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  1. I have a ridiculously busy day today, so I started it off with a fairly balanced breakfast.
    I get so hungry by mid-morning if I don't eat breakfast, but sometimes I forget (yes, forget!) to make time for it. Lately my favourite quick breakfast is strawberries, granola and a dash of vanilla yogurt, but this morning I had a little more time so I decided to make some waffles with a smattering of strawberries on top. And by make waffles, I mean take them out of the freezer and into the oven.

    I have a jack-packed schedule today of things I need to cover so I need to make sure my energy is up. G had to leave early to go to Edmonton, so I'm actually going to have to buy a coffee instead of him making me a cup. The nerve! (kidding, of course)

    Here's today's to do list. Pretty sure I won't squeeze that lane swim in * guilty*

    Everything is pretty much a photo, so it will be fairly come and go, luckily.

    Anyway, I am trying to decide what to wear. I need something that will provide decent coverage from the mosquitos without being too warm but still being retro enough for my look.

    I learned yesterday that pantyhose doesn't act as mosquito netting. In fact, if it's black pantyhose, they will more likely be drawn to it. Proof:

    The really bad thing about all these bites is that I'm a scratcher. Mosquitoes love to bite me and I appear super-sensitive to bites, so by the end of summer I usually end up looking like one giant scab. Gross.
    So this year I'm pledging not to be a scratcher! It's going to be really hard, but I'll just have to remind myself that Audrey Hepburn probably didn't scratch her legs until they bled. If I'm distracted enough I don't notice them (blogging about them, however, only aggravates the situation) and they don't look that bad if they are left alone. Exhibit A: The bites I got last week are now just tiny little pin-pricks.

    Anyway, this what I'm wearing. It's a little blah, but it's easy to work in! 

    Gotta run! Tah tah!

  2. Happy Thursday! I've spent most of the day running around the house and getting it back into tip-top shape after it was neglected for far too long. Now I've got a bit of time to myself (what to do!) before heading to Rotaract. Rotaract is the younger brother of Rotary, an international organization that basically gets together, raises a bunch of money and gives it away this year. Members of Rotaract are between 18 and 30.

    I ended up going to a Rotaract meeting for an assignment and kept coming back. It was actually a good way to meet people that are my age and how I met my friend Ryan outside of Twitter.
    This year, our club is raising money for a local young mothers program called Learning Together. To do this, we're having a duck race on Canada Day.

    Designed by Right Mind Creative aka Ryan.
    At Rotaract we're always trying to bring new members in and one way we hope to do that is through some guest speaking. I volunteered to be the first guest speaker and talk about how to create a story idea and pitch it to a newspaper. I found 99.99% of people in Camrose don't really know how to let the newspaper know they have a story idea, so I thought it would be really helpful for people (and me as well, really).

    So here is what I'm wearing. It's been a weird "cloudy yet +19 degrees" day out so I went with my new dress from Calgary.

    Dress: $42 - Dick and Janes (Calgary) | Shoes: Payless

    Since I was cleaning all day my hair was in rollers for about 16 hours, so my hair turned out fairly decent!

    I won't lie, I am a bit nervous about my public speaking. I mean, I barely talk in Rotaract meetings anyway, so this will really be me coming out of my shell. All I hope is people find it interesting and hopefully will take something out of it. I'm been spreading the word about it on Twitter and Facebook but I'm not sure anyone other than club members will be there.

    Wish me luck!

  3. Show 'n' Tell: I love to organize

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    If you know anything about me, you know that I love to have things nicely organized and clean.
    This extends farther than my cupboards and closets. It extends all the way out to my balcony where the recycling is kept.

    Recycling is fun!
    Yup, that's the recycling pile. Here in Camrose there is a company (soon to be a co-op) that does curbside recycling once a week. For less than $80 a year, they come pick up your stuff and take it to the recycling depot. Yes, you have to sort it (which is a big bone of contention with some Camrosians) but really, it's not that hard if you sort it as you go instead of doing it all at once (this is also my laundry sorting method).

    I just signed up today and to remind myself what goes where I made this handy dandy cheat sheet. Enjoy!

