Monday, November 30, 2015

My Deerest: Teal Bambi Print 50's Dress Review

I have lived all my life in rural Michigan.  It's beautiful country with forests, lakes, farm fields full of goodness and lots of wildlife.  We often see Foxes, Turkeys, Raccoon, many songbirds and of course the Whitetail Deer.  Michigan is known for the Whitetail Deer and because I have lived rural I have seen them up close and personal on many occasions.  When I was 13 or 14, my parents rescued a fawn whose mother had been killed on the road and I slept in our shed with it coaxing it to eat and drink so it would survive.  Our home now often has the same deer visitors routinely, a mother and her brood have adopted our neighborhood as their home, sleeping in the woods behind our house, eating like kings from our flower beds and bird feeders in our yards!  This is why when I saw the 50's Bambi Print Dress, I instantly knew I needed this dress in my wardrobe, it's a very appropriate dress for a Michigander to have.

 Teal is one of my favorite colors, it suits my skin tone and is lovely year round.  The adorable frolicking fawn and heart print is both pretty and whimsical.  This dress is so soft and flowing!  Made of polyester material that drapes beautifully, it is wonderfully light and feels silky against my skin.  The top is a gathered wrap style tapering to a wide fabric tie belt at the waist.  The dress has a very full flowing skirt, I am wearing it here with a Malco Modes Michelle Crinoline in Light Pink, Delightfully Dainty Hair Flower from Daisy Jean Floral Designs and my purse is the Suzy Sailor Bowler Bag from Miss Fluff.

I like this dress because it is a versatile part of my wardrobe.  It can be worn alone or with a lace bolero in the warmer months.  I wore it to Anderson & Girls Orchard to enjoy some donuts and cider during a warm spell this fall wearing it with a petticoat.  I love twirling around in this dress, it makes me feel like a Disney Princess.  

 Photography: Horvath Photo.  Makeup and Hair: Alyx Wiltse

Now that winter has come to Michigan and the first snow has fallen, I paired it with one of my favorite fawn colored sweaters, We Love Colors Tights in Fuschia and Bearpaw Rosie Boot in Chocolate for a sunset walk with my husband.

My 50's Bambi Print dress has become one of my favorites, I get tons of compliments on it and the deer print always receives remark for its uniqueness.  This dress is available from a few different retailers.  BBW Couture offers the Teal that I am wearing, Amazon has it in multiple colors and Clarence & Alabama have just released it in Black..  Which color is your favorite?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kiyonna Sunset Stroll Bellini Review

It's almost here.  Winter!  I love living in Michigan but I have to admit winter is my least favorite time of year, the snow and the bone chilling cold make it a trying time to live here.  The snow is late to arrive this year giving us a bit of reprieve, because by this time last year we had already gotten 29 inches of accumulation across the state. Winter in Michigan is beautiful but tough!

I will admit, I am not a pants wearing gal.  I have an extremely hard time finding jeans that fit my shape correctly because my waist is 39 inches, which measures a size 18 in most pants but my hip/butt measuring at 56 inches make me a size 22.  I  love how I feel in vintage style dresses, they fit my personality to a "T",  so that in combination with the fit issue, make it a rare occasion for me to wear jeans.  Living in Michigan however necessitates that I must wear pants at times, a dress in blizzard conditions is just not practical or safe!  This means I am always searching for pretty pieces to pair with items in my wardrobe so I can maximize the amount of outfit choices I have on those cold days when I wear jeans.

I love the Kiyonna Sunset Stroll Bellini in Cabernet.  A lightweight versatile cardigan perfect for every season.  Marsala was chosen as the Pantone Shade of the Year so this shade of Cabernet is trendy, a robust and earthy wine red.  

I am always chilly so I prefer to wear layers and this is the perfect layering piece.  The Kiyonna Sunset Stroll Bellini is very versatile, it looks lovely paired with a lace cami and jeans, over a long sleeve tee and jeggings or worn over a dress.  Made of super soft lightweight jersey knit with 3/4 sleeves that hit just below my
elbow, the bellini is a light but warm outer layer.  The drawstring waist is adjustable so you can wear the bellini open in front or tied shut, whichever is your preference.  I am wearing my Sunset Stroll Bellini tied shut which gives the neckline a lovely gathering that I find very flattering to the figure.

