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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Self Acceptance - Personality and That Red Lipstick

It's not very often I post much about what I am actually studying in any great depth; however, the past year has made it all so relevant that I thought I would share for anyone who may have had similar struggles and goals.

I've always been introverted and contradictory. I struggled with confidence a lot growing up, and didn't feel quite comfortable in my own skin. 

Over the past few years, I've done a lot more delving into how I work and why I work that way. As children, we would often ask "why" and then begin to reform the structure of our inner world around the answer. Self-discovery is a lot like that.

My studies have allowed me to delve into personality traits. I've learned things about myself that have helped me to understand what makes me tick and makes my heart happy. It's been wonderful. 




Of the many things I have learned to embrace, my memory with names is one. I have a terrible memory with the names of others upon a first encounter. I used to be embarrassed by it and try to hide it, but recently I asked myself "why" and realised it was because names, until I know something about the person they belong to, are often of little importance to me. I will remember someone's name if we've had a conversation of depth. Any conversation that goes beyond face value and digs a little deeper will trigger me to remember that person's name. 

I ran into someone recently, whom I had met before, who was insulted that I hadn't remembered their name. I replied that they should spend a few minutes with me and tell me about themselves, and then I would never forget it again. They were taken aback but did it, and I haven't forgotten their name since. It's in my inner wiring to crave in-depth conversation, and that's perfectly alright. So now, when I forget a name, I use it as an opportunity to get to know that person for a minute - I can't change who I am at that level, I can only control the circumstances surrounding it. 



I am also empathetic in the extreme. You can hurl the deepest insults and drag me through the mud, but I see you become sad about anything, even moments later, I feel that sadness right along with you. It's something I fought often when I was a little girl, right up through my earliest adult years. How "soft" it must seem to others, how juvenile... Now, I embrace it wholly as one of the most important aspects of my character. I use it professionally to gauge a room and connect with those I need to connect with, and personally with relationships. It's also part of what makes me, me, even if it's not a trait everyone can relate to. It's also damn useful and something I hope never changes.



Like anyone else, I've had my fair share of being told to change, that I was a little off, that I could be different and better. There is nothing more freeing than taking the time to discover who you are and being alright with it in that moment. We should always strive to grow and evolve our weaknesses and use them as strengths, but we should never be uncomfortable with who we are as a person. Personality is both inherent, and the result of how we've been shaped by every single moment in our lives. It's absolutely beautiful, incredibly unique, and never something to take for granted.



On the opposite side of the coin, I often see women talk about how their love of retro culture will be accepted in a modern world. Whether red lipstick is too garish or a full skirt will garner too much attention. Ladies, let me tell you, stop that!

Years ago, I had a manager notice I had worn false eyelashes to work for the first time. I remember her prodding me about it and rolling her eyes at me as she plopped back in her seat, mumbling about how silly it was. It took me years to get over the self-consciousness fostered in that moment, and realise how uncomfortable she must have been in her own skin. Now, I wear them without hesitation because I like how they look, without regard for whether or not it makes others happy. Maybe one day I'll stop, maybe I won't - but the artistry of it all is something I'd love to embrace for years to come. 

Whether it's your own fashion sense or your personality that you've been struggling with, I'd encourage you to take time out to reflect on why you love what you love and are who you are - and then embrace the hell out of it, because life is awfully short to force yourself into a mould that was never made for you to begin with. 



Thank you so much for reading!
xo Miss Betty Doll

Photography by the ever lovely Brooke Orchard Photography. We took these on a ridiculously windy day and look how she captured perfect moments anyway! She's amazing. 
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Monday, 5 February 2018

The Play Set Effect with Ella Nevada

I know most of the world is still in the middle of winter, but summer is still in full swing in Australia! With that in mind, I am so happy to share with you this gorgeous set from Ella Nevada.

Ella Nevada is new to the retro clothing scene but is already making waves in the pinup community. Made by the lovely Ella King, the brand is handmade and features a wide range of fabrics, Ella is also great about finding your perfect fit, and makes each set to order.

I gave Ella my measurements of 5'6" and 34-24-34, and the set was a perfect fit.

Please note that you can also custom measure the length of the top, which looks adorable both as a midriff-baring two-piece, or a faux playsuit with a longer top.



This particular set comes in a cotton blend, The cut of the shorts are breezy and super comfortable and come with little details like a self-covered waistband and pleats.

Short sets like this one currently retail at $125AUD plus shipping, and come in everything from the pictured La Vie en Rouge to citrus prints.



Outfit Details:
Play Set: c/o Ella Nevada


As for a personal update -

I am in the middle of birthday planning and exam studies!

Aurora is turning 2 and Selene is turning 4. Selene's birthday is up first, and I'll be making her a She-Ra cake. Netflix must be doing a She-Ra revamp, as they have every single episode currently available! Selene is obsessed, she She-Ra cake it is.

Aurora is currently a Minnie Mouse lover, so I'll be making her a little Minnie Mouse cake and showering her with Minnie Mouse gifts on her actual birthday.

