Hey Jess, I'm Moving In

I'll admit I'm getting a little bored of seeing the same mid-century-inspired home over and over again. But when I saw this house I was intrigued...which then turned into a mad-googling session and then a mild obsession with owner, stylist Jessica de Ruiter. I mean damn girl.

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Usually I want people to move out so that I can move in, but in this case I just want to move in. I’d like to be adopted please.


Photos from Martha StewartGlamourJessica’s InstagramC HomeJean StoriesJ.CrewGarance Dore

Streetstyle Time Machine - 1863

Who needs whatever fashion week is going on in Paris right now. I've got bigger dresses and more accessories right here.

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I'm not sure what the tradition of re-enacting is in most other countries so this may seem quite bizarre but it was the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (American Civil War) and there were quite the number of activities and pretty dresses on view. Everything here represents the year 1863 in America.

I was able to see so many dresses because the people above this text legitimately got married. I thought it was all fake. A fun activity to show a Civil War-era wedding, but no, they really did it. Congrats guys, and sorry I was in the front row of your wedding sitting on a hale bay...I did not realize it was real : /

There was a fashion show too which was pretty interesting. I know some people don't wash their denim much (OK, myself included) but back then it was the same way...with all your clothes. Women wore around 7-12 layers (an upgrade since the cage was invented to poof your dress instead of 15 starched petticoats). Since they had so many layers next to the body their dresses were more protected and they tried to never, if possible, wash their outer layers. If you were rich you'd soak a fabric broach in perfume and then attach it to your silk dress to keep yourself smelling pretty. Lovely! ps. I wish we still wore bonnets, I tried one on and they're so comfortable :)

A Short History of (Vera Bate Lombardi)

My friend C. Fardoe (of the blog Coco & Vera) recently became a bestselling author! To celebrate I thought I'd do "a short history of..." the lesser known woman behind her blog name: Vera Bate Lombardi (Coco being Coco Chanel). I spent a little longer on this so I could have drawings over doodles but Vera is a hard person to find a decent photograph of so some different Chanel-inspired images are with Vera's history. (If you're interested here's the only good Vera photo I could find):


Born Vera Nina Arkwright in 1883 London, Vera was the step-daughter of Queen Mary's illegitimate cousin. This thin connection to the throne gave her good social standing.


First married to an American she met while volunteer nursing in Paris during WWI (and where she met fellow nurse Coco Chanel) she later married an Italian soldier...who was a Fascist liked and respected by none other than Mussolini. Vera moved to Rome with him and joined the party. Though there was no evidence, her romantic attachment led her to be surveilled and suspected of espionage.

Vera loved the outdoor-sporting-leisure life enjoyed by the uber-rich. Yes, sports luxe is nothing new. Coco found Vera + friends' sporting fashion so inspirational that they became muses and Coco hired her stylish friend Vera as a PR rep for the house of Chanel. It was Vera in fact who gave Coco (+ Chanel) the introduction and acceptance into high society circles. Eventually, in 1930, Vera left Chanel to work for a competitor.


As WWII loomed, concerned about her safety (and never the best mother) Vera married her young daughter off to a (known) gay playwright and bid them goodbye to America. Meanwhile, still in Europe, her old friend Coco had taken up with a German Nazi. Though Vera and Coco had little contact at that time, Vera was lured to Madrid by Coco under the guise of a business trip: Coco wanted her to work for Chanel again after the war. In reality, the "business trip" was a scheme cooked up by Coco and her German lover to use Vera's connections to Churchill to speak to Britain about backing off Germany. It didn't work, Vera turned them both in but was herself stranded in Madrid for nearly a year. After the war Vera was finally reunited with her husband in Italy (who had conveniently hidden their past ties to Mussolini by then). She died in Rome in 1948.



I have a love/hate thing going on with Instagram...when I remember it's there. I think everyone does. It's filled with awesome inspiration and different worldviews (most of my picture role is filled with Aussies #iwasborninthewrongcountry) but also it's often a faux-reality and while it doesn't make me feel bad about myself I definitely don't want to FOMO myself to death. Annnnyway ;) these are some random accounts someone else might like to know. I tried to choose just a few and account's without five+ figures of followers, so some favorites in no particular order:

Try 'em...

