Monday, December 30, 2013

Why Vintage.

   I went shopping this morning, I had to run to the pet shop to buy cat toys (the kitties always need more toys and I had to buy Ginger a treat container). The pet shop wasn't open when I got there so I popped into the Goodwill. While I was there I found a checkered blue and black skirt and vest set. I can't wait to wear it with one of my sweaters and boots!

A preview of a suit I believe to be from the late 60s or early 70s. 

     At the checkout counter I started talking to the sales clerk and she told me that she frequently sees me in the shop. I explained what I was there for and she then proceeded to ask me a lot of questions. When I say I am a vintage collector I think people tend to get the wrong impression, but I don't know what else to call myself. The sales girl asked me if I wore my collection as well and I said "Of course I do", what else would it be good for? She then proceeded to ask me why vintage, and I did not have a concise answer for her. After thinking about it for awhile I began to ask myself, why vintage and I still did not have a concise answer. I like vintage for myriad reasons.

      First of all, lets talk about the feel of the garment. As a person that has tried a lot of different trendy fashions, there is nothing that beats the feel of a vintage garment. When I say vintage I refer to a garment that was made before the 70s. Even the 80s are considered vintage today since the term vintage refers to anything 20 years or older (antique refers to things 100 years and older). However, I enjoy the fashions from the 1910s until the 1970s. Anyway, the construction of these garments can not be matched by any modern counterpart. These clothes with the proper care can hold up for years which is something that can not be said about something from a fast fashion shop like 'Forever 21'. It is one thing to buy trendy pieces as a teenager but as an adult you want to invest your money in pieces that will not only look good but will hold up.

Secondly, vintage styles make me feel proud to step out in public. I really don't know how else to put this but I feel like utter crap when I go out in public in a pair of sweatpants and a t shirt. In the past most people would never ever even think to step out of the house in less than their best. Take some pride in yourselves! This does not mean you have to dress like a school marm every day, just cultivate your own look and take pride in it!

Thirdly and most importantly, you are an ambassador to the past when preserving the looks of days gone by. As a child I preferred to spend most of my free time with my grandparents instead of people my own age. I thought and still think of them as some of the neatest people to hang out with! Without sounding like I'm on a soapbox, I would like to say that a lot of people in my age group and a lot of people in my 17 year old sister's age group don't have a lot of respect for their elders or for the past and that is such a shame. You can't dismiss everything before you just because it's older than you. I've learned a lot from my grandparents, especially an appreciation for the past and that includes the fashions. Sometimes a on outfit I'm wearing begins a conversation between me and someone older about their past. A piece of clothing can spark a conversation that can teach you something.

Readers, why do you love vintage? It's okay if you don't have just one reason.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A look back.

At the end of each year I make a video for my family of pictures from the year. I try to make them funny, I pick out weird music and I get my family members to do voice overs. They seem to become longer and longer each year though, last year's movie was 45 minutes long! I really enjoy making what I fear will soon become a feature length film, since I get to reflect on all the events of the year. A lot of people focus on the party aspect of New Year's eve but I choose to reflect.

As I've said before, 2013 was a year of extreme highs and lows. My Mommom fell and broke her hip in May and shortly after my Poppop died. Jeremy and I stayed with her through the summer and we still sleep there a couple nights a week. I really enjoy spending time with Mommom, I've learned a lot.
Jeremy got a steady job last December and he started in January of this year, this has really given us a sense of security and I am so proud that he's such a hard worker. I also tried life as a blonde for about a month, I will never make that mistake again, there is no photographic evidence of this.

We had our beautiful ceremony in October, I thought it was the perfect day. I also dove head first into vintage collecting and blogging. I have some big things planned for the blog for 2014 so keep reading.

A lot of people make rigid resolutions for the new year but I'm flexible so mine are more like suggestions. For one thing I want to get out more and go to neat local places. There are tons of awesome things to do and shops to visit without going really far. I also want to get more serious about dressing vintage. I want to be as authentic as I possibly can, this includes the proper undergarments like a garter belt and stockings. I received a sewing machine for Christmas and I would like to make my own clothes from vintage patterns, maybe you'll see photos of one of my creations soon.

