Natural Beauty Brands & Products I Love To Use

a grouping of natural beauty products sitting on top of the dresser

Years ago, when I first started wearing makeup, my mom told me about trying makeup on at a friend’s house when she was a kid. Her friend’s aunt had given them her old makeup to play dress up with, and there was lead in the eyeshadow, which gave it a beautiful slippery texture and shiny finish. Of course, we now know that lead is a toxic ingredient best left out of makeup and other products we put on our skin, but it wasn’t until about 8 years ago when I read “Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe” by Greta Eagan that I learned that, even though there isn’t lead, there is still a lot of bad stuff in our makeup today!

In the book, she had a chart of ingredients to avoid, and I was shocked to discover that many of my products contained these harmful ingredients! (Here is a list of ingredients to steer clear of, if you’re interested in more  specifics). I now keep a list of these ingredients, arranged alphabetically, on my phone so when I’m looking at a product at the store, I can easily see whether it contains one of those substances. You can also get apps, such as EWG Healthy Living or Think Dirty, but my phone is too old for their OS. Some of these ingredients cause allergic reactions (I have sensitive skin and rosacea, so I definitely try to avoid those!), some can cause the very problems they are supposedly helping, and some are frank carcinogens that shouldn’t be in beauty products at all. But, while it’s great to know that you should avoid these ingredients, it’s a completely different thing to find products that don’t contain them! Some of them are such commonly used substances that, just like fast fashion, a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean a product that’s better for you.

Wear No Evil book sitting on the top of the dresser with makeup brushes and bottles sitting around it

Over the past 8 years I have tried a lot of different natural beauty brands and have gone through plenty of trial and error in order to find products that are clean, healthy and natural, but still perform well. I have definitely had my share of natural makeup products that haven’t worked including funky smells, bad textures and poor performance, but I’ve also found plenty of good ones. They are a mix of high and low price points and drugstore brands and small companies. I haven’t been able to find good clean products for all of the products I need, unfortunately, but these are the ones that work for me.

When looking for natural beauty brands and products, one of your best bets is going to be finding small companies that make their own small batches. Not only do they often have great products, but it’s usually a more sustainable option as well. A lot of the “natural” lines from big companies like Covergirl, Maybelline or Rimmel are very limited in selection, might not perform as well as the rest of their product lines and can sometimes fall into “greenwashing”- so you still always need to check the ingredient lists. While I do have some products from large companies, finding a smaller company that is making small batch cosmetics, and has been doing so before it was “cool”, is a great place to start.

Skin

andalou naturals 1000 roses face cream in a pink jar and a bottle of pure anada face oil treatment

For moisturizer, I use the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Day and Night creams. I love the rose scent! They don’t always have the rose one at the shop, so I sometimes use their Brightening renewal cream, which smells like citrus and is also quite refreshing.  

For the winter months, I’ve started using the Repair Luxury Treatment oil by Pure Anada. I get pretty dry skin in the winter, and a few drops of this oil really helps with that. It’s hydrating, but the oil absorbs well and you can even wear it under makeup, although I use it at night.

hand lotion and cream by Pure Anada and Lambs Soapworks sitting on top of a dresser

For body lotion I like Avalon Organics Refreshing Lemon lotion, and Lamb Soapworks Lemongrass lotion. Pure Anada also makes a nice hand cream, I have the Lavender scented one. Can you tell I really like fresh scents in my beauty products? I haven’t tried making my own lotion yet, but it’s something I’ve been thinking of trying.

homemade whipped body butter in an amber glass jar

For my feet, and dry patches in the winter, I use my homemade whipped body butter.

beauty from bees serum and pure anada lip balm sitting on top of the a dresser

And then, for after the shower where I need some extra hydration, I’ve started using the Beauty from Bees serum in Orange. For lip balm I use either homemade, Burt’s Bees or Pure Anada.

Pure Anada exfoliating cleanser and eye makeup remover sitting on top of the dresser

For cleansing, I use the Pure Anada Exfoliating Cleanser. I’m not sure the exfoliating works all that well, but it smells nice and if I need to exfoliate for dry skin I do a coffee or sugar scrub in the shower (it’s less messy that way!) In the past I have also used the Simply Bee charcoal face bar, but I gave it to my mom because it was a bit too squeaky clean for my sensitive skin.

