Monday, May 30, 2016

Movie Madness Monday: Wearing Habits

Classic Film
I know some folks may have never met a nun, let alone one wearing a habit. Most orders today have left the habits behind and they have adopted more of a standard modern uniform type of dress code. Slacks with blouse or skirt with blouse and jacket, I know its rare to see one wearing a habit today but if you do it is something you may not forget seeing.

There is something beautiful about tradition whether you agree with it or not. I have personally known nuns my entire life. I even have a friend who is a nun. I confess, I like being around nuns. It's not an easy lifestyle to understand when you are on the outside but if you can open you heart to understanding, it really is a beautiful lifestyle choice.

I am happy to say that I have been able to witness the lives of some nuns and watching films about them can be seen as a little inside peak on what it could be like. I think the Nun's Story really captures that struggle. I have known sisters who dated before they entered the convent, some that entered as soon as they were eighteen, one who entered late in life, and one who left the order because of personal reasons. I also knew one who fell in love but decided to stay in her order as well as one who was the sister of a very well known celebrity. You can say I have known some nuns in my lifetime.

It is a lifestyle choice like marriage or the single life and not everyone can or is willing to understand the process of choosing a different lifestyle than others may have. I can tell you from experience it is worth trying to see, trying to know, trying to understand. I know its made me a better person. I'm glad of it.

I have enjoyed these films selections and hope will too. They will bring you back to old school ways of the sisters of yesteryear.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Classic Cinema Spotlight: Cinderfella

Classic Films

Years and years ago I watched this film and I thought I'd give it another go because frankly I only had some slight memory of it. Rediscovering films is fun to do because when you re-watch it at a different stage in life you see things and understand things you wouldn't have otherwise. It's my nerdy version of fun.

Cinderfella stars Jerry Lewis who is known for his comedic work starring as the male counterpart of Cinderella. He has a selfish stepmother, two awful stepbrothers, and he is their maid and servant on a daily basis. And let's not forget his fairy godfather played by the always fun to watch, Ed Wynn.

Telling this tale from a male perspective I noticed is a bit tricky and its probably why I have never heard of a another film trying to tell the story from this view point again. But I found it refreshing in its attempt and simply just fun to watch.

Jerry Lewis  is funny and silly and makes you giggle when you least expect it. He is just so good at what he does. What you don't expect is for Cinderfella to take on a serious tone. It takes a while to get to the meat of the story but once you get to it you will be genuinely wowed by his performance. And aside from the silliness, there really is a beautiful story that is told with a happy ending and all.

There were a few parts of the film that I remember as a child sort of cringing to but the second time around I have to say it was just over dramatics on the actresses part. Once you see the film you will know what I mean. I don't like to give away too much in my reviews but I truly want you to see and experience for yourself.

Jerry Lewis

I suggest to be patient during the beginning of the film, enjoy the silliness, and hold onto your seats because you will see a side to Jerry Lewis's acting that is rarely if ever seen again. Truly lovely to watch and in all honesty, you cant go wrong with a Jerry Lewis film.

Have you seen Cinderfella? Do you like Jerry Lewis films? Are there any you liked a lot and would like to share with me and my readers?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

AVN Book Club: Double Feature: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is one person I thoroughly enjoy learning more about. She just exuded class, the everyday woman, and elegance all rolled into one. There is nothing better than learning more about a person than from their closest family and friends. In Audrey's case, both of her sons wrote amazing books about her. What makes them so good is that they read like a love letters from a son to his mother.

A few years ago I blogged about her son Sean Ferrer's book called Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit. Its one of my favorite books not only because of the way it was laid out but because of the private things he shared about his mother. When I finished the book my understanding and respect for her as a person grew. I not only admire her work in cinema but I admire her work in life-her family, friendships, and humanitarian work. She's simply one heck of a lady.

Audrey Hepburn Books
Audrey Hepburn An Elegant Spirit

Audrey's youngest son, Luca Dotti recently published a book about Audrey what life was like with her at home. Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother's Kitchen. I have read often that Audrey was one heck of a cook and relished her time at home with her family and friends.

Much like his brother Sean's book, Luca shares a bit about Audrey's childhood and her career but what sets his apart is that he really delves into sharing what it was like have Audrey as a mother. He shares her love for gardening, pasta, cooking for her friends, and her home in Switzerland.

I loved all the little bits about her he shared and all the photos but I especially loved all the recipes that he shares in the book. These recipes were Audrey's recipes and so in my opinion are little bits of treasures that he is giving to us, the reader, something you really can't find anywhere else.

