Saturday, November 30, 2013

Joyeux Neon: DIY Christmas Cards

  Who says neon pink isn't a Christmas color? It sure as heck brightens up those long, cold nights! This year, I decided my cards would be gold and neon pink. Honestly, I wasn't too sure about the colors, but they are turning out spectacularly! Well, at least I think so.

christmas, french, neon, card

The picture of the card does not do it justice. Neon can be tricky to photograph, but I think it gives you the idea of what can be done with a little neon and a lot of gold!

holiday, neon, cards, crafts, vintage, christmas, winter

Sourcing your materials:

1. Vintage Kitsch
Christmas decor and gift wrap are the things no one wants at garage and estate sales, so it's easy to find great stuff at dirt-cheap prices. I found the bell seals, the neon poinsettia, the super cool Santa in a sports car, and the snowy tree all at one estate sale. If you don't have time to go estate saleing, there's tons of cut vintage stuff on Etsy. This set has a lot of great pieces. I have a couple small kits for sale, too, that would be perfect for holiday crafting. 

2. Cut It Up
Post cards and old books are fabulous for crafting (the pine cone is from an old kid's encyclopedia). You can use every part! Text adds texture, hard covers can be used as canvases, and many old books have beautifully patterned end pages that can be used for all sorts of decorative purposes.

3. Think Outside the Pages
Even easier and cheaper? Recycled magazines and newspapers! The polka dot snowflake was a Wall Street Journal and the reindeer envelope was either a Martha Stewart Living or National Geographic.

4. Practice Makes Perfect
I write out a lot of my own greetings on the front. With a little practice, you can have beautifully lettered holiday cards. Each one unique! Get some watercolors and a fine brush or use a nice pen and just write out your words until you like them! You can get ideas from Pinterest or watch a tutorial if you're not sure where to start. If you live in the Seattle area, Sarah at Paper Source, teaches an amazing hand-lettering class!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Skincare Routine

The beautiful Katerina from Beauty In Insanity asked me very nicely to write a post about my skincare routine and since I like her so much, I felt I should oblige. 

I've had quite a few compliments on my rosey complexion throughout my life. Sometimes nice, sometimes along the lines of "Were you just running?" I hated my pink cheeks when I was a kid, but now they keep me looking young. That, I'm sorry to say, comes from genetics. I'm as much Dutch as I am French and that side of the family is prone to ruddy complexions. I can't guarantee these products will make your skin as rosy as mine, but they're a start!

The Routine

1. If I'm not struck by a bout of laziness, I use an Aveeno Moisturizing Bar to wash off the day's make-up.

2. In the morning, I use Obiqo Gentle Face Scrub in the shower to wake up my skin. Alternatively, I use the homemade face polish mentioned in this post.

3. If my skin is teaching me a lesson about laziness, I apply lavender essential oil to my Red Badges of Irresponsibility. 

4. Resvology Age Corrective Eye Cream actually helps with puffiness and dark circles. For real!

5. If I'm planning on wearing foundation, I use Clinique's All About Eyes Serum since it soaks in faster. Works great to reduce puffiness!

6. At night, I use Obiqo Restoring Night Cream. I don't usually need moisturizer during the day, but sometimes I use Sibu Hydrating Serum.

Bonus Skincare: Sometimes my skin needs a good, deep cleanse, so I do the 1.2.3. Facial which is basically a simple homemade oil mask, a facial steam to open pores, and a good wash. Simple as that!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Look of the Day: Merry & Bright

PINK, Victoria's Secret, satin, merry, bright, chirstmas, party
Of all the photos I took for the Chictopia x Victoria's Secret PINK campaign, I think these ones are my favorite. They're exactly what I had in mind when I decided to style the Bling Crew Sweatshirt for a holiday party. I put it over top of my 1950s satin Christmas dress and it was like magic! Don't be afraid to belt things, tie things, or even just tuck & roll!

