Oscars 2019 Best Dressed

Howdy Y’all,

Today I bring you TLL roundup of the best dressed of this years Academy Awards. I must start by saying I thought this years dresses were very disappointing, I liked so little. It did confirm to me that award seasons dresses so often look better or the womanly woman, which should be celebrated since it so rarely is in fashion these days. What did we learn? Metallic is going to be huge this season as is color in particular yellow. Pink was on a popular choice in all tones and lavender. There were many looks which were almost there but either the color choice didn’t suit the skin tone or the slit was too high of the neckline too short. The exciting thing about the nine ladies who made the cut is that each dress was by a different designer, which keeps fashion exciting and invigorating. So if you are in the dress market for a gala, ball or event may this inspire you, if not just enjoy. Who did you like?

Emilia Clarke, Balmain. Pretty lavender metallic dress, simple, elegant and a beautiful silhouette. This dress is sophisticated but youthful at the same time. I love the simplicity of her minimal accessories so the dress is the centerpiece which I think makes it look modern. My best dressed of the evening by a country mile she is the mother of dragons and fashion. Plus secretly love to see a Brit as best dressed.

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Constance Wu, Versace. Exquisite color for her skin tone, I love a bold color but in a softer fabric makes it pretty and feminine. Several woman this evening wore bold colors with too strong a silhouette or detail and it fought each other and didn’t work. She looks comfortable and happy and that makes it an Oscar winner.

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Jennifer Hudson, Ellie Saab. Red is a bold choice for a carpet. Jennifer demonstrates perfectly why womanly/hourglass figures really shine in award season, she has the curves to display the elegance and structure of this gown. Her curves wear the dress, the dress does not wear her. I love how the slit in the skirt is not too high which is why a few woman didn’t make TLL cut. Mr Saab is a genius at balance in a gown and the ruffles are proportioned perfectly by the one sleeve and layering. Hollywood glamour at its finest.

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Olivia Coleman, Prada. This lady can do no wrong for me, firstly she makes no secret of feeling uncomfortable with all the attention and I love that she wore something that she is comfortable in. I secretly hoped she would wear green, it suits her so. I love the high neck and embellished sleeves. She used the character she was nominated for as inspiration for the gown and touches of the embroidery on her dress reflect Queen Anne, this shows what an intelligent and thoughtful person she is. Her pixie cut and simple earrings finish off her look and show her to be the Queen she is. She also dresses so age appropriate and in my opinion looks younger in the process.

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Jennifer Lopez, Tom Ford. She is no longer Jenny from the block, she is Hollywood royalty and tonight showed why. The dress fit her body wonderfully and she demonstrated how to wear the metallic dress. Miss Lopez kept her hair sleek and elegant and accessories to a minimum. Top marks.

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Dame Helen Miren, Schiaparelli. Love love love this color. The knockout pink look of the night. I love pink but most the frocks tonight were horrendous. Helen always shows a lady how to dress age appropriately but in a fashion forward way. She keeps herself covered up but creates a playful edge in the soft floaty skirt and demonstrates that woman do get better with age. Did you see her diamonds? Sorry folks but another British knockout.

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Emma Stone, LV. Sharp shoulder detail which flatters her slender frame. So elegant, her accessories were minimal which let the texture and color speak. The bronze color was unlike anything else tonight which suited her skin tone and made her standout and a metallic trend hit.

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Charlize Theron, Dior. I wanted to love this, I often think Charlize hits it out of the ball park in the fashion stakes. I just didn’t like the color with her new hair color and I am not sure about how the dress sits in the bust area. The style of the dress would have flattered a few of the maturer ladies better. I wish she had kept her hair blonde it would have been outstanding. I also think there was a little too much jewelry for my taste. It did demonstrate how sexy it is to be covered up and the back was stunning, a lovely dress and look if styled a little different.

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Marie Kondo, Jenny Packham. Not only is Marie teaching people to clean their homes but also how to dress. This pretty dress is soft, elegant and shows her petite frame to perfection, the soft pink is fashionable and the small metallic touches make it forward. I also love how she has covered her shoulders, she looks cute as a button and she will have to say many a thank you to that dress when she throws it out.

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To finish I had to leave with the man I thought hit a home run and for me this evening that was Rami Malek. He didn’t try to reinvent the wheel he kept it sharp and smart in Saint Laurent. Keeping it classy couldn’t be a better tribute to Mr Mercury.

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Have a wonderful week friends.

Ta Ta for now

Kate x

New You, New Me, New Year. 2019.

Howdy Y’all,

Happy New Year. How are you? Are you surviving the January blues? Can I share a secret? I am loving what Mother L describes as the anticlimax of January. I am not sure if it is the season of my life that I am enjoying the new quieter rhythm of Jan. December and the holiday season came and went like a blur, and I had a blast, but for the first time in what seems like an age I am sitting at my desk (in my new office, yes look at me with my own space!! Blog post soon) and all I can hear is the washer and dryer going, disturbed occasionally by Gertie (the dog) barking madly because the neighbor is leaving or returning.

