Must See TV: The Bletchley Circle: Series Two

March 31, 2014

A few months ago I shared on A Vintage Nerd a must see tv show called The Bletchley Circle. Well, series two is making its way to America!

If you caught up with series one on Netflix and love the sleuth detectives gal pals then tune in for another amazing case!

Series two will focus again on one solid big case but this time it involves a former Bletchley Park colleague named Alice Merren who is awaiting trial for murder. Series two will include four episodes instead of three like the last series. You can read more about series two HERE.

Tune in to PBS on Sunday, April 21st for the premiere of series two of The Bletchley Circle!

Special Cinema Spotlight: Documentary: The Loving Family

March 30, 2014

If you find yourself a fan of vintage most likely you love the history, the times, the lifestyles of the past. I think we can easily forget the struggles (and the triumphs) of the past if we solely focus on the glamour of the times. And boy there are enough beautiful things that have happened in history to last us for eons. But there were also times that tried humanity and justice and the story of the Loving family is one of those.

Richard and Mildred Loving were married in June 1958 in Washington, D.C. and moved back to their hometown of Caroline County, Viriginia. One month later they were arrested and put in jail because interracial marriage was illegal. They were forced to move to Washington, D.C. away from their families and friends. The town they came from was small and both black and whites worked together and mixed agreeably. They didn't think anything of it when they met and fell in love. Such a simply act between two consenting adults, but it wasn't so simple back then.

This documentary tells the story of their struggle and their personal victory. They share photos and lots of actual video of the couple as well as the lawyers. Included are also interviews with some town people but you should be aware that what they saw may sound shocking. It was for me. I was just sitting and watching the film saying, "Wow. wow." over and over.

This is the last photo I could find with the Loving family altogether sans Richard who was killed by a drunk driver in 1975. This photo was taken in 1979 with Mildred and her children-Sidney, Donald, and Peggy (with her eldest child). Mildred is holding a photo of Richard when he was just a young boy.

The last information I found out about them is that Mildred passed on in 2008 at the age of 68, she never remarried. Both her sons passed on and you can read more about Sidney HERE and Donald passed on in 2000. Peggy is the only child still with us and the Loving's became great and grand parents to a wonderful slew of children.

Little did the Loving's know that they would embark on a journey that would change the course of America. There are a few articles out there in internetland but not enough photos and can you believe no one has written a book on them!!! I sure hope their daughter does. I am grateful though that this documentary was made and for the Loving's willingness to fight for equality.

If you would like to read more about the Loving's, I found a few really good articles but I highly recommend watching this documentary!

The Loving Story

Photos of the Loving family

Loving vs. Virginia 

Mildred Loving (which includes a video with her daughter Peggy)

Enchanted By eShakti

March 29, 2014

Have you looked at a product and wondered if it was worth buying or even placing into your closet let alone be a part of your distinctive wardrobe? I know I have. I would look at a top or a cardigan online over and over and debate and wonder-Should I? Would it fit right? Is it worth the money? How many times can I use it? Is it versatile?

I am a practical shopper. I have a small budget to work with and I am anti-clutter so I don't want to have things around just to have things but rather have a use for them. So when I am looking at what to add to my wardrobe I have to ask myself those questions. I also ask myself if the item is non-vintage, can it give a vintagey feel to my outfit? Can I pair up that skirt with a vintage blouse and make it work?

I am here to tell you that the skirts I purchased from eShakti have been all that for me and more! I purchased a few skirt last spring and summer and I am going to share with you how I paired them up with vintage blouses and accessories and made them work towards my vintage tastes.

The first skirt is a navy poplin skirt very similar to this one HERE although it is no longer available online. Let me say that I love that many of their skirts are cotton, I am a big fan of cotton. I also love, love, love that their skirts (and dresses) have pockets! I mean it is rare to find a skirt with a pocket so right away that really gave it a vintage feel.

I paired this navy skirt with a 1960's blue blouse, pinned my hair back up a bit and done! 

The second skirt I want to share with you is their button front poplin skirt in black that they still have available online HERE. I like adding solids to my wardrobe because they can be mixed and matched easier than if they were all patterns. eShakti offers both patterned skirts and solids.

I was able to create more of a 40s/50s look with this skirt. I paired it with a 1950's blouse and cardigan from Old Navy as well as a vintage purse and 1940's hat. This skirt is one of my favorites. It is just very flattering to my figure and well nothing beats an article of clothing being both comfortable and flattering in my book.

I cannot say anything negative about eShakti skirts. I just love the fabrics, how well they are lined, the pockets (which you can ask to have no pockets if you want), and the colors. If you are interested in acquiring separates for your vintage/vintagey wardrobe I really think that eShakti is a wonderful place for finding really pretty skirts that will fit well and look amazing. I cannot wait to try out their dresses, I have heard nothing but good things about them. Swing on by eShakti because they are having a Spring Sale ending soon!

