March 31, 2009

reader giveaway!

I promised you a giveaway! So let's jump right in:

The Contest: We're all looking for ways to save money (or make a little extra) in this economy. Aside from the basics (like sewing your own clothes, shopping second hand) what ways have you found to be thrifty? It could be as simple as switching from brand name to generic, or as creative as fashioning new furniture from toilette paper rolls (if anyone does this, please step forward!). For example, this is was one of our recent money-makers/savers:

We cleaned out my parents garage and found almost two years worth of cardboard wine carriers from the local grocery store. They reimburse $0.25 per crate that you bring in. We made sure there wasn't a limit, and took all 144 crates down to the store. We walked out with $36 in our hands and treated ourselves to a special lunch!

Try not to repeat each other, but I understand that there are only so many ways to save money these days! And if you're sharing a product you made (food, supplies) please share the "recipe" with us.

The Rules: The contest will run from Wednesday April 1, 2009 until Tuesday April 7, 2009. A whole week ought to give everyone enough time to figure out the small things and maybe even inspire you to find some new and creative ways to save money. You can enter as many times as you want; but you have to leave a separate comment for each "entry" to count. On April 8 I will tally up the entries and plug them into a random number generator. This is why multiple entries will help you out. You'll have more chances to be that random number!

The Loot: Personally, I don't think there's anything better (or more classic) than a movie night with your hunny or best friend. So I'll be shipping off a little movie box for two to the winner! Your goody box will contain a classic movie, popcorn (Jolly Time, which was founded in 1914), and some good old fashioned candy (sorry, it won't be chocolate--it melts too easily in transit). If I could send you two bottles of Coca Cola, I would, but Hubbs has told me it's not a good idea. :0( To help you customize your box, you get to choose from the following categories.

(click on the links to read their synopsis):
From film noir, "Double Indemnity." (1944)
From horror, "The Most Dangerous Game." (1932)
From musical comedies,"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." (1953)
From romance, "Casablanca." (1943)
*Your choice of one. If by chance you happen to have all these movies, we'll talk. To my readers outside the U.S., if you need a DVD for a specific region, please let me know! I want to make sure you can watch your movie if you win!

Candy (sorted by decade):
-Circus Peanuts
-Cracker Jacks
-Good n' Plenty
-Red Vines
-Dum Dum Pops
-Orange Slices
-Spearmint Leaves
-Lifesavers (5 flavor roll)
-Red Hots
-Tootsie Pops
-Jolly Ranchers
-Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
-Mike n' Ike
*Your choice of four (enough for you both to have two treats each; and you'll be getting bags and boxes, not pieces). Choose an entire decade, or one from each decade!

(For those wondering why I have dates next to everything and it all pre-dates 1960, you need to pop by Donna's blog.)

Best of ♣ LUCK ♣ to all and I can't wait to start seeing those ideas! Remember, the contest doesn't start until tomorrow, so if you're already bursting with ideas, grab a notebook and a pen and write them down!

March 30, 2009


Let's see...five days since my last post? :0( Sorry. I've been down for the count sick. For about four mornings in a row I was waking up between four and five a.m., napping in the afternoon, falling asleep right after dinner, and feeling totally inhuman the rest of the day. Yesterday was the first day I actually felt well enough (and up to) putting on make-up, which was fortunate because my dad brought up our new furniture! We spent yesterday putting it together--as well as began primering an old particle board bookcase that my step-father gave us from his work. Today I'm back up at 5:30, but that's Hubby's fault, not mine.

So just a quick post today, as life when you're sick is pretty boring. But stay tuned because coming up in my next post is my reader giveaway! It won't be anything as glamorous as a new (old) set of dishes, but in these hard economic times, a little treat here and there is always nice!

Image from PBX in a Flash

BTW, I'm thinking it may be time for a face lift around here... so if you happen to be reading during one of these "lifts," don't be shocked!

Edited: Okay, so what do you think of the new color scheme? I'm calling it "Aqua & Ruby." I really like the colors together as I think it gives a new twist to the traditional red white and blue!

