Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Martini Time

Its Friday, we've survived the week and its time for cocktails.

In the spirit of my postings about Mad Men and its strong style influences, I thought we should consider cocktails from that era: Martinis.

From a 1956
Professional Mixing Guide, here is a "Classic" (Dry) Martini:

2/3 Dry Gin
1/3 Dry Vermouth
Stir in cracked ice, strain into a cocktail glass dressed with olive or pearl onions.
Twist lemon peel over top.

If Gin isn't your spirit of choice, perhaps you prefer rum. Here is a recipe from the same 1956
Professional Mixing Guide for a fun-sounding drink called Between-the-Sheets:

1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. Puerto Rican or Cuban Rum (Gold Label)
1/2 oz. Triple sec
1/2 oz. Brandy
Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Everything you see featured here is available at under the Mad Men category or at

Enjoy your cocktails. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beauty - As Seen From 10-Year-Old's Eye.

Today I downloaded a bunch of photos from my daughter's camera. There were many silly ones with girls wearing different hats, there were several blurry close-ups of someone's nostril (yuck) and many blurry dark shots obviously taken with no flash.

But there were also a few really great shots of her brother hanging out in a tree, a darling shot she took of her dad and her brother before they went into the tent on a backyard camping adventure and then these.....

We think of our kids as "kids", who really only worry about candy, fun, friends and trivial things. It is really heartwarming to know that sometimes they can see more broadly and see the beauty in their world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Creativity Revisted

Creativity. As you know, this is a trait that I highly value; I admire it in others and I strive for it in myself. I think about it alot and recognize and comment on it when I see it. I write about it often.

Sometimes creativity can be well thought out like a perfect advertising campaign. Other times it can be spontaneous like when a fabulous comedian shoots down a heckler right there on the spot.

Well we had some spontaneous creativity last weekend. My daughter's 11th birthday slumber party really didn't have a theme. The homemade invites had multi-colored squiggly lines and crazy designs. We weren't totally sure of the activities, but one thing we knew for sure was that we were going to have an after dark silly string fight. So the only thing left was to come with a birthday cake to go along with the ill-defined theme.

At the back of the cupboard I found a cake mold that makes cakes in the shape of a sphere. So I figured we would start with this unique cake shape. We would use white frosting and then perhaps make "paint squiggles" and "paint splatters" out of cookie decorating gel and then throw some confetti-like sprinkles. Maybe we could top it off with some crazy squiggly candles. I guess we were sort of going for a 1980s HAPPY BOMB.

So once the cake was baked, I asked my (super talented) husband to frost the cake and take over the creative work. As he began working, my kids heard that "dad was frosting the cake" and came running to have the chance to lick the spatula. As he frosted, it began to take on the appearance of a bandaged head.....something like a mummy! So while he worked we called it the mummy cake. Once it was frosted, my husband asked the birthday girl what to do next and she said to "put eyes on the mummy". After the eyes were put on the cake, my husband took creative direction from the birthday girl. We ended up with a 1980's Punk Mummy!

Definitely creative!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mad Men Part 2

What is all the fuss about? I blogged earlier this week, wondering what all the fuss was about for the hit show Mad Men on AMC. Was it great writing? Was it great acting? Was it thought-provoking plots? Was it great characters? Was it sex appeal? Was it the historically accurate style and fashions of the early 1960s?

As I said last blog, I think all of these factors

contribute to the growing success of the show. But again, I think people are finding the styles of the era alluring and fun to revisit, as they are historically accurately portrayed in this show. The style of the time was very distinctive both at home and in the workplace.

This era's home interiors decorating style was characterized by dark woods, streamlined furniture, large sculptural lamps with artistic shades, decorative accessories and art pottery, kitchen accessories intended to "dress-up" the kitchen, and cocktail and smoking accessories.

I have to admit, I never thought that the kitschy-ist home wares of the 1960s would ever be fashionable again. Thanks to Mad Men's power and sex appeal, many home fashions from this era are making a comeback.

