Friday, October 5, 2012

My Tattoo Guide! A How-To For Your Appointment

I have wanted to do a post like this for a while but I keep putting it off.  However, now that I am getting tattooed after four years of waiting (October 16th), I find myself inspired!
 This post is a guide that features tips and suggestions for getting tattooed.  Whether you are "taking the plunge" and getting tattooed for the first time or if you are getting a new piece (and several years have past), this post is for you!

After you deciding on a design and researching which artist you want to do your work, you are probably thinking about the tattoo itself (especially if it's your first session!).  Is it going to hurt?  How much is it going to cost?  Can I take a painkiller beforehand? Well, y'all, read on and get informed! Trust me, the more knowledge you have before your appointment, the better the experience will be!

1. 72 hours before your appointment, refrain from alcohol and drink lots of water.  Hydration is very important!  Alcohol thins the blood which can affect your tattoo session and your healing time!

2. If you are getting tattooed in an area you normally shave (legs), do not pre-shave the area before your tattoo!  Your artist will shave the area just before they apply your tattoo transfer.  Shaving beforehand can cause razor burn and this can affect your tattoo and its healing!

 3. Try to reduce if not eliminate caffeine on the day you tattoo.  If you are nervous (like me), the caffeine may make your nerves worse!  Drink plenty of water and maybe herbal, caffeine-free tea.

4. For your tattoo, wear comfortable and loose clothing.  Do not wear anything that can restrict your movement and/or affect your comfort (especially if you are sitting for a long period of time).  Be sure to wear clothing that can be washed.  You are more than likely going to be stained by inks, a small amount of blood plasma, and the ointment the artist uses during and after the tattoo itself.

5. Do not take any painkillers before your tattoo.  Most pain medication contain blood-thinners and like alcohol, this can cause your tattoo to heal poorly.  Some artists suggest only Ibuprofen-based medications (taken and hour before tattoo begins).  However, it is best to ask your artist!

6. Before your tattoo, eat a proper meal with a light protein and complex starch.  Drink plenty of clear fluids.  If you do not eat well, your blood sugar will drop and you can pass out or feel faint during your tattoo!  Sometimes, people can even get sick.  Not good!  So, please prepare your body and eat!

7. Bring a light, portable snack and a drink to the tattoo session.  Most artists allow for this and even encourage clients to do so.  An ideal snack can be: granola bar with water, trail mix with gatorade, protein bar with ginger ale, and so on. Just stay away from junk food and simple sugar! Organic-based, protein-rich food with complex starches helps maintain blood sugar levels.  In the past, I had a Glucerna bar with a Vitamin Water. Glucerna is for diabetics.  The bars taste good and help keep glucose level!

8. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID and your form of payment.  Also bring cash for tips!  In many states, like Colorado, the artist is required to make a photo-copy of your ID before any tattoo work can begin.  Tipping your artist is always important!  It shows appreciation for their work and time.  If a tattoo is $200.00, I tip the artist at least $40.00.

 9. If you are worried about the pain level, then you can do a few things before your tattoo begins. Bring a friend to keep you company and keep you distracted. Also, you can bring an iPod or MP3 player if you are alone and/or prefer music. More often than not, your artist can be a great help to stay focused and give support! I have had many amazing conversations during my tattoo sessions!

10. Speaking of discomfort, tattoos hurt. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise! If this is your first tattoo, do not worry. You can do it! Certain areas of the body like the inner wrists, inside of the biceps, the ribcage, knuckles, underarms, ankles, and the tops of the feet are usually the most tender areas but with some deep breathing, good hydration, and a proper, balanced meal beforehand, you will make the process more tolerable. The pain varies from a mild bee-sting sensation to an intense sensation. I had my inner wrist and both ankles tattooed and it was not fun but I made it!

11. When your tattoo is complete, your artist will coat in ointment and wrap it in a plastic-based bandage. Be sure to follow your artist's after-care instructions to the letter! You will be healing for two-three weeks and during this time it is VITAL that your care properly for your new tattoo. As you care for your tattoo, you may get impatient and feel like getting lazy with after-care! Don't! Think of it this way: two weeks of good after-care equals a lifetime of beauty!

12. Enjoy your new skin art and always keep it covered in a good sunscreen (once you are fully healed)!
If you have any questions or if you think I forgot something, let me know!

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Things Can Only Get Better!" (Long Post)

While driving to work this morning, I was listening to XM First Wave station (XM 33) and Howard Jones' "Things Can Only Get Better" boldly streamed into my car.  The sound was filled with memories of my 80s childhood paired with a positive message that truly, things are seemingly getting better!