March 25, 2009

it's working!

As frustrating as it is, I can happily say, the allowance system is working! Yes, I am seriously hating the fact that I can't buy something on a whim {{whimpers}}, but as of right now, we have an extra $400 that we'll be able to sink away into our savings account this month. That's $400 on top of what we normally save! Almost disgusts me.

Of course, this is really making me consider taking Donna up on her constant challenge to start sewing. I'd really love a new set of throw pillows, and they seem like they'd be easy enough to make. Hell, I could just make covers for the ones I have now.

Okay, I guess I seriously need to start looking into sewing machines. Oddly enough, I swore I was going to buy a sewing machine for my birthday or Christmas last year, but for some reason I never got around to doing it. I blame it on the move. So, what do I need exactly? There's so many choices out there when it comes to brands and functions. I really don't think I need something as fancy as a 50- or 60-stitch sewing machine, but I could be wrong. Help!

Wal-Mart carries this Singer Simple 18-Stitch sewing machine for just under $100. As a beginner, how many stitches do I really need?

March 22, 2009

take two

"Make it very clear to the Philadelphia florist. Tasteful. All white. The Casablanca lilies, calla lilies... I don't want any crap!"

If you had to ask me who my fashion icon is, I would tell you Charlotte York. She has this gorgeous ability to take modern clothes and make them look deliciously vintage; she also has a way of taking vintage clothes and giving them a fresh new styling. But the most important thing about Charlotte: she buys quality clothes.

Most of them come from high quality designers--and let's face it, those are usually the ones that last! I had a friend who used to buy her swimsuits from Wal-Mart every summer. She'd go through about six of them. One day she commented on the one I was wearing (one I'd bought four summers before from Victoria's Secret). When I told her this she exclaimed in disbelief, "It looks brand new!" I then launched into the importance of spending a little extra money for quality items rather than spending $80 on Wal-Mart bathing suits. I knew it finally set in when I saw her at last year's Marine Corps ball wearing Dolce & Gabbana. {{happy tear}}

Now of course, I can't afford designer all the time (hel-lo, military budget). But I think I'm going to start saving all my little pennies, dimes, and quarters so that when I do need a new outfit (note the use of the word need, not want) I'll be able to afford something of quality that will still fit into my vintage-style wardrobe, but will also serve its purpose should the time come when I'm more... "Park Avenue-chique." ;0)

One such outfit I'm crushing on right now, from Nordstrom's. At $118, it's not exactly something I can buy on a whim, but I absolutely love it. Too bad they don't sell it on etsy or eBay!

March 20, 2009



My skin is being stupid. I don't know if it's the changing seasons, or just me getting old {{pout}}, but I'm becoming increasingly frustrated. It's been very dry this week, and it seems to dry up after a few hours of wearing my make-up. I use a tinted moisturizer and powder as a foundation combo, but it they're just not cutting it anymore. I know for sure it's not my lack of water consumption! I've been drinking a minimum of 64 ounces per day.

I've ordered some mineral foundation from e.l.f., since I'm very skeptical to try this type of foundation. When Bare Essentials was all the rage I hopped on the bandwagon; come to find out, my skin flaked off when I used it. I'm hoping now that I'm not exfoliating, it may sit better (but after my skin's naughty behavior this week, I'm no longer holding my breath).

I won't feel so bad if it doesn't pan out, as the foundation was only $5. I'm a bit nervous to start trying others though; I have a very little allowance to work with and I don't want to throw it away on $30 make-up. I believe Sephora allows you to return opened make-up when it doesn't agree with your skin; and I believe RiteAid has a return policy as well (although I'd like to find a good high quality foundation, and steer away from drugstore brands).

However, I'm beginning to realize that quality make-up is something I need to start looking into. Yes, I'll be spending a little more of my allowance (have no problem if the store has a kick-ass return policy); yes, I'll only be able to "treat" myself every so often; but, yes, it's going to last me longer, give me better results, and make me look better. This is the beginning of a new trend I'm slowly getting into: the importance of quality.