    TK Recycling guide

  4. One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:

    You must make YOU the priority for one week. Give up something and spend at least 30 minutes of that time, each day, for a week, doing something you enjoy. In order to achieve this you need to be able to not do something, this may be difficult as it will inevitably involve not doing something for someone else but here are a few examples that might help you work out how you could find 30 minutes a day (at least) for yourself. Things you could drop for a day or two to free up some time:

    - Making beds – It won’t hurt to leave them unmade. Better still, get the bed owner to make it themselves. Children as young as four can make their own bed.

    - Ironing – leave for a while if you can, better still get your other half to do it. If he moans, send him over here – there is a huge result for them that will come out of this course, SEX! If you’re happier and more satisfied you will feel more sexy and inclined so it is well within their interests to give you ‘you time’! Something I am certain they won’t argue with ;-)

    - Play dates/activities for kids – kids don’t need to do something every night and they can miss them occasionally. If it’s a toss between taking your child to an activity and sacrificing you time then for just one week have them miss it. Or perhaps you could arrange for someone else to do the drop off and collect? Your children need you to have me time so that they feel secure in the fact you want to be with them. Resentfully taking them here there and everywhere is not a positive experience for anyone.

    - Ask a friend to share the school runs, this should be of benefit to both of you as it will free up a good hour of your time.

    - Sign up for Spoonfed Suppers – I LOVE this free programme of meals and shopping list. It has revolutionised my week and freed up tonnes of time. In addition sign up for supermarket delivery. You can then just put in the weekly shopping list from Spoonfed and you’re done – fantastic!

    Ask for support, delegate and say no more! This ‘doing things for you’ thing will feel alien and selfish at first and initially those around you might not be so keen either but eventually you will all see that it is well worth it and will pay off hugely.
    Let me know if you have a happier week. I really hope so. Remember though, if this works, you need to carry on!

    Juggling is definatley something that - as a journalist and blogger - I do too often. I seem to have something (that I love) to do every night, whether it's beer blogging, Rotaract or work. I also want need to start swimming again, which happens every evening at 8:30 - 9:30. Plus, somewhere in there I have to find time to clean the house.

    BUT with my work schedule I get one day off in week one and three days off in week two, so it adds up to four days off in two weeks. Usually on a Thursday off I clean, bum around the house in my pajamas/cleaning clothes and head to Rotaract. Honestly, I like cleaning - I hate a messy house so it can often calm me down - so sometimes it feels like a little bit of me time. I have a tiny house too, so it doesn't take that long. One chore I hate is taking the recycling to the depot, but I just signed up for curbside recycling so the pressure's off!

    I also don't cook (Thanks G!) so that takes some pressure off my days. Same with the lack of kiddlets. I don't make the bed on a regular basis and I only iron something if I plan on wearing it that day.

    So basically, I'm doing all right! One thing I do want to start doing once a month is going to massages (see Finishing School: Posture) because it really does help me relax, plus it's good for my tense muscles.

    All in all, I think I'm taking pretty good care of myself, especially once I start hitting the pool (once I find time, but that's for another finishing school post).

  5. Sorry for the later-than-normal post. I was busy at work and then when I had downtime Blogger also decided to go down. Blarg. Today was a standard Tuesday: Sent the papers off to press, wrote a story about the government deciding to build a new school in Bawlf and went to the world's shortest council meeting (55 minutes!)

    Top & Skirt: H&M | Shoes: Spring
    Anywho, as you know I went to Calgary on the weekend. I also went to Edmonton on Monday so I have a bit of shopping show-off to post about.

    I only bought one thing in Calgary! I was hoping to find a nice work bag to replace my broken-zippered one (I would love this Cambridge Satchel if I could afford it) but then completely forgot about it. My brain is the texture of swiss cheese sometimes. I did, however, find this lovely summer dress.

    Dress: $42 (Dick & Janes, Calgary)
    I'm in love with this dress and it fits like a dream! I even did the photo-kneel-test to make sure I don't flash my subjects when I'm shooting. It will probably end up being my go-to summer dress, even though it lacks pockets.

