Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: DOUBLE FEATURE!

"Between Two Worlds" (1944)

When I get the chance to flip through the channels I usually check TCM (and BBC-America as well) to see what they are showing for the day. I mean don't get me wrong, I always enjoy a good cartoon or even seeing "Toy Story 3" for the tenth time but it always nice to have a moment to myself. On those days when my babies are all asleep, I get to actually have some adult t.v. time-can we say "whoaaa yeapeeeeee!

I came across "Between Two Worlds" and was immediately captivated by not only the storyline but the characters themselves. It's very rare these days to find a modern film that really gets into the story so its worth diving into this world for an hour or so.

The Trailer of "Between Two Worlds" (1944)

It starts out with a couple in the midst of a bombing in London during WWII and then it continues on board a ship with the most interesting and complicated characters. An actress, gambler, priest---wow that sounds like a bad bar joke but its true those were some of the characters!

You see each persons story unravel and wonder if there will be a happy ending for each of them. I might as well tell you--they are all dead! They are on that ship to be judged and to be told where they will go.

It all begins with the main characters are a married couple named Henry, played by Paul Henreid and Ann, played by Eleanor Parker. In the very beginning while London is being bombed Ann rushes off to their apartment only to find Henry with the gas on in order to commit suicide. She convinces him that she cannot live without him and then you see them on that ship.
Sidney Greenstreet's character consoling Pete, played by George Tobias.

The climax of the film is when they all find out that they are dead which leads them to be informed by the Examiner played by Sidney Greenstreet what their ultimate fate is. One of the things that fascinated me about this film was the thought that we all go to this neutral place that seems like a familiar setting--a house, a street, a building, a ship? That thought is actually comforting to me.
The ever so handsome~John Garfield.

One by one they fall away, each going where they are meant to be. A really interesting character is named Thomas Pior, played by the amazing John Garfield. I highly and I mean highly recommend seeing any of his films--he was a phenomenal actor. Well his character who is filled with the fear of the unknown is saved by a woman he doesn't even know But she knows him---its his mother. She gave him up when he was a baby to have a better life in America. She gives up her beautiful garden in Heaven to have the chance to take care of him in--well--the other place. A mother's love---powerful.

After all the characters disappear from the ship, poor Henry and Ann are left behind because they were suicides. Henry is destined to stay aboard til he redeems himself and Ann who is given the chance to go into Heaven gives it up just to be with him. The thought of living without him and the thought of the afterlife without him was unbearable to her. As she turns around to see how he is doing she finds that he disappeared.

Truth is he was sent back for another chance. As soon as Henry entered back into his original body he opened the windows and was able to revive Ann. Realizing they were both given the gift of a second chance they vowed to cherish their lives.

I love happy endings don't you? I thought that film wasn't going to have one but  it did. The performances from all the actors were outstanding. This film is hard to find but if you do find it somewhere defiantly watch it.

"The Spiral Staircase" (1946)

There is a serial killer who only kills disabled young women. Man, that sounds creepy already doesn't it? Dorothy McGuire stars as Helen who has become mute due to a traumatic experience. She is the companion of a wealthy, bedridden, Mrs. Warren, played but the talented Ethel Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore in her early years of acting.

Does that name Barrymore sound a little familiar? She was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore (both fantastic actors!) and the great aunt of a little blond girl who did an even smaller movie called, E.T. Yes! Drew Barrymore! You just have to love Hollywood!!! I know I do!

Ms. Barrymore as she was during "The Spiral Staircase"

Okay so enough of the useless but often fun information---Helen is warned by Mrs. Warren to leave the house immediately but she doesn't. As the movie progresses she finds a dead body down the spiral staircase leading to the basement. She tries calling the police but could not find her voice.

"The Spiral Staircase" (1946)

Her doctor played by Kent Smith thought that another traumatic event could shake her to speak. While I was watching the movie everyone seems guilty to me. Well, except the poor cook who drank too much whiskey and fell asleep by the fireplace. LOL

The movie ends with a climax that both surprises and says, "WOW" to you. I mean when the old and bedridden Mrs. Warren is seen with a gun in her hand at the top of the spiral staircase having shot her stepson who is played by George Brent---you are left having a "WOW" movie moment for sure! He dies and its revealed that he was the serial killer.

You then see Helen run to the phone calling for help and finally, finally finding her voice!

Watching an learning about these classic films makes my mouth water--seriously I mean that. I love studying people and film just allows you not only to study characters but the people behind those characters. So many of them lived such complicated and often dramatic lives!

I hope this suspenseful and thrill seeking double feature kept you on your toes! I know it did for me!! 


Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Truths and Myths of being a Mama

My little loves hands in mine~2007

When the nurse placed my first born child, a daughter, into my arms, I instantly changed. It was quick and painless and wow such a surreal moment.(not the actual birthing part though lol) My daughter is one of my loves of my life. She made me into a mother and for that I am grateful. She was also named after my mother so our bond was extra, extra special.

And what does it mean to be a mother? Well, from experience I can say that dads can kind of be like mothers too. Mine was. I will touch on it briefly here but long story short--my mother passed away a few days after my eighth birthday. No one has been able or will ever be able to fill the void that was her. Growing up without her was made more bearable because I was lucky to have an amazing father who back in 1984 decided to raise his children as a single father. A daunting task indeed.

A mother is a person who nurtures, sacrifices themselves in every way, and most importantly loves you totally even on your bad days. Its been 28 years since she has been gone and I still feel her love with me. Actually I feel it everyday. I think that's amazing!

Although a mother does all those things, I have learned that being a good mother to your child/children or to children in your life means that you have to still maintain your own humanness, your own sense of self, and your own identity. It can be SO easily lost among the diapers, bottles, homework, play dates, etc.

Just like you need to tend to your romantic relationships or marriages you have to tend to your relationship with yourself. Hence, why I am trying to do what I am trying to do LOL

Here's are some Myths about Motherhood:

After you give birth to your child you know them already.

Answer: On a certain level you do because a lot of the way they are in your body is the way they are in real life. Just like Bunny would let me sleep til 11am everyday and til this day is a sleepy head! But you don't really know them. People assume because you're the parent of that child that you deserve that relationship but in actuality you have to put in effort into your relationship with your child. You have to learn about them just like everyone else does and you have to work at trust just like you do with others in your life. Its not a given. Because that child is in your care there is a foundation created but its up to you as the parent to nurture that and help it grow and blossom.

Once you become a mother  you are no longer a person.

Answer: You are a human being dammit! You just happen to help create other human beings. You are connected to them but you are a separate entity unto yourself. Treasure that and care for it-its your own gift. Oh yeah and youre still a woman with the need to feel pretty--to take off those baby stained clothes and dress up a little!!

You are supposed to be a Superhero, Sex vixen, Chef, and well bascially a Machine!

Answer: Not so! Its great to try and do it all but a woman who says she does is probably a little--um--loca if you know what I mean?! Trying to be all and do all is great but its NOT possible. Its important to embrace your imperfections as well as embracing the fact that sometimes you have to let go and let be. The dishes will get cleaned at some point in the day, the floors are dirty but not that dirty, and if you have to choose between snuggle time with your little one and laundry---choose your little one. They really don't stay little very long (boo-hoo!)

Here are some Truths about Motherhood:

Its a precious event that should be cherished in every way.

My Little Bunny at 8wks old!

Answer: It really is a MIRACLE! It really is something to be cherished-every moment that you can. I recall my last conversation with my mother. I was in my paternal grandmother's house with my grandpa and my cousin Mickey. She told me to be good and I remember her speaking so low. I also remember my grandpa crying and my cousin crying with him because he was sad to see grandpa sad. You know what----everyone that was in that room with me is now gone. First my mother, then grandpa, then grandma, and then tragically my cousin. So lessoned learned very well---LIFE IS SHORT! And so incredibly precious.

You end up loving them more than yourself.

Answer: Yes and No. You have to love yourself in order to love others but yes-you love them beyond human understanding-beyond our own language skills. Those three miracles of mine I love beyond myself-beyond all the stars-beyond love itself.

You learn a lot by being a mother or mothering others.

Answer: You grow as a person but of course only if you want to. You evovle as they evovle. You learn about what you really want and what you really don't need. At the end of the day their health and happiness is more important than sleep, more important than all those piling bills, just simply more important.

All in all its amazing to be a part of this journey of life with my munchkins. I feel like somebody somewhere in the universe must love me a great deal to have given me the honor of being their mother.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creating a Pinup Look on the Cheap!

Okay let's be real and very honest because I know most people are acting like the economy is not affecting their finances but I am going to keep it real as say "WAKE UP PEOPLE" we are in a recession!!! And by the way its only going to get worse before it gets any better! For some reason though almost everyone I know-married, single, committed, kids, no kids, etc are acting like its not affecting them. All I have to say is "WOW" denial is truly rampant these days!

On that note, with all the research and learning I have been doing on pinup I have noticed one really BIG and important aspect and its that pinup clothing is expensive. There I said it! Bathing suits cost over $115 dollars, dresses cost anywhere from $45 to $200 or more! Then there are shoes, under garments, accessories, makeup, hair products---its all adds up!

And if you have more than one mouth to feed (meaning not just your own) its a VERY pricey hobby or career path to follow. That's not even including photo shoots, photos for your portfolio, trips to events, etc.