Over the course of the last two years, I have gained 12-15 pounds.  It was seven years ago this month I began my weight loss journey.  When I reached my goal weight in early 2006 (lost 33 pounds), I felt amazing.  I promised never to be unhealthy again.  Yet, in June of this year, there I was standing in front of a mirror, unable to fit into a skirt I bought a year ago.  I broke the once-heralded promise I made to myself and I felt like crap.

In July, I decided "enough was enough" and after a little self-inventory, I began to keep a food journal again and I cut out all alcohol for 4 weeks.  I hit the gym more often and instead of eating McDonald's Fish Filet on the weekends, I make low-calorie falafel pitas paired with carrot sticks and tons of water.  Instead of eating three slices of Papa John's pizza, I eat one piece and have a big salad.  After a month of solid progress, I tried on that pesky skirt and it fit!  Hell, it fit better than when I first bought it last year!  I was so excited! (After two + months, the skirt is even looser now!!)

I am now back to my "good" weight of 127 or 9 stone.  I would like to lose 5 more pounds but I will continue to do so in a healthy way.  If I do not make it to 122, I will not beat myself up.  I just want to focus on eating healthy and staying active.  Let me tell you, losing weight is hard but keeping it off is even harder!  It is all about balanced living and learning to make the right choices and stay motivated.  (Some days I just want a cupcake and a martini!)

Another positive element going on right now is that my dad seems to be doing really well with his early-onset Alzheimers.  He is active, takes daily walks with my mom, keeps busy around the house and garden, and he is on a better CPAP (sleep apnea) machine.  I feel like the old Dad is back!  Now, I know my dad will never be the same but each day is a small achievement which is a BIG step in helping to maintain his mental state.

Moreover, after four years of not having any tattoos done, I have decided to take the plunge and get a new piece done.  Some of you may know that my artist and friend, Kauri Tiyme, was killed almost four years ago.  I once told her that she would be the only artist to touch me.  I stated this with the intention Kauri would be alive but after she was gone, I took that sentiment to mean "never ever again."

After much soul-searching, I feel I am ready to get tattooed again.  I cannot say for sure if Kauri would mind.  I think she would understand but I am not certain.  I know that I am ready and the process of getting tattooed will be the closure that I need.  I will always miss Kauri and I will forever treasure the art she gave me.

Nevertheless, on the 16th of October at 3pm, I am going to Cirque Du Rouge in Washington, D.C. for my tattoo session with Liaa Walter.  I am excited and nervous!
I am having a few Alpine Forget-Me-Not flowers along with a few mid-century starburts done on my inner left wrist.  I had my right wrist done in 2006 and then re-done (so much better) by Kauri in September 2008.  Anyone who has a tattoo done on the wrist knows how icky the sensation can be! That is what's making me nervous!  After my tattoo is done, I will be sure to post pictures!

I am looking forward to life for sure these days and it feels good.  I know some days are going to be better than others but I really feel "things can only get better!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Rumble in Lipstick Land!

First and foremost, I want to apologize for being away for a while.  I have been occupied with a busy work schedule and taking care of family issues.  For those of you who may know, my father is in the early stages of Alzheimers. Things have been good lately but some days are better than others.  I took my parents away on a little holiday to the beach for a few days and we all had a lovely time.

Nevertheless, I want to talk about the craziness that ensued regarding MAC Cosmetics' release of their "MAC By Request" collection.  Back in March, MAC had an open vote on their Facebook for customers to chose discontinued shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, and lipgloss.  Once the tallies were in, MAC debuted the winning three lipsticks, three eyeshadows, and three lipglosses. The shades were amazing for sure!  I really was pleased with the lipsticks.

The collection was released exclusively online in three parts.  First the lipstick, the lipglosses (a few days later) and then the glosses (a week after the lipsticks).  Due to the buzz generated on various websites (ie, several people were 'site'stalking' the MAC online site in anticipation of the collections' release (especially the lipstick).  On, fellow MAC devotees stated how they stayed up all night waiting to get their hands on the coveted colors. I got up early on the first morning of the lipstick release and was able to order two "Moxie" lipsticks and one "Candy Yum Yum."
Once the lipsticks were made available for purchase, the real "feeding frenzy" began!  By mid-afternoon the first day, "Candy Yum Yum" was sold out. The next day, "Moxie" was gone too.  (MAC stated that once the colors were sold out, they would be gone for good).

