My search for the perfect winter coat...

Hell Bunny Winter Coat
coat - Hell Bunny / shoes - Alica + Olivia for Payless (via Poshmark) / earmuffs - Kate Spade / tights - idk? / dress - Pinup Girl Clothing

Last year, I had an awesome military-style coat from Hell Bunny, the Imma. I was in love with it, but it was too big for me this year, and I needed to find something new. I decided to do a bunch of research first, and to find something that would fit all of my needs. Enter the Hell Bunny Sofia Coat!

I had a few requirements:

  • A hood! My last coat didn't have one, and I wanted one for rain/snow, or super angry cold days.
  • Not a tie-back/corset back. The Imma had a corset back, and I didn't love it.
  • Suitable for fitting over circle skirts with petticoats.
  • Length suitable for petite ladies (I'm 5'1").
  • Easy to close/take on and off. That meant I wasn't nuts about extra stuff, like belts. Too much work.
  • Looks cute closed or open. 
  • Awesome retro/pinup style.

Hell Bunny Winter Coat

I also didn't want to spend too much. I know Hell Bunny would probably run me $100+, so I watched eBay relentlessly once I selected the coat I thought that I wanted. I also kept an eye out for my favorite retailers that sell Hell Bunny in case there was a sale/clearance. I ended up buying via eBay from an individual seller, and I got a great price, around $80 shipped. Woo hoo!

Here's the bad news: I didn't realize that the closures on the Sofia coat are small elastic bands that go around the groups of two tiny buttons down the front. Ughhh tedious. And then, to add insult to injury, the elastics started pulling out less than a month after getting the coat. Whomp whomp. However, I was able to easily and elegantly remedy this and IMPROVE upon the coat's design by snagging some hidden snaps and taking them to my tailor's to have them sewn on! The tiny elastics were simply snipped off. You can see the snaps in the photos above where the coat is open.

Hell Bunny Winter Coat

Because I had previously owned a Hell Bunny coat, I was able to make a pretty good guess as to what size I would need this time around. If you're in the market for a Hell Bunny coat, try to find somewhere that carries them (possibly Hot Topic?) and try on a few. Or, find a friend who has one, and try on theirs! I was able to sell my coat (it was seriously in like-new condition) and almost make my money back to pay for this one, so that was good.

Hell Bunny Winter Coat

Oh yeah, my earmuffs are Kate Spade, also snagged via eBay. You just gotta be patient, and good stuff seems to come eventually at a good price. I didn't originally have my heart set on Kate Spade... I wanted some Betsey Johnson earmuffs with a bow on them that I seemed to remember spotting a few years back? But for the life of me, I cannot find them anywhere. Maybe I actually made them up. But in my search for them, I came across these ones, and I love them, too, so that's cool.

Have you ever seen a clothing item or accessory that you've hunted for forever and now suspect that you may have made it up? I surprisingly seem to do this quite a bit, but it often leads to other awesome discoveries, so I guess that's ok in the end, right?

Side note: for full details on the outfit I'm wearing under this coat, see my previous blog post!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor

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Pin Up Style on a Shoestring Part 3: Health & Well-being

Pin up style is all about looking and FEELING your best! If you ask me, taking care of your body and mind is WAY more important than that cute new Hell Bunny pencil skirt you’ve been eyeing. Getting in shape and eating healthy doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either! Here’s how to keep your curves in all the right places for a minimal amount of dinero.

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Say Goodbye to the Gym!

You know…the place you never go in the winter because going outside in the cold when you’re sweaty (or freshly showered) SUCKS, but you still pay hard earned money on a monthly basis! I was a member at a gym for a year and I went on a pretty regular basis. I just hated waiting for the machines, it cut into my free time at home, and most of all…I fear ringworm no matter how clean a place is. Gyms just freak me out and feel gross… Bleck!!! Also, I hate paying cold hard cash to feel like I’m going to get cauliflower ear. SO, to stay in shape I turned to smartphone apps, a yoga mat, a FitBit, and a rebounder. In the summer, I take walks around my neighborhood or down the Prairie Path and when I get home I do about 10 minutes of yoga for runners on a Yoga Studio app by Gaiam.

I’ve written about this app before…I still use it and love it! There are so many classes to choose from you can’t get bored and they all target different areas. If you don’t have or can’t afford a Fitbit (mine was a gift, so I lucked out) there are all kinds of free or $0.99 pedometer apps to choose from. It’s good to get over 10,000 steps a day as a general rule and it’s not that hard once you get used to it.

