Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poodle Passions

I've got a secret passion poodles.

Ok, I've got lots of secret passions. This particular one is shocking to many people when they hear it.

I like football.

Nay, I LOVE football! FĂștbol Americano, that is. And I LOVE the 49ers!!! So Super Bowl, this Sunday, is bound to be epic!

Why can't a vintage girl love football? Especially a procrastinating one, who may at times allow her favorite TV programs to distract her from what she's supposed to be doing. Like blogging.

How adorable is this vintage football guy?
the Balm cosmetics
via Pinterest

Besides, in a way football is a vintage sport. American football has been around since the turn of the twentieth century, and is a favorite pastime among many, including this poodle.

Hey, Poodle Pastime! HeHe! I like things that are alliterative.


I went for a visit to my friend/manicurist today, and got my nails did!!! In 49er red! Of course I made her throw in some 1940s half-moons too. She wanted to add in some Niner gold as well, but I said, "No Way" ("That's N W!"). What if the Niners lose Sunday?! The horror! I could not look at red AND gold nails until my next manicure, without intense bitterness.

I get a manicure every other week, but that in-between week would be TORTURE!! Plain red nails with half-moons are pretty much a standard for me; so, in case of a loss, they will not incur any sense of sadness.

I've been watching the 49ers play since I was a little girl. My sister and I would join my dad in cheering them on with loud shrieks of joy at touchdowns, or with loud cries of "BOO" at the bad calls by the referees. Watching football games always brings on a feeling of nostalgia.

So this Sunday I'll be watching yet another 49ers game with my dad. It's been a long time since we watched one together (the Niners haven't been so fortunate the past few years- eek), and I may shed a tear at the sentiment of it all. It's been an awesome season. I can't wait for all the cheering, dorky high-fiving, and victory dancing.

GO NINERS! Make this poodle proud!

Alliteration! Ha!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This Poodle's Got a New Pair of Shoes

Hello, my name is Betty Lou (not really), and I am a shoe hoarder.


I know they say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. But what if you don't want to recover from your obsession??

That's how I feel about shoes. I can't let them go. I can't stop buying them. I adore them.

My husband once made me count how many pairs I own. The number may have fallen in the 100's range.


It truly wasn't fair though, because I hoard shoes for forever. Really, forever! Some I've had for 10 years, if not longer. And I'm very picky about what shoes I buy, so I don't buy shoes all the time. 

Shouldn't that count for something? Huh? Huh?

Husband's don't understand.

I do however have a weakness for a few brands out there. Two of my favorites hail from England, and I have no strength to resist them. 

Irregular Choice and Poetic Licence, why do you have to be so perfect?!

Source: via Cori on Pinterest

The two brands are sold collectively on the Irregular Choice website. Both combine elements of vintage style (love the lucite heels), with a touch of kitsch. Irregular Choice is a favorite of many style-icon celebrities; Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and Whoopi Goldberg to name a few. Poetic Licence is the more conservative of the two brands; a statement which always elicits a laugh.

"Conservative? Those?" friends are apt to say while pointing at my feet, "Riiight."

Really they are, compared to Irregular Choice, which are much more outlandish; for example, one pair of my Irregular Choice, have a lucite heel that lights up with each step I take (see picture below). Which brand figures more into my shoe collection? Well, I've never been a fan of REGULAR shoe choices.

Pun intended. Haha! I'm such a dork.

The one problem with them is their price, combined with the fact that I'm cheap. I've yet to buy a pair in the season they are released. I'm always one or two seasons behind, but that's ok, because they are still wonderful and unique. Seasons really don't matter with these shoes; they qualify as the most imaginative pairs, I've ever owned.

Oh how I heart them!

So imagine my joy upon discovering a website that offered amazing prices on both these brands?? Better even than Amazon! Some still a season behind, but both brands in one place without having to scour the Internet! All still available in my size!!!

With a name that says it all, rocks! I wasn't ready. I wasn't prepared. I wanted them all. I settled for one. 

Let me introduce Poetic Licence's Pretty Woman in Purple.

