Todays Beautiful Thing…

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I have to admit…I’m definitely NOT a wash your hair every day kind of girl. I have naturally wavy hair that (while fine) tends to be dry…not to mention that I color it, blow dry it and straighten it…yes, I am very tough on my hair!

This is another product that I’ve heard/read much about…
Batiste Dry Shampoo

As I usually straighten my hair, I try to be nice and allow at least three days in between washings.  As I use styling products to achieve “my look” it can sometimes need a refreshing and boost during/after day two as I try my best to NEVER apply additional heat of any kind during that three day period.  So I was excited to find Batiste Dry Shampoo in my local Marshalls…always a great place for a bargain and a discount on shampoos and conditioners too!  As it was budget friendly I decided to give it a whirl…boy am I ever HAPPY I did!!!!!

Down & Dirty…I’ve used dry shampoos in the past on my pre teen daughters hair.  However they were always the inexpensive kind you pick up on the fly that smell like lemon furniture polish and tend to give your hair (hers is dark blonde) a powdery grey look…not to mention they did not work tremendously well.  I have to say that Batiste Dry Shampoo was AH-MAY-ZING!!!!  I had purchased the Light & Blonde shade with “a hint of color”.  I absolute love that it has a “hint” of color which makes any root growth less noticeable.  I also enjoy the texture and the fresh scent…kind of like vanilla and almonds…totally delish!!!  I’m already on the hunt for more…more…more as it is my newest favorite hair product.  Not to mention that I want a dark blonde color for my daughter…or I will accept finding the colorless version (I think they make one) too!!!

Definitely a MUST for your hair care routine!!!

A Beautiful Thing…

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Loreal Revitalift Miracle Blur

As many of you know, there has been so much buzzzz about Loreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother that is supposed to “erase the look of wrinkles, lines & pores“. In my quest for a totally chic life, I felt I needed to blur some tiny lines that have begun to show. After researching the many reviews online, I thought the Miracle Blur to be the boost I was looking for to erase those tiny lines!

I do want to note that there was an oil free and regular formula available and that I purchased the product at my local CVS Pharmacy and in the effort of economy (and the fact that I was not totally convinced), I purchased the 0.5 FL. OZ tube as seen pictured above.

After applying my moisturizer, I first attempted to apply the product over much of my target areas…forehead, the frown line between my brows , upper lip (my lipstick tends to bleed) and under my eyes (darn wrinkles!).

I immediately did not care much for how it looked under my eyes and even though I was careful not to get any in my eyes, it seemed the scent stung my eyes.  But I prevailed and applied to my forehead and upper lip and between brows.  I have to say that the lines on my forehead were not diminished and I did not care for the oily feeling.  This is merely a case for using the oil free formula.  Next, the frown line between the brows…it definitely helped the line look less…deep.  The upper lip met with success as well since I do not see the tiny lines around my lips and the lipstick/chapstick/gloss/liner does not gravitate into the lines.

Overall Impression…Miracle Blur definitely does help diminish the lines of some of my target areas and I like it well enough to continue using it.  I am a sensitive skin girl and it did NOT make my skin blemish (or cause a rash) in any way.  I do allow it time to dry or set if you will…just seems to work better that way.  I use it sparingly (because of the oily texture) on my brow and upper lip (my personal problem areas) and it seems to work great for what I am looking to achieve!  I think the small tube is perfect for me and I will definitely continue to use it.

A plus for any make-up bag!

Beautiful Things…

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In my travels, I have come across many different products that strike me as worthy to relate. As I find them I intend to relay the products as I see them and tell of their usefulness. It is my goal to live a truly beautiful and chic life and lifestyle, so it is always thrilling to find those products that help in the creation of a truly beautiful chic life and lifestyle.

To be noted, I do not live a lavish lifestyle. Rather, I am a single mother to a beautiful and amazing pre-teen.  I live together in a small bustling city enjoying the sights and sounds. That said, I always try to live a beautiful and chic life and lifestyle in the most intelligent and cost conscious manner possible.

I do hope you will enjoy the occasional product reviews…

Regency Hat

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As I was making my regency spencer to wear to the Sailing Masters Parade and Ball, I decided that I should in fact wear a straw hat suitable for picnicking as well as watching the parade.  I began with an inexpensive straw hat (purchased from Wal-Mart) which had the basic shape I was looking for.  My inspiration was Marianne’s hat from Sense & Sensibility which was mostly composed of white/off white feathers…suitable for many different looks.

Pic of my inspiration hat from Sense & Sensibility

Pic of my inspiration hat from Sense & Sensibility

As I was finding elements here and there for my hat I found that I actually enjoy color and as I will mainly wear this particular hat with my regency spencer (see Regency Spencer ~ Update) I thought it particularly cute to add the colors from my spencer onto the hat…Hat, Spencer & Gown all together

Hat, Gown & Spencer all in one!

