Life & Reflections

Life & Reflections
Life and Reflections





Too many photos–get creative!


Photo source

If you are anything like me you probably have about a billion photos stored on your computer or on your iPad/iPhone. I pretty much take photos every day on my iPhone and always hope I will never lose them.

One of the best ways to keep your precious memories is to purchase good quality ink cartridges and quality printing paper. I am pretty lazy with this and used to print out my nature photography on plain A4 white paper. Definitely not a good look! Also good quality ink is paramount to ensure “shop” quality printing. Printing ink is always so expensive though so try to find cartridge discounts to save yourself some money.

You can create some fun DIY projects with photos with anything from scrapbooking, to photo books to creating your own collage walls. Don’t keep your memories stored away- showcase them and enjoy them out in the open every day!


Photo source


Make it Monday: Make a Vintage Pin Board

This post was written by my lovely colleague Myra. Thanks for this Myra!

Wonderful to pin up your photos and make mood board.
Great personalised gift idea

Wooden photo frame – a larger one (ie. A4 or larger) is better
Vintage fabric print (enough to go inside the frame)
Nice paper for the backing (about the same size as the frame)
Sandpaper (fine to medium grit OK)
Acrylic Paint (white or a light colour)
Foam Core Board (can buy from Artist/Craft Stores)
Spray can clear Varnish
Picture wire and/or hooks
Hot Glue Gun
Paintbrush, Pencil, small pliers
Scissors & Stanley Knife

Prepare the Frame
·         Remove the glass and any metal clips on the back (can use pliers)
·         Lightly sand the frame (to scuff the previous varnish/paint)
·         Paint your frame the colour you like (you will need to paint 2 to 3 coats and leave enough time for each coat to dry. In this hot summer weather, it won’t take long).  
·         If you want to go the whole vintage “Shabby Chic” look, you can then use the sandpaper again, to scuff the edges of your frame.
·         Then spray your frame with the clear varnish to protect your paintwork.

Make the Board
·         Use the piece of glass from the frame as a template for the foam board size. Place glass on the foam core and draw around it.
·         Then cut out the foam core with a Stanley knife (can use a metal ruler as a guide – be careful of fingers!)
·         Using the wooden frame as a template, place it on your fabric and cut round the material.
·         Start up your Hot glue gun. Put your fabric good side down, then place the foam core over the top.  Glue all 4 sides down (pull the material a bit as you go, to get it taught).

·         Insert the fabric covered board into the frame.
·         With your backing paper, use the outer frame edge as template and draw around the paper.
·         Cut the paper inside the pencil line, so it will be slightly smaller than your frame.
·         Use your glue gun to stick the paper to the back of the frame.

·         You can then attach a picture hook, or picture wire to the back of your frame if you want to hang it up.


Guest Post: Birds Please

Hello all! I'm Elana from the blog Room 334, and I'm so excited to be visiting Ilana's corner of the world! We even have similar names, so I suppose this was fate. As a U.S. blogger, I like to think that this means I get to "travel" to Australia for the day. Or maybe that's just in my dreams.

Just to give you a little background on myself: I'm a Southern California native who lives in Illinois for school. I'm in my last year of college where I'm majoring in fashion merchandising, minoring in journalism, and taking the campus by storm as I run the student newspaper. Over at Room 334, I blog about my daily outfits (you'll find me in fit and flare dresses and cardigans all day, every day) and up-and-coming designers and shops that I find interesting.

Today, I wanted to share an outfit that I wore last week when I had family visiting. This bird printed dress is one of my favorites, and I'm a huge fan of layering sweaters over dresses for fall. It's one of my favorite things to do when the weather can't make up its mind, and it's even more fun to do when the dress has a fun collar.

This outfit is a pretty accurate depiction of my style; dress + peter pan collar + ampersand + t-strap flats. It's all of my favorite things rolled into one outfit.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks to Ilana for having me! I hope you'll all stop by Room 334 and say hi as well!
Dress: Audrey 3 +1
Sweater: H&M
Bracelet: Modcloth
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Guest Post: Midwest Muse


Hello, My Modern Vintage readers! I'm Jessica from Midwest Muse and today I'm bringing you a cozy fall outfit. Fall is the best season for pretty much everything, but especially fall. I'm in love with mixing cozy pieces with edgier/girly pieces. I have no idea what this says about me, but what I do know is that I'm pretty much always looking like a comfortable badass. What could be better? The answer is nothing. Nothing could be better. Happy Wednesday!

modern1 modern2 modern4
Outfit Details: Cardigan: Marshall's Skirt: Forever 21 Hat: Handmade Glasses: Charlotte Ruesse Top: Marshall's Necklace: Gift

Guest Post: October Skies

I'm so excited to be able to do a guest post here. My name is Dani, and I usually recap my busy busy NYC life on my blog and give some tips on thrifty living on Underemployed Fashionistas, but today I took time out of the most hectic week of my life (I'm getting married this coming Friday!!!) to take a little stroll and have a few moments of relaxation to myself before my future in-laws arrive. This crochet dress is one of my favorite new wardrobe additions for fall, and I just can't get enough of it. I popped it on for a trip to SoHo to pick up some last-minute items for my Big Day.

