Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.
©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.
Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.
©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.
I was super excited to receive this in the mail a couple of weeks back. Not only for the great items, but also for the charities and causes Causebox Supports. I loved that I could see the items I would receive, even if they had different styles or color choices I couldn’t choose as a new member. You can sign up as a yearly member too have this option.
Check out Causebox.com today as they have a great Cyber Monday special on, in the above link. The items in this particular box I loved, as they form parts of many Christmas presents!! The entire box is worth over $250, but since it is a membership, can be bought seasonally from $55 to $60 US. I had a coupon for my first box for $10 OFF.
Causebox searches the world for the best “socially conscious products.” They deliver these products seasonally to customers in a “beautifully designed” box. Each Causebox “highlights companies and products,” which put “people before profit,” and help make the world an improved place.
Artist Designed Postcard, Top Right.
From the October Causebox, this vegan-leather clutch was available in black or tan/cream & handcrafted by artisans in Jaipur, India. It’s magnetically fastens and has thoughtfully designed features such as roomy, open pockets, zippered storage, and a card sleeve. Jaipur unites chic, modern designs with timeless craftsmanship that empowers artisan communities located in central India. I love this for nights out, & the tan/cream vegan leather goes with any outfit. (Worth $54).
I knew right away, this scarf was the perfect present for my Godmom, Aunt J. It was also created in India, and loomed by artisans there. It’s the perfect staple scarf for fall/winter/spring and Causebox partnered with Bloom & Give, to sponsor tuition for 50 girls to attend the Dashak Camp in Rajasthan, India. They receive education and empowerment here, which has changed the course of their lives. (Worth $60).
These Soko Bow Earrings are gorgeous and timeless. They can be dressed up or down, and are handmade by artisans in Kenya. These artisans have been empowered with technological tools, which permit them to sustainably support themselves, learn, and develop as entrepreneurs. These are part of a present for a good friend. (Worth $42).
This beautiful eyeshadow pallet and brush — I kept. I adored the colors and the quality of the eyeshadow pigment. The brush is well-made and perfect for your crease of your eye or the corners. These nine eyeshadow colors are from the brand RealHer and are cruelty free. They are named with strong, empowering words for women/men to be their “own kind of beauty.” RealHer also donates a portion of their proceeds to charities that promote inclusion. (Worth $38.00)
I love Zoya nail polish, it’s such a great brand. The polish colors last a long time. I did not get the colors I wanted with these, but I know the right person will come along for this gift. Zoya is one of the first brands to come out with clean, long lasting nail polish. They are made in the US, but are without formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and six other toxic chemicals, commonly found in conventional nail polish. (Worth $20)
Scentuals Grape Fruit and Turmeric Hand Repair Cream is made with 100 percent natural ingredients. It’s a rich and quick-absorbing hand cream that nourishes skin with Shea butter and Cocoa butter. It’s also enriched with Organic Argan, Sweet Almond oil, and Aloe. Besides being all organic in its product formulations, Scentuals also donates a percentage of their sales to the Canadian Cancer Society. (Worth $7.89)
PF Candle Co. began in a garage, and has become the “go to choice” for some of the trendiest boutiques across America. Their candles are hand-poured in L.A. with a love for “apothecary inspired amber jars.” Each of their candles is made with 100 percent soy wax and has phthalate-Free premium fragrance oils inside ( Worth $18).
One of the most popular and environmentally-friendly water bottle brands out there, S’Well water bottles replace plastic disposable water bottles, with ThermaSwell Technology that keeps drinks cold for 24-hours and hot for 12-hours. This bottle was 17 Oz, S’well also has a 9 Oz. Size and 24 Oz.
The latter, can fit a bottle of wine and keep it chilled. I have one of these from before, it washes well, and comes in a plethora of designs and finishes. I was excited to have this as a free add-on to the box, as in Canada the the 17 Oz. Bottles are worth $45 or more, depending on the design. What’s best about them, is that they’re durable, light, easily washed, and have the perfect top to drink from. I use them at home, on the go, in bed, etc. They never spill or break from dropping them. They prevent oceans full of plastic water bottles that don’t break down, and are made from recycled material (Worth $45).
©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.
Wow, has it been a long time since I have been able to do a beauty post. I think back in Spring I did one, but this is the first time since then that I have had the opportunity to tell you about some of my more recent beauty finds. This will at least be a three part series so, enjoy and let me know what you think of some the products. Have you tried any of them? What did you think?
My wear all the time foundation for the last couple of years was an excellent Urban Decay Foundation called “All Nighter,” but I purchased this Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics, as soon as the brand became available in Canada in spring. I had read from countless beauty bloggers with a similar fair skin, hat they loved this CC + cream both for its anti-aging benefits and because it functioned as a matte foundation.
Moreover, when I purchased this CC+ Cream with some other IT Cosmetics loot, I was extremely pleased with their products. The original CC+ Cream works well, providing the full coverage of a foundation. However, it also has moisturizer and anti-aging ingredients plastic surgeons and dermatologists use in their cosmetic skin treatments. For me, the moisturizer and anti-aging products were a plus as the last couple of years my skin has tended to be more normal and less oily. Since my skin is drier, and the extra moisturizer keeps my skin hydrated. I loved that the product had such a high SPF of 50+ as I burn easily and protecting your face from sun damage and future wrinkles is essential in the summer and all year round.
As well, for those of you who do not know the difference between a foundation, a CC cream, and BB Cream I’ll define those briefly. Foundation is extra coverage on your face to make your skin appear flawless and have an even skin tone. It can come in a cream, liquid, stick or in other version but it does not have extra moisturizer or anti-aging benefits. A BB Cream, however, ss essentially a moisturizer with light coverage and a CC cream has anti-aging products, moisturizer, and buildable or full coverage similar to the coverage of light to medium coverage foundation.
This specific CC+ Cream by IT Cosmetics, is one of the best CC + Creams I’ve ever used and it superior to many foundations, providing full matte coverage that stays most of the day. The product descriptions notes that along with having SPF 50 + UVA/UVB rays, the CC+ Cream works to “clinically increase hydration,” give skin a”smooth[er] texture, and enhance [skin] brightness.” As advertised, I have never found this CC + Cream to crack or crease and its great at hiding imperfections.
As well, the matte CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics is anti-aging and the ingredients in the product include “hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and antioxidants” that diminish ” wrinkles” and the size of pores.
If you wear makeup almost every day, a tube of matte CC+ Cream from IT Cosmetics lasts three months and feels lighter than my Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation which I save for when I’m going out and wearing my makeup for 18 to 20 hours. This CC+ Cream is a light feeling makeup for in the day and I definitely recommend it. Its price is also comparable in price to most foundations and the benefits of anti-aging ingredients, make thee CC+ creams one of my new favorites for almost every occasion. I give it 5/5 stars!
The second time I ordered the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream I noticed they had a new version of the CC + Cream out so I decided to try it as it promised full coverage but with a “radiant finish.” I was as happy with this CC+ Cream as the one above, it still had great anti-aging ingredients such as Collagen and Hyaluronic acid which are essential to your skin staying youthful. However, I also liked that the Illumination formula felt a tad lighter on my skin.
I don’t notice that is less matte than the original CC+ Cream or that it shows more glowiness or radiance. However, comparing the two together the first CC+ cream is actually a bit heavier in coverage while this one feels a bit more natural and mixes better with a liquid highlighter cream. The original CC+ Cream doesn’t mix well with liquid highlighters and tends to remain quite matte. However, to get that ‘radiant’ finish a person does have to add their favorite liquid highlighter. Tarte has a great one if you’re interested, check it out HERE.
I have continued using this CC+ Illuminating Cream into Fall and Winter, for the lighter feel and finish of the CC+ Cream compared to the initial CC+ Cream. I ordered it a third time this month and like the original cream, it lasts about three months.
Especially now that its winter, I notice I need the extra moisturizer and after a few months of using both CC+ Creams I do notice my skin is smoother and feels nicer. Also, if you are worried about breaking out I hardly break out with either CC+ Cream and when I attempted to switch back just to a light coverage foundation, it wasn’t comparable to either the illuminating or original CC + Creams not having the moisture or extra anti-aging products.
