Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Thanksgiving season.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, a holiday that is quite neglected in my opinion. I love Thanksgiving, I love my little tofurkey and green bean casserole and wine (at some family gatherings this is a necessity and I'm sure you all understand) As I've gotten older, I spend most of Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season reflecting on what I'm thankful for and things that have happened in the past year. So far 2013 has been full of extreme highs and lows. I started blogging seriously and collecting vintage seriously. In October, I married the love of my life and could not be happier. My Poppop died this May and the holidays are going to be really strange without him. This is the first time I've experienced a major loss. However, in this extreme year I have a lot to be thankful for.

I'm thankful to learn from my grandparents, those of you who are fortunate enough to spend lots of time or who have spent lots of time with your grandparents know the value of hearing stories from their past. I love to hear any story from any one about the past but I especially love to hear ones from my Mommom. I've been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with her this year. I've had a ball listening to all her stories and getting her take on vintage fashion. I also spent a lot of time restoring photos of my Mommom and Poppop this spring and I gathered a lot from them. After our ceremony, Jeremy and I handed out thank you notes to everyone that attended. I told my Mommom that her and Poppop were the best marriage role models that I could ever have. I'm lucky to have such great Grandparents to learn from.

You can just feel their love from these photos! Being around them taught me a lot about what marriage is and I am so thankful for that. The little girl in the top photo is my Mom. The bottom photo was taken in January 2013 at my Mommom and Poppop's joint birthday party. 

I'm thankful that this is the fifth holiday season I've been able to spend with Jeremy. Not every holiday has been spectacular but being together made everything better. This year is special since we have dedicated our entire lives to each other.

I'm thankful that Jeremy and I have family that supports and loves us. I am so happy that my Mom, Mommom and sister have taken to Jeremy so well and think of him as one of the family. Jeremy treats Brianna just like his own sister too.

This photo is from our vacation in June. 

I am also thankful for my Mom and my sister. I'm happy that we all be weird together.

I am thankful for our fur baby Ginger. I am also thankful for my little fur nephew Felix and my parent's kitten Patches. Jeremy and I have spent two years with Ginger so far and since September we have spent a lot of time babysitting Patches and Felix.

Ginger with his birthday present. 
I bet you've never seen a cuter brother and sister duo.

I am thankful for Jeremy. Where can I possibly begin with this wonderful man, he is truly my other half. I never need to ask him for help, he is always there no matter how busy he is, and not just with me. He was such a big help with my grandparents ever since we started dating.  He's always there to encourage me and he can make even our lazy days special. He is so loving to animals, especially our fur baby Ginger that had to be bottle fed since he was abandoned at such a young age.
August, 2011. Jeremy bottle feeding Ginger. Is this not the perfect man?

I try not to be one of those wives that goes on and on about how perfect her husband is but sorry, he is. Jeremy makes me laugh, is great with my family and provides for Ginger and I. I am so thankful that I am going to spend the rest of my life with this man. 

I am thankful to be able to share my thoughts with all of you!  Always be thankful for the good things you have in life since you'll not have them forever. I understand that not all families get along, at least be thankful for the ones that love and cherish you. Jeremy and I have a lot of relatives that choose to isolate us and that is their fault, but that doesn't stop us from enjoying our holidays and enjoying our family. I also want to put it out there that I am thankful for Tofurkey! It's tough to be a vegetarian around the holidays especially if no one else in your family is, but the Tofurkey is amazing! 

What do you have to be thankful for? Does thankfulness play a part in your Thanksgiving traditions? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Murder Mystery weekend and some great Cape May antique shops.

I've been neglecting this blog for awhile but I have a valid excuse. It was midterm week and I was preparing for our Murder Mystery weekend at Elaine's in Cape May, NJ.

I really think that I have travel anxiety. The packing process is agonizing and I always end up getting angry and deeply afraid that I will forget something. This fear lasts until we just about arrive at our destination and then I'm fine. This happens on all trips.

We left Friday afternoon since I wanted to check in early so I could maximize my antique shopping time, eat an early dinner and have enough time to get ready for the cocktail party which kicked off the murder mystery weekend.

This is where guests check in. I was curious about the many antique photos around the building, if they were past owners or something but they were all purchased at antique shops. 

After we checked in we dropped the bags off in our room and left for our antique hunt. We visited so many shops that they started to blend together. I didn't do a lot of research before we left to know which shops were the best so I went by word of mouth. The antique shop owners of Cape May are super helpful. Some of the shops that stood out in my mind are:

Artisans Alcove
This is antique jewelry heaven! I saw a lot of 20s and 30s pieces that I loved. Jeremy and I popped in here Friday night after dinner, it was right next to Elaine's. The lady behind the counter, whose name escapes me,  and I had a nice conversation about vintage clothes and jewelry and she gave the names of some shops to visit on Saturday. 

West End Garage
This is a co op and it's not all antiques but there were enough for me. There are also original art pieces to buy here so if you are an art collector then you need to check this place out. 

