Friday, June 30, 2017

Fragrance Review-Love2Love Fresh Rose and Peach

Love2Love Fresh Rose+Peach was a $5.99 blind-buy at Marshalls last winter that I've just started wearing with the warmer weather. I cannot stop spraying myself (and everything from my linens to my shoes) with this easy-to-wear rose scent. I'm starting to worry this scent might have been a gamble that Coty discontinues before it ever becomes established, and I shall be stockpiling accordingly. My gym shoes never smelled so good.

Bulgarian rose and peach sound heavy on paper, but combined in Love2Love, they're quite light-almost too light and I find myself wishing it had a bit more ooomph. I realise that's asking a lot for $5.99. I apply generously, and re-apply after an hour which isn't something I'd ordinarily do, but that rose note is so delicious I have to keep reviving it rather than let the fragrance unfold and fade as intended. When left alone after one application, I get about four hours, but it is very faint after about three. There's a musk note at the base, but it doesn't stick around in a noticeable way. That's all for the good as Love2Love really doesn't need it.

There's a barely there geranium note which is so rose-like I can barely detect it apart from the Bulgarian rose. I have that trouble with geranium, at least in combination with rose notes. My own geranium plants don't smell of anything in the flowers, but rubbing the petals between my fingers I get a hint of what distilled geranium is like. Still, I have a hard time picking it out here other than to say it somewhat lightens the Bulgarian rose-if that makes any sense.

The peach in Love2Love is bright and floral avoiding that dead smell somewhere between unwashed hair and roadkill peach can sometimes develop. I'm not saying that's a bad thing-it has a place in perfumery (I'm looking at you, Mitsouko) but combined with Bulgarian rose and litchi, it might be, as my husband is fond of saying, "A bit much." Love2Love never approaches even a tiny "bit much."

I'm surprised I'm enjoying Love2Love so much. I don't typically like light fragrances of this sort, and litchi will always smell unpleasant to me, like a bottle of cheap, turned wine you wouldn't even cook with. Here, it just smells a tiny bit grape-like without the smell of grape chewing gum and cider vinegar. That said, around the second hour it does develop a slightly sharp note that I suspect is the litchi wearing off and the orris root taking over. The exchange is interesting-almost metallic. It doesn't last long, and this is generally the point where I get out the bottle and re-apply. The rose completely disappears, and without re-spraying you're left with a bowl of fruit sitting on the kitchen table with a slight scent of kitchen cleanser. Not a bad smell exactly, but I find myself missing the rose.

The nose behind Love2Love Fresh Rose+Peach is Calice Becker, best known (to me) for the re-launched version of Vent Vert in the 90's, and Tommy Girl. I despise Tommy Girl, but I thought the 90's Vent Vert was rather nice-so I'll call it 50/50 for me personally on Becker. J'Adore was also a Becker creation which I don't personally like on my skin, but find lovely on others. What I'm getting at is, Love2Love wasn't thrown together by an amateur.  At $5.99 you're getting the work of an experienced nose for one hell of a bargain. Do I wish the quality of the ingredients matched the skill of the nose? Sure, but again, it is so cheap you can re-apply as needed. A nice spray every couple of hours does seem to lift my mood.

Let's talk about the horrible bottle for a moment. The cap isn't a cap at all, but a silly design feature that leaves the sprayer open to the air. That's bad. Worse, the silly plastic "hat" if you will (as it reminds me of a sun visor) comes off easily when lifting the bottle sending it crashing into other items on the perfume tray. I really hate that. Either make a proper, secure cap, or don't make one at all. To have something that serves no purpose other than to annoy seems a waste. I'm starting to become irritated by bottles that don't play nice on the perfume tray, or take up unnecessary space with odd shapes.

What's in Love2Love Fresh Rose and Peach? Not all that much, actually.
Peach, litchi, Bulgarian rose, geranium, musk, currant buds, and orris root.

That might be the shortest list of notes I've typed out in some time. Interesting to me is the absence of citrus notes. I'd swear there was a Mandarin note in there, but I haven't found it listed anywhere. I wonder if that's my nose, or my brain thinking it ought to be there. Spend enough years thinking about perfume and sometimes your brain takes over your nose.

I haven't tried any of the other fragrances in the range, but they sound interesting. Bluebell+White Tea, Freesia+Violet Petals, Jasmine+Sparkling Mimosa, and Orange Blossom+White Musk. They're such inexpensive fragrances I can't see any reason to skip them other than the increasingly troublesome lack of storage space for my collection. At worst, they can be deployed around the house as air freshener. I'm not the only runner in this family with stinky shoes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Casual Weekend Looks

Oh caftan, my caftan

 This is my Sunday afternoon in summer look. I can't be bothered styling my hair, or matching up tops and skirts at the weekend, so caftans and float-type dresses have become the unofficial rule. I save the tricky stuff for weekdays. A stack of plastic bangles in bright colours will dress up just about anything, not that this dress really required dressing up.

