Back to school

Last week my oldest daughter, J, went back to school, she started 1st grade.  She was thrilled, I cried.  It makes me so happy that she is excited for school but it is bittersweet to think that my baby girl is growing up so fast.   IMG_8051

She is still so little, she is the shortest kid in her class and I’m pretty sure her grade. She is also one of the youngest because her birthday is in May.  My youngest daughter, E, is two years younger and pretty much the same size!

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One of the ways that I am a modern mommy is how they eat.  I am very particular about their diets, they have only had fast food (other than pizza) maybe 4 times in their lives and that is when we are on road trips and have no other way to feed them.  They don’t drink soda or even juice, they very rarely have processed foods.  And while I do allow treats in the for of cookies, cake, etc. it is always homemade and I am able to control exactly what is in it.  I guess that it’s not very modern at all actually 🙂  I love to cook and I love to bake, I pride myself in that we have home cooked meals 99% of the time and most things are from scratch.  I take some short cuts, such as buying the steam-able frozen veggies, but for the most part I do everything from scratch.

This year is J’s first year going to school all day, she was in half-day kindergarten, so she is having lunch for the first time at school.  I had always known that I would be packing their lunches every day, school lunches are terrible and not to mention EXPENSIVE!  I knew that I would prefer to spend 10 minutes in the evening preparing her a nutritious, real lunch than to let her eat that garbage they try to pass off as food.  Granted, hot lunch has gotten better since I ate it but not by much.

I had been checking out ideas for cold lunches on pinterest since I knew she (and I) would get bored with a sandwich every day.  I came across Bento Box lunches.  They are so cool and you can do some really fun things with them.  I like that everything she takes is reusable, I didn’t want to have to buy plastic bags and stuff like that.  I purchased a kit from Laptop Lunches http://secure.laptoplunches.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=K830%2DPLUM&eq=&Tp= this is the one she got.  I like that it had an extra compartment for her snack and that the handles were situated in a way that would keep the bento box upright.  The bag is insulated and it stays pretty cool, a fork and spoon are included.

she loves it, its a little big for her but it should last a few years.  I will be chronicling my first year in bento box making, maybe I can get as good as the Japanese moms who make Hello Kitty rice balls!

here is what she has had for lunch this week

monday

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Orzo pasta salad, mandarin orange, cherry tomatoes, ham, pretzels.

Tuesday

I didn’t take a picture, but she had leftover popcorn chicken from the night before, carrots and tomato, yogurt pretzels, and a babybel cheese

Wednesday

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peanut butter and jelly hearts, pretzels, string cheese, carrots and tomatoes, and a lime jello.

I make the jello in individual, reusable cups.  it is cheaper than buying the premade ones and I can control the portions.

I just noticed she’s been having pretzels the same side dishes a lot, I’m going to have to be more creative next week 🙂

I plan on making this a recurring post, I would like to hear some feedback from you all.  Would you prefer a weekly post that shows everything from the week or a daily one that would be shorter.  Thanks!

I also have some outfit posts coming up, I just scored big time from ModCloth during their 70% off sale so I will be showing you the haul when that arrives.

Ps. I am on instagram now, you can find me @bettiebanshee

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I had to share: the best top coat ive ever used!

I have the worst time with my nails.  My finger nails seem to reject nail polish and though I love to paint them, the nails don’t seem to agree.  I do the manicure properly, base coat, two thin coats of color, then a top coat.  Allowing each layer to dry in between.  But I can never get it to last longer than a day, it is a miracle if my nail polish lasts longer than 12 hours.

So every time I see a new top coat I buy it, I have tried every thing from Sally Henson to Seche Vite, even gel top coats.  Nothing helps.

I was in Sally’s a couple weeks ago for hair dye and saw this:

SBS-705525

I bought it and honestly I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  On Tuesday I used it for the first time, by Tuesday night I had no chips in my polish.  Then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…still no chips! Saturday the color was starting to crack underneath but it was all still on my nail.  It is now Monday, 6 whole days after painting my nails, and I am actually going to have to use nail polish remover to take it off.

I am never going to use any thing else, I am thoroughly sold.  Granted the color I used this time is one that lasts a bit longer than normal on me, like 2 days instead of one normally.  So I will try it out with a more flakey polish and let you know how that works.

