Friday, September 30, 2011

Extreme Couponers AKA Organized Hoarders

The other day I was watching Extreme Couponing or what I like to call Organized Hoarders. It was so unbelievable and amazing at the same time.  This one SAHM was able to get $2,000 worth of groceries for $44.67! Plus, she managed to accomplish this while shopping with her four kids all under the age of 10! Alot of time planning and organizing goes into these kind of shopping trips. She used so many coupons, like $900.00 worth. The computer system actually started to crash and she hadn't even finished using all of her coupons yet. When they finally checked out she had a truck to unload her 15 shopping carts of groceries onto. She even had five carts of items pre-ordered from the super grocery market.

When she showed her bomb shelter, oops I meant pantry that she had a locked door to, it looked like she was back at the super grocery market! Who needs racks and racks of stuff? A whole family wouldn't even be able to use up half of those things in a year. She probably had enough supplies to last for 88 years, and by then a person wouldn't be alive to use it! What if it was an apocalypse or something? All of these greedy people would just keep all the supplies to themselves and let their neighbors die of hunger. Items could be given to homeless people and food could go to local food pantries. There's only been one person I've seen so far from Extreme Couponing that's done something useful with the items purchased. Granted I've not seen every epsiode, but I've seen enough.  They spent a year or two saving up supplies to give as care packages to our American troops. Boxes and boxes of supplies were air dropped from a military plane to undisclosed locations.

At a certain point there's a difference between being frugal and being wasteful. I guess the whole appeal to the wasteful couponers is that they make it into a game for themselves at the cash register. While the rest of us play the game of life deciding whether to get groceries, gas, or prescription medications. What do you think of the Extreme Couponing show? Do you know any extreme couponers? Are you one yourself?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

So, About Those Cards!

The almost improbable turned into almost probable for the Cards. The St. Louis Cardinals pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history! Not since 1964 has the Cards come from such a deficit in the standings and salvaged themselves on the final day. Chris Carpenter was on FIRE and they got five hits within the first inning alone. The Cardinals did their part to get into the playoffs with an 8-0 win over Houston on Wednesday! Now Cardinal Nation, we wait..

And as the Braves lost to the Philadelphia Phillies:

Do you have any baseball superstitions or rituals? Or is your option, 'not telling, or I'd have to kill ya.'?

It's out of here folks!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dita Stole My Dream Kitchen!

InStyle Magazine February 2011
Dita Von Teese in her own kitchen!

Dita Von Teese sure did walk right into my "ReRe the Homemaker" dream and steal all my ideas for this retro kitchen. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! It possesses so much personality and charm with a touch of kitsch. This article even came with a dang-on recipe of Dita's Spiced Mice Butter Cookies!

I've ALWAYS dreamt of my retro kitschy kitchen being like that. That's why it pained me when two "hope snatcher" men callously dashed all my hopes of inheriting this beauty:

All that was needed was a good cleaning with elbow grease.

R.I.P. Westing House

This oven range has been in the basement of my parents home since the beginning. My mother got sick of looking at old stuff. So, she called in the two hope snatchers to pick up Westing House. They hauled her up the basement steps, dragged poor Westing House across the ground, and loaded her on to the back of a truck on nice hot day. Of course having sweet midwest manners, I offered the hope snatchers a cold drink. The only thing I could do was take pictures of Westing House moments before her fate.

However, I did find Elmira Stove Works company. This company sells customizable kitchen appliances in authentic vintage style with modern perks! I love the Northstar appliance line with so many color options!

 "Grandma never had it so good!"

Electronic Clock Controls

Sealed Gas Burners

High-speed Radiant Electric Elements

Warming Drawer

Self-cleaning oven

Elmira Stove Works has been featured in Rachel Ray's kitchen. They also have appliances on the B!tc#in' Kitchen show, which could be taken as the b!tc# in the kitchen, just saying.
What do you wish for in your dream kitchen?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet Song #1

I simply adore these song lyrics. It is so sweet and dear to me. It gives that warmth to the soul. Mostly everyone can relate to this scenerio. If you've ever wanted something so bad at some point in your life, then you can relate!

Feist - "Mushaboom"
Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven't been born Ooo
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups Ooo

But in the meantime we've got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

O-o-o-old dirt road,
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Knee deep snow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house Ooo
And we'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done Ooo

How many acres, how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbors and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

O-o-o-old dirt road,
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Knee deep snow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Old dirt road rambling rose
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Watching the fire as we grow
(mushaboom, mushaboom)
Well I'm sold Ooooo Ooooo

I did an Etsy Treasury List Mushaboom Inspired  !