15 Iconic 1960's Films: Part Two

March 28, 2014

Yesterday I share with you 15 Iconic 1960's Films and today I bring you the last half ranging from the years 1966 to 1969.

 Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

 Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

 The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Funny Girl (1968) 

Barbarella (1968)

 Midnight Cowboy (1969)

This is just a small taste of the amazing films that came out of the turbulent and ever changing 1960's. There are so many more. I hope you find some of them intriguing enough to watch one day. Be prepared to be blown away!

15 Iconic 1960's Films: Part One

March 27, 2014
1960s Iconic Films

As many of you know I love film especially classic film. I consider myself a novice cinephile, I don't know half of what I want to know about film but I am always learning. Looking back at the last century I find the most intriguing decade of film to be the 1960's.

So many things changed, not just in the world but in cinema which reflects in many ways the state of the world at large. In 1960's film we saw our first zombie, a black and white married couple, and a black man slap a white man. Oh dear. Perhaps not as shocking as it is today but put yourself in those 1960's heels and imagine living in that decade of change. There was war again, people were fighting for their human rights, inspirational people were being assassinated, people where being murdered for helping people vote. It was just a hot bed of social and human unrest. The 1960's changed us forever.

Although this list doesn't include every single iconic film from the 1960's, it does include most of them. I purposely left out horror/thriller films and will showcase them this October as they will be more season appropriate.

15 iconic 1960s films

15 iconic 1960s films

15 iconic 1960s films

Spartacus (1960)
15 iconic 1960s films

15 iconic 1960s films

 The Misfits (1961)

15 iconic 1960s films

15 iconic 1960s films

It's A Mad Men World

March 26, 2014
Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

This week has turned into an impromptu Mad Men week here at A Vintage Nerd but I have been loving it because I love the show and I LOVE the 1960's.

For those of you who are big fans or who are curious about the show I thought I would share with you some things that you may enjoy reading or listening to that are Mad Men related. I found a lot of amazing books about the show itself as well as a audio cd for music used on the show. I added all the links under the photos and of course I couldn't resist sharing the amazing Mad Men Barbies. They are just too pretty for words!

 Miscellaneous Mad Men

Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

Its a mad men world from a vintage nerd

Mad Men Barbie

Collectible Mad Men Barbies: Don Draper, Betty Draper, Roger Sterling, and Joan Holloway 

I am curious about a few of the books like the cookbook but also the audio cd because the music selection is fantastic. I grew up on a lot of 60s music so grooving to those tunes is spot on for me.

Anything you see here you would have to have? What do you wish Mad Men would release that they haven't yet?

Everything You Need To Know To Throw A Mad Men Party

March 25, 2014
A Vintage Nerd

With the premiere of Mad Men's 7th and final season coming around tvland less than three weeks away, I thought what a neat idea it would be to throw a Mad Men themed party. So I began my typical vintage nerd searching and came across a party guide created by AMC particularly for Mad Men fans.

After looking through the entire guide I knew I had to share it. It is fantastic and has everything a person can think of to make sure their Mad Men Party is full of swinging 60s! From there I found more information and well there you have it!

Everything you need ot know to throw a Mad Men Party!

Included inside the AMC's Mad Men Party Guide are the following:
  • Invitations
  • Menu
  • Inspired Cocktails
  • Decorating Tips
  • What To Wear
  • Playlist
  • Trivia and Games
Each sections is split into tabs that you click on the top. They are filled with oodles of ideas, tips, suggestions, inspiration, and recipes. It is the best party guide for Mad Men that I have found out there. 

how to throw a mad men party

Here is the link for AMC's Mad Men Party Guide. I also found some things on Etsy that you can add to your  1960's soiree as well.

Take a gander at these fantastic Mad Men Party prop, decor, and table setting ideas-links included under the photos.

The great thing about throwing a Mad Men bash for this last season is that you can mix it up and add things from the entire decade of the 1960s. The early 60s were vastly different than the late 60s so it could be a blast having bits and pieces from the decade of change as well as from the show itself.

I also found a slew of interesting articles about throwing your own Mad Men party. They will definitely help you get in the 1960's party mood!

There you have it-lots of information, links, articles, recipes, decoration inspiration, and oodles of great photos to get you in the mood to start planning your own little Mad Man soiree. You have three weeks to put something together, little or small it doesn't matter-just have some fun in welcoming the end of an era with Mad Men!

Must See TV: Last Season of Mad Men

March 24, 2014

Mad Men is coming back on April 13th! It will pick up where Season 6 ended-marriages unraveling, Don was suspended from his job, and all sorts of relationships were left in the air. Sounds like a hot mess right? Well, the final season of Mad Men is said to  see Don face the consequences of his actions.

This last season will be entirely set in the groovy year of 1969. So we can expect to see some wacky, colorful, and often funky outfits worn by our favorite characters.

