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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jackie Kennedy's Hair

Today is the last post for my Jackie Kennedy series that has been going on this month in honor of her birthday.  I thought it would be fun to end the series with an attempt at recreating her iconic hairstyle seen below.

Jackie Kennedy's hairstyles

She sported a couple variations on this style but they were all basically the same.  So, lets take a look at how I tried to achieve this look.  My first attempt I tried rolling with large hot rollers on second day hair.  The first day had been rolled on hot rollers as well but with smaller ones which left me with a slightly tighter curl.   Here's how it turned out.

Attempt at achieving Jackie Kennedy's hair

The second time I tried out this hairstyle, I started with freshly washed hair that had been blow dried and then set on large hot rollers.

Attempt at achieving Jackie Kennedy's hair

For my setting pattern, I rolled the first roller on top towards my face and the rest were rolled back and / or down.  This is the same setting pattern that I used on the first trial run.  Here's what I had when I took the rollers out and brushed my hair on top towards the back.  This gave me more volume on top.

Attempt at achieving Jackie Kennedy's hair

Since I tried this on freshly washed hair, using large rollers, my curl wasn't tight enough to last all day, so by the end of the day they were drooping somewhat, but I think that its still reminiscent of her style.  What do you think?

Attempt at achieving Jackie Kennedy's hair

I have had so much fun doing this series and learning more about Jackie.  I hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I did.  If you missed any of the posts, be sure to click on the button in the sidebar.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Jackie Kennedy's Jewelry

Jackie has been both touted and taunted in the media for her excessive clothing and meticulous attention to both jewelry and fashion. She was always, always a trendsetter, from the hats to the hand bags and most importantly the jewelry.

A lot of Jackie’s jewelry pieces were gifts given to her from JFK, Onassis, or gifts of state.  But some of the jewelry Jackie commissioned and designed herself.  She had an amazing style and her jewelry lives on in the replicas created by Camrose and Kross. From watches to rings to bracelets galore!  Their Jacqueline Kennedy Jewelry Collection is exact jewelry in every detail including the weight of the piece - reproduced in faux materials.  Let’s take a look at some of their pieces.

Jackie Kennedy 3 strand faux pearls

Jacqueline Kennedy had many sets of pearls, but this was the one she wore and enjoyed the most. It is believed that she inherited it from her mother. Jackie was a fan of designer Coco Chanel, who had designed this style of pearls where the three lengths are not uniformly set. The inner string has a larger space than between the two lower strings, so she could pull the lower string up and over the upper string for a more sophisticated look. Chanel also believed the clasp is an integral part of a necklace’s design and should be worn where it could be seen. On this versatile necklace, the three strands will strike off in different turns for a unique look.

Jackie Kennedy Berry Pin

A Mother's Day Gift from JFK for the Birth of John F. Kennedy Jr. (November 27, 1960). Along with her Wedding Bracelet, this pin is one of Jackie most prized possessions. The Berry Pin is kept at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, behind bullet-proof glass. Though he was organizing his new Presidential Administration at the time of his son's birth, JFK found the time to go to New York to have this gift made to order for Jackie. The pin was presented to a pleasantly surprised Jackie on January 10, 1961, ten days before he took office. Jackie would sometimes wear the pin, which she now called "My Berry Pin", with the berries up and sometimes with the berries down (as you see above). She was so proud of the pin, and its special charm, that she wore the pin on her first trip abroad as First Lady, to Canada in May 1961. This pin, though on permanent exhibition at the JFK Library, is still owned by Caroline.

Jackie Kennedy Emerald 10th Anniversary Ring
This ring was a stunning gift from JFK to Jackie to commemorate their 10th wedding anniversary in 1963.  John had the ring made to order by Van Cleef and Arpels in NYC. It has ten stones, one for each year of marriage, and emerald for the Emerald Isle, Ireland. The stones were set in a continuous circle as an "eternity ring". Jackie wore it next to her wedding band. The original ring was modified in 1972-73 when Jackie had two stones removed and made into two solitaire rings for Caroline and John Jr. John Jr. gave his ring to Carolyn Bessette on the night of his wedding. Caroline now owns all three rings.