Monday, September 26, 2011

Joining Circles!

Yipee! I love that scene. That's how I feel about my approval to 20 Something Bloggers (20SB). Sorry if I'm over zealous LOL. I've been wanting and waiting to join for a very long time! Now it finally became a reality I can mark off of the lifetime list. I can't wait to connect to even more people. I enjoy reading and commenting on new blogs, and hopefully will be discovered as well. What I've been up to for the past few days? Mingling in the blogosphere! I've also had a field day at Etsy. Like everyone else, I've figured out that once you've checked out Etsy, you'll be back for more. Two words: automatically hooked! I have been a member of Etsy for a while, but really haven't put it to use until this year. You remember that day I had the super caffeine energy? There was a marathon of treasury lists and joining circles going on. LOL "joining circles" sounds like a hippies type of thing or cult doesn't it? Nothing wrong with social networking for the greater good though.

Some of my Etsy Treasury Lists from that hyper day include:

Deer, I wood never leaf you?

After 500 Days of Summer, Finally Heres Autumn!

You are BEARY good to me!


Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feelings And Caffeine = Insomniac Mess

Le Cafe tote bag at Etsy Shop Apseed
Apparently, strong emotions and drinking coffee doesn't mix well with me! I'm already an night owl and I finally went to sleep around 1AM, until my body decided to still wake up right before 3:30AM. It was clear that I wasn't going back to sleep no matter how hard I tried to fake sleep my way back into dreamland. I did what any normal person would do, go fix themself a warm drink. It just happened to be coffee. Well, okay, it wasn't a coincidence that the drink was coffee because I love it! I'm an admitted coffee fiend. 

I hadn't had a strong cup in a really long time either. By the time it was 6:45AM I was like this:

Photo of band: Mutemath - Blood Pressure (video)

Even though I felt like this at the same time:

I kind of wanted to do this to someone in particular :

Or even do this:

(Sigh) I need some serious tension release. Looks like I have no other choice but to rock out!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not So Secret Admirers | 1944

The Lady getting all of the attention is big band singer Marva Louis. Boxing champion Joe Louis was her husband, twice! The men in the photo are some of 2,000 recruits at the U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois. They all were entertained by her singing in a drill hall. It's sad that African Americans fought for America only to come back home as second class citizens still.

The one thing I've noticed in most of these "popular" blogs from vintage admirers is the lack of acknowledgement for African Americans or people of color in general. It's like people of color didn't even exist. The past for African Americans isn't all milk and honey, but it certainly can't be ignored. I refuse to not learn more about my roots, which is really EVERYONE history. To just skip over any historical events or not include any images reflecting people of color, whether it's on these retro blogs or generally and genuinely in your life for whatever reasons is just.. plain ignorant. We can't change the past or sugar-coat actual events, but we can change our future and we (African Americans) sure are still doing it! I am deeply humbled and have respect for the people who came before me. They went through way more than I ever had to go through in my whole lifetime! Now because of them, I have this lifestyle in today's world. So with pride, not shame, I can truly say I am an not so secret admirer of my ancestors.

Marva Louis (1915-2000) accompanied by sailors.

Champion boxer Joe Louis (1914-1981)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shark In The Water

Vanessa Brown (born October 24, 1983) is another great artist from the UK!

For some reason when I listen to VV Brown's album, "Travelling Like The Light" it makes me think of people enjoying a nice cold bottle of coke vintage style with singing, dancing, and all smiles! Perhaps, it's because Ms. VV Brown has as much pop and bang as a bottle of shaken soda pop! She even has a song called "Bottles" on the album.  

I've had this debut CD ever since July 2010 so yeah it's been a minute. Hey, now that I have my own blog I can type about anything I want, so I'm finally doing it. The album also has its fair share of slow songs too.

Here's a slow goody:

L.O.V.E this song along with all the others:

Her first single was "Shark In The Water" and with that forward roll for a bang it sure is reminiscent to a hammerhead shark! Just saying the only person it looks great on is VV Brown and all the vintage women before her that knew what they were doing. She totally had a few people (including me) trying to recreate her hairstyle by putting a roller in the front of their head. LOL


I would so raid her closet, she's such a doll! <3

Christina Aguilera - Candyman

The fashion in this Christina Aguilera video is that of a young 1940's USO woman!

Rationing of fabrics made women focus on their looks even more. The goal: to still look and feel gloriously feminine and beautiful. The good news is that we all can recreate this style today!

