Monday, November 30, 2015

Combating the Common Cold

Hello, dears!

Unfortunately I have fallen ill with the notorious common cold. What is really troubling about the common cold is that there is no cure-all; you can only treat and soothe the symptoms. Thus, today I am going to give you some of the ways that I bounce back from this pesky sickness. These are not medical recommendations, just things that have helped me feel better in the past.

Hot Chocolate and Tea

One of the really unfortunate symptoms of the common cold is often a sore throat. I find that drinking hot chocolate, tea, or coffee really eases the pain that comes from the sinuses running. While I'm talking about liquids, make sure that you also drink a lot of water. Hydration is key to my speedy recoveries.


When I'm sick, I like to eat a lot of spicy foods like foods with chipotles, black and red peppers, or even foods with a touch of curry. These spices help to open up the nose so that you can breathe easier.

Bed Rest

This concept is often very difficult for us because we lead such busy lives. However, if you don't rest when you are sick, I guarantee that you are slowing down your recovery. You don't have to lie down all day, but you certainly need to lie down long enough to let your immune system properly fight off the cold. 

Take a Hot Shower

This is one of my favorite things to do when I am sick. I find that it provides almost instant relief to the pent up congestion in my head. Furthermore, I love that ultra clean feeling that you get; this feeling is especially apparent when you shower when you're sick.

Cough Drops

I love cough drops; my favorite are the Halls cough drops with menthol. They ease the throat, stop coughing, and open up the nose. I highly recommend Halls (any cough drops are a good option though) for more instant relief. 


And finally, for my drug of choice, I select Afrin. I know that nasal sprays are not for everyone, but I really appreciate how quickly they are able to alleviate the congestion build-up in my head. If you want more immediate gratification AND long term relief, I highly recommend trying Afrin. 

That's a wrap for now! There are some that I didn't include such as light exercise and soups, but I find that the ones that I did include are the methods that help me recover the fastest. Let me know in the comments if you have found any miracle products for "curing" the common cold!


Friday, November 27, 2015

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" Review

Hi, everyone!

I am on Thanksgiving break for a few days, and boy is it much needed. Of course, I managed to fall ill the first day of break, so it was bed rest for me for most of the day! As a result, I was able to marathon Amazon's new series The Man in the High Castle. This series is very different from any series I have seen before.

Amazon's The Man in the High Castle is actually based on the novel by Phillip K. Dick. I have not had the pleasure of reading the novel yet, but I am going to pick up a copy sometime this week (and I will review it later down the line)! The setting of the book and TV series is a world in which the Axis powers won World War 2. The Nazi regime has control of the eastern United States, and Japan has control of the west coast. To put it super briefly, the premise of the TV series revolves around the uncovering of tapes which reveal a world that could be if the Nazis and Imperialist Japan were not in power. I'm not going to give away any more information for fear of spoiling the series.

Here are some pictures so that you can get the aesthetic feel:

I'm writing a review of this series not because I loved it a lot, but because I think that it is important. I think that it is critical to realize that a society like this is not impossible; it isn't impossible for people to accept something truly evil as the norm. And I find that to be quite terrifying and relevant to today's current events. 

Anyway, on to my review of the show. Aesthetically, the show is beautifully done. The costumes are fantastic, and the backgrounds look so real that it can be quite unnerving at times. The American flag flying with a swastika in place of the stars? Very scary, but sensible in the context of the show. In the category of costumes, props, and scenery, I would certainly give this show a 10/10.

Furthermore, the show would also get near a 10 for its plot. It's difficult to imagine what society would have been like had the Axis powers won World War 2, but this show allows your imagination to run wild.

In terms of acting, this is where I find that the show suffers a little. After the first episode, I almost stopped watching. For some reason, I found the whole first episode to be extremely cheesy in terms of acting. I'm glad that I continued on because the acting definitely picks up, so don't stop after the first episode! Along with this, I found some of the character development to be either non-existent or very little at all. When I watch a show or movie, I definitely need to see some sort of depth in the characters. I found some of these characters to be flat and a little bit boring. Thus in terms of characters, I would give this show about a 6/10.