We snapped these photos while enjoying a nice relaxing day together.  My husband, Kevin and I went for a walk on this rather blustery, rainy day and ended our fun shopping in Lakeview at my favorite place, The Peddler's Patch.  The Peddler's Patch has something for everyone with Peasley's Posies Flower Shop, handmade items, Michigan made/themed items, jewelry, clothing, home decor and antiques, a perfect place to find gifts this holiday season!

I love my hometown of Lakeview with its pictureque Tamarack Lake view, lovely historic buildings and amazing small businesses. The beautiful brick and stone buildings downtown were constructed in 1894 after a fire destroyed most of the original business district.  My ancestors came here as pioneers in 1870 and helped build the town.  I find the town history fascinating and love showcasing our little town!

Photography: Kevin Herzog
Cardigan: Sunset Stroll Bellini in Cabernet Size 1X courtesy of Kiyonna
Necklace: Torch Lake Blue Locket by Smitten Design Studio
Camisole: Lace camisole from Maurices
Jeans: ANA Bootcut Jeans from J.C. Penney 
Boots: Twill Boots in Black courtesy of Bearpaw which were a limited release last year.  The Angelina, a similar style are available HERE

Kiyonna clothing really fits beautifully! I am wearing a size 1X, it feels comfortable and flattering on me with enough room for layering underneath.  Being petite, layering pieces can be too long on my frame but this bellini sits just at the top of my thighs, which is just right.  I found the Sunset Stroll Bellini to be comfortable, flattering and versatile.  I love Kiyonna and their commitment to bringing lovely high quality plus size clothing to us!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Autumn leaves will fall-Buttonsy Four Seasons Autumn Necklace Review

It's been blustery here and all around are leaves floating in the wind.  The autumn colors are gone from the trees and all but the grand old oak trees stubbornly holding on to the last of their rusty brown leaves, are bare. .  This is perfect time of year to enjoy lots of fun visiting pumpkin patches and taking hayrides with friends.  I enjoy spending time in nature and autumn is my favorite time of year so I am always looking to add lovely fall themed items to my wardrobe.  I love to accessorize with birds, leaves, flowers and pretty much anything nature themed, this is why I fell in love with Buttonsy Jewelry.

Buttonsy Jewelry offer accessories and stationary created by Anna Day.  A beautiful fantasy world filled with wildflowers and leaves; water and wood.  Buttonsy offers handcrafted jewellery designed to make you smile; they turn something as fleeting as a dandelion into an heirloom that can be kept and treasured forever. Their pieces are inspired by rivers and fields, country gardens, the beach, ocean and skies so perfectly blue, they almost look painted.  I love the whimsy and wonder that nature inspires in me so Buttonsy has many pieces that strike my fancy.  I love the creativity and passion put into the design of each piece.  The quality is fabulous and each design is unique.   The other wonderful thing about Buttonsy is the positivity of her Facebook posts, we can all use a good dose of sunshine!

 Buttonsy was kind enough to send me this gorgeous Four Seasons Autumn Necklace to review.  I wore my Four Seasons Autumn Necklace on an adventure to the pumpkin patch and had tons of fall fun on a hayride, pickings pumpkins and enjoying fresh Michigan Apple Cider!!   The Four Seasons Autumn Necklace truly is the perfect accessory to compliment your fall wardrobe.

Photography: Krystina McNamara
Necklace: Four Seasons Autumn courtesy of Buttonsy Jewelry
Earrings: Jack O Lanterns by Rosita Bonita
Flower Crown is homemade

A heart shaped button style pendant with russet autumn leaved gently floating from a tree is suspended from an 18 inch silver chain.  It brings back childhood memories of big fluffy piles of brightly colored leaves raked up neatly just begging to be jumped and kicked through with abandon.

 Paired with a pretty dress or going casual with jeans and a sweater, this necklace is sure to bring memories of fall to mind. the perfect autumn compliment.   Buttonsy has an amazing range of styles, which would you chose?!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I found MY thrill!! Blueberry Hill Fashions Marilyn Monroe Reproduction Dress Review

It is no secret that I am a fool for vintage style dresses.  My wardrobe at the moment is about 95% vintage style dresses and I am always looking for more!!  The prints, the lines and the beauty of the vintage style is something I am absolutely in love with and I find myself constantly looking at dresses, it's an obsession.  I love adding unique designs and new brands to my wardrobe.