I found all of these amazing  photos for Mad Men's Season 7 promo and I am just all googly eyed by them. I won't read into them too much but one thing is for sure, there will be some traveling happening. I mean planes are used all over the promo photos so I don't believe I am assuming wrong but it could also be symbolic for moving on since this will be the last season (boo!).

This photos are just fantastic! I love the last one the best, how about you? What are you looking forward to the most for this last season of Mad Men?

Here is some more information on the upcoming Season 7 of Mad Men:

How To End Mad Men

Mad Men Season 7

Promo Video for Mad Men

Mad About Mad Men on Pinterest

The Real Monuments Men

March 23, 2014

Yesterday I shared with you my review on the film The Monuments Men which is based on the true story of WWII's Monuments Men who helped retrieve and gather art that was stolen by the Nazis.

Today I would like to share with you some photos of the real Monuments Men in action.

I don't know how you feel when you look at photos of the past but I see the men and women who sacrificed their time, energy, and sometimes lives in order for me to have the life I have, I feel so much pride.

Bravo to the men and women who helped save the history and cultures that they did. Here is another fabulous article on The Monuments Men that I found-HERE.

Special Cinema Spotlight: The Monuments Men

March 22, 2014

Last weekend I was ecstatic to be able to watch the film The Monuments Men. It was inspired by book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History and the true events of a unique group called The Monuments Men.

Directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, and Cate Blanchet. Clooney stars as Frank Stokes who persuades the US President to allow him to create a team of people who will retrieve and protect art. He believed that if we do not protect the art of western civilization that victory from the war would be meaningless.

Stokes recruits seven museum directors, curators, and art historians to both guide Allied units and search for stolen art to return it to the rightful owners. Sounds like a special group of men doesn't it? Well it does and it is. Each actors character (some based on real like Monuments Men) brought something special to the story that could be seen as a "hard to watch" sort of story. 

War isn't pretty or fair and WWII was epic because it was fought on so many parts of the world. In WWII people were literally fighting evil in its purest form (my opinion of course). There were those who attempted to eradicate cultures, religions, and generations of people. A group like the Monuments Men fought against that horror and brought back to people their art which is representative of their cultures and basically a massive part of their identities.

I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen the film but there are many bright spots to the story Clooney told and there are darker ones. Nothing was done for the sake of drama but rather to tell the story of how far people would go to do the right thing. In comparison to the true life Monuments Men and the characters in the film, yes it is a bit different and yes it is more dramatically told than what happened to the real Monuments Men but so nothing took away from the story at all.

I loved how the characters interact with each other, how passionate and driven they were, and I LOVED how they were able to bring some humor into a heavy tale. Just a fantastic balance of history and humanity.

If you would like to read more about the story of The Monuments Men feel free to click on the links I added to this post as well as this article HERE all about the real Monuments Men. I highly recommend this film and when it gets released on dvd I will be adding it to my collection. Its that good!

AVN Book Club: 1940's Hairstyles

March 21, 2014

Do you love vintage hairstyles? Want to learn how to create those looks on your own hair? Daniela Turudich, the author of 1940s Hairstyles put together a fantastic guide and manual on how to achieve the perfect 1940s hair.

Chapter One includes seven sections on basic haircuts. Chapter Two includes six techniques like curls, waves, and bangs. Chapter Three includes how one can select the right hairstyle based on your face and features. Chapter Four includes basic styles for women with short, medium, and long hair as well as for women who wear glasses (how helpful is that!). Chapter Four includes war time hairstyles. Chapter Six includes formal hairstyles and up-do's. Lastly, Chapter Seven includes five sections on hair accessories (super inspirational and fun chapter!).

Best parts of this source book is that the author includes diagrams for the haircuts, 1940s terminology (so you can understand how to apply the techniques to get the style you want), how to set pin curls, and what hairstyles will look best with the shape of your face and your features which is beyond fantastic!

This book has literally EVERYTHING you need and would want to know about 1940s Hairstyles without sounding like a textbook. The author puts in absolutely every detail as well as breaking it down so it is very easy to read and follow.  I am incredibly impressed by this book!

This book includes 260 illustrations and diagrams, just ideal to help the reader visualize how she will style her hair. You will also find photos of Old Hollywood starlets to help inspire you. The very last pages include a list for 1940s beauty supplies and tool kits to help you achieve the look you desire as well as where to find these beauty supplies.

This is an ideal guide for anyone who wants to achieve an authentic 1940's look. They say that the hair is the crown and glory for a woman and creating a vintage hairstyle will help you complete your vintage look. You will become that 1940s girl from long ago.

Let The Springtime Merriment Begin!

March 20, 2014! Did I just type that? Oh my goodness. It is still chilly in New York but now that Spring is officially here I can officially get excited about a few things.

