slapping every person they walked up to, we would call them crazy. We would say there was something wrong with them. We would steer clear of them. But we don't have this same inhibition for those who too freely give of their precious bodies.

Let me clear this up: Sex itself is not a bad thing. Hardly. It's amazing. When done right, sex is a phenomenal act that is meant to be enjoyed. Absolutely.

But sex is also powerful and should have more meaning than blowing your nose or going to the bathroom, or any other normal body function.

As with all of my stances, I view sex from a faith stance. And sexuality, even in the Bible, is a good thing. Sex is a beautiful act, so good that God placed it within the safety and context of marriage. We can see this in the Biblical story of creation: Genesis 2:24 says "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." The very next verse says (about Adam and Eve) "And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." There is no shame in sex and sexuality within the safety of marriage. No one talks this way, but there is something powerful, beautiful, and yes, very sexy about exclusively exploring the beautiful world of sex with your own husband or wife. In fact, another verse that concurs this sentiment is found in Proverbs 5: 18-19 says "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love." And don't forget the Song of Solomon. Sex is great, but as with everything we enjoy, you have to use discretion. Discretion in this case is for your marital partner only.

So, let's edit.

Sexy is objective, but its always healthy:
What is sexy for me may not be what is sexy for you. For example, I personally find a man who makes me laugh and makes me think to be very sexy. We are all drawn to different things. But there is some gross twisting to the sexual act. If you are drawn to something that is illegal, not consensual, or is violent, that is unhealthy, I encourage you to be honest and seek help for those challenges. Healthy sexuality is something to be enjoyed and embraced. It is a beautiful freedom to have. However...

Sexual liberty isn't proven by having sex:
This is an argument I keep running into: We live in a time where a woman's sexual liberty is challenged by how many men she has slept with and how much of her body can be seen and still remain legal. That is a total fallacy. Period. I don't have to prove my sexual liberty by liberally sleeping around. I am completely free to abstain. It is my choice, and that choice IS my liberty.

Being sexy doesn't have to mean raunchy:
In our over sexualized culture, where a woman's bare body is used to promote everything from lingerie (as it should) to trucks or sodas, we have lost the concept of demure and alluring. Our parents were seriously onto something when they said "leave something to the imagination." In a raunchy world of gauzy dresses that show every nook and cranny, there is something elegant, refined, and yes, even sexy about the girl who goes for modesty.

There is a balance to sexy:
There is a balance between prudish and garish. Being a prude is JUST as unhealthy as being too liberal in the sex act. We are human beings. We have to acknowledge that. It is healthy to have a sexual appetite. It is good to indulge those appetites (within the confines of marriage, of course.) Stifling it is incredibly unhealthy. So yes, have fun with sex, but just be willing to marry the person you give yourself too. Otherwise, don't sleep with them!


There is nothing more sexy than exclusivity:
There is nothing wrong with being sexy. There is no sin in being sexual. However, I view my own sexual experience the same way I view my social security number and bank account information. It's not for everybody. It' not even for a few people. It is for my one person, a person that I have committed my life to. For me, there isn't anything more sexy than knowing that my husband is mine and only mine. That he and I are the only ones making each other feel this way and that we alone have exclusivity to each other. That is amazingly sexy.

Now that I have established all of that, there still remains that whole me figuring out how to actually embrace my own sexy. Stay tuned.

So, let's talk! What do you think about this Edit Your Life? Comment below! Lets talk

Reclaimed Readables, March 29th

Happy Wednesday, my Woman Crushes!

Today's Readables feature the best places to buy nude lingerie as a woman of color, Forever21's chicest plus swimwear, Spanx's must see new shape wear, the company making bralettes for bustier women, the new hashtag going viral (and why it matters), how Twitter is helping find missing Black Girls, and why Congresswoman Maxine Waters is our spiritual animal.

The Cut: How Twitter is helping find missing Black Girls, Maxine Waters remains unfazed
Refinery29: Why #BlackWomenAtWork has gone viral, bralettes for big chests
WhoWhatWear: Spanx's prettiest shape wear, Forever 21's new plus swimsuits
Racked: Where to buy nude lingerie if you're not white

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday ShoesDay: Non Basic Rain Boots Under $50
It's a typical stormy rainy day here in Philly. Thunderstorms and sudden down pours have us in the city of Brotherly love dodging rain and cringing at sporadic thunder claps. Needless to say that today is a great day to stay indoors. But if you must venture out, you know, to go to work or being responsible or some nonsense like that, then you better have the right rain ready footwear.

Typically, I find regular rain boots to be a little boring. So I rounded up six pairs of April shower ready boots for $50 and under. Stay dry loves.

Trend Alert! Non Basic Rain Boots Under $50

Igor black rain boots

ASOS black rain boots
$30 -

Wellies boots

Buckle boots

Reclaimed Readables, March 28th

Happy Shoesday!