PINK, Victoria's Secret, satin, merry, bright, chirstmas, party

PINK Bling Crew (c/o) - Vintage Satin Dress - Maison Martin Margiela for H&M wedges - Crate & Barrel mini lights

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Look of the Day: Cozy & Bright

I can't tell you how excited I am to be wearing these sweatpants. That may sound silly, but get this! Chictopia and Victoria's Secret PINK actually sent them to me and asked me to be a part of their holiday campaign!! Styling sweatpants is a little daunting, but a neon pink shirt with lace shoulders & some festive additions definitely make it easier!

I cut all the snowflakes myself. It's something I do every year around this time. I can sit for hours cutting them, which means I have tons! I had to get creative with my shoot, since the weather was beyond crummy, and these little paper wonders came in quite handy! The battery operated lights from Crate & Barrel saved my photos from being too dark & dreary.

Visit PINK New & Now to shop my outfit and see the other bloggers that created holiday looks. More of my stuff is also in Chictopia's Victoria's Secret PINK gallery!

More to come!
PINK Lace Shoulder Raglan Tee - PINK Campus Pant - Vintage REI duck boots - Vintage pompom hat - H&M scarf

Monday, November 18, 2013

Look of the Day: Floral Mini

vintage, floral, strapless dress, blonde, fleur d'elise

I can't believe I'm selling this dress. It's so cute and was so easy to style, that I'm sort of having second thoughts about listing it on Etsy. I braved the wind and cold to take these photos for the listing and am impressed with how cute the dress looks with a little added texture and contrasting accessories. If you're interested, you better buy it quick before I change my mind!

Another great find that I'm not sure I want to sell? This little Coach-ish purse I found at the Goodwill last night. It's from the Mervyns line of Coach-style bags and it's honestly quite close to being the same quality as the real thing. The hardware is a little squeaky, which is the only way to tell. The leather is gorgeously soft and in tip-top shape. I am trying to think of reasons to keep it other than "It's so cute!"

Last week, I realized that I wear blue about 75% of the time. I love the color and it's super flattering, but it's time to start dressing outside my comfort zone! My goal for my next 3 looks, at least, is to wear other colors. I own them, so it shouldn't be hard!

timex watch, vintage, purse, coach

Vintage strapless mini dress - J.Crew cardigan - vintage purse - Timex Dress Chronograph - Target flats - Forever21 glasses

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Skincare: Night & Day

I was sent some wonderful products from Obiqo to try and I must say, I am quite pleased with them! They've even encouraged me to get on a good AM/PM skincare schedule! Their products are all made with skin-restoring marine extracts and are perfect for mature skin or those trying to get a head start in the anti-aging department.

Skincare at night should be a little different than during the day. Your body does most of its replenishing while you sleep, and this includes your skin cells. Always make sure you wash your face before bed to remove make-up and dirt. Then apply a nice moisturizer, like Obiqo Restoring Night Cream. It's made for normal to dry skin and is great in the winter when heaters and cold weather do a number on your skin. The texture is just perfect. Light, yet rich, and without any sort of greasiness. The soft scent is also lovely.

Unless you have super oily skin and hair or have the bad habit of never washing your pillow cases (eww), then there's really no reason to wash your face both morning and night. A quick rinse with warm water or  a gentle scrub in the shower is all your skin really needs. Anything past that can strip natural oils that your skin actually needs. Obiqo Gentle Face Scrub is meant for just that. It's soap free and intended for use after your regular face wash. I use it in the mornings, though, in place of a face wash. It wakes up my skin and gently scrubs away anything I missed the night before. Sea kelp and sea lavender (actually a thing!) provide antioxidants. Sweet almond & apricot oils soothe and protect.

As a special treat for my readers, has offered a coupon code good for 20% off when you buy 3 or more items from the Obiqo line. Just enter 3QJ8LTV2 at checkout. (Expires at the end of the year)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Look of the Day: Overalls & Stripes

Have I told you how much I love my neighborhood? Well, I do! Lately, I've been feeling especially involved. I have a big project in the works with my friend & neighbor, Bella, of The Citizen RosebudI've been stopping in to Beats & Bohos regularly to check on my rack, and today, when I stopped in, I found my favorite barista buying some of my picks! I'm so flattered that she's gonna be wearing my clothes, haha

On Monday, Bella took some photos of my outfit. It's so refreshing to see photos of yourself from another person's point of view!

