JustMySize.com Active Skirtini Two-Piece Swimsuit Review

By on 7-22-2014 in Reviews

Trisha on her Giraft at Shadow CliffsBig thanks to Hanes Brands, who recently upped my swimsuit game by sending me an Active Skirtini Two-Piece Swimsuit in Black/Fuchia. Being a lady of a certain size, I’ve had lots of trouble finding swimsuits that both fit and don’t make me feel like a beached whale.  I’m a fan of the skirted swimsuit to add some fabric that takes away from the bulk that is my thighs.  For years I had a one piece black suit, but the annoying thing about a one piece suit is the difficulty in taking it off when using the bathroom.  If you think peeling a wet suit off in a bathroom stall as a standard size woman is a pain, imagine being shoved into the stall even in dry clothes!

I did recently get a two piece “tankini” suit that makes that so much easier to use the restroom, but it isn’t really good for aqua Zumba because there’s a lot of movement and the flowing top starts to float to the top. So I was very excited to try this swimsuit that is designated for active women in hopes that the fabric would be covering but adhere enough during working out to not start riding up.  When the Hanes Brand representative gave me the choice of which design I wanted the Active Skirtini Two-Piece Swimsuit in, I picked the black and hot pink racing stripe design because it had a nice pop of color, but nothing too crazy or outlandish that might draw even more attention to me.

As you can see, I decided to let my awesome A&W “Giraft” I bought for $5 at a yard sale like 8 years ago draw plenty of attention to me as it was!  So glad Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area allows inflatables!  Several kids asked if we bought it at the shop there that sold all manner of inflatables (dolphins, cars, dragons, etc.) and their faces definitely showed the disappointment when I told them I’d brought it with me.  Heck, the raft was made before they were even born (it’s dated 1984)!

Pros

  • Suit is more form-fitting and does not float up when inactive in water.
  • Snug fit, but not too tight.
  • Skirt gives just enough room to cover thighs and butt without getting in the way.
  • Built-in Bra cups.

Cons

  • I wish the top had been slightly larger and not quite so form fitting.  Just another inch or so to avoid cling.
  • Only half of the inside of the bottoms are lined – which leads me to not really be sure if that’s supposed to be the front (I think so, right?) or the back.
  • The built-in bra is not tacked down at the bottom band, making it a bit difficult to put on over your head.

Verdict: Great for Active Swimming

Right now the Plus Size Active Skirtini Two-Piece Swimsuit is available for only $49.00, which is actually a very good price for a plus-size swimsuit.  Mine is a 5x, and typically I wear a size 30 pant, so take that into consideration when wondering if it’ll be too form-fitting for you.  Starting tomorrow, 7/24/14, you can save on shipping and have your order shipped for just $3.99 through 7/31/14. Disclosure: I was provided this Just My Size Cotton Active Skirtini Two-Piece Swimsuit complimentary for review.  This opinion is 100% my own. 

What I’m Bringing to BlogHer ’14

By on 7-21-2014 in Conferences & Networking, Travel

Twitter Addict & Blogger Conference BannersAre you going to BlogHer ’14?  I am!  This will be my first journey to a BlogHer conference.  I’ve been to plenty of conferences in my career, but none that seems as, well, laid back as this one.  When I found out that BlogHer is going to be in San Jose this year, I decided that it was a good opportunity to finally go since I’m an hour away in no traffic from San Jose.  I’ll be pulling double-duty at the conference as I’ll be representing this here blog as well as my other blogs (Girl Scout Guide and Food Askew) and my day-job, Snow Consulting.  I’m used to wearing many hats, so it should be a breeze!

Because my co-worker, Ginette, will be coming from Las Vegas, and I don’t care to commute, I’ll be staying with her at the Hilton San Jose, conveniently connected to the San Jose Convention Center.  Of course, I have the advantage of being able to pack full size items in my bag, but generally speaking I still won’t.  I keep a full set of small travel sized toiletries in my suitcase for travel, and I don’t really feel the need to tote a lot of stuff down when it’s not absolutely needed. Of course, I’m bringing the usual toiletries, clothing, etc. but these are some suggestions of things you might not have considered bringing.