In my case there are six mouths to feed in my house--two adults, three babies, and one fur baby with a very good appetite LOL So of course I am on a mission to find nice retro-inspired or even vintage outfits and accessories!

Yes, I am fully aware that I live in New York and there are a zillion thrift stores etc but my situation at hand is that I am the full-time care taker to my children. My incredible hubby works two full time jobs and takes care of us in one way and I take care of him and the children in others ways. I'm so grateful that we work so well as a team-if not none of this would work very well at all.

So I digress--whenever I am able to I am sure to delve into the amazing world of NYC thrift shops etc but until then its all online for me.

I think before you even buy something you really need to ask yourself these questions: (not in order of importance)

  1. How many times would I wear this outfit?
  2. Am I going to dress this way all the time or just for photo shoots?
  3. What are my measurements and whats my size overall?
  4. What colors look best on me?
  5. What styles flatter what I have and not diminish them?
Those are just a few things you should consider before making a purchase. Now when I am at home with the kiddies jeans and a t-shirt works best for me. Thirty minutes into putting on my clothes I usually have stains and food particles all over me so dressing in vintage gear on a daily basis at home is well non-functional. But going out on a date (a date? whats that?) with hubby is another story. When we do go out I would like to dress up and add a little retro flair to my wardrobe. Like some comfy retro jeans and a cute top with my red lipstick and curls in my hair. I like the idea. Someday. Someday....

Let's now move unto my awesome find that I would like to share with you. I have always wanted a retro-inspired bathing suit but the ones I have found are usually $115 and up. Personally I think that price is ridiculous because well how many times will you use it? Yes! New York has beaches but without a minivan at the moment to situate all three in their perspective car seats I knew there would be none of that this summer. I have to think practical!

I found a link on one of the pinup websites I am a member of and when I clicked on it someone posted something that I was shocked to find---drum roll please----a retro-inspired bathing suit for---$32 dollars!!!!!

Oh yeah your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you---its so true! And now guess from where???? WALMART! I just had to snatch one up and OMG its amazing! It fits beautifully, its attractive, and it even gives some support!

It's so comfy too!!

Can you believe this find??! So defiantly check out Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls. You can even click on the links here to go directly to their websites!

With every outfit a girl must have some accessories, right? I already have earrings and a flower to go with this bathing suit but what I wanted was a pair of really hip cat eye sunglasses. And I found them at the amazing price of $6.99! That's half the price of other pinup clothing sites alone! I purchased them from a NY based company called Cats Like Us. They are super nice, reply to your emails, package their items beautifully as you can see from the picture below, and have great pieces that you won't find in other online sites. I highly recommend them!
My super cool cat eye sunglasses!! Just fab!!

I spent in total before shipping costs $38.99 and I have one total outfit! And if you are wondering-yes I will be modeling this outfit for you soon! I will be meeting up with an amazing makeup artist within the next two weeks to do what I call "Pinup Practice". I will defiantly post pictures and information about her. Cannot wait for it!

Til then, keep searching the web and all the stores you can get your hands on. The sales are out there and the affordable outfits are out there too! Just be patient and little by little before you know it you will have yourself a very nice retro-inspired wardrobe all yours! Ahhh that sounds lovely, doesn't it!?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Roll or Not To Roll...That is the Question!

To Roll or Not to Roll...seriously I have never and I mean never been good with my hair. I don't know if growing up without my mom or not having many women in my life plays into that but yeah ponytails it is. Its easier and I can do that! Or I would go to the hair salon with my usually long hair and have it blown straight and pay up to forty dollars every time---yeah not a good thing for ones wallet!

Now lets take a brief stroll through memory lane and look at PinupMama's history of hair!

Moi circa 1980-My hair was kept long and cute thanks to my mom!

This is 6th grade circa 1987 and Grandma had control 
over what happened to my hair-oh dear!

I haven't scanned HS pictures yet but I had a few disasters then.
This is me while in college. No this is not 1972 but rather 1996-I was full on into my hippie phase-way better than grunge don't you agree??!

And now this is me as I usually am although this was taken circa 2007.
Ponytails are easy but they are getting on my nerves! LOL

So now that you have a little background of what my hair has gone through the years and now that you know that I have currently three babies three and under you can understand why my hair is always in that damn ponytail! BUT even though I have had hair challenges in my past I feel obligated to learn how to do a few vintage hairstyles for myself.

First step is to purchase some hot rollers! And I did-I found some at this amazing website called Ulta, if you click on the name you will not only get to the website but also see the hot rollers I have.  Now I don't know if you have noticed but I have really thick hair and a lot of it! Unfortunatly I don't think I have enough hot rollers in the pack I purchased and may have to get another but for now I am practicing and doing the best I can with what I have!