I have the color fair in either CC+ Cream and its perfect for my pale skin but the product can be applied lightly enough so that if you were going on vacation somewhere hot and needed good coverage with the SPF 50+ and UVA/UVB protection, you could use a darker shade of the CC+ cream or add a few drops of a darker foundation to the product. I give the Illumination CC+ Cream 4/5 stars only because I was expecting more luminance from it.
When I had oilier skin I went through powder almost as often as I used foundation and I had never found a product comparable to Clinique’s Almost Powder Makeup until I used this Perfecting Powder from It Cosmetics. One of my favorite things about the powder in summer was that the packaging is designed so that sponge has a little place beneath the powder compact so no germs or bacteria end up in the powder.
Also, I used the color fair which was perfect for me. It gave me coverage where I needed, say when using concealer beneath my eyes or over a concealed blemish.
I do put a bit of powder on my skin for contouring and in only in certain areas of my currently normal skin type. When it was warmer, I put the powder where it might be oilier or where my makeup might fade. Now, I simply use a small powder brush to set concealer under my eyes, on my forehead, chin, and under my contour and blush and it lasts me the entire day.
Also, I love that powder feels light and but has excellent coverage. Again, in a warmer place where you tan, a darker powder would work to keep your face more matte. I liked this powder better than the illuminating powder for its coverage in areas a person needs.
My current compact, purchased in spring, has lasted almost a good six months. I’m only now getting down to the bottom of the package which I bought in early spring. IT Cosmetics also has a colorless powder if you don’t like the skin toned powder and don’t need it. As well, if you use the powder all over your face with one of the CC+ Cream it improves the coverage of your makeup a great deal
As well, the powder is made with “skin-loving Drops of Light Technology” that “transform” the appearance of your skin with “optical-blurring pigments that visually camouflage pores, dark spots, and fine lines.” When I put this powder on certain areas or if you put it on your whole face, it most definitely makes your skin appear “soft, flawless, and luminous” as advertised on Sephora.ca.
Moreover, the Air Brush Perfecting Powder’s anti-aging ingredients include “hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, and silk,” and the coverage of the powder is buildable. I do not have many lines or any wrinkles yet but the product also claims not to settle into lines or wrinkles which is always a bonus.
This is my new favorite powder and comparable in price to my old Clinique Almost Powder makeup as it lasts longer. It also feels lighter on my skin and my skin still feels soft when wearing it. A 5/5 star product for sure!
My first impressions after ordering this Ombre Radiance Bronzer mid-summer was that the Bronze color would be too dark for me even though its a bronzer for most skin tones. I’m quite pale so something too orangy or dark looks ake on my skin especially for bronzing or for contouring.
However, what I loved about this product as I used it was that it was ombre so that I could essentially mix the bronzer so I used about a medium shade of the ombre on my skin for contouring and the lighter more radiant end for bronzing. If I wanted a look not too matte but a little glowy, I could also mix the light bronzer and the dark bronzer together. Overall the ombre bronzer works well and is a good concept for a bronzer. However, having fair skin I have to be careful not to use the dark and matte end of the bronzer alone.
I liked that the bronzer was big in size for blending in the palette and I also felt like I was receiving my money’s worth. Nevertheless, the cover is similar to a clear bubble and is difficult to put away with other makeup as it sticks up and doesn’t lie flat.
Overall I think the IT Cosmetics Ombre Radiance Bronzer excellent product with 3.5/5 stars. I do think there should be two shades of this bronzer, one for skin with blue or pink tones (and less orange) and one for skin tones that are warmer. It would make it a more effective product for all women. As well, the packaging could be changed to make it easier to store.
This Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil is absolutely one of my favorite brow pencils that I have ever used. It’s not quite a pencil that you sharpen but a thicker brow pencil turning out of the penciled cover with an “ovalled tip.” The pencil is easy to apply to shape brows and to fill in sparse eyebrows.
As brows are a huge makeup trend right now, finding your perfect brow pencil is difficult. However, this pencil is wonderful for many skin tones unless your eyebrows are black or have a warmer tone such as those women who are redheads or have more red in their natural hair color.
As well, if your brows are on the lighter side, you can apply less of the brow pencil. For instance, you can use it to shape your brows and then take the spoolie at the end of the pencil and brush through your brows, using the outside pencil shaping to fill in your naturally lighter toned brows. However, if your eyebrows are naturally a little darker such as mine, you can outline your brows and fill them in a little in the middle, for a more natural looking brow with a bit more definition.
Also, if you wanted a full-on brow look, shaping and filling in your brows with the pencil all over, will give you this bold look. Moreover, it is my opinion that a brow gel such as Benefit’s Volumizing Brow Gel gives your brow hairs a more defined look and more volume with the Benefit Brow Gel or a similar product. You can also use less brow pencil inside your brows when using a volumizing brow gel.
IT Cosmetics writes that their Universal brow pencil is infused with “proprietary Brow Power™ Technology and brow-enhancing ingredients.” These include ingredients such as “biotin, saw palmetto, and antioxidants.” The “oval tip” of the pencil is also meant to “mimic” the “look of real hair” and the formula of the pencil is “budge-proof” and long-lasting.
My only thought was that a person who has a warmer skin tone might need a brow pencil that is a warmer brown and not a cool taupe. For me the Brow Power IT Cosmetics brow pencil is perfect and I would give it 5/5 stars.
It also lasts a bit over 2 months which is excellent for a quality brow pencil and the price is comparable to say the Anastasia Brow Definer or Benefit Goof Proof Easy Shape and Fill Brow Pencil which tends to be around $30.00 but come in more shades.
If you’re like me, you might not be a big lipstick person. Partly because you choose not to focus on your lips in your makeup routine, or partly because you want a more natural lip color that moisturizes and stays on your lips. Although this Vitality Lip Flush is a neat product as it alters lip color to your natural PH level, and your best pink lip color, it’s only moisturizing when you have it on your lips.
It is not long lasting and once it wears off your lips, they tend to feel dried out even though this lip product is supposed to hydrate well. The Lip Flush appears beautiful when you have it on but it needs to be re-applied every half hour or so. It’s also anti-aging and creates a “pink stain” on your lips which looks pretty, natural, glossy, and healthy.
The product is created with IT Cosmetics’s “Hydra-Luxe™ technology” with ingredients such as “plum oil, cherry oil, shea butter, aloe, and jojoba” that are all supposed to “hydrate, condition, and nourish” your lips. For me, I didn’t like how my lips felt when the product had worn off.
On the upside, it is a great product for all skin tones as it adapts to your perfect pink lip color. It’s not a bad product and I do think its benefits outweigh its ‘cons’ so I would give the product 3 /5 stars as its extremely versatile and moisturizing for the time it remains on your lips.
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved
For the “first time in more than 130 years” there are more young adults” choosing to live with their parents among people “18 to 34” years old (Domanski). Although I’ve been out of school for over ten-years now, I do think there are excellent reasons some Millenials are remaining at home. It isn’t just to mooch off their parents or cases such as in the movie Failure to Launch. For me personally, it’s been bad health.
When I finished university, moving out right away wasn’t an option at 22. Earning $34, 000 dollars a year as a receptionist wasn’t going to pay for rent and food, despite my BA in English. Moreover, I noticed a common trend, especially among young women, who chose to stay home and develop their careers before moving to their own place.
Many friends, and acquittances tried to earn enough money to live on their own first. They stayed home to pay off debts, earn a down payment for a house or condo, or waited until they eventually found the person they wanted to marry an or move in with.
This is what I want to focus on, in this post, those Millenials who have lived with their parents through University (or moved back in) to establish themselves in life and their careers. Sadly, it takes time and money for most of us to create the house or home of our dreams so beware your dream kitchen or living area will probably take a while to create.
Hopefully by the time you’re in your mid-twenties the twin-bed has been upgraded for a Queen-sized or King- sized bed, whatever fits in your bedroom. But it’s often better to buy this ahead of time as it’s a major expense you don’t have to worry about later on.