Jackie Kennedy Kunzite Ring
In August of 1963, Jack and Jackie lost their child Patrick. By all accounts, the experience drew the couple much closer, spending much more private time with each other and with their children. As they healed from this great loss, John became optimistic about the future, particularly about his life spent with Jacqueline.  In October, John decided to order an extra special gift for Jackie for the upcoming Christmas holidays. He visited Van Cleef and Arpels in New York and had them make a large kunzite ring with twenty diamonds. He knew Jackie loved pink, and he felt that the stone's dynamic color captured his new optimistic spirit. The twenty diamonds symbolized the first ten Christmases they had celebrated together, and the next ten he was looking forward to sharing with her.  The ring was delivered to the White House in early November. John wrote Jackie a letter and gave it and the ring to his secretary for safe keeping. He would never get the chance to deliver it, as he was assassinated in Dallas only weeks later. After his death, Mrs. Lincoln delivered what Jackie knew would be the last gift from her beloved husband. Although Jackie was in mourning for a year and wore almost no jewelry, she kept this ring with her at all times.

This is just a very small sampling of the Jacqueline Kennedy Jewelry Collection by Camrose and Kross.  They have earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, watches, handbags and scarves and even Jackie's iconic sunglasses.  You can purchase these pieces, which come with a certificate of authenticity, through their website or you can find them at such places as QVC or The Kennedy Center.  I, personally, do not own any of the collection but do have many pieces on my wish list.  It's all just so beautiful, it's hard to choose just one!

If you've missed any of my posts in the Jackie Kennedy series, click on the button in the side bar to catch up.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

French Country Cottage Giveaway

I don't know how many of you ladies read blogs dedicated to home decor, but I read loads of them, and one of my very favorites, French Country Cottage, is having a giveaway right now.  The winner of this lovely giveaway will win this beautiful, vintage inspired Mikasa table setting.

The pattern is called Vintage Lace and the winner will receive 6 place settings!!!  Is that not an awesome giveaway?!  I am crossing my fingers that I am lucky enough to win this.  =)

Each place setting includes
 a 10-3/4 inch dinner plate,
 8-1/2 inch salad plate, 
6-1/2 inch bread & butter plate, 
8-1/2 ounce teacup and 6 inch saucer

Head on over to Courtney's blog, French Country Cottage, and check it out.  I think you will love it as much as I do.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daily Outfits

Wearing Vintage Vogue V8728
You may remember this dress from here, it is one that I made.  The bangles I picked up at the local antiques store, the shoes I have had for probably 15 years.  They need a good cleaning but I'm not sure how to go about doing that since they are macrame.  Anybody have any suggestions?

Daily Outfits
Apparently I forgot to iron this before I wore it.  Maybe wrinkles can be counted as an accessory. lol. I picked this skirt up at a thrift store.  I like the length, its so hard to find longer skirts these days.  This top I have had for a couple years now, I love the color and the lacy neckline.  I think it came from Dress Barn.  The shoes are ancient and came from a garage sale.

Daily Outfits
The peacock blue of this blouse is one of my favorites.  I picked it up at JCPenney's more than 5 years ago.  The pants you have seen before and I posted about these shoes here.

Daily Outfits
This is my PUG dress that I blogged about here.  I also got these shoes there.  They are a little uncomfortable but I think I actually need about a half size larger.  The cardigan is thrifted.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Achieve Jackie's Style

Jackie Kennedy was a style icon that women still strive to imitate.  She always looked fabulous and put together, full of poise, grace and beauty.  She revolutionized women's wear in the 50's and 60's and understood less is more.

She loved wearing designer clothing and even though these creations were out of reach for most of us, her look was easily translated, becoming affordable and attainable.  Here's 7 ways to achieve her classy, casual style.

    Black and White Jackie's favorite look was white on the bottom and black on the top. This is a very easy style to imitate. Start with classic white trousers or a-line skirt, add a black top pulled down over your hips. Add a 3-strand pearl necklace and large sunglasses - instant Jackie style.
Jackie Kennedy Barefoot in Rome 1966
Barefoot in Rome 1966 (AFP/Getty Images)

    Well Fitted Jacket Jackie was well known for wearing fitted jackets with quarter and bracelet length sleeves, which could be paired with skirts, trousers, or jeans. Look for those with large buttons down the front or a belt around the waist to emphasize your figure and to give you a clean, polished look.
Jackie Kennedy trench coat 1970
1970 (Getty Images)

    Sleeveless In a time when baring your shoulders was considered a fashion faux-pas, Jackie dared to step out with bare arms. She mostly went sleeveless with her evening attire but could also be seen wearing sleeveless dresses, such as shifts, at other functions as well. To achieve this look, go with simple dresses in solid colors.
Jackie Kennedy sleeveless dress 1969
1969 (Gamma-Rapho)

    Turtlenecks Jackie made the black turtleneck elegant. She would frequently pair it with flared trousers or an a-line skirt and trench coat. Wearing black on top gives you instant elegance, will trim your midsection, plus it's easy to accessorize.
Jackie Kennedy turtleneck 1969
1969 (Getty Images)

