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My crazy, poop-filled life

9/30/10

Hello, blogland
 Long time, no see!!
 This week has been absolutely insane with everything from my basement flooding with 3 inches of sewage to my computer being over-run with viruses. So, I'm wiping my whole computer and starting from scratch but I'll be back hopefully within the next few days. Yesterday was the day of the basement flooding and that same morning, Olivia decided to wake me up by smearing poop all over herself and her crib....ah, how delightful! The Mother's Curse hit me hard.
What is the Mother's Curse? That's when your mother says "some day, this will happen to YOU and THEN you will understand!"
When I was about 14, my little brother, Tristan was just a baby. One morning, I was woken up by my mother screaming, "NO NO NO, Shit! Damnit! Son of a....." you get the idea. I ran into the nursery to find my brother covered in poo and my mom having to clean up the mess. At the time, I thought that was pretty funny and then she turned around, her hair all wild and madness in her eye. She pointed at me and cursed me, "One day, this will happen to YOU and then, it won't be so funny!" and she wasn't kidding! Sorry for laughing,  mom! :)

In other news, today is my 25th birthday! Pj got me a dozen beautiful roses, Julie and Julia on dvd (my favorite movie ever) and Mastering the Art of French Cooking!! We watched Iron Man 2, which was awesome and had chinese...YUM!
Saturday is Olivia's first birthday and we're throwing her a big lady bug themed birthday party!
Sunday is my two year wedding anniversary so Pj and I are going out without the baby to do something nice.
So, even though my week has been (literally) shitty, life isn't all bad! :)

I'm going to my mother in law's house to grab our windows disk so we can sweep our hard drive  and as soon as that's done, I'll be back with lots of pretty pictures and crazy stories to tell!
See you soon!!
xoxo

Building a Vintage Wardrobe: Retro Maternity

9/25/10

Since my wardrobe will be changing in a big way in the next few months, I've been planning ahead by ordering a few vintage maternity patterns and looking for places to find cute comfy clothes for the months ahead.

When I was pregnant with Olivia, I wore a lot of simple sun dresses, skirts, maternity jeans and extra long t-shirts. Maternity clothes can be VERY expensive so I hunted around the sale racks at Target for long, stretchy shirts, skirts with stretchy waistbands and the like. The only actual maternity clothes that I bought were jeans, since they had the stretchy belly panel.

As most of you know, I totally love 1940's fashions so I thought that I would build my little maternity wardrobe on 40's fashions also. YUCK! 1940's maternity clothes are (generally) not so cute at all! In fact, a lot of vintage maternity clothes are downright ugly.

The 40's styles had extremely boxy shoulders to make the mommy to be look like a football player in pajamas. Not too cute in my opinion, but that was the way things were back then!


They're aren't all awful, just look at this 1940's beauty by Vogue

However, check out those straps to keep your skirt up- probably not the most comfortable thing in the world.

Luckily, by the 50's designers realized that pregnant ladies are adorable and that their clothes should match their bodies. 50's maternity fashions were still very tent-like. Showing off the belly with stretchy t-shirts has only become popular within the past decade or so.

When my momma was pregnant with me in 1985, her clothes were still very much like a tent. But like I said, at least the 50's ones are cute tents with ruffles and peter pan collars! :)


Tops

If you're going all out vintage, you can find maternity patterns and ready made blouses on etsy and ebay. The ready made blouses that I found were WAY too expensive for my thirfty sensibilities, so I nabbed 4 patterns (for $30 including shipping) not to bad! Check out the sweet details on these smocks. Not only are they adorable, but they look quite comfy!!





Bottoms

Vintage maternity bottoms are quite strange. Some have holes cut out of the front so that your growing belly pops right through. Some have adjustable ties or hooks and eyes so that as your bun cooks, you can adjust the fabric to fit. In the 40's and 50's, expectant mommas wore a lot of pencil skirts (paired with smocks or jackets above) and a few even had cute capris, slacks and shorts for summer and beach wear.