    Then on Monday I hit up Rowena (the closest repro/rockabilly shop) with my lovely partner in crime Nicole. We're old college buds (I say it like it wasn't just a year ago) and are known to pursue Rowena and get disgustingly intoxicated at the Edmonton country bar that we both hate.

    Back in the college days (November 2009)
    Rowena happened to be having a "buy two sale items get the third free" sale which is the most dangerous combination ever. I bought three things and only spent $43. Unfortunately this lovely evening dress that was $20 and a gorgeous creme colour wasn't in my size, so that couldn't come home with me. However I bought these hats. Even though they are winter hats, it's looking to be a rainy summer here in Camrose (again) and I want to be prepared.

    Delux Hats: $43 for two (Rowena)

    and I got these high-waisted trousers for free (They were $108 on for $15 - a steal even if they weren't free!).
    Free, the most wonderful price in the world.
    G says they look very 70s-ish, but what does he know! I think they'll look great with a plaid blouse and victory rolls, like how Fleur de Guerre wears them (actually, if I could look even an 1/100th as good as Fleur looks I'd be one happy camper).

    'Til tomorrow,
    Laurie xo

  6. This post will be full of adorable rescued racing hounds and Canadian-Scottish Celtic FC fans. If you aren't fond of either, perhaps you ought to navigate away.

    This May Long weeknd (happy birthday, Queenie V) I headed down to Calgary to visit my brother (Mr. @newsboycallsen of X92.9 fame) and sister-in-law (Mrs. Newsboy), since I hadn't seen them since Christmas. I also had never driving in Calgary, so that was another first for me. I found it super easy to drive in (which was shocking) and I also timed it so I hit very little holiday traffic. Score.

    The first night Meredith and I strolled around 17th Ave, went shopping then met up with Greg/James/Newsboy for some patio, nachos and beer (I bought a dress but that will be showed off in the next post). As you may have gathered, my brother - like me - is a journalist, so many beers and other drinks were had over the course of the weekend.

    If you've ever wondered what a brother-sister journalist duo
     looks like out of focus in a bathroom mirror, well now you know.
    Saturday Greg and I woke up early to head to a pub that was showing the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Motherwell. It was my first proper football match and I actually really enjoyed it. I was also glad that I was in a cozy pub with a breakfast instead of in the rain in Scotland.

    My brother has said that he woke up one day and decided to like soccer/football and basically picked the Celtics because they have the same colours as the Roughriders. While we were baptized Protestants, my brother and I are both atheists, which the Calgary Celtics supporters club seemed to approve of. They were all super friendly and probably would have plied us with more beers had we not had to pick up Greg's dog. At one point I almost forgot I was in Calgary, since everyone had a Scottish accent. It was great. Beers, breakfast, socializing and soccer all before noon.

    I even wore team colours, complete with a Rosie-styled bandana as I was in too much of a rush to take all my rollers out. Please note the matching socks and matching dog.

    Socks: H&M | Capris: Rickis | Tee: H&M
     Celtics zip up: Borrowed | Bandana: Borrowed  
    Then later that afternoon we went to the SAGA meet-and-greet at the pet store. SAGA - Southern Alberta Greyhound Association - is something that Greg and Meredith are involved in with Fortress, their 10-year-old rescued greyhound. They've had him for three years and before that he was a racer.

    Fortress (left) and a SAGA buddy.
    I had lots of fun at the meet-and-greet and it really made me want a dog. Greyhounds take a while to get used to humans because they're trained to race (Greg said it took Fortess almost a year), but they do get super friendly after a while. Because they're short-distance racers, they are also pretty lazy in their downtime, which can be good if people can't commit to dogs that require a lot of exercise.

    They are also real big attention hogs and love to be petted.

    Sunday we went to Boozy Brunch at an Irish pub (Caesars are the best breakfast drink, yum yum) and then I drove home in the rain. I had a great weekend and hope to visit again. I really enjoyed Calgary and would love to explore the city some more sometime.

