Veggie print dress, vintage veggie purse, and the perfect yellow hat

Veggie Delights

All week this week, I was feeling out of sorts. Grumpy, easily irritated, snippy, sarcastic… generally not ME. I couldn’t figure out why, because it’s not shark week and while I’ve been waking up earlier in the day than usual, I’m USUALLY pretty okay with earlier days. I got to the point where I just didn’t want to be around my people.

And then today I realized, as I was trying and failing to work on a backup blog post… that I haven’t taken blog photos in ten days. This means I haven’t gotten all dressed up and felt pretty and like a human for ten days. Sure, I’ve showered and put on yoga pants or a stretchy dress, and I went out to the store with Evie. But I hadn’t done anything as myself; it was all as The Mom and not… ME.

So today I got dressed up in one of my favorite dresses and a new hat. I did my makeup, put on fake lashes, curled the ends of my hair, set cartoons to play, made sure the kids were blocked into the kid-proof room, and I went out to the yard and took outfit pictures.

It was only 30 minutes or so of doing me-time, from makeup to outfit to photos, but it completely changed my attitude.

I was reminded how, as moms, it’s SO easy to forget that we are our own human. We were someone before these beautiful little people came along and changed the structure of how we function. Before the days of having to literally just survive because you’ve only had an hour of sleep and you’re out of coffee. Before even thinking about having kids, we were someone vivacious and attractive and flirty and sexy to the guy who became daddy to our kids. (And probably in his eyes, we still are these things even if we don’t feel it at the time).

It’s hard not to get lost in the identity of “mom” — an identity that is worth every bad day, every moment of being pooped and peed on, every sleepless night… but it is still a time consuming and hard job — and it’s hard to remember that it’s totally okay to step outside of the “mom” identity for a moment or two to enjoy something that is a part of the before-mom identity.

It’s not selfish to take me-time, whether that be putting on makeup, reading a book, studying your Bible, wearing a pretty dress… something that you do for YOUR wellbeing. Because if we’re running on empty, then our homes and kids and husbands feel it too. We treat them less kindly than we should, our houses are messier, our daily plans a bit lacking.

At least, mine are. As evidenced by my husband leaving this morning with the admonition: “try not to murder the kids.”

So moms, if you’re feeling drained and lost and exhausted by motherhood, it’s OKAY to take a step away and be the non-mom you for a moment. God didn’t make you to JUST be a mom. He made you to be you, to be a helpful partner to your husband, to be a beautiful woman for your guy, to be smart and funny and silly… AND to be a mom. So don’t forget all those other parts when you’re momming it up.

If you’re a Christian and you’re trying to be the Proverbs 31 woman, don’t forget: she did many things outside of her family, but these things were profitable to everyone. (And if you’re not, don’t forget to take care of yourself too! All of the best moms I know remembered to maintain themselves and their own hobbies even through all the years of motherhood!)

Today I am excited because not only am I feeling much better (and yes, these are the photos I took today!) but I have a really fun collaboration video to share! Hannah of The Outfit Repeater and I decided quite a while ago to do a thrift exchange/unboxing collaboration, and it’s FINALLY live! I’m so impressed by Hannah’s ability to get everything spot-on to my style, and I can’t wait to wear all the pretty things!

And I ALSO have a video with my husband (it’s here) wherein he does my makeup. It was super fun, I laughed hysterically at one point, and watching over the footage again both of us just lost it laughing. While the makeup he did was totally passable from far away, up close it had a lot of cracks. I was half impressed and half hysterical over how it turned out. For the first time ever doing makeup, and not knowing anything about anything, he did pretty good!

Because of doing that video, though, he’s been convinced to let ME do HIS makeup. I might just take the look he was trying to do on me and do it on him properly.

I hope you all have fun plans for the weekend! Shoutout to my blogger babe Hilary; it’s her birthday tomorrow! She is one of the sweetest, most fun, silliest, cutest people I know and I’m so thankful to blogging for making us friends!

Happy Friday!


Dress, Amazon | Shoes, thrifted (similar here) | Belt, thrifted | Hat, vintage from VintageH2H  (similar here and here)| Purse, vintage thrifted (similar here and here) | Base Garments: Orchard Corset Mesh CS-426 and an Amazon petticoat


Orchard Corsets: mesh CS-426 and CS-426 short review

Orchard Corset sent me two corsets for comparison and review. All opinions are my own.

