Dream Oscar Red Carpet Outfits

The 88th Academy Awards ceremony is coming up tomorrow, Sunday February 28th. The Oscars is one of our favorite events of the year and one of the best parts is watching the gorgeous looks on the red carpet. That got us thinking. If we could attend and brush elbows with celebrities on the red carpet what would our dream outfits be. Check them out below and share your ideas in the comments.

Kiana’s Dream Red Carpet Look

My dream red carpet ensemble would be heavily inspired by one of my favorite decades: the 1930s. The dress itself would be a hand-sewn, bias-cut, silk charmeuse, floor-length gown. Asymmetrical neckline. A-line skirt with a clutch of draping. Set-in waist. A rich teal color. The shoes would be Italian-made leather, metallic gold d’Orsay pumps with leather soles. The handbag would be a vintage Whiting and Davis gold mesh evening bag. The jewelry would be vintage Tiffany & Co. An Art Deco bangle and long, drop earrings both in yellow gold and diamonds. And, finally, the piece de resistance… The entire ensemble would be topped off by a white mink caplet.

Kianas Oscar Outfit

Devin’s Dream Red Carpet Look

If I was lucky enough to be walking the red carpet I think I would want to wear my favorite emerald green, such as used in this gorgeous beaded cap sleeve gown by Elie Saab. For accessories I’ve paired it with Christian Louboutin crystal peep toe slingbacks, an opal and Swarovski crystal embroidered clutch by Marchesa, and black opal and diamond earrings from Tiffanys.

Devins Oscar outfit

What would your dream ensemble be? For a little inspiration check out this fun infographic by mediarundigital.co.uk of all the best actress winner’s dresses from 1929 through 2014.

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Big Screen Classics: The Maltese Falcon

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Due to several weeks of business trips, sickness in both houses and endless work we were seriously over due for a BFF date. Luckily TCM and Fathom Events came to the rescue with the 75th anniversary screening of The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor. This has long been one of my favorite film noir detective movies. It’s got all the classic twists and turns of a great mystery played by an all star cast.

The Maltese Falcon (1941) – A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn’t seen it so I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say be prepared for misdirection, double crosses and lots of pithy one liners. An all around good time.

Some interesting trivia we learned regarding the film:

  • This was John Huston’s directorial debut (he was also the screenwriter).
  • Though this is the third film adaptation of the book by Dashiell Hammett it is widely considered the best.
  • Sydney Greenstreet makes his film debut playing Kasper Gutman in this movie at the age of 62. He would go on to be one of the most famous character actors in the Warner Brothers stable.
  • Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet would go on to act together in 9 films, including Casablanca and Passage to Marseille where they once again team up with Humphrey Bogart.
  • Nominated for Best Picture at the 1942 Academy Awards.

I would highly recommend catching this film in the theaters if you can. Encore showings are this Wednesday, February 24th. Get all the details on Fathom Events.

And just for fun, here we are doing our best serious, brooding, film noir faces. Clearly we need a little more practice.

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Brooklyn: Moving to America has never looked so good

Brooklyn-US-Poster-Saoirse-Ronan (1)Finally made it to the theater this week to see Brooklyn. I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming tale and beautiful love story. Saoirse Ronan (pronounced Ser-sha, like inertia, thank you Ryan Gosling) shines as a young Irish immigrant striking out on her own to find opportunities in America. It’s not hard to see why she was nominated for her second Oscar for playing this role. Add in two dreamy leading men, played by Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson, and you are in for a good time.

Here is the official synopsis and trailer:

BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

Bonus Factor: Great supporting cast

The talented Jim Broadbent plays Father Flood, Eilis’ mentor while she is in America. Comedy relief is provided by Julie Walters, as the boardinghouse matron, and the “giddy” girls who live there with Eilis. Loved seeing my favorite character from Arrow, Emily Bett Rickards, on the big screen.

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But lets get to the good stuff, the fashion! I adored the 1950s costumes in this movie. I pretty much wanted to take home everything Eilis wore.

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Seriously, that green bathing suit is my dream. And how fun does Coney Island look?

Have you seen Brooklyn yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

Mercy, Mercy Me

Well butter my biscuits, there’s a new period drama coming to PBS.

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The official synopsis reads: “‘Mercy Street’ follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War — New England abolitionist Mary Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green. The Green family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war’s wounded. Inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at Mansion House Hospital, this new drama reveals the stories of those struggling to save lives while managing their own hardships.”

Mercy Street premiers Sunday, January 17th after Downton Abbey.

Here’s why I am looking forward to trying this show out.

Be civil now

One, it’s a rarity these days to find a period drama set in America; especially one set before the 1900s. I find Civil War history both fascinating and heartbreaking. I imagine we will get plenty of both in this part medical drama and part family drama.

Haaaave you met Ted?

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Courtesy of Antony Platt / PBS

Second, one of the first things that jumped out at me when I watched the trailer was Josh Radnor (aka Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother) sporting a full beard and looking quite troubled.

In addition I will enjoy seeing Broadway alums Norbert Leo Butz and Donna Murphy on the small screen.

Bonus: Executive producer Ridley Scott. Enough said.

