September 25, 2009

it's finally here!

Moving Day!

Well, moving weekend. We're mere hours away from getting our truck, but the Internet goes dark at 8:30. There's good news all around though...but I can't share it juuuuust yet. ;) I know, I'm such a tease! I hoping to have the Internet back up and running by Tuesday, but a lot will depend on how soon a new provider can set us up.

I'll see you in San Diego!

September 24, 2009

pretty little things

For less than $35 I bought three beautiful vintage brooches to go with my new grey jacket. I already know which one I'm wearing on the plane ride up to Oregon. ;)

September 22, 2009

breaking up is hard to do

It started off like most relationships do. A casual introduction by an old friend. You spend the day together, you enjoy one another's company, and by the time you have to say goodbye at night you know that you absolutely must see each other again! Such was the beginning of my relationship with L’Oréal True Match Foundation. Cinnamon introduced me to him during our photo shoot in August. I waited (like a good girl) until I'd finished the relationship with my current foundation, then promptly ran out and found W2. And like most relationships, in the beginning things were wonderful between us. W2 was always faithful, never let me down, and always made sure I looked beautiful.

But in the last few weeks we started having problems. I thought maybe he was angry because I'd been neglecting my facial routine. When that didn't solve the problem I thought maybe he didn't like the new people I was seeing, RoC Night Cream and Neutrogena Healthy Defence Moisturizer (Neutrogena had been getting on my nerves anyway, but I'll keep her in my address book for future engagements). So I took a break from them and stuck exclusively to our old friend, Ponds Facial Cream. But when things still weren't working out, I finally turned to my all time BFF, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for support. Surely this would help fix things between us?! But alas, this morning, he forced my hand.

(Notice the way the foundation is literally flaking off my face like latex paint.)

And so, we broke up. But, like all women, I'm not a stranger to heartache and I rebounded immediately. My former BFF, Clinique, had been so good to me these past few weeks, I agreed to meet a new friend of hers to add to my social circle. We have a date tomorrow morning. His name is Even Better Makeup SPF 15 and I'm very anxious to meet him. Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion says they work great together, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a (once more) balanced group of friends.

September 21, 2009

sinful vices

Do you have one of those decadent passions? One of those truly naughty, and even bad for you, temptations? Maybe it's buying a really expensive pair of shoes, even though you know you can't afford it. Maybe it's walking through an old bookshop, inhaling the fragrance of old texts. Maybe it's something as simple as smoking that forbidden cigarette that everyone thought you'd given up. For me, it's a large steaming mug of decaffeinated coffee and three day old Entenmanns glazed donuts. And yes, the donuts must be several days old. It gives the glaze a nice satisfying crunch and makes for a tasty donut when dipped into my coffee. Fortunately, for my hips and hind quarters, it's very rare when I get to enjoy these decadent treats together.

What are your sinful vices?

I'm appreciating these small delights more and more lately, as our days are filled with packing from morning 'til night. Aside from small breaks for meals and naps we stay busy. Most of the rooms in our house are packed, aside from our bedroom and the kitchen, but even those will begin seeing boxes this week. I can't believe by this time next Monday, Jason will be graduating and we'll be just mere hours away from hitting the road! I'm very ready to be done with this move and settled again.

September 18, 2009


I've been waiting to share this with my readers for almost a week now and I've been going crazy keeping it bottled up! The morning of my parents' 50th birthday party, I stole away for a few hours and had head shots done. Real live honest to goodness head shots! I was fortunate enough to work with the talented and wonderful Pris at You Say Cheese; she chose a beautiful setting for the shoot and I've since said I'd like to go back and do a nice cheesecake session since the area is mostly restored vintage houses and corner stores that the city has moved into one area.

Today I got my first peek at the photos. None of them have been edited or enhanced; I have to choose about 20-30 that I want to use for my portfolio, and then Pris will do the retouching. She took almost 230 pictures last Saturday, which is why she's letting me choose. Here's just one of the many shots we got (those roses were so fragrant, I could have stood there and sniffed all day).

September 16, 2009

"knock" it off

Remember this dress?

