Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Links To Love

A Vintage Nerd

One of the joys of the internet is all the access to great and interesting stories that are just a few fingertips away. I am always finding inspiring or really unique stories that can connect us to our past from love letters written in WWII that united a couple to Audrey Hepburn's granddaughter beginning to emulate her late grandmother in the modeling world.

Starting with this month I am going to share a Links To Love post at the end of every month. The links I find come from all sorts of sources and I have read all the articles that I share.

Being the sort of girl who relishes in the history of the past and also in learning more about it, I figured in sharing the links that I loved with you that you too may walk away learning something new or being inspired.

1940's Women

Vintage Burlesque

Did you enjoy this first installment of Links To Love? Did you discover or learn something you didn't know beforehand? Which was your favorite link?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preparing For The Holidays One Tradition At A Time

A Vintage Nerd

Before my husband and I began having our children we made a conscience choice to incorporate as many traditions as we could into our family life. When it came to the holidays we decided on which ones we would continue to pass on and which ones we would begin ourselves.

The decorating of the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving is a tradition that I believe may have begun with my grandmother and I distinctly remember my father always doing it. So we now begin the process of preparing for the holidays the day after Thanksgiving.

Some other traditions that are just as great are the eating of super yummy leftovers, listening to Christmas music while we decorate, and deep cleaning the house in preparation for the new year.

This year was a bit different because my children are now all big enough to help us put together the tree and decorate. They couldn't get enough of it. I loved how genuinely excited they were to help their daddy put together the tree. My daughter would then ask one of her brothers to dance with her to the Christmas music.

It is such a nice time to gather together as a family unit after the annual stuffing of the faces happens with Thanksgiving and do something that everyone enjoys doing together. I couldn't help but have a big smile on my face while we all worked together to bring some holiday cheer into our home.

Do you have traditions in preparing for the holidays? What are they? Have they been passed down from one or many generations?

Friday, November 28, 2014

AVN Holiday Gift Guide 2014

A Vintage Nerd

Welcome to my very first holiday gift guide! 

I have always enjoyed reading gift recommendations from other bloggers.  I often get ideas for gifts either for others or myself from those lists. Today I am sharing my version of a holiday gift guide that includes a mesh of vintage, kitschy, nerdy, and fun items. I mean that is what A Vintage Nerd is all about, right?

British Christmas Jumpers
Betsy Johnson
Tarte Petite Treats
Vermont Country Store
Harry Potter
1950's Radio
Mystery Date Game

Are there things you would add to your own holiday gift guide? Keep in mind if I could I would have added a zillions book and dvds but it was too hard to choose just one specific book or one specific classic film.

I do hope you enjoyed my first holiday gift guide and hopefully you saw a few things you would like for Santa to bring you this year!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgivings of Yesteryear

A Vintage Nerd

Thanksgiving is a time to break bread and join together with your family and friends. Some things don't change, not even with the passing of time. Looking back, Americans have passed down the tradition of turkey and stuffing for many years. Hairstyles have changed but people today are still passing down the gravy to their children.

Here is a little peak into the Thanksgivings of Yesteryear:

1960s Thanksgiving
Past Thanksgiving
Vintage Thanksgiving
1960's Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Classic Cinema Spotlight: Batman (1966)

A Vintage Nerd

Two weeks ago I accompanied my daughter to a friend's birthday party at a movie theater. To my delight the birthday boy chose the 1966 film Batman which is based on the popular television show. I was hooked on that show when I was a pre-teen and I had a mad crush on Robin (Burt Ward).

The campiness and fun of the show just kept me tuning in every chance I had. I never saw the film but was glad to see that it had everything the show had. There was just heaps and heaps of gooey cheesiness. Batman fighting off a unrealistic plastic looking shark in mid-air and everything the Penguin used as a weapon has a penguin on it. Just really unbelievable and impossible things happening but yet Batman always kept his seriousness when it came to apprehending the criminal mastermind.

All of Batman's (Adam West) foes show up in the film from Catwoman to the Joker. I felt like none of the actors in the film held back. You really see each actor's passion rise to the occasion and it was so nice to see that in a film.

The synopsis of the film is simple really, Batman has to figure out where a missing ship is and stop those behind its disappearance. Things go from bad to complicated and many lives are at risk as well as the state of world peace!

Batman 1966
Batman 1966
1966 Batman
Classic Batman

If you would like to see more about the film I found a great article HERE. Unfortunately the dvd is very hard to find but I am on the hunt for it. I think my boys would enjoy watching it as much as my daughter and I did. Technically this is the second classic film my daughter and I have watched together (the first being To Sir, With Love). Our third one will be coming soon when we go and watch White Christmas on the big screen!

Are you a fan of the classic Batman tv series? Did you end up with a crush on Robin too?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Special Cinema Spotlight: Flags of Our Fathers

A Vintage Nerd

Flags of Our Fathers is one of those WWII films that leaves you thinking about it for days and days afterwards. I suppose it's the stories of the men and women who were just and you and I, and braved the horrors of war and lived their lifetime with the nightmares.

Based on a book by James Bradley and Ron Powers, it retells the story about the battle of Iwo Jima,  the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were involved in raising the flag on Iwo Jima, and the aftereffects of that event on their lives.

The film is scene through the American perspective and is seen mainly through the eyes of the Navy Corpsman, John Bradley, who was the father of one of the authors. 