My outfit was really inspired by the colors that I see all around me this time of year- olive greens, oranges, browns, and warm neutrals, and I felt like a walking autumn sunset. The dress is vintage, a gift I received from a friend. The boots are old Etienne Aigner boots that have survived at least three winters with me, and the handbag is from JustFab. The earrings (if you can see them in the photos) are vintage, and belonged to my grandmother. She had such a fabulous costume jewelry collection :) 

On any other day, I would've been much more interesting, I swear! But I couldn't pass up a guest post opportunity (thanks, Ilana!) Hope everyone else is enjoying this beautiful October weather as much as I am.


Guest Post: Put a Hat on it!

Hello all; Kristian from Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style), taking over Ilana's blog for the day (Thanks for having me, Ilana)!

If you are all reading Modern Vintage, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, you like vintage. And you like seeing how Ilana (and others) remix it into a modern wardrobe or look. One of the best tricks to achieving that sort of look yourself? One word- Hats!

Once upon a time, it used to be par for the course that ladies wore hats. Unthinkable not to. Who knows now why they ever went out of style (the eighties' love of big hair?), but hats have a timeless feel that elevate your look into something that can be both modern and just a bit vintage too. The other great thing is, if you pick ones in neutral colors, hats can be some of your most versatile items in the closet. A woman can be a totally different person with just the switch a hat, whether she communicates an air of Joie d'vivre with a summery boater hat, a spirit of adventure in a man's bowler, or a feeling coziness in something knitted and warm. So here are several of my favorite hats.

floppyhaty Collage
Clockwise, starting top right: With Grey Sweater, Borrowed from the Boys, In Rugged Terrain 

Clockwise starting right: On Backroads and Byways, On a Snowy Day, Welcoming the Christmas Season

Clockwise, starting top right: When Summer CameBoater Hat (with blue dress), At Yellowstone Lake

Clockwise, starting top right: Moonrise Kingdom, Bowler Hats Are Cool, In-Vested, Saving Time in a Bottle

So, do you wear hats? If so, feel free to link to some of your favorites; if you don't wear them, would you give them a try?


Finally an outfit

my modern vintagewhat-i-wore copy

Black maxi skirt by Warehouse (from ASOS)

White cotton blouse from Myer

Floral polka dot scarf rom Jeans West

scarf outfits

fashion blog australia

Hi Friends. Finally an outfit! I actually wore this outfit about 6 weeks ago and haven’t had a chance to post it yet. I wore this to work on the day we went to a dessert restaurant as a “team” outing. It was fun but tripping around in a far-too-long maxi skirt was hard work.

I will do another outfit post this weekend and then I am off for prac for another week!

XO Ilana


Finding Happiness: The Things That Won’t Make You Happy

I've always believed that the purpose of life is to be happy. For some this is much harder than for others. Some are naturally optimistic beings who appreciate the little things and live in the moment. For others (like me) it is a constant battle within.

I always believed that happiness could be found through external sources. However I found that this led me to the hedonic treadmill effect where I was constantly striving for something more and never stopping to appreciate what I had right now. The desire for the next best thing, that fleeting few hours/days of happiness is still so important to me (trying to change my way of thinking though!).

Here are some things I (used) to believe would/could make me happy but don't:

Making more money
I used to believe the answer to all of my problems was to make more money. I could afford to do more things, and be better off. Well this is completely wrong. If anything making more money made me less happy as it took me away from the things I would rather spent time doing like spending time with family and creating things. Money may be great as it pays the bills but I much prefer earning a bit less if it means more time to do what I want to do.

Finding a good paying job
Again this did not help me at all. I am lucky in my current job as I work with great people and do a variety of different tasks which keeps it interesting. However at the end of 2011 I left a full-time permanent job role as it just didn't make me happy. If anything it contributed to my anxiety levels and did not stretch my skills at all. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and even though I am no longer in a permanent job I am a lot happier.