In between both the girls' birthdays, we will be having a combined party for them both so they can be with their friends. This one will be DC Comic girls, and I just received their costumes. I can't wait to put it on them!

I'm not sure if we've simplified it by combining their actual party or complicated it now that we will have 3 cakes going on, but only time can tell.

I can't quite describe the range of emotions I feel as these girls grow. Aurora now has conversations with me, and Selene explains her inner mind so thoroughly it makes my head spin. I couldn't be more thankful for these little girls and their big minds and hearts. Every bit of them fits together like a piece of a puzzle in my heart, and it is an honor to help them grow.

As for Uni studies... my role change at work and the aftermath of last year's difficulties have seen me take a more laid-back approach this term. I am barely scraping the HD's (A's, for my Americans) I need to do a year of honors in Psychology. I know I'll be back in full swing next term, but of course, for now, I stress a little!

If anyone wants tips on how to balance children and study, or work and study, or children and work, or children and... anything, please never hesitate to get in touch<3

Thanks for reading!

xo
Miss Betty Doll


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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Picture Perfect in Red Dolly Swimwear

It's almost difficult to look forward to swimsuit season here in Melbourne, as our weather can be sporadic at best. Red Dolly Swimwear, however, makes waiting for our beautiful sunny days all the more worth it!

I've been a fan of Red Dolly Swimwear for years now and had the pleasure of reviewing their gorgeous, matching bikinis here. When the lovely Heather - creator of Red Dolly Swimwear - sent us these adorable matching swimsuits, I waited with baited breath to wear them with my girlies.

I didn't have to wait long, as we've had a heat wave here and have been wearing them all the time.







The girls' swimsuits are adorable. They feature a deep scoop back and tiny little ruffles at the hips. I requested a size 2 for Aurora and a size 4 for Selene, and they fit well with a little wiggle room. The girls are not quite 2 and 4, and I feel they will be a perfect fit in the next couple of months!



The adult version of the Camera Print Swimsuit is modest in the front, and sexy in the back. Whilst the front features a boyshort cut and one-piece design, the back lifts just high enough to show a little cheek. My husband Martin's favourite feature on my swimsuit is the cheeky back of the swimsuit, which he kept recording at the beach the other day in lieu of shots of me and the girls... thanks handsome ;)




 
Outfit Details:
Girls Swimsuits - c/o Red Dolly Swimear
My Swimsuit - c/o Red Dolly Swimwear

Red Dolly Swimwear ships just about worldwide, and also now has a clothing line!

Thank you so much for reading.

xo Miss Betty Doll
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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Baking With Littles: New Aprons and 3 Ingredient Brownies!

I've been searching for over a year for the perfect aprons. I wanted something pretty and delicate, ideally by a fellow retro lover, with matching aprons to be made for my little girls. As with all good things, it was after I gave up the hunt that I found what I had been after.

Bettie Von Sweetz is a stunning modern pinup from Arizona, where I grew up! She has a beautiful family and spends much of her time wearing sky high heels and whipping up dreamy apron designs. When I commissioned her for an apron for myself, initially I sent her a photo of Dita von Teese.


She said all of her designs are original, and she could make something even better. I had complete faith in her, and so I let her run wild and create our aprons with my only request that they be white, and have a touch of glam.


As you can see, she did that and so much more! The attention to detail is phenomenal. Bettie chose a light and airy fabric and adorned it with crystal studded lace. She hand chose the pearl and diamante buttons that fastened white satin ribbons to the pockets of each apron. The overall effect is SPARKLY, though it's difficult to capture in a photo.

To top all of this off, the aprons came in beautiful packaging including gold polka dot tissue paper and a perfectly matching handwritten card. She even kindly shipped it express to try to get it to me before the holidays (I'd ordered back in November last year)

Selene and Aurora both love theirs, and did little wiggle dances around the dining room table after I put their aprons on. 

In honour of our new aprons, we decided to make our first Baking With Littles post of 2018, featuring three ingredient Nutella brownies!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Nutella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of plain flour


Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celcius
  2. Whisk the eggs and Nutella together until combined
  3. Slowly add flour and whisk again until combined
  4. Pop in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the brownies lose their jiggle and the top is firm
  5. Done!






Both Selene and Aurora were able to pitch in with this one. Due to the short ingredient list, I put the flour and Nutella in their own bowls so I could just focus on instructing the girls. Selene enjoyed cracking the eggs (she's very good at it!) and Aurora added the flour with toddler-like precision. 

Both little misses couldn't resist having Nutella. We are still working on the "no licking until everything is done" rule. We will get there.



The end result of the batter should be quite gooey. And, yes, these really do work and they are delicious! Nutella itself contains milk solids and oil, ingredients often found in brownie mix. I was skeptical, but found even myself (infamous for resisting most of my own cooking and leaving it all to my husband) diving in for seconds... and thirds.... okay okay, and fourths too.



We wore our custom made dress and skirts by Hearts and Found. I've featured this brand before, and they continue to rock our wardrobes. Ridiculously affordable, excellent customer service, and quality that rivals some of my more expensive pieces. 