Gorgeous AND comfortable! They have a classic 1920's art deco feel about them, with a perspex heel twist. A hard plastic, sparkly purple bow adorns the strap, giving a touch of girly glamour. They positively twinkle. And like all pairs of Poetic Licence and Irregular Choice shoes, they came in equally adorable packaging.

Welcome home, pair #101! You are definitely worthy of a little hoarding.

Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right
                        - Paolo Nutini, "New Shoes"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Poodle Pampering: Spa Day!

Poodles I have been experiencing the bane of winter skincare- Dry Skin!!!

Dun dun duuuuunnnnn!

What's a poodle to do when winter winds make skin itchy, sensitive, and dry? Did someone say spa day?! Oh yeah!!!

Since I'm saving all my money for my May vacation, a trip to a spa isn't in the budget. A home facial is.

Poodles, don't you wish you could spend all day at a salon like in The Women (1939)?

Best line in that movie: Mary Haines- "I've had two years to grow claws Mother. Jungle Red!"

I know, I know, GET TO THE POINT!!

Have I ever mentioned I'm a licensed Esthetician? I can't wait to share all my skin care tips with you poodles. This is liable to be a long post, so sit back and relax... or procrastinate, look at the pictures, and read the whole post later. We all do it, don't pretend you haven't!! HeHe.

Skin cells turn over in a 28 day cycle. Sound familiar to another wretched cycle we're familiar with? As we get older our skin takes longer to turn over. It needs a little help. That's where exfoliation comes in.

Here's the deal with exfoliation: it's OVER-PRACTICED!!! You do not need to exfoliate every day. Even if you have oily skin, I would only recommend 2-3 time a week. If you have normal to dry skin, 1-2 days a week is plenty.

Image found at Vintage Ad Browser

Exfoliation is the process of breaking down skin cells so that they can be sloughed away, either through a chemical process, or physically with a scrub product. If a product says it contains AHA, BHA, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Retin-A, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, etc., it is a chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants work like little pac-men eating away at skin cell bonds. A scrub is a physical exfoliant with which you manually break down skin cells. You don't need both! Pick one or the other. If you over-exfoliate, you are drying out your skin and depleting it of natural oils. Your skin will react by then overproducing oil to hydrate itself, and you'll find yourself in an endless breakout/oily skin battle. Or with even dryer skin then you started with.

The week before your period, is the perfect time to give yourself a facial. Especially if you are prone to hormonal breakouts i.e. on your chin or jawline.

Of course if you have the time, a once a week facial is great too. So is visiting your esthetician at least once every 4-6 weeks. Industry shout-out!!

But in the meantime, here are the steps to an awesome do-it-yourself facial:

Step 1: Cleanse. Wash your face and neck with warm, not hot, water, and a milky cleanser. Or try my favorite, cold cream. Foaming cleansers can strip your skin of necessary oils. Something you want to avoid if you already have dry skin. Bar soap is also drying, but a beauty bar like Dove is ok. Use a warm, damp, soft cloth to remove the cleanser.

Always use an upward motion. No one wants
saggy skin!

Step 2: Exfoliate. Take your pick of a scrub, or an exfoliating mask/peel. Follow the manufacturers directions. If you choose a scrub, never use one with ground apricot or walnut kernels. They can be much too harsh. Save them for your next pedicure!

Awesome scrub I found on from Ayelet Naturals!
Paraben free and ingredients I actually understand!

Step 3: Apply a serum to damp skin. Serums can be applied either under a mask, or under your moisturizer. Serums have a much smaller molecular weight than moisturizers, allowing them to penetrate deep into your skin's layers. They deposit necessary nutrients that can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. Pick one based on your main skin concerns. You can also layer serums for more benefits.

This serum seems to be helping my
sun-damaged skin tone. It's on
trial right now.

Step 4: Apply mask in a thin layer. You do not need to use a ton of product. Usually masks fall into 3 main categories- hydrating for dry/sensitive skin, balancing for combination skin, and purifying for oily/acneic skin. You can use just one type, or a combination of masks for different concerns. I like to use a hydrating mask on most of my face, and a balancing or purifying mask on problem areas. You could also use a firming mask on your neck. No chicken neck here!! Leave the mask on for 10-20 minutes. Remove with a warm, damp washcloth.

