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  1. Goals: Crafty Lady

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    Ever since I started dressing vintage, I'm had the urge to become more crafty. I've already started my foray into knitting, I want to get into sewing and this weekend, I did my first attempt at embroidery.

    After a monogram tutorial by Vixen Vintage popped up on Pinterest, I decided to give it a go. I took a t-shirt that I wouldn't mind wrecking if the monogram didn't turn out and decided to embroider my blog logo.

    It's not perfect (I should have done the blue first, not the orange!) but it turned out all right, I think.

    Except now I have a problem - I want to embroider ALL the things. I should have seen this coming.

    In other news, I had a good hair day today. I went to bed without curling my hair, so this morning it was a flat gross mess. I REALLY should buy a snood, but until then, I think this was a good lazy day alternative.

    For those of you who know the hairband method for hair curling, you may see what I've done. The hairband method has never worked for curling my hair, but I do like it as a style in itself. Instead of wrapping my hair all the way around a headband that was the same colour, I just did the back and did victory rolls in the front.

    Whoops, ignore the loose piece in the back!

    I haven't mastered bobby pinning the hair so it stays in a roll, so I have to be tucking the hair in the back in every once in a while, lest it goes astray, like in the first photo.

    And here's my full outfit:

    This sweater is pink, not red. My white balance was off...
    Hmmm, I think I could totally embroider something on that sweater...

    XO Laurie

  2. Show 'n' Tell: All about the accessories

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Another month, another shopping trip with Miss Bee. I really got the sweet end of the stick on this one, because not only did Miss Bee make the trip to Camrose with her guy, she also gave me a deep-tissue massage in the middle of my living room. If you are looking for a good masseuse in Edmonton, I highly recommend her. I was in pain for the next few days - but it was a good pain, if you know what I mean.

    Anywhoodle, before that we went shopping. First we stopped in at Bra Necessities downtown, who just re-opened their store in a new location. I got the shock of my life when I found out I was wearing way too big of a band size. I should be wearing a 30 or 32 and I was wearing a 38 that day! I bought a new one at Bra Necessities, and at a hell of a bargain too:  regularly $144 for $38! I saved $106 - talk about being thrifty! Although my new one is an F (instead of my usual D) I actually feel lest chesty because it's not padded. That's fine by me, since I also feel so self-concious about my boobs.

    After that shocking revelation, we went to good ole Imagine Vintage. Although Peggy is no longer sponsoring me, I love her store to bits so I'm still going to show off what I bought.

    I didn't feel like taking photos of the hats, so just take my word for it that I found a white beret (yes, another one!) and a white hat, probably a 70s-does-30s. I'll show it to you eventually.

    Pearl in shell clip-on earings. I may use these as dress clips or a sweater clip!

    A 1950s brooch with plastic pearls
    Size 8 Naturalizer shoes

    1940s, 1950s and 1970s earrings, although the last two match!
    I also brought home a dress with a broken zipper for an EXTREMELY low price on the hopes I can take it to the tailor and get it fixed. I loved it and it is by and Edmonton designer so I hope it can be saved (and that it fits me once it's back in shape). But that's another post for another day.

    There were some beauties that got away. I had mentioned that I wanted some overshoes and then BAM, I spotted some - sadly they were size 7 (so if anyone has size 7 feet, there are beautiful black overshoes in Camrose waiting for you!).

  3. Post 100: A few of my favourite things

    Friday, January 27, 2012

    I can’t believe that this is my 100th post!
    To be honest, I didn’t think I had it in me. I’ve done the blogging thing before but it was never engaging enough to keep me at it, let alone to keep readers coming back. To all those who comment here, follow my blog or who have found me through strange Google search terms, thank you!

    In the spirit of 100, this will be a blog post of my 100 favourite things.  Don’t worry, it’s broken down into sections but this may take a while, so grab some tea or coffee and get cozy.

    My 20 favourite vintage blogs
    This was a hard list to make. Originally I wanted to do 10, but I felt like I was leaving out too many great blogs. I follow 134 vintage blogs (at last count), both “famous” and relatively unknown and love them all to bits!