Here's a close-up of the animal print.

I belted the dress as it is so large it kept sliding around at the shoulders. The sash keeps it in place without looking too strange on a dress that wasn't designed for a belt. There are two generous pockets that meant I could have skipped the handbag. I love that. Sometimes I just want to take a quick walk to the post box, or the Walgreen's without carrying more than a wallet and keys. 

Outfit Particulars:
Indian-made (I know, it looks Mexican) float dress-Can't remember, but it was thrifted
Bakelite bangles-all over
Necklace and earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Straw Bag-Goodwill
Belt-came with another dress
Fragrance-Madonna Truth or Dare (aka "Fake Fracas")

I must confess, I've been seduced by dungarees. Dress them up with heels, or down with a tee, they're perfect for (almost) any occasion (in Nebraska anyway) and cost all of $29.00 at the local farm supply store. These are made by Key and as the label says, they are the Aristocrat of Overalls. I'd say that's an accurate claim. 
Perfect attire for an evening of arcade games and putt-putt golf at the Family Fun Center on Q Street. The problem with a pair of dungarees is once you start wearing them, you'll want to wear them all the time. I much prefer changing into these at the end of a day than sweatpants, but then I've never owned a pair of sweats I thought were comfortable. I haven't gone full-on 90's and worn them with a cropped-top and heels yet, but "never say never"!  I'm wearing clogs in this photo. 
Here's a better look at that Betsey Johnson bag. As per my rules, "Two is a coincidence, three is a collection", I now have a collection of Betsey Johnson bags. This one was just made for classing-up a pair of dungarees.

Finally, what's easier to wear than a Hawaiian dress? I skipped the belt, stuck some flowers in my hair and was ready to go in under five minutes. You can't go wrong with white accessories in summer.
Of course, the best white and blue accessory is a Cubs "Win" flag, which I uh...wish I had the opportunity to fly a bit more often. Ahem. Go Cubs!

Do you have a favourite casual look you rely on when you're just not feeling inspired to do much more than take a shower?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday's Big Question

I dug the first of the new potatoes today. 


What are the potatoes thinking?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Got You Under My Heels

 I caved, and bought the shoes. It isn't every day you find squirrel shoes, you know!
It is difficult to see in the photos, but their bellies have a fuzzy fabric. The knit acorns are detachable. I wore them out today and heard quite a lot of, "Oh my god that lady has squirrels on her shoes!" One woman requested a photo. I have some nice shoes, but no one has ever asked for a photo of them. These were fun, and I was pleased to be able to spread a few smiles around town. They hurt like the dickens, but they looked great.
"Yeah, well they look like dinner as far as I'm concerned."
I knew such special shoes would require a nicer-than-typical dress. This wild 60's number was begging to be worn.

 The dress is a shiny, textured nylon material that was popular when I was a child. I bought the dress with the original tags from Goldblatt's on it. I had to laugh at that as I wouldn't have been caught dead near Goldblatt's when I was young (it was cheap and frequented by old people in search of a bargain). Today, being just that sort of person in search of a bargain, I wish Goldblatt's still existed. Oh well, I'm thrilled to pieces with the dress.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage 60's Dress-Etsy seller Cloistered Muse
Necklace-Goodwill. My best guess is Ethiopian as I bought it in a set with a Lion of Judah pendant. Could be Jamaican by way of Ethiopia-or it could be something else entirely. Any experts have an opinion?
Irregular Choice Nibbles McNutty Shoes-Ashbury Skies
Vintage belt-Thrift World (the dress had the original gold belt, but I didn't like it)
Vintage straw bag-Yard sale
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Cabochard (that was the end of the bottle. Sob. I have so much perfume it seems crazy to replace a fragrance most people find offensively strong but...well, you know how I absolutely live to offend).
We had some wild cloud-to-cloud lightning the other night. The storm never materialised on the ground, but it was fascinating to watch up in the sky.
We have a new statue on the college campus. I don't know why they stuck it off in a corner of the parking lot no one sees, but in the process of assembling it they did away with the nice picnic bench beneath the tree. The statue sits atop a very steep hill overlooking a lower cement parking area. I give it a month before some drunken student climbs the statue and goes tumbling down 50 ft. It is a nursing college, so at least they shouldn't have trouble finding someone to administer first aid.
I'm laughing here because our postman just drove by, slowed nearly to a stop, leaned out the truck, and gave me a waving peace-sign as he went by. He's my age, so it was funny. Far out, maaaaaan.
 I hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mexican Flowers