Out of the Past Antiques
Jeremy and I went here Saturday afternoon and this was one of the best shops we visited all weekend. There are so many antiques packed into a small store so you really need to look. I took two laps around the shop so I could see everything. I found a beautiful fox head stole that I had to have. I wore it out of the shop and didn't take it off all weekend. The woman that runs the shop was so nice and we talked for awhile about our love for antiques and vintage. If you're going antique shopping in Cape May you can't miss this shop. 

Antiques Emporia
This shop is across the street from Out of the Past and it's another co op. There is a tea shop at the front of the building and normally I would check out the tea shop but I was on an antique mission. This store had everything from toys to furniture.There were some lovely vintage knick knacks and tons of records but sadly there were no Bobby Darin records to be found in this shop or in any other shop for that matter. This is a shop that you need to walk through slowly to see everything. 

Anyway,after our shopping trip we were hungry. Jeremy and I stopped at a convenience store before we started our trip and we just had a little bag of pizza combos. We wanted sushi so we asked around for the best sushi place and almost everyone said Cape Orient and they were all right, this place was great. There was so much food and it was all so good. We got fried calamari with thai dipping sauce for an appetizer and I got a nice sushi platter. Jeremy got duck which he said was fantastic. 
Sorry for the awful cell phone shot but I wanted to put a photo of my delicious sushi dinner and my 70s paisley sleeve dress. 

From dinner we walked back to Elaine's to get ready for the cocktail party. I wore the gold dress I got from my Mommom. We got ready a little early, the party started at 6pm and we were dressed and downstairs by 5:30pm so we had some time to take photos. 
This is outside of Elaine's next to their beautiful porch. 

This is Jeremy in the sitting room on the second floor. It was so close to our room and we spent a lot of time here. Apart from our room the sitting room was my favorite spot. There were three wall cabinets filled with antiques and a freestanding curio cabinet with antique glassware and china. 

The lamp on the right side of the photo was my favorite. I have tons of photos of it. 

When you enter the sitting room you can see this gorgeous dress

The nail buffer in this cabinet is the exact same one I have, what a coincidence! The one in this case is in much better condition though. 
Another shelf of beautiful antiques. 

 I love this lamp. It looked especially pretty at night. 

After we snapped some pictures we headed down to the party. We met the suspects for the murder mystery and we met the other guests. All the guests were very nice. Jeremy and I had fun meeting new people and we had a lot of fun talking to all the actors. We were given little packets to write all our clues in. Jeremy and I worked as a team, he asked most of the questions and I wrote and looked for conflicting body language. When the party ended we headed back to the room to lay on our beautiful bed and discuss our clues.

Saturday morning we headed downstairs for breakfast. I had a spinach fritatta and a mimosa, it was fantastic. We didn't eat one bad thing the entire weekend, everything we had at Elaine's and at the restaurants we visited was superb. After breakfast we found more clues at the bar.
One of our clues. 

After we collected our clues and talked to our fellow guests about what they might mean Jeremy and I went to look at more antique shops and to get lunch. This time we were armed with an antique shop map of Cape May so finding places was a little easier. We chose to eat at the Ugly Mug. We wanted burgers and fries for lunch so we had to find a place that served veggie burgers. I always give favorable reviews to restaurants that have vegetarian options and if you want a veggie burger then the Ugly Mug is the place for you, their burgers are huge! 
Jeremy as we were leaving Elaine's. I had no idea that we matched that day. We both had on green,brown and black.

At the Ugly Mug

I had a pumpkin martini and it was dessert in a glass!

After lunch we went to some antique shops. We went to Out of the Past antiques and I bought a beautiful fox stole which I will post plenty of photos of later in the post. After shopping we went back to the room to relax and discuss the case. 

Jeremy lounging on the gorgeous bed. See my little foxes at the foot of the bed. We were three episodes in to the Cosby Show when I took this photo. 

We lazed around for about an hour or so and then it was time to get ready for the dinner show and the question and answer period that was set to follow. We were clue hungry so we wanted to get downstairs quick. Again, we were so eager to join the festivities we were ready early so we took some photos to pass the time. 

I wore my foxes to the dinner show. 

Walking downstairs to see a great show. 

 One of the employees at Elaine's took this photo. She told me that she loved when people dressed up for their shows. A lot of the employees were very excited about my vintage clothing. The bartender, Anita, told me on the first night that she couldn't wait to see what I would wear to the dinner show. I had a couple of people ask where I got my clothes from too. A lot of people at Elaine's are very interested in vintage.
 I had to take a photo of our place card. This trip was our first trip as husband and wife, so indulge me a bit.
                            These adorable little crows were the 'Statler and Waldorf' of the show.
The highlight of the show, for me, was seeing Lady Hyde sing "The Lady is a Tramp". I loved her choice of dress. 