I was dreaming of wearing it on our trip up to Oregon (I know--gag! She's talking about Oregon, again!). The only problem was 1.) it's $160, and that's almost a full month's worth of my allowance and 2.) it's not vintage. And while that's not exactly a problem, I was being snobby and really wanted something that wasn't from a retail store. I scoured eBay and all of the vintage stores that popped up from hours of Googling, but it was on etsy that I hit the jackpot--and only after I'd tried numerous search combinations of "trench dress," "jacket dress," "princess dress," and I think finally "flare coat."

At a mere fraction of the cost of the Victoria's Secret dress ($36), it leaves me with enough money to buy a fabulous vintage brooch, and even a new set of black shoes for the trip. I've been trying to find a pair that will be comfortable enough to do a lot of walking around in, sturdy enough to withstand some light unpleasant weather, and fashionable enough that I can still look like a lady!

I'm inclined to go with one of the Söfft pairs, as I've worn them on occasions when walking is a big part of the itinerary and they're very comfy!

Either way, I'm quite happy with my "knock-off" Victoria's Secret dress and can't wait for it to get here! Now... back to brooch hunting...

September 14, 2009

birthdays & baseball

What a weekend! I'm still exhausted and I think I could nap the day away! But I knew I had to do a blog post about my parents' 50th birthday party first--not to mention our baseball game on Sunday (Go Padres!! We won!!).

The party had a wine theme; these were the centerpieces we concocted.

Labels made by yours truly.

Orchids floating in purple water.

Sir Winchester greeting the guests. He was a gift to my mother from Stephanie and I one year for Mother's Day.

The eight layer birthday cake was topped with chocolate pirouettes, cream puffs, and crushed Heath Bar candy bar. I stayed far away from it, and I was quite proud of myself!

Late in the evening, Jason and I dancing with twins Emily and Riley.

Riley loved the band!

And Jason loved Riley! If you look closely you can see him kissing her little head. She was just about to fall asleep, as he was rocking her to a slow song by the band.

Emily escaped the night branded by my signature staple: red lipstick!

Sunday was the baseball game. We had a lovely lunch at The Tilted Kilt in downtown San Diego, then climbed the thousand stairs up to the nosebleed section for our seats (hey--the tickets were free! We weren't going to complain!) Ever wondered what I drive around in? That's my little blue car behind me!

It was hot up there, but we had a great time!

Outfit Details (Saturday): top - Old Navy; jean capris - Anchor Blue; shoes - Spright wedges by Keds in Tomato; mani-pedi - OPI Vodka & Caviar.

Outfit Details (Sunday): top - Pin Up Girl Clothing; jeans - Banana Republic; jacket - from high school; shoes - Spright wedges by Keds in Tomato; purse - eBay; sunglasses - Target; mani-pedi - OPI Vodka & Caviar.

September 11, 2009

a moment of silence

For those who gave their lives then, and those who continue to give their lives now.

"I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me.
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land.
God bless the U.S.A."

September 9, 2009


There is no better day on base, than when a men's shop is holding uniform inspections. If you're fortunate enough to have one of these men, you know you're one of the luckiest girls on base. There's no better sight than a Marine in uniform...

...except maybe a Marine out of uniform.

my recipe for the perfect lipstick

Over at The Fedora Lounge, we ladies always seem to have a post (or two or seven) going on about lipstick. Red lipstick. What shades do we wear? How do we apply them? What tricks can we share with others? And while in the vintage world of fashion I'm still a toddler, there are a few things I have learned!

Amber's Recipe for Perfect Red Lips

Before we begin... do yourself (and your mouth) a favor by making sure your teeth are brushed and your lips have been buffed. Simplest way to do this is taking a washcloth, wetting it with warm water, and rubbing it across your lips to remove any chapped or dead skin. I do this twice a day; once at night after I've taken off my make-up (and then I slather my lips in chap stick for the night), and in the morning before I put my lipstick on.

1. Start with a lip primer (like MAC Prep & Prime).
This is #1 on my list for a very big reason. Having your lips primed for something as bold as red lips is crucial. It helps prevent the color from feathering or bleeding into the skin around your mouth--and I don't care how young or old you are, the lipstick will find a place to go. I've found a good trick is to also use the primer on the outside of your lips as well (some people use foundation for this).