When it comes time to take off my makeup at the end of the day I use a mix of Pure Anada Eye Makeup Remover and good old coconut oil on a reusable cloth face wipe I sewed out of cotton flannel.

jar of coconut oil with the lid off, sitting on top of the wooden dresser

I also use coconut oil when I do facial massage.

box of oatmeal soap bars by crate 61 sitting on the dresser

For body soap I like Crate 61 Organics. They are reasonably priced for a natural soap bar since I can usually find them at Winners and they have a lot of scents. I usually go for lemongrass, lavender or oatmeal.

beauty from bees magnesium spray and soul deo deodorant sitting on the dresser

Finally, for the last thing in the skincare category: deodorant. For the past few months I’ve started using a magnesium oil spray from Beauty from Bees (you can also make your own) each night. I first read about how magnesium works as a deodorant in two articles from Evie Magazine, here and here. And, it works incredibly well; it’s the best deodorant I have ever tried! I still use the SoulDeo Naturals baking soda free deodorant on hot days.

Hair

As far as hair care goes, I haven’t found a good shampoo or hair care product yet. Well, I used to use Nature’s Gate shampoo, but they stopped selling it in Canada, and I have been searching for a good replacement ever since. I’ve tried shampoo bars and several natural brands, but they don’t work well for my fine, oil prone straight hair and itchy scalp. My sister and mom use Oneka shampoo, but it’s too heavy for my hair, so I’m currently using a bottle of a salon product. I use an Aveda Heat Relief spray for when I heat style my hair, but it’s got a few questionable ingredients in it too, so I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It does work well, and is free from a lot of other bad ingredients though, so that’s why I use it instead of others. We do what we can, right?

Makeup

For makeup, though, I do have some favourite products to share!

zuii mint primer and covergirl concealer sitting on the dresser

After I’ve finished moisturizing, I put on the Zuii mint tinted primer. While I don’t notice it making a big difference in correcting the redness of my skin, it is still a great primer. This is my first time using a primer, so while I often used to have creased makeup by the end of the day, this keeps my foundation in place all day, which has been a pleasant surprise.  I bought it recently and have been really liking it, especially since it’s made of (and smells like) flowers!

On top of the primer, I use the Covergirl Clean Fresh concealer. I tried their powder foundation and it didn’t give any coverage at all on my skin, however, their concealer is pretty good. In conjunction with the Zuii primer it seems to stay put all day and it evens out fairly well. I don’t use it for under eye concealing, because it makes my eyes feel a bit sensitive, but for blemish concealing it works quite well.

zuii flora powder foundation

I’ve been using the Zuii Flora powder foundation for years, and I love it! I can’t find it in Canada any more, so I recently bought it direct from Australia because it’s the best foundation I’ve found for my skin. I used to use the Physicians Formula organic BB cream, but they discontinued it, so I’ve been using this foundation exclusively for several years. (Why do companies discontinue a product just after you find it, right?) Unfortunately Zuii just had a price increase right before I purchased, but at least I got free shipping on my order, and the product does last a long time.  I like that this foundation gives a light coverage, and isn’t too heavy, but evens out the blotchiness for a nice smooth finish. I tried using some other natural powder foundations from brands more readily available in Canada, but they were way too powdery with hardly any coverage, so I had to come back to this one.

palette with pure anada eyeshadows, brushes and pots of loose powders

For eyeshadow, I use the Pure Anada pressed shadows. I also have some of their loose eyeshadow powders, but I find them a bit too messy for my preference. My favourite shadow colour of theirs is Mirage (the one that’s almost empty!) It’s a nice shimmery light grey/brown with a green undertone, and I wear it almost every time I wear shadow. And for eyeliner and brows, I usually use a mix of the dark brown and grey shades on a small brush for a soft look, or I sometimes also use the Zuii eyeliner pencil when I don’t use powder. My days of wearing black winged liner are long gone…I don’t have the patience for it anymore!

