Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vintage Christmas Prep: 59 Days to Go!! Wrapping and Recipes!!


Happy end of October to you all!

Yes, I know that we have a few more days of October but it's almost gone!!! Crazy, right?

Well, today's post is a late Vintage Christmas post. It should have been done a couple of days ago but life gets hectic sometimes.

Can you believe that there is only 59 days until Christmas??? That means only 8 weekends left to shop. Once the fall hits it comes up so quickly!

Well, today lets talk wrapping paper and more recipes!!


I've scoured the Internet trying to find decent, affordable vintage wrapping paper. I say affordable because some of the nice wrapping paper from the 1940's and 1950's can be as much as $20.00 for a SHEET. Not an entire roll, but a SHEET.

That works if you have a small family. Say just you and your partner/spouse but what if you want everybody in your family to feel the Vintage Christmas spirit?? That just won't do. So I've tried to find whole rolls to feature but it was difficult.

While I was searching I noticed that wrapping paper has actually changed quite a bit. I was expecting not to find much difference in it but...I did. First of all today's wrapping paper is not as...ummm..."Christmasy"! The colors are more vibrant these days but the images on the paper of the 40s and 50s just seem to scream Christmas. The patterns are not as busy as ones you find today. When I shop for wrapping paper I always gravitate to the paper that is the more simple. Simple patterns. Simple color palate. Yes, I go through all of that. Some will probably think me silly but, as we all know, I take Christmas very seriously!

There is also a trend of glitter on the wrapping paper. While very pretty and jolly...the darned stuff gets EVERYWHERE! UGH!

 (Sidnote: This reminds me of last year's Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Showcase. The MC had a whole monologue about glitter being like an STD that is impossible to get rid of. Totally inappropriate I know but SUPER funny and kinda true. Once you've been glitterized it's there FOREVER. Take it from this performer whose been in and handled more than her share of glittery costumes. You can take the costume off in May and still find traces of glitter in December!)

To me less is more when it comes to decorating for the holidays in general. And if you are going to go overboard keep parts simple so as not to have your home looking like an Elf had a rave party in your place!!!!!

Ok, back on subject

Of course the place I found the most options was Ebay. Ebay seemed to have more actual rolls of paper. Here are some of my favorites.


This paper totally gives a feeling of Christmases past. I love the simplicity of it

I always adore a Victorian style Christmas anything!

How cute is this Snowman couple!?!

Not sure if I would actually use this one but the Scotty dog on it is too cute.


Pin Up girls on wrapping paper?? Ummm...ok...

This one really gives you the feel of the more colorful Christmases of the 1950s

Vintage Monroe CHRISTMAS Gift Wrap Wrapping Paper - CANDY CANES - 1950s

I LOVE this super cute Atomic paper. It's not usually the look I would go for but it would be cute to a gift that is going to someone.  I'm almost positive it wouldn't match my home decor for the season. But I would definitely use it for someone else!

Vintage Gibson ATOMIC Christmas Gift Wrap Wrapping Paper Colorful Snowflakes - 1950s

How jolly is this Santa paper?

Vintage DeLuxe Mid-Century CHRISTMAS Gift Wrap - Wrapping Paper - SANTA Checking His List - 1950s

This would be perfect for those of you with little one!

Vintage Monroe CHRISTMAS Gift Wrap Wrapping Paper - Mid-Century SANTA and REINDEER - 1950s

Now on to RECIPES!!!

A few weeks ago I bought a gaggle of vintage magazines from the month of December. I thought I would share one of them with you...

The first ones I bought were a Better Homes and Gardens from December 1947 and a Woman's Day from December 1945.

The Woman's Day was full to the brim of great holiday baking recipes. So here they are. Let me know if you try any of them. I sure am...

P.S. Please forgive the picture quality. I couldn't scan them because they are so fragile I was afraid to manipulate them too much on the scanner. So I used my camera. You should still be able to follow the recipes with no problem...

Well, that's all for now. I did just order my first vintage tree ornaments the other day!!! As soon as I get them I'll be sure to put them up for show and tell.

Now...It's time for you guys to hop to it and start your preparations!!!!!!

Have a magical day!!!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 Random Things That You Don't Know About Mid Century Pink

Hello Beauties!!

So today's post is not vintage related in the least. I'm working on a Vintage Christmas post for tomorrow but I thought this would be good to do before I put that one up.

