Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Giveaway to Celebrate Where it All Began!

I cannot believe it has almost been a year since my first pinup photo shoot! The shoot that began it all for me, helped me realize I needed to express myself, and also reminded me how much I have always loved the past.

I have two big giveaways coming this summer-first will be this one which is to celebrate the first shoot that I did back on June 10th, 2011. The second will be to celebrate my first complete year blogging-that will be posted in early July.

The winner will receive a brand new DVD copy of My Week With Marilyn. It will be announced on June 10th-the one year anniversary of my first pinup shoot!

You can read about my first shoot here

Please read the instructions carefully:

1. Follow my blog and comment below that you are following. If you are already a follower, just simply comment below. That's ONE chance!

2. Friend me on my Facebook page and comment below that you have. That's TWO chances!

3. Post about this giveaway on your blog and comment below that you have. That's THREE chances!

Please comment separately each time-they will be counted as separate entries.

The winner will be chosen the same way I have in the past giveaways--your names will be placed in a jar and chosen by hand-the old fashioned way. *smile*

This giveaway is open to everyone! So join in the fun and help me celebrate a special moment that changed my life for the better!  

Good luck!!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Remembering WWII

"The Kissing Couple" in Times Square in New York City.
Greta Zimmer Friedman and George Mendonsa

Today is a day of remembrance to all those who fought for freedom. On a personal note, I remember my grandfather, Nelson Rodriguez Sr. who fought bravely in France, my beloved neighbor John Kelley who fought in the Pacific, and also my Uncle, Nelson Seda who fought in the Pacific as well during WWII.

To all those who carried a weapon, who wiped the foreheads of those injured, who did blood drives and metal drives, who wrote letters to our servicemen and women.....who simply did their part to ensure that we could be free. Especially to all those who sacrificed during World War II-without them our entire existence would be completely different and most likely a very scary place to be in.

Here is a compilation of a few photos, some iconic, from WWII:

February 19. 1945~Raising the flag on the beach of Iwo Jima

St. Paul's Cathedral in December 1940

Hawaiian, Luemon Kiyama embraces his son, Sgt. Howard Kiyama, 
after he returns home from the war

Stacks of newspapers during the end of the war

The result of the Atomic Bomb~August 8th, 1945

WWII Nurses

The Sullivan Brothers~Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison,
and George Sullivan. A mother lost all five of her sons in one 
day. Because of this and also many other siblings who died with
the Sullivans the US Government adopted the Sole Survivor Policy

So I simply say Thank You and that I promise that I will never forget.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Gidget

"Gidget" (1959)

The word Gidget is a blend of the word "girl" and "midget", basically referring to a young girl. The novelist Frederick Kohner first had his story about Gidget published in 1957. Afterwards, it was spawned into three films and in 1965 became a television series starring a very young Sally Field

Kohner based his "Gidget" stories on his daughter's own experiences surfing and often included her own personal stories within his novels. He later nicknamed her "Gidget".

Gidget stars Sandra Dee in the title role, Cliff Robertson as "The Big Kahuna", and James Darren as "Moondoggie". Darren is the only surviving member of the main characters of this film. 

The end scenes from the film "Gidget"

The story begins with seventeen year old Gidget feeling the pressure from her friends to go man hunting. She meets Moondoggie but he has no interest in her and she ends up finding surfing more appealing than man hunting. She befriends the surfer boys led by The Big Kahuna and starts to fall in love with Moondoggie. She attempts to make him jealous but it backfires on her. Eventually she gets grounded by her parents for the rest of the summer and they tell her she is to go out with a young man named "Jeffery Matthews" who ends up being Moondoggie himself.

Sandra Dee played Gidget with spunk, innocence, passion, and charm. Dee became a household name in the 1950's and 1960's especially after she married Bobby Darin. She became an icon because of her girlish sweetness that she will be forever remembered in the song from Grease called "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" sung by Rizzo. 

"Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" from Grease (1978)


Just the way you are....

Add weight and add on sex appeal!
Vintage ads ROCK!