Getting an appropriate education was always drilled into me at school. It seemed you couldn’t be a success or ever be happy unless you had a pile of degrees hanging on your wall. I started off studying law as I thought it sounded good and was generally interested in the industry. However little did I know that law was just not for me. I've tried and tried again to go back to it but cannot put myself through something that does not interest me. I am almost finished my journalism degree which again has been a waste of my time, money and energy.  First off there are no jobs in journalism and secondly I have now realised that I don’t want to work in the journalism industry anyway. Most “jobs” are unpaid internships and even for the lucky few who do find a job, the pay is about half of what I am currently making. Besides I am pretty sure you don’t need a degree to be a good writer.  After all, so many success stories have been from people who started off with nothing and didn't even complete a degree. Think people like Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs.

Buying things
I have always had an issue with shopping for happiness (as many women do) but as much as that nice new bag will make you happy for a period, this won’t last until of course you find something else to buy. This will always be an issue for me but one I acknowledge and understand.

Things that do make me happy:

I have a new found love of yoga it is amazing. I feel so incredible after completing a yoga class I only wish I could attend a class every day! I also enjoy physical exercise but don’t enjoy boring things like running on the treadmill. Classes are always fun and I hope to go back to the gym soon!

Eating well (with occasional naughty things!)
After losing weight last year I made a promise to myself to stay healthy. I do eat bad things but try to mix it up. You totally notice the difference when you eat well as compared to eating bad. All that bloating, lethargy and yucky feeling goes away.

Spending time with family, friends and pets
I love to spend time with family and pets; they always make me feel so much better. If I could spend all day, every day doing this I would.

Creating things is one of the most important things to me. I love to create and have always been drawn to this. Whether I am creating a post for my blog, making jewellery or refurbishing furniture (my new hobby!) I am always eager to create something beautiful that people can enjoy.

One of the reasons I undertook a journalism degree in the first place was because I wanted to write. I couldn’t imagine a better job. However I also realised that writing to another’s standards isn’t for me and that I enjoy writing for myself. Maybe its more a hobby than a career but I think I prefer it that way.
I hope you like this post! I will also be doing a thank you post later this week to thank all of my wonderful guest writers last week. I will be away again for uni prac next week so there will be more guest posts for your enjoyment!

XO Ilana


Guest Post: Jackie Kennedy Fashion

Hi. My name is Imogen and my blog is Tia Cherie. It's wonderful to have this opportunity to post for Ilana while she is away. I always think it's interesting the way in which ideas for posts come to us bloggers. A few weeks ago a work colleague noticed my interest in fashion and showed me a book called Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years. I was completely amazed by the lovely treasures contained within this book. I've only ever paid moderate interest to Jackie Kennedy's style but now I respect her as a true style icon. The dresses are so beautiful and the use of often vibrant colours is so pretty. I love the elegance and class. It's interesting to observe that so many of her looks are timeless and not all that dissimilar from what we see in the shops today. The book offered a wonderful snapshot of her famous dresses. I love how much history and character is display by each piece. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favourite looks with you on My Modern Vintage since, as we all know, Ilana loves vintage fashion.

Apricot Silk Ziberline Dress by Oleg Cassini (1962) and Blue Day Dress by Norman Norell (1960)

Fuschia Dress with Ruffle by Hubert de Givenchy(1958) and Ivory Embroided Evening Dress by Hubert de Givenchy (1961)

Pink and Gold Evening Dress by Joan Morse for A la Carte (1962) and Houndstooth Suit by Bob Bugnand (1959)

Short Pink Evening Dress (1959) and Turquoise Day Dress by Morton Myles for Herbert Sondheim (1960)

Pale Yellow Dress by Gustave Tassell (1962) and Scarlet Coat by Hubert de Givenchy (1959)Untwitled

Pistachio Green Coat by Gustave Tassell (1961) and Pink Ensemble Dress by Bergdorf Goodman (1958)

Thanks for reading! x

Photos from John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Guest Post: One Fine Sunday

Hey there!  My name's Aliya and I blog over at Hill Side Story.
I am thrilled to be guest posting for Ilana today while she's away on prac!
These pictures were taken by Jeanette, one of my closest, and ever so talented, friends.  We've known each other since we were six!!  I was due for new headshots for my performer's CV (we got a little trigger happy so more than just headshots were taken!) so when I was back home in 'The Little Red Dot' a couple of months ago, Jeanette and I spent an afternoon in one Singapore's oldest estates.
dress: River Island, cardigan: thrifted, leather and suede loafers: vintage
The iconic black and white bungalows there, which I absolutely adore and have dreamed of living in for as long as I can remember, serve as a distinct reminder of Singapore's colonial past.
Did you know that Anna of Anna & the King/ King & I (yes, she existed!) fame lived in Singapore, after retiring as school teacher to the Siamese royals, in a black and white bungalow?!  I forgot in which part of Singapore exactly but it definitely isn't in this particular estate...
 So, I got to spend the day with one of my favourite people, prance around my favourite estate in my hometown getting new pictures done... and all while wearing one of my favourite dresses!
That was one fine Sunday!
Now it's your turn: What's your definition of a fine Sunday?
P.S.  You'll find me on Etsy too!  Lots more vintage coming soon x

Why Women Like Buying a New Handbag More than Any Other Fashion Accessory


For women, handbags are usually the most important fashion accessory in our wardrobes, and it’s not surprising. The handbag is the item we carry everywhere, from the supermarket to the cinema, school playground to the bar. Being a female requires a lot of paraphernalia and we need somewhere to hold our bits and bobs on each outing. After all, a phone, lipstick, purse, packet of pain killers, body spray, mirror and hairbrush aren't going to fit in your average pocket!