Toiletries

  • Julep Mint Condition Pedi Crème - My feet take a beating at conferences, so I like to have a good foot cream that soothes that ache to put on before bed.
  • Julep Doublestep Foot Treatment and Friction Stick - I just got this in my July Julep Maven box and I love it.  I have wide feet, so it’s awesome on the wider areas that rub the most and take the biggest beating when doing a lot of walking.
  • Tea Tree Oil Foot Wipes - For the same reason as the creme, I like having the wipes handy in case I need a quick foot refresh during the day when I run back to the room for something I inevitably forgot, but really need!
  • Dry Shampoo – Always good to have for a quick hair refresh if there’s just no time for a full shower.  I like the new Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo.

Office Supplies

  • Business Cards -  this is non-negotiable!  You’re going to meet a lot of fellow bloggers and brands.  Networking is crucial and business cards are still a must-have item.  I trust PsPrint, but by now you don’t have time for that.  Even if you have to go to your nearest FedEx Office, Office Depot, or OfficeMax TODAY to have some made, DO IT.  It’s totally worth the investment.  If you’re on a super tight budget, buy the kind you can print yourself.  They’re better than nothing and a missed opportunity.
  • Tablet – I like my iPad because it fits into my stylishly huge purse and it’s easy for quick internet usage if there’s WiFi (I have a WiFi only model) and convenient to look up stuff as a speaker is talking and take notes.
  • Notebook & Pens - Because some speakers speak WAY too fast to be able to get everything typed out on that screen keyboard!  So I personally find it faster to write things down sometimes.  Being Back to School, notebooks are super cheap right now at most stores.  Personally, I’ve been using the same composition notebook since 2007 for all my conference notes!
  • Nikon D5000 DSLR - Complete with extra batteries, different lenses, monopod, battery charger, filters, etc.  Besides being an amateur photographer, it’s always easier to use your own pictures in a blog post instead of trying to get permission to use someone else’s!
  • Smart Phone & Extra Juice - My iPhone 4S still works just fine, but in some low-coverage areas the battery can go to hell.  So I have one of those USB battery backup chargers AND an external battery charging case, just to be sure.
  • Laptop – with cord, mouse, etc.  It won’t leave my room, most likely, but I’ll need it for evening work so I don’t get too far behind.

 Clothes

  • Comfortable Shoes – I love the few different pairs I have of SKECHERS Women’s Work Shoes.
  • Cardigan or light sweater – Sometimes conference centers are colder than you’d think.
  • An extra of nearly everything – You never know when a glass of wine might get spilled on you and you’ll wish you had another shirt to go change into!  It’s worth the room in a suitcase, TRUST ME!
  • A Geeky Shirt – This is really only if you’re attending the little geek meet up spearheaded by Williesha Morris (see Facebook group thread).  Personally, I can’t decide which fandom to represent.  At least I have options.  Need one?  Try ThinkGeek!

Miscellaneous

  • Granola or cereal bars – I always WANT to make it to the provided breakfasts, but sometimes I’m just running too late and I’d rather have a snack with me than have to wait until lunch.  Plus, I’m a rather picky eater, so I don’t always like the food that is provided.
  • Gum and/or mints – Because no one wants to talk to someone with gross breath.  You can never have too many either.
  • The nail polish you’re currently wearing - I’ll be wearing some custom Minx wraps, but I always bring my current color of nail polish with me when I travel.  I’ve tried several at-home gels and even they are unreliable, so I’m always prepared if my polish chips and I have to do a quick touch up.  If you’ve got an elaborate design, I’d stick with whatever color is the base or closest to the tips as that’s the most likely area that might need a touch up while you’re at BlogHer.  Don’t forget to keep the polish in a sandwich bag – the bottle is glass and can break, and you’d rather in the unlikely event of a breakage to have the disaster contained, right?

