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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Best of 2012

Okay folks, here it is: The Year In Review! This is my annual post detailing my favorites in everything from Tunes to Tutorials so settle in and share your own opinions at will. :)Keep in mind that I am a 'late bloomer' when it comes to some things so my loving it in 2012 doesn't necessarily mean it came out in 2012. ;-)

1.Product of the year:

A dream foundation for dry skin, Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation provides the durability of the original liquid with a light pudding-ish consistency that blends perfectly. It will be a staple in my personal kit for years to come. Let's just hope it doesn't go the way of the Max Factor Pan Stick. :(

2.Favorite Blog:

Ulrika's fashion blog has now become a full fledged Lifestyle blog, incorporating everything from furniture to food to everything in between. I have always loved and been inspired by her fashion posts and hairdo ideas, but this year she added motherhood to the mix! How could I help but be fascinated by how she was able to blend the function of being a new mom to her already enviable style sense? Well, she not only succeeded but she included tips for baby care, quick recipes, and dynamite decorating photos to boot! Again, this blog is one of the most inspiring options on the web for vintage loving moms, wives, and single ladies alike. Follow it and be motivated!

3. Favorite Book:

I didn't have much time for reading this year, as with most years, but in spite of that I somehow managed to knock out all three books of the Hunger Games trilogy in two short weeks. Sometimes I huddled on the bathroom floor after the family was in bed; sometimes I craned to see by the light of the tv. But I have to agree with most of the world and claim that this series is a great accomplishment. A visionary and unique take on a dystopian society after the failure of democracy, I was drawn in by the similarities of the Hunger Games to the ancient Roman games of the gladiators. The fact that the cruel dictatorship known as The Capitol and it's reigning President Snow used children to fight to the death was a very brave premise that Collins deftly handled throughout the series. My 12 year old son and I had many very insightful conversations about the likelihood of this type of eventuality and our thoughts on how the books ended. My favorite of the series was this one, probably because of the inclusion of a few very intriguing central characters and some jarring twists. If you haven't read this series because you feel it is likely an overrated one, that may be true. But it's definitely worth a look, in my opinion. And just so you know, I wouldn't give Twilight the time of day. ;-)

4. Favorite Album:
Jackie Wilson meets Harry Belafonte. This dynamic performer wowed the Viva crowd like no one else and was called back for an encore performance Sunday night. The album here is the one that I can't put down this year. It gets better with every listen. From the jumpy toe-tapping goodness of 'Throwback' to the sultry island appeal of 'La Isla Brazilia', the entire album has just one problem: It's over far too quickly!

5. Favorite Television Show:

I have my favorite AMC programming, my favorite repeat after repeat sit com fare, my favorite reality and variety shows. But the show that beat them all this year was Masterpiece Classics: Downton Abbey. The show is instantly mesmerizing as it pulls you into the lives and routine of the staff and family, showcasing gorgeous costumes, stunning sets, engaging direction, and brilliant acting like no other small screen series. Characters like John Bates and the indomitable Dowager Countess will forever live on in the world of entertainment, not only because they are brilliantly portrayed but because they are flawlessly conceived. The third season can't come soon enough.

6. Favorite Live Musical Performance:

Dancing his way across the stage, singing his heart out to an audience that could not get ENOUGH of the fun ..it made for an excellent performance that won't easily be forgotten. I anticipate that even Si will have a difficult time topping that performance when he revisits Vegas next spring.

7. Favorite Movie:

Without saying too much (I plan to do a full review on my Youtube movie review channel next week), suffice it to say that the lovers (like me) of both the Victor Hugo novel AND the fantastic musical will be thrilled with this film adaptation of the story. Anne Hathaway steals the show but the rest of the cast also shines in what could have been a huge mess of a movie. Such huge appreciation to Hooper for successfully bringing the wonderful music to the screen without neglecting to pay tribute to the book in such a gritty and innovative way. There has never been a musical like it. And it will set the standard from now on.