Gone With The Wind factor

Third, I have always had a special place in my heart for Southern Belles, and their fashion, courtesy of Miss Scarlett O’Hara. Here’s hoping for some great costumes complete with giant hoop skirts.

Who will be watching this Sunday? Any Civil War buffs out there?

Fixer Upper tackles Mid-century Mod

Confession time. I am addicted to watching HGTV design shows. Yes, I know, I don’t even own a home to decorate, nor could I likely afford most of the items they feature. But for entertaining eye candy and fueling my house of dreams I love it.

One of my favorite shows right now is Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines are totally lovable and of course immensely talented. Who doesn’t want to hang out at their farm with their four beautiful kids and the parade of animals Chip is always bringing home?

Now in their third season, this past week, Chip and Joanna showed off some behind the scenes clips and reminisced about their favorite projects. Joanna picked an episode from season 2 where they remodeled a mid-century modern home, which regular viewers of the show will know, is a big departure from the farmhouse chic ascetic that Joanna is known for. Surprisingly one of the episodes I hadn’t seen before, it immediately caught my attention as I love a good mid-century design. I had to go find the full episode to check it out.

Take a look at the amazing transformation. If you want to see for yourself it’s episode 9 of season 2, available on Amazon.

Before exterior

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After exterior

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Before living room

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After living room

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Before kitchen

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After kitchen and dining

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Want some mid-century flair in your home?

I am digging these pieces from Joybird Furniture.

The Hughes Sofa – $1,849

I mean, come on, this is so cool. Bonus: You can customize in 90 colors and three wood stains.

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Or this cool glass and solid wood dining  table. Hesse -$1,999

 

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What do you think? Would you go for a mid-century modern look in your home?

Netflix Queue: The 1940s and WWII

We’ve been having a love affair with everything British in the 1940s lately.  Luckily for us Netflix has a nice selection of period tv series so we can get our fix.

These are just a few of our favorites.

Bomb Girls

From Netflix: Focusing on a group of women working in a Canadian munitions factory during World War II, this ensemble drama depicts the dangers and new experiences they face. While drawn from diverse backgrounds, the women soon form strong bonds with their peers.

Land Girls

From Netflix: Set on a farm in the English countryside during World War II, this program follows the lives, loves, highs and lows of four members of the Women’s Land Army who are working at the Hoxley Estate.

Foyle’s War

From Netflix: Set in the English coastal town of Hastings during World War II, this compelling crime drama follows police inspector Christopher Foyle, who discovers that crooks don’t stop for anything — not even war.

Island at War

From Netflix:  Set on a fictional slice of the Channel Islands, this engrossing series follows three families caught on the islands at the beginning of World War II, capturing their experiences as they grapple with the stress of daily life and global conflict.

What are some of your favorites?

Celebrating the life of Janice DeVries

For as far back as I can remember I have been Grandma’s girl.  I was often told how much I looked like my paternal grandmother, literally from head to toe (she even compared our feet one day).  My love for big earrings and red lipstick stem from her influence.  If I had to choose one word to describe her it would be gregarious.  She was the life of the party and never met a stranger in her life.
Sadly we lost my grandmother to a long battle with cancer last week.  She was a tough woman who inspired us all with her determination and spirit.  I want to take a moment to celebrate her life and the legacy she leaves behind.

 

Fun stories and interesting facts about Grandma DeVries:

She was the baby of 12 children!
Janice Huff was a very spirited young lady in the early 1940s.  Many funny stories of her hijinks with her cousin have been shared but I think my favorite was the time she had to spend a few hours in a cell at the local police station and her friends snuck her cigarettes through the windows.  Jail was not going to stop her fun. 
One night Janice went out and throughout the night the shoulder pad of her coat kept slipping down.  She had to keep shoving it up.  Over and over, all evening.  When she arrived home and took her coat off a scared and frazzled mouse crawled out of her sleeve.  All night he had been trying to escape. 
After a whirlwind courtship, Jack and Janice went across the state line to Arizona to get married.  Why?  Because at that time Arizona didn’t require a blood test before getting married and Janice was afraid of needles.
Five of her brothers fought in World War II and they all came home safe. 
My grandparent’s loved playing cards.  After a while they stopped sitting next to each other during games because some people couldn’t be trusted not to cheat.  Often heard at the end of a game was “God damn it!  I am never playing cards with you again”, followed the next night by “Lets play cards.”
Agreed to go onto Family Fued because my Dad wanted to play.  The host was very flirty with the beautiful Mrs. DeVries.
Grandma’s mashed potatoes are a family favorite, enjoyed only a few times a year due to the huge amounts of unhealthy ingredients.  We waited eagerly all year to have them.  I’ve included the recipe below.  

Janice Huff DeVries 

February 22, 1931-December 2, 2013

October 14, 1954–Ordinarily it might be fun to be on the society page, but not so much for Janice, who had ditched work to go to the races!

At Knott’s Berry Farm with my sister Karla and cousins Janna and Jack

Celebrating 60 years of marriage. True soul mates Jack and Janice.

