18th Century Garments…


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Another sewing challenge…I had decided to attend the Midwinter Ball last February.  It had been on my mind for quite some time and I hadn’t actually had the attention to devote to it.  Then it was decided two months prior that I was going to attend.  So I dutifully began researching period appropriate attire.  As the holiday season was fast approaching, I knew that I didn’t wish to spend an extreme amount on material so I just decided to use what I had in my stash.  Originally, I had wanted to use an embossed yellow silk…but alas, I chose a red and white striped cotton (super easy to work with) and a creamy white silk skirt over a quilted petticoat with a petticoat, corset and chemise and bum roll.  I began the corset first off as it was to be the base of my outfit.  Again, it is ALL completely hand sewn and in two months time and with NO purchased patterns.  As you can see, the boning channels were completed by sewing in bias tape and I actually used zip ties as boning.  I did not use any binding to finish the edges (due to time constraints…as per usual), but did fold them over and finished them off.  Lacing holes were made by hand with and awl and finished off with embroidery thread.  I did also extend the size of the corset (unnecessarily so) and feel that it would fit better without the extension panels at the closure.  It is a front closing corset which is definitely a personal choice of mine as I lack the services of a Ladies Maid.  Again, due to time constraints, I did not line the inside…a project for the future perhaps.



Here is the bum roll which I actually drafted a basic shape and stuffed it.  I used bias tape for the strings to tie around my waist.  I clearly wanted more lift (or shape if you will) on the sides.  It did work perfectly!


Due to the cold weather months, I decided to sew a quilted petticoat.  I purchased the quilting (a cheat I know) and sewed a skirt using my bum roll so that it would all fall evenly.  I did not finish off the bottom as the quilting does not seem to unravel at all (time was essential!).  In this photo you can see the quilted petticoat peeking out at the bottom.  ;-)

IMG_5118Finally, my gown and overskirt…as mentioned the gown is made of cotton which happened to be quite thin, so I lined the top and left the skirt unlined.  I think I would love to line the skirt with red silk and apply some silk ruching trim.  It is currently quite plain.  I did not use any boning in the gown bodice and I feel that as it has a front closure, it could definitely use some for stiffness and shape (adding it to my To Do List).  It has hook and eye closures.  I was thinking of adding some embroidery of red, blue, and green down the front bodice as well.  It really needs some oomph!!  I added a bit of lace along the neckline and sleeves and the skirt has knife pleats.  I used pinking sheers to finish off the seams inside as I was beginning to run out of time and my hands were becoming weary with all the hand sewing for  this particular project.


I researched some period hairstyles and came up with this…


The final result looked like this…

With a dance acquaintance…

At the end of a long evening of revelry, I am left wistfully wondering…just where IS that Ladies Maid?!?!?

**Note…the chemisette is actually an Abercrombie blouse tossed into my stash for the embroidery.  It came in handy and added interest to the bodice as well as to the lace on the sleeves.

“Beware you be not swallowed up in books!  An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge” ~John Wesley

Regency Corset…


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This was (and continues to be) an ongoing project for me…

I have been taking Regency Dance Classes for quite some time now and have attended several fancy dress occasions for the time period.  I have made several gowns and fashioned a slip but never really faced my fears when making a Regency Corset.  Let me say…I’m not a great machine seamstress…hence, I fashion all my garments predominantly by hand. They are truly a labor of love.  So, I will always state if it was machine sewn or hand sewn.

My corset began approximately 2 years ago.  I had attempted in vain to have it prepared for various occasions.  It never happened until last Spring…I finished it (nearly), enough to wear anyway.  It took it for a test drive at the Sailing Masters Regency Ball.  It was a success and will be more so with a couple of minor tweaks.

I did NOT have a pattern but instead researched corsets from the time period and took measurements and drafted the pieces I felt were required.  As I worked on this project, I left it many times over due to my personal frustration with it and self-doubt that it would actually work as intended.  I returned last winter with renewed vigor and completed it…with an inner lining no less.  I inserted the lacing holes by hand and finished them with a heavy thread (it just worked easier for me for this go around).  Additionally, somewhere along the way I felt that I needed to make the corset a little larger so I created a couple of inserts on the front enclosure area.  This worked nicely but it may almost be a tiny bit too roomy now.  I just might get a little more creative to solve my issue.  I did make it as a front closing corset (I do remember seeing at least one example of this…don’t remember where and couldn’t find it again).  But for my own ease and practicality, I endeavored to make the necessary alterations.