Well readers, what are some things you want to accomplish in 2014?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Playing with decades.

Jeremy and I are still celebrating Christmas! We enjoy the week between Christmas and New Year's day celebrating and the celebration culminates on New Year's day when we have our annual polenta and cod dinner at Mommom's house.

This afternoon we visited my in-laws since we didn't see them on Christmas. I decided to wear my new dress that Jeremy got me for Christmas.

My Mommom got me this great felt cloche hat for Christmas. I have a couple clips that can go with it so I'm going to experiment. I figured I would wear it with my red dress to be Christmasy. 

When I got there I got to meet Dudley! Jeremy's parents got this adorable Jack Russell/Pug mix. He is so full of energy that I couldn't snap a good photo of him. He is so precious. 

We spent a couple hours visiting at his parent's house and then we went to the Hallmark store to buy our 2013 ornament. We are a little late this year but we ended up getting a good deal so it all worked out. 

Our 2013 ornament to celebrate our union. 

We're still having a blast enjoying our holiday! Now, here are some photos of my great 1950s red dress. I am about to order crinoline for it and I can't wait to have a full skirt when I wear it next. 

 My Mommom gave me this coat, it belonged to her mother and it is one of the warmest coats I've ever worn. There is a beautiful button that holds the fur collar together and I took a close up photo of it.

I wasn't looking at the camera but I posted this since I had a furry friend with me. We have a lot of outside cats at home. 

I can not wait until I get my crinoline. This dress fits like a dream and I'm so happy Jeremy got it for me for Christmas. It's so versatile, I'll be able to dress it up if I want or wear it to run errands. 

How is everyone enjoying their holiday week between Christmas and the new year?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

And Gone in a Flash.

Christmas day has come and gone. I love Christmas day but I really love the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, that's when I love to lounge, it's like an extended Christmas. Jeremy is off today and we're going to have some wine and cheese, enjoy our gifts and relax. I consider the week one long holiday.

Christmas Eve was celebrated with Mommom, Brianna and my Mom. Jeremy worked until evening and then he finally came home.
Tigger opened his presents while Patches watched. Mommom got him a catnip stick and she got treats for all the cats.

 Ginger couldn't wait to open his stocking although I think he was a bit disappointed with his kitty tooth brush.

My sister is very manipulative! Jeremy and I decided that we would give her one present, a book, to open on Christmas eve. Brianna talked me into giving her all of her presents on Christmas eve. Here she is opening the stack of records we got her. I'm so proud, I have a feeling I helped shape her musically. 

Our Christmas was fantastic! Jeremy and I opened presents with my Mom and Brianna in the morning, and Jeremy wore the new robe that I got him.
Jeremy tried to recreate the face on the album I gave him. 

We got ready to go to dinner at Mommoms house. I got a hot roller set and I love them. My hair stayed curly all day!

Ginger celebrated his third Christmas!

Clyde was my kitchen helper. 

 I made this lemon and orange wreath bread. I'm so proud of it since it is one of the first things I've made that looks like the photo in the cook book.

 My sister set up this adorable Christmas scene at Mommom's house. 

Clyde wore his little Santa coat. 

I bought this gorgeous jacket a 'Twice Loved Treasures' in Vineland. 

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and got everything you wanted! Expect to read a lot of new blog posts this winter as I will be visiting a lot of antique and thrift shops!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas time is here...

Today is finally Christmas Eve and I finally am getting in the Christmas mood! Jeremy and I went to a tree trimming party Sunday night and I spent all day yesterday in the kitchen baking and making the crab dip that I make for every special occasion (I will give you all my recipe)

I have always loved Christmas but this year I just haven't been into it. Usually on December first I'm in Christmas and baking mode but this year I haven't. The past week has been spent shopping and baking and today I have one thing left to make. I wanted to do a quick post to list all the songs of the day that I've been posting on my facebook page and to share some pre holiday photos. This post is going to be a hodge podge of holiday stuff.