Mine evolved into something a bit more colorful…

Front View with two ruched ribbons

Front View with two ruched ribbons

Side View with feathers, floral and ribbon decorations

Side View with feathers, floral and ribbon decorations

Rear View with florals and fabric trim

Rear View with floral and fabric trim

I began by pulling the brim upward and tacking with thread.  Then I tacked on a ribbon trim around the hat which subsequently became mostly hidden by the flowers.  I then added flowers, feathers and fabric trims.  The blue is from remnants of the spencer I attempted to create a flower called Bachelor Buttons…one on the side and one in the back to carry the color around the hat.  I also made ribbon ties which really do not have any function but to simply appear pretty as the hat stays on quite well without.

I was happy with how the hat looked finished…quite pretty!!!

Regency Spencer ~ Update

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This post is merely an update to my original post Regency Spencer.  As you know, I was attempting to make a regency spencer for myself to wear to the Sailing Masters Parade and Ball in Essex, CT.  In the first post I gave some details of what went into this particular project, so here I will show photos of the actual finished project…

Finally complete and ready to wear!

Finally complete and ready to wear!

Showing the regency diamond shape and tassel detailing

Showing the regency diamond shape and tassel detailing

Heirloom lace cuff with a band of ruched turkey red linen and glass beading

Heirloom lace cuff with a band of ruched turkey red linen and glass beading

Linen lining with handwritten quote and decoration which was handsewn into spencer

Linen lining with handwritten quote and decoration which was hand sewn into spencer

Detail of fringe cut away to reveal tassels, a ruched band of turkey red linen and gold and silver buttons echoing the front button detailing.

Detail of fringe cut away to reveal tassels, a ruched band of turkey red linen, glass beads and gold and silver buttons echoing the front button detailing.

Here is the completed Regency Spencer on myself at the Sailing Masters Parade…

Spencer worn with straw hat decorated (see addl post) and blue and white print regency gown

Spencer worn with straw hat decorated (see Regency Hat post) and blue and white print regency gown

Regency Spencer…

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Louise_of_Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

AS IT HAPPENS, I will be attending the Burning of the Ships parade, picnic and ball in Essex.  This has ignited a new passion for a new Spencer and light blue and white regency gown then quickly gave way to include yet another white ball gown (a day dress, spencer and ball gown).  The light blue and white day dress (with short sleeves as I had first thought to use it as a ball gown and may still on future occasions) came together rather quickly in spite of my overzealous pattern revisions which created the need to rework the skirt…another story for another time.  I began work on the spencer…which was to be made of blue fabric with white and red accents complete with beading, fringe and tassels.  As I had no pattern for a regency spencer but already knew I wanted the diamond back of the regency period, I decided to draft a new pattern specifically for a spencer (as I wanted the neckline higher than the gown and also added a collar/lapels).  It took approximately one week (and considerable thought and countless research) to actually work up the nerve to create a pattern suitable.  I actually used a modern spencer (bolero jacket) that I own for sizing.  Then worked from there to create the pattern…it was definitely a labor of love to be sure!!!

When the pattern was finally drafted, I then went about searching for the correct fabric.  I had two pictures for inspiration.  One of Queen Louise of Prussia and another a modern bolero jacket from an advertisement in the magazine Belle Armoire.  Both incorporate the colors of red, white and blue…extremely fitting for the Essex event!  I knew well enough that I would not find the exact fabric (my one fabric store is woefully limited).  To my delight, I was able to locate a blue on blue upholstery fabric that would be perfect for this project at 50% discount no less!!!  So, with fabric in hand I worked up the courage to pin the pattern and actually cut my beautiful fabric to begin assembly.  As it is basically the same cut as the gowns (just larger and slightly different), it was fairly easy to piece together.  It helps that the spencer actually has only TWO mere seams keeping it all together!  I then needed to cut a collar which meant back to the internet for research.  It was easy enough to get the correct shape as there were plenty of tutorials to assist my novice skills.  I was very happy to say the least, that I had the foresight to actually cut the lapels with the jacket piece…just made the project a little easier.  That is until I realized that I needed to actually ATTACH the collar!!!!!  Once I managed to attach the collar nicely, it was on to the hemming.  I decided to turn/roll/fold the hem of the fabric…it really made the spencer look very nicely finished.  For the inside seams I will pink the raw edges as I decided to line the spencer with linen (upon which I will write a lovely meaningful quote).  Trim was added…turkey red linen from my stash was used to make ruched bands around the cuffs with a small band across the bottom back (military style) which was affixed over a small strip of crimson fringe which was cut away at two intervals to reveal the turkey red linen points upon which perch two crimson tassels.  Crimson braiding to festoon the front of the jacket at the front closure location, two bands of cream-colored cotton lace was used around the collar following the lapels, cream-colored lace which was reincarnated from a lace table runner from my grandmother years ago was used around the cuffs to fall gently over the hands.  Red glass beads with gold accents were sewn at intervals around the turkey red linen cuffs as well as on the center of the tassel cord (which were coiled and attached to the linen points on the back), the final touch are gold buttons (as seen on Queen Louise of Prussia’s spencer below) to carry the gold from the beading and assist with the military feel…one upon the braiding (a faux button) at the front closure and two at the turkey red linen strip/band at the back.