Being rather well endowed, presented an additional challenge.  It took a few attempts before getting the perfect fit.  All of the stitching is done by hand…I cheated and made the boning channels from bias tape (a shortcut I found works well for me).  I used that method for creating boning channels on another corset that is currently unlined and I will show a photograph in that post of the boning tape all sewn in.  This particular corset has a binding on the bottom and due to time constraints, I just turned over and sewed the hem on the top and straps (it works fine and I can add a binding when time permits).  The front closure edges are folded over and sewn creating its own boning channel (convenient!).  I cut a lining and attached it to the inside.  I will be hand writing a quote on the inside lining of the corset…I did this for my Regency Spencer and just love the idea…it makes each piece feel special and unique!

Please be gentle…it is obviously not completely historically “correct”.  However, I did my best and am entirely happy with the result. :-)



“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” ~Charles Dickens 1812-1870


My Everyday Go To’s…


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I absolutely ADORE trying new make-up products and would never bat an eyelash extension at the opportunity to do so. Given that fact, I also have my tried and true favorites. So since I’m sitting here thinking about how long it has been since I did a product review and a blog post, I decided to give you a rundown of what my Everyday Routine and Go To Make-up is…

Here’s my personal disclaimer on all things…I’m a mom to a 13 year old girl…essentially an On The Go Mom.  For some, I need not say anymore than that. But for others, it often means very little bathroom time completely to myself without interruption or rushing to dash out the door to somewhere. It’s all good though because she’s darling and I love her! ;-)



I always cleanse my face every morning (and evening before bed…remove that make-up ladies!). For this I use Equate 2-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths for Normal Skin. These particular cloths are dry (they carry wet ones but I don’t care for pre-wet facial cloths), you just add water to these and voila! they suds up a bit. They never fail to remove all my make-up and my sensitive skin never breaks out with them. I have used them for a few years at least…I love them and love the price point which is under $9.00 at WalMart…perfect!


Sunscreen & Moisturizer…

Next I use sunscreen and moisturizer. Personally, I use an SPF 30+…it depends on what I find. Smell sways me A LOT as it is going on my face and chest area. I was using a separate SPF and moisturizer but a friend recently gifted me a mini-sized Jose Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. I was over the moon to try it! I can totally say that I LOVE this moisturizer SPF. The formula IS a bit on the heavy side so it does require a bit of a rub to spread evenly (which is what my friend didn’t like). I really like the oh so light citrus scent as well. The price point for the size I have (.5oz) is $14.00 at Sephora. Not impossibly expensive and I have used it since August 3rd…so a little goes a long way. I might add that it helps with the next step in my morning routine…


I usually only spot conceal with concealer and use foundation on special occasions (interviews, nights out, special events). I’m blessed with nice skin (thank you Equate Facial Cloths!) so I never feel I need much in the foundation area. Would I and Could I look better?…of course! But please refer to my disclaimer above. My personal all time favorite concealers are Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. I use a combination between SC-3 and SC-4…sometimes my skin has more color from the sun (summer)…sometimes it has less (winter). I spot conceal…I’m in my 40’s so I touch up a few tiny spider veins and conceal around my eyes and also use it to contour my nose (after being in the path of a little girl noggin in the past, I feel I have earned my contour). In general, any little spot that I feel needs to disappear. This concealer is AH-MAY-ZING!!! It really does the trick and because you have two colors in every compact, you can really customize your concealer.