    100. Retro Chick
    99. Diary of a Vintage Girl
    98. His Girl Friday
    97. The Mariposa Chronicles
    96. Casey’s Elegant Musings
    95. Vixen Vintage
    94. Living in the Past
    93. Alternatively Lovely
    92. Esme and the Laneway
    91. By Gum, By Golly
    90. Land Girl 1980
    89. Mrs. Amber Apple
    88. Spiffing Sporadics of a Vintage Girl 
    87. Sweetheart of the Rodeo
    86. The Freelancer’s Fashion Blog 
    85. The Rockabilly Socialite
    84. Tuppence Ha'penny
    83. Va-Voom Vintage
    82.Of Steel and Lace
    81.Twila Jean - The Mysterious Life of the Metropolitan Housewife

    My 10 most popular posts (by pageviews)
    80. Show 'n' Tell: The Middy // Posted Sept 9, 2011 // 3 comments // 674 Pageviews

    79. New York: Day 4 - Stocks, Sailing and Statues // Posted Aug 24, 2011 // 1 comment // 501 Pageviews

    78. What to Wear: Dinner with Friends // Posted Jun 3, 2011 // 0 comments // 458 Pageviews

    h 77. Style Icon(s): Criminal Minds // Posted Nov 18, 2011 // 1 comment // 353 Pageviews

    76. What to Wear: Help me get dressed for a wedding // Posted Jun 23, 2011 // 12 comments // 280 Pageviews

    75. How-to: Transition summer clothes to winter // Posted Oct 20, 2011 // 0 Comments // 213 Pageviews

    74. Wrapup: Proper football and greyhounds // Posted May 23, 2011 // 1 comment // 205 Pageviews

    73. New York: Day 3 - Around the world in 50 city blocks // Posted Aug 23, 2011 // 2 comments // 156 Pageviews

    72. Finishing School: Fit (and retro swimsuits!) // Jun 21, 2011 // 0 comments // 150 Pageviews

    71. Wrap-up: a dance and a giveaway! // Nov 11, 2011 // 5 comments // 147 Pageviews

    My 10 favourite beauty products

    70. Motions Foaming Wrap
    I haven't done a lot of experimenting with setting lotions, but I can tell a big difference between using Motions and just water. My hair is fine, thick and straight but with Motions my curls last longer (even though I still have to set my hair every night), are bouncier and soft. I was shocked and amazed to find it in my local Superstore in the ethnic section. I may venture to Sally Beauty and find Lottabody when this runs out though, just to do a comparison.

    69. Garnier Fructis Hold and Flex  Hairspray
    As you will see, I use two different types of hairspray. This is my taming fly-aways hairspray. It keeps my hair soft, brushable and crunch-free but still holds my set in place.

    68. TIGI Rockaholic Hairspray
    This is called flexible hairspray, but it falls into the sticky, crunchy category. I wouldn't use it for flyaways, but I do love using it for rolls and pompadours. When I take my bobby pins out of a roll out at the end of the day it is still perfectly in place because of the hairspray. It also smells really good, kind of sickly sweet (which I like).

    67. Schwarzkopf got2B Defiant Pomade
    Ha, according to the got2b website, this is a men's pomade. Which makes sense, since G bought it and then I stole it. No matter, I love it. This is the hair product I found that works the best for me. Waxes separate my curls too much and I hate the texture of gels. This pomade is shiny and smooth without being goopy. When it's in the container, it's bouncy (it even goes 'boing' when you tap it!) and I also love the smell, which is like oranges.

    66. Nivea - Happy Time Cream Shower Bamboo Milk and Orange Blossoms
    This is my go-to body wash. It's creamy, suds up really nicely and doesn't dry my skin out (and I have really dry skin). It leaves my body soft with a orange scent without being too overpowering. I also like it because the scents line up with my orange hair pomade and my tropical body spray - there's nothing more harsh than competing scents.

    65. Mary Kay tinted moisturizer
    I have fairly decent skin, so I find what works best for me is light layering of a few different products  Since this is a moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation it works triple-duty, something else I love

    64. Mary Kay mineral powder foundation
    I use this as my finishing touch after using the tinted moisturizer, then concealer and under-eye concealer. It smooths out my complexion, layers great in places I need extra coverage and doesn't dry my face out or get cakey.

    63. Goody Sponge Rollers
    I love these rollers and I think these are the easiest to find - I got mine at Wal-mart for $10 but I've seen them in lots of other stores too. I've never have a problem sleeping on them, they clip in good and try rather quickly, but I have to half-dry my hair first. I use the green (second-largest size) on my top two layers and then the yellow on the bottom if need be.

    62. Pink and White vinyl shower cap
    I got this shower cap in my Christmas stocking but I wish I knew where it was from because I love it! Unlike most shower caps I've seen, this one has a brim and is made of vinyl instead of plastic - two things that allow for better repelling of water.

