November 29, 2008

sadness and gladness

First the sadness: Friday was officially my last day at work here in North Carolina. There were many tears. I cried the hardest when I had to say goodbye to my friend Layne, who's become a surrogate East coast mom/cool-fun-hip-aunt/and wonderful friend all rolled into one. She gave me a gorgeous wire and beaded snowflake (to commemorate my first ever that I caught right here in North Carolina), and a Waterford crystal leprechaun. When I saw the Waterford box, I was very excited, and started to weep of course. Layne then told me that her husband and hand carried that over from Ireland to give to her and she wanted me to have it so I could start my own collection. I was a mess after that!

Me & Layne (she's holding the flowers I gave them all).

My snowflake.

My leprechaun.

Here's the whole lot of us, including baby Skylar and her soon-to-be-baby brother Hunter.

So now, the gladness: my jacket finally arrived! However, right after purchasing it, we got a message from the eBay seller saying she'd sent out the wrong coat by accident and could we please please return it to her if she refunded us some of the money for the correct jacket. Jason and I had no problems and calmly awaited the arrival of my boxes. They both arrived on the same day--so of course, I had to open both boxes to see which jacket was mine. The first box was my jacket...

...but I had to have a little peak at the other one too! It was beautiful as well! It wasn't much different from mine, except the collar was more squared and pointed, and it had a four button closure. Did I ship it back? Did I hell! I turned to hubby and without even saying it he said, "Go ask her how much she wants for it." So in the end, the seller was more than happy to sell the other jacket as well, and now I have two beautiful black wool coats--perfect for the cold winter ahead of us!

November 23, 2008

hair, oh hair

So...with the move coming up (I'm sure you're gagging with the sheer number of times I mention "the move") I'm having to do all my final beauty "things" before we go. We pull out of North Carolina on Thursday December 4 at 8:00 in the morning, sharp! So Wednesday, I have a very busy day!

9:30-10:00, final appointment with Dr. C, my miracle worker. (<---We'll get to this in another post.) His offices are all the way in Kinston so it's about a forty five minute drive back home.

12:30-4:30, final beauty salon appointment, including: eye brow wax, manicure/fill, pedicure, and haircut.

Which, is why I've been furiously searching every Internet article, Fedora Lounge board, and old movie site I can get my hands on! I'm looking for a good vintage cut. Something that I can pin-up, curl, wave, or if I'm having to be very modern for the day/evening, straighten. I think these are what I'm going to give to Laura, my beauty guru:

Isn't Veronica Lake beautiful? What I wouldn't give to have that porcelain skin!

Anyways, yes. That's that haircut I'm going to ask for. My hair still has a bit of growing to do, but hopefully I can start getting it to look like this soon!

I'll leave you with my very cute little outfit from yesterday (remember, I'm still building my vintage wardrobe, so I'm not all there yet!)

(I call this my Swiss Miss hair-do. It's two braids pinned underneath themselves. I do a lot of pinning in the winter.)

(Okay, so my jeans are actually Navy pants, my shoes are vintage-inspired, seen here, my wonderful warm wool pea coat has a bit of retro feel to it, and my little hat tops it off nicely. Not fully retro, but I am still a vintage-baby.)

November 20, 2008

so cold!

This was me last night as Jason and I ventured out into the frigid cold to buy our weekly rations.

In my favorite trench coat and my "Russian" hat and scarf. I can't believe we thought about retiring to the east coast at one time! This little California girl can't handle it!

November 19, 2008

i am in luvvie!

I came across the most amazing forum--The Fedora Lounge--a bunch of guys and dolls sitting around talking shop about vintage! ::swoon::

One of the dolls, Marzipan, has a blog called My 50's Year. She's living a whole year in the 1950's, which means that aside from several absolutely essential modern technologies, she's not doing/using/buying anything that wasn't around post-1950. She turned me onto this site (a British television site, or telly!) which is running a series called Time Warped Wives. It's amazing! It's about four women who for one reason or another chose to go back in time and start become vintage housewives! I'm so jealous because I wish I could just pick up and do it all right now. But like any good career, I know it takes time and effort to get yourself to that place.

This post of hers reminded me of another article I had seen about modern day ladies going back to simpler days of housewifery, and I remember when I first saw it, I went, "::gasp:: It's like they're reading my mind!" Here's a clip from the article, but really when you can, be sure to read the whole thing because it truly makes you stop and think about how far from "the home" women have become.

