Sunday, August 28, 2011

We are all Pinups together!

I have been meaning to post something about this for some time now. You will never ever hear (or rather read me) naming names because truly it is just tacky and so not lady like. And I pride myself in being a lady.

But the subject of this post is simple. WE ARE ALL PINUPS TOGETHER! So why is their cattiness,  jealousy, shadiness, insincerity, phoniness, and just plan ole ugliness involved in the world of pinup? The answer is: I don't really know.

Okay I just fibbed-I do know. I mean come on, it really is common sense. No matter how confident and sure of themselves a person can portray them self it doesn't mean they have a healthy self-esteem. People can be actors you know. They can pretend to be something they are not in order to get what they want out of people. Be it money, fame, attention, friendship, affection---the list can go on and on and on.

I will be honest about myself. I have always had a strong sense of SELF-LOVE. I still feel my mother's love around me. I am proud to say I was created from love and brought into this world because of love. I know not everyone can say that and I am sharing what I feel  not to hurt those who have never experienced that but rather just to share my truth.

My parents with their little pinup!

My parents adored me and I lived with that adoration all my life. My husband adores me. Yes, I think I deserve it and I relish in it and enjoy every second. I adore him too *wink* There's something about being treated that way that helps create a foundation of self-love. Now the rest I think is up to you, depending on your personality and experiences of course.

Through this process of becoming a pinup I have realized that I have confused self-love with self-confidence. I thought I was confidant but I am learning that I am not as confidant about my body as I assumed I was. The rest of me rocks but how I express myself through my physical self is not as high as it should be. Then again I did have three babies in four years and my body has changed also with age, but I don't want to use that as a crutch but rather celebrate it to the fullest capacity.

Thankfully my experiences with those in the pinup world be it vintage, fetish, rockabilly, alternative, cheesecake, etc has been about 90% amazing. But a small percentage of people have just made me shake my head and say to myself," Really now?".

What I have learned is that just because someone acts nice, speaks kindly to you, or answers your emails in a timely manner doesn't exactly mean they are a good person. Nice and Good---two different ways of being. I have learned  time and again how phony, insincere, and uncouth people can really be. I have realized that many people in the business (any business really) are out there just to make a buck off of you.

Some people in the pinup world are in it for themselves. Not to celebrate the times, the eras, the people, the history but to make a living off of the past. I believe in doing you but don't do it at the cost of others and also do it tastefully. Whatever you do in this life--do it with passion, love, and honesty.

Us pinup girls should stick together, not tear another down. I never understood why women need to compete with one another (unless it is a competition) or screw over someone else because they have something they themselves do not possess.

I say we all have something special to offer the pinup world. Every one's story is unique and special. Not everyone will obtain fame, riches, and glory but you can obtain self-respect, joy in what you're doing, and possibly even inspired others. Be yourself no matter what. In the end at least you can say you lived your life sincerely and authentically.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: The Little Princess

"The Little Princess" (1939)

In honor of my daughter's fourth birthday today, I am dedicating this film to her. This film is beautifully made, visually delightful, and just such a great story. It includes friendship, romantic love, a kick-a** dance scene, and a little girl's devotion to her daddy. What more can one ask for??

A Little Princess is based on a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel A Little Princess. Its classic children's book and definitely worth the read. I find children's book endearing and have a nice collection of them in my home. I hope one day my daughter would want to read some classic children's books. *smile*

The story is basically about Sara (the name actually means princess) who is sent to Miss Minchin's School for Girls while her father goes off to serve in the military. Sara spends her days trying to cope with missing her father with riding lessons and her friendships with the other girls. Things change drastically for the little princess when Miss Minchin receives news that her father was killed. Not only was he said to be dead but also penniless.
Shirley Temple who plays Sara is an American Icon!
Yes-that is her doll made in her likeness! What I
would give to have one of those treasures!??!

Miss Minchin decides to keep Sara as a servant girl because throwing her into the streets would only make her look bad. Sara works are and tirelessly searches for her father who she believes is not dead at a nearby Veteran's hospital.

Sara is the kind of girl who looks past a person's status (or lack thereof), ethnicity, gender, or age. She befriends those around her and enchants them with her faith in all things possible. One of those friendships is with Ram Dass, an Indian employee played but the incredibly handsome Cesar Romero, who was Cuban in real life.
Ram Dass sees how dreadful the little princess's life has become and after a night of wonderfully magical dreams she wakes up to to warm blankets and a room filled with food and other delights. Setting Sara off to a great mood for the day she goes to Lavinia's (played by Marcia Mae Jones) room to clean the coal and because she was fed up with Lavinia's awful ways, she throws the coal all over her! (don't worry its not hot!)

Miss Minchin's brother "Bertie" played by Arthur Treacher.
 This number always warms my heart!

Miss Minchin goes up to Sara's room to scold her when she finds all these beautiful things up in her room which was dark and dreary. She locks her up and calls the police telling her that she will be arrested. She escapes with her trusty friend and sidekick, Becky (played by Sybil Jason). Unfortunately, Becky gets caught by the police but Sara continues to make a mad dash to the hospital.

