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The One Who Drives When He's Been Drinking...

12/31/12

Depends on you to do his thinking!



Just a public service announcement because I love you guys- have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.



If you find yourself celebrating a little too much, call on AAA's tipsy tow program to bring you and your car home safely, free of charge- even if you're not a AAA member. I think it's so awesome that they do this!! See the AAA Newsroom for a list of participants in your area and save a phone  number to your cell phone- just in case!





I'll be partying hard at work tonight, with some good movies, coffee and a new knitting project from the shop- see you all in 2013!


giveaway winner and more on Hey Doll!

12/30/12

Thank you to all of you for your sweet comments on my 3 years blogging post. I am so very excited about what 2013 will hold.


So, yep, I'm starting a magazine with my dear friend, Daffny. Issue 1 will be released on February 2nd. We're hoping that we'll have enough time to make it a monthly thing. Working on a few issues in advance as we have spare time does help- and we have a few amazing ladies interested in contributing articles which I know will be a blessing as crunch time nears! If you would like to send in article ideas or pics of your vintage outfits or finds, drop us an email


 


 Anyway, on to our 3 years blogging giveaway. I used a random number generator and the winner is...number 7, Voodoo Kitten! Please email me with your mailing address and choice of mug!


My work week has begun and I have a very exciting vintage buying appointment on Wednesday so I'll see all of you after the new year!!


Hey Doll!

12/27/12

I told you I had some fun things in store for the new year....





Our Little Retro Christmas

12/26/12


                                Hey!! Don't forget to enter my 3 year blogiversary giveaway!!


I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas this year! Ours was very tiring with all of the places to go but we had a wonderful time. I had been wanting to show you my vintage Christmas decorations forever so a little late but still fun, here they are!

This Santa and reindeer set was my grandma's when she was a girl. I'm so honored that it was passed down to me because this thing was my first vintage love.




We left cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer with my vintage northstar plate and northstar mug from my shop. The mantle was pretty full with my decorations so we set them on one of my 50's dinette chairs.



Due to a 2 and 3 year old in the house, we have a mix of vintage and modern ornaments on our tree. I bought these silver and green starburst thingies from Michaels craft store last year, along with the retro starburst ball ornaments (see the gold one by the pixie). I love the colors and the starburst but I especially love them because they were very cheap and are plastic!



 We do have a few very old glass ornaments, passed on from grandmothers and moms. They stay up high where little hands cant reach. 


What do you think of my retro pixies? I love them SO much, I hope to find time to make more next year. I found the directions for these in a 1950's Christmas craft book. They are so easy and add a little naughty playfulness to the tree. I'm sure that no one is making ornaments right now but I'll post the how-to after Thanksgiving next year /


                             
Here's little Lilo on Christmas morning, striking a silly pose! Check out my starburst and snowflake wrapping paper. I found it last week at Big Lots!

3 years blogging and a giveaway

12/22/12

3 years ago today, I was at my mom's house for dinner. We had my grandparents over for Christmas and after they left, the rest of us were just laying around watching movies and relaxing. I was fiddling around on my little brother's lap top when I had finally thought of a name for a blog: Va-Voom Vintage.

 My little 3 month old Olivia was asleep in her travel swing so I logged on right there at the kitchen counter and created a blog and made my first post.

Olivia and I when she was 4 months old- wearing my first 50's dress and early attempt at vintage hair

 I had spent the past year in my pajamas. As pregnant housewife, I had no excuse to dress up except for my baby shower or to look like a normal person when I went to the doctor's office. I had awful morning sickness and various pregnancy problems so looks weren't on the top of my priorities list. I was a new mom- exhausted all the time and needed something just for me and a blog would do that. It would motivate me to put myself together, to sew more, to share my love of vintage fashion with others and connect with other adults, which is something that hadn't happened for me in over a year.


                              Isn't it amazing when you find a friend that's just as crazy as you are?