As well, having a couple sets of nice cotton sheets for your bed is a wise purchase. Ensure you’ve bought a couple of regular cotton sheets that match your duvet cover or are neutral colored; as well as, a couple of sets of flannel sheets made of cotton for places with a cold climate. Although cotton costs more than microfibre, it’s much better for your skin as cotton breathes and will not cause you to break out or sweat to death in warm or cold temperatures. Check out these Solid Flannel Sheet Sets preshrunk, made from cotton, and on sale now at Simons.com. Also, take a peek at their Cotton 600 Thread Count Sheets in White or Gray which is an awesome start for sheet set colors as they go with pretty much any duvet set for spring, summer, and early fall.
Moreover, a decent duvet (whether it be goose down feathers, microgel, or polyester filled) is a must. Although goose down feathers will keep you warmer, many people can be too allergic to the feathers. In this case, a well-made duvet filled with polyester or microgel is the way to go. Also, if you’re a person who becomes too hot when they sleep having a non-feather filled duvet is cooler.
Furthermore, you can find a mixture of goose down and microgel duvets which I find work well, despite having allergies to goose down. As well, purchasing a nice duvet set, something casual and elegant, a more ‘adult set,’ is recommended for your new bedroom. Then, you can blend sheets, decorative pillows (etc.) all into this theme or your chosen color scheme.
If you’re like me, you enjoy the large wine glasses that are much bigger than the wine glasses of our parent’s generation. I found some excellent ones on sale one Christmas from Hudson’s Bay in Canada, that were 40 percent off and a great-make of crystal wine glasses. They’re both sturdy and elegant and can be found here RIEDEL Vinum Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Wine Glasses (Crystal) – Set of 8. You can also purchase a set of 4 Red Wine Glasses and 4 White Glasses here RIEDEL Vinum Red and White Wine Glasses (Crystal) – Set of 8.
Moreover, large wine glasses will do for any kind of wine white or red until you have the cash to buy smaller glasses for white wine or champagne. Having these around at home is wonderful for friends who come over when Mom and Dad are away and also for yourself on Friday nights. They’re one less thing you have to buy when moving out because they aren’t the cheapest thing to buy either.
Moreover, if you’re like me, your wine and liquor stash at home was in your bedroom so if you know you’re moving out that year, collecting a few kinds of wines and liquors is a great thing to have for both you and the guests you will have at your new place. Also right before you move out, if you can find yourself an inexpensive but elegant bar cart, or piece of furniture that can be turned into a bar cart, this is an excellent purchase.
Hopefully, if you’ve made some money from working a couple of years, you’ve had enough of it to invest in a couple full sets of towels thinking of your color scheme. For instance, my duvet has colors of blue (as do my sheets) so I have purchased a couple sets of towels (4 of everything) for myself and in the future, for guests. You don’t have to use them all at once but if you see the right towels in your decor colors, at a good price, they’re wonderful to pick up and stash away until you’re moving out.
If you know you’ll be leaving home soon, having other basics such as a matching shower curtain (if needed), a tooth brush holder, foaming hand soap, and spare hygienic items for guests such as body wash, toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, and deodorant, are great items to have. They do not need to be the most expensive brand but nice smelling drugstore brands. Extra face clothes are also items that are always needed!
Furthermore, ensure you have the cleaning products you like using, if you’re moving out soon. Choose ones that are environmentally friendly and won’t cause you to be choked-up by noxious chemicals. CLR Kitchen and Bath is a good bet for the main product to use in the Kitchen and Bathroom areas. It works for dusting too.
Some KitchenSupplies you can buy as you go along, each month, adding to your kitchen stash. One of the best things to have first is a set of dishes. They can be new, old, or inexpensive but having dishes and having enough of them so that when family and friends come over you have a full set of dishes ( 8 to 10 places settings) is important.
Additionally, if you’re getting married you might wait and ask for these on your Guest Registry; however, if you’re single and making enough money you might want to choose more affordable dishes for now. For instance, you can look at these place settings made of bone China called Wedgewood Butterfly Bloom 5-Piece Place Setting found at BedBathandBeyond.ca, better for wedding presents and special occasion dishes.
But for a much smaller price point you can look at Walmart.com and buy 8 to 10 of these Red Vanilla Freshness 4 Piece Place Setting, Service for 1, that won’t be so costly to replace if a child drops a few pieces. They can be mixed and matched and are made of porcelain.
If you have your grandma’s or mom’s old dishes you might consider matching these with more modern dishes. For instance, my Baba gave me her old dishes that have bright pink flowers on them and gold around the edges. Finding white dishes with a gold trim to match with these dishes might help them seem less gaudy when an entire table is set.
Also, consider going somewhere that sells quality but not too expensive glasses that will last. You can go to IKEA but every time a glass slips or falls, it will shatter. Better to buy more durable glasses to start out with and not have to buy more later. As well, I find myself, often larger glasses or better than smaller ones as they encourage you to drink more water and are better for larger portions or alcoholic drinks.
Also, although my Baba’s set includes these, serving dishes are important to have. They can be plain white and inexpensive and are significant along with cutlery (enough for company 8 to 10 people and doesn’t have to be pricey). Moreover, knives, mixing bowls, whisks, serving spoons, tea towels, oven mitts, spatulas, a kettle, a microwave, and other common kitchen items you’ll use often need to eventually be purchased.
They could include a Tassimo coffee maker, toaster oven, hand blender, mix master, and other items. You’ll probably need to buy basic items first, and add more expensive appliances to your kitchen as you live in your new home.
Whether you’ve bought a new condo or home or are living in an apartment you plan to remain in a while, painting your new home can really make it feel like home. There is nothing more calming and homelike than having your rooms painted on your own, with friend’s and family’s help, or professionals, to make your place feel as if it’s yours.
If you have an apartment you’ll need to talk to the manager first before painting so they can approve the colors. Lighter colors that are more neutral in this situation are better choices as they’re easier for you or your apartment manager to paint over (if needed) when you move. Paint before you move everything in. Check out the article 10 Paint Colors That Will Never, Ever, Ever Go Out of Style on the House Beautiful Website.
Moreover, if you own your condo or home, paint your home whatever color you choose, but remember that once you paint the walls, it’s harder to paint them a second time when you have to move out all the furniture again or cover it up so it doesn’t get paint on it. Consider a color scheme that you will not become bored with. Feature walls (painting one wall a vibrant color or say covering it in a nice wall paper) is a good idea as you only have to change one wall later and not the entire room or space.
As well, many people become sick of walls that are too bright quickly, especially in colors such as red or bright green. Keeping your paint color neutral or light, allows you to play with your home decor in other ways — with interesting artwork, dark or colored furniture, and decor items that are more unique and bright. Remember to buy good paint. Some of the best I’ve used is the Behr Paint from Home Depot that comes with a built in primer. Benjamin Moore is also a wonderful brand but more expensive.
Ensure you buy enough paint to give the walls two coats if needed, or to go over spots that get scraped off later accidentally. Also ensure if you paint different rooms diverse colors, the colors flow into each other and do not create choppiness in your home. Warmer colors will also make a room bigger while cooler colors tend to make rooms smaller. Also painting the ceiling a dark color is not recommended as it causes the ceiling to ‘come down’ and make a room significantly smaller.
Additionally, for those of you who read my last interior design piece HERE, you’ll know I’m a big fan of purchasing art you like that is also more unique. I enjoy buying prints off Etsy.com because far fewer people will have these prints and because you’re supporting local and home businesses. Here’s an example of OldStyleDesign’s Alice and Wonderland Themed Prints and Frames.
As well, LauraRowStudio’s Hollywood Icon Prints are made from paintings of actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Additionall, events such as Art Walks, craft shows, MakeIt.ca ” The Hand Made Revolution,” and other craft and design shows are fantastic for finding authentic art.
Moreover, if you’re a decent artist yourself it’s also more inexpensive to buy canvases, brushes, and nice paint to paint more impressionistic or modern pieces of artwork such as flowers, shapes, or picture’s you’ve seen but can easily mimic in your own artistic style. Also on Etsy.com I found some paintings of wonderful abstract art by MichelleDinelleArt on canvas. Below is an example of one of her works in a purple color scheme.