This week's foot friendly Readables features over 30 pairs of spring shoes that only look expensive, the glitter shoes of your glam dreams at every price point, the $25 H&M slip on that the fashion crowd loves, the only gym shoe you need, Malia Obama's pick for wet weather, and why science has not created a painless heel (yet).

Can science create a painless heel
Malia Obama's pick for rain boots
The only gym shoe you need
The $25 slip on you need for spring
Glitter shoes at every price point
Over 30 pairs of spring shoes that only look expensive

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Well Read Man: 8 Books all Guys Should Read

There is nothing better than meeting a well read person. There is an intellectual edge to a person who engages themselves into well written literature as opposed to those who don't.

Being as you are a cool Reclaimed gent, naturally you have a love for the written words, whether you stalk the shelves of libraries, kick back at Barnes & Noble, order from Amazon, or pull them up on your iPad or Kindle. 

Being as though I haven't dropped a lit list for you since last year, I think its time for a new list of great works for your reading, enjoyment, and enrichment. 

Here are my picks for the best guy reads out right now.

Reclaimed Readables, March 27th

Happy Monday handsome!

This week's #ManCrushMonday features 8 great suede sneakers to snag now, how to tame these slightly gross things on your body, the best shirt and tie combos, great grooming tech, and what exactly is sprezzatura and how to achieve it.

Greg's Style Guide: What exactly is Sprezzatura
Menswear Style: Grooming tech
Fashion Beans: Shirt and tie combos
GQ: How to fix these gross things on your body
Men's Style Pro: 8 awesome suede sneakers

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Struggle with Sexy

Okay loves, here's where I get pretty transparent with you.

Even as I type this, I feel myself blushing, and I know I will blush even more so while thinking about all of you reading this. But I have never really felt sexy.

Not really.

I mean there were a few times when I was out, stuffed into some dress and teetering on high heels. I thought that was sexy (and a few guys thought so too).

But sexy has never been part of my persona. I have gotten cute (even adorable). I get funny very often. Pretty, yes. Even beautiful and sometimes gorgeous, yes.

But sultry, smoldering, or sexy? Very very rarely. (And usually not from a person from whom I would take it as a compliment.)

However, recently, I got called sexy (by someone who wasn't a typical jerk that was trying to get my attention.) and I didn't know how to handle it. I seriously do not know how to respond to that. Like what do you say. Maybe "thank you" and hope you're not blushing, but if you're me, you totally are.

I guess I never really believed that I was, or am, sexy. I'm not talking in a gross, pornographic way, but in a natural, classy, confident way.

And that has to change.

So, this being my 32nd year on the face of the earth, I figure its high time I learn about my own sexy. Not in a raunchy, classless, NSFW kind of way. No, I am not going to go on posting nudes of myself anywhere.

What I will be doing is tapping into a place within myself that I haven't before to discover that part of me. And I will be taking you on that journey.

The goal is not to turn into a brown, natural Kim K. The goal is to better know myself, to find confidence within areas of myself that I have had shut down, and to enjoy the discovery of that.

I am Reclaiming my sexy.

So, stay tuned (and feel free to comment and share my discoveries).

Meet me back here Wednesday for Edit Your Life where I will tackle some of our more ridiculous views on sexy.

Reclaimed Readables, March 24th

Happy happy Friday beautiful people!

Let's close out this week with Readables featuring super chic and cheap Spring dresses, Target's expanded "nude" colored lingerie and expensive looking swim wear, the exact purpose for all of those makeup brushes, perfect mascaras under $15, and the reason a lot of people are not happy with Tory Burch.

The Zoe Report: What each makeup brush is for, best swimsuits at Target right now
The Cut: 7 perfect mascaras under $15
Refinery29: Affordable spring dresses
Huff Post: Target's expanded nude lingerie, the tone deaf post Tory Burch was dragged for

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bralettes for Under $50
Bralettes are somewhat of an enigma to me. Being on the larger end of the chest ratio, anything that doesn't have a ton of underwire, gorilla glue, and the prayers of the ancestors didn't seem viable.

Yet I find myself more and more attracted to them. They look so pretty and delicate, yet comfortable enough to wear whenever. Now I find myself gunning for a new one

Call it my trying to be saaaxy in my older years, call it a trend I just cannot shake, but whatever you call it, don't call it expensive! Here are my current picks for these pretty underthings (big chest inclusive) for under $50.

Enjoy loves!

Bralettes for Under $50

Only Hearts bralette bra

Hanky Panky purple lingerie
$34 -

Wacoal lace bra
$48 -

Sheer bra
$14 -

Sheer bra
$8.33 -

Charlotte Russe clothing

Charlotte Russe clothing

Lace bra

Nanette Lepore bra