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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Minding Her Business + Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I've heard it said that if you aren't pushing yourself - if you aren't uncomfortable, you're not growing. I can't tell you how true I have found that to be.

Think of where you are at right now. If you are performing your daily routine with such ease that you are getting bored, chances are there is a beautiful opportunity for you to grow. It doesn't even have to be in a big way.

Every year I set 2-3 goals for the year and then take smaller steps throughout the year to reach those bigger goals. One of my goals was to become more confident with networking, so when Minding Her Business kindly reached out to invite me to their first event in Melbourne, I jumped at the chance.


I am introverted by nature, and over the years I have come to accept and love that part of myself without trying to change my core being. I will probably always stand closer to the walls at parties, be happier with a few close friends than a myriad of friends and need recharge time by being alone. That is part of being an introvert! However, what I can change about what naturally comes with introversion is nervousness at events where I may not know many people. Networking events are the perfect opportunity to stretch and flex my introvert muscle and feel more comfortable in my skin at parties.

I invited the beautiful Suzy (miss_sueky on instagram) who I had been speaking to for months but never met. This was another huge step out of my comfort zone (hello fear of rejection!) but she gladly obliged and off we went.

I feel blessed to have been given such a lovely opportunity to become more comfortable with networking events, because this was stunning. Set at Greenfield's, Albert Park and hosted by the lovely Katie Stevens, it ended up being the best way to spend a Saturday morning. Every speaker on the panel admitted to being nervous about public speaking, and the host herself advised the audience of ladies that she was nervous about hosting this event as it was the first in Melbourne.





Everything I have done that forms who I am now was started by a step in an uncomfortable direction. Moving to Australia, having children at a young age, studying after having those children, beginning a career in the cutthroat industry of recruitment - all of those choices have led to amazing things!

I've failed at it too, of course. I wanted to learn French last year so I took 6 months of classes, but ended up so time poor I finally stopped (but not before learning several phrases, the entire French alphabet and that the last letter of words in French is rarely pronounced!). I wanted to try ballet this year too but took one class and knew it would not work with my schedule. And none of that has had a negative impact on me, it's just helped me better shape my goals.

So, today I encourage you to examine what parts of your life are all too comfortable. Set some goals. Try to orient them around the unspoken desires of your heart. They don't have to be huge. Maybe you always wanted to learn an instrument, or take a course, or end a friendship that is toxic to you. Whatever it is, just do it. Once you start making small, brave adjustments to your life, you won't stop and you won't regret it. I promise.





Credits:
Photography by Taylor Jarrod Photography
Event by Minding Her Business
Dress by Stop Staring














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Sunday, 2 June 2019

Baking with Littles - Bubblegum Rice Kripsie Treats


I grew up making Rice Krispie Treats with my mother. I hadn't realised how American a tradition this is until I looked into recipes here in Australia and found that most were from American blogs!

We used the pink and white marshmallows available here in Australia. I know that rainbow mini marshmallows are available in the US but haven't seen pink marshmallows like this there! If they do exist, comment below and let me know!




Bubblegum Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups marshmallows (mini is best)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie Treats
  • 1 tsp bubblegum flavoring
  • pink food colouring*
  • sprinkles


*Only necessary if you did not use pink marshmallows.


Directions:


  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. 
  2. Stir together until smooth 
  3. Add Rice Krispies and 1 tsp bubblehgum flavoring
  4. Add pink food colouring (if you did not use pink marshmallows)
  5. Stir together and then press into a lined baking pan
  6. Remove when set, approx 1 hour.














We don't have mini marshmallows here, so I used these large ones. They still worked a treat but definitely don't melt as well and were stickier than the marshmallow I am used to! We had fun getting our hands sticky with this one. (see below!)




Using these extra sticky marshmallows and adding the bubblegum flavoring made these so much more fun than traditional white Rice Krispie Treats




If you want a super easy recipe that you can do yourself (or with kids) on a rainy day, this is perfect!


Thank you to the beautiful Bettie Von Sweetz who sent us these gorgeous aprons. We have quite the collection of aprons now and this is my absolute FAVOURITE design! It has the loveliest corset back (not pictured, but you can see this on her website) and the prettiest floral applique.

If you would like your very own custom apron design or one already available, head to https://bettievonsweetz.com/

I couldn't be more thankful for the lovely women I have met along this blogging journey.

Thank you for reading!

xo Miss Betty Doll
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Sunday, 12 May 2019

Happy Mother's Day with Lady V London and Little Lady Vintage!


When Lady V London contacted me to ask if I wanted to sample their new children's line, I jumped at the chance. There are so many websites full of matching mother-daughter clothing, but quality outfits in a style I like are so difficult to find!






