Thursday, July 28, 2011


I was on facebook today looking for a friend's photography website for another friend.  When I clicked on my photographer friend's 'info' tab I couldn't believe what I saw before my eyes!  Under her 'favourite quotes' section was my favourite poem.
I discovered this poem in late middle school and in university even wrote a paper on it for my English class.  Despite being my favourite piece of peotry I hadn't thought about it for at least a year or had just been relegated to the back of my sub-conscience....until now.

Two Slant Trees 

Lean on me, he said
Loving her weakness
And she leaned hard
Adoring his strength

Like two slant trees
They grew together
Their roots the wrong way
For standing alone.

-Fred Cogswell

Tonight upon seeing it again I instantly felt all the same emotions as I did when I discovered it for the first time.  The power of the written word is truly amazing and the power of poetry indescribable.

I hope it speaks something lovely to you.

Are there words (poetry or otherwise) that move you?

Somewhere in the depths of mum's storage shed is my English paper....I hope I can rediscover it again too.  I'm curious to see this poem through the eyes of my 8-years-ago self.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Easiest Way To Curl Your Hair Ever!

K, I was surfing around different blogs the other night and started watching a bunch of hair tutorials.
My life has been changed, I kid you not.  So, I filmed a little video tutorial of my new favourite way to curl my curling iron needed!  Seriously, this is the easiest way to curl your hair ever!

You do this method on slightly damp hair.  I found what works best is showering after supper and letting my hair air dry for most of the evening.  Then I blow-dry my roots so they aren't flat.  I do this before bed and go to sleep.  Because the 'curler' in this method is a stretchy headband (as you'll see) it's super comfy to sleep in!  No bobby pins, no wire curlers, no bumpy things keeping you from a comfortable sleep.

Confession, I actually wore my hair still up in the headband to church last Sunday after sleeping on it Saturday night!  My hair wasn't frizzy & the head band was black...does that make it better?  My hair was almost too curly when I finally did take it out!

Here are this morning's after pictures from that video's hair band curls:

Right after waking up:

The headband slid back while I slept, but no worries.

To remove just lift up the headband from the top of your head and gently pull it back behind your head.

 Pull back and then slowly unravel your hair from the headband.

 Here's what my hair looks like right after the band came out

I flipped my head upside down then shook out the curls and ran my fingers through the curls.
You could use a natural bristle brush and go through your hair to make it more wavy than curly.

Then I did a waterfall braid which I found a great tutorial for on the blog I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

Voila!  Easy curls, no curling iron, and comfortable to sleep on!!

The blog where I first heard about this is A Law Student's Journey.  She has tons of tutorials and cool ideas.  Definitely check her out.  The link above will take you right to her post "Easy No Heat Curls" where she has posted the original video I saw in addition to another no heat curl method called the sock bun.  The layers in my hair are too short for the sock bun I discovered, but I would definitely try it again.

What's your everyday hair?  Do you vary it day to day or always sport the same look?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dressing for a Wedding (an in-depth analysis) with Deb the Fashionista

I know a lot of people who really stress out when faced with the challenge of dressing for formal/fancy occasions - I am not one of those people.  My father instilled in me at an early age that it is far better to be over dressed than underdressed and I have never second guessed that advice.  Any occasion to get gussied up and I'm there!
When I was in my early teens my dad and I drove to a neighbouring province to attend a family member's wedding.  This is the gown I wore.  Yes, gown.

It's floor length chiffon, the straps are covered in 2 rows of rhinestones and it has a matching sheer wrap.
We got it at a vintage store, I can't remember where, and for no real occasion.  So, I was very excited to wear it to this wedding.

As happy as I felt when I was wearing this then, I would not recommend it for any upcoming weddings you may be planning to attend.  While I'm all for dressing up, I'm also for staying within the lines of being appropriate - albeit the higher end of appropriate.  

In general, I find it wise to dress for not only the event, but for the people you will be with at the event, and to show respect for the hosts of the event.  Look at Princess Beatrice's hat.  It was technically appropriate, as in her culture hats of that style(ish) are the norm; it was designed by a very posh and reputable designer who has made many millinery creations for the royal family; but it was so over the top and bizarre that it stole the bride and groom's thunder for days after!  Not respectful.
When going to a wedding your goal should not be to outshine anyone but to look and be respectful to the culture of the event and occasion.  

Questions to ask when putting together a wedding outfit

1. Where is the location?
Is it local or destination wedding?  If it's in a place that you've never been I find it helpful to google weather conditions in the area during the time of the wedding.   If it's in your hometown you can gauge the weather and the fashionista level a lot easier.  Also, is it in a small town or a big city?  Small town weddings tend to be a bit less big and fancy than city weddings.

2. What is the setting?
Church, backyard, hotel, ranch, beach.
General rule of thumb: shoes can really set the tone of an outfit.  They make or break what you are wearing and can make the same dress hit a totally different mark.  