As well, consider that when buying prints and works from local artists, you do not have to spend a great deal of money having them framed. Often, you can find beautiful frames yourself at the various home decor and craft stores to create a photo wall with various kinds of frames. In Canada, you can look at HomeSense in store or Winners in store to find various frames along with your local craft store. Another wonderful place to check out would be Ikea.com as they carry many kinds of frames instore and online.
Also, you want to think about what family pictures you want to show off and how you would like to frame those photos.
The first thing I loved about this frame was that it downloads your favorite and ‘best’ photos from your iPhone and Ipad. The pictures in your frame alter as you take new photos everyday. Moreover, what I adore about this frame is its unique technology that ‘curates’ your photos, meaning that none of your flawed or embarrassing photos will appear on the frame’s screen in your new home.
In addition, I adore the frames sleek elegant design found in three colors including Ivory with a Rosegold trim, Charcoal with a Black trim, and Crystal Blue with a Silver trim. The first color combination is my favorite! As well, the frame uses ‘smart technology’ so that along with photos from your Iphone, the best pictures taken by your friends and family, on their Apple devices, will appear on the screen of your frame. The current frame I have is about 10 inches high and almost 12 inches wide, but I’m hoping bigger frames become available.
Moreover this exquisite and modern frame, from Auraframes, is designed to be a classic piece of home decor to exhibit the wonderful times you’ve had with friends and family, as well as, the special moments that have, recently, occurred in your life. More information about the tech aspects of the frame are available on the products site. You can also watch the video about Auraframes and/or purchase a frame right here.
Some of the most worthwhile changes you can make to modernize your condo or new home are to change your lighting and hardware before or while you’re moving in. You can change lights in the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathroom; as well as, faucets in the bathroom and kitchen.
In the bathroom, you might want fantastic lighting over your mirror from these Bistro Triple Sconces with 5 available finishes. A Flushmount light on the ceiling might also be a good idea such as this Caden Flushmount in 4 diverse finishes. Sink Faucets such as these Lugarno 8″ Widespread Faucets in four finishes may be your thing. Or Lugarno 8″ Widespread Goose Neck Faucets may be more your cup of tea in diverse finishes as well.
In addition, for your shower or shower and tub, you might consider a Spray Jet Shower Head if you like how the pressure feels on your back and shoulders, this one has 4 finishes. While others might prefer this 8-inch Rain Shower Head which comes in two diverse finishes. Also, you might like a Wall-Mount Hand-Held Shower head such as this Vintage Wall-Mount HandHeld Shower Head available in a few finishes. And finally, if you have a shower and tub combination this Asbury Balanced Pressure Tub & Shower & Valve Trim and Set with Bath Spout may be more to your taste.
In your bedroom, you might consider a more opulent kind of light such as this simple but elegant Simone Chandelier or the more decorative Paige Crystal Chandelier. For the dining or the kitchen, a modern put fabulous looking Chandelier to consider would be the Bellevue Pendant or the Explosion Chandelier. In addition for kitchen faucets, you can look at the Deck Mount Kitchen Faucet in four finishes or something more interesting such as the Moen Edison Mediterranean Kitchen Faucet in two available finishes.
Another great thing to do when first moving out is to find old furniture relatives don’t want and repurpose it. Paint it and replace it with new handles that give the piece a whole new look. Changing hardware on old furniture passed onto you or that you’ve found, is a wonderful way to reuse it and change its design along with new handles on drawers and closet hooks throughout your new place. You can also find interesting hooks along with new handles for the kitchen and bathroom as well.
Painting with good wall paint works on furniture but you might want to consider the finish of the paint, whether you want the paint finish to be shinier or more eggshell and easier to clean. You can rub away some of the paint after it dries to give your repurposed or refinished furniture more of an antique and worn look. Remember to stay within your chosen color scheme and use colors of paint that are neutral or match this scheme when reprinting wood furniture. Also, sand your furniture down before painting it so the paint sticks.
Additionally, you can use these beautiful delicate feminine handles for repurposed or refinished furniture called Entomology Knobs here with different knobs for different finishes of gold, silver, and bronze. Also, these Galaxy Knobs are more angular and geometric but still interesting and not so girly. Moreover, these Gardening Indoors Knobs are great to add color to a more neutral furniture piece.
For interesting and beautiful hooks you might consider these Pronoun Hooks or you might consider simpler hooks in either silver, bronze, or gold in these Harvey Hooks or consider this Fretwork Hookrack as a sturdier piece near the door, in your bedroom to hang clothes, or in the bathroom to hang towels. These Glass Etoile Hooks are both pretty but sturdy as well.
There is also a plethora of handles available for making armoires, dressers, kitchen, and bathroom cabinets more interesting such as the Hammered Serina Handles in gold, silver, or bronze. As well, the Tangier Ceramic Handles in blush or turquoise are superb. Also lovely clear handles with silver called Glass Bubble Handles are pretty but less girly handles to choose. Especially, at Anthropologie.com there is such a variety of these hardware items to pick from in all kinds of fabulous designs and metal finishes.
When you move into your new place, you should make sure that any furniture that’s been passed down, found at garage sales, flea markets, or other places will fit in the rooms you want to put the furniture in. If you think it’s going to be too big, better to wait and not purchase the piece than to refinish or repurpose it and not be able to get it through the door or into a room.
Measure where you want certain pieces of furniture to go 3 times to get the correct measurements, jot the measurements on your phone and carry a tape measure with you, wherever you go, to ensure you don’t purchase the largest furniture in the store when your condo is a mere 800 square feet.
As well, when you measure for curtains measure 3 times as well to make sure you have them sewn the right length and width or to ensure you buy the right length of curtains and panels and only buy decorative items you love 100 percent and pieces that represent you, just as much as your artwork or photography does. A wonderful place to purchase fabric for curtains and have them made is Chintz.com. You can choose from an array of fabrics that suit your decor colors.
Throws, candles, cushions for couches and bedrooms, pillow cases for cushions (and the insides), can all easily be found online and in stores, or on places such as Etsy.com.
If you plan to replace these items often don’t throw away your money on items that have little meaning to you or that you don’t like but buy because they are cheap. Wait to buy items that you love unless they’re inexpensive festive items such as for Christmas.
Also, remember you’re the one dusting your entire place now so don’t clutter it with too many knick-knacks, you’ll end up hating yourself later.
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.
It was years ago that I found this litograph of Emma made from the words of the Jane Austen novel. Moreover, Jane Austen is arguably one of most loved Victorian authors. Additionally, Emma’s litograph poster was most appealing to me due to its colors. The poster I chose was in baby blue and light-gray and is a focal point on the picture wall of my bedroom.
When I thought about how I would design this picture wall, I knew I wanted the artwork to be authentic and not the average prints you find in many design stores: hence, I chose the lithograph poster and prints of artwork mainly from Etsy.com. On Etsy, the artists are not mainstream. As well, I used smaller prints, mostly 8.5″ x 11″ to go around the large Emma litograph to achieve balance in my design.
Furthermore, when I chose my Emma poster, I was able to choose the colors I wanted my lithograph to be from several options. There are a larger variety of color combinations available online for this specific style of Emma poster. As well, you can buy this litograph poster matted in the 12″ x 16″ size.
When I purchased the litograph years ago, matting was not an option. I decided to go with the poster that was the largest size, 42″ x 63″ because I was using the poster as my picture wall focal point. Also, only the largest size contains the full text of Emma on the litograph including all “157, 422 words” from the novel.
The litographs website has a variety of t-shirts, posters, totes, and scarves of your most beloved literary works. There are a plethora of options for posters for example. You can also choose literary items that aren’t litographs but are based off your favorite literary works.
To frame my poster I went to the craft store Michaels and bought the largest silver poster frame I could find. I use silver in my bedroom as it goes well with my light blue walls. I brought the poster with me to ensure it fit the frame. I loved the look of the poster with the silver as opposed to black or white poster frames. The silver and gray in the litograph matched.
As well, when I began to purchase smaller prints of artwork to surround my Emma litograph, I purchased frames of the 11″ x 14″ size to fit prints that were 8″ x 11″. I found these frames at Winners and/or HomeSense stores in Canada. What I love about both of these stores, is that you can find many decor items for your home at a reduced price that are still stylish and often brand names.
