Pretty in Pink Continued…

Earlier this week I featured a “classic” look using my Cool Gal Blue tulle skirt with a promise of two more looks to come. Today’s look is the tutu styled with a vintage look or, as the butcher call it, your Audrey Hepburn look. I’ll take it!  

 

Thanks to the inspiration of one of my favorite fabulous Plus Size bloggers, Tanesha Awasthi from girlwithcurves.com, I found this adorable bow top from Forever 21’s plus size line. The quality and feel of the shirt is very good in comparison to some of their other pieces and you can’t beat the price!  

  

This alligator leather envelope clutch belonged to my great grandmother. It still had a compact mirror and a 1942 calendar inside when I received it. It’s probably one of my most prized accessories.
    

One of my favorite beach hats, bought years ago at Kohls, just stood out to me as I gathered my accessories for this shoot. I thought it might add a nice flair to the outfit but I was still unsure about wearing it. When my two photographers from Copper & Co. Photography saw it, they said I just had to wear it. So I did! 

 This bow belt has also been in my closet for years but when I got this top I guess I went a little bow crazy and just had to pair the two together! Side note, I love the way the gold is reflecting off the light of the room. Photography is so cool.  
Twirl honey, twirl! So there you have it, my “vintage” inspired way to style a tulle skirt. Stay tuned later this week for the third and final installation, with a modern twist to styling a tutu. 

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Five of my Favorite Things 

Last week’s “Favorite Things” was a big hit so I decided to try and make it a weekly thing. So, with the risk of sounding like Andy Cohen, here’s five things I’m obsessed with this week… 

 Little Golden Book: The Color Kittens…SO excited when I found this, it was an absolute favorite of mine as a child, now it can be yours too! Can’t wait to read it to the girls. Find your copy here 

Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker…this little colorful gem is a powerhouse of sound in a cute tiny package. It’s been great for summer nights on the patio! Get yours here 

Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File and Callus Remover…this thing is amazing! It has cured my dry heels for good and doesn’t hurt or tickle! Sold here 
Mini Red Colander…these baby comes in all different colors and at only $1.99 a piece, you can get them all! Unfortunately they aren’t sold online but it’s worth the trip to your nearest World Market!

SMASHBOX Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer…this stuff works wonders, it gives you a smooth matte finish under your makeup without feeling greasy or heavy and it’s perfect for weddings or other occasions where you need your makeup to really last! Sold here 


Thrifter’s Delight

  
If your “good old days” included a hula hoop, a Beetle and The Beatles—or you just wish you lived during those “mod” years, then my most recent thrifted treasure will make you smile and nod with nostalgia. You’ve no doubt seen these iconic serving pieces but may not know that the line is called Blendo and was manufactured during the 1950s and ‘60s by the West Virginia Specialty Glass Company of Weston, West Virginia. There’s even a glass museum there, as the town apparently was well known for its glassware. The website for the museum says they only have one employee and I can just picture a little old lady, with glasses on the tip of her nose, sitting at the desk waiting for people to come in, meticulously dusting all of the beautiful glassware, probably full of knowledge that she doesn’t get to share as often as she’d like. Maybe I’ll go visit her sometime…although truthfully West Virginia isn’t high on my destination list, but hey, you never know. 

Blendo glassware was a staple at summer barbecues during the era, with its cheerful “frosted” colors and sturdy feel, reflecting a time when rock music reigned, rockets were racing to the moon, and women wore pearls and gloves just to go to the market. Sigh, I really was born in the wrong decade. 

The style is characterized by a bright neon/pastel solid base that fades as it goes up the glass and a gold rim. The Blendo line was at the peak of its production mid-century and came in a wide variety of colors and sets: juice, water/lemonade and cocktail pitchers and glasses, and serving ware (salad bowls and dishes, chip-and-dip trays, oil and vinegar cruets, and salt and pepper shakers). The serving pieces were popular wedding gifts at the time. As the cocktail era, recreated today on the TV series “Mad Men,” boomed, so did the sales of Blendo. I’m sure the release of such shows have also increased the popularity of these now vintage pieces. But I liked Blendo long before Mad Men, my first pieces were a gift from my, at the time, soon to be mother-in-law before our wedding, they had belonged to her mother-in-law.

Over the years I’ve collected a few different styles, the unique pitchers are my favorite. 


But this past week I stumbled upon my most favorite set yet. Browsing a small thrift shop a few towns over, I spotted it from across the room and squealed with delight (literally squealed-people were looking) when I saw the price tag, $3 for the entire set! I couldn’t believe it, especially since I know for a fact that a set like this sells for $80-$100 online, so I high tailed it out of there with my treasure before the shop owner changed her mind! Behold the beauty… 

 Doesn’t it just make you thirsty looking at it? Lemonade, mojitos, gin & tonics, the list goes on and on…

  It was a beautiful addition to my collection, and now I just need some little martini glasses to go with my lonely green martini pitcher, a gift from my dear friend Brienne who is always on the lookout for vintage finds and often thinks of me while doing so. They look like this just in case you’re wondering…    

Now who’s ready for a cocktail?!

blast from the past…

This week I am taking part in a special school to improve my teaching skills. So since I’ll probably be too busy to blog, I decided to feature some of my very early posts. Can you believe I’ve been doing this for two years?! Today, since I’m hungry, lets bring it back to a post from July of 2013, and for all you vegans out there, simply omit the eggs, sub almond milk, and voila! Vegan rice pudding! Not only that but the almond milk gave it a delicious nutty flavor and even enabled me to cut back on the sugar! You could also get really crazy and use quinoa instead of rice. But no worries, I’m going to give you the tried and true recipe too. Who can resist rice pudding?! 