Throughout history the image of woman has changed. At times a plump woman was seen as attractive and other times a woman with a boyish figure was see as attractive. Today, I feel as though the image of women is distorted and very confusing. Perhaps its the fault of the porn industry run by men who view only blond and busty women as attractive. Of perhaps it was women themselves who bought into the fantasies of men and desired to make those fantasies a reality.

Honestly, I know men. I was raised by one and I have an older brother. My husband is a man (duh) and one of my best friends is one. And now I am the mother of two sons. So yes, most men like to see a fit women but most don't like just one type of woman. Most men like women of all sizes, obviously preferring one over the other but at the end of the day most men enjoy a women who is confidant and who takes care of herself no matter her size.

We are all shapes and sizes....

So is it women themselves that create these insane and unlivable expectations? Look-when you get older your body CHANGES. When you have a child, your body CHANGES. These are two things that women cannot really stop. Oh boy have they tried but in reality a women's body IS going to change. You are going to get bigger hips, you will loss and gain weight at different times, your skin will change, your hair will too. 

Pregnancy is NO joke! It is a huge undertaking. You feed and help grow a HUMAN BEING for nine months and then that human comes out into the world. And NO you will NOT have a flat belly afterwards because for a while your uterus has to go down to normal size and all the skin that stretched for that baby to grow has to go down as well. Some women bounce back better than others and that also depends on age, how much they gained during pregnancy, and the kind of pregnancy they had. 

Preggie and chic~ullamaaria

If a women is bearing multiple children or having a pregnancy every year or so it will be more difficult to bounce back. But here's the thing-once you're pregnant your shape will alter so why pressure yourself to "bounce" back? Instead of putting that pressure on yourself why not figure out how you can continue to be healthy for yourself and your family. If you loose the weight or not-get healthy and get happy.

Today, my friend Jennifer from I know, right? who was a guest blogger on a blog called Amber's Mouthwash wrote a post that just hit home to me. Lately I have been battling some negative thoughts creeping into my head. The past five years have been life changing for me in every way because I became a mother in 2007. Not only that but in four years time I became a mother of three! Then to top it off I am not in my twenties. So all of that rolled into one-although I have been modeling to express my beauty and learn to embrace all of these changes, sometimes I just shake my head and ask myself, "where am I in the midst of all these changes?" 

A photo of me, as I am.

I don't want to bounce back-I just want to continue to be best ME I can and that's that. Why can't the world at large see all the beauty that is woman and not try to destroy that beauty? Why can't women be happy for each other? Why can't women uplift other women and not tear them down?

Now here is what I ask of  you. Take a moment and ask yourself are you healthy and happy? If so, encourage others to do so and cheer them on. If not, find ways to achieve that goal in a healthy manner. The pressures that are placed on women I think are placed by other women and if we took out the time to celebrate ourselves perhaps we will be able to celebrate others.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marilyn Monroe in Vanity Fair

June 2012 Issue

I couldn't resist it when I saw MM (aka Marilyn Monroe) on the cover of the latest issue of Vanity Fair Magazine. And after reading the article I can happily announce that the magazine was defiantly worth every penny! 

The article covers the outtakes from her last on-set photo shoot while filming Somethings Got to Give. I cannot believe it will be 50 years (August 5th) that she has been gone. She would have been 86 years old and I am sure still a looker in a own right.

My only disappointment in the article was that there didn't seem to be any photos I haven't seen before and well they basically advertised it as "never before seen photos of Marilyn Monroe". Unfortunately, I am sure it was a ploy to get people's attention and buy the magazine. But lucky for them the writing was fantastic and the story was utterly captivating. It was written by Lawrence Schiller and included his own photos that he took of her on the set. 

What blew me away was the very last paragraphs and his understanding of what he thinks happened to Marilyn which I found refreshing that someone put it out there finally!!!! 