I used the MyChelle mask for most of my face, and
the naturallogic mud mask for my breakout zones

Step 5: Tone. I prefer to mist on my toner, but you can also apply it with a cotton ball. Pick an alcohol free toner to rebalance your skin's natural pH. Skin's pH falls at 4.5-5.5, and is slightly acidic. Toner can help your skin absorb products more effectively.

Step 6: Apply an eye gel or cream. Use a pea size amount and keep the product on the ocular bone, never going too close to the eye. The product will absorb into the surrounding skin, so if you apply too closely to the eye, it will actually end up in your eye, possibly irritating it. Always pat the gel/cream on starting from the outer corner of your eye and working in, using your ring or middle finger. Continue around the eye onto your brow bone.

I use this eye product strictly at night and
a tightening eye gel during the day.

Tappety Tap!

Step 7: Moisturize! Despite popular belief, moisturizers do not deposit a large amount of moisture. Their main job is sealing in water found in the skin's outermost layer, and then they create a barrier against harmful environmental elements that can irritate skin. Pick the right moisturizer for your skin type e.g. lighter moisturizers for normal to oily skin, heavier moisturizers for dry to mature skin.

If I'm feeling really dry, I love this cream
from Glory Be Herbals.

I often use this moisturizer from Avalon Organics.
I used to love their products, but I'm not a big
fan of their recent reformulations. *sigh*

Remember that scene in Gigi? Her grandmother
in the bathtub diligently massaging her neck?!
French women know skincare!

Step 8: Gaze in a mirror to see your healthy, glowing skin!

Look at that glow!

Facial DO'S and DON'T'S:

*DO NOT cover-up that clean skin with makeup! All your effort at removing oil and dirt will have been wasted. That is why it is best to do a facial late in the day or before bed. You won't have to go out anywhere, and your skin can soak in all that facial goodness overnight.

*DO NOT exfoliate if you are using a prescription like Retin-A, or are under the care of a dermatologist. Retin-A is an exfoliant, and your dermatologist can recommend the best skincare for your needs.

*DO NOT exfoliate if you have recently had a facial waxing service. Waxing exfoliates the skin. Wait at least 3 days before exfoliating again.

*You DO NOT necessarily need a department store or expensive name brand skincare line. Pick products that seem to work best for you. DON'T always believe the advertising hype!

*DO give a new product a chance! It takes your skin a full cycle to adjust, so sometimes a 7-day trial just isn't enough. Of course if you have an immediate bad reaction (rash/irritation), discontinue use.

*DO read labels! If you have no idea what an ingredient is, research it. I prefer more organic skincare, or skincare products that utilize essential oils.

*DO be consistent!!! Each day practice the big 3: Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize!!! Then add in an exfoliant a couple times a week, and maybe even a mask once a week. Your skin will radiate with beauty!!!

Facials can help combat the drying effects of cold winter air and stuffy indoor heating. They can also help combat the signs of aging. Who doesn't want that?!

But don't just take my word for it- give yourself a facial tonight!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Hey Good Lookin', Whatcha got Cookin'?"

"Hey, hey, good lookin',
Whatcha got cookin'?
How's about cookin' somethin' up with me?
Hey, sweet baby,
Don't you think maybe
We could find us a brand new recipe?" -Hank Williams

Who needs a brand new recipe when there are so many classic vintage recipes out there to try?

Today I had a craving for Oreo cookies and a glass of milk. 

Unfortunately when I went into my cupboard for the Oreos, someone had eaten them all. Not that I'm placing blame, HUSBAND. Instead I decided to bake my own cookies. 

Chocolate chip cookies are my specialty. People ask me for my recipe and I answer, "Nestle' Toulouse". 

Awww Friends, what a great show. Phoebe I miss you.

Nestle' Tollhouse Original Chocolate Chip Cookies. That's my famous cookie recipe. I giggle every time someone OOOOs and YUMS over my cookies and asks, "What's your secret?".

Ummmm, I follow the recipe on the back of the bag.