The eBay auctions for the three lipsticks further intensified the flurry of buying activity.  Get this, these lipsticks were not even shipped to the sellers, and they were getting bids (even on the first morning the lipsticks were up for sale)!!  I saw one auction for "Moxie" with 7 bids and it was already up to $70.49 USD!  This was for ONE lipstick, girls! ONE!! MAC lipsticks normally retail for $15.00 USD and people were willing to shell out over 70.00 bucks.

Another ugly element to this makeup frenzy is how people were trying to buy 5  or even 8 of each shade! I called MAC customer service to place my order (my computer refused to work for a few days) and the MAC representative told me that MAC would reject any order that contained more than 4 lipsticks per color.  When I asked if multiple orders were common, the MAC rep said she had scores of customers calling to demand why their orders for 6 "Moxies" and 7 "Candy Yum Yum" were cancelled.  Now, I bought two Moxies but why would I need more than that?  I mean how quickly does one go through a lipstick?  I, for one, wear lipstick everyday, and I have colors I wear often (like Besame Red) but after nearly two years of having Besame Red, I still have quite a bit left.

I understand that these colors were limited edition but why do people go crazy when buying?  I am a self-confessed makeup nut but even I have my limits. Why buy scores of lipsticks that may or may not get used?  Why pay 70.00 dollars for a color (that's normally 15 USD bucks), even if it's "special?"  Now, my real question is: if MAC knew the draw this collection would have, why not make more available? Maybe it's the whole "supply and demand" aspect, I am not sure.

What do you girls think?  How do you feel about "limited edition" and/or special release makeup collections?  Do they warrant the buying frenzy and do they just encourage hoarding by customers?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bullies and the Power of Vintage

(image courtesy of

When I was in elementary and middle school, I was often the subject of ridicule. I was called "ugly," "freckle face," "nerd," "loser." You know, the usual stuff. On a couple occasions, I was even physically attacked. Now, I could have handled the assault better (emotionally) had the perpetrators been girls but they were boys.

For some damn reason, two asshats in my 7th grade class made it their mission to make my life a living hell. One day, they waited for me to walk by (during recess) and they tripped me up and as a result, I fell on my knee hard and ripped my new jeans. I was in pain, I was bleeding, and I was mortified. I went to my teacher who told me, "I am sorry. I didn't see what happened so I can't help you." I was told to go to the bathroom to clean up and instructed to return to my seat. I refused and I went to the nurse's office. There I was bandaged up and I called my dad (he was at work). Let me just say this, when my parents found out about what happened, they were beyond mad. They also paid a visit to my prinicpal's office.

Until that attack, I was quite meek and I just put up with the bullying. But in that moment of me walking out of that classroom, something in me changed. I realized I wanted to be in control of my life and no one was going to make me a victim again. Instead of enduring the name-calling and sly glances from catty girls, I stood firm and in the process, discovered my wit. For example, when a popular girl sat at my lunch table and said, "You know, you'll never be popular with red hair and freckles." I replied, "I can change my hair or wear a wig or something but no matter what you do, you'll always be a bitch!" Her mouth agape, she said, "You can't say that!" I responded, "I just did." She walked away and never talked to me again.

As the school years went on, a smattering of bitchy girls and a few jerk-off guys gave me trouble but I always handled it. One guy (some mullet-clad, redneck in a heavy metal t-shirt) had the audacity to flip me off in 10th grade English class. He thought he was being cool and tough and I said (loud enough for everyone to hear), "Oh look! It can do tricks! Aw, did you learn that all by yourself? How precious!" He turned away, embarrassed.

In the last two years of high school, I began wearing vintage clothing. My sister, who worked at a consignment store, often gave me boiled wool cardigans, Pendleton sweaters, 50s pencil skirts, and cotton playsuits. Instead of shopping for the latest mall fashions, I looked for shoes and clothes that looked vintage. (I had a pair of 40s-style black suede platforms that I wore to death!) When I wore vintage clothes, I felt a confidence I can't put into words. Sure, some kids looked at me like I was odd and I may have gotten a whisper and a laugh, but I didn't care. I knew they were just too afraid to be themselves. They needed to fit in. Oh well.
Here is me with two of my good friends on the night of our 11th grade homecoming. (I'm on the left, with Angie A. (middle), and Sunny D.) Sunny is wearing a 50s black velvet evening dress and I am wearing a 30s bias-cut, floor-length black crepe dress. My hair looks bad but I loved my dress for sure!

