The Twilight Zone Inspiration: What You Need

December 30, 2020
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Twilight Zone Inspiration, Rod Serling, Classic TV Shows

When we think of the holidays many of us may think about the gifts we plan to give or to receive. The lists are written and checked and rechecked to make sure we haven't forgotten anything. But something we might forget is sometimes is when we get things that we need without realizing that we need it. One such story can be found in the episode of The Twilight Zone called, "What You Need".  Ironically it aired on December 25, 1959 and it was the twelfth episode in Season One. It starred Steve Cochran as Fred Renard and Ernest Truex as Pedott, a peddler. 

The episode is simple, a meek old man approaches strangers and gifts them things they may need because he has the uncanny ability to to gift people what they need before they need it. But things then go wrong when Renard keeps asking the peddler for more items that he may need. Time and again Renard is saved from whatever item the peddler gave him (or that he takes) until it backfires on him permanently. Renard wants to take more than the peddler is willing to give and in the end although he gets what he needs, he pays the ultimate price for his greed.

We may not be able to see into the future like the peddler does but what if we were able to give ourselves and others what they needed instead of what they may want? For the holidays, the new year to come, or just any day, maybe we can give more of what is needed. For example, we could reach out and call someone we haven't spoken to in a while, we can text a friend "hello", mail a birthday card to loved one, or even just simply comment on their photo letting them know how fantastic it was. What if we pampered ourselves more by doing a face mask, painting our nails, or watching a nice movie? Giving ourselves and others around us the little things that we may need can really uplift our spirits and theirs as well. We can't go out and do the usual things we did to support others or to tend to our own well beings but there are so many other ways we can help each other along these challenging journeys we are all on. 

So next time you give think about what you may want, think about what the peddler might give you if you saw him. And ask yourself, what do I really need? 

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Twilight Zone Inspiration, Rod Serling, Classic TV Shows



The 4 Lessons I Learned from Miracle on 34th Street

December 19, 2020

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Miracle on 34th Street, Natalie Wood, Classic Christmas Movies

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is one of those quintessential Christmas movies that for many of us, is a part of our childhood holiday memories. Starring Maureen O'HaraJohn PayneNatalie Wood, and Edmund Gwenn. Natalie Wood was just nine years old when this film came out and was already her sixth film.

The story follows the Walker family (O'Hara and Wood), their neighbor Fred Gailey, and the illusive Kris Kringle. From beginning to end you can't help but wonder if Kris Kringle is really Santa Claus. It keeps you wrapped up in this sweet mystery all the while teaching valuable life lessons.

Here are 4 lessons I learned after watching Miracle on 34th Street:

1. We should never forget what it feels like to be a child whether we are a child still or all grown up. Keeping a connection to our innocence and fun keeps us young at heart.

2. Be passionate about the things you love. Kris loves being Santa Claus so whether he is or isn't doesn't matter. He loves what he does.

3. Don't use your past as a way to stop yourself from living a fuller and happier life. We all make mistakes, some big and some small. We are all perfectly imperfect. Don't use your past as an excuse to not be your best self.

4. Believe in the impossible. Not everything can be explained. Just repeat after me, "I believe...I believe... I believe."

Miracle on 34th Street really embodies the spirit of Christmas. The spirit the reminds us of the importance of friendship, love, and faith.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Old Hollywood Blog, Miracle on 34th Street, Natalie Wood, Classic Christmas Movies


8 Essential Classic Christmas Albums

December 13, 2020

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Essential Classic Christmas Albums, Vintage Christmas Vinyl, Retro Lifestyle, 1960's Music, True Vintage, Vintage Christmas, Retro Christmas

It's that time of the year where we bring in the Christmas cheer and play our holiday music. For some of us its on a radio or on our phones, but for others it may be playing old fashioned vintage vinyls on a record player. I find myself lucky that both my husband and I grew up with listening to music on a record player. Both sets of our parents listened to their records often and I remember listening to them while lying down on a pillow in the living room. Listening to vinyl records now brings back good and sweet memories. It also brings me that glimmer of Christmases past.

I happen to own a few classic Christmas albums from Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, and Doris Day to name a few, and they are such a treat to listen to. Even my children have a good time putting on the record and listening with me.