On the 14th of December I started posting a Christmas song of the day to my facebook page here is the full list. Try these out tonight at your Christmas eve celebration.

1) Jingle Bell Rock-Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
2)What Christmas Means to Me-Hanson
3)Boogie Woogie Santa Claus- Mabel Scott
4)Christmas Wrapping -The Waitresses
5)Go Tell it on the Mountain-Bobby Darin
6)Christmas in Heaven-Monty Python
7)Merry Christmas Darling-The Carpenters
8)Xmas Twist-Twistin Kings
9)Mele Kalikimaka- Bing Crosby
10)Jingle Bells- Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
11)Silent Night-Frank Sinatra
12)Christmas Time is Here-Vince Gurialdi

And now for my crab dip recipe

2 bricks Cream Cheese
1 pack fake crab (size depends on how much crab you like
1 can jumbo lump crab meat
Chopped Green onions
Chopped red or white onion
Lemon juice
Frank's Red hot sauce (for color and taste)

Sorry everyone but when it comes to seasonings and things like the red hot and lemon juice I really don't measure I add a little and then taste to see if I need to add more. Tasting is half the fun of cooking.
Make sure the cream cheese is soft enough to mix then add the fake crab. I like to rip it into smaller pieces but if you like larger chunks of crab you don't have to. Then drain the liquid out of the can of lump crab meat and then add it to the cream cheese and fake crab. After all the crab is in the bowl get the hand mixer and mix everything around. Then add your chopped onions, I didn't give amounts for these either since I just keep adding until it tastes right. Add your lemon juice and red hot and mix everything with the hand mixer again.

I make this for every holiday and birthday and everyone loves it. I have a big container of it in the fridge for tomorrow!

And now for the photos!

I bought this little guy at 'A Blast From the Past' in Vineland. My Mom and my sister told me he creeps them out but I love him.

Here's my pixie elf spending quality time with my fur nephew, Felix.

 I bought this plaid trapper hat for Ginger and gave it to him last Tuesday as an early Christmas present. He kept it on for about two minutes and then he ripped it off. I love to get him little things to wear, he has a gingerbread bandana and a bow tie as well.
Before we headed out for a Christmas party last Sunday, I helped Ginger put his Christmas ornament on the tree. 

 Jeremy looked so handsome last Sunday. He is wearing my Poppop's sweater and hat. Doesn't he look dapper?
I wore a little black cape since it was quite warm last Sunday. I bought the dress from the bi-annual Vineland Women's Club antique sale. I can't wait to go to the sale again in March. 

Jeremy and I got our little boy so many things this Christmas and we even made him his own stocking! 

I hope you all are having a great Christmas Eve! My Mommom came over and we opened a couple of our gifts early. Jeremy worked through the day so I saved him a plate of all the goodies we had today. I'm so happy he's home now, this was the first holiday that we haven't spent the whole day together since we started dating. Spending time with my Mommom, Mom and Sister was a lot of fun though, we had some crab dip, opened presents and listened to Christmas music. We also spent some time talking about Poppop. This Christmas is weird without him. I thought this was a fitting photo to post of him for Christmas, he was being attacked by pixie elves and my favorite part of the photo is he sleigh on his head. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Remembering two great men.

The Christmas season is in full swing and I'm sorry I haven't been posting as much but I promise I will post some stellar outfit posts in the next week and I have big things planned for 2014! I've been super busy with the end of the semester and Christmas shopping but as of yesterday I'm finally finished and I have some free time!

I use a lot of my time at the end of the year for reflection and for the past decade or so to reflect upon the passing of two men that have had a tremendous impact on my life and are two of my biggest role models. Today marks the 40th year that Bobby Darin has been gone and Sunday the 22nd will mark the 11th year since the death of Joe Strummer. These two men have affected my life and yet I've never even met them! However, I believe that these two men left an impression on the world and they definitely left a big impression on my life and therefore should be honored.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time than you will know that I am a Bobby Darin super fan. I had always been a fan of his hits but it was just last year that I started delving into his vast catalogue and reading about his life. In 37 years the man accomplished so much and reinvented himself many times. I can't get over how much ambition the man had and if that's not reason alone to consider the man a role model than I don't know what is! Whenever I feel like packing in my blog or anything else I have an ambition for I think about Bobby Darin and the impact he had on the world and I'm inspired.
(courtesy of

To my knowledge, I've heard everything that Bobby Darin has ever recorded and I haven't heard one bad tune. His voice has such power and he can convey all kinds of emotions through his music that it has the power to move me to extreme highs or lows.

