February 27, 2009

not a drop to drink

::moans:: It's tax time here in the U.S., which means spending has come to a halt. Hubbs and I are only slightly concerned (read: confused and furious) about our taxes. I'm not a fan of the do-it-yourself online tax preparation sites. I feel that they leave too much room for error and can too easily confuse you. Case in point:

Hubbs used the site Tax Slayer.com. Usually we file via the military tax center because it's free and if there's an issue we have someone to fall back on. But this year he wanted to e-file. Problem #1: Tax Slayer wouldn't let him claim me as a dependant, which I am according to the Marine Corps. Problem #2: It asked us if we received a stimulus check for 2008. This wouldn't have been an issue, except it asked us the amount which we received, meaning we were claiming it. Had we known that, we wouldn't have accepted the check. Problem #3: It's telling us that (with the stimulus check in play) we owe $600. We are not in any kind of tax bracket that we should be owing the government! But, this brings up problem #4: When Hubbs removed the stimulus check, it said we were getting a refund of $2,000! Umm...okay...if that is the case and we do have to claim the stimulus check, isn't the logical way of thinking that it should be refund (minus) stimulus check (equals) new refund? For arguments sake, let's say we received $600 for our stimulus check. It should have looked like this: $2,000 - $600 = $1,400. Lastly, we come to problem #5: When Hubbs tried to do my state taxes for North Carolina (where we lived/I worked in 2008), it said I owe the state $1,500 after paying in almost $800 for state taxes! This is why I hate online tax sites. So, first thing next month we're going to see the military tax center and see what they have to say about it. Let's just say steam will be shooting out of our ears if anything Tax Slayer said was true (unless we do get that nice big refund, which I doubt because we never get that much back).

However, I have been able to sneak in the odd goodies here and there for myself (don't feel bad for Hubbs, his baseball/football card collection isn't hurting any!). Mostly I've been purchasing music on iTunes, as at $0.99 per song, it's a cheap thrill with immediate payoff. I purchased "Meet Me in St. Louis," to add to my collection of musical theater songs, and I also purchased "Maestro" from my current favorite modern movie The Holiday (I love this movie! Is there anyone more beautiful than Kate Winslet?). I wish I could find a snippet of this song for you but alas even Amazon doesn't have a clip. But it's really a gorgeous melody (it's the opening number for the movie) and I just love to turn it on and veg out in a bubble bath surrounded by candles.

Speaking of bubble baths, I found this beautiful vintage milk glass bath set on eBay while we were in San Diego. I snagged it for a mere $15 and then ran out and bought some lavender bath oil to fill it with. Sadly, when it got here the soap dish was broken completely in half. The seller is searching high and low for a replacement of some kind, but in the meantime, I still have the little pitcher and bowls.

Lastly, just purchased today is this gorgeous satin skirt. It's from the Kristin Davis Collection at Belk (you may know her better as Charlotte York?). When I heard she was coming out with a line that was based off of her Sex and the City character I was over the moon! She has such a classic style and some of her outfits really do err on the side of vintage. I was only going to look, but when I saw this piece I had to peek at the price tag.

I entered my size and it came up with $8.49. That's right! The original price was $68!! This is one of those moments when you say to yourself, "At this price, I can't afford not to buy it!" So into the shopping cart it went. I wish I could find the shoes the model is wearing because they are the perfect compliment to the skirt, but it seems they're not from her line, nor any of Belk's lines (side note: if you're going to put something fabulous on your clothing models, please either a. carry the item, or b. tell me where I can buy the item, but please don't taunt me with the perfect outfit and not offer all the essentials!).

So it will have to wait until post-tax preparation. But at least I have a few lovelies to keep me sustained until then!

February 25, 2009

my water smells like summer

You know the smell I'm talking about. On a hot summer's day you stop for a quick glass of water. It's been sitting there for a bit so the outside is all dewy and the ice cubes have melted a little. As you tip it to your lips, you happen to catch a whiff of something crisp. Something fresh. Something you can't quite put your finger on, but you know you'll remember the smell forever. Today my water smelled like that.

