Twi-Hard? If The Dress fits…

Ok – so I’m  fan of Twilight. I’m not by any means a Twi-hard; I read the books first and was initially completely disappointed with the films  and really quite disillusioned with the whole thing. I became really quite cynical, and didn’t read or watch any of them for a few years, until the advert for Breaking Dawn pt 2 came out. It actually looked pretty good, so I thought I’d have a catch up. I started reading the books again, and remembered how amazing they were, as long as you separated them from the films. An I also did the same for the films, and remembered how good they are as well. It was a nice revelation. Whilst Robert Pattinson is probably about as perfect an Edward Cullen as you’re going to get, he was always too tortured in the films for my liking. In the books he’s witty, funny and smiles a lot more often, but I imagine we can probably put that largely down to directing. The same with Kristen Stewart; Bella in the books is much stronger, and again funnier. I always felt the movie Bella was a bit limp and devoid of emotion… but let’s not get into that argument, that’s not what I’m here for.

I said I wasn’t a Twi-hard – but I’ve only gone and searched high and low for the stunning cobalt blue dress Bella wears as she wakes up a vampire. I don’t think anyone who’s seen the film can really blame me, it is a knockout of a dress. I searched my usual haunts with no luck, widening my search to anywhere I thought might have that kind of dress – sexy bodycon but still demure enough to be smart and formal. The colour was essential, there was no point finding the perfect shaped dress if it wasn’t in that breathtaking cobalt blue. I was having no luck – I thought I’d searched everywhere. But once again, as has caught me out before, sometimes the key really lies in the words you use in your online search. I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t find what I was after on Asos, so I gave it another go. I can’t remember what I searched first time round, or second time round, but I found IT. At work I sit next to one of my closest friends, who really is a Twi-hard, and after getting her seal of approval, I clicked buy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a dress to arrive!

And when it did, I was not let down in the slightest. the fabric is slightly ribbed and very stretchy, making it very forgiving and flattering, particularly with the ruche detailing at the side. The length is ideal, even for me, and the deep v-neck is a bit deeper than the dress in the film, but just right. The shoulder straps are the right width, the wrap style of the bust is amazing, and the colour… the colour is breathtaking. The cobalt blue is so rich, and warm, but still keeps a bit of freshness – ok, I’m rambling about how much I’m in love with a colour, but when you see it you’ll know what I mean. It looks amazing with softly wavy hair, a la Mrs Cullen, but will look mega sleek with straight hair too. This dress is a total showstopper, and I’ve already planned to wear it to dinner with my husband for our 6 month anniversary later this week 😉

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http://www.asos.com/Vesper/Vesper-Pencil-Dress-with-Wrap-Front/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2786243&SearchQuery=vesper%20pencil%20blue%20dress&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Blue

Yours,

The Vampire Housewife x

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Subtle Fifties Make-up

A huge part of the vintage look is the hair and make-up, as well as the clothes you’re wearing. I’m going to be totally honest; I’m really not very good at the hair part. I can manage a barrel-roll fringe some days, but others it completely slumps, and my fail safe vintage look is the twisting back of the front side parts of the hair as shown below. But, I love playing about with vintage style make-up, using different combinations of colours and products to suit the outfit I’m wearing. For my birthday a few years ago I got given a couple of books in the Style Me Vintage series, and I love the book on make-up by Katie Reynolds, which is where I got this look from.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Style-Vintage-Step—step-Techniques/dp/1862059187/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364569220&sr=8-1

This the more subtle, ‘Marilyn’ look as opposed to the bolder Rita Hayworth look from the forties, or the exciting and vibrant rockabilly look. The idea is to keep it more natural, and as such I tend to go for this look when I don’t want to wear any foundation. I used Benefit’s FineOneOne cheek and lip tint, and this is my absolute savior! I love the vintage packaging and applicator, and the three-toned colour with the pink champagne colour at the top creates the perfect highlighter. I don’t tend to use this if I’m wearing a bright lip colour, as the cheek tint is quite bright on its own on my skin, so it can go a bit over the top.

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The classic eyeliner flicks are accompanied by a hint of colour, with a gentle blue highlight on the lids which I absolutely love. I use Revlon’s colourstay eyeliner, a colour from an old Next Gold colour palette, and Rimmel London’s Extra Wow Lash mascara. The nude/coral lips are the perfect addition to the soft, natural look we’re going for here, and I have fallen in love with Rimmel’s Apocolips range. The colour goes on really glossy and shiny, but as the day goes on, it turns into a more hardwearing lipstick, it’s like a two-in-one, it’s brilliant! This colour is 500 Luna, and is beautiful nude/coral colour, making it a bit brighter than totally natural 🙂

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Forties Vintage Workwear

I absolutely adore my vintage dresses – my glamorous green 20th Century Foxy dress and my rockabilly Hearts and Roses cut out dress are really quite spectacular, and whilst I’m starting to be more adventurous and wear these gorgeous outfits more often, instead of just special occasions, this weather isn’t exactly dress friendly, however thick your stockings are! Also, working in a call centre, bright fifties dresses can be a bit much, and it’s nice to have something more basic, and day-to-day wearable. Whilst the (hopefully) onset of summer brings cute fifties crops and blouses to the high street, I think this cold snap is here to stay a bit longer, so I was on the hunt for something warm and glamorous.