One other thing that I craved from this show but didn't really get was fear. Whenever I watch a movie or documentary about the Third Reich, I feel truly terrified. I always wonder how such evil could and can exist in the world, and it brings me chills. Here, I had a few instances of chills, but not enough. I wanted to feel really scared about what could have been, and I didn't really get that from this series.

Overall, I recommend watching this series for plot if nothing else. It is extremely relevant to the world's current events, so if you have time on your hands check it out! Sorry for the long review.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my lovely readers who celebrate it!

I am very thankful for each and every one of you, and I hope that you stuff yourselves silly with food tonight.

Tomorrow we can all be rest-assured that the Christmas explosion is going to happen in my house.

See you all soon! Cheers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Home Fires Review

Hello, everyone!

Today I am going to write a review about PBS's recent World War 2 based series called Home Fires (part of their Masterpiece collection). I am very excited to be penning this review because the show is just so fabulous!

To begin, here are some pictures from the show:

I am going to start of by saying that I absolutely love this series. It has drama, action, a fantastic plot line, and a whole lot of character development. Thus, it has a little pinch of everything.

The show is based on the "The Women's Institue" (WI), which is a social organization that formed in response to the outbreak of the war. Based on the book by Julie Sommers (Jambusters), this show stays fairly true to costumes, events, locations and the institution of the WI in general. One of the main reasons that I enjoy Home Fires is because of its focus on women's contributions to the war effort.

Another factor that makes this series so great is its strong actor and actress selection. The series features Samantha Bond, Francesca Annis, and Ruth Gemmell, just to name a few. Every single actor and actress plays his/her role brilliantly, and that is one of the primary reasons that this show is so compelling.

I could go on and on about this program for who knows how long, but I don't want to give everything away! My rating as of right now would probably be around an 8/10. I highly recommend that you check this show out; I promise you won't be disappointed!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Photographs 2

Hi all,

School has been very stressful this past week, so I apologize for not posting on the schedule that I normally post. Today I am going to post some of my favorite pictures as of late.

Clearly, I am ready for Christmas in November! Don't you just adore the red velvet dress on the right? I love how she paired it with a light tan belt and shoes. Very chic. 

I found this picture off of Tumblr from vintagegal. This shot was so elegantly taken; I love how the photographer faded out the background to focus on the handsome gentleman and the lovely lady in red.

This picture is promo for a post I am going to write in a few days. These ladies were members of the WI, which was a great effort to help the home front during World War 2. My next post is going to feature more information about the WI and a new television show I discovered called "Home Fires."

I hadn't seen this picture before today, but I absolutely adore it. Two legends having a drink. Plus, look at Sinatra's face; he clearly enjoyed whatever joke was being told.

This is one of the last photographs ever taken of Ms. Monroe. She really was beautiful, wasn't she? This just makes me think about how happy I am to be studying in the discipline that I am, and I cannot wait until I can officially help people overcome their struggles.

I love that Ms. Loren is still modeling, even at the ripe age of 81. This just goes to show you that beauty and elegance are timeless. 

I hope that everyone is doing well! Thanksgiving is next Thursday; isn't that crazy? The holidays are approaching so fast. Have a great rest of the week, everyone. Cheers.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Christmas Music

Hello, everyone!

I know it might seem a little early to be getting in the Christmas spirit, but in my opinion, Christmas cheer can begin as soon as Halloween is over! Since Halloween has passed, we are well on our way to Thanksgiving which means that Christmas is not that far away.

In honor of Christmas being so close (a month and a few weeks, give or take a few), I am going to share with you what my all-time favorite Christmas songs are.

"The Christmas Waltz" as sung by Frank Sinatra

I truly believe that this is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs ever written. The way that Sinatra sings it is simply flawless; his diction makes my heart warm. Focus on the second time he sings "falls in love", and I promise you won't be disappointed. I also really like Harry Connick Jr.'s rendition of the song, but it is an entirely different style, far more jazzy.