Like I said before, everything else is pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of travel essentials.  I used to bring my own water bottle, but I found there was ample water around the conference centers to keep me hydrated. This is the first time I’m going to BlogHer, so I’m glad that I’ll be driving and can easily run to a store to get anything I might forget or, worse case scenario, drive the 60-90 minutes back home if there’s something irreplaceable I forgot at home!

What’s on your packing list for BlogHer ’14?

Meet Winston the Wonder Pug

By on 7-18-2014 in Rambles

You’ve met Muse and Lunchbox.  Finally, my last addition to the Fawver Family, Winston the Wonder Pug.  First, some back story.

All my life I’ve considered myself a cat person.  I had no reason for this, really, other than I thought cats were cuter and less maintenance.  Growing up, I never had the responsibility of a pet – I don’t even know what breeds the dogs we had were.  They never felt like my dogs, or family dogs, and heck – I don’t even know what ever happened to the second one we had after my parents divorced. So I had nothing to base this “I’m a cat person” identification with, but my first 3 pets of any significant size were cats.  But a funny thing happened when we moved into our current house, which is owned by my dad, and I started working from home in 2008 – I had an unexplained desire to get a dog.

It took some convincing for Dominic.  He had a strained relationship with the cats as it was - he grew up in a somewhat rural part of Oregon where pets stayed outside, you fed them, and if they were a problem, you got rid of them.  Just a different upbringing and that kind of farmer culture where animals are for food and service, not necessarily for companionship.  So I finally convinced him that if we got a dog, I’d pay for obedience classes so we didn’t have an unruly pooch.

Winston at the Tri-Valley Animal RescueThere were a few non-starts.  At the time, his aunt was breeding AKC registered spaniels (I forget which type exactly).  We’d gone up for Christmas and there was a little girl that I was almost certain I wanted to bring home with us.  But money was a bit tight, and being AKC registered dogs she was going to have to charge me at least $400 for the dog (which was already giving me a hefty family discount). I was dragging my feet on making the decision and, since I’d fallen for the little runt, unfortunately she didn’t make it through the week that we were there, so that decision was ultimately made for me.  About a year later we were up there over the summer and she had another, slightly older batch of puppies.  The last litter she was going to have before having the mother fixed – she was done breeding and this litter was actually unintentional.  So she was willing to just give me one but, again, I just didn’t feel right making the decision on such short notice (since I didn’t know she had them until we were there) and I decided not to take that little puppy either.

2010 rolled around and I finally decided that I wanted a dog.  I was ready to go look for a dog I could love, and after talking to a friend, I decided that I actually wanted to adopt an adult dog – shelters find it harder to get them homes, and I didn’t necessarily want to go through the trials and tribulations of house breaking a puppy with this being my first dog that would be all mine to look after.  I ended up going to 5 shelters before finding the shelter in Dublin – the rest had mostly scruffy mutts I didn’t connect with or chihuahuas, rottweilers, and pit bulls* I didn’t want either.

Finally at this 6th shelter, there was a Yorkie and a Pug.  The Yorkie was friendly, excited to meet me and spend time with me, and adorable.  The pug was friendly, but stand offish when we tried to spend time with him, and walked a little funny.  So I decided to inquire about the Yorkie – but was told that the hold period wasn’t up yet and that a lot of people (including families with kids) wanted to adopt her.  So there would be a lottery, and no guarantee that I’d be able to adopt her.   went home to think about it, and talk to Dominic.  I’d gone on this epic hunt all over the shelters of the East Bay with Rachel on a Saturday, so I wanted to take Dominic back on Sunday to meet the dog I’d chosen.  We talked about it, and I decided that I didn’t want to get my hopes up about the Yorkie, and I’d rather not edge out and win over some devastated child who’d been dead set on getting her.  So I decided to give the Pug another shot.

