Big Fig Saved My Back!

As some of you may know, I’ve been struggling with back issues all summer. A combination of an untreated injury from an accident years ago, a lack of strength training, a 20 year old hand-me-down mattress and recent fall resulted in my back completely giving out on me in June. I’m always busy with multiple projects in the works and I love the hustle! But it’s impossible to be on my A Game when I can’t even move. I was finally forced to address the issue and start taking care of myself. I was way overdue, and I definitely wish I had done it sooner! I started seeing an awesome chiropractor who suggested I start doing water aerobics and get a new mattress.

I began researching mattresses but I’d never had a new one before! I’ve always had hand-me-downs from family members. I remembered meeting the folks from Big Fig at Dream Big Midwest in Chicago and a lot of my blogger friends recommend them so I thought I’d reach out. I told Big Fig about my back problems, lack of self care, and desperate need for a good night’s sleep! We agreed that the issues I was having are all too common for others too, and decided I should test their mattress and share the results with all of you! I got the king size with the Big Fig foundation and frame. After about 4 weeks its safe to say the results are in, and I am IN LOVE. This mattress is my new best friend and I never want to get out of bed! 

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The qualities that really sold me on this mattress were the firmness, cooling technology, and durability. Big Fig is designed with larger bodies in mind, lasts longer and holds more weight. This mattress is a hybrid meaning it has both the individually wrapped innerspring system and high density specialty foams. The best of both worlds! I was worried that it would be too firm for me because I’m used to a much softer bed. It’s the perfect level of firmness! I feel fully supported, I sleep soundly through the night, and I wake up refreshed. Most importantly my back pain has improved greatly. Even when I was seeing my chiropractor I used to wake up stiff and for the first hour or so in the morning I would be limping around. I’m 27 years old for goodness sake! That’s crazy! But since I’ve been sleeping on my Big Fig I pop up in the morning feeling spry and ready to seize the day! The cooling technology keeps me from getting overheated at night. Foam mattresses have a bad reputation for getting too hot and that’s where Big Fig’s hybrid design comes in handy yet again!

I will update you in another month and let you know how things are going! So far my fiance and fur babies are loving it too! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have, but Big Fig also has an awesome FAQ section that is super informative! They also have a chat feature where you can talk directly to representative on their website. Big Fig is always so helpful and makes the whole process super easy, so don’t hesitate to reach out!  Take advantage of the Labor Day sale and save $300 with code LABORDAY!

I Said Heck Yes To The Eleven Bridal Dress!

I’ve been singing the praises of Eleven Bridal Curvy Couture since they opened their doors in October 2018 and I’ve had the honor of modeling Eleven Bridal gown at various events and photo shoots. But now i’m a BRIDE (eeekkk!) and I have a whole new appreciation for Eleven Bridal and the amazing owner Teneka! Also, read to the end for sample sale and event info! 

If you don’t already know, Eleven Bridal is the only bridal shop in Tennessee that caters specifically to curvy brides. They carry a variety of high quality bridal gowns in sizes 12-32 on the rack! If you’ve ever shopped for a wedding dress as a person over a size 6 you’ll understand the struggle! Bridal gowns generally require the bride to size up from their pant size between 1-3 sizes. So a lot of women don’t realize that they need “plus” options when they begin wedding dress shopping. And if you’re a true plus size (like me, an 18/20) then you are discouraged from the get go. Read this blog post here about wedding dress shopping as a plus size bride (unfortunately i was married once before lol).

So when my prince charming popped the question I was so excited to start the journey of finding the perfect dress at Eleven Bridal! I scheduled my private appointment and invited my squad, three family members and three bridesmaids. It was so nice to have the whole shop to ourselves! We bought champagne and cookies and made a mini party out if it! Teneka is a pure light and joy by nature, so having her help me pick out gowns was so relaxed and fun! We chatted about my vision, preference and stye and she pulled dresses that fit exactly my description as well as dresses that pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone. And I’m so glad she did! I thought i wanted something poofy and super sparkling. I tried on poofy sparkly, classic, modern, girly, royal… and if i hadn’t seen myself in such a variety of gowns I might have never found my perfect dress. I can show you THE dress (stay tuned for june 2020!) but its classic, time less, a bit of lace, and a bit of tule. I’m so in love with it! And it was on SALE! What!? YES. My gown was 60% off!