Eyeliner pencil and mascara tube sitting on the top of the dresser

To finish off my eyes, I use Covergirl Clean Fresh mascara. I started using  it about a year ago, and it’s nice. I don’t get fallout and black shadows under my eyes, and I’ve tried several natural brands in the past that have caused itchiness, but this one is good so far. It’s also a great price point, especially considering there is no way to get through a tube of mascara before it expires.

For lipsticks, I don’t actually have a good natural one to recommend! And I know that’s crazy, because lip colour is the one item I should be most concerned about ingesting. I don’t wear lip colour very often so I’m currently using up my old lipstick, which they don’t make anymore, but the ingredients aren’t too bad. I have tried the Zuii satin lip colour and flora lipstick and have found them both to be very dry, so if you like a more moisturizing lipstick, I wouldn’t recommend those. I think once my old lipstick runs out, I would like to try a Tin Feather lipstick. I’ve also used a Pacifica lipstick in the past; I got rid of it because it wasn’t a good colour for me, but it was a lovely moisturizing formula!

And to finish off this list of my favourite natural beauty brands, here are some other brands that I haven’t personally used, but my sister has.

Three Ships for skincare 

Green Beaver for all kinds of natural products including face, body, hair, and oral care

Painted Earth Cosmetics for skincare, makeup, and hair 

Joyous Health for face, body and hair products

Well, I hope that this post is helpful if you’re looking for natural beauty brands and products. Whether you’re just getting started, or have been wearing natural makeup for a while, it’s always nice to find new brands and products. What natural beauty products do you love to use?

The Costumes Of Testament of Youth: Film Fashion Inspiration

Vera Brittain and Roland Leighton embracing in Testament of Youth

Today I am sharing the costumes of Testament of Youth, one of my favourite period films, in part three of my series of film fashion inspiration! You can read the first two posts, about Miss Potter here and Jane Eyre here. Have you ever seen the 2014 film Testament of Youth starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton and Colin Morgan? It is set during the Great War of 1914-1918, and based on the memoir by Vera Brittain the British writer, feminist and pacifist who lived from 1893 to 1970. Her memoir chronicles her early adulthood during WWI and the interwar years, capturing the experiences of her generation. While it is an extremely heart wrenching story, it is also beautifully told. The costumes in the film were designed by Consolata Boyle, and I love how they give such an insight into Vera’s character. Here are some of my favourite fashion inspirations from her costumes which span the pre-war to post-war years.

Vera Brittain wearing a blue coat with an embroidered lapel and a matching beret

In her memoir, Vera Brittain speaks of her love for stylish clothing and beautiful fabrics, and she includes passages about her garments and accessories. In this film, unlike the other historical films I’ve shared, the main character has an extensive wardrobe filled with many beautiful pieces, and she doesn’t repeat outfits throughout the film.

Vera’s colour palette consists mainly of blues and pinks, with some adjacent colours of purple and mint. She wears mostly pastel shades before the war, and then those colours darken into navy and burgundy during and after the war.

Vera Brittain wearing an embroidered blouse with intricate details

While Vera wears the more simple and streamlined silhouettes of the early 1910’s (streamlined compared to the decade before) the pieces she wears are extremely intricate, and require a closer look to take in all of the details. Many of her outfits contain embellishments to set them apart, whether it’s embroidery at the neckline or lapel, button placement, bias and straight cut pieced stripes, pin tucks or insets of lace.

Vera Brittain wearing pintucked and pieced blouses

Many of the costumes are extant pieces, which really does give a feeling of historicity to the film. However, her costumes are not stuffy at all, and the elegant silhouettes make the outfits much more “wearable”;  I would love to add pieces like these into my wardrobe!

Vera Brittain wearing a blue skirt, white blouse and periwinkle blue cardigan to write her exam at Oxford

While Vera has chosen the path of academia and a serious career in writing (despite her family’s fears that she will become a “bluestocking”) she does not choose this at the expense of her own personal style. She decries the frumpy and ugly clothing of so many of her fellow students and despite the headmistress scornfully asking a fellow professor, after seeing Vera, whether they are hosting an examination or “a debutante’s ball”, she doesn’t give up her enjoyment of clothing to wear what is deemed serious attire. She is definitely what we would call a fashionista, but proves that you don’t have to stop wearing feminine clothing in order to be smart and ambitious.