STEP ONE: Make sure the kiddies are either sleeping or hubby is home so I can focus on my hair. I am going to keep it real-its nearly impossible for me to practice doing my hair during the day and by time its possible its 12 am or 1 am! My first hair practice was at 2am and never again! And NO I won't post those pics-the horror! LOL

STEP TWO: Get all of my supplies out---hot rollers, hair spray, comb, bobby pins, and red lipstick. Why red lipstick do you say? Its helps me get out of the mama state of being and into the PinupMama mood!

STEP THREE: Heat the hot rollers, spray hair, and roll them in! Now I know its better to spray each piece of hair before the rollers go in but honestly its really hard to press the button with my forfinger-the explaintion can be read it in this blog post.
STEP FOUR: After letting them stay in for about 15 mins or so-I then took them out and played around with my hair a bit.

End result...not that bad...but practice makes kinda perfect---LOL

So my curls weren't tight but I got some sort of look going on. Sheesh I feel so hapless and helpless when it comes to these things. Sometimes I just want to live in my jeans and t-shirts and ponytails forever because its just so much easier.

BUT I just really don't want to. I think I have more in me to express than people imagine or assume about me. I need to explore it-why the heck not? Because I am a mom--because I am stay home mom---oh heck no--so tired of putting limitations on myself or having others place them on me. My being a mom will always be first but this---this is for ME!

Hopefully in future posts you will see some Victory Rolls in my hair--done by me! Miracles can happen right?


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Freaks!

"We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!"

As I was pondering what this Weekend's Cinema Spotlight choice was going to be I ended up thinking of quite a few but "Freaks" really stuck by me. I reconsider posting because I said to myself, "Save this movie for Halloween!", but with more thought I realized the people in this movie weren't monsters-they were people just like you and me. The biggest difference between them and us is that when they were born they were given a body that was a bit different than the average person.

Some people are born with visible deformities such as smaller or larger features, midget size or giant size, without limbs or with extra limbs. Either way they were people like you and I. So I choose "Freaks" because its the kind of movie you wouldn't be able to make today. Also its the kind of film that shocks you and just literally blows your mind away.

There are also beautiful aspects to this film-such as romance, friendship, dedication, loyalty, kindness, and bravery. Someone might overlook this film because they might assume its about freak show people being well---Freaks. That's when you have to stop judging the book by its cover---look and listen beyond what your eyes see and then you will be able to see so much further than you ever imagined!

How many of us judge who a person is based on what they look like? I think on some level its a normal part of being human but I also think that if you are aware of that within yourself then you would stop yourself and give that person a chance.

Before the film "Freaks" begins they have a forward that plays at the very beginning. The clip above is worth watching/reading.

The film trailer for "Freak"  (1932)

The cast of the film "Freaks" were all spell-binding. I cannot imagine how much courage it must have taken them to know that they would be viewed by others as freaks of nature, but then again most of them worked in sideshows and in the circus so I suppose they might have been used to it. From my perspective, when you're born with something that is seemed different to mainstream society you become acutely aware of especially if gets in the way of doing normal day-to-day activities.

Imagine not having an arm. I mean if you're born that way then it's normal for you but when you are around others who have two arms you are aware that you are the only one armed person in the room.

I wonder how these actors must have felt. Some of them weren't even actors-they were just sideshow exhibits. Very politically incorrect these days hence why this film could have never been made in our time-ever!

The main characters were named Frieda and Hans who were actually brother and sister in real life. They were a part of The Doll Family performers.
The Doll Family
Harry played "Hans" and Daisy played "Frieda"

 In the film they are romantically involved but when a trapeze artist by the name of Cleopatra, played by Olga Baclanova, discovers that Hans is actually wealthy she plots to marry him and become a widow as quickly as possible.

The clip above is of the infamous wedding feast where Hans and Cleopatra celebrate their marriage with his sideshow friends--his family. Angeleno who is played by, Angelo Rossitto, sings a bewitching and sort of eerie song welcoming Cleopatra to their fold.  After realizing that they were making her one of them, she retaliated by revealing her affair with Hercules played by, Henry Victor, and she throws the celebratory cup of wine in Angeleno's face! Hans was mortified but stays with her. Sometime later he realizes that she is trying to poison him and then the freaks gather together to exact their revenge!! (Cue in some eerie music!!)

Prince Randian played The Living Torso

I couldn't find any clips of the actual ending of this film but its worth watching the whole movie and getting to know these incredible characters and watch these amazing people bring them to life.

Warning: the ending is shocking and if you read the end of the Wikipedia link to "Freaks" that I posted above then you will know what the ending is but seeing it is truly believeing! I mean I am an avid horror movie fan but this will blow you away! It does it to me every time!