Audrey at home
Luca Dotti
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn Books
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

My second Audrey book is How to be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life. It is a small hard covered book that is jam packed with wisdom that is a blend of Audrey's own words and reflections on those words.

I found this book to be refreshing and the way the author divides the subjects like happiness and health and how we can learn more from Audrey's own life and words. I just loved it. I can read and re-read this book and still find something new that I can reflect on within myself.

What I liked best about discovering this book was realizing I am not the only one that is in awe of this incredibly inspirational person who just happens to be one heck of a famous classic Hollywood film star.

How To Be Lovely
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn Books
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

I couldn't recommend these books more. The are both treasures especially is you are a big fan of Audrey's work like I am.

Have you read either of these? Have you read any books on her? Just below are a heap of Audrey Hepburn related posts that I have written through the years. I hope you enjoy them!

A Vintage Nerd Supplementary Reading:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Movie Madness Monday: Prehistoric

Movie Madness

Will peoples fascination with dinosaurs ever cease? I don't think so. There are so many prehistoric themed films out there that it was actually tricky to pick my top four favorite recommendations.

I recently watched One Million Years B.C. because I was curious about the infamous "Raquel Welch movie" You know the famous fur bikini she was wearing. She was actually one of the few pinups of the 1960's but I digress. The film was fun to watch but I couldn't help but think how much more they made a big deal about it because of the obviously gorgeous bod of Raquel Welch.

Today's installments for movie madness Monday is all about prehistoric films. Dinosaurs, jungles, clubs, jumbo sized spiders, and lots of wonky adventures. I find films like this to be fun. Have you seen any of these? Do you enjoy prehistoric themed films?

Prehistoric Women
The People That Time Forgot

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kate Spade: 25 Years in the Waiting

Kate Spade

I will never forget the day I discovered Kate Spade. I walked into my local Macy's store with one of my friends and went over the handbag section which is one of my favorite accessories. I don't remember the color or size of the handbag but I remember I was 15 and I remember being in awe of it. So much so that I vowed to someday own a Kate Spade handbag. Obviously at 15 years old I couldn't afford the handbag but I promised myself right then and there that someday I would.

Time passed and my tastes changed but I never forgot about Kate Spade. One of the things I love about vintage is how well made so many items seem to be. Vintage can be timeless and classic and to me that is something I love and admire. I know some may think that being a fan of vintage fashion is something that is just a fad but actually delving myself into vintage fashion has taught me a great deal about style. I find that in my specific style that owning classic pieces like Kate Spade will not only go well with any ensemble but also last me many years. Isn't that something we all love about vintage? How long lasting and beautifully unique it all seems to be?

Well, when my 40th birthday came rolling around in January I finally acquired my first piece of Kate Spade. My red cross body bag is just everything I thought it would be. Not only does Kate Spade have outstanding online sales but they package their items with incredible care. The attention to detail and coupon added to my order just made me feel like they really do pay attention to their customers. That is something you don't always find in modern shops today at all.

I was a fan of Kate Spade 25 years ago and 25 years later I am more a fan now than I ever thought I would be. I even scored a great sweatshirt from them. They sell handbags, clothes, jewelry, and housewares and all of it is just beautiful. Kate Spade was absolutely worth the wait. Classic, well-made pieces is what I am about these days and it fits the bill more than I expected.

Kate Spade
Kate Spade
Kate Spade
Kate Spade
Crown and Glory

What I wore:

Crazy Like a Fox Sweatshirt: Kate Spade
Black Cotton Skirt: eShakti
White Collared Blouse: Boden
Floral Headband: Crown and Glory
Red Crossbody Handbag: Kate Spade
Red Loop Earrings: Vintage

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Celebrating Vintage Mamas: Part Two

Audrey Hepburn

Being a mother is all encompassing. That is if you want to be an effective mother. Its so encompassing that for many they put aside their passions and dreams. In my personal opinion I think a women who still finds the time and energy to pursue her passions makes for a happier mother and in turn brings happiness to the children. I learned early on that a happy mommy makes happy kids.

Is it easy to balance work, housework, marriage, relationships, health, bills, school, kids school, kids period with your own stuff. No. It is not easy. I also don't think its for the faint of heart. Being a mother is a selfless act. At least I think it should be. You give your body and your mind and your heart and your emotions and everything else inbetween. And its never ending. But finding a passion, a hobby, a craft you enjoy doing brings more joy to yourself. If you bring your family into it or share it with them they can enjoy what you are doing for yourself as well.