Church: dressy sandal or dainty shoe (heel or flat).  Note: some churches have their own dress code, if it's a service you're not familiar with (Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Greek Orthadox) ask the bride or google it - check multiple sites, don't just trust the first one.

Backyard: nice sandal or wedge. Nothing with a spike heel, you don't want to sink into the lawn (and ruin your shoe)!

Hotel or Country Club:  Chic heels, open or closed toe.  

 Ranch or Rustic Resort: chunky shoe, fun sandals.

Beach: flat sandal, nice flip flops.  Not the rubber ones you wear in the shower at the gym.
 3.  What kind of reception?
Is is a sit-down meal?  That makes it more formal.  Must be able to sit comfortably in your dress, also look for a fabric that doesn't wrinkle easily.

Buffet/ finger food?  Semi-formal to casual.  Must be able to walk back and forth to food in your shoes.

Is the reception outside under a tent or in a hotel?  Tent is usually more casual, hotel more fancy.

In a restaurant or church hall?  Semi-formal dress code would be accepted for both.

Is there a dance afterwards? Bringing a change of shoes may be wise.  By the time the dancing starts the pomp and circumstance is over & no one is noticing what's on your feet.  Be comfortable.

4. What does the invitation look like?
Take your cues from the invite itself.  Is it professionally printed and tied up with ribbon?  Definitely more formal.  Is it a handmade or kitchy?  Probably more casual.  What kind of font is used?  Decorative & cursive denote formality while hand-written or non-cursive denote a more casual affair.
Is the wedding still 6-8 months away and you've got the invite already?  Then the bride is excited and organized...maybe too excited.  Expect formal.
Also, sometimes the dress code is written right on the invite.  If it's important enough for the couple to put it on the invite then it's important to respect their wishes.                                                    Here's the invite to a wedding that Deb the Fashionista is attending in the fall.  Let's have a look:
The envelope is fancy.

The invite itself has ribbon and a gold border.  It's written in a very traditional style.  This to me would denote formal.  And, look at the bottom: ladies are encouraged to wear hats.  
So, from just looking at the invite Deb can plan to dress formally & with a hat for this wedding.  But how formal? Check the setting.  The ceremony is in an Anglican Church (must wear tasteful, church appropriate clothing) and the reception is in a Country Club (posh) but it's cocktails (more casual).  Also, look at the time.  This particular ceremony is at 6pm.  Evening weddings are a little more chic and fancy than daytime weddings (the later the time the lower the hemline).  Now we need to consider the location,  a fairly small town, so we know that this is not going to be over-the-top or a black tie event.

5. Season
What time of year is it?  Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.  Dress in fabrics that are appropriate for the season.  A light cotton eyelet dress ain't gonna cut it in November, even if you've layered it over dark tights and shoes.
Deb's wedding is on September 2nd.  September makes us think of fall but in our part of the world the weather is still warm and sunny.  She could still wear a bright summer dress or wear something darker and more Autumnal, but in a lightweight fabric.

6. The couple
Who are the couple?  Are they pretty laid back people in general?  Has the bride been dreaming of a big, fairytale wedding her whole life?  Do you know how many people are going to be in the bridal party?  Big weddings tend to be more formal weddings.  I put the couple last on the list because you can't always get a good gauge from them.  The bride could be the biggest tomboy ever but go all out for the big princess experience.  
The couple whose wedding Deb is attending is fun and young.  They grew up and live in a small town. Looking at all the info Deb decided to wear a long dress in fall colours but light fabric, a closed toe heel and a hat or fascinator.
Deb trying to shoo away her paparazzi 

Classic heels with a fun corset detail.

Because Deb is petite on top she's having this dress altered (so it stays church appropriate

Now we need a real fashion blogger pose from Deb:
Deb likes her arms covered so she added this cardigan.  

We tried a hat...
...but this one doesn't quite do the outfit justice
so I think we're going with a fascinator.
 Something like this would be perfect!
found at this etsy shop.
Thank you Deb for being a fashionista and letting me document the proof!

Stay tuned for examples for a Summer wedding look!

photo credits:
Church shoes: all Franco Sarto
Backyard shoes: clockwise Franco Sarto, Franco Sarto, Born Shoes, Payless
Hotel shoes: all Franco Sarto (the top 2 are the same, what a difference the pattern/colour makes!)
Ranch shoes: Born Shoes, Franco Sarto, Payless, Franco Sarto
Beach shoes: Payless, Payless, Franco Sarto, Franco Sarto

Friday, July 22, 2011

Deb the Fashionista (Part 2)

The One With All The Outfit Posts

After doing Deb's hair, we tackled her summer clothes.  Half of them still had the tags on!
So, I made her cut off the tags and try everything on to make sure it fit and to see what different outfits we could create.

Here's outfit #1
She's a big fan of peasant skirts as they are lightweight cotton, summery, and cover a multitude of sins.
This one she paired with a blouse, like mother like daughter!