I have special memories attached to every matching outfit we have owned. I did a massive closet clear out last month and found myself wrought with emotions as I held every tiny dress they have worn to match with my own skirts and dresses. I was so thankful for the opportunity to try out a new line! What better day to snap and release some pictures than on Mother's Day?

I have worn Lady V London several times for myself and was happy to see the children's line matches the quality and variety of fabric patterns I have come to expect from Lady V. The children's line, appropriately named Little Lady Vintage, has several different patterns and fabrics available. This one, called Black Ornate Floral, has a perfect little stretch to it that makes it easy to wear. both mine and the girls' dresses are exactly the same dress. 




Mine is a size 8/10, which I found to be a little big in the waist. Luckily these come with sashes which tie in the back of the waist and cinched it in perfectly. 
The girls are wearing size 3/4 and 5/6. They are super long with plenty of room for them to grow into. 




I haven't put the girls' in vintage-inspired dresses like this for a while and it brought back a flood of memories. We wore matching outfits like this every day when we traveled to Paris last year and they have since outgrown them. It's so nice to have high-quality pieces like this that I know they will continue to grow into and, one day, be able to set aside for their children. 
In the spirit of both motherhood and nostalgia, I wanted to share my top fashion tips that I would pass down to the girls.


Top 5 Style Tips I Would Pass on to My Daughters

1. Fit is everything. It doesn't matter what style you choose to have, just make sure it fits your body! Jeans that are too tight will cut into your hips or waist and leave you feeling uncomfortable and won't showcase your shape. 

2. Your style is your own - it's ok not to fit in! I discovered retro fashion when I was 18. I wore it awkwardly and copped more than a few comments about it, but I persisted. Now, I wouldn't trade my own style for anything. Wear what makes you happy and enjoy it. 

3. Don't worry about size. The fashion industry creates different sizes for jeans, skirts, tops, everything. Nothing is regulated, so don't stress out about it! Size doesn't matter anyway.

4. Dress your best. You don't have to be all high heels and pearls - be your own style! But whatever style you choose, always put effort into your look. It shows your respect for others. In the same way, you would clean up your home before guests arrive, take time to fix yourself up before you leave the house. 

5. Your body is perfect just as it is. Don't conform. Wear and do what brings you joy. Accentuate the parts of the body as it makes you happy. 

              

Thank you to Lady V London for sending us these dresses! I can't wait to order more - I already have my eye on a few!


If you have any questions about the fit of these, ask me here, email me at missbettydoll91@gmail,com or message me on instagram, @missbettydoll . 

Massive thank you to my husband for snapping these. He always gets the best photos of the girls and I am so grateful to him for always thinking of us and snapping photos for me!

xoxo 
Miss Betty Doll




















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Thursday, 18 April 2019

ColourPop Cosmetics - For the Disney Princess in Us All




Despite having heard good things about ColourPop Cosmetics, I hadn't tried any of their products prior to these lipsticks. I admit to being a sucker for good marketing, and anything Disney related is almost impossible for me to pass up. When they released their Disney collection, I knew this was the perfect chance to finally try ColourPop!

I wear red or deep pink lipstick every single day. It's rare to catch me with bare lips, so if anyone knows about the importance of longevity, it's me! 

I ordered the Jasmine, Cinderella, Snow White and Tiana shades as they most closely match the colours I tend to gravitate towards. 

The Jasmine shade is exactly as it appears on the website - a bright, rich pink. However I found it sat well with my skin tone and doesn't appear garish or over-the-top. I am impressed with this shade! Getting the right balance of coral and blue undertones in a bright pink lipstick is difficult and the result often leaves me underwhelmed, but I love this colour. 




The Cinderella shade ended up being darker than I imagined. On my skin it looks like a deep mauve, and reminds me more of the way the Belle shade looks on the website. This is a colour I love to wear (on days I am not sporting my typical red) and fits in well with the rest of my collection. 




Snow White surprised me as well, in a good way. It is listed as a "candy apple red" on the website, but I found it to be a deeper brick red on me. We are in the thick of Autumn and heading into Winter here in Australia, and this is exactly the sort of color I wear as the months get cooler. I have worn this one the most since it arrived and I love it.


Finally, there is the Tiana shade. This is stunning. I love dark shades like this and find it pairs well with some of the purchases I have made recently (like this vegan leather top from Vixen by Micheline Pitt). The oxblood shade is just a little gothic and perfect with a swipe of mascara to let it take centre stage, or with bold lashes and blush for an all-out-drama look. 



Every single shade is creamy and long lasting and will not dry your lips out. I washed my makeup off straight after the last shot I look for this post and I could not get it off! These are built for all-day wear with a little touch up after meals. 