It had been sitting on the counter as I rushed around the house tidying up to my own little pace. I'm beginning to realize that I'm much more of a clean-the-house-all-at-once-and-tidy-up-as-needed kind of housewife than your typical do-something-everyday type. But in any event, I walked over and took a gulp and caught that familiar smell. I have all the windows open today which is a first! It's finally warming up and the days of fifty degrees with icy wind seem to be dissipating. It seems to be doing wonders for my mood too, because to be honest, I've been a little depressed lately. Truth be told, it might help if I let the sunshine in more often!

I'll leave with a shot of my favorite little nook in my house. Feeling the breeze come through the screen slider, and enjoying the sound of the bells ringing somewhere nearby are memories I will come to treasure for a lifetime.

February 24, 2009

the one that started it all

Ever wonder what got someone going on their vintage kick? Sometimes it was a project; sometimes it was just a continuing love from their childhood; sometimes a significant other got them started. And yet, for some of us, it was a song.

Pre-married days I used to wake up early on Sunday mornings and turn on the Turner Classic Movies channel and watch whatever was on. Even if I came in the middle of the show, I'd still watch it through to the end, making sure to flip to the TV Guide Channel to find out the name of the movie (that way in case I liked it, I might one day add it to my collection). I discovered many wonderful and classic movies this way. To date, one such favorite was Bundle of Joy with Debbie Reynolds, or another movie of hers Susan Slept Here. But before those (and even before I started watching Singing in the Rain on repeat) there was only...

Meet Me in Saint Louis.

I loved this movie and yet I only managed to come across it when it was near the end. But I loved Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" in that husky voice of hers; I loved watching her cry as John proposed to her under those icy white trees. I never did get to watch it all the way through and it kind of dropped off my radar. That is, until Miss Carrie Bradshaw received it as a gift on the Sex and the City movie. Hubbs immediately added it to our Nextflix list and I was finally able to watch it from start to finish (three times, if truth be told).

Now, there are some aspects of the movie that never did sit right with me (like, why is Tootie so obsessed with death? and why wasn't she punished for claiming John had tried to kill her?) but if you can ignore/get past those parts, it really is a beautiful movie. And it's what really started my interest into the world of vintage. It had been there forever, but for some reason, this film jump started it. And more specifically this part:

Don't ask me why, I know not. But I sang "Under the Bamboo Tree" for days after watching this movie. It led me to download it off of iTunes, along with "The Trolley Song," and from there it was only a matter of time before Hubbs was buying me my own copy of all those vintage movies I'd seen on TCM and I was copying the hair, make-up, and fashion of some of my favorite stars.

Perhaps I should rethink the name of my web page when it comes time to renew?

February 22, 2009

city of angels

Well, our anniversary weekend was definitely a coin toss! On one hand it was great: the hotel was beautiful, the theme park was a blast, and the quality time together was amazing! But toss the coin and you have: getting lost on the L.A. freeways, getting sick on "Revenge of the Mummy," and having to cancel our dinner reservations. :0( But the good still outweighed the bad and we really did enjoy ourselves!

According to Hubbs, the outfit I chose made me look like I was ready to go boating! But the Keds were ridiculously comfortable and the outfit was definitely appropriate...

...on the Universal Studio Tour I got soaking wet! I was very happy that I didn't actually wear anything vintage as it took me nearly an hour to dry out!

The view from our hotel (The Omni). The building on the far right is The Walt Disney Concert Hall. I loved the shape of it.

I love the image of the city reflected in this building.

Always one of my favorite stops on the studio tour: the town of Amity Island from Jaws (note: this is part of the actual movie set).

The set of another movie classic (and favorite of mine), Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

But as much fun as Hollywood was, I was so happy to leave the smog and get back to the snowy mountains. There really isn't any place like home.

I'm still not feeling up to par as the roller coaster really did a number on me and got my vertigo going! After this weekend I'm beginning to think that rides should come with descriptions if you can't see them in action. Descriptions like, this roller coaster runs through once forward and then backwards, would have saved me from getting so sick! The next time we visit Universal Studios, we'll ride the studio tour again (sit on the other side of the tram for different picture shots) and hit the shows, but I'm definitely not keen on riding the rides again!

