Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cocktail Hour: Parisian Blonde

Maurice Chevalier would love this cocktail.

It's strong and sweet; simple to make, yet full of complex flavors.

I first had a Parisian Blonde at Smugglers Cove in San Francisco. Unable to resist the allure of the name, I ordered one.


By the way, Smugglers Cove is awesome. Always fun, always delicious. And don't get me started on the decor. AMAZING!

While a Parisian Blonde is a rum based drink, it doesn't exactly fall into the category of tropical drinks most poodles think of. It's served in a vintage martini glass, topped with sweetened heavy cream, and then sprinkled with cinnamon. I may at times have used whipped cream from a can instead of the heavy cream.

What?! Have we met? Procrastinator's Guide, remember?

So while canned whipped cream isn't ideal, it'll do in a pinch.

Don't judge me.

Toodles Poodles!

Poodle Tricks: "Tutti Frutti" Turban

Poodles!! Where have you been?!

You better explain yourself!

Oh wait, that's right, I was the one missing. Hehe.

But I'm back with a fun poodle trick for all those bad hair days. Or in my case, too lazy to do your hair days.

You know I love the ingenious times of the 1940s. Pesky war time rationing was hard on poodles. But they didn't let it stop them from looking fabulous.

No coupons for hats? No problem. Time for a turban!

When I think of turbans, I immediately think Carmen Miranda and "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat". She was amazing. Beautiful, funny, and outstandingly talented. Not to mention a fashion star.

Consider this, can you picture Carmen Miranda without picturing a turban? Nope.

But she wasn't the only one sporting a turban. Think Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Lucille Ball. The turban was the accessory of the 30's and 40's.

There are several different ways to tie a turban. You can keep it simple like Hedy, or go crazy like Carmen. Whatever suits your personal poodle style.

I'm somewhere in between. I like a little flash, but I don't want to fall over.

Americanos tell me that my hat is high,
Because I will not take it off to kiss a guy. 

Listen to Carmen... Tie up your turbans poodles!! And don't take them off for any guy!!!


Hey! It's my eighth grade picture day hair!

Step 1: Put up your hair if it is long.

Step 2: Take a long scarf and place it over your head, making sure you are about midway on the scarf. The one I used is 70"x20".


Step 3: Begin twisting the two sides of the scarf together, keeping the twist tight as you go. Keep twisting til you reach the ends.

Hi there
Twisty twist!

Step 4: Bring the ends up, and start wrapping the scarf-twist around itself in a circle.

This is where my "Photographer" started to complain
about being late for work
This is where said "Photographer" continued complaining
and I started getting annoyed

Step 5: Tuck the ends under the flower-like knot you have formed.

And this is where I snapped at my darling "Photographer";
with a smile of course

Look! A turban!

or Night...
I'm bananas for toy-bans!

Toodles Poodles!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Poodle Tricks: Jolly Holly Hair

When I was younger, I thought that Breakfast at Tiffany's was something that you went to have when visiting New York. I pictured pancakes and diamonds. He, he.

Despite the untold number of old movies I watched growing up, Breakfast at Tiffany's was never in the midst. Maybe because it's not a musical.

We were big on musicals. And singing along. And being nerds.

When I finally watched it, I was all grown up. I had seen all of Audrey Hepburn's movies, and I adored her. She was everything I could never be. Sophisticated, graceful, TALL. With a glamour that seemed effortless.

This time of year I always end up re-watching my favorite movies. And who doesn't like to dress up to match the movie they I are watching?!


This Holly Golightly inspired look is a favorite of mine. Mainly because it takes about five minutes to do. Easy enough for any procrastinating poodle.

Now break out the guitar, sing some "Moon River", and style that hair!

Step 1: Brush hair into a high poodle-tail. Secure with a band.

Step 2: Backcomb backcomb backcomb.

Apparently big hair frightens me

Step 3: Spread hair out around hair-band like a mushroom cap.

That's right, I said mushroom cap. Cause who
doesn't want to look like Toad from Super Mario Bros?!

Step 4: Taking small sections, bobby pin your ends under. Work your way around the hair, pinning and fluffing out, til you achieve a ballerina like bun. I just cut my hair so I did not need to pin all my ends under. Some I only fluffed over the "bun" and sprayed in place.

This is serious now poodles!
Bobby pinning is hard!

Step 5: Smooth sides with a little pomade. If your hair is shorter like mine, secure back pieces with a comb. Hairspray the final look.

No, I'm not posing. I always smile while
awkwardly holding a can of hairspray.

Step 6: Accessorize!! You can dress this look down with a simple bow, or go all out with your diamonds and pearls.

I have a problem with that pinky/raptor claw.

"Hump? What hump?"

I wanted to show off my awesomely long lashes.
Cause I'm humble like that.

Put on a little black dress and you are ready to turn that DVD player on!!! Woohoo!!!!

Seriously, such a nerd.

Guffaw guffaw

Toodles Poodles!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"Oliver Twist" of the Heart

"My heart will burst. I cannot bear all this."- Oliver Twist

Just one second poodles, while I wipe the tears away.


I promised myself I wouldn't do this *sob*

I was going to post a quick poodle trick tonight, but I procrastinated. Duh. And I watched the second to the last episode of this season's Call the Midwifeinstead.

If you are not watching this show, start. Or don't. I can never decide.

Don't get me wrong; this is absolutely one of the BEST shows I have ever seen. But... it is sometimes painful to watch. I swear each scene is written to wring some emotion from the viewer. Whether happiness, sadness, or a bittersweet mixture of both.

The show premiered to American audiences this season on PBS. It is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, and her time as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s.

