Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 15: Fancy Hair on Casual Day

So, since I've been on sort of a good-hair streak, I decided to have a hair practice day. After all, it's never advisable to try out a complicated style for the first time when you're prepping for a big event. This style is one that was done on me some time ago by a talented vintage hairstylist in town, and I could never replicate it. I finally got it! (Well, almost.) I'm pretty happy with it. It's fuzzy, but hey, this is practice day - I wasn't as concerned with smoothing as with getting the structure down.

This is a pretty standard daily look for me. I'll admit, I'm not out to impress you - this is just a journal, and this is what I'm comfortable in. It's the same gab dress from Day 1, paired with a 49'er. This particular 49'er has a brooch that lives on it - a circus theme novelty brooch. A gift from a friend, of course! I'd thought it was Lisa, but it was Kim of Jitterbuggin'. There's just so much vintage gifting in this town! (And vintage trading, etc.)

As for my hair - I'm 92% happy. When I do this for an event, I'll tease the hair on the left a little more, to balance the fullness of the individual curls. And of course, I'll tame the frizz!

Forgive the awkward background, we haven't started to edit the front yard - there's still too much rainy weather to start digging into yardwork! Especially since I particularly hate it. But hey, gardening DOES burn a lot of calories!

One of you asked for more specifics on my current workout routine. It is more intense, of course, than it might be if I didn't have to put my body in a two piece swimsuit in 7 weeks. ;)

1. Leg Press, 180lbs, sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6. One of the things I *do* like about myself is that I'm naturally sort of strong, so getting in shape shouldn't be a horrible trial.
2. Rowing machine OR stair climber, for 15 minutes. Moderate setting, but enough to get me sweating and raise my heart rate. Usually close to a 4 on the rowing machine, or 6 on the stairs.
3. On "A" days, I do leg machines. On "B" days, I do upper body. In contrast to my strong legs, I can only do about 30 pounds on the shoulder fly or shoulder press.
4. Alternating with machines (gee, thanks Sarah) I have ab work. I hate abs, it's hard. It's 100 tiny crunches, then 15 bicycles, and 15 scissors. This ab routine is courtesy of the teeny miss Stutterin' Mama, so you KNOW it works.
5. One hour of cardio, moderate. The machine says this burns about 425 calories at my current weight. I'm sort of skeptical of that, but it IS work, for sure.
6. My least favorite part - stretching. I totally skimp on this, even though I shouldn't.

Okay.... now it is time to leave for that. Where does the day go? My house is only 50% clean, and nothing got listed today. I'll admit that balancing work, weightloss, blogging and life is turning out to be one of the challenges of this challenge!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 14: Gold Lamé and Two-Day Hair

I'm putting up this post while Jesse does his own finishing touches before we head out for our Sunday evening engagement. Cocktails on Sunday evening may not be diet-friendly, but we can't resist the invitation to try out a friend's mixing skills - so instead, we are learning to be champions of moderation.

P.S. To head off the inevitable question, YES, I will sell this dress when it doesn't fit anymore!

1950s gold lamé dress, 50s gold dress, 50s bombshell dress

This stunning gold lamé dress was purchased from Jumblelaya just before Viva Las Vegas. But then, with all the slimmer girls running around in THEIR gold lamé dresses, I chickened out on wearing it! I should have anyway - I like the way it works on me. I just paired it with this gold cumberbund I picked up today from my favorite wholesaler. A friend just recently reminded me that this style isn't really ME - and it is true, a 50's bombshell is not my "homebase" look. But it sure is fun to play sometimes! Please excuse the fuzziness, the camera just gets worse every day!

My most treasured (and versatile) piece of non-Bakelite plastic - my gold and silver confetti Lucite bangle.

Getting THIS dolled up to go out was really inspired by the fact that I managed to get a second day out of last night's hairstyle. In the close-ups now, I can see a little laydown that I don't really notice in the mirror so much, but I'm still entirely pleased with it. This is nine top rolls, two side rolls, and a twist back.

I'm wearing a lighter makeup base tonight, mostly because my skin needs a rest from my pancake! I'm used to letting it have more time off than this, and am going to have to look into a new skin care routine since I'm being more regular about full make-up application!

To save your style - comb down any frizzing, and re-spray well. Let the hairspray dry. Wrap head with a with a silk scarf, lightly, twisted on the forehead below the hairline, and tied at the nape of the neck. Sleep on your back, if you can!