Bronzer & Blush…

For bronzer I use Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 027 Sundance. I’ve tried Nars Laguna but found it looked a little muddy on my skin. I like the Rimmel because I find it to be very blendable and the right shade for me. I use it under the cheekbones and around the perimeter of my forehead…brow bone just under the eyebrows, neck and do a little light contouring at my jaw line and sides of my nose. It does have a little shimmer so I don’t go too crazy. Next I will use either Nars Orgasm (which I’m out of but can be had at Sephora for $30.00) or the dupe NYX PB25 Pinched (Target $4.99…yes, I am frugal at times). I use the NYX blush just above my cheekbone but not on the apple of the cheek…more cheekbone and back towards hairline…lightly NOT a heavy streak. After I apply my blush & bronzer, I do a quick dusting of Loreal True Match Super Blendable Powder in N3 to set my concealer and blend the bronzer. I don’t use much but like the finishing touch.



After all that happens and the dust settles…I fill in my eyebrows with Almay Brow Defining Pencil in their Blonde shade. I like this pencil because it has a spoolie (little eyebrow brush) on one end. However, I am on the lookout for a more perfected brow so I may be looking into alternative options. I sometimes use the Brow Stencils that came with my eyelash curler along with an additional spoolie/eyelash comb combo. I like the guideline that the stencil provides but feel it may work better when using an alternative eyebrow medium…just a thought.


I apply my eyeliner…I’m a cat eye girl. I used to love the EYEKO Fine Liner Pencil but they discontinued the one I used. I floundered around in disbelief for a while and found that the felt liner pens were great but never lasted very long due to the makeup and powders. I have in the last year or so switched it up and went searching. I landed at MAC one fateful day and the make-up artist took the time (not a scheduled appointment) hooking me up with the Fluidline BlackTrack ($16.50) liner and the tiniest of brushes a MAC #210. It is like freedom in a little chic pot! I’m addicted and absolutely love the versatility of this product. The MAC make-up artist also remembers me by sight…not sure it that is good or bad. ;-)


After playing around (which sounds like I spend oodles of time but it’s really more like 2 minutes tops) and getting my liner just so (I like the cat eye look) I move on to…


Mascara! But first I use a lash curler which I purchased at TJ Maxx for approximately $5.99. Now I must come clean…I love long, lush, full lashes. Keeping this in mind I haven’t seemed to be able to find one mascara that can do it all. So I resort to using two different mascaras…don’t judge me, it works! I currently use Loreal Telescopic in Carbon Black #935…I’ve used the Butterfly formula in the past but actually prefer the Telescopic. I apply a couple of coats of this and it magically lengthens my lashes and I quickly follow with a chaser of Loreal Voluminous Original Blackest Black #310 for volume. Just one swipe of the Voluminous is all I ever need and it leaves my lashes volumized and bold. I will let all the other girls have their pink & green tube of mascara…I love my two mascaras and together they give me the ultimate lashes…long, lush and bold. What’s not to love??? I just wish someone would come out with ONE mascara that could do it all. Would it even be possible?


Finally, I use my MAC Half Red lip liner pencil (approximately $17.00) and chapstick (strawberry I think $1.99). I also have MAC Whirl lip liner pencil (which is another personal favorite)…actually I have a bunch but normally grab my Half Red liner. I pair ALL my lip liners with chapstick…it’s a habit. I love the MAC lip liners because I feel they stay put and don’t bleed into any fine lines around the lips…always a plus for us more mature gals.


Sometimes I remember to use the NYX Finishing/Setting Spray…most times I forget.

One Note…I have recently had the opportunity to try the Chanel Lift Lumiere Foundation in #40 Beige. I can only state that it is like a miracle in a bottle!!! I have only the tiniest sample so I use it on special occasions. It literally makes me appear as though I am glowing from the inside out!!!! I’m totally addicted but due to the price point of $67.00, I must wait to splurge…but splurge I will…one day! ;-)

So this is it my Beauties!

A  Mom on the Go Make-up Routine in 20 minutes or less! 







Whatever You Do…Don’t Blink!


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~Good Morning Beauties!~

Can you guess what todays post is about?  Ready?…Lashes!!!