Eleven Bridal just recently started marking some gowns on sale! This is a rare and super exciting chance to get the dress of your dreams and an unbeatable price! Eleven Bridal is taking all of their marked down gowns and teaming up with 5 other bridal salons for the Nashville Sample Sale! This sale is a one day only event offering the most beautiful designer gowns. Brides of ALL sizes (0-32!) can shop multiple salons in one day. This sale takes place Sunday, August 11th from noon-6pm at 14Tenn. ALL gowns are 50%-90% off! Follow Nashville Sample Sale for more info. 

 

Eleven Bridal will also be at the Happily Connected bridal showcase Sunday August 18th at Bavarian Bierhaus. Not only is this a great opportunity to meet with caterers, photographers, planners and more, but it’s the perfect chance to meet the Eleven Bridal team and learn more about what this unique and inclusive bridal salon has to offer. I swear they will make you feel like family!

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JL Style Swap With Memphis Mandy Sue

JL Style Swap With Memphis Mandy Sue

Okay funny story: so @memphismanysue and I had been following each other on instagram for a while and we are both proudly partnered with Jessica London. A few months ago I started to notice a pattern…we not only do we post a bunch of the same outfits, our poses were even eerily similar! And it wasn’t just Jessica London clothes! We had the same Draper james outfits too!  What can I say, the girl has great style! I thought it was hilarious, so I made a bunch of side by side collages and posted them in my stories. Thankfully she got a kick out of it too. We got to talking about our similarities and thought it’d be fun to collaborate with each other for our August Jessica London picks. I chose two items, she chose two items, and we styled them independently. The results were so interesting because some of our looks and poses ended up being identically and some totally different! 

 

Amanda’s First Pick: Pleated Maxi Skirt

For this boho chic skirt, I opted for green khaki snake and Amanda went with black botanical floral. It also comes in white rose garden and black polka dot! I love this full skirt because it sits high on the waist and has a gorgeous twirl! I don’t usually go for a bohemian look but i’m really feeling it! Even though Amanda and I chose different patterns, we ended up styling our skirts really similarly!

 

My First Pick: Fine Gauge Mock Neck Sweater

This sweater gives me 90’s vibes! I chose classic red and Amanda opted for Ivory. It also comes in black, gemstone green, and wild berry. This is such a versatile piece and the perfect staple for your fall and winter wardrobe. It’s especially handy in the south were the weather can’t make up its mind and you end up with 75 degree weather in november! For this look Amanda and I went different directions. I went for a bit of an edgy look, while Amanda channeled her feminine side! 

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Amanda’s Second Pick: Peplum Pullover Sweater

This is such a cute little sweater! I think it’s super fun and flirty. Amanda and I not only chose the same color, Ivory, but we styled it and posed almost EXACTLY the same! Both our outfits give me a 60’s vibe and i’m here for it! Unfortunately this color is sold out. The good news is, it comes in three gorgeous fall jewel tones, dark emerald, dark berry, and ultra blue. 

My Second Pick: Leather Moto Jacket 

This leather jacket is the perfect addition to any fall or winter look! I think amanda and I demonstrated that very well, because we ended up staying this jacket super differently. I selected black and created a look with a bit of edge. Amanda went for ultra blue and paired it with a dress for a girly vibe. Like many of jessica London’s pieces, this is a great staple piece for any wardrobe. Investment pieces like this will last for years and make an outfit look put together and complete! 


Jessica London always has awesome sales, and right now the fall collection is 30% off! AND Use code JLE40FS to take $20 off $60 or $40 off $100 purchase, plus free shipping with $85+! Don’t forget to tag me in your Jessica London pics on instagram. Happy shopping yall!

Glitter, Animal Print, Florals: Oh My!

Plus size women are supposed to wear black because it’s slimming and flattering??? Ummm…How about no! I love a little black dress as much as the next girl but this curvy babe loves bright colors and bold patterns! Jessica London is my favorite place to find fun and fabulously printed tops that stand out. Because who wants to blend in? Not me! 