"O Holy Night" as sung by Josh Groban

I like this song for a very different reason than the reason that I gave for the first song. I don't think that I have ever shared this on the blog, but I am deeply religious. Christmas is first and foremost the most important holiday to me because of the birth of Christ. I owe my life to Him, and I love the relationship that I have with Him. Having said this, I find this song to be particularly touching when it comes to Christmas music with more Christ-focused lyrics. Furthermore, Groban articulates the lyrics so, so beautifully.

"Baby It's Cold Outside" as performed in Neptune's Daughter 

Trust me, I know what you are probably thinking. Nowadays whenever I tell people that I like this song, they usually start on a feminist tirade about what an awful message the song is sending. But in my opinion, if you watch the song in the context of the movie, it's just playful banter between the characters. I don't think the intention was ever to make a song with lyrics about alcohol, drugs, and sexual harassment (at least not in this particular decade). As to why I enjoy this song, I enjoy it because it's catchy and fun. 

"I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" as sung by Dean Martin

Dean Martin really was one of the kings of cool. The way he sings this song is so effortless; I just adore his voice. Ella Fitzgerald also does a really good job with this song as well. Something weird that I just realized is that I have a strong preference for male vocalists. Maybe it's because their deeper voices are more soothing to me; I don't know. Whatever the case, hats off to Dino and Ella for nailing this song.

Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Christmas Special 1957

This last video is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. Two of the most important contributors to the music industry in one Christmas special; what more could you want? Every word that came out of Crosby's mouth was magical, and we all already know how I feel about Sinatra's voice. If you haven't seen this special, take 15 minutes out of your time to watch it. You will not be disappointed; I promise!

I hope that I have managed to instill some Christmas magic in you through some of these songs. Be prepared to see many more Christmas-themed posts in the next coming weeks. Cheers!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Pray for Paris and the World

With a heavy heart, I decided that it was necessary to pen this post right now.

It's utterly disgusting that people still commit atrocities like the one that occurred in Paris today. The killing of another human being should come as a last resort and not a second earlier. We are all human beings, and somehow we are going to have to find a way to love and accept each other. The world is growing hostile, and if we don't find a way to make peace with one another then we are going to find ourselves in another very brutal war.

We have to keep in mind too that people in the Middle East are constantly at risk of being bombed and attacked by these extremist groups as well. Don't make this about religion; this it is a matter of a group of people acting upon radical ideas. Racism stems from ignorance, so please remember to keep an open mind and be educated about these issues.

Sending lots of love and prayers to Paris and to all the people who will be impacted around the world. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This One's for the Veterans

Good Morning!

As you may or may not know, today is Veterans Day in the United States. In 1954, the holiday was renamed from 'Armistice Day' and has been known by its official name ever since. Don't confuse it with Memorial Day, though. Veterans Day is a holiday to honor all of those men and women who have served in the armed forces, not just those who passed away while serving in the armed forces.

Today is a day to thank all of our veterans who have served to keep our country free. However, we should always remember to thank a veteran whether it is Veterans Day or not!

We are losing more and more veterans each and every day, especially those from the more distant wars such as World War 2. It is incredibly important that we listen to the veterans' stories and document them, as there will soon come a day where we will only know about these events from what we have noted and recorded.

Remember, take some time out of your day to thank a veteran. You can even hand-write a letter and have it sent to a veteran through Operation Gratitude, which is an organization that I highly recommend working with at some point.

I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the week!`Cheers. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Favorite Men's Clothing Pieces

Good Morning!

I was just thinking about how I am always writing about topics that are probably more catered towards women such as make-up and women's fashion. Today I'm going to mix it up a little and write about some of my favorite men's fashion pieces.

Obviously now I am writing more about what I like aesthetically, so it will be quite biased. However, I would love to hear your comments regarding some of your favorite pieces.

1920's Suits
Modern rendition of a 1920's suit by Brooks Brothers
I really love the three-piece suits from the 1920's. Three-piece suits exist today, but they are mostly worn on formal occasions or in formal settings. Regarding suits, the 1920's were my favorite decade mainly because of all the options that were available plus the cut of the suits themselves. You could wear pinstripes and all different colors and still look incredibly fashionable without being judged. Today, colored suits and pinstripes are seen as being more "edgy". Noting the cut of the suits, I like how the suits fit well and were not too big or too tight. 