"Her alarm clock chimes before the sun rises. She's not only up and at 'em, she's dressed to the nines in heels and a full face, wearing perfume. Her apron is starched and matches her outfit, and breakfast is on the table. Her husband and children come to the table dressed and pressed: they've been raised that way, and she's done the ironing. ... I know, it all sounds so nice, so perfect. Well, it is nice. Maybe it isn't perfect for everyone, but for a few of us, it's heaven. We were born too late. We live in that fabulous era of the mid-20th Century, when we'd just won The War and the whole country was overflowing with optimism about things to come. Good had triumphed over Evil, just as it should, and all was right with the world. The guys in White Hats would keep on winning and we'd all be safe from those guys in the Black Hats. It was as simple as that. The Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. What could be more wholesome?"

::dreamy sigh:: In other news... ah! The hunt is over! Look what Hubby bought me for an early Christmas gift:

It's so beautiful. The setting itself is vintage from about the 1930's (estate sale via eBay) and the center stone is my grandmother's. I wish the camera could capture its radiance because I could stare (and have been) at it all day long, just watching it twinkle in the lights. It's so much more lovely than I ever could have hoped for.

Also, after spending an hour lugging boxes to a fro in the freezing biting wind, I picked up this gorgeous wool jacket from eBay for a steal ($20!).

When we showed up at our friends' house to pick up the truck they were letting us borrow for hauling the couch out of storage, he took one look at my vintage inspired pants, black shirt with matching cardigan, and high heeled Mary Jane's and said, "Only you would wear that to move in." What, is there a rule against looking pretty? Oh, which will bring us full circle--ladies, when you dress up in the least bit, aren't people usually asking you "what the occasion is?" Isn't it sad that our men have been so starved for a real woman that when they see one, they act as though she's off her rocker? Oh girls, what have we let ourselves become?

November 18, 2008


Oh my gosh it snowed for the first time in 5 years here in our area of North Carolina! It was mostly just flurries today, but for someone who has never seen it snow (me), it may have well been a blizzard! I was calling and sending messages to all my friends in California and I mostly received texts of "LOL" back. Thankfully work wasn't very busy today and my fellow tellers told me to hurry and go outside because the flurry would be over with in about three minutes. I did just that and managed to catch my first snowflake!

It's that tiny packing-peanut-looking-thing at the top of the black checker. That would be the pattern of my newest acquisition: my beautiful wool pea coat. So warm and pretty, I can't wait to wear it cross country!

November 13, 2008

news worthy

Well ladies--we have finally become the economic indicator! This morning I could hear Jason howling with laughter from the computer room as he read this:

Economic Indicator
The Lipstick Economy by Claudine Zap
November 12, 2008 12:15:19 PM

In this economy that's in the red, there may be one bright spot that comes in shades of pink, brown, and taupe: the lipstick index.
It's a financial indicator that's as true as that colorfast shade that stays on you, and doesn't get on your man. In bad times, lipstick sales soar while other sales sour. The term "Leading Lipstick Indicator
" was coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman of makeup company Estée Lauder
, after he noticed the trend during tough economic times. And what is indicated right now? All lips are pointing upwards.
After all, women don't need to think twice about plunking down eight bucks for a drugstore lipstick while passing on
$800 Jimmy Choos
History can be our guide here. As a Harvard professor explains
: "The decade of the Great Depression, cosmetic sales increased 25 percent." After the downturn following Sept. 11, lipstick sales doubled.
Looks like we're on track for a similar lip-color craze with this latest economic funk. The
New York Times notes that in the last few months, lipstick sales have shot up 40%, and even put out a list of favorites ranging in price from the budget-conscious $1.99 to the more pricey but still affordable $55. Preferred colors for this new economy? Red is out. Neutrals are in
. (<----Pfft!) Maybe you can't put lipstick on a pig. But you sure can stock up on the stuff during rough financial times.

Since I am a firm believer in the fact that a new cosmetic can turn any bad day upside down (or put the cherry on top of any good day), my husband came tearing into the room and between giggles and snorts said, "Stop buying so much lipstick! You're scaring the economists!" Oops.

November 9, 2008


Ack! How could I have forgotten?! I've been shopping!