Orchard Corset Corsets

Happy Monday!

Today I am reviewing two corsets from Orchard Corset. I had originally thought I would share the corsets as they looked under a vintage wiggle dress, but thought it might be easier to see the differences without a garment on top. I hope you find these helpful! Side note, I am not at all a corset expert, and have only just begun to wear corsets. Orchard Corset is a great place to start if you’re not sure what size to get and want an affordable way to get into waist training. Definitely do your research before purchasing any corset, and be aware of the proper ways to waist train! 

So first off, this is what I look like with no corset on. I apologize for the out of focus image! I was in a rush to get these taken before my daughter woke from her nap.

I measure 40 bust, 33 underbust, 31 waist, and 36 belly, with an 11 inch underbust-to-hip joint space. When I was chatting with Amber from Orchard Corset, she recommended the short corset (worn here) for me, as 11″ is just at the edge between fitting a longline or a short. When you sit down, you don’t want your legs to be hitting your corsets! For this reason, I highly recommend chatting with a representative before you get your first corset, as they can help you choose the best size, style, and fabric.

This time around, Amber sent me a regular CS-426 longline as well as a short in the mesh, so that I could compare these two and talk about the differences between them.

CS-426 Longline

This is the CS-426 longline in mesh. One thing Amber told me was that your corset size number will be 4-6″ smaller than your actual waist measurement. This is to allow, over time, that you can pull it smaller and smaller if you are interested in waist training. And, since mesh is much more flexible than satin, Amber sent me a size down from the satin corset I previously wore.

I find the longline to fit my body better than the short, despite what we had originally thought; as you’ll see in a minute, the short doesn’t quite come down far enough over my belly (hello, yes, I had a baby and I’ve got belly fat. 😉 ) so instead of creating a nice long, smooth curve, it sort of squishes all of my belly fat down to bulge out below the corset.

I really love the way the CS-426 mesh fits my body and looks under clothes. I’ve been wearing it with nearly every outfit I post lately, so if you’ve noticed that my body looks bangin’, that’s why. Ha!

The funny thing is, as I’m still in the beginning stages and don’t want to stress my body or the corset, my waist is not actually smaller in any of these photos with a corset on. In fact, it remains exactly the same circumference. However, the corsets really help to lengthen my waist a bit, pushing some of my belly fat down so that it’s easier to see I HAVE a waist. As a mom, I love this. I love that it helps my skirts to stay where they should be at my waist, rather than riding up into my boobs like they want to. And it really helps when I’m dressing in vintage, as the way garments from the 40’s and 50’s are shaped is much more structured and just looks better with the proper base.

CS-426 Short

This is the CS-426 short, and as you can see, it doesn’t hold my stomach in the way the CS-426 longline does. It still gives a beautifully structured waistline, but I think the short would be much better suited to someone who is short-waisted by way of having a higher natural waist than I do. I am not particularly long waisted, but neither am I short. For an average shape, the longline seems to work best.

The short feels a bit less flexible than the longline, I assume partly because there is less room to flex. It also tends to push my chest up more, since the waist is a little higher. This can be really useful in dresses where the waistline is a bit more of an empire than hitting at me where my natural waist lies. It would not be a great corset, on me, for a wiggle dress, as you can see my belly fat super clearly. But it’s still quite comfortable, and good for certain types of silhouettes!

Contrary to what you might think, the longline is actually easier to sit in. I think because the short is just not quite the perfect shape for me (and it’s ALL about the shape YOU need, so don’t discount this right away!), my stomach once again is the problem, and when I sit the corset gets pushed up into my ribs, which can be annoying. But, for photoshoots and standing, or for wearing OVER a dress, the short is great! It looks better worn on top than the regular, if you’re like me and have hips for days.

Overall, I love both corsets for different things! If you have a high waist, I’d definitely try out a short, but if you’re average I’d recommend just a regular. Mesh is really great for comfort and flexibility, while satin looks fantastic beneath clothes. I actually prefer mesh overall, as I have kids and move around a lot, but you get used to wearing a corset and then nothing is impossible!

Except perhaps using the bathroom. That remains a challenge.

If you have questions about either corset or Orchard Corset, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them (or send you to someone who knows!)