February 17, 2009

"isn't it funny..."

"...that you bought all new furniture, and yet at the end of the day, you kept the stuff we gave you?"

My mother brought this to my attention this evening as I called, breathless, to tell her that our buyers had come and picked up our old bedroom furniture. Three weeks ago it was our couches, less than a year old. These big brand new furniture sets that we just had to have, we sold them all in favor for a simple bed frame and headboard, and hand-me-down couches from mom and step-dad. Sometimes nostalgia is so much better than the newest and most glamorous.

But I am very excited about the up and coming months! Our bedroom will be getting a whole new face lift! Right now, it looks as though we are just-out-of-college-newlyweds, as we have our mini-fridge (doing double duty as a night stand), our box spring and mattress (sitting on the floor), an out of place coffee table with our TV, X-box/DVD player on it, and about three huge piles of clothes with no where to go. But soon, this is what we'll have gracing our little confines:

Our new chest and media center (better pictures, yes?):

A beautiful black shantung headboard:

And a floor lamp to provide some extra light (I really like the one with the roses climbing up the stand, but I'd need to replace the shade):

Eventually I'd like to add a vintage looking vanity mirror, and some night stands or end tables. And once we set up our gaming room/office, I want to buy a chair for Hubbs to sit in while he plays his video games. I really like the simplicity of the armless chairs in crisp colors like a classic white:

I also like the idea of adding the matching desk to our chests, but being that it's on the small side, I might not be able to get Hubbs on board with it.

It's definitely a ways off, but knowing that the goals are within reach is enough for right now!

February 16, 2009

buzzy little bees

Hubbs and I went down to San Diego this weekend for a visit with the family. Of course, me being me, I forgot my camera! So, you'll have to suffer through with my grainy cell phone snapshots.

It poured the entire weekend, including up until we got home (here in the mountains it's only 35 degrees). I snapped this quick shot of me Friday night in the car as we went shopping for new chests of drawers (we sold ours, yay!).

Here's the said new furniture. We chose the media chest for Hubbs and the regular chest for me. They're the perfect compact size that we need with all the moving we'll be doing in the next 12 years. We'll get them about mid-March.

Sunday morning we braved the cloudy sky and popped down to the local swap meet for more sketches like the ones we have in our living room. The trip was a bust, but my hair was an absolute success! Unfortunately, for lack of product, the curl didn't stay as long as I would have liked.

Hubbs and I have also been busy with our Valentine's Day purchases, not to mention the necessities for the events we have up and coming. For Valentine's Day, I was rewarded with the dress of my dreams, the Crepe de Chine dress from The J. Peterman Company (he got, and wanted, baseball cards). With its beautiful cut and glass beads I can't wait to hang it in my closet. If it gets here in time, I'll be taking it with us on our anniversary trip this weekend (more on that in a bit).

Thankfully, the shoes I chose for the Mardi Gras benefit at the end of February happen to go along with the new dress I bought (although I'd really like a different style, maybe in brown for this specific dress). I snatched these adorable t-straps off eBay.

And to my delight, my blue shift dress from Etsy was waiting for me as well when we got home today. To add giddiness to my surprise, the gorgeous blue rose scarf that was tied around the mannequin's neck was included in the package! So I bought both beautiful vintage pieces for only $3 each! Can't wait until this rain goes away so I can wear it out!

Now, back to what I was saying about our anniversary: Thursday February 19 marks three whole years Jason and I have been married! To celebrate we're going to to spend the weekend in Los Angeles! We plan to dine at our favorite restaurant, The Palm, and visit Universal Studios for the day. I have no idea what I'm going to wear (I just posted a thread in the Fedora Lounge about it) seeing that there's going to be lots of walking and a very decent chance of rain. I'd love to have a pair of shoes like these from Bear Flag Republic:

But the rain kind of negates a closed-toe-closed-heel type of shoe. So, if you have any ideas on what the vintage lady would wear to a theme park, please let me know!

