Friday, January 10, 2014

Pink Saturday at the McNay

I cannot remember the last time I participated in Beverly's Pink Saturday fun. Oh, how I've missed it.
This week we girls were able to visit the McNay Art Museum and see the Cuts Costume Collection before the exhibit leaves.
They had some of the most beautiful costumes from award winning movies. It's one thing to see them on screen, but to see them up close, to admire the's amazing!
This first dress was worn by Keira Knightley as Georgina in the Duchess of Devonshire.  This was one of the first dresses at the exhibit and certainly one of my favorites.
All I could think of was how hot that wig  must have been! 
The rosettes we so beautiful. The color combination was breathtaking. 

The costume designers paid attention to the smallest details...little green pom poms hanging from her sleeve. I don't know that I would have noticed that in the movie.
I loved this elegant dress. The bottom was made to almost look quilted but it was not a super heavy material. It was certainly sewed to appear that way.
This was Heath Ledger's Casanova Costume. Not really much pink but it was there in small amounts up close. 

This dress was worn by Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter in Mrs. Potter for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. 
The dress does have dusty pink undertones.
I was so impressed by the complexity of fold and use of lace.
I kept saying over and over, "What kind of mind must the artist have that created these designs?" 
I am such a sucker for lace, especially vintage lace.
This may be brand new lace, but it's been made to look very vintage and it is so beautiful.
Again, the small rosette on the face of the lace cuff....such amazing attention to detail. 
Now this dress....
this dress deserves a post of it's own.
I have never seen anything quite so beautiful.
It really almost took your breath away.
No words that I write or photos that I take will ever do it justice.
You simply must see this dress in person to appreciate the true beauty of it. 
This is Emmy Rossum's dress as worn in The Phantom of the Opera.
This two piece gown was worn by Christine at the Masquerade Ball.
The dress itself is such a soft, delicate blush of pink.
It reminded me of a young, fresh rose bud...that soft pink closest to the stem.
The skirt of the dress has tiny silver/iridescent sparkles
The top of the dress, again, has the most beautiful lace embedded with small, occasional rosettes. 
Then you walk around and see the back....
and you have to catch your breath.
I'm sure I heard several gasps.
Oh the back....
there are simply no words. 
I wish the flowers would have held up a little better. They really did have the appearance of fake flowers. Granted, the dress has probably been in storage for quite some time, but I just with the flowers would have held up a little more. 
Again, the attention to detail is just extraordinary.
It has really made me appreciate and look at costumes in movies a completely new way.
The craftsmanship goes far beyond mere talent. 
To create pieces like this you have to have a keen eye for detail, a limitless vision, a mind with the ability to transfer unseen images to paper and nimble fingers that put the designers vision into fruition.
This dress was one of my favorites. It was certainly my favorite dress of the movie. To see it in person was unreal.
I have so many more great pieces to show...but that will have to be for a later post.
If I tried to get them all on here this post would take hours!
For more great Pink Saturday fun click here!
View more photos on my Instagram here.
p.s. I love that Beverly also chose a costume from one of my most favorite shows ever, Downton Abbey.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I have fallen so very fall behind on my product reviews.
I am taking a few minutes today to review some of my favorite Birchbox products over the last few months.
Birchbox is truly a monthly sample subscription. I don't expect to receive sample items that exceed my $10 monthly subscription rate. However, Birchbox has introduced me to so many new brands and items that I otherwise would have never heard about. Lots of the items are now my new "must-haves" and I think THAT is the purpose of the Birchbox sample subscription!
One item I received that I was extremely excited to try was this hair accessory to do a half-up hair bun. It's the SARAHPOTEMPA The HALF-UP.
I am always trying to do my hair new ways and get it out of my face while growing my bangs out. This is amazing! I love it!
Due to a procedure I had done on my next in October I have a constant under the skin sunburn like sensation that makes my neck/shoulder area so sensitive that even my hair brushing against my shoulder hurts like...well, it hurts really, really bad.
With this half-up tool I can put my hair in a low bun. It's gets the hair off my shoulder/neck area and it looks done, like I actually spent time on it.
The best part, it's only $9.00 and when you take your hair out you have a little curl!

Next up is the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for sensitive skin.
This is one of those new "must-haves".
I absolutely love the smell. It's subtle and soft, not at all overwhelming.
But the look and feel of my skin after using it...
I have never seen anything like it. My skin is so soft, not tight and dry.
My skin almost looks illuminated, so fresh and clean.
I cannot live with out this product.
It is a bit pricier that what I would normally use on my skin, but the benefits and results of it far outweigh the price. And I can use points I've earned at Birchbox to apply towards the cost! 
I really loved this Ruffian Nail Lacquer. I first noticed the nice, wide brush by which to apply the polish. It gives ample coverage and goes on very smoothly, no bubbles or wrinkles. I love that the color looks almost like a gel once on and it stays looking fresh with out dulling. It did chip on me after a couple of days, so I had to retouch. Had this polish lasted just a bit longer with out chipping it would be absolutely perfect! 