To change things up here is outfit #2
Same blouse but with neutral coloured a-line skirt.  
I like this shorter length and think this outfit looks great.
The skirt didn't quite fit properly at the waist, but pairing it with tops that don't hug the body hide the waist and looks like everything fits fine.

For outfit 3# we kept the skirt and changed out the top.
k, how cute is my mum?!
I think this is a great casual outfit.

Outfit #4
Patience wears thin...
I like the neckline of this top on Deb, I think it's really flattering.  If I had the wherewithal though, I think I'd hem a titch off the bottom and bring it up to the light blue flowery band. 

Mum's summer wardrobe demonstrates a very streamlined approach to dressing; build a wardrobe that matches and coordinates with itself.  That long peasant skirt has lots of shades of blue and gray for easy matching with t-shirts, blouses, cardigans in varying shades of those colours or it can be easily contrasted with yellow or pink on top.  The neutral khaki shorter skirt lets her wear a variety of colours on top (including those worn with the peasant skirt).

The skirt lengths are either long or above the knee which flatter a petite person.  Also flattering for petite figures is dressing monochromatically, ie. dressing in one colour (or shades of one colour), as Deb did in the Outfit #1 & Outfit #3

Another flattering feature in this wardrobe is the v-neck.  This helps to elongate a petite frame because it creates a vertical line (which is also slimming!).  The effect still works in Outfit #3 with a tank layered underneath.

Stay tuned for the next post where Deb & I sort out what we are wearing to upcoming weddings.  I'm attending that of co-worker in early September and Deb is attending a friend's wedding in October.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deb the Fashionista! (part 1)

The One Where We Talk About Hair

As I mentioned in my last post I had a fun day playing dress-up with my mum Deb (of loyalist cottage).
I asked her to do this series of posts for 2 reasons, the first one being to encourage to her to wear clothes she likes and not feel held back by body image and secondly to encourage others in a similar position.  We all learn by seeing what others do, so I thought I'd use her as an example for dressing if you are a petite or full figured gal.
I had tons of fun (it was like playing with a real live Barbie!) and I think she did too...eventually
   Doesn't she look like she's having fun?  This is hair au natural, just air dried after being washed.

The first thing I did was dig our her flat iron and go over her hair.  
I squirted a dab of serum for heat styling onto my hands and ran it through her hair before using the flat iron.  It's important to use proper styling products so you don't damage your hair.  I pinned most of it up in a clip and just did a small section at  a time, starting with comb and gliding the iron over just behind it.  Ideally you want to flat iron in at least 3 layers, bottom then middle then top, so you don't have to keep going over the same spot to get it really straight.
 Styled hair and a smile make a world of difference on everyone.  Remember that.  As I just read on Lisa's blog, Privilege, in a post entitled 9 Ways Not To Look Like A Slob Even If You Don't Dress For The Office These Days: "Never forget that you have hair. It must be well-handled". 

Mum likes to pull her hair back into a pony tail to keep it out of her face and off her neck, especially on hot summer days.  I think she looks cute with her pony, our father, however, is not a fan.  So, we amped it up a notch.  This is ponytail to 11 (sorry for those of you who never saw Spinal Tap, just ignore)

First, I did a french braid on one side of her head, stopping just past her ear 
and finished with a teeny elastic (dollar store!)

Then I gathered her hair into a low pony and used an elastic that matched her hair.

 This is the view from the front.  I think it's really fresh updo that's not too fussy. 
It looks nice yet casual.

Then, mainly just because she was letting me, I decided to take out the pony, keep the braid, and curl her hair in big waves.
So pretty!

 I used a 2" curling iron all over.  I alternated the direction of the curl each time.  Again, I worked in layers pinning the top 3rd of her hair up and starting on the bottom. I spritzed with hairspray at the end of each complete layer of curls.  
There's a tutorial here that I found through Little Miss Momma's blog and it's forever changed the way I curl my hair.  Seriously, if you're looking for hair curling techniques check this out.

In other hair news, I waxed Deb's eyebrows and lip.  Ladies, we have facial hair and sometimes we gotta deal with it.  If you're blonde and perfect (and probably tall too) I'm not talking to you.  But, if you have dark hair that bothers you grab your tweezers, a bleaching kit, or head to a professional and take care of it.  I would recommend seeing a professional first to give you a guide to taking care of your hair at home.

This brings our hair portion of Deb the Fashionista to a close, but I would like to share a video tutorial I made tonight to answer a question one of FringeGirl's readers asked me about using Spin Pins.

These are super handy of one of my new favourite hair products! 
 I just bought the mini version recently too!
I find them easy to use and I rarely need to add bobby pins.  
Note:  the tighter you twist your hair into a bun the tighter it will stay and look.  If you want more messy don't twist your hair so tight, or try curling your hair first.


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