Sunday, September 29, 2013

Daily Outfits

Retro Gran's daily outfits
Some days you just want to have longer hair, thats why I love having extensions, they give me the best of both worlds.  I also love this top, it has a wonderful asymmetrical neckline with lots of draping down the front.  Its very easy to dress up or down.  Here I paired it with my denim capris and my polka dot wedges.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
I adore this vintage skirt!  You have seen me wear it a couple times now and Im sure you will see it again in the future.  I paired it with a peacock blue satin shirt and my mustard yellow sandals.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
Isnt this purple top fun?  I love the detailing.  I added a navy skirt, my Aigner pumps, and a darling clutch purse that I picked up at TJ Maxx last year.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
Our last outfit shows me wearing a gray satin blouse that I got at Dress Barn a couple years ago that I paired with my navy pants and gray oxford shoes.  My hair was having a crazy frizzy day - see I do have bad hair days too!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Military Order of Purple Heart

Back in the Spring, you may remember that the Mister and I took a trip to the East Coast for his birthday. Recently, I was going through some photos from that trip and realized that I never shared these with you. 

While we were there, we had lunch with a dear friend of mine who now resides on the coast. On our way to meet her, tucked away on a side entrance, we passed this amazing memorial.  We were short for time but just had to stop and take a few photos, and later in the week we went back, taking our son and his family.

I am truly thankful for everything our military servicemen and women have done for us and continue to do and sacrifice everyday. Like the monument states, "They paid for our freedom with blood. All gave some, some gave all."


War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daily Outfits

Retro Gran's daily outfits
Here I am wearing a striped boat neck tshirt from Old Navy.  Ive paired it with some navy slacks and my little red slip ons from Walmart.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
This raspberry colored top was given to me by my sister.  Its a soft jersey material and I love the asymmetrical neckline.  I added a brooch, some gray slacks and a pair of bejeweled flip flops.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
This was a casual day outfit at work.  I am sporting a tee that I have had for ages.  It is a Sweeney Todd t-shirt.  Who else loves Johnny Depp as much as I do?!  Ive paired it with my denim capris and a pair of leather sandals.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
This lime green dress is a jersey material and so stretchy and comfortable.  I got it about 10 years ago from Newport-News. The shoes are Aigner that I picked up at TJ Maxx a couple years ago.

Retro Gran's daily outfits
This top was a gift from my sister for my last birthday.  I love this shade of blue, it always reminds me of the beach.  I paired it with my gray slacks and added my Belle Blossom to my hair.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ruggles of Red Gap

Ruggles of Red Gap

If you are looking for a comedy about manners, poking fun at class pretensions among the newly-rich and the ennui of the upper crust, then Ruggles of Red Gap is the movie for you.


Ruggles of Red Gap

The story opens in Paris, around 1908, where Marmaduke Ruggles, beautifully played by Charles Laughton, is the ultra-obedient manservant to the Earl of Burnstead, played by Roland Young. During one of the Earl's nightly forays, he has been playing poker with the nouveau riche American cattle baron, Egbert Floud, played by Charles Ruggles. Egbert wins Ruggles in the poker game and Lord Burnstead tells his butler that he will be leaving with the Flouds heading back to Red Gap, Washington.

Ruggles of Red Gap

Ruggles is terrified at the prospect of being bundled off to the Wild West, especially after meeting Egbert and Effie, played by Mary Boland. Effie wants to take advantage of Ruggles' upper class background to influence Egbert's hick lifestyle and to instruct her husband in proper manners and appropriate dress, but Egbert, more interested in partying, sees Ruggles mostly as a partner in crime.  He takes Ruggles to the local 'beer bust' before they leave Paris, and insists that he sit and drink with him.  Ruggles resists at first, stating that it isn't proper, but finally gives in and proceeds to get very drunk.

Ruggles of Red Gap

Once in the frontier boom town of Red Gap, Egbert introduces Ruggles as "Colonel" and the misunderstanding obliges social-climbing Effie to pass Ruggles off as an aristocratic British army officer. When word gets out in the local paper that "Colonel Ruggles is staying with his close friends", the butler becomes a town celebrity. The town ladies are quite taken by the sophisticated servant in disguise as he enamors them with fictitious stories of battles gone by. 

Ruggles of Red Gap

When he befriends Mrs. Judson, a widow, played by ZaSu Pitts, he impresses her with his culinary skills and she encourages him to open his own business. His secret inner desire for life begins to emerge with her encouragement and that of his friends.

Ruggles of Red Gap

The longer he spends in America, the more he grows to like the concept of democracy and self-determination. He proves his new-found patriotism in one of the best scenes of the film, his recitation of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in the Silver Dollar Saloon.