As worn here:
Left, the CS-426 short satin || Right, the CS-426 mesh regular


The Bette Davis Club: a BBRBF Book Review and the perfect red hat

The Bette Davis Club

Welcome to February’s edition of the BBRBF Book Club! My apologies for being late this month; lots of things happened in a short amount of time, and I didn’t get time to sit and read as I normally would! As always, check out Sara, Noelle, Kat, and Helene for their reviews, and be sure to welcome Laci and Justyna as our newest wonderful members! Our little club is growing! If you want to join us, be sure to let us know. Next month we are reading Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko.

As usual, here’s the synopsis: “When Margo’s niece becomes a runaway bride — taking with her a family heirloom– her mother offers Margo fifty grand to retrieve her spoiled daughter and the invaluable property she stole. Together with the jilted and justifiably crabby fiance, Margo sets out in a borrowed 1955 red MG on a cross-country chase and finds herself along the way”

I actually did not intend to use this outfit for this review. I had shot this dress and my newest vintage hat (which I found on Etsy for ten dollars!) on Valentine’s day, but then by the time I’d half cooked up an outfit to go with The Bette Davis Club, it rained. However, this dress goes remarkably well with the yellow-and-red cover. We’ll just pretend I’m the human incarnation of Margo’s father’s classic 1955 MG TF. 

Now, I have a confession to make: I am still not done reading this book. I’ve been trying all day, but toddlers, man. I am, according to Kindle, 65% done and likely will finish tonight, at which point perhaps I’ll update this post with my review of the latter half!

For the former half, however, I can offer a little review!

I found it hard to get into at first. It is the same quirky style of writing that many modern authors have taken on, with overly witty quips at first. When I began, I’ll be blunt, I thought I was probably going to hate it. I got tired of this style of writing with Swamplandia!, and was dreading getting through this novel.

However, after a few chapters the characters began to grow on me. I got used to the author’s present-tense style of writing (which is confusing at times) and started to invest in the adventure of Margo and Tully as they chase after his ex-bride. While I do think that their relationship felt a little stilted and awkward at first, and not in a purposeful way but as if the author just wasn’t quite sure how to put them together naturally, it started to smooth out as they hit roadblock after roadblock in their search. With time, they grew to understand each other, and it’s almost as if the author grew with them.

I love how Margo’s carefree and careless personality clashes with Tully’s more sedate and sensible one, how they contrast between Margo being somewhat of a floater and Tully being established in life. I like that you can see Tully begin to care about Margo as a friend, through his bugging her to quit smoking, and Margo’s reciprocation of that friendship through realizing he’s not just a jilted lover, but his own man.

Since I don’t feel like I can give a full review not having finished the book, I’m going to leave this post a bit sparse so I can update it when I’m finally done. I apologize for this half-review! And for being so late with my post. Hopefully next month won’t be so scattered for me.

But now let’s chat about this outfit, and most specifically, this hat. I feel like this ensemble is also so very apt for this review, even though by accident, because early on in the book Margo and Tully discuss the various value that things have. Some are valuable because they can bring in a lot of cash. Others are valuable because of sentimentality. Others, as Margo muses her friend Dottie told her, give the finder a sense almost of (she very bluntly put it) arousal, a rush of feeling even though there’s no sentimentality or large sums of money involved.

This hat, for me, holds the latter value. While I was browsing Etsy for the perfect hat to pair with the lipstick dress — which, by the way, arrived too late and was never marked as shipped, nor was it shipped via priority mail as claimed in their shop, and they charge almost $2 extra if you require a tracking number. Which was on my box when it arrived and is free of charge via USPS mail. And, the hat arrived smelling like cigarette smoke and heavy perfume, which was not disclosed in the listing. So… avoid this seller!

Anyway, as I was browsing for the perfect hat to pair with the lipstick dress, I stumbled upon this beauty and felt a rush of excitement. It was listed as a brand new 1950’s fascinator and the seller was letting it go for only $10!

Upon arrival — which was swift, taking only three days to arrive — I found it to be even more beautiful than it looked. It is in absolutely perfect condition. I did some research though, and discovered that it’s possibly actually 1980’s or newer, which doesn’t really bother me. The seller likely assumed 1950’s based on the look of the hat (something I have done on occasion until I am corrected by research) and I don’t believe they meant to mislead anyone. If I am correct in my research on the tag, the designer, B Michael, began designing hats under Oscar de la Renta, Nolan Miller, and Louis Faurad for the show Dynasty in the 1980’s, and following his success there decided to launch his own line, which came out in 1999.