 For today's vintage momma-to-be, we can find modern maternity capris, stretch pants or skirts with stretch waist bands. The thicker waistbands are the most comfortable, in my opinion.


Dresses
Much like bottoms, retro maternity dresses had pleats, gathers or adjustable panels in the front to allow excess fabric to be taken out as the belly grew bigger. Since showing the baby bump has become fashionable today, modern moms can wear regular vintage dresses (or modern sun dresses) long into their pregnancy.

 Another fashionable thing for the momma to be is to take the rockabilly route with sweet swing dresses. Most retro reproduction clothing companies online offer their dresses in larger sizes to make room for your bump.




Shoes
While many of us vintage gals love our heels and high wedges, they just aren't practical for a wobbly mommy. All mommas know that, once you reach that 3rd trimester, the pregnancy waddle tends to will kick in, some ladies feet and ankles swell and heels will be your WORST enemy. Being a momma is hard work so treat yourself with comfy shoes!

 I lived in flats and very low wedges when I was pregnant the last time. I'm pretty sure that will be the same case this time around. Look for flats or other low-heeled shoes with cute details or dress them up on your own with little bows, shoe clips, flowers, etc.


A Word About Purses and Jewelry
If you're expecting your first baby, carry your purse as often as you can. In fact, change out your purses daily if you like. Soak up the purse love because once that baby is here, you'll be a diaper bag toting momma. Sure, you can carry a purse and a diaper bag if you like but after carrying my baby's car seat, my diaper bag, my purse, possible umbrella, coat and so on, I wanted to lighten the load pretty quickly!

Now, my wallet and a tube of lips are permanent residents in the diaper bag pocket. After the baby has arrived, savor date night and bring that long lost friend, your purse for a night on the town! The same goes for things like earrings and delicate necklaces. Wear them now and enjoy every minute of it! Babies are born with a reflex to grasp things and those sparkly, shinies dangling so beautifully by mommy's face will be the first thing they reach for.

If you're an earring lover like me, spend the next few months looking for the perfect clip-ons and screw backs. You can also re-string beaded necklaces with tiger tail (wire) so that when baby pulls, your beads won't be lost in the battle.I bought a bakelite beaded necklace and within two days, Olivia broke it! Luckily, I was at my mom's house so she helped me find all of the beads in the couch cushions and she re-strung it on tiger tail.

Under Things
Weather your a momma or a maiden, a slip is a must have. Most modern slips are very stretchy and have elastic waistbands. I found this 1940's slip and panty pattern on etsy. Check out the wrap-around back. This wrap and tie detail allows room for your belly to grow. The panties have an elastic waistband.

As your belly grows during pregnancy, so do your breasts! Weather or not you plan on breastfeeding, make sure to take good care of your breasts throughout pregnancy by moisturizing and wearing a great fitting bra. Experts suggest that a gal wear a bra at all times during pregnancy. The weight of your new breasts can put excess strain on muscles and ligaments so a supportive bra will help take some of the weight off. Sleep bras are a WONDERFUL thing!

During pregnancy, be sure to get fitted for a new bra every few months. If you're like me and went up to a G during pregnancy, most specialty bra or maternity stores can order abnormally gigantic bras! :) Look for bras who no under wire for comfort. Even if you're not breastfeeding, a nursing bra can be a very comfortable option during pregnancy and often allows more room for growth since the cups are made of stretchy fabric.

Also, if you're wearing your lovely vintage fashions, invest in a box of nursing pads, which slide right into your bra. Some gals leak in the later days of pregnancy and take my word for it, it can be enough to soak your entire shirt! Nursing pads soak up the fluid like a diaper, protecting you and your clothes from wetness and awkward moments. Keep them in your purse when you go out in case you need a fresh one. Ah, the joys of pregnancy!

