Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leibster Award, Viva Swimsuit update and Photoshoots!!

I am so thrilled to have been nominated for another blogger award! I love these awards. The question answering part is great. I love to share information about myself that I may not otherwise think to share. Thanks Eunice at The Little Bitty Pretty Blog!!! You're the best!

So now on to her questions

1. Favorite hairstyle?-  Hmmm... that's a hard one. I don't think I really have a favorite hairstyle. I love to try out different things when I have the time. I really want to get better at Victory Rolls and hairstyles that require shaping and precision.

2. If you could live in era besides the one that your style is based off of, which era would you choose? I really LOVE the Victorian era. The clothes and hair were FABULOUS! I always fancy myself a British girl in the mid 1800's.

3. Heels or flats? HEELS all the way!!!!!! I'm already 5'7 and adore heels that make me even taller!

4. If you had a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? LONDON!!! I really do love it there. I've been obsessed with the UK my entire life. Honey and I got a chance to spend a week there a year ago and it was the best time of my life. Honey was hoping it would cure my obsession but it only made it worse. We're planning another trip for next year. I'm super excited!

5. How do you picture yourself 5 years from now? I would love for Honey and I to own a little vintage home in upstate NY or Connecticut somewhere. I have to compromise on the decor of the home though. Honey doesn't really want an ENTIRE vintage decorated home which I don't understand... go figure. I also hope to have a little LaToya or Honey running around by that time. We really want kids when the time is right.

6. What is your favorite meal of the day? Breakfast food is the most yummy food ever invented in my book. I'm that person that eats pancakes and eggs for dinner. I think it's the Southerner in me.

7. Are you a cat or a dog person? Definitely a dog person. We've had cats before but nothing compares to a ditzy dog. Our dog is the craziest, most air-headed dog ever and I wouldn't change him for the world.

8. Your biggest pet peeve? I really don't like it when people make noise when they eat. UGH! It really chafes my hide!

9. Who is your biggest style inspiration? I know it may be a little bit of a cliche to say but it really is Audrey Hepburn.  One of my closest friends and I send each other anything Audrey that we find. I love how everything she wore was simple but so elegant and feminine. She never over did it.I always try to remember that less is sometimes more, especially since I love 50s fashion so much. Its very easy to get carried away. Also, my favorite designer is Givenchy. The dresses he designed for her were amazing.  I'm such a fan of Givenchy we named our Yorkie after him!

10. If you could change your name, what would it be? I would actually make my middle name my first name. Monet. I used to hate it when I was young but as I became a teenager I really embraced it and think it suits me perfectly!

And I'm nominating:

Incendiary Blond
Is Your Blackout Really Black
Mysti Luxe
Vintage Frills
Red Head Ruby

And here are my questions!!

1. Salty or sweet treats?
2. Who is your favorite musician or type of music (or both)?
3. If you could be anyone other than yourself (living or otherwise) for 1 day who would it be and why?
4. What is your absolute favorite thing in your closet?
5. If someone gave you a million dollars to do only 1 thing with what would you do?
6. Vintage night attire or (if you are like me) old yoga pants and sweat shirts?
7. What is your favorite quote?
8. What's the one thing on your vanity that you could never live without?
9. If you could relive any age, which age would it be?
10. If you could have been an extra in a classic film, which one would it have been?

Sooo much fun!!

Ok, now that that's done I'll catch you up on some things.

I have finally narrowed down a swimsuit for Viva. I wanted a playsuit but the one I wanted has to be custom made and I can't get in touch with the Etsy seller! Bummer. But I've found a super cute swimsuit that I want to order. Once I order it I'll be sure to show you guys.

And... this weekend I had the opportunity to help out a friend of a friend on a pinup inspired photo shoot. I did her hair (yes, yes I did and for my first time doing someone else's hair I did a pretty good job) and Honey did her makeup. It was a super fun experience! I think Honey and I make great artistic partners. Maybe because we've been together for so long. The girl who we helped was a complete doll. She recently had a significant weight loss  and wanted photos in her new body. What better way than with pinup, which celebrates women of all sizes? She was beautiful and the sweetest thing ever. She is now a friend of ours!

