Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wishful Wednesday!!

It has been busy around here!!  Summer is beginning and with the end of the school year here, I'm looking forward to so many things planned!  Photoshoots, product reviews, Pinups for Patriots events with my Michigan chapter ladies, there is so much coming that I cannot wait to share!!  I've been feeling confident in myself, which is a big thing, after so many years struggling with self worth.  After staying at home for many years, it was tough adjusting to life working again, even from home.  I doubted myself at first but, I've been writing for a couple months now and I am finding it easier as time goes on!  It feels good to support my family and I can also be proud to be working towards a cause that will benefit the environmental future of my state.

I've been dreaming, hoping and saving my pennies since Pinup Girl Clothing announced their Mary Blair collection, it contains so many must have pieces.  I took advantage of their 25% off Memorial Day sale to finally treat myself to the Ella dress in lavendar Mary Blair lips and roses print, which I featured in my very first Wishful Wednesday blog.  I cannot wait to wear, review and shoot in this dress!!  The Ella dress has been on the top of my want list for a long time and this limited print was irresistible to me.  It reminds me of Sleeping Beauty, which was my Disney princess movie of choice growing up. 

Many of you may know this but I can admit it, I am a giveaway addict.  I love that so many companies are generous with their customers and fans, being on a tight budget it is often the only way I could afford to own or try many of these things.  I enter too many giveaways to count for the chance at new additions to my wardrobe, trips, books, food goodies and more, there are many out there on social media.  I have been very blessed to win many fantastic items.  I was lucky enough recently to win not only the lovely Kitty dress from Voodoo Vixen but also a Shark Bomb brooch from Glitter Paradise.  I also recieved the absolutely summery coral Lola sandals from Bearpaw so I have great ideas planned for photoshoots and outfits, plus I will be reviewing these fantastic brands and goodies, don't miss it!!

This week's Wishful Wednesday is purrrfectly pretty style inspired by cute kitties.  I love cats.  It seems I'm not the only one with the popularity of silly cat videos, Grumpy Cat and the many adorable cat print vintage and rockabilly style dresses I've seen.  I cannot remember a time in my life where I have not had a cat, they're fun companions, full of personality and attitude.  I first noticed Pigtails and Pirates through following the awe inspiring Miss Victory Violet.   The company began in 2011 when Laura Jones started creating children’s clothing. Having children of her own, she saw a need for something a little different than the average children’s wear.  She designed them using 100% designer cotton and quirky prints which spoke to her bold taste.  Their ladies wear line is a recent introduction but continues it's dedication to unique beautiful garments in interesting prints.  Pigtails and Pirates ladies clothing has a hint of retro, drawing inspiration from the 1950’s feminine character and silhouette.  I chose the Smitten Kitten Dress because it is charmingly cute.  It's a lovely flattering dress with a sweetheart neckline and full circle skirt.   The quirky kitten print is adorable and adds playful girlishness to this style. I would add a bright blue petticoat for extra volume and bounce.  For this, I recommend Malco Modes, their whisper soft, ruffled petticoats come in a huge array of colors and styles plus they're super high quality compared to many other brands I've tried. 

Erstwilder has just released their new Winter 2015 line, Aussie winter comes when summer is here in Michigan.  I am such a huge fan of their pieces and have my eye out for so many designs.  If you are looking for the perfect piece to match an outfit, always look for an Erstwilder piece, they have a character for every mood.   I love the new Elissa the Indie Cat colorway for this season.  She coordinates with the cat theme while adding contrast in color and pattern.  I love her cute tortoiseshell glasses to go with the sterotypical cat "know-it-all" look, cat owners know that look well!  Go check them out!  What's your favorite piece from the Erstwilder Winter line?

