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Monday, 11 December 2017

Matching Mother Daughter Outfits: Wild for Wildflowers in Trashy Diva

Ah, motherhood. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that motherhood is the biggest, most beautiful contradiction. Never in your life will you feel such a constant array of emotions, from each end of the spectrum, as you do when you have children. You can wake up exhausted, feel elated at 10am as your little one learns a new word, frustrated by 10:01am as said little one spills smoothie all over your floor, infuriated at noon as your eldest yells an unseemly insult when you tell them it’s nap time, miss them an hour after they go to sleep, and then collapse into bed precisely 5 minutes after they go down for the night. Honestly, I don’t think it’s the physical activity that accompanies parenthood that makes us all so tired – it’s the emotional upheaval. But, my, isn’t it the most beautiful thing you’ve ever experienced in your life?

Speaking of emotions, matching with my little princesses has been one of the biggest joys. It’s elicited wonderful conversations from strangers, giggles of glee from Selene when she realizes we have the same dress, and endless fun photos to embarrass them with one day. I honestly don’t know how much longer we will get to match – one day they will wake up and realize they have their own fashion sense, and that will be the end of that. But, for now, I’ll soak it all in.









 











Trashy Diva has been doing matching little miss outfits for years now. They don’t release them with every collection (or, trust you me, I would have many more dresses for the girls!), but when they do I snatch them right up.

This time, there were only sizes 3 / 4 and 5 / 6 of the little Emma Dress left, but I bought them anyway for future use. However, I’ve been delighted to find they actually fit the girls now! They are normally size 2 and size 4, but the loose and flowy design and adjustable shoulder straps means we get extra long use out of them. They are made from the same fabric as the rest of the Wildflowers Collection, and are fully lined. With no zips to be had, they are one of my favourite dresses for the girls right now – they just slip on and go!



As for me, I ordered a size US4 of the Ruby Mini Dress, and it’s a perfect fit. The smocked sizes make for ease of wear, and – yes – there are pockets. Combine all of that with the mini skirt length, and I couldn’t be happier with this dress! I would say to size up if you are heavier in the bust, as the fabric itself is non-stretch and the smocking on the size will help it conform to your waist if too big. Other than that, it’s very comfortable and true to size. 

The Wildflowers Collection also comes in a Pussybow Dress, longer Hopscotch Dress and more! The print is absolutely perfect for Australian summer, but I know many of my readers come from the west coast - land of no seasons. This is the perfect buy for you too, ladies!




For more beautiful summer styles, head over to Trashy Diva.

Thank you so much for reading!

xo Miss Betty Doll

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Dear Jools... Your Suits are Devine - a Screen Siren Suit Review

First of all, I'd like to draw your attention to just how much the Jools brand has expanded! There is now an all encompassing website called The House of Jools, which is home to Jools Couture, Hollywood Honeys and Romeo and Jools.

  • Jools Couture, as you know, is a classic, old hollywood brand that encompasses all things glamour. 
  • Hollywood Honeys is a newer offering, which has both stylish, casual pieces and a fabulous Wonder Woman activewear line
  • Romeo and Jools is line of beautifully supportive, modern swimwear and casual wear
The Wonder Woman x Hollywood Honeys collaboration means The House of Jools have their hands on 1 of just 100 Wonder Woman replica tiaras, for which they were recently hosting a giveaway. If you'd like to be added to their Facebook group so you can stay in the loop with these exciting announcements, please let me know and I will be sure to get you added!


Now then - I've had the pleasure of reviewing daywear and nightwear for Jools Couture, but this latest review honestly has me swooning. I ordered the aptly named Screen Siren suit before I went to a conference in Sydney back in September. I'd been switching between several suit jackets at work for meetings, none of which were very "me". I saw this suit and knew my suit search was over. 