Dress: Purchased from the utterly wonderful Jennifer of Jumblelaya
Shoes: Faryl Robin, from the Fall 2009 collection - but bought thrifting
Bracelet: Trade at an antique show
Necklace: Found by Lisa some years back
Earrings: Same
Cumberbund: I can't tell you, but she's awesome! 

Day 13: Show Me Your Circus

So, I believe I've mentioned that my boyfriend Jesse is an acrobat. That means that his friends are clowns, hand balancers, fire spinners, unicyclists - etc. I know, you can hear "Dream of the 90s" in the background, right? We really do live the dream of the 90's here. I'll do a post about that soon.

Last night, one of his friends, a fire-juggling clown - had his 30th birthday party, and required that guests come in circus themed costumes or attire. I wish I fit my novelty CLOWN PRINT dress, but I don't, so I made do. (The 40's would be so proud of me.)

Are you sick of my bakelite photos yet? It's okay, you can be honest.

I didn't take photos at the party because... well, I sort of want to ease you into it! The circus scene is such a counterpoint to my vintage crowd. They're all really good people. But let's just say - I was under-dressed. People who came without bringing their circus got pie'd in the face, and I'll admit, I was a little nervous. But WHEW! for a skirt covered with birthday balloons!

On another note, you really can't tell but I had an amazingly good hair day, and those little Betty Grable rolls just rolled right up and stayed there. Stayed SO WELL that I wrapped my hair in a silk scarf last night, and am rocking' the style for day two, so you'll get a better look at them than this, which makes them look sort of weird.

I feel like I should make regular weight-loss updates, as well, at least when there is something interesting to report. This one will make me sound like even more of a weirdo! Anyway, I realized yesterday that the World Naked Bike Ride was precisely 7 weeks away. I did it last year with Jesse, wearing a bikini. I don't have even a sort-of bikini friendly body this year. So I am working harder at the gym than I'd initially planned, to work on toning to help complement whatever weight loss I achieve between now and then.

My routine, for the next 7 weeks:
1. Leg Press with heavier weights, reps of 12, 10, 8, 6
2. 15 minutes on the rowing machine
3. 7 weight machines, alternating upper body and lower body days
4. 60 minutes on the elliptical, stair climber, treadmill, or bike (rotating.)
8. Optional - playing with the hula hoop in the aerobics room
9. Stretching.

I did this yesterday, and still managed to have time to clean house and measure items that are going into the shop today. I feel really good this morning, too!

Scarf: TORSO Vintages, back when they were in Portland. I was 16!
Barrette: Gift from Lisa
Sweater: Estate sale? Probably also with Lisa
Skirt: Found by Sarah of Stutterin' Mama for me.
Shoes: Thrift Store find - they're cuter with shoe clips, but I was afraid of losing one or both at the party
Belt: Estate sale, and one of my FAVORITES that own. Buttery soft 1950s leather!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 12: Giveaway Winner and the "Junk" Sale!

The winner of the fun make-up goodies giveaway is Betty Boogie! Send me an email at with your shipping information and I'll send it right out to you.

Yesterday was quite entirely fabulous. Despite the fact that I measured something like 40 garments (oh, work, work, work) I managed to get in a long workout, and pull together an ensemble for evening shopping at an event they called a "Junk Sale." Lisa won tickets, so we didn't even have to pay for admission!

Best junk sale of my life. I won't give away what I bought for the shop, but here's what I bought for me.

You're seeing the hat from the back. I can't wait to wear it! It's AMAZING. I paid "amazing" for it - for both pieces, actually, but I expect that these days. When you've collected so long, you really only buy the best, or things that call to you so you just CAN'T pass them up, things that are so you that the price doesn't *really* matter.

We SHOULD have taken photos when we first got there, but that just didn't happen - it was too distracting, a full on antique show. So my photos are taken after taking my hat on and off, messing up my hair and pulling my gloves on and off two or three times. Whew! Above is the dear lady who sold me that fantastic hat!

I know, these photos came out horribly grainy - we have a New Camera on the shopping list for next week. It just has to happen!

My Faryl Robin shoes actually inspired the outfit.

Some things to note about this outfit - this dress is actually photographed for the shop, but it is just SUPER as-is. Still, I love the red-orange color. It has fade and repairs and a broken button. I just have never been a stickler for condition with my personal wardrobe. If I like it, I wear it. Period.

The hat - oh, that hat! is from Chatham Girl, known as Zara Carpenter (the name of the milliner) on Etsy. She's just amazing - you need to check out her incredible shop. Be sure to browse her sold items, her finest pieces go fast when she releases a new collection.