DNA Footwear sent me these Low Heel Almond Toe Zip Up Booties by Sixty Seven. The heel is just 2" tall which is perfect for my dumb feet. It means I can actually walk in them without being in pain! Sixty Seven produces all their shoes in Spain. That means gorgeous leather and European craftsmanship!

This is the typical face I make when someone else is taking my picture.

 I don't know if you've heard of the company Perfumed Jewelry, but you should write this down, because it's going to be on the top of your Christmas list! It's seriously an ingenious idea. Each necklace comes with 3 of these little jewel shaped stones that are infused with your choice of perfume. They offer some 200 different scents, so you're bound to find one you like! I chose Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I usually only wear it on vacation, since the bottle I own is so small, but now I can wear it more often! It's also great if you or someone you know is sensitive to perfumes. Taking off a necklace is so much easier than trying to wash off a perfume! Wear it as long as you like, then just put it back in its little box.

They sent me the Enchanted Pendant in Silver Plate, but it's also available in gold plate. I recommend this darling silver heart pendant, though.

Thrifted Overalls (similar)- GAP turtleneck - Oasap jacket - Coach Willis - Sixty Seven Booties - Perfumed Jewelry Enchanted Pendant

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Good & The Bad: Diet Trends

Are you ready for this? Ok. I... I don't believe in gluten-free or vegan diets. There. It's official now, since I've announced it on the internet. 

I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise; I am French, after all. Naturally, I am all for eating in moderation. For instance, I had a pastry and coffee for lunch yesterday and that is all I had. That being said, I think it's important to mix up your diet and eat non-wheat grains and animal-free meals from time to time. As many of my readers will point out, I've even posted vegan recipes.

However, I'm also slowly losing faith in the trend of substituting sugars and fats for other sugars and fats. See, it even sounds dumb. This article, itself, was inspired by the coconut sugar I discovered at Trader Joe's this week. Same amount of calories as table sugar but tastes less sweet? Well, that means I'm just going to use more of it!

Our bodies are programmed to crave certain foods, especially those high in calories. That's why cheese, pastries, and, let's not kid ourselves, McNuggets taste so good. When you deny yourself those foods, of course you're going to try to replace them with something else. Usually, fats get replaced with sugars and vice versa. When you take both out, most food companies just replace it all with salt, or even worse, fake sugar and mystery chemicals. Do you know what my brain does when I consider going gluten free? It's starts thinking about all the gluten-free foods I can eat, like french fries, potato chips, hash browns, and milk shakes. None of the foods I just mentioned are really part of a "balanced" diet now, are they? 

Anyway, my point is that people are going about it all wrong, especially those people who think it's going to help them lose weight. Instead of focusing on whole foods that are naturally vegan or gluten-free, we are convinced by marketing and even our own treacherous bodies to replace the foods we cut out with easily-accessible, processed substitutes. I've tried to avoid getting into the politics of it, since everyone chooses their diet for different reasons. There are people reading this who have to eat gluten-free or vegan for sometimes very serious health reasons. This article is not directed at you. And for those of you like my friend Katherine it is your concern for animal welfare that has led you to this lifestyle. This article is not directed at you! I respect your choice. But for those of you who think some trendy new diet is your magic ticket to weight loss, you've got another thing comin'!

I've compiled a list of the good and bad aspects of vegan and gluten-free options and the trendy substitutes you find at Trader Joe's.


Soy cheese is an atrocity
Can we say PROCESSED?? Toffuti contains 16 to 19 ingredients including preservatives and 3 forms of soy (we'll deal with soy later), and to top it all off, they're not even sure what oils they use in each batch. Plus, it tastes like gas station food and contains about 100mg more sodium than a slice of good, old cheddar. If you're allergic to dairy or feel strongly about animal rights, then just skip the cheese. Both you and the earth will benefit.

Coconut Butter
Frequently used as a (delicious) substitute for butter, it has more calories and almost twice the amount of saturated fat (12g versus 7g). Combine that with almond flour in a batch of paleo cookies and you've got a recipe for a stomachache. For instance, one of these cookies has almost 3 times the amount of calories as a regular chocolate chip cookie. 

