This is Halloween: Adventure in the Great Wide Disneyland

Hello everyone!

As those who follow my Instagram are well aware by now, this past Monday was spent at the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland! When a friend from Long Island decided to pay a visit due to a school holiday, we figured what better way to celebrate than to take our first vacation since February? A trip to Disneyland (and vacationing in general) has been long overdue, and as my roommate and I have only made it there during Halloween-time once before, we felt this would be the perfect opportunity to try out Mickey’s Halloween Party with its special new parade. And who can turn down being able to trick-or-treat as adults?

As no Disney trip is complete without Disneybounding these days, we opted to make use of the bounds my roomie and I were originally going to showcase when we visited in August: Sorcerer Mickey, and one of Madame Upanova’s dancers from Fantasia. The perfect warm-weather bounds!

To emulate the ostriches, I opted for pairing my black Marilyn top from Le Bomb Shop with a vintage skirt of mine from the Instagram shop FarFromHereVintage. With the off-white of the skirt paired with the Western pattern ringing around, I felt the representation was as close as possible with this kind of character. It was then only a matter of accessorization.

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The cornucopia brooch, velvet necktie, earrings, and large hair bow were obvious choices to emulate one of Madame Upanova’s dancers (although I debated being the pink ostrich prima ballerina, Madame Upanova herself, I decided it wouldn’t be as “me” with the color-scheme). The two difficulties rose from deciding what to do with my shoes. I knew I wanted to try walking around in a pair of my old pointe shoes, but figured this wouldn’t last long, so ordered a back-up pair of lace-up flats from Nine West with great reviews to change into when my feet gave up. Plus, this bound was a great excuse to color a pair of my pointe shoes my favorite color! Sharpie-ing them blue and sewing on new ribbons helped fill up some time waiting in line for a concert on Saturday.

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For my hair, I finally ended up settling on a large, loose poodle-do instead of a ballet bun as it would help create the space for me to pin my bow in standing up without worry that it might fall off or fall limp. The whole thing was then topped by a gorgeous hand-painted, embellished parasol specifically painted by a friend for my bound.

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We decided to spend the first half of the day in California Adventure to save money before hopping on over to Disneyland at 3 (when the special Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets allowed entry). While we probably would have stayed at Disneyland the whole day normally, the heartbreaking impending erasure of The Tower of Terror made us commit to going there. So after styling four gals’ hair in the morning (everyone opted for wet sets this trip, so I was essentially running a salon), we made our way to the parks.

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We started our adventure by immediately booking it to Tower to grab our fast passes for the ride we’d never be able to experience again, and took the chance for a few photo ops along the way. Happily enough, the marquee on the wall had Fantasia listed as the feature film!

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How adorably 20s does my roomie look as Sorcerer Mickey? And my lil sis was really rocking that Ursula bound in my black vintage dress. After a few photos with fast passes in hand, we picked up our friend from LI (who was bounding Merida and happens to hate drop rides and coasters) and we made our way over to our favorite game ride, Toy Story Mania.

Due to poor planning, we had already hit about three hours by the time we were done with the ride, and my feet were in excruciating pain. Not only could I not go on pointe, but I could barely walk because of the pain in my toes and my ankles (how did I use to do this for hours??? I blame the concrete! And…that I haven’t been en pointe in about 8 years). We stopped for one last photo op…

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I tried to bite the bullet and prepared to go up en pointe so I could have at least ONE photo showing off…

…but failed miserably and ended up just going for pretty ballet arms instead.

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Since the lockers my change of shoes were stored in were on the other side of the theme park, after about 10 minutes of teeny-tiny baby steps of pain, I gave up and my roomie and sis went to grab the shoes for me. Taking the pointe shoes and all the toe tape off and slipping into cushioned flats was a blessed relief and I was happy to walk again.

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Next step (ha!) was to go make use of our Tower of Terror passes and ride our beloved ride one last time.

It was a bittersweet experience to say the least. Particularly with the sign already off of the building and all but one of the cast members already out of character.