When it started getting cold, I decided to purchase a rebounder (mini trampoline) for $30 on Amazon. It’s probably the best piece of workout equipment I have ever bought. It works out every muscle in your body AND boosts your immune system. You can do anything from cardio to arm and ab workouts on this thing and you can find different types to fit your weight, height, and coordination level. I found a few YouTube videos I like to work out with and once you learn some moves you can make up your own routines in a designated amount of time. My favorite videos are by Arnita Champion at BeaChamp Fitness. She’s awesome! Start out with a 10 or 15 minute beginner workout and work your way up from there. I now save $40 a month NOT going to the gym and am seeing WAY better results.

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Be a Green Goddess

Eating healthy is just as important as exercise is like Love and Marriage according to Frank Sinatra…you can’t have one without the other. You see the best results from exercise when you eat right and vice versa. Fresh produce is full of vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. If you have a hard time eating your allotted amounts of fruits and veggies, good news….You can throw them all in a blender and drink them quickly so you don’t even know what hit you. I throw mine in a sealed cup with a straw so I can’t tell what I’m drinking. I’ve added a veggie and fruit smoothie or 2 a day to my diet since January 1st and I’ve really felt the difference. There are plenty of recipes on Pinterest, but I just stick to this:

  • 1 cup of cold filtered water
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 romaine leaves
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1/2 a cup blueberries
  • 2 TBS ground flax seeds
  • 1/2inch round of fresh ginger

(Sometimes I’ll throw in some carrot slices - it's really up to you as long as you have more veggies than fruit in there)

Blend the water, spinach, romaine, flaxseed, and ginger together on medium or high. Once smooth, add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low to medium. Drink half immediately and save the other half in an airtight container for later in the day or tomorrow morning, but don’t keep it longer than 24 hours.

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Quiet Your Mind

Probably my biggest problem is stress management. I tend to get anxious and angry about things I have no control over which causes me to get less sleep and that ends up wearing down my immune system. As a result, I get sick and lethargic throughout my day causing more stress and anxiety…. It’s a vicious cycle and (fortunately) I’ve found a good way to manage it. I recently read a book by Natalie MacNeil called She Takes on the World (SO good by the way…I highly recommend this book to any woman who is trying to start her own business). In the book she talks about meditation and mental focus. I’ve never been great at meditation because my brain always feels like someone has hit the “Scan” button on a radio and I have a really hard time sitting still. Plus, I just wasn’t really convinced that it was going to help me. However, I figured it was worth a try, since I have a problem with anxiety and mental focus…and it was annoying the crap out of me. Couldn’t hurt, right?

So, I did some research and downloaded Meditation Studio by Gaiam (the same people who made the yoga app I love so much). There are different courses (Meditation Essentials, Uncovering Happiness, and Changing Habits), Collections (different meditations focused on various “ailments” like anxiety, self-doubt, pain, etc…) and teachers to choose from. I’ve actually had great luck with this app and (like yoga does with your body) meditation trains your brain to better deal with unpleasant or annoying situations which results in less stress and anxiety. Like anything else, it takes some practice, but once you get in the habit of focusing it gets easier and you will definitely reap the benefits.

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Get Your Beauty Sleep!

Getting enough sleep should be a top priority for everyone. Sleep deprivation causes so many issues health-wise both mentally and physically. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes and it obviously makes you groggy and less focused throughout the day. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get more sleep mostly because my immune system sucks and I’m tired of feeling tired. It’s NOT easy for me to go to bed before 11pm in general. I’m a night owl. I hate getting up in the morning and I love going out at night no matter what day it is…Which does not work out for me when I have to be at the office by 8am the next day. It ends up catching up with me and making me sick (which is what happened to me last week). SO, I’ve slowly been getting myself into bed a little earlier over the past week and I’ve been waking up a little earlier each day.

Waking up is not my strong suit, either. I love to stay in bed and I get annoyed with my alarm when it goes off in the morning. It was really getting on my nerves, so (again) I did some research and found out that waking up is all about timing. You should wake up when you are at your lightest stage of the sleep cycle. So, I found yet another app called Sleep Cycle. It’s an alarm clock that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep. Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally rested without an alarm clock. I LOVE this thing. LOVE it. I wake up less irritated and I have more time to get ready in the morning so I don’t feel rushed. The free version works just fine for me and it’s available for iPhone AND android phones.