Ruggles of Red Gap

The dream of freedom leads him to open his own restaurant, where one of his first customers is the Duke who has come to reclaim his former servant. But Ruggles' transition from servant to independent man holds strong and he proves himself a worthy American and the equal of any man.

The movie has predictable zaniness and madcappery and Charles Laughton is delightful in his multi-layered characterization of a stone-faced gentleman's gentleman with a secret inner life. His quiet recitation of the Gettysburg Address is a truly magic moment in the history of American cinema.

Previously filmed in 1918 and 1923, Ruggles of Red Gap achieved movie classic status when it was remade by Leo McCarey with this version in 1935, which was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. It was filmed for a fourth time in 1950 as the Bob Hope-Lucille Ball musical Fancy Pants.

Ruggles of Red Gap






Sunday, September 15, 2013

Daily Outfits

Retro Gran's Daily Outfits
I love bright colors and this lime green top is so fun to wear.  I paired it with some charcoal gray slacks and lime green sandals, added an orange Belle Blossom to my hair and called it good.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfits
I picked this navy blue wrap dress up at a warehouse sell about 5 years ago.  It is a nice weight cotton so its very comfortable to wear.  I love the pleated bottom.  I paired it with some mustard yellow wedges that I have gotten a lot of wear out of this summer.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is my freshly blow dried, unstyled hair.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfits
I'm not sure I really like this top.  I've had it for years and I adore the print, but the tie belt seems to stretch out as the day goes on.  Maybe if I used a different belt with it, I might like it better.  I added a khaki colored camisole underneath and paired it with black slacks and my little red flats.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfits
I have had this dress for ages.  You can't really tell from the picture but the top is lacy.  Its made of a soft jersey fabric which makes it a dream to wear.  I added a pink camisole underneath and paired it with these fun, beaded wedges.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfits
This was a fun, warm weather outfit.  These mint green capris are comfortable but are lint magnets.  Not good when you have a cat and a dog and toddlers running around.  I've paired it with a sleeveless top that is made of a gauzy material, great for those hot days, and the little leather sandals I bought from Walmart earlier in the year.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Style of The Women Of Mad Men

I am a huge Mad Men fan.  In fact, I recently sat down and re-watched every single episode and I am already thinking that I want to watch them yet again and I can hardly wait for season 7 to start.  Hurry up already!!

While we are waiting for the next and sadly, final season to begin, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the fashion of the women on the show.


Megan Draper

Megan Draper's style

Megan is young, fresh, and carefree.  Her character comes onto the show in the later 60s so she wears lots of shorter dresses.  If you would like to dress like Megan, you might want to try something like this gorgeous 60's Lilli Ann Knit Coat and Dress set.  You can find it here :

60's Lilli Ann Knit Coat and Dress



Joan Holloway Harris

Joan Holloway's style

Joanie is composed, sexy, and sophisticated.  She typically wears a wiggle dress in jewel tones of ruby, sapphire, and emerald green to showcase her magnificent figure and fiery red hair.  If you would like to dress like Joan, you might try something like this wiggle dress.  You can find it here :

50's - 60's style wiggle dress



Peggy Olson


Peggy Olson's style

Peggy is smart, witty, and professional.  She typically wears neutral earth tones with a more modest feel. If you would like to dress like Peggy, you might try something like this 1950's empire dress.  You can find it here.

50's style empire dress



Betty Draper Francis
Betty Draper's style

Reminiscent of Grace Kelly, Betty is classic, stylish, and feminine.  She typically wears pastels such as light blues, soft pinks, and mint greens.  Out of all of the women on the show, I think Betty has the best wardrobe. We get to see her at her best, her worst and everything in between.  And I think this lovely dress shows Betty's everyday style.  You can find it here.

50's Vintage Dress



So, do you watch Mad Men?  Who is your favorite style icon on the show?




Monday, September 9, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few years back I had begun making my own laundry detergent but after months of making my own I ran out and didn't have the ingredients on hand to make another batch, so I just grabbed a bottle at the grocery store for convenience, and fell back into that old habit.  I am lazy by nature, have I mentioned that before?

So, anyway, we now have another of our sons and his family living with us temporarily.  That makes 8 people in our household which generates a never ending pile of laundry....and noise, in case you were wondering.