    Pearls Jackie made the 3 strand pearl necklace a signature trend. Whether with a dress and white gloves or pants and a t-shirt, you can pair pearls with any outfit for instant class and elegance.
Jackie with JFK, Jr 1962
With John F. Kennedy Jr. August 1962 (AP photo)

    Scarf Scarves were one of Jackie's most used accessories. She could be found wearing a head scarf paired with a fitted tee and capris or tied around her neck while wearing a simple dress. You could also tie it to your purse for instant color.
Jackie in Pucci scarf 1962
1962 (Photo by Irving Penn)

    Sunglasses Jackie was known for her large, signature sunglasses. They are the perfect finishing touch to any outfit.
Jackie in signature sunglasses 1975
1975 (Getty Images)

    Remember, to achieve the easy elegance of Jackie's style, you need to keep it simple and streamlined. Fill your closet with timeless and classic pieces and great accessories that you can mix or match for any occasion.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jacqueline Kennedy - Fashion Icon

It's no surprise that Jackie Kennedy is often cited as a style icon. She loved to wear designers such as Oleg Cassini, Coco Chanel, Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior. In August 1961, Vogue Magazine’s retrospective of the American look said of Mrs. Kennedy style: "dashing enough to capture notice, and unobtrusive enough that the wearer outshone her garments." Her own personal fashion icon was Audrey Hepburn, and you can see much of that flavor in Jackie's style.

Jackie Kennedy Audrey Hepburn

In the 50's and 60's, Jackie's daywear generally consisted of simple sleeveless dresses or pastel suits, paired with her signature pillbox hat, white gloves, and pearls or brooches. Or you might find her in high waisted trousers and a blouse, turtleneck or cashmere sweater. She usually completed her daywear with her black, oversized sunglasses.

Jackie Kennedy pastel suits

For eveningwear, Jackie's style was generally a sleeveless look in a single color with a rounded or bateau neckline as well as long sheath dresses. She also loved backless or off-the shoulder gowns. Her shoes and accessories would always match her evening apparel perfectly. A pair of white gloves was another signature accessory.

Jackie Kennedy evening gowns

While traveling to foreign countries, Jackie would dress accordingly to complement the customs of her host nation. When visiting India, her style was more conservative than what she would wear to an American event. It's this quality that helped foster Jackie's classic and classy sense of style and drew infatuation from people all over the world.

Jackie Kennedy blue dress New Delhi
First Lady Jackie Kennedy in blue dress and hat walking with 
Indian Prime Minister Jawarhalal Nehru in the garden of his residence in New Delhi. 

Jackie Kennedy Oleg Cassini apricot dress India
Jackie Kennedy at the Palace of the Maharajah in Udaipur, India during a state visit, 
wearing a fitted silk apricot dress by designer Oleg Cassini 

Into the 70's, her style continued to evolve and she adopted a sportier look. In the daytime she began wearing wide leg trousers or flowing skirts, solids or striped shirts, fitted t-shirts and black turtlenecks, silk scarves and espadrilles. She loved the look of black on top and white on the bottom. And, as always, her signature sunglasses.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis sporty style

For the evenings she wore draped, solid or patterned, glamorous gowns.

Jackie Onassis evening wear

Designer,Valentino, said this of Jackie: 'Her style was always a great inspiration for my work. She had this inner quality to make elegant the simplest dress, the most shabby raincoat, the oldest pair of slacks. Her way to wear a scarf, a pair of sunglasses, to choose a bag or shoes or go barefoot, or with a tiara was natural, she was not thinking twice, she knew by instinct.'

Jackie's style was revolutionary, youthful, modern, timeless and elegant and her fashion sense is still inspiring women around the world today.

Stay tuned for Part Five: How To Have Jackie's Style and if you missed Parts One through Four you can catch them by clicking on my Jackie button in the sidebar.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jackie - After The White House

'Don't let it be forgot, 
that once there was a spot, 
for one brief shining moment 
that was known as Camelot.'

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
michael ochs archives getty images
A few months after the President's death, Jackie moved from their home in Georgetown to a 15-room apartment in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park so that she and her children could have more privacy.

Although raising her two young children was her priority, she also focused on the creation of the John F. Kennedy Library and became intricately involved in the architecture and landscaping, as well as the academic direction of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The public was still fascinated with her style and in 1965, she was named to the Best-Dressed Hall of Fame. In April of that year, Women's Wear Daily ran a double-page spread with the headline “The New York Jacqueline.” The publication assigned a photographer to capture her every outfit, remarking, “Whatever she does/Is The Thing to Do,/Whatever she wears is/The Thing to Wear./Whatever she sees is/The Thing to See. ---So much for privacy, huh?