Its important to remember that there was a time in history when people who looked different as they did were considered scary and only fitted to be seen in  sideshows.

It's also important to remember how one must feel if they are stared at because they are older, are a young mother, a homosexual couple holding hands, a white husband with a black wife, or someone in a wheelchair. It doesn't matter who they are--people really don't like being stared at. Well unless they like that kind of attention lol Its okay to look but look with a smile of kindness and always remember to celebrate differences.

These freaks accepted who they were and made the most of their lives as best they could. We could all learn from that, couldn't we?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Pinup Girl of the Month: July: Rita Hayworth

"We are all tied to our destiny and there is no way we can liberate ourselves."

My first Pinup Girl of the Month choice is the illustrious Rita Hayworth. Most people know I am a HUGE Marilyn Monroe fan and if I am why would I choose Rita has my first Pinup Girl? Honestly-she caught my attention when I learned she was Latina and then as I began reading about her I became more and more fascinated with her life. Just as you might be after reading this here little blog entry. She lived an incredibly full life-whats not fascinating about that?

Interesting Facts about Rita Hayworth:

  • Was born Margarita Carmen Cansino in 1918.
  • Her father was Spanish and her mother a  Ziegfeld Girl.
  • Danced her whole life and referred to herself as a dancer first.
  • Because she was being type cast for Hispanic roles only she had painful electrolysis to broaden her forehead and accentuate her widow's peak as well as dying her hair red!

As Rita Cansino, 1935

  • Became the number TWO pinup in the country in 1941 when she posed for the first photo above in her negligee perched seductively on her bed. It was taken in December, 1941.
  • "Everybody else does nude scenes," Hayworth said, "but I don't. I never made nude movies. I didn't have to do that. I danced. I was provocative, I guess, in some things. But I was not completely exposed." Gotta admire a girl for holding onto her beliefs!
  • Was married five times...yes five times! And had two daughters: Rebecca Welles with the infamous Orson Welles and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.
Nothing more lovely than a mother with her children.
  • Wanted to study singing but the studio executives wouldn't let her so her voice was always dubbed.
  • Her one glove strip tease in the clip below drove the censors crazy but it fueled her bombshell status.
  • In 1946, it is said that her likeness was painted on the first nuclear bomb (kind of crazy cool) but some film historians say it was just the name "Gilda". Talk about making an impression.
  • She danced with both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire (lucky gal!)
  • It is said that Rita got her big break in the business because she was willing to die her hair for a movie while the other starlets weren't.
  • In 1949, Hayworth's lips were voted best in the world by the Artists League of America.
  • She became a pinup girl for the servicemen during WWII.
  • Late in her life she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
  • Her daughter, Princess Yasmin, took care of her during her later years.
  • She passed on May 14th, 1987 at the age of 68 and left behind an amazing career as a dancer and an actress.      
Rita and Fred Astaire in 1941's, "You'll Never Get Rich"

Slidehow of Rita Hayworth


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Becoming a Pinup: After Party!

Bettina May and I~June 10th, 2011

After amazing afternoon with the fabulous Bettina May, my husband and I went on our own adventure together---a DATE---without kids---AND---me in my full pinup makeup...lashes and all! Bettina suggested to me that I keep them on and I did-what fun!

From Brooklyn we drove to our favorite restaurant in Manhattan called Boca Chica Restaurant. We went there on our very first date almost six years ago. Seriously the food is to die for! The Pina Coladas alone will leave your mouth tingling for hours and I highly recommend it without alcohol. You really need to check this place out! Mouth watering!


I found it amusing when older folks would be staring at me. Keep in mind my makeup was very heavy and well I looked like a pinup doll from 1945! Whoaoaaa I loved it-you know I did! Mind you I am the last person in the world who likes people staring at me but this was a good staring. I know I looked good! Admit it, you know its true LOL
I have always thought I was a cute person but I have never felt more beautiful and sexy than when I was pregnant with my children. I loved how my body looked and how I felt. And I really felt amazing every time. So for me to feel attractive and sexy post-babies was an accomplishment for me.

After dinner we walked around Houston Street and passed by our old hang out spots when we were single and when we were in our dating years. Such fun! And holding hands was the best! I mean its such a rare thing to be able to do while one of us is usually pushing a double stroller and the other holding hands with a toddler. Its those little things you take for granted sometimes-we enjoyed every minute of it.

And being the silly gal I can sometimes be I just couldn't resist doing some more poses around town. What a sight! People must have thought I was nuts but I went ahead and did it anyway.

Being the Pinup doll that I am!

Even after all the excitement of meeting Bettina and the incredible photo shoot---dinner and a long walk---when we returned home I still couldn't stop hamming it up for the camera!!!