January is notoriously the month of fresh starts, people set ridiculous resolutions which inevitably by their scale or severity are often failed by even now. I have been somewhat horrified on social media by this constant barrage of “New You” and “Faster Steps To Fat Loss,” information which I worry feeds into this epitome of a certain type of perfection. Trust me I am not sitting here from a place where I don’t have a want or need to make changes in my life, but I think there is so much pressure in January to “transform” yourself it causes me concern that verges on the unhealthy. I often wonder what kind of holiday season people must have that they are crackalacking and ready to go into total transformation on Jan 1.

I am taking a more measured approach this year, I am setting monthly goals that are not simply image based. I am taking the month of January and possibly February if necessary to think about the goals or my wants for 2019 and beyond. I will be frank I am on a journey of self-discovery which makes it sound like I am reading a self-help book, but I am moving to a new chapter, Little L is now at full time school and although I am not inundated with endless free time, the little I have, I want to have value. I want to use it to grow and become a better version of me. I have spent so much of the last years worrying about my family and where we are moving next that I am on autopilot. I loosely use the example of Brexit (holding out the white flag.) The UK is currently in a stalemate. They don’t want NO deal, they don’t like the deal on offer, and many don’t want another referendum. So what is the answer? Lord above knows but for me the epiphany is not is the solution but in the concept of knowing what I don’t want. I find it easy to say or know what I don’t want or can not do, either through time or talent but I am almost paralysed by fear into thinking what do I WANT? I am not sure if it is a mother thing or a woman thing where we have a predisposition to not to consider our wants, just ask Sheryl Sandberg. So I can not guarantee I will get the true answer this month or next, but I am planning to be a little more selfish (there I typed it) and focus on me and my wants. I am hoping by getting more time to cook, read and whatever else takes my fancy I might get more of a sense of my new direction. Whose with me? Fear, not my plan is where I can to share what I feel or find and if I lose a few pounds along the way (all the better.)

Ta ta for now.

Kx

Making a Floral Centerpiece

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Thursday, hope you had a wonderful July 4th to my American friends, it was quite the washout here, which was disappointing we often enjoy the parade (it was cancelled.) It literally rained all day. Last week Mr L and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, eight fun filled years, Mr L informed me that it was pottery, he did this while surprising me with the most beautiful porcelain bowl. As I begin to share my home with you, you will learn about my passion for china and the colors blue and white. Mr L hit the jackpot with this present. I knew the bowl would take pride of place on my dining table and although it looked beautiful I knew it was goading me to try my hand at making my own floral centerpiece.

 

 

Firstly I knew that the easy option would be to take it to the florists and ask them to plant something stunning in it, I also knew if my idea went tits up then I could fall back on that plan. Secondly I had considered buying a fake arrangement but that would have to be online and although I am not against faux flowers they have to be the most exquisite quality otherwise they can look cheap and I hate not being able to see or touch them. Thirdly both options are bloody expensive and I felt I could have a go. So for Queen and Country I jumped in and I share with you what I did.

What I Used

  • An extra large beach towel, so not to dirty the floor. (You will see why later.)
  • Potting Mix for Orchids. I used the coarse blend.
  • A black bin liner/ trash bag to line your bowl of choice.
  • Clips to help keep liner in place
  • A bowl to collect old soil.
  • Orchids (the amount is dependent on your bowl size.)
  • Moss to cover top of bowl (not in picture.)
  • The centerpiece bowl (not in picture.)
  • A sixteen month Goldendoodle puppy (not necessary at all, wanted to be involved she was a total pain in the butt, but God she is cute.)

 

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  • Take the bin liner/ trash bag and with one of the bottom corners place it in the bottom of the bowl, making sure the corner is centered.
  • Then pull the bag taut over the sides and clip. (You will have plenty of excess.)
  • Next use scissors to cut and remove the excess. Leave a few inches below the clips on the outside you can tuck this in later.

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  • You now take the Orchids out of their packaging (this is where the bowl comes in.) Orchids tend to be packed in mossy/damp soil which needs to be removed carefully to expose the roots.

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  • I then semi lined the bowl with the potting soil about half full.
  • Next I positioned the Orchids where I thought they would look best, juggling the roots is quite complex as they are shallow and bulky and alter placement.
  • It is important to view the Orchid placements from all angles.

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  • Carefully fill the rest of the bowl with the potting soil, I did this by hand to ensure all roots are covered.
  • It is quite fiddly because you have to make sure the Orchid leaves are not trapped.
  • The leaves get dirty/dusty from the soil so I used a paintbrush to clean them up.

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  • I then used plant twine to pull the Orchid close to the rod so it is upright and looks neater. Orchids can drop with the weight of the bloom.
  • I prefer to use twine and then cover with florists tape in the color of the stem, looks better.
  • The Orchid clips I find are not as effective at holding the plant straight.
  • Then you remove the clips, you can either cut the remaining excess or tuck it in as I did (neater edge.)
  • Finally you add the florists moss on top to give a  professional look (who am I kidding?!)

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  • I then placed the arrangement on the table and admired my amateur work.

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I am actually quite pleased with the result and certainly doesn’t look bad when in situe and your not looking too close. Plus it saved me several $100.

Have you done anything similar?

Ta Ta for now.

Kx