Besame Cosmetics is a must-have for achieving your 1940's look, especially, for in the boudoir! I first discovered this company from a very helpful website. They have the best victory red lipstick, which is a true classic red. It comes in a velvet cover-slip!  There are more brands out there cheaper and readily available at any local drugstore, of course, it won't come in fancy vintage packaging.

Model: Bernie Dexter
This is in her actual boudoir!

Eyebrows were shaped natural, but stray hairs were tweezed to have clean arches. Like in today's fashion world, false lashes and mascara were used. Eyeshadow was more of nude and grey hues. Nails were worn short to mid-length.

Actress, singer, dancer, Betty Grable,
the famous pin-up girl of the 1940's.

Hair, very important. The 1940's hairstyles are ultra glamorous and more importantly timeless!

Women sporting their "Victory Rolls" at the beach.

One of the carefully crafted hairstyles of the forties is the "Victory Roll" aka the "Side Reverse Roll", named after a combat air maneuver. To set hair women used either rollers or pinned curls at night, and then slept on them to produce curls in the morning. When the rollers or pins came out, hair was given a minimum of brushing, not to remove the curls but make them softer towards the ends. Hair near the crown was sectioned on each side and pinned up, off the face.

How-to Video:

Back seam hosiery was more likely to be in rayon fabric, since real silk went toward use in parachutes for troops.

Etsy Shop Sissales

There are different types of dresses, as well as hats, for different occasions in this era.

Popular shoes were wedges and round toe pumps.

Etsy Shop vintagediva60

Together we can encompass the classy romance of yesteryear!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Playlist: Destination Hawaii

Etsy Shop beyonddesign

  1. Animal Collective - Daily Routine
  2. Friendly Fires - Hawaiian Air
  3. Vampire Weekend - Diplomat's Son
  4. Local Natives - Wide Eyes
  5. Tune-Yards - Bizness
  6. GIVERS - Up Up Up
  7. Cults - You Know What I Mean
  8. Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
  9. Fool's Gold - The Dive
  10. Mister Heavenly - Pineapple Girl
  11. Fleets Foxes - Lorelai
  12. Radiohead - House of Cards
  13. Animal Collective - Bluish

Etsy Shop LetterParade

Etsy Shop LianeMarguerite

In my opinion it's kind of a difference between island style music, beachy surfer music, and dreamy sleeper tunes.

Air Hero: "Butch" O'Hare

This handsome fellow is Edward "Butch" O'Hare.
(March 13, 1914 - November 26, 1943)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri,  "Butch" O'Hare is quite the naval aviator hometown hero. If the United States "badly needed a hero in 1942", then we surely got another one! On February 20, 1942, LT O'Hare was one of two Navy fighters available in air when Japanese bombers, "Betty's", were attacking his aircraft carrier USS Lexington. His wingman "Duff" Dufilho's guns got jammed and wouldn't fire. So, "Butch" O'Hare was the only protection for the carrier Lexington. With eight "Betty's" in a "V" formation he single-handedly shot down five and left a sixth damaged. He only had enough ammunition to last for 34 seconds of firing! Lieutenant Commander Thach arrived at the scene with other pilots of the flight, later reporting that at one point he saw three of the enemy bombers falling in flames at the same time. A "Betty" tried to hit Lexington with his damaged plane. He missed and flew into the water near the Lexington. The other two planes were also damaged by O'Hare and landed safely, but the escapees were shot by LT Noel Gayler 40 miles from Lexington.

The actions of "Butch" O'Hare earned him the spotlight of the media greeting him at Pearl Harbor on March 26, 1942. He then held a press conference at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. On a radio show in Honolulu he gave a shout-out to his wife Rita saying, "Here's a great big radio hug, the best I can do under the circumstances". The first time O'Hare met nurse Rita (on July 22, 1941) he proposed to her! He sent another shout-out to his mother Selma, simply saying a heartfelt, "Love from me to you".

O'Hare was decorated with medals, one being the Medal of Honor. It was placed around his neck by his wife (they are so sweet together)! He also had a welcome home parade. A newspaper headline read, "60,000 give O'Hare a hero's welcome here". Yet, he hardly liked any lavishly huge recognitions and didn't like talking about himself as a hero. For him, he is part of a team of heroic brothers. When he passed away in November of 1943, after leading the first U.S. Navy nighttime fighter attack, his mother Selma O'Hare didn't really allow any monuments in honor of her son in the city of St. Louis. There is, however, an international airport in Chicago, Illinois, that was named after him on September 19, 1949. Former President John F. Kennedy did a wreath-laying ceremony at O'Hare Airport in March of 1963. Widowed wife Rita and daughter Kathleen did receive his posthumous decorations, the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart on November 26, 1944.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Working Women in WWII

African American military women.