It's offical ladies and gentlemen-I am hooked!

This experience taught me so much. It taught me that you shouldn't give up on yourself for any reason. That you should think postively and be confidant especially when all the odds are against you. That you should try something new-you might surprise yourself. And also that there truly is no greater love than the love you have for yourself.

I love ME-she's one of my best friends. And in order to be a true friend to ME I am will always be kind, honest, and loving to her but best of all I will always have those pom-poms to cheer her on in anything she sets her heart and mind to do!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Becoming a Pinup Part II

Oh yeah this IS huh?

So where were we gang? Oh yes the transformation.....doesn't that word sound exciting!? Well it was especially for me since I have been wearing bummy pants and t-shirts for four years and my  hair in a ponytail LOL

My first look was a homage to Mad Men-very early 60's chic. Bettina was so generous she actually let me use some of her own personal items as props for the shoot. I mean how cool is that!!!

Mama working the sexy..hehehe

I did purchase my own shoes---from Pinup Girl Clothing and boy were the gorgeous! They were black pumps with a bow in the front. Of course the kind of shoes I cannot wear-I mean at all. I am bound to sneakers and shopping at the orthopedic shoe store. The plus side is I will always be wearing comfortable shoes!

Anyway-I tried them on and oh my I thought they would somehow fit on me especially if I shoved them in slowly. Thing is my toes don't have as much feeling as the rest of my feet so when I put them in they curl up and get stuck. Fabulous, right! But Bettina came to my rescue and she lent me her leopard open toe shoes and I discovered those are the perfect kind of shoes I can wear at a pinup photo shoot. I was able to settle in my toes and be comfy and look great. For me shoes will always have to be a prop  not an accessory as it is for most women.

My second look was more of a vintage housewife meets Lucille Ball. I was a wee bit nervous in the beginning of the first shoot I'm not going to lie but as we got into the second look I became more relaxed and more confident as well.

Doing pinup is definitely a learning process. Of course as everything is but there are specific modeling poses and expressions one must use in order to get the feel of a pinup. Bettina asked me to say the vowels and that would in turn help me make those open mouth expressions. What a great tip!

Straight from 1945!

I always knew that my face didn't quite fit into modern times. To top this off-how many of you would guess that I'm Latina??!! So when I saw this picture I was just blown away! This is it! This is what I want to do and FINALLY my looks fit in somewhere!! Just that somewhere happens to be about 70 years ago!!

Then the time came that I was doing my final look. My outfit was this super cute vintage romper that was so comfortable that I ended up purchasing it at a Brooklyn store called Guvnors Vintage Thrift Store. I mean you when you find something that's cute and comfy-great combination-its a must buy for sure!

Feeling incredible!

By the end of my experience with Bettina May I found myself feeling amazing, inspired, energized, confidant, and most importantly Beautiful! I knew it was something that would make me happy but I didn't know that it would make me feel the way it did.

The experience with Bettina inspired me to take a leap of faith---in myself. To begin this journey back to ME-the me who is now married with three incredible babies. I don't know where all of this will lead me but after so many years cheering and supporting others I am now taking out my pom-poms and cheering for myself!

It's not selfish--I am not taking away from my relationships and I would never take away my precious time with my children. This is simply something for me that makes me HAPPY!

This song sums up exactly how I felt (and still feel) after my very first Pinup experience. Enjoy!

The Glen Miller Band~In the Mood


Monday, July 18, 2011

Becoming a Pinup Part I

If you ask my closest and dearest friends they know that I have been wanting to have professional pictures taken of myself for years. For some reason I didn't go for it. Looking back now I kind of wish I had but there is no point in having regrets, right? Right!

After the birth of my youngest munchkin in November 2010 I found an ad on my Facebook page that spoke of having a pinup makeover and pictures taken. I normally ignore those ads but I clicked on it and found Bettina May-a Canadian Burlesque Performer who also does pinup modeling and teaching on the side. "How fun!" I muttered to myself but thought it would be impossible with of course me not having an income other than dirty diapers and cute faces to wash.

My husband to the rescue!! He truly is my HERO! He knew that I was struggling to reconnect with myself and with my body post-pregnancies and he offered to have me sign up for a session with Bettina as a gift to me. What an amazing gift he has given to me because I am now on this incredible journey and who knows where it will lead me...exciting!

Okay so on June 10th, 2011 with Papa over at our house to babysit and my things packed and ready to go, we left to drive to Brooklyn. I was surprisingly calm for the ride over and only got anxious when we parked our car.

Could I have carried any more bags! Sheesh! LOL

When we rang her doorbell no one answered and then I got beyond anxious LOL A neighbor mentioned she lived there and we told him that she was expecting us. My husband came along for moral support and also its always safer to go with someone to a photo shoot!