If you ladies have a favorite brand that doesn't exacerbate dry skin, I'm all ears!

March 16, 2009


I had this wonderful surprise in my comments section last night from reader Weenie Elise:

"Hi Emer--there's a fabulous award waiting for you on our blog. Come and get it! And thanks for all your great posts."

So I wandered over to Elise's blog and found this:

She'd written a lovely little note about why readers should visit my blog and why it was fabulous.

"Emer at Circa 1952 for opening my eyes to interesting things about being a Marine's wife..."

The pride I feel in that one little sentence is more than I can say, so thank you Elise!!

The Fabulous Award is meant to be passed on to other bloggers, with a few stipulations:
1. Save this picture to your computer for your blog (you've earned it!).
2. You must pass it on to 5 other Fabulous bloggers in a post.
3. You must include the person who gave the award to you and a link back to their blog.
4. You must list 5 of your Fabulous Addictions in the post.
5. You must copy and post these rules in the post.

So let's see, five fabulous addictions that little Emer has (fabulous to me anyways)...
1. My husband (I cry when I have to be away from him for more than a weekend)
2. Law & Order: SVU and CI (I can watch whole seasons in a day)
3. Reading (when I find a good book I can read it over and over again until the book falls apart)
4. Make-up (I firmly believe new make-up can turn any bad day around)
5. Earplugs (I can't sleep without them)

And now for my pick of my five favorite (and fabulous) blogs:
1. Candice at Super Kawaii Mama, because she gives me hope that I will not turn into a boring old house mother.
2. Fleur de Guerre at Diary of a Vintage Girl, because she was the first vintage blog I started reading and I'll always hold a special place in my heart for her and her blog.
3. Neroli at Vintage Verve, because she puts a lovely vintage spin on even the most modern of days.
4. Cat at The Vintage Housewife, because we both share a love for vintage items and hot men in uniforms!! Rrreow!
5. And last but not least, Alyssa at AlyssAmazing. While she's not a "retro" girl, her knack for finding deals, DIY-ing most of her house, and always having something new and exciting to redecorate, she's earned a top spot on my weekly read list.

So again thank you Elise, thank you other fabulous bloggers, and as always, thank you readers! I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend.

March 13, 2009

don't spend it all in one place

For our anniversary Jason bought me the complete series of I Love Lucy. Needless to say I've been in Lucy heaven! Doing house work, blogging, doing my nails--she's on in the background. It's been wonderful. It's allowed me to study her outfits, no wait, the details of her outfits on a daily basis. What shoes does wear? What types of earrings? It's helping me immerse myself into the era.

Another way I'm doing this? Hubbs has put me on the allowance system. Well, I put myself on it (not that he put up much resistance--he wholeheartedly agreed), but only to help control my crazy spending ways! I figure that most housewives would have been on some sort of allowance back then (Lucy was). I'm hoping this will make me appreciate the value of a dollar, force me to be more thrifty and frugal (Donna--I may have to start sewing yet!), and it will make me consider what things I truly want to own. If I want something expensive (hel-lo reproduction clothing lines!) I have save up my hard earned money to get it. Now, if it's something for the house (vintage dishes, milk bottles, furniture, decor), then I don't have to pay for it out of my allowance.

I get $50 per week, to which BFF Stephanie exclaimed, "Wow! That's more than I make in a week!" I figured it was the equivalent to $10 per "working" day of the week, since Hubbs chips in on the weekends. When I bought a pair of brown shoes from eBay to go with my WWII-era dress (more in a minute), they totaled out to $22 with shipping and I thought to myself, "That's half of my weekly allowance!" I can see this is going to be interesting.