I have always been intrigued by the men who raised the flag and I know many believe the flag raising was staged. It seems after the first flag was raised that some politician wanted to own that flag and the commander in charge refused for that to happen so he had another set of men raise another flag and that is when the iconic photo was taken. You can read more about the iconic photo HERE

The film is set with flashbacks that for a moment confused me but by golly, it is what made this film really shine. You get involved with each character and better still is has an air of real story telling happening. I loved it! I don't feel like it was over dramatized as many war films are over dramatized to attempt to convey a message of heroism. This film just told the story of these boys and what happened to them. 

It stars Ryan Phillippe as John Bradley (the Corpsman), Jesse Bradford as Rene Gagnon, and Adam Beach as Ira Hayes. All three men were the last surviving men who raised the flag and were asked to go on tour to help raise war bonds to help supply the last remaining soldiers who were still fighting the war.

What I learned I learned from hearing the words in the film by author James Bradely on the topic of war and heroes: 

I finally came to the conclusion that he maybe he was right. Maybe there's no such thing as heroes. Maybe there are just people like my dad. I finally came to understand why they were so uncomfortable being called heroes. Heroes are something we create, something we need. It's a way for us to understand what's almost incomprehensible, how people could sacrifice so much for us, but for my dad and these men, the risks they took, the wounds they suffered, they did that for their buddies. They may have fought for their country but they died for their friends. For the man in front, for the man beside him, and if we wish to truly honor these men we should remember them the way they really were, the way my dad remembered them.

Flags of Our Fathers
Flags of Our Fathers
Flags of Our Fathers

It is a must-see for those interested in learning more about WWII. Seeing things from the perspective of the men involved was eye opening and humbling at the same time. I now really want to read the book. I can only imagine how informative, inspirational, and engrossing it could be.

Have you seen this film or read the book? Did you know much about the boys who raised the flag at Iwo Jima?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Movie Madness Monday: Desert Island

A Vintage Nerd

Being stranded on a desert island with Gilligan and the Skipper is far cry from the desert island themed films of yesteryear.  While on the island with Gilligan we can look forward to some quirky adventures and lots of slapstick comedy, in these films the adventures many times turn dangerous and deadly.

I don't why people enjoy films set on a desert island. Perhaps it is the mystery of not knowing where they are or hope for some romantic adventure. Either way they make me a little anxious. I think its the whole "not knowing where I am and I am surrounded by heaps of water that I cannot escape" type of situation that creeps me out.

Nevertheless, a film set with the air on unknowing, tropical breezes, and the possible attack from native islanders can make for a good adventure film. Some end happily ever after and some leave you with a feeling of dread. But the idea of being removed from everything you know and having to make due with a foreign climate can leave the characters in the story facing challenges that they either will or will not overcome. Gosh. I think films set on a desert island are actually quite daring!

And then there were none

Robinson Crusoe

Swiss Family Robinson

Lord of the Flies
Have you been able to see any of these films yet? Do you find films set on a desert island to be an intriguing background for characters to play in?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Be Inspired: 1960's Christmastime

When the holidays begin rolling around I always think on how I can make my holiday a little bit more  old-fashioned. Looking at photos from Christmas's past is what inspires me to bring a little of the past into my own holiday celebration and into the lives of my family.

I have fond memories of my Christmas's from my childhood. We had ornaments from the 1960's-1970's hanging on our tree, which was real. The smell of pine was sweet in our living room and we also had this amazingly annoying but sort of neat attachment that was in the shape of a ball that would tweet. I miss that annoying tweeting. It reminds me of the Christmas's I had in the apartment where my mother lived. It warms my heart like hot chocolate warms the tummy,

Having three small children can pose a challenge in attempting to bring a little more vintage into the holidays only because you really don't want your four or five year old to break something accidentally. For now, I am slowly incorporating things that I know they can handle. We started a tradition of having hot chocolate in some 1950's Santa mugs. We make cookies for Santa the night before with vintage cookie cutters. I have Christmas classics from the 1940's and 1950's blasting through the air as we begin the holidays decorations the day after Thanksgiving.

Looking at all the Christmas photos from the 1960's makes me feel inspired and eager to begin to celebrate the season.

1960s Christmas
1960s Christmas
1960s Christmas
1960s Christmas
1960s Christmas
1960s Christmas
1960s Christmas

Elves on shelves, decorating the Christmas tree, and family portraits, just some of the fun to be had during the Christmas season.

What decade inspires you during Christmastime? In what ways have you implemented vintage into your holidays?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Classic Cinema Spotlight: Brewster's Millions

A Vintage Nerd

You may have heard of this title from the 1980's film by the same name starring Richard Pryor. Well, today I bring you a review of the original.

The gist the story is simple. Boy comes home from war, wants to marry girlfriend, gets derailed with an inheritance from a long lost uncle, then is told he has to spend ONE million dollars before he can get the other seven million! Phew! Talk about a doozy of a situation. Worse part is that he cannot tell anyone because then he loses all of the money. Of course that makes the situation open for hilarity and melodrama.

Brewster's Millions (1945) stars Dennis O'Keefe as Montague Brewster and Helen Walker as Peggy Gray, Brewster's love interest. June Havoc (Gypsy Rose Lee's younger sister) and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson have smaller but very entertaining roles.

This film isn't an academy award winning but its sweet and fun and it was really nice to see another version of this story. There are ten versions of this story that originally started out as a novel that was published in 1902.

Brewster's Millions
Brewster's Millions
Brewster's Millions

Have you seen this version of Brewster's Millions? Can you imagine having to spend one million dollars in two months in order to receive seven more??
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