Sara bursts in on a visit of Queen Victoria who she eventually shares her story with. The Queen then sends her best man to help little Sara find her father. This next clip speaks for itself. All you daddy's girls out there, keep her hankies close by, it may come in handy!

Sara's father, Captain Crewe played by Ian Hunter

This movie and especially its ending is a reminder of how powerful faith, dreams, friendship, and love are. In particular in the form of a daughter and her daddy. I, too still call my Dad, daddy. Thankfully my little girl adores her daddy and she has been blessed with amazing one too. I must say, she's also crazy about her mama. (Yeah!) The other day she places her cheek next to mine and presses really hard and says, "Mama, we match!".

Oh yes, I love my little princess. She is one of the loves of my life. And today, the celebration of her birth is also the celebration of the day she made me a mother. A magical and blessed day. One that burns brightly in my heart.

Happy Birthday mama's little bunny. I love you! xox

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

News, Surprises, Discoveries, and More!

I am in Retro Lovely Magazine!! Ahhhhh!!!

So many super cool things have been happening lately that I wanted to share it with you all. I am not the jealous type and I just don't bother comparing myself to others. Just doesn't go with who I am and how I was raised. I am typically really happy for others when great things happen to them so I hope you can all share in this joy with me!

There is so much to say that I will just randomly share it without putting it chronological order. Yes, I tend to do that with many things but no, mama is going to be free about her blog entry! LOL

A month ago the owners of Pinup Lifestyle notified me that I would be included in their cork board in Retro Lovely Magazine Issue #6. When I saw the post to try out for it, I figured, "what the heck, why not give it a try!", and I did! I did not expect to hear that I would be in a magazine especially one that is very popular in the pinup world. I didn't totally believe it til I got my issue in the mail and there I am!

One of my many hopes is that this will be one of many. If not, it doesn't matter, because it was so unexpected and I just feel grateful for the chance.

This week I also found out I was the winner of not one but two blog contests! There are so many amazing blogs out there and when I find them I really try to keep up with the readings, participate with comments, and if they hold a contest, again I figured, "what the heck?".

I still can't believe I won! The first is from an amazing artist named Mickie Mueller whose blog is called, Tales from the Old Wooden Art Table....  Her work is ethereal and magical. I loved her depiction of the goddess and I just had to join in the fun with her contest. She also has an Etsy shop where you can view and shop for some of her work. (just click on the word "etsy")

OMG-look at the bundle of goodies coming my way-drool!!

The next day I am looking through my favorite blogs again and I see my name on it. I said to myself, "no way!" so I took a peak and YES WAY it was! This prize is makeup from Stila Cosmetics and the selection is to die for.
The package includes over 15 items some of which are all over shimmer in kitten, long wear lip color, and stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner. The blog is called Retro Girls Guide and it is fun, informative, and a pleasure to read!

Living my stay home life day in and day out doesn't allow me to pamper myself but I can honestly say that these amazing prizes are sure going to give me some pampering!! I feel very blessed indeed!! Feel free to check out those two amazing blogs--you will not be disappointed!

On other news, my photo shoot with Celeste Giuliano has been finalized. I know what my two looks and two themes will be. Am I nervous? I think at this point I am more excited and anxious but in a good way. Celeste is just so nice and friendly, communicating with her has put a lot of my worries at ease. I cannot wait to play dress up, take some time away from my responsibilities, and just enjoy being a GIRL!

My last bit of news is about my challenges in finding some vintage-inspired clothing to wear either on a daily basis or for smaller scale photo shoots. By the way, I am working diligently in finding some photographers who are willing to work for TFP. Since I don't feel ready to sign on to Model Mayhem I have been asking people I know if they know any photographers who would like some practice.

I know I will be working with Celeste soon but I also know that its vital for me to gain more practice. You cannot get better at anything unless you practice!

So with that being said, I ordered a few items from three well-known vintage-inspired online shops. They were all shipped very quickly, packaged beautifully, and all the items were really made well. I was impressed. Problem is that not one piece fits my figure well or is flattering to me at all.

But this was actually a good learning experience for me because although I felt greatly discouraged and defeated of sorts it inspired me to keep looking and researching. In midst of my researching I found a woman on etsy that has a shop called time machine vintage that I might be collaborating with to make custom made vintage-inspired tops and pants!

Pinafore Trousers that this seller makes-love it!!!

I already emailed her my inquiry so now I am just waiting to hear from her. I calculated how much other pants and tops are and found that her prices are just about the same as the other online shops. Plus I will be taking a big risk again if the items don't fit me well. You see, my body dimensions are a little off since having had my last baby. I mean something has to give right? I think my figure could look a whole lot worse but my post-babies pouch is there to stay unless some kind soul pays for a tummy tuck LOL

It is what it is and so is my disability. And because of it my wardrobe has to consist of pants and tops. I can wear dresses but mostly for photo shoots preferably in studio. I think it will be worth every penny to have items hand made to my new figure. I will also be able to pick colors and fabrics that compliment my complexion as well.