Jenny Lee, Worth's maiden name, is a midwife at Nonnatus House, a nunnery. The stories that the show depicts, involve not only midwifery, but nursing of those in the community.

The Dickensonian episode I watched tonight, showed a brother and sister who suffered through tragedy to eventually find each other, and a kind of happiness. In a world that had caused them much pain.

Commence sobbing.

Side note, I kind of want to adopt a pig after tonight's episode. "Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."

And this little piggy cried all the way into my heart

A moment of laughter amidst the crying. That's what Call the Midwife manages to do; give the viewer highs and lows with equal grace.

The series is full of wonderful writing. Vanessa Redgrave, the incomparable, the amazing, the etc etc etc Vanessa Redgrave, narrates as the older Jenny Lee. The actresses, the actors, the sets, the CLOTHES. Wow.

Ok, ok. I know I may be an easily moved person. AKA: I cry at the drop of a hat. But having debuted to one of the highest audiences in PBS history, you don't have to take my word for it. Watch it. Love it. Cry over it. If you can handle it.

 I put off watching the last two episodes of the season because I wasn't ready for the sobbing. And because I wasn't ready to let go; even knowing there is a second season in the works.

Poodles, I would choose this period piece over Downton.

Great. Now my nose is red from crying.
I'll have to powder it and risk my man's displeasure.

What???? Shocking!!!!

Thankfully, you don't have to choose.

Do it. Call the Midwife. Sundays at 8 on PBS. You won't regret it. Or maybe your tear streamed face and pain filled heart will. But the moments of joy portrayed will transcend it all.


Toodles Poodles!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cocktail Hour : "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

"Baby, it's cold outside". Sing it Johnny.

That song always pops into my head on wintry days. And since it is cold outside, I thought a warm cocktail would be nice.

My friend said, "How about a Snuggler?"

"A Snuggler?" I asked. "Oooo, what's that?"

"Hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps."

"Oh." I thought, deflated.

Any use of the word schnapps in a drink recipe suddenly gives me visions of college frat boys and goldschlager. Definitely NOT a poodle kind of cocktail.


But then I thought, "Who's gonna turn down a junior mint?! It's chocolate, it's peppermint- it's delicious!"

Words of wisdom Kramer, words of wisdom.

So I did a little research. Schnapps is actually a traditional German liqueur pre-dating the 18th century. German Schnaps is a clear fruit distilled brandy with no sugar added. American schnapps on the other hand, have quite a bit of sugar added to create a syrupy sweet drink.

DeKuyper is one of the largest producers of schnapps today, and dates back to Holland in 1695. They refer to the same Snuggler recipe as a Chocolate Mint Kiss.

I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

Apparently hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps=LOVE.

Or at least they equal a toothsome tipple that cut through this poodle's pretensions.

Say, what's in this drink?

Toodles Poodles!

Friday, November 30, 2012

"Powder your Face with Sunshine" and Stratton

A little piece of history came in the mail today.

I won an ebay auction lot of three Stratton compacts!

Oohhh yeaaah!!

Sold! To the highest bidder- Me!

Stratton compacts of England were the compacts of their time. If a gal pulled a Stratton out of her handbag, you knew she had style.

In 1948, the Stratton company patented a self-opening inner lid. The door inside would pop up to reveal the powder beneath. That way a poodle wouldn't chip her nails opening the powder compartment. Genius!

Never chip another nail!

During the fifties, Stratton compacts were made to hold loose powder, and contained an adorable little sifter to hold in the powder.

That's right poodles! Don't upset your MEN
 with your new compact! HA!

Later in the fifties and into the sixties, the compacts became "convertible" and could hold either loose powder or the now more popular pressed powder.

Max Factor Creme Puff is still sold
 AND fits Stratton convertible compacts!

My personal favorite design of compacts came out in the fifties and was continued for about a decade. It was appropriately called Princess. Awww!

A perfect English rose. Pre-tty! 

"Real diamond cut front" Ooooo!

Can you see the Stratton "compact in hand" logo?

In my ebay lot I received three compacts, ranging from the early 50's to the late 60's. Two are the scalloped edged Princess design, and one is a "convertible" design called Queen. The Queen is larger in size to accommodate pans of pressed powder, but still has a sifter for the use of loose powder.

A more spacious compact
fit for a Queen

Stratton compacts through the years

My good friend still has her grandmother's Stratton with leftover powder inside. I never knew, before I saw her Stratton, that compacts could be beautiful as well as functional. I had only ever experienced the generic plastic ones most powders come in today.

There were several companies that produced compacts in the 50s, but Stratton was one of the biggest names. I have a soft spot for Evans compacts too, because that was my Grandpa's name. An Evans compact is next on my wish list. Don't mention it to the husband/budget!

Evans, what a great name! 


The Stratton company is still producing compacts today. For an awesome history on Stratton, or to purchase a new compact or powder puff/sifter for your vintage Stratton, check out Vanroe Compacts. The director, Jane Johnston, has some great tips on how to clean, maintain, and refill vintage compacts.

Personally, I like the feeling I get holding a vintage compact in my hand. Looking in the mirror and imagining the other face that once looked back. She could be a socialite, or a housewife. A young starlet, or a major Hollywood star. One thing is for sure; her Stratton must have made her feel as beautiful and unique as the compact itself.

I hope my man doesn't see!
He detests me powdering my nose!


Anyhoo... Where was I? Oh yeah, vintage compacts. If you find one you love, buy it! Don't procrastinate. Even if you never use it, and it just sits on your vanity or desk, it will still bring an element of glamour into everyday life.

Toodles Poodles!