Here is the first song that came to mind for extreme highs

and here is extreme low

I can't help to identify with both of these men since they both spent most of their lives on a quest to find themselves. Bobby Darin spent about a year living in a trailer in Big Sur writing beautiful songs and figuring out who he really was, this song was written during that time
This is one of my favorites

When I was 12 years old, in 2002, I heard my first Clash song and that was in September. When I heard the song "London Calling" I was hooked and had to listen to the entire album and I was an instant fan. That same year, on the 22nd of December, Joe Strummer died. I knew he was a member of my new favorite band but that's about all I knew, so I started to buy every book about The Clash that 
I could get my hands on. 
I've heard this countless times now and I still get chills. 

I was going into my 13th year and The Clash, specifically Joe Strummer, really helped shape me. The Clash really expanded my 12 year old mind, I had never imagined that music could be so passionate and have an actual message. It wasn't just the music that inspired me it was the way that Joe Strummer lived his life. Just like Bobby Darin, Joe Strummer spent a lot of his life discovering himself. He spent a couple of years in Spain after the Clash broke up which were called his "wilderness years". After he surfaced he started making music again.

From his second album with the Mescaleros "Global a Go Go"

If this song doesn't get you up and dancing than there may be no hope...

Bobby Darin and Joe Strummer, in my mind, could have been good friends. I was alive when Joe Strummer died but not to experience the death of Bobby Darin. Even though I never met them they have left such a mark on the way I live my life. I've learned it is never too late to change your path, there is always time to step back and find out what you really want. If you're not happy find out why and change it. I've learned to always keep trying and that people can change anything they want to. If you aren't familiar with either of these men than I urge you to learn everything you can about them.

I'm sure you all have a role model in your lives and my biggest two just happen to be very talented and passionate musicians. I realize that I've never met these men and they were not perfect but to me they are so inspirational. Their views on life, their bodies of work are both things to take inspiration from. I like to reflect on their music and their lives this time of year. If you're a fan of either Bobby Darin or Joe Strummer feel free to add a comment.

"If you don't try, if you don't do something for yourself, you're not going to get anywhere"
                                 -Bobby Darin

"And so now I'd like to say - people can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks - I am one of them. But we've all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything - this is something that I'm beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. That's because they've been dehumanised. It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain't going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you're nothing. That's my spiel." 
                   -Joe Strummer

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside: a guide.

The season of snow is upon us! I really do love snow and lately we haven't gotten much so when it snowed Sunday I made sure to enjoy it. Well I have been enjoying it since then. I had a morning class yesterday so as soon as I was finished I went home, all my classes were canceled today so I am enjoying a true snow day!

I love to stay inside when it snows but one needs to be prepared. There is nothing worse than being trapped inside without the essentials. So here is a mini preparedness guide. As a little disclaimer, I am not a survivalist, I am only listing things that are essential for a fantastic snow day in a fully equipped home. I am not outdoorsy and I would never dream of going camping (that's what hotels are for), so none of these activities will be ones that require stepping foot outside.

1)Make sure you have food. I'm not talking about the usual milk, bread and eggs unless you like french toast on a snow day. Snack foods and baking supplies are essentials for a snow day. Today I will be starting my Christmas baking.

2) Some sort of alcohol. I like wine, especially if you have a good block of cheese in the house. Tonight, Jeremy and I are going to have some munster and garlic and herb goat cheese. If wine isn't your bag then why not have a nice snifter of brandy? Nothing says winter quite like having a snifter of brandy by a roaring fire, or in my case a fireplace scented woodwick candle.