My goal was to have artwork and frames that were more eclectic so the frames and prints were not all the same. Shopping at Winners and HomeSense lent itself well to this as they have a variety of frames in all colors available.
Additionally, having diverse frames and artwork styles made my wall of artwork more interesting. Since my walls are painted a cool light blue, frames of white, black, and silver all matched the paint color well and were cohesive. Black frames on their own, even silver frames on their own, would have been too overpowering in a small bedroom.
Two of my first purchases (using black frames from HomeSense) were sterling silver prints from a wonderful shop on Etsy.com called ISeeNoise. I bought both a picture of the Miss Dior Stirling Silver Perfume Bottle and an iconic Audrey Hepburn Stirling Silver print (see below). These metallic prints are handmade and can also be purchased in other metallic tones such as gold.
The shop is on break right now, but I recommend checking out their excellent hand made prints. I love how the black frames make the sterling silver images pop, even though the inside of the frames are more of a white-ivory tint. Also, I was pleased to be able to find prints that were glamorous, stylish, and feminine.
Furthermore, one my favorite items on my picture wall, is not a picture at all; in fact, it is a spice rack purchased from Modcloth.com in their Vintage Inspired Home Decor and Gift section. The spice rack is a pretty place to store and display my perfume bottles. I’ve also been able to display a few of my favorite cuffs (bracelets). Instead of displaying bracelets or cuffs you could also hang necklaces.
As you can tell, I’m also bit a perfume junky, having ones I prefer to wear in spring and summer and ones I prefer to wear in fall and winter. Some of my most preferred perfume brands and kinds include Marc Jacob’s Daisy, Coach Signature, Channel Chance Eau Tendre and Escada Turquoise Summer.
Moreover, I have not seen this spice rack (perfume display), on Modcloth.com for awhile. But ModCloth does have other interesting decor items if you enjoy a Vintage Style. As well, you can find similar spice racks at Walmart and Amazon , but I wasn’t able to find the same one in white, with hooks on the bottom. Your best bet is to explore the web or a store such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond, to find a spice rack that works well to display perfume and jewelry.
In addition, I purchased a couple prints off of Etsy.com from an artist’a shop called Lauren Bolshakov Art . I was thrilled to find more feminine and stylish pieces that added brighter color to my picture wall.
The first print is in the same color family of blues and greens as much of my bedroom. It’s an 8″ x 10″ size and called Vintage Dress Painting. It’s not available anymore but she has some other beautiful pieces of watercolor work.
The second print I purchased from Lauren was called Red Red Wine (see below) and the bright color of the red wine and the movement within the watercolor print drew me to it. Both prints I chose went well with slightly different white frames I found at Winners, in an 11″ x 14″ size because they had to be big enough for 8.5″ x 11″ prints. The red wine print is also a bright pop of color on my picture wall, which I adore.
Some other beautiful prints of Lauren Bolshakov’s work include her original art that right now is more abstract but resembles jewelry. Palm of Your Hand – Abstract Art – Mixed Media on Canvas and Dahlias Dahling – Abstract Art – Mixed Media on Canvas are both examples of stunning original artwork that can be found on Etsy.com by Lauren, for any room in your home.
As well, I did purchase a print (and later a frame) of a lovely print from a blogger I follow, Kelly Van from Le Zoe Musings, which is a “creative lifestyle blog.” Kelly no longer has an Etsy shop but her printing sayinging to ‘Just Breathe and Drink Tea’ was relaxing and cute. Also it’s in a reddish-pink shade.
One last painting (or a copy of a painting) I bought because I loved the impressionist feel to it, was from a shop called Prebrulee.com. The pop of pinkish-red in the painting, ties in with the red wine and tea prints. They all share an accent color on an otherwise serene picture wall and waveguide bedroom in general.
Prebrulee is a neat store that has a great deal of fun jewelry, clothing, stationary, and sometimes, home decor. Their Home and Office Section often has need collectibles, however, I’ve not seen paintings on the website in a long while.
My final framed work around my Emma litograph is my university diploma which I am extremely proud of; nevertheless, I’m searching for the right picture to replace it with, and move my diploma to my home office space.
Finally, I do have a few items on my dresser. As well, I painted both dressers in my room seal gray to match the Emma Litograph. The dresser items, however, are from HomeSense, Winners, and a variety of other decor stores. I find it’s a matter of knowing what you want to display in areas of your home, such as your bedroom, and waiting until you come across the perfect items that are both practical and beautiful.
In addition, if you’re searching for some help in designing your own house or a particular room in your home, such as your bedroom, I encourage you to take a look a the Havenly website for actual Interior Design expertise.
Take their design quiz to determine the decor styles you like best, then choose an interior designer who best matches the decor style for a specific room.
You can receive interior designer aid through a Design Quickie option for free. This provides you a small amount of help in designing a space in your home. It includes a 30 minutes chat session with an interior designer, product recommendations, style advice, and a concierge buying service.
As well you can consider A Havely Mini including 3 initial designs, 1 design concept, 1 design revision, a curated design list, 1-2 weeks of design time, a concierge buying service, and 2-weeks of post design support.
Your third option is the Havenly Full adding on 4-weeks of design support (instead of 2-weeks), 3D Room Visualisation, and a Floor plan, along with everything you receive in the Havely mini.
I would recommend the third option as it provides you with the best value for your money. 3D Room Visualisation and floor plans are incredibly helpful in decorating a room in your home as ‘visuals’ always give a person a better idea of what their decor scheme will look like in the end.
Nonetheless, if you’ve knowledge of how to design a floor plan and can easily visualize how your final design will appear, the second option is also great.
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.
Coastal style interior design can be defined diversely depending on where a person lives in the world. The Tropical coastal style emerged from “Hawaii, Polynesia, and many places near the Pacific” Ocean. It is decor style that is popular in homes across the world. Tropical coastal style, also known as ‘Island style,’ usually “reflects the customs, colors, and beliefs of a place’s native peoples” such as in the Hawaiian islands. “Bright, tropical patterns, natural elements such as teak and other woods, and cultural and nautical decor,” define this coastal style.
Moreover, Mediterranean Coastal style, in particular, is a home decor style with history going back for centuries. It has been used and adapted all the world but especially is found where it originated in Greece, as well as coastal towns in Spain and Italy. Mediaterrian coastal style includes a great deal of natural light, brilliant “sunbaked colors” with “terra cotta, heavy woods, black iron or metals, and carved detailing.”
American coastal style or Florida style (which I am discussing in this post) is about “relaxation and comfort,” at it’s core. It is currently, “one of the most popular decorating styles” in the U.S and in Canada and is also “quickly growing and branching” out into “sub-styles such as ‘Cottage Coastal style,’ and ‘Contemporary Coastal style.'” American coastal style as a whole may include aspects from these branches.
Florida style incorporates clean lines and materials that are natural with simple textures. A neutral background including smooth steel, wood, and woven materials are also key to achieving this look. Textiles and surface materials used in coastal style are durable and include colors such as “clear blues, sea greens, creamy whites, beiges,” other tints and shades of white and even soft gray. While coastal style homes are usually warm and relaxed some people do prefer a cooler color pallet.
My preference for both paint colors and major living room furniture, especially pieces such as couches or large comfy chairs, would be to choose neutral colors in durable fabrics as a background for more colorful decor. Neutral furniture works well for indoor or outdoor living areas as brighter colours can always be added through decorative pillows, nautical or sea themed objects, (etc).
As well, paint colors could be a warm antique white or a clearer nautical white. Subtle tints of blue, sea green, and coral would also work well for paint colors that provide a soothing feeling as if you were in an elegant but comfortable cottage.
I have always found shades of light blue, turquoise, and soft green to be luxurious and peaceful so it is not surprising that these colors are especially found in coastal design. Despite the lakeside or seaside cottage ambience, this style is also uncluttered and decorative pieces and textures should be chosen carefully. As well, if colors of the sea in light blues and greens against neutrals are not your cup of tea, coral shades and tints can create an interesting Florida design style with a more brightness.