About a month ago, the ever lovely Jessica from Chronically Vintage nominated me for "Inspiring Blogger" Award!!!!

I'm uber late accepting and posting the award but better late than Since I am so late I'm not going to post other bloggers to pass the award on to (most of the blogs I follow are already nominated or have already been nominated for countless other awards) but I wanted to at least list my facts.

So here we go...  I was asked to list random facts about myself. I love this because it gives me a reason to share with you all a little bit more about myself. I really am an open book so I don't mind sharing with you. I'm sorry that 2 of my facts are a little on the depressing side but I think it's important for people to know your struggles as well as your successes. If I can help someone realize that they are not alone then I'm happy... I'll start with the more serious ones first. Then finish with the silly!!!

10 Random Facts About Mid Century Pink (aka LaToya)

1. I suffered from depression most of my teen age years- 
Many of my friends who knew me back then as well as most of my family (including my parents) will be totally taken by surprise by this. I was never examined and deemed "clinically depressed" but now that I'm older I recognize all of the symptoms in myself back then. I would just chock it up to teen angst but teens with normal brain development don't lock themselves in their bathrooms, sobbing with a bottle of pills, debating on what to do with them...on a daily basis.

 I had a lot of self esteem and self worth issues and I'm not totally sure where they came from. Maybe my parents struggling marriage at the time. I had THE BEST parents a kid could hope for...they just weren't good for each other. And it affected me. Not to mention knowing that I was gay and not being able to tell anyone for fear of not being accepted in my southern baptist community. Then...being a ballet dancer and constantly being judged by how much I weighed and how good I was certainly added to a toxic situation...

which leads me to

2. I struggled with anorexia for a while- This was TOTALLY attributed to my dance career and moving to NYC and dancing along side the countries best dancers. I always thought of my weight before but I didn't realize how bad it was getting until I was down to 1,000 calories a day (sometimes less) while having an 8+ hour dance day. 

 After a while I realized that between my depression and this that I was not in a good place. I finally just had had enough of being sad and hungry. I started eating (kind of) again and I made amazing friends where I was dancing and started to eventually feel better about myself. I actually disguised my not eating by calling myself "vegetarian" so even they didn't know. Eventually I put that all behind be. I did it without counseling. Others are not so lucky.

I still struggle with weight and self worth issues but not like before. Daily meditation and intentional positive thoughts,  as well as an amazing life partner have gotten me through some rough patches. These days I'm happier and healthier than I was in my early 20's! Plus, I'm able to be myself with the person I've chosen to be my spouse! So life is FANTASTIC! 

I wrote all of this to say that if you are going through a rough time...IT GETS BETTER! Life is amazing if you live it on your own terms!!!! It can be complete magic!!

Now on to the silly

 3. I absolutely LOVE 1990's R&B and Pop music- Like LOVE!!!! I don't really listen to much else.  I think this comes from the above issues I had and the healing effect music has. Music got me through a lot back then. When I hear songs from the 1990's I get a warm fuzzy feeling and it usually ends with me in happy tears. Yes, I'm a sap that way. For sure TLC's Crazy Sexy Cool album the songs  Unpretty and Waterfalls and Janet Jackson's ENTIRE Velvet Rope album kept me sane when I thought I couldn't make it. But others like Alanis Morissette and No Doubt (plus countless more that I won't bore you with) also helped keep my feet firmly planted!

I wish artists now-a-days thought I about this more when making music. These songs are the ones that the teens of this generation are relying on to see them through adolescence. Songs with a message would be a good thing.

4. I have a SUPER DUPER girl crush on Janet Jackson and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins of TLC-STILL... to this day!!! I have for as long as I remember. At least since I was around 8 years old! If I hadn't met my Honey I would probably still be fangirling and following everything Janet does. Honey and totally clicked when we learned that we were both "Jan Fans". AND... I've been to about 3 meet and greets for her and every time I get even close to her I start...CRYING!! Like ugly crying!!! BAWLING and making a fool of myself!!! It's really terrible!!
If you friend me on Facebook you can see a photo album of about 100 Janet pictures... 

The crush on T-Boz has been since I was a teenager... Ugh! She's just one of the coolest women EVER!!!! Just the way she carries herself and everything she's gone through in life battling Sickle Cell Disease and a brain tumor.  She's a super woman to me!!! I'm completely in awe of her!