Our friend caught us as we walked out, and we took a quick farewell photo before moving on to explore the park a bit more and then switching over to Disneyland.

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Halloween-time….finally!

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Definitely our happy place, and it certainly shows! So happy, in fact, that I finally took my outfit out for a much needed twirl!

We took these last few photos before rushing to find one of the more deserted restrooms and changing into our “costumes” for the Halloween Party. I opted for my Belle look that’s previously made it’s appearance on my blog in my week of closet Disneybounding as some felt it to be too costumey for a normal bound (and was too hot for daytime wear in Disney anyway). My roomie went as Prince Adam (as she’s not the princess type and we couldn’t afford to buy new clothing for the event anyway), the visiting friend went as Ariel, and my lil sis went as Snow White. After the most hectic Disneyland experience of my life (why did I commit to a hair change???), we emerged as our new characters.

After the heat and stress of changing, we stopped for another photo op to try to relax and cool down, and take advantage of the light before it disappeared.

Adam woo-ed me with a kiss on my hand.

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And Snow of course needed to visit her wishing well.

But meanwhile, Adam continued to work his magic and swept me up into a dance.

Ariel, being the restless girl she is, tried to book it back to the sea while we were all preoccupied. Can’t take her anywhere!

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So we pulled her back and tried to teach her how to properly pose for a portrait.

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My hands were itching for the book I’d left back at my locker!

Then the day dissolved into darkness and we opted out of taking photos to focus on our hectic night ahead. We rushed around doing all we could do in the short amount of time we had but ended up missing almost all of our favorite rides from poor planning (a hectic trip indeed – Disneyland without teacups? Space Mountain?? Indiana Jones??? unheard of!). The one notable ride was of course the Halloween-must, Haunted Mansion. Decked out just as wonderfully as I remembered it being years ago, the experience was hauntingly enchanting. And that new Sally animatronic was absolutely stunning! My biggest regret is not being able to go through more than once.

All in all it was a wonderful, though poorly planned, experience. The new parade of villains and seeing everyone dressed up definitely makes the cost worth it and we now plan on making Mickey’s Halloween Party a must next year. I’m already antsy to head back and wishing our trip had lasted longer than it did.

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So farewell for now from Belle, Walt, Mickey, and I!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

A Day in Lady K Loves

Although I’m a huge fan of brands like Pinup Girl Clothing and Tatyana, there will always be a special place in my heart for vintage reproduction companies that feature styles and silhouettes that lean towards a more era-accurate fit instead of the pin up styles that have become so popular nowadays. This is why brands like Vivien of Holloway and Freddies of Pinewood have always appealed to me. Although I have no problems with showing off a little cleavage and featuring loud patterns and colors, there’s something so beautiful about the curvy cut of a pair of 1950s styled peddle pushers and other casual wear that seems to be less popular in the current pin up scene. I immediately feel more authentically ’50s or ’60s when I can don a high-necked cashmere sweater and a pair of high-waisted jeans than I do when I throw on a low-cut dress with a big gathered skirt, and for me, this is a good thing.

When Lady K Loves contacted me suggesting a collaboration, I was over-the-moon jumping-out-of-my-seat excited. Their range of clothes fit perfectly into what I deem to be casual 40s-60s reproduction clothing (with an additional range of more modern skin tight, true high-waisted jeans sewn specifically for curvy gals). While choosing my wishlist was tough, I ended up with such a great range of items that I knew I had to spend a day showing them all off!

These are the four items I ended up with:

This past Saturday, as I had a full day with no solid plans, I decided to snatch up the opportunity and finally have my “Lady K Loves Day” with the help of my roomie photographer.

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The Lydia Patio Top and Darling Skirt in Turquoise are a lightweight wardrobe option perfect for lounging about during the only endurable time of day in the desert heat. I wore it for my morning coffee with Louisa May Alcott at my side. As everything but the waist of the skirt fits loosely given the styling of the two pieces (and even then, the 25″ waist fits my 24″-25″ measurement more perfectly than any other repro company I’ve encountered), it was perfectly comfortable curling up in one of our patio chairs with my book.

