Category Archives: Accessories

Mini Beauty Haul Video

Just a short video with my latest beauty purchases from Sephora. What have you been adding to your collection recently?

Do you use any of the products I ordered? What are your favorites?

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DIY Necklace Organizer

I have a large jewelry armoire, but it’s so full, I’m having a hard time seeing all my jewelry. I saw a great do it yourself project on Pinterest, and decided to ask my husband to make me one. If I can see my necklaces, there’s a better chance I’ll wear them more often. This is a fairly easy project, and I’m sure you could pull this off if you wanted to.

Here’s what he used:

1. An old wood frame I picked up from Goodwill. ($5.00 including a terrible print I removed from the frame)

2. Spray paint to paint the frame with

3. Clear plastic drawer pulls from IKEA ($1.99 for 6)

4. Peg board from Home Depot

5. Left over primer and wall paint from painting our master bedroom.

6. Staple Gun

Remove the print/painting from the frame and spray paint the frame. While waiting for it to dry, cut your peg board to to fit the back of your frame. You can leave the peg board white if you want, but I wanted mine to be the same color as our walls.  I wanted the necklaces to stand out, not the peg board. Prime and paint the pegboard with a smooth roller and let it dry.

After the frame and peg board have dried, you’re ready to staple the pegboard to the frame. This is why you need a wooden frame. When you’re done, you’re ready to attach your drawer pulls. My husband discovered that the pulls from IKEA had screws that were too long for this project, so he trimmed them using a Dremmel tool.

The frame we got at Goodwill had a wire hanger on it and we left it intact during the entire project for easy wall mounting. Here’s the finished project.

Homemade framed necklace organizer

Close up of peg board and draw pulls with necklaces on them

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Birchbox July 2012 Unboxing Video and Easy Summer Makeup

My Birchbox finally arrived today. I know, I know. You might have already received yours, or don’t care about all this unboxing business. I hope you’ll watch it anyway, because I use the contents of my Birchbox to create an easy/fast summer makeup look.

I hope you’ll realize that it’s hard to apply makeup without a mirror . . . while recording a video and talking off the cuff. It wasn’t easy, but I hope it’s at least entertaining.

I’m always looking for suggestions about specific things to blog about. If you have any ideas or comments, even criticisms, just let me know. I want this to be a blog that’s helpful to you, and fun to check out.

I hope your summer is going well, and you haven’t lost your favorite lipstick to the heat yet. I’m still waiting for my first lipstick casualty. It happens at least once every summer.

Until next time,


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Bedazzling, Guilty Pleasures, and Male Virility

I have to thank Google reader for this post. I came across this article about the props needed for the new film Rock of Ages while I was reading this morning. What really caught my eye was reading the word codpiece.

So if you don’t have a chance to read the article, let me sum it up for you. There is a man who makes script specific props for Hollywood, and for the new movie Rock of Ages he was asked to make a jeweled codpiece for Tom Cruise’s character Stacee Jaxx.

 I’ve been looking for an image of the prop, and I haven’t been able to find one.

The reason this really made me stop and do a double take is that first and foremost, I am a child of the 80s. I love 80s music. I will unabashedly admit to it. It’s my guilty pleasure. Just watching the trailer made me nostalgic. Second, I’ve never paid much attention to what rockers wear in concert because I’ve never been to a rock concert. When I read that Tom’s character was wearing a codpiece, I was surprised to say the least.  (By the way, I’ve never been to a concert because I’d rather spend $100 or more dollars on shoes, a handbag, or cosmetics.)

When I hear the word codpiece, I think courtiers in the time of King Henry VIII of England. It’s not that the codpiece wasn’t around long before, but I know lots about English renaissance court fashion. I learned about this during my misspent youth following my parents around to renaissance fairs and renaissance costume workshops in my tween years. My dad has a beautifully detailed King Henry VIII costume. He also plays the renaissance lute. Back in the 80s, when my dad was in his 30s, and had a full beard, he could easily have played Henry VIII.

In all the costume workshops I went to, I learned that men (especially King Henry VIII) used the codpiece to show off their junk to the ladies. It was a sign of male virility. The larger the codpiece, the more virile the man. Of course, there came a time when it became a piece of jewelry as well. To attract more attention to the codpieces, courtiers would pin on expensive jewels. Of course, not to be out done, there is an anecdotal story of King Henry VIII saying that no one was allowed to have a larger or more bejeweled codpiece than him.

So why am I surprised to find that many male rock stars have worn codpieces? I suppose now that I think of it, I’m not. Men of prestige and riches calling attention to their supposed male virility. Why wouldn’t you strap on a bejeweled cock pocket when you have thousands of screaming fans yelling your name?

I’m trying to think if we women have an equivalent. The Million Dollar Bra? I’m not sure it’s the same. What do you think?

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June Birchbox Unboxing Video

I got home this evening to find my June Birchbox waiting for me on the bed. I was so excited. I wanted to open it right up, but it was dinner time. After dinner, it was time to start the bath for my 2 and 4-year-old girls. The bedtime routine takes quite a while. After everyone was safely tucked in bed, and I had time to open my Birchbox, I decided to do an unboxing video. This is my first time recording myself opening what was essentially a mystery box. I didn’t know what I was getting.

In about a week, I’ll write up a review of the products so you know a bit more about them if you’re interested in trying some of these products.

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Real or Fake?

When there’s a debate about real or fake, I usually side with what’s real. I’ll take butter over margarine for flavor’s sake. I don’t care what color the sweetener package is, pass me the sugar. I want real cheese instead of the non-melting vegan “cheese”.