5. I have an uncanny knack for remembering lyrics to entire songs after hearing them only once.-It really is a weird talent. As soon as I hear a song...if I hear the entire song...I will probably be able to sing about 80% of the song back to you. By the third time, I know the whole thing! Weird but true! It is especially weird since I'm not a singer...(shrug)

6. I swear like a sailor!!- YES!! I, LaToya, have the worst potty mouth. Luckily I have learned to control it (I do teach baby ballerinas ya know), but it's bad... And while I know it's not lady like I can't help it! Especially when I'm annoyed. It just makes me feel better. Don't judge me!!!!

7. I am completely and deathly afraid of ants!!!!-Yes...ANTS!!!!!!!!!!! (shudder) The fear comes from stepping in an ant bed and not realizing it when I was 6 years old. In seconds I was covered in ants from top to bottom. They were EVERYWHERE!!! In my ears, my clothes...EVERYWHERE!! Luckily I'm not allergic to much so I was ok, just shaken up. But I've never forgotten the terrifying feeling I had and now... well... let's just say that even one ant freaks me out! Oh great... now I'm all itchy!!

8. I have a chipped front tooth- Well, it's covered with a porcelain cap now but my front tooth is indeed chipped!! It happened during an unfortunate hide and seek game when I was a kid. It was getting dark outside and the "base" was a basketball pole. Well, I didn't see the pole when I was running to it and BAM!!! Face plant into the pole!!! When I recovered, I discovered that the bottom of my tooth was completely gone!!! Needless to say a freak our ensued. It's still a fond memory from childhood. It hurt to BEJESUS but it makes me giggle now!

9. I have a BEAUTIFUL mixed race family- I am lucky enough to have multiple races represented in my extended family!!! It's a beautiful thing to see so many skin complexions in family pictures. Many of my family members were able to not let race determine who they want to spend their life with! On both sides of the family! Even my nephew just married a beautiful Japanese woman that he met while stationed in Japan! Their expecting a baby boy in the spring! Such a proud Aunt!!!

10. I can't drive...and don't really want to learn to- This one speaks for itself. I just have no desire to drive. I know that I will eventually have to get a license, especially when we move out of NYC but right now I'm fine. It stresses me out just thinking about having to drive!

So that's all folks! I hope this gave you a little insight into my life and where I come from. I didn't include anything vintage related purposefully. I feel like you know about that part of my life. I just wanted to open up to you a little more.

Hope you enjoyed me rambling on about myself.

I promise that that Christmas post will be up tomorrow!

Until then!!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mid Century Housewife: Pumpkin Caramel Blondies!!!!!!!!!!

Hello again!!!

Today has been a lazy kind of day. Honey and I both have the day off and it is a little chilly out today so we decided to make it a comfort food kind of day!!!

There is a stew bubbling on the stove that Honey made and I baked a delicious batch of pumpkin caramel blondies! Y-U-M!!

I know, I know... there is pumpkin EVERYTHING, everywhere right now but that is because it is soooo delicious!!!!

This recipe for blondies has pumpkin, chocolate, caramel AND walnuts (which you can omit if you have food allergies). It's soooo tasty. I promise you will love it even though it's not at all vintage...

You will need:

For the blondies:
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1- 14 ounce package caramels
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 square glass baking dish. I used a normal non glass one with parchment paper and it did the trick.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin and stir until combined.

 Slowly combine the flour, baking soda and salt with the pumpkin mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir again to make sure batter is smooth and well combined.

Spread about 2/3 of the batter into prepared pan. Cover with the chocolate and walnuts.

In a small microwaveable bowl combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high stirring every 20 seconds until smooth and fully melted.

Pour the caramel over the pumpkin, chocolate and walnuts. Spread with an off set spatula or the back of a spoon to make sure it is spread evenly.

Dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the caramel and spread all over. Try to make it even and smooth. Its ok if some of the caramel peeks though.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are set and a fork poked in the middle comes out clean. There may be some caramel on the fork but there should be no batter.

Let cool completely, or if you are like Honey and I, let cool for about 10 minutes and dig in!!! It will be nice and ooey gooey! Add a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top to finish it off (I forgot to and just went for it plain.)


If you are looking for something a little more old school, here is a 1959 recipe for Pumpkin Dream Pie!!! I may try this one for a retro spin to our Thanksgiving celebration.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nursery Rhymes with a side of Macabre (or Nursery Rhymes that Give Me the Willies)

Hello my pretties!!!

