Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Reviews PlateJoy Meal Planning Service

Meal Planning Made Simple: An Honest PlateJoy Review

Food ruts… I’ve been in one lately, and I know I’m not alone.  Do you ever get SO tired of every single recipe you know how to make?  So frustrating… let’s talk it about and then I’ll share some REALLY good news with you about an awesome, budget-friendly meal planning service I found called PlateJoy.

I know some of you heard the words meal planning service and don’t care what else I have to say.  You just want to go check it out… if that’s you… here’s the link to try it free for ten days and use code GET10 for $10 off!


Roundup: The Best Plus Size Memorial Day Sales of 2019

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect summer kick-off, and plus size brands are doing it right with awesome deals on all things fashion!  I’ve rounded up the best sales AND I’m sharing my favorite item currently on sale from each brand.

I also threw in one non-fashion brand that has an awesome sale that you need to check out!  Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post so you don’t miss out on that one!

An Honest Review Of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Subscription Service

An Honest Review Of Gwynnie Bee’s Plus Size Clothing Subscription Service

One of my very first posts on the blog was a review of Dia & Co’s plus size styling service, and since then I’ve been promising a Gwynnie Bee review for you too.  The two services are very different but are often compared by women looking for options to spruce up their wardrobes.  At the end of this post, I’ll share a comparison of the two services and let you know why each works for women with different needs.

First, let’s dive into my review of Gwynnie Bee.  In the post I’ll explain:

  1. How The Gwynnie Bee Service Works
  2. Tips For Maximizing Your Gwynnie Bee Experience
  3. Pros of the Gwynnie Bee Service
  4. Cons of the Gwynnie Bee Service
  5. Who Should Use Gwynnie Bee
  6. Gwynnie Bee Vs. Dia & Co – Which Should I Use?

This post does also include a link for a 30 day free trial to Gwynnie Bee plus $10 off your first paid month.  If you don’t care about the review and just want that… here you go! Haha.

Gwynnie Bee:  How it Works

Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental company that allows you to essentially borrow clothes, wear them, and return them with ease.  They even take care of the dry cleaning! The service started out exclusively for plus size clothing but they have now expanded and offer sizes 0 – 32!

When you create an account you’ll have access to “shop” thousands of different items by a variety of brands.  You add items you like to a virtual closet, and Gwynnie Bee sends you a select number of items at a time (depending on which tier of service you choose).  You wear the items and keep them for as long as you’d like and when you send them back, Gwynnie Bee ships you more.

You don’t need to wash or dry clean the items because Gwynnie Bee handles that for you.  They also make shipping really easy by sending you a pre-paid return bag for the items.  You just drop it in the mail.

Number of Items At A Time

The service cost depends upon how many items you choose to receive at a time.  Currently, the rates range from $49/month for one item at a time to $199 for ten items at a time.

Even with the one item at a time service which is what I have currently (down from 5 items when I worked a corporate job and needed a more versatile wardrobe), I can get 4-5 different outfits per month if I wear and return items quickly.  It takes several days for you to get a new shipment once you return, so I try to wear items as soon as I get them and return them quickly to maximize the number of items I get each month.

Size Advisor Tool

The size advisor tool on the site is one of the most valuable parts of the experience, in my opinion.  You’re able to enter your usual size at the brands you’re most familiar with (like Lane Bryant or Torrid) and the website is able to recommend sizes to you in all of the different brands available.  This makes shopping a breeze and I find the size recommendations to be pretty accurate!  I do still check size charts before I select the items, but for the most part, the sizing is spot on.

An Honest Review of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Rental Service

First Fit Reviews

Gwynnie Bee utilizes what they call “First Fit Reviewers” before launching new clothing on the site.  They partner with women of different shapes and sizes to try on clothes, model them, and write reviews about the fit of the items.  It’s incredibly helpful to see the way items fit on different body types to help you visualize what will work for you.

Also, the community is very active and share photos and reviews as well; however, when you’re closeting new arrivals – the insights of the First Fit Reviewers are priceless!

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Shop By Category, Style, or New Arrival

There are several different ways to find clothing you love on the site!  You’re able to see new arrivals, different categories (like jeans, dresses, tops, etc.), workwear, casual, etc. There’s also a section called Style Inspiration where you can find top rated items, items ideal for specific body shapes, and specific styles like Bohemian. I like to check in a few times a week and shop all new arrivals to keep up with everything new the site has to offer.