I must say that this project took all of three weeks to completion and to my surprise and infinite delight, my spencer fits like a glove!!!!

Color Inspiration (note gold buttons)……

Queen Louise of Prussia Spencer

Queen Louise of Prussia Spencer

Style Inspiration……..

Advertisement in Belle Armoire, coat by Kimberly Elowe

Advertisement in Belle Armoire, coat by Kimberly Elowe

Adventures in Love…

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Raimundo Madrazo - The Love Letter

Raimundo Madrazo – The Love Letter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your love’s a gathered storm I chased across the sky.  A moment in your arms became the reason why.  You alone are my light.  I would give anything to feel you in my arms tonight. 

~Josef Alexander Thompson, Songwriter

Spring and Summer are always the seasons that bring the topic of love to most individuals thoughts and conversations.  It seems to be human nature to come assemble more often and with much more affection in the warmer seasons.

I often wonder at how amazing it would be to find a like-minded individual…hence my foray into online dating.  It remains uncertain if they were indeed successful or merely a necessary experience needed for me to become a person rich with the experiences of life.  I have found that being an eclectic person with many varied interests, that perhaps a watered down sense of my self was in order when initially meeting other people.  Is that really being true to who I am as a person…or is it merely projecting a persona of who I think is a more acceptable version of me?

As it happens, once in a while a person reaches out and touches upon the authentic you…

Regency Inspirations…

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White gown

Dearest Friends..

I have been hard at work on my new obsession. I have been quite into the Regency Era of dancing and thusly have had the need to create some new looks for myself in the form of gowns to attend various regency balls in Connecticut. Basically much like reenactments. Very much like reenactments…which I had done years ago. I had taken the time to actually research what I wanted and found that Simplicity had a pattern for regency gowns so I used that as my base. However, authentic regency gowns had what was referred to as a “diamond back” shape which I found quite attractive. Sleeves were also set quite far back in the bodice (a point I did not trouble myself with at this time). I REALLY wanted that diamond back…very much so that I reworked the bodice pattern to create it! I also realized that as a larger busted woman, I would need extra room so it was back to research how to make this happen. After finding that promptly online as provided by the woman who put the pattern together for Simplicity, I was on my way!

I found that I really wanted to attempt to create a regency gown with more period correct details and settled on white (very much the popular color choice of that time). I chose a plain white linen (obviously not as fine as was used for gowns of that time, but close enough to satisfy me) for the color, pricing and ease of sewing my first gown ever…so I did stay on the safe side. After suffering through (don’t forget novice sewer here) an agonizing twenty minutes or so I finally managed to figure out how much fabric I needed (the fabric was not as wide as the pattern called for…therefore, I needed to figure out an additional yardarge). Then taking into account that the linen is paper thin I needed to line the dress (which I ended up only lining the bodice as I have petticoats from another era I was able to reuse).

I made the decision after hand sewing the entire bodice sans sleeves that I would use the sewing machine for the remainder. I decided to leave the basic white dress without sleeves (I’ve seen it occasionally done) as I had a black with white polka dots spencer to wear over the dress anyway. The bodice front is slightly larger than I need so I plan to take some gathers in the neckline and add a lace trim around the neckline as well as a ruffle around the bottom.

The whole outfit actually looked quite period and very cute I must say. I am thoroughly enjoying this new passion!

My latest project is a green pelisse to wear over the white gown for a St. Patricks Day Regency Dance…details to come!

Quick Note…I am unsure of how to actually include photos of my projects.  If anyone has input on how to actually do this I would appreciate the input.  Thank You!

Coffee…

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Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte

Does it get any better than this?  I’m just in from meeting a new friend at Starbucks.  It is always a wonderful way to pass an hour or so on a chilly winter day chatting with someone new and like minded.  Not to mention that it was great to have the awesomely delicious Caramel Brulee Latte…tall in a grande cup with extra whip please!!!

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