The original Nestle' chocolate chip cookie recipe came into existence in 1930. The Nestle' website has a cute story of how Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, cut bits of a Nestle' semi-sweet chocolate bar into her Butter Drop cookies. The result gained such popularity, that in 1939 Nestle' Toll House started producing its semi-sweet chocolate in easy to use morsels. Ruth's recipe was printed on the package, and she was given a lifetime supply of Nestle' chocolate. Not to mention the distinction of having invented the most popular variety of cookie today; The chocolate chip cookie.

They're quick and easy to make, and taste delicious. Even when you are easily distracted and start blogging while baking, bad idea, they still come out scrumptious, if slightly crisper. Plus, they are the perfect taste of childhood memories: Cookies and milk after school. Cookies at grandma's house. Your first foray into baking. Licking the spoon while your mom chides, "You're going to get sick!" - There is 50% chance I could get salmonella, but that is a chance that I am willing to take.

Guess what? I still lick the spoon. 

Nestle' Original Chocolate Chip Cookies, truly the best cookie recipe around.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Poodles in Paris

Guess what??!!!

Can you guess?? Hm? Hm? Can ya?!

This poodle is going to Paris!!!!!!!!

Woooooooo!!!! Yayyyyy!!!! Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Oui!! Oui!! (If you were here with me, you'd be embarrassed for me and the sad dance moves that just took place.)

Ella Fitzgerald sang it best... "I Love Paris"

I love Paris in the Springtime.
I love Paris in the Fall.
I love Paris in the Winter, when it drizzles.
I love Paris in the Summer, when it sizzles.

I love Paris every moment,
Every moment of the year.
I love Paris,
Why, oh why, do I love Paris?
Because my love is near.

My husband and I have been saving our airline miles for 4 years, and have enough for two tickets to Paris. Those $3 coffees at Starbucks finally paid off.

I've got, Two Tickets to Paradise.
Won't you,
Pack your bags we leave tonight.

The thought of Paris makes me giddy. I can't help singing. Even Eddie Money.

Our plan is to spend two weeks in Italy for our anniversary, and two days in PARIS!

Who knew there were no direct flights to Rome? Oh well, I guess I'll have to suffer through the Paris layover.

Giggle. TeHe.

I've been dreaming of my Roman Holiday, a'la Audrey Hepburn, my whole life. Gelato on the Spanish Steps, riding a Vespa, my hand in the Mouth of Truth, dancing on a river barge under the stars... Oh beautiful, beautiful Audrey.

I will sooo be singing "Three Coins in the Fountain", and dreaming of Rossano Brazzi, while tossing a coin over my shoulder into the Fountain of Trevi!

"Anita! I want to tell you that I love you!"


Having basically imagined being in Rome in a 1950's movie, there is no way I'm going to visit dressed in jeans and sensible shoes. Like Tevas, or, shudder, Crocs. It's dresses and ballet flats for me. Until I'm on Capri, at which point I'm going to wear capri pants with capri sandals, while eating a Caprese salad.

I believe in theming life's moments. It irritates my husband.

So until that marvelous day in May arrives, I'll be trying out different outfits and rating them on comfort, style, and how well they fit for various European cities.

'Cause I have no life.

AND I'm going to post each outfit for you Poodles (I know, you can't wait), along with shopping info.

Here we go.

Day 1- The dreaded plane ride.

Comfort has to come first for this 11 hour horror flight. I'll definitely be reliving Meg Ryan's "I hate Paris" moment from French Kiss. Minus the whole girlfriend/fiancé love triangle. I'll be singing her "I hate Paris" tune, while hoping my Xanax kicks in before takeoff. There are few things in life I hate more than flying.

"Don't you just hate flying?"

-"Yes! And I just told the most terrible one to the man I'm about to marry! Do you feel that any lie is a betrayal?"

"I said flying."

-"Oh, oh."

Sorry poodles. Having another classic Meg Ryan moment.

Creative hiding of the trash can in the background!

My AirFrance flight attendant look

Je t'aime Paris!