There are loads of holiday albums out there to choose from both vintage and modern. I wanted to share with you eight essential classic Christmas albums that I think are worth giving a listen to.  I mean who doesn't want to hear Elvis singing "I'll be home for Christmas" or The Beach Boys sing "Little Saint Nick". These albums truly bring in the beauty of Christmas cheer. Try them out and give them a listen during this holiday season.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Essential Classic Christmas Albums, Vintage Christmas Vinyl, Retro Lifestyle, 1960's Music, True Vintage, Vintage Christmas, Retro Christmas
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Essential Classic Christmas Albums, Vintage Christmas Vinyl, Retro Lifestyle, 1960's Music, True Vintage, Vintage Christmas, Retro Christmas

Be Inspired: Find Inspiration and Express It

December 10, 2020

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Inspiration, Vintage Fashion Inspiration, 1970's Retro Outfit, 1970's Jumper Fashion, Modcloth Jumper Dress, 1970's Fashion, Everyday Vintage Fashion, Disabled Fashion, Fashion and Leg Braces, Curvy Retro Fashion, Red and Blue Vintage Outfit
It's most likely with winter or summer where you are. One extreme weather or another. The holidays are in full swing, the pandemic continues to roll out its fury, and you might be feeling stuck. Sucky weather, holiday stresses, and limited access to "normality" can make any one of us cranky, depressed, or creatively stunted. I have personally felt it all. My four walls albeit cozy and warm have been my constant here at AVN HQ. My days are filled with the same things on repeat; housework, kids school work, and keeping everyone in a good frame of mind. 

And what am I doing for myself you may ask? The need for creativity for a creative person is like the need for a clean, fresh cup of water on any given day. You need it and it needs you. So in the midst of it all my go-to creativity tip is to look for inspiration everywhere. Look at the movie you just watched, look at Pinterest, look at some magazines, but don't stop looking.

Here I am in the middle of a bad weather day. It has been raining a lot here in New York and in the middle of school lessons I dolled up and went outside by my house and striked a pose. Why? Aren't I tired, unmotivated, or feeling drained. Of course I am but to keep myself going and my creative juices flowing despite not being able to attend events or traipse around Manhattan, sometimes you just need to grab hold of that inspiration and express it.

And express it is exactly what I did. With the holidays all around us the color red is a popular color choice when it comes to fashion. A few years into blogging I found my love for this color to run deeper than I though it could and now I wear it year round. One of my favorite color combinations is red and blue. It's classic and they are my two favorite colors. I was inspired by some 1970's photos I came across on my PINTEREST of jumper dresses. 

Comfy and cute is a must when I put together an outfit and this one checked all the boxes. I paired my blue corduroy jumper dress with a striped turtleneck top and a 1970's red knitted cape. I could have painted the town red with this outfit and I might just do that one day. Until then although I am not a big fan of getting dolled up without a purpose, I think in these special circumstances we should do exactly that. 

If fashion is your jam then doll up whenever you can. It doesn't matter that no one will see you. Just do it. Look for inspiration all over the place and grab hold of the things that make you feel good. In these trying times if a cute outfit and some red lipstick will make you feel better than you did the day before. Go for it. I have been doing this as much as I possibly can because not only do I want to bring you vintage fashion inspiration but I want to inspire myself as well. We all need some pick-me-ups so why not put on a cute top and red beret next time you run errands. It just might make you feel yourself again which we all need.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Fashion Inspiration, Vintage Fashion Inspiration, 1970's Retro Outfit, 1970's Jumper Fashion, Modcloth Jumper Dress, 1970's Fashion, Everyday Vintage Fashion, Disabled Fashion, Fashion and Leg Braces, Curvy Retro Fashion, Red and Blue Vintage Outfit

Outfit: Blue Corduroy Jumper from Modcloth, Striped Turtleneck from
 J Crew, and Vintage 1970's Red Knitted Cape.

Did You Know? White Christmas (1954)

December 06, 2020

A Vintage Nerd, White Christmas, Classic Christmas Movie, Did You Know White Christmas, Facts about White Christmas

When I think of Christmas I always think of 1954's White Christmas. I have a small handful of favorite Christmas films that I have to watch every year and this is one of them. There are so many things I love about this film. The comedy, the romance, the dance numbers, Danny Kaye, and the costumes just to name a few wonderful things about this movie.

If you want to get into the holiday spirit, this film with put you straight in the mood. But have you ever wondered about the background stories of the making of this film? Here are some facts about White Christmas (1954) that you may or may not know but hopefully will find it as interesting as I do.