  Beauty & The Butcher Rice Pudding
Ingredients:

3/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used minute rice)

1 cup half and half

1 cup milk

4 tbs granulated sugar

1 tbs light brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg yolks

1 tbs unsalted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Boil rice in a medium saucepan (according to directions on box – mine used 3/4 cup) with granulated sugar and salt until completely done and tender. Pour in half and half + 1/2 cup milk and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes until thick and creamy. It may look like it’s too much milk and it will never thicken, but it will you just have to wait. Once thickened, Mix in brown sugar. 

In a small bowl add egg yolks. Spoon 3 spoonfuls of the pudding mixture in with the yolks and whisk rapidly to temper and prevent scrambling. Once yolks are warm, add into pudding mixture and add the remaining half cup of milk. Cook for 3-5 minutes more until thickened up again. Once thickened, remove from heat and add in butter, vanilla and cinnamon. If you are making the vegan option your pudding will not be as thick, that’s just what chickens do. 

Pudding can be served warm or cold. Store in airtight container for 3-4 days, but it’ll never last that long! 

queue to my childhood 

Lately, strolling through the “Recently Added” section of Netflix has been like taking a stroll down memory lane through my childhood. Movies I remember watching as a kid like Michael Keaton’s Mr. Mom and the creepy but entertaining David Bowie flick, Labyrinth.  

Classic series like, Dinosaurs (you know, “Not the mama, not the mama”…cue frying pan sounds on the head), and Star Trek Voyager are ever prevalent on there as well. I’m still waiting for the real Star Trek to be on there, STNG, but for know I’ll have to be satisfied with a female captain and an annoying alien bartender who is basically the Star Trek equivalent of Jar Jar Binks… 

  
Typing STNG just caused me to have a major epiphany…for years I saw videotape after videotape in our movie cabinet with labels hand written in my father’s handwriting “STNG” with a year after it. For some reason I always assumed that it said “Sting”. I remember as a kid not being sure what that was…I thought I remembered hearing there was a singer named that and wow, mom and dad must really like him if they have all his concerts on tape…it literally just hit me what the tapes were. They were tapes containing every single episode of Star Trek the Next Generation. Dad’s favorite show, the show we had to leave the room during if we talked too much, meticulously documented by episode,  name, and date. Little did he know there would soon come a time when all shows ever made would be distributed in box sets for your viewing pleasure. Anyway, epiphany epiphanized. Pretty sure that’s not a word…but I digress 

 Then of course there are the movies of my teen years, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet and Clueless…(both of which were released when I was a kid but didn’t attain my full appreciation until my adolescence and years of teen angst) and I can pretty much quote the entire script if each film in verbatim. (A frustrating talent when you have trouble remembering scriptures but yet can somehow recall every word Mike Meyers uttered in So I Married an Axe Murderer)  

 The most recent one I stumbled on is a classic I can’t believe I’ve never seen until now…Girls Just Want to Have Fun!  

 Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt, pre-teen (and pre-major jerk) Shannon Doherty, dancing, and some major 80’s fashion that has reminded me (combined with my recent trip to Forever 21) that the 80’s are back in a very large and very ugly way. Bodysuits are back?! Striped leggings and acid washed bra tops?! Wha?! Anyway, the movie was made in ’85 (two years after the release of the similarly named Cyndi Lauper tune) which was a particularly good year seeing as how it’s the year I was born! It’s rated PG and thus caused very little cringing which was nice for a change compared to today’s entertainment, just sweet unrequited teenage love and some derelict 80’s punks. This may actually be my most favorite role of Helen Hunt’s; she’s a free spirit with quite the fashion sense. I would also like to point out that it has a lot of similarities to dirty dancing (including the dance move that I guess I’ll call the “air plank”?) but came out two years before so take that Jennifer Grey! Anyway next time you’re cruising Netflix, totally check it out dude, it’s tubular! 

 

In love with my DIY midcentury coffee table

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I’ve gained quite a few readers since I first started blogging so I decided to repost one of my favorite projects, and the first project the Butcher and I did together! It was so inexpensive, SO easy, and truly one of a kind!

First, you’ll need a pencil, drill, sandpaper, and measuring tape.