From the time I was young, I have always admired the fashions of past eras and the beautiful women who wore them.  My love of bygone days was a combination of growing up close to my Grandparents, who were born in the 1920's and Madonna, who was definitely responsible for inspiring an entire decade of girls growing up in the 1980's to love vintage style.  Enjoying vintage entertainment, with beautiful women like Maureen O'Hara, Betty Grable, Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth, Patsy Cline and Marilyn Monroe inspired me.

Marilyn Monroe was a fashion icon.  She wore so many timeless dresses that have been reproduced over the years.  Some of my favorite photos of Marilyn were taken with, then husband, Arthur Miller in 1957.  The photos show her wearing a lovely blue polka dot sundress with a tiered skirt and frolicking in the woods with her love.  These photos show an earthy side to Marilyn, you can see that she was a person who truly enjoyed life.

 I have loved this dress for years but being nit picky, I have never found a reproduction that I felt was complete.  Many companies have made versions of this dress but they were missing the piping, pleating and tiered detailing on the skirt, most opting for plain skirts to cut cost.

Finally, in searching on Instagram for new dress companies, I came across Blueberry Hill Fashions.  Their Marilyn Monroe Reproduction Dress is spot on and I am proud to own a reproduction of this lovely dress that is perfect in every detail thanks to Blueberry Hill Fashions!! 


Photography by: Horvath Photo
Photos taken on the Tamarack Nature Trail in my hometown of Lakeview, Michigan

Gorgeous and super figure flattering this dress is lovely and flowing.  Made of a light and soft cotton material, it is perfect for Summer but warm enough to wear on fall days with a cute cardigan.  I have worn this dress to church, to run errands, on a date and just as a daily favorite.  It is so comfortable and flattering that I find myself grabbing it when I have little time but I know I want to look and feel lovely.   Just like the original design, white piping accents the bust and the skirt giving it a tiered effect.  The skirt is long and full, I felt very fairy like swirling around the woods in my Marilyn dress.  This dress has fast become one of my favorite pieces.  It is easy to wear, lovely and looks great with a variety of accessories

I am wearing a size 20, the measurements are just right, it fits beautifully with just enough give to the material to make this my go to comfy dress.  I love the tie straps, they are wide enough to hide your bra strap and tying them gives you control over how you want your dress to fit.  Tie straps are a life saver for short gals like myself as I often have to shorten the straps on my clothing. The straps can be tied on the top of shoulder or like Marilyn wore her dress with the straps tied in the back. This dress is lined with a white liner for modesty.


 I feel greatly blessed to live in Michigan but fall makes me come alive.  My hometown of Lakeview sits on Tamarack Lake.  Tamarack Lake is unique, it has three islands sitting in the middle of it and our town cemetery sits on a peninsula of land jutting into the lake with a breathtaking view of the town and surrounding area.  Just through the cemetery is Tamarack Nature Trail, a lovely place that feels like you are stepping down into an enchanted fairy glade.  A path leads down into the thick woods bordered by ferns, the lake is on the right side and a wide swamp full of cat tails and bushes bearing red berries on the left.  As you come to the top of the hill it opens into a clearing overlooking the lake to the south and to the north the Lakeview Airport.  This is one of my favorite places to escape and enjoy nature in peace.  The leaves were at peak color so I could not resist taking a cue from Marilyn and went out to play among the leaves in my pretty dress!

Blueberry Hill Fashions have a huge selection of gorgeous vintage styled dresses, which of their designs would thrill you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pumpkin EVERYTHING!!!! Ains & Elke StyleHaus Aurora Dress and Summer Blue Jewelry Review

Fall is my favorite season. Michigan is the most lovely state in fall and I am thrilled each year with the show nature puts on.  I love the cooler temperatures, brilliant colors, apple cider and PUMPKINS!  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin decor, there literally is pumpkin everything!  We live in the country so pumpkin patches and pumpkins for sale at farms along the road side are also a common sight.  I love the pumpkin, they come in a fantastic variety of shapes and colors, yet each pumpkin is beautiful and interesting in its own unique way, just like all of us!

  I have been eyeing the beautiful designs created by Ains & Elke StyleHaus for some time now, they are makers of one of a kind, handmade vintage style items.  Alixis Lupien is the wizard behind Ains & Elke StyleHaus, her motto is, "Recreating the past, one stitch at a time".  My favorite of their designs is the Aurora Dress. The Aurora is an Ains & Elke StyleHaus original design, inspired by dresses from the 1950's.