The flare of the sleeves is helpful with cutting back the heat as the large armholes aid the breathe-ability of the top, and the shirt, when untucked, is cut with tails in a way that the wearer can tie the waist if desired without it being too short when tucked in. My one qualm with these two pieces is that the ric-rac design on the blouse is incredibly scratchy as there’s no barrier between the skin and the coarse, metallic stitching. Fortunately, as the top isn’t tight fitting, this isn’t as much of a problem as it could be for someone with sensitive skin like me.

After starting the morning with some coffee and a good read, we decided to go spend some time by the pool, enjoying the slight drop in heat due to the overcast skies (yay monsoon season!). Since I try to avoid wearing my expensive vintage bathing suit, I decided to don my Emma Playsuit for some more relaxation time by the pool with drink in hand.

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This was the number that Lady K Loves originally asked me to feature and I admit I was hesitant. Given my long torso, large legs and hips, and small waist, proportionally, I usually can’t comfortably wear a one-piece unless it’s a custom number. To my complete and utter shock, it fit me more perfectly than ANY playsuit, swimsuit, or even short set I own. As I feel the fit is incredibly important for a number like this, I figured I would provide my measurements. I clock in at 36″-24/25″-38″ and my legs are about 23″ around. I unfortunately don’t have my torso measurement, but as you can see from the photos, the XS fits me, a 5’5″gal with short legs and a long torso with the above measurements, seamlessly.

The torso is the perfect length as it doesn’t result in the dreaded camel-toe or sag at the crotch, and the length and diameter of the legs are cut so that when standing, they follow my curves effortlessly without digging in uncomfortably when sitting. I do have to wear a strapless bra with this number as there’s no support sewn in in the bust, but I don’t really mind. Gives me room to throw in a bullet or cone bra!

My only qualm with this number is that they don’t have more prints available! I need MOAR. I know summer’s ending but……………………..gosh darnit, it’s perfect!

But anyway…after lounging around and being lazy for most of the day, we decided to head out and use one of our Groupons for a wine night. Since the Splendid Top has the longer sleeves with the classic wrap-top cut, I figured it would be a great staple that could be dressed up or down given the situation. I ended up opting for a simple, but elegant look for going out, and my roomie snapped a few images of me in the process of getting ready.

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I would say that this is undoubtedly the most elegant top I own. As it’s a wrap top, it opens up completely, and so sizing wasn’t something I was worried about in the least. The fabric is, again, completely breathable and lightweight – perfect for a desert dweller – and the sleeves are cut to be loose and comfortable. I’ve always adored wrap tops since they let me cinch my waist in as few tops are small enough to do, and this top does not disappoint. On occasion, I become worried that I might be pulling a wrap top too tight, but the fabric of Lady K Loves’ version feels sturdy enough to handle pulling me in about an inch or two extra.

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The most interesting trait of this top is the collar, which can be worn up or flattened out seamlessly. The photos from Saturday night show the collar flattened, but in my Instagram image below, you can see what it looks like when “popped.” I love the styling both ways, and figure being able to pop the collar will help keep my neck warm in colder weather.

I opted for pairing this top with various shades of soft pink and my brooch with the two dancers as it reminds me so much of the shrugs I used to don as a ballerina; what better way to pay homage to a time in my life I still dearly regret letting go?

All in all, Lady K Loves has a range of items that can fulfill any wardrobe desire from 1950s casual looks, to 1950s party looks. I’m so glad to feature Lady K Loves on my blog and am so relieved that I can finally start wearing these items! The wrap top and the playsuit are perfect for planning fall-themed looks around and I can’t wait. All of these items have added to my wardrobe so much while giving me comfortable wardrobe staples.

I’m personally DYING to add this set to my closet, and now consider Lady K Loves my staple reproduction brand despite being international.