Now your materials. From Lowe’s I purchased…

1 piece of pre-cut 20×45 wood
1 small can of walnut stain with polyurethane mixed together
1 paintbrush
4 angle top plates (make sure they are angled, that’s very important to get the right look) they look like this
4 metal hairpin or wooden taper legs (I bought mine on ebay, they are real vintage legs from the 50’s!) but you can find new ones here

Sand your table and prepare stain according to package directions. Apply stain to table and legs. I did two coats on the table and one on the legs. Let dry according to directions. Once dry, turn the table over and measure for the leg placement to be centered on all 4 corners (ugh math). Finally, screw legs into table. Turn it over. Take your hand and reach around to your back, all the way, you can do it. Now pat yourself on the back and prop your feet up on the table, maybe even with a cocktail…just don’t forget to use a coaster!

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Blog Update:

I just received an email from one of my readers, Rebekah Selle, with this picture along with the message… “Here’s a picture of the table after I finished it. Turned out great, it was such a helpful tutorial!” I am tickled pink that I not only have people that follow and read my blog but that actually try out the projects and recipes I post! She made the coffee table featured here. Comment on a post that you’ve tried or email me at Lorirao@gmail.com and I’ll feature you on the blog too. Thanks to Rebekah and all my readers!image

not just a female rap group…

Last week I featured my teacup collection so this week I thought I’d share with you another collection, one of my most prized, my salt and pepper shakers.  When we first moved into our home, I started collecting them from thrift shops, yard sales, antique stores, anywhere I found that certain unique set that just jumped out at me. Then the neatest thing started happening, all of my loved ones started adding to my collection! Everybody loves getting a present but it means so much more to know that someone sees an item in their travels and has you on their mind enough to purchase it just for you. It’s gotten to the point now I’ve received so many shakers that I don’t even buy them for myself anymore! Each set that I receive I write the date and person they’re from on the bottom with a sharpie before proudly adding them to my collection. 

Even though it was difficult, I chose nine of my favorite sets to share with you and I thought I’d give a little backstory for each pair. 

 

Here they are…  These silver plated beauties from the 1950’s were from my husband’s maternal grandmother, Elvira. She and I both love vintage things and that woman can shop! She said she saw these and immediately thought of me. I like to put them out for very fancy dinners. 
  Can you believe this burger is actually salt and pepper shakers?! It comes apart between the tomato and the cheese. This set was from my sweet momma. She has bought me many many sets over the years but this is one of my favorites from her. I love using it for bbq’s.   Look at those faces! Their sad puppy eyes are just begging you to season your food. Lady and the Tramp is one of my favorite Disney movies and this set was given to me by one of my favorite people, my dad! He has really found me some unique sets, the most recent being a wooden set engraved with our hometown, Bristow, Oklahoma. But these are my favorite. If you’re reading this then hopefully it’s pretty obvious that I like to write. So when I saw these in an antique market (it was in Atlanta, Ga and seriously one of the coolest shops I’ve ever been in, I could’ve stayed there all day) I was immediately drawn to them. But they had so many things to look at and we were with friends so I got distracted and moved on, completely forgetting about them. Later that evening, the butcher presented me with a small brown paper package (it wasn’t tied up with string though unfortunately….anybody? Sound of Music?) and it was the pen and pencil! He had seen me eyeing them and went back and bought them for me. Isn’t he the sweetest?

 What’s better than a salt shaker with a picture of someone using a salt shaker? Even better if that someone is Mr. Mickey Mouse himself! This set is really special, it was given to me by my mother in law who shares my love of Disney. Not only that but she bought them 33 years ago on their honeymoon in Disney World, the same place we went for our honeymoon. Maybe I’ll give them to Mahal when she gets married.   This cheeky set cracks me up every time I look at it. I was given these by a friend whose ex-husband, whom she’s not very fond of, was a mailman. I guess she thus derived some pleasure in this poor guy getting bitten in the butt by a dog! It’s magnetic too, so he’s really got quite a grip on that thing!   These adorable little oranges I received from one of my dearest childhood friends, Stephanie. The little old lady that lives next door to her had a yard sale and since she has a friend all the way in Sunny Florida who collects salt and pepper shakers, she got them just for me! Their little expressions always bring a smile to my face and make me think of her. This set is prominently displayed in my kitchen.   Who doesn’t love an ice cold glass bottle of coke? These just have a little less sugar…in fact they have salt! Ha! My friend Patti, a fellow collector of vintage kitchenware with excellent taste, bought these for me. Isn’t it so nice when your friends just “get” you? And last but not least, this wonderfully weird pig. My friend/brother and new blog reader, Adrian, found this for me. For a man, he is extremely thoughtful. Maybe it’s because he has a sister and is close to his mom? He complements me when I look nice, protectively watches my back in a crowd of people, and never lets me win a board game, the perfect big brother. He even called me this weekend from Sur la Table or “your heaven” as he called it, to see if I wanted anything from that wondrous place. But enough about him, back to the pig. The shakers themselves are a simple ivory melamine but the pig, the pig is the real show stopper. It’s eyes are made of glass and I’m not sure what it’s body’s made of but it’s pretty stinkin’ heavy and covered in some sort of burlap like cloth with little metal studs. It’s pretty funky, which makes me feel like it had to be a product of the 70’s. I love it. 

And there you have it. The irony in all of this? I never put salt and pepper out on the table when I make a meal because I know how to season when I’m cooking and I feel it’s insulting to my food. A conundrum, I know.