Sourpuss is a one-stop shop for clothing, accessories and housewares for those of us who like to walk off the beaten path. On their site you'll see old school punk, tattooed pinups, vintage, kitschy oddities, retro monsters, tikis and sailors.  I love that they have a huge selection of merchandise including not only Sourpuss brand but also Hell Bunny, Bettie Page shoes, Lux De Ville and more.  I chose the Sourpuss Pink Polka Dot Floozy Purse.  It's a pink & black polka dot retro style purse with vintage inspired, over-sized bow and a kiss lock closure.  The pink matches our dress and the black adds contrasting detail, I have learned to add contrasting colors as I tend to be a bit too  matchy-matchy at times.  Last, but not least are these gorgeous coordinating shoes also available from Sourpuss the Bettie Page Alicia heels in Pink.  Perfectly feminine, they feature cream lace detail with tear drop cut out on the toe and a cone shaped 4 inch heel.  Comfortable fit for long wear is assured by the adjustable straps at the ankle and toe.  They are a beautifully detailed vintage style heel and well designed for practical everyday wear.  Purrrfect!!!  What is your favorite Sourpuss item?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wishful Wednesday and Daisy Jean floral review

I'm in a bright sunny mood!  It's lovely outside today although a bit chilly.  I'm enchanted with Michigan, watching the world around me coming alive each year after winter gives me hope.   Everything around us is dressed in shades of green and there are colorful flowers in bloom wafting their glorious perfume about.  I had an exciting weekend, Sunday was our first Pinups for Patriots Michigan photoshoot.  We had 11 girls from our group gathered in Grand Rapids taking group and individual photos with several lovely vintage cars.  The talented Paige Gabert shot us in both digital and film, I cannot wait to see the final results!  Here's a sneak peek!

This week's Wishful Wednesday outfit is inspired by the blossoming beauty all around me.  I love the designs I keep seeing from Retrolicious, the vintage inspired collection of classy and fun dresses by Folter. Their colorful and quirky designs include retro and rockabilly style dresses.  The Retro Floral dress is an all over rose print dolly dress with a contrasting peter pan style collar, an adorable bow waistband and a full pleated skirt.  I love the bright orange, green, red, yellow and white floral print, it's summer perfect and the solid red contrast accents add bold and feminine detailing.  I enjoy the flirty swinging 60s feel of this dress!

Punky Pins is a unique online shopping experience with all jewellery and clothing designs produced and handmade in their UK based design studios.  They offer fresh, fun, cutting edge designs.  Their Flower Garden Necklace and Earrings made of layered acrylic are funky garden flowers that coordinate perfectly with this frock.  Punky Pins has a delightfully different collection of accessories sure to draw attention and add interest to a variety of wardrobe styles. 

Modcloth offers an amazing selection of vintage wardrobe pieces.  I've featured them here in the past but I find myself addicted to so many of their products!  The Freshly cut-out flower wedges in crimson are the fabulous footwear I want with this look.  Crimson accents at the collar, waist and feet will flatter and draw the eye giving a put together appearance.  These peep toe wedges have floral cut outs and appliques would pair beautifully with many outfits.

I have featured the lovely Daisy Jean Floral Designs here before and recently I was lucky enough to win my own Daisy Jean piece in Rosie Dynamite Pin-up's Facebook contest.  I love my Delightfully Dainty double pink ranunculus piece.  Daisy Jean uses high quality realistic flowers and leaves glued securely on a felt backing with a sturdy clip.  The flowers lay just right and the design is great because the leaves camouflage  the clip so no matter which way you wear it the clip does not show to ruin your look.  The Daisy Jean pieces are pinup model made and designed, they will definitely stand up to everyday wear.   I wore my Daisy Jean piece in my Pinup Picnic shoot with Put A Smile In It Photography and its so delightfully beautiful and fits so nicely, I wear it as often as possible! 

To top off this floral fantasy I would wear this Daisy Jean Delightfully Dainty double ranunculus yellow and orange.  It's the perfect contrast to the crimson and echoes the orange and yellow  shades in the dress.  The Delightfully Dainty floral collection is just the right size for everyday wear, they're not overly large and sit flush to your head.  The ranunculus is such a lovely flower, one of my favorites, how I wish they grew here in Michigan!

I have some exciting things coming in the mail and I'm collaborating on a guest blog soon that has me super excited!!!!  Keep up with me here, on Facebook or Instagram.  Until next time!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wishful Wednesday!!