 

All That Glitters

Speaking of fashion rules, apparently you’re not supposed to wear sparkles after your 20s. Well I’m not 30 yet but I don’t care how old I get, I will continue to wear sparkles for the rest of my days because life is too short to be dull! B487A196-9FD9-4183-9A41-FA82C8D001E6I love this shimmery gold top from Jessica London. It’s so soft on the inside which can be rare when it comes to sparkly clothing. And as an added comfort it’s actually super stretchy! This is the perfect top to pair with casual jeans, a tutu skirt, a sleek pencil skirt, leather pants or pretty much anything because sparkles are the new black!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheetah-licious

Maybe it’s because I was a major cheetah girls fan growing up or maybe it’s just my wild side but I am absolutely obsessed with animal print. I love this cheetah print top because the bright blue is so fun and the little keyhole is modern and flirty. This top is so comfy and spunky it has my name all over it!6A862718-7B50-44E9-8D97-1847093B2276

 

Snakes and Stones Never Broke My Bones

Who doesn’t love a good Taylor Swift quote? Snakeskin print was something I was a little nervous about wearing and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe because it was reminiscent of something that a rich 80s housewife would wear to a cocktail party. But fashion nowadays has become so playful that I am willing to take risks and I am so glad that I did! Nothing makes me feel more fierce than a bad ass snakeskin print blouse. I feel like an unstoppable diva! FF3A8BA1-1BB3-4AB9-8563-A617F7D6CF2F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Yellow

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, (LOL) but yellow is such a happy color! I didn’t own a lot of yellow before I started partnering with Jessica London but they offer such a great variety of colors that I decided to step out of my comfort zone. Now bright yellow is one of my favorite colors to wear. It makes me feel cheerful as if I can light up a room! And of course, I am always a fan of a floral print. C0800C96-FD00-43A1-AEFB-632B1E3FB65D

 

I know there’s tons of fashion advice out there. People telling you to dress for your skin tone, to dress for your body type, to dress for your age. But you need to dress for you! I know that it might not happen overnight, but I believe it’s so important to try to forget everything you’ve ever been told about what you’re supposed to do or what looks good on you. I challenge you to just start wearing what you like to wear no matter what anyone thinks! Fashion is an art and people might have a lot of opinions but there are no wrong answers. Accept yourself and express yourself!

 

Jessica London Summer Edit

6C1A70A4-2EDE-4894-9A82-F5FEA8B7E87FBy now it’s no mystery that I am a huge Jessica London fan! But I mean, come one, can you blame me? Jessica London is an online women’s clothing retailer that carries sizes 10-32 in a variety of styles and trends both classic and new! There’s truly something for everyone and that’s not something you see often! Right now Jessica London is having an awesome sale, an extra $25 off orders $50+ plus free shipping on order $75+ with code JLESUMMER25! So before you rush over for your new summer wardrobe,  I put together a little look book of my favorite Jessica London Summer styles! 

 

The Every Occasion Dress

There’s honestly no better feeling than finding THE perfect dress. You know the one! The dress that fits practically every occasion, is comfortable AND cute! Well this is *that* dress and babe, it has pockets! I know, I know, you’re welcome! This dress is currently available in sizes 12-28 and also comes in floral print! DFCD8327-5658-4883-BAE7-A4E6B474C66A

 

Peppy Pink Blazer (aka the Barbie Blazer)

Everyone needs a good blazer for work, interviews and networking events because nothing says, I’m professional and fabulous like a sharp blazer! Pink is my signature color so I love adding this Jessica London blazer to any neutral outfit for a pop of summer color and a flare of Lexi! Pink not your thing? Fear not! This blazer comes in white as well! This stye is currently available in size 12-28. JL also carries a variety of blazers in many other colors if you’re in need of a classic back or grey! 6050A07B-9999-42EE-A4D5-C9B1565FC49A

 

Date Night Dress

Summer style is all about colors! I’ve been gravitating toward sunny happy yellow this season! This bow sleeve dress is the perfect dress for a night on the town that will surely help you make a statement. This dress is currently available in sizes 12-24, and is only one of many eye catching, brightly colored pieces Jessica London has to offer. 2F73AF60-3E40-4562-B83C-7C8EC059AD9D

 

Classic Black and White 

As much as I love bright fun colors, sometimes a girl just needs a classic black and white look (paired with red lips, of course!) It’s a timeless trend that compliments everyone. You can’t go wrong! These Tummy Control Twill Ankle Pants are both comfortable and chic! They come in a variety of colors and patterns and are currently available in size 12-28. This black and white Lace Tunic is refined with a bit of flare. This feminine and flouncy top is currently available in sizes 12-26. C164D32C-CCC6-42DF-A875-E8B93D698F6B

 