I am more of a Fall/Spring sort of girl. The extreme weather of the Winter/Summer is unpleasant for me and it also creates a lot of challenges for me because of my disability. I feel like in the Fall/Spring weather I can feel and be my best self. Now to find a part of the world that has just those two seasons!

I am looking forward to so much! I cannot wait to store away my coat and children's coats as well. Goodbye to a zillion hats, scarves, and gloves! I look forward to opening my windows in my house and letting the fresh air in. My cat loves to feel the breeze go through her fur and I love watching her bask in it. I look forward to taking the children to places we haven't been to yet and try new crafts like pottery and painting (on canvas). I look forward to taking a nice stroll in Central Park and showing my husband my favorite painting (finally) at The Met. It is called The Storm and was painted by Pierre Auguste Cot.

I want to finally get to Tea & Sympathy as we tried three times during this challenging winter to no avail. I want to take my children to the horse stables nearby where I live and have them take a pony ride. I want to get back on a horse, I haven't been on one since I was twelve. I don't know if I can physically do it but gosh darnit I want to try.

Spring just brings this feeling of renewal, freshness, and inspiration that is undeniable. And I plan to ride the wave until the unbearable heat has me hiding in air conditioned rooms.

Here are some more things I am looking forward to and if you click on the links it will take to you more information about them.

I adore the patone colors for this season. You can apply them to your vintage, vintagey, or modern wardrobes. Heck go nuts with all of it and the best part is you don't have to stick to the seasons colors but they are nice for outfit inspiration!

I love how happy my hands feel after I have had a manicure or have painted my own nails. And since my hands struggle daily to do the tasks they need to do, I am promising myself to treat them more to some fabulous colors like this one! Isn't it just gorgeous! 

I NEED this satchel! Yes I do! It is so pretty and old fashioned and yet practical all at once. I don't know what color I am getting it in but I do know I am getting myself one!

I love my Vintage Life Magazine issues! I want to grab some back issues and catch up on what I have been missing. I hope to one day be able to subscribe to them but until then when I snatch a few issues I will delight to reading all the vintage lifestyle goodness that is inside. 

I am a Barbie collector as some of you may remember. And the other day I found this one and decided I must treat myself. It is a reproduction from 1965 and Barbie is a teacher! I used to be a teacher and I would love to have this beauty standing next to my Audrey Hepburn Barbie on my dresser. She would help keep me inspired and remember the joys of my past.

Cotton dresses! I would love to be able to find some vintage or vintage inspired cotton dresses that I can wear in transition to the Summer. Aren't these so pretty pretty!?

I have loads to read! You should see my pile but one book I am looking forward to is the biography on Peg Entwistle. She is known as the starlet who committed suicide by the Hollywood sign but I want to learn more about her and less about how she died. I am so beyond excited to sink my eyes into this one!

Peg Entwistle Biography by James Zeruk, Jr

Cardigans! A girl cannot have too many fabulous cardigans! I want to add more to my wardrobe and I look forward to pairing them up for my everyday and vintage looks!

Lastly is a proper pair of sunglasses. I have been purchasing five dollar sunglasses all my life. They were great but at my age I want to wear FANTASTIC pair! I found this amazing New York store called Warby Parker and they sell glasses and sunglasses whose frames are very retro and vintagey. You have to check out the site-all of them are amazing!

I think a good pair of vintagey sunglasses will be a great way to end the Spring season and enter the Summer. Either way aren't they just Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh amazing!!???

That is my little list of what I look forward to this Spring. What are you looking forward to the most? Any plans to try something new and different?

Giggle Me Gorgeous Collection by LeSportsac for Benefit Cosmetics

March 19, 2014

If I discover something pretty and vintagey I have to share it with my readers. And I found something that fits the bill!

LeSportsac has teamed up with Benefit Cosmetics and created a line of makeup bags, travel bags, and handbags. Prices of the items will range from $28 to $118 dollars. The Spring collection is coming out this month and the Summer collection is coming in May 2014.

If you would like to see what they will have available you can take a peak HERE. Below are some photos of makeup bags as well as the standard type of bags LeSportsac usually makes with a Benefit twist to them.

Ohhhh aren't they all pretty!!!! I hope you snag one and if you do let me know!!

All About Blog Conferences: 2014

March 18, 2014

Blog conferences are all the rage right now. I can totally see why people are interested and value the opportunities of going to one. Years ago when scrapbooking was all the rage I went to a scrapbooking convention of sorts hosted by CKU Magazine. It was a hoot and I learned so much from them. Granted for some reason people weren't as socialable in that convention but I hear at bloggy conferences it is very different.

I have heard nothing but positive things about blog conferences. I know that Bethany of The Glamorous Housewife went to one last year which you can read about it HERE. Brittany from Va-Voom Vintage is going to one very soon and I am so excited for her. It can be a little nerve racking meeting new people but imagine all the awesome information and connections one can make by going to one? And how about the fun? How neat would it be to talk to other bloggers who just "get" why you do what you do?