I'm starting to get used to being a working mom.  Balancing my time between my family,  work and my blogging has been tough but I'm feeling content with my progress, I'm definitely proud of how far I've come!!  I never would have guessed a few years ago how much different my life would be but its an amazing journey and I'm always excited to see where I'll end up next!!  It's a gorgeous sunny day, a welcome change after a week of chilly rainy days.  Summertime is so close, my son Lennon is excited for school to get out and I'll be happy to enjoy the warm, carefree time together, a less hectic schedule will be a blessing.  I'm hoping for bonfires, nature walks, time at the beach with the family and fun with friends.  I'm especially looking forward to Pinups for Patriots events coming up!  I have been having dreams of exotic vacations lately so my  Wishful Wednesday this week is inspired by Hawaii, beautiful tropical paradise and perpetual summer bliss.

British Retro are a proud British made brand specializing in elegant, vintage style clothing from bygone eras.  They have a variety of fun prints and their dresses are made in small batches so they're a great choice for the gal who is always looking for something unique.  I choose their Hula Hula Scooter Girl dress, 1950s hula girls posing prettily and riding scooters on a background of palm trees and orchids.  This print is too fun, a retro Hawaiian vacation dancing across your dress!  The dress has a V-neckline at the front and back of the bodice, it also comes with a matching belt. The Hula Hula Scooter Girls dress is perfectly styled for creating a sublime hourglass silhouette, the fitted bodice draws you in at the waist and creates fullness to emphasize the full circle skirt.  It is truly a frock meant to swish and swirl about in on a beautiful day.

I recently discovered Bobò Chèrie Accessories on Facebook.  I adore her unique vintage inspired pieces, they are handmade from high quality craft materials.  I prefer items that are handmade, they have so much more charm and interest in comparison to mass produced items.  I choose Bobò Chèrie's Red Cherry necklace with leaves and the matching Bamboo earrings with red cherries.  The tropical tiki style matches the dress while drawing attention to red accents in the print.   Cherries are fun, fruity and bold, definitely not accessories to be ignored!

T.U.K. Shoes have hundreds of interesting and unique shoes perfect for any style you choose to rock,  designed to show your originality.  I love their selection of gorgeous heels, they have many fabulous pinup perfect styles available.  Their Cream Peeptoe Starlet Heels are my favorite!  These adorable faux leather cream peep toe heels include a cute knotted bow on the toe and an adjustable ankle strap with a matching cream wrapped buckle. These heels are about 4 ¼ inches high with a ½ inch platform and as if theyre not perfect enough, they're also vegan friendly!  When I'm buying shoes I want a pair that I know will not only stand the test of time style wise, but that I know will be something I can wear with as many outfits as possible.  I would love to own these Starlet heels in several colors, great shoes are a necessity for any pinup wardrobe!

I would finish this lovely outfit off with the Double teal blue cymbidium orchid hair flower from Sophisticated Lady.  Sophisticated Lady specializes in high quality handmade accessories in vintage styles inspired by the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  The Double teal blue cymbidium orchid perfectly accents the blue orchids on the dress adding just the right finishing touch.  I am a huge sucker for hair flowers, whether dressed in pinul style or not I love to finish off almost any outfit with a big colorful flower clipped in my hair!  Sophisticated Lady accessories are worn by some of my biggest Pinup inspirations like Miss Victory Violet and Acid Doll!! 

I have so many exciting plans, my summer is filling up fast with plans, some of which are photoshoots and Pinups for Patriots Michigan events.  I have some awesome items in the mail so I'm looking forward to future blogs, reviewing new brands and a few more personal stories I feel I need to share.  My passion is to help each person see the beauty in themselves but I am also hoping to show people that there's an entire universe of beauty waiting to be explored within each person we meet.  Check out my Facebook or Instagram pages for more fun!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pinups for Patriots Michigan, The American Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration and my Amway Grand Plaza Hotel adventures

I've been so busy with family, work and photoshoots the last couple weeks that I have not had time to write a proper blog about my awesome experience  at my first Pinups for Patriots event and my mini vacation at the incredible Amway Grand Plaza Hotel!!

On Thursday April 30, the Michigan chapter of Pinups for Patriots was privileged to attend the American Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration as volunteer workers. Each year the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us with their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of neighbors across the street and around the world.  The event was held in the beautiful Devos Place, which is located on the Grand River in beautiful downtown Grand Rapids.  