When I first started delving more into vintage and all the things it touched-films, fashion, modeling, etc-I struggled trying to find the time and energy and funds to invest into my hobby. My hobby turned quickly into a passion and it is now a huge part of who I am. I used to seperate my passion for vintage from my family. It took too much work and took away a lot of joy from what I was doing. It's different now. I share what I do with my children and they absoutly love that I am a blogger and that I love old things as they say and that I dress up different that other people. They love it all.

So it is possible to still be a dedicated mother and delve into your passions as well. I have to constantly keep things in balance and I blog late at night when the children are in bed and yeah its really a struggle but I couldn't be happier with what I am doing. It is a part of me and honestly it has made me a better person, a better woman, and a better mother.

Don't think that you can't be a mom and love vintage all at once. Share it with your loved ones, get them invovled, take what you do as an opportunity to teach your children history, classic film, fashion, old fashioned values, etc. As you learn and explore the world of yesteryear your children will learn and explore as well. That's what I am doing and I love it. I love sharing it with them. I love it when they say, "Mom, you're the vintage nerd!" Yes dears I certainly am!

Before I share with you the two lovely vintage mamas I have here in my post, swing by to Va-Voom Vintage where Brittany has shared Part One of this series HERE.  I hope you enjoy what all of these vintage mama have so candidly and kindly share with all of you. What they share is a treasure trove of handy dandy advice and wisdom. Thank you ladies!!

Audrey Hepburn

My name is Denise Corvin, I previously blogged as RetroGran, but haven't in a couple years now. I do, however, miss that creative outlet and plan to pick it back up soon.

I am the mother of 6 grown children, five boys - two of which are identical twins - and one daughter. I currently have 7 grandchildren and we are expecting grand-babies number 8 and 9 this year. Even though all of my children are grown, the hubby and I just recently, within the last six months, became empty-nesters. Before that, our son, his wife, and their son had lived with us for over 4 years. It is very different not having children living in our home any longer. We have a new found freedom and sometimes feel like newlyweds again.

I am a lover of all things vintage, and especially love the fashion and hairstyles from the 20s to the 60s. My favorite eras are the 30s & 40s but I feel that my body type is better suited for the 50s and 60s.

I am from an extremely small town in the southwestern portion of Virginia so my style is very unique to our area. This is farm territory, lots of tractors and muck boots, so when I go out I tend to get lots of looks, compliments, or the occasional "Are you going to a costume party?" Being from a small town also makes it harder to find vintage clothing locally. All of my true vintage wear has come from either fb groups, Ebay or Etsy and most all of my clothing is purchased online or thrifted. 

Given my age, I try to find more conservative pieces versus the "pinup" look. Not that I don't love that look, I just feel its not appropriate for me, Grandma, to be wearing. Now if I were young, I would totally rock that look.

I don't always wear vintage or vintage inspired clothing, especially now that I am retired and home all day. Its just easier to do housework etc in everyday attire. However, when I was working, I did. I found it a great time saver in the mornings if I would set my hair the night before and if I didnt have time for that, I would do up-dos or wear scarves.

My husband is very supportive of my style but not all of my children have been. I have one son in particular that tells me the way I dress makes me look old. I typically say, because I am. :)

Much love,


Audrey Hepburn

About me: I am a wife and mom to a 16 month old daughter (Jane) and we currently live in southern California. 

Getting ready: I try to do as much prep as possible the night before. This typically includes getting my outfit for the next day ready and showering. If it happens to be the one day a week that I am going to wash my hair I will blow-dry it to completely that night as well. In the morning I’ll wake up about an hour before my daughter does as getting ready while she is still asleep is easiest! I’ll plug in the curling iron then wash my face/moisturize. I use a 1” curling iron and double prong clips to set my hair and tend to focus more on the curls in front and save more meticulous sets for special occasions.

 As I go through different sections of curling y hair I’ll start makeup prep – eye cream/primer and let that absorb while I go back to finish my hair. Once my hair is all punned up I’ll start my makeup. When my daughter was a newborn I started what a “makeup “triage” routine of starting with the most important areas first followed by some “nice to haves” if time permitted. I curl my eyelashes/ mascara first, line my waterline with a beige colored eye pencil, then foundation/concealer/powder/blush, then brows, then eye shadow/eyeliner. and lips last (which on most days I end up doing in the car).

Struggles: Staying motivated is always a struggle. I feel I have a pretty solid and fairly quick routine and I know I always feel better when I’ve got my vintage “face” on but it can be hard to put in the effort when you’re having a literally shitty” day. It can also be hard to find moms who share your appreciation for red lipstick and embroidered cardigans, but that’s where making friends on Instagram has really been a godsend.