Vera Brittain wearing a cardigan and a jumper

That being said, Vera does change to some extent what she wears depending on the season and where she is. She wears darker clothing for the city, the original tailored “academia” aesthetic when she’s in Oxford (with her own fashionable twist) and chooses lightweight and less structured pieces for the country.

Vera Brittain layering knitwear and wool for her outfit at Oxford college

Vera’s outfits also contain a great mix of textures with a wide range of fabrics. She wears a lot of layers, often pairing lighter blouses with interesting knitwear and tailored coats on top. She wears a lot of lovely sweaters, or jumpers as they’d be called in England, and unifies these separates through her choice of accessories and colours to create cohesive ensembles.

Vera trying on several different hats before choosing the one to pair with her pink and lace dress

Vera also loves a good hat, and knows the power of a hat to either make or break your outfit. There is one scene in the film where she tries on several different hats before finally selecting one as the perfect finishing touch to her outfit.

Vera Brittain played by Alicia Vikander wearing two great 1910's hats

A good topper can either complete your outfit, or take centre stage and stand out on it’s own as a statement. She wears both statement hats and more restrained hats throughout the film, depending on the occasion.

Vera wearing a light pink and cream lace dress with a matching hat and shawl at the school graduation

Vera also knows that dressing up for an occasion can make it even more special. During one scene, Vera wears a rather too fancy outfit to an event, raising her mother’s eyebrows, but it elevates the mood and sets the tone for what happens. She knows that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, and she’ll never be accused of not being dressed for the occasion. I love this idea; even if there isn’t an occasion to wear your fancy clothes, you can make one!

Vera Brittain VAD uniform

Now that I’ve discussed a lot of the beautiful 1910’s fashions, we come to what Vera wears for the majority of the film: her VAD uniform. Vera left Oxford in 1915 to join the British Voluntary Aid Detachment as a nurse. While we might look at her uniform today and think it looks rather nice compared with modern uniforms, she hated wearing it! Which I can actually understand, as I’ve hated wearing a uniform at past jobs as well, no matter what they were like. Some Volunteers tried to customize their uniforms, which was frowned upon, but there wasn’t really much they could do to personalize it. (Here is an in depth video about the components of the VAD uniforms, by Crows Eye Productions.)

Vera Brittain wearing her VAD uniform on the ward, as well as her outerwear and hat

During this section of the film, Vera leaves most of her personal style to the side, though she still continues to wear some great outerwear and hats; she is able to inject some interest into her outerwear with her berets! The beret is a classic piece for Vera, and she wears them often throughout the film, but I especially love this interesting pleated beret she wears with her VAD outerwear. I’d love to make something like it.

I actually take some inspiration from her wartime costumes too, as keeping separate wardrobes for work and personal time is a great idea.  Even if you aren’t wearing an actual uniform to your job, after a while the clothes you wear to work can start to feel like a uniform, and you won’t really feel like wearing them outside of work. Keeping a small selection of mix and match pieces specifically for your job can make it easier to get dressed in the morning without stress, as well as giving you the chance to save your favourite pieces for when you’re out having fun. Choosing a “uniform” of your own for work can keep the rest of your closet from feeling stagnant, as well as ensuring that you always have a work appropriate outfit ready to go.   

vera brittain wearing her burgundy coat and beret

The latter part of the film, spanning the war and post-war years are understandably a more serious and sombre period, and the costumes are much more subdued. There are a lot of darker colours and pared back ensembles, which reflect the hardships Vera has gone through. Society as a whole, and women’s fashion in particular, changed greatly through the war years, with war jobs and rationing drastically transforming the kinds of clothing that women wore. This film did a great job of capturing that zeitgeist and the film ends right as women’s clothing is heading for even more change in the 1920’s, never to return to what it was before. (For more about how the Great War sparked the Roaring Twenties, this is a really great video, again by CrowsEye Productions.)

