Throwback Saturday/Shabby Chic Chalk Paint Chair…..

Bonjour and how are we all going today?? I hope everyone is having a great week and loving the fact the weekend is just around the corner, I know I am.

Well a while ago, (5 and a half months to be exact) I started a little project with chalk paint. At the time Chalk Paint wasn’t available in Australia so I had to make my own after doing some research on how to. (I’ll share with you in a bit how to diy  chalk paint) As I was down to five dining room chairs (as one was broken…oops) I decided to revamp one chair, give it a new lease of life and keep it as a spare chair for whenever we needed one.

I’d been researching Annie Sloans’ Chalk Paint as it’s a wonderful product because there’s no need to sand, prime and undercoat before painting, simply slap on the paint and it adheres to just about any surface. So I armed myself with the knowledge of how to make my own as Annie’s wasn’t available to me and I set to work on my chair.

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My spare chair….
First coat of chalk paint
First coat of chalk paint

I have to admit I was a little worried while waiting for the first coat of paint to dry as it wasn’t what I was expecting and it felt so rough. However I would soon find out all would be well.

Completely finished and shabby chic.....
Completely finished and shabby chic…..

I actually wasn’t going to make it shabby chic but when Chris put the wrought iron back rest back in it chipped some paint and as I was out of paint I thought why not distress it a little and go shabby chic…..and I’m so glad I did.

Just dressing it up....
Just dressing it up….

The secret to chalk painting is the waxing at the end, that’s what takes it from feeling rough to smooth and silky. I thought I’d keep this chair and then I had a niggling feeling to try and sell it, which is an idea I’ve been toying with fora while now. After speaking with very clever chick (she knows who she is 🙂 ) I decided to list it on our local buy, sell and swap page for $35….and what do you know…within two hours it sold to a lovely lady here in town who runs a business I love visiting….who knew my little project which really only cost me the price of a sample pot of paint would generate me some cash….I have to admit I’m pretty chuffed and looking forward to doing the next two chairs.

Chalk Paint Recipe

 Interior satin or wash and wear paint….

Plaster of paris

vaseline

good paint brushes…

Clear furniture finishing wax

2 soft cloths

Take an old ice cream container and fill it with about 1-1 1/2 cups of paint then add about three tablespoons of plaster of paris. Mix until you have a thickish consistency. If it’s too thick add a dash of water and mix again. (I made my first batch too thick but it’s easy enough to fix.) To see if you’ve got the right consistency try painting an area of what your painting in an inconspicuous spot and see how it covers. If it slides off add a little more plaster of paris. You may need to play around a bit until you get it right. Once it’s the right consistency go ahead and paint your heart out.

Now the vaseline is only for if you want to distress the piece. Simply wipe on a very thin layer where you plan to distress and paint straight over the top of it. Don’t worry the paint will stick. When you go to sand those spots back later the paint just falls away and saves alot of time.

You’ll need the wax to give your newly painted item a protective layer from chipping and it takes your paint from feeling rough to smooth. Simply take one cloth (I use microfibre dish washing cloths from the supermarket) and wipe the wax over an area and then wipe it off with the other cloth. Keep doing sections at a time until you’ve finished the whole piece. It’ll need to cure for a few hours once you’re done but after that it’s brand new.

I hope you all have fun with chalk paint and if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you asap.

Well I’m off for now so until next time take care and Au revoir…

Michelle xo

Beyond Your Mirrors Powerhouse Face Masks….