These are not paleo, but they do contain delicious coconut butter!

Gluten-Free = Sugar & Fat 
Store bought gluten-free options are quite frequently a bad idea. Take for instance this "Totally Healthy" cake. 33g of fat in one small cake and almost as much sugar as a can of coke! Like I mentioned above, you're best off just making your own food at home and trying to forget things like cookies and cake, except on special occasions. The goal of going without gluten should be about health, not about trying to get your sugar fix from some other source!

Bye, bye B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is actually a really serious health risk, especially for children who are on vegetarian and vegan diets. It can lead to pernicious anemia, neuropathy, and if left untreated, even brain damage. Please read this medical study review and if you're a vegan, try incorporating kimchi into your diet, as this can be a good source of the bacteria that creates B12.

Sugar Alternativs
Like I mentioned above, is coconut sugar really such a good replacement if it has just as many calories but doesn't taste as sweet? Honey and maple syrup, while delicious, have glycemic indexes comparable to table sugar (58 and 54 respectively). And don't you even think of touching those chemicals known as artificial sweeteners!

Soy is not your friend
Soy is in everything nowadays. It's in junk food, it's in health food; it's in cheese & meat substitutes, chocolates, cereals, infant formulas, fish sticks, yogurts, salad dressings and it was the last meal of the chicken that made the egg for your Cobb salad. So why are people not having as many reactions to soy as they are to gluten? On top of the over-exposure, soy is also a source of estrogen-mimicking compounds known as isoflavones. They acts as exogenous (external) hormones, which can reduce fertility, upset development in children and adolescents, and even trigger cancers (source). Oh, also, we're cutting down the rainforest to grow it, so if you think that soy patty is saving animals, it's not.


Coconut Butter
First off, this stuff tastes sooo good. It adds a hint of the tropics to any dish you're cooking. I'd also like to point out that your body needs fats and the fatty acids found in coconuts are reportedly very good for brain function. So go ahead and get your fat from the amazing coconut, just don't go crazy. Make fewer batches of cookies and use a little less on your toast.

Mixing it up is good for you
Eating gluten-free or vegan a few times a week can help you avoid allergies and makes life a little more interesting. Cutting out meat when possible is also good for the earth. So go ahead and make those paleo cookies, because they're probably gonna taste awesome, but don't eat them every day! Also, check the book called VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00. The idea is that you eat a healthy, homemade vegan diet for most of the day, and then, after 6pm, you eat whatever you like. Sounds doable, right?

Gluten-free = Coeliac awareness
My friend, Abi, from England has a pretty serious intolerance to gluten. It's not life-threatening, but it does make her life pretty miserable when she eats it. The first time she came to visit me in 2007, the gluten-free options were few and far between. And expensive! With the gluten-free trend, the amount of foods labeled coeliac friendly has skyrocketed. For that, I am thankful. Especially when it concerns people who are deathly allergic to gluten and wheat. People are now more knowledgeable and understanding (with the exception of one self-inflicted dieter I had the pleasure of serving once).

Sugar Alternatives
We eat waaaay too much sugar in this country. Really, we should be eliminating it instead of replacing it. Coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index, so if you need your sugar fix, it's definitely a better option. Agave nectar is also a good option. It's delicious and has a glycemic index between 11 and 30, depending on the brand. 

Soy is delicious
It tastes great in my latte and in the form of edamame. That's about it.

Alright. That's my piece. I've opened the flood gates, I know, but I'm ready for it. What's your take?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Out & About: Shop Fleur d'Elise

I have my very own pop-up shop! The lovely Omaima invited me to be the very first local fashion-y person to have a rack of my picks up at Beats & Bohos. For two weeks, my vintage finds and shop favorites will be featured on a rack of their own!

The shop is located on Greenwood Avenue, right on the corner of 72nd Street.

Hurry in, because things are going fast! I already bought that light blue dress you see underneath the sign ;)

 Next to the rack you'll find my stationery sets, calendars, and a little bio in an art deco frame. If you're not in Seattle, but are still interested in my creations and vintage clothes, you can take a peek at them here.

P.S. Have you entered my giveaway yet??

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