If you’re a curvy gal like me and looking for a brand that will hug your shape beautifully, then look no further! This is a rare brand indeed. If you have a straighter figure, then I have no doubt that these items would look just as perfect on you – just take a look at their Instagram to show all the gorgeous gals modeling the clothes. Although their size range doesn’t extend into plus-size, hopefully this is a step they can take as their business grows.

If you’d like to keep tabs on this most-wonderful of shops, you can head to these sites:

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Facebook

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

My Week of Closet Disneybounding (08/08/16-08/12/16)

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With my latest plans to head to Disneyland cancelled due to the “big move,” I decided to finally take the plunge on recording a week of Disneybounding at home for my blog to bring a little bit of that magic into my daily routine. The bounds you’ll find featured this week are bounds that I would, for various reasons, not wear to Disneyland – whether it be because a certain clothing item is too tight to execute the bound at a theme park, or it’s a character whose outfit I wouldn’t normally choose to bound. I wanted to, for the first time, work purely from my closet without purchasing additional items to solidify any of the bounds – a surprisingly difficult, yet enjoyable task! I adore being able to look at what I have to try to come up with silhouettes and color combinations that would sufficiently and (to a degree) recognizably represent Disney characters. For those of you who don’t know, Disneybounding is the process of choosing clothing items from your closet or in your personal style that in some way or other represent specific Disney characters and themes, and it’s a great way to pull in some magic to your wardrobe if you’re feeling a little stuck.

So without further ado, I present to you My Week of Closet Disneybounding!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

Day 1: Ariel

While Ariel was my favorite princess as a child, I’ve always been partial to her human wardrobe rather than her mermaid look. I’m not a huge one for color blocking since I generally either choose to feature all one color, or some kind of print on top and bottom to break looks up, so I knew that mermaid Ariel would never be a Disneybound look I’d wear to Disneyland itself (unless I ended up moving to California and was able to go to Disney often enough to change this). Since Ariel’s still one of my favorite princesses, and I knew I had the colors required to bound as Ariel, I knew she’d be a perfect start to my week! The earrings – really the best addition to any Ariel bound – are actually from my very first bound which happened to be Kiss the Girl Ariel. The skirt was originally used for a Buzz Lightyear Disneybound in the parks but everyone kept guessing Ariel, so I figured….well, I know it works! I was going to wear a circle skirt but then realized that a pencil skirt would emulate her tail much better anyway. The large hat I ended up wearing to emulate Ariel’s hair was actually my roommate’s idea, so shout out to her!

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Oversized Red Hat: Buffalo Exchange
Fork Earrings: Thrifted
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics’ Besame Red
Vintage Fish Brooch: Thrifted
Purple Marilyn Top: Le Bomb Shop
Green/Teal Pencil Skirt: Thrifted
Green Heels: Thrifted

Day 2: Genie

I knew this bound wouldn’t be the most recognizable one, so not a bound I would choose to wear to the parks unless going in a group, but I’m quite happy with the look anyway. Love that pop of red paired with the blues! If I wasn’t working purely from items already in my wardrobe, I would definitely have found a blue for the bottom lighter than the navy skirt I used, but then that would defeat the purpose of this week. Also, my roomie came to the rescue again by suggesting I take my photo with my Turkish carpet today to fit in with the whole look. This look was put together more for the colors than a silhouette.

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Single Gold Hoop Earring: Borrowed from roommate
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics’ Cherry Red
Blue Peasant Top: Pinup Girl Clothing
Gold Rope Brooch: Thrifted
Bangles: Poshmark
Red Grommet Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
1950s Blue Silk Skirt w/ Silver Triangles: Instagram shop FarFromHereVintage
Cosette Petticoat (x1): Malco Modes
Gold Flats: Poshmark

Day 3: Snow White

This is actually a Disneybound that I WOULD consider wearing to the parks…if my little sister hadn’t already worn the same yellow skirt for the same bound in Disneyland. It’s just too perfect! Also decided to whip out one of my warmer tops for this since I liked the idea of really playing up the 1950s look and what better way to do that than with a slash neck top? This is actually the first time I’ve tried to pin my hair up into a shorter bob, so that was a fun endeavor. Looked pretty cute! Though a bit too…well-coiffed for the way I’d want my short hair to look, probably, if I actually got it cut that way. I even donned purple eyeshadow for this bound!