At my favourite vintage-style shop, Retro Daisy, I had been dreaming about a beautiful forties style jumper from Miss Candyfloss for a few weeks. I love the shape under the bust, with the pleating making it so flattering and boosting your assets, and the shirt insert detail gives it a smart spin. The fabric was so soft it was to die for, I just wanted to sit in the shop hugging and stroking it! I knew pretty much from when I first saw it that I would buy it at some point, and then for my birthday I got given a Retro Daisy voucher from my parents! Yay! I went along to Arundel to try the jumper on, and the ever helpful Shar suggested it would look perfect with a pencil skirt. Unfortunately with my short legs, the pencil skirts in stock went way past my shins, almost down to my ankles, which wasn’t a good look at all.

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Instead I looked at some beautiful high-waisted swing trousers from 20th Century Foxy, which I thought I would have the same problem with. But, surprise surprise, they were exactly the right length! I have to wear them with heels, but I have to wear most things with heels :p The jumper looks stunning tucked into the trousers, which also look amazing with my favourite china pattern sleeveless blouse! I’m so thrilled I finally have an couple of outfits that I can where whenever I want, and I’m definitely looking forward to being able to incorporate vintage dressing in my everyday life!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Happy Vintage Birthday to Me!

I have had such an amazing birthday this year with so many incredible presents, I just couldn’t resist sharing with you all! Not only was I spoilt with presents, but also got treated to some very yummy goodies and some lovely celebratory nights out! I really am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband, fantastic family, and amazing friends 🙂

My present from my parents simply blew me away – I have wanted a real, old typewriter for years and years, and have never been able to find anything that wasn’t a 70s electric typewriter (and not the point)  or outrageously expensive. I’ve kept my eye out, particularly as I get more into the vintage scene, but with still no luck. Luckily, my mum’s boss was having a clear out of his home and came across a beautiful Imperial vintage typewriter! Apparently it was in manky condition, so they got it restored, and I now have a beautiful working typewriter! I was thrilled to bits! I can’t wait to get our desk area finally sorted and have it looking amazing, and to be able to use it for letters, recipes, and whenever I fancy that satisfying ‘clickclickclickping!’ that makes writing seem so much more tangible. Yay! I was also lucky enough to receive a voucher for my favourite Retro Daisy, but more of that in another post 🙂

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My present from Dave was at his parents house, the idea being we were going to stop off to see them on our way to the New Forest and do presents there. The sneaky Rhodes family that I have married into had actually all clubbed together and bought me a bike! I was so excited! I’d suggested a month or two earlier to my parents that if they were stuck for ideas of what to get me, I’d love a bicycle to start riding in the summer, but they of course had already sorted my present. So Dave sprung into action, discreetly getting me to show him the bike I wanted and orchestrating with my sister to make use of her Halford’s discount. It’s a step through bike, so no ungainly hopping over the frame, and it gives it a gorgeous vintage look! I’ve already got people telling me I HAVE to have a wicker basket on the front! I can’t wait for sunnier and warmer weather, to ride this up and down the beach, the river, and maybe up the Downs if I’m feeling brave!

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Laena, my sister, got me this beautiful trinket box; it looks like its straight out of the 18th century! I love the gorgeous scroll detail and the rose embellishment, it’s just the perfect size for my favourite bits of jewellery. And she also made me my birthday cupcakes, and as the baker behind cakeywakeybakey, she has really outdone herself this time. The design was my suggestion, inspired by Isabel Wolffe’s description of vintage prom dresses as being ‘cupcake dresses’ because the petticoats made them so beautiful and full and gorgeous! She did even better than I had imagined, and they tasted incredible! With simple base and buttercream icing, she put strawberry jam into the middle of the cake itself, which made a lovely, sharp contrast to the sweetness of the icing and the fondant. Yummy cakeywakeybakey goodness always goes down very nicely!

