Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Trashy Diva Bianca Dress Review

Shorter skirts in the pinup world are few and far between, as the look centralises around the classic 50's silhouette. But my oh my, the 60s inspired Bianca Dress by Trashy Diva is a leggy number that keeps things modest everywhere else and needs to become a pinup staple.

I am 5'6" and the skirt of the dress falls to a few inches above my knee cap. The length of the skirt allows for the full, billowy sleeves to take centre stage without the look getting overshadowed by too much fabric.

Speaking of fabric, it's made from a gorgeous rayon crepe de chine which drapes beautifully and compliments the graceful nature of the dress. The one drawback to this fabric is the lack of stretch, which can make the buttoned sleeves difficult to get out of. I hop into something more comfortable (of the loungewear variety, mind you) the second I get home, and more than once I have found myself in a panic as I struggle to get my hands out of the sleeves that I don't have time to unbutton because daughter number 2 is screaming for me. As the rest of the dress is perfectly functional and gorgeous, however, it will never deter me from wearing it. 

The sizing is fairly generous on this one, as the fit is not meant to have a bit of room. I ordered a size 6, which my measurements matched up with, and found that I have a good amount of wiggle in the waist. I like the way it fits and would not have sized down. My advice to you is if you are between sizes, you can size down comfortable. But bear in mind this is a non-stretch fabric, so comfort must be taken into consideration. 

It closes with a size zip, but contrary to most dresses which close this way, it will not mess up your hair! This is due to the wide set front and back. The zip is only for opening up the waist wide enough for you to pull the dress on. The bust and back of the dress are generous so stepping through them is easy.

Regarding quality, the fabric alone is a beautiful one, but the structure of the dress is perfect. The gathering at the sleeves and wide waist pair perfectly with the mini skirt. For lack of a more suave way of putting it, this dress will make you feel a little bit fancy.

The back is identical to the front, which would make this perfect for spring-time updos. I've worn it through autumn and winter with boots and layered on a coat, so the long sleeves and light fabric make this a versatile and nearly-all-year-round dress.  

Trashy Diva sells several obi belts which would look perfect with this dress, if a structured waist is more your thing. I know I'll be grabbing one or two next time I place an order.
This dress also comes in Forget Me Not Floral, and they have sizes 2 and 4 left. If you're tiny, go grab them, because they are on sale and gorgeous! 



Overall this is an ultra-feminine dress, and given Trashy Diva's reputation for quality and beautiful clothes, I feel it's a worthwhile investment!

Now, for a little personal update. Having little ones means a million things going on all at once, all the time. Selene recently upgraded to a big girl bed, and has gone from waking up all night for a month to sleeping soundly. She does keep waking up and settling herself to sleep in her closet or on the floor, now that she isn't bound by her cot. It's adorable, however, and gives me an excuse for one last cuddle before I settle into bed when I put her back into hers.

Aurora is growing rapidly, and is now on solids. She continues to be the sunshiny-est baby ever, and I don't know what I would do without her.

As for me, after a week off from University it's full steam ahead on studying. Getting this degree is even more overwhelming than I thought I would be, in that every new concept is so frustrating to grasp! I am often my own worst enemy, and being a perfectionist means getting flustered for not immediately understanding what I am learning. But I am enjoying it, and I am so happy to be undertaking further education.


Thank you for reading!
xo, Miss Betty Doll
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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Mother Daughter Matching Outfits - Disney Bounding

Whilst Aurora has been to several movies with Mr Betty Doll and myself, this was only for "date nights" and she slept soundly throughout. Today, however, was special because it was Selene's first movie ever, and Aurora's first kid movie. Finding Dory was a perfect choice because it's such a colorful movie, and so full of cute creatures that even a fidgety toddler can sit through it.

For the movie, the girls and I dressed up. No shocker there, as we dress up every day. But today I went with a mermaid theme in honor of the sea-inspired movie we saw. And it got me thinking about all the times I have either Disney-bounded or worn Disney character outfits with Selene and Aurora, and how much fun I have doing it. So I thought I would share a few tips and outfit inspiration for disney-bounding with your little ones!

The Little Mermaid

I bought the bodysuit that Aurora is wearing for Selene when she was a baby. I had it shipped from the US because I was so desperate to have it, but have since found several similar Little Mermaid outfits from Big W and K Mart here in Australia. I have loved Little Mermaid outfits with the Mermaid Lydia Dress by Pinup Girl Clothing. It seems to be phasing out but there is still the Mexican Mermaid Skirt!