February 12, 2009


Look what arrived yesterday! (Please forgive my end-of-the-day-hair and sweater combo--it was cold last night.)

This little green one was also tucked inside. I don't know if I have anything to wear it with, but it sure is cute!

This morning I've been scouring Etsy and eBay for a set of vintage dishes. Jitterbug posted this picture in one of her posts and I have been on a mission to find something like these adorable little dishes ever since.

I'd like a set that looks simple, clean, and vintage, but it absolutely must go with my little white tea cups, and include coffee cups with saucers. I hate that mugs have replaced cups and saucers. Don't get me wrong, every now and then I do love a mug of hot steamy goodness, but cups and saucers just add that extra little pizazz. I'd also like for them to be red, or have some red in them. I'm thinking I could also do blue and white transferware on top of a red table cloth; it would look very patriotic.

Now, fabulous vintage ladies, won't you be proud of me? I was going to nip over to Target and buy this set (minus the mugs):

But, instead I decided not to take the easy way out and hunt for a gorgeous vintage set instead. Here's what I've found so far. From eBay, this adorable set would definitely put the cherry on my sundae! I'll just have to see if it's too "girly" for Hubbs.

From Etsy, this dogwood set is gorgeous, but alas, no red, and no coffee cups.

Purely for enjoyment, are these not the cutest plates you've ever seen? If I had a dressing room I'd buy these just to hang on the wall as art!

So far that's all I've been able to find that strikes my fancy, but the beauty of buying vintage is you never know when something great is going to pop up!

February 11, 2009

outfit: id crisis

Black flutter sleeve blouse from Charlotte Russe, tan palazzo Capri's from New York & Co., knitted zip-up sweater from Anchor Blue, black tights by hue, black high heels by Anne Klein, pearl earrings from Helzburg Diamonds.

Today's outfit is titled "id crisis" because I had to have my photo take for my new military ID today! Since Jason's rank changed, the card has to reflect his new rank and end of active service (EAS) date. This morning when I drove him in, it was only thirty-one degrees--buuuurr! By the time I returned home, it had actually dropped to twenty-seven! Not wanting to wear my go-to navy jeans, I had to devise a little outfit from what I had on hand. I think it turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself! And of course, since military IDs are used more than our driver's licences I had to make sure I did my hair and make-up to a tee. I think this is the best hair-do and make-up day I've had in a long time!

I'm off to tidy up a bit; we have people coming by to look at our bedroom set tomorrow. We've been trying to sell it since before we left North Carolina, and it seems the people in California are much more interested in what we have to offer. The day after Jason's promotion we were able to sell an extra set of couches we had! Let's cross our fingers for someone to give the set a new home.

PS: I'm chalking up yesterday's look as a big fashion boo-boo. Oh well, you win some you lose some! :0)

February 10, 2009

need opinions on this outfit

Okay, so I've been trying to figure out if I can pull off high waist outfits. I'm pretty short (five feet two inches). I think I'm pretty hour-glass shaped, so I don't have a super long torso or legs. Be honest and tell me what you think of the high waist skirt--if it doesn't look right, it's okay, I can always wear my shirts on the outside and not tucked in.

Pink furry hoodie by Chroma Sport, white cami from Victoria's Secret, black and white houndstooth skirt from JC Penny, black slouch boots by Mossimo, pink drop necklace from Target.

I also did a messy pin up of my hair with a couple of (what I like to think of as) faux victory rolls. My hair is slowly growing out so some styles are still a little difficult to work with (I have too many layers in my hair). Right now I have about three or four go-to styles and hopefully once it's fixed I can broaden that.

So, yey or ney regarding high waists on me?

adding to the list

One mile! WOO-HOO!! Actually, 1.7 miles in sixteen minutes! I was sweating and now I am chugging water and wheezing a bit (blasted asthma) but I feel so good! Even with my leftover cold, I'm still okay! Yesterday I did my first proper workout in a while. I started with yoga, but with the whole head-cold thing it wasn't pretty. So instead I opted for mat exercises like crunches. I'm about to go jump on my balance ball and do some bench presses Marilyn-style. Now that I've broken the one mile goal, my new goal is to do it five times a week. Yep, Monday through Friday I'm going to try and run my tush off! I'm stuck at my current weight (three pounds lighter than when I started, but not moving from there), and Hubbs has said that this should help me shed some of those pounds.