For the Modern Vintage Gal

There are many days in every pregnant gals's life that she just doesn't feel pretty, doesn't want to feel pretty and just wants to sit around in her pajamas. Often on these days, the world requires her to leave the house for one reason or another and she has to get dressed.


For this reason, make sure to keep a super comfy pair of pants and a few cute t-shirts on hand. Even if you vow to be fashionable for all 40-ish weeks of your journey, keep those pants and t-shirts in the back of your closet.

Shop etsy and cafe press for adorable retro maternity t-shirts.

Femme Fatale Giveaway Winners and Hat Dreams

9/24/10

Thank you to everyone who entered my femme fatale giveaway and thank you to Nani of Wiggle Perfume for sending a bottle of her lovely product for the package! I had so much fun with femme fatale week that I have lots of other ideas for theme weeks jotted down in my blog notebook. The best part of giveaways for me is all of the links to new blogs! *hello, new readers!!:)*

As I mentioned in my reminder post, we have two winners for this giveaway. The winners names were drawn at random and here they are.....

the winner of the femme fatale package is.....beccapiepie!!



And the winner of the second scent by Wiggle perfume is.....Miss Emmi!!

Congratulations to you both!
Please email me at brittanyvavoomvintage@gmail.com with your mailing address so I can ship your package out to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for another giveaway coming up in the next few days!

In other news, I had SO much fun fixing up that little hat for the giveaway that I have decided to make vintage inspired hats! I have always loved hats and have been collecting vintage hats for a few years now. As most of you know, I dream about hats, I'm always on the hunt for the perfect hat I just can't get enough of them.
I've been thinking about learning to make hats for quite a while and now, I'm finally going to do it!! I looked all over the place for millinery classes in my area but no luck! Can you believe that the whole of St Louis is completely void of millinery classes? Shocking, I know! Oh, well- like many of my hobbies, I will teach myself through trial and error and lots of reading.
I'll be making felt and fabric cloches, various cocktail hats, pillbox hats and so on. I'll be ordering supplies through Judith M very soon. I can't wait to get started!!

Fashion and Film Friday: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


A few of you mentioned Jessica Rabbit as your favorite femme fatale and it really got me thinking about all of the great vintage fashions in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

I remember watching this movie as a little girl, loving the Dolores's dresses and hats and Jessica's red hair and heels. When I started wearing vintage all the time, my sister lovingly teased me by yelling after me "DOLORES!!!"

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a late 80's comedy/mystery live action/animated film, set in 1947 Hollywood. When Eddie, a private detective is hired to investigate a sexy cartoon (voiced by Kathleen Turner) who may be cheating on her cartoon rabbit husband, he gets wrapped up in the wacky world of "toons" and the darkness that is invading their world.





In the middle of his irritating investigations, he struggles to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend, Dolores.



Costumes for Who Framed Roger Rabbit were designed by Joanna Johnston, who is no stranger to historic fashions. She worked on costumes for some of my favorite fashion flicks: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Far and Away, Forest Gump, and Valkyrie.

jessica rabbit makeup
I am really loving this Jessica Rabbit makeup by Mishka.net.au -fabulous-!!
roger rabbit dolores and jessica rabbit style movie costume


                                      jessica dress  dolores red dress  dolores hat  jessica gloves


Last days to enter my giveaway!

9/22/10

Don't forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter the Femme Fatale Giveaway featuring wiggle perfume! To enter click here
I am loving reading all of your comments about who is your favorite femme fatale!