I ordered a side 1 in both the jacket and skirt, which is like a US size 4 or an AU size 8. The fabric is stretchier than I anticipated, and it makes it very comfortable. It's highly structured and thick, and made of a cross stitch fabric, but it's also very breathable. The little peplum at the waist flares out of it's own accord due to the make up of the fabric - as do the shoulders.

It also comes with this stunning broach, which is weighty and high quality as the rest of the broaches that have come with their pieces. 



As with all of her pieces, the corsetiere background is very apparent in the careful details and fabulous construction of this suit. 

It is worth every penny, however I am excited to share a discount code for this suit. From now until Sunday my readers will receive 15% off of the entire Screen Siren Range - use discount code SCREENSIREN15 until Sunday, 10 December 2017 at 11.59pm UTC-12. 

Click here for the Screen Siren Suit and here for the rest of the collection!





As a side note - I had to finish this set over two days, first of all because we were suffering from a heatwave the first round, and second of all because this little miss couldn't stop with all the cuddles.

I don't know what I would do without my beautiful girls, honestly. They are both so strong-willed and mischievous, yet soft and deeply understanding. I couldn't love them more.

Until next time - thank you so much for reading!

xo Miss Betty Doll
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Monday, 20 November 2017

Garden State - Tulle Dress by Unique Vintage

 

With the Holiday Season upon us, I thought now would be a time to do a post on the beautiful Garden State Dress by Unique Vintage.

This dress is dear to my heart, as I have worn it for both of my daughter's 1st Birthdays

Pink for Selene's



Blue for Aurora's


The tulle layer of the dress is longer than the lining, giving off a pretty, whimsical silhouette. The sleeves, also tulle, can be worn up or down, as well as bunched together or spread across the shoulders.

As for sizing, I am wearing a size small, and at 35-24.5-35, I could do with an extra small. Currently, I am 5'6" and 53 kilos. When I was 59 kilos on Selene's first birthday, the small was a little tight. I'd recommend sticking to the size chart on this one, as there is no stretch. The boning in the bodice helps it stay up nicely either way!



The entire range of Garden State dresses is currently on sale (some as low as $50!). If you don't see your size, it may be best getting the closest one to your size and getting it altered. They are going for so cheap right now, you can afford to spend a little on a seamstress! I can't recommend it enough.


I had the pleasure of working with Brooke Orchard Photography for this set, and I couldn't be more happy with the results. This set was taken at the end of the day, with the wind blowing us - and the reflector - about the street. Brooke still managed to capture the most beautiful photos. I have her booked in for a family session this weekend, and I can't wait for the results! If she can capture these of me, I know she can capture stunning photos of my princesses while they muck about. 

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Monday, 13 November 2017

A Wild Rose by Any Other Name... Wild Rose Skirt by Bonsai Kitten

Bonsai Kitten has been a favourite of mine since my blog very first began! Their excellent customer service, consistent stream of new offerings, and is ethically made. As stated by Bonsai Kitten themselves, "Bonsai Kitten pieces are proudly and ethically produced in Bali, Indonesia in collaboration with Adopta Co-op, Widows from the Bali bombing."



Their beautiful Pussybow Tops go with everything from shorts in summer to office wear. They also come in several prints and styles (long or short sleeve) with more added every season. Here I am wearing it in Pink, (c/o Bonsai Kitten Clothing) and have already worn this on several occasions since I received it a month ago!


The real star of the show, however, is their Wild Rose Pencil Skirt (c/o Bonsai Kitten Clothing). Everything from the pretty print to the silhouette is just what we need, as we are coming into Spring here in Melbourne. I love that there is black piping, however, and that this can be worn with black for a more Wintery vibe. 

Now, I am wearing a size 8 and it is a might bit tight. I am currently 35-24.5-35, and was advised before this was sent to me to size up if need be. This advice is spot on, as I have been between a 6 and an 8 for the better part of a year now, and I would have done well in a 10. I would suggest having a thorough read of the size chart and make sure you size up!

