Sunday, April 28, 2013

WANTED: A Little Cape Cod Home to Call Our Own.

Hi all!!!!

I hope your week was a fantasic one. This week kept me sooo busy (except for Wednesday when I had time to bake the cake) I hardly had time to post. It will probably continue to be this busy until all of my ballerinas' spring performances and competitions are wrapped up. My schedule should ease up in the next month or so. That's the thing with teaching ballet. I have a pretty loose schedule until the end of the season and things start to pick up and I have NO time for myself. Its all rehearsals, costumes, classes and ballet shoes. Which, lets face it, is NOT a bad gig to have. I get paid to do EXACTLY what I love to do! What could be better!!!

Anywho... This week has also come with some major life decisions for Honey and I. We have officially decided that we want to own our own home! We love our little 1 bedroom, Brooklyn apartment. It is totally New Yorky and TOTALLY typical of  NYC (and outer-boroughs) to live in a tiny apartment.'s time to grow up and get on with starting a family. Yep, I said it...Hopefully in the next 3 years they'll be a little Honey or LaToya running around... We've been saying that for the longest but Honey is nearing her mid thirties, and while I'm still early 30s I am in my 30s none the less. Its time to get a move on! And there is NO WAY to bring up a baby in out current living situation. Like...NO WAY... And even if we end up with no kids we still need a house just for the sake of having more space.

The goal is to be able to start looking SERIOUSLY by this time next year. We still have A LOT of saving to do but I'm sure with my indecisiveness and picky-ness it will be a least another year after that before we find something. So that makes this a 2 year plan. If it takes longer (or shorter) that's fine but Honey and I work better with concrete deadlines. If we leave it as "Oh, someday we would love to own a home" it's going to stay that way forever.

Over the past couple of days I have been researching first time home buyer advice and information. We have NO IDEA of where to start with this but I figured that would be a good start. So at least now I have an idea of the process and around what percentage we would need to put down (luckily NY has some pretty good first time home buyer assistance programs. I need to look into them more but they are there), what it takes to get approved for  a decent mortgage, and how much we can realistically afford. Which ain't much! But we don't want too much out of a starter home anyway. When we're older and can afford more then we'll look for our time capsule dream home (and when I say OUR, I really mean MY. Honey wants no parts of a time capsule home but don't worry your little vintage heads! I have plenty of time to get her on board)!

We are almost positive that we want to move out of NYC. Don't get me wrong. We need to be withing commuting distance and everything but the cost of living here is crazy. I don't think we would ever find a home that we liked that we could afford. That's not to say that it couldn't happen, but we don't have our heart set on it. Plus, I work in Connecticut mostly and the 1 1/2 commute 4 times a week is starting to take a toll. I think it's Honey's turn to commute... I LOVE Connecticut so I hoping that's an option. Really, we are open to the whole Tri-State area as long as its not TOO far from "the city".

We've also had the idea of maybe renting a home in an area we like first. Just to get a feel for it. Then we could live in a bigger space and have the feeling of what it would be like to live in a house but still be in a lease situation. We could do this maybe next year while we're still saving.

(Sorry. Thinking and blogging at the same time. I hope I'm not rambling too much)

Today I started looking at homes online so that I could get a feel of what we may be looking for as well as what prices houses are going for in the NY, NJ and CT area. I don't want to be like those annoying people on HGTV who want a mansion on a one room flat budget!

Obviously I want an older home. Honey doesn't particularly, but is willing to compromise. I hate the bland, cookie cutter look of newer homes. They just don't have any character.

I also realized that for some reason I am particular to Cape Cod style homes. I think they give me the 1940s, 1950s cottage feel I want in a home. They just look so comfy and well... homey.

But so far that's as far as we've gotten in planning. This is a long term plan so it's going to take some patience. I'm thinking of doing a monthly post on our progress. Maybe this will be the first one!! Then I can take you all on the journey with us!

For now I'll leave you with a few photos of pretty, pretty Cape Cod  houses. Some are from modern listings and some are little vintage beauties that may no longer be around. I would like to live in all of them!!!

