Sunday, June 30, 2013

On This Day: Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind

On this day in 1936, Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone with the Wind, was published. It went on to be one of the best selling novels of all time and the basis for the 1939 movie.

Margaret Mitchell

In 1926, after a series of physical injuries, Margaret was forced to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal. She grew restless with so much time on her hands, and with the aid of her typewriter, a gift from her husband, she began telling the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O'Hara.

In telling the story of Pansy's life through the Civil War and beyond, Margaret drew on the tales she had heard from her parents and other relatives, as well as Confederate war veterans she had met as a young girl. She was very secretive about her work but she eventually gave the manuscript to an editor from MacMillan Publishing. He encouraged her to complete the novel, with one important change: the heroine's name. Margaret agreed, changed it to Scarlett, and now it's one of the most memorable names in the history of literature.

When it was published, Gone with the Wind caused a sensation in Atlanta and went on to sell millions of copies in the United States and throughout the world. It drew some criticism for its romanticized view of the Old South and its slaveholding elite, but its epic tale of war, passion and loss captivated readers far and wide. In 1937 Margaret won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and by this time a movie project was already in the works. The film was produced by Hollywood giant David O. Selznick, who paid Mitchell a record-high $50,000 for the film rights to her book.

Even though they were plagued with problems on set, Gone with the Wind nonetheless became one of the highest-grossing and most acclaimed movies of all time, breaking box office records and winning nine Academy Awards out of 13 nominations.

If you have never read Gone With The Wind, I highly recommend it. This is easily my most favorite novel of all time and is so much more in depth than the film. You really get a sense of who Scarlett truly is and why she does the things she does to survive.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Decades of Hair

If you didn't know this about me already, I like experimenting with my hair.  I get bored having the same hairstyle, day in and day out, so I will try different techniques as subtle as changes in roller placement, as well as drastic changes in length and color.

Retro Gran as a Blonde, Redhead, and Brunette

Here, let me insert that even though my hair has gone through lots of changes over the years, at one point I did have the same hairstyle for about 10 years - long and straight with the occasional curl.

Ten years worth of the same hairstyle | Retro Gran

Before that, I never really kept it the same for long, it was super short for a while, then I would grow it out, then it would be mid length, then short again, until I finally grew it out and just left it. I'm not sure why I left it like that for so long.  Maybe I became attached to it, like a security blanket.

Retro Gran's ever changing hairstyles

Then about two years ago, after having it pretty much the same for all of those years, I decided that I was stuck in a rut and in danger of becoming one of those little old ladies with long grey hair, and I cut it all off.  Do you think maybe I was having a mid-life crisis?

Cutting my hair pretty much coincided with my decision to delve into the vintage world.   I had tried my hand at replicating hairstyles of the past on several occasions before, with some success, but still had no idea how to truly accomplish the looks I wanted. Then one day, shortly after cutting my hair and while recuperating from major shoulder surgery, I was lying in bed surfing through Youtube videos and ran across Ashley from Lisa Freemont Street.  I was mesmerized,  here was this gorgeous, young woman sporting a vintage hairstyle and showing me just how to achieve that look.  Needless to say, I was hooked.

Since that day, I have tried a plethora of hairstyles from different eras, trying to find what I like best, what suits my facial features best, and basically just having fun with lots of trial and error.

When I started writing this post, I looked back over some photographs of vintage hairstyles that I have tried to achieve and realized that they covered five decades of styles and I thought, how fun it would be to share those with you.  But, as I began writing, it also occurred to me that in another years time I will be turning 50 and will have truly sported five decades of hairstyles of my very own.  How cool is that? - Except for the turning 50 part which could really be depressing if I thought about it. - Let's skip that fact.

Deciding what I wanted to share with you, and just how far in the past to travel, I thought, why not share it all.  Nearly 100 years worth of hairstyles! Now, where to start?  I think we shall work from this decade back in time.


Retro Gran 2010 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 2000 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1990 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1980 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1970 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1960 decade of hairstyles

and present day

Retro Gran 1960 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1950 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1940 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1930 decade of hairstyles


Retro Gran 1920 decade of hairstyles

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Out With Google Reader, In With Bloglovin

Hello my lovelies! Just a quick little reminder that as of Monday, Google Reader will be no more, so if you read all of the blogs you follow from there, like I did, try switching over to Bloglovin. It's very simple.

Image Source

First, follow the link to Bloglovin and create your account. It will then ask you if you want to import the blogs you read on Google Reader to your Bloglovin account. Click the button to import them and that's all there is to it.