They’d given him a temporary name – Winston – which I thought was the perfect, awesome name for a pug.  Very distinguished, like Winston Churchill!  When I went back the second day, he was MUCH friendly and more active because it was obvious that he recognized me.  He had just been kind of shy before, we gathered, and Dominic and I played with him in the yard and discovered that he already knew many commands – sit, roll over, shake, and high-five!  I asked the staff about his weird walk, and they told me that at his age (which they’d guessed to be 5) a little bit of hip displaysia was normal.  But, to ease my mind, they agreed to hold onto my adoption fee check and have the vet x-ray him before putting him under for the neutering – if it was a major problem that I didn’t think I could hand, they’d call me and I could call it off and come back and pick out a different dog.  So we signed the papers, wrote the check, and left Winston there to go to the vet the following week.

Dominic & WinstonThe day of his surgery and coming home came – November 16, 2010, and I was nervous.  I had already started to love him, and I was hoping his hip issue wasn’t too bad.  I had been told to expect a call around 11:00 am from the vet with the results of the x-ray.  When no call came, I called around 1 and was told he was already in surgery.  Odd.  I explained the special circumstances and the receptionist really had no answer for me.  I got a call at 4:00 pm telling me to come on in and get him to bring him home.  Uh, what?

Apparently the vet took a look and said it wasn’t anything that could be fixed, so went ahead with the surgery to neuter him and send him home.  They told me, based on his teeth, they thought he was actually about 6.  I walked him proudly over to the pet store in the same shopping center to get him a real leash, harness, bed, food, and some toys.  I brought him home and he became a Fawver!  A couple weeks later, I took him into the vet Lorenza works for to get his free check up.  It was supposed to be a general wellness check, but I did mention that he didn’t seem to be eating much, he wasn’t chewing on any of the bones or rawhides I’d given him, and I mentioned his gait again for good measure.  They examined him and immediately pointed out that a bunch of his teeth were rotten!  That’s why he wasn’t eating a lot or doing any chewing – it hurt!  They wiggled like a 6-year-old kid itching for some Tooth Fairy money!

Because I’d adopted an adult dog, and they said that was a very noble thing, and because I was a first time client and Lorenza’s friend, they cut me a really good deal to pull his bad teeth and get him all set up.  That was 4 years ago, and I can’t say he’s been in perfect health since, but it’s been manageable.  Winston’s about 9 or 10 now, and has arthritis in his elbows that makes it harder for him to run around (but doesn’t necessarily stop him from trying when he’s worked up) and his cataracts make him pretty blind on some days.  But he knows where things are and makes it work.  His vision mixed with the summer heat have lead him to bumble around our bedroom loudly at night, so he’s recently taken to sleeping at the foot of the bed (he’s lucky I’m short and there’s room!)

Winston in Columbia State Park, CaliforniaHe’s my little old man, a shadow that follows me around nearly all the time.  He knows the sound of my car & runs to the door to greet me.  When I’m gone, he lets his displeasure be known by peeing somewhere or digging into my trash, just so I know how much he was afraid I wouldn’t come back.  He looses his mind and barks EVERY DAMN DAY when the mail person lifts the squeaky brass mail slot in our door.  He’s like me in dog from in almost every way – wonky ankles that could go out at any time, overweight, not that sound on his feet, lover of French fries!  He’s my 24lb Chicken Nugget.  The Winstonator.  Win Stone, Private Dick.  The Frito Bandito.  Winstonion.  My bubbas.  My boogers.  He gives me high-fives, but doesn’t lick my face (which I’m so OK with).  He snores almost as loud as Dominic does!  I never knew I was a dog person until Winston set me straight!  Dominic even loves him and spoils him more than he ever thought he could love a dog, and tells Winston so all the time.  We keep saying that, eventually, we’ll get a female pug named Margaret (as in Thatcher)!

I have so many pictures of Winston, it’s been really hard to choose.  So follow Winston on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  He’ll share french fries with you if you’ll let him.

 

* Disclaimer: I have nothing against pit bulls as a breed, but they are larger than we have room for and, considering I was looking for rescue, adult dogs in the Oakland area primarily, I did not trust rescuing a pit bull whose history I was not 100% certain of.