But I think what's going to help even more is pumping my water intake. I don't drink nearly enough water throughout the day. Half the time I don't think I even get in twenty ounces (that's about .59 litres for my readers across the pond). So right now I'm off for another workout and some water! I should be back later with a look book look. We didn't have any snow yesterday but it's still plenty cold here!

February 9, 2009

outfit: rainy day monday

Most of us who have thick hair with a bit of wave to it know what happens when it rains: frizz central! So today I had the lovely challenge of fashioning something around my bandanna. Sure I could have stayed in my track pants and sweater all day, (especially as it's so cold, we have Marines on the other side of the highway stranded in door due to snow!) but what husband wants to come home and find his wife wallowing in sweats? Ick. So, for your viewing pleasure, my newest look book look. I shot these in natural light so you could see just how dark it is here.

Pink bandanna from the $5 store, reversible ski vest (no label) also from the $5 store, pink shirt from Steve & Barry's, Bluewater jeans from personal collection, gray tights by Hue (scrumptiously warm!), spectator pumps by Coach.

I'm particulary proud of this little outfit now that I see it. Aside from the shoes (which were a Christmas gift from Hubbs) this entire outfit is closet thrifted. Most of the items I've had ranging from six months to eight years! I don't know that I'd go out in the bandanna; most likely I'd go for the few hats I have in my closet to avail the world from seeing my frizzy little mess. Or I'd product the hell out of my hair! ;0)

Looks like we could get some snow on this side of the highway too...

My doorbell rang as I was proof reading, and I peeked through my little peep hole to see who it was. An older couple was huddled outside trying to keep out of the wind and rain. Suspicious (I really hate door-to-door evangelism or sales) I cracked it open a bit. I can only imagine their shock as they stared at me in my Rosie the Riveter style bandanna with my red lips, retro eyeliner, and red nails staring back. The older gentleman seemed to recover first as he said, "Well! I'm glad we stopped at this house!" We all smiled knowingly at each other. Turns out they were at the wrong apartment so I sent them round the corner to the leasing office in search of their companion. I'm sure I'll be the hot topic over lunch!

i've realized i'm lazy

I am lazy in my shopping.

I admire my blog idols who are constantly finding amazing things in thrift shops and can put together an outfit from the most meager pieces of fabric and their magical sewing machine (the most I can do is mend a hem, by hand, and patch up a little hole here and there). But this morning while pouring my tea, I realized the blue shift dress from Etsy is my first vintage clothing purchase. Ever!

I'd rather pop online to a store like Forever 21, go straight to the cardigan section, and find the exact thing I'm looking for rather than hunting Etsy and eBay for it. Especially eBay. While I have to credit eBay for being my supplier for most of the items I bought for our wedding (all of which were purchased from the Great Britain areas), I don't want to stare longingly at an item, dream about it for a week and be outbid because I don't want to pay $75 for a blouse! ::huff:: Let's not get me going on that tangent.

Etsy has been much better to me, and I'm starting to get the hang of searching for the things I want. Once I learned to mark shops as my favorites it's been even easier to pop in and see what they're carrying. Although once in a while I still have to search through hundreds of pages for possible matches, the first 30 of which are sewing patterns for what I'm looking for (maybe this ought to tell me something!).

In the mean time, here's what I'm crushing on: some vintage, some hand made, some store-bought.

Adorable polka-dot bra and briefs (with attached garters) from Cameo Intimates.

I'd love another little something from Boring Sydney, but at $255 this hat is a wee bit out of my price range.

My Lavaliere has more than a few items I'd love to scoop up!

And my BFF Stephanie has me cursing the value of an American dollar as I drool over items on Rumble 59, especially these dungarees and Capri's.