IMAGE SOURCE has a little break down of what makes a Cape Cod home

OH!! I almost forgot!! I was supposed to do the second installment of my shoes post today but couldn't keep my mind off of houses! I will do it soon because I received my first pair of vintage shoes on Friday!! Katie of Dizzy Dame Vintage was sweet enough to gift me a pair from her Etsy shop!!!! YAY!!! I need to enlist Honey's help to photograph them but they'll be on the blog soon!! THANKS AGAIN KATIE!!!! xoxoxoxo

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Cake from a 1910 Recipe! Vintage YUMMM!!!

Today has been the most relaxing day ever.

The weather is almost perfect. The sun is shining and it's actually a little warm. At least warm enough to open all the windows in the apartment and let some fresh air in.

Its been pretty quiet all day so I took advantage and baked a cake.

This recipe I found on Pintrest a couple of days ago and it's been on my mind ever since.

Its an "Old Fashioned Butter Cake" or "One Bowl Yellow Cake"! YUMMMMM

It was pinned from a blog called Food for a Hungry Soul, who got it from another blogger, Renni, from  Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice (cute title for a blog, huh?)

The cake is a one bowl butter cake and is delicious!!! Reeni says the recipe is from a McCall's cookbook that was published in 1910. Its a SUPER easy recipe that I think actually tastes better than most modern cake recipes. There's really nothing to making it. It's literally as simple as 1,2,3.

What makes the cake even simpler to make is that it uses regular old, all purpose flour. Not cake flour. And the cake still comes out incredibly moist, with a nice crumb to it. It's sooooo yummy! It really does taste like the yellow cake your Grandma used to make! No extras, no bells and whistles. No brown butter or any fancy shmancy ingredients. Just pure, down home yumminess.

The recipe didn't come with a particular frosting recipe. You just frost with whatever recipe is your favorite. PLEASE if you have gone as far as to make a cake from scratch, make the frosting from scratch!! It's so much easier than you might think and tastes a million times better than the canned stuff! Reeni frosted her cake with a cream cheese frosting, but I went with the recipe from the side of the Hershey's Cocoa can. Its the EASIEST frosting recipe in the world and it's delicious!!!

Here is the recipe for the cake!!

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
1 TABLESPOON baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 cake pans (not specifying a size because really, who knows the real measurements of their cake pans???!!!??)

2.In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

3.Add butter, milk and vanilla
4. Beat with a hand mixer ( I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Can you believe I don't have a hand mixer at the moment. Mine died and I have yet to get another one.) for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Add eggs and beat another 2-3 minutes.

4. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Divide equally between the pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
5. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out of pans and cool on cooling rack until completely cool.
6. Frost with your favorite frosting and ENJOY!!!

That's it!!! 6 steps to bake a cake!!! You can't get any better than that! Try it! I promise you'll love it!!!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bunny and Me: Mid-Century Pink and Bunny's Victory Together At Last!

Today was a big day over here at Mid-Century Pink!

Today was the day I FINALLY met Bunny from Bunny's Victory!!!

About a week ago we made plans through Facebook to meet up and go thrifting in Brooklyn.  So we decided to go to Brooklyn Flea and while there visit some nearby vintage/thrift stores.

So at 7:30 this morning I woke up, did my hair and makeup (I had a tremendous migraine the night before so did not get a chance to set my hair. Ended up with an updo) and put on my newest ebay score and headed to Williamsburg, Brooklyn!

We met at the entrance of the outdoor flea market and I was immediately greeted by a fabulously dressed Bunny and her SUPER cute family. I met her hubby and her adorable little girl and the absolutely cutest little boys I've ever seen... Can you tell I was smitten by her little family!

Excuse the jacket and cardigan! It was 40 degrees when we got to the flea market!!

We walked around Brooklyn Flea for a while and saw some really cute things.

Neither one of us saw too much that tickled our 1940's/1950's vintage fancy. BUT I did score 2 handkerchiefs and THESE!!!!!!!!!

These are my new pride and joy. Sitting right there on a vendors table were a set of Franciscan "Starburst" cups and saucers... for $20! Now I just have to find somewhere to display them.

From there we went to Buffalo Exchange!

They had some awesome stuff but nothing in my size. Bunny almost talked me into a 1960ish dress but I decided against it because of the color. It guessed! HAHA! I promised Honey I would lay off the pink dresses for a while so I decided against it!