    61. Covergirl Lipstick in Hot
    This is my go-to red lipstick, even though I've only ever experimented with one other brand (Joe Fresh). I use it with a Rimmel Nude Lip Liner, and boy, does it last forever! Some days it will last through drinking water all day, eating two meals and washing my face, so I really need to make sure it's all off before I snuggle up in my white sheets.

    My 10 favourite outfits
    60. My turquoise sweater with my cream skirt

    59. White polka dot blouse with peddle pushers

     58. Plaid skirt and cream blouse

     57. Little Valley Jamboree shirt and high-waisted swing trousers (no photo)
     56. Dianne Wrap Dress

    55. Pumpkin pencil skirt and blue-white striped blouse (no photo)
     54. Pale pink dress

     53. grey tee and leopard print skirt

     52. Heartbreaker stripe dress

     51. 50s Peter Pan dress

    My 10 favourite memories
    50. Summers at the Lake

    49. Working at Intercamp

    48. My summer at Universite Ste-Anne

    47. the Oasis and Ryan Adams concert
     46. Canadian University Press conferences
     45. Shaving my head at age 14 for cancer
     44. Moving into the Fairmont
     43. My brother's wedding
     42. My first date with G
     41. Our vacation in New York

    My 10 life goals
    40. Be a good homemaker

    39. Keep on knitting and learn how to sew
    38. Stop biting my nails
    37. Make more friends and be a better friend to the ones I am lucky to have
    36. Read more and learn more
    35. Travel around the world
    34. Have a family
    33. Keep doing what I love doing
    32. Love myself and love others
    31. Be happy!

    My 10 favourite books
    30. The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins
    29. Elements of Style - Strunk and White
    28. The Fortunes of Prue - Bessie Marchant (my great-great Aunt)
    27. The Guests of War Trilogy, which contains The Sky is Falling, Looking at the Moon and The Lights Go On Again in one volume - Kit Pearson
    26. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    25. The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
    24. Diary of Anne Frank
    23. Vintage Hairstyling - Lauren Rennells
    22. How to Sew A Button -Erin Breid
    21. Harry Potter series (that counts as one, right?) - JK Rowling

    My 10 homemaker tips
    20. Use Borax to keep your tubs looking like new!
    19. Clean the house 20 minutes a day
    18. Clean and organize as you go
    17. Use vinegar and water to disinfect
    16. Make a meal plan
    15. Track your monthly spending using Google Docs spreadsheets
    14. Use rubber gloves and aprons to save your hands and clothes
    13. light candles after cleaning to get rid of any chemical smells
    12. line your garbage bin and where you put the garbage can (like under the sink) with newspaper to make it easier to clean
    11. do a cycle of vinegar every one in the while when washing towels to get rid of the stink

    My 10 favourite things about me
    This probably seems like a very narcacissic thing to have, but it's taken me a long time to realize that self-love is healthy and not selfish! If I can't love, respect and be non-judgemental of myself, then how can I be the same to anyone else? You are your own lifelong companion, so you have to learn to love yourself (even thought I still can't stand myself at times).

    10. I have great support people. If it wasn't for my family, friends and G I think I woul be a very lost soul. I have a growing list of people who are always there for me, even if it's just a tweet to say hello now or then or an ear to let me voice my frustrations. You are all amazing!

    9. I like to drive. Maybe not in rush hour traffic in the city, but I love just going for a drive and taking in all the beautiful scenery and listening to my music while getting lost in my own thoughts. I find it refreshing and it helps me clear my mind.  

    8. I am organized and love to keep things neat and tidy. I've learned to live with some mess because G is a more messy-organized while I am a tidy-organized, but I like it best when everything is in its place. This doesn't mean I wash dishes everytime I dirty a cup, but it does mean I stack all the dirty dishes in one spot instead of letting them clutter up my whole kitchen.

    7. I am good at getting stuff done. Sometimes I will put stuff off, but if I have a deadline I am motivated and can do almost anything I set my mind to, wether it's a work assignment, cleaning the house or even shopping.

    6. I love learning new things. That's why I chose the job I'm in, because I am always learning new things and in turn, teaching others. Sometimes I can get really frustrated when I don't understand something, but once I do get it, I'm actually giddy. I love my thirst for knowledge.

    5. I like to relax. I've never been one for going out to clubs or bungee jumping or even amusement parks. While I'm not a homebody per se, I do tend to err on the side of relaxing (although I'm sure some would say boring). I prefer a pub or someone's living where I can actually have a conversation with my friends over a loud club and prefer to spend my evenings knitting while reading or watching TV.