I am looking into attending one this fall. I hope I do get the chance, it would be inspirational. If you have ever thought of attending one, here is a list of conferences in American and a few beyond that you may find interesting. Just click HERE.

I also found some fantastic and very informational articles/posts all about the ins and outs of blog conferences. Simply click on the link below every photo and it will take you to them!

Oh, I love these articles/posts that I found about blog conferences and I hope you liked them too. 

Must See TV: Call the Midwife Series 3

March 17, 2014

Those of you in the UK and beyond may have just finished viewing Series 3 of Call the Midwife like I have (thank you tunnelbear!). Here in the States the series will return on Sunday, March 30th on PBS. Yay!

For those of you yet to watch it you may want to pass on this post. So it's okay, I won't be offended if you pass up it up but do swing by after you finish watching this third series!

The third series begins in 1959, just on the verge of the ever-changing and dynamic 1960's. The nuns and midwives have moved into a new Nonnatus House, a new sister has joined the group named Sister Winifred, as well as a new midwife named Patsy by episode five. Chummy struggles to balance housewife work and her new part-time work as a midwife as well as dealing with a shift in her relationship with her mother, Lady Browne. So many changes happening at Call the Midwife but they all have a purpose and they are all introduced carefully and slowly.

Jenny continues to date the handsome Alec which leads to a unexpected end. Shelagh (formerly Sister Bernadette) and Dr. Turner are now happily married and settling into life as parents of Timothy. Shelagh yearns to become a mother to a child and realizes that Timothy is hers and tries her best hand at motherhood. Will Dr. Turner and Shelagh have a child of their own?

We learn more about Sister Evangelina and follow Trixie and Cynthia on their midwife adventures. I found this season to be less powerful and moving than the last two but it did have its moments. And well you cannot beat the fact that this show is beautifully written and produced.

My favorite episodes of this third series have to be two, four, and six. You can read more about them HERE. I found those to personally be the most moving. But every episode was special this series as was the last one. There is no denying that Call the Midwife is a special show. It inspires and uplifts and tells stories that are sometimes too hard to hear and see but you become a better person for having been exposed to them.

I leave you with the final episode of series 3. I am still dizzy from it. The entire series introduced changes in a very graceful manner but the last episode introduced changes that I truly didn't expect. That I will leave for you to see but I am now scratching my head wondering how Call the Midwife will continue?

But continue it will! The Christmas special will air in December 2014 and Series 4 will air in 2015. Despite all the changes, I simply cannot wait to see how Call the Midwife continues on.

Have you seen the entire series 3 yet? If you haven't, will you be tuning in on March 30th?

Spring Cleaning Your Makeup: When Is Makeup Too Old To Keep?

March 16, 2014

Don't let the spring cleaning end with your closets! Organizing your wardrobe, your rooms, and even your refrigerator is a good thing but so is cleaning out your makeup stash.

Not only does makeup have an expiration date but there is no point in saving products that you haven't used EVER. The risk of using old makeup is high and can cause skin irritations, eye infections, rashes, just to name a few. To ensure you keep your makeup stash clean and fresh for use it is important to purge and organize.

This is my makeup organizer (purchased from the container store). I have left makeup in it that I tried a few times and didn't work out for me or have been around far longer than I should have left them stay.

I simply pulled out the products I may have had for one or two years. Mascara has a shelf life when used for three months! That's right! You have to toss out your mascara every three months because when it is in use, every time you open it bacteria goes inside.

This is the final result. I have to admit it was a bit hard to part with some products I had but I know that two years is the limit on most makeup and it was time to say goodbye. I have read that using liquid foundation with a brush last longer than if you use your finger. Also it is important to clean your brushes well and to change your applicators often. That helps to keep the product at its best and stretch out its use.

There is so much I am learning about beauty products lately. It is sort of exciting. It's like being a kid in a candy store! I feel like at my age I can benefit more by wearing makeup then when I was younger. I always looked younger than what I was and if this makes any sense at all-makeup actually looked weird on me. Almost like it didn't look right even when done right. I think now that I am older makeup brings out the best out of my features and I am loving the results.

Here is some more information on how long you should keep your makeup:

How long you should you keep your makeup

When to toss out your makeup

What is the shelf life of makeup

How to know when your beauty products expire

Have you purged and cleaned your makeup stash yet? What other tips do you have for spring cleaning your makeup?

Bidding Farewell To Iconic Kissing Sailor

March 15, 2014

Some photos become iconic because of the powerful messages they convey. Many years can pass on and still that photo can speak to us.

One such photo is the one taken in Time Square in New York City on August 14th, 1945 by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and was published by Life Magazine a week later. Eisenstaedt was not able to get the names of his subjects from that day because of all the excitement of V-J Day so it took many years to finally find the infamous sailor and his nurse.

