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Friday, 13 October 2017

I Give You... Powder Room - Jools Couture

I am so happy to get to speak about pretty lounge wear today, as this is actually a topic that is close to my heart. I believe everyone should dress in the way that they most feel comfortable - there is no "one size fits all" solution to anything in life, be it personality, viewpoints or fashion sense. However, I am a strong advocate for at least trying to wear things that make you feel beautiful. 

There have been studies that show that getting up and getting dressed first thing in the morning makes you more productive even if you are working from home. I feel it is the same way with wearing pretty clothes even when at home. It can give you a sense of purpose, boost your confidence and make you more productive. 

Apart from that, there is something to be said about dressing for yourself at home. If you dress well only when you are out and about, it's almost like telling yourself you aren't worth the trouble when you are at home. It's as if to say the opinions of others when they see you dressed well are more important than your own opinion when you are at home! Of course, comfort should come before all else when lounging about, but that brings me to my next point...





There are several places to get beautiful lounge wear now, and Jools Couture is my absolute favorite. Every single lounge wear and boudoir piece is exceedingly comfortable. 

Whilst this particular piece is from the vault and now out of stock, I have something more exciting to share with you! Jools Couture has offered you all 30% off of their boudoir collections. Most of the pieces are made in this same soft stretch fabric, and the array of pretty sleepwear pieces is just stunning. 

I will take you through the collections that are on sale, and don't forget to grab the discount code at the end of the post!


 Like all of Jools Couture's pieces, their intimates collection is as pretty as it is comfortable. Shop pretty little French briefs here

The stunning Harlow collection is filled with lounge wear that will rival your evening wear! Crystals, lace and other beautiful details await. Shop here.



Featuring pretty pink ruffles and grey tones, the Powerpuff Collection is sure to satisfy any girly girl at heart. Find all these and more here.


Featuring red ruffles, silky soft lounge pants and the Sweetheart Bow print that I featured in my Glamorous Loungewear post! Click here for more.


 Beauty bags and dainty hair bows will complete your look! Click here for more.



Use discount code BOUDOIR30 for 30% off until 11:59pm AEST on 31st of October. After all, it's trick or treating month, ladies, and I suggest you choose treat... yourself!




Thank you so much for reading, and for patiently waiting for my next post. Thank you to those who kept in touch while I took a short break, and I hope my upcoming content will excite you as much as it does me!

xo Miss Betty Doll

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Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Handbag Every Pinup Needs - Signature Handbag by Jools Couture (and a Gorgeous Top to Match!)


I just so happened to be on the hunt for the perfect black handbag when Jools Couture contacted me about their beautiful signature handbag. It's everything I've ever wanted in a handbag, and couldn't have come at a better time.

First though, I wanted to share the details of the top I am wearing.  The Jools Signature Navy Rose Baby Doll Top is a vault piece by Jools Couture, and features the same silky soft stretch modal that many of their lounge wear items is made of. The signature corsette ruffles are just as soft as the rest of the blouse. I've had tops before that were soft to the touch, only to be covered in scratchy lace details that had me wishing the lace was as soft as the shirt itself. Jools delivers in that area!

The print itself is gorgeous, too, and is designed by the owner and designer behind Jools Couture.

I am wearing a size 8, and it's a perfect fit. Though it's technically a baby doll design, it tucks very well into high-waisted bottoms and can easily transition into a form-fitted look. I'd imagine this would be adorable in summer with jean shorts, but for now I've been wearing it in the office.











Now then - onto that handbag! Several retro-inspired companies offer handbags and accessories, but I have almost always found them to be too small. The beautiful clasp closures and shiny materials often outweigh usefulness, and I am left with something I can barely fit my wallet into.

Jool's Signature Handbag measures 29cm W x 25cm H x 12.5 cm D. This is nearly the same size as the interior, as the zippers (which are adorned with gold metal hearts) reaches all the way to the top of the handbag and there is no wasted space within. The handbag is finished off with a Jools <3 Paris keychain, which can be removed and used on your own set of keys. I keep mine on, both because it's a cute touch, and because it makes a little bell sound when I walk. I'm a sucker for the details.


It features a large internal compartment lined with the cutest polka dot lining. There are several smaller compartments to fit your phone, pens, or private items, but the main compartment is large enough for everything you would need. I use this on a daily basis, and it holds a water bottle, makeup bag and large wallet just so!







The exterior is made from a nylon quilted fabric, which is softer to the touch than any other quilted handbag I have owned. The handles are made from leather, and a detachable leather strap can be clipped on when the need arises.