Dress: Target
Comfort: 7/10- Soft, stretchy knit cotton. No worries about wrinkles here (like I'd iron if there were, HA!). But... I had to pull it down every time I sat or stood up. Minor annoyance.

Style/Fit for Paris: 10/10- Hello! Boatneck, striped 3/4 sleeves, red belt?? What more could a gal want?

Scarf: My Baby Jo
Comfort: It's a scarf.

Style/Fit: Can we say Paris 1955?

Shoes: Yosi Samra (on Piperlime)
Comfort: 9/10- Molded to my foot right out of the box. Feel like wearing slippers all around town. Not much in the way of arch support, but my uber flat feet barely noticed.

Style/Fit: 10/10- I have a serious weakness for both ballet flats and two tone shoes. These are a perfect combination. And who doesn't automatically think ballet flats=Audrey Hepburn?

Earrings: Vintage, from my poodle dolly Lo's Grandma. xxxx

I don't have a beret yet, but never fear, I'll get one!

Yes husband! Themed!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Poodle-Do's: The Poodle

I love Lucy.

No really, I love Lucy. I love her humor and her talent. I love her bow lips. I love her HAIR!!

I first read Anne of Green Gables in 5th grade, and my love affair with red hair began. I wanted to be Anne spelled with an E. I wanted to have red braids and live on a farm on Prince Edward Island. I wanted to meet and marry my own Gilbert. Red hair was the ticket to it all.


Back to Lucy. My Grandma Ayriel had red hair (from a bottle), and she always reminded me of Lucille Ball. Her laugh and the way she would "WAAAAAA!!!!". My grandma permed her hair and had it set once a week in a perfect poodle-do.

Camping didn't stop Grandma from filling in her
brows and fluffing her poodle-do!

Lucille Ball had the quintessential poodle hairdo. She wore her beautiful, shiny red hair up in the style that came to be synonymous with her name.

I've dyed my hair blonde, brunette, and red. A few times it was dyed a combination of all three. But the very first time I dyed my hair, I was 16, and I went red. Beautiful, glorious red. And it's the one color I always come back to.

So having red hair right now, and having just cut bangs, I thought I'd give the poodle a shot.

This is Poodles and Pin Curls, right??

The Poodle-Do

"Lu-cy!! You got some splainin' to do!"

Here goes Ricky:

Part One- Hair Prep

Step 1: Wash hair and towel dry. Put a large dollop size of mousse in your hands and spread throughout damp hair. Comb through. Blow dry hair until it is mostly dry, but still retains some dampness.

Step 2: Section off crown area in a large U or square shape, and clip the rest of your hair out of the way.

Step 3: Section crown area into 3-4 rows depending on your hair thickness. Since I have bangs, this was a little tricky, and I ended up with only two rows. Using small foam (sponge) rollers, roll the hair forward.

Step 4: Using small to medium size foam rollers, roll the sides and back of your hair under.

I wasn't wearing any makeup at this point, but
then I put some on...

because my sister said, "There's only so much
soft lighting and a camera filter can do."

Can you feel the love?

Step 5: Go to sleep!!!

Part Two- Style!

Step 1: Spray hair in curlers with a little hairspray. Using your blowdryer on its cool setting, blow some cool air on all the rollers.

Step 2: Unroll the curlers starting from the bottom and working up.

Step 3: Run your fingers through the curls to loosen them somewhat. Comb through gently with a metal pick. You want to keep all those cute tight curls.

Step 4: Comb the sides up, securing tightly with combs and bobby pins. Repeat with back sections.

Step 5: Artfully arrange the curls on top of your head, pinning down where you see fit. The curls should be tight and a little frizzy, just like a french poodle. Oh yeah!

Why do you think I'm crazy?? Do I
look crazy?! Huh?? Do I?!


I wanted to take a picture with my new
Menda hand mirror. It's so preetty!!

Step 6: Use some pomade to smooth the sides. Hairspray all over.

Me, before the magic of TV...

Look at you, you little poodle!!

and Me after.
Look! I have blue eyes and I'm on a 50s TV show!

I could get used to this!

But, how will I explain this to Ricky?

Love you Lucy!