8. Favorite Clothing Purchase:

Being a new affiliate of Whirling Turban has magnificent perks and one of them is relative ease of access to gorgeous couture dresses. This one isn't necessarily my 'favorite' because really, all of my WT's are equally phenomenal. It does, however, have the added of appeal of being separates! Can't tell, can you? ;-)

9. Favorite Photo:

(Someone caught a very rare photo of me truly getting my groove on with no inhibitions. And I'm even making 'the face'. I laughed so hard at this one! It was an AMAZING night.)

10. Favorite Beer:
Smooth nut brown ale with a slight maple syrup aftertaste that I attribute to the pecans, this one remains the most memorable beer I tried all year. Looking forward to trying more Lazy Magnolia brews in the future

11. Favorite Moment:
This year had lots of great moments but time with my friend Lulu is so rare that it's no secret she would have to be involved in my favorite one. Visiting she and her family in California's bay area was a blast, even without the rest of my family, and they were such gracious hosts to my baby girl and I. But the moment that stands out to me the most was this brief and chilly visit to the beach on my last afternoon.

12.Favorite Tutorial of Mine:

Because sometimes things just come together. :)

13. Favorite Youtube Tutorial:
I had A LOT of favorites this year. This year artists like Lisa Eldridge (who held this top spot last year), Goldiestarling, and Promise Phan really pulled out all the stops. Lisa gave us a spot on and historically accurate Marilyn Monroe look. Angie (Goldiestarling) created a flawlessly original Van Gough inspired Halloween costume. Promise presented not one, but THREE Johnny Depp transformations in one succinct and hilariously performed video. But this year I discovered Kyondimble who is one of my favorite makeup artists on Youtube now. Her looks are certainly not for a novice to attempt, but I am amazed every time she puts a brush to her face. So I chose this one because it's the first one I saw of her's. Enjoy...

Til next year, So Long Dearies!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sponsor Salute: November/ December 2012

Gift Giving is on the brain this time of year, whether you are a celebrator of a December Holiday or not (like me). The sales and specials make shopping a no brainer, if you've got the means to take advantage of them. Some of my sponsors have some great deals to offer as well. I thought I'd make this month's 'salute' a little showcase of things I think would make great gifts and why, no matter when you choose to give them.

From Belle Blossoms, a few pretty shoe clips have been added to the wide range of options Heather offers to glamour girls of all ages. These clips are sturdy and made to last, like all of the accessories on the site. Most ladies don't think about dressing up their plain pumps this way and I think they'd make a great gift because it's an unpredictable choice. Price range: 12.99-17.99 US.

I was amazed to see that Dolly Bags had released a slew of new items on Beth's Etsy Page, where items are significanty reduced based on their being ready made and not customized. While Dolly does still offer some great options for customizing your own 'perfect purse', these Etsy 'steals' are the way to go when you are buying a last minute gift for yourself or a family member. The best deal, in my opinion, are these wonderful 'mini bags'. At 12.00, they're a great buy, not only because of the great variety of fabrics and amazing quality, but because they're such a versatile item to have! I can vouch for that; I have four. And nothing works better for quick trips to the store or jaunts around a theme park since they can be worn on the wrist.

Queen of Heartz has always had a great variety of vintage inspired clothing options and accessories. I thought this darling romper would make a great gift! At 120.00, it reflects the quality of the piece while not being extraordinarily expensive, and it comes in sizes from XS to 3X. It would be an inspiring thing for a gal to take on vacation and to plan her beach wardrobe around. Plus, it can be dressed up or down as the situation allows.

I have always loved the authenticity of the pieces at Heyday Clothing and instead of just picking one thing to make a great luxury gift, I think I'd just go for a gift voucher! Available from 10 English pounds to 1,000 (there is a price conversion chart available for you US gals), the vouchers can be used to set up your significant other in vintage quality duds for years to come.

