August 31, 2009

our calendar

Here's just a tiny peak at the things we have planned for the last half of the year:

September 11 - baseball game
September 12 - professional head shots
September 12 - Mom & Step-dad's 50th birthday party
September 13 - baseball game
September 28 - planned move date

October 10 - Highland Games
October 11 - Highland Games
October 24 - planned trip to Oregon
October 31 - planned return from Oregon

November 3 - leave for San Francisco
November 5 - return from San Francisco
November 17 - planned trip to Houston
November 19 - planned return from Houston
November 27 - free resort weekend
November 28 - free resort weekend

And somewhere in between all that I have a new household to put together, Jason will be acclimating himself to his new unit, we have the holidays, and whatever else may come up! And we haven't even scheduled the trip to Australia yet! I've always said I'd rather be busy than have nothing to do--perhaps I bit off more than I can chew?

August 30, 2009


I have a bunch of pictures for you to gawk at today! Yesterday on the Fedora Lounge, I came across a thread about the everyday vintage woman. Pictures of real people during the thirties and forties; many of us even had family pictures we could share. I wanted to share my favorite one with my readers.

This gorgeous lady is my grandmother circa 1944. This is my most favorite picture of her ever. It's one of those manually colored photos, which I think makes everything look even more beautiful (it's also why it's in a bigger format--I want you to be able to see the details).

Also yesterday, Jason and I went to the outlet malls. I was in need of some bottoms for an upcoming baseball game we're going to. I've been corresponding with Fleur de Guerre for help on my outfit, as well as taking advice from Super Kawaii Mama.

This is the outfit I've decided on for the game.

The top is from Pin Up Girl Clothing, and the bottoms are from the Banana Republic Outlet. They are the most comfortable pants ever! Plus, they give the illusion of being high-waisted, which I can't really pull off. In reality, they sit about an inch or so below my belly button. All that's missing are my red Ked wedges, my red polka dot purse (from eBay), and my white wide brimmed hat.

I got very fortunate when buying the Keds. They were $40 off and they only had two sizes left--an 11 and a 6.5. Hurrah for little feet!

Today we're off to do some grocery shopping and run some errands. We need computer paper so I can start practicing my cursive hand writing! I've downloaded some old fashioned practice sheets from a teacher's website. They look interesting to say the least!

Here's today's hair and outfit:

Another success with my sponge rollers!

Outfit Details: sailor pants - American Eagle Outiftters; top - Banana Republic Outlet (I like the nautical feel to the tie); shoes - Rampage, from eBay; mani color - Vodka and Caviar by OPI.

August 28, 2009

success all around!

Just this morning I tried my hand at good old fashioned sunny-side-up eggs. Personally, I can't stand to eat egg yolks, even scrambled, unless they're in a cake or something. I had a not so good experience with congealed egg yolks... blech! But Jason loves sunny-side-up, so with our last two eggs, I made him breakfast.

(The bottom egg got a bit wonky coming out of the shell.)

And instead of toast, he wanted to sop up his yolks with a toasted onion bagel half.

I got two thumbs up on their outcome, although he did mention they were rather spicy. I overdid the pepper a bit because I was so terrified they'd taste horrible!

After breakfast, I struck gold with my sponge curlers! Last night I rolled them with freshly washed hair (treated with a leave-in conditioner to prevent frizz). I covered them with a silk scarf and went to bed. This is this morning after taking the scarf off.

They unrolled into very bouncy Shirley Temple curls. I must have stood in front of the mirror for a good three minutes just watching them heave up and down.

Brushed out. The right side turned out great, but there was an explosion of curls on my left side! Had my whole head looked like this, I could have called it a 'do.

But instead, I did my patented faux victory rolls. Basically, I pull the sides back, twist them towards my head, and push forward to give them a little volume. Secure with bobby pins, and voila! Faux victory rolls. A little more brushing and some more conditioner helped tame any frizz.

I'm super pleased with the results; more so now that I know I can actually use sponge rollers. Having to drag curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers all over the country when we travel is a headache! These are compact and quick--plus, the bulk of the work is done while I'm sleeping!

Oh! I can't leave without the outfit! I did go a little retro with this halter sundress today. I think it's actually an eighties-does-the-fifties dress, but it's a nice lightweight cotton and I can wear my knee brace under it without any problems.