She dated a few men during this time, including widower Lord Harlech (formerly, David Ormsby-Gore) but, much to America's dismay, on October 20, 1968, wearing a short lace and georgette dress by Valentino (whose designs she favored in the coming decade), Jackie married 62-year-old Aristotle Socrates Onassis in a Greek Orthodox ceremony in the chapel of the Little Virgin on the island of Skorpiós, which Onassis owned. She then split her time between New York (where Caroline and John were attending school at the time), Skorpiós, Athens, and Paris.

Jackie Kennedy wedding to Aristotle Onassis
Jackie Kennedy wedding to Aristotle Onassis - AP Photo Jim Pringle
The marriage was not one made out of love, but more of one for convenience and before long there were reports of their arguing. He was seen in Paris with another woman while she was seen in New York with various other escorts.

In March of 1965, Onassis died from pneumonia in Paris and was buried on Skorpiós. Jackie received an annuity of a reported $250,000; following a long legal battle with his daughter, Christina, Jackie was granted a reported settlement of $26 million, far less than the $125 million or more that she might have received..

The Summer after Onassis died, Jackie took a part-time job as a consulting editor at Viking Press, earning $200 a week. She also began dating Belgian-American diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman, the two eventually moved in together in 1988.

Jackie Kennedy crusades to preserve Grand Central Station
municipal art society of ny
In 1976, New York's Grand Central Terminal was threatened with demolition. Jackie led a public crusade to save it, won, and it was then designated a National Historic Landmark. She stated, “If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future." Further civic activities in which she was involved Included the revitalization of the Broadway theater district, the Central Park Conservancy, the Literary Lions of the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum's Egyptian wing and the Costume Institute, and the American Ballet Theater at Lincoln Center.

In 1978 she left Viking Press and took a part-time job as Associate Editor at Doubleday, earning $20,000 a year. She was later promoted to Senior Editor. She enjoyed a successful career in publishing until her death.

On May 19, 1994, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A funeral was held at St. Ignatius of Loyola Roman Catholic Church in New York. Senator Edward Kennedy delivered the eulogy. John F. Kennedy, Jr. read a passage from Isaiah. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg recited Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Memory of Cape Cod.” Renowned soprano Jessye Norman sang “Ave Maria.” Jackie was buried alongside the late President and their two deceased infants at Arlington National Cemetery. She was 64 years old.

As stated in her biography on the JFK Library and Museum, Throughout her life, Jacqueline Kennedy sought to preserve and protect America’s cultural heritage. The results of her work are still visible in Lafayette Square, across from the White House in Washington, D.C. While she was first lady, she helped to stop the destruction of historic buildings along the square, including the Renwick Building, now part of the Smithsonian Institution. In New York City, she led a campaign to save and renovate Grand Central Station. Today, more than 500,000 people pass through each day and enjoy its restored beauty, thanks to her efforts.

Jacqueline Kennedy captivated the nation and the rest of the world with her intelligence, beauty, and grace. With a deep sense of devotion to her family and country, she dedicated herself to raising her children and to making the world a better place through art, literature, and a respect for history and public service.

Jackie Kennedy in 1960
1960 AP Photo

At her funeral, John Jr. described three of her attributes: "love of words, the bonds of home and family, and her spirit of adventure." In my own opinion, she was the closest thing America has ever had to royalty, she was one of the world's most famous women, an object of fascination to generations of Americans. There will never be another Camelot again.

Stay tuned for Part Four:  Jacqueline Kennedy - Fashion Icon.  If you missed parts one and two you can find them here and here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In The Kitchen - Mississippi Roast

This past weekend I tried out a new crockpot recipe. It was really simple and turned out pretty good so I thought I would share it with you. I found this recipe when a friend shared it on facebook and the original poster boasted that it was by far the best recipe they had tried, so naturally I had to try it out. Here's the recipe:


Put chuck roast in crock pot, Sprinkle with dry Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix, add packet of dry McCormick Au Jus mix, a stick of butter, 5 pepperoncini peppers. DO NOT ADD WATER. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs

Retro Gran | Crockpot Recipes - Mississippi Roast
Mississippi Roast

Here's what it looked like in my crock pot.

Now, in case you are wondering, I had two roasts in there because I feed an army at my house. I threw in a bunch more of the pepperoncini and my ranch dressing was buttermilk flavored, but these are the only changes I made to the recipe. It was quite easy, which most crock-pot recipes I've tried usually are.