I feel like moms are told they have to wear things that are “comfortable” and easy to wash. At a breastfeeding support group I was told to wear practical items when I went back to work since that would be easier to pump in. I ignored this advice and MANY times pumped in my slip while my dress hung over the chair. You’ll be doing more laundry than you ever imagined so you may as well be washing items that make you feel good when you wear them!

Time saving tips: This is pretty standard in the vintage community but dry shampoo is my best friend. Psssst! Is my go-to brand. Also I really recommend investing in a clothes steamer. I have a Jiffy J-2000 model which runs about $160 which I know is pricey but it is so worth it! You can use tap water to fill it and it I have used it almost daily since we bought it back in 2008. It won’t completely replace an iron for say pressing creases in pants but it will get wrinkles out of ANYTHING including very delicate vintage pieces which has saved me a lot of money on dry-cleaning. It takes less than 1 minute to heat up and only about other minute per garment to steam.

Shopping Vintage: With a baby in tow, digging at thrift stores is a bit more of a challenge. I’ll save splurges for vintage specific clothing stores and reputable etsy shops since I find that the effort they have put into finding, cleaning, and mending these items has made their price points worth it. I’ve had pretty good luck at antique stores lately where the clothing selection is usually pretty limited and in many classes needs TLC but the prices are usually negotiable and the racks are easy enough to quickly sift through. I’ve been trying to focus my searches on either neutral colored separates that I can mix and match. I got in the habit of buying vintage that “sort-of” fit and stared a pile of “to be altered” that sat in my floor for far too long.

Reproduction: Pinup Girl and Heart of Haute are my go-to brands for tops. They have held up through many MANY stains and washing.

Modern: There are treasures to be found at modern stores too! Usually online is the easiest. I’ll search for things that are “high-waisted” or “cropped” which of course to vintage loving gals they never really are….but they are pretty close! Then when I read reviews where customers complain “love this top but it’s too short!” I think “BINGO!” And more often than not these items tend to be pretty heavily marked down.

Film Star Moms: Elizabeth Taylor and Jayne Mansfield are my favorite film star moms.

Funny Stories: I have managed to convince my husband to keep his hands off of my hair and eyebrows but trying to teach a toddler to do the same has been a challenge. Her tiny hands always mange to smear lipstick across my face : -) Earrings have been successful at keeping her hands busy. One of her first words was “bauble” which her grandma taught her.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Movie Madness Monday: Coming of Age

Movie Madness

I confess, coming of age films are my favorites. I love drama and romance and horror and suspense but films about growing pains hold a special place in my heart. My teen years were unforgettable and not to mention my pre-teen years. It wasn't the events or lack thereof, but the pangs and longings and loneliness during that time of change. I can still empathize with stories that deal with those subjects.

I know a lot of people just want to grow up and forget being a child or the pains of the teen years but I don't want to forget. I always want to feel a connection with my little self. I feel like it helps remind me that we are never all grown up but rather continuously growing and changing.

These films are some of my favorites. To Sir, With Love is on my top twenty favorite films of all times list. The last two really remind me of my days as a kid. Those sunny days in Manhattan, kids with their 10 speed bikes, Mister Softee on the corner playing his ice cream song, and not to mention the fire hydrants that were illegally opened for us to play in. Oh dear. I digress. The good 'ole days. I really love the rawness of these films and in particular the last two. You wouldn't be able to make films like those today at all.
Old Enough (1984)
Old Enough

Have you seen any of these coming of age films? Would you be interested in seeing any of them? How do you feel about looking back at those coming of age days from your own life?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Must See TV: Grantchester: Season Two


You know that moment when you finish a shows season and you think, "oh my goodness, this was the best ever and it just cannot get any better!" Well this is what happened to me after watching Season One of Grantchester. When the first season ended I eagerly anticipated the second season but I had no clue that it would leave me completely wowed. Wowed is the best word I can think of to describe this season.

The relationships between Geordie and Sydney and Sydney and Amanda come to boil and the results are surprising and lovely all at once. This season they changed things up a bit by having a crime that happens in the first episode cross over to the entire series. The writers do an outstanding job weaving that story line along with the relationships of all the main characters as well as solving other crimes and dealing with the morality of the first crime. Did that make you dizzy? Trust me it works out a lot better than I just made it sound.


Believe me when I say this to you, Season Two of Grantchester is incredible. The entire team behind the show really went the extra mile but all in a way that kept the show true to the story that started it all. A white collared religious man who ends up solving murders on the side and how his hobby affects everyone around him.

Have you seen Grantchester yet? If so, are you all caught up with the second season? Did the last fifteen minutes of the last episode leave you just as pleasantly surprised and bewildered as it did me?
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