According to Schiller who has recently put together a beautiful book of his work with Marilyn called, Marilyn & Me: A Photographer's Memories, she wanted to be known to be more than a beautiful naked body and she wanted to be able to compete with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor. She seemed to want more for herself and more from her life although she also seemed to sleep with dangerous men. Frank Sinatra, JFK, and RFK to name a few during the last months of her life. All the while she was rekindling her relationship with her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio.

I know that humans find death both terrifying and fascinating especially when its a beautiful person, young person, or a tragic form of dying occurs. But I have to be honest with you-I wish the media would stop focusing on her "mysterious" death and focus more on the beautiful things she left behind.


PS If you read the article let me know what you think! Would love to hear your thoughts!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

There's a snake in my boot!

Today is my eldest son's third birthday! Yesterday we had a little party for him with some friends and family. He just loved seeing Woody and Buzz everywhere and had a blast. My son is so easy to please and played until he fell asleep around 3 in the afternoon.

I tried to work within a smaller budget this time around and I usually do some crafty things for my children's parties or any party but I have caught two colds since coming back from my trip and lately been feeling a bit tuckered out. 

But I made it as special as possible for my baby boy! We played pin the tail on Bullseye and then turned on a bubble machine in our backyard. He stuffed his face with fruit and the his favorite-Pizza.  It made us so happy to see him having such a good time. 

Here's a photo of my lil birthday boy with my dad. Today I asked  him if he loved his party and his birthday and he told me "Yes, yes mama I love birthday-thank you!" 

I fell madly in love with this brown eyed boy that the nurses placed in my arms. Everyday I fall more and more in crazy love with him. He taught me that its possible to love more than one child. And he opened my heart in so many ways and  I will forever be grateful. He makes me so happy to be his mama. 

Happy Birthday Papi!!! 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Suitcase full of treasures

Almost five years my father promised that he would find my baby suitcase and give it to me. Well, my dad just like most men needed a few years of reminding and prodding and finally this past week my dad brought it to my home!!

The suitcase is filled to the brim with baby clothes and goodies that I cannot believe I wore! 

My jaw dropped with I saw this outfit! Can we say future pinup! 
Its screaming 1940's...ahhh I love it! It also has a plastic lining 
where the diaper would be-so neat!

These are typical spanish cotton tops that most latinos would put 
on their babies. Even the tags are in spanish-love it!

My baby piggy bank that I think is filled with crayons 
somehow and my baby sippy cup. Inside the suitcase 
was also my first utensils.

Where I laid my curly haired baby head. 
Felt so comfy...I need one in adult size now!!! Hehehe

The best part of all is this is knowing my mother took the time to save and pack away all of these items that her baby girl wore. To know that she thought carefully of which pieces to save-even the ones with food stains on them. Also, what really hit me was how much my mother and I are similar.

I, too have bins for my children's memory clothes. Each baby has a bin of clothes that they wore as a newborn and outfits that mean something to me. Each baby has a memory book that I have added photos to and written down information-just like my mother did for us. Each baby also has scrapbooks but ekkkk I am sooo behind on those--bad mama! I need to get back on track with them asap!

But I like knowing we have something like that in common. I also like knowing that how my parents felt about me, I feel about my children. The freaky part is, is that I was their baby...just like mine are my babies. But now I am all grown up. Or am I? Perhaps I will always be that little black haired baby girl they cradled and kissed and loved. Makes me feel incredibly blessed to have been wanted and loved that way. It only reminds me to keep doing that for my children and also to find ways to become an advocate for those children who aren't wanted, because every child deserves a suitcase full of devotion, adoration, and unconditional love.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Vintage Wardrobe: Train Case Show and Tell

About two months ago I began a series called My Vintage Wardrobe in order to help me learn and understand more of what I want to get out of the wardrobe I am creating as well as to share with you the progress I have made with it :)

So here is a little glimpse into what kind of collection I have been working on when it comes to vintage jewelry. I am focusing more on owning original 1940's pieces as well as pieces specifically from when WWII was happening.