Oh, more good news, Nani from Wiggle Perfume and Sundries was sweet enough to send me not one but TWO bottles of her lovely scents so one lucky winner will take home the femme fatale package and I will draw a second name for the winner of her amazing spicy but sweet fragrance, "Mathilde". Nani says this about Mathilde:

"I just knew this blend was meant to be when one of my very best customers wrote to say how much she liked Martine, but she wished for a sugary twist to it. She wasn't sure what, but knew she'd want it to have something earthy and deep to ground the sweetness. See, I had just been in my garden, deadheading my lavender plant, the moment before I read her message. I was thinking how my favorite characteristic of lavender is its black peppery kick, and how someday I really need to do a blend based on those two notes. So, since disobeying fate is asking for it, I dropped everything and whipped on a pair of gloves. A heavy pour of lavender essential oil, a dash of vanilla, a big wallop of black pepper, a splash of blood orange essential oil, and a drop of cardamon later...Mathilde was born.
I feel I should mention that this scent has more than once stopped my husband (who is wonderfully supportive, but has smelled every perfume I've ever made and can no longer quite tell them apart) dead in his tracks. He comments everytime he walks into a room where I've sprayed it, and insists that I wear it at least 80% of the time from now on." The winner will be announced on Friday morning!

In other news, thank you SO much to all of you lovely ladies with nausea advice. I don't know who had the best advice because I tried all of them and they all work! It could be one thing, could be a combination of all of them but either way I'm up and moving, cleaning house having fun and feeling SO much better!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Big News, Big Wardrobe Change

9/20/10

Well-After a few weeks of feeling like HELL, I went to the doctor today and found out that I'm going to be a momma again! Gee, that really explains the feeling like I want to vomit all the time.
According to my doctor, I'm due on April 26th! We'll find out the gender of the baby right after Thanksgiving. I have a REALLY strong feeling that this baby is a boy.

Last week I JUST packed away the last of my maternity clothes and now I'll have to drag them out again! With my last pregnancy, I wore a lot of stretchy pants and t-shirt outfits and I'm really going to try to not do that this time around. Since this blog is founded on the "curvy gal" I'll still sty true to that theme, I'll just get curvier! :) I just bought a few vintage maternity patterns so with any luck at all, I'll get a little sewing in before the move!
Anyways, I don't know how often I will be posting in the next month or so. When I was pregnant with Olivia my first trimester was horrific. My morning sickness was so severe that I had to be on medication just to keep water and crackers down. This time around, I've been drinking a TON of peppermint tea (which really helps) and eating plenty of bland foods. If any of you mommas out there have any good morning sickness remedies, please do share!! I'm doing my best to battle the nausea since I have to take care of Olivia too. So, if I disappear for a week or so, it's because I have my head in the toilet but I'll be back! :D
What am I craving, do you wonder? Funny as it is, all I want are fruits and veggies! I can't eat meat or eggs (or even smell them) and I crave fruit, yogurt, cereal (with soymilk) and mostly healthy things (except for french fries). Although, I did wake up the other morning and as soon as my eyes popped open I said to Pj "I want cheesecake!!!"

With life changes always come blog changes but I'm not losing sight of my love of vintage! Amanda bought me a few baby care books from the 50's and 60's a few months ago, so I think I'll scan and share some of them with you. We'll still have lots of curvy gal fashions, friday movie nights for the remainder of 2010 and since we'll be moving, you'll get to see my home decor, which has always been retro and antiques. If moving into this house all pans out for us, I'll get to decorate my retro kitchen, paint the walls, and I also have great plans for a very Mad Men style guest area in the basement! :) I am a home decorating fanatic so I hope you'll enjoy joining me on my new home decor adventures!
After the initial pregnancy yuck passes, I'll be feeling glamorous again and will continue with tutorials and other fun things. So, my life is very up-in-the-air right now but I feel like it really has fun, good things in store and as life brings new, exciting things my way, it always transfers to my blog. I'm really excited to share of these fun, crazy times with blogland!

Personal Style Alphabet Challenge

I saw this personal style alphabet challenge on Deer Little Fawn last week. I thought it looked like a lot of fun, so here is my personal style alphabet. Can't wait to see yours!