  7. Finishing School: Kit

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    Find a space which can be yours for your beauty routine. Obviously a dressing table is ideal but it can be anywhere else. You can use a bathroom counter, a random table, a chest of drawers, a desk, anywhere where you can find a bit of space just for you. It need only be small, enough room for a basket or two. If you already have this space then tidy it up and make it work better for you. My big thing about beauty areas is that they must have everything in sight and easy to just grab. No digging around in bags, draws, boxes. If you can see everything you can grab it and go.
    In your space you will need:
    A mirror – you definitely need one mirror, if you’re into creating elaborate hairstyles you will need a hand held mirror too in order to see the back of your hair.
    Make Up Brushes – Find a jar/tub/can/ anything that can hold your make up brushes. I have an art Deco style toothbrush holder which does the job perfectly. Anything in which you can place all of your brushes and keep them to hand. As for the brushes themselves right now, in the beginning, any make up brushes will do. As you become more enthusiastic about making yourself beautiful and using make up you will want to invest in better brushes. When you need to replace a brush upgrade to a better one each time and eventually you’ll build a good collection. I’m building my collection of MAC make up brushes at the moment.
    Storage for hair accessories – I use a transparent craft box with a flip lid. These will initially be the basics such as hair grips and elastics but as you get more confident with your hairstyling this will grow. I shall be showing you my hair accessories and must haves in a post soon.
    Cotton Wool and Cotton Buds– in a bag, or better still a jar with a lid (jars are sooo handy, you can always use a glass decorating pen to label them or decorate them) – I use cotton wool and buds for correcting make up mistakes and removing nail varnish.
    Make Up – Keep your make up to hand either in a bag, box or basket. I tend to have a small basket of my daily make up; foundation, translucent powder, creamy coloured eye shadow, black Kohl pencil, black mascara, blusher and lip balm. My more adventurous, occasional make up is in a make up bag. In a basket it’s easy to see and grab what you need whereas digging around in a make up bag can be frustratingly time consuming.
    Wipes – I have tried various cleansing wipes but always go back to whatever baby wipes I can get. They do the job just as well and are a fraction of the cost.
    Hair Brushes – I have three, a paddle brush, a curling brush and a comb.
    Essential potions and lotions – body and face moisturiser, hand Cream, hairspray, deodorant, perfume
    All of the things listed above are what I consider to be the necessary basics. You may have additional things you feel are essential to have to hand. What are your basic beauty essentials?
    If you already have the above organised then take your beauty routine and organisation up a notch? Are your accessories easy to hand in order to make easy choices to compliment your outfits? I have recently pinned all of my brooches on a cusion which sits on my bathroom shelf so I can select my brooches easily. I have also put some hooks on the wall near my beauty area (which is my bathroom – US bathrooms are good for this!) where I hang all of my necklaces and bracelets so they’re easy to see, grab and wear and I don’t have to give them much thought.

    Thanks to my mother, I have always had my beauty regime fairly organized and laid out.

    My morning routine generally is as follows: Wake up, wash face, moisturize, get dressed, make-up, hair then out the door. Most nights I shower and then set my hair, so it's a quick morning routine to just put on my face then shake out the curls (it takes me about an hour if I'm not sleepy and dragging myself out of bed). In there I squeeze in checking Twitter and the news and drinking my coffee.

    Because my bathroom is teeny-tiny with very little makeup space, I use my bedroom where there is already a mirror installed in the perfect place (fancy that!). I use my dresser and another small table to put my make-up and other potions on.

    Other necessities for my morning routine include music and caffeine.
    My make-up kit is quite extensive. I keep my three(!) makeup bag in my new train case for easy and accessibility. The first bag (polka dots) is my foundation bag. Everything in there is just the basis for me to not look like a hag.

    (I start at the right): Tinted moisturizer applied with a sponge, concealer,
    under-eye brightener/concealer, blush and mineral powder.
    That might seem like a lot, but I use very little of it. The concealer I only use on spots that are needed, which 99 per cent of the time is just under my right eye as it has an ugly vein that shows through my translucent skin. Then I use eye brightener because I'd look like the leader of the legions of the undead if I didn't. Blush is next - I like the stick creme because it is easier to blend if I get too much on. I put powder on top to seal everything up.