For the girl who is interested in achieving that perfect pin curl set, what better gift than the Sculpture Pin Curler available from Vintage Hair? I've discussed this handy tool in my videos and I consider it a worthy investment, especially for ladies used to using rollers and trying to get more comfortable with creating this type of set. Shipping is very inexpensive as well:

Art collectors will love Kelly Grace's vintage lifestyle series on Etsy. Featuring 50's era fashion and hobbies, this collection immediately calls to mind another time with subtle colors that also speak of the era. Uniquely Kelly Grace:

I am proud to introduce a new sponsor, Queenie May's Vintage Skincare. I can't wait to review this product for you on my channel but until then, let's just say that skin care can be luxurious too. Made from a 1930's recipe, Queenie May's authentic cold cream and vanishing cream not only takes you back to grandmother's boudoir with the beautiful packaging, but also leaves dry skin feeling supple and soft and smelling of roses. A wonderful product and a wonderful gift idea.

And last but not least, The Darling Plum boasts a lot of great gift-worthy items but my absolute favorite right now is Ursula's adorable 1940's dressing gowns, made from a vintage pattern and created in whimsical designs and prints. I can't wait to wear mine in a coming video! It's so well made and comfortable, the perfect 'getting ready' attire to set a glamorous mood and provide modest coverage.
These unique gowns are a great deal at 150.00 US.

I hope you are all enjoying the season and staying warm.


Monday, November 26, 2012

We're Moving!

Thanks for you patience while we undertake the daunting task of moving our family of six YET AGAIN. :) No news on where we'll be moving or any details until we get settled but I promise to fill you all in soon.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Celebrity Mustaches

As we move into 'Movember', the emphasis on growing facial hair has become unavoidable. Top ten mustache (or moustache, if you prefer) lists have popped up everywhere, so I decided to jump on board as well. Here is my list of the top ten celebrity mustaches of all time. Enjoy and feel free to voice your own opinion in the comment section.

10. The Mellow Mushroom:
Face it, if you drew a line drawing of Frank Zappa's facial hair and nothing else, he'd still be recognizable. That makes a successful mustache, in my opinion. And no, I guess the square on his chin is not technically part of the lip coiffure, but there is no doubt it's a strong supporter.

9.The Square Deal:

Hard to overlook the Queenly mustache of Freddie Mercury. Before the mustache, he was just a square chinned fella with an incredible voice. After the mustache, he had a new lease on masculinity and just the right mustache shape to accentuate that famous jawline. When we think of Freddie, we seldom think of the pre-mustache days.

8.The Surrealist:

Salvador Dali grew a mustache that perfectly suited his artistic prowess and creative sensibilities. It should have died with him. Anyone who grows this style of mustache now must accept the fact that it will inevitably pale in comparison.

7.The Star Maker:

Clark Gable was a big star without his mustache. But when he meticulously grew that ever so thin and distinguished line above his lip, he became a legend.

6.The Crooner:

Someone else originally had this spot. But then I remembered Jim Croce's legendary siesta of a mustache that waltzed up and down when he sang. Enough said.

5.The Hirsute:

I think Tom Selleck appears on every one of these lists, and with good reason. Not only is Magnum a picture of manly excellence with his legendary mustache, but he made hairy men everywhere feel sexy again.

4.The Perfect Disguise:
I once saw a photo of John Oates without his mustache and had no idea who he was. I think if you can do something as simple as shave a 4 inch segment of hair off of your face and gain instant 'incognito', that must mean it was a great mustache indeed.

3.The Great Dictator:

Don't worry...not Hitler. Chaplin. Just turn a rectangle into a slight trapezoid and you have the Little Tramp that did not attempt to take over the world.

2.The Silver Fox:

Sam Elliot doesn't appear so high on most lists of this type, but the man grows hair art on his upper lip. An amazing blend of personality and facial hair excellence. I'm usually a bit depressed when he shaves it for a role, but then it comes back in all its luxuriant silver glory and I forgive him. I think it's the eyes. They demand forgiveness.

