Friday, 28 April 2017

Jade You Look - Collectif Jade Dress and Accessories

The beautiful Miss Amy May was the first one I saw the Jade Dress by Collectif on, and she styled it so adorably that I knew I needed one in my life. Having already planned to order their Agnes Suit Jacket to add to my retro workwear collection, I added the Jade Dress to my shopping cart and patiently waited.

I have several blue dresses and skirts in my wardrobe, but this shade of sky blue is definitely a stand out compared to some of the other items in my closet. The tiny bows on the thin, double shoulder straps are a unique addition to an otherwise classic staple dress. The pockets are to die for, with any amount of items able to fit inside securely.

The fabric is weighty and sturdy, and something I honestly feel I can wear comfortably in summer or layer up for winter. The belt is thicker than those that I would normally wear, but the solid colour of the dress and the subtle details mean that the belt makes a bolder impact than a thinner belt would. It also works particularly well for me to suck everything in, as the size I ordered is too big.

Which brings me to sizing! I ordered a size 8, but feel I definitely should have done a size 6. My sizing advice can be a little confusing at the moment, as I only lost weight over the last few blog posts. I try to keep it as consistent as possible, and provide updated measurements and weight advice. So, currently I am 53 kgs (116 pounds) at 5'6" tall. My measurements are: bust 34.5, waist 23.5, hips 34.5. It makes sense that the size 8 is too big on me, as the size chart advises it is best suited to bust 34-35, waist 26, hips 34-36. I would therefore say that the sizing of the Jade Dress is true to size, and I just ordered too big!

I promised I would start accessorizing better this year, and the addition of several of these beaded necklaces from Collectif is helping me do just that! They are nice and weighty while still sitting comfortably around the neck, and are big enough to be considered statement jewelry while still being office appropriate.They come in several colours, and I wear the black one often to work!

The Jade Dress comes in blue, seashell, seashell border, watermelon, and black, and is available at £70.50. One of my favourite things about Collectif at the moment is their wide variety of styles (from officewear to 60's coats), so I am confident there is enough on the site to make shipping worthwhile!

On a personal note, I wanted to speak a little more about weight. I have been fortunate enough to gather nearly 10k of followers on instagram, and many of them are new mothers with new bodies to adjust to, or young women. I have been receiving a lot of messages and a few comments about my current weight, how I stay slim etc, so I wanted to touch on that a bit.

After I had Aurora, I weighed much more than I do now for almost a year. I couldn't get the weight to come off, no matter what I did. Then, I caught gastro not once, but twice! I have also completed some very difficult units at University, started working again and lost my Aunt and her three children in a housefire. The combination of all of these things has led to some weight loss. I do exercise and eat my fruits and veggies, but I don't want any young women thinking that my weight is something to strive towards! I am actually working to gain some of it back, in a healthy way.

Every single body is beautiful. I had a bigger bum before and I loved it. Now, I have slim legs and I like the way those look, too. I have been several weights over the past three years because I have birthed two human beings, and I know that this is not the weight I will be forever. So, please, always message me for advice and know that I LOVE giving it, but never, ever try to lose weight just because you see someone else at a slimmer weight. Get healthy. Go for a run. Eat your carrots. But don't spend a single second thinking your body isn't good enough. There were a million eggs in your mother's womb, and YOU were the one to come into existence out of all of them! This means that you are important, and you are perfect just as you are, at whatever weight you are. <3

Thanks for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Baking With Littles: Peeps Sunflower Brownies

After making an emergency, week-long trip home to the US this week, this post is a little behind schedule! It was intended for Easter, but given that sunflowers work most any time, I give you : the Peeps Sunflower Brownie.

I saw this all over pinterest a few months ago and knew it was worth a try. Though Peeps have a very love-it-or-hate-it reputation, their decorative purposes know no bounds!

This recipe is perfect for little ones, and they can help with both the making and decoration of the brownies! To keep it simple, I suggest using a boxed brownie mix.

 (Baker privileges) 


Mix brownie mix according to the package instructions. Bake in a 6 inch round tin, again according to the instructions on the packet!

While the brownies are baking, make a dark chocolate ganache by boiling 1 cup of whipping cream. Once boiled, pour in 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then stir.

Cover the brownie with the ganache on the top only. Then, arrange yellow chick peeps around the edges of the brownie to represent sunflower petals. Place mini chocolate chips or Maltesers in the middle of the "flower", and you're done!


Excluding baking time, the whole thing takes 10-15 minutes to pull together. It's fun, pretty, and according to Peeps-lovers, delicious!

I hope you and your family have a beautiful Easter surrounded by those that mean most.

Thanks for reading!

Kind Regards,
Bethany Nrekic

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Retro Workwear: Karlie Dress by Stop Staring

I've been hinting for months now that I will bring back my Retro Workwear series. I started one two years ago, but it slowly died out after falling too pregnant to be very creative with my workwear. Now that I am back in the office, I am excited to finally continue this series!

When I think of retro workwear, the first place that pops into mind for dresses is Stop Staring. I'm not one for wiggle dresses and skirts day to day, as I like to wear shapewear beneath tighter outfits, and I find that too fussy when chasing after my littles. Thus, I was excited when I returned to the workforce after Aurora was old enough to be without me, as I was able to place a good sized Stop Staring order!

One of my favourite things about Stop Staring is how comfortable their designs always are. I have worn dresses with a similar cut that pinched under the arms or chaffed in places it shouldn't - not what you want at the end of a long day. I've yet to wear a dress from Stop Staring that does any of this. Not only are they comfortable, but the attention to detail is obvious. Here, the gathers at the bottom of the bust and the details at the hips enhance both assets in a figure-flattering way. I am not wearing any shapewear in this shoot, and I don't feel I need it at all in this dress!

Their fabrics are from the heavens, I swear it. The fabric on the Karlie Dress, in particular, is amazing. Bengaline (also known as their millenium fabric) is one of my favourite fabrics due to it's ease of wear and flattering stretch, but the fabric on this one is even better. It's a little difficult to describe: it's slightly textured, which serves to better hide imperfections than bengaline, and a little less stretchy. It's still supremely comfortable, and zipping it up feels like everything just falls into place where it should.

The cut of the arms and bust is very dainty and flattering, with the neckline framing the bust without enhancing your cleavage too much for the office. The cut shows off your curves without being overly clingy, and the details are retro with a modern flair - again, contributing to it's fit for the office.

I am wearing a size small. My current measurements are 35-24-35, and I am 5'6" and 56 kilos, for reference. The size small fits perfectly - especially due to the stretch in the fabric, which helps each size accommodate a broad range.

I can't fault this dress, but if I had to point out one thing, it would be that I wish the bow at the bustline was sewn down. It tends to move sideways throughout the day. Honestly though, that's it! Everything else about this dress is dreamy and beautiful. 

So, if you are looking for retro workwear, I would start with Stop Staring. Their dresses are perfectly suited for both work and play, and are bound to leave you feeling sexy and sophisticated all at once.

Thank you so much for reading!

xo, Miss Betty Doll

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