Interesting that not only positions such as nurses, pilots, spies, and marines were being filled, but to the everyday women of the 1940's these mostly male positions were open:
  • architect
  • astronomer
  • blacksmith
  • bus driver
  • butcher
  • chemist
  • clerical workers
  • coat check
  • consultant
  • doorman
  • draftsman
  • electrician
  • elevator operator
  • engineer
  • factory packer and shipper
  • farmer
  • ferry pilot
  • fireman
  • forest fire fighter
  • furnace operator (in a steel mill)
  • garbage collector
  • geologist
  • journalists
  • laborer
  • laywer
  • logger
  • mathematician
  • mechanic
  • meteorologist
  • milkman
  • musician
  • ordnance worker
  • physicist
  • police officer
  • postman
  • professional baseball player
  • riveter
  • shipyard worker
  • statistician
  • street cleaner
  • supervisor
  • surveyor
  • switch board operator
  • taxi driver
  • telepgraph operator
  • ticket taker
  • tinsmith
  • traffic cop
  • trolley car operator
  • welder

These jobs involved some level of education and skills. Just goes to show that these women weren't dumb housewives. They were women who wanted to have a family more than a career after their schooling. Makes me think of the movie Mona Lisa Smile (set in the 1950's).

History Repeats Itself

Now I kind of feel compelled to do a little blogging about life in the 1940's era. Yes, when something interest me I get into librarian mode LOL. I just have to get as much information as possible soaked into my brain! I usually like the 1950's era for the unattainable ideal perfect American lifestyle. I only say "unattainable" because there is no perfect family, but there is an American lifestyle. I like the 1960's era full of the civil movements that furthered progression of African Americans. Also, can't forget about space explorations! I even like the free Indian hippies spirit of the 1970's, which is still reflected in today's form of most indie music bands. It seems though, that the present day had somewhat rotated toward the 1940's. With us being in hard times, people are trying to be smarter with their money.  History always repeats itself in some form, even though, we're supposed to learn from our mistakes. The saying, "You can't understand your future without first understanding your past." is so true.

Lifting American Troops Spirits

The United Service Organizations (USO) was officially formed in 1941, upon the entry into WWII after Pearl Harbor. This non-profit and non-government organization is dedicated to lifting American troops morale by providing entertainment, emotional support and providing programs assisting troops and their families. Letting troops and their families know that we do care and support them is very important. For many, it is the home away from home. The USO will continue to be there for them "until every one comes home."

Ways to volunteer and activities for children!

I found this testimonial very endearing:

"First I want to tell you how much this raised our morale. I overheard a few people saying it felt like Christmas all over again." – Jolly Rogers 103 Line Division, to Operation USO Care Package

Photo via
February 16, 1954, Marilyn Monroe
started her four day USO Tour
entertaining thousands of troops.
 Thank you to our troops for all that you do and thank you to all involved with the USO for all that you provide to the troops!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Playlist: Healing

African American Troops
enjoying a jazz jam session.
Everyone can always count on some form of healing, especially from music.
  1. Sarah McLachlan - Angel
  2. Adele - Don't You Remember
  3. Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You
  4. Brandi Carlile - Pride And Joy
  5. Bruce Springsteen - Streets of Philadelphia
  6. The Fray - How To Save A Life
  7. U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name
  8. Bruce Springsteen - Better Days
  9. The Fray - You Found Me
  10. Adele - Hometown Glory
  11. Alicia Keys - Empire State Of Mind (Part 2)
  12. Foo Fighters - Hero
  13. Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A.
  14. Adele - I'll Be Waiting

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals,
 rocking at an USO Tour.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Will Never Forget

There are not enough words to even do this topic enough justice
 to all the victims and people directly effected
from the events of September 11, 2001.

For some reason as I scrolled the guide on my television set on the 8th of this month, I tuned in on an documentary show of  9/11. After years of not watching the news around this time of year, for every year since 2001, I allowed myself to look at some coverage. Then I realized it is the 10th year of remembrance. Wow! It's been ten long years of a chain of events. All the memories of where I was when I found out the horrendous events of that morning came back. I even remember taking note of the weather that morning because it was an especially crisp clear sunny day, as if it happened yesterday. I was at school, middle school in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO, to be exact, and I was excited because September 11th, is my little sister's birthday. At first I felt disbelief, thinking, "No, that couldn't really have happened up in New York", but it became an realization when I walked into my next class. I walked into class to the images of the World Trade Centers already ablaze but not yet collapsed. To think that it was people who actually jumped from the buildings...speechless. At the time I didn't know that's what it was, actual people, not only flying office materials.