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After our night away, we went out for dinner with my family to a local Mexican restaurant that Laena recommended called TexMex in Worthing. I love Mexican food, its definitely one of my favourite cuisines, but there are so few restaurants out there. I do now have a new favourite restaurant! There was a really lovely atmosphere, the waitresses really looked after us and made us feel at home. The menu was incredible, there was so much to choose from! In the end I opted for chorizo mussels, and the Mexican Feast for 1, which had a small amount of different meals on the menu. It was to die for! There was not a single thing in the meal I didn’t enjoy, the heat was just right for all of us, and the variety across the board was perfect. The only problem was I shouldn’t have had a starter, there was so much food in the main! Without a doubt my new favourite restaurant, and I can’t wait to go back and finish the feast by not having a starter!

http://www.montaguestexmex.co.uk/

Th Saturday I arranged to go out with friends into Brighton, to a place recommended by a friend called The Mesmerist. I got a text from her saying it was an amazing forties/fifties vintage style bar with a great atmosphere and even better music, and we had to go all dressed up dancing! It sounded like a place that was definitely worth trying, and she wasn’t wrong. I loved the decor of the place, full of quirky eccentric vintage pieces, with everything from a prosthetic leg to a feather boa wearing chicken, and a barber’s chair that actually provided men with a haircut upon request! It was absolutely amazing, the feel of the place was so happy and vibrant, the music was awesome, and I shall definitely be returning!

http://www.drinkinbrighton.co.uk/mesmerist

All in all, a pretty amazing birthday!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x

Birthday Weekend Getaway!

Well I have been a very lucky and spoilt housewife this weekend! It was my 23rd birthday – not a particularly exciting age by all accounts, but I have been so pampered and done so much this weekend, it’s turned out to be one of the best birthdays I’ve had! I’d booked off a few days at work, my birthday was on Thursday so I booked holiday right through to Sunday. I’ve had no time off since the wedding in October, so I think this was a long time coming and completely deserved! I was very conscious of making sure I balanced making the most of the weekend by going places and doing stuff and enjoying it, but I also wanted to have a relaxing time off, doing nothing but sitting curled up on the sofa with a good cuppa!

We planned to go away for a night, to the New Forest and Carey’s Manor hotel which I’ve posted about before. We love it there so much, it really is so luxurious and relaxing, and we made use of their Parisian Break deal, which includes bed and breakfast as well as dinner at the French restaurant, which was lovely as always. We stayed in the manor itself, in one of their four poster bedrooms as a real treat to ourselves! It was a gorgeous room, and the poster bed was amazing, but unfortunately the way the room was positioned meant that our door was overlooking the reception area, meaning we heard everyone coming through into the early hours of the  morning. There are other manor rooms available, so it may have just been unfortunate that we were in that room, and I am a light sleeper. Other than that, it was another wonderful stay, with the spa facilities being exactly what we needed, an amazing dinner and a great base in the centre of the forest to head out and do some (soggy) exploring.

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In the morning, after a delicious breakfast, we decided to make our way down to Buckler’s Hard, a harbour village on the Beaulieu River with a maritime museum. The weather was pretty dismal, but we’re really not the sort of people to let that get in our way – we bundled up with thermal layers and raincoats and set off into the English weather. the way we see it, is if you got depressed and frustrated everytime the weather got in the way of your plans, you’d have a pretty rubbish life. Driving through the New Forest is lovely whatever the weather, with the moorlands becoming very moody with the low lying cloud, and the rain dripping off all the trees. When we got to Buckler’s Hard, we were relieved to see we weren’t the only one’s who ventured out for the day!

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We started looking around the museum, and it was really interesting to see things like what bits of trees are needed to make the boats because of their shape and how the village was supposed to be much bigger than the single main street it ended up as. Despite several attempts to make it a success, including three ships that were at the Battle of Trafalgar being built at the harbour, one of which was Nelson’s favourite ship, Agamemnon, Buckler’s Hard never made it as a successful building harbour. It was also interesting to see the links with the Montagu family, the owners of the Beaulieu estate – it was the Montagus who started the building of the village, and there was a very interesting exhibit on the Persia, which was a boat travelling to India with Lord Montagu and his assistant/mistress Eleanor Thornton, the world famous inspiration for Rolls Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy, sunk by German u-boats in WW1. Sounds like an interesting place, right? Funnily enough, we were certainly the youngest people at this museum, but we were over taken by so many people who didn’t seem to be looking at anything! So much for the attention span of the young!

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On a sunnier day, I’m sure the outdoors of Buckler’s Hard are beautiful, and there is even a walk from Beaulieu down the riverside which would have been lovely. It was interesting to see a reproduction of a builder’s cottage, and the place where the boats would have been built. It was a really great place to have a wander around for the morning, and I’d love to go back again in the summer and make more use of the outdoors! We’re definitely hoping to keep saving and head down to Carey’s Manor for maybe a two night stay in the summer, and see the New Forest at it’s glorious sunny best!

Yours,

The Vintage Housewife x