1.The King:

There are actors with mustaches and musicians with mustaches. And then there is the man who is a celebrity for just having one. Burke Kenney. I know, at first glance this seems more an exhibit of beard growing than of mustachery. But look again. The man has no mouth. This requires extraordinary commitment, no? The mustache flows freely over his lips to harmonize completely with his long hair and beard...that is, unless he chooses to style it. Then it does this:

Yeah, Burke has pretty eyes, shiny hair,and a big ol' beard. But the mustache is his true claim to fame if you ask me.

And that's my list.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Sometimes I Yearn...

Webster's defines 'yearn' as:

Verb: 1. To have intense feeling of loss or lack and longing for something.

I would describe myself as a pretty contented person and a happy one. But like Kramer, sometimes I 'sit and yearn'. I don't think I have an intense feeling of loss, as the definition demands, but there are definitely things that continually haunt me and give me a sense of longing. I thought I'd share some of those with you today. Note that none of them are necessary to my happiness, my well being, or my sanity. Some may be unobtainable. But having them there to think about when things are quiet just gives me whistful motivation, if you will. And I don't think that's a bad thing...

1. The Desert:

Okay maybe its not the most practical thing in the world, but I totally think I could do the desert. I think I could live smack dab in the middle of it, miles from civilization. I've driven through it a few times, once to Death Valley in Ca, and never did it make me feel depressed or compare it to the lush green environment I'm used to. I find the variations of color equally as inspiring as the changing leaves in Tennessee and I think the sheer enormity of the sky makes up for any lack of green. I love the open space and the clear breathable air that makes my nose bleed. I love the fact that it takes so long to actually get to a settlement or city that seems close enough to touch. I love the random ice cream stands and such that surreally speckle the scenery like a still life. Route 66 is calling my name, I guess you could say. Of course, if I lived out there I'd also need one of those little Broncos that Salma Hayek drives in Fools Rush In...so that would open up another whole yearning matter.

2. Curls:
I'm utterly fascinated by curls. All types of curls but mainly natural frizzy ones that are hard to control. Alas, I will never have curls. I have to create them from scratch. But when I was a kid, my dream head-o-hair was somewhere between that chick from Brave and Rita Hayworth. I wanted scads of dark red curls. I got the dark red, albeit by most 'un-natural' means, but the curls elude me. You ladies with curls, EMBRACE THEM. They can be straightened more easily than we can straight haired girls can achieve the greatness with which you were born. And ladies like Myrna Loy (pictured above) and Greer Garson are living proof that you can achieve all kinds of gorgeous smooth looks with them.

3.1950's fashion:
It goes without saying that I am inspired by the past, on a daily basis. But sometimes, the longing for a dress I see in a film or magazine ad grows so great that I am inspired to start searching around for a pattern and a seamstress so that I can replicate it. This usually happens when I'm watching a movie that boasts the pristine costumes of Edith Head. But sometimes it just happens when I'm glancing at fashion photos online or in a magazine. I love the structure of 1950's gowns and their complete and utter consciousness of the female form. I have a 'dresses I want to copy' folder on my computer. I know the chances of my replicating these dresses are slim to none, but it somehow makes me feel better to know they are there taunting me. :)

P.S. If I ever have ocassion to wear a wedding dress again, the above dress will be mine. :)

I also am in awe of ladies like this one, who have such a great handle on their personal style and how it reflects their love of vintage fashion. Red Carpet celebrities and their bevy of paid consultants and stylists simply can't touch her:

4. Brilliant Photography:
More than anything else lately, I yearn when I see amazing photographs. I've always been inspired by art, illustration, etc. But photography is a recent passion of mine and one I intend to pursue. When I view some of my favorite blogs and see the quality of photos they offer, I sometimes get a little sick feeling. I guess it's slightly a jealous feeling but more than that, I think it's a sense of regret that I have not paid the same level of attention to my own blog posts. I have an entire album of photo inspirations, most of which I've drawn from my favorite fashion and lifestyle blogs, and I hope all of you are aware of how much you accomplish with your amazing pictures.