All in all, this has been an incredible week for me. Doing pinup and participating in the vintage life is a lot more important to me than I let on. Its given me a way to express myself not just for the people closest to me but to others out there in this great big world of ours. Its also allowed me the chance to do things I never dared to dream. Now one of my many motto's is, "What the heck-what do I have to lose?". I have nothing to lose so I am going for  it!!!!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adventures in the City

Taken on Friday, August 12th, 2011

Last week one of my closest and dearest friends flew in from the UK to be the Godfather of my youngest son. I haven't seen him in person for ten years but in the past year we have been skyping and keeping in better touch. Those are the days I love technology.

Ten years ago I was single and moving out of my fathers house into my own apartment. Now is whole other story. I now come with four people and one fur child LOL Thursday night finally came and it was amazing to say the least. Best part was how the children took to him so quickly.

Pinup Mama with my three munchkins!

Friday, August 12th, we all headed out to have an adventure in the city--three babies, three adults, one uber heavy diaper bag (mama had to take things just in case!), and a double stroller. We headed off to the Native American Museum near Wall Street which is fantastic and free (even more fantastic).

Inside the Native American Museum

I have always been a cheesy, smiling child--always ready for the camera but I was never one to purposefully pose for the camera. To me it seemed unnatural and I have always prided myself on being natural and just being me.

Well now its different. For the first time ever---and I mean---EVER---I consciously posed. I wanted to put in some Pinup Practice while doing some sight seeing. I figured--why the heck not. I am learning that posture is very important. Not just sticking our your chest but straightening your back and being conscious (in a good way) of your body and how the camera could be portraying it.

Afterwards we went to Freedom Tower--it wasn't an easy thing for me to do but I went anyway. It was sort of eerie, as if I was at a grave. Gave me chills but it looked really pretty---the building I mean. Can't believe it will be ten years this year! Wow!
The last two parts of our adventures was stopping by The Trinity Church for two reasons--mama need to rest her gams and also there was a really nice cemetery there. I was intrigued. My two eldest played with my friend with this pseudo jungle gym that I really think was a piece of art "The Trinity Roots"--literally the roots of a tree!

You probably don't know this but I actually find cemeteries very peaceful and comforting. Even the ones with my loved ones in it. To me its a place where one can be remembered and I believe its vital to remember others.

A beautiful cemetery in the middle of a bustling city!

I still can't believe I sat on the wet grass for this picture but it was well worth the mud smudge! LOL After we rested we took another train (six in total-sheer madness!) to 42nd Street to eat at my husband's favorite place Famous Dave's. While walking over I noticed this incredible building that I just have to share with you, especially those who love classic cinema as much as I do!

Yes! I am in front of The Barrymore Theatre-how cool!!!

The restaurant we choose is one of my husband's favorites but we usually go to the one in Long Island which is very family friendly. This one not so much. There were no changing tables and thank goodness I packing extra change of clothes and bottles and oh my---I am tired just writing that!

After all the commotion and everyone settled into their seats (I know they were really tired by then but such troopers!) mama ordered a strawberry daiquiri! Oh yes I did!! Okay you defiantly might not know this but I am not interested in alcohol very much, honestly that was for my early twenties and it just doesn't do me any good. Also I always feel like I am on duty with my babies so I never have anything. But since my husband and bff were with me I slurped my drink up---okay with the help of my hubby!

So, to conclude my little adventure, I must say it was not only fabulous to get out with my entire family on a gorgeous summer day, go sight seeing with my friend, or going into the city, but it was a learning experience for me to be more aware of myself and how I express myself in front of a camera. Such fun!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: West Side Story

"West Side Story" (1961)

"Please make it not be true"---haunting words spoken by Maria about her love, Tony. The truth is this film both moves the soul (and hips for some!) and tortures it all at the same time. If you love romance, musicals, dancing, and a story that reads like a play---then this is the film for you!

This film is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Rome and Juliet. New York City lends itself as the backdrop where two rival gangs, the Jetts and the Sharks. In the midst of that rivalry the leader of the Jetts, Tony (played by the handsome Richard Beymer) fall in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) who happens to be the sister of the leader of the Sharks, Bernardo (played by George Chakiris).

After the meet at a dance, both Maria and Tony instantly connect. He finds her and the share a breath-taking, utterly romantic moment on her fire escape (aka balcony like in "Romeo and Juliet"). This song is so fully of faith, hope, and love. Put tears in my eyes every time I hear it!

After they confess their feelings for one another, Maria sings the song, "I feel pretty". Every woman in love feels like they can float on air. They also feel like the most beautiful person in the world because someone they love, loves them in return. Oh L'amour! And even if you're not in love at this very moment but feel just I don't know---PRETTY---this is song will have you prancing around the house with a brush as your microphone in minutes! 