In my never ending quest for beautiful lush long Amazonian lashes, I have found some great products that have become my personal favorites.  First we can address mascara…I don’t really know any woman that runs out the door without a nice coat of mascara on her lashes.  If one exists, we need to talk!  I am a fan of the blackest of black mascara.  That’s not to say that I don’t find the browns likeable and have even allowed my 13 year old daughter to wear the clear mascara.  She’s absolutely darling without makeup of any kind and normally wears nothing at all.  Now let me get back on course…

In said quest I have found that I cannot EVER find just ONE mascara that offers it all.  Nothing creates lush AND long AND full AND Amazonian lashes…no one product.  So…I use TWO mascaras!  Not unusual I find from my never ending perusal of beauty blogs and videos.  I have found the combination of these two Loreal products satisfy my immediate lash needs (we all know I’m not the patient type).  I first apply a coat of Loreal Telescopic in black for lengthening and then apply a generous coat of Loreal Voluminous for thickening volume in blackest black.



For me, it works together to create longer fuller lashes.  While I have not yet achieved Amazonian Lash Nirvana…it’s a close second.

While on the subject of lashes…we know it couldn’t end quite so quickly…


I decided to try my hand at false eyelashes.  After all, what could it harm?…ahem.  Let it be known that I do have MAC Eyelashes in my stash waiting for my bravery to surface.  But for this attempt I armed myself with Ardell Natural #135 lashes and my Duo Adhesive.  I attempted FOUR times to apply the rascally little wisp but was quite unsuccessful.  Perhaps I will try again tonight…I always feel stressed and rushed when trying to apply lashes…which is a single mom thing I’m sure.  I don’t know that I will ever be able to spend the amount of time in front of a mirror on a busy school morning between making lunches and “mom I need help with my hair” needed to apply them.  But I am a brave soul and shall persevere.


I will only state this…You may have won the battle my bushy friends, but I will be back!!! 



Summer Dreamin…


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~Hello Beauties!!!~

It’s cold outside here in the Northeast…REALLY REALLY cold!!!  In my efforts to hurry Spring along (no offense Mother Nature but it’s been far too long!!), I decided to use a little self tanner.  Now I’m sure many (if not most) of us have used self tanner at one point or another for various life events…graduation, vacation, wedding…you name it and we have tanned for it.

I have used higher end products as well as lower end (think CVS brand) throughout my lifetime and career in Ballroom Dancing.  This time, I decided to try Loreal Paris Sublime Bronzer.  It is a mist of self tanning product which is supposed to dry quickly and there is no need to rub the product around.  The color I chose is Medium Natural Tan and the bottle has 33% more product (lucky me!) and cost $9.99 at my local Target.


Now for the review…It is definitely a mist and goes on quite evenly.  I used it on my upper body as my lower body would not be revealed any time soon (haha!!).  It has kind of a sweet scent…not sure I would agree with the bottle stating Fresh Citrus Scent…not horrible mind you…just different.  True to the bottle, I did not have to rub the product around.  I just misted and waited a few minutes for it to dry and put my jammies on.  I do my best tanning overnight…so when I woke up I was excited to see the results of this new “airbrush” tan!!!!!!…

I was seriously underwhelmed.  It is a very light sheer sort of golden tan.  Again, not horrible…just lighter than I expected from the Medium Natural Tan color I chose. The color was not affected by my morning shower.  I think that this is definitely a buildable sort of tan.  Like keep using the product until you are happy with your personal golden hue.  While I love the ease of this product, I’m a one shot kind of girl…I like immediate results (otherwise why self tan?) and have little patience for buildable products (I’m just naturally impatient so it’s nothing against buildable products).  Also to note, that as the day has gone on I tended to smell that all too noticeable self tanner scent.

Loreal Paris Sublime Bronzer is a great product for those looking for natural buildable tans that are super easy to apply!  I hope you enjoyed this review…



So Much To Do…So Little Time!


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It has been a while since I have been able to post a blog…so sorry my Beauties! Life has been in constant motion for quite some time. I have SO much to update on Beauty, Love & Life!!! Hopefully, I will be able to get a great update and some more product reviews up for all of you very soon…I have many reviews just waiting.

Additionally, I launched another project or two (ok…more like FIVE!) on the Historical Reproduction Clothing end of my obsession, A full 18th Century outfit from the inside out…by HAND!!! Whew!!!! It was a challenge but I think it all came out quite beautifully.

So there is LOTS and LOTS to share!!!


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!!!


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