Category Archives: Real Life : Alix

The Midcentury Supper Club Goes BBQ

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You know those vintage cookbooks we all love? With the crazy photos and elaborate creations? Well my friends and I have a habit of trying to recreate those dishes….and the results? Sometimes AMAZINGLY delicious! Sometimes…..wellll, a little scary! But always, always interesting!

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You might remember last December when I posted about our fabulous friend Karen’s legendary annual Midcentury Potluck! It was a Christmas party to end all Christmas parties, with a treats like a savory gingerbread house, a Liberace jello mold and even a meatloaf Santa! (if you’d like to see, and you know you do, pop over here!) She had the brilliant idea that the Dames (our lil sassy supper club) throw a Midcentury BBQ—and we KNEW we had the makings for a great shindig.

We found an amazing locale and then spread the word….browse your vintage cookbooks and magazines for recipes and then get to work! I was on the hunt for something summery and fun. And then I remembered this:

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Oh yes…..the giant pineapple shaped cheeseball!!!! Two pounds of cheddar later (and other secret ingredients), I had molded myself a winner! VOILA!

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Next up, a festive outfit to match my pineapple dreams:

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And off to the BBQ we went! OH MY WORD….talk about a colorful and fun afternoon! The dishes were all soooooo awesome, and amazingly many tasted REALLY GREAT! Here, take a gander:

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(this was a baked bean jello mold which looked a tad frightening, but was dang tasty!)

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My pineapple cheeseball was a smash success! I was so relieved it tasted pretty yummy….

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There was an amazing assortment of savory and sweet dishes….everyone dressed up, and lot of people just bought fun vintage decor to spruce up the place!

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Meet your hostesses, The Dames!

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This cute little girl and her folks happened to bring the side garnish appetizer to my pineapple (you can see it in the cook book photo below on the left) so she was super excited to see the pineapple was already there!

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The kids were so cute, running around playing horseshoes and tryng their hand at limbo (that’s Wolfie in the faux ‘coon skin cap below). And yeah, of course there was the requisite iPad/3DS break…..hey, they’re all just regular kiddos who are amused/bemused by their kooky parents!

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All in all it was a most wonderful day! Have you ever made anything from a vintage cookbook? Was it awesome or awesomely awful?? Either way, I’d love to hear about it!

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This Time Last Year // TIKI OASIS!

Every August our good friend’s Doe & Otto throw a big ol Tiki-Tastic Bash called Tiki Oasis. If you’re a long time reader, then you’ve seen the posts we’ve done on it over the past years (check some of them out here and here!). Basically it’s a super fun weekender in San Diego that celebrates 50s/60s tiki and exotica culture—the music, the art, the drinks and of course, the fashion! We take over the entire hotel and there is literally something for everyone: poolside lounging, super interesting historical symposiums, lots of vintage shopping, tiki carving, live music and big room parties at night for the more lively set.

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Every year there is a new theme, like South of the Boarder, Tiki-a-Go-Go and last year’s awesome “Exotic Espionage”! In addition to the usual amazing Aloha Wear, there were some FAB spy ensembles in the evening—I went for a villainous Bond girl (ok fine, I wore a vintage dress with an eye patch….what can I say? It was HOT down there and I couldn’t do a trench coat!).
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{mini update: Wolfie has kindly reminded me that I was also wearing my cool SPY PHONE PURSE! It’s a purse from the early 70s that actually is a functioning phone, if you plug it into the wall. Crazy!}

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The kid’s love Tiki Oasis. Wolfie is an old pro—he’s been to four of them already! Our favorite thing is to swim while all the cool DJs spin cool old tunes poolside. It’s like your own retro movie soundtrack!

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Little Miss Peach went to her first Tiki Oasis last year and loved it!

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Dottie even made her a super cool pineapple princess tiki hat!

There are always so many great vintage tiki ensembles and patterns and colors—it’s a treat for the senses!

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I have it on good authority that Miss Peach is not very fond of wearing dresses these days….unless they are hawaiian!! Haha. I love it. That’s our girl!

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I loved this vinage Magnum P.I. shirt I found for Wolfie—although I have to confess  that initially he balked at wearing it and said, “What? WHO is THIS guy?? I’m not wearing this shirt!!!” I explained he was a private detective who loved Hawaii and that it kind of fit the theme. One bagel bribe later and he was sold….

