Kitties Galore

September 30, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Bernie Dexter Dress, Cat Print Dress, Retro Fashion Blog, 1950's Retro Dresses

I have great news to share with you all! I am now a proud furmama to not one, but two adorable kittens! We began this process about three weeks ago. I called the hospital where my Sophie was a patient and they informed me that they had two kittens from a litter of five still available. Something in my heart told me that they were meant for me and after a few visits and bumps in the road, they are finally home and finally mine.

I cannot tell you how this makes me feel. Sophie was my first cat and I never thought I would want to adopt again let alone two kittens. But Sophie taught me how much love I had to give and showed me that animal companionship is indeed good for my soul.

So I would like to formally introduce you all to Audie Murphy Laurito and Millie Audrey Laurito, born on June 7th, 2017. They are both very different but so sweet. My family is now a family of seven! I cannot tell you how full my heart feels.

A Vintage Nerd, Bernie Dexter Dress, Cat Print Dress, Retro Fashion Blog, 1950's Retro Dresses
A Vintage Nerd, Bernie Dexter Dress, Cat Print Dress, Retro Fashion Blog, 1950's Retro Dresses
A Vintage Nerd, Bernie Dexter Dress, Cat Print Dress, Retro Fashion Blog, 1950's Retro Dresses
A Vintage Nerd, Bernie Dexter Dress, Cat Print Dress, Retro Fashion Blog, 1950's Retro Dresses
A Vintage Nerd, Bernie Dexter Dress, Cat Print Dress, Retro Fashion Blog, 1950's Retro Dresses

 Outfit: Bernie Dexter Red Kittens Kelly Dress, Grey Cardigan from Old Navy, Grey beret from Forever 21, Heart Earrings are Vintage, and Lipstick from Kandee Johnson Collection


In a New York State of Mind

September 23, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion

A day out in the city, what we New Yorkers refer to as Manhattan, can be a day of endless stress or a day of endless adventure. If you are lucky you may have struck a balance between the two. I used to temp in my early 20's when I was finishing my degree and I worked for folks like Estee Lauder and the Food Network. Commuting into the city was harsh but when you're younger for some odd reason you seem to have less awareness and more aloofness. The commute wasn't that bad in retrospect. Back then I was still able to take the train on my own and relished in the independence of working in the city. Today its a different story.

Not once did it cross my mind back then that I would have a hard time commuting into the city. I wasn't fully aware perhaps or fully accepting of my disability as I am now. For me, it seems that motherhood really opened my eyes to a lot of things. My disability is one of them. I understand my weaknesses and strengths now and understand my limits as well as my ability to rise above it all. I'll be frank, I cannot commute into the city on my own anymore. If I could I would be taking out my children out more often for city adventures on my own. I cannot tell you how frustrating and disappointing it is to know that I can't. I cannot run anymore, my balance is questionable, and my stamina for standing for long periods as well as climbing stairs has lessoned considerably.

I'm so glad I did so many things in the city when I was younger and although I face the challenge of not being able to go as often as I would like, my supportive husband makes sure I get into the city at least once a month. I know most New York bloggers have these fabulous photos of themselves all over Manhattan but I can't compete with them. And thats okay. They don't have three young children, a physical disability, and a husband who works two jobs. But just because I have a few challenges doesn't mean I don't love being a blogger in the city.

I will tell you a secret. I have slowly but steadily combined my dedication to parenting with my passion for blogging. That means when I find a fun vintage type of event to attend the whole family comes along for the ride. My husband and children understand my love for all things old and they love seeing me do what I love to do. I also love sharing the past with them and the neat thing is they all have been learning new things just as I have. Whether its a museum exhibit or music event or a fashion event, they tag along for the ride with me. I also make sure that when we are going for an outing into the city everyone gets something out of it. Not just mommy. So I doll up, take a quick photo shoot (that is because the kids are bouncing around everywhere and I need to keep an eye on them while I pose and do my thing), and then we have fun doing something different as well as enjoying each others company as a family.

For example, the day of this shoot we took our children to the American Museum of Natural History for the very first time. We also took the step of becoming members which is very exciting for us as we have never done so before. I find it to be a money saver when you have kids our age. Before we went to the museum mommy did her blog thing and then we went off to have fun.

I love being a New Yorker. I love being a mommy. I love being a blogger. Combing the three can be tricky. So no, you won't see me with a zillion amazing photos every other day on my Instagram with Manhattan in the background. But you will see me. New York just isn't one tiny island, it is made up of much more.