Bonjour mes amis, ca va? Today I wanted to share a blog post from my store Beyond Your Mirror. With summer here and skin needing some extra tlc I thought you’d all like to know about some new products and a special offer. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you asap.
Hi Lovely! I’m so happy to be sharing two brand new products with you. After months of testing and formulating I’m happy to introduce you to our Heavenly Hibiscus and Golden Glow Face Masks. Both masks contain powerhouse ingredients that can work harmoniously together, leaving your skin glowing and feeling amazing.
Heavenly Hibiscus is our ‘Natures Botox’ mask only without all the nasty chemicals. Hibiscus is known for it’s ability to lift and firm skin as well as speeding up skin cell turn over leaving your skin looking fresher, glowing and younger while minimizing fine lines. I have been using hibiscus in face masks for a few years now and every time I do I’m always amazed with how much my skin is glowing afterwards and how much my fine lines are minimized. This is why I knew I had to create a hibiscus mask to share with you all so you could have the same results as I’ve had. The face the mask is a dry mask means you can add your own base of Greek yogurt, honey or goats milk, giving you more choice as the seasons change as to how much hydration and nourishment your skin needs.
Golden Glow is my go to for the days where I need help with inflammation. Together the Turmeric and Cacao work to reduce inflammation in the skin with their anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.Cacao also helps to detox the skin by drawing out any toxins leaving your skin feeling refined, fresh and glowing from both the cacao and turmeric. Golden Glow is great for everyone but especially those with autoimmune conditions that suffer flare ups, in fact this is exactly why I created this mask. As a Hashimotos sufferer myself I wanted something that would reduce the inflammation in my face on a day when I was in flare up mode and after months of research and testing and seeing the results Golden Glow was created. Like Heavenly Hibiscus, Golden Glow is also a dry mask giving you the freedom to choose your base for your skins needs.
The beauty of Heavenly Hibiscus and Golden Glow is they’re fantastic for all ages. Whether your twenty four, forty four or seventy four years old, our skin knows no boundaries and by giving it beautiful, natural, organic ingredients to work with you’ll be able to keep your skin looking it’s best at all ages and stages of life.You’re also able to alternate the masks during the week if you find your skin is needing a little extra care. Both masks will happily nourish and repair your skin on a cellular level, giving your skin what it needs most.
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To celebrate the start of summer I’m offering a special discount until the 20th December of 15% off when you use the code ‘MASK15’ at the checkout. This is my way of saying thank you to all of you for your ongoing support and so you can have beautiful glowing skin all summer long. You can find my store Beyond Your Mirror here!
Au revoir…..Michelle x

Throwback Saturday/Whatever Happened To Hats…..?

Recently I’ve been doing some research into past fashions including clothes,makeup, hair styles, accessories and how it has all changed. I’m doing this for a few reasons, first of all as someone who suffers from mild alopecia I really should have a hat on my head year round to protect it from the sun and UV rays. Every summer my scalp ends up burnt while at the beach and it’s from not wearing a hat and then it hurts to brush my hair as my head is sore. l used to have very thick hair that was slow growing but easy to get it long. Now my hair is extremely fine, still slow growing and just doesn it look good long any more as it’s got no body left to it. So any way I’ve been trying to find some nice hats and it’s amazing how much of a mission it’s turning out to be. Why is it hats have Lost their place in fashion and society. Many moons ago ladies and gentlemen wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without a hat (and usually gloves as well), however according to my research the wearing of hats seems to have declined after both world wars.

I have always loved hats but haven’t always been able to find one to suit me, even though apparently with my oval shaped face I should be able to wear most hats. Perhaps it’s just my own critical judgement on whether or not I think a hat suits me…..I grew up wearing mostly fishing hats or caps, I don’t ever remember owning a dress hat.

This is the first sort of hat I can remember wearing....
This is the first sort of hat I can remember wearing….
me, my sister Charmaine and our dad all wearing fishing hats....we were fishing after all lol
me (on the right), my sister Charmaine and our dad all wearing fishing hats….we were fishing after all lol

I don’t really fish any more and while I don’t mind wearing a cap if I’m out for a walk neither of these really go with a nice summer dress or out on a picnic. These days I’m looking for something a little more fashionable and as I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong era I’m going back to when hats were stylish and went with all outfits….such as these beauties…

This is a Cloche hat...Cloche is french for bell....
This is a Cloche hat…Cloche is french for bell….

I love a Cloche hat and will definitely be looking at getting one of these for next winter, I can just imagine how warm my head and ears are going to be on the cold days we have here in Busselton.

I love the way this hat is styled....
I love the way this hat is styled….some hats are like a work of art…

I love the fact that years ago everyone wore a hat despite your social standing….hats are the most simplest accessorie to put with an outfit yet it seems we’ve cast aside what I believe to be an essential item in the climate we live in. Here in Australia the sun is so harsh and bright somedays that you can barely open your eyes unless your wearing sunglasses, which most of us do quite successfully, so why not wear a hat which keeps our heads and face protected from uv rays and also helps cut the glare from our eyes. It seems the most often you’ll see hats these days is when it’s Melbourne Cup Day and then how many are bought for one wear and then discarded??