If you prefer to read your favorite blogs on your phone or iPad, here is the Bloglovin’ app!

Thank you all for being such loyal readers. I feel so lucky! Now make sure and Follow my blog with Bloglovin!!  That way you won't miss out on anything =)

Or, if readers aren't your thing, of course you can opt for email updates instead! (See the box to the right.)

I'm not sure if Google Friend Connect is going to continue to work or not so for now I will be leaving it as an option for you as well.

Now, go, get your read on!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pirates and Madagascar

My five grandsons all have birthdays within a couple weeks of each other which they just celebrated recently.  Both of my granddaughters birthdays are later in the year and within a month of each other and I have another grandson due to be born in a couple months, so his birthday will be in between the others.

Being that all of the boys birthdays are so close together, it is hard for this Grandma to find the time to bake that many cakes.  Luckily, this year I only needed to make cakes for two of them so I thought I would share those with you.

This first cake was for our grandson that just celebrated his 1st birthday with a Madagascar themed party.  So I made him a lion cake to represent Alex.  It was so simple to make and he loved it.

Lion cake | Retro Gran

The second cake was for our grandson who was turning two.  He absolutely loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates so he had a pirate theme.  I thought about fashioning Jake out of fondant for his cake but then I decided that I would just purchase some of the character figurines instead because then he would be able to keep them to play with.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates cake | Retro Gran

They were both pleased with their cakes and I enjoy making my babies happy - not that Grandma would ever spoil them. 

I am glad that our birthday season is over with for a little while.  Somehow, maybe, possibly, I think it could be the reason for my recent weight gain.  Apparently, I can overlook having to move my belt over a notch though, because I am looking forward to just baking for the fun of it, without worrying about how to decorate them.  Sometimes my greatest creations come out of my every day - "for no reason at all" - cakes.  Plus, I have an idea for a recipe for a chocolate cake that I want to try out.  If it works, I will share it with you ladies.

What about you, have you been baking lately?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Retro Gran's First Blogiversary

Today marks one year since the start of this blog.  Wow!  I can't hardly believe how the time has flown.  I guess what they say is true, time flies when you're having fun.

The beautiful Ginger Rogers.  Tumblr Image source

What a year it has been.  I started this blog to document my adventures into the vintage world.  To share my mistakes along the way and the triumphs as well.  To share the difficulty of finding vintage in an extremely small town, let alone being brave enough to wear it out for others to see.  Small town life is not the easiest to be different in, you stand out, get talked about and looked at.  As I have gotten older I have learned that I have to be true to who I am, this is me - Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Daughter, Sister and Friend, and lover of all things vintage.  It has been nice to find a home through the internet in which I can be myself and share my love of vintage with those of you who have the same love.

I am not a writer so I am sure I have had tons of grammatical errors as well as difficulties with getting my words to portray my thoughts and feelings.  But, it is getting easier and evolving over time.  Reading all of your blogs has been a great inspiration to me, you have taught me so much.

I didn't start out blogging with any type of set schedule and still only blog when I feel I have something to say or share.  I've heard that this is a big no-no for building a readership, but feel that at this time it is best for me - and I'm sure no one would want to read something that feels forced.  I am patient, if nothing else.  You can't raise six children and not be.  I believe if you build it, they will come.

Thank you all so much for visiting, commenting, encouraging and supporting me.  This past year I have seen great joy and experienced great heartaches.  But isn't that life?  The trick is to focus on the joys, to do those things which make you happy, and to take each day at a time.  Blogging makes me happy and all of you have brought tremendous joy to my life.  Meeting each of you, if only through the blogging community, has been a true blessing to me.  Thanks for sticking around.  I look forward to the next year together.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Daily Outfits

Retro Gran Daily Outfits

It's been a while since I shared my daily outfits on here, but if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen these before and you've seen this entire ensemble on here before, just styled differently.  By the way, I absolutely love these Aigner spectator pumps, they are so comfortable to wear.

Retro Gran Daily Outfits

Can you believe this cute little dress came from Walmart?!  I've had it for several years now so I'm not sure if it's still available.  It has a low cut front so I added a little camisole and my macrame oxfords, threw a flower in my hair and that was it.

Retro Gran Daily Outfits

This is my Trashy Diva dress that I blogged about here.  The only difference in how I styled it this time is the shoes.  I'm wearing my Keds with it which made it a little more casual.  My beautiful rose hair clip is from Belle Blossoms.