As well, coastal style often includes prints stripes and patterns that can be bold and large, based around navel and seaside themes as well as items synonymous with Florida, and other cottage decor. As in any living room or seating area, a chair or two that contrasts against neutral colors is key outside or inside. As well, decorative pillows in a range of the color pallet can provide a room with more vivacity, texture, and key focal points. A blue or gray rug on the floor can also add subtle color and pattern. Rugs in sand shades with a beachy texture like a beach mat or some a courser material are wonderful too.
My own preference for larger pieces of furniture in the Florida style that aren’t coaches or chairs but actual wooden furniture, leans towards restored furniture or furniture that has the appearance of being restored. Colorful light blue and turquoise mid-century furniture made out of natural wood can pop against neutral walls and couches.
If you prefer, beach-like drift wood furniture works well and as does worn looking dark wood. Considering the flooring of a coastal home would also be important to determine what kind of larger cabinets, tables, (etc)., a person would choose. A darker stained wood floor for contrast with neutral walls would be anchoring. But a lighter floor that is more like a ‘sea worn’ wood would keep your home more peaceful. I enjoy painted wood furniture that has been repurposed or has that appearance myself, with darker wood floors.
Moreover, focal points or places that draw the eye to them can be created with statement art, special furniture pieces, and carefully chosen decorative ornaments. As well, nautical and beach accents such as shells, coral, sea creatures, and sea or cottage themed paintings or artwork, brighten up the laid back coastal style. I’ll note again that an uncluttered appearance is key to the style so no hoarding ornaments or decorative items and placing them everywhere. A refined cottage style retaining a tranquil and relaxing environment with an elegant sense of design is the vital. Pops of color here and there are important; however, because they help to avoid manotomy and to provide visual appeal.
Light through large windows is also significant in the contemporary coastal look because we want to keep a house bright and airy so if you are designing a home or looking for a home to decorate in the Florida style, large windows would be a wise investment. Not to mention, new windows will save you money on your power and heating bills in places where the weather becomes colder.
As well, sufficient indoor lighting is beneficial to creating the perfect ambiance. A mix of elegant metal and nautical inspired chandeliers over the dining table and in various rooms, contrast with the laid back Florida or coastal style. Table lamps for lights near chairs to read as well as to provide more lighting at night are also essential.
When designing a coastal themed kitchen it is important to keep things light and airy, carrying in color schemes from other rooms in the house. The kitchen should feel open while maintaining a coastal themed color pallet such as light blue, coral, ocean-like colors, or nautical themed hues.
White or off-white is a great choice for cupboards perhaps some with some glass in the cupboard doors. Also kitchen paint colors in light tints of blue, green, coral, in sand, and white or off-white keep a room neutral in the background.
As well, having a kitchen bar enhances the refined cottage look providing a casual place eat, but also to incorporate bright pops of color on the bar stools or on the bar top. A backsplash is also a vital place to play around with brighter shades of light blue, turquoise, navy, or coral. Perhaps only certain tiles could be vivid acting as accents in the kitchen or in a bathroom.
As well, curtains or shades in the kitchen and everywhere in the house, can contribute to having a light airy feeling through out. Curtains should not be too heavy or dark but in lighter shades or tints of the colour scheme. Sheer curtains, cotton-like, or fabrics reminiscent of nautical sails and or other nautical materials, all contribute to the coastal style.
Also, a similar design in the kitchen can be followed in places such as the bathroom and laundry room, incorporating coastal colors, textures, and tones while keeping most of the space neutral. Remembers pops of color or accents are essential in neutral spaces but should not be overdone.
Florida or coastal themed bedrooms share similarities with the other rooms in the house creating more continuity of style. The key if you are decorating your entire home in coastal style is to keep the flow from room to room without overdoing the trend. Oceanlike, comfortable, and calm surrounding are essential to recreating the effect of the luxury or a refined cottage theme for the Florida style in your own home. Bedrooms in particular should be cozy, comfortable, yet stylish.
All in all the coastal or Florida style throughout a home should keep a color palette in mind, think about flow, and how certain Colorado and hues blend with each other and neutral walls and bigger pieces of furniture. As a whole coastal style seeks to be a place people can return home to and feel at rest as if they can relax and forget about their day in their own place of a seaside haven.
Whether you prefer coastal decor or the the use of tropical vibrant colors, you can find inspiration by checking out Florida real estate for more ideas of how to bring an outdoor feeling into your home.
© Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved
— Cottage Home Furniture. “Beach House & Coastal Furniture.” Www. cottagehomefurniture.com. 2017. Web 2 May 2017.
— Lee, Tonya. “Types of Coastal Decorating.”Www.thespruce.com. The Spruce., 04 April. 2017. Web. 2 May 2017.
Goodmorning and welcome to my biweekly interview series. Today I have the honor of sharing with you the writing and blog of Ian Kelly. He’s a talented guy who has recently published a book of short stories. You can find Ian’s blog here: Ian Kelly Writing.
1. Hi Ian, Please Tell Us About Yourself?
Hi. My name is Iain Kelly and I’m from Glasgow in Scotland. I have lived here all my life and it’s where I write my blog from. My blog is called: Iain Kelly Writing.
Telling about yourself is always the most difficult question to answer, so I’ll keep it simple! I work as an editor of television programs for BBC Scotland. I’m married with two-year-old twins who take up most of my time. After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.
2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
I first started my blog six years ago and spent a year doing film and book reviews. I neglected it for a couple of years and then took a fiction writing course online. When I had finished that I had a few short pieces that I liked and decided to share them on my blog. From there I have kept writing new short stories and flash fiction.
“After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.” – Ian Kelly
3. What Does Writing Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
When I was much younger I wrote stories. I have always enjoyed coming up with characters, letting my imagination wander with them and see what stories resulted. I used to play football (soccer) and would write stories about fictional football teams and players. As often happens, life gets in the way of dreams.
I went to university and studied English Literature, Film, and Television. My career took me down the path of television. Eventually, I’ve found the writing bug again. Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
I tend to write fiction based on real life, or perhaps a fictional future world rooted in reality. I don’t tend to write fantasy or science-fiction specifically. My inspiration comes from the world around us. It could be something happening in the news, events, politics, but also from looking at everyday people, the struggles and/or laughter they share with each other. My motivation may come from wanting to try and comment on events that are occuring. Writing is a way to turn frustration into something creative or to attempt to cope with a situation in life.
“Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.” – Ian Kelly
5. Is There a Time of Day You Prefer to Write?
My time available to write depends on my work schedule and my children. When the kids have gone to bed in the evening I try to fit some time writing in. Or if the twins go for a nap during the day sometimes I have a chance to write. The main thing is that I have to find the opportunities to write when I can!
6. What Are Your Most Current Writing/Blogging Projects? Any Hopeful Projects for the Future?
At the moment I am working on my first novel-length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.
After the first draft is finished I will re-write and edit. I’m aiming to have a finished novel by the end of the year and then decide what I want to do with it –- if it’s worth sending to a publishing company or self-publishing the novel.
Alongside that, I will continue writing short pieces for my blog. It helps to take a break from a long novel and focus the mind on something different every so often, before going back to the main project.
“At the moment I am working on my first novel length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.” – Ian Kelly
7. Can You Tell Us About Your Recently Published Book?
At the start of this year, I self-published a collection of my short stories from my blog in a book called Collected Sketches. I decided to do this at the end of 2016. I realized I had a lot of stories, some with similar themes and dealing with similar issues, that I thought were quite good and worth collecting together as a compendium.
The other benefit of publishing theses stories was that it gave me a chance to try self-publishing out for myself which I hadn’t done or considered doing before. I’m pleased with how my book turned out. It’s available to a global audience through on Amazon: HERE, which is an amazing thing to happen to my writing. You can find out about Collected Sketches by Ian Kelly on my blog or through Kindle on Amazon.com
8. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process that You Went Through To Publish?
I used Createspace online to self-publish. After looking around at a few online resources I went for this one mainly because it was free to do, and also it allowed me to do everything myself. Other sites offered help in editing and formatting and design, but at a cost.