For me personally I’m making it my mission to bring hats back to my family at least, they really do finish off an outfit, offer protection from the elements and just look good. One thing that always sticks in my mind about hats is that my grandfather always, always wore a hat no matter the weather or where he was going….if we ever lost pop in a crowd we found him by his hat…he was a sharp dresser my pop even in his later days….so this next look is for him, I’m sure he’d appreciate the effort…

I found this lovely hat at my local chemistit has the cancer counsel approval as it has a sun protection of 50+ due to the materials it's made from.....
I found this lovely hat at my local chemist it has the cancer counsel approval as it has a sun protection of 50+ due to the materials it’s made from…..its also quite stylish with my new sunglasses….how very 50’s of me….

So there you have it my take on hats and I hope some of you, like me realize just how important a hat can be for all seasons and maybe make an investment in buying one you absolutely love…..so stay tuned as that look back to past fashions has me making a few other changes to my wardrobe as well…..until next time….Au revoir…xo

Michelle

An Old Soul…

Bonjour mes amis, ca va? I hope your day is proving to be a good one for you. I’ve been busy doing a whole house clean today and finally I’m finished and can sit for a bit. As I’ve been cleaning I’ve had good old Frank Sinatra playing in the background as I love old music, especially the old crooners from the 50’s and when I was a kid there was nothing better than catching a Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis or Elvis Presley Matinee on tv around 2pm…..now I’m really showing my age aren’t I lol.

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Frank Sinatra

For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong era. Is anyone else out there the same? Growing up I wished I lived in the 50’s with the music, poodle skirts and all that jiving. Don’t get me wrong as a child of the 80’s I think we did pretty well music wise, fashion could be considered questionable but who didn’t love the big hair and bold makeup? We all did I’m sure.

As I’ve been listening to Frank today I realized that this is more my grandparents era of music and while I’ve definitely heard a few song my grandma liked, I realized I never knew what sort of music my pop liked but I’m inclined to think he would’ve like Old Blue Eyes. I’ll have to ask my Dad or Mum as I’m sure they would know.

So anyhow I’ve been listening to a lot of oldies lately including the amazing Edith Piaf!! Don’t get me started on how brilliant she is. In fact I was listening and singing along to La vie en rose a couple of days ago and my husband (charming that he is) asked me how old I was!! Can you believe the nerve of him lol…..I have always listened to classic music and I can tell you it comes from growing up listening to Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, The Supremes, Abba and so many more and that’s just my mum’s taste in music. From my dad came Daddy Cool, The Eagles, CCR (Creedence Clear Water Revival) and Skyhooks! So between this mix, growing up in the 80’s and a grandmother that would sing songs to you from the 40’s that she used to like it’s no wonder my love of music goes so far back and I don’t know what era I belong in lol……In my bones I’ve always felt I’m living in the wrong time and the wrong place but that’s where the beauty of music can transport you to wherever you want to be as long as you tune in with your imagination. Just last week I was in a cafe in Paris with a cafe au lait with Edith Piaf playing in the background.

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Edith Piaf

So am I getting old or just an old soul? I like to think I’m an old soul who appreciates damn good music you can listen to and understand and if I could have that era to live in (especially Paris) with today’s technology I’d be one happy gal.

Before I go I have to mention one thing that’s bothered me for years that past era’s had that we in modern society don’t have and that’s dinner and dancing and I don’t mean the pub and on to  a club! I’m talking about beautiful restaurants that have dance floors so while your waiting for your meal you can have a dance with your partner. And when dinner is finished you can dance again before desert. I’ve been to a few fancy restaurants in my time and not one had a dance floor and I’ve always wondered why this part of going out for an evening seems to have gone by the wayside for so long. If you know the reason please leave a comment below and explain it to me, it’s something I’ve wanted to know for the longest time.

Ok now I’m off to continue listening to my classic music and wish I was being led around a dance floor. Au revoir mes amis.

Michelle x 

H20…Plain Old Water Or Summer Fun….?

Bonjour mes amis….. here’s a question for you all that I’m quite curious about…..Are you a big water drinker?? No, me either….but for those of you who are, well done your body and your skin will love you for it.

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Today as I sit here with a hot from being on my feet all day, I’m drinking down the water to try and cool downhelp and knowing me I’m probably a little dehydrated. We all know we should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, but why?? What are the benefits of drinking so much water? One thing I know is I spend more time in the loo when I drink a lot hehe.

First of all a good amount of water helps to flush toxins out of the body, it helps keep skin stay hydrated and clear, helps all our organs to function properly and it keeps you full between meals. In fact quite often being thirsty can be mistaken for feeling hungry that’s why personal trainers, doctors and nutritionists recommend having a glass of water before a snack that way it gives your body a chance to see if it’s really hungry or thirsty. So my mission is to try and increase my water intake to keep hydrated inside and out, I find if I keep water near me I’ll drink it, if it’s out of sight then it’s definitely out of mind.