The fit itself is gorgeous. The kick pleats in the back make it beautifully comfortable for walking in, and the waist pant makes for a smooth fit across the tummy. The lack of stretch means it sucks you in quite nicely.

I am in love with their skirts after receiving this one, and cannot wait for more!




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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Happily Leather After - Thin Leather Design (and my racewear review!)

Thin Leather Design reached out to me a couple of months back and asked if I would like to try a couple of their products. Having never seen earrings quite like theirs, I opted for two pairs in the colours I knew I would get the most use out of - red and black.

Shipping was quick and took just a week and a half to get from the U.S. to Australia. While shipping times to Australia have been improving over the past few years, I am always a little giddy when something takes less than 2 weeks. One day, hopefully, it won't even be something we have to comment on!


The earrings themselves have proven to be of the highest quality. My youngest one found a pair atop my dressing table and they ended up on the ground. She ended up stepping on them (oh, they do move so quickly!) and the earrings are still in tact!

They come in a variety of colours, and the best thing to do is ask what's available. The sky blue set has my heart right now, but I am getting a ton of wear out of my black pair for the time being!






The earrings are made by twisting tiny straps of leather into the shape of a rose. They are highly unique and perfect for us retro lovers. I love that Thin Leather Designs also makes bow ties and lapel pins, which means you and your honey now have a cute way to subtly match at your next event!

You can place an order via the website, through Amazon, or Instagram.





As I am wearing the same dress in these photos that I wore to the races, I thought I'd take a minute to do a quick review.

I first discovered Elle Zeitoune a couple months back when hunting for a dress for Derby Day. After scrolling through design after design, I was drawn back to the Tyler Dress in white. The bows on the arms were unique enough that I haven't seen a similar design anywhere. I knew I had to have it.



I ended up with an AU size 6, as the size 8 was far too large on me. I tend to be an AU size 8, and haven't had to size down further than that very often. My suggestion, for you ladies in the U.S. that may have it more difficult to try before you buy, is to order your normal size and have it taken in if need be. Elle Zeitoune has some beautiful designs, and they are of the highest quality. These are occasion dresses, and therefore worth every penny to have them fitted just so if you are unsure, or in between sizes.

I was nervous I would be pulling on it all day as this is a strapless piece, but as the day wore on I realised this dress wasn't going anywhere. It's highly structured and comes within in built boning along the waist.

The Tyler Dress runs at $310 AU. For you U.S. ladies, I suggest taking advantage of the dollar and grabbing one for your next event!



Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Wisteria Lane: A Review of the Uma Dress from Stop Staring!


This post is doubly exciting for me! Firstly, because I get to review this beautiful dress that I can't seem to get enough of. Secondly, because I get to showcase the photos I took with one of the best pinup photographers I've ever seen: Brooke Orchard Photography.




When I returned to working full time in an office earlier this year, I knew I needed to fill my wardrobe up with some of the beautiful offerings from Stop Staring Clothing. I now own too many Stop Staring dresses to count, but among my favourite is the Uma Dress

There are so many gorgeous features to go over, it's hard to know where to start. Firstly, there's the famous stretch millennium fabric that is a Stop Staring signature. Unlike other bengaline fabrics I have worn, this one is silky soft to the touch and stays in place. I'm not sure if it's the specific composition of the fabric, or if it's the cute of the dress, but it doesn't bunch when walking and fits my curves in all the right places.

Second is the shape of the dress. The front features gathering at the tummy and waist, which means you can sneak in those tacos (or in my case, 10 coffees!) without worrying about your dress clinging where you don't want it to cling. The cut out back means your shoulder blades will be on display, but the pretty self-covered buttons at the nape of the neck help keep it office-appropriate.
The dress is currently in stock from size small to size 2XL, and the stretch means it will fit a variety of body shapes and sizes.

For reference, I am wearing a size small and it fits perfectly. My measurements are 35-24.5-35.