Well, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the costumes of Testament of Youth, but these are some of my favourites from this film. Have you seen this film, and what did you think of it? What parts of Vera’s wardrobe do you like? Do you wish you could steal any of the pieces to add to your closet?

Vera Brittain as played by Alicia Vikander in the train on her way to her Oxford exams, wearing a light aqua blouse and straw hat with matching ribbon

Wear Vintage Now | Book Review

Wear Vintage Now book by Margaret Wilds with jewelry, shoes a hat and a purse around it

I met Margaret Wilds of the shop DeniseBrain Vintage on Instagram a few years ago. I believe it was through the #myvintagecover challenge that Tanith Rowan and I hosted in 2017 and 2018, and I have been following her blog ever since. (I have linked to her posts in the past here and here) In 2019 Margaret asked me whether she could use one of my photos in a book she was writing. I was, of course, honoured and said yes! I finally was able to buy her book, Wear Vintage Now: Choose It, Care For It, Style It Your Way, just over a month ago, so I thought I’d share a review of it here.

Note: I purchased this book myself, and was not asked to give a review or receive compensation- I just wanted to share it with you all. 

wear vintage now book wrapped in pink tissue paper

Firstly, in terms of the book itself, it came beautifully wrapped in bright pink tissue paper… and I was so excited that I ripped it off before I took a picture- oops! But at least I was able to get a picture of the sticker afterwards. Also, Margaret signed the book for me, which was such a nice touch; I love buying things from small businesses, since it feels like you’re opening a gift.

It is a softcover book, 150 pages, and she did such a sweet cover design (the cover is laminated with a soft touch, velvet finish too). The only critique I have of the book is that I wish the pictures were larger! But I know that would have changed the price of printing…and so I completely understand why they were on the smaller side. I just wish I could have seen even more details!

As for the content, I really liked her premise for the book, “Who can wear vintage? I can’t think of one single person who can’t!” She focuses on several topics: how to find your vintage “look” or “style”, how to shop for vintage online and how to care for your vintage pieces.

In the first section, she shares tips for styling vintage, whether you want to be what she calls a “time traveler” or a “modern/vintage mixer” (which is the category my picture is in!) She then moves on to talking about which pieces to select if you’re new to wearing vintage, and easy pieces to add to your wardrobe first if you’re not quite ready to dive in headfirst. This section is definitely aimed at those who are new to wearing vintage, and I wish I’d had this book 10 years ago when I first got interested in wearing vintage clothing.

wear vintage now book open to the page my picture is on

In the next section she shares tips on how to measure, figure out what will suit you and make wise purchases avoiding pieces that are going to be more of a headache than a joy. With over 20 years of experience in collecting, repairing and selling vintage clothing, she has a wealth of knowledge about buying vintage online. I don’t buy very much clothing online, but armed with her tips, I actually might start doing so.

Since I’ve been following vintage blogs for years, I honestly wasn’t sure whether there would be much “new” information in this book for me, but I really liked her final chapters on “Taking Care of Your Vintage Finery”. She shares a lot of information on fibre content, laundering and stain removal, damage prevention and storage. I learned more than a few new cleaning tricks that I will definitely be using in the future.

And then in the final section she gives some information about vintage reproduction and alternatives to authentic vintage, in case you’re interested in a vintage look, but true vintage is not an option.

Margaret’s love and passion for vintage clothing shines through her entire book, but especially in her last part titled “Wear Vintage and Make the World Brighter” where she says “Vintage fashion is the creative, high quality, thoughtful and beautiful answer to fast fashion. Go forth and wear it well!”

I honestly couldn’t have said it better myself; those are my exact feelings about vintage clothing as well.

If you have any interest in wearing vintage clothing, then this is the book for you. I’m glad that I finally bought Wear Vintage Now because it will be a great reference to have on my bookshelf.

The book is available either through her Etsy shop, or via her website. (I purchased through her website, since the shipping on Etsy was cost prohibitive to Canada).