My Mexican shell flowers are blooming! I'm so excited, as this is the first year I've grown them, and didn't know what to expect. I've tried to stagger the blooms in my garden planting things that flower throughout the season-but that doesn't always go to plan with our unpredictable weather. These will be a welcome burst of colour as we wait for the gladiolas to bloom.
The wasps and bees are enjoying the garden as well. Danny tells me this is in fact not a wasp, but a robber fly. I learn all sorts of interesting things from that kid.
Speaking of beautiful florals from's the vintage hand-tooled leather bag I bought last week. The inside is lovely too...
In person it looks like pale, watercolour flowers. My camera isn't doing it justice. Sadly, the Armadillo bag arrived broken in pieces from poor packaging, but the seller issued a full refund so at least I wasn't stuck with a, "Busted Armadilla". On the positive side, I get to shout, "Busted Armadilla"  to amuse my son. Sure, other people look at us strange, but when don't they? Busted Armadilla! I'll get my bag, someday. 
Keeping with the floral theme, I gave this embroidered dress another wear. 
I can't decide how I feel about it. This will never be the first dress I reach for, but on beastly hot days when the thought of sleeves makes me break out in hives, I'm glad I own it. The top needs to be closed with a brooch unless I feel like letting it all hang out (which is fine, but not on a weekday morning when I'm headed out to do mundane chores) but that's clearly not a problem as anyone that's seen my brooch collection will know. I went with this replica of a Pre-Columbian nose-ring. I do like a good museum reproduction piece.

Outfit Particulars:
Embroidered dress-Goodwill
Brooch-Salvation Army store, Lincoln
Earrings-K Mart
Vintage Handbag-New Life Thrift
Flip-Flops-Hand- Me-Ups
Square bangles-K Mart
Other gold bangles-various thrift stores
Fragrance-Eau de Gaga (Nice! It has a dominant lime note that sticks around for hours. A little leathery, a little woody, this was five bucks well spent).

 I have a few more flowers to share. This skirt *almost* matched the bag. So close-gah. I wore it anyway, but I must admit, I wasn't happy once I got outside in the light. Still, I had people stopping me to compliment the skirt, so it couldn't have been as distracting as I thought. It is harder to match poppy prints than you'd suspect!
 At least the necklace and earrings were a good match. They look like raspberries, but are tiny beads. It is heavier than it looks.
Outfit Particulars:
Talbott's cotton skirt-Hand-Me-Ups
Top-K Mart
Ted Baker handbag-Goodwill
Necklace and earring set-Hand-Me-Ups
Cinnabar bangle-Hand-Me-Ups
Gucci shoes-Goodwill
Fragrance-Sophia Vergara Tempting

Also blooming in the garden at the moment-nasturtiums, violas, geraniums, salvia, calibrachoa, dianthus, and borage. The columbines are about ready to bloom, and my mums from spring are starting to bud again. I wasn't kidding when I said the weather was strange. The poppies died (boo) but everything else seems to be doing well. We've had plenty of honey bees, but not a single bumble bee this year. That's odd too.

I hope wherever you are, something is blooming, if only in a fab print or a tooled handbag. Oh, and one last thing...
                                                        BUSTED ARMADILLA!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Autumn Colours in Spring

More awful news day after day. I find it interesting that for someone who's so quick to tweet (blurt) out whatever unfiltered rubbish courses through his head, the bully been maintaining complete radio silence the past few days. Interesting, eh? Well, no role model there I guess. I mean, come on-not even a completely hollow and meaningless, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims"? 

Okay, just had to get that out of my system. 

Here, have some cake.

On to nicer things. Happy Midsummer! We make this cake every year for Danny's half-Birthday which happens to fall at Midsummer eve. He spent the first nine years living in a very small town that was settled by Swedish immigrants that came to Nebraska as homesteaders in the 1800's. The real reason we save this cake for Midsummer is because you can't get raspberries in December! It is a very special cake that takes three days to complete, and as a result isn't the sort of thing I'd want to undertake baking more than once a year. What's in it you ask that takes three days? 
Homemade raspberry jam
Raspberry puree
Chocolate buttermilk cake
Raspberry chocolate ganache
And assembly that includes a wide variety of curse words!

In the end, we have enough cake for the next week and another half for the freezer. 