Being a New Yorker you have to have a certain state of mind. A certain confidence when you are walking down a street you don't know, a certain curiosity when you enter a museum you haven't been to before, and a certain flare for the creative. So if you find me in the city, you will find me with my family and you will find me dolled up in my vintage inspired best. I'm their mom but I am also a blogger. And at the end of the day always a relentless New Yorker. I won't let some pesky challenges get in the way of me paving my own way. I hope you won't let any get in the way of yours either.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Blog, Jcrew New York Tee, Retro Lifestyle Blog, Retro City Fashion

Outfit: Black Blazer from Modcloth, New York Themed T-shirt from JCrew, Black Skirt from eShakti, Black Cat Beret from Forever 21, Red Crossbody Handbag from Kate Spade, and Red Sunglasses from Loft
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AVN Book Club: My Way of Life

September 16, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog

Unfortunately I couldn't meet the deadline for the Summer Reading Challenge at Out of the Past blog but I did enjoy trying. I will try again next summer but until then expect to see reviews from the books listed HERE and many others every month. This is another great read that really allowed me too learn more about the screen icon Joan Crawford.

I acquired this little treasure after I watched the wonderfully scandalous mini series called Feud (2017). I became intrigued that the iconic Joan Crawford wrote a book about how she lives her life. The only way to find out what was inside it was to read it for myself.

Throughout this little guidebook Joan shares in detail how she goes about various aspects of her life from how she spends her day to how she dresses for various occasions. It really seems like she wants the reader to benefit from her experiences. I will admit some of her writing seems a bit dramatic and overdone but she was a diva actress wasn't she?

There are heaps of tidbits of useful and thoughtful advice as well. There is a part when Joan tries to explain how important it is that she utilizes each part of her day and how lucky women are that we can juggle so much in our lives. That we can be wives, mothers, career women, hostess, and a good friend. But she emphasizes the value of surrounding yourself with happy friends and that we ourselves should not inflict our problems on our friends. We should greet our friends with joy and deal with our own personal problems ourselves.

She continues with writing, "How many people call you saying, "Oh, I woke up so tired this morning...I had such a terrible weekend...the day's awful outside." Being cheerful on the phone is part of giving. Sure, we all have our problems, but why inflict them on our friends? I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the people who call up with a cherry, happy voice--and keep it that way. People with problems seem to find that telephone irresistible. When they're happy they just don't think about sharing it with other people."

When I read those words I thought to myself that this little book has potential and it really has. There is nothing you lose by reading Joan Crawford's My Way of Life (1971). The read is smooth and her words keep you engaged. I personally had a great time reading it and I actually felt as though I learned a few things from her. I felt like her advice was well meaning and that she really poured a bit of herself into this book.

Whenever I read something that was written by someone in Old Hollywood themselves I find it to be extra special. There is nothing neater than getting first hand accounts and this book is even more of a treasure because a great star like Joan Crawford shares what works for her and what doesn't. It is incredibly personal and although some might find it over dramatic and grandiose, I found it to be a really special read.

A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Joan Crawford Book, My Way of Life by Joan Crawford, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog

Classic Cinema Spotlight: Blowup

September 12, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Classic Film Blog, Blow Up 1960s Film Reviews, Old Hollywood Blog

There's something exquisite about 1960s films. The daring fashions, the wild music, the renegade directors, and the experimental styles of film making. I find them fascinating. When I came across the film Blowup  I read that it was considered one-of-a-kind. I had no idea what the critics really meant by it so of course I had to see for myself.

It was released in 1966, filmed primarily in London England, with both Italian and British influence. It was produced by the famed producer named Carlo Ponti. and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.

It follows the day in the life of a very sought after photographer (David Hemmings) named Thomas. We see him driving in his fancy rolls Royce, taking multiple pictures of 60's mod models, and randomly walking from place to place.  Then everything changes when he decides to take a walk into the park. It is a stunningly large and beautiful park when in the middle of it all he takes notice of two lovers sneaking away for an embrace.

I found myself paying extra close attention to see if I would catch anything strange going but the neat thing the director does is have you get slowly entangled into the mystery with Thomas. You are seeing things as he is seeing things. The manner in which he goes into discovering the reality of what he saw in this park is fantastic. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen in fear of missing any tidbit.

Vanessa Redgrave plays one of the lovers but who she is left to our imagination. Actually all the characters that surrounded the main character of Thomas are not fully fleshed out. I believe this is to make Thomas and the mystery that he captures on film the central characters. It is Thomas and his camera that are the stars of this show.

And what a show it is! I absolutely adore seeing films set in a mod 60's London. They are always interesting, fun, and creative. This film encompasses it all.

A Vintage Nerd, Classic Film Blog, Blow Up 1960s Film Reviews, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Classic Film Blog, Blow Up 1960s Film Reviews, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Classic Film Blog, Blow Up 1960s Film Reviews, Old Hollywood Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Classic Film Blog, Blow Up 1960s Film Reviews, Old Hollywood Blog



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Giveaway: Women of World War II: The Pacific Theater

September 10, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Women Heroes of WWII Book, World War II Books, Retro Lifestyle Blog

As I shared with you during my review of Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater I am hosting a giveaway for two hardcover copies of this book. I do hope you enjoyed my review and there will many more book reviews to come.