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Red Hair Scarf: Thrifted
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics’ Victory Red
Graduated Champagne Pearl Necklace: Vivien of Holloway
Gold & Red Apple Brooch: Thrifted
Navy Slashneck Top: Vivien of Holloway
Red Grommet Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
1950s Yellow Skirt: Borrowed from sister
Gold & Navy Heels: Thrifted

Day 4: Mushu

This is another character I chose knowing I would probably never bound him in Disneyland since he’s not terribly recognizable being…well…mostly red. I was debating between wearing a felt skirt and peasant top combo and this velvet dress and finally opted for the latter feeling the texture of the material gave the same depth fire gives. I threw on a hair scarf and earrings to emulate the color in his horns, and voila! Mushu. Plus, I threw on the gold pin thinking maybe it looked sorta sword-ish?

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Purple Hair Scarf: Thrifted
Purple Earrings: Thrifted
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics’ Merlot
Red Velvet Dress: From Etsy shop RetroRedRocket
Gold Pin: Thrifted
Mustard Scarf: Gifted
Seamed Fishnet Tights: Not sure
Red Heels: Thrifted

Day 5: Belle

Honestly, I have never been so excited for or happy with a Disneybound in my life. Belle, my main girl, has been a bound I’ve wanted to throw together for AGES, but never quite had the right pieces for. I recently purchased a beautiful blue and silver gown to wear for a fancier Belle bound, but for the casual look, I knew I wanted to use the Pinup Girl Clothing underskirt as an overskirt to emulate Belle’s apron, and I already had a proper white top and black flats to use, so it was only a matter of finding the blue gown to pull everything together. I found the dress months ago and was ECSTATIC when I did. Plus, how adorable is the handmade book brooch?? The only reason I didn’t save this bound for Disney itself is because the dress is MUCH too small in the bust for me to be able to wear to a theme park. Doesn’t really allow for much movement at all. But you can bet I’ll be using the rest of the look to bound Belle at the parks some time in the future 😉 Will just have to play around with the hair a bit more to get the bow to show properly…and acquire the right lipstick! Definitely would’ve gone with a dusty rose shade if I’d had it. And then hope that I’d actually be let in!

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Blue Hair Bow: Forever 21
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics’ Besame Red
White Lauren Top: Pinup Girl Clothing
Handmade Book Brooch: Etsy shop RedThreadBindery
1950s Blue Dress: Etsy shop izorasflashback
White Canvas Underskirt:Pinup Girl Clothing
Nude Fishnet Tights w/ Black Seam: Not sure
Black Flats: Thrifted

Harry Potter & the Cursed Child Book Release with My New Femme de Bloom HP-Inspired Brooches

This year marks a wonderful one for Harry Potter fans as we find event after event appearing to warm our Hogwarts-loving hearts. First, all of us near the West Coast FINALLY got our own Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. This past weekend marked the first official release of a Harry Potter “book” in years and years. And before us lies the impending release of Fantastic Beasts featuring one of my biggest movie crushes, Eddie Redmayne. While 2016 has CERTAINLY proven to be a year where new ideas have been dashed in favor of bringing back old loves, I honestly can’t say that I mind Harry Potter making a come-back in pop culture. Though I can’t really say that the HP fanbase has ever died out, it’s nice to see it making headlines again.

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The anticipation for Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, the script to the new play once limited to its single production at the West End, has been almost painful, so as soon as bookstores began to announce good ol’ fashioned midnight book release celebrations, my best friend/roomie, lil sis and I immediately started planning.

We knew we had to dress up in some way, and I knew that my stand-by Bellatrix look I always leaned on due to my once-existent mass of black curls back when the original series was being released would be impossible now, so we opted to simply represent our houses: the other two as Hufflepuffs, and I as a Ravenclaw. My little cousin, whom we were planning to meet up with, would of course represent her Slytherin house.