Being a military wife, our life is a constant budget. But once in a while, my husband allows me to divulge in my need to spend. I spent Friday morning shopping online in the comfort of my pajamas. Here's what I bought:

Have you visited The Vermont Country Store yet? If not, you have to for a little giggle at least! I stumbled upon this website by accident and spent a wonderful afternoon laughing at some of the memories it brought back. But my most favorite section is their Apothecary section, which has all the old brands of perfume, make-up, and every other bath-related item you can think of. I bought some of the Airspun Powder, since my trusty compact was dropped and shattered into about a million pieces. I swear I can remember seeing this little cardboard round sitting on my grandmother's sink.

Next, I had to buy my new signature color, Chick Flick Cherry. I hopped onto Amazon for that, since my search of the local stores left me exhausted and empty handed. If I could only find the matching lip color I think I'd be set, but the Internet is yielding me no results in finding that!

Lastly--has anyone ever truly looked to see what women in the forties wore when it was cold outside? I think they still mostly wore dresses! Just paired it with heavy tights and fur coats! It's very hard to find a woman in pants! That in turn leaves it difficult to find vintage looking pants. One of the sights I love, ReVamp, has some great outfits and it was there I discovered navy pants--seen below in this adorable ensemble.

But their price tags conflict with my budget lifestyle (the slacks alone are $125). So I headed over to my go-to store for vintage clothing (Pin-Up Girl Clothing--also where I bought my ball gown from). They too had navy pants, but they ran at the mind boggling price of $198! Feeling sick with want, I decided to leave it to Google to find me something equally cute with a less than "my-husband-would-kill-me-if-I-paid-that-much-for-this" price tag. And, voila!

On clearance for $30 at American Eagle, navy jeans! Now as we trek through Tennessee and Arizona this December on our trip, I'll be able to keep warm and still keep that bit of vintage flair with me!

gifties & dancing

We had Jason's going away party on Friday--it was so wonderful not to have to go into work! And it was of course the most beautiful day we've had in a while. 72 degrees, no humidity, and sunny. Reminds me of the spring days we have in California! We went to a local sushi place--I was not digging it. I had one piece and had to choke through it. I ordered a ginger salad and miso soup after that. The Marines in Jason's shop presented him with a really beautiful plaque (in the shape of North Carolina). It will go in his "I Love Me" room.

In other news, we've started taking swing dancing lessons! A bit ridiculous since we're moving right? Nope! We're taking them via YouTube! I love YouTube! All we did was type in swing dancing and video after video popped up. We've been modifying some of the moves to make them fit better for us. I'm trying to teach Jason that dancing is interpretive and all about what feels good to your body. We've been having so much fun. I can't wait to get out to California and go back to our old stomping grounds. We've even found an actual swing dance club out there where we can take more lessons once we're ready for person-to-person lessons.

This is the set of videos we're using right now, but hopefully we'll be ready to move on soon. I really want to learn the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug!

November 7, 2008


(This will probably be one of my longer blog entries.)

Jason and I attended his ball on Wednesday night. The day leading up to it was fraught with stress, fights (between me and my sister, not me and Jason), the big move hovering over us, and dealing with the less than stellar people in the moving offices. By the time cocktail hour rolled around either of us felt much like celebrating the 233rd birthday of the Marine Corps. But off we went, dutifully into the night.

It was exactly what we needed. The speeches by the Commanding General, the Commandant, and the guest speakers were amazing. Some of the phenomenal one liners from the evening were: "The United Sates doesn't need the Marine Corps; they want the Marine Corps..." "Unlike my generation of Marines, your generation wasn't drafted. You chose to stand up and promise to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic..." "The greatest thing in a Marine's career has nothing to do with the Marine Corps, and everything to do with the Marine Corps: his wife..."

They showed images of the Beirut bombing, of Iwo Jima, of all the small battles that we forget about; they capped it off with the images of 9/11. They reminded us all just how wonderful the Marine Corps really was. I cried for most of the ceremony, and looked at my husband in a whole new light. I walked away feeling truly motivated, but mostly lucky; lucky that I have a wonderful Marine of my own; lucky that he chose to do the unthinkable and become part of such a wonderful group; lucky that I've had him for this long; and lucky that he so believes in his calling.