I'm so excited by the collaborations I have had the honour of participating this year, especially because it means I can get more quality clothing reviews to you all, faster than I would otherwise! Thank you thank you thank you for reading <3

xo, Miss Betty Doll



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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Why Mellow Beats Mac - Mellow Cosmetics: Creamy Matte Lipsticks


I first ran across Mellow Cosmetics in February this year, when Miss Charlotte Cake ran a contest for two shades: Danger Zone and Candy Floss.

I fell instantly in love with Danger Zone. I tend to fill in my lips with my lip liner before applying my lipstick, so it took me a few days before I realised it isn't a pure red, but rather a red/hot pink mix.This is a shade I have been mixing on my own for ages. I remember Dita von Teese once mentioning that she prefers to use a red lip liner beneath hot pink lipstick shades, so that the result is a mix of the two. I've always agreed, which makes this shade my favourite from Mellow.


As you can see from the above product shot, this baby has been used at least twice a week since February, and has made a home in my cosmetics bag.

For the most part, I only review things I really love on this blog. So, believe me when I say: I love this brand more than Mac. I have been an avid Mac Russian Red fan for years. Nothing gave me better longevity or was kinder to my lips - until I found Mellow. Not only is Mellow less expensive than Mac, but they are Cruelty Free, Vegan and Paraben Free. As a vegetarian and animal lover, this brand ticks all the boxes for me.

There is free shipping on US orders over $40, which is fairly stock standard for many cosmetics companies... however, they also offer free shipping over $40 for Australia and New Zealand! I remember feeling depressed (yes... depressed) over the shipping rates in Australia when I first moved here years ago. Coming from the US, land of Amazon next day shipping and 24 hour stores, it was hard to accept that some things simply wouldn't be affordable due to outrageous shipping costs. To see the same shipping offer for Aussies as our US counterparts is very exciting.

The creamy come in many shades, including a chocolate (Chocolate) a pure red (Madness) and a nude shade (Nude) that beats all other nude shades I've tried out of the park. There is also Liquid Lip Paint, which I have yet to try but looks divine, as well as face and eye products. If you are currently on the lookout for the perfect lipstick, I would recommend you give Mellow a try.


Thanks for reading!

xo Miss Betty Doll









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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Tiny Dancer(s) in the Ballerina Skirt by Micheline Pitt x Unique Vintage

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who squealed when the Micheline Pitt x Unique Vintage collaboration announcement was made - the countless comments and likes over every social media platform imaginable tells me so! This collection is what my dreams are made of! It's frothy and romantic, with a fairy tale touch to every piece.

My favourite piece from the collection is the Pink Palace Playsuit, but it was the Ballerina Skirt that I couldn't resist reviewing. You see, both Selene and Aurora have an active interest in ballet. Selene has been attending classes since she was two years old, and if you so much as say "ballet" in front of Aurora, she puts her tiny hands in the air and does a twirl. For this reason, I knew the Ballerina Skirt would hold a special place in my heart.

I ordered a size small. I'll admit I was nervous when ordering, as the size small in Micheline Pitt's personal line is too big on me. I'll go into that a bit more later, but suffice it to say the small fits me well. My waist is currently 24 inches, and it fits me like a glove. I'd say go true to size on this one.




I am 5'6" and it hits an inch below my knees. I am wearing it with a petticoat in these photos, but the gathers at the waist mean you can go without if you so choose.



 I like the versatility of this piece. I kept it ultra-girly today with the Pink Powerderpuff Top by Vixen, however I wore it with a plain navy scoopneck top last week and paired it with a leather jacket. I found that worked wonderfully, and may be a better colour choice for those who choose not to pink it up. Le Bomb Shop has a good navy peasant top that would work beautifully, and Unique Vintage has a demure white top that would also work well. Then, of course, there is the navy bow top that was designed just for this skirt!
As you can see from the above photo, this skirt is a good inch and a half (give or take) smaller than the Vixen Swing Skirt from Micheline Pitt's Vixen line. I thought this was worth pointing out for any of you who wondered about size comparisons.

By the way, it wasn't until now that I really grasped the stretch fusion waistband used in the Vixen Swing Skirts! Pulling at the waistband of both of these skirts really reveals the difference. The Ballerina Skirt has no stretch in the waist whatsoever, so bear that in mind when ordering!

Due to the trans-seasonal nature of this skirt, the quality, artistry, fit, and rarity - I suggest you go grab yours now! As far as I can tell, it's still available in most sizes and I don't know how that's possible! Once they're gone, they're gone.