Outfit Details: Cotton halter dress - eBay; black heels - Anne Klein; vintage vanity - belonged to my great grandmother (<--- it will be getting a face lift soon)

August 27, 2009

the lost art of letter writing

I mentioned that I had a new project I was working on. But before I go into that, let me preface it with a bit of background.

My best friend and I have known each other since eighth grade. We've gone through all those painful steps in life together. Bad haircuts, being chubby, ditching classes, dating the wrong men, finding the right men, the trials and tribulations of military life--everything you can think of, we've been through together. Our friendship has had its highs and lows, but to this day, she still knows me better than most anyone (I think Jason may have the lead on her, just a wee bit).

When we were living in North Carolina, I started using my days off to call her (I had Wednesdays off). It's been over a year now and our weekly phone calls have become an absolute routine! We may miss one here and there (because, yes, life gets in the way) but for the most part, we have four hour phone calls once a week.

(Stephanie and I at Disneyland in April of this year--the first time we'd seen each other in almost 4 years!)

So, when I decided that I wanted to resurrect the lost art of letter writing, I couldn't think of anyone other than Stephanie to share that with! I purchased some gorgeous cream colored linen paper and matching envelops from Paper and More ($10 for 100 sheets of paper, $9 for 50 envelopes), and wrote my first letter yesterday.

What. A. Mess.

My penmanship is so terrible; I can't believe I once won an award for my writing style! My cursive is all loopy and messy--not to mention I've forgotten how to even form half the letters! My r's look like n's, my e's look like l's... it's just a mess (seriously, Steph, good luck deciphering this first one). I've been waiting to buy a nice calligraphy pen with interchangeable nibs, but I'm thinking I won't wait too much longer. And some downloading of cursive worksheets is in order!

(Don't be fooled by the photo editing--my lines are crooked, and the letters are not pretty!)

At least the (back of the) outside looked nice.

I treated myself to some faux wax seals (until I can afford the real deal) in my favorite color, complete with a Celtic design in the center. I really love the way it finishes off the envelope.

Okay...I'm off to work on my bad handwriting...

August 26, 2009

on the home front

Yesterday I went to town on our kitchen. Took everything off the counters, took the microwave and the stove apart, swept, mopped, the whole shebang. I find it strangely comforting to walk into the house and smell the aroma of Pine-Sol. I also got to work on our corner unit. We bought (what we thought) was going to be a temporary solution for our storage problems; it turned out to be one of the sturdiest little pieces we've bought--and it was from Target! It's very simple, which I like because it blends in with everything around it, but it really needed another paint job!

Notice the original orange color peeking through the worn espresso paint here.

I think this was the first piece of furniture I ever painted, hence the huge thick drip marks.

I painted it black to match our coffee and end table that we have in the living room (and the color our wall unit will eventually become). I'll get some pictures of it once it's finished.

I also tried my hand at brownies from scratch. They turned out so freaking amazing! I have to admit I have a nice scorch mark on my tongue because I had to have one right out of the oven (who could wait two hours for them to cool?!). I like my brownies on the gooey side and these turned out perfect.

Ooey-gooey Chocolate Brownies

2/3 cup butter or margarine
5 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into pieces
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla {I did 3 because I love vanilla}
3 large eggs1 cup all-purpose flour (not self-rising flour)
{The recipe says you can add walnuts, but I’m allergic, so I always omit them}

1. Heat oven to 350-degrees F. Grease bottoms and sides of 9-inch pan with shorting. {I used Pam}
2. In 1-quart sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool 5 minutes.
3. In medium bowl, beat sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour with electric mixer on high for 5 minutes. {I think at about 2 minutes mine was nice and smooth, so I stopped. 5 minutes seemed like overkill} Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour in pan.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.*

*This is wear the gooey-ness comes from. You can cook the brownies until they’re cooked through in the middle (pierce with a knife to test), or you can stop before hand. Our oven is a bit on the lame side, so at 40 minutes, they were just about perfect. They may be a little jiggley, but they will firm up upon cooling.

