Friday, September 13, 2019

Back to school cool! My review of Karina Dresses Style Academy Collection featuring the Nora Dress in On Point

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Hello everyone, I am feeling fabulous!  It is just about fall here in Michigan, the leaves are turning, the weather is cooler and apple cider is being sold at our local orchards.  Fall is my favorite time of year so I am looking forward to having a fantastic season.

Today, I am reviewing the Karina Dresses Nora Dress in On Point print.  Karina Dresses newest collection, Style Academy, features fall perfect prints in crisp bright colors that are great for back to school, days at the office, casual time out and all occasions. I chose the Nora Dress in On Point print because I absolutely adore novelty prints and the Nora is such a classic, comfortable style.  The Nora Dress features a wrap bodice, banded waist, shirred shoulders, gathered back, pockets and a full skirt.  I love this style, it is super flattering and curve creating. I am wearing the Nora Dress in On Point print in size XXL, fit is perfect.  Stretchy but flattering with a nice flow to the skirt.  The top is flattering and modest, the shirred detailing at the shoulders is a pretty and feminine touch that gives the dress a unique retro feel.  The banded waistband emphasizes the waist giving a curvy silhouette.  Length hits me a few inches below the knees, I am petite at 5'2" so this dress is a bit longer on my short frame.  The Nora Dress also features pockets, an incredibly thoughtful addition that makes this already great dress even better.  I love having pockets in my dresses so I have the option when I am out to carry a purse or leave my purse at home and carry my necessities in the pockets.

This new Karina Dresses signature print, On Point, is a fun twist on the retro novelty print featuring pop art pencils in white and yellow on a bright blue background.  I love novelty prints because they are so fun to accessorize, this On Point print would be especially great for teachers or students.  I had a lovely time shooting these photos at the Gaffield School House at the Montcalm County Heritage Village in Sydney, Michigan.  This historic one room school house made the perfect backdrop to showcase this scholarly pencil print.  I accessorized my Karina Dresses Nora Dress with a white vintage hat, matching vintage hoop earrings in yellow, bangles in yellow and white, white beaded vintage purse, a white cardigan, classic black and white heels and a shiny apple brooch.  It was such a fun dress to style, I love that you can play with the different colors and put together themed outfits.  I was going for a pretty teacher style look, I imagined myself as a teacher from a bygone era welcoming my students back.

Karina Dresses microfiber material is stretchy but with structure so it fits your curves without clinging in an unflattering way.  As with all Karina Dresses, this Nora Dress is hassle free, the microfiber material requires no maintenance and does not wrinkle so you can roll, fold, pack or even wad this dress in a ball and it will look as if it is brand new out of the package.  This dress is so vintage perfect, it reminds me of the effortlessly stylish day dresses of the 1940's era, a classic design that will never go out of style.  Chic on it's own or styled with a cozy cardigan, the Nora Dress is versatile and fun to wear.  Fabulous signature prints, effortlessly stylish designs and hassle free material, Karina Dresses will always keep you looking sharp!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Floral fantasy! My review of the Hip Hip Handmade Yani dress featuring Bari J's Painted Desert Night Floral

I am so excited to be reviewing my custom made Yani Dress from Hip Hip Handmade in the breathtaking Bari J and Art Gallery Fabrics exclusive Painted Desert Night Floral.  It is always a privilege to team up with another creative person on a project so this dress is a very special thing to me.  It is one of the most beautiful and personally meaningful pieces of clothing I own.  I have gushed over and over in the past about how much I love floral prints but there is something about this specific print that just makes my heart sing.

My custom made Yani dress from Hip Hip Handmade in Bari J's Painted Desert Night Floral is a dream come true!

 A good chunk of my wardrobe is made up of fanciful floral prints because they bring me so much joy!  I have been enamored with flowers and plants since I can remember.  My mother and grandmother always had tons of houseplants so I grew up with a green thumb.  My grandmother was particularly fond of African Violets, they always delighted me because their velvety purple, pink and violet flowers were always blooming providing beauty even in the middle of winter.  I love all kinds of flowers so when I started making Pinterest boards to plan our home redecoration, I decided I wanted a bold floral rug for our living room, this was when I discovered the inspiring and whimsical floral designs of Bari J and I was immediately smitten!  The pattern that really stood out to me was the Painted Desert Night floral and through a few searches I found that Art Gallery Fabrics had a Bari J collection so I contacted Hip Hip Handmade to bring my vision to life!