Let's move on to the real reason you come sparkling personality vintage clothing. 
Sigh, I like brown and rust colours. Always have. I imagine it is a matter of knowing what works for me, but it can look a bit out of place come spring and summer. That's where accessories become useful in stretching my favourite wardrobe pieces.
There isn't anything inherently summery about Western wear, but I do tend to associate it with the rodeo season which in Nebraska at least tends to be in the summertime. Confession-I like rodeos. The boys don't, but that's okay. I took Danny to a rodeo once and that was enough for him. 
I think Danny was about three when we took him to the Ashland rodeo (I can't remember when he stopped using a sippy cup). I couldn't bribe him to wear a cowboy hat and Western shirt these days. That's a pity as I find some really great stuff in the thrifts. All well, kids need to grow up and find their own interests. 
Anyway, accessories can drag an autumn skirt into summer as I've done with the addition of these open-toed sling-back heels. A hand-tooled leather bag always feels summery to me. I recently purchased one in dark green leather with a tan and rust rose motif in the centre. It would have worked with the colours of the skirt but I was afraid it would end up getting lost with the print of the fabric. "More is more" is a great rule of thumb, but shocking as it might sound hearing me say it, sometimes you've gotta hold back. I know, there there, the shock must be terrible. You should probably go have a lie down.
Outfit Particulars:
Blouse-K Mart a few years ago
1970's skirt-Thrift World
Vintage Belt-New Life Thrift
Vintage hand tooled Mexican purse-New Life Thrift
Vintage root beer Bakelite earrings-Can't remember
Fragrance-Fleur de Cabotine (cactus flower felt like the right note here)
How about another?
This nylon dress and matching jacket would be too flimsy to wear in our autumn weather, but the colours do suggest changing leaves. To help lighten this outfit up, I added a new-to-me Hobe  necklace and bracelet set. 

 I can appreciate why people collect Hobe-the pieces are substantial. My wrist was sore by the end of the day! Sort of like a fashionable wrist-weight.
 Outfit Particulars:
1970's nylon dress and jacket-Thrift World
Vintage Hobe necklace and bracelet-Thrift World (under three bucks. Really).
Vintage handbag-Thrift World
Brooch-Etsy shop, Nomads With Baggage
Vintage Gaymode shoes-Thrift World
 If you like the brooch, there's another still available in silver.

What about you? Do you save certain colours for specific seasons, or do you wear what you like when you like? 
Giddyup pardner.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Spiked Heels/Heels With Spikes

I wasn't going to buy these shoes. I was at Hand-Me-Ups with Danny when he noticed I kept picking them up, then putting them back. No longer able to stand my indecisiveness he grabbed them saying, "If you don't buy them, I will." I told him he's a bad influence on me, and he laughed in agreement. I've spent $5.99 on worse things.
This silver vintage bag cost $5.99 as well. I didn't require any persuading to make that purchase. It isn't any more practical than the shoes, but somehow it feels less extravagant. I love how it is flat like a briefcase while clearly not being a briefcase...unless you're some sort of  attorney with a wild sense of style.  It occurs to me that, Disco Solicitor would be one hell of a band name. Anyhoo, I couldn't leave it any more than Danny could let me leave the shoes.
 This dress has been worn on-blog before, but the jacket is a recent purchase. I removed the massive shoulder pads, and wore it slightly back from my shoulders to distract from how large it is. I don't remember waterfall style jackets being popular in the 80's, but this piece obviously proves my memory wrong. Peter Popovitch is becoming a sought-after vintage designer (God only knows why, the stuff is generally hideous) but this jacket spoke to me. Mostly it muttered, "What the hell?"
I have a few other Popovitch pieces and they are just as awful. At some point this summer I'll wear the nautical walking shorts with sailing flags and rope print. It is as awful as it sounds. But hey, Fashion!
Outfit Particulars:
Dress-rummage sale
Peter Popovitch jacket (80's/90's)-Goodwill
Guess shoes-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Necklace-Salvation Army store-Lincoln
Hair flowers-Tiff and Tam
Vintage handbag-New Life Thrift
We had some wild storms blow through Omaha last evening. 100+ mph winds that downed power lines and tore roofs off houses along with more water than we've seen in some time. 
 Hmm, that looks bad...

 ...but there was a rainbow at the end when it was over. Our neighbourhood was spared power outages and significant damage but other parts of the city weren't so lucky. The College World Series (baseball) is taking place this week in Omaha and we have visitors coming from across the country and the world. I can't imagine what they were thinking last night, but at least the series organisers had the sense to cancel the opening ceremonies once it was clear the storms were coming. A baseball park isn't the place to be in 100 mph winds. Anyway, I won't need to water the garden for some time.
 I'll leave you with some photos before a storm we had earlier in the week.
Stay dry, and have a great weekend.