I am just so excited I had to share 🙂

you can purchase it on amazon http://www.amazon.com/European-Secrets-Rock-Top-Coat/dp/B001A4X0AM

or at Sally’s in store or online: http://www.sallybeauty.com/nail-top-coat/SBS-705525,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH its way cheaper at Sally’s

 

Like an Elvgren girl

I recently acquired, after much lusting, the Bettie Page “lucky Dog” dress.  It was from a few seasons ago so it was a little hard to find.  I had to order it from the UK, shipping was crazy! But totally worth it!

If you don’t know, Bettie page did a line of dresses based on the artwork of Gil Elvgren.  He was a painter and illustrator, best known for his pinup art from the 40s and 50s.

The lucky dog dress was fashioned after this illustration.

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It is fabulous and fits like a dream!  It also has a Tim Burton, Beetlejuice type vibe that I adore.  I was full-on goth at one point, so it tends to creep in to my style now and then, I like to call it psychobilly now 😉

I took my friend to go shopping for her baby shower so I wore black flats, boring I know.  I was planning on putting on my Iron Fist Zombie Stompers but decided there was too much walking.

IMG_7594 How awesome are these! Next time I wear this dress, I am definitely going to rock these shoes.  I wore them the other night, but that’s a different post 🙂

I love this dress, if you can find it anywhere I would recommend to jump on it.  I got so many compliments while running around town, 80 year old ladies are my biggest fans!

Next up…Pinup Essentials more hair accessories!

 

Jayne dress from Pinup Couture

I recently made a purchase from Pinup Girl clothing, there was a sale and it had been awhile since I bought anything new so I went for it.  I decided on the new Jayne dress, it is one of the new styles they released for spring.  I have been lusting after it since it was released a few months ago so I was pretty excited to see it included in the sale.

This style was released in four colors: yellow, pink, black and blue

I like the yellow and the blue the best, I tend to be drawn to blue and I have been really into yellow lately.

The yellow one was the only one on sale so that is the one I purchased 🙂

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It is perfect, I definitely felt like I was channeling Jayne Mansfield while wearing the Jayne dress.

There is boning in the bodice to help define the shape of the dress.  It is lined with a satin that feels amazing, be it a bit warm in the 90 degree weather.  I think it is the perfect wiggle dress, I’m thinking about purchasing it in the other colors as well.

According to the size chart I would have fit into the medium, I am usually either a medium or a large in PUG dresses depending on the neckline.  For this dress, the medium is said to fit the following measurements: bust-34-38 inches; waist 28-29; hips 38-39.5.  I have a 42 inch bust and a 27 inch waist, so I went with the large (which fits 36-40 inch bust) so that I had some room in the top.  I liked that it wasn’t too terribly tight, it is a very sexy dress and I wanted to stay classy 🙂

In the same order I picked up some new sunglasses

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don’t they look fabulous with the new dress 😉

I think that this is the ideal casual/daytime wiggle dress, which is something that every pinup needs in their wardrobe.  It looks great dressed down with flats or dressed up with heels.

I also got a new pencil skirt, the Dixiefried Perfect pencil skirt in Orange.  I don’t have a picture of it on yet but I will post one soon.

I always look forward to my orders from PUG and have yet to be let down 🙂

Playing Catch Up

I have been such a blog slacker this last month and I apologize profusely!  So much has been going on that I haven’t had a moment to dedicate to the blog.  So let me fill you in on what has been going on in my life…

The semester is coming to a close,  I have my last final exam tomorrow morning.  This semester kicked my butt, I am so glad that I decided to take the summer off.  It will be my first summer of my entire college career that I will not be taking classes.  I am going to be graduating in December and I can’t wait.  I’m taking my MCAT exam on the 30th of this month (only 17 more days eeekkk) and I will be applying for medical school over the summer.

I may not be taking any classes but I was offered a summer job as a research assistant for a psychologist whose lab I have been working in.  So that should be exciting, plus she’s agreed to write me a kick-ass letter of recommendation!

I have purchased a few new outfits so I will be showing those to you all over the next couple weeks, super exciting!