For a time, I stopped wearing vintage (starting in my sophomore year of college. Instead of wearing a 50s skirt and cardigan, I opted for a pair of Gap denim overalls. Yes, I did. Yuck. I strolled to class in my Gap and Esprit duds and it was during this era that I began to lose my once unbridled perseverance. I gave up and I don't know why. I stopped being me and I just went with the crowd.

When I turned 30 in 2005, I had a new awakening, a "Saturn Return" if you will. I not only did I lose 33 pounds by the year's end, I had this amazing opportunity to rediscover my vintage self. None of my clothes fit and I figured, what the hell, I am going for it. I am going to rebuild my wardrobe and be the Tara I truly am. I started my vintage collection with repro clothes like Stop Staring, Heartbreaker Fashion, and Rock Steady and eventually I added vintage pieces. (Nowadays, vintage makes up approximately 80-90% of my clothes).

I know that clothing does not make or break me (like the saying goes) but vintage to me is more than clothes, it's a mindset that reflects my most happy and true self. Sure, I often get stares from people when I am out and about but I do not pay them any mind. Why should I let the gawk of a total stranger influence my choice of lifestyle/dress? If I adapt and change based on societal pressure, I would be miserable.

No one bullies me anymore but I have received the odd snicker and whisper (usually women I see in stores and restaurants). I usually smile at them and say, "Hi there! How are you?" They realize they were busted and turn away. Just like when I was younger, no one is going to get me down or make me 'feel less than.' I am convinced bullies attack and ridicule because they are weak and it gives them a sense of power. I also suspect they bully because they feel they can get away with it. When I stood up to my bullies (usually armed with my wit), they usually stopped.

Vintage not only represents my personal style, it reflects my determination and fortitude. Life is too short and I am going to live it to the fullest and in my way.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I am Still Here

I have been away from blogging for a long time! It's been two months since my last post! I can't believe the Fourth of July has come and gone already!

Nevertheless, since my absence, a lot has been going on for me and my family. Things are okay now but back in May, there were a couple days I felt my whole world turn upside down.

My 72-year old father is in the early stages of Alzheimers. He was officially diagnosed in October and was put on the lowest dose of the Exelon patch. He has his good days and his not-so-good ones and in early May, he had a bad day. My father, intent on meeting up with friends, went missing.

I was at work and my sister called me mid-morning to inform me Dad was missing.  He was supposed to meet his friends for golf at 9:00 am. One of my father's friends called my mother inquiring about his whereabouts or if Dad forgot. My mother's heart sank as she told the friend Dad left the house around 8:30 am. My mother called my sister in a panic and my sister called the local police. After a while, they issued a 'senior alert.' A 'senior alert' or in some jurisdictions, a 'silver alert,' is similar to the "Amber Alert" system.

After several hours, my father was found and the police drove him home. My sister and I drove to my parents' house (about one and half hours away) and we had to go pick up the car where my dad left it. (It didn't start and we had to call a tow truck. I am so thankful the car did not break down whilst Dad was driving.)

After a nap and some dinner, Dad seemed a little tired, confused, and yet happy to be home. We asked Dad if he remembered what he was supposed to do that day and he didn't have a clear answer. Everything seemed like a blur to him.

Lately, my father seems to be doing better. He is staying active, working in the yard, reading the paper everyday, and taking morning walks with Mom. My father's neurologist stressed to us that physical activity is VERY IMPORTANT! Some studies have speculated that crossword puzzles and games like Sudoku are helpful for maintaining memory function but in the end, not really. Again, physical activity and socialization are the key.
This book, "The 36-Hour Day" has been an amazing tool for us. If you know someone going through Alzheimers or know a caregiver (spouse or adult child), I recommend this book highly. Even though there medications and ways to help maintain memory and cognitive function, there is no cure for Alzheimers and/or dementia. With that said, early detection and diagnosis is CRITICAL. If you suspect a loved one may be in the infant stages of the disease, they need to get a referral for neurologist, a possible MRI (to check for brain abnormalities), and a thorough screening (a questionnaire done by the neurologist in office).

Most of my talks with Dad seem very normal but sometimes I can see and hear the differences in him. Most days I am okay, and yet there are a few where "it hits me" and I either cry and/or feel very pi$$ed off. I think, "Why him?! Why?!" I waver between super positive to 'I want to wave my hands and make it all go away.'