A Vintage Nerd, White Christmas, Classic Christmas Movie, Did You Know White Christmas, Facts about White Christmas

When the character Judy Haynes sings, you're actually hearing Rosemary Clooney or singer Trudy Stevens. The only time Vera's real singing voice is heard is when they disembark the train in Vermont and the quartet sing the opening lines of "Snow.

When the film came out, Rosemary was 26, and Vera-Ellen, 33. Even more striking? Bing, who plays her love interest, was 51 when the movie debuted.

The film was the highest-grossing movie of 1954 with a box office take of $12 million. 

A Vintage Nerd, White Christmas, Classic Christmas Movie, Did You Know White Christmas, Facts about White Christmas

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye's comedy act wasn't originally in the story. They were goofing around, though, and director Michael Curtiz found it so hilarious that he wrote it in. Apparently, the actors found it comical, too: The laughing during the number is real.

Although Dean Jagger was made out to be the "old man", Bing Crosby was actually six months older than Dean in real life.

When Bob looks at a picture of Benny Haynes, "The Dog-Faced Boy," it's actually an image of a grown-up Carl Switzer. He's best remembered for playing Alfalfa in the original Our Gang, also known as the The Little Rascals.

A Vintage Nerd, White Christmas, Classic Christmas Movie, Did You Know White Christmas, Facts about White Christmas

According to Rosemary Clooney, the "midnight snack" scene in which Bob Wallace expounds on his theory of what foods cause what dreams was almost entirely improvised.

Percy Helton, who plays the railroad conductor, also appears in another holiday movie, playing the drunk Santa Claus at the beginning of Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

At 18, Vera-Ellen was one of the youngest Radio City Rockettes.

A Vintage Nerd, White Christmas, Classic Christmas Movie, Did You Know White Christmas, Facts about White Christmas

During the "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" sequence Danny Kaye is wearing gray and Vera-Ellen is wearing pink. Pink and gray was the hot color combination in 1954.

"Judy" was shorter than "Betty" so in an effort to make them even heights for their song numbers, although their shoes were matching, Judy's heels were higher.

Bob Fosse was the uncredited choreographer.

A Vintage Nerd, White Christmas, Classic Christmas Movie, Did You Know White Christmas, Facts about White Christmas

Throughout the film, dancer George Chakiris accompanies the Haynes sisters in an uncredited role. But soon after, he received the credit he was due: He later won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Bernardo in West Side Story. 

The Vermont inn is the remodeled Connecticut inn set from Bing Crosby's earlier movie Holiday Inn (1942).

After Fred and Bing's success in Holiday Inn, this film was intended to reunite them. But Fred had "retired" by the time White Christmas was shot 12 years later and he declined. Then, the part was offered to Donald O'Connor (known for Singin' in the Rain) but he pulled out after an illness. Then, the part was reworked for Danny Kaye.

AVN Book Club: Holiday Jubilee: Classic & Kitschy Festivities & Fun Party Recipes

December 03, 2020

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix

An elf's job is never done and when December comes rolling by it means its time to get ready and excited about the holiday season. I have been keeping busy with decorating the house, greeting Phoebe the Ef, and all sort of other Elfing jobs to help Santa out this year. My kids are beginning to question Santa's greatness but I reassured them that it is worth believing in the magic.

And what a wonderful way to start the holiday season than with some vintage holiday inspiration. One of my favorite go-to books for vintage holiday inspiration is a book by Charles Phoenix called Holiday Jubilee: Classic & Kitschy Festivities & Fun Party Recipes. This book is chalk full of vintage inspired recipes and information about the way the holidays were celebrated in the 1950's and 1960's. The section on Christmas is the longest section in the book but he covers Halloween, Easter, and Valentine's Day, just to name a few.

I find vintage recipe books to be too overwhelming because they usually don't have any photos of what the end product would look like. Unlike most vintage recipe books, this book is covered from front to back with colorful images of all the recipes. 

I tried the Astro Weenie Christmas Tree last year and it was a hit with my family. I plan to make another one this year but this time instead of using fruit and meat I will make it a dessert Astro Christmas Tree. It was so much fun to make and Charles Phoenix with his detailed recipes made me feel confident that I could make vintage inspired holiday treats.

If you are looking for vintage holiday inspiration that you can use all year round, make sure to ask Santa to put a copy of this book under your tree.

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix
A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blogger, Holiday Jubliee Book Review, Charles Phoenix, Retro Recipes, Retro Holidays, Retro Book Recommendation, Holiday Jubilee Book, Charles Phoenix


 

 
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