She was awesome enough to agree to let me post the photos on the blog when they are ready!! For now, here is a preview from my phone. A camera phone pic doesn't even begin to do her justice but it'll have to do for now. That's her baby Mickey on her tummy by the way!

I can't wait to see the finished photos and share them with you all.

I think that's all for now dolls! Have a fantasic day!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

And the Academy Award Goes to... CLASSIC FILMS!!!

Ok...Since its Oscar weekend I've wanted to give you guys an Oscar related post!!
Here are some of my favorite Oscar winning movies and actors!

1. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) - GWTW won the Oscar for "Best Picture" in 1939. The epic tale of Scarlett and Rhett made a sweep of the awards that year by winning 8 awards that night, including "Best Actress" Vivien Leigh and "Best Supporting Actress", Hattie McDaniel (and as EVERYONE knows Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman to ever win an Academy Award)

This is my ALL TIME favorite movie (I know I say this about a lot of things but this is really true. I read the book in 6th GRADE!!! I also read "Scarlett" which was the not so great sequel in 7th grade!)

2. CASABLANCA (1942) - This WWII movie won the Oscar for best movie in 1943, even though it is considered a 1942 movie. What kind of Academy Awards post would I have if I didn't include Casablanca?!?!?! The movie centers around Rick Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart, SWOON), a cynical nightclub owner in Casablanca and his ex- lover Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman). 

It’s been said that "Casablanca" is one of the best movies ever made! And it’s a great one! The dialogue is fabulous and who doesn't love to see Bogart and Bergman together?!?!

3. JOAN CRAWFORD in "Mildred Pierce" (1945) - Joan Crawford ROCKED in this movie and won "Best Actress" for it.  In the film Crawford plays Mildred Pierce, a single mother trying to win the love and affection of her very spoiled, very ungrateful daughter, Veda (played by Ann Blyth). UGH! This movie is so frustrating! I just want to tell Mildred to put her big girl undies on and tell her daughter who's boss!!!! But alas... she never really does and it doesn't end well at all... 

4. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) - This "Best Picture" winner is a perfect movie. It has deception, betrayal and Bette Davis! What more could you ask for. In the movie Bette Davis plays Margo Channing, a beloved but aging film star. Margo takes an emerging actress, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) under her wing. Needless to say that all sorts of craziness ensues as Eve makes her way into Margo's circle and takes over little by little. Pretty soon Margo is a has-been and Eve is the rising star!!!  Terrible in the most delicious way ever!!

Side note: The quote, "Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy ride.” comes from this movie!! Perfect quote!

5. VIVIEN LEIGH in "A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - Vivien Leigh won "Best Actress" for her work in this movie and did she deserve it!!! I absolutely LOVE Vivien Leigh in a southern accent! Nothing is better! The movie, based on the Tennessee Williams play is fantastic. Vivien stars as the eccentric southern belle, Blanche Dubois, who comes back to New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella Kowalski (Kim Hunter). Stella's husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando) is not very welcoming of his wife's sister's visit and makes it known through the movie. As the film wears on Blanche’s already unstable mental state completely unravels as the truth about why she's come to New Orleans is revealed. To top it off, and put her completely over the edge, Blanch has an unpleasant encounter with Stanley and is destroyed because of it. It’s a sad, yet thrilling movie. Kim Hunter also won "Best Supporting Actress" as her role as Leigh's sister.

And last but CERTAINLY not least

6. AUDREY HEPBURN in Roman Holiday (1953) - In this film Hepburn (SWOON) plays a princess (Princess Ann) who becomes bored with palace life and "runs away" for a spell. While she's out, a sleeping pill that she took earlier takes effect and she falls asleep on a public bench! She is found by a news reporter, Joe Bradley, played by Gregory Peck (double SWOON) and he takes her to his place to sleep off the pill. When he realizes who she is he promises his editor an exclusive interview with her. He takes her around town, not letting on that he knows who she is and of course... they fall in love! But alas it cannot be because she is a princess...

This is Audrey's first starring role and she sparkles in it!! She's so beautiful and youthful and full of life!!! sigh... LOVE HER!!!

 So there you have it! My Oscar picks!!! What are your favorite Academy Award winning classic films?

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An Ode to Vintage Hair...