As the movie progresses you discover that this is a doomed love story in the middle of hate-filled, misunderstood youths. In a gang fight Bernardo accidentally kills Riff (played by Russ Tamblyn who was also in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) and then Tony kills Bernardo. Did all of these boys mean to do it? I really don't think so but it happens.

When Maria finds out she wants to hate Tony but love wins her over. They sing "Somewhere" to one another and make love. That song always gave me goosebumps. Its just so sad and haunting---you want them to be happy and yet the whole world is against them!  After Tony leaves and Anita (played by the spectacular Rita Moreno) finds out they sing, "A boy like that" together.

Yes, that is the multi-talented Rita Moreno singing. Unfortunately that isn't Natalie Wood singing. It was dubbed by a professional singer. I read in interviews that Natalie Wood thought she could have done a better job with her accent and if trained properly would have been able to sing all the songs. Some people in the industry even argue to this day that the role of Maria should have been played by a Latina actress. I think Natalie Wood was amazing but my only gripe was her accent because it was simply awlful. The Puerto Rican accent is far more beautiful than the way it was protrayed. Of all the main characters, Rita Moreno is the only Latina and she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress!

Tony plans to run away with Maria but an officer comes by her home and she asks Anita to ask Tony to wait for her. Unfortunately the Jetts intercede and harass Anita to the point of almost rapping her. So infuriated and terrified she was that as she is being rescued by the candy shop owner she tells everyone that Maria was killed.

On a side note, I loved the character of shop owner Doc, he is disenchanted with the youth of that day and just cannot wrap around his head why they spend so much energy hating each other. He is simply confused and overwhelmed---feelings many adults today often feel with the younger generations.

Thinking that Maria is dead, Tony seeks out Chino who is carrying a gun trying to avenge the death of Bernardo. Just when Maria find him, Chino shoots him and Maria holds him in her arms until he breathes his last breathe.

Maria, horrified with what has happened takes the gun and threatens to shoot the rival gangs or but alas she cannot. This scene shook my nerves--ugh I just re-watched it and there is a knot at my throat! Natalie Wood's performance is outstanding! Just imagine everything you love taken away from you with hate. Or society despising you because of who you are or who you love or how you live your life. This final scene is heart-breaking, as simple as that.

Either way this film opens the flood gates of your heart. The songs and dancing are just the icing (although incredible incing) on the cake of a story that says that love should prevail against all odds. That we should celebrate the love two people have and not judge them for their differences be it racial, cultural, religious, or sexual. That love is LOVE.

There is another reason why this movie hits so close to home to me. Look at this picture and you will see what I mean.

This just happens to be my parents about to have their first kiss. My father met her in a club, she had a fiancee (arranged by her mother) and he had a girlfriend. My father told me the moment he looked at her he laughed to himself and said, "Oh my God that's her!".

The fact that he was a Manhattan boy and she a Bronx girl did not jive well with their peers. My father told me in the 1960's there were gangs like in "West Side Story" and that every ethic group had their own hangouts and rivalries. My father went by the beat of his own drummer and had all sorts of friends. Hummmm, when I think of it, that reminds me of someone I know---oh yeah--me!!

Anyway because of the story of how they first met and how it was in the 60's in his neighborhood as well as the fact that Natalie Wood and my mother shared similar looks, I have felt emotionally connected to this film.

Its all about hope and love and fighting for what you believe in even if the world around you is in turmoil.

I dedicated this post to the late Natalie Wood whose work I admire and treasure.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pinup Girl of the Month: August: Olga San Juan

Olga San Juan

The "Puerto Rican Pepper-Pot"---what a name! That was what Olga was called as she danced, acted, and made us laugh mostly in the 1940's films such as, Duffys Tavern (1945), Blue Skies (1946), and One Touch of Venus (1948).

She was born in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York in 1927 to Puerto Rican parents. By age 3 she was taking dancing lessons and was almost immediately thrust into the limelight by her mother. By age 11, she (and five other young girls) had executed the Fandango for FDR at the White House. As a teenager Olga performed at such hot spots as the El Morocco and the Copacabana and subsequently earned pay as a dancer with famed jazz and mambo musician Tito Puente, who by then had earned the title of "The King of Latin Music".

After Olga became known in radio she then tried her hand at films. She made her film debut in 1943 in "Caribbean Romance". She continued on in films such as, "Bombalera" in 1945 and then "The Little Witch" also in 1945.

Her feature film debut was in "Rainbow Island" (1944), starring Dorothy Lamour. One of her finest films was "Blue Skies" (1946) with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

Olga San Juan with Fred Astaire in "Blue Skies" (1946)

She added sang such songs as, "You'd Be Surprised," "Heat Wave" and "I'll See You in C-U-B-A". When I heard the song "Heat Wave" memories flooded back to me having watching Olga sing this in this movie with my Grandma. Music is incredible for many reasons--one of them being that it can bring you back in time to a specific day that you almost forgot about until you hear it. I think that is so---magical!