Fast forward a few decades and the search for the kissing couple ensued.

For years Glenn McDuffie told stories to his daughter Glenda Bell stories of how he kissed a nurse all those years ago and that he was indeed that famous sailor. Through a forensic artist McDuffie was pronounced as the real deal after comparing the measurements of his face and hands with the older McDuffie. After it was confirmed that he was indeed the sailor he spent his later years posing for photos and doing airshows. Everyone wanted to meet the iconic kissing sailor!

Born on May 31, 1927, McDuffie served in the US Navy during WWII. He was changing trains trying to get to his girlfriend who lived in Brooklyn when he heard that Japan surrendered. He was so happy that when he saw a nurse hollering and waving, he immediately scooped her up and kissed her. He claims that his left hand was in a fist because he feared her boyfriend would be around.

Edith Shain was the woman in the nurses uniform. She passed on at the age of 91 in 2010. You can read more about her story HERE.

At the end of the day, if McDuffie is the real sailor or not or if Edith Shain was the real nurse in that photo or not-it doesn't matter. As Edith Shain put it, "It (the photo) says so many things. Hope, love, peace and tomorrow.”

He passed away this March 9th from a heart attack at the age of 86. Rest in peace dear sir.

You can read more about Glenn McDuffie HERE and HERE.

I am Forever Changed Because of The Book Thief

March 14, 2014

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, The Book Thief, Period Films
Photo Source: Movie Rewind

This past week I finally watched The Book Thief. I have been eagerly waiting since I heard about it and being patient has paid off.

Based on the novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, it tells the story of a young girl named Liesel who is sent to live with foster parents named Hans and Rosa. On the way over to these foster parents Liesel's little brother dies. It is from that point on that a mysteries character that we know as death appears and is intrigued by Liesel. He follows her throughout her life in particular to the time spent before, during, and shortly after World War II.

Did I just say death is a character in this story? Death narrates Liesel's journey and as death puts it, "no one can escape him".

During her time in a small German town on a street called Himmel (Heaven Street) she mets a boy named Rudy who becomes her best friend and confidant and learns how to read. Still yearning for her mother and brother, in time she learns to embrace Hans and Rosa as her parents. Her hunger for reading grows as well and through a unlikely friend named IIsa who allows Liesel to read books from her personal library.

Then comes a knock on the door and a young man named Max enters the lives of Hans, Rosa, and Liesel. Hans made a promise to help Max's family if they ever needed any because his father (Max's) sacrificed his life to save Hans in WWI. Max is hiding from the Gestapo because he is Jewish. The family hide him and in time Liesel learns the true meaning of Nazism and Hilter all the while developing a special bond with Max.

The rest of the story continues until at the end you hear from death again, narrating more about Liesel's life. I hate to leave you hanging on what happens next but I want to encourage you to see the film or even to read the book. You will not regret it.

I am forever changed because of The Book Thief. I watched it again the very next day and it was still as powerful as it was the first time. I was just in awe of the personal insight and knowledge I gained inside of myself and learning this story.

**Spoiler Alert-Do not read further if you would not like to know the deeper details of the film**

Although it is a work of fiction it is based on truth and the realities of WWII. And with the horrors of war there comes moments of clarity and peace. Although I have never experienced living life the way that Liesel did or experiencing such a fierce and violent war on humanity in my own front door, I did gain a deeper insight on what it could have been like.

I have never seen a film from the view point of Germans from a small town. It was refreshing to witness, While you are watching the film it is almost like you are watching the lives of real people living in real time. That's how realistic it all was.

You see death happen to various important characters especially during the bombing of Himmel Street but what blew me away was that I found myself being walked through the deaths of these people by death himself. So I didn't weep for these characters because death showed me how easily we go and how easily a person's life can be changed. There is no stopping it and no one can hid from it. As death says, "everybody has to go sometime".

It caught me by surprise how little tears I did cry (although I did cry). Liesel suffered so many personal losses of so many people she loved dearly in the span of about four years or so and despite losing just about everything she lived a long and fruitful life. At the end death shows us that Liesel lived until she was 90 and had three children and a slew of grandchildren. She remained friends with Max their whole lives, kept a dear friendship with IIsa, and surrounded herself with the memories of those who passed before her. Irregardless of that, she did not live in the past but fully lived life in the present.

It is rare to watch a story unfold whether on film or in a book where you get to have an ending. A proper ending. And with this story you really do. It was refreshing to hear the viewpoint of death and what death might say if he could speak. And I am changed because I was reminded that no matter what is taken away from us that the universe can be kind and give back to us just as much or more. I was also reminded that no matter how long you know and love someone that the important thing is to keep your heart open and love and be loved.

And finally I was reminded that words contain life and power. That when we wield them towards good they can shape and alter a person's life for the better and that being true if the words are not good (example-mein kampf by A. Hitler).

I am forever changed. And for that I am grateful.