While we're hovering near the subject... foundation and eye shadow primers are also great investments! Urban Decay makes an eyeshadow primer that kicks some serious tail--I once wore eyeshadow for 14 hours with no creasing because of it. Sephora carries their brand of foundation primer which I find very pleasant; it works well and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

2. Line & fill in your lips with a neutral color (like Victoria's Secret Very Sexy lip liner in "Warm Honey").
I find by lining my lips with a neutral shade helps me to a.) secure my lipstick to my lips and b.) tweak with the color a bit. I tend to favor blue-reds or brick reds as opposed to orange-reds. "Warm Honey" being brown based helps me anchor those colors better.

3. Line your lips with a red liner (like Sephora brand's lip liner in Red #45).
Step 3 is often heavily debated on TFL. Some ladies swear by using a matching red liner, other's say phooey! and just use the neutral shade. I'm in the first lot! With the reds I use, Sephora's #45 has been a great color to match them all, which negates the need for multiple liners. Bargain alert: Sephora brand lip liner is only $5 and it lasts! I've had my lip pencil since North Carolina, almost a year ago!

4. Fill in lips with chosen shade (like VS Very Sexy lipstick in "Don't Stop" or "Vixen" from I Am Trouble by Masuimi Max), using a lip brush.
A lip brush has become one of those items in my arsenal that will never be replaced. Woe unto the day that I lose it, because there will be a serious hissy fit! Using a lip brush, apply some of the lipstick to the brush directly from the tube. Then apply to your lips, making sure to blend well into your lip liner.

The following steps would be to blot, re-apply your lipstick, and finish off with a powder. I usually use the old finger-in-the-mouth routine to remove any lipstick that may end up on my teeth--just stick your finger in your mouth and pucker up baby! Today I did use a setting powder applied through one-ply toilette paper, but I haven't decided how much I like it.

And there you have it! My recipe for the perfect red lips!

September 7, 2009

so. excited.

October cannot come soon enough! I'm getting so anxious for our visit to Oregon! We have about four things on our sightseeing list, which includes a trip to the capitol, a tour of one of Oregon's many Queen Anne Victorian homes, a local space museum, and of course I want to take in some local shopping. But, as silly as this sounds, right now I'm over the moon about the great deals we've been getting on all our purchases thus far!

Our plane tickets really felt like a steal at a mere $450 round-trip for the two of us. Especially since the airline beat out Southwest's usually low prices. By a lot. I think Southwest wanted an additional $150 or so. Besides, this way, we're getting to fly on the same flight as my grandparents which makes everything a bit more convenient!

Our hotel has been one of our biggest deals lately. Our military discount saved us half off our total cost! Plus, we're getting a suite with a full sized kitchen (refrigerator, dish washer, oven, stove, plus dishes) for a scant $500 for the week. Since most of our family will be working during the day, we're anticipating a few meals alone--having the kitchen will help tremendously!

Of course, since we're saving so much money, I'm thinking of the more fun things I can buy for the trip...

(Grey pea coat from Victoria's Secret)

Is it October yet?

September 5, 2009

stormy weather

We've spent most of our day inside today, taking pictures off the walls, packing up bric-a-brac, and emptying kitchen cupboards. Of course, the weather outside may have something to do with it as well...

Here's hoping some of that rain goes towards the Los Angeles fires.

September 4, 2009

a finishing school event

Ladies, if you're in the Los Angeles/California area and you'd like to go to an adult finishing school--speak up! I'm in contact with Ms. Deborah King of Final Touch Finishing School, which is located in both Washington (state) and Texas. She's said that they'd be able to organize a class in Los Angeles if there was a group interested in attending. I've been talking to her about the "Ladies Only" workshop which includes*:

- Posture & visual poise
- Understanding your body type
- Wardrobing
- Wardrobe Building
- Closet Audit
- Personal Shopping
- Personal Coaching
- Building a strong self-esteem
- Developing and maintaining a positive attitude
- Basics of a great complexion
- Makeup techniques and color
- Manicure & hair care
- Photo shoot techniques
- Nutrition

*I'm not sure if all these workshops are included in one day's event.