"Blue Skies"~ be prepared for a "Heat Wave"!

Ironically "Blue Skies" was to be Fred Astaire's final film but New York's Paramount Theater generated a petition of 10,000 names to persuade him to come out of retirement. And the rest is history!

Because of her heavy accent Olga was restricted to certain roles and movies but she nevertheless became a commodity for Paramount. She continued to act mostly in musicals and comedies throughout the 1940's. In 1948 she married actor Edmond O'Brien with whom she has three children with.

What a super cute picture of the happy couple!

Her last hurrah in the industry came by accident when famed lyricist Alan Lerner happened to hear her sing at a festive Hollywood gathering and offered her one of the leads in his Broadway-bound musical "Paint Your Wagon" in 1951. The show was a flop, running just eight months, and Olga left the cast before the run ended, after becoming pregnant with her second child.

Because Olga was a strict Roman Catholic she decided to concentrate on her marriage and family. Aside from a smattering of TV shows, she completely retired.

Later in life Olga suffered a stroke and her health slowly declined from that point on. In 1976 she divorced O'Brien and  their children all involved themselves in different facets of the business. After decades of being out of the news, it was reported in January of 2009 that Olga had died at a Burbank hospital of kidney failure following an extended illness at 81 years of age.

Pretty as a Picture!

Olga San Juan might not be a known name in the industry or the younger generation today, but she made her mark in Hollywood especially for the Latina community. I am proud someone like her went after something she loved despite the challenges she faces with her accent, looks, and background. Thank you Olga for making a difference!!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Getting The Sexy Back Post-Babies!

There is no denying how wonderful the idea is of the stork coming in for a landing and BAM a baby is cradled in your arms. Or just the thought of motherhood itself is exciting! My goodness anyone can get caught up in all the cuteness of a baby!

What that darn book, "What to expect when you're expecting" doesn't tell you is that you become this entirely different person after the birth of your child. You transform---or at least I know I did. They also don't tell you how much your body really---and I mean REALLY---changes. Even your female friends who have already been through the process wont tell you the raw and real truths of having a post-baby body.

In my case I have a post-babies body. Three bundles of pure joy in four years. I don't regret any of it. They were meant to be here as much as I am meant to be their mama. And yes I still look at them in awe thinking to myself, "Are they really mine?", "Did I really do that?". The responsibility of motherhood is an intense and love-filled responsibility that I take very seriously. I am by no means a perfect mama and I do not in anyway want to shrive for perfection.

I do however strive to be a better person and a better mom. Every night I tell myself tomorrow is another day to do things differently or to try something different. There's so much learning that happens in this house it should be called  "La Escuela de (my last name)" or "The (my last name) School".

I guess it doesn't help that I am a former teacher but you see I taught high school girls not pre-school children so I have been learning so much! They are all so different and its so much fun to watch them learn things...ahhh I digress...was losing myself in thoughts of their cuteness. Its happens sometimes----okay many times.

How does a mama get her sexy back after having a child or children? I don't know all the answers but on this journey I have learned so far that you need to recognize the things that made you feel sexy before you had children. In my case I have honestly never felt sexy before. I wasn't the kind of girl who walked around in revealing outfits and hoping to get attention from everyone. I have known plenty of people like that-great people too, the just oozed sexualtiy, alas but its just not me!

I tend to look down a lot not because I have low self-esteem, I look down because I have to be careful where I walk. Because of my disability I can trip over just about anything, even with my supports on. People sometimes take that as a sign that someone may not feel good about themselves-not the case over here.

I have never liked too much attention on myself probably for two reasons; one being I was the weird girl who didn't have a mother and the other being I was the weird girl who walked on her toes. Who wants to be seen as weird? Yeah not a kid. Kids just want to be seen as the kid they are and nothing else attached to them.

I have said this before and its true, I felt my sexiest when carrying my three children. I am not saying I wasn't tired or cranky or in desperate need of sleep but dammit I felt like a Goddess!

At 40wks and about to pop with my first child~2007

My last day carrying my son at 39 weeks~2009

Trick or Treating with my babies.
 I was contracting the whole time.
 I was 39 weeks with my papito~2010

The hope I have for myself is that through the process of being in front of the lens I can find the sexy that's been  hidden in me my whole life. I have always yearned to express myself in front of the camera but just didn't think I could do it.

What is the difference between now and then you may be wondering? Well I do think that having had my children has made me feel very accomplished. So basically I feel like what do I have to lose? I have whats most important and what I have always wanted. Its time to give a little back to me and celebrate myself. In doing so I know that my family will not only be proud of me but also might even be inspired to go after their dreams or to make new dreams like I am doing.

Most people have found it strange that I have only felt sexy while pregnant but then again most don't know my story. Plus in many ways I'm still the weird girl but the only difference is this weird girl is learning to embrace what she has, mourn for what she doesn't have, and dares to be in front of the camera---post-babies and all!!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Name but Always a Pinup Mama!