That was in my best Wicked Witch of the West voice (or Elphaba, if you're a Wicked fan).

I'm feeling a little witchy today. Not in the "mean girl" sense of the word but in the HALLOWEENY sense of the word! My whole day Sunday was spent researching my costume, watching Alfred Hitchcock movies and pulling out the Halloween decorations.

I was also able to catch Halloween Wars on the Food Network channel (LOVE Food Network). If you haven't seen it, it is a pumpkin/cake decorating contest that is Halloween based. Yesterday's theme was nursery rhymes. The challenge was to take a commonly known nursery rhyme and make it sinister... and that got me thinking...Hmmm... most nursery rhymes have not so innocent origins. They sound all sweet and innocent until you really listen to the words. Some of them are down right CREEPY!!!! I mean there is references to murder, ghosts, graveyards and all kinds of terrifying things!

So in the spirit of the season I have included some of my favorite horrifying nursery rhymes and their origin. Most of these are the original ryhmes are the originals that were put into books for little ones in 1500s -1800s. They were a part of children's growing up for ages. In the late 1940s and early 1950s people such as Geffory Handler- Taylor took a major interest in "nursery nursery rhyme reform" and analyzed over 200 hundred nursery rhymes. He concluded that 100 of them "personify all that is glorious and ideal for the child" but the rest "harbor unsavory elements". With that most nursery rhymes have been rewritten and made sugar versions of the originals.

I prefer these creepy originals!

You may want to keep some of these away from the kiddies... at least until they are old enough to love to be frightened!


Gay go up and gay go down,
To ring the bells of London town.

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clements.

Bull's eyes and targets,
Say the bells of St. Margret's.

Brickbats and tiles,
Say the bells of St. Giles'.

Halfpence and farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

Pancakes and fritters,
Say the bells of St. Peter's.

Two sticks and an apple,
Say the bells of Whitechapel.

Pokers and tongs,
Say the bells of St. John's.

Kettles and pans,
Say the bells of St. Ann's.

Old Father Baldpate,
Say the slow bells of Aldgate.

You owe me ten shillings,
Say the bells of St. Helen's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

Pray when will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head.

Chop chop chop chop
The last man's dead!

This one was first published in 1744 in England. When played like a game it is played in the same way as London Bridge where two children face one another and clasp hand in the air while the other children take turns going underneath. On the last words the children drop their arms catching a friend between them.
The origins are a bit cloudy. It is said to have either dealt with child sacrifice or public executions. People think the bells represent the bells a condemned man would pass on his way to his execution. Either way it doesn't seem very child friendly!!


Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.
Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little eye,
I saw him die.
Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish,
with my little dish,
I caught his blood.
Who'll make the shroud?
I, said the Beetle,
with my thread and needle,
I'll make the shroud.
Who'll dig his grave?
I, said the Owl,
with my pick and shovel,
I'll dig his grave.
Who'll be the parson?
I, said the Rook,
with my little book,
I'll be the parson.
Who'll be the clerk?
I, said the Lark,
if it's not in the dark,
I'll be the clerk.
Who'll carry the link?
I, said the Linnet,
I'll fetch it in a minute,
I'll carry the link.
Who'll be chief mourner?
I, said the Dove,
I mourn for my love,
I'll be chief mourner.
Who'll carry the coffin?
I, said the Kite,
if it's not through the night,
I'll carry the coffin.
Who'll bear the pall?
We, said the Wren,
both the cock and the hen,
We'll bear the pall.
Who'll sing a psalm?
I, said the Thrush,
as she sat on a bush,
I'll sing a psalm.
Who'll toll the bell?
I said the Bull,
because I can pull,
I'll toll the bell.
All the birds of the air
fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
when they heard the bell toll
for poor Cock Robin.

I've always though this one was a little macabre. Even when I was in kindergarten playing the duck that patted the grave of cock robin with my foot (this was an attempt at a more "child friendly" version of the rhyme. In hindsight it was still a little inappropriate for a kindergarten performance). This one was also published in 1744. Its origins are also obscure and vary from the death of the god, Balder from Norse mythology to paying tribute to Robin Hood, so really who knows? All I know is that it still creeps me out to this day!!!


THERE was a lady all skin and bone; 
Sure such a lady was never known : 
It happen'd upon a certain day, 
This lady went to church to pray. 