3)Movies or television shows on DVD or a streaming service! Before I subscribed to Netflix I would run to the movie store and stock up on some movies or television series on DVD to marathon watch while I was snowed in. Now, I don't have to do as much preparation. Here is a small list of my favorite movies and shows to watch on a snowy day. These aren't necessarily Christmas movies (I'm saving that list for another post) but they are movies and shows that my mind associates with snow.

-Pleasantville (1998)
          I guess I consider this a snow day movie since I got the VHS for Christmas when I was 8 years old and it snowed that day. I associate odd things together. I long to be beamed into a television show. My pick would be "The Munsters" or "The Golden Girls"

-The Simpsons (1989-?)
          For a snowy day may I recommend the episode "Homer the Heretic"? I hope you're all home making moon waffles today.

-The Ref (1994)
          Okay, so this is the one Christmas movie on the list but it is one of my favorites to watch when it snows.

-The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
          To be fair, I watch this in all weather but a snowy day is a great opportunity to watch the whole show.

-The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
         There's nothing like a good thriller!

-If A Man Answers (1962)
            A hilarious movie! You can drool over Sandra Dee's clothes and Bobby Darin at the same time!

4) A good book, or five. I used to run to the video store and book store/library with the same panic that people go to the grocery store with. I could not imagine being stuck in the house without something to read if the electric goes out, the worst possible thing in the world. Now, I have an overstock of books so I am well stocked if disaster happens.  Some good things to read while being stuck inside are biographies, humor books and social/cultural history books. Collections of true crime stories are fantastic too, just pick what you like. Here are some of my favorites, keep in mind that they're not all serious literature since a snow day doesn't have to be serious.

-Here We Go Again: My Life in Television- Betty White

                  If you don't know a lot about Betty White then get this book. Her others are good but this one has the most details about her life.

-Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift Indianapolis, Indiana,1932 (Dear America series)

Alright, this is meant for pre-teen girls but in my defense, I read it when I was a pre-teen girl. I like to reread it every Christmas though.

-Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations
I could not put this book down and when I absolutely had to it was painful! It was so good!

-What is Marriage For?: The Strange Social History Of Our Most Intimate Institution- E.J. Graff

A "serious" read about the not so nice history of marriage. A good history primer for the person that doesn't know the historical context of marriage. Also a good read for anyone that is married or thinking about it.

5) Some good games. Jeremy and I like to play some competitive games when were snowed in. If you're alone I can recommend some great solo games.

-Bioshock (Xbox 360)
      Rapture is the most beautiful game world I have ever explored. If you start this, don't make a lot of plans since you will be sucked in.

-Mario Party (multiple Nintendo consoles)
      There are about nine of these games now and they are all great.   

-Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo)
          You can play this game on a lot of different Nintendo consoles now but nothing beats the original. Be prepared to throw your controller or gameboy color in anger.

-God of War (Playstation 2, 3 & PSP)
           I personally have the Playstation 2 version and the PSP version. If you want to take out some anger, pop in God of War and start slashing away with Kratos' chain swords.

-Katamari (Playstation 2, 3, Xbox 360 and PSP)
       For the hoarder in all of us there is Katamari.

-Street Fighter (multiple consoles)
        This could potentially start some arguments.

-Pokemon (Nintendo handheld consoles)
         I personally recommend Gold and Silver or Heart Gold or Soul Silver. They are the best of the series.

5) Have a day of pampering. This is not just for ladies, men can treat themselves too. There are all kinds of things you can do at home. You and your partner can give each other massages. Give yourself a deep conditioning treatment for your hair, paint your nails and relax.

6) Enjoy the snow! Open the blinds and go outside and take some photos! I know I said I wasn't an outdoorsy type but I love to go outside and take pictures of the snow. Make sure you enjoy the beautiful weather.

I took these three quick shots in the back yard. Those deer are well behaved all year! It's been snowing steady since 9 am and the trees look absolutely gorgeous now. 

I hope this guide was helpful. I absolutely love to be home but sometimes staying indoors can be maddening! I know this is a vintage blog but I love my technology, I'm sorry. What are your favorite things to do on a snow day?