After Buffalo Exchange we went to Monk's. I actually liked this store even though I didn't buy anything. The atmosphere was great and things were organized well. I think that if I keep going I'll find something that I like. I'm going to try to check back there a couple times a month. THIS store I liked!! So not a total loss. Possible future buys are better than no buys at all!

A pic with Bunny's cutie pie!!! I'm sooo in love!!

After a lot of walking around we had brunch in a nearby restaurant. It was great to get to sit down with Bunny and her family and get to know them a little more. I truly enjoyed myself!

We visited one more vintage store before we parted. Malin Vintage. Although BEAUTIFUL, it was WAAAYYY out of our price range. Bunny found a fabulous 1950s (at least I think it was 50s. I can't really remember now...) day dress for...drumroll please... $189.00... Yes, you read correctly... 189 big ones!!!

This is when we parted ways. The little ones were getting a little tired from the busy day and I had to get home to go to the supermarket and get a nap!!!!

I can't express how much I enjoyed my day visit with Bunny! She is definitely a stand up gal!! She is sooo much fun, very open and giving and HILARIOUS! I wish you could all get a chance to meet her just once.

We've already made tentative plans to do some more thrifting and go to the Brooklyn Children's Museum! Next time I'm bringing Honey! I'm sure they'll get along like gangbusters!!!

OH!! I almost forgot!! I wanted to show off my dress without the sweater! By the time I arrived back at my brownstone it was a little warmer. I LOVE this dress. It was actually much warmer to wear than I thought it would be. Not sure I could get away with wearing it past spring. So pretty and PINK!

Here's hoping your day was as great as mine!!!


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Friday, April 19, 2013

Life is a Ball Game... "42"

Hi all!!!

I've been meaning to write a follow up to my shoe post but I've been soooo busy...doing NOTHING!!! YAY! I've been off for my second spring break (yes, my second. Since I teach for two different studios in two different states my spring break gets broken up...It actually stinks more than it sounds...) so I've been just enjoying a break. I don't really count Viva as a break. Its not really the most relaxing vacation. You are always moving and doing something. It's super fun, but not relaxing.

But, I finally ventured out to have a date with Honey. We went to dinner and to a movie. What movie did we see...???

"42"!!! The movie about Jackie Robinson.

Ok, so I know NOTHING about ANY sport but I really enjoyed this movie. It was a great tribute to a great man. Honey and I walked out feeling inspired!!

A little history on Jackie Robinson (if for some reason you are unfamiliar with him)

Jackie was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919. He grew up, like many young boys, interested in sports. In Jr. high school he was said to have played basketball, football and baseball.

In 1942 Jackie was drafted into an all black regime of the military during WWII.  He remained in the army until when he was discharged. Apparently, Jackie boarded an UNSEGREGATED bus and, when told to move to the back of the bus (even though the bus line was UN-segregated) by the bus driver, he refused. When the bus reached it's destination, the bus driver alerted military police and Jackie was arrested. It was recommended that he be court-martialed. By the time of the court martial the charges had been reduced to insubordination and he was acquitted and relocated to Kentucky were he remained until he was given an honorable discharge in November 1944.

Jackie Robinson in the military

In 1945 Jackie was signed to the Kansas City Monarchs, a baseball team in the Negro Leagues. *This is where the movie picks up the story* He did this until he was scouted by Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
 Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey

Brooklyn Dodgers logo
(The Dodgers were a Brooklyn team from 1984-1957 when it was moved to Los Angeles, CA)

The movie goes through Jackie being scouted and first put on the Montreal Royals as a trial before being formally signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He would be the first black man ever to be signed to a Major League baseball team. He persevered through an incredible amount of racism and people telling him that he didn't belong in a "white man's" game. He had so much on his shoulders and live up to. He played the game with grace and dignity even when he wanted to give up. After all... how many times can you be called the "N-word" on the field before you feel like you want to wring someone's neck? My hat goes off to him and all the other minorities that paved the way to bring segregation to an end.

Rachel and Jackie Robinson and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in 1947

"42" does a great job of telling this story without it feeling like the typical movie about racism in the 40s.  I left the movie theater feeling even prouder to be a black vintage loving girl. I feel like whenever I get dressed and go out in my 1950s garb, that I am paying homage to those strong minority women before me. Without them there would be no way that I would be able to have so many friends of different ethnicities  or be able to teach ballet to an all white ballet class and have the students love me (and constantly give me hugs) and I them without color being an issue.