Oh! Pin curls and victory rolls! How I love thee!!!

And I do. I really do!!

When I decided that I wanted to delve into vintage style the one thing that hooked me (other than the fabulous fashions) was the HAIR! Modern hairstyles do absolutely nothing for my soul. The hairstyles of the 1940s and 1950s completely stole my heart. All of the rolls and curls and pomps just make my heart flutter.

Right now I tend to wear my hair mostly in pin curls... something like this.. . (sorry about the terrible picture quality. It's a self taken camera phone pic. Honey wasn't around to help take a real one)

I've only been doing my own hair in styles for a little under a year now so I think I'm doing pretty well. I try to set my hair every night and do a slightly different brush out every day. Sometimes that doesn't really happen. It just depends on how much I have going on on any given day.

I hope with all my practice I can becoming an amazing vintage hairstylist, at least on my own hair. Honey went to beauty school so I have some help. Having someone who knows all of the old school pin curl sets and how to achieve most of the looks I want makes life easier. I just don't really ask for help though. I'm like a baby and want to do it all on my own.

This is the next look I want to try out

Natalie Wood is absolute perfection in this photo. I love everything about it, ESPECIALLY the hair. I think  it requires stand up pin curls on the top with flat pin curls on the side. It seems to be pinned with maybe a hair comb on the side closest to the camera. The other side seems to be brushed out without any kind on pinning. When I get time, maybe next week, I think I'll try this set. Hopefully I can get at least the feeling of the hair.

I also want to try a version of  this style made famous by Lucille Ball!

LOVE this hairstyle! Lucy's poodle cut was adorable! I've found a couple of tutorials that help achieve the look with out actually cutting your hair. I've tried one and it came out almost how I wanted. Unfortunately I had to teach that day and the style doesn't lend itself to teaching ballet so I brushed it out. I'll do it again and blog about it soon.

If I ever get the nerve to cut my hair a little shorter I would love to try Dorothy Dandridge's spit curls. They are the epitome of 1950s sexy to me!

UGH!! She was so beautiful and elegant! Definitely one of my style icons! I was so flattered one day early in my vintage adventures when an older gentleman told me I reminded him of Dorothy. I think that was only because you don't really see young African American women walking around Brooklyn in a 50s hairstyle AND because I was wearing a flower that day. That's fine by me though! I took the compliment with pride!

Even though, as I've said before, I lean more towards 50s fashion I still love (with a capital L) 1940s hair!  I think victory rolls are my favorite look from this period. 

Betty Grable had THE BEST victory rolls here:

I love the combination of victory rolls and pin curls here.

This lady and her deliciously intricate hairstyle is among my favorite of the bunch. I wonder how long it took her to get her hair in those rolls? Women took such pride in their appearance back then.

 And just because I love them so, here is my Great Grandma (my mother's grandma). I believe this was sometime in the 40s. I think I wear my hair like that sometimes!!

And my Grandma (my dad's mom). This was taken sometime in the 50s. It looks like those may have been pin curls brushed into a wave but I'm not sure. I love it though!

 Both have passed on but I feel that I channel them in my attire. I think they would approve

If you haven't already done so you MUST go over to Ruby Armoire's blog and see the amazing beautiful hairstyles she creates. She's a genius with her hair! I hope to be like that, sooner rather than later!

So take some time today and do that set or hairstyle you've been dying to try out! I think I might!!

Have a beautiful day

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Viva Las Vegas Countdown!!! 5 weeks!!! EEKK!!

It's almost exactly 1 month until VLV and I'm SUPER excited!!! Our hotel and flight are booked and we have our 4 day passes so we're all ready to go!!

As you know from my past Viva Countdown, I have been trying to plot out what to wear. With my recent Ebay purchases I think I just about have my wardrobe together. I have decided to go ahead and wear the dress from my last post. I'll probably wear it to the car show. I guess it really just depends on the weather.

I bought this cocktail dress also.

The picture REALLY does not do the dress justice! When I'm wearing it, it fits perfectly! It has a metal back zipper but no label. I think it may have been hand made. I think I'll add a cinch belt to it and a bullet bra since the bust is a little pointy. I thinking of purchasing this shoe from Modcloth. I think the color perfectly matches the blue in the dress. If I get those shoes I need to somehow find a belt that matches. Vintage shoes are preferable but I can never really find anything that I like in my size!