Rita Moreno Circa 1950's

So why the name change? Some of you might have noticed the my facebook fan page was no longer visible to well, my fans.  It all started last week on Tuesday, August 9th. I thought that no one was going on my page and didn't consider that there was anything to worry about especially with the weekend ahead being jam packed with guests and activities. But Saturday night after my sons Baptismal celebrations were completed, I checked my page and still no activity-I thought to myself, "something wrong is going on here!"

I contacted facebook several times and only received two messages from them that were computer generated. Two things concerned me; that I was no longer going to be able to connect with people directly who are involved in the pinup/vintage world and also that all the connections I worked so hard to get would all be lost.

Monday morning came and literally within minutes of my best friend leaving to complete the rest of his trip, I got online (7 am to be exact)  and I started plugging along trying to figure out what is happening and what I can do about it.

Now I don't know if  you have realized this yet but I am NOT one to give up easily. Its not because I am stubborn because actually I am not stubborn at all, but its because I have never given up at anything and I will NOT start that awful practice now.

Thanks to the supportive ears of my husband and my online friend Button (who also has a fabulous blog-click on her name and find out more about her!) who both helped me clear my head so I could allow my magical muse to come to me and inspire my next move.

I then decided not to leave it in facebook's hands and take action of my own little pinup empire and cancel my fan page and start a regular facebook page. Now one of the suspicions Button and I had was that there is a clothing store named pinupmama and perhaps, just perhaps that had something to do with it. So to protect my interests I now separate my Pinup Mama name and all in all I do still consider myself a Pinup Mama.

I think all women who are moms and also pinups are a Pinup Mama. But I couldn't use that name for my new facebook page because well they don't consider that a name (what a pain right?!!) I knew taking the name Pinup Mama was more of a statement rather than a pinup name so I then began researching names I liked from classic film stars whose work I particularly enjoyed. And then I came up with Bunny Moreno (click on my name here and you will get yourself to my new page!!).

To be honest between you and me and a few dozen..or hundred people I never wanted to take up a pinup identity. I wanted the name I had to represent who I am not something I am not. I want you all to be able to relate to me and not feel like I am some made  up cartoon or something. But alas the social creature inside of me reared its pretty head and said, "Mama its better now than two years from it already!" So I did.

Why Bunny? Bunny is the name my husband calls me in private. Well its not so private anymore but it does have a lot of meaning to me. I also call my daughter Bunny so were hear it around the house often. I wear a necklace that my husband gave to me for Mother's Day before my youngest was born.

"Mothers Loving Care Necklace" from Red Envelope

I am always wearing it so I am sure there are a few photos of myself wearing it here on my blog. The necklace represents me being the mama bunny with my three little cute! My last name was inspired by the ever so talented and amazing Rita Moreno whose from Puerto Rico~where my family is from. Also "Moreno" means black and well my hair is black so I thought how fitting. I get to pay homage to this multi-talented artist and express a little of who I am.

Now I have a new name, Bunny Moreno, but I will always be a Pinup Mama! Feel free to call me "Bunny" or "Mama" I respond to both. And now after all this drama with facebook I feel accomplished and confidant that I just wont let anything get in my way!!!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Breakfast at Tiffany's

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)

With my 6th year Wedding Anniversary just a week away, it made me get in the romantic sort of mood. I started thinking, "what films do I find romantic?" I thought of a few but then this one came to mind. A true classic, don't you agree?
The always classy Hepburn

 The movie was loosely based on a Truman Capote novella and set in the heart of New York~Manhattan! Its a girl meets cat meets boy meets girl kind of story. It stars the ever so handsome George Peppard who you may remember as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith from the 80's show The A-Team. And of course the incredibly elegant Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.

Audrey Hepburn Circa 1950's

First let me begin by sharing with you why I love this movie. Aside from the fact that I get to see Audrey show her sexy self on screen, I also get some eye candy with George Peppard. I also love how its set in New York City~you get the feeling of city life during that time which is always an enjoyable thing especially for a native New Yorker such as myself.

I enjoy the fact that this is a modern LOVE story. Paul, George's character is a boy toy to an older socialite who keeps him living comfortably while he struggles with his writing career. Holly is arm candy to wealthy men who pervide the funds to have a posh lifestyle. What is so wonderful is that they both first find friendship with one another. They make a  true and deep connection knowing that they are both living lives that are not authentic to themselves.

Mickey Rooney as the disgruntled neighbor.

Another part of the film I love but of course others may find it not PC (politicially correct), was Mickey Rooney's performance as a annoyed neighbor of Holly's who is Asian when in fact Mickey is actually American. I find his performance to be hilarious. You really can't take it too seriously and that another aspect of this film that is so enjoyable. It blends the seriousness of love and fear of commitment with light-heartiness.

You see, Holly because of her past feels unable to commitment to anyone or anything. Even her cat hasn't been named because she just can't commit to being its owner.