Grandma’s Famous Mashed Potatoes

 

Ingredients:
  • Dozen potatoes
  • One block of cream cheese (8oz), softened
  • One cup sour cream
  • One stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and chop into chunks.  Boil in a large pot until soft, about 30 minutes.  Drain potatoes and place into a large mixing bowl.  Add the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper to bowl.  Mix on medium until smooth.
Enjoy!

Channeling My Inner Housewife

Apologizes for the absence lately.  It’s been a busy few months.  Changed jobs, moved houses, started a new nutrition plan.  My head is still spinning from all the changes.  Things seem to be settling down into a new routine now though, so I can get back to some of my hobbies.

When I first moved into the cute 1940s era house with my new roommate and discovered there was no microwave and no working dishwasher my millennial generation brain was like, “What?! How can I survive without a microwave and dishwasher?” After some thought though, I decided maybe I could turn this into a modern vintage challenge.  It has been educational and sometimes frustrating but I feel I probably am better off in the long run for it.

What have I learned?

Channeling my inner 40s housewife has led to some revelations for me.

  1. Food tastes better when using fresh ingredients and not reheating in the microwave.  Okay that may seem like a no-brainer to some of you but up until recently I didn’t know grass fed beef has more flavor than regular beef and that pizza reheated in the oven is far superior to the microwave.
  2. That the classic comfort foods many of us associate with vintage cooking can be made in healthier ways to fit our more modern understandings of nutrition.  Here are two of my favorite re-imagined classics.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe from PrimalPal.net hits the spot when you need a warm and filling “comfort” meal.  The secret to the delicious beef is cinnamon and nutmeg.  It was a first for me to use those ingredients in beef but the results were amazing.  One note, I personally thought it came out a little salty so perhaps salt to taste.

Pumpkin Pie with a Coconut Crust

Now this recipe is dairy and gluten free which I know can sound scary but trust me you won’t even miss it.  The coconut is a great pairing with the pumpkin and it fills those fall season cravings without the guilt that so often comes with it.

    By the Sea: Vintage Bathing Suits

    Grab your swim cap and towel and let’s go!

    Summer is upon us again!  Whether your itinerary includes a beach side vacation or lounging by the pool you’ll need a stylish ensemble.  Check out these fun vintage inspired options for your next adventure.

    Girls in swimsuits sip from a water fountain in New York, July 1948.

    Check out the retro inspired swimwear from UK company For Luna Swimwear.

    I love the pink stripes with navy sash of this swimsuit from Shabby Apple.  Also available in an several other color combinations.

    Or if a two piece is more your speed check out this flirty black and white number with oversize bow top.

    Unique Vintage has a fun selection of bathing suits and accessories including this adorable nautical inspired one-piece.

    And if you want to really have a vintage experience, channel Esther Williams in a floral swim cap.

    Finally add a little fun with some retro patterns from ModCloth.

    Do you have a favorite?  Any other sites you recommend for vintage swimwear?

     

    National Geographic, April 1930

    A Hidden Gem for Vintage Lifestyles – Bramcost Publications

    We love living a vintage-inspired lifestyle every day of the year. Sometimes, we even go hardcore vintage lifestyle. At those times we want to wear vintage, eat vintage (recipes), watch vintage (movies), make vintage (crafts), and listen (to) vintage (music). And we’ve found that some of the best sources for authentic guidance in the vintage lifestyle are publications from Bramcost. Covering every era from the 1800s to the 1960s, Bramcost Publications specializes in reprinting vintage materials. They offer a wide range of topics but many of their titles cover sewing, crocheting, knitting, and hairstyling of decades past.

    Want to really feel like you are a Victorian beauty? Try Manual of Ladies Hairdressing for Students – Over 35 Authentic Victorian Hairstyles With Instructions by A. Mallemont. 

    Have you been watching too much Mr. Selfridge (as seen on PBS – see earlier post)? Feeling the need to make your own Edwardian hat? You really must read Practical Home Millinery — Edwardian Hat and Veil 
    Pattern Making, Techniques and Construction by Amy Reeve. Although, some of us just love the romanticism of Hope Chest — Vintage Wedding Guide to Preparing a Bridal Trousseau by Royal Society.
     
     

    Our favorite, when we’re in a 1930s mood, is Make-Up — 1930s Beauty Instruction and Technique by Virginia Vincent. 

    Feeling like the 40s? Beauty, Glamour & Personality — A Complete 1940s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Elegance by Ern and Bud Westmore gets rave reviews from most web sites (Don’t believe us? Check out what people have to say on Amazon.com.)





    If the 50s are more your style, then the Westmore’s also wrote the Westmore Beauty Book — A Complete 1950s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Beauty Techniquesby Bud, Perc, Frank, Mont and Wally Westmore.

    The best part: they have a blog focused on vintage tidbits, recipes, and free vintage patterns for crochet, sewing, and hairstyling. Talk about a delightful and fun-filled hodgepodge of vintage info! Although it’s currently on hiatus, they plan to revive the blog with all sorts of new posts in the fall. In the meantime, catch up on all of their previous posts. One of our favorites is the recipe for Stuffed Frankfurters from 1937.

     

    What are your favorite vintage crafts or hobbies?