ColourPop has quite the Disney collection, with lipsticks and highlighters and even shades inspired by Disney Villains. If you are a Disney lover and looking for a gorgeous collection, this is it. All products can be purchased here .


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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Personal Retro Style: Making Fast Fashion Work for You

I have been promising this post for the better part of the year, and finally I am here to deliver!!

Ladies, who loves Shein and Chic Wish and all those adorable, inexpensive online stores you see pop up in every Instagram influencers feed? I know - me too. But much of the marketing for these stores is modern and geared towards a very modern style. There are exceptions, of course, but it takes a little imagination to make them your own when you have a quirkier or more classic fashion sense.

I suppose I will start with the obvious to those in the retro community - this is fast fashion, and no, it's not built to last. That's ok though! In my opinion, you should always invest in staples like pencil skirts, coats and jackets, a good pair of jeans and high-quality tops that you know you will wear over and over again. About 80% of my wardrobe is investment pieces or pieces that are locally sourced and made that I know will last. Supporting local businesses is very important.

However, there is definitely a place for the likes of Shein and Chic Wish in your wardrobe. Take this adorable tulle skirt from Chic Wish.


I have owed bespoke tulle skirts in the past. They were absolutlely stuning - until they ripped due to the extremely delicate nature. It was hundreds of dollars down the drain for something that you will wear very rarely. Even for a serial "over-dresser" like myself, I wear tulle skirts maybe once every few months. And this piece is made well anyway! It's also a steal at $52 USD. (available here)




Then there are there other skirts - this cherry print skirt/skort, for example, was easily made into something 50's inspired (despite it's 60's mini skirt length) by adding the right shoes and retro sunnies. (the shoes, by the way, are by Kitten D'Amour)


I love Chic Wish for it's ultra-femme, delicate pieces. There are tulle skirts galore, tops with oversized bows and an abundance of pretty pastels. If you are a girly-girl looking to up your wardrobe with some equally girly pieces, head over to Chic Wish!

Next we have my other current fave - Fashion Nova. I have had so much luck finding cute prints that translate well into a pinup-inspired wardrobe. Take this ruffled wrap dress. It is styled very modern on the website (hoop earrings and newsboy cap and all!) but adding red lips and nails and my own belt makes the dress my own. 

If you have ever had a look through Fashion Nova, you quickly realise it is huge. There are hundreds of pages of dresses, tops, even sportswear. My favourite way to shop at Fashion Nova is to think of a pattern or colour that I really want and just search for it. In this instance, I wanted a cute polka dor dress and couldn't find one in the right length and fabric at any of my normal go-to pinup clothing sites. I searched on Fashion Nova, found it, bought it, done. Fabrics like this one are also best for websites like Fashion Nova, as they aren't at all prone to pilling and really will last. 





Last but not least is Shein! Shein has many retro-inspired pieces with a thoroughly modern twist. Again, I suggest picking a pattern, colour or type of product you want and searching for it in the search bar. This little white dress that I purchased from Shein is not "retro" at all, really, but the crisp white fabric and buttons are perfectly at home in my wardrobe. (No longer available, but have a look through all their currently available white dresses to find the best match for you!)




 To summarize, here are my top tips for shopping to suit your own style on modern, mass-production websites:

  1. Supplement a high-quality wardrobe with cute pieces from these websites
  2. Use the search bar to help navigate the website
  3. Utilise retro-inspired accessories to make outfits your own
  4. Shop for pieces made from non-stretch fabrics that are not prone to pilling

Happy shopping!

Thank you so much for reading. 

xoxo Miss Betty Doll









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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Baking With Littles: Chocolate Dipped Apples

The longer I work full time, the more thankful I am for easy ways to bond with my girls. Even as a stay at home mom, the thought of baking or creating treats with young children can seem like more effort than it is worth. 

Enter Chocolate Covered Apples! These treats - basically apple slices and chocolate, are a fun way to get creative with kids without all the extensive prep and clean up time. 






You will need:
  • 2 apples
  • wooden skewers
  • 1 cup white chocolate melts
  • sprinkles


Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring as you go. Slice the apples and push them onto the wooden skewers. Dip them in the melted chocolate and put on wax paper to set. Sprinkle with the sprinkles of your choice and -- done!

The girls loved doing these. But of course, their favourite part was licking the chocolate bowl afterwards. Who can blame them?







We are wearing our aprons from Bettie von Sweetz, a beloved pinup apron maker that I will continue to support for as long as I possibly can! She sells her designs through the Stop Staring boutique as well as through her website here.  This particular lilac apron is called the Betty Doll, and is available here




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