On Mother's Day I took some time out for myself and cleaned and organized my bedroom a bit more. My husband gifted me with this great train case that I really needed because my accessories were all over the place. It's not good when you have small children but its also not good because you want to preserve your items, not allow them to get lost or damaged in anyway. So I simplified the top of my dresser and added the train case as the main portion so that it will be easily accessible to me. The mini baskets on top of it contain my scarves :)

This train case is in awesome shape! It has the original mirror, a tray, four side pockets, and a key so I can lock it up away from little fingers hehehe I put two photos that I purchased at the Antique Mall with Brittany on my trip. One is of Maria Montez, a Dominican (latina) actress from the 1940's and the other of a regular couple...I find them inspiring. The tray contains my earrings, necklaces, brooches, and a few modern pieces that I wear everyday like my wedding ring and watch.

Under the tray I am storing my snoods, flowers, makeup, bracelets, mirror, and other various items.

These are some of my favorite brooches so far. The top right is my WWII "Dice" brooch, the heart Mother brooch was a giftie from my friend Brittany for Mother's Day ( I LOVE IT!), and below it is a Mother brooch given to me by my sister in law. In the middle is a western inspired brooch with the original card given to me by my SIL, a "D" Lucite brooch made by Brittany--I would have included the "B" brooch Brittany gave to me but I think I left it in MO. Also, there is a 1940's deer with a working bell, a 1930's guitar brooch, a Spanish guitar brooch, and lastly the arch of St. Louis that I bought on my trip.

My first pieces of Bakelite gifted to me by Brittany. I won't be able to start investing in more Bakelite until I have a completed my vintage wardrobe on some level. But I am aware that it is a staple for every 1940's gal.

These earrings were purchased at the Antique Mall in Mo. So sorry the photo isn't better. I had to use flash since I took it late at night. But I scored some 1940's fruit inspired earrings, four pairs of red earrings, a turquoise round pair, and a pair of card earrings.

I love these two pieces to bits! Authentic WWII time period "V" for Victory brooch and a 1940's airplane hair clip. I found these pieces on good 'ole Etsy!

Lastly, here are my bracelets. I don't have a lot but I am slowly building my collection. Most pieces are from Etsy, the three in the above photo were purchased in the Antique Mall in MO, and the beaded bracelets were purchased in Claire's accessories for a dollar a piece.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour into my train case. I am so happy to be able to organize everything and have a clearer idea of what pieces I need to be looking for. Jewelry is so much fun. I forgot how much fun they can be!!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Why I model...

Photag/Muah: Brittany Sherman

I haven't been online much this week because my computer wasn't getting good Internet connection but so far so good, I think it's a lot better now. Yeah!

So last week while I was walking to go pick up my daughter from school a thought hit me. I realized that perhaps some of you don't really know why I have been modeling. I thought I shared my whys but then the next day I got a reply on one of my posts asking me and so I decided I will defiantly share with you my full reasons of why I am modeling. I won't hold anything back and tell you really all the reasons why.

First, let me answer my readers question-No, I don't model at all for my husband. My husband thinks I am beautiful all the time so this isn't about showing him more of my beauty or to make him happy. He is supportive of all of it and is just cheering me on like the rest of my loved ones are. Thanks for asking!*smile*

The main reason why I decided to do this was a few months after the birth of my third child I just felt out of sorts, very hormonal, and very disconnected with myself and who I was. I always wanted to do some sort of shoot and then I saw an ad for Bettina May's Pinup Shoot and I signed on. That was in June 2011 and I loved every minute of it! It also helped bring me to blogging and on this incredible vintage journey that I am on.

Photag/Muah: Bettina May

The main reason I have now is honestly I feel like there has always been two parts of me. The physical part which is my human body and then part that's ME...really ME. The inside part. Now I am not going to get mystical or religious and it may sound weird but I have always felt this way. Maybe the combination of my disability and my mother's passing played a part in how I feel but I always felt that the part inside of me was so much brighter and more beautiful than the outside part.

I am not saying I don't think I am beautiful because I know I am. Just saying that the part that is ME is so much more beautiful and I am now using the art of modeling to find a way to get that part of myself to shine out more. Not hide it but to bring it forth and let all of that beauty that is in me come out. I don't know if I have truly captured through photos just yet all that is me but I am getting there. 