Even if you are not a sports fan I suggest you see "42". My explanation of the movie and Robinson's life is brief. There is so much more to the story.  To my 1940s loving vintage sisters, some of the styling may irk you a little but this movie was more meant to be about boys and sports and not pretty 1940s fashions! It wasn't that it was bad styling, I've just seen better in a movie.  That being said, it's a really good movie. GO SEE IT!

So that's my post for the day. I cannot end this post without sending love to everyone living in Boston today. I am writing this while watching the news. This is total craziness and I hope it ends soon without anymore loss of life.

Spread love and light today!!!


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Monday, April 15, 2013

Getting to the Heart and "Sole" of it... (or shoes, Shoes, SHOES!!!)

Hi all!!!

Ugh! It's Monday again. It seems the older I get, the faster the weekend goes by. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I teach on Saturday mornings, so my weekends only really consist of Saturday nights-Sunday night. I love Sunday nights because 3 of my favorite TV shows are that night: "Once Upon a Time", "Call the Midwife" and "Mad Men". SUCH a great TV night.

But enough of my weekend, or lack thereof.

I want to talk about shoes! (or my lack thereof Hehe)

The other day as I was going through my wardrobe I realized that I am TOTALLY shoe deprived. Well, I guess I always knew that, but with Spring arriving and Summer coming before we know it, the fact that I need more REALLY hit me.

The reason why I don't have many shoes is because I'm slowly getting rid of all of my modern stuff and in a fit of impatience I threw out most of my shoes. Well, put them in a huge bag that is on its way to Goodwill. I don't wear any of them anymore anyway. I've been trying to keep my wardrobe as vintage appropriate as possible, when possible. I decided that the less modern things I have the harder it will be for me to throw on something I don't really like out of pure laziness. Not to say that EVERYTHING in my closet is vintage. I haven't accomplished that goal yet, but I try to keep everything as close to 40s/50s looking as possible.  I've been able to find super cute blouses that have a 40s, 50s or pin up feel at Forever 21 lately!!

Oops... so off subject right now! Back to shoes.

The main shoe problem I'm having is that I'm not good at vintage appropriate shoe hunting. So I've decided to do a little research on the styles of 40s and 50s shoes and this is what I've learned (I'm sure you veteran vintage gals know these things already, I did too to some extent, but I needed to see it all laid out to know where to go from here):

1940s Shoes

As we all know, most of the 40s were war days. So all of the rationing leaked in to fashion and shoes. Heel lengths were restricted to save on materials. Wooden soled shoes were made to save on leather. "Wedgies" were popular and made of cork or wood.

1940s Pump (Image Source)

1940s Wedges: top center and center (Image Source)

I also found out that most shoes came in 3 heel types: The Cuban heel, the Continental heel and the Wedge.

The were also categorized by style:

Oxfords:  These were practical everyday shoes. They had a thick low sole so that they could be worn comfortably

Pumps: These shoes were a little less practical and could be worn on special occasions

Sandals: These could be worn casual or dressy depending on the style. They could be worn as flats, pumps or wedges

Whew!! That's a lot to remember. And there's more where that came from but that's good to get me started. Now on to

1950s SHOES

We all know I'm a 50s fanatic so these are the ones I needed to research the most. I'm trying to familiarize myself with the cut and shape of 1950s shoes.

By the 50s shoes had a little more glamour to them because there were no more restrictions. Heels got higher  and the stiletto was created. Much of the shoe was cut away to show off more of the foot. By the mid fifties the kitten heel, mule and  flat became popular. Wedges remained popular.


Mules: (Can we say YUMMY!!!)

Kitten Heel: These are from Etsy. If they were in my size I would snatch them up. PLEASE someone buy these!

Ballerina flats:


Lucite heels: I LOVE these!!!!  These perfectly clear shoes go with almost anything. I love the glass slipper effect. I really need some this summer!

So there you have it. My vintage shoe research for the day. Now that I know what I'm looking for I'll do a post about modern versions of these types of shoes. Since it's a little difficult to find actual vintage shoes that are a size 8.5 and in total wearable condition, I (as most of you probably do) need to search for vintage appropriate versions. Although I do want to start buying a least some actual vintage shoes.

Anyone have any tips on buying or finding vintage shoes????

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