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Filter by Size, Color, Brand

In addition to the categories above, you’re able to further refine the items you’re looking for using the filter functionality.  You’re able to filter by size, color, and brand.

An Honest Review of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Rental Service

Return Notify

Once you receive your items, you’re able to keep them for as long as you’d like.  Once you’re ready to swap for something new… all you have to do is return what you’ve already got at home.  On the Gwynnie Bee app, you can even scan the barcode of the return label on the package to notify the team that your package is on its way.  When you do this, it allows Gwynnie Bee to begin preparing your next shipment before they receive yours in their warehouse to save shipping time.

Refer A Friend

Another cool feature of the Gwynnie Bee program is that you can earn money by referring your friends and family to the service.  For any friend that signs up using your link, you get $25 off your subscription.  I regularly earn enough to get months free when friends and family sign up.

I definitely don’t like selling, especially to my family and friends, but Gwynnie Bee seems to come up naturally in conversation a lot when people ask where something I’m wearing came from.  Gwynnie Bee also gives the person you refer the first 30 days free AND $10 off their first paid month, so you both benefit if they decide to give it a try.

If you’d like to try the service free for 30 days and get $10 off your first paid month, you can click here to use my referral link!

Tips For Maximizing Your Gwynnie Bee Experience

The service is really easy to use, but I’ve found there are a few tips and tricks that make it work even more in your favor.

  • Schedule USPS pickup to return your packages.  We all know that going to the post office seems to fall to the end of the to-do list.  The only thing that has held me back from making the most of my subscription at times is failing to ship items back quickly.  That means you’re just paying for items to sit in your closet (or in my case… in the return package in my car).  Using pickup from USPS is easy and free.  You just request a pickup on USPS.com and place the item outside for the postal carrier to pick up.
  • Take advantage of the return notification tool in the app.  You can scan the barcode of the package you’re returning to notify Gwynnie Bee that it’s on the way.  This allows them to begin preparing your next box immediately and ensures you get the maximum number of items per month by getting the next box faster.
  • Take advantage of the “priority” designation.  If there’s an item you REALLY love, you can mark it as “priority”.  This will improve your chances of getting the items you want the most!
  • Check out the reviews of each item you like.  My favorite part of the Gwynnie Bee experience is the community aspect.  Gwynnie Bee hires first fit reviewers to try on each item before it’s listed on the site.  You’ll get to see the dresses on people with different body types and sizes to get an idea of how it might look on you.  Users also rate and review pieces so you’ll have great info to make decisions on what to add.  I especially like checking out the Top Rated items filter as I shop.

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Wearing Dress from Gwynnie Bee Clothing Rental Subscription Service

Pros of Using The Gwynnie Bee Service

Honestly, there are WAY more pros than cons of using the Gwynnie Bee service.  I’ve had two different accounts with my most recent being active since 2015.  I’m not even sure how many years ago I first tried it using the other account.

Here are a few of my top pros of use Gwynnie Bee:

  • You will have access to unlimited wardrobe options on a budget.
  • The service is excellent for people with small closets and limited space – you can have a variety in your wardrobe and only purchase wardrobe basics you’ll need to wear all the time.
  • You can expand your horizons by trying new brands, styles, colors, and patterns that you would never commit to purchasing.
  • You may get access to brands you couldn’t afford to purchase otherwise – there are some higher-end options available!
  • You can purchase items through Gwynnie Bee at a great price – once you have an item at home through the rental program, you can buy the items at a discount.  My best deal so far has been buying a Vince Camuto sweater for FIFTY CENTS!  It was on sale for $5.50 and I had a $5 credit.  It’s rare to find a deal THAT good but you can often purchase items for a fraction of retail cost.

Cons of Using The Gwynnie Bee Service

I have rarely had issues over the years with Gwynnie Bee.  I would think with pre-owned clothing, there would occasionally be missed stains or pulls but it’s NEVER happened for me.  The garments have always been clean and well-cared for.