I'm so sad to say that the dress does not fit. I've put it up for sale on The Fedora Lounge (link in left side bar at the very top) for $45 or best offer. I'm going to start crying if I say too much more, so I'll end this topic by saying I thought I was thinner than I am. {{sniffle}}

But, to end this post on a happy note, this morning I had a brilliant idea when I was making Jason's oatmeal (he's home again this morning for a while). I love oatmeal, but truth be told when I fill it up with brown sugar and butter it loses some of its nutritional quality. So today instead of making it with 1-cup of regualr milk, I topped off a 1/4 of the cup with Coffee-mate French Vanilla creamer (the refrigerated kind). It gave the oatmeal a very creamy finish and flavored it subtly with a hint of sweet vanilla. Hubbs liked it, and I thought it was very good! I may try it with a few other flavors as well (the cinnamon vanilla would be good on a cold winter morning). If you try it, let me know how you like it!

March 11, 2009

humbled & revered

Last night Jason came into our room and found me hunched over my nails going at them with the nail file.

"What are you doing?!" Me, looking up confused: "Filing my nails." "But you're supposed to go get your nails done tomorrow!" "I canceled the appointment." "Why?" "Because you need a jersey for softball, and it costs $26. My nails would have cost $20, so this way we're really only spending $6 out of pocket." "But you've been planning on that for weeks!" "I know, but softball is important to you."

And you know what? This morning I woke up feeling so happy about my decision. I feel like the habits and thoughts of a frugal housewife are finally sinking into my subconscious. Truth-be-told, it started when we were still living in North Carolina. I had the great fortune of working with a young Army wife named Alana (she recently gave brith to a beautiful baby boy, named Hunter).

She was (and still is) the sweetest, happiest person you could ever hope to have for a friend. It was through her that I learned my favorite mantra, "The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They make the best of everything they have." She was so happy and so content to be a wife and mother. It made me really evaluate my life and the way I behaved.

Now that I've started learning more about being a WWII-era housewife, it's making me realize that I need to stop being so reliant on commercial products. Yes I still buy repro dresses, because ladies, let's admit it, I can't work a sewing machine! I can patch a hole and sew a button with no problem, but if I made a dress I'd look about as glamorous as Lucy and Ethel here in their feed-sack dresses.

But I am getting better. Now that I've built up a decent wardrobe I can slow down on buying new items. I've started scouring eBay and Etsy for real vintage clothes, or at least cheaper repros. I'm learning how to make my clothes serve more than one purpose (one pair of white shoes goes with ten different outfits!), and I'm getting better at making sweets from scratch. I'm trying so hard to simplify my life, and darn it--I'm proud of myself for it! It's not easy when you've been raised in a material obsessed place like California; a place that trys to tell you what you have is more important than who you are.

(If you made it through my ramblings this far, thank you thank you thank you!) Inspired by all these wonderful feelings and thoughts, I made a plan of attack to continue the simplification process:

- Start making my own cleaning products (here's a recipe I found for a multipurpose cleaner, I might just add some lemon juice to help with the smell).
I love this idea because 1.) I hate the cost of Windex 2.) The cheap stuff streaks 3.) I always lose the bottle and have to buy more, then I end up finding the other one, still totally full and 4.) I secretly want to decorate the bottle like 50's Gal's reader did:

- Start making my own laundry detergent (recipe).

Food & Groceries:
- Start buying plain ice cream.
I doubt very much that they had flavors such as "nutty-buddy-crunchy-munchy-swirly-twirly" back in the 40's and 50's. So to help my figure (and my mindset) I'm going to stick to the classics. After all, chocolate a strawberry ice cream make the best milkshakes!
- Learn to cook more dinners from scratch.
I can do spaghetti, and that's about it. Of course, I used bottled sauce. And frozen garlic bread. In any event, I want to learn to make more soups, and learn how to cook with lentils.
- Start cutting coupons for anything and everything!
This means I may have to find a reputable online coupon site as well. If you know of any, please let me know!
- Make meals last longer.
My clothes do double duty, why shouldn't my food?