I am absolutely in love with my custom Hip Hip Handmade Yani Dress.  The Yani dress is a peasant style with a generous full skirt, pretty cap sleeves that can be worn on or off the shoulder and pockets.  I cannot get enough of this dress, it really is a dream come true.  The fit is like a glove, made to measure so it flatters my body showing off my curves to a tee, Shilyn is very meticulous so her dresses fit me absolutely perfect.  This style is very figure flattering, it creates an hourglass silhouette and the versatile sleeves make it easy to style the dress on or off the shoulder depending on the occasion.  I wore the dress to church with my sleeves on the shoulder for modesty, this also allows me to wear a regular bra with the dress which is much more comfortable for everyday wear or casual events. For a little more sexiness on our date night, I wore my Yani Dress off the shoulder.  For foundation, I am wearing a Cacique strapless longline bra and Spanx higher power shorts underneath.  I looked and felt enchanting as we enjoyed dinner and a stroll through a local orchard together at sunset.  I could not resist frolicking in this glorious field of wildflowers in bloom, the pure white Queen Anne's Lace made the perfect backdrop to compliment all of the deep jewel tones in this floral and the streams of golden light from sunset gave our walk a magical otherworldly feel that made our date night extra special!

I really cannot gush enough about this ethereal Painted Desert Night floral design by Bari J and the material from Art Gallery Fabrics is bold and bright, capturing the spirit of Bari J's work perfectly.  Flowers, leaves and vines in shades of aqua, purple and bright green dance over a background of slate grey.  The colors in this print are some of my favorite shades so it is a pleasure to accessorize this dress as there are many beautiful shades to play with for endless combinations.  I went simple and romantic with my accessories because I wanted the dress to be the star of this outfit and I wanted to be comfortable on our date.  A homemade double purple ranunculus hairpiece, ivory rose topped golden hoop earrings and an ivory bangle gave me the summer garden fairy look that I wanted for my romantic date night.

 My Hip Hip Handmade Yani dress is going to bring me many years of pleasure and wear, it is a special piece of my wardrobe.  I highly recommend working with Hip Hip Handmade, she is incredibly sweet, her work is very high quality and working with a seamstress gives you the ability to create something together that is 100% you!

What dreams may come....

Friday, August 16, 2019

Life's a dream! My review of the Kiyonna Daydream Maxi Dress. Happy 23rd Anniversary to Kiyonna!

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Hello All!  Tonight, I am reviewing the Kiyonna Daydream Maxi Dress.  This boho confection is a romantic date night dream, perfect for a casual day event or a date night out on the town.  I also want to congratulate Kiyonna and celebrate their anniversary!!  Kiyonna is 23 years old this month and as a way to celebrate Kiyonna is giving back to their loyal customers with a big sale!  You can use coupon code 23YEARS to save 30% off your order of $100 or more, PLUS many of Kiyonna's best selling items are on sale for up to 50% off at  Happy Anniversary, Kiyonna!!  Thank you for giving us plus size gals consistently beautiful garments designed to fit our bodies perfectly, thank you for helping us look and feel as glorious as we are!

Happy 23rd Anniversary, Kiyonna!

The Kiyonna Daydream Maxi Dress is a two piece maxi consisting of a solid black under dress and a textured chiffon overdress printed in a bohemian style floral pattern of white, blue and pink.  The bodice is a wrap style bordered in scalloped lace, a stretch lace band at the waistline gives this dress a lovely shape that is very curve enhancing.  The dress also features a pretty tie back, full, flowing sleeves and a long full skirt.  The skirt is gathered at the bottom giving the illusion of being one huge ruffle, this feminine and flowing style feels as dreamy as it looks.  I wore my Daydream Maxi Dress for an evening date, it was a bit different than my normal full pinup 50's style and my husband Kevin was very vocal about how much he loved this more laid back romantic look!

I am wearing my normal Kiyonna size, 2X which is an 18/20.  This dress fits me perfectly with just enough room to flow nicely.  The slip underdress is comfortable and soft providing coverage under the sheer bubble crepe of the top half.  The tie back feature is a pretty, romantic touch that is also practical, it allows you to tie the dress to adjust how the wrap style top fits and keep the dress from falling off your shoulders.  The sleeves are full and flowing providing nice coverage,.  This is a very long dress on me of course but although I am petite, I LOVE maxi dresses.  My second love in fashion next to pinup is bohemian, hippie style clothing so maxi dresses are another passion of mine.  I always wear heels or wedges when we go out because at 5'2' most maxi dresses hit the ground on me but I will confess, in a more casual setting, I love to throw off my shoes and enjoy how the dress feels flowing romantically around my feet.  This Daydream Maxi Dress is ethereal, just like the name says, it feels like a flowing daydream to wear.