Last, but not least…my children’s father, the man with whom I have shared a life with for 5 years, has finally officially proposed!!! YAY!!!

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This was the moment! He was so sweet, he got all choked up and could barely get the words out 🙂

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First he almost killed me on a hike up to a really pretty waterfall, I guess he wanted to make me earn the ring 😉 like I hadn’t already!

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A picture of me standing in the middle of the river on a big rock, right where the waterfall comes through…then me almost falling into the river

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It was all very romantic, it fit our relationship and it was very representative of him the way he proposed.  I guess my mom had told him to take me out to dinner and do it in the restaurant, but I’m glad he did it the way he did.  We were all alone, with our dogs, went on a really nice (hard) hike, had a picnic next to a waterfall.  Like I said, very romantic.  It was worth the wait.

Now we just have to wait another five years until we get married 🙂

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Heres a picture of him and the dogs, so cute.

I promise to be better and post more, keep an eye out for more outfits and I have a bunch of stuff coming up that I’ll be posting about.  See you soon!

 

Pinup Essential: Cultivating a Pinup wardrobe

When you are new to a style, it can be overwhelming to get started.  Where do you start?  How do you know what to get first and how do you start building a new wardrobe without breaking the bank?

If you have come this far, chances are you are drawn to and considering adopting the pinup style.  Congratulations on your first steps toward this fabulous, classy, and timeless style and possibly the lifestyle!  I am a bit biased, but I happen to believe that the pinup, retro, rockabilly, or whatever you want to call it is the greatest and most flattering style for all women.  The style revolves around femininity and embracing YOUR womanly shape, regardless of size.  By taking a quick browse around the vintage reproduction websites, you can see that women of all shapes and sizes look fabulous and feel fabulous when rocking these dresses.  I like that I can walk the line of being totally sexy, yet demure and classy at the same time.  That is something that’s almost impossible to pull off while wearing modern fashion, things that are either too tight, too low, too short, or often a combination of the three.  I am a college student, so I see girls walking around campus with everything hanging out, I can’t imagine they are very comfortable!  It’s amazing how in a sea of bare skin, I am the one who turns heads wearing a wool pencil skirt and a twinset!  It’s either that or they look very sloppy like they just rolled out of bed.

The best place to start when building your new wardrobe is to shop your closet and find things that already work.  Chances are you have been collecting things for some time that are retro inspired or are classic enough to incorporate into the “new you”.  Lets start with the basics, your wardrobe foundation.

You will need:

a pencil skirt

http://www.jcpenney.com/dotcom/liz-claiborne-essential-skirt/prod.jump?ppId=pp5001631554&catId=cat100250097&deptId=dept20000013&N=100530035

this one from JC Penny is $25 and available in a bunch of basic colors.  They are a little bit short for my taste and for true 50s style, I would prefer right under the knee for a more classic length.

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/dixiefried-perfect-pencil-skirt-black.html

This one is almost the same, but more expensive.  It is a little tighter, a little more sexy.  It all depends on your budget and how many places you are wanting to wear it.  For example, the office might not appreciate the extra tightness.  Pick your favorite neutral color, a color that goes with everything else in your already existing wardrobe.  Probably black or gray to start with, then add fun colors later.

I get most of my pencil skirts from thrift stores, they are true vintage and are very affordable.

an a-line or circle skirt or dress

This one is from Vivien of Holloway, here is the link http://www.vivienofholloway.com/en/category/no-pocket/50s-circle-skirt/1867/.

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/doris-skirt-in-black-sateen.html

This is the Doris skirt by Pinup Girl Clothing. I have my eye in this one in black and I already have it in the atomic turquoise print.  I love the fit of this one and the fullness, it is really stiff so it holds its shape even without a crinoline underneath.