I let it cook for 8 hours on low and then sliced it. I drizzled some of the juices from the pot onto the sliced roast and served it up. The family loved it. I, myself, thought it was pretty good but would not go so far as to say it was by far the best recipe I had tried. I fixed a hash brown casserole to go with it that I much preferred to the roast. Maybe it's the thoughts of getting ready to start a low carb diet and knowing that potatoes will soon be off my eating list that swayed my opinion...maybe.

Anyway, it was pretty good, worth making again. I think I might try just regular ranch mix next time instead of buttermilk to see if that makes a difference.

If you try the recipe out, let me know what you think.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mind, Body, and Blog Redesign

With everyone updating their blog designs it got me taking a closer look at mine and I have decided to redesign some aspects.  I have been working on it for a little while now and it will be making its debut soon, so stay tuned.

I've been struggling lately with my weight and health.  Three years ago I set off on a weight loss journey and lost 40 pounds, and I felt so much better, my blood pressure lowered and my cholesterol was in a good range.  But, in the last year I have once again gone back to those bad eating habits and have gained 20 of those pounds back.  I'm tired of feeling sluggish and just generally blah all of the time so I am determined to get myself back into shape.  I am thinking that I will share my progress with all of you because I think that it will help me be more accountable.

Marilyn Monroe exercising
Marilyn was ahead of her time working out with weights and eating high protein/low carb diets.  Photo source here

Something else that I have always struggled with is my own personal perceptions of my body.  Isn't everyone too critical of their perceived imperfections?  This body of mine is nearing 50 years old and has given birth to six children, it can't be as tight and firm and slender as it was when I was 20.  Realistically I know this, I am a  semi intelligent woman after all, but it's difficult to let go of those self criticisms.

Nothing is perfect, everything can use improvement.  Even my mind, body, and blog.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jackie - The Happiest Time

President JFK, Jackie, Caroline, and John Jr playing in the White House

 "It was really the happiest time of my life. It was when we were the closest-- I didn't realize the physical closeness of having his office in the same building and seeing him so many times a day."  - Jacqueline Kennedy  (Photograph by Cecil Stoughton)

On January 20, 1961, John Fitzgerald Kennedy took the oath of office to become the nation's 35th president and at age 31, Jacqueline Kennedy became the first lady. 

Shortly thereafter, Jackie began a major renovation of the White House. She wanted to make it into a real home for her family. She turned the sun porch on the third floor into a kindergarten school for Caroline and 12 to 15 other children, and added a swimming pool, a swing set, and a tree house on the White House lawn for Caroline and John Jr. 

Jackie Kennedy tour of the White House
Photo taken in early 1962 during a televised tour of the White House

Jackie also thought about what the White House represented to its many visitors and to citizens everywhere. She wanted people to have a greater appreciation of the history of America's most famous residence and its past inhabitants. She enlisted the aid of many experts, established a White House Fine Arts Committee, and created the position of White House curator. Gathering outstanding examples of American art and furniture from around the United States (including many items that had belonged to former presidents and their families), she restored all the public rooms in the White House. There was a televised tour of the newly restored White House, in which eighty million Americans watched, and it earned Jackie an honorary Emmy Award. To help defray the renovation costs, The White House: An Historic Guide was published.

Her legacy of fostering a national interest in historic preservation extended to her own "neighborhood," when she reversed a previous federal plan to destroy the historic Lafayette Square across from the White House and helped to negotiate not only a restoration of old buildings there, but a reasonable construction of new buildings with modern use.

Jackie used the White House to "showcase" the arts. She became the most prominent proponent for the establishment of the National Cultural Center in the nation's capital, and eventually it was named for her husband. She hosted performances of opera, ballet, Shakespeare and modern jazz, all performed by American companies. After her meeting with French Minister of Culture, Andre Malraux in May of 1961, she dazzled him so much that he made a loan to the U.S. from France, of the Louvre Museum's famous Mona Lisa painting, in which she presided over the unveiling.

Jackie traveled with the President, representing the US abroad. On a trip to Paris, as the President went from meeting to meeting, she maintained a schedule of her own events. Already admired for her style and beauty, she bedazzled the public with her knowledge and affinity for the French language, culture, and history.  She was a particular sensation, and the President delighted in her success. During a speech, the President introduced himself as, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.”

As first lady, Jackie also traveled to many foreign countries such as Italy, India, and Pakistan. Her interest in other cultures and her ability to speak several foreign languages, including French, Spanish, and Italian, brought her good will and admiration around the world.  And, on many of these trips, she forged personal friendship with world leaders, which helped to further the interests of the President and the U.S.