Equally as interesting is how the decorating style of the era influence office decor as well. Here you would also see the dark woods, streamlined furniture and large sculptural lamps with decorative shades. You would also see lots of goose neck lamps and use of lots of metals. Industrial design, which started circa the 1920s, had now reached a frenzied crescendo and a new sense of office chic ruled. All things utilitarian in the office had a design sensibility to them from staplers to typewriters to phones to rubber stamp holders to mail carts and the list goes on.

You too can get the look for your home…..

Many of the looks can be found at, specialty online shops like and others, ebay, estate sales, garage sales, junk stores, and the Goodwill.

Table lighters and smoking accessories

Rotary dial phones

Bars and bar ware

You too can get the look for your office…..

Again, many of the looks can be found at, specialty online shops like and others, ebay, estate sales, garage sales, junk stores, and the Goodwill.

Office equipment

Break room accessories

Bar accessories

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the style of Mad Men. It is a fun style trend that is easily accessible and definately affordable...happy shopping! I will highlight more items of the era in the coming they say in the business.....STAY TUNED!

Mad Men Part 1- Fashion Flurry

Mad Men This! Mad Men That!

What is all the fuss about? I wondered what all the fuss was about for the hit show Mad Men on AMC. Was it great writing? Was it great acting? Was it thought-provoking plots? Was it great characters? Was it sex appeal? Was it the historically accurate style and fashions of the early 1960s?

Well the continued and increasing success of the show, as well as the growing cult-like following can be attributed to all of these characteristics. But the one characteristic that stands out above all others: the historically-accurate style and fashions.

There is a huge flurry of activity and energy spent on watching and emulating the styles and fashions of the early 1960s. People across the country gather and have viewing parties where they dress in fashions of the period and drink the fashionable cocktails of the day as they watch the show. Mad Men's season premiere for the 3rd season will air Sunday, September 20, 2009. Surely there will be a frenzy as people anticipate the show.

Well there is much to be said for the men’s fashions of this time and how they are portrayed on this show. But I am going to focus on the ladies fashions.The styles from this time had much diversity so many different body types and personalities could be fashionable during this time. There are three main female characters that people really enjoy trying to emulate. Joan Holloway, Peggy Olson, and Betty Draper.

Joan Holloway - Bombshell.

Her signature style features lots of body-hugging dresses that show every last curve.

She is not afraid of bold colors a and lots of accessories that accentuate her “gifts” such as bows/ruffles/buckles, pins and her signature pen necklace that falls in just the right “valley”.

She likes all strategically placed details and accessories that bring attention to her assets.

Body-Hugging Green Dress is a Vintage I Magnin Knit Dress can be found here.

Polka-dot ascot blouse can be found here.

Peggy Olson - Girl Next Door/School Girl.

Blue and white checked vintage dress can be found here.

Vintage classic black wiggle dress with side buttons can be found here.

Her signature style is anything that does show too much of her body.

She is new to this fast-paced world and is cautious in the way she dresses.

She is drawn towards lots of buttons, full a-line skirts, classic school girl sweaters, suit set, bows, peter pan collars, etc.

Understates and earthly colors are her preference as she shies away from bold colors; she is not sure of herself.

Betty Draper - "Perfect" Executive Wife.

Her signature style is classy country club chic.

Everything she wears and how she presents herself is perfect with a capital “P”.

She has a real Grace Kelly royalty and sensibility.

She is drawn to light colors like whites and pastels. When she goes for richer colors she often gravitates towards blues.

Everything about her look is about making an impression of perfection.

Vintage everyday floral cardigan can be found here.

Vintage blue patterned dress can be found here under vintage silk dress with bolero jacket.

Since Mad Men's premiere is tonight, it is too late to get your outfit for this episode. But it is never too late to think about next week's episode! Host your own viewing party next week. Pick your favorite character and get your own look. Then check back later in the week for Mad Men home and office fashions.

Get the Joan Holloway Look here.

Get the Peggy Olson Look here or here.

Get the Betty Draper Look here.

Get the vintage red velvet dress here.