If you’re confident to do these things yourself then Createspace is excellent. With the novel I am currently writing, I plan to try the traditional route of sending it to agents and publishers. But it is good to know that if all else fails I can self-publish and still have my novel out there into the world. Here is the link to Createspace HERE.
9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?
I think I’m still figuring my writing process out as I go through this novel. Most writers advise that the best thing to do is write the first draft as it comes to you. Whatever happens, keep writing! So I’m following that advice.
I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form, freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing. Doing flash fiction short stories is great practice for that.
“I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.” – Ian Kelly
10. Do You Have Certain Genres You Prefer to Write or To Read Books In?
I tend to stick to everyday drama or real world stories. But I also love to read and write spy stories, war fiction, and crime fiction. I might occasionally try other things too.
I spend a lot of time reading. Favorite authors would be John Le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Agatha Christie, James Ellroy, Ian McEwan, William Boyd, Ian Fleming, and Terry Pratchett –- to name a few. I also like to try and go back and read the classics every so often such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and I love Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeer novels. I think that comes from my days as a student of English Literature.
11. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers? Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like To Follow?
Just keep writing and getting your work out there into the world for people to read. Ninty-Nine Percent of people will be kind to you and give constructive criticism and feedback. If you love doing it, keep doing it. And read lots too.
I follow loads of great fiction writers out there so rather than trying to pick from them I will pick three alternatives:
14. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From Your Blog?
Flash Fiction, I have always liked this one, to sum up being a writer:
“The Writer’s Spiral”
By Ian Kelly
Mark met Bob from Accounting at the bottom of the stairs.
‘Another Monday morning,’ said Bob, as they began the trudge up to the office. Mark grunted in reply. Bob began every Monday with the same conversation.
‘Don’t you ever feel like we’re hamsters in a wheel, going round and round and getting nowhere?’ Bob continued. ‘There must be something more exciting in life than this.’
As Mark prepared to answer, the lights went out. Out of the window, they saw bright orange beams cut through the air. Aircraft buzzed around them, firing at one another. Buildings exploded as aircraft and missiles crashed into them. The sky darkened as a large spaceship loomed over the city. Mark ducked as a piece of debris crashed through the glass next to them. It caught Bob and sent him plummeting to the ground below.
The writer paused and read back what he had just typed. It all spiraled out of control too quickly. He sighed and pressed Ctrl+A and Delete. The cursor on the blank screen blinked at him. He started again.
Mark arrived at work at the same time as Bob from Accounting…
Here Are Some Of Ian’s Longer Pieces he wrote and favorited:
Thank you so much, Ian, for wanting to be interviewed I enjoyed your answers and you seem to have a solid idea of what you’re doing as a writer and how to achieve your set goals. Best of luck with the novel and future endeavours.
If you would like to be interviewed please reach out to me on my contact page. I would love to tell your story as a writer or if you blog for a cause, I can also interview on that as well. See you in two weeks!
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting FF.
I’m lying in the summer grass. Above me the sky appears as if the heavens are opening. Perhaps brilliant marshmallow clouds behold some greater being, a creator with vision and design? There has to be more to humanity than our randomness in the world. I think that we all have a place, a reason, a purpose. We aren’t accidental and are made specifically to be ‘us.’
It’s a relief the hot sun is blocked by the clouds but I can see the light peeking through as if the sky has provided me an inkling of celestial luminescence. But maybe the sky is only the sky and I’m personifying my beliefs and feelings? But then, maybe faith and the existence of God is demonstrated most superbly by the the earth, nature, and tiny glimpses of gloriousness seen lying in the grass.
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.
If you could choose your favorite place to get ready in the morning or when you’re going out to a party or special event, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a vanity area? Yes, I know for many women (and some men) this seems like a dream.
I would adore haveing a dressing table area where I could have all my makeup and hair tools, have everything organized well, and have my vanity area designed exactly the way I would like it to be designed to my unique preferences.
While modern vanity tables for women and shaving tables for men developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beauty items such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, and perfume jars, were found in 1910, in “inlaid cedar cosmetic box[s]” in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh.
Madam Pompadour of France, however, was one of the first women of the aristocracy to perform elaborate grooming rituals. The french aristocracy had boxes called ‘Neccessaires’ which held perfumes, combs, nail files, and tiny scissors. Madam Pompadour (mistress of King Louis XIV (1638 to 1715)) aided the French king in developing the ‘toilette’ or beauty regime for both men and women in the royal court.
One fantastic example of an early vanity table was used by Marie Antoinette who had a dressing table specifically made to fit makeup items, writing implements, and a mirror. The piece was commissioned as she was due to give birth to her son and the vanity served multiple purposes also being used for eating and receiving visitors.
In the twentieth century, the vanity table developed significantly in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Glamorous Hollywood films made popular skyscrapers with luxurious penthouses and “femme fatale [movie] heroines.”
These starlets sat elegantly at their dressing tables which were streamlined in form compared to vanity tables of the past. Many women wanted to emulate these actresses and the vanity table became an essential piece of furniture for the modern woman.
Considering my dream vanity and how I would design it and the area around my vanity, I realized there are many vital factors to consider. What I ended up with was a mood board of decor items I would adore in a vanity area. You can find my mood board at the beginning of this post.
There are many aspects I considered when I thought about designing a vanity area. The first being what style of vanity (the dressing table) I wanted. There is such a variety of styles of vanities to choose from but many are actually writing desks used as vanity tables, not the actual vanities which for instance, my great-grandmother Ida owned.
I tend to love antique vanities which have been repurposed. There is something curvilinear, ornate, and luxurious about the carving and details in the design of some antique vanities. What I love about repurposing old furniture, is that much of it is made from quality hardwoods, not cheap soft wood. Much furniture today is made of wood which easily breaks or splits.
Also, I would choose to paint my repurposed (or designed to appear antique) vanity my favorite color of light-blue. I would make it a feature piece of furniture in my bedroom and would paint the walls a neutral beige or gray with the same warm or cool hue found in the color blue used on the vanity. Below are three examples of vanities which caught my eye would be similar to my dream dressing table. I wouldn’t want such a roughed up quality to the paint but a nice sheen or solid color.
Another choice for my dream vanity would be to paint it with a pearlescent paint in a light sheen of bronze, gold, or silver. These dressing tables are more glamorous than the blue ones but would also retain a unique but more modern design such as the opulent vanities of the 1930’s.
A significant reason I chose antique vanities versus modern streamlined ones, has to do with my personal aesthetics and especially, drawer space. I think a vanity should have significant drawer space for you to put your makeup, hair tools, lingerie, or whatever else you would like to store in your drawers. My favorite vanities have both slimmer drawers up top and larger deeper drawers on the sides. Storage is a major issue when choosing a vanity for yourself.
Many of the vanities pictured above have attached mirrors. I would be happy to have one of these mirrors refinished, but I also felt you could remove the mirror and hang a mirror with an interesting frame on the wall, behind your vanity. The mirror might be a little farther away from where you would sit, on the wall, but I don’t think this would be a problem if a person had enough natural and artificial lighting in their vanity area.
Another important detail to consider is the chair you sit on in front of your vanity. Whether you purchase a vanity that’s antique which you refinish yourself, or you find you like already refinished, you can replace what is often a small stool or bench, with a fancy and comfortable chair.
Especially if it’s for a special occasion, I prefer to have back support, personally, and be comfortable while I’m doing my makeup and hair. I want a cozy place to sit and a chair with a cushioned back and seat. Here are a few examples of chairs I like below, the gray one is my favorite chair; however, you can also find yourself a fancy dining chair, or some other kind of comfortable chair which matches your vanity and decor scheme.
Another aspect I would consider for a vanity area, if you have space, would be a soft but stylish chaise lounge near your dressing table. I would include this in a dream vanity area because a chaise lounge or sofa, would make you feel more at home and enjoy being in this space, even when you’re not preparing yourself for the day or an event.
A chaise lounge or a couch could be somewhere your significant other sits and talks to you while you’re getting ready, or your kids. It would also be a comfy and plush hideaway to read a book when you have the time, especially if you have a space with excellent natural light or a floor lamp nearby, as I would in my dream vanity area.