The past two mornings I've also kept up with my stretching that I borrowed from Jitterbug. It's no wonder that girl is dropping weight left and right! These little stretches can really kick your behind! I'm only doing one set of each stretches to acclimate myself with them, but my body feels the way it did when I'd work out at the gym lifting heavy weights. The backs of my legs are extremely sore from the toe touches I did (um, wake-up call! I can barely touch the floor!). I need to get my walking in, but I've been wearing a knee brace since we were in San Diego and just walking around the house is kind of tiring (my knee cap was slipping; a very odd and disturbing feeling, not to mention painful).

I have a new project coming up that I'm ridiculously excited about--simple minds have simple pleasures--but I'll save it for another post. I think I've rambled enough for today! ;)

August 25, 2009

Today's Goals:

- Do stretches 1-5 from my list (borrowed from Jitterbug, here and here)
- Make bed
- Tidy up Jason's side of the room
- Vacuum bedroom
- Tidy up bathroom
- Mop bathroom and wipe down counters
- Laundry: reds, darks

Not even 11:00 and all my work is done! Whew! Not bad since I woke up at about 8:00. I'm trying to work my way back up to about 6:00 a.m. so I can get up and make Jason breakfast before he goes to work. It may take a while, but hopefully by the time we're in San Diego I'll be in the swing of things.

I think I'll work in the kitchen this afternoon--I'd like to mop in there as well--but I for sure need to file my nails and give them a coat of clear polish. I've got some chips and breaks and they're looking a little haggish. Tomorrow the bug man is coming for his monthly spraying and I've been meaning to jump on the packing. Fourth move in less than year! I ought to be a professional at this by now!

honey-do list: 8/25

Today's Goals:

- Do stretches 1-5 from my list (borrowed from Jitterbug, here and here)
- Make bed
- Tidy up Jason's side of the room
- Vacuum bedroom
- Tidy up bathroom
- Mop bathroom and wipe down counters
- Laundry: reds, darks

I'll check back this evening and see how I did!

PS: My hair is still very curly!

August 24, 2009

etiquette 101

As I type this, I am--not so successfully--balancing a book on my head. Quite a feat, as I never learned to properly type with my fingers splayed over a s d f j k l and the ; symbol. But guess what I just realized? Over the years of not typing like that, I can actually type in my chicken-pecking manner without looking at the keys! Ha! Take that typing class!

You may wonder what the heck I'm doing. I'm working on my posture, or trying to at least. While watching "A League of Their Own" today, I was enamoured by the scenes of the girls at charm and beauty school. Nearly an hour spent googling, and all I've come to find out is that finishing schools have gone the way of manners themselves! Practically disappeared! The only ones I can find are geared towards executives and I don't need to really need to hear about "dressing for business meetings" or "how to increase your sales impact." I want to learn about walking with a book on my head, which fork to use at dinner, and all those other things that are now considered to be "anti-feminist." I have a few e-mails in to some of those places hoping they may be able to point me in the right direction.

In the meantime, I had a real success with my hair today! Around Christmas last year I bought one of those ridiculously expensive flat irons after being mowed down by a fellow in the mall offering to make my hair impossibly beautiful. Truth be told, the flat iron really is amazing and I managed to squeeze some free gifts and a military discount out of him. Behold, the HerStyler:

One of the deal makers was the fact that it could curl my hair as well. Now, having multiple layers, using a curling iron gets rather tedious. Plus, my hair is kind of heavy and a curl tends to fall out after a few hours. But not with my HerStyler!

Four hours later, they're still nice and bouncy!

August 23, 2009

my new favorite shopping site

I had to share this website I stumbled upon: Where Yesterdays Live. It is the coolest nostalgia website I've come across to date. They have DVDs of classic commercials, CDs of classic radio commercials, radio shows for kids, game shows--just a whole slew of goodies! Which is how I happened to find them--in my quest for old time radio shows.

I have this little habit of needing to have noise on while I get ready. Quiet houses kind of bother me. Usually I'll put on "I Love Lucy" or "Friends" since I know just about every episode and I don't have to run to the TV to see what's going on. I started thinking that if I had radio shows, my problems would be solved since there's nothing to run and see on a radio. Wanting something that at least felt familiar, I started looking for "My Favorite Husband," Lucille Ball's pre-I-Love-Lucy show. I found a CD of 103 (out of 124) episodes on Where Yesterday's Live for only $10! They have a full episode on the site for you to sample, plus a list of the episodes included on the CD. What's funny is a lot of the titles correspond with some her her shows with Desi Arnaz in later years.