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I unfortunately realized that, while my wardrobe is full of blue, most of it is a brighter blue that wouldn’t give a proper “Ravenclaw feel,” and none of my jewelry is bronze, so I opted to wear a black wiggle I’d been saving for the cooler months embellished with the odd blue, silver, and gold accessories to emulate the darker blues and bronze. My best friend suggested I try a blue snood, and I decided this would be the best way to show off the color, and topped it off with a silver hat of mine that doesn’t get nearly enough play. Although I have a great distaste for the way double victory rolls flatter my face from all but one angle, I didn’t want to make us any later by dabbling with new styles, so ended up settling and didn’t mind the end result.

 

My little sister borrowed my vintage yellow plaid skirt, and my roomie borrowed a yellow sash of mine to tie around her waist. I also allowed her to borrow my new Butterbeer brooch from the adorable Femme de Bloom while I wasn’t using it for the review (what better time and place to review HP-themed brooches, after all?), while I donned her Nimbus 2000 brooch.

Since we’d spent much of the day putting up everything that has to be hung in our new apartment, we ended up running a bit late – something I wouldn’t normally deem acceptable……..but I have to admit a small part of me had low expectations for the party itself given I was a Borders gal back in the day and we were stuck with going to Barnes & Noble. And these suspicions were confirmed by my cousin who arrived on time and said that people were pretty much just sitting around or playing board games. So when we were finally read to head off, I donned my cape, we each picked up our wands (aka the legs from an old chair), and flew off!

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3 Witches Trying to Decipher the Meaning of This “Muggle Wall”

When we arrived, we were glad that at least people had dressed up (though we saw no true-to-film cosplay level characters which had riddled midnight releases at our Borders back in the day), and each section was set up as one of the houses with individual activities with the Starbucks reigning as the Great Hall. The activities generally ran along the lines of party games, so we opted out of participating and ended up just wandering around and enjoying the bookstore and its little Harry Potter themed sections until the book release, holding a duel here and there to practice our magic, of course.

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Of course, then it turned out all of our dueling had ended up spelling trouble……

…not that you could tell by our sweet faces! 😘

One of the main reasons we focused on taking photos was because of my desire to use the opportunity to take pictures for my Femme de Bloom review. If you ever have the desire to have a photoshoot in Barnes & Noble…..well…….just don’t. My camera couldn’t handle the intensity of the lights, so we ended up having to switch to my roomie’s phone halfway through. Arguably the best duel of the night (since I obviously won against my little sister), was sadly recorded on the camera and resulted in a need for VERY heavy filtration.

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Ah well…at least it gave us something to do as we anxiously awaited the actual release of the book! Sadly, since my roomie and I are sharing a book at this point and are in different houses currently due to A/C problems at our new place, I have only read the first act. By tomorrow, that should no longer be a problem. My thoughts are manifold on what I’ve read though, so I’m in for any discussions! I will admit that it is difficult to ignore my desire for the book to be a novel by JK instead of the script for a play by Jack Thorne based mysteriously on a short story by JK that this novel should have been. It simply hasn’t read like a Harry Potter book so far, but I’m glad to have anything, and I’m definitely left bemoaning the fact that I’m stuck halfway through and can’t continue yet, and that I can’t see the play live yet!

But aside from my ramblings about the actual book…I’ll continue with my actual review of my brooches!

The first, and my favorite of the two – because how much I adore the importance of the Nimbus 2000 to Harry, and how magical its name feels (much better than Firebolt! Sounds like a Mac OS name…) – is a handcrafted brooch made from a bronze plated material. When I received it in the mail, it felt like the sturdier of the two brooches.

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As with all metallic brooches, it’s hard to see the detail in photos as it gets washed out, but as you can see in my close-up of the pin, the details are true to the online image. This problem with details getting lost is naturally not a problem with the second brooch. This one features a printed image instead of the carved details, so doesn’t have the same problem with shininess, and definitely reads easier than the Nimbus 2000 one.