With the economy the way it is, I once again felt the need to try to tighten our household budget and cut back any way we could, and I was reminded of my homemade laundry detergent.  Last week I picked up all of the ingredients and whipped up a batch.  There are a couple different recipe's for making your own and you can make a powder version or a liquid version.  I always made the powder version, even though I prefer liquid detergent, I just didn't want to go through everything required to make my own.  The recipe I used to follow is very simple with just 3 ingredients: Borax, Super Washing Powder, and Fels-Naptha.  This time, though, I followed a different recipe.  Here's what you will need if you want to make your own:

Homemade Laundry Detergent Ingredients
Silly me forgot to take a picture, so I borrowed this one from The Happy Money Saver
Ingredients:

1 Box of Super Washing Soda 3 lb. 7 oz. ($3.24)
1 Box of Borax 4 lbs 12 oz. size ($3.38)
1 Box of Pure Baking Soda 4 lb. ($2.24)
3 bars of Fels-Naptha 5.5 oz. or you could also use Zote or Ivory soap ($0.97 x3)
1 container of Oxy-Clean 3 lb ($7.52)
*optional: Purex Crystals 28 oz. for scent  (or you could use Downy unstoppables 
($4.76 ea. I used two bottles of the Purex)

{The prices are what I paid at my local Walmart and totals $28.81.  You can reduce this price by finding them on sale, using coupons, and also cutting back on some of the ingredients.  For instance, you may only want to use a 1.3lb tub of oxy-clean versus the 3lb that I used.}

The first thing you need to do is grab your cheese grater and grate the Fels-Naptha.  Since I am a lazy person, I skipped this and went straight for my food processor.  I chopped the soap up into squares and threw them into the food processor, then ground up the soap into a fine consistency. After I got the soap into the consistency I wanted, I then started adding a little of each ingredient into a 5 gallon bucket, mixing thoroughly as I went.  (Be aware that this is powdery stuff and it flies around.  I got it up my nose, several times.)

You will want a container with a lid so that you can store your laundry detergent and keep it air tight. After you get it all mixed up, you could use it straight from your bucket or find a smaller container to keep near your washer.  I filled up one of the empty Purex Crystals bottles with mine.  The lid on these bottles has some measuring lines so its great for measuring how much you are using.

Now, here's the best part:  It only takes 1-2 Tablespoons per load!!  This recipe makes enough for about 520 loads so that works out to about $.05 per load!!  How awesome is that!  I've used this on our laundry all week and it is working great, has a wonderful smell, and even works with my daughter-in-laws sensitive skin.

I have been thinking that this could be a great housewarming gift, or for a bridal shower, or even as a Christmas gift.  You could find some really cute containers, maybe something sweet like this:

Laundry Detergent Gift Idea
I found this lovely container idea here.


**I don't have a High Efficiency washer, but I have read that this is safe to use with them because it is low-sudsing.  But, if you have one, please research before trying this out.**

Do you have any other frugal ideas that you are trying at home?




Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spotlight On: Raquel Welch

Raquel starred in a remake of One Million Years B.C. in 1966. Her only costume was a two-piece deer skin bikini. She was described as "wearing mankind's first bikini" and the fur bikini was described as a "definitive look of the 1960s". One author said, "although she had only three lines in the film, her luscious figure in a fur bikini made her a star and the dream girl of millions of young moviegoers". A publicity still of her in the bikini became a best-selling poster and turned her into an instant pin-up girl. The film raised her stature as a leading sex symbol of the era.  In 2011, Time listed Welch's B.C. bikini in the "Top Ten Bikinis in Pop Culture" and dubbed her as "America's number one sex symbol".


Today is the birthday of one of the most beautiful women ever, Raquel Welch.  She is 73 and still as gorgeous as ever. Her sultry beauty, talent and vibrant personality set her apart from those who came before her and she continues to leave an indelible legacy for those who follow.

At the age of 22, she arrived in Hollywood as a single mother with her two small children; only to find that the studio star-making system was long gone. Nonetheless, she carved out a place for herself in movie history, and broke the mold of the submissive blonde bombshell.  She starred in over 45 films and won a Golden Globe for best actress in The Three Musketeers.

The world has always seemed focused on her beauty but she strove to counteract that perception. In the 80’s she changed directions and made the leap from the movies to Broadway, debuting in the hit musical Woman of the Year. This shattered the myth that she was simply a celluloid invention.

An early devotee of yoga and a forerunner in the field of fitness, Raquel authored the best-selling classic yoga book RAQUEL: Total Beauty and Fitness in 1984. She introduced Yoga to a whole generation of women and ignited a new exercise trend.  

She created The Raquel Welch Wig Collection; the most successful enterprise of its kind in the world. She has also succeeded Catherine Deneuve, to become the most recent Icon Face of M.A.C Cosmetics – with a line of international signature cosmetics.

One of Raquel’s latest project is a new book, Raquel: Beyond The Cleavage. In it she speaks intimately about the trials and tribulations of aging in the public eye and offers an insightful guide to becoming a truly age-defying woman. At present, Raquel is the spokesperson “behind those Foster Grants,” in a new television commercial campaign for Foster Grant sunglasses and readers. 

Join me in wishing her a very Happy Birthday!