Audrey Hepburn singing "Moon River" as Holly Golightly

When Holly sings "Moon River" it both breaks your heart and makes you understand a little bit more the deep sorrow and longing her character has. Its simply enchanting!

Audrey Hepburn and her little black dress at Tiffany's!

This film is also iconic for both Audrey's little black dress and her love for all things Tiffany's. I mean who can blame a girl! Marilyn Monroe said it best, "Diamonds are a girls best friend."

Believe it or not but I have never and I mean never been to Tiffany's! Should I put that on my bucket list? I don't think I need to look at millions of dollars worth of gorgeous jelwery that I will never own.  But I could always try and get a picture in front of Tiffany's as a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" inspired photo. Thats always doable and the awesome part is that New Yorkers wouldn't even notice little ole me dressed up as Holly Golightly. Just gotta love New York! You could be seven feet tall with purple hair and wings and people would walk right past you. it!

The climax of this film is when Holly trys to run away with a wealthy man and leaves Paul behind because he told her that he loves her. Holly goes into an alley with her nameless cat and releases him into the wilds of the New York City streets. When Paul tells her some truths she runs back for her beloved cat-----she finds him---Holly and Paul kiss---and oh the rest is blissful romantic history!

Final scene of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Its not a tear-jerker romantic film but it makes you think about love, life, and why do we the things we do. It made me think about the decisions I made in my life on the romantic front and I can honestly say that one of the best decisions I made in my life was giving my husband my phone number! I am so glad he called because we have not been apart since! Ahhhhh love is in the air!!!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm an old-fashioned girl!

Old-fashioned Girls

I am an old-fashioned kind of girl. I am in many ways a product of my time but I was raised very, very old school. I don't know if it was traditional in any way of because of my culture but I was not allowed to go outside-EVER! I always had to wear a camisole and slip every time I wore a dress. I was not allowed to wear any makeup and chapstick was a battle (sheesh dad!!). I was also not allowed to have my school uniform skirt hemmed (although I begged and pleaded and I might even shed some tears!) like all the other girls. Yes my school skirt was down to my knees! Oh the horror!

Of course I was NOT allowed to date. My first boyfriend was when I was nineteen but I have no regrets, I actually skipped quite a lot of drama, precious tears, and lots of problems because I didn't date until I was in college. I still wasn't allowed but come on  now?! (giggles)

I am still told not to curse (gotta love my dad!) and yeah I am a very grown woman now! I can say it was a blend of 1940's style and being raised in a Hispanic household. And being the only girl in my family and the only grand-daughter-forget about it! I was defiantly raised in an old school, old fashioned way.

"Just an Old Fashioned Girl" by Eartha Kitt (1962)

I don't  mind that I was, but it would have been nice to be allowed to dress up like Jem from Jem and the Holograms and just let my funky self be expressive. But alas, I found other ways to express myself as a young girl. I wrote a lot, made my first little book by age nine and began journaling by age twelve. I also pen palled-does anyone remember that back in the 1980's-early 1990's? It was big then and I loved it. Believe it or not I still keep in contact with some of them and one of them is now one of my closest friends!

Now as an adult and a mother I still am old fashioned but a different kind of way. I throw myself into motherhood. I love planning my children's birthday parties, decorating my home and making it cozy, I am not a huge fan of cooking but I do enjoy seeing my husband smile after he tastes something I made. I love snail mail and am big--no, HUGE on manners. I say "thank you" to my children and husband whenever they do something for me. I believe in being polite, writing thank you cards, offering my guests something to drink---all those nice and old fashioned ways.

It was a  beautiful gift my father and grandmother gave me. I was annoyed and furious that I couldn't go and hang out outside and my older brother could but now I am grateful. I'm grateful that they took the time to raise me to be a lady, to have manners, to respect my elders (almost to a fault even!), and to carry myself with dignity and embrace my womanly delicateness.

Circa 1985~dressed as a preppy with my rollers.
Granny showed me a lady always takes care of herself.
I love the way she is looking at me. Love you mama! xox

I may wear jeans and t-shirts often but I am very lady-like. I think I would make my granny proud. I miss her more these days especially as I am becoming more involved with things from her time. I know she would be happy knowing that how she raised me has made me into an old fashioned woman. She would be proud knowing that I now raise my daughter with the knowledge that being a lady is a fashionable thing to be!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Being your OWN best friend!

June 2011~PinupMama xox

When you are younger you want everyone to be your best friend, especially the "cool" crowd. When you are a teenager you are attached to your friends by the hip, yes even guys are, except perhaps not the hip lol Then in your college years you find a few good souls you  might consider being a forever friend and then realize yeah they were there for the moment. Friends come and go but you know who always stays-----YOU!

You are always with yourself so you will never not show up to a show or leave yourself hanging or forget to call yourself. Get the picture? Since you are with yourself all the time should we all attempt to embrace that and celebrate it by making yourself your very own best friend! Why not? You will always have a shopping buddy, someone who is honest with, and you'll never be lonely--not truly.