Although, I have found several listings on Etsy and eBay with this same tag, which reads b. Michael New York and looks like this, and I’m not 100% sure whether this is the same B Michael, or whether there was indeed a vintage designer from whom this and other hats sprung. If anyone knows, please do tell me!

The feeling I had placing this gorgeous accessory on my head was thrilling. Ever since making myself wear a hat out in public, I’ve felt an insatiable desire to have the perfect hat for every outfit. The wall in my room has quickly become a place to hang beautiful head toppers, and with the help of some friends and some excellent finds online, I’m starting to have quite the collection! This one, though, tops all the rest. It is such a beautifully constructed piece, like art for your head.

And, when I read the passage in the book of the owner of Mommie Dearest going on about the artifacts from the stars and how he felt about them, I could so relate! Do any of you have feelings about things that maybe aren’t super valuable to anyone else, but for which you feel a thrill? For me, it’s vintage pieces, or items that just have a story behind them. I love the history of pre-loved clothes and it’s such a thrill to find beautiful pieces that were once a part of someone’s life once upon a time!

Dress, (old) c/o eShakti | shoes, thrifted | hat, Etsy from MyShop1020 | Necklace, grandma’s | earrings, vintage | Gloves, vintage/old



Lipstick Print Dress, Seychelles Lipstick Shoes, and Valentine’s Day!

A Wink and a Smile | eyreeffect.comA Wink and a Smile | eyreeffect.comA Wink and a Smile |

A Wink and a Kiss

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I am sharing one of the best dresses I’ve ever had, and a pair of the cutest shoes I’ve ever owned.

When my friend Elleyna sent me a message to ask if I’d be willing to trade a handmade, custom dress in return for blogging about it, I immediately said yes. I mean, who wouldn’t accept that offer? She admitted she wasn’t sure if I would actually want to work with her, but I have seen her make so many amazing dresses on her Instagram, Button Button, and in her Etsy shop and I was beyond excited to work with her. I can tell you honestly that the experience went above and beyond my expectations.

A Wink and a Smile |

First, we chatted about what style of dress I wanted, and she sent me several photos of the fabrics she had on hand. I immediately zoned in on this lipstick print. After having seen Sara wear her fabulous handmade lipstick skirt, I’d been wanting a lipstick print something for a while. I didn’t want it to be too close to the Bernie Dexter lipstick dresses, though, so I sent Elleyna a photo of a vintage dress I had been in love with for a while, and asked if she might be able to create something similar.

After a little consideration and digging through her vintage patterns, she decided to just create the top from scratch. No pattern needed! With my request for a smaller keyhole in mind, she worked her magic and made this dress in a day so that she could get it to me to share with you all for Valentine’s day! I’m so impressed with her work. It fits me well, it’s the perfect length, and I think literally the only thing I can think of about this dress that’s bad is how much it makes me want to go buy about 50 more.

A Wink and a Smile | eyreeffect.comA Wink and a Smile | eyreeffect.comA Wink and a Smile |

A couple things you should know about the process and Elleyna’s dresses:

When you order a custom dress, she will ask you for photos of what you like, discuss what kinds of fabric you like, and get a good idea of what you’re looking for before she starts. You can choose your own fabric, you can hire her for labor only and send her fabric you have, or you can order one of the dresses in her shop to be made to measure.A Wink and a Smile |

Since she makes so many of these dresses (at the time she was making mine, she had 37 other orders to work on!), the fabric is not pre-shrunk and all of her dresses are hand-wash only. This is also to ensure a nice, crisp, “new” look that pre-shrunk fabric loses. Often when tossing fabric in the dryer, it can get a used, wrinkled look that even a good bout of ironing won’t get it back to that pretty crisp new-ness.

For me, it’s not a big deal as I tend to not pre-shrink my own handmade items either, and I own a lot of vintage that needs hand washing. However, if you want to be able to toss it in the washer and dryer, she’ll add some room for shrinkage!

A Wink and a Smile | eyreeffect.comA Wink and a Smile |

And, while she will accept cancelled orders, she can’t accept returns or exchanges due to the custom made nature of her garments. But I’m pretty convinced that she is the Fairy Godmother of all dresses, and can make you anything your heart desires! Be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the pretty things. She recently shared a breastfeeding-friendly design that blew my mind, and I think I need one!