Retro Gran Daily Outfits

Here we have a very casual Friday outfit.  These cropped jeans from Kohls are great because you can cuff them up a few times to make them shorter or wear them down like I have here.  I've added a very simple tee that I picked up for little of nothing at Walmart as well as these cute bejeweled flip flops.

What have you ladies been wearing lately?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

TVs 5 Greatest Dads

In honor of Father's Day, I have listed 5 of my picks for best TV dad. They aren't ranked into any particular order, all of them are equally great in my mind, and are from shows long since ended but still living on in re-run heaven.

Sheriff Andy Taylor
Andy Taylor - The Andy Griffeth Show ran from 1960 - 1968 but lives forever in syndication and I'm sure everyone is familiar with Andy's fathering skills. He was a great dad because he was involved in Opie's life, teaching him right from wrong and disciplining when necessary. The lessons involved life, love, and everything between, with Andy imparting a lot of useful wisdom. Plus he always made time to take Opie fishing! 

Charles Ingalls 
Charles Ingalls - Little House on the Prairie ran from 1974 - 1983. Charles "Pa" was father to Mary, Laura, Carrie and Grace and in later episodes also adopted several children. The show is loosely based on the books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her family life in the 19th century American West. Charles cherished his family as well as his wife. I feel that part of being a good father is teaching your children to treat their mother well, and what better way than to lead by example.

Howard Cunningham 
Howard Cunningham - Happy Days aired from 1974 - 1984. Howard handed out his parenting, not only to his children, but also to their friends. He was stern but loving, generous but not over indulgent, teaching values and letting his children learn from their mistakes. He was always available, making time whenever his kids needed him.

Ben Cartwright 
Ben Cartwright - Bonanza aired from 1959 - 1973. Ben had three sons, all from a different wife which passed away, so he was raising his boys on his own. (Well, there was Hop Sing, the cook, but mostly Ben was alone.) He taught his boys the importance of family and caring for one another as well as the importance of community and helping others.

Ozzie Nelson 
Ozzie Nelson - The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet ran from 1952 - 1966 and starred the real life Nelson family. While the series focused mainly on the family's run of the mill problems and was the epitomy of family values with Ozzie handing out great advice, what truly makes him a wonderful dad in my mind isn't really about the fictional father that Ozzie portrayed, but the real life Ozzie who came up with the shows concept because he was a busy bandleader and wanted a way to be able to spend more time with his family, more time being a husband and father.

And that's really what parenting is all about, spending time with your kids, being there for them, teaching them right from wrong, teaching them to love each other and to treat others with respect, and to have compassion for others. And to remember to have fun and enjoy the life you have.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gift Ideas For Dad

Father's Day is fast approaching so, if you haven't already gotten your gift, I thought I would share some unique ideas to help you out.
Whiskey Stones
Here we have some whiskey stones that you would place in your glass to chill your drink without diluting it.  This is an awesome idea that doesn't have to be used only with alcohol, you can place them in your Coke Zero too.  Get a set of nine for $19.50, here.

Collectors Playing Cards
For the fishing enthusiast we have a collectors set of playing cards displaying fishing lures from the 1800s to the 1940s.  It also includes a set of 5 dice.  It's currently on sale here for $11.97.

R2-D2 cufflink usb flash drive

These are a pricey option but would be perfect for a Star Wars fan, each silver-plated, enamel R2-D2 cufflink is also a 2GB USB flash drive.  You can find them here for $199.95

Gorillatorch 100 flashlight

Have you ever tried to work on something and needed an extra hand to hold the flashlight?  Well, this solves that problem.  Find it here for $29.95

Sigg Travel Water Bottle

For your sportsman, how about a Sigg travel water bottle.   These Swiss made bottles are ecologically sound, reusable and easily recycled.  They come in a wide array of colors and designs as well as sizes.  You can find them here and they run from around $15 to $32.

Hope these help to inspire you when picking out Dad's gift.  Happy shopping!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spotlight On: Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel was an American actress and she was the first African American to win an Academy Award which she won for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

Hattie McDaniel

She was born in Wichita, KS on June 10, 1895. The youngest of 13 children of a Baptist minister, who played the banjo and performed in minstrel shows, and his singer wife - both former slaves.

Hattie McDaniel

While still in high school, Hattie started professionally singing, dancing and performing funny skits in minstrel shows. In 1925, she became one of the first African-American women on the radio. In 1934, she landed her on-screen break in Judge Priest. And in 1939, she accepted a role that would mark the highlight of her entertainment career. As Mammy, Scarlett O'Hara's house servant in Gone with the Wind.