    Make-up and brushes

    My next two kits are my brushes/mascara bag and my compact. The brush bag is awesome because it can roll up and fit almost anywhere. My compact is also really great, but only fits Mary Kay products. I don't use all the colours everyday.

    Usually, I just use the white powder (I need to replace it as it's almost gone) under my brow bone. Next is the nude colour there on the closest pallet to the camera (it's actually blush but my eyes don't know the difference). Next is liquid eyeliner, then mascara then more brightening powder under my eyes to make sure I look awake.

    Another important part of my routine are these make-up books. Even though I don't look at them now, they were instrumental in developing my look and I wouldn't know half of what I know without them. They're also great for coming up with new looks for special occasions and whatnot.

    The only ones I'd like to add to my collection are Lauren Rennell's Vintage Hairsyling and Retro Makeup (hint hint).

    The 5 Minute Face - Carmindy | Face Forward - Kevyn Aucoin | Making Faces - Kevyn Aucoin

    Then I'm done and can go on with my hair.

    Goody Sponge Rollers and "endpapers" (aka napkins)

    At this point I take my sponge rollers out, brush them out with a bristle brush, rub pomade on my hands and play with the curls then I'm done. If I'm feeling up to it I sometimes experiment, but I like keeping it simple because if I mess up I go to work looking like a weirdo (even more so).

    Like Lottie, I also keep my jewelry organized (yet not in the same place). My necklaces are hanging up on over-the-door hooks in the second bedroom and my earrings are in a little box on our radiator.

  8. Finishing School: Ladylike

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    I have offered up so much to think about this week that I am going to make the challenge simple. All you need to do is think and give a little thought to being ladylike.

    - Think about your own behaviour. Are you ladylike all the time? Do you have a lady like image? If you don’t, what can you change to improve that?

    - Think of a woman from the past or present that you admire. What do you admire about her? Is she ladylike? If so, what makes her ladylike? What is it about her behaviour and look that you like?

    By reflecting on the image of others and looking at yourself you can see where improvements need to be made. None of us are pefect and we are all a work in progress but working towards being ‘ladylike’ is a move that will stand you in good stead.

    Just remember, ‘Ladies’ command respect without even trying. Being respected makes an enormous difference to every woman’s life.

    Throughout the A-Z I repeat key themes that I feel can hugely make a difference to how you feel about yourself, your confidence and self esteem, as I have tried and tested. This exercise is merely an over view of being lady like. You will find that the course to date has already covered certain elements of this post in more detail, other elements will be covered in detail later.

    Like Lottie said, Ladylike is the whole theme of Finishing School, so in theory if I'm doing well in the rest of the posts, this post should be a breeze. I think I have a fairly ladylike image. I dress well, I try to look my best and I'm working on my posture (it's so hard!).

    I think my major fault, however, is my behaviour. Not that there is any excuse for unladylike behaviour, but as a young girl who grew up on a farm and is now a journalist, I have a very foul mouth. Just yesterday I think every other word I said (in the office, to my editor or other co-workers) was a swear. I'm so bad!

    I don't really swear around sources but I'm sure it will slip out and that will be horribly embarrassing and I will crawl into a hole and die.

    As for women I admire for being ladylike, I'd have to say my Grandmothers, Joyce Callsen & Marion Marchant.

    Grandma and Grandpa Marchant, June 2008

    Grandma and Grandpa Marchant, Remembrance Day 2008.

    It would be a rare occasion to ever hear my Grandmothers swear or look anything but their best. They are always so lovely, both inside and out. I'm proud to have them as ladies in my life.

    In fact, I love every lady in my life - they're all strong role models.

    We all clean up very nicely too, if I do say so myself!

    xo Laurie

  9. What to Wear: Work and Groceries

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Good afternoon, fair readers. Here's my ensemble today:

    Top: Thrifted - Divine (Edmonton) | Bandeau: $12 - Twig (Camrose) 
    Capris: $40 - Ricki's (Camrose) | Wedges: $40 (Payless)
    Thanks again to my wonderful, handsome G for being my photographer.