Below are a few photos from that album as well as a credit to the 'pitcher-taker' and a brief description of why I so love the shot:

The above photo by musician/photographer Joshua Black Wilkins is an example of why he's one of my favorite portrait photographers. Unposed, unfocused, candid moments that are just breathtaking. He has a gift for recognizing beautiful things in his subjects that come from their own natural basic-ness. I know that is not a word and doubt it makes sense to anyone but me. :)

Aya and her husband Thomas continue to turn out beautiful naturalistic portraits on their website. This photo went to my saved photos immediately because well, I have a thing about necks. I love the nape of the neck (unshaved ones on men are my PET PEEVE) and I love the simple way this photo is cropped and constructed. It moves me.

I also love the photos of food that Aya uploads to her Instragram and blog. What is it about proper photography that makes me so inspired by food? And why am I so inlove with the fact of the wrinkle in the cloth?
photo from Strawberry Koi

NO ONE on the internet inspires me to try their makeup looks like Jody of Monroe Misfit Makeup. And I blame her photography. Her beautiful face notwithstanding, the lighting and color she captures in these photos is what really creates the magic.

Esme and the Laneway, doing fashion posts right! This is the way that I want to see you blogging gals show off your clothes. In soft pastel settings with glowy lighting. Yes, I know...the milky skin and beautiful hair is an added perk that not all of us can easily come by. But I can dream...and with photos like this to inspire me, the dreaming is easy.

And last, but certainly not least:
Ulrika slays me every time she posts. Her fashion sense is impeccable, her hair styling talent remarkable, and photos like this are just the icing on the cake. I regret not doing something like this w/ my babies. Add to this the incredible shots she shares of her home, outfit ideas, country vistas, and hair creations; The Freelancer's Fashion Blog a veritable smorgasboard of photographic vittles.

Let the yearning commence...


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sponsor Salute-October 2012

I know, I know, my blog has been sadly neglected over the last few months. I will be adding more here as time goes on; I really do have a lot to say! Hopefully you won't all lose faith in my little web log, especially since great companies like these are supporting it! Make sure to show them your support as well, by clicking on those links to the right, even if you don't want to buy anything. Maybe you'll see something that you simply MUST put on your holiday wishlist or the perfect gift for someone special.

1. Dolly Bags: Three cheers for Dolly! I'm sure most of you saw my in depth review of this company that was recently posted on Youtube:

I'm a long time fan of Beth's work and love the ever changing supply of designs she offers! This blondie bag, for instance, was a great departure from many of her less structured designs. And the range has only expanded from there:

2. Queen of Heartz: I appreciate the continued support from this great company, especially since there is such a range of options here as well. This Priscilla dress
has such a classic look and the 'frosty' aspect of the fabric would couple beautifully over the cooler months with a vintage beaded sweater. Don't ever see 'sleeveless' as a limit on what you can wear when it's cold.


Speaking of cooler weather, Heyday has again joined my list of sponsors and just in time! There is an amazing End of Summer Sale going on right now that you don't want to miss! Some of this stuff has been drastically reduced and the quality is vouched for by all those ladies and gents who are lucky enough to own one of Shona's pieces. From the Fleur wrap dress to mens' peg leg pants, the prices are pretty unbelievable. Check out before you miss out!

4. Vintage Hair: For those of you who have been wanting one of the great pin curling tools I featured in my pin curl tutorial but discouraged by the shipping fees, it seems that there has been a change made that could be to your favor. Please check the site again to see if the changes apply to your country.

5. Kelly Grace art:

Artist Kelly Grace has her ad at the right linked to her facebook page, which has more activity, but don't neglect her site as well, which features a lot of her art but also exhibition dates local to Canada where you can see her work in person!

6.The Darling Plum:
Finally, I'm sure all of you are familiar by now with Ursula's 'darling' etsy shop, but did you know she also sells lovely floral hair clips and accessories? These are just beautiful and some are dressed up with vintage buttons! If you are like me, and love bringing spring and summer with you all year round, don't forget to add flowers to your accessory wishlist this season.