When I was nineteen years old I decided I was sick and tired of people disappointing me so I got my things together and took the 6 train down to Astor Place in Greenwich Village but we simply refer to it "the village". So there I was alone (or so it seemed) and no clue as to where I was going to eat or what I was going to do.

I found eating alone to be the most difficult because I am a conversationalist by nature because I do enjoy sharing a meal with someone. Other than that spending the day with myself was enjoyable and not once did I disappoint myself. I went to the bookstore, sat in Washington Square Park and would journal and people watch. I love taking in the moment and just people watching----don't you?

Washington Square Park

The very first movie I saw by myself was "Dangerous Minds"  in 1995 starring Michelle Pfeiffer. I remember liking the fact that no one was talking to me while I watched the movie which happens to be a huge pet peeve of mine. I like focusing on the film in front of my and taking in every moment including the previews and the credits. But I enjoyed my own company which I felt was a special gift I was giving to myself.

I am not saying that being alone is always a good thing or that I prefer being alone. But I taught myself how to enjoy my own company on my own terms. I took action when I saw that the people who called themselves "my friend" really we just passing through my life.

If at any point of your life you have a handful or just two true blue friends then count yourself blessed. People today I find are content with having a billion people on their facebook and sharing their whole lives with them, but none of them spend time with you or really care if you are having a rotten day. 

I have learned (and in some ways still learning) that its easy to be a "one day out of the year" friend but what we all deserve is a 365 a day friend. Someone who supports us sincerely and is there when we cry our hearts out and who is honest with us when we need to hear the truth.

During this phase of my life I am learning that many of the people I called a friend for fifteen or twenty years are no longer true blue---perhaps they never were---I am unsure. But especially now that I am working on creating a balance between my home life and my pinup life, I have realized that I do have some amazing friends. Even if they live in England or just across the bridge---the fact is they love me exactly for who I am and encourage me to be the best I can be. They also love my family and my children love them, which for me is a huge sign of love and respect.

I am my OWN best friend too! I love myself,  I enjoy my own company, and I love both parts that make me the human before you (both spirit and body). I like me.

Although this specific journey has just begun, I have found a a few incredible people whom I have never met who have been kind, supportive, loving, honest, and best of all true to the definition of friendship. I have never met them in person and I may never but the kindness of strangers does exist. To them and all to all of you who support me when I have had my rough times and those who are there to cheer me when I have fabulous times-it does not go unnoticed. I count my blessings and am deeply grateful.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954)

When I think of a movie that's joyful and romantic and has great dancing, I think of this film. It has Julie Newmar who you might recall was Cat woman in the Batman series in the 60's as well as Russ Tamblyn who played the leader of the Jets from "West Side Story." It also has a whopping barn dance scene that leaves your toes tapping instantly!

I first saw this movie when I was a teenager (yeah what teens today watch "old" movies as they call it-my plans are the change that!) and I remember my eyes being glued to the screen not only because of the music and dancing but also because of these bright, cheerful colors! Everyone is dressed in yellows, reds, bright blues---you cant help but keep looking. Its kind of how they say young children respond well to primary colors, well I think girls respond well to bright, pretty colors---at least this girl did!

It all starts out when the elder brother of seven meets and marries a woman by the name of Milly played by Jane Powell. Milly moves into Adam's home, played by Howard Keel and finds that he has seven unkempt brothers living in the same roof with him! Oh my---can you imagine that? What would you do if you were Milly? I'd probably tell everyone to move into the barn and leave me the house with my husband!

Milly being a clever woman begins to tell the boys that they should keep themselves tidy, have some manners, and learn to dance. Does that solve any problems for poor Milly? Not really. But when they all come to realize that if they every want to meet any nice girls and get married (remember people didn't really date til the 20th Century---well do people really date now?) they will have to learn the things that Milly is teaching them.

Each brother was named after someone from the Old Testament starting with the letter "A". I found that to be so cute--don't you think? So there's Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank (short for Frankincense, the Old Testament having no names beginning with F), and Gideon. All of the brothers are Gingers except for Gideon. Ironically I found him to be the cutest because of course he was the different one out of the bunch. LOL

Taking the advice of Adam the boys go into town and grab all the girls they liked from the barn dance. As they were kidnapping them an avalanche occurred and well how convenient--the girls are now stuck with the boys for at least six months or longer til the spring clears the snow.

Suffice it to say that as time progressed the girls forgave the boys and love blossomed, as did Milly's belly. Milly asked Adam to leave for giving his brothers such poor advice on how to get women and therefore were on bad terms, but she was expecting a bundle of joy!

I find the beauty of the story is watching the characters open up like petals on a spring morning. Its really beautiful to watch everyone comes into their own. And of course there is a happy ending! I must confess I really do prefer happy endings!!

This film is filled with charm and will most certainly entertain you. It will leave you feeling light-hearted and gay (meaning happy).

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