The only downside? There isn't one. No really, just go get yourself a custom made Hearts and Found piece and thank me later!





Thank you so much for reading! I can't tell you how much I enjoy posting new content and engaging with readers. Most interactions take place over instagram, but I am faithful about checking in every day across all areas of social media, and being part of this little community makes my heart so happy.

xo Miss Betty Doll
















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Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Belated Overview

After a series of terrible events this year, I've found I've become less personal on my blog posts of late. I would love to change that, and share an overview of last year.

Some of you know, and some of you don't, but 2017 was a tumultuous year. I lost my aunt and her three beautiful children in a house fire. I started a new career and full time working hours after 3 years of maternity leave/part time work. I then lost a grandfather to cancer, and finally my biological father, whose hand I held as he passed.

I recently joked that I look forward to saying goodbye to 2017, but the truth is, I don't. You see, I am thankful for this awful, beautiful, exhausting, exhilarating, blessed year. I have experienced the loss of too many family members, ran on too many sleepless nights, and felt stretched far too thin. I have completed University assignments on international flights to funerals (wine in hand) and taken business calls between family calls literally about life or death. But I have also gained so much. Through every hardship and trial is the opportunity to gain wisdom and empathize with others. Without this year, I would never be able to comfort a stranger who has experienced similar loss and say "I know what it is to say goodbye to your father, and I understand with all of my heart". I'd never have known the extent of what family means to me. I'd never know what I am capable of, even if that capability is just getting through in one piece, mostly sound of mind.

This may be my psychology studies talking, but there is a correlation between happiness and the way you view hardship. Those that view hardship as a challenge to overcome rather than an issue that is happening to them are generally happier. We cannot change what life throws at us, but we can change how we address it. This year, as you prepare for the beauty and pain that may lay ahead, know that you are stronger than you realise. My only wish for you is that you go into 2018 knowing that there is nothing you cannot accomplish because you choose to put the work and diligence into accomplishing it.


As for a belated goodbye to 2017....

January started with a review of Valentine's day outfits, a list which included the late Wheels & Dollbaby brand. Read here.


February saw a review of a post baby friendly swimsuit from Pinup Girl Clothing. Read here.

March was all about Hearts and Found and their matching kidlet skirts! Read here.



April included a body positive post and review of the Jade dress by Collectif. Read here.


May was for unicorns in a Baking With Littles segment. Read here.


In June I delved into balancing busy mamaness. Read here.



In July my husband kindly photographed some Unique Vintage. Read here.



In August I reviewed Micheline Pitt's ballerina skirt, which to this day rocks my little world. Read here.


Jools Couture ruled much of my closet this year, and September's handbag review was no exception. Read here.



October was full of baking goodies, and it was Ghosts in a Graveyard for my Baking With Littles post! Read here.


November was full of pinup photography QUEEN Brooke Orchard Photography, and a review of Stop Staring. Read here.


and December paid homage to matching outfits in Trashy Diva. Read here.




Now, this year, I am so excited for what is to come! I have recipes lined up for Baking With Littles. I will have the opportunity to work more with my favourite pinup photographer. I also have several amazing retro brands that I will have the pleasure of reviewing and sharing with you. There may even be just a little bit of travel.

Thank you so much for reading!!

xo
Miss Betty Doll

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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Lace Me Up in Demi Loon

Demi Loon has been part of my closet for years. Their tops have often served as my go-to for casual retro looks, especially in my early days with Selene. I often needed something comfortable and quick to put on that still retained my pinup vibe.

Demi Loon has a range of modern pinup looks, offering all of your familiar pinup prints like polka dots and cherries, in comfortable designs. With tops starting at just $34 USD, you might be surprised to know they are all American made! I've had several of their tops for years now, and they still look fantastic.

The lovely ladies at Demi Loon sent me the new Mimosa Lace Up Blouse in polka dots, and I couldn't wait to try it. I absolutely love long-sleeved pieces with stretch, as I have sensitive skin and don't like restrictive clothing. This top is ridiculously comfortable, and has all the sexy you'll need!



It features a plunging neckline, slinky spendex blend fabric, and leather look laces. I tucked mine into my top for a more stream-lined look, but you can tie them up or let them hang freely. The deep neckline means you have the option of wearing a cami underneath or lacing up to your own style preference.

The wrists are elasticised, giving the top a slight balloon sleeve.



 









(I can't get through a shoot without my babies popping in. Aurora woke up fresh (and sweaty!) from a nap for a cuddle, followed by Selene. I've been telling her that taking pictures is my other job, so she told me she is going to work like me, and then struck the cutest pose. <3)

You can grab this top in white polka dot print and plain black, and all run at just $40USD. PLUS, the lovlies down at Demi Loon are offering 25% off your order for a limited time. Use coupon code BETTYDOLL25 for the discount! Head to https://demiloon.com/ for more styles.

Thank you for reading, and happy shopping!

xo Miss Betty Doll
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