Jackie had an intense interest in the issues faced by the Administration and privately she was known to provide the President with her assessments of the political figures with whom he was negotiating.  She, also, subtly showed support of the Civil Rights movement by ensuring the kindergarten at the White House was racially integrated and that photographs of the group were publicly released.

JFK and Jackie arriving at Dallas, TX
JFK and Jackie arriving at Love Field, Dallas
Photo Credit: LIFE Magazine
In August 1963, Jackie prematurely gave birth to another son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, however, he suffered from a serious lung ailment and was rushed to the Children's Hospital in Boston, where he died two days later. While still recovering from this loss, another terrible tragedy befell her. On November 22, 1963, the President and Mrs. Kennedy were in Dallas, Texas. As their car drove slowly past cheering crowds, shots rang out. President Kennedy was killed and Jacqueline Kennedy became a widow at age 34.

While many of her outfits are considered iconic, it's the pink Chanel suit that she wore the 
day of her husband's assassination that remains in the forefront of the public's consciousness. Even as Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office, hours after the President's death, she refused to remove the suit, even though it was splattered with blood and brain matter, telling his wife Lady Bird Johnson, "I want them to see what they have done to Jack."

She planned the President's state funeral, it was broadcast around the world, and millions of people shared her grief and admired her courage and dignity.  She has since been noted as saying, “I have been through a lot and have suffered a great deal. But I have had lots of happy moments, as well. Every moment one lives is different from the other. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love, and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either.”

Stay tuned for part three, Jackie - After the White House.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Daily Outfits

Retro Gran's Daily Outfit

Here are some more of my daily outfits.  This beautiful dress was thrifted, the cardigan I can't really remember where I got it and the shoes you've seen on here a lot, and that's because I love them and wear them with everything.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfit

You've also seen these pants and shoes before.  The sweater I have had for many years.  I picked it up at a thrift store and I love it because it is so soft.  I don't wear it all that often, though, not sure why.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfit

I love this flower from Belle Blossoms, it's one of my favorites.  These pants I picked up at a sell from a local shipping factory.  They usually have a sell a couple times a year of their excess inventory, most of their clothing goes to places like JCPenney and I think these pants are Worthington brand.  I got them brand spanking new for $5.  It's hard to see the design in the top but its a lovely shade of pale blue and gray and has an adorable ruffle down the front.

Retro Gran's Daily Outfit

This is such a comfortable dress, its like a soft t-shirt material and you just slip it on.  I got it ages ago, I'm talking close to 10 years ago, and I still love it.  You can't see in the photo but I have added an aqua tank top underneath for more modesty.

What have you ladies been wearing lately?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Jacqueline Bouvier, 1935.
Jacqueline Bouvier, 1935.
Photograph by David Berne in the
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

In honor of Jackie's birthday coming up on the 28th, I am celebrating with posts throughout the month dedicated to her life and style. And, since America is celebrating our Independence Day today, I thought it would be a great day to give you some tidbits on one of our Nation's greatest First Lady.

Jackie was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier on July 28, 1929. She lived on Park Avenue and spent her summers in East Hampton until her parents divorced. Her mother remarried in 1942 and moved Jackie and her sister, Lee into their new blended family's home just across the Potomac from the nation's capital. They then spent their summers in their new family's 28 room Victorian estate in Newport, Rhode Island.

She loved horses and was a skilled rider. In 1940, she scored a double victory at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden. “Miss Bouvier achieved a rare distinction,” The New York Times reported. “The occasions are few when a young rider wins both contests in the same show.”

In high school, her innate sense of style was already obvious to her classmates. It was said that "She could put on a beret the right way while the rest of us would put one on and look like someone’s cleaning lady trying to cover her hair."

Besides riding her horse, Jackie spent her time writing poetry, painting, and was an avid reader. In 1947, when graduating high school, she ranked in the top 12 percent of students in the country on college board exams. That very same year, as a debutante, she was named "Queen Deb" by a society columnist.

That Fall, she enrolled in Vassar College, where of course she made the Dean's list. Shortly after, she met John Fitzgerald 'Jack' Kennedy, who at the time was a young congressman, on a train from Washington, D.C. to New York where they chatted briefly. It would be three more years before they met again.

In 1949, Jackie spent her Junior year in college, in Paris - she spoke fluent French, living with a French family while taking classes at the University of Grenoble and studying art history at the Sorbonne.