The Ultimate Comfy Fit 

This last outfit is hands down the most comfortable summer look ever! This soft Cross Neck Tunic is both flattering and versatile and is currently available in sizes 12-32 as well as different colors and patterns! These stretchy and stylish Palazzo Pants are also available in sizes 12-32 as well multiple colors and patterns. Whether you’re chillin’ in your backyard, running errands, or attending an outdoor concert, this is a go-to for those hot summer days! 543F4176-64BB-48D1-B40F-AF9BF719A556

 

98B82D3E-038E-4A9C-BECA-2374AF090DD0I’d love to see what goodies you find, so be sure to post a pic of you in your new outfit on instagram and tag @lexinimmo and @jessicalondonstyle! If you want to be featured on the Jessica London page, use hashtag #imwithjessica. For a feature on my page, be sure to use my hashtag #standuptobeautystandards! Happy shopping, y’all!

 

My First Plus Strut 5K

On May 4th 2019 I had the privilege of being a part of the most supportive and accepting athletic activities of my life: The Plus Strut 5K! The Plus Strut, founded by Joy Tribble, is the first 5K for plus size women in North America and it takes place annually in Atlanta Georgia. The first Plus Strut 5K was in 2018 but this year was my first time and I was emotional!

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Growing up chubby was hard. I won’t get in to all the gory details but I was laughed at and teased on a daily basis. Gym glass was my waking nightmare! The kids who were fat yet athletic didn’t get made fun of and the kids who were thin but not athletic only got teased a little, but I was  fat and horrible at sports and therefore, the perfect combination for bullies. I was a slow runner, had weak wrists, and always coward when a bal came my way. Let’s just say I was a lot better at reading than I was at kickball! Even though I enjoyed being active and outdoors I would dread physical activity with my peers because I would get yelled at and called names for not being good at it and my chubby body was blamed. I not only felt inferior in my athletic abilities but also in my appearance.

After years of this emotional abuse that was ignored and sometimes encouraged by the adults I was supposed to be able to trust, I developed a lot of anxiety about exercising with others. I would opt for working out at the gym solo during hours that weren’t busy or doing a home arobics  video. I had walked a few 5Ks before for charity but felt so anxious and out of place that I didn’t enjoy myself at all. But in the past couple of years I began a self love journey that has been so healing and empowering. I truly feel at peace with my body. When I was asked to be an ambassador for the Plus Strut 5K I jumped at the chance thinking those fears from my past were behind me! That wasn’t completely true.

The night before the race I was sick to my stomach with nerves. I was thinking up excuse to get me out of it. A migraine, my period, diarrhea, ANYTHING. It sounds ridiculous but if you struggle with anxiety you understand that fight or flight instinct: I was ready to fly my ass right outta Atlanta! But as I was laying in bed in our Air Bnb I thought about my thousands of followers whom I preach body acceptance to everyday. I thought about my two amazing friends and supportive boyfriend who came to support this amazing event. I thought about the other women who would be strutting with me who are also scared. Finally I thought about chubby, sad, 9 year old Lexi and how much she needed a community like this. I decided that no matter how nervous I was I would chose to be brave and follow through. This was my chance to be the change I wish to see in the world , even if it’s in a small way.

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Boy am I happy I didn’t give up! Words cannot truly describe how validating it is to be surrounded by women who look like you, are cheering you on, and leaning on each other. At The Plus Strut I witnessed more sisterhood and positivity than I have my entire life. Some of us were fast, some of us were slow. Young and old, different races, various shapes, multiple  levels of physical ability and all sisters in this journey of self love and respect. We laughed, cried, danced, and celebrated each other! Just when I wasn’t sure if I could kee going, a woman would tell me “you’re doing great, you got this!”. When I finished as one of the very last to cross the finish line, I was met with the same level of enthusiasm and congratulations as if I’d fished in first place! I felt seen, represented and like I truly belonged.

May 2nd 2020, save the date! That’s when we will be strutting next, and I want you all strutting by my side. As The Plus Strut slogan says, this ones for us! CDDEB330-1FFA-44EC-8A61-2B65B69D06FA

Social Media 101

Whether you’re a small business, artist, public figure, blogger, influencer etc. nowadays, we all have one thing in common: social media. Social media has not only become a huge part of our personal lives but it’s now an extremely valuable marketing tool that could make or break your personal brand. But growing a quality following no easy feat! There’s more to a strong online presence than pretty pictures or clever captions. There are algorithms, community guidelines, and a ton of competition so unfortunately the odds are stacked against you. There are, however, a few things you can do to be sure you’re staying on top of it and putting your best post forward!