Hat: Zara Carpenter/Chatham Girl
Dress: 1940s rayon, Lot purchase, will be listed in the shop
Necklace: Origin lost to time, had it for years. It's like candy.
Scarf: 1940s, gift from Lisa
Gloves: 1940s, rayon jersey, antique store find
Bakelite: Various, including a new Dombek piece
Shoes: Faryl Robin 2008 summer collection, which was vintage-gasmic.
Purse: um, dumpster diving. Ahem.
P.S. (Yeah, I've been skipping stockings recently. My legs are too large for my vintage ones right now.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 11: Beautiful Browns and NEW SHOES!

So, I haven't been good about charging my little camera's battery at night, and yesterday it died on me! I managed to snag just two pics with that camera, so my apologies for the lack of detail shots. Also, this morning's post is sort of two posts in one, so bear with me! Fashion first, then weight-talk.

Would you ever believe that the camel colored wool gabardine circle skirt below is NEW - from the SPIEGEL catalogue? I bought it out thrifting, and it's so perfect in shape, weight and length that sometimes I double-check the label myself. I'm thinking about putting a metal zipper in it, to replace the stupid invisible zipper. I bought it, of course, because almost nothing I own fits me right now. But I'll probably have it taken in, and keep it long-term.

Now, some silly person told me, when I was quite young, that I was a WINTER and couldn't wear browns. No, all jewel tones and black for me. Well, I love jewel tones and black, and wear a lot of them. But I also love brown. I like the coordination with my hair and eyes, and feel that the look is fairly warm and inviting on me. Oh, those silly 1980s color chart rules!

On another note, I got my new Naya "Jada" shoes yesterday (wow, that was fast!) and so the brown outfit is really inspired by the fact that I can never wait to wear something new. I'm very happy with them, although I wonder if I should have gotten the Wide width after all - they'll need just a little stretching to be perfectly comfortable across the top of the vamp. But they came with an extra set of those darling satin laces! They were $51.95 (shipped!) after a $10 off coupon at Shoebuy here.

These shoes caused a pretty big stir on the fan page, and I got SO many compliments on them! I think I might go get them in black, too. They're just plain cute.

I finally got instagram. This darker setting on it helped hide the fact that my pretty curls got rained on.

So! Another topic completely. A number of you have expressed some concern about my 50 pound weight loss goal. I thought I'd try to explain where I got that number, and why I'm working so hard to get into the best shape I've been in as an adult.

I hope that helps clarify that I'm not setting an unrealistic or unhealthy goal. I'm the girl who researches until her eyes bleed, and I feel good about this choice! As to you (absolutely wonderful!!!) ladies asking where those 50 pounds are going to come from ... well, everywhere. I feel very lucky in that when I gain weight, I gain it very evenly. I am definitely sort of "rolly" when seen out of my clothes, but with clothes on, I look so very proportionate - I'm not an apple, or a pear, or top heavy. The fat goes everywhere, so it (sort of) minimizes the impact on my waistline. I deeply appreciate this fact, but it is part of why I've been able to be lazy, and get to the point where hundreds (thousands?) of dollars of fabulous vintage clothing in my closet DOESN'T FIT.

Another part of this, is that I've gained 30-35 of those pounds VERY recently. As in, over the last year and a third. Oh gee, thank you, wonderfully happy, blissfully decadent relationship! This is me, December 2010.... I sort of hate to reveal one of my 365 outfits early, since I love these pieces together, and know I'll be wearing it again. The pants are a tight 30" waist, and I'm only aiming for a couple inches smaller than that. Which would be good for keeping these pants long term - the previous owner nearly blew out the crotch, and I wear them pretty gingerly. They need to be taken in in order to make them staunch again.

So, there you have it. I really, truly appreciate the concern, support, advice, and encouraging words. That's why I'm doing this! I've been fighting with up and downs in my weight for the last couple of years, and I know that this is the best way for me to lose it slowly and healthfully, and keep it off. And fit back into ALL my pretty things, some of which haven't graced this body for gosh, three or four years!

Brown blouse: 1950's Ship 'N' Shore, purchased deadstock at a thrift store a million years ago
Skirt: Newish (modern) from Spiegel, purchased thrifting
Shoes: Naya "Jada" at
Bakelite: Four various, and two gifts from Jesse
I'll credit the western outfit when I can finally wear it again!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hip-Hooray! A Giveaway!

Since I made it to Day 10 with no fashion or weight-loss fails, I'm having a little Giveaway.
I'll be celebrating this way at different milestones, so you'll definitely want to follow the blog so you don't miss out!