The Kiyonna Daydream Maxi Dress has a beautiful bohemian floral pattern with shades of blue, white and pink.  I chose to play up the pink and blue of this pattern with my accessories by wearing a pink hair flower, bold blue floral statement earrings, pink cateye bohi  sunglasses and I finished my outfit with black peep toe wedge sandals.  Kevin and I had a lovely time walking the streets of historic Greenville, Michigan.  They have been working hard on revamping their historic downtown area and they have really made it look inviting.  The pretty blooming flower beds and artwork delighted us as we walked around town, I kicked off my shoes and frolicked barefoot in a cute little pocket park, then we enjoyed a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.  I was date night perfect in my Daydream Maxi Dress, I received a ton of compliments on the dress from my husband and a few other people, what a head turner!

Outfit Details
Dress: Daydream Maxi Dress size 2X C/O Kiyonna
Glasses: Clip On Set #5030 in Pink Tortoiseshell C/O Zenni Optical
Earrings: Walmart
Hair Flower: Daisy Jean Floral
Makeup: Tarte
Lipstick: American Beauty by Besame Cosmetics

Don't forget to pick up the Kiyonna Daydream Maxi Dress and load up on your Kiyonna favorites during their incredible 23rd anniversary sale.  What are you going to pick up first?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Retro redecoration with Nostalgia Electrics!! Reviewing the Retro Series 3-in-1 Breakfast Station, Microwave and Toaster

Disclaimer: This blog features links that when clicked on and purchased from may result in a small commission for the owner of this website.

Hello everyone!  I know, it has been forever since I blogged.  I have been concentrating on things here at home and taking the time to plan and do some well needed repairs, updates, reorganization and redecorating in our home.  Personally, when my home is organized, clean and taken care of my mental health is better so I have been putting in the work to get things changed for the better.  We have been in our home for a long time and have not made any big renovations or updates.  It is hard to think of things like that when you are busy parenting but now that our son is 18, I find myself thinking of the not so distant future when it will just be the two of us in the house and it gets me dreaming of the possibilities.  This kitchen update is just the first step to take in creating my dream home where vintage meets modern in a practical and pretty way.

Today, I am reviewing three Retro Series products from Nostalgia Electrics.  I have always had a love of vintage decor, growing up close to my grandparents meant that I was always using vintage items.  Because they were raised during the Great Depression, if an item worked you used it until it needed repair or died completely so many of  my grandparents items were from the 1950's and 60's which started my love of retro decor.  This love of vintage items has given me a desire to collect and decorate my home with eclectic and unique items that make me smile each time I see them, many of the items are family items or have been gifted to me by family and friends which makes them even more special.

 Retro appliances are a different story than decor though, old plugs are a fire hazard and rewiring can be costly  and destructive to antique pieces so I was thrilled when I discovered the Retro Series from Nostalgia Electrics.  The Retro Series is a collection of appliances that are retro styled but feature the newest technology.   Nostalgia Electrics were kind enough to send over their Retro 3-in-1 Breakfast Station for me to review.  After I received the Breakfast Station, my husband and I fell absolutely in love so we decided it was high time to replace our 21 year old toaster (it was a wedding shower gift!!) and malfunctioning microwave with Retro Series appliances for a complete matching Nostalgia Electrics Set!

The Nostalgia Electrics 3-in-1 Breakfast Station is a handy little appliance!  It has a 3 cup coffee maker, griddle top and toaster oven.  Sturdy, infinitely useful and retro perfect, our family absolutely loves this machine.  We are constantly toasting sandwiches, mini pizzas and other tasty treats in the toaster oven.  The 3 cup coffee maker brews just the right amount of coffee for myself and my husband to enjoy.  The griddle is the perfect size for a quick breakfast and it also works well as a chafing dish to keep things warm as you finish cooking the rest of your meal.  This 3-in-1 machine gets so much use in our household but the toaster oven is definitely our favorite feature.  It is a small and compact appliance, so it is the perfect size for our family of 3.  It is easy to use and the multi feature aspect of this appliance makes it desirable as a space saver for people with smaller homes.  Three appliances in one, high quality and super stylish, I love my Nostalgia Retro Breakfast Station!

Retro style, modern convenience!

The Nostalgia Retro 3-in-1 Breakfast Station is as stylish as it is useful with it's Mid Century Modern style meets Modern convenience approach.  The aqua color is just right for the vintage style that I am looking for in my kitchen, it is a pretty shade that really stands out.  This machine is also the perfect size for smaller spaces, great in a camper or apartment where space is at a minimum.  I really cannot say enough great things about this appliance.  I found the Nostalgia Electrics Retro 3-in-1 Breakfast Station to be convenient to use, easy to clean up and perfectly retro styled!