I am particularly excited about this giveaway for two reasons; the first being I just love Kathryn Atwood's books and the second is that this is the first giveaway I have hosted on A Vintage Nerd blog. I am thrilled to be sharing such a great book with my readers. Although this particular giveaway is only open to those who reside in the United States, I do hope to host more in the near future that will open to all of my readers.

You have three ways to enter. You can leave a comment on my blog, follow my Instagram, or follow my Facebook page. Easy peasy. This giveaway will be open for a little over a week so you have plenty of time to join in. Spread the word if you can. This book will be one that you will not only enjoy but be utterly inspired by.

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** As of September 22, 2017, this giveaway has ended. Thank you for participating! The winners have been notified**

AVN Book Club: Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater

September 05, 2017
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Women Heroes of WWII Book, World War II Books, Retro Lifestyle Blog

When they say that the generations of men and women who bravely fought in WWII were the best generation of the 20th Century, there are nothing but valid reasons behind it. When we were thrusted into war after Pearl Harbor we were not only fighting the Nazi regime decimating Europe but also fighting the Empire of Japan. Brave men and women signed up wherever they could to help stop the oppressive forces that were are work. Many times we hear about stories about these men and women who fought in Europe but we don't hear enough about those who saw battle in the Pacific.

Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater written by Kathryn J. Atwood holds within its pages the stories of some incredibly brave and self sacrificing women who fought for freedom in the Pacific Theater. Atwood is also the author of two of my favorite books about women and war, Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics and Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue

Kathryn Atwood has this beautiful way of writing that is both academic and poetic. She has the ability to capture the stories and truths of those who fought and in some cases sacrificed their lives. Many of these women are now long gone but their experiences in war as told by Atwood can be shared and taught to the next generation. They are both informative and inspirational. You cannot read one of Atwood's books about women in war without feeling immense pride. Atwood continues her great work in this collection of stories focusing solely on those who fought and survived the war in the Pacific Theater. 

Each of these 15 stories are in a way snippets of a larger story. I love so many things about this book but one that I found super useful was that at the end of every story Atwood adds the names of other books if you want to read about the person further. This book as well as Atwood's other books about women in war would make fantastic tool. 

One of the stories that has haunted me is the one about a woman named Vivian Bullwinkel. Vivian was an Australian army nurse who was stationed in Singapore but had to evacuate due to the war coming into the country. While on board a ship which carried women and children along with various military person's, the ship was attacked. Many of the people on board drowned or were taken prisoner by the Japanese. Vivian and a few of her fellow nurses ended up washed up on a beach.  They discovered that the Japanese were also on that island so an officer and some civilians decided to see if they could surrender because they figured it would be the better option. What happened to Vivian and her fellow nurses seems like something that came from a horror movie.

"The Japanese officer said something to his soldiers. They surround the 22 Australian nurses. They prodded the nurses with their bayonets until the women had formed a line into the water. Two wounded nurses had to be half carried there by their companions. It seemed impossible to Vivian that a mass slaughter was about to occur in this beautiful setting. She kept asking herself why. And what right did the Japanese have to kill them? But she said nothing aloud. None of the nurses did. Except for the sound of the water hitting their thighs, the beach was silent. Vivian, sad to think her mother would never learn what happened to her, suddenly felt peaceful when she realized she would soon see her deceased father. She wanted to communicate her new emotion to the other nurses. She turned and smiled at them. They returned her smile "in a strange beautiful way." They had obviously found their own ways to cope during these last terrible moments. Then Vivian heard the whispered voice of their matron, Irene Drummond, "Chin up girls, I'm proud of you and I love you all." Excerpt from Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater.

When I read that passage I simultaneously got goosebumps and tears in my eyes. I have never faced war and cannot imagine what conflicting thoughts and emotions the women who did face war went through. This book helped me become aware of some of the ordeals people, in particular, women faced during the Pacific end of World War II. After I finished the stories I couldn't help but feel grateful for their sacrifice but also grateful that there is a book like this out there whose sole intention is to educate and inspire.

Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater will keep you enthralled and captivated. You will not want to put it down until you have absorbed all of the stories. And if you are a curious person like me, you will end up researching some of the women in the stories just so you can learn more about them.

If you are interested in having your own copy of Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater by Kathryn Atwood, I will be giving away two copies. A giveaway is coming soon.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Women Heroes of WWII Book, World War II Books, Retro Lifestyle Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Women Heroes of WWII Book, World War II Books, Retro Lifestyle Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Women Heroes of WWII Book, World War II Books, Retro Lifestyle Blog
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Women Heroes of WWII Book, World War II Books, Retro Lifestyle Blog

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