With the importance of a handbag clear, perhaps that’s why man of us are prepared to spend so much on a new bag – or keep spending on several different styles throughout the year. A great handbag will get years of use, so surely it’s justifiable to spend hundreds on it if we wish?

Of course, spending hundreds on a handbag doesn't mean your purchase is necessarily going to last longer. When you splash out on a high cost bag, you’re usually paying for a designer name rather than a super strength material. Buying designer can be hugely rewarding however, even if the build quality is little better than a high street bag – most high street retailers offer excellent production standards. When you buy designer handbags, it’s usually more about what the label stands for, and how a brand reflects your tastes, lifestyle and aspirations. A designer bag can act as an indulgent treat that will make any woman feel expensive and on-trend.

With an expensive handbag being justified by the amount of use it will get, there’s a lot of fun in picking a nice new bag – whether you’re saving for that expensive one or you see one on the high-street. It’s a purchase that’s rarely made on a whim, with most women seeing a few handbag designs at any one time and considering how it will work in their wardrobe. Celebrities have come the biggest source of inspiration when it comes to making a handbag purchase, with many well-known stars owning a plethora of pricey designs. 
Just like shoes and clothes, handbag designs go in and out of style too. When you can’t afford to update your whole wardrobe, a handbag can be a nice way to add the latest trends to your look. This season rucksacks, satchels and box clutches are all big handbag trends – and whilst there’s no guarantee they’ll be suitable come summer, unlike with clothes they’ll always fit and can be kept for later use years later.

Finally, women enjoy buying a nice new handbag because it’s a very powerful feminine symbol, on par with a great pair of high heels. When you've got a stylish handbag comfortably slung over your arm or across your body, not only can you rest assured you've got all your bits and bobs to hand, but you can feel like a woman in control and ready to conquer the day. When it’s something you rarely leave the house without, why wouldn't you enjoy treating yourself to a handbag you really love?


coffee in the morning, wine at night.


My name is Amber, and this is my post. Not much of an intro there, but here we go!
(Side-note-- I haven't been blogging much on my end, so if this is incredibly choppy or archaic or whatever the kids are calling it these days... well, I apologize.)

Lately, I've found myself stressed more so than I've been in years. It's my final year of university, I've been working two jobs, and I've been adjusting to my new apartment and my four (yes, four!) roommates. There's a reason I'm sharing this random information.

With being stressed, it's easy to go two directions. The first is to melt down and lock yourself up in your room, to drown in homework, and to run on autopilot. I tried this briefly.

The second is to throw assignments to the wind, to go out with friends each night, go to bars and cafes, bookshops and fields... and again, I tried this.

What I was missing was moderation, balance-- the skills to drink coffee in the morning and wine at night.

I was talking to one of my closest friends about this, and she gave me some amazing advice. What a turd move, right? I'm asked to guest blog and here I am quoting something that someone else told me...

The advice was simple: it's okay to spend time doing things you want to do. They key is finding balance. If you want to spend a whole day in bed watching Netflix, give yourself that leisure. If you want to go for a drive, do it. I know this advice seems incredibly simple, but in the place that I found myself, simple was what I needed. I needed to be reminded that it's okay to take a minute, to take a day, a week, whatever I need, and to not feel the need to throw myself blindly in one direction.

So here's to coffee in the morning and wine at night.

About me:
My name is Amber, and I write on Laughing With Broken Eyes and Oh Darling, My Darling!
I'm an aspiring writer, future middleschool English teacher (dear god please let me get hired), and a Netflix expert. Huzzah!


Same Dress Four Ways

Hey there, everyone! It's Kate from Clear the Way guest-posting today for Ilana. On Clear the Way, you will see that I love the concept of restyling items in other ways (exhibit a / exhibit b). This is because I have varying taste when it comes to fashion and I love to mix it all up together. I do not, however, enjoy shopping. This causes me to get creative with my outfit-making. I thought I'd offer a taste of this here on My Modern Vintage by styling this rosy posy dress four different ways.

So what do you think? What's your favorite? Which of these outfits could you see Ilana rocking?