1. @heathermaesla - hand-lettering, the pacific northwest, a cute dog.

2. @dusty_outback - a wooly sheep farm out in Queensland, Aus!

3.  @merryparker - she has great, basic style and she's about to open an online shop(!) Reminiscent of another favorite (@aminuteawayfromsnowing) though Michelle also includes lots of beautiful vignettes and scenery.

4. @jasminedowling - Jazzy's pretty well-known on instagram but she's an all-time fav so I need to include her. An Aussie with awesome hand-lettering/patterns/graphics, an incredible wardrobe and never a bad angle.

5. @weare365 - sisters Mira & Thilda are some of the most incredible photographers around. Two modern-day hippies who are always traveling or exploring something abandoned...while always looking good.

6. @misterweekender - Jaharn's a travel writer so need I say more? This one does give me severe jealousy just like @theloveassembly and those other well-known travelogue genre accounts.


A Week in Products


Ever since I had the chance to replace some of my beauty products (I try to only buy something new once I run out), I became a little obsessed with switching things up although there will always be those firm favorites. Here's the round-up left to right. My top-shelf:

Perfume/ Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

Everyday makeup/ 1. Maybelline Age Rewind dark circle corrector concealer, 2MAKE translucent powder, 3. Clinique Blushwear cream stick, 4. Maybelline Full N' Soft mascara, 5. Revlon Just Bitten lip stain, 6Clinique Chocolate Chip Shadow for brows

Post shower/ Crabtree & Evelyn scented dusting powder

Dry lips/ 1. Yu-Be Moisturizing skin cream, 2. Ripe honey lip scrub and watermelon lip balm, 3. Lucas Papaw ointment

Everyday hair/ 1. Pantene detangler, 2. Tresemme heat protectant spray, 3. Garnier Fructis Smoothing cream, 4. Remington curling wand

Dry skin/ 1. Rosehip oil, 2. Hazelnut oil, 3. Evening Primrose oil

Face cleanse/ 1. Aesop Amazing Facial cleanser, 2. Aesop Bitter Orange Toner, 3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer, 4. Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover

Before bed/ 1. Aesop Geranium Leaf body balm, 2. Lucas Papaw ointment

On the sink/ Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater and Lavender body lotion

Morning routine/ 1. Clinique All About Eyes roller ball, 2. Heritage Rosewater facial spray, 3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer, 4. Nars Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Hong Kong Coffee * Tea

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When it comes to wake-up beverages the question is always coffee or tea? I'm not a coffee drinker at all but I've been transitioning back into being a (night-time) student again and tea doesn't give me any energy for late night classes. So coffee-tea (properly Hong Kong Yuan Yang) it is.

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Tea with energy:

No recipe really needed but just in case...

for Yuan Yang I combine around half a cup of coffee with half a cup of tea {I just stop the keurig half cup and also I tend to use more tea than coffee), then add milk/cream and sugar. Simple.

I've seen it made with sweetened condensed milk but that feels just a little bit sweet for me. I'll have to try that as dessert one of these days!

Natural Habitat

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After spending many, many days without the internet (insert horrified emoji face here) and quite a few without a bed frame or even a doorbell I finally have all of my things from my little move. Enough to fill the hallway by the front door so much that I'm avoiding contact with the postman until it's less embarrassingly full. I did spend the first moment of cleaning in my bedroom so I could keep one calm place. It's a work in progress. I mean, the dog's already peed on the shag rug twice. Nothing's groundbreaking here; I can just be such a voyeur of other people's places in blogland I thought I might as well share my natural habitat too.


Oh, and best of all I have to mention the "backyard". Besides the little bit of grass and train tracks maybe 30 feet away (at least I'm starting to get used to the sounds of coal trains), the backyard is part of the creek and woods. Rusty steel bridges, muddy side trails and lots of water flowers; nothing is too deep that you can't walk through it with boots on.