The only consistent issue I hear about from other users is that they feel shipping isn’t fast enough when getting new items.  I’m fortunate to live one state away from Gwynnie Bee’s warehouse so shipments happen pretty quickly for me once they’re processed. Of course, I’d love it if as soon as I ship something back I’d get the next piece but there is a several day processing period that you need to be aware of.

I would also love to see them expand the size range higher than a 32 and include more pieces over a size 24.  It can be frustrating to see adorable new arrivals on the site that stop at a 3X and therefore won’t fit me.  I find that filtering by size immediately as I browse helps me avoid that frustration by seeing only the items that will work for me.  Given how many other options women below a size 14 have, I hope to see the brand continue its focus on increasing options for larger sizes as a top priority.

An Honest Review Of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Subscription Service

Who Should Use Gwynnie Bee

Gwynnie Bee is a good service for any woman sizes 0 to 32.  I think it’s especially awesome for babes who work in an office environment and need to look put together on a daily basis.  I think the business casual options on the site are my favorite of all.  When I worked my corporate job, I was constantly trying new dresses and tops for work.

Now that I’m not in an office environment, I use it for date night dresses and casual everyday wear.  I use it to expose myself to new brands which can be quite helpful as a blogger, and I also like to use it to try trends that I know aren’t worth spending much money on given how quickly they’ll be out of style again.

I think that apartment dwellers with limited storage space can also benefit greatly from the service.  When I lived in NY I had to pare down my wardrobe tremendously, and Gwynnie Bee allowed me to still look stylish although I didn’t own much clothing.

Gwynnie Bee Vs. Dia & Co. – Who Should I Use?

If you haven’t read my Dia & Co. review, you can find that here.  Dia & Co. and Gwynnie Bee are very different.  Dia and Co. has a team of personal stylists who pick five wardrobe items for you based upon your style preferences.  You pay $20, fill out a questionnaire and the stylist sends you five pieces along with styling tips.  You have a few days to try the items and decide what you’ll keep.  Once you buy the items, they’re yours forever so it’s not a rental situation like Gwynnie Bee.

For me, Dia & Co. has been more of an “every now and then” service when I just want someone else to find clothes for me but Gwynnie Bee is something I use consistently every month.  I don’t personally have the budget to buy brand new wardrobe items at Dia & Co’s prices each month but it’s fun on occasion.

Both services allow you to experience new brands and styles while Gwynnie Bee allows you to make your own decisions about what to purchase where Dia & Co. has someone else pick items for you.

I think there’s definitely room for both services in your life depending upon your needs… it all depends on whether you’re looking to buy items that you can keep forever and re-wear many times or if you want variety and a rotating wardrobe.

I’d love to hear from you… which service sounds more appealing to you? Gwynnie Bee or Dia & Co.?

My personal experience with Gwynnie Bee has been very positive overall.  Is there room for improvement? Absolutely!  But I continue to utilize the service and enjoy keeping my wardrobe fresh without a commitment.

If you’d like to try Gwynnie Bee free for 30 days, click here!

PS:  Did you know I recently launched a personal styling service?  If you want to try Gwynnie Bee, but feel overwhelmed by all of the options available and unsure of what will work best for you… check out my personal styling service by clicking here.  We can book an hour to go through the options and find the best pieces to get you started!

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.  I may receive compensation if you purchase items using these links at no cost to you.  I appreciate your support when you use my links to purchase items I recommend.

In-Store Try-On: Anthropologie Plus Size Review and Haul

If you follow plus size fashion news, you’ve likely heard that Anthropologie has launched its first ever plus size collection called A+ By Anthropologie.  Everyone’s talking about it and I even wrote an initial post sharing my first impressions of the line.  You can read that post here.

One of the things I was super bummed about was that the plus line was initially available in only ten stores throughout the US, none of which were within 100 miles of where I live.  What I FORGOT when I was doing my research was that Kevin & I had a trip to Chicago planned for my birthday at the end of March and there was a store about 30 minutes north of the city that did carry the line.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go check out the pieces in person, so the Sunday morning before we headed home we made the trek to the Skokie, IL store!

I’ve only stepped foot inside an Anthropologie store once or twice in my lifetime but walking in knowing that I’d be able to actually shop for CLOTHING and not just home items or accessories was so exciting!