I admit I am worried for Dad but I do not want to be so consumed in my worry that I miss out on the good times with him. Each day I strive to call him and Mom on the phone and I make sure to visit them a lot. I spent the Fourth of July with Mom and Dad and it was a fun day. Dad really seemed like his 'old self' and he was even telling funny stories about the time he and Mom went through the citizen classes (for becoming a US citizen) back in the 70s. Dad and I also had a great conversation about the upcoming Presidential election.

I am going to be positive for Dad and for now, that's all I can do. I will not wallow in self-pity because, really, what good is that? It's not. I need to be strong for my family and be there for them. I will see each day as a blessing because it is. Family is all that matters.

With much love to you all!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(BOTD) Bakelite of the Day!

Just for fun, I decided to do a "BOTD" i.e. Bakelite of the Day post! I normally wear bakelite in some form every day, usually as bracelets or earrings.

In the last two years, I have been building my bakelite collection. So far, I have spacers, a few carved bangles, some end-of-day pieces, a smattering of smooth bracelets, and two pairs of carved earrings. I want more carved bangles and a beaded necklace or two! I would have more but as we all know, bakelite is not cheap!

In addition to my bakelite obsession, I also love and make resin jewelry. I use pour resin by Castin' Craft mixed with glitter, beads, and/or opal flake. Initially, I just made pendants but in the last few months, I have branched out to making earrings too!

Here is one of the earrings I am wearing today! I made them with resin, green glitter, and mini square silver glitter!
After pouring and setting the mold, I allowed the mixture to set and when it was cured (two days), I popped the resin out of the mold, coated the surface with a clear, protective polymer, and attached the earring posts! Viola! They were done and ready to wear!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hair Flower Tutorial!

For the longest time, I have wanted to do a hair flower tutorial. And after much procrastination, here it is!

Here are the supplies you will need:
hair flower
metal (or jeweler's) pliers
glue gun
glue sticks
hair barrette or hair alligator clip
1/4 inch wide grosgrain ribbon
hot pad (pot holder)

To start, select your hair flower(s) from your local craft store. The flowers are usually made of silk, a silk blend, or a poly blend. Moreover, the flower itself is typically on a single or multi-tiered plastic-coated metal stem.  You can find these flowers (or picks) in the flower section.
Before you begin, plug in your glue gun and place it on a hot pad (or pot holder) to protect your work space from the heat. Pre-heat glue gun for at least 10 minutes.

Now, using your pliers, cut off the coated-metal stem(s) at the base of the flower:
Make sure the stem is removed cleanly to ensure a flat surface necessary for gluing on the barrette (or alligator clip).

 Now, cut two equal sections of ribbon slightly shorter than the actual length of clip/barrette.
Using the glue gun, apply a small line of glue to the ribbon and adhere ribbon to underneath of the top part of clip:
Allow glue to cool for 5 minutes.

On the top of the clip, glue on the second strip of ribbon:
 Allow glue to cool for another 5 minutes.

Now, here comes the fun part, ie attaching the flower itself! Add a pea-sized amount of glue to the middle of ribbon and attach flower:
Allow glue to cool/set for at least 10 minutes before handling. Turn off glue gun and let it cool down completely before storing away. When your clip is no longer warm (whatsoever) to the touch), it is ready to wear! Let the compliments roll in!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

My rockabilly style is quite different from the 'norm' in this modern era and as a result, I often get asked why I dress they way I do, why I have tattoos, why I wear red lipstick everyday, and why I live choose to live a rockabilly lifestyle.

I am sure you gals have been asked why you wear vintage as well! Isn't it interesting how our look gets strangers 'to come out of the wood work (along and friends and family who may question our style)?'

So, without further ado, here are my FAQ!

1. Why do you wear vintage clothes?
I wear vintage because I love the aesthetic of the 40s and 50s. The patterns and fabrics flatter me better than the lines of modern clothing. For example, modern trousers are cut much lower than their vintage counterparts and as a result, the torso and hips on my 5'3 frame look less defined. Moreover, I adore the feminine styling 40s/50s clothes. I feel modern clothing endorses comfort while neglecting style and femininity.

2. Do you wear vintage everyday or just for special occasions?
No, I wear vintage everyday. Without over-sharing,  I wear vintage lingerie, nightwear, and of course, for my day and night wear. The only time I do not wear vintage is when I work out at the gym.

3. Do you wear vintage reproduction clothing?
When I first began to wear vintage, I 'got my feet wet' with vintage reproduction clothing like Stop Staring, Bettie Page Clothing, and Heartbreaker Fashion. To this day, I wear Heartbreaker pencil skirts, Freddies of Pinewood jeans, and Trashy Diva dresses. I prefer vintage, but I like reproduction too.