Want more "Pinup Style on a Shoestring?" Check out Part 1: Makeup here, and Part 2: Pampering here!

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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What I Wore: The Haunted Housewife

Haunted Housewife
shoes - Alice + Olivia for Payless (via Poshmark) / tights - idk??? / dress - Pinup Girl Clothing / brooch - Luxulite / petticoat - Malco Modes

So, I have a bunch of dresses that aren't "new" (meaning I've had them for a while and just not photographed them as OOTD posts for the blog)... well, some literally aren't new because I purchased them in like-new or EUC (excellent used condition) from other buyers. But I want to make sure that I document them here. My black Haunted Housewife dress from Pinup Girl Clothing is one of those dresses. I've had it for a while, worn it several times, but just never got around to photographing it.

I seriously LOVE this dress. It mixes both of my favorite styles: pinup/rockabilly and goth. (By the way, I totally need PUG to get me an affiliate/referral account since I wear their stuff so much and people are always asking me in-person where I get my stuff, LOL!)

Haunted Housewife

I wore this dress to a teacher institute day. Seemed professional enough - not as kooky as a novelty print, but still very true to my style. Sometimes when I wear my novelty prints to work, I'm good all day (eh, people are used to it), but then I stop somewhere out in public on my way home and I become hyper-aware that I kind of stick out like a sore thumb. People will actually comment on it. Despite my general appearance and the fact that I post photos of myself on the internet and discuss said appearance in depth, in person I'm totally socially awkward to the point where I know I can come across as awkward and aloof and even snotty. It's not intentional, I swear. It's just super self-conscious and hyper-aware, especially when people point out my appearance... I have trouble taking a compliment... ughh I swear I wish I was more naturally outgoing and friendly in person, I just have a lot of trouble doing it and it often comes out all wrong.

None of this is an excuse to not be friendly or outgoing. It doesn't make my awkwardness or pseudo-aloofness ok by any means. It's an attempt to explain why I might give off the wrong impression, but also an admittance that I am aware of and need to work on it. And I am. Baby steps.

Haunted Housewife

So, enough self-help small talk.

I recommend sizing down on this dress, particularly if you are on the cusp of two sizes. I originally bought the red version of this dress a size larger and I was convinced that it wasn't for me, I just didn't look good in the particular style. But when the chance came to snag it a size smaller in black (my fave!), I did just on a whim and I'm so glad that I did!

It's a faux wrap-style with a side zip and a separate belt. The neckline is super low cut, so I actually have a black stretchy tank/camisole on underneath. So unless you want to give a free show, wear a thing underneath.

Haunted Housewife

OMG - shoes! If these shoes look familiar, it's because they're these (and these) shoes... except they're NOT those shoes, they're the same shoes a 1/2 size smaller because I found them on Poshmark for a steal! Woo hoo! Now I can sell the too-big size 9's in my own Poshmark closet. Have you noticed that I love shopping on Poshmark? I sell so much of my own stuff, and then turn the profit around to buy cool stuff in return! You can sign up for Poshmark and use my code: PMSHD and we'll both earn $$$ in bonus Poshmark credits. Sweeeeet.

Haunted Housewife

Alice and Olivia for Payless (these are from Spring 2010) is an awesome collection. In fact, I love when designers do collaborations for lower-budget minded folks, like the Anna Sui shoes I also snagged on Poshmark.

Speaking of Anna Sui, have you seen her collab with Starbucks? I was like SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Fortunately, I got an email the day it came out, so I bought all the things except the bag, which was already sold out. But then my OCD grew and I got one via eBay for a reasonable price before they all shot up like crazy.

Haunted Housewife

I took a couple of closer-up detail shots so you can see the awesome skull cufflink-like buttons on the sleeves of the Haunted Housewife dress, which I paired with a skull cherries brooch from Luxulite, one of my favorite brooch makers! There's a Valentine's collection out now and I'm desperately trying to resist... I've gotta get the shopping under control. Even though I'm a pretty good shopper and I can get stuff at decent prices, there comes  time when I need to rein it all in, you know?

Have you gotten any awesome shopping deals lately? What do you do to resist the temptation to buy ALL the things?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor

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