And before I went into sheer panic mode-there she was! She was so sweet and kind and we got started right away. First I picked out my outfits and then she set my hair in hot rollers. I made sure my hair was "dirty" by washing it Monday night so it was good and ready for Friday and it was!

Don't I look fashionable! Oh yeahhh!

The only concerns I had flowing through my head although having just had Papito you would think I would be concerned about my figure-I wasn't so much. I was concerned over my annoying white hairs poking around everywhere, my calves of course, and um why did I have a pimple on my chin!!?? I never get blemishes anymore-I mean NEVER! It must have been the excitement of waiting all week!

Bettina then went from my hair to my face. She said that pinup makeup is like working on a painting. You have to put a lot of it and make sure its pretty. She also told me that if I look like a harlot then that's a good thing...oh dear! Best Part: The Lashes! Wow! That was something VERY new to me!

The transformation continues!

I had to bring my own makeup for the shoot so I purchased my face powder, cover up, and cream blush from Clinque because I like that they have makeup for sensitive skin. I also bought my lipstick, nail polish, and lashes from Urban Decay. I choose the "Come Hither" lashes but they have a wonderful selection of lashes to choose from at such a good price-cant beat that! The rest was purchased at my local Walgreen's *giggle*

Another cool aspect of the makeup process were the cat eyes. I purchased my liquid liner from Walgreen's and it works fabulous! Bettina put mascara on my eyelashes first, then the false lashes, and then finally the liquid liner. Both the lashes and liner take a bit to dry up but its worth the patience because the result was amazing! The makeup is simple but it makes a statement-another reason why I love the 40's-50's. How can a girl resist!

Here are some variations of the Cat Eye that you can practice at home:

Now that my hair was taken out of the hot rollers and my makeup was in place-the next step were the outfits. Playing dress-up at thirty-five is just as much fun as when I was a little girl! I loved the process. Tune in for the end result-Becoming a Pinup Part II.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spolight: To Sir, With Love

"To Sir, With Love" (1967)

Every weekend I will spotlight a classic film-one that inspires, moves, teaches, makes you laugh or makes you cry. Movies that most people today haven't heard about or could care less about especially if its in black and white. I mean if something isn't a part of how you were raised or grew up then that something is different. Different isn't always easy to try, not easy to do, and not easy to learn. But if you did try it you might just learn something new or even enjoy something you thought you would never like in the first place.

So get comfy in your chair, make some popcorn, and enjoy the show!

Now before you watch the film ask yourself if you have ever heard of Sidney Poitier. If you dont know who he is or are not familiar with his work be prepared-he is one actor whose work will literally blow you away!! In his peak as an actor he was the only well known actor of color on the silver screen. And what an actor he was! (still is!)

What is To Sir, With Love all about? It's basically about a man who takes on a teaching job when he is unable to find work in his field of study. Sounds like a practical kind of guy, huh? Well the place he is teaching at has the kind of students no one wants to have-disrespectful, rude, loud, brash, unkempt-you get the picture right?

Being a teacher means that you were once a student. What students sometimes fail to recognize is that the teacher always remains the student. Being a former teacher I can attest to that. When you teach you are a constant student-always learning about how to be better at what you do, what not to do next time, how to relate to your students, etc. Its a never ending flow of learning that happens in a classroom. Or rather what should happen in a classroom.

There's nothing more satisfying when you're teaching someone (anyone really) and you find a way to get through to them. Its like a huge sigh of relief. A YES! moment!

Can you see now why Sidney Poitier is so darn fabulous! He just lights up the scenes, even when he's upset he is electric!

In the beginning of video four that I posted a wise female teacher says to Mr. Thackeray, "So long as we learn, it doesn´t matter who teaches us." I wish more teachers would approach teaching in that manner, don't you?

Lessoned learned after watching part five-just because you want to fling your student out of the window-you DON'T really do that! That gym teacher was bit off-Mr. Thackarey knows how to be cool as a cucumber. Ahhhh I can practice some of that after a full day of mommying. (if thats not a real word-its okay-making up words is a form of expression and creativity lol)

What do you do with yourself when the last thing you thought you would ever be good at just fills you with unbridled joy? You keep doing it of course (I mean if its legal and doesn't hurt anyone!) Making yourself happy makes all those who love you best happy as well.

Come on admit it!! You think this 60's music is rocking! Those dances moves were crazzzzzzzzy weren't they? But I'm sure my children will think voguing and breakdancing was crazy too when they get older. Sheesh I love the 80's!

Side Note: Lulu who sings the theme song, "To Sir, With Love" became famous in the U.S. with this song. The words are touching and inspirational. How can you not get teary eyed when listening to it?