After the cast took their curtain call the murder happened. This is what we were waiting for. After all, what is a murder mystery without a murder? There were more clues to collect and then a question and answer period with the cast. 
This was another clue. It was found on the stage after the murder. I snapped a quick shot of it to study back in our room. After we gathered all of our clues we took some photos with the "corpse"

After dinner we went back to the room to work on our theory. We had to have the theory ready for breakfast the next morning but Jeremy and I were so tired we went right to sleep, the theory could wait until morning. 

In the morning, we went out to the sun room and worked for an hour and a half on our theory. We came up with numerous theories and if we had gone with our gut feeling we would have won the murder mystery. We overanalyzed the clues to death and so we came up with a convoluted theory. This is why you should always go with your gut feeling, ladies and gentlemen!

I loved staying at Elaine's! This was the first time Jeremy and I stayed at a bed and breakfast and it's not going to be our last! I had fun wearing some of my vintage evening clothes and I loved the decor of the building! It was if we were transported back into another time, we were in our own little antique bubble. I also loved the abundance of antique shops in Cape May and I hope my suggestions help you, dear readers, locate your own treasures. I found mine at Out of the Past Antiques with my fox head stole. I was pleasantly surprised how well my foxes went over with people. I was expecting many negative reactions but I got a lot of compliments and a lot of people wanted to pet them. So, dear readers, have any of you been to a murder mystery weekend? Do you absolutely love Cape May? Have any thoughts on vintage fur? Don't be afraid to share with me. I will leave you with some more photos of our weekend. 

A painting on the staircase. 

A beautiful dress on the third floor landing. If you look on the chair to the left of the dress you can catch a glimpse of one of our clues. 

I loved this Egyptian door stop on the second floor landing. 

 There were two pictures in the sun room of women from the 1920s. I wanted all of the clothes featured in each photo.

The detail on the night tables on either side of the bed. 
We took this group shot at our Sunday morning breakfast. I'm so happy that we had a great group to stay with. Oh, and yes, I wore my foxes to breakfast. 

When we got home I teased Ginger by putting my foxes on him and it was a mistake. He loved them and slept in them for the rest of the day. I think he thinks that the foxes were his present. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Vintage Treasures

Vintage clothing, accessories and knick knacks are special, and when they're handed down to they are all the more special. To me, this makes vintage way better than anything you can buy new.

I'm sure you can all remember your first vintage piece, wether it was a dress or a scarf or earrings, everyone remembers their first especially if it was a family heirloom.

My first vintage dress was a gold dress that was given to me by my Mommom. She told me it was her New Years Eve dress one year. I wore it on Christmas 2011 and since then I have lived for vintage!
I added a belt, you can see it better in the shot with my sister. 

In 2012, my Mommom gave me another beautiful dress which she said was her favorite. She told me she used to wear it so many times my Poppop told her she had better wear another dress out or people would think she only owned one dress. I wore it for Christmas 2012 

The dress has a full skirt and a beautiful rhinestone accent piece. 

I really wish I had a photos of my Mommom in the dresses but I don't think any exist. I would love to know how she accessorized the dresses and how they looked on her. 

Every antique, every vintage piece has a story and that's why it's so nice to collect them, one can preserve history. An object or a garment is more valuable when the owner hands it down to you and tells you the story and I am so lucky to be the recipient of so many of these things.

So, I want to know your stories! What was your first vintage or antique piece? What piece has the best story or is the most special to you? Don't hesitate to share. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I shopped until I dropped.

Anytime I find a vintage treasure, I am on cloud nine for at least a week. I am so overwhelmed with event the tiniest find that I must share it with everyone for days on end. Most of the time Jeremy and the rest of my family members are the victims of my vintage tirades but now that I have a blog you, dear readers, can hear it too. 

This weekend, my Mommom and I went to the Vineland Women's Club for their bi-annual Antique sale. As soon as we entered the building, I knew that this was the sale for me. I had never seen so many vintage and antique finery in one place. I had to take four laps around the building before I could decide what I wanted to buy. 

Eventually I decided on two dresses a hat and two Christmas ornaments. The two dresses are going to be worn for the holidays so you'll have to wait until then to see them and the ornaments are going up after Thanksgiving. 

I wore the hat when I went out today with my mint colored dress that I bought in June. (The dresses from this post)

 I usually don't wear hats and I usually don't wear my hair up but when you wear a vintage hat you need to do your hair to match. It was a blustery day today do I had to hold on to my hat.

This mint colored dress is made of a heavy wool and is fully lined which makes it a nice choice for a windy day
A vintage dress needs a vintage hair do to go along with it. I'm getting a little better at styling my hair but I still have a lot of work to do. 

 I rescued these beautiful brown and gold shoes from the far corners of my Mommom's attic. They're great to wear for everyday outfits since they're so comfortable.

Here is a close up shot of my new hat. I love the pearl details on the side, they make it special. The handbag was from a yard sale I went to while on vacation in June. 

What do you think of my 50's inspired ensemble?