Mini Pizzas are quick and easy in the Retro Breakfast Station toaster oven!
COFFEE!!!!!  My favorite food group!

Next, I am reviewing the Nostalgia Electrics Retro Microwave Oven.  We bought the largest available size from Nostalgia through Amazon, which is the 800 watt 0.9 cubic foot model.  I love the retro styling of this unit; the aqua color, chrome accents and round window make this a very attractive appliance.  Our old microwave was acting crazy so when the time came to replace it we were thrilled to kick it to the curb in favor of this super cute replacement.  Not only is this microwave adorable it is super handy with tons of great features such as a one touch 30 second express button, timed defrosting and easy programs for cooking all your fave foods fast.  The thing that really stands out about this microwave for me is how quiet it is, in my experience most microwaves have a very loud and annoying hum, this machine is so quiet you can barely tell that it is on.  I am so happy that we purchased this unit, it fits perfectly in our small home!

A Pinup in her element

Outfit from Pinup Girl Clothing

Retro mixed with modern makes a cozy and pretty kitchen that I love working in!

The final Nostalgia Electrics item I am reviewing is the Retro 2 Slice Toaster.  Having grown up with a thrifty mindset, I admit, we kept our dinosaur of a toaster much longer than we should have.  Although it worked, it barely toasted and half the time it would randomly burn things to a crisp so replacing it was way overdue!  I was thrilled when I pulled this chic appliance from the box to finally have a toaster that works properly and looks so adorable.  Aqua with white and chrome accents this toaster looks so vintage.  Easy to use and fast, it truly was eye opening to me how much time I was wasting using my old toaster just to save a few dollars.  Toast, Bagels, Frozen Toaster Strudels and more cook up fast and perfectly in this unit.  I have no complaints, I have been enjoying mornings filled with tasty fresh coffee and toasted bagels using my beautiful Nostalgia appliances.  Nostalgia Electrics has an incredible selection of retro and other products made to make your life not only more convenient but more fun!

Let's talk a little about my kitchen!  We have been in our home for 17 years, most of those years were spent busy in parenting so home decor was not something in the forefront of my mind.  Now that my son is 18 (HOW CAN THIS BE!!??) I am focusing more on making the house a place that is not only functional but also reflects our love of vintage.  I cannot put into words how happy it makes me to see the improvements that we have made in our kitchen.  Getting these new appliances motivated me to work on reorganizing cupboards, using existing items in creative ways and purging the things we no longer needed.  Our kitchen is in the center of our home so it is a room that we all spend a lot of time in, it is always a happy moment for me to walk into the kitchen and see the items that we have spent many years carefully collecting to make this room perfect.

 Although I have a few big changes left to make in the future such as repainting, new counter tops and replacing our aging carpet with laminate flooring, the kitchen is finished and this room is so cheerful!  Everywhere I look there are happy memories and treasured unique items, a lot of the items are family heirlooms.  The window is the center of the kitchen and the centerpiece of my window is a heart shaped Michigan map tile from Little Traverse Tileworks surrounded by pretty plants. I have a green thumb so we have plants in every room of our home, many of my plants were gifts, I even have a few plants that were my grandmother's and she passed away in 1998, so they are irreplaceable to me.  Plants make a cozy home and besides looking lovely they actually clean the air in your house!  My most treasured item is the Winnie The Pooh cookie jar, although beat up and losing it's paint, it is a treasure, it was the "magic cookie jar" at my grandparents house, magic to us because it was always full.  I am using a vintage tiered hanging produce basket as storage for various K-cups, this makes it easy to walk up and make a choice of drink.  My 40's era Breadbox was a gift from my mother, I use it to store Coffee and Tea so the counter is not too cluttered.  Other items have been picked up at local antique shops or have been gifted by friends who know that I have a passion for vintage.  I prefer curated "maximalism" in a world that prefers minimalism in decor, I simply love being surrounded by meaningful items that make our home a unique place filled with personality.  I cannot wait to get to work on the rest of the house because my vision for a retro paradise is incredible.  I hope you have enjoyed this peek into our home! 

 You can purchase these Nostalgia Electrics appliances and other vintage inspired products in my Amazon Affiliate Shop here: Sassy Scarlet

Plants make a house a home!
Our China cabinet filled with love and topped with pretty retro canisters
Home sweet Home