Despite the segregation in the world at large, she became a close friend to many of her Hollywood co-stars, among them Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Joan Crawford, Ronald Reagan and Shirley Temple, living and working among them as something like a peer. Unfortunately she drew fire from some blacks for choosing to play second class Americans and attacked by the media for taking parts that perpetuated a negative stereotype of blacks; she was criticized for playing servants and slaves who were seemingly content to retain their role as such - prompting the quick-witted actress to quip "I'd rather play a maid than be one." A motto that she lived by. She asserted her prerogative to accept whatever roles she chose, suggesting that characters like Mammy proved themselves as more than just measuring up to their employers.

Hattie McDaniel

Nearly 3000 mourners attended Hattie's funeral service, which included many Hollywood movie stars. After the ceremony, 125 limousines formed the procession line to follow the body to the cemetery. At the time of her death in 1952, she could not be buried in the cemetery of her choice -- Hollywood Memorial Park -- because of racial segregation. Her second choice, Rosedale Cemetery also had a similar policy, but it was waived and the actress became the first African-American buried there. In October 1999, the new owners of the Hollywood Memorial Park, now renamed Hollywood Forever Cemetery, offered to have Hattie interred there, but her family did not want to disturb her remains so they declined.  Instead, the owner unveiled a granite monument in her honor. Its one of Hollywood's most popular tourist attractions.  Hattie was 57 at the time of her death from breast cancer.

Cenotaph at Hollywood Forever Cemetery for Hattie McDaniel

Since her death, McDaniel has been posthumously awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, in 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.

Hattie McDaniel as Mammie in GWTW

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hell Bunny Flamingos

*Outfit Details*
Camisole - Walmart
Cardigan - JCPenney
Skirt - JBR Clothing
Shoes - Shoe Show
Necklace - Given to me by my Mom
Earrings - I can't remember

Here's a few snapshots I took on my phone because I wanted to share this cute skirt with you guys.  It is the Flamingo Skirt by Hell Bunny and I purchased it at JBR Clothing.  This was the first time I have ever ordered anything from JBR's and I must say their shipping is incredibly fast.  I think I actually received the skirt two days after I placed my order.

I ordered according to my measurements but when I received the skirt, I could not even get it buttoned around my waist.  So I exchanged it with no problems except that the next size up was out of stock so I went up even further to the next size and I'm glad I did because it actually fit.  This is my first item of Hell Bunny's so I'm not sure if all of their clothing is miss-sized like this or if it's just this skirt.  As far as quality, it is nicely made of cotton and I adore the flamingo tropical print.

I paired it with a pale pink camisole that is so pale that it hardly even shows in these photos.  I picked it up at Walmart for about $4 and is reversible with a scoop neck on one side and a v-neck on the other.  I thought that was a great option and they had tons of other colors.  I may have to go back and get some more.

Then I threw on this turquoise cardigan that I've had for ages and a pair of turquoise sandals.  The pink beaded necklace is a hand me down from my Mom.

So, have any of you ladies ever bought a Hell Bunny item and if so, how did it fit?  I am thinking that I will eventually order more of their products but I would like to be aware of how they fit before I do.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What To Wear To A Wedding

Since June is the most popular wedding month, I thought many of you, like myself, may be attending such festivities and looking for something to wear.  Its always hard for me to decide what to wear, how formal will it be, should I avoid certain colors such as white, etc.  So I put together a nice selection of vintage or vintage inspired dresses that would be appropriate for a guest to wear.

Among these beauties are some of my favorites, some are true vintage and some are not, but have a vintage feel to them.  I hope you enjoy them and maybe they will inspire your wedding guest wardrobe choices.

Custard Heart Vintage 1950s floral dress
This lovely 1950s dress is from Custard Heart Vintage and has a 34" bust 26" waist.

Rococo Vintage 1960s pink floral dress
This is a gorgeous 1960s dress from Rococo Vintage.
You will have to be tiny to wear this dress as it has a 32" bust and 24" waist.
4 Birds Vintage 1960s polka dot dress
I love polka dots and this orange hued beauty captured my heart.
It is from 4 Birds Vintage and has  a 36" bust 26" waist.

Pearl Snow Petal Dress at
I adore the pearls on the shoulders and top of this dress from Modcloth.
Emily and Fin dress at
This lovely vintage inspired Emily and Fin dress can be found at Modcloth and comes in an array of sizes.
Are you attending a wedding in June?  Or perhaps later in the summer?  I hope these beauties help inspire your wedding attire.