An irresistible mix of historic and modern, downtown Grand Rapids is artistic and eclectic with architecturally glorious historic buildings, museums, shopping, art, delicious local eateries, craft breweries, there's a plethora of interesting things to see and do all while strolling cobblestone streets or enjoying the view along the riverbank.  Grand Rapids is a truly lovely city.   The Hometown Heroes event included a silent auction, strolling dinner, live auction and awards ceremony.  The Pinups for Patriots arrived dressed matching in red and black ready for our duties with seven members attending.  Our volunteer responsibilities gave us the opportunity to stroll around with our supper and mingle with many friendly and engaging community members.  Everyone loved our pinup style, many people asked to pose for pictures with our group and later we were happy to find our pictures made the local news.

  The food was excellent, I have a major love affair with food so I took great pleasure in the variety of gourmet treats available.  Hors d'oeuvres, basil wrapped marinated mozzarella with grape tomatoes, Italian salami with peppers, fresh fruit kebabs with melon, pineapple and strawberries, and crunchy fresh vegetable platters served with ranch veggie dip.  The potato martini bar was amazing!  Large martini glasses stood at one end of a buffet table with huge steaming serving plates of mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes in the middle and loads of great toppings to pile on top, delicious, healthy and a genius way to feed a crowd!  After dinner we were seated as the awards ceremony began.  Chilled local fruit pies of various kinds were served at our tables along with bottles of locally made wine and the most delicious coffee.  The ceremony honored many who have dedicated themselves to their communities helping meet medical needs, caring for those less fortunate and trying to make their world a better place, truly inspiring individuals!!  The live auction was interesting and it was somewhat comical to watch the bidding wars break out. It was such an honor to volunteer, to meet community heroes and it was a pleasure to spend the evening with the ladies in our Pinups for Patriots Michigan chapter.  We are a diverse group of beautiful women with a passion for serving others and we had a million laughs together.  I'm so thrilled to be a part of this organization!!!

I'm very lucky to be in Pinups for Patriots with a friend I've known since I was a kid whom I've worked several pinup shoots with and live close to.  Since we live over an hour from Grand Rapids and our event was scheduled to last until 11pm, she asked me if I would like to stay with her if she booked a hotel room.  Mom's night out in a way!  We told our other Pinups for Patriots gals our plan, offering our room to the other girls as a place to get ready for the event and were quickly referred to a friend of a member who got us a room at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, holy cow!!!!  I felt like a princess!!!  Our room was located in the beautiful historic Pantlind Tower which was built in 1913.  We were surrounded by opulence, running around in our curlers with vintage scarves tied around, we must've been quite the interesting sight.  Deep green, burgundy and gold everywhere.  Velvet draperies, golden figural railings, wall reliefs, period furnishings, it was a gorgeous glimpse into the glorious gradeur of the past. 

Our room was beautiful and spacious with a nice view of the river.  The hotel even sent us a thank you card with a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolates because they knew we were there as volunteers.  A very thoughtful gesture!

  We got into our room and hurried to meet some of our fellow chapter members for a quick lunch then off to get pinup ready for our event together.  It was such chaotic fun getting ready together with a group of gals, we filled our room with pinup clutter, laughter and everyone gushed over one another's outfits, it was a great bonding experience!

I wore my Vivien of Holloway Grace dress in Silver Lace Bust to the event.  The Grace dress is elegant and suited to gala events such as this.  I recieved many compliments on my dress, positive comments regarding our group's retro glam style and told people about our mission to bring back the patriotism of the World War 2 era.  On our way back to our room from the benefit we snapped a few fun photos in the fantastic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, taking advantage of the picturesque surroundings.

It was an absolutely unforgettable evening of laughter and memories made with women I am proud to call my friends!  I cannot wait for our Pinups for Patriots Michigan photoshoot on May 17 and all of our future events this year.  I am truly blessed to be a part of this organization!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pinup picnic and Wishful Wednesday!