1940's Shoes
In my opinion, men's shoes of the 1940's should be the standard for classy dress shoes. The design is still seen often today; Oxfords are very common. However, a lot of men's dress shoes today tend to be single-colored and lack the intricate details that the older shoes possessed. Even the working boots that are pictured above are gorgeously embroidered.

1940's Hats
I wanted to mix up the decades more, but I just absolutely adore the hats of the 1940's. Nowadays, fedoras are often seen as being gangster or uncool, so it's nice to reflect on a time in history where they represented pure class. Another thing to note is that hats of the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's were very similar, if not the exact same type. The difference between the decades is the way in which the hats were worn. 

1950's Men's Hairstyles

Now a quick nod to the hairstyles of the 1950's. I love that the men actually styled their hair. Of course there is nothing wrong with not bothering with your hair, but styled hair adds an extra ounce of sophistication to any look.

And finally a nod to some of the most influential style icons of the early to mid-century years.....

Cary Grant
Frank Sinatra
Humphrey Bogart
Clark Gable
I hope everyone enjoyed this post. What are some of your favorite men's fashion pieces from the past years?


Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Vintage Thanksgiving

Hello, dears.

Halloween has come and gone, so now we are on to the next big holiday which is Thanksgiving in the United States.

I am going to summarize what the USA Thanksgiving is about very quickly for those who are unsure. When the Puritans came to America circa 1620, there was a very rough winter the following year. A lot of their group died, so they turned to the Native Americans for help. The Native Americans taught them a lot about crops and harvesting; as a reward, the Pilgrims threw a feast in thanks. Thus, Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for everything and anything that you would like. There is also usually a large feast involved with a turkey and many side dishes.

Here are some pictures from past centuries revolving around the holiday:

Shirley Temple hard at work
FDR at dinner

Pin-up Thanksgiving

Macy's Day Parade

A lot hasn't changed since the origin of the holiday. It is a really wonderful time to get together with family and friends to celebrate all of the wonderful things we have in life. 

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Favorite Make-up Videos


Today I'm going to look at some of my favorite make-up videos. Obviously these will be retro-inspired, but most of them will use modern products for ease of re-creation.

Most of these videos will also be from Lisa Eldridge's channel. She is a very skilled make-up artist, so I would highly recommend checking out her channel. She also just released a book called "Face Paint: The Story of Makeup."

Lisa Eldridge's Party Look with Golds

This look might just be my favorite dressy make-up look of all time. I love the way that her red lip compliments the gold eye-shadow. I would wear this out anywhere during the holiday season. The whole look just channels the glamour of Old Hollywood.

Lisa Eldridge's Pin-Up Makeup
Pin-up makeup is still extremely popular today. This video covers the whole look, but I like that you can also draw focus point such as attaining the perfect red lip or cat-eye. It's also very nice that she kept this particular look classic, as lots of artists tend to add their own historically-inaccurate twists to the look.

Aly Art's Marilyn Monroe Look
I like everything in this video besides the section on the lips. I think that she did a great job of cutting between the real Marilyn's make-up and her rendition of that same make-up. I also enjoyed how the whole video had a 1950's vibe. The lip section was good, but I think that she needed to blend better overall to make the liner less abrasive.

100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute: USA 
If you haven't already watched this series, I highly recommend that you check it out. This was the first episode. I find it really interesting to see exactly how much make-up has changed in only 100 years. Not only that, but if you watch the whole series you'll see how much it has changed culturally as well.

That's all I have for today, everyone! What are some of your favorite make-up videos?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Day After: Halloween Edition

Hi, all.

What a wonderful and wild weekend it has been! Here in the United States, clocks went back an hour today so we had an extra hour of sleep to recover from all of the festivities.

Today I am going to post pictures of the costumes that my sister and I wore on Halloween. I was Coco Chanel, and she was Aphrodite. I am posting pictures edited in a vintage style (photo creds and editing creds go to my lovely sister).

Me as Coco Chanel:

Jordan as Aphrodite:

What were you and what did you do for Halloween? Do you like our outfits?