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Sadly, the little clip on the back that wraps around to close the circle when clasping the pin broke off almost immediately as it wasn’t very strong; however, it’s easy enough to simply place the needle into the rounded circle as it’s a light enough brooch that I don’t have any worries of it coming undone.

Melanie, the adorable creator of Femme de Bloom, has an adorably kitschy range of accessories on her Etsy and what she offers is constantly changing, so I would definitely keep an eye out for her on social media:

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Instagram

Facebook

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Did you attend a book release? Have you finished the book yet? Talk to me in the comments! Let’s rave about Harry Potter!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

Drag Races at Arizona Hops & Vines (04/23/16)

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While struggling with constant failures of technology (cars breaking down, laptops breaking down…) as I’m in the throes of final papers, one of the few things keeping me sane was/is an impending week of drag shows. Today’s show was hosted by the winery and brewery Hops & Vines located in Sonoita, Arizona – about an hour’s drive from Tucson.

Having never travelled in this direction in Arizona before, I was taken aback by the quickly changing scenery as hills rolled before me, grass started to sprout and…lo and behold…trees appeared before my very eyes! The scenery felt so different from any area I’d been in in Arizona before, that I mentioned it to someone afterwards only to find out that Oklahoma! was actually filmed in the area (though the cornstalks had to be imported)! As one of my favorite musicals, this was pretty exciting to find out, and I now have plans to pop the film in my DVD player and check it out.

Once we walked up the hilly, dirt-covered, gravel path up to Hops & Vines after parking, we all noticed two things: one, the wind was INSANELY strong and the hats we brought were not going to be used much, and two, we probably shouldn’t have worn heels.

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Taco hat syndrome – no good!

The event had a surprisingly good turnout as a $10-$20 ticket came with one food ticket for the present food trucks, six drink tasting tickets, and one souvenir wine glass, but sadly, the majority of attendees were not in drag. There were hardly more than a handful of drag queens who’d gone full out – with the occasional fellow adorning a dress – so my friends and I made our way inside the actual winery to make use of our free drink tasting tickets. We weren’t smitten with anything we tried except for the first white wine, appropriately titled “The Drag Queen.”

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After making use of our last drink tickets, we made our way outside to watch the drag race. While the drag race itself was a sprint that hardly lasted a minute before it was over, I was incredibly impressed by the two gals actually booking it to the “finish line” in heels (the winner wore sneakers – cheater!), as well as the pure fabulousness of the girls who walked slowly behind, milking every step and moment. Sadly, my favorite gal of the day was a sprinter in heels, so I hardly had the chance to try to keep my hair out of my face in the extreme wind enough to see her run by, much less attempt taking a photo!

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After the race itself, we went back inside to avoid the high winds for awhile before deciding to head back to the car to drop off our bottle of The Drag Queen and take a few photos for my outfit of the day. Along the way, we saw a group of queens taking photos, so quickly ran over to take the opportunity. The gal on the right was my favorite of the lot since her blue outfit, make-up, hair, and generally everything was so on point, and she also happened to stick around the longest – the only queen who stayed till the end of the event. They were all incredibly sweet and friendly and seemed to want to take a photo with me as much as I wanted to take a photo with them. The cost of being the only other person who looked “dressed up,” I suppose 😉

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After the quick photo op with the drag queens, we moved on to have one of our own in the parking lot. The wind – and our headlong dive into cliche desert photos – led to some great images (of all sorts).

All in all, it was an amazing event. While I think it could draw a wider array of spectators and participants if the “drag” portion of the show lasted more than a minute (lip-sync battles, anyone???), the cost was more than worth it considering the wine tasting, free food ticket, photo ops, race, and the gorgeous surroundings – with the wind keeping us cooler than us Tucsonans are accustomed to. The inside of the brewery was a mild temperature with plenty of comfortable seating the majority of the time and a classic Southern Arizona feel. They’re supposedly having another similar event while showing “Casablanca,” and I fully plan to attend!

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