It has been a very fun but busy week.  Thursday April 30 was our first Pinups for Patriots Michigan chapter event, The American Red Cross Hometown Heroes gala, add family, work and a photoshoot to make for a very hectic schedule.  I will be blogging in depth about our Pinups for Patriots experience tomorrow.  I apologize for getting behind but I'm beginning to think I may need clones of myself to get everything done!! ;-) 

The Put A In It Photography Pinup Picnic shoot was Sunday May 3.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and very early for us (my sweet hubby Kevin went with me) starting at 6 am because Jackson is a two hour drive from our small town.  I arrived to a bustling studio filled with ladies getting hair done, touching up makeup, gushing over pretty dresses, Elvis was bubbling out of the record player, conversations and laughter surrounded me.  Brandy had a goodie bag for everyone that included a hair flower, it was also filled with fun girlie samples and gift certificates from local businesses.  We enjoyed a delicious Chicken Salad lunch from Panera Bread and headed to the park.  It was a sunny, warm day strolling with parasols enjoying the park surroundings, sniffing the blooming flowers, blowing bubbles and taking single or group shots.  I enjoyed laughter and bonding with other beautiful women of all ages, sizes and backgrounds, it was a perfect day!!  Brandy is a great hostess who thinks of every pampering detail, she's also a simply amazing photographer that has a knack for making everyone feel perfectly comfortable as themselves, which shines through in your photos.  It was unforgettable!

Today's Wishful Wednesday is inspired by sunny days and summery fun!!

Collectif Clothing was established in London in 2000.  They cater 1940s-50s style pinup and rockabilly pieces with a flare for originality.  Flamingos have adorned our summer gardens for many years, they're bright, playful and reminiscent of tropical places and summer adventures.  I love Collectif's kitschy Dolores Doll dress in Atomic Flamingo print.  Printed with flamingos, tropical fruit and atomic swooshes this dress is flirty, fruity flamingo fun!!  Classic 1950s styling with button detail at the bodice and a full swing skirt.  Perfect for sweet summer days lazing on the porch swing with a good book or a walk in the park with your sweetheart.

I love brooches, they are a fun, yet cost effective way to add personality to any ensemble, matching or contrasting for different effect.  My favorite Flamingo is by The Peach Flamingo, located in Australia, they make a variety of hand crafted, vintage styled, novelty brooches.  I would wear their  Vintage inspired Flamingo brooch in Pink with this outfit.  The beautifully detailed, graceful and bright flamingo is a unique piece guaranteed to be an attention grabber worn with any outfit.

I'm a huge admirer of Ceci Punch Designs.  I've featured her pieces on previous blogs, find her accessories perfectly suited to my style and she's a sweet person to boot!!  She's constantly bringing us gorgeous new designs.  I love the marvelous Mystic Teardrop earrings in Rosey Cheeks.  The Mystic Teardrops are limited edition, made from vintage marbled plastic with rhinestones inlaid dangling from vintage beads. Each piece is marbled slightly differently which makes each pair a one of a kind work of wearable art.  They are gorgeous and elegant with a flair that will catch the eye!  Ceci Punch's pieces are instant heirlooms.

I'm a big fan of ballet styled shoes, I find something enticingly feminine and graceful about a sweet pair of ballet flats.  Melissa shoes have been manufacturing eco friendly plastic shoes that are the perfect edition to your wardrobe, for over 25 years.  They've designed collections with high end fashion designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood.  I chose these Ultragirl Sweet II flats because they are neutral and ultra feminine.  The cream colored plastic with the bold gold polka dot bow detailing on the toe, adds a bit of extra sparkle to this outfit without clashing with the busy print of the dress.  Melissa shoes are perfect for a modern pinup princess!

I adore hair flowers and love Soda Sweethearts beautiful designs.  I'm just starting to branch out and wear pieces with more interest than just one lonely flower.   I'm really loving all the unique handmade pieces Soda Sweethearts offers.  I would top this outfit off with their stunning Peaches and Cream tropical floral hair clip.  It is whimsical and reminds me of Carmen Miranda's fun, fruity headpieces.  Fruity drinks on the patio, dancing or a stroll on the beach, its the perfect sweet accessory for this juicy look.  The best part of getting dressed is adding your own individual touches to an outfit with hair accessories, shoes and jewelry.  What would you wear with this dress?

Stay tuned!!  For lots more fun check out my Facebook or Instagram pages!