 


Another option is pairing a lavender top with a green skirt, like the Vamp Top in Lavender by Pinup Girl Clothing


Unique Vintage currently has a Disney-Bounding collection, and this Green Swing Skirt is perfect for The Little Mermaid!


And for accessories, Lila Jo has the prettiest mermaid-inspired pieces



Cinderella

We have done this combo several times now - a Cinderella bodysuit from Disney Baby with the Castle Skirt by Pinup Couture . Selene grew out of bodysuits over a year ago, but I've been able to consistently find Cinderella dresses from Big W as she has grown! Ebay is also a great option.


And this choker from Unique Vintage pairs perfectly with it!





Minnie Mouse

Babies R Us often has full Minnie Mouse inspired outfits, but if there aren't any near you, big discount department stores like Big W in Australia, Wal-Mart in the US, and K Mart often stock Disney Baby brand clothing.



Le Bomb Shop stocks several polka dot dresses that work well for Minnie Mouse outfits, like the Soubrette Brunette Dress.




And there's this dress from Lindy Bop which I review here



Snow White
I have yet to do a Snow White matching day, but now I can't wait to!



 This Disney Baby romper is floating around on Ebay and has been for years. Aurora has a similar outfit from a couple of years ago.
 
 And for Selene, ebay wins again. I found this pretty recently, but again, I've found many Snow White dresses in department stores.  

These would pair well with:



Or this dress by Le Bomb Shop


With this blue cardigan 









and finished off with red accessories like headbands or roses from Lila Jo


This has been such a fun post to put together. I was alone in my Disney obsession for a long time, only to enter the retro world almost a decade ago and find that it was full of Disney addicts. Dressing up with my little ones is a big part of our lives, and doing it with Disny characters is even more exciting.

Thanks for reading! 

xo, Miss Betty Doll 
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Trashy Diva Honey Dress Review

I mentioned a few weeks ago that shelf bust dresses are becoming a favourite of mine. After finally working out how to get the Ophelia Dress by Lindy Bop to work for me (and I do so love it!!) I knew I had to add to my growing collection.

I had known about the Honey Dress design by Trashy Diva for years, but somehow never purchased one. After seeing the beautiful periwinkle Atomic Print Honey (please tell me that color reminds you of Hermione's ball dress in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book) I knew I needed to take the plunge.

Atomic isn't a print I would generally go for to be honest. The futuristic theme is cute, but I've seen so many pretty versions of this theme and it's never caught my eye. But the gorgeous color palette used here is irresistible and eye-catching. I kept getting looks at my local shopping centre and thought I had something on my face because I had just scarfed down lunch in an oh-so-lady-like manner minutes before. It wasn't until a gorgeous grandmother came up to me and said she loved my look that I realised it was the dress drawing attention (and not a blob of sauce on my face. I wouldn't put it past me).




There is peach, red and grey laced throughout the dress. I actually painted my nails grey last night to try something new and found that they match it perfectly. I haven't perfectly matched my nails to my outfit in a long time, so obviously I felt like I was conquering the world today. It's the little things.

ALSO - it matches the Princess Pom Pom shoes in Pink from Pinup Girl Clothing!!!

Anyway, let's talk about the fit. I ordered a US size 6. This is the equivalent of an AU size 10, whereas I normally where an AU size 8 or a US size 4. So I sized up.

I am down to just 3 kilos to go to get back to my pre-baby weight, but my weight is pretty evenly distributed and all of my clothing fits me the same as it did before I had Aurora now, so this dress is a little on the smaller size. If you are between sizes, I would suggest sizing up. As you can see in the photos, it is neither too snug nor too big, so sizing up was the right option for me. I would have had a bit of pulling across the waist if I had ordered my normal size. It makes sense anyway as my waist is currently just over 26" and their size chart says a size 4 only goes to 26". It also labels a size 4US/8AU as a size x-small, which I have never been.

There is tons of room in the bust for the girls. Smaller chested girls may find this one a little too roomy, but I have a sneaking feeling it wouldn't be too hard to alter.


The material is nice and thin, which is nice because many of the shelf / gathered bust dresses on the market are made of a thicker material. This is one you can wear in summer without worrying too much about... well.... getting a little warm in the armpits. It's a perfect trans-seasonal dress as well.