Model wearing dress from Anthropologie's new plus size line

Everything you need to know about Anthropologie’s First Plus Size Line

Recently, rumors started swirling that Anthropologie had plans to launch a plus size line and the plus size fashion community went wild!  They’ve been dropping sneak peeks and now the line is finally here!

Today, I’ll be sharing my initial thoughts on the line including:

  • An honest review – the pros and cons of the A+ By Anthropologie line
  • Favorite pieces from the A+ By Anthropologie line
  • Tips and tricks for finding pieces that fit when you’re just outside the size range for a brand
Manicure Using Essie Gel Couture Take Me To Thread

How To Give Yourself A Professional Manicure At Home

Disclaimer:  Please note that some links on this blog including are affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage when you purchase items using these links.  These earnings are used to help offset the costs of maintaining the blog and creating content for you.  I appreciate your support in utilizing these links when you purchase items I recommend!

This could be an unpopular opinion, but I’ll say it anyway. I hate getting manicures at the nail salon.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having nicely manicured nails but I hate the process of actually getting the manicure for many reasons.

  1. It takes forever, and I hate wasting my time at the salon.
  2. It’s not relaxing or fun for me.
  3. I am usually uncomfortable in the nail salon chairs.
  4. It’s expensive and I’d rather spend my money on things I enjoy.
  5. Even gel or SNS manicures just don’t last very long on me.
Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life and Husband Kevin on their Big Fig Mattress

How You Can Get the Best Sleep Ever: A Big Fig Mattress Review

Disclosure:  I received a bed from Big Fig at no cost in order to review it for you on the blog.  Links in this post are affiliate links, and you can read my disclosures here.  As always, integrity is my number one priority and all opinions are my own.  

I’m not really sure why, but I’ve never been a great sleeper. I struggle to fall asleep. I toss and turn. I wake up achy. There are many days that I wake up tired even after 8+ hours in bed.  My dad still tells stories about how I used to kick, roll and flail when I slept as a child.

As I got older I’d occasionally turn to Nyquil, melatonin, or other sleep aids when things got really bad.  While they would help improve my sleep on the nights I used them, nothing really solved my problems long term.

I accepted fatigue and bad sleep as my reality, but since I made one big recent change, I’ve gotten the best sleep of my life.  I’m excited to share my story with you because I believe that the change I made in upgrading to a Big Fig Mattress changed my life forever.

You can check out all the specifics about the mattress here and use my code PLUSLIFEBLOG to get the best deal available right now! 

Plus size woman's lower legs walking while wearing grey and white sneakers and black capri leggings.

The Best Extra Wide Width Sneakers In The World

Disclaimer:  Please note that some links on this blog including are affiliate links.  I will receive a small percentage when you purchase items using these links.  These earnings are used to help offset the costs of maintaining the blog and creating content for you.  I appreciate your support in utilizing these links when you purchase items I recommend! 

A plus size woman's leg and wide foot wearing black leggings and grey and white sneakers

Out of all my fashion struggles, I think shoes are by far the most challenging for me.  I have REALLY wide feet and sometimes deal with swelling.  I spend a lot of my time wearing stretchy flats and rarely wear sneakers unless I’m exercising.

The Best Way To Get New Panties – Delivered To Your Door

Sponsored Post:  Thank you to the team at Panty Drop for collaborating with me on this post.  All opinions are my own.  For more site policies and disclosures, click here

Not sure about you, but I LOVE a good subscription service!  I’ve tried them for clothing, jewelry, makeup, groceries, and pretty much anything else I can find.

It is SO exciting to get new goodies delivered to your door – such a special treat!

Just when I thought I’d tried (and loved) every type of subscription service out there, I discovered Panty Drop, a subscription service for panties.  First, how AWESOME is “Panty Drop” as a business name for a panty subscription service? SERIOUSLY! Branding genius.  I knew I wanted in based on the name alone!

Real Talk: How I Manage Foot Pain From Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis

Sponsored Post:  Thank you to the team at Heel That Pain for collaborating with me on this post.  All opinions are my own.  For more site policies and disclosures, click here

Most of you don’t know this because I’ve never discussed it publicly, but I have suffered from intense foot pain for years.

I have flat feet and have had a variety of different aches and pains over the years.  I got tired of living in pain a few years ago and finally went to the doctor where I was diagnosed with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.