I just purchased my copy of "My Favorite Husband" (a mere $16.79 after tax and shipping) and I can't wait for it to get here. I know a lot of you love classic radio shows, so go check out Where Yesterdays Live and see what they have to offer--I just noticed a link that says "Just for the Holidays;" how cool would that be to have a vintage Christmas complete with holiday radio shows? Fun!

August 22, 2009

time to make a change

Since "giving up" my vintage wardrobe, I've noticed that other things have fallen by the wayside as well. It's not unlike me to spend all day in my pajamas, hair undone, make-up un-put on. Jason and I tend to snack all day rather than actually making real meals. Our dishes will go several days before I make myself do them (or ask him to--shame shame!). Overall, I feel that when I gave up the hard work and pressures of making sure everything in my attire was vintage, I gave up the whole rest of the lot. The duties, the mind set, the general philosophies that go into being a good housewife.

This all came to my attention was when reading Jitterbug's post "Eating Out." In it, she talks about packing lunches, including the lunch-box staple of a thermos. Her book describes keeping seasonal things in it like hot chocolate and stews for the winter, and lemonade or even milkshakes in it for the summer (<---wouldn't that be a treat? A nice frosty milkshake for lunch?) Anyway, once we make this big move it's very likely Jason will start brown bagging his lunch as he may face a minimum of a 20-minute commute to and from work (we've been horribly spoiled by the four-minute distance he's currently traveling). Looking at 40-minutes without any traffic, that's a lot of gas every week just to have lunch at home. And in my current behavioral state, I doubt that I'd be packing him very good lunches.

Other little things have been neglected as well (ahem!--housekeeping), but it's just made me realize how far I've fallen from my Circa 1952 days. So, I'm making a new resolution to myself: just because I don't dress in the vintage fashion anymore, doesn't mean I should let the principles suffer. I will get back on this bandwagon. I will start reading all those books I bought. I will start acting more like a good little housewife again!

August 20, 2009


Why did parasols ever go out of style? I mean, they're pretty, they're functional, they're lady like. And, a-ha, bonus: they keep the sun off of you! Slathered though I was at Lillian's birthday party, I still managed to come home a bit darker. The whole day I kept telling Jason "I wish I had a parasol! I wish I had an umbrella!" I finally ran to the car and dug out my straw fedora--seriously a bad fashion statement; it had been crushed by Jason's baseball gear and didn't exactly fit on my head the right way. Oh well--I had to keep that sun off my face!

Yesterday I put in my second order for Likas Papaya soap--a truly incredible bar of suds. Smells nice a fruity and has those fruit enzymes and extracts to help fix some of my skin issues. Today I'm researching my parasol options. Fashion trends be damned! The next time I'm walking around a park of any kind I'm busting out my parasol!

The parasols over at Luna Bazaar are my favorites. They come in over 100 different style options (triangle shaped parasol anyone?) and all sorts of sizes. And the colors! I could have a parasol to match every single outfit combination my closet has! But, wouldn't you know? This one is my current favorite.

Black and white. So simple, so versatile. So many outfits to go with.

August 17, 2009

baby lillian

Saturday we attended Baby Lillian's first birthday party (alas, my grey pants did not make their debut because it was warm). For her gift we bought her a black and white two-piece outfit, black shoes, and I made her matching bracelets and headbands. They have a bit of an edge to them because that's how BBF Carson dresses his daughter--she's a mini-punk-rocker in the making.

I sewed each of the embellishments onto the bands. These two were my favorites.

We got to spend some time with the birthday girl, up close and personal.

The little thief stole my pickle right from my very hands!

And of course, birthday cake was enjoyed by one and all, but no one enjoyed it as much as Lil!

Except, maybe for Carson.

August 12, 2009

ufc 101: declaration

Saturday night we went to--you guessed it--The Tilted Kilt to watch the UFC fight. We were joined by my BBF (best-boy-friend) Carson in the standing room only restaurant.

I stood, for two and a half hours, in brand new high heels.