Watching that documentary, having all the memories and emotions replay (like a movie) at the same time, made my muscles tense up around my neck and stomach, I almost puked right there on the floor. I had to go into the kitchen to calm myself down and get some water to stop dry heaving. If I felt this way, imagine how the families of victims must feel every single day of their lives. They are watching the exact moment when their loved one died all over again. I remember in 2001, after I got through the initial disbelief and shock there was anger. My mother does the same kind of work that the people in the World Trade Centers did. Their sister company is in New York City and she has opportunities to travel. It could've easily been her in those tragedies. I then remembered that revenge is not mines to take. I send it all up to God, and you can't get any better back-up than God Himself.

Nearly 3000 people, including unborn babies, lost in one single day. No one should forget that life is too short and that every moment isn't guaranteed. After anger, came this over powering sense of American pride and unity. I bet at no other time did American flags sell out so fast, and show so boldly on the front of homes, on t-shirts and on cars! The thing about Americans are that we're resilient we can unite after our darkest hours and put ourselves back together..even if it takes years. Yes, I am proud to be an American with our flaws and all! Everyone has an element of freedom, rights, can vote if they so choose and have resources for any kind of help needed. Giving up you life to protect the lives of others is the ultimate sacrifice, just like the passengers and crew of Flight 93!

Military men and women are deeply rooted in my ancestry, all the way up to present day. How many times do you see someone who's sole job is to keep us safe and you just pass them by and not say thank you for their service? We can't take safety personnel for granted. Makes me want to bake something good and sweet for the local firefighters right now, even it is a very small gesture of kindness. I also want to donate canned goods to the city food pantry located at the fire station. In fact, I'm going to do that!

NIV Holy Scripture: Psalm71

Friday, September 9, 2011

Graham Sticks and OJ

I know that I cannot possibly be the only person on the planet that enjoys dipping my graham crackers into a nice cold glass of orange juice! So I came across this yummy recipe while doing some research googling at

Graham Crackers Smoothie

1/4 Cup Of Crushed Graham Crackers (I use Back To Nature brand Graham Sticks,100% Natural)
1 Whole Ripe Peeled Banana
1 Whole Small Quartered Crisp Green Apple
1 Tablespoon Of Liquid Bees Honey
1 Tiny Dash Of Fresh Ground Cinnamon (optional)
2 Cups Of Vanilla Flavored Soy Milk (I like Bolthouse Farms brand, good source of protein)
2 Cups Of Orange Juice (I love Simply brand)

Serving Size 1
410 Calories Per Serving
5 Grams Of Fat

To start the preparation process first crumble all the graham crackers and then place them into your blender. Next slice up a banana and place that into your blender. Now quarter your apples, remove the seeds from them, then toss that ingredient into the mix. Now that your staple ingredients have been added you will then want to pour into your blender the yummy honey, fresh ground cinnamon, vanilla flavored soy milk, and all of the orange juice. If you have access to fresh squeezed orange juice then that will provide a far superior flavor than the processed juice. You're all set to begin blending so puree all the ingredients for one to three minutes or until the smoothie is silky smooth and even. If the finished smoothie is too thick for your preference then simply blend in additional juice or soy milk. Obviously you can swap the soy milk for cow's milk if you prefer, however cow's milk does occasionally curdle when it's added to orange juice.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Here's another vintage train case of my own. I've attained this one when I was 15 years old. It's still in perfect condition!

Where you're sure to find some vintage train cases or whatever type of case that delights your heart:

Bowling case Etsy shop jetsetvintage

Vintage train case painted by judythejazzcat

Jewelry music box Etsy shop vintagebyalexkeller

60's Hat box Etsy shop robinseggbleunest

Diana Ross & The Supremes

Two more shops I love, but are on break right now: GetReadySetGO and bluebernice


My Grandmother

When my Grandmother gifted to me a pink train case with light blue interior at the age of nine, the admiration and obsession of vintage train cases began! I would use it as a bed for baby dolls or put my sewing materials into the case. Yes, at age nine I was already sewing and making doll clothes with my older cousin. My Grandmother also gave my cousin a train case at the same time, which was the same burnt orange color as the She & Him album cover art (Volume Two album) with a blue interior. Til this day I still have the first one I ever had. However, now it just carries an Besame Cosmetics catalougue and a picture of my daughter.

It has old water marks now. In used condition.

From band She & Him album Volume Two.
 I love this album cover art and the album
has that great vintage sound! Available on vinyl also.