Found on Ebay - you can buy it here

Before we get to the fun stuff:
Starting Weight: 185 lbs
Current Weight: 183.2 lbs
Weight Loss to Date: 1.8 lbs

Currently Wearing Waist Size 33" and 34" Clothes

So, today's prize is inspired by one of my other challenges: makeup. Yes, I know there's lots of great YouTube tutorials for better make-up, but I seldom find the time. My thing is clothing - and bakelite- and so makeup has a history of taking a back seat with me. I recently bought the new Retro Makeup book, and have been working on that! Here's your prize:

What ARE they? Well, the first piece is a vintage lipstick applicator, designed to have you literally "stamp" your lip into the perfect popular shape of the time. Then, there are these fantastic mid-century make-up magnifying glasses. The glass on each eye is individually hinged, so you can do one eye with perfect precision, then the other. Third, you get your choice of one of my two favorite red lipsticks - MAC Russian Red or Ruby Woo!

To enter: Be a follower. (You can start following today!)
Post a comment, and tell me your favorite outfit from the last 10 days OR
tell me what you'd like to see more of.

I'll give an extra entry for sharing about this 365 day challenge -  and the giveaway of course - on Twitter, your blog or a Facebook fan page. Just post the link in your comment!

I will post the Day 11 outfit update later today, and will post the winner with the Day 12 ensemble! I can't wait to send these fun goodies off to the winner.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 10: Sweater, Skirts, Sushi and so much more

The last two days, I've met up with my friend Sarah, walking with her on the lovely path around the Glendover Golf Course. I grew up near here, and used to walk there as a kid, feeding the squirrels. So it's nostalgic. Today, we also had girl chat time, and sushi.

This is my favorite shot from the day! I'm sure you recognize Sarah's face, as her fabulous shop Stutterin' Mama's Vintage Roadside Boutique has really taken off in the past year.

Sarah is huge inspiration for this project. Oh gosh, what a cheesy thing to say. But she is! About a year and a half ago, Sarah dumped her exhausting 9-5 corporate job to pursue her career in vintage full time. She found more time to work out and take care of her health, and lost over 20 pounds, taking her to a trim and gorgeous 25" waist. Wow! I thought... if she could find the time, with this busy business we do, so can I!

She's also good at keeping me honest about it. So before we get to the cute shots... here's me in workout gear, about to walk six miles at the golf course! Okay... here it is... really.... there. Sigh.

Oh, how I hate workout gear.

Anyway. Since the weather in Portland turned back to gray, there's still time for sweaters. We both paired ours with novelty skirts - that came from each other. The Pirates of Penzance skirt she is wearing used to be mine, and the entirely politically-incorrect Arabic man with camel skirt that I'm wearing used to be hers!

Yes, we both absolutely love Bakelite. My light blue, and her bubblegum pink are both pieces polished in this manner, found on Solanah's Vixen Vintage blog.

Sarah took all the photos today (she takes ALL her own photos for the shop, too! It's unbelievable!) So the clear, bright, pretty pictures are all thanks to her! So, let's have a few more.

My second favorite pic of the day! She and her beau have an AMAZING, PERFECTLY APPOINTED HOME - as I'm sure you can tell - right down to records that have, well, frankly fantastic jackets.

Vintage Bandana: Estate Sale
Sweater: Magpie
Skirt: Stutterin' Mama's Vintage Roadside Boutique
Crinolines: Estate Sale
Shoes: Thrift store find
Workout gear: Target and Goodwill. I never pay good money for workout clothes. There are hats to be purchased, afterall, and bakelite!

P.S. Since I made it to DAY 10 with no fails, I'm having a give-away tomorrow! Because I'm pretty stoked. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 9: The 49'er (Well, one of them anyway)

The weather, as expected, did not stay sunny. No, it's back to Business as Usual here in Portland. But that means there's still a little more time for wearing my 49ers during the day.

Neither can a woman! I haven't counted my 49'ers, but I think I have 25 or 30 of them. Maybe more. Guaranteed that you'll see EVERY SINGLE ONE before this project is done! They're a vintage gal's essential casual garment, the last word in plaid. This is one of my favorites.

