Thursday, February 15, 2018

Orchard Corset {review}

So for years I have followed Orchard Corset and admired their work. As a living historian and historic fashion lover you can imagine how much I appreciate corsets! Whether I am reenacting the 1860s, or recreating a 1940's look, they really do make the whole impression feel so much more accurate.
There are few eras in the timeline of humankind that don't involve some kind of stay or corset. Especially within the past three hundred years of European development!

I found out about Orchard Corset through another 1940s model who was doing a review for them. I was definitely impressed from the getgo! 

And then, basically all my dreams came true when I was sent my very own corset to try out. 

This corset fits like a dream, and let me tell you, not all corsets do! Some can be very uncomfortable. Not this one. It's well made, durable and sleek. It provides a very flattering waistline perfect for the silhouette needed in retro outfits. 

I got to review the CS 426 Short in size 24. I wanted to get a good idea of what Orchard Corset offered with just a good basic cotton corset. I like the under-bust style because my other 1860s corset is over-bust.

In these photos, I am modeling the CS 426 over a true vintage 1930s era nightgown, which I actually use for my 1860s reenacting ventures. It is actually pretty close to what would be authentic for that time period - and nobody better be judging what I wear to go to sleep, anyways!

This is definitely one of the most comfortable modern corsets I have worn. I also tried it underneath a cotton reproduction 1940s-era dress, as you can see in the following pictures. I really love the smooth torso it created and it definitely made me feel that much extra!

Are you interested in corseting or waist training, but a little intimidated on where to start or what to get? Orchard Corset has an impressive collection of articles and videos to help you out. I was assisted on exactly what size would be best for my body, and they have a a live chat so you can get assistance as well! 

Without a second thought, I give Orchard Corset my stamp of approval! 
High quality work, for a reasonable price, and multiple different beautiful designs to choose from. 
They also have sales going on all the time, so you don't have to break the wallet to feel fab! 
I will definitely be recommending them to my fellow costuming friends and anybody who just wants a nice hourglass silhouette. <3

Follow me on Instagram for more fashion reviews and retro stuff: leah_oxendine_strong
Visit my website to see more about my books, music and personal training!

Thank you Orchard Corset for hosting today's review!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

//new website, new last name

Hey people, so in case you didn't know, I have my own website now.{  }
If you want to stay in the loop concerning my business affairs, read client reviews and the like, make sure you've got that link saved or bookmarked. I will still be using this blog for reviews and other posts, but won't be around here as frequently. 

THAT BEING SAID...Y'all can expect something really exciting coming up in 2018. I have a really awesome review planned, which I'm 99% sure y'all are gonna fall in love with. 

Speaking of falling in love...


Image may contain: 2 people, wedding and outdoor

That's right! On December 2, 2017, I became Mrs. Michael Miller. I married the coolest guy I've ever met, and have been enjoying the delights and journey of married life with him by my side. So far, so good! We are planning to move into our first rental place this Saturday, so I'm super hyped about that but also kinda nervous. 

Michael is literally my other half. We complete eachother, balance eachother out, and he is passionate about things I'm passionate about. He loves the Lord. He is down to earth, but has dreams for the future. He's an amazing kisser. He's super talented with music and he can tear up the dance floor. 
Did I mention, he's really hot? 

It's such a thrill to know I'm experiencing the joys and trials of life from here on out with my favorite person, my lover, and my soulmate. We're an awesome team. 

Facebook won't let me change my name, though. They need to get their act together. 

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Stop, Drop and SOAP! {review}

Good afternoon blogger friends! Today I have an amazing collection of handcrafted soaps for your browsing pleasure! A little while back, Kristen from Stop, Drop and Soap sent me a TON of her beautiful soaps for me to review! It was soooo exciting to receive this huge box of soaps and to go through each individual one to smell and review it! (also why it took me so long to post this)
 Even my mom got excited because she also loves homemade soaps!

So as you can see in the pictures, I wasn't kidding when I said Kristen sent me A. TON. OF. SOAPS. Like, I was blown away. Each of the soaps is so unique and truly has its own character and personality. The scents and aesthetic designs are out of this world! 

I was inspired by Kristen's backstory of how she started her business. She basically used to work for a big box company and wasn't able to be creative how she would have liked, or to use natural products. So eventually she got tired of that and branched out into making her own soap line! I think it's awesome when other people take that risk to step out and be their own boss. 

Kristen sent over 20 soaps, and a description of what each one is and what she used to make it. I was very impressed by the level of detail here and some of the scent combinations! Y'all know I love being creative, and love discovering creative things just as much. These scent combos are definitely creative and I don't think I've seen some of them ever used before until now!