On the personal side of things, it's been kind of a rough month. Selene and Aurora have both been sick, which has resulted in Selene waking all night long with awful night terrors. My husband works from home with me at night with I study, but it's been near impossible for us to get things done this way. I also recently found out my parents, through no fault of their own, won't be able to come down for a visit as soon as we thought. They haven't met Aurora yet so it's been hard on them and on me. And my husband injured his knee, so I've been running around on no sleep trying to deal with everyone's needs and still somehow pass this semester of school.

Even with all of that going on I am still somehow passing my statistics unit. Don't ask me how. I put it down to reading my materials a million times and having a lot of coffee. But at least that's on track!

Life is all about seasons. If everything was peachy all the time, we would take it for granted. Everything's been going really well for awhile now, so I was about due for some hardship! I am still very blessed and love the life I lead and the people in it, so I'll pull through. Prayers for my family and I would be much appreciated however, as we are all mourning the trip that should have come to pass already and is still such a long way off.

Baby weight is almost gone and, with Aurora being 5 months old now, I am feeling more like myself. I am getting into routine again and loving the exhausting, beautiful journey that is motherhood.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,
xo, Miss Betty Doll
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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Getting Ready With Little Ones Part 2

One of the topics I got asked about the most after having Aurora was how to get ready with two. It was something that was on my mind a lot before I had her, too! I already had my routine with my eldest, Selene, who would come into my bed in the mornings and chill out on a tablet while I took my time getting ready. I knew that with two, that wouldn't work.

So, if you've read my older blog post on getting ready with little ones, you will know there are a few ground rules I set out to make my life easier. They were things such as
  • Get yourself ready first
  • Shower the night before so your hair is dry
  • Pick out outfits the night before

These things are even more important now, but there are some things I've adjusted in my routine.

First off, I wake up before both Selene and Aurora. I used to wait for Selene to wake me up, but those times are long gone. This is because I have two children to get ready for the day now, and Aurora will be losing it by the time I am done getting us all ready if I decide to wait until they are both awake to get my booty moving.

I wake up around 8:15am. Selene wakes up around 8:30-8:45am, so getting a head start on her is vital. Aurora normally wakes up for a feed around that time, so I pull her into bed with me and feed her back to sleep for what can be anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour. Again, having her asleep gives me just enough time to get ready.

My morning routine is my "me" time. I am a better mother when I have primped to my heart's content, just as some parents can't function without their morning coffee or eating breakfast first thing. I check up on social media updates and the news on my phone while I do my hair, and it's generally relaxing - until my princesses are both awake, of course.

I keep my makeup simple. Yes, there are false eyelashes and bright lips involved, but I do the same makeup every day and only change my lipstick color. I do not fuss around with smoky eyes or different eyeliner. It's nor a priority for me with my look and it takes up more time than it is worth for me.


One thing I have also found helpful now is to get a hair routine going. I wash my hair every two days. I don't have oily hair so it stays fresh until Day 3 when I wash it, but if you do have oily hair then I suggest dry shampoo. My hairdo routine is Day 1 down, Day 2 half up and Day 3 up, generally in a ponytail with a victory roll at the front. This helps to relieve pressure in the mornings, as it's only on Day 1, when I need to curl every inch of my hair, that I absolutely have to make sure Aurora is asleep and I am awake before Selene. On Day 2 and 3 it's not so important, as I can just brush my hair and pin it back on Day 2, and do the quick updo on Day 3. It cuts my getting ready time in half on those days.

For quick pinup hair tutorials I suggest Natalie Vintagious on Youtube!

Overnight curling options are also a great tip. My hair doesn't take well to pin curls, but foam rollers work well for a lot of women. 

Another tip is to keep accessories to a minimum. I used to perfectly match brooches and earrings and all of my hair pretties to my outfits. Now, I just worry about my outfit and change my earrings once a week.This helps simplify everything for me. In summer, I also throw one of my hair flowers on. That's it.
 

So, from start to finish, my routine is like this:

8:15am - Wake up. Feed Aurora back to sleep if she has woken up with me.
8:20am - Brush teethe, etc
8:25am - Do hair and makeup. If Aurora wakes up, put her in her play pen.
8:45am - Get Selene up if she is asleep. Let her sit on the tablet while I finish dressing and getting Aurora ready.
9:00am - Get Selene dressed.

Done!