Pendleton, pendleton 49'er, pendleton 49er

Pendleton, pendleton 49'er, pendleton 49er

Pendleton, pendleton 49'er, pendleton 49er  

This particular jacket is "home" to one of my most treasured pieces of jewelry - my carved Bakelite rose brooch.

bakelite pin, bakelite brooch, carved bakelite

This brooch is a gift, from someone that I didn't (and don't!) know. To be honest, I don't even remember his name. A few years back, he called me, saying he'd gotten my name from a friend, had been told that I bought vintage - he had a 1970s men's YSL suit to sell me. I told him that I really couldn't use it, that the sort of suit he had was outside my range of knowledge or what I normally carry. But he was so sincere, he said he'd been the ladies' favorite in it, and he wanted to pass it on. So I went out to look at it. I was wearing this dress. I didn't want it. He finally forced me to simply take it, asking me to give it to someone who would wear it. I say it would, and drove away. He called when I was a few blocks away, and asked me to come back.

When I parked, he was running up to the car to meet me - I'd barely gotten out of the door. He held this brooch in his hands, and said that he'd noticed my bakelite bracelets, and the rose print on my dress. That it had belonged to his mother, he had only sons, and he wanted me to have it. I was stunned, but could not help but accept. I assured him that I would NEVER, EVER sell it. And I never will. 

49'er: Estate sale? Thrift store? Gift from a friend... I have so many...
Pants: Ray's Ragtime
Shoes: ReMix - who would have ever thought green shoes would be so darn handy? Purchased from Top Stitch Vintage
Bakelite brooch: gift
40's chiffon scarf: Estate sale

Shop Update! Wear it with....

I just added a handful of fresh spring frocks to the shop! What to wear them with? 

There's more fresh items in the shop! Check them out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 8: The Days Are Just Packed

I go through periods of being a workaholic, and times when work takes a backseat. But no matter what I'm doing, I'm busy, so it is nice to take a hour off from obligation to walk to lunch! Today, Jesse and I walked down the hill to have shrimp salad as a light lunch between listing and spring cleaning. Tony's Fish Market has been here in Oregon City since 1936. Until this year, we also had a bakery that opened in 1934, but main street construction finally put them under. So we do what we can to support our local businesses!

Maybe the best part about the sun is that it actually makes me want to MOVE. It's only a little over a mile and a half to walk down to lunch and back, but it is a mile and half that I don't get to walk outdoors during the rainy season! I'd much rather do that than trot on a treadmill. Although I'm doing both today. When the weather is like this, I really value working for myself, and being able to make my hours, so that I can enjoy the sun.

I feel so lucky to have this one-off ensemble from Jitterbuggin'. Her one-off pieces hit the website, and that's the only chance you get! These are the Ankeny pants in a vintage rayon/linen blend that is perfect for summer, with matching capelet. I love the 1930s look it lends the whole ensemble!

This purple bakelite bangle is the pride and joy of my bracelet collection, due to the fantastic color. The patina that had made it a muddy brown was polished off with fine-work tools by a friend who builds hots rods. Isn't it amazing?

Pant Set: Jitterbuggin'
Shoes: Remix  from Top Stitch Vintage
Blouse: A gift from a shop owner years ago. It's a 40's rayon sea-shell print, with bleach spots, a fray on the button placket and back hem repair. But who would ever know in an ensemble like this! Hurray for rescuing vintage.
Bakelite: Gift, thrifted, and Alameda Antiques by the Bay
Glitter Lucite: Antique show, New Old Stock

Day 7: The Safari Club and Cake!

Yes, late again with yesterday's post! The days have been so uncommonly full here that after all the day time doings, and evening work on the website, I'm too tired to blog.

Yesterday was amazingly full. We delivered two mint-chocolate birthday cakes (100% from scratch, by me!) to friends - we enjoyed a birthday picnic, and then went to meet up with a bunch of vintagey-folk at the Legendary Safari Club.
legendary safari club, fabgabs, fab gabs 365

My dress was purchased when I bought a lot of my friend Julie's collection - many pieces are now too large for her, so this dress was in the shop for about a second, and then I realize it would fit. It's a little big up top, but it's just such a perfect running-around-to-picnics sunny work-a-day dress, that I couldn't resist. I suppose I'll put it back in the shop when I've lost weight. I do love it, though.

I admit that I still feel a little awkward about having so many photos taken of me. I'm not exactly camera shy, but I'm camera cautious. We didn't have the option of taking lots of photos yesterday, because I forgot my SD card! Sigh.

I realize that not everyone is going to be into these pics from the Safari Room. Take it or leave it. The taxidermy is all very old, and I am glad that both the piece and the roadside kitsch of the place are being preserved. It's unlikely I'll get another chance to pet a leopard in my life, or stand three feet away from the face of an angry polar bear.

Dress: The Other Vintage Julie
Shoes: Goodwill score
Bakelite: Various