Does it surprise you what he decides to do in the end? What would you do? I know I loved my girls (students) and I loved giving of myself the way I did. It was a special time for me those seven years I spent guiding and teaching and learning. I learned so much from them.

Well I hoped you enjoyed this Weekend Cinema Spotlight viewing. I am unsure if I will be able to post the film of choice every weekend but I hope it inspires you to look beyond what you know and try something different. Black and white next time? Yeah I think I may just do that!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Ssssssh! It's a Secret!

Did you ever have a secret you never told anyone? Or a secret some people knew but you would pretend as if it just never existed? Better yet were you ever afraid that once your secret was discovered that people would look and treat you differently?

I have come to the point of my life where being thirty-five years old and a mother to three that I can no longer carry my secret. I am exhausted of being afraid. I am just tired. Its been a burden in may ways. And it truthfully is a HUGE part of me and to keep hiding it or not talking about it is like denying all that I truly am. And I love ME so hear it goes.....

I'm disabled. I have a disability. I was born physically challenged.

I don't like telling people-I actually find it annoying and cumbersome to have to explain. That's because you can't really tell that I am. I have also learned to hide it any secret.

What I was born with is called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. Kind of a cool name huh? Its named after those who discovered it. My mother noticed right away that I wasn't walking when I should have-I was running around everywhere but not walking well. She then became my princess in shining armor and searched high and low in order to find someone who could explain to her what was wrong with me.

My mother's quest was not forfilled in her lifetime but my father took up her quest and by the age of nine I was diagnosed by a wonderful doctor named Dr. Alfred Spiro. He still happens to be my doctor-over twenty-five years later. He's sort of the head guy when it comes to neuropathies.

What I have is considered a form of Muscular Dystrophy. Have you ever heard of Jerry's Kids?

Jerry Lewis has hosted the telethon to raise money and awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association . He has been doing it since 1952 and raised over two billion dollars. Because of this fundraising I was able to have my first major corrective surgery in 1989-the summer before the 8th grade. Perfect timing right? I missed out on half a year but was able to return after January.

You see CMT affects the major nerves that go down your arms and legs. Nerves conduct the muscles and make them strong. Last time I was tested for the strength of my muscles in my lower part of my legs I scored a 4/10. Ten being healthy and normal. Basically from my elbow to my hands and from my knees to my feet I am weaker than most people.

Because my nerves are affected I don't have much muscle strength in my hands and feet. My hands are sort of crooked (you really have to look hard to notice), I have trembles and shakes in them. I often find humor when one of my fingers starts to twitch for no reason..crazy hands of mine!

My legs are another story. I have no real muscle growth in my calves so they look skinner than normal calves look. I cannot walk in normal shoes, high heels, sandals, flip flops...etc. I have had three corrective surgeries in total-the last two in 2001 and 2002. I have to wear my plastic "oh so sexy" braces on everytime I go out-yes even in 90 degree weather. Its just the way things are.

My gorgeous double legs-I don't leave home without these sweet babies!

My braces help keep my heal down-they support me-its like having to wear glasses. My husband cannot see very well without his, I can't walk very well without my trusty braces.

My CMT is non-progressive, meaning it won't get worse but it will age with me. So dancing til 6am at a nightclub just can't happen anymore. What sucks is that I can't wear dresses or skirts everyday anymore-I do miss that.

Doing my pinup work is a challenge as well because I cannot stand or walk in heels but what I can do is use them as a prop! My legs don't look as great as others but I think I have a beautiful face. Thats just my opinion of course. Like I said before-I love myself so of course I think I am fabulous hehehee

What I am trying to say is I face challenges everyday. Being a mom-being a mom with a physcial challenge. Being a woman-being a woman with a physical challenge. Learning to become a pinup-learning to become a pinup with a physcial challenge.

Thing is-its a part of me. I can't make it go away. My calves are never going to grow muscles. I will never walk down the street in some gorgeous red open toe pumps. So I decided that I have to work with what I have and embrace my CMT like an old friend and be open to myself and to the world and say...

Hey this is ME. I am a thirty-five year old stay at home mother of three, I am phycially challenged but I don't give up. I can make my dreams come true whether you believe in me or not. Whether you think I can do it or not because my children are proof that I can. I was told having children would be difficult and I even had some naysayers but they are here arent they? They exist dont they? I helped make them, I carried them and walked around with each of them inside of me with my braces and all. I bore them and have been raising them.

My children watch me put my braces on and when my daughter says, "Mama I can't do this" I always tell her, "Yes you can!" You have to choose to get up everyday and tell yourself that you can even if the world tells you different.

Now tomorrow I will get up-do my mama duties and keep working on those Victory Rolls!

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