We've only sent one e-mail back and forth, so dates, prices, and the rest of the lot would be forthcoming. Right now I'm just trying to garnish interest so I can pass it along to Ms. King. Please note that we probably won't be learning how to roll victory rolls, or pin curls; I do think that the basics are similar to what would have been taught to girls in finishing schools back in the forties and fifties (or when ever it was most common to go to charm school). If enough of us in attendance are vintage enthusiasts, however, we can always ask that they might keep this in mind and don't teach us the great benefits of flat irons!

If you would be interested in attending, please leave me a comment in this post, e-mail me at, or if you're a member of The Fedora Lounge, you can find the thread in The Powder Room and leave your comments there.

September 3, 2009


Chaos. Utter chaos. I swear, I'll die a young death because of the military! The housing debacle we're caught up in is so mind boggling and stupid, I just want to grab everyone who works for them and choke them until they're blue in the face!

There's a huge mess with our moving. Our current housing office says we can live here until Camp Pendleton has a home for us. But Camp Pendleton says they won't know if they'll have a home for us until we check in. But if we check in there, it means checking out here! It's just a huge mess. Like the old "Who's on First?" gag, only this is much less funny. I can't roll my eyes far enough into the back of my head at the idiocy of it all.

But, there's always a silver lining on every dark cloud. And our cloud happens to have two silver linings: Oregon & San Francisco. My grandmother and I have been calling each other back and forth with a mad fervor coordinating flights, rides to and from the airport, hotel recommendations, the whole shebang! (And she says everyone up north is absolutely twitterpated that Jason and I are coming up!) She and my grandfather were trying to talking us into staying longer than the seven days we have planned and we were almost on the cusp of agreeing until we remembered San Francisco! A mere two days after we return home from Oregon, we'll fly right back up the coast for a few days!

(Fall in Oregon) Photo: Forbes Traveler

I'm getting so excited--this is the life I've always wanted to live. Jetting off to different cities, being so busy you feel like your head's going to explode, and being so exhausted you're absolutely giddy. The only part that sweetens the whole deal is the man I get to travel with. I know, sappy. Don't be jealous. :)

(Cool and nippy November in San Francisco) Photo: Brisbane Times

September 1, 2009

hello scrumptious!

Deliciousness abounds here at Two Nuts in a Shell!

Chocolate-Butterscotch Chip Cookies
(these may very well be the best cookies ever made)

Basic sugar cookie recipe:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla {I used 2 as usual, because I love vanilla}
1 large egg
2 ½ cups all purpose flour (not self rising)
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Heat oven to 375-degrees F.
2. In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in flour and baking soda.

For Chocolate-Butterscotch Chip Cookies...
Add half a bag of Hershey Special Dark Chocolate Chips and half a bag of Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Morsels to dough. Mix well.

3. Bake 7-8 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cookies will be pale. {I had to cook mine for 12 minutes because our oven is lame}


I don't know if there is an actual recipe for this type of cookie--I like to think I made it up, because I happened to love the combination of chocolate and butterscotch. But if there is a recipe out there, don't tell me! ;) These cookies are nice and rich, so be sure to have a tall glass of milk near by.

And now some deliciousness for your eyes (since we've taken care of your stomach).

This lovely set of vintage luggage now has a proud owner: ME! I found this delectable treat on eBay for a mere $75. It took almost my whole allowance, but it was money well spent! The outsides are in near-perfect condition, the insides are flawless, and the key is included! Such a set has escaped me for years (I've always wanted old fashioned luggage, even before I was ever "into" the whole vintage styling). I believe these are from the late fifties, early sixties. They're absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to get my little paws on them! I've been picturing myself stepping off the plane in Oregon with my suitcase and hatbox in hand, perfectly complimenting my vintage-esque outfit, curled coif, and artfully applied make-up.

...okay, so I'm a bit more rumpled and disheveled after an airplane ride, but I can dream can't I?!