5 Ways To Help Your Wardrobe Be The Best It Can Be

March 13, 2014

Recently I looked over at my wardrobe and I felt a huge smile come over my face. I didn't expect it but I felt really happy with what I saw. Do you ever feel frustrated at what you see in your closet? Ever feel like you are keeping pieces that just make you happy? You make think its pretty but you just don't get thrilled about wearing it?

Here are the steps I took in helping to make my wardrobe the best it could be:

1. Pull out the pieces that DON'T fit you
Seriously, take them out! You can put them away somewhere else if you really love them but if that dress doesn't fit you, take it out! What should stay in your closet are pieces that fit you NOW.

2. Pull out the pieces that DON'T flatter you
If that dress doesn't accentuate what you have but rather takes away, take it out! If something is too long or too short or too sheer, whatever it is that doesn't make you feel and look your very best then it has no place being in your closet!

3. Leave multi-seasonal pieces in 
It can be 90 degrees outside but leave that cardigan in there. You don't have to have all of them but leave some there. You don't know if an evening could be chilly. Having a few multi-seasonal pieces like cardigans affords you some versatility and that is always a good thing to have.

4. Have a selection of various pieces
Include jeans, skirts, pants, blouses, dresses, cardigans, etc. There is so much that can happen if you have all of these pieces out. Being able to see what you have gives you more of a visual selection.

5. Add pieces that you LOVE! 
Do it! Whether its modern, vintage, retro, or vintage inspired. Go for it! You can intermix them and make an amazing outfit!

I can look at my closet now and really start to feel super good about what I see. It still needs some work but I am at the stage where I am adding in some pieces. I think my wardrobe is becoming what I call vintagey. I have my vintage dresses and some vintage cardigans and blouses but I am incorporating more modern jeans because they flatter my figure better and adding more vintage inspired pieces like the Boden top I shared with you all the other day.

I didn't know that having my closet reflect me more would make me so happy. It actually feels good to look at it and know that everything in there fits me and looks good on me. There are no "maybe" pieces or "someday" pieces. I can wear anything that is in there and they fit well on my figure and flatter me.

I think it is so worth cleaning out your closet and being honest with yourself with what works and what doesn't. At the end of the day if you look good, you feel great, and it gives you that extra pep in your step. It's a win-win situation.

Beautifying With Benefit Cosmetics

March 12, 2014
Photo Source: Chic moeY

I'm so happy to have heard from various social networks how much you all liked the Boden top I wore in my post yesterday. It is so pretty and feels so good on. Like I said before, seriously worth every single penny. Its a must have standard for any vintagey wardrobe.

Today I would like to introduce to you a few products I have been using lately, makeup wise. For about two years I have been yearning to get that smooth look after I have put on my makeup. And I finally found what works for me!!!!

I have purchased about 3 different under eye concealers to help me with the puffiness under my eyes. I never get a full nights rest or not enough hours of rest due to the duties of housewifery and mommyhood. I'm okay with that, but just to prove that lack of sleep does affect your looks, I have this puffiness that doesn't go away unless I have like 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep and well that's not going to happen for another 15 or more years, right?

A girl has to make do with what she has in the situation she is in. So not wanting that puffiness to turn into dark circles I do moisturize with a day and night cream. I also use a cleanser for the day and night as well as a special scrubber every other day. If you would like to see more of my beauty regime or the products I use just let  me know and I would be happy to share what has worked for me.

As a woman gets older the overall skin tone and under eye area does get affected first. So it is important not only to tend to those areas daily but also use products when putting on makeup that will not enhance your problem areas but rather give them a boost.

Although the MAC primer, concealer, and cover up has been lovely to use, after using Benefit Cosmetics products I will be completely changing over and adding everything I can of theirs into my makeup palette.

The POREfessional pro balm literally makes the appearance of your pores look less. The cream is not heavy, it smells lovely, and makes my skin look its best. I love, love, love how Benefit Cosmetics products feel on my skin. They help me look my best and yet it doesn't feel heavy or greasy.

After I used the pro balm then I put on the fakeup under eye concealer which is a wonder to behold. It is like a tube of lipstick that you wind up and in the middle is the concealer itself. I am bonkers about it! After trying so many out (like Almay, Maybelline, and Clinque) I finally found what I needed. You can really see a difference right away after putting it on, too.

I then put on my cover up which is from MAC but I am looking forward to getting Hello Flawless Oxygen cover up. I had it used on me twice at the Benefit counter but I haven't purchased it yet. It is amazing!! You can see the results in these photos HERE.

A few other little things are added and then I tried on they're real! mascara. I love the bristles on the brush and the handle was good for my hands (I need large handles for my hands because of their weakness-it helps my grip). I have used Maybelline and Sephora brand mascaras but now this is the one for me. Benefit Cosmetics has other colors and various other bristles that you can see HERE.