Unlike most of the items in this list, circle skirts and dresses are not super readily available at most stores.  This will be an item that you will have to splurge a bit on or spend a lot of time scouring eBay and thrift stores.  Its a good idea to become well acquainted with thrift stores, both in person and online, they will become your best friend for the pinup look.

a cardigan

This is such a basic wardrobe staple that chances are you already have at least one.  Most of mine are thrifted and solid colors.  But there are some really cute, rockabilly ones out there if you want to add some extra personality.  The cardigan is great to keep the cold away, to cover up your arms for more modesty/professionalism, and it gives you that “sweater girl” look that was so popular in the 50s.

t-shirts, tank tops, blouses, etc.

these can be literally whatever you want: band tees, plain t-shirts, tank tops, wife beaters, pretty much any top that you want to wear.  I would never buy plain shirts from the vintage reproduction sites, I don’t think its worth it.  I get a lot of basic t-shirts from Target.  I did recently purchase some Vamp tops from Pinup Girl Clothing and they are fabulous, I got the mint, purple, and peach ones (reviews and pictures to come shortly).  But they are a bit pricey so they can be something to work up to, once you are commited to wearing vintage/pinup all the time.

ballet flats

These are a vintage gals best friends! Ballet flats have a very retro look without having to walk around in high heels all day.  I found a pair of black patent leather ones at Payless last year for $15, I’ve been meaning to go back and get some more (if they still have them) but I haven’t gotten around to it.  Your best bet is to find some in a neutral color, black shoes go with almost everything, and try on a few so you can find ones that are comfortable.  It defeats the purpose to wear flat shoes if they pinch or rub your feet raw, so much for comfort!  Spring is the perfect time to stock up on ballet flats and espadrilles, they will be all over stores right now.

These are the ones I have:

http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?catId=cat10088&subCatId=cat40116&skuId=084079100&productId=68790&lotId=084079&category=&catdisplayName=Womens

They have them in a few other colors, and for $17 you really can’t go wrong.

wedges or espadrilles

Wedges are great, they are more comfortable than stilletos and are very true to the 50s.  They are widely available this time of year and can be found in closed or open-toe styles.  there are some really cute pinupy ones at payless right now like these: http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?catId=cat10088&subCatId=cat440044&skuId=130436065&productId=72713&lotId=130436&category=&catdisplayName=Womens

killer heels

These are the most fun, but also the most frivolous.  They can be anything that you adore, let your personality shine!

These are mine:

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One pair of many! I should buy more practical shoes, but whats the fun in that!

I have been wanting these for awhile: http://www.pleaserusa.com/ProductDetail.asp?div=CAT&dpt=BURLESQUE&ctg=&STYLE_CD=TEEZE%2D08&PROD_CD=TEE08%2FRW they remind me of Mini Mouse 🙂 and all of these are fabulous: http://www.pleaserusa.com/ProductDetail.asp?div=CAT&dpt=BURLESQUE&ctg=&STYLE_CD=TEEZE%2D10G&PROD_CD=TEE10G%2FBP

a wiggle dress

This is usually the first step into pinup-hood.  A lady will purchase a wiggle dress and they are stunned by how fabulous they look, so they go deeper into the look and often never look back.  This is where the vintage reproduction lines are the best place to go.  Pick your favorite color, whatever makes you feel beautiful and sexy, and rock the hell out of it! I am a huge fan of Pinup Girl Clothing, the Vamp dress and the Erin dress are wonderful wiggle dresses.  They come in a wide range of colors that will tickle any fancy.  http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/erin-dress-berry.html

I have the tiger print Vamp and can’t wait for an occasion to wear it, I’m thinking car shows and I’m hoping to get called for a Pinup contest in June and this will be my secret weapon 😉

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/the-vamp-dress-in-tiger-print-by-deadly-dames.html

Bettie Page clothing has some great ones  http://bettiepageclothing.com/dresses/style/18

Stop Staring is wonderful, but a little more pricey than the others.  Though the quality is great http://www.stopstaringclothing.com/sunshop/

I recommend searching eBay, there are always dresses from these brands on there, usually very lightly used (ie tried on and doesn’t fit or worn to a wedding and never again) and you can sometimes get a major bargain.

That’s really all you need for the basic beginners wardrobe, everything from here is built on this and expanded, you will find your favorite silhouette and collect more of that type.  For example, you may love the way pencil skirts look and find yourself with a collection of 20 pencil skirts.  That’s great!  The best part of this and any “alternative” style is that it can be whatever you want it to be, there are no rules!  Enjoy your road to fabulous!