Friends I've made while blogging: Emily from Livin' Vintage,  Amanda- who lived in my city and recognized outfit post locations and Daffny from A Vintage Nerd, who flew in from New York to hang out this past spring


top left: first blog outfit post and first 40's hat and attempt at victory rolls top right: Rhys just 1 day old bottom left: early blogging outfit bottom right first attempt at pin curls

 If I could have told this tired little momma what would come of this quick project at mom's kitchen counter that night, I don't think she would have believed me. In 3 years, I've been published in magazines and featured on other blogs and  I've made life long friendships both online and in person. I've started to support my family through blogging and etsy and most importantly, I've inspired other women who felt like I did to take time to feel good about themselves again. Here I am right now, back at mom's kitchen counter, relaxing in my new pink Christmas robe. The hair turned out more red than brown but I kinda like it! More pics later this week, when the day job has slowed down a bit.



I have amazing things planned for this blog, for myself and for my readers in 2013. I really can't wait to see where another year of blogging takes me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who takes time to read, comment and email me. You guys are amazing!!

Learn everything I know about blogging and DIY blog design with my ecourse Bloggerific: A Guide to a Beautiful, Successful Blog 

And now for a giveaway:

This giveaway is sponsored by Coaster Canvas. Coaster Canvas creates beautiful vintage inspired coasters for your retro home. These coasters feature cork backing, made from sustainable tree bark to protect table tops and a high gloss, scratch resistant top coat. The archival quality of this printing process extends the life of products for up to 4 times longer than any of the best photo archival papers out in the market!




Mary, owner of Coaster Canvas says:
"When I begin a new coaster, I’m guided by feel—first choosing a colored background that speaks to me that particular day. Then my thoughts turn to composition and how certain forms may play off of each other, waiting for that moment of inspiration that says “this works”.  During this process, I feel like a puzzle sleuth, moving pieces (parts of images) together until they fit just right. After I’m settled with the composition, my focus turns to lines (shape and weight) and how they can help create a sense of movement for the eye. The line art can be used behind, in front and/or woven in between the main images in the composition. Once all the moving parts have settled into place, they are glued down to make the finished coaster. The icing on the cake is a message that emerges from the design and then short phrases or particular words are added for the final touch.


It goes without saying, of course, that vintage ads, diagrams, line drawings are a constant source of inspiration for me... discovering lots of treasures in all my thrift store antique mall ventures. As I work with sewing patterns, Interesting shapes within images of people really inspire my imagination too. I love to look at the figures in terms of angled legs/arms, head placement and expression. It’s funny, but as I working, I actually feel like I’m in the land of “make believe” in my mind, playing the person in the image and what it would feel like to be that pose (and dress, gloves, hat, etc.)!  Then there is color, I’m always inspired by colors and wondering what happens when certain combinations come together. And lastly, it inspires me to create something new from something old—giving it a whole new life of its own."


Mary was kind enough to send me one of her beautiful coasters. I love to sit in my comfy vintage chair and knit while I watch movies and sip hot cocoa but I haven't been able to find any coasters to match my vintage decor. My side tables are original 1950's and I hate to get water rings on them. Mary's coasters are big enough to fit my fab 50's coffee mugs! 


The Giveaway
The lucky winner will receive:
a matching set of 4 Happy Holidays coasters from Coaster Canvas
a Mid Century Coffee mug in your choice of design from my shop 




To enter:
be a follower of this blog
like coaster canvas on facebook
leave me a comment
  
This giveaway will run one week and the winner will be chosen at random and announced next Saturday. Thank you to Mary for the beautiful coasters and thank you again to all of you who read this blog! 

Gentlemen Marry Brunettes

12/18/12

There's nothing that adds glamor to a look like bright platinum locks but recently, I've been loving some of the beautiful brunettes of the world and decided to go back to my roots...har har!