Honey bought me this dress as a Christmas gift!!

LOVE IT!!! I'm definitely wearing this one. Finding shoes for this one has been a challenge. I was thinking of maybe a dainty flat even though I perfer heels. The dress has a carefree summer picnic feel that I think lends itself well to a flat.

After much debate, I have decided to go reproduction for my swimsuit. Actually, I'm still leaning more towards a playsuit. I think I'll be more comfortable in a playsuit. I'm narrowing down a few options. I hope to order one next week.

So as you can see I'm well on my way with my Viva wardrobe. If I follow the plan I laid out in this post, I only need dungarees, a couple of halter tops and a swimsuit! That makes me feel a little less frantic about everything.

Oh! Sidebar... I am on the hunt for a crinoline but I have a question. How long should your crinoline be? I Normally wear it so that it is even with the hem of my skirt but I've seen so many different crinoline lengths I'm not sure any more. I've seen long ones that come about 2 inches below the sirt./dress. I've seen short ones where the skirt is longer than the crinoline. Which is correct? I'm sure that the ladies of the past had an opinion about which length was appropriate.

Once VLV rolls around I'm going to be in desperate need of a vacation. Starting this week I'll be teaching 21 ballet classes a week!!!! That's a whole lot of baby ballerinas and moody teenagers a week!! I would have earned my vacation by the end of March!

That's all for now I guess.

Have a fabulous day dolls!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Pretty New Blue (YES! It's Blue) Dress

YAY! So today I was finally well enough to take some photos of one of the dresses I bought a couple of weeks ago. I actually won this one in my first ever Ebay auction. I got into kind of a bidding war but I had the last bid so I guess I won by default. But who cares!!! I got it for a bargain and I love it!!

So here it is!!
Oh! Sorry there in front of by brownstone again. Honey didn't want me out and about since I've just started to feel normal again. When it gets warmer I'll take photos out and about in the city!

It's a 1950s day dress in a navy blue color.  Its an eyelet fabric with little cute rhinestone buttons.

I'm thinking of taking it to Vegas. I wasn't at first because I thought it would be too heavy for Vegas weather but after trying it on today it should be fine. The fabric has little holes all through it, so it's definitely a warmer weather dress.              

My hair I did with a Lisa Freemont tutorial. It was supposed to be Marylin's hair from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" but since my hair isn't the exact cut it came out differently. I think it's got a 50s flair anyway.

I also bought a cocktail dress but I'll save that for another post. There's also another VLV countdown in the works so be looking out for that!!!


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Put it in a Love Song (my favorite "vintage" love songs)

Well, it's that time of year again. When couples cuddle together on the sofa or go out for romantic dinners. When husbands rush around to find flowers and chocolate because they forgot what day it is. When little elementary school children make and sign cute little cards to give to their classmates...Valentine's Day!! The day when everything is red and pink and little cupids show up everywhere.

I personally LOVE Valentine's Day. It may have something to do with the fact that February 14 is Honey's and my anniversary!!! Yes, I guess its a little bit of a cliche but it's true. We confessed our love for each other on this day 11 years ago (and our 1 year wedding anniversary is 3 days later!). But even before this I loved Valentine's Day. I think it's just a very sweet idea for a holiday. I also love the fact that it's a winter holiday. There's nothing cozier than having a nice quiet dinner, a glass of wine, some soft music and snuggling up to the one you love. It's the best.

Since it's Valentine's Day I thought I would get you guys started on a love themed playlist. I wanted to share with you my all time favorite love songs!!!!

1. Donna- Ritchie Valens

Really cute, really sweet, but slightly sad song, written by Valens for his girlfriend. It has a distinctly 50s sound and is one of my favorites. Ritchie and Donna were together 2 years before he died in a plane crash along with The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly

2. Be Careful It's My Heart- Bing Crosby

This song comes from the movie "Holiday Inn". Bing's character, Jim sings this song that he has written to his love interest Linda. Unfortunately while he's singing it Linda starts to dance then is swept up into a lovely pas de deux with Fred Astaire.  The song is also sung by Frank Sinatra in other versions.