(Our last Marine Corps Ball picture in North Carolina)

(My handsome Marine, who I could not be more proud of)

(The Marines guarding the birthday cake)

(From my tears)

(This table was very significant. It was set for all those who could not celebrate us. The candle represents the everlasting flame of life; the purple heart for the wounded, POWs, and MIAs; the upside down dishes are in their memory since they cannot dine with us; the spilled glass represents our spilled tears over their memories...)

(...and last but not least, the empty dog tags to remind us at that any time it could be our Marine)

November 5, 2008

i think my husband hates me sometimes

Not literally of course! Some days I wonder how he can put up with me--my ever changing mind, my new loves, my old loves, my new likes, my new dislikes...the list could go on and on.

We've always had some trouble when it comes to decorating our house. It started off Asian influenced, and we ran out and bought the biggest bedroom set we could afford (what a mistake that was--living in and out of base housing, I've now learned that bigger is not better)! Then we decided we'd lean more towards the brown family, coffee and chocolate themes. So we ran out and bought a set of very modern (over sized) couches for the living room. Yeah...we're now attempting to sell them.

Finally, we came to where we are now: a mismatched house, no real redecorating money to speak of, and a variety of colors that makes our house look...well, mismatched. And not in the good way. I've promised Jason that I will try to get better about my hobbies. I am, by nature, a dish whore, and since I can't get the desire out of my veins, I've started expressly buying white dishes. At least this way, they will all mix and match in the good way. We've also started scouring Craig's List and the local flea markets for furniture, which affords us the ability to sand and repaint to our hearts' content for mere dollars. Our gorgeous dining room table (solid oak pedestal table with a center leaf for extension) was a CL find for only $50, and we painted it a sumptuous creamy white.

I've told Jason that I now want to go in the direction of vintage Americana (because truly, my love of anything vintage never seems to wane, and with him being a Marine it seems more than appropriate, and red seems to be a color I can't quite unhitch myself from). He just smiles and says, "Okay baby doll," and I know he's really thinking Whatever you say because you'll change your mind in about a week.

But you won't find any big barn stars decorating my little nest. My definition of Americana is anything truly American vintage. Be it old Hollywood style dripping with glamour, sweet little red cherries paired with red checkered cloth, blue transfer ware lining the shelves... Sorry for pictures of pictures, my trusty scanner has pooped out on me.

(BH&G was my first flea market magazine and is a very treasured possession; notice the reds and whites mixed together--they don't scream traditional "Americana" but with a touch of blue thrown in you'd be set)

(How simple and cute is the idea of a red and white pillow on a chair--match it up with a blue and white one and it fits; same with the embroidered hanky hanging in the frame {yes, that's my red finger nail in the picture})

November 4, 2008

ah, sweet shoes, how i love thee

Admittedly, the Marine Corps Ball crept up on me this year. It's hard to remember about a dance when you're worried about moving cross country (yet again), renting out your house (after a failed attempt to sell it), and getting so excited about your trip and all the sights you're going to see that you can barely stand to work another day! And of course, one of the things I had neglected to think about was dancing shoes!

The trouble was, I couldn't buy just any old dancing shoes for my vintage-red-satin-halter-swing-dress. They had to match! You can't wear cowboy boots with a salsa dress, can you? Hubby and I spent Sunday afternoon at a local big-chain shoe store, and within about 15 minutes, I had assessed the one and only aisle of dancing shoes, and the only pair that I remotely liked was $40. Really not a bad price, but if I wasn't in love with them? Forget it.

Feeling dejected, we left. I think Jason was more concerned about me buying shoes than I was because I just wanted to go home. I looked up and right next door was TJ Maxx. Now, I will admit that I often have zero luck finding clothes in these stores. But, wanting to appease my husband, we went in.

Within about 2 seconds, my eyes alighted on these Anne Klein heels and I was in love! They were black (the exact color I wanted), vintage looking, two-and-a-half inch heels (which means I can wear them at work as well), and a size seven! My size!! It was so mean to be. And the price tag? $35 marked down from $80!!

November 1, 2008


On Wednesday, Jason re-enlisted for his third term! There's definitely no going back now. He's going to be over half way finished with his military career by the time we're done with this enlistment, and as he's said before, "If I go half way, I'm going all the way!"

I was more than a little shocked when they pulled me up there to receive a letter of appreciation from the Commanding Officer for my part of Jason's successful career, and being a faithful supportive Marine Wife.

(Signing the forms)

(Smiling because he's a civilian for about 30 seconds)

(Swearing in)

(Presenting me with my certificate)