Baring in mind this is not a sponsored post in any way: I would encourage any ladies in the Melbourne area to give Brooke Orchard Photography a message for more information on her photoshoot packages. She has branched out into portraits, and I am astounded at what she got out of me! I am a naturally tense person - I fit a lot into each and every day, and rarely relax. High strung would not be an inaccurate descriptive word for me! Despite this, with extra patience, Brooke captured a photo that is currently my husband's favourite. I am in love with it too, if I do say so myself! I feel lucky to have been able to work with such a talented photographer, and know you will feel the same way if you book her in!



 Thank you so much for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll


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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Baking with Littles - Ghosts in a Graveyard Made Easy!

Halloween season is well underway. To celebrate, I ordered these cute little kitty suspender skirts from Unique Vintage for the girls , and this Sourpuss Graveyard Skirt for me! The girls and I (read "Selene and I", Aurora mostly ate the cookies) also whipped up some super cute and easy Ghosts in a Graveyard Pudding Cups!

I've seen these done a few different ways, but in my (other) emergency trip to the U.S., I picked up a variety of Peeps to take back with me and I just had to use them in this recipe. 

How to make it kid friendly:

You can use any cookies, but I would use something pre-packaged like Teddy Grahams. I used one bag to make four pudding cups, and all you do is toss it to your little one and let them crush it with their hands, a rolling pin, whatever!

You can also make homemade pudding, but using the pre-packaged stuff means you can simply open each cup and pour the crumbs right over it - less mess and hassle, which is what you want when baking (or putting recipes together) with toddlers.

Lastly, whilst you can use cookies and write "RIP" on them with melted chocolate, I suggest using the Tombstone Peeps pictured - it's just easier.











Ingredients:
  • Ghost Peeps
  • Tombstone Peeps
  • Chocolate Pudding Cups
  • Chocolate Cookies
  • Pumpkin Candies

Instructions:



  1. Crush a couple of cookies (or 1 packet of Teddy Grahams per 4 pudding cups)
  2. Pour the cookie crumbs over the pudding cups
  3. Place the tombstone in the back, place the ghost in front of the tombstone, and place the pumpkin next to both
  4. Done!

This took us about 5 minutes all up, and the girls were very excited.

On another note - the pretty little rose earrings I am wearing here are actually made of leather from Thin Leather Design! I have a review coming on them in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to share a close up of them as I was wearing them yesterday while we made our pudding cups :) I've been wearing these a lot lately, and they are quickly becoming a favourite of mine.



On a personal note - I am on my two week break from University, and it could not come fast enough. This has been the toughest teaching period to date, as I was taking second year Statistics (not my strong suit), and Research Methods - both psychology subjects that are notoriously difficult. Couple that with the second emergency U.S. trip this year, working full time and two needy princesses, and I had a very full plate. I'll have more on that soon, but suffice it to say it was an intense couple of months!

Either way, I've been surrounded by insanely supportive family and friends. Martin went to great lengths to keep me at ease while I finished up my Statistics assignments, and he could not have done more to make me feel loved and valued (while statistics itself did the opposite - it makes one feel like one knows nothing). 

Selene and Aurora have been wonderful handfuls. Selene is absolutely a threenager, and she argues every single point that I make. I used to drive me own mother to tears with my independence, and Selene has done much the same - but I wouldn't have her any other way. She is fiercely intelligent and kind, and I know this is a necessary process in her finding out who she is. Aurora has gone from speaking maybe 20 words here and there to consistent three word sentences, which has been amazing to witness. She also touches everything she isn't supposed to, and keeps us on our toes. I couldn't love either of them more than I do, and I know our personalities, and my husband's, all link in an intricate and beautiful way. We will all have much to teach each other as years go by.


Anyway, thank you so much for reading! I am back to regular weekly posts and can't wait to share more next week :)

xo Miss Betty Doll
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