 I love the blonde- truly I do! And if it didn't involve so much time, money and damage to my hair, I'd probably keep it up for a long time. I'm sure I'll go back to it eventually but for now, I"m rockin' the darkness.

These 10 gorgeous girls prove that there's no lack in beauty or glamor when you're a brunette.

 Stay tuned tomorrow for my new hair!




Coping with Winter Blues

12/15/12


image

Everyone gets a little blue in the winter. With stressful holidays, crummy weather- there's plenty to keep a girl down. Some people, like myself, suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It's a very real depression that lasts for months and can be debilitating. For years, I had no idea that I had SAD. When winter came, I became miserable. I was tired (no matter how much I slept), annoyed, stressed out, had no interest in seeing friends, family or doing my  hobbies. I gained weight every winter and not just from the holidays. It's more than just "feeling blue".

These past few days have been -incredibly- rough and I'm trying to remind myself to pull it together and get over it. Here are some of the things I do to try to stay cheery in the winter months.

 Eat Colorful Foods



I eat loads of citrus and leafy greens in the winter time. Not only are they good for the body but the colors, flavors and scents remind me of sunny days.

Copycat Zuppa Toscana

Orange Marmalade

Alton Brown's Aunt Verna's Orange Cake


Soak up the Sun 

image

Winter days are pretty grey around here but when there's the slightest bit of sunshine, I open the windows and soak it up. It's scientifically proven that 5 minutes of sunshine boosts a person's mood.

When winter comes and the days get shorter, I close all of the windows as soon as it gets dark. I look like a crazy person, running around closing up the windows but I hate to see all of that black at 5pm! I dress the windows in bright colored curtains and turn on lights inside to pretend that it's still a sunny day outside. Last Christmas, my mom bought my a special lamp for light therapy, which has been wonderful! Mine is from Verilux.  With a focus on a colorful knitting project or a funny movie, the early nights aren't very bleak after all.


Find Distractions

Although the winter time has a serious toll on my mood, there's a lot of happy moments to look forward to that only happen when the weather gets cold. Some of my favorite winter things are driving around looking at Christmas lights, having hot chocolate, taking my kids to see Santa, holiday baking, my mom's Thanksgiving stuffing and cranberry sauce, feeding winter birds and cozy sweaters. Make a list of things you love about winter and check your list when you're feeling down.

Dress for Winter with a Summer Attitude
winter pick me up

Color has a major impact on a person's mood. When you're taking inventory of your winter wardrobe, make sure you have lots of cozy, colorful pieces to keep you warm and cheerful. Some of my winter must-haves include:

green socks
a yellow, green or purple winter coat (or all 3!)
a red wool skirt
colorful wool berets
coral lipstick
a selection of basic cardigans in every color


Getting enough sleep and exercise also makes a big difference while managing Seasonal Affective Disorder. I hope that helps any of you who may be dealing with SAD or simply feeling down sometimes. May us all get through the winter and have a happy holiday season!

Announcing my 1950's repro coffee mugs today!

12/13/12

 Living one block away from the Missouri river, I feel the chill in the air sooner than I did when I lived in the suburbs. Although it's colder in this part of town, I love to bundle up in my vintage coat and boots and go for a walk through the neighborhood or along the river bank, and sometimes just rock on the porch in my little retro glider, with a cup of cocoa or hot cider. There's an old school house across the street and the chimney smokes in the morning when they have the furnace on full blast.



Just listed in the shop today are my brand new vintage inspired coffee mugs- featuring original vintage china and pyrex patterns from my personal collection.


                                  Available in 8 original vintage designs to match your retro kitchen decor




choose your 4 favorites or select a matching set



Starbursts
cathay
Franciscan
My parents have been selling these ceramic mugs for several years and their customers rave about how well they heat in the microwave without the handle getting hot. They are dishwasher safe so the fabulous retro designs will never chip or wear off.