Outfit Details: Grey button up– Banana Republic; Silk trimmed cami– Banana Republic; Jeans– Silver by Maurice's; Faux snake skin heels– Banana Republic; Crystal Gothic cross– Anchor Blue, circa 1999; Sunglasses– Maurice's

August 11, 2009

one of those days

Have you ever had one of those really good days that you want to remember forever, but you know you won't? That's how Monday was.

I had my Bad Kitty photo shoot and it was I felt like the last time I was there I was young, nervous, and testing the waters. This time I felt grown up. Experienced. Cinnamon and I laughed and joked like we were old friends, which is one of the reason I love the studio so much. She's a no-holds-barred kind of woman and it makes you want to open up and just shed every inhibition you've ever developed.

Afterwards, I treated myself to lunch at The Tilted Kilt--where I sat at the bar all by myself like a real grown-up... who had a coke with grenadine and cherries in it...

A quick stop at the Padres ticket office to pick up our winning tickets, and I stepped back into the sunlight for a nice long drive home. In that moment, I felt so young, so hip, so glamorous. Here I was post sexy photo shoot, lunching in downtown San Diego, and driving the roads like I'd never lived anywhere else a day in my life.

It was perfection.

(A peek at the photo shoot make-up. Dare I say I really love this look?!)

August 10, 2009


Ihave been struggling with just about every store know to woman. I've wanted one thing, and one thing only since seeing Alice Cullen in the "Twilight" movie. Grey jeans that were not "skinny" jeans. I cannot do skinny jeans. They make me look like an ice cream cone (hel-lo, I have hips)!

The most frustrating aspect was that everyone had them online, but not in-store. I cannot buy jeans online. I suffer from back-gap-itis. You know, where they fit perfectly until you turn around and there's a huge gap at your waist? Yeah.

After a long, unsuccessful, draining trip to the mall this weekend, we swung into Banana Republic because it always soothes my soul. Even if I can't buy anything, just being near their beautiful garments makes me happy. They happened to be having a wonderful sale: buy two sale items, get one free; Jason and I split off the minute our shoes hit their polished hardwood floors. I half heartedly asked their sales assistant if they had "grey-non-skinny-jeans" expecting the same answer I'd heard from Guess, Express, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Sears, New York & Co., and The Gap: "No." Her face pinched, and she promised to look for me.

I slowly moved through the store, enjoying the cool fragranced air, and suddenly my eyes alighted on them: the holy grail of grey pants. My sales assistant appeared at my side just then.

"You didn't tell me about these!" I said, pawing them like a crazy person.

Since they were "chinos" she wasn't sure if they were what I was looking for. I picked up a size six and a size eight, then asked the question that would forever ground me as a Banana Republic loyal shopper: "If I'm in between sizes, can you do alterations?" Her answer: "Absolutely! We do in-house alterations for $10."


Wouldn't you know, those jeans fit like a glove. I've yet to wear them, but I think they'll make their first appearance at the birthday party next Saturday. Thank God for my allowance--the shopping trip was exactly what I needed to pull me out of this non-spending funk we've been in.

August 7, 2009

procrastination... becoming a regular occurrence in this house. I can't tell you how long it's been since I've done a proper cleaning, which I keep blaming on the move (but really, if I'm going to hang shelves, I need to clean); my exercise has gone undone for a week (I made up for it by running a full mile last night, and walking another mile home); and now here it is Friday and I haven't packed a thing for my trip! It's so unlike me not to have a full blown list of what I'm taking, down to accessories and make-up bits. I think I've planned out maybe two outfits. I need to quit puttering around on the net, reading my favorite blogs, discovering new ones... such distractions, but what delicious distractions!

I'm hoping to do a blog or two from San Diego, but I've been filling up my days with all sorts of activities:
-Bad Kitty Photo shoot (Monday)
-Getting Padres tickets (we won four, Monday)
-Buying a gift for my BBF's daughter's first birthday (Tuesday)
-Buying myself a new top for said birthday party (Tuesday)
-Lunching with mom (Wednesday)
-Reviewing BK photos (Wednesday)
-Watching my mother attempt a zipline (Saturday)
-Attending one year old's birthday party (Saturday)

I also intend to spend some time running (I love those cold foggy mornings San Diego is famous for), some time on the beach, and soak up the rest of the time with family and friends. I really can't wait until we move and I'm close to everyone again!