Going to the Chapel

wedding guest outfit of a straw hat and purse paired with a navy cross printed dress with a pearl necklace and tan sandals. Nicole is on a grassy lawn with trees in the background

…Not to get married, but to witness one! Summers for most people means weddings, especially with the backlog of weddings from the past two years, but I actually haven’t attended very many weddings in my life, and I only had one to go to this year. Of course, where there is a wedding, there is wedding attire, and this one was no exception. When planning what to wear to this wedding, I needed it to check three boxes: a colour that wouldn’t clash with the bridal party (green) because I was going to get some photos taken with the bride (my friend Chantelle), something comfortable and in a natural fibre because it was going to be an outdoor wedding in August and, finally, something that coordinated with my giant straw hat- because it was going to be in the sun and I needed to bring my own shade!

Nicole is wearing a navy blue fit and flare dress with a large straw hat with a navy ribbon and a straw tote bag. She is standing outside in front of some trees

Despite the fact that I knew about this wedding since March, I didn’t actually figure out all of these important details until July, and then I didn’t actually sew the dress until a week before the wedding. In my defence, I was hoping to be able to find something to buy in the shops, but that shopping trip immediately reminded of why I even started to sew clothing in the first place. If it wasn’t synthetic fibres, it was cheaply sewn, and if it was good quality, it didn’t fit…which meant that it was time for a sewing project! (And one with a deadline too, but I got it done….and my mom’s outfit too!) 

I knew that this wasn’t going to be a quick and easy sewing project, since I’ve changed sizes and needed to draft an entirely new bodice block. After a failed attempt at draping a bodice, I found a tutorial for creating a bodice block, and another for fitting it, and with the help of my mom we were able to make a fairly well fitting bodice block/sloper. Then from that base, I was able to customize it and turn it into a pattern for this dress.

detail of a simple classic pearl necklace with a v-neck dress made out of sevenberry fabric by Japan

I originally planned on buying some new fabric, but when the fabric search also proved unfruitful, I turned to what was already in my stash and decided that this cross printed navy cotton would be elegant, yet still good for an outdoor event. I had originally intended the fabric for a button front skirt, but am actually glad I made it into a dress instead, because the tan and navy colour combination probably wouldn’t have coordinated with very many of my tops, and as a dress, it is a perfect one-step outfit. 

The fabric also proved to be a great choice because it’s 100% cotton, with a linen textured weave, so it was lightweight and breathable, but it didn’t crease! I wore it from about 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and it looked almost as fresh in the evening when I took it off as when I’d put it on, which was incredible because we were outside melting in the summer sun. I bought this fabric from the clearance rack at Fabricland, and it’s by the Japanese brand Sevenberry. (That’s all I know about it, as that info was printed on the selvedge).

nicole is wearing a navy patterned cotton dress and a straw hat and pearl necklace. She is walking away from the camera in a grassy lawn with trees around it

When thinking about the dress, I first designed it as button front, but then the thought of making 20+ buttonholes in a short period of time just seemed like asking for trouble, so I opted for a simple back zipper, v-neck, short sleeved bodice and knee length pleated skirt. In the end I’m actually glad that I went for the zipper closure, because that meant that I didn’t have to fiddle with the buttons and make sure they weren’t gaping or pulling.

nicole is wearing a navy knee length dress, tan leather sandals, a pearl necklace, a straw hat with a navy hatband and a straw purse outside in a treed area

When you are sewing, you need to keep in mind not only your ideas for the design, but what the fabric itself calls for. When designing, I planned for a turned up sleeve cuff with a button detail and maybe a bit of navy contrast fabric. I’d found some pretty cream and antique brass buttons in the stash and designed the entire dress around using these button accents on both sleeves and at the back neck. As it turns out, the fabric had a mind of it’s own and it did not want to have a cuff or button detail on the sleeve, and instead asked for the simplest of sleeve styles. I kept trying to add some sort of feature- a pleat, a contrast binding, a keyhole…but the nature of the fabric called for something simple and structured.