A is for apron
B is for bullet bras and bakelite
C is for cat's eye sunglasses
D is for dress
E is for earrings
F is for french net
G is for garter belt
H is for hats
I is for iconic
J is for jewelry
K is for knits
L is for lucite
M is for mustard (the color)
N is for nylons
O is for old fashioned
P is for polka dots
Q is for quite cool!
R is for retro
S is for snoods
T is for tooled leather
U is for umbrella
V is for Vogue
W is for wedges
X is for XL
Y is for yard sale
Z is for zipper

Femme Fatale Giveaway Featuring Wiggle Perfume-Closed

9/18/10



I hope that everyone has had fun with Femme Fatale week, I know I have! :) Today, we're wrapping up with a fabulous femme fatale giveaway. It's been a long time since I've hosted a giveaway. To go with the Femme Fatale theme of the week, I've teamed up with Nani of Wiggle Perfume and Sundries to bring you this Femme fatale giveaway package.



Nani is a burlesque performer, lover of all things vintage and owner of the fabulous etsy shop, Wiggle Perfume and Sundries. Wiggle Perfumes are hand blended, rich, sultry perfume oils. The shop offers $2.00 samples so you can easily find your favorite. Once you find your signature scent, perfume oils are available in 5ml and 15ml bottles.

How to Enter

*Be a follower of my blog and leave a comment below, telling me who your favorite femme fatale is. Your favorite femme can be a historical person, a vintage film noir gal or a femme fatale from modern media.

*For an extra 3 entries, leave a link to my giveaway on your blog, facebook or twitter.

The Goods

One lucky winner will receive this package which includes:
*black vintage handbag with red lining
*a pair of black vintage gloves with black embroidered detail
*vintage black hat, re-vamped by me (with jet black feathers and new veil)
*a bottle of a sultry scent by Wiggle Perfume






This giveaway will start today, Saturday September 18th 2010 and will end on Thursday, September 22, 2010. The winner will be announced on Friday morning. This giveaway is open worldwide to followers of my blog. Good luck!
**Please note that this giveaway has ended and the winners have been announced. Thank you to everyone who entered and congrats to the winners! More giveaways coming in the future!!**

Fashion and Film Friday: Film Noir

9/17/10

 This week's Fashion and Film Friday will cover a few of my favorite film noir flicks. Film Noir movies are dark dramas usually centered around crime and mystery. Classic Film Noir movies came out in the 40's and 50's. Our lovely femme fatale character came from the film noir genre.

There a lots of excellent examples out there and many are available through Netflix. Do share your favorite title in a comment below. These film noir classics will whet your appetite for dark dramas and they're all fantastic examples of femme fatale fashions.

The Maltese Falcon 1941 - (1941, John Huston) (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor)





Double Indemnity- (1944, Billy Wilder) (Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson)





The Big Sleep - (1946, Howard Hawks) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely)





Gilda - (1946, Charles Vidor) (Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready)





The Postman Always Rings Twice
- (1946, Tay Garnett) (Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway)




We'll be wrapping up Femme Fatale Week tomorrow with a fabulous giveaway featuring Wiggle Perfume. Stay tuned.....

Etsy Shop Update: Fabulous 50's frocks!

9/15/10

Okay, we interrupt femme fatale week to bring you an etsy shop update!
I'm really excited because we're clearing out our modern vintage (60's-80's) to make room for all of our amazing 40's-early 60's stuff. Bees Knees Vintage will only be carrying the older vintage items that we all love from now on! *yay*

Amanda has been working hard, using her excellent taste and mad bargaining skills to hunt down all of the older goods in St Louis to build up our inventory. I've taken over listings and customer service. I've had these killer 50's dresses for a long time and I've been dying to get them listed.I worked all day taking pics so here are some of our fabulous 50's frocks...with plenty more to follow!