I also model because I want to celebrate this post-babies body. Yes, I have a post-babies belly. My last child was all belly so I knew I would have extra skin afterwards. Honestly it does annoy me sometimes but most of the time I feel proud-kind of like a war wound. Kind of like the scars on my feet after all my surgeries. But this time three amazing people came from my body and when I look at my belly I am okay with it. Not happy with it but okay with it because it was a small sacrifice for what I got to have in the end. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! I loved being pregnant and I love being a mommy more than anything in this entire world.

Photag: ReverieRevel
Muah: Brittany Sherman

Lastly, I model because I want to celebrate the art and beauty of times gone by. It makes me proud to do so and I love playing dress-up. Its something I never really got to do since my mother passed on when I was so little. I get to do it now and I feel so amazing!!

Modeling has given me a little or rather bit surprise. It has helped me begin to embrace my disability and my leg braces more. I did a shoot with Kay Murray in MO with them on and never felt so beautiful. I plan to do more!

So there you have it. My true and totally honest reasons why I am modeling. I hope you all can understand why I do it. And thank you for reading my ramblings :)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last day in Missouri!

This post is all about my last full day with Brittany in Missouri. We were SO exhausted after shooting all day Saturday that we decided to take it easy on Sunday. We went into the historic part of St. Charles and boy was it pretty! We ate a beautiful brunch/lunch together and then walked around a bit. I told Brittany I felt like I was walking through her blog! We had some fun modeling around the area and then we bought some goodies at a chocolate shop. Chocolate dipped animal crackers rock! That's all I have to say about that hehehe

I was wearing an authentic 1940's hat that belonged to Brittany and it was my very first time wearing one! I was also wore a thrifted blouse and cardigan and my black trousers from Time Machine Vintage as well as my "Dice" WWII brooch. I treasure it! I get conflicting reports on what it means but its defiantly a slang word used during that time. Its my first piece of authentic WWII jewelry and I plan on building that collection...little by little *smile*

Afterwards we made our way to the WWII event at Jefferson Barracks. We actually made a wrong turn into the cemetery that ended up being the right turn for us. I never thought I would ever have the chance to see this type of cemetery let alone pay my respects to all of these fallen and lost heroes. There were people from WWI on to our current situation in the Middle East. There were wives and husbands and sometimes their children. To my shock there were many Unknown graves...that truly broke my heart.

It was a powerful and moving experience for all of us. I will never forget it. Unfortunately, the WWII event ended early because of the weather but we met a nice fellow dressed in a German uniform and we chatted up a bit. We also took some photos a tank which was beyond cool. Only thing I didn't like was all that dare mud...ekkkkk!!

When all the fun ended we headed back home and I finished packing and getting ready for my flight early the next day. I can honestly say I had the time of my life. I am so happy and proud to have a friend like Brittany in my life. And I SO look forward to future trips where are families came combine and have fun together just like we did. I didn't know that at my age I would still need friendships, but diving into the vintage world while it has given me great joy and an opportunity to be creative has also reminded me to continue to be open to what the world has to give me. One of those now being Brittany and her amazing family.

We spent the rest of the night watching a 1960's theme film called "Down with Love" which I am dying to see how it ends. Our eyes were beginning to hurt so we decided to finally go to sleep early (almost midnight lol)! 

My hubby and I are hoping that Brittany and her family can make it to the Big Apple one day. I mean we have to continue our adventures....right??

Thank you again to Brittany and her family for the help, kindness, and friendship that was given to me during those days. Thank you to little Olivia and Rhys for being the best babies ever! Thank you to my supporters who helped me make this trip possible-especially my beyond amazing husband, my father, and my bff Nick. And to you my readers, for always being so kind and sweet to me!!

I am a better person for having gone and yes ladies and gentlemen....I can now call myself a Vintage Model....a 1940's gal....and there is so much more to come! This journey has been outstanding!!!


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