Guess I'd better start making that packing list...

August 6, 2009

the drawing board

This wall unit has been in my family for as long as I can remember.

Honestly, it may only be as old as I am, but it's held up remarkably as in my short 25 years I'm coming up on my fourteenth move--and that wall unit has made everyone of them! Aside from a small broken piece, some chips and scratches, it's in perfect condition. I'll be painting it a nice semi-gloss black color to match our coffee table. But my true challenge is trying to make it a little less plain. My idea is to use wood appliques and onlays, but it's proving to be a rather expensive makeover.

This lovely lion's head onlay has a pretty old-world feel to it. However, at a mere 12-inches tall, it will be a drop in the bucket on the side of my six-foot-plus wall unit. It's also $51 for those mere 12-inches (and how far does that lion's head stick out?).

At 35-inches tall, this onlay reminds both Jason and me of the crowns worn buy the Romans in Caesar's time. Its size is much better than the previous onlay, especially as I could probably space them out to cover the entire side of the unit without looking too busy. It runs $57 for one.

Either way, I'm looking at a minimum of $100 to do something with the sides. That's not even considering anything for the front; ideally, I'd love some scrolls right on the top with something in the center. Maybe something like these little leaf scrolls or just the bouquet in the middle? Seeing how they're both under $5, they wouldn't break the bank or be too gaudy in what little space I have on the front.

But I'm having even more fun envisioning what will go on the unit once it's finished. I've already decided on a set of fleur de lis books ends in a creamy white, and I have my heart set on a nice marble-like statue of some sort for that tall skinny cubby-hole on the right hand side. Right now I have statues of Aphrodite, Venus de Milo, Mars and Venus, and Botticelli bookmarked. But, they're all coming up rather short at only a foot tall. A foot and a half to two feet would be ideal to fill that space (are we noticing a common problem with this wall unit?). And we're hoping to put a new TV in the main cubby-hole, if only our claim agent would quit dragging his feet and making us jump through hoops! I digress; we'll go into that on another day!

Either way it's a project I cannot wait to start, even if it will be more expensive than some of my others. I don't want to let this piece go, so I'm determined to update it and make it mesh with the rest of our house.

August 4, 2009

oddly quiet on the western front

I've been quite the little slug the past few days. I had to go for my yearly check up and my doctor decided I needed my booster shots. For four miserable days I laid in bed vainly stretching both arms in an attempt to work out my muscles--I had a tetanus shot in one shoulder, and a Hep A/B cocktail in the other. I was tired, cranky, and I didn't run for a week! Hence, I had nothing to blog about unless you wanted to hear my ramblings on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," my strong dislike for Faith, and how over the whole Angel-losing-his-soul-and-getting-it-back thing. The only thing I really discovered during that period is that you can actually buy a replica of the Vampyr book in the opening credits--I'm only slightly tempted as the price is more for hardcore fans. I'd keep a cross, some holy water, and maybe a little stake inside of it!

On the other hand, I did find a headboard that both Jason and I like! It's from Ashley Furniture (same as our coffee table) and when I go to San Diego next week (yay!) I'm going to swing by and see if they can quote me a price. Hopefully it won't be too bad as all I want is the headboard. We did agree though that once in our possession, we'd paint over those gold accents. Not quite our style.

However, all of our projects have been on hold because our assets are literally frozen. Jason didn't get a paycheck for an entire month (a huge to-do with the administration side of the Marine Corps) and we've wiped out a big chunk of our savings just trying to stay afloat. We took out a small loan, planning to use it for some home improvement projects, but now that money is hanging in our savings account should we need to use it. Thankfully, as of August fifteenth we should be back to normal and we're praying that Jason's signing bonus kicks in any day now. I've never been in this kind of financial hold, but I'm so thankful we were able to keep our bills paid and keep food on the table. It also makes me happy it's just the two of us!

So right now we're in a state of suspension, as we can't do much of anything unless it's super cheap (like seeing "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" on base--only $1 per person and free sodas)! I do have a big project that I'm trying to work on, but I'll save it for another post. God knows I may need all the ideas I can now that my life is on PAUSE! ;)