When she came to the church stile, 
There she did rest a little while ; 
When she came to the churchyard, 
There the bells so loud she heard. 

When she came to the church door, 
She stopt to rest a little more ; 
When she came the church within, 

The parson pray'd 'gainst pride and sin. 

On looking up, on looking down, 
She saw a dead man on the ground ; 
And from his nose unto his chin, 
The worms crawl'd out, the worms crawl'd in.

Then she unto the parson said, 
Shall I be so when I am dead : 
O yes ! O yes, the parson said, 
You will be so when you are dead. 

(The person reciting the verse is meant to SCREAM the last line)

The only thing I could find on this one was that it was first published in Grammer Gurton's Garland, a book of nursery rhymes in 1784. It was a Halloween favorite among the grade school crowd when I was a kid. I'm not sure if kids still learn it nowadays. 


Baby, baby, naughty baby,
Hush, you squalling thing, I say.
Peace this moment, peace, or maybe
Bonaparte will pass this way.

Baby, baby, he's a giant,
Tall and black as Rouen steeple,
And he breakfasts, dines, rely on't,
Every day on naughty people.

Baby, baby, if he hears you
As he gallops past the house,
Limb from limb at once he'll tear you,
Just as pussy tears a mouse.

And he'll beat you, beat you, beat you,
And he'll beat you into pap,
And he'll eat you, eat you, eat you,
Every morsel snap, snap, snap.

I read that this one comes from Mother Goose. It is a cautionary tale to little ones that if they cry too much Napoleon Bonaparte will come still them away as if he is the boogey man. I'm not sure when this one was written but...I don't think I'll ever recite this to my future little one.

Babes in the Woods

My dear, do you know,
How a long time ago,
     Two poor little children,
Whose names I don't know,
Were stolen away
On a fine summer's day,
     And left in a wood,
As I've heard people say.

Among the trees high 
Beneath the blue sky
     They plucked the bright flowers
And watched the birds fly;
Then on blackberries fed,
And strawberries red,
     And when they were weary
'We'll go home,' they said.

And when it was night
So sad was their plight,
     The sun it went down,
And the moon gave no light.
They sobbed and they sighed
And they bitterly cried,
     And long before morning
They lay down and died.

And when they were dead 
The robins so red
     Brought strawberry leaves
And over them spread;
And all the day long,
The green branches among,
     They'd prettily whistle
And this was their song-
'Poor babes in the wood!
Sweet babes in the wood!
     Oh the sad fate of 
The babes in the wood!

This is one of the saddest ones to me. It is said that this actually happened to a pair of children in 1500's Norfolk, England. Supposedly their uncle, who resented having to care for them after their parents died, sent the children out with men who he paid to kill them. Instead of harming the children they leave them abandoned in the woods.  It is said that they're ghosts still haunt the woods where they died. I suppose this was also the inspiration for Hansel and Gretel. The stories sound really similar.

Ok... now are you going to have restless dreams. I probably am... It's hard to believe that all of these cute little rhymes hide a scary meaning!! I know that some of the more well known nursery rhymes are also a little wicked. That Mother Goose was a little darker than the name suggests. I think that I'll do one more post of the rest of the rhymes that I found, and there were a lot of interesting ones, a little closer to Halloween.

Until then dearies,

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Monday, October 14, 2013

77 Years of the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

I'm super excited today!

Is it my birthday? No... It it a special day at work? No... 

So what has me in a tizzy you ask?


Today is opening day of the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink!

That's right. Today the seasonal ice skating rink opens at Rockefeller Center. This is when I know that my favorite time of year is upon us.  

The ice rink debuted on December 25, 1936 and was meant to only be a one time thing. But with it's popularity it soon became a NYC fall/winter tradition. Every year the rink opens in October and lasts throughout the holiday season into the winter and is finally disassembled at the end of the winter season.

The rink is the more expensive of NYC's seasonal ice rinks(of course). It is also the most popular with tourists. Especially when that huge, beautiful Christmas tree is ushering in the Chrismas season. It is definitely iconic New York.

Here are some of my favorite images of the ice skating rink during the 1940s and 1950s. I love it because the rink looks exactly the same. The only thing different about the photos is the clothing of the skaters and merrymakers!

 Enjoy them and let them make you think of hot cocoa, mittens and scarves.

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