Now, it is definitely not as succinct as it may sound. For example, my husband started working from home a few months ago, which means Selene has been coming into our room and having cuddles with him in bed. This means that all hell breaks loose when I try to get her dressed, as I have to pull her out of our warm, comfy bed to do so. And sometimes Aurora wakes up immediately when I do, which means I have to push everything a little faster so that she's not tired of waiting on me by the time I get all three of us ready. But still, doing everything I said is what enables me to get ready at all.

As you know, I match my girls about 50% of the time. It's a fun hobby for me. It also means they can never get lost in a shopping centre because everyone will know who their mother is ;) It can also add a little time to our morning routine if I'm not careful, so on days I know we will match, I pick out our outfits the night before.

As a bit of a side note, I don't know about you ladies, but there is nothing like looking after everyone else's needs that can make you feel a little frumpy. I wear pjs when I am at home, and they are never, ever faded tracksuits or dingy leggings. Pretty pjs are really a must when you are a mother. They take the exact same amount of time to put on as not so pretty house clothes, which means they are a free commodity in motherhood currency - time. So go out and get some. You can find Peter Alexander on ebay, but honestly even stores like Target and K Mart have pretty things.





 That's about it. I'm happy to answer any other questions you ladies have :)

Thanks for reading!

xo Miss Betty Doll

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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Casual Retro / Pinup Looks How To


I love high heels as much as the next girl. Actually, probably more. I frequent the same shops often, and the management at these shops are always shocked when they see me in flats.

However, I've been missing my casual clothes lately. It's easy to be a little bit fancy with very little effort in summer, when a swipe of red lipstick and a beautiful halter dress is all it takes. But in winter you have to really work at it. You have to balance those winter layers, keep your hair in place against the cold wind and then often times wear heels to balance out all the length and coverage you have going on.

So, winter has inspired me to take it down a notch a little, and I've been enjoying it. I've posted a few of these outfits on instagram.




Note that my version of casual still includes styled hair and red lipstick. I love theatrics, what can I say.

But beyond that, I love the freedom that more casual outfits offer. Sneakers means I can walk as much as I want without feeling that dull throb in my feet by the time I get home. It also makes for soft and supple feet, ladies! And wearing sweaters or baseball tees mean that if my hair does get mussed in the wind (or rain, or hail... that's Melbourne for you) then it really doesn't detract from the outfit because it wasn't based on all that fancy in the first place.

My favourite thing at the moment is sweatshirts from Jay Jays, an Australia and New Zealand based brand that specialises in pop culture clothing. We don't have a Disney Store here in Australia, so I go here to get my Disney fix. They actually ship internationally too, so you ladies in the US can take full advantage of the weak Aussie dollar and stock up!





 Naturally I had to dress the girls up in Disney too. They were my little Minnie Mice today <3

 (Aurora's bow is from Belle Bowtique and comes in medium, large, and clip forms!)

Cotton On has also been doing lots of retro inspired tees and sweatshirts, including this super cute nautical inspired sweater.

  
Hot Topic does lots of cute sweatshirts like those that I mentioned for you US girls, but you can basically walk in anywhere and find cute, retro inspired outerwear lately! Even K Mart and Wal-Mart (or Big W here in Australia) has lots of cute stuff.

Keds, or cheaper versions of them, are also a favourite of mine. I remember I would get $20 every other week when I was a pre-teen for doing household chores. The day I got paid, I would go straight to the local shopping centre and get glittery lip gloss, bubblegum, a magazine that I felt cool reading but hated the content of, and fresh, white sneakers like the ones above. There was other no feeling like getting pure white sneakers. I love that they are similar to converse but daintier, so as to go with more outfits. Even the Goddess of Pinup approves, as seen below.


The Twirl in a Circle Skirts from Le Bomb Shop are perfect for these looks, but I've also been doing the Eva Pants from Pinup Girl Clothing (which feel just like leggings but look much more put together) and jeans.

Comfortable sweaters were popular in the 50s, and I love taking that sillouette and mixing it up with my favourite themes or characters.


Nevertheless, I realise this style isn't completely 50s. It's definitely only retro inspired, and I love that. I love mixing it up and not shopping only with retro repro and inspired brands. I love the femininity of the 40s and 50s, with the emphasis on the little waists and red lips. And I love taking all of that and transforming it into something of my own.

So what about you ladies? Are there any casual looks that you'd like to share? I would love to see them!

Thanks for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll
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