    4. I think I have pretty good style. I have never felt more beautiful and more me than this past year when I've started dressing vintage. I know I'm not as authentic as some, but I feel like I've finally have come into my own style and I couldn't be more happier than taking this leap. It has changed my life. That seems silly, but it really has. I'm more confident and I love waking up in the morning just to figure out what to wear.

    3. I am damn good at my job. Somedays - mostly the days with angry phonecalls or letters - I don't feel like this, but I am a good journalist. I think I am good at breaking down information and giving it back to people so it's easier for them to understand, or simply more engaging. If I am bored by a story, my readers will be bored, so I always try to find something interesting or new about a story. 

    2. I love how I look naked - something I don't think many people can say with confidence. Sure, I have stretch marks and a lopsided boob and a bit of a belly, but I think I look fantastic.

    1. I am beautiful. I have vibrant eyes (blue/green/gray, who knows?), a cute nose and great hair, 90% of the time. I have flaws - mostly ugly hands because of my bad nail care, scars and stubby fingers - but I've learned to love those too.

    Phew!! That was a lot. Congrats if you made it this far and thanks for sticking with me through this long list and for these last 100 posts. It truly means the world to me that there are people out there who read my ramblings.

    XO Laurie

  4. What to Wear: A jaunt to the bookstore

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Yesterday was one of those days where you walk into a bookstore and spend $58 before even venturing past all the goodies right in front of the till.


    I bought one more thing, but it's already at the office.
    We were in Edmonton after G had an appointment in the city, so we went out to dinner at Chianti's. And right across the street from Chianti's is a big Chapters (this is, incidentally, how we also spent our first day almost three years ago).

    I wore one of my dresses from my Boxing Day shopping for the first time. Because nothing says Italian like western wear.

    Rock Steady western-style dress: Rowena Edmonton

    I painted my nails bright yellow on the weekend to help me keep my fingers out of my mouth, but today (Tuesday) they're already majorly chipping after a base coat, two colour coats and a top coat! But here they are in better days.

    BUT! Back to shopping.

    I went in with the intention to buy this to-do list that doubles as a mouse pad, and I did and it's already at my office.

    But then G spied the sale rack and neither of us can really resist that. So I picked up this little magnetic whiteboard thing for making grocery lists:

    And this hardcover notebook, which is clearly awesome because it is bright red and has a typewriter on it. It's for when my current notebook at work runs out. Yes I could use the notebooks that the company provides for us, but I'm picky like that. Besides, I beat the crap out of my notebooks so I needed a hardcover, heavy-duty one.

    And then I was about to pay, I swear, when I saw the book The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. I think I saw this on someone's blog or in a magazine or something but I can't remember. 
    But as soon as I saw the cover in Chapters I grabbed it.

    It chronicles the life of a teen in the 1920s and is filled with vintage photos! I haven't cracked it yet as I just started another book and I have a rule about reading two books at once, but I will let you know what I think of it. I just had to buy it instead of finding it for Kindle or at the library, because I knew I would want to own it for the pictures.

    And now you know my greatest bookstore weakness: cool notebooks, stationary and cute vintage books. What are yours?

    XO Laurie

    PS - this was my 99th post! Be prepared for a big post for number 100.

  5. What to Wear: It's still cold out

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    It's still cold out and it's supposed to be colder tomorrow. I really don't mind - I barely have to be outside, the short walk from house to car to office is nothing compared to those who have no place to stay when it's 20 below.

    Nevertheless, I do still bundle up. And it's easier to get dressed for cold weather when you wear another one of your favourite outfits.

    Sweater: H&M | Skirt: Old Strathcona antique mall

    Here's my equation for toasty warm winter wear (except I also have earmuffs). I could have easily walked to work in this!

    I promise that I will have a more content-heavy post tomorrow instead of just outfit photos.

    XO Laurie

  6. What to Wear: When it's -26

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Yes oh yes, the fun is definitely over. Not only am I back in the office today (I love my job, but I hate having to leave my comfy bed!) but I am back in the arctic with the following weather forecast for this week:

    Yikes. Today it was -26, but with a windchill of -36. Once it gets past -20, it all just feels damn cold to me.  I was dragging my feet when it came to getting ready this morning until I told myself to get out of this funk and into a bright, but warm dress.