On a personal note, I've had an unexpected two week hiatus for a number of reasons.  My grandfather has passed on, I've had a dear friend down here for a week, and I've been snowed under at Uni. I'm back to it now and have a few yummy things lined up, so stay tuned <3

Thanks for reading,
xo, Miss Betty Doll
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Sunday, 30 July 2017

Swinging It - Unique Vintage Diana Swing Dress Review

I haven't had a go-to polka dot dress for ages. I'm not even sure what happened to all of my polka dot dresses! I'm sure they are tucked into the back of my closet somewhere... but, I've digressed, because this dress is my favourite polka dot number to date.

I actually reviewed the Diana Swing Dress by Unique Vintage two years ago, and took photos in the same location: Werribee Mansion. I knew it was worth another review though, because this one is made from a different fabric and gives off a very different vibe from my last post on this style.




My favourite thing about this style is the built-in petticoat. There's a slip and a fluffy underskirt all hidden beneath the gorgeous dress, and makes getting ready that much easier. You can feel the weight of it when you slip it on and off. The top is nice and light, but there are definite layers in the skirt of the dress. The fabric is stretchy enough that it holds in place without weighing you down, however.

A close second to my top favourite thing about this style has to be the pockets. I'm getting more and more addicted to them, especially as my little ones grow older and need less stuff when we leave the house.

Fit-wise, true to size works just fine. I seem to be an XS in most brands at the moment, and a S in others. This one is a size S, but I could easily have done the XS and probably would have had a better fit! The fabric is like a lightweight bengaline, so it'll form to your curves just fine! Current measurements are 35-24-35.





The tiny bows at the elbows of the sleeves complete the dress, in my opinion. And speaking of sleeves, the stretchy fabric means they are comfortable. I used to mention often how hard it was to find comfortable sleeved dresses in pinup world. I think that's becoming less and less the case, but it's still always keeping an eye out for. There's nothing like trying to bend your arms at the elbows and being restricted by your outfit choice.

This was the first dress I wore into work on a properly Casual Friday. Up until a few weeks ago, I had been in my usual business attire due to meetings etc. This was therefore the first dress I wore to work in my normal retro style. I found that, while clearly not the sleek, black norm of Melbourne style, it's not outlandish enough to be out of place in an office. Not that I mind outlandish (see my latest rainbow outfit post on instagram, and you'll know what I mean!).

 

Thank you to my husband, who took these photos for me! I've mentioned before that one of the pre-requisites of going back to work full time, was that he would help me get my blog photos done. We took the girls out to Werribee Mansion today, and spent 5 minutes snapping these on the grounds before frolicking about, going on the Little Red Train ride and other silliness.

It's days like these that make me really take a step back and be thankful. Often times, the older we get, the more we discover how cruel life can be... I know that is true for me, especially this year. But, feeling the sunshine, gaining knowledge about the world, loving those around you... I know it sounds cheesy, but simply being alive is such a beautiful state of being.

We throw the words "blessed" and "thankful" around a lot in this generation. "Blessed" with my Starbucks coffee and "thankful" for things on social media that we are really just humble bragging about... these are just words.The real blessing, I think, is just being alive and loving, no?

Thanks for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll



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Friday, 21 July 2017

Baking With Littles: Apple Roses


Apple Roses started circulating on social media years ago, but they immediately struck me as too time consuming. Don't even ask me why, as I finally made some the other weekend and they were ridiculously simple. 

First, as always, I suggest doing a bulk of the prep work before you even advise your kiddo(s) that it's time to bake. It makes everything run so much smoother, trust me.

Thaw 2-3 sheets of puff pastry. Then,core and cut 2 apples in half and start slicing them very thin (I suggest Red Delicious, as the red skin makes the finish product appear more like a rose, but I used Granny Smith). You could use a mandolin, but I used a very sharp knife and worked slowly.

Place the apply slices in a bowl of water with 1tsp of lemon juice as you go.

Next, microwave the apples for 1-2 minutes, just until they are soft enough that you can bend them without them breaking. We need them pliable for creating the "rose petals" without being mushy.

Next, melt 2 tbsp of butter and mix with equal parts brown sugar. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Then, have your little one help you spread it across your thawed puff pastry sheet.

This part gets messy. That's ok.You know why I'm smiling here and everything is still clean? Because I'm doing a photo shoot, that's why. Normally, you can see my nose kind of scrunched up as butter and sugar are flung about. My expression quickly melts into a smile when Selene takes a peek at me so I don't break her spirits, and then I go right back to a horrified nose scrunch. Completely normal. Let them make their mess and you make your mom face while they do it, but don't interrupt them. Let them be kids. 