3. At Last- Etta James

This is the love song to end all love songs. EVERYONE is familiar with the song and it's meaningful lyrics. Its been the wedding song for millions of couples and Honey and I danced to it in our living room last Valentines Day. Etta's voice is amazing and unforgettable in this song. If you don't have this in your possession you should get it!!!

4. I Only Have Eyes for You- Billie Holiday

This song has many different versions by many different singers but Billie Holiday's version is perfection

5. Them There Eyes- Billie Holiday

Another from Billy! This one is so fun! Makes me want to dance!!

6. Someone to Watch Over Me- Ella Fitzgerald

Such a beautiful song. It just makes me think of a big band with beautiful Ella in a stunning floor length gown singing her heart out. UGH!! To have been apart of all of that back then!!! (Amy Winehouse has an amazing cover to this song. It's worth a listen if you are an Amy fan. I personally adore her. Even with all of her unfortunate circumstances)

And last but certainly not least

7. That's All- Nat King Cole

This song always gets me all lovey dovey and doe-eyed. The lyrics are perfect. Simple, sweet and perfect. Nat King Cole's velvety voice just reels you in...sigh

I can only give you love that lasts forever
And a promise to be near each time you call 
And the only heart I own For you and you alone That's all, that's all
I can only give you country walks in springtime And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall 
And a love whose burning light Will warm the winter night That's all, that's all
There are those, I am sure, that have told you They would give you the world for a toy 
All I have are these arms to enfold you And a love time can never destroy
If you're wondering what I'm asking in return, dear 
You'll be glad to know that my demands are small
Say it's me that you'll adoreFor now and ever moreThat's all, that's all


I could go on and on with my favorite songs but these should be enough to get you started on your romantic playlist.

I hope your Valentines Day is filled with love and sweet memories

Until next time dearies
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Little Lagniappe for MARDI GRAS!!!!

Today is a busy day for me (I'm back at work) so this post will be super short! Just want to wish ya'll a Happy MARDI GRAS!!!!

Yep! You may not have known but today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday in my homestate of Louisiana.  Right now everyone is celebrating, schools are having Mardi Gras assemblies and serving King Cake and everyone is living it up before tomorrow when Lent begins.

It's still weird for me to live here in NYC where no one really celebrates it. There are a few Louisianan themed clubs, bars and resturaunts who have Mardi Gras celebrations but it's definitely not the same. This time of year makes me so homesick!

So I leave you today hoping that you take the spirit of Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll), that we Louisianans live by into your day today!

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

African American Women during WWII

Last night as snow was pummeling the Northeast, Honey and I sat down to watch "Red Tails". If you haven't seen it, "Red Tails" is a movie about the the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first all black airmen of the military. They were part of what was called "The Tuskegee Experiment" which took african american men and trained them to be pilots, navigators, bombers, maintence and support staff and all the other personnel that were required to keep planes in the air.

The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and became one of the most respected fighter groups of World War II. They proved that African Americans were intellegent enough and brave enough to serve alongside their white counterparts.

While "Red Tails" is a really good movie, there are hardly any women in it. The one woman that is in movie is   a (beautiful) Italian woman who is the love interest of one of the airmen. This got me thinking... While searching for things 1940s related on a daily basis I hardly ever come up with any images of African American women during WWII. Its a well known fact that women in general played a vital role in the war effort, both on the homefront and overseas. I just hardly ever see any photos or stories of black women in the same roles.

So in honor of black history month I leave you with images of brown skinned "Rosie the Riveters" and service women!!!  All of the women here have broken barriers and served their country even when most (but not all) of the country felt that they weren't worthy to do so. I take my hat off to these ladies, and all of the women who have served and are currently serving our country in one way or another.

A black woman and a white woman work side by side in a production plant

The first Black American WAC (Women's Army Corps) go to overseas

Female shipyard worker 

Ladies selling war bonds

Alyce Dixon, (right) talks to her superior officer while serving in the 6888th Battalion, the first all women, all black battalion in WWII

Navy nurses receive their oath. Phyllis Mae Dailey (second to right) is the Navy's first African American nurse

African American women and Caucasian women take a break at a shipyard in 1942


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