 Its everything I wanted and more. Easy to use, smooth on the skin, smells great, lovely texture, and a sort of finished look I have been yearning to have for ages and ages. I am a Benefit Cosmetics girl now through and through. Have you tried their products? 

Vintage Nerd Chic With Boden

March 11, 2014

About a year ago I discovered a British shop named Boden. I don't even remember how I found it but I remember I started receiving their catalogs and loved everything they had in it. And the fact that they had selections for the entire family from baby to daddy was fantastic. What sealed the deal was seeing that I could order via their Boden USA site and not have to pay UK prices just sealed the deal.

Boden's style is preppy, pretty, comfy, sleek with a dash of retro to spicen things up a bit. I really became fascinated with their sweaters this winter which all made me swoon.

Why now? Why Boden? The answer is simple. I love wearing vintage but I normally wear full on vintage when I go out someplace special or have a date night. Those events happen perhaps once or twice a month so what should I wear all the other days I thought to myself.

I love my Freddies of Pinewood vintage jeans but frankly I felt like an oompa loompa from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. I am 5"3" and round in all sorts of places so those jeans just made me look shorter and bigger than what I actually am. So I am now incorporating back into my wardrobe everyday jeans that fit my figure better (Gap 1969 wide legged) I want to feel real good with what I am wearing and still manage a vintage inspired look. I also wanted to have more fun with my everyday look while out with my family.

I am madly in love with Peter Pan Collars and love the vintage and feminine look it brings to an outfit whether it's casual or dressy. Boden has a wonderful selection of peter pan collared tops and dresses. You can see some HERE and HERE.

With my Elise Top from Boden I can wear it with or without a cardigan, pair it up with a good pair of jeans, a cute headband (Claires), and vintage accessories like a brooch or earrings. With an outfit like this adding a vintage handbag would be the cherry on top.

I love the way they packaged my blouse. There was tissue paper inside of the blouse and it was folded beautifully. The texture of the blouse would be best for spring/summer but it is so versatile that with a chunky vintage cardigan or sweater it can also be worn in the fall/winter months.

I didn't know if I would love it when I received it and I can tell you that I do and it is worth every single penny. Fantastic quality and beautifully made, it is everything I wanted to add to my wardrobe.

What do you think of my chic vintage nerd look? Cute, comfy, stylish, and vintagey is what I am going for. As a busy mom of three little ones I can manage to look fashionable and still chase around the kiddies. It can be done!

I will be wearing more Boden in the future. Swing on by their site and check out their amazing sales!

Have you heard of Boden before? Will you shop with them sometime in the future?

Are you too {old} to model?

March 10, 2014

This is something many of us who are 35 and older wonder from time to time. Am I getting too old to put myself in front of a camera whether its for our blog or professionally?

I personally have never worried about getting older. Maybe it is because of my disability and the physcial struggles I have and still endure but getting older is fine with me. I enjoyed every age I was and I look forward to my 40s. But in our culture in particular the Western culture, women are told in every way possible that getting older is a horrible thing to happen and that younger is better.

Well, let's see. Being younger may afford you more energy and more of a carefree attitude about life. But I believe being older affords you more confidance, the sort of confidance that you built up yourself and based on your own efforts not based on a material thing, success, fame, a person, or anything else. It is purely you and gosh darnit, that is sexy, alluring, and fascinating.

Aren't they stunning? And why shouldn't they put themselves out there and show their wrinkles and white hair? Although many may not find older women modeling to be beautiful and dare I say some people find it disgusting-these women show the world that you are still beautiful and your beauty continues on for all of your life. Being young is wonderful but being older is wonderful too. There is not a lesser or greater value of either. 

I was inspired by this article HERE and I began to reflect on why more people don't see a woman who is over 35 as viable, attractive, and worthy to represent a product. Obviously some companies are recognizing that the entire world population isn't 22 years old and are giving older women a chance to display their beauty for everyone to see. I admire that and I admire them for letting everything go and putting themselves out there.

I think it is obvious that these women take great care of themselves but I believe we all should. We should all eat better and exercise and tend to our skin. All those things are good and important for our overall health and well being especially as we get older.

So, are you too old to model? Do you feel like you shouldn't be in front of a camera whether it is for family photos or for your own blog? I hope you don't and when you do get older for those of you who aren't I hope you don't hide yourselves and stay away from the camera, but rather embrace the changes that have happened to you.

I have modeled a few times and to be honest I have received the impression from most of the photographers I have worked with that I was too old, too big, and too much of a mom to be modeling. I did the modeling because I like to be creative and I really wanted to embrace myself as I was and be able to look at myself as I truly was through a lens of a camera. I believe a camera doesn't lie. Although it only captures a part of us it does capture us. One day I would love to work with a photographer who can see my beauty and my braces as an advantage and not as a disadvantage. Until then I will keep putting myself in front of the camera. 

And why? I say, why not?

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