First, lets focus on your content. You want to post pictures with bright vivid colors that pop and catch the attention of your scrolling followers. You never want to post pictures with words on them (memes, flyers, etc.) because the algorithm prefers pictures of faces. Other pictures get much less traffic. It’s important to post things that are interesting and on brand. Your followers follow you for YOU so even when you switch it up a bit, remember who you are. That being said, you don’t want your content to get stale so be sure to take pictures with various backgrounds and poses and try not to post pictures that are too similar.E61EAAE5-EB33-4524-8A7A-C23552CBAF48

Obviously it’s best to use a DSLR camera to take photos, but smart phones are so advanced now, with proper lighting an iPhone or Android will do! Lighting is everything. You want to be sure you pictures are well lit, bright and clear. You can find light kits and ring lights on Amazon for less than $200 but if you’re tight on cash or don’t have lights handy, natural daylight will do. When taking pictures in natural light, be careful of shadows and over exposure. You will need to edit your photos to put the final professional touches on them but avoid instagram and snapchat filters. Instead, try apps like VSCO or LightRoom. I use the free version of VSCO for all of my original photos! When writing your captions keep in mind who your audience is. Captions can be long, thoughtful paragraphs or a short and sweet quote or lyric. Experiment with different kinds of captions and see what your followers respond to best. Whatever you write, be sure you’re staying true to your voice and authentic to who you are!   

It’s extremely important to know what your brand is. What is your niche? What are your goals for your social media account and what do you offer to your followers? These can be really tough questions to answer but the best way to nail down your niche is by asking yourself “why should people follow me? Why would I follow someone like me?”. Once you find your niche you can begin to cultivate your brand and target your desired audience. You want to eventually find that perfect balance between giving the people what they want and just being yourself.

Now let’s talk numbers! There’s no way to truly know when the best time to post is. You want to post 3-7 times a week and at times when your followers are most active online. If you haven’t already, switch your instagram settings over to a business account so you can view your stats and figure out when your followers are most active. However, this isn’t fool proof and you’ll have to find the best time to post through trial and error. Keep in mind that these optimal days and times will change because peoples internet habits change and so does the algorithm. Speaking of the algorithm, it’s not your friend. Those little social media robots run a tight ship! To play nice with the robots be sure to engage with other accounts as much as possible with not only likes but also comments containing more than four words. This is what you need on your posts too! To encourage your followers to comment something longer than “Cute!” try asking a question in your caption. The more you engage back and forth the more the algorithm will love you. It’s also helpful to utilize new features on instagram like IGTV, polls, question box, quizzes etc. Instagram favors accounts that use these features and they are a great way to engage your followers!

Hashtags can be a great way to target your audience! Instagram allows you to post up to 30 hashtags and you should post as many as possible. You want to pick very specific hashtags and avoid the most popular ones. For example, you might want to avoid #ootd and instead use #ootd curvy. You can also tag up to 20 accounts in your photo. Tag the places where you got your outfit, pages that feature accounts like yours, relevant organizations, and public figures with a similar brand. It can also be super beneficial to collaborate with similar accounts! You could do a “shout-out for shout-out” with another account were you would post a picture from each others pages. You can get super creative with it! The other day I saw a collab with four fashion bloggers (one of which is my good friend Shannon Grace! )where they each styled the same skirt different and then shared each others pics in their insta stories. I thought that was brilliant because it showcased their talent as fashion bloggers and reached three times the number of followers!

Something that is kind of scary is the risk of losing all of this hard work and awesome content you’ve meticulously curated. Unfortunately all of the social media platforms we hold so near and dear reserve the right to delete us without warning! It happened to me recently and It was awful! I was about to hit 20K and *poof* my page vanished into thin air with no explanation. I learned a lot from that experience but the most valuable takeaway is always have a back up page ! A back up page is just a second account you manage in case your main account gets deleted. You can tell all of your followers to also follow you there and even if you don’t post on your back up page often, you won’t have totally start from scratch in the event you lose your main page.

There’s really so much more to the brave new world of social media, I couldn’t possibly fit it all into one blog post! I have been getting a lot of questions about targeting your audience and securing brand partnerships so I plan on doing separate blog post for both! If you have specific questions or need guidance building your brand and social media following I am now offering Skype sessions for a flat rate of $75! We can talk as long as you need and I will help you in any way I can! Shoot me an email or a DM if you want to chat more about working together!

XOXO

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