Pinup essentials: Hair accessories and VIntage Box 1947 review

One of the essentials for the Pinup look is accessories! Especially hair accessories, an outfit is never complete without an awesome retro hairstyle and often a flower.  Accessories really pull an outfit together and take it from basic to fabulous.  The right accessories can also lend a vintage vibe to the most basic or modern outfit.

If you haven’t heard of Vintage Box 1947, they are fabulous!  It is a small, woman-owned business and she makes gorgeous hats, fascinators, and hair accessories.  I placed an order with them a little over a week ago after drooling over the website for a month.   Shipping was very fast, my package was at my door in about 3-4 days.  I had purchased the “Retro Package-Basic Hair accessory collection Starter Kit” linked below http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=80

It includes a variety of the most popular items on the website, it really is a great collection of hair accessories to get you started if you are new to pinup or retro fashion.  Or if, like me, you are addicted to hair accessories 🙂

The first item is called the Sophia Rose, I went with yellow but it is available in red, white or pink as well.

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It is about 5 1/2 inches in diameter. It’s a beautiful yellow, it is a lot more yellow in person with little tinges of pink along the outside petals.  If you’ve seen yellow roses, this is the exact same color.  It has a double prong clip that its very well attached to, so the flower wont fall off of the clip.  I wore this one on Valentine’s day and it stayed put in my hair all day without budging at all.  It is definitely a statement piece, as it is quite large but it is so pretty.  Here is the link to the Sophia Rose all by itself http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=68

The second item is the Birdcage Veil.  It is a basic mesh veil, it comes with some bobby-pins to secure it to your hair but nothing too fancy.  I did like that she included a little card with instructions with it, as it could be pretty overwhelming to get a piece of mesh and try to figure it out.  It is kind of bowl-shaped, it is knotted at one end and the other end is meant to come toward your face.

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It is not scratchy or cheap feeling and it is big enough that you can do a lot with it.  The veil can be worn alone or with other flowers, added to hats and fascinators as well.  It is available in tons of colors, even with some embellishments.  In the starter kit, you can choose from red, white, ivory, or black.  http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_62&product_id=96

Next up is the Magnolia flower.  This is the only one that you don’t get to choose your color.  It is only available in cream/white for the starter kit.

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It’s really cute, basic white flower.  It would be cute for a bridal piece.  It is almost 4 inches in diameter.  I included a picture of the clip, it is the same or almost the same for all the flowers.  This one is the single prong, the bigger ones have a double prong style.  The “back” side of the clip, the attached side is actually underneath the green “leaf” instead of just glued on which adds to the integrity of it.  If you were to buy this individually instead of in the starter set, it would come with three of these flowers.  The starter kit comes with one.  http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=113

The next option os for the Velvet Rose with Peacock Eyes OR the Ranunculus with Peacock.  I went with the velvet rose.  I couldn’t get a great picture of it, the peacock wouldn’t show up without the flash but the flash bleached out the color of the flower.  So pretend like you can see it all together 😉

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It is very pretty, I love peacock feathers.  And I love the little pearl button detail.  The flower is about 5 1/s inches across and the feather sticks out about another inch on one side.  This is probably the most fancy of them, where as all the other ones could be either dressed up or down.  I really like and can’t wait to wear it.  This is the link to the velvet rose http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_60&product_id=83 and the one I didn’t get so you can see both http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_60&product_id=66

Last but certainly not least comes the Triple Orchid set.  Your choice of red or ivory.  I had been looking at the ivory one for a while so the choice was very clear to me.

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I love these! They are so pretty and I love that there is so many ways to style them.  You can wear just one for a cute Polynesian/tiki style or all three for a statement!  These are my favorite out of the bunch.  It is easy to see why they are a top seller.  I had seen them a few weeks ago in my local pinup boutique and almost got them then but I’m glad I waited.  http://vintagebox1947.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=68_61&product_id=67

I am very happy with my purchase.  I highly recommend that everybody go and check out the website.  My next purchase will be a hat, I already know which one too 🙂  I have set a goal to wear more hats this year, it is the next step in my retro style evolution.  I have a bunch that I don’t wear and that will change this year.  If you’re not ready for hats, hair flowers and fascinators are a great place to start.