    And so I did.

    pillbox hat: Rowena Edmonton | 1960s pure virgin wool dress: Imagine Vintage
    I tried out pillow rollers last night, but they were not as successful as I had hoped. But with a little brushing, hairspray and a good hat, I made it work - and with much more of a 60s vibe than my usual hairstyle would have had. And with such a bright and patterned dress, I decided to tone it down with my make-up by forgoing red lippy for more of a nude-pink shade.

    Eyes: Mary Kay nude blush (discontinued); Mary Kay liquid eyeliner in black;
    Joe Fresh Eyeshadow in Putty; Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Waterproof Mascara
    Lips: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Lipstick in Perfect Pink

    Do you have a favourite no-so-fair-weathered friend that you pull out when the temperature drops? I'd love to know!

    XO Laurie

  7. Knitting Organization

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    I am officially no longer on vacation now, but I still managed to get in some cleaning at the tail end of my days off. At the Fairmont, we really only have two closets - a large walk-in in our living room and a linen closet - and so storage space is at a premium (we also have a cold-storage room in the basement, but it's terrifying. Like, dead body stash terrifying). Our linen closet is generally neat and tidy because it's not that big, but the large walk-in closet can become a bit of a disaster area. I also avoided it for a long time because that's where the mouse was living and I kept on having PTSD whenever I went in there.

    But! I finally cleaned it out this week. I don't have any before pictures to show you, but believe me, it wasn't pretty. It's not like there was a lot of stuff, it just wasn't properly using the space. With the help of G (who had to clean out what was stuff to keep and stuff to toss) I neatened it up and am now using it as my main crafting storage, as G has completely taken over the office now that he's working from home. I don't mind at all, but I need my space too!

    We had this organizer that had previously been utilized to hold beer (we drink a lot of craft beer and have a small fridge, but now we have a water dispenser with a built-in mini fridge, so that solved some problems) so I utilized it to hold my growing yarn stash.

    I had previously wanted to get an over-the-door shoe organizer for my yarn, but I realized this would be better because A) I already owned it and B) you can get 3 skeins of the big Bernat Roving yarn in there, so I can group my stash by colour/project.

    In the rest of the pockets I put in some sewing stuff, an embroidery hoop and floss and other crafty things that didn't really have a good home.

     I also am one of those people who collect pretty jars but don't really have a use for them, so I popped my knitting needles into one and set it on the shelf.

    The needles are also held together with elastic bands so they always stayed grouped together. Those plastic things are former ribbon tubes with a binder clip, which works great if your skein is all tangled and you want to re-wrap it (the binder clip simply holds the end in place while you wind.

    I really like this system because it doesn't take up extra space and everything that I don't need is now tucked neatly away, out of sight. When you lack storage space it's nice to have organization methods that are easy to access, maintain and that don't take up a lot of room themselves.

    Something that I am also keeping in the closet is my new tripod, which I bought yesterday and already love.

    G has a similar tripod but it's at his buisness partner's house, and I felt that I needed my own for outfit photos and of course, my own work. The best thing about having a clean closet is that I can keep the tripod set up so I can take my outfit photos quickly. The tripod even comes with a quick release so I can just plunk my camera on and take it off, no screwing around required! As long as I put the tripod in the same spot and then stand in the same spot every time, it will take very little tweaking to get a good photo.

    Have I mentioned that we have finally been hit with our cliched Canadian weather? It was -20 today and snowed last night, which was actually a good thing for me, since I had to go out and take photos but had to make photos that haven't been done in a while at our paper - so no skating, sledding or people enjoying the sunshine. Since the weather has been so nice we haven't had cold weather and snow photos in a while, so I got to do that. I knew I would be under my wonderful mustard coat for the most part, so I didn't mind building a neutral outfit. Note the matching beret and tights.

    Beret: Joe Fresh | Cardigan: Joe Fresh | Dress: Rickis
    Belt buckle: Divine Vintage | Tights: ??

    I also got to bust out some good cold weather essentials in my outfit. I wear this slip a lot, not just because it's an extra layer but because I don't have a good petticoat and many of my unlined skirts stick to my legs when I walk (especially this one!) The slip is usually knee-length on me, but I tucked it up into my tights so it wouldn't show.

    Slip: Imagine Vintage

    Between the cardigan, the slip, the woolly tights and my big coat, I was snug as a bug in a rug when I was outside. I'm really excited that it has snowed - I love walking around while the big flakes fall  - but I really wish it didn't bring the cold winds with it! What about you - do you love winter or do you hibernate until spring time?

    xo Laurie