Belle Movie Review

If you haven’t heard of this movie you are missing out!  Belle was FANTASTIC!  I know I am a bit behind on this film since i came out in 2013, but if you are a period drama fan this needs to go on your must watch list.

Belle tells the story of a mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Officer.  The young girl is raised by her aristocratic aunt and uncle in conjunction with her abandoned cousin.  The girls grow up in privilege and happiness, but Belle must follow a different set of rules than her cousin Elizabeth due to the color of her skin.  So when it is time to enter society, the two cousins, who are as close as sisters, struggle with societal norms one for her color and the other for her lack of dowry.

If dealing with the realities of growing up a mixed race girl isn’t enough, Belle is caught between her two heritages when a politically charged case involving a slave ship comes to court awaiting her uncle’s ruling.  This ruling could change the face of the slave trade and the economy itself in England.  Will Belle be able to help push the changing tide forward or will she choose to sit silently “in her place” among her powerful family?

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! Go add it to your watch list on Netflix or Amazon Fire or download it from on-demand on your DVR.  GO NOW, I’ll wait….okay done?

Not only is this movie great and extremely well cast, but it is based on a true story.   Belle, her cousin Elizabeth, her uncle the chief justice, the case about the Zong slave ship, it is all real!  Naturally, there is added flair and romance for the film, but knowing this movie is based on true events adds to the inspiration of the story.

Here is a photo of a portrait of the real Belle and her cousin that they recreate in the film.

Lady Elizabeth Murray and Dido Belle, once attributed to Zoffany

Have you seen a do not miss movie lately? If so, put it in the comments below.

DIY Baby Shower Decor On a Budget

One of my best friends is pregnant! Yes very exciting news, but that means a baby shower. NO PRESSURE.

Planning a baby shower can be a lot especially on a budget!  But when you pool together your resource, you can do a Pinterest inspired shower on the cheap.  It will take some extra elbow grease and some creative skills, but you can do it.

Here are some of the ways we pulled together our friend’s shower on a limited budget:

FullSizeRender (1)1. Onesie Banner- We Used tissues paper tassels, some basic white onesies and paper to create this banner that we hung over the food table.
Total Cost: $7.00 (most of which was the onsies).
Bonus: You can give the mom to be the onesies to take home as part of her gift.

FullSizeRender (2)2.  Use paper, kabob skewers and tape to add some festive theming to flower arrangements.
Total Cost: $1.00 for paper.

FullSizeRender (3)
3. Use an existing photo frame and some sharpies to create a fun activity. Here we had guests write funny messages on the diapers to give the new mommy a laugh in the wee-hour diaper changes.
Total Cost: $20.00 for the diapers.
Bonus: The mom to be can take the diapers home as part of her gift.


4. Use paper and string to cut out your own pendant banner to add some festive flair to any wall or table.
Total Cost: $3.00 for paper and string.

Other helpful hints when doing themed parties:

  • Use all white platters, they will match any theme, or a Nora Fleming Platter.
  • Colored napkins, cups and straws add festive colors to any party for a low price most colors can be found at the dollar store.
  • Using food as a favor option (popcorn or chocolate covered pretzel rods, like above) give a handmade flair on the cheap.

What budget party planning tips do you have?  Share them in the comments below.

Make Gift Giving Easy


I am embarrassed to say that too many years in a row I have been rushing to a holiday party or family function and grabbed the wrong gift.  Yes I realize they are labeled, but who has time for that!

So I said to myself, you color code your inbox and your homework, why not your gifts.

By wrapping your different gifts according to the receivers (his side, your side, work, friends) it make grabbing the right gifts easier.

Now all my slightly OCD friends are thinking i cant have all that going on under my tree.  Relax…I am not suggesting some green, some blue and some orange.  Select different holiday designs that coordinate or utilize similar colors.

What tips do you have for making the Holidays easier? Share them below or with #vintageholidays.