However my most favourite thing to do with water is…….yep you guessed it, swimming!! I’m so glad the warm weather is back so I can head to the beach and jump in that water again. Also I’m really looking forward to spending a lot of time with Francis there over the holidays while Bec is in Broome. He loves busso as much as I do and I’m sure a trip to Kmart afterwards will make his day. (He so takes after his mother….sun, sand, surf and kmart…. that’s all it takes to make him happy lol)

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Our favourite place to be

Bring on summer, sun and swimming…Now this is my idea of water being fun, nothing better than an early morning swim to wake you up and get the day started or a late afternoon swim to cool down and relax (at the best beach ever)…..for as long as I can remember I’ve loved being in the water and I really couldn’t imagine living anywhere there wasn’t access to the beach….Seriously how do people do it…?? Well take care for now and I’ll be back soon….

Au revoir

Michelle x

Organizing My Home With Help From Kmart….

Bonjour mes amis, ca va? How’s everyone doing? I hope you’re all well and have had a good week and yey it’s Saturday! Thank you for all the love on my last post about Aprons, if you missed it you can find it here. And so many of you are still loving my Lemonade Scone Recipe which makes me really happy and I hope you’re enjoying them as much as we do. If you missed it you’ll find it here. Bon Appetite!

So today I just wanted to share some home hacks with you that I’ve been implementing around the house. Admittedly I’m not one to stay organized for long and partly because I have a houseful of people who like to put things back wherever they feel like it. So I organize and then in a week it’s a mess again. However after seeing some great storage ideas on Instagram it motivated me to take a different approach and I have to say it’s working a treat and after a month of things being organized, they’re still where I put them…..wonders will never cease, I swear.

Like most people (I’m sure it’s not just me) my two biggest problem areas are my pantry and my linen cupboard. Both just never seem to stay organized for long but I was determined to work it out. Unfortunately I forgot to take a before pic of the inside of my pantry but I’ll show you how I’ve organized it with a lot of help from Kmart!!

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Tidy and Organized with all storage from Kmart

The white containers are organized into categories. So I have one that holds all my baking needs, one for the kids snacks, one with every day condiments like pasta sauce, gravox etc and one that holds all the UHT milk and many different teas (still in their boxes). I also have two clear roll out containers that hold all tin food. These containers are a game changer and I wish I’d known about them years ago. I have one small black basket which I keep for things that won’t fit in the containers, so like the extra coffee and extra rolled oats that are waiting to be used.

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The top shelf is where my oldest son keeps his few snacks etc

Apart from the Moccona coffee jars all other jars are from Kmart ranging in price from $1 to $4 which is so affordable and makes it easier to switch out all that plastic packaging to a healthy glass jar.

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These roll out containers are amazing.

Down the very bottom I keep a container with all my cookbooks along with the tub that holds our picnic bag and reusable shopping bags.

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This in the most organized pantry I’ve ever had.

On the very top shelf I have an awesome clear container with a lid (next to the Juice Plus, if you want to know more just leave a comment 🙂 ) that is our first aid container. I actually found this in the kitchen storage aisle in Kmart and loved the fact it was see through which means I can see what I have without having to rummage around.

I love these wire shelves which increase your ability to be able to see what you have, they really do create more room. All the round containers with cereal in them are again from Kmart as are the labels on the lids. On the next shelf down I’ve used the step tray (that’s what I call it lol) so my everyday items like salt, pepper, olive oil etc are on hand and I can go straight to them. I’ve also used two long trays, one to hold a few other essentials and one for bread. Have you ever noticed there’s never anywhere to put the bread? Well now there is in my pantry. I didn’t want a bulky bread tin that was going to take up too much room so I thought the tray was a better alternative.

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It can take a little planning but it’s definitely worth the effort.

It’s taken me a few runs of where to put everything so it all works efficiently and I’m happy to say I’ve found a layout that works well and is easy enough for the family to find what they need too.

The other area of the house I’ve been working on is my laundry as it’s another area that seems to always be a mess, especially the linen cupboard. Again I’ve used a few storage solutions from Kmart that have proven to be space savers and life savers and this time I remembered to take a before and after pic.

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Neat, tidy, organized and making life easier.
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Completely disorganized and driving me mad.

 

I have moved a few things that had just been thrown in my linen cupboard to the cupboard under my trough as they don’t really belong in a linen cupboard……think tins of paint and a battery charger for the lawn mower.