The following year she decided not to return to Vassar College but enrolled instead at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. from where she graduated with a B.A. in French Literature. After graduation, she and her sister, Lee, embarked on a trip abroad. They chronicled their adventures and in 1974, One Special Summer, was published featuring Jackie’s illustrations.

That same year, Jackie won Vogue magazine's "Prix de Paris" essay contest. Her subject was 'People I Wish I Had Known'. Those she sited were Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, 19th Century French poet, Charles Baudelaire, and Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Russian Ballet Russes. The requirements for the essay were rigorous and Jackie beat out 1279 other college seniors. According to her biography on the National First Ladies Library, in addition to the essay, the submission required an original theme for an entire issue, illustrations, articles, layout and design, and an advertising campaign that could be tied into the issues content. As the winner, she was entitled to a position as junior editor spending half the year in New York and the other half in Paris. However, she turned down the position at the insistence of her mother, who feared she would stay in France.

Instead, Jackie took a position at the Washington Times-Herald as the "Inquiring Camera Girl" making $42.50 a week where she would snap on-the-street pictures of people and ask them questions about current events. While in this position she covered the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1952, Jackie again met Massachusetts congressman John F. Kennedy, this time at a dinner party thrown by mutual friend, journalist Charles Bartlett and the two later began dating. That November, Jack was elected to the Senate.

In 1953, her engagement to Jack was announced and in September of that year they were married at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport where a crowd of 3,000 surged past a police barricade, nearly swarming the bride. After the ceremony, she and Jack stood in a receiving line for 3 hours greeting their 1300 guests. They honeymooned in Acapulco, then made their home in McLean, Virginia.

In 1954, Jackie suffered a miscarriage and then in 1956, their daughter, Arabella was stillborn. Finally in November of 1957 their daughter, Caroline was born. They purchased a Federal style home in Georgetown and in 1958, Jack was reelected to the Senate. Jackie organized his campaign schedule and edited several speeches as well as made several short speeches in Italian, French, and Spanish to the ethnic constituents.

In 1960, John received the Democratic presidential nomination. Jackie was once again pregnant and while on bed rest she penned a weekly syndicated newspaper column, “Campaign Wife.” It was also during this time that Jackie, who wore primarily fashion from French designers, sought help from Diana Vreeland and Hubert de Givenchy on chosing an American designer.  Wearing an American designer versus French was meant to help her husband's bid for the presidency. She chose Oleg Cassini as her official designer, but her fashion was still heavily influenced by French design.

JFK was, of course, elected as the 35th President of the United States, and shortly after, Jackie gave birth to their son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. In January, 1961, Jack was sworn in and for the ceremony, Jackie wore Cassini’s greige A-line coat with a Halston’s pillbox hat. 

For the evening’s whirl of balls, she debuted an ensemble of her own creation, executed by Ethel Frankau and Emeric Partos.  It was an ivory column floor length dress with silver-embellished bodice, veiled with a sheer over-blouse. A matching cape added a royal touch.

Jackie influenced Jack to invite many artists in all disciplines to his inauguration ceremony as a symbol of the Administration's intent to support the arts.  Her appearance in the large pillbox hat at the swearing-in ceremony overshadowed this news, however, and started a popular millinery style.  

Stay tuned for Part Two:  Jackie - The Happiest Time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

I was nominated for a Liebster award by Joanna of Dividing Vintage Moments and Sean of The Fictionista.  Thank you ladies, I feel quite honored.

Liebster Award banner

Here's the rundown on the Liebster Award:

It's a token of recognition that bloggers award to fellow bloggers who they think deserve more recognition. The terminology "Liebster" roughly translates to "Dearest" from German, and the guidelines of this award are as follows:

You must answer the 11 questions set by the blogger who nominated you.
You yourself then pick 11 blogs who in turn have under 200 followers.
You must then think of 11 questions for the blogs you have picked and also tell them.
You must link back to the blog that nominated you.

Here are the blogs that I nominate:

I apologize if your blog has previously been nominated.  If that is the case, you don't have to respond, unless you want to, just rejoice in the fact that we must really like your blog!  Same holds true if I have mistakenly chosen someone that has more than 200 followers.