- Try to buy all dresses, shoes, hats, and accessories from Etsy or eBay.
- Start using Ebates more.
Have you heard of this place? It's awesome, especially if you do mostly online shopping! I added a link in my right hand side bar, plus if you sign up you get $5, and I'll get $5 for referring you, and you'll get $5 for referring your friends (can we say Amway?). ;0)
- Work the military discount when traveling, or for anything.
Certain hotels have done away with it, and it's going to start negating where we stay when we travel. Plus, you'd be surprised how many local antique dealers are willing to give you a 10% military discount to close the deal on a piece of furniture!
- Try to shop exclusively on base.
We aren't taxed at the exchange and we're only charged a surcharge at the commissary (I think it was $5 on a $100 grocery trip).

So there it is. My plan in black and white. I intend to try my hardest, shop the cheapest, and make everything count down to the last dime! We're in a failing economy--now is not the time to go willy nilly!

March 9, 2009


Seriously? Like the last three days our doorbell has rung non-stop. And it's not even the good kind of ringing from the post office or UPS delivering our vintage goodies and baseball cards. Oh no! I think we've been invited to every church in the high desert--twice! It was like they all woke up and said, "Hey let's go out a see who can annoy our neighbors the most!" And what really stinks, is this wouldn't be happening if we lived inside the apartment complex. Our apartment is technically on the outside portion of the street, so they haven't crossed on to "private property." I just got off the phone with our land lady and she has given me a green light to hang the adorable (retro-styled) "No Soliciting" sign on our front door (by the way, the website is so cool!). Who so dares to knock once that sign is up will feel my wrath!

Me and Jesus have our own way of working, thanks.

March 8, 2009

pins, and dresses, and concerts--oh my!

I must be the last person in the world to know that Gary Sinise (a.k.a. Lieutenant Dan from Forest Gump) has a band so smartly named, "Gary Sinise and the Lieutenant Dan Band." I must have laughed for a good minute after hearing that, which goes to show just how simple my mind really is and how easily I'm entertained. But it turns out that he's giving a free concert here on base for the Marines and their families!! I'm so excited! I've never been at a base that gets all any of the cool celebrities (but when Hubbs was in Iraq, he did get to meet Chuck Norris).

So, very happy for the event, I decided I need to dress accordingly. Well...semi-accordingly. Here's my logic: Forest Gump met Lt. Dan when they were in Vietnam together. Vietnam was during the sixties. I don't like the sixties. But, the concert is being thrown by the USO. Grandma used to rave about the USO when she was working for them in the 1940's (she and my grandpa swear she danced with the entire 7th Fleet of the Navy). I like the 1940's. There was war then, and there was a war in the 1960's. Therefore, I can just as easily wear WWII garb to this concert! (Is your brain fried yet?)

In any event, logical or otherwise, this is the dress I've decided to wear. It's a WWII-era dress.

I still have to find the right shoes to go with it (brown? pink? chocolate?), but I'm more excited about the pin I'll be wearing with it.

It's my grandmother's USO pin. She received it when she was 19 years old, in 1943--right smack in the middle of the war. It makes it the oldest item I own (older than her diamond), and one of my most special vintage pieces.

I'm terrified to wear it; I don't want the clasp to come loose. However, the outfit will not be complete without it. So as soon as the dress arrives I'll try it on and see how well it holds. Grandma informs me she danced with quite a few sailors with this little pin attached firmly to her shoulder. And while my husband is not a sailor but a Marine, it's technically a department of the Navy!

March 5, 2009

housewifery 101: crash course

I have worked my little behind off today!

Yesterday I expressed my angst with Hubbs over the fact that I don't feel like I'm pulling my weight around here. I may be a "real" housewife a couple times a week, but my other days are spent blogging, watching Netflix, and chatting on my favorite boards. I have this problem with waking up, walking into the computer room and staying there. So today, I sought to remedy that.

My alarm clock went off at 6:45 and I contained myself in my bedroom. Since we're still lacking dressers (we'll get them in 3 weeks!) our clothes have been piled in a heap to one side of our bedroom. So I started folding.