I was able to fold and stack all our winter blankets on the top shelf as there’s quite a bit of height up there. I bought the black containers (same as the white ones in the pantry) from Kmart and assigned one for each lot of sheets….so I have one for my sheets and one for extra quilt covers. Then I have one each for Bec and Francis’ sheets. The small basket between the kids sheets hold our soap berries and napisan in some lovely canisters I got from Kmart a couple of months ago now.

In the stripey cubes (bought from Kmart about 2 years ago) I have all my products for making my natural deodorant, face masks and oil blends. In the white box down the very bottom (gifted to me by a friend) I have have spare extension cords and extra brushes for the vacuum cleaner.

As I said before I’ve never really been one to be super organized but I can really see how it makes life a lot easier and keeps things more manageable in general. I only wish I’d been this organized years ago but at least it’s done now and I’ll be keeping it this way permanently.

If you’re struggling with your organization and messy cupboards then maybe it’s time to look at really organizing your home and making life easier for yourself. Everything I’ve used you can find at Kmart ranging in price from $1 to $9…..that’s very affordable to have an orderly home and peace of mind when you open your cupboards. If you’d like any tips feel free to leave a message below or come follow me over at Instagram and send me a message. You’ll find me as @ma_bellevie_

Well I hope that’s been somewhat inspiring for you all. I’m off to whip up lunch on this beautiful Saturday….I’ll catch you again soon.

Au revoir…..Michelle x

 

Did We Really Need To Cut The Apron Strings?

Bonjour mes amis, ca va? How is everyone doing? After a couple of months of illness and craziness going on I finally feel like I can sit down and write a post. I’d like to thank you all for the love on my Lemonade Scone Recipe and if you gave it a try I’d love to know how they turned out for you. That kind of leads me into today’s post….When I made the scones I was wearing my apron, because I’m a messy cook and if I don’t I’ll end up covered in flour……anyone else relate?

So I’ve been wearing my apron most days now when I’m cooking and tend to leave it on if I’ve got other house cleaning to do to save my clothes. I’ve lost count of how many tops I’ve ruined and lost over the years due to oil splatters or cleaning products (before using toxic free cleaning products) getting on my clothes and then admittedly I have somewhat of a hissy fit because yet again another piece of clothing is ruined.

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Source ~ Pinterest

This led me to realize that our great grandparents, grandparents and probably some of our mothers always wore an apron during the day while they were home cleaning and cooking yet somewhere along the way the humble apron was abandoned and you don’t see them in many homes any more let alone being worn. So I thought I’d investigate why.

It appears women started throwing off their aprons in the sixties with the rise of feminism as they didn’t want to be portrayed as a domesticated subservient woman whose only job was to cook, clean and serve their husbands. And while I can relate to the freedoms feminism pushed for I also think in pushing so hard to become independent the feminist movement lost some of it’s femininity that women inherently have. But this is not about whether feminism is right or wrong, it’s simply about how somethings that were thrown away with the movement are now coming back to a whole new generation of women. Women who consider themselves creators once that apron goes on, whether it be creating a cake, sewing a new dress or sitting at a potters wheel creating something new.

For me personally I’ve always had a thing for aprons, tea towels, pot holders etc simply because I love the fabric and the feel of a new piece to my kitchen decor and wardrobe. I haven’t always owned an apron but I’ve always admired them and while I do own one now I love the feeling of putting in on when I start to cook, being a cake or dinner for the family. When that apron is on I feel more focused, like I can create anything and I have to admit as I said I’m a really messy cook so to be able wipe my hands on myself knowing I’m not wrecking anything is great peace of mind and it saves me going through all my tea towels.

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My humble apron from House…not on the pretty side but definitely on the functional side and it’s comfy….

It also gives me a good excuse to get my sewing machine out and be creative. While I bought my apron from House I thought I’d try my hand at making my own apron. I have a couple of designs in mind I want to try and I’ll share them once I’ve made them.

So I guess what I really want to know is did we really need to cut those apron strings? Personally I don’t think we did. To me an apron isn’t a sign of domesticity and being subservient to our partners, it’s a functional garment that offers protection to the clothes we invest in, to protect them and that quite often makes you feel like a focused superwoman on a mission. So embrace an apron and save your clothes from being spoiled and if you happen to feel a little more feminine with an apron on then more power to you for bringing back what our foremothers knew….an apron doesn’t make you a slave but it will protect and make your clothes last longer.

Au revoir…..Michelle x