All my shoes and most of my handbags are leather instead of faux. I prefer natural fibers over synthetics. (does 2 or 3 percent Lycra count in a pair of jeans or t-shirt?) When it comes down to it, I’d rather see a dusty potted plant than a dusty silk flower arrangement. Not that I like the dust, but you get the picture. I just like the real stuff.

When it comes to jewelry, I also like the real stuff. As much as possible, my costume jewelry is handmade using semiprecious gemstones, and gold or sterling silver wire and findings. I either make it myself, or support a local jewelry artists. When I go to my local bead shop, I only buy real stones. The reason I’m telling you this is because I’ve always thought real was better. My motto has always been “Never wear fake when you can have the real thing”.

I was so surprised when I saw Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge in the news with the words “Fake Earrings” all over the headlines. What? Really? Why?

Kate Middleton wearing an Alexander McQueen dress and “fake earrings” during the Diamond Jubilee celebration

Duchess or no, we’ve all been thinking of Kate as a princess. She’s royalty now. She came from a well moneyed family to begin with, so I think that she could afford a pair of earrings that cost more than $75. She’s also married to someone who could pull a few strings and get her access to the crown jewels for a special event. At least I hope so.

After my initial shock wore off, I thought it was cool that Kate wore earrings the rest of us could own. Of course, after she was outed in the media for her “fake” earrings, they’re now out of stock.

Maybe because she already has lots of pretty jewelry, or access to amazing gems, wearing a pair of pretty cubic zirconia and faux pearl earrings is just as easy as putting on her stunning smile. She doesn’t even give it a thought.

I used to feel wearing quality CZ jewlery was like lying. People always think you paid more for it that you did, and they form an impression of you based on what they think they know of you, not the truth. Maybe I should let that go. Maybe I should be more like Kate. If it’s pretty and sparkly, and goes with my outfit, who cares if it’s real. Wear it!

P.S. It’s quite possible she’s also making a political statement with these earrings too. Royals can be thrifty. Still, I like it.

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Unboxing my Little Black Bag for June Video

I’ve never done an unboxing video, so I thought I’d give it a try. I just got my Little Black Bag box in the mail today. It wasn’t supposed to arrive until Monday, so after putting the kids to bed, I couldn’t restrain myself anymore. I had to know what my goodies looked like. I hope you enjoy it too.

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Summer Sun Protection

With the weather getting warmer and Memorial Day weekend here, I thought it’s time to talk sun protection. I live in SPF 50 or higher during the summer months. I wear large floppy hats when gardening, and always try and sit in the shade. I keep a tube of sunscreen in my purse just in case I need it for myself, or my kids.

You already know why sunscreen is important. The American Cancer Society has made sure of that. I’m here to tell you that aside from keeping your skin healthy, sunscreen can also keep your skin looking youthful. I’m sure you know that too. Most moisturizers have SPF 15 in them these days. But aside from your face moisturizer, do you put it on the rest of your exposed body when you’re headed for a day outside? If not, just remember that the older we get, the easier it is for sunspots and wrinkles to appear. All it takes is a little sun.

So, here are some great, stylish ideas for keeping the sun at bay this summer. I’ve also included some pretty bags to put your sunscreen and other essentials in. Be kind to your skin this summer. You won’t regret it.

Summer Sun Protection

Z Spoke by Zac Posen leather handbag
$250 –

Vince Camuto logo bag
$198 –

Marc by Marc Jacobs tote handbag
£165 –

Philip Treacy flower hat
£999 –

Tom Ford cat eye sunglasses
390 CAD –

Rebecca Minkoff sunglasses
$150 –

J Crew summer hat
$35 –

Straw hat
$17 –

Flower hair accessory
£2.40 –

Kate Somerville face moisturizer
$48 –

Neutrogena sun care
$8.79 –

Supergoop beauty product
$5 –

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Evening Drama

I dream about getting dressed up for a black tie event. I love the idea of finding the perfect accessories, and then the dress to go along with it. I know that sounds backwards, but I’ve always done it that way. I’ll fall in love with a pair of shoes, or a handbag and need to find an outfit to go along with it. Now that I’m older, I find jewelry that I love, and have to find something to pair it with.

The same is true for this pairing. I fell in love with the Alexander McQueen bag and heels, then I started to build and outfit to go along with it. I can’t afford it, but I love the way it looks together. It’s total inspiration. Elegant and edgy. Hard, with touches of femininity. Everything I would want if I had an occasion to step out for a black tie event. Just enough, but not too much.

With the accessories speaking so loudly, I’d keep the makeup soft and light. Very youthful and dewy. I love the nude tone of the Deborah Lippmann nail polish and the Dior Addict lipstick.

I also love that with the exception of the cosmetics, the accessories cost more than the dress. That is so like me. I have expensive taste. I can never afford what I really love.

Evening Drama

Catherine Malandrino evening maxi dress
$795 –

Alexander McQueen strappy high heels
$865 –

Alexander mcqueen handbag
$2,295 –

Kara by Kara Ross white jewelry
$1,740 –

John Hardy glitter jewelry
$3,495 –

Deborah lippmann nail polish
$16 –

Beauty product
$30 –

I’ve never had the opportunity to dress up for a black tie event. Maybe that’s a good thing, because I would spend way too much money. I would want to be the best dressed woman in the room. I know that being the best dressed woman doesn’t mean spending the most, but having the best style. But I also know that my style is expensive.

I suppose it’s okay to dream. I don’t see myself at a black tie even anytime soon, but I can keep up to date on the style trends so I’m ready when I do have to attend one.

Dream on my friends. If your dreams are like mine, there is no accessories budget in them.

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