About midway through my task, Hubbs came home. The Marines ran an obstacle course this morning and were let off until they had to report back after lunch. I was so excited to get to make him breakfast since he always leaves before I wake up. I went right back to work after our meal, stopping only to drop St. Patrick's Day cards, anniversary cards, and a few change of address forms and bills into the mail. I changed our bed linens to our spring/summer bedding (which really brightened up the room, although I'd like to get some white pillow cases...) and by 11:00 it was done!

(Warning, these pictures show a barren and unglamourous room! No bedframe, no headboard, no pictures... You'd never know we've been together for four years--we look like poor newlyweds!)

Yes, my nightstand is a mini-fridge. ;0) We keep jugs of water in there (and in the desert, it's very nice!).

This is the corner where our pig-pile clothes used to be.

Our first coffee table now does double duty as our media stand. It's also covering our pile of pajamas. (I was watching old episodes of The Simpsons.)

After all my hard work, I turned around and got right down to business making lunch for Hubbs and me. We had fresh spaghetti with garlic bread with fresh Parmesan cheese melting on top. Mmm! Hubbs even remarked how nice today was going to be since he'd be eating "three home cooked meals." He left for work at 12:30 and I did the dishes. Afterwards, I cooked up a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies (from scratch!! go me!!), and now...I'm pooped! No wonder housewives were so trim--they never had time to sit down and relax!

My cookies turned out delicious. I used the "lighter" recipe version from my Betty Crocker cook book and they are light! Lighter than air, and so fluffy! Almost more like a muffin than a cookie.

(Dinner plate from Crate & Barrel.)

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies
2/3-cup granulated sugar
2/3-cup packed brown sugar
1/2-cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2-cup unsweetened applesauce (this is what makes them so fluffy)
1/2-cup egg substitute (I use All Whites liquid egg whites)
1-teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1-teaspoon vanilla
1/2-teaspoon of baking powder
1/2-teaspoon of salt
3-cups quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
1-cup all purpose flour
1-cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In large bowl beat all ingredients except flour, oats, and raisins with an electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in oats, flour, and raisins.
3. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough in rounded spoonfuls about 2-inches apart.
4. Bake 9 to 11 minutes until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

*I realized too late that I was out of cinnamon, so I used pumpkin pie spice instead. It gave the cookies a very warm flavor, but they don't taste like pumpkin pie.

And look what happened to show up as I was pulling the last batch from the oven: my $9 skirt!

Ordering it a size larger was a perfect move because it hits my legs at a tea-length. (Forgive my un-matching shirt, no shoes, and no hose.)

So now, I'm going to kick back, watch some Law & Order: Criminal Intent on Netflix, and enjoy myself! The best part about my free afternoon is I feel like I have earned it. I think it's been a most rewarding day., now I want lemonade...

March 3, 2009

outfit: tax day's looking like we owe. Hubbs is furious. I'm complacent. I'm not going to bore you with the details, suffice to say we're now hunting down every scrap of paper that we can find so we can itemize and bring the number down to a non-stinging amount. He has informed me that I am "never working again." We would have received a nice refund without my W-4s. ::shrugs:: What can you do?

We did come home and do some retail therapy though. I know what you're thinking: spending was at a halt. Okay, side note: Layne, my favorite person in the whole world, once said to me (we were talking about our cash drawers balancing at the bank): "It's all a matter of perception. When you start the night missing $500, and finish only missing $10, you're happy to accept that $10 loss!" Her philosophy works on so many levels. One day, we thought we owed the IRS over $2,000. The next, we owe them $500. Now, with the itemizing we're doing it's looking more like $300. I'm much happier with that figure than I was before!

So Hubbs got (wait for it...) baseball cards, and I was rewarded with this beauty:

It's a 1960's day dress from Etsy, and I've had my eye on it for a while. At only $22, it was a complete bargain! And it's so pretty and floaty, it just makes me think of summer! Today was one of the first days we finally hit the high eighties and it felt so good to be outside. It brought to mind images of lemonade and afternoons spent watching the clouds blow by. The breeze was blowing, the sun was shining, the bells were ringing--I felt like I was in a musical! I'd even donned my best "a-lady-does-her-taxes" outfit. And what exactly does a lady wear to do her taxes? Anything that keeps her from sweating!