Oh, the Chella Highlighter, my, my....
I have never used a highlighter in the past but have always wanted to try it.
This pencil alone is $18.00 (and has free shipping right now)
, so receiving it in my box exceeded the cost of the monthly subscription.
I love this pencil. It applies very silky and smooth and blends perfectly. I love how it highlights the areas of my face by which I use it. I can't compare it to other highlighters since I've never used any, but I can tell you this is a pencil I plan to continue purchasing from Birchbox as long as they sell it. I love it. It's another of my "must-haves".  
I received a very generous sample of Leirac Paris Sensorielle Oil. This is a brand I had no prior knowledge of and a product I would never generally purchase for myself. However, after using this I fell in love. The floral smell is subtle and feminine. Just enough lingers behind to leave a lasting impression. You can apply this oil to your face or skin or even in your hair. I usually apply a small amount to my hands and rub it through out my hair then rub what ever remains into my hands.
My husband gave me a hug and complemented me on how great my hair smelled. It's that kind of product. Just enough to be remember, not overpowering at all. I love it.
Again, the price is a bit steep, $40 for 3.4 fl oz. but I plan to use my Birchbox credits to buy the full size. I can see that it will last for at least six months, if not longer!

Another product that I fell in love with and possibly one of my most favorite samples I ever received was the Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion. Right now it's $29 on Birchbox with free shipping. When I initially saw it I thought it was another pink nail polish. I wasn't thrilled. Then I saw that it's actually a shimmer lotion. I apply it to my cheeks and under my eyes as a highlighter. It has a soft pink hue and leaves your skin looking supple and dewy. I love it! 
I am not in any way, shape or form a chocolate fan. I will be the first to tell you I hate chocolate. I don't like chocolate cookies, I despise chocolate cake and ice cream. Chocolate bars are not at the top of my list. In fact, when I'm wanting to bake something sweet I make chocolate because I know I won't eat it! So when I saw this Ghiradelli Mint Chocolate bar in my box I was almost kind of mad. I thought it was a loss of product to send me a chocolate bar when it could have been replaced by a hair or make up product I could actually use and enjoy.
Birchbox had it right.
The Mint Chocolate was just right.
It hit the spot. It was creamy and smooth and delicious.
I shared with my girls, not because I wanted to but because it was the right thing to do.
I have since been on the lookout for the Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate in my local stores and have yet to find it. It figures...the first chocolate I actually like and I can't even buy it! 
I had been hearing raves and raves about how wonderful this perfume is. I was skeptical. I really only wear a select few...any perfume from Givenchy, some Chanel, some Mark Jacobs and my Thierry Mugler Angel. However, I do like receiving perfume samples because I know I need to branch out. I have seasonal perfumes and really don't stray from what I know.
When I received a sample of the Folle de Joie eau de parfume I was a little anxious to see what the hype was all about. Let me say.... the hype is right! I love the smell of this perfume. I can easily see it becoming one of my spring/summer staples. It has such a soft, floral, feminine, light, delicate smell. It is the way a woman should my opinion. It makes me want to throw on a summer dress and sandals. I love it! Now, the price is not's $98.00 for 3.4 fl oz, but again, it is worth it. When I treat myself to a spring/summer perfume with my bonus check at work, I will be purchasing this. It's heavenly! 
I also received a cute tan, plaid twistband. I had been seeing several people post on Birchbox's Facebook page and the product page how much they loved their twistbands. I was a little jealous that I never received one. So when I had one in my December box I was ecstatic. It provides a good, solid hold. It's super cute and can be used as a bracelet as well. I don't think someone with a lot of thick hair could run a marathon or do a Zumba workout with a twistband, but they will certainly hold up for around the house work or running errands. I can't wait to buy a new pack. I wish they had maroon and white Texas A&M colors. Now THAT would be awesome!
I really plan to do, or at least, attempt to do, a product review each month of the items received in my Birchbox and my Ipsy bag. Again, with the Birchbox I don't go in with the expectation that I am going to receive items that will exceed my monthly subscription rate. Some months I do, other months I don't even come close. But every month I receive items that are new to me and are fun trying out. And that makes it worth it. It's like a little present in the mail each month. And if there is a product that I don't use, then my girls surely take it over. In fact, I usually get what they don't want!
If you haven't signed up for Birchbox, click here to get started!