As well, it makes sense to have a plush chair of some kind here because a vanity area would be close to my closet as well, so I’d probably need something to throw clothes on as I try on several outfits or change out of my work clothes after arriving home.It’s also a place to sit on while you put on your shoes and zip up your tall boots.
I talked briefly about lighting but it’s one of the most significant aspects of all to consider, not only for aesthetics but because women require fantastic lighting when putting on makeup and doing their hair.
There is no substitute for natural light and in my dream vanity area, I would have many windows nearby. You never want to walk outside and see you’ve put on your makeup too thick for daytime or used the wrong color of foundation for the season so your foundation ends up appearing orange in the daylight.
In addition, having a chandelier or some kind of pendant light above your dressing table makes it the area appear more opulent as well as making it easier for a woman to see what she is doing at her vanity. A small chandelier, for me, makes the area all the more appealing. It aids in creating a space where would enjoy spending more time and I would probably be spending a lot of time there, so I want a beautiful light fixture.
I had trouble choosing between three different light fixtures. On the Restoration Hardware website, I found this lovely light made of “tiers of translucent white capiz shells” and I love the movement created when light shimmers through these iridescent shells.
Another especially favorite pendant light of mine is the flower pendant light from Arhaus. This light is gorgeous, unique, and sculptural. I think the “Italian glass” crystals hanging down would be perfect for a vanity area. This light fixture is superbly classy with this flower having “dark silver clay finish;” the artist in me adores it.
Lastly, I was drawn to another indoor/outdoor chandelier made from recycled glass and wrought iron from Pottery Barn. The glass circles made me think of bubbles and/or a pair of pretty dangling, bronze and glass earrings. I think for me interior design and fashion often overlap.
A third issue to consider with lighting is actual lighting where you sit at your vanity, on top your table. Here is the place where you or I would apply our makeup or remove it, perhaps along with our jewelry. I’m not a fan of those big bulbs that go around vanity mirrors, to me they’re a bit tacky (my opinion).
I think I would browse for some trendy table lamps which went with my decor scheme and weren’t too large. My thoughts are that they would appear classier and provide more natural lighting as you can put light bulbs in lamps with more of a warm glow. One lamp might be enough, or you might prefer two, depending on how much space you have. There are a couple of different ones I liked and you can see them below. They’re both from Arhaus, here and here.
One final issue to consider with lighting and mirrors, is a having a magnifying mirror. Yep, the kind where you feel scared when you can see every mark or wrinkle on our face. While I hate that aspect of these mirrors, they can be helpful. They’re especially great when you’re plucking your eyebrows, getting rid of a few stray hairs, or when you’re trying to apply liquid eyeliner or any eyeliner for that matter.
I would buy one of these magnifying mirrors which lights up. It could sit on my dressing table top or be attached to the wall behind my vanity. I prefer one not on the top of the vanity since I need the space for other items.
Certain mirrors with LED lights can be moved closer or a farther away, whichever way you need. There are also various degrees of magnification. You can check out this magnifying mirror below, from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Lastly, ensuring my vanity area is near plugins where I could easily plug in a power bar with more plugins for curling irons, a blow dryer, and my table lamps would be a must for my vanity area.
Now to tackle one the largest issues in my vanity area, having the best kind of storage for makeup, makeup brushes, hair devices, and any other products I store in and around my dressing table. A wonderful place for these organizational items is Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they have a ton of well-priced organizational items, many of which are also attractive for certain decor schemes. Home Sense is another excellent place for this.
A third place you might consider buying storage for on top of your vanity is an office supply store, as many of their lines for storing stationary work well for storing makeup and skincare products. You can also use decorated or lovely colored trays and special storage from any home store, these products are easy enough to find.
Hanging a few decorative shelves nearby to house some of your personal items, is also an option I would consider for my vanity area, along with this neat holder I found on Pinterest, which is specifically designed to hold your blower dryer, hair straightener, and curling irons and can be found at Home Depot and mounted on the wall. For specifically made to hold makeup organizers on top of your vanity, Amazon is an excellent place to search for these holders at a great price.
For makeup brushes my favorite storage solution is to find a pretty container, it could be a pencil holder a candle holder (whatever fits your brushes) or a couple of each, and fill them half-full with little rocks/beads or a similar vase filler. Stand your brush handles in these containers along with your mascara and eyeliners. Your brushes and makeup products will stay upright and it works superbly well. I would use the same method on my dream vanity table; however, any pretty container which stores your brushes upright along with eyeliners and mascara, works well as long as they suit your design scheme.
For makeup, you can also find some beautiful trays to put your makeup and skincare products on. Sometimes even trays with divided off sections, so it makes it easier to store certain items such as blush or lipstick. I prefer stylish storage for on top of your vanity, such as silver or gold trays, decorated or colored candle holders, and mirrored makeup supply/brush holders. Below are some photographs of these ideas I liked for my own vanity space.
It’s also helpful to find some see-through jars or containers to hold items such as Q-tips and cotton rounds, used for toner and taking off makeup (etc). For haircare products, a shelf that can fit hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo, and other taller hair products is useful with a shelf on top which leaves you with storage for smaller bottles of hair care products.
The last and hardest part of storage is finding containers which will fit in shallow top drawers and in deeper side drawers for a dream dressing table. Since I would like my vanity area to not look so cluttered, I would like it if most of my makeup could be organized in the top drawers at least.
It is possible to purchase makeup dividers which fit inside draws or find your own little baskets or boxes, which will fit different kinds of makeup. Makeup storage also depends on how much makeup you own and should still be keeping. Amazon is an affordable and easy place to find this type of storage.
Makeup storage also depends on if you want to store your makeup visibly on the wall or hidden (such as I do) in the drawers of your vanity. I prefer drawers, they appear so much neater than makeup storage in wall-mounted containers or on a magnetic board. I can close messy drawers if they need cleaning and if my makeup has dirty cases.
I believe in keeping a vanity top clean and clutter free as possible because it makes it easier for me to find what I need each morning before working or if I was Mom, for instance, before dealing with my children.
For me, I would only keep the makeup I use the most out and put everything else away. I would like the top to be clutter free so I have space to work and to display some of my prettier pieces of jewelry and perhaps perfume.
It would also like to personalize my vanity space with authentic artwork to my taste, which matches my decor in my vanity area. I have chosen some of my favorite watercolor paintings off of Etsy which work into the blue vanity scheme and have this Chanel, posh and classy feel about them. Also, I like how this spice wrack became the perfect place to store perfume and display bracelets.
I enjoy purchasing my artwork prints on Etsy because the prints you buy are less expensive and they are from local artists and small businesses. The prints are more unique than art you would find in most home decor stores. I would order the prints I’ve chosen off of Etsy and then visit Winners/Home Sense or the Craft store to find frames to put my art in.
I could choose to search for frames which are all the same style of frame or look for frames which are the same color. I believe what I would do is mix up frame colors and styles, have frames in black, gold, and silver, as long as they fit in with the vanity area them I’ve created and its ambiance.
For me, this would be my perfect dream vanity area; however, as you can tell, it’s difficult to choose precisely what pieces fit and what pieces don’t. Thanks for reading!
©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.
Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.
Tess held the torch in her dexterous hands, melting white-gold until it was workable. She shaped it until she formed a cuff for a woman’s wrist. Before the gold cooled, Tess placed in the center of the bracelet a pink diamond. Circling the pink diamond were tiny white diamonds.
Her buyer named Adrianne, had been specific about the quality and karat of raw materials used. She had been malicious to Tess as well, bruising her arm with a forceful grasp and spitting in Tessa’s face saying:
“This bracelet must be your most perfect design yet or else. I’m not paying you so much money for nothing.”
Fortunately, Tess knew Adrianne had a horrible allergy to nickel. Tess had procured the finest dust of nickel. When she packed up Adrienne’s bracelet she threw in silver and black glitter in the cuff’s box for decoration; the nickel dust hid well in the glitter.
“You’ve out done yourself,” Adrianne admitted giving Tess a surprised glance. She paid Tess for the remainder of the bracelet and walked out the shop door scowling at Tess on the way out.
She noticed Adrianne scratching her wrist and arm where she’d tried on the bracelet; Tess smiled.
©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.