    I had an awesome hair day today, so I'm glad it was captured on film. Also: while this photo was taken at 8:30 this morning, I was sweating! We have a glorious east facing window so it gets lots of morning sunlight. As our growth-spurty little herbs can attest, it can really hot in there.

    I'm not doing anything special today. I just finished up the newspaper with Vince and then plan on going grocery shopping, as all we have in the house is potatoes. Delicious, delicious potatoes.

  10. Thoughts for Slave Lake

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    My apologies for the radio silence! I had a busy weekend of napping, visiting and a little bit of work that took me away from the computer (this is actually a good thing).

    Then last night all I could do was watch the horror unfold out of Slave Lake, AB where wildfires driven by 100 km/hr winds overtook the town of 7,000 and displaced 95% of residents.

    Aerial view of the fire damage in Slave Lake. (Chantel Tkach)
    While the fires haven't affected me locally I've found it very hard to pay attention to blogs and other things when I know people have lost their homes. I'm already thinking of what I can round up to donate to Slave Lake. Since it's grad and wedding season I will hopefully be donating my grad dress. I was planning on selling it but never got around to it, so now I'd much rather donate to a girl in need.

    If you are in the Edmonton area, this Facebook page can direct you if you wish to donate items. You can also donate money to the Red Cross for their efforts in helping fire evacuees.
    The amazing thing in all of this is that no one was killed or seriously injured.

  11. What to Wear: Shooting windy baseball

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    I'm off to work in a bit, I just wanted to get in a quick outfit post in before I blow away in the 50km/hour winds we're treated to today. I can't wait to shoot baseball in those winds.

    Top: Twig (Camrose) | Shorts: Old Navy (Edmonton) | Shoes: Payless (Camrose)
    I don't really know how I feel about this look (couldn't you tell with the look on my face?). My shorts are too big, my hair didn't drop enough (and is just going to get blown all over anyway) and it just feels like it's missing something, you know? I also feel a little sick (boo!) and am not really happy about having to be out in the wind (my computer says that right now they're only 35 km/hour, so that should be a little better, right?)
    OK, enough whining.

    Sorry for the out-of-focus shot.
     I'm trying to learn manual focus and it's really difficult when you're shooting yourself.
    Anyway, I hope you all have a marvelous weekend. Last night I was at Camrose grad. There were some vintage inspired dresses! One girl had a lovely long green gown that looked very 1920s inspired, while another had a bit of a victory roll going on! I also met this lovely couple who were sitting behind me. They're both teachers at the comp, so I hope to run into them again. 

    Again, another dreadful photo. It's not like I do this for a living or anything. *sigh*
    Anyway, enough whining. I'm going to eat lunch and be on my merry way to my work assignments.

    xo Laurie

  12. Finishing School: Nails

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Sorry for the outage, Blogger was down all day Thursday and I couldn't find time Friday (today) until late. But I'm finally doing N! 

    Your Challenge:

    Make time to give yourself a manicure and pedicure. At the very least tidy your nails and the nail bed and add a clear coat of polish, even complete novices with no nail care skills can manage this. If you need help don’t forget there are lots of great tutorials on You Tube to help you through. Alternatively, finally get round to booking an appointment in the local nail bar.
    You may feel a pedicure is not necessary during the winter but knowing you look great underneath all of those winter layers goes a long way to making you feel great.
    I would love to see some pictures of beautiful nails in this weeks link up so get posting!
    Well,I am far from the best home manicurist. I bite, I pick and I peel. I have horrendous cuticles and what you will see in these photos will make your hair curl. You've been warned.

    Horrible, I know!
    I've never been one for maintaining nice nails. Because my nails are too short I feel like they don't look good painted, but when I paint them is the only time I don't bite them. I'm also a shoddy nail painter - I'm not patient so they always end up mucked up and smudged one way or the other.

    That's a little better, I guess.
    But, like I said, if I paint them I tend to keep them out of my mouth, so I just need to get in the habit of painting. I like red because it's "neutral" (well, it's not orange or sparkly teal) because since I always wear red lipstick, my nails will always match my mouth. I also can't stand fake nails because then I can't play my instruments and it slows down my typing.