A Wink and a Smile | eyreeffect.comA Wink and a Smile |

And can we briefly talk about these shoes? After deciding on the lipstick fabric, I saw someone post these darling Seychelles in a BST group and I pounced. Of course they’re not a perfect match, being black and red where my dress is navy and pink, but I don’t even care. ONe simply MUST wear winking kiss heels when one is sporting a lipstick dress. IThese heels make me want to search far and wide fro every lipstick-related item I can do accessorize this dress with.

So if I show up wearing a plethora of lips, you’ll know why.

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s day with the people you love! Whether it be a significant other, family, or friends, I love having an extra special day to shower the people I adore with some cheesy cards and delicious chocolate.

Dress, c/o Button, Button | shoes, Seychelles (can’t find them!) | belt, thrifted | hat, vintage (similar here and here and here) | Bag, Target (similar here)

A Wink and a Smile |



Floral applique, Lindy Bop Dress, and the 1940’s Working Girl

Rosie the Riveter

I don’t know why, but this outfit reminds me a lot of the photos of 1940’s working girls. Perhaps it’s the headscarf, or the more practical side of my style, or the comfortable flow of this dress, but in the moment I felt as though I could have walked straight from a 40’s WWII photograph. It helps that this gorgeous cardigan really emulates the proclivity towards face-framing applique and embroidery then, and my styling was a bit more relaxed and less corset-and-petticoat of the 50s’ looks.

So, I decided to edit these photos with a vintage flair once again. When I did this before  I was a little less sure of how to get that vintage-tinted look, but I think I’m getting somewhere! One little detail I noticed was that in many photos of the 40’s, the women have what looks to be emphasis on blushing cheeks or a generally glowing complexion. So I did a lot more in editing than I would on a normal basis, taking care to gently brush a tint onto my cheeks and lips, editing the color so that my skin is that smooth-looking, even plane you see so much in old photos.

Of course, in old photos the smooth look is due mostly to the lesser technology of cameras back then and inability to shoot with quite as much detail as we can today. But in my case, it’s simply color editing and a bit of brightening here and there. And also makeup.

I love the challenge of getting a vintage look not only with what I’m wearing, but also in how my photos look. Of course my method is far from perfect and I need to do a little more research to find out how to manipulate the colors just right. But it was a fun experiment and I think it compliments this look!


I wore this outfit for my mom’s birthday. I had to get ready in a hurry, and had gotten this dress in the mail only the day before. Just before we left, the mail came, delivering this cardigan as well, and while they aren’t perfect color matches I love the way they work together! The flowers seem to echo each other and add in a bit of that 1920’s or 1930’s bohemian vibe that Skye has talked about before. It was the perfect outfit to wear for a family party where I knew I would be helping out a lot and corralling my kids!

This Lindy Bop dress is SO comfortable. My one complaint with Lindy Bop is that many of their dresses have a waistline that is just a tad too high to hit my natural waist, but a bit too low to be empire waisted. This dress is one of those cuts, but once belted it didn’t bother me as much. And the fact that the sleeves actually stretch and move the way sleeves should? So perfect.

I had actually spotted this dress on Lindy Bop months and months ago, and agonized over whether to get it or not. Ultimately I decided to pass it up in favor of another dress I needed for photography work, but I always had this dress in the back of my mind as the one that got away.

Then last week, someone posted it in a BST group, new with tags still attached, because she’d purchased it and it didn’t fit her as expected. So I JUMPED at the chance to own it, and I am so glad I did! It fits me just as I would have expected even with the waist issues (which I just figured would be a given!) and I couldn’t be happier.

I hope you will forgive my being late to post this! I got sick again this past weekend, and then once I was well enough to shoot it rained for three days straight. I only barely squeaked in a little photoshoot in this dress before it started sprinkling again! You can actually see the rain in a few shots as I rushed to get done before the deluge started up again.

But it’s supposed to be sunny this weekend, in perfect time for my husband and I to have an early Valentine’s day adventure alone! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Dress, Lindy Bop (similar here) | shoes, thrifted (same brand similar here) | belt, thrifted | cardigan, Coldwater Creek (similar vintage here and here) | headscarf, thrifted | brooch, vintage (similar here) | tights, Target (similar color here in teal)