neck button and keyhole detail of the dress made of navy cross patterned fabric

Likewise, after I had sewn the keyhole at the top of the back zipper, I discovered that the cream and brass buttons I’d planned for actually didn’t actually look good! Then I had to go through the entire stash (of course it was at night) looking for a new button. This one (an extra from my green cardigan) was a bit more subtle in colour and sheen and worked perfectly. When sewing, things don’t always turn out the way you planned…but sometimes they turn out even better. This simple style of dress is actually a better addition to my wardrobe than any kind of statement piece. It’s almost like a “background” dress in the fact that the fabric pattern is interesting and detailed, but can easily be matched with many of my accessories for a different look. Those simple sleeves will also layer very nicely with cardigans for Fall and with the heavier texture of the fabric, it isn’t going to just be a summer dress, but will carry over for cooler weather too.

wearing a navy v-neck knee length dress with a straw hat and bag outside in a treed area

For the day of the wedding, because it was outdoors in the sun, I wore my giant straw hat. I love this hat, and was so thankful for it because we were sitting in the sun with no breeze. (At least a rainstorm came up after to cool us off.) I made a hat band out of a coordinating navy grosgrain ribbon, and while it wasn’t perfect, it worked well for one day. However, that is not the hatband you are seeing here because…I lost it somewhere. I guess I put it somewhere “safe”, so I had to quickly hot glue a new ribbon for these pictures. Oops!

large straw hat with a navy ribbon hatband

I chose to wear my pearl necklace and earrings, since they make any outfit instantly more dressy and for shoes wore my low heeled sandals since they are comfortable and don’t have heels that would sink into the grass.

tan cognac leather sandals with an ankle strap

And I didn’t actually bring this purse to the wedding, even though I wanted to, because I didn’t get the handles in time. I bought this straw bag from the thrift store, removed the (ugly!) fake leather handles, put a new lining in the bag and added leather handles I bought from this Etsy shop. (She did a custom size for me, 26″ x 5/8″ in cognac leather.) I wish that they had arrived in time so I could have carried this bag, since I had to use a tote bag instead, which was way too floppy, and not nearly as stylish.

straw purse with leather cognac handles

So, that’s what I wore, and I’ve already worn this dress again because it’s so versatile. I’m am so glad that I went to the effort to make a new bodice block because that means that the hard part of fitting (the most hated part) is already done, and it’s pretty easy to whip up a dress once that’s out the way. I was planning on making another summer dress, but decided that since we are almost at the end of the season, I will instead start some sewing for fall and winter! That’s the thing with sewing…you always need to be thinking ahead to what season it will be when your projects will be finished. I’ve got some plans for more cool weather sewing projects, hopefully my next projects will be as quick as this one was, and I will have a few more things to wear this winter!

Have you attended many weddings in the past couple of years? When you go to a wedding, do you repeat the outfits you wear, or try to find something new? 

walking away wearing a navy knee length cotton dress and a large tan straw hat with a navy hat band

Social Saturday | September 3

bachelor's buttons tiny bouquet with teacups in the background for a tea party

Happy Saturday Dear Readers! Here are a few things I’ve been up to in the past few weeks.

Thankful For- Tea parties with friends! We served Earl Grey Tea and Vanilla Cheesecakes with sugared pansies on top (this recipe, but with an almond crust). So pretty!

vanilla cheesecake cut into squares with purple and white sugared pansy decorations on top

ReadingBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I recently read a different book about WWII and was interested in reading more about Bonhoeffer. And then when I visited a second hand book shop a couple of weeks ago, I found this one.

a very tiny fairy egg beside a normal sized egg

Loving– This adorable tiny little “fairy egg” or “fart egg” one of our hens laid. It was so small, yet was perfectly formed with a little yolk and everything! (Read more about fairy eggs here.)

Watching– So many home decorating channels on Youtube. I’ve been especially enjoying XO MaCenna renovating a 1910 fixer upper and Lone Fox working on a 1929 Spanish Revival home. Do you know of any other good home decor channels?

Making– Refinishing an antique dresser! It’s taking a lot longer than I first anticipated, but I think I’m going to love it once I’m done. If I ever finish it, that is…

spicy green peppers, tomatoes and peas fresh from the garden

Eating– Veggies from the garden; tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots…home grown produce is so delicious and flavourful!

Hope you have a great weekend, however you spend it!

bell pepper turning yellow and branches with dark berries on them