Kristen decorated her soaps with the coolest stuff: some had glitter on them, some had gold, some even had seashells and coffee beans! I mean, how neat is that?! Not only do they smell awesome and give a delicious lather in the shower, but they're also aesthetically on point too! 

(Seen here are the Sea Glass Soap, Pear Soap, and Snickerdoodle Espresso Soap.) 

On the top left, you can see the Psycho Swirl Soap which smells like pear, and the Coconut Milk/Coconut Water soap with the sparkles. Right underneath is the Crazy Technigel soap, which is scented with cucumber and oak.

In the bottom left corner, some fun little SOAP ROCKS! If you're fond of the elements! Each one has a unique scent just like the other regular soaps!

This one is the Cranberry and Pomegranate Citrus soap. Lovely, warm scent!

This delicious Pina Colada soap is my absolute FAVE! I love pina coladas, anything pineapple/coconut period, and I love the design of this soap! It's so funky and it smells amazing!
I also really like the soap in the far back left corner. Ir's another coconut milk soap, scented with cucumber and kiwi. Mmm, so fresh!

The Green Tea soap is another of my favorites, naturally, since I adore green tea! To the right, is the Merlot Wine soap, which is also scented with apricot and charcoal. How fancy!

Another of my favorites - this is another coconut milk soap, scented with pomegranate and mango! I love mango flavored things almost as much as I love coconut!

And here is the Strawberry/Poppyseed soap. Love the addition of the poppyseeds!

 This warm, deep cocoa colored one is a Shiner Bock Beer soap, scented with amber and pumpkin spice! I told you these combinations were unique and exciting, didn't I? 

So I'm really in love with this Seashell Soap. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at! It has real Himalayan sea salts on the top along with actual seashells! I think the sea salts really make it extra amazing. This would be such an awesome gift to give a friend or family member! And it smells like the beach! 

 Cranberry Pomegranate.

Strawberry Poppyseed. 

The Snickerdoodle espresso soap, from the top. Actual coffeebeans! 

Coconut milk/scented with a citrus blend.

Coconut milk/cucumber/kiwi.

The wine soap. 

Psycho swirl soap!

Love the glitter! And I'm not even a girly girl. 

Overall, I am beyond impressed with Stop, Drop and Soap. 
I give this shop a 10 out of 10! 
After trying everything out, I definitely recommend Kristen for her high quality soap craftsmanship, devotion to using natural ingredients, and the fact that her soaps are incredibly FUN! They are excellent in the shower and great gift ideas. 
You will enjoy the creativity, effort and love that is put into each individual soap!

If you want to see some more of Kristen's work or get some yummy soaps of your own, visit her website here!

Also make sure you check out her page on Facebook as well! 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post today. I certainly enjoyed getting to review these soaps and write about them for you! Let me know which soap was your favorite in the comments!

Friday, September 1, 2017

//REVIEW: Silver Maple Farm Soaps

Hey y'all! How is your summer going? Between my three jobs, getting ready for my upcoming wedding, and trying to fundraise for my next illustrated poetry book, I've been pretty slammed! But that doesn't mean I haven't been able to get a couple fun reviews lined up for y'all!

 Today we have a nice little collection from Silver Maple Farm Soaps which uses goats' milk for their amazing soap product line! Best yet, these soaps and beauty products are paraben, preservative and philhalate free! Y'all know how much I endorse all-natural products and home businesses!

I was impressed by the variety of scents and colors I saw in the Etsy shop. 
Everything is so aesthetically pleasing! and trust me, as an artist, that's a big deal to me. 

I was sent three items - a juicy mandarin orange soap, a Carolina honeysuckle soap, and a beeswax lipbalm. Click each link to see the original Etsy listings!

SO ABOUT THE SOAPS: I absolutely love the scents of both the orange and honeysuckle. I am not sure which is my favorite, because I have always loved fruity smells...and honeysuckle, because it reminds me of where I live. Even though I don't live in either of the Carolinas. 
Both soaps lather deliciously, especially for being all-natural and without synthetic emulsifiers. 
Seriously. I look forward to getting a shower just because I have yummy soap to use now! 
And once again, we have to appreciate the aesthetic. I love the little engraving on the side and the color choices. 

And can we talk about this lip balm?! oh my word, this might have been my favorite of all. It smells so deliciously amazing! And it makes my lips feels moisturized and healthy. 
The scent is apple butter. 10/10 would recommend!

Overall, I would definitely recommend Silver Maple Farm. 
The quality of their soap and lip balm is superior! And it's comforting to know that I don't have to make sacrifices for my health by using synthetic, chemically laded products. 

The prices are reasonable and affordable, too! I will probably be buying more from this shop in the future, because I am definitely hooked!

Check them out for yourself and let me know which soap was your favorite!