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Alas, I’ll be missing out on the Tiki Oasis fun this year, but Dottie will be heading down this week and I know she’ll do it up in style!! Be sure to follow along on her instagram @missdottie to check out all the tiki-riffic hi jinx! OH, and the theme this year? HULA-BILLY! (rock-a-billy goes tiki!)

Real Life // A Trip to the County Fair

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Chocolate dip swirly cones….the Tilt-O-Whirl….sno-cones…corn dogs…frozen lemonade….that crazy game where you shoot water into the clown’s mouth and try to pop your balloon first to win a prize…I LOVE a good County Fair! We went to ours a few weeks ago (Weird Al was playing! Whoo hoo!) and man did we have fun. I’m not as into the “Everything Fried!” food stalls (although I was intrigued by the “Fried Nutella”) and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of wild rides. But there is just something so fun about the lights, sounds and tasty smells of BBQ and sweet treats that just makes me happy.

This year was especially sweet because we were able to really watch Wolfie blossom. Like I said, I looooove a good merry-go-round but I’m too chicken to try rollercoaster/crazy rides. Greg is a daredevil and will try anything. And my little Wolf? Welllll, typically, he tends to be like his mama….not very wild at heart when it comes to rides. He’s cautious. A little nervous when it comes to anything potentially scary. But for some reason this time he was really pushing himself. He was riding things he normally refused to, going on some rides all by himself—and even trying to make things spin faster or raising his arms up (where he usually clung to the safety bar).  It was such a sweet sweet thing to watch and made me have an even better time than ever before!

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How about you guys? Have you been to the County Fair this summer?? Are your kids thrill seekers or a little more on the cautious side?? I’m still too nervous to ride the ferris wheel….but for now, I’m just happy to admire it from afar.


15 Characters that Inspired Me // Alix Edition

Awhile back there was a Meme going around called “15 Characters.” I don’t usually participate in them, but I really liked this one. Here’s the deal, you pick the fifteen fictional characters (television, films, books, plays) who’ve influenced you the most—you know, the ones that will always stick with you. Don’t take too long to think about it! Just write ’em down. It’s pretty cool to see all your characters lined up together—and fun to see what characters your friends were influenced by! SOOOoooo let’s play a little game shall we? I’ll tell you my 15 and you tell me yours! Here are mine. I have to warn you, my picks are not very high-brow….but they’re all very “me”. Let’s go!

1. Nancy Drew, Mystery of the Secret Clock.

When I was in second grade I discovered Nancy Drew, girl detective. I would go to our public library and walk away with stacks of her books. I’ve always loved mysteries and Nancy really started it all.

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2. Claudia Kincaid, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Another book from my childhood and one I adore. The heroine, young Claudia, decides to run away from home because she doesn’t think her parents appreciate her. She and her younger brother Jamie sneak into the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where they “live”  for several weeks. How cool is that?? It’s also a mystery story and I loooooved Claudia’s spunk and tenaciousness.

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3. Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz.

I don’t think I even need to go into detail here. The braids. The sparkling shoes. The dog. One of my all time favorite movies. Ever.

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4. Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind.

Did you know that Gone With the Wind was released the same year as The Wizard of Oz? WHAT a year for movies. I looooooved the book. And I loooooved the movie.  I was obsessed with Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara. She was brilliant—so gorgeously perfect. Scarlett as a character was amazing: feisty, fabulous and most definitely a fighter. AND she did it all in a hoop skirt.

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5. Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman.

When I was a little girl in the 1970s almost all the famous ladies were blondes. But not Wonder Woman. She had magic powers. She drove an invisible plane. She defeated all the bad guys. AND she was a brunette!! What’s not to love?? I thought she was THE COOLEST. I think my love of accessories was learned from her.

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6. Princess Leia, Star Wars.

Oh Leia, Leia, Leia. Sorry Cinderella and Jasmine….THIS is the Princess for me. I loved her wit. I loved her sass. And she could tote a laser with the best of ’em. “Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way??” Sorry Chewie….When I saw Star Wars back in the day as a little kiddo I was blown away. And Leia rocked my world. She was the first bas ass princess I’d ever seen and I was hooked.