Next, have your little one help you, very carefully, slice the puff pasty into four even strips. This part is easy for them to help with, as it's one even stroke per strip.They need to be thick enough to fold in half, because that's exactly what we will be doing with them.


You want to take your apple slices and overlap them, with the rounded edge peeking out of the puff pastry, from one side of a pastry strip to the other. Then, fold the pastry in half and slowly, carefully roll the apples and pastry in a clockwise motion until they have circled around. Voila! Apple rose!

Pop them in a greased muffin tin and   Bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 40-45 minutes.





 
Bon appetit!



Fun fact: I've been studying French on the train on my way to work every morning. I've been excelling, and thought I really must have a knack for learning languages... until I actually found the time to repeat the words aloud. Apparently I alone have the power to make French sound entirely un-romantic. Yay me.

Thanks for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll
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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Troublemaker Swing Dress - Vixen by Micheline Pitt

You have no idea how long I wanted the Troublemaker Swing Dress by Vixen.




 First, there's the stunning leopard print fabric. It's not easy to find a well done leopard print. They can range from cartoony to awkwardly shaded, so finding a retro dress in the right kind of leopard print is like a jewel mine.

Second, there's the sleeves! Living in Melbourne, Australia means chilly winters and unpredictable weather year round. I've said it before and I'll say it again: retro inspired dresses with comfortable long sleeves are few and far between. Unique Vintage is host to several such dresses, and then of course there's this particular dress.


One of my favourite things about Micheline Pitt's Vixen line is the quality. Now, I know I tend to only review clothing that is of high quality (besides some of my beloved inexpensive alternatives that I just can't resist!), but Micheline is the goddess of quality. If you are part of the Vixen's Salon on facebook, you can see how she regularly posts about quality control. She does little things like have her prints pinned and then perfectly aligning them together so that they are seamless when worn, and takes feedback from her customers and then makes actual adjustments in the next batch. She is also thorough about giving sizing advice and posts videos of herself wearing the clothing, testing the stretch/lack thereof, etc.

Now then, onto sizing.

I ordered a size extra small, as I have ordered a small in my past few items and found them too big on me. This one, however, I could have actually done a small in. It is made of a stretch crepe material, so though it's very stretchy, it's also quite firm. I have a size C bust, and being fairly petite at the moment means it's a smaller C. So, I'd almost identify as small chested at the moment. Were I any fuller in the bust, this dress may be uncomfortable.My measurements are 35", 24", 35". The arms and waist are perfectly comfortable.

I am an extra small in some clothing lines, and a small in others at the moment. I'd probably identify closest with a small, and therefore recommend ordering true to size. Also, note that the belt is very true to size!



The dress happens to match quite well with these Rock Your Baby pieces (now sold out), so we wore them on our weekly grocery shopping trip.



Tiny personal update!

I've been at my new job for a month now, and feel settled in. I've passed the worst of the learning curve that accompanies any new job, and no longer feel exhausted to the bones. That's fortunate, since University has started a new term.

I am taking Research Methods (Psychology) and Statistics II this term, so it should be information heavy. I'm getting my tablet repaired (Selene stepped on it ages ago) so that I can start studying on my lunch breaks. I am feeling torn in all directions at night, between preparing dinner, spending time with my girlies and catching up with my husband, and then sitting down to study. I feel that if I can get some of my reading done during the day (psychology courses are very book heavy), then that will help me balance better at home.

I've also started trying to eat better. Keyword is trying, as we seem to keep ending up at San Churro on the weekends. I know that my lacking energy levels has been due to my poor diet lately (not enough calories, too much diet soda, lots of veggies but hardly any fruit). I've been reading Dita Von Teese's "Beauty Mark", and though I am not one to follow celebrity diets, I love a few of her tips. She uses things like exotic mustards on chicken breasts instead of creamy sauces, and hot water with lemon and ginger in the mornings. She also eats mostly vegan throughout the day, and because I am a vegetarian, it's an ideal guide for me. I don't believe in following other people's diets obsessively, but I do see the good in gathering inspiration from like-minded individuals. So, hopefully I can eat a little healthier over the coming weeks and see my energy levels improve.

And lastly, I find myself falling in love with my girls so much more lately. Aurora's personality is really shining through of late. She is so sweet and gives the longest cuddles, and moments later can be found stomping her foot to get her way. She is extremely inquisitive and really studies people. Selene has been accepted to our chosen four-year-old kindergarten for next year, and blossoms by the day. Both of my little ones seem to be old souls (or so I've been told). I'm proud to call them mine...even when they make me want to pull my hair out, as they are so apt at doing.

Thanks for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll
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