    PS: Thanks to the 740 people who have viewed my blog in the last two  weeks. I really appreciate it and I hope you are enjoying Retro Reporter!

  13. A note about Wednesdays

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    So I think Wednesdays will be a blogging break days for this Retro Reporter.

    There's two reasons for this: 1) Wednesdays are the days I need to buckle down and get newspaper stuff done and 2) Wednesdays are also the days that I work on the other blog that I co-author and just can't have the energy to get out two posts, as different as they may be. And if I did, I fear they wouldn't be as good of quality.

    I hope you all understand.

    xo Laurie

  14. Finishing School: Moisturize

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    OK, So I'm skipping N but it's because I haven't had time to paint my nails. I have a day off Thursday so hopefully I will be fully caught up on my pampering (and ironing) by then.
    In the meantime, here is Lottie's challenge for M.

    Your Challenge:
    Yes, you’ve guessed it, you’ve got to moisturise.
    Moisturise your face every morning and every evening for one week and feel the difference. After six weeks of moisturising you will notice a huge difference to wrinkles on your face and your skin will feel so much better, I promise. If you haven’t already then do go out and buy a moisturiser with Factor 15 or above for daily use.
    If you already moisturise your face regularly then develop your routine to include some or all of the other areas of your body. It really takes minute and once established as part of your routine will be easy.
    So, there you have it, a really simple challenge but perhaps one of the most important ones I shall write in terms of keeping you looking young and healthy. Do let me know how you get on and if you write a blog post then don’t forget to link it up to this post with the Mr Linky Widget at the bottom of the post.
    Go forth and moisturise my fair ladies.

    Anyone who knows me well will know I'm a stickler for moisturizer. Ever since I was a little kid I remember being irritated by dry skin and started using lotion and face moisturizer at a young age. This became more important as I started teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding; you can imagine what being in a chlorinated pool for eight hours can do to your skin.
    I now have moisturizing worked into every inch of my morning and night routine.

    Tools of the trade: Lip balm, moisturizer, cream, tinted moisturizer, lotion, body butter and petroleum jelly!
     As you can see, I use a lot of lotions and moisturizers.

    Lip balm with SPF goes on at least twice a day (after brushing) and whenever my lips feel a little dry. I have one lip balm at home and one in my purse for on the go.

     Day & Night

    Oil control face lotion goes on after washing, all over my face and neck. I can't function with a dry face, because I find it too irritating and sometimes even painful.
    I make sure I only put a little on, as I have 2 more layers of moisturizer coming.

     Day & Night

     Udder Cream (how attractive!) goes on just my nose (daily) and wherever else there seems to be a lot of dryness, especially in the winter or when I have a cold. I find a dry, flaking nose to be terribly unattractive.

     Day & Night

    Tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 is both my second layer of moisturizer and foundation. I like to use it as foundation because it's light, provides protection from the sun and adds that extra bit of moisturizer, so that's why I don't put too much oil control on.


    Dry Skin Lotion goes on my legs, arms and upper body every morning and night. It also serves as my hand lotion for whenever my hands need a pick-me-up.

    Day & Night

    Body Butter goes strictly on my feet and elbows, because they are the driest parts of my body. I only put it on my feet at night because if I put it on during the day, it increases greasiness and odor on my feet. I use this instead of regular lotion because it makes them softer.



    Petroleum Jelly is the best solution I've found yet against my terrible, nasty cuticles. It really softens them up and helps repair them faster (you'll see how bad they are in the nails post).

    Day & Night

    So that is my moisturizing routine. It may seem intensive but I think it's really paid off, as I feel that I have very nice skin without being too greasy. I think the key is to find different products that work for your skin type and for the different parts of your body. I would never use petroleum jelly anywhere else but my cuticles - same with the oil control moisturizer on my face.

    And just for fun, here's what I'm wearing today. Thanks to G for taking my photo this morning!

    Dress: Twig | Shoes: Payless
    PS: isn't our herb garden magnificent? G is quite the horticulturist.

    Please note that none of these products are being endorsed by me - they are just what I have on hand. I do get a discount for using Mary Kay as my mother sells it.