Northstar



Choose one mug, a matching set or mix and match only at Va-Voom Vintage Shop



7 Blog Post Ideas to Boost Traffic in 2013

12/10/12


7 blog post ideas to boost traffic and readership



This afternoon, I was driving home from work, listening to Christmas music and it got me thinking about the new year and all of the things I want to accomplish this year. As always, one of  my goals is to amp up my blogging game. If you find yourself in a blogging rut or want to boost your traffic, here are 7 blog post ideas that really do work!!

1.) Write a list post. Hey, I'm doing it right now....and you're reading it. Ta-da, told you it works! These posts are : # ways to do something great or # items you must have to look absolutely fantastic- you get the idea.

2.) A tutorial I'm big on tutorials. I love to read them on your blogs and I love to write them on mine. Everyone loves to learn new things and see how it's done so create a tutorial for your niche. It can be a step by step style with pictures or something more generalized like a list of ideas on how to organize your kitchen.

3.)A Themed Feature Earlier this year, I was contacted by Stephanie of Lollipops and Roses to appear in her themed post Show and Tell. I thought it was such a clever idea because she was giving her readers beautiful things to look at and featuring other bloggers at the same time. Since she featured me, I posted about it here and exposed her blog to all of my readership -and- I got exposure from her readership. It's a win win and it's great content for your blog.

4.) Product Reviews Bigger bloggers will receive free products to review on their blogs but if you're a small fish, you can still do reviews! Check out handmade sellers in your niche on etsy and purchase samples to review. Many cosmetic/bath/beauty sellers sell very affordable product samples for this purpose.  I love this approach because it helps support those handmade businesses by giving them a few bucks when you buy a sample and they get advertisement. If you have products that you use and love on a daily basis, tell your readers about them. As your blog grows, these reviews will reflect your ability to give a shout out and will open doors to paid sponsorship and free products to review.

5.) A series or theme post- Again, I  love a good theme. I like to do a new one every year to post about once per week. Last year, I did Friday Fashion and a Movie and this year was  Friday Fashionistas. I'm already planning posts for next year's theme.  A series or themed post can be weekly, monthly or whenever. This helps build a strong category within your blog and gives readers something to look forward to.

6.) A search-related post or series This is a fun little trick that I learned on my own this year. Do you ever read what search words bring the most traffic to your blog? If not, go to your blogger dashboard, stats, traffic sources and finally look under "search keywords" at the bottom. Click the tab at the top that says "all time" and this will give you ideas on what to write about. My top search keyword, "Grace Kelly" led me to write Grace Kelly Week last month, which has since brought a ton of page views.



7.) A trendy link round up what's really hot in your niche that everyone and their mother is blogging about? Go ahead and blog about it too and do a round up of your favorite posts on the subject from around the blogosphere. Make sure to use keywords that reflect the trend in your title and post so it gets attention in seach engines.




Learn everything I know about blogging with my new ecourse, Bloggerific: A Guide to a Beautiful, Successful Blog

Shop Update: Fancy Frocks 30's-60's

12/8/12

New in the shop this week is a lovely selection of dresses from the 30's-60's in a wide range of sizes and many plus sized 1940's-1960's dresses available!

30-40's Rayon Dress 48 inch bust

60's Dress and Coat Outfit 44 inch Bust

late 50's-60's teal cocktail dress 58 inch bust

late 50's-60's green and gold brocade cocktail dress 44 inch bust

1960's Little Mod Black Dress 42 inch bust

1970's red shirtwaist by R&K Originals 26-30 waist

late 50's little black wiggle dress with green collar 44-46 inch bust

1940's Rayon Day Dress with matching belt 55 inch bust

1940's Silk and Shauntung Day Dress 38 inch bust

1940's Tropical Pint Handmade Cotton Sun Dress 38 inch bust

1960's Adorable Novelty Print Day Dress 42 inch Bust

1940's Pink Polka Dot Wartime Dress 40 inch bust

1950's Lanz Originals Heart Print Dress 33 inch Bust

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