Bunny - Bunny's Victory
Jennifer - Frocks and Frivolties
Kayla - Gracefully Vintage
Wendi - Haute Rockabilly Fashionista
Deborah - Hellcat Vintage
Mellem - The Universe of Miss M
Tim & Jesse - Like Johnny and June
CoriLynn - Poodles and Pincurls
Stephanie - Ruby's Musings
Deb - Seahorses & Pearls
Catherine - Vintage Frills

Here are the answers to my questions from Joanna:

  1. What is your favorite era?  I would have to say the Old Hollywood glamour of the 1930s.  I adore the the glamorous, bias cut, figure hugging dresses.  I just don't have the figure to wear them. lol
  2. What inspires you about vintage?  Why do you think you gravitate towards vintage?  I spent a lot of time at my Grandmother's growing up and she had a house full of antiques, things that she got when she first got married and never replaced them.  So I grew up with these things in my life.  For a time this made me seek out more modern things in my own life, but over time I began to long to have those old familiar items near me once more.  I've learned to appreciate the craftsmanship, detail and quality that you find in vintage.
  3. What is the craziest thing you've done in your life? Nothing too crazy because I became a mother at a very young age, so I've been pretty settled down for most of my life.  However, having 6 children is a pretty crazy thing to do!
  4. Do you have a vintage dream outfit that you've seen or would like?  Please describe, is it currently on the market?  I would love to have an Alfred Shaheen sarong dress or a 40s Lilli Ann suit.
  5. If you were given $200 and told you had to spend it on vintage, what would you buy?  I have a wish list a mile long.  I would probably start with some swing trousers because I don't have any actual vintage pants in my wardrobe.  Or a pair of Re-mix or Miss L-Fire shoes.
  6. What are some of your goals for the next year?  I want to rearrange and organize my house, paint and redecorate, as well as do some landscaping.  I would love to read more.  Travel to somewhere I've never been.  Sew a slipcover for my couch.  Learn how to resize a pattern.  Become healthier and get more sleep.
  7. How would you describe your style?  Classic
  8. What is your favorite outfit that you currently own?  I don't really have a favorite.  Is that sad?
  9. Have you ever attended a large vintage event?  Did you wear vintage?  The Mister and I took some of the kids to a Renaissance Faire many years ago.  Of course that's probably a little further back in history than you were talking about :-) but it was a lot of fun.  We did not wear vintage to the event, but we did purchase a couple costumes at the Faire for our twin boys.  The Mister and I renewed our wedding vows that year with a Renaissance themed wedding and our boys wore those costumes.
  10. Best (deal) vintage find?  I have a vintage 1950s wool coat with a mink collar that was given to me by my cousin.  She owned a thrift store and the coat was brought in.  When she saw it, she thought of me and gave it to me.
  11. What is your favorite antique item you have bought?  (It doesn't have to be clothing)  I didn't buy these, I inherited them, but my Grandmother's Hoosier cabinet, her assorted pieces of pink depression glass, and her heirloom peonies.

And here are the answers to my questions from Sean:

  1. Besides what you blog is dedicated to, what are some of your other interests?  My blog is a hodge podge  of my interests, so you get to see many of them already, but outside of those I am into genealogy, gardening, home decorating, photography, and party planning.  There are more, but I'll stop there.
  2. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?  Take my parents on a long vacation, buy each of my kids a home, sell my house, buy a vintage travel trailer and hit the road!
  3. What made you want to start a blog?  I wanted to meet other vintage lovers like myself and share my experiences with them.
  4. What took you on the journey to embrace vintage?  It has been something I have been interested in for many years and started collecting household items and kitchenware long before I started collecting vintage clothing.  I guess it was just a natural progression.
  5. Have you met any kindred spirits through the world of blogging?  So, so many wonderful vintage loving friends in the blogging community.  You guys are the best!
  6. What does your SO/family think of your vintage lifestyle/blogging?  The Mister loves my vintage/retro look and he's a very good sport about letting me bounce post ideas off of him and playing photographer when we are out and about.
  7. Do you have a favorite decade in fashion and/or history {or both}?  My favorite fashion decade would be the 1930s. (See question number 1 in the first set of questions above)  and my favorite time in history
  8. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?  My Grandmother because she made do on very little in life and through out it all, she kept her faith and lived by her beliefs.
  9. Dresses or separates?  I own more separates but I'm partial to dresses.
  10. Your favorite item currently {does not have to be vintage}?  My fuzzy pink bunny bedroom slippers.
  11. What is your favorite quote?  Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me

And finally, here are the questions for my nominees:

  1. What have you learned from blogging?
  2. How much time do you spend working on your blog?
  3. What is your guilty pleasure?
  4. Are you punctual or tardy?
  5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  6. What's your favorite book, tv program, and film?
  7. If you could throw a dinner party and invite anyone in the world, living or not, who would you invite and why?
  8. Do you have a particular style icon or guru?
  9. What do you draw inspiration from, magazines, films, blogs or something else?
  10. If you had to live in any other time period besides now, which one would you pick?
  11. What is proudest moment thus far?