 I love the classic line of this dress, it is a universally flattering style.  A fitted bodice with contrast color flayed bust detail, scooped back and gathered full skirt, there are so many things to love about this whimsical style.  I contacted Ains & Elke StyleHaus and they were kind enough to send me their lovely Aurora dress.  I had my choice of a huge selection of materials but with fall here, I HAD to have this gorgeous sunny pumpkin print.

 I love that I live on a lake, the bright colors reflecting off the water gave me the perfect setting to showcase the fall beauty of my home, wearing this lovely ensemble which is an autumn dream come true!   My photos were taken by Horvath Photo at Townline Lake in Lakeview, Michigan.  I am proud to shoot photos in my hometown, I am truly blessed to live in such a naturally spectacular area!

I love the fit of this custom dress.  It hugs me like a glove and flares out nicely, highlighting the parts of my body that I love! I took advantage of the lines of this dress by corseting for full curvy effect.  I am wearing an Orchard Corset CS-411 in Beige, Size 36, I will be posting my review of my corsets from Orchard Corset next week, but I can tell you right now that I absolutely adore them!! 

 The construction is amazing, the dress is perfectly finished and very high quality.  I can see the love and attention to detail that has gone into the design and creation of this one of a kind dress.  The dress is fun to wear, it is fitted perfectly, flattering on my petite, curvy frame.  The skirt is full and fun to sweep about in but even better, it features hidden pockets for keeping lipstick, your cell phone or other small items handy.  I adore my Aurora Dress!!  I accessorized with jewelry by Summer Blue Jewelry, bright yellow heels and a vintage turkey feather fascinator.  Thank you Ains & Elke StyleHaus!! 

Sometimes, dreams do come true!  When I chose the lovely pumpkin material for my dress, I had specific ideas about what I wanted to accessorize it with.  I wanted fun accessories that would compliment the beauty of the dress but add autumn pizzazz.  I had written a past Wishful Wednesday blog on an autumn theme and included the gorgeous handmade resin accessories from Summer Blue Jewelry, so her bright, eclectic variety of designs were the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the perfect outfit in my mind.  

Summer Blue Jewelry creates sparkly, vintage inspired jewelry that is affordable, fun to wear and made to match to any outfit, just like our Grandmother's would have worn. Their one of a kind pieces are handmade using vintage elements, new findings and custom made molds as well. Since all of their pieces are hand-made they will vary slightly from piece to piece.   I contacted Summer Blue Jewelry and she was kind enough to send me the Acorn in the Meadow Necklace and The Great Pumpkin Waltz brooch with matching earrings to complete my dream ensemble!! 

 The Acorn in the Meadow Necklace is the perfect finishing touch to any autumn, fall or harvest themed outfit. Necklace is Lucite leaves, acorns, and moonglow Lucite oak leaves dangling from a complimentary plastic chain.  I have worn my Acorn in the Meadow necklace with vintage and modern styled fall ensembles and it has received many compliments, as well as the fact that my Mom likes it so much, she has stated her intention to steal it from me (HAHAHA, never!) 

The Great Pumpkin Waltz Brooch is a big Bakelite / fakelite style pumpkin brooch. Poured from a custom mold, created by Summer Blue Jewelry, with a hand painted stem, big vintage moonglow Lucite leaf and curly vines popping from the stem. Brooch is about 2.25 inches across in the center of the pumpkin. This Brooch is magnificent.  I love the bright, glittery orange with the brilliance of the moonglow Lucite and the cute springy accents.  It is perfect for any fall, autumn, Thanksgiving,or Halloween outfit!  I have pinned my Great Pumpkin Brooch on dresses, pinned to my coat and, I even wore it in my hair attached to a bobby pin, it is such a bold and fun fall statement piece!   Summer Blue has a piece to match even season, holiday, mood and outfit.  Thank You Summer Blue Jewelry!!

I felt like a fall pumpkin fairy in my Ains & Elke Aurora Dress and Summer Blue Jewelry ensemble.  I cannot wait to wear this outfit when I am enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with my family!  This is my favorite fall outfit, hands down! 

What would be your dream Ains & Elke StyleHaus dress AND which of the Summer Blue Jewelry designs pieces would you pair with it? For more fun keep up with me on Facebook or Instagram!