You can view details and more pics of all of these dresses on Bees Knees Vintage Clothing
Thanks for looking!! :)

50's shirtwaist dress by Queen Make Fashions

50's Swing dress with matching belt by Paul Sachs

50's Cotton Egyptian Novelty Print Dress

50's Cotton Woven dress with matching jacket

Strapless Swing Dress with Matching Bolero by Ellen Kaye

50's-60's Plus Size Wiggle Dress with brooch by Marshall Field and Company

Femme Fatale Fashions

9/14/10

The femme fatale style can be very easy to achieve. You can go all out vintage or mix modern clothes with vintage inspired accessories. These wardrobe staples were inspired by some of the greatest Film Noir femmes of all time.

The Femme Fatale Color Scheme
I really don't think that there are any rules when it comes to the colors of a femme fatale wardrobe. A lady can look just as mysterious in white as she does in black.

That's what I call "white hot!"
Personally, I love jewel tones such as deep purples, greens, blue and burgundy. Black, gray and bold reds are all good choices for a femme fatale.


Fatal Fabrics
*When it comes to vintage staples of any kind, wool is always a sophisticated pick. Look for wool skirts, jackets, well fitting sweaters and suits.
*Slinky fabrics such as silk, satin and some synthetic blends are also perfect choices. For interest, pair a matte satin blouse with a patterned wool skirt or shiny silk with a solid color skirt. Show off your curves with stretch fabrics such as a light jersey, which drapes nicely over the body.


Outfit Basics

A little black dress (or other killer dress)- The little black dress is a classic and very versatile piece. While we probably wouldn't wear the Ava Gardner number below, we can find a more toned-down dress with femme fatale qualities. You're "little black dress" doesn't have to be black, either. If you're feeling saucy, go for red (or any other color!)




blouses with feminine details
The classic femmes always had some of the prettiest blouses. Look for tops with lace, a bit of beading, frills, delicate buttons, etc. These blouses can be paired with a sexy skirt or with your favorite jeans or capris for everyday wear.


jumpers/sweaters
Vintage sweaters always make me think of the bullet-bra wearing femme fatale Mamie Van Doren in High School Confidential but the elegant (and much toned-down) Jean Simmons is a perfect example of how to achieve the vintage sweater look without the need for torpedo breasts! Simply tuck it in and add a belt.


long coat

Long coats and jackets are good for rainy days, snowy days and keeping incognito in a dark alley! My favorite long-coat wearing femme fatale is Elle Driver from Kill Bill. God, I LOOOOVE this coat!! I feel a tutorial coming on!!


vintage inspired suits and jackets
A lovely feminine suit gives a professional put-together look and is still very glamorous. For curvy gals, a vintage suit can be hard to find. You can sew your own (using some of the Vintage Vogue re-release 1940's suit patterns) or pair jackets and skirts of similar colors and patterns. I STILL don't have a suit, but in the fall, I wear this handmade pencil skirt with this modern thrift store jacket. The pattern and weave isn't exactly the same but it's pretty close!









Accessorize to Kill
Gloves
long or short gloves always add drama to an outfit. One tidbit of advice, avoid yellow gloves, even really pale yellow! I bought a pair of pale yellow gloves a few months ago, thinking they would look great with all of my blue dresses. Not so much, they look like dish gloves! *lol*

Scarf or Wrap


a long, bold colored scarf or a short ascot type gives you a touch of glamor. Fur or faux fur wraps stoles and collars dress up your look.

Hats


The fun really begins with hats! A Lauren Bacall beret is a femme fatale classic but don't be afraid to thick outside the box with crazy shapes, feathers, veils, etc.

Sunglasses



Nothing says mystery like a great pair of sunglasses. Many vintage sunglasses have prescription lenses. If you're crafty, you can push out the old lenses and cut new non-prescription lenses from a cheap $1 store pair of sunglasses. Sand them to the desired shape and carefully glue into place. Look around modern sunglasses racks too. You never know what you might find.

Get creative and don't be afraid to mix modern with vintage. There are a LOT of great modern garments with vintage flair. Pair a modern blouse from Target with a thrift store pencil skirt, top it off with a vintage hat and you're ready to go! Have fun, ladies! :)
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