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7. Helen Keller, The Miracle Worker.

I know she’s a real life person….but in fourth grade I read a biography on Helen was very affected by it. Later on in high school I was part of a really amazing production of The Miracle Worker (as Annie Sullivan) and again I was profoundly affected by the power of Helen’s positive spirit.

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8. Samantha Baker, Sixteen Candles.

I love all the John Hughes films and it was a toss up between Sixteen Candles and the Breakfast Club for me to add to this list. But as far as characters go, I really loved Samantha Baker. She was such a great “every teen” … funny, snarky, quirky, normal. AND she gets the guy. To this day I think Jake Ryan is quite possibly one of the hottest guy characters in any teen movie.
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9. Sandy, Grease. 

OK. I have to admit. I was kind of a Little Mary Sunshine in high school. Not in a cloying, goody-goody way. But I def wasn’t a rebel….so it should come as no surprise that I thought Sandy was adorable. Sweet, loyal, wide-eyed. I totally loved her transformation to slightly-slutty sex pot at the end (hey, even goody goody’s like to vamp it up some time too, right??).

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10. Maria, The Sound of Music.

Optimistic! Silly! Kind! Nobody has a joie de vivre like Maria von Trapp. Just think if SHE had a blog (“The other day the kids and I did a marionette show! It was fantastic. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my tutorial on How To Make Play Clothes Out of Curtains!”). Nobody solves a problem like Maria and nobody sings with more joy. I so love this movie….my mother loves it too and we always watched it together. This movie will always hold a special place in my heart!

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11. Indiana Jones, Raider’s of the Lost Ark.

OK, I totally had a crush on this swash bucklin’ hero BUT I also loved his spirit….he was brave but he wasn’t super human. (“Snakes….why did it have to be snakes??”) Indy was handsome but smart and had a great sense of humor…..I swear he’s why I decided to become an Anthropology major.

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12. Ripley, Aliens.

Strong. Bad ass. With a mama gorilla mother-instinct. Yup. I love Ripley. I’d like to point out this is another of my mom’s favorite movies. My mom rules.

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13. Miette, City of Lost Children.

This lush dark French movie is fantastic….I really love spacey futuristic stories and this one is like a twisted fairytale. At the center of it is a young orphan girl named Miette who leads a gang of street children. She is like an iron doe….wide-eyed and sweet yet totally a fighter. I used to wear stripey shirts and jumper dresses….I have brown curly hair and a beauty mark on the left side of my chin. I saw this movie and thought, “It’s me!!!!” (Well, if I was a reeeeeeeeeallly pretty orphan  girland lived in a futuristic land taken over by an evil guy who is trying to rob children of their dreaam…, you know, kinda close.) Rent it. It’s amazing.

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14. Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City.

This seems a tad frivolous, but you know what? I can’t lie. I loved Miss Carrie. I’ve always loved fashion but I was never the “sexy” one. Or the “put together” one. I was the bright/crazy/colorful/somewhat impractical one. And Carrie spoke to me.  I loved seeing Carrie week after week….with her girls, looking fabulous, living it up. She was witty, smart, stylish. She was a writer and career girl. It sounds cliche, but she really made it cool to be single and fabulous and in yer 30s. AND she made it cool to have CURLY HAIR! Whoo hoo!

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15. Amélie, Amélie.

I have always been a “glass half full” kinda gal. When life hands me lemons, I make strawberry lemonade. Or add vodka and make a cocktail. Ahem. So it should come as no surprise that my last inspiration is Amélie Poulain. This is another movie that left me dancing out of the movie theater. Amélie is a pixie of a girl who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better. The movie is a celebration of life, with optimistic Amélie reminding us of the small wonders that fill the world around us — if we’d only slow down to take them all in.

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So there you have it. It was actually really hard to pick only 15. I kept thinking of more (Mary Poppins! Hermione & Harry Potter! Eliza Dolittle!) but these are my 15 and I’m stickin’ with ’em. OK, your turn! What are your 15 Favorite Characters?? They can be recent, from childhood. Whatever! Just list ’em in the comments below. And if you’re feeling more ambitious, post it on your blog with pix and then link in the comments below! Stay tuned for Dottie’s Top 15 picks later this afternoon. She has some wonderful ones!