White blouse from The Gap, linen capri pants from Maurice's, cherry cha-cha shoes by TUK, flower pearls from Claire's, pearl earrings from personal collection.

I absolutely love the simplicity of this outfit. The shirt is very lightweight and comfortable and there's something "sweet" about it. The capri's and shoes have been featured in other outfits as I'm trying my hardest to mix-and-match most of my wardrobe. When it comes to separates I'm trying to make most items do double duty. Although I have to start relaying this concept to my accessories as well. I don't have a pair of plain white shoes (am thinking I'd like some Mary Jane's or T-straps), nor do I have a simple white purse (and how many times could those items do double duty?!). So, after the dust settles and the IRS is out of my hair, I'm hoping I can start polishing my wardrobe. In the meantime, I'm just happy I don't have to hawk all of our belongings to pay our tax bill!

March 1, 2009


Last night we had the Mardi Gras benefit auction hosted by the Officer's Spouses' Club here on base. The night was not what we had envisioned. While we won a silent auction, the live auction was completely heart breaking. I literally had to step out of the room because I was bawling when they started the bid on a gorgeous collection of vintage Marine Corps items at $1,500. It ended up selling for well over $4,000. I told Jason the whole evening felt like a slap in the face. It was as if the commissioned Marines had invited the enlisted Marines just to rub their money in our faces. Maybe this sounds a little dramatic, but with the auctioneer (a.k.a. the base General) telling the officers, "I know you have this much money!" or "You can afford $3,500! We just gave you a raise!" it was really belittling. It's highly doubtful we'll go again next year, or if we do, we'll stick strictly to the silent auction. Had we known the live auction would end up like that, we probably would have. I swear if my husband ever becomes an officer I will never, ever flaunt my money that way or use it to make others feel inferior!

The evening wasn't a complete bust. I looked spectacular! (Yes, yes, can we say immodest?) Upon entering the room I had three compliments on my dress right away. While walking around, I was stopped by several WWII vets and asked about my stockings. One of their wives got down real close and asked if the lines were painted on. I laughed and said, "They're nylon, so the boys can still use the silk for their parachutes!" That gave them a real chuckle! I had random strangers tell me how gorgeous my whole outfit was; one gentleman (dressed head to toe in a blue and white seersucker suit--damn me for not having my camera!) told me my shoes were, "amazing!" Hubbs just sat and grinned as the other Marines prodded him with the usual question of, "What do you do to get your wife to dress like that?!" He just shook his head and said, "That's all her."

So the night was an emotional roller coaster. ;0)

But as I said, we didn't walk away empty handed! We did win on a silent auction for this adorable die-cast 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Oh, I'm so happy with it--which is odd, because I am not a die-cast car type of person! But I wish I could blow it up to actual size!

Look at the dice in the mirror!!

I love the little licence plate. We thought this was where our adventure ended, until my nail snagged the V and up came the trunk.

And surprised us with a trunk full of die-cast goodies! Isn't it so sweet?

Oh, I suppose you'd like to see the "spectacular" outfit, huh? Do the shoes and stockings not totally make the outfit?! And those shoes were quite comfortable! I was worried as they were 4-inch heels, but they have one of those hidden platforms in them to make wearing easier--and it was!

Red and black dress by Ruby Rox, seamed stockings by Leg Avenue with garter belt (not shown) from Victoria's Secret, t-strap shoes by Fahrenheit, black and red feather fascinator from Etsy seller Boring Sydney, diamond earrings from personal collection.

The fascinator from Boring Sidney was wonderful and complimented the outfit in a way I never knew existed!

So, we learned a few things; the evening definitely put spending money into perspective; overall my husband and I still had a good night and went to bed laughing at our own silliness and goofiness. And at the end of the day that's what really matters. Not $4,000 collectibles.