4. Do you ever wear modern clothes?
Like I stated before, I wear modern gym clothes. I also wear Ann Taylor, Talbots, and J. Crew suiting for work when I have to go on Capitol Hill or meet with government officials/clients. (I am a technical writer for a government contractor).

5. Why do you have tattoos?
Like the clothing on our backs, piercings in our ears, or the makeup on our face, tattoos are just another form of adornment. To me, tattoos are a way to express myself while beautifying myself.

6. Why do you wear red lipstick? It's so bold!
I love red lipstick! In my opinion, it is the ultimate shade of femininity! I fell in love with red lipstick in high school and it has been my 'signature color' ever since. I have tried to wear nudes, pinks, and neutrals but I feel 'out of sorts' when I do. Nothing makes me feel 'like me' like a good shade of bright, classic red!

7. So, you are a 'rockabilly,' you must hate modern music. 
Now, I do love Carl Perkins, Johnny Burnette (before "You're 16"), Santos, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, Chuy and the Bobcats, Lil' Luis and Los Wild Teens but I also love the Cure, Sisters of Mercy, VNV Nation, Imperative Reaction, Razed in Black, and Combichrist. I also love Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and Morrissey. VNV Nation is my FAVORITE group. Hands down!! I have seen them four times in concert and each time it just gets better and better! I love rockabilly but I also adore EBM and new wave. (But I hate doo wop!)

8. You are in your late 30s! You have to 'grow up' sometime and dress like a 'normal adult!'
Why is age even relevant? Moreover and more importantly, is there an arbitrary, 'cut-off' age for dressing vintage? In addition, what is deemed 'normal?' I see it this way: life is too short and life is a celebration so I am going to live it my way and how it see fit! I am happy and I feel complete. This is how and who I am.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Viva Las Vegas 15- Photos and Synopsis (Part II)

Here is my Viva 15 synopsis Part II! Today we talk about the Saturday car show, Saturday night, JD McPherson, Sunday, dining at Aureole, Sunday night dancing, and my journey home.

Day 4: Saturday, the 7th: Big Daddy and I wake up and order room service breakfast. I order my usual egg beater omelet and fruit plate but I also "take the plunge" and get a blueberry muffin and croissant. Both pastries were too big to finish but they were good!

It is the day of the car show! The day is sunny and the temperature is in the 70s! After having a quick pizza lunch at Sbarro in the Orleans, Big Daddy and I make our way over to the show at the Orleans Arena. I am wearing my gorgeous 50s cotton sarong dress I bought from DearJohn Vintage on Etsy!
The car show seems more packed this year! The cars are fabulous! I want them all!

I also wear my bakelite bangles!
 Now, to the show!!
While at the show, I bumped into Cassandra, ie the gal who sold me my sarong dress! It was so lovely to meet her! Not only is she super nice, her style is to die for!

Big Daddy and I check out the cars and like I said before, I wanted EVERY car! I love my '05 Volvo but if I could have a real 50s auto, I would be so happy!

After a few hours in the sun, Big Daddy and I decide to go back to the Rio for rest and a shower!

That evening, we have dinner at the Rio. Even though we have a lovely meal, Big Daddy is not feeling well. The dry, desert air combined with the stale, casino cigarette smoke were wreaking havoc on Big Daddy's allergies. So, he stayed in and I grabbed a cab to the Orleans.

Whilst in line for a cab,  I saw a huge line of women waiting. I mean, there were ABSOLUTELY NO MEN. Then, I figured it out, these gals were leaving the casino after seeing "The Chippendales" show! Talk about hilarious!

After a few minute cab ride, I arrive at the Orleans and meet up with Kim and the girls in the main ballroom to see JD McPherson!

You have to check out Kim's fantastic photos from the show on her blog!

Here is me and Jennie Lee!

Jennie Lee and I met for the first time! She was the seller behind the fabulous sequin dress I am wearing! She is so so nice and her look is stunning!

Here is me and Cassandra!
Kim and Jessica were just in front of us at the very edge of the front of the stage! Seeing JD McPherson in person was just wow!

After the show, Cassandra, Jennie, and myself lined up to buy JD's album and he signed them! He had a great energy and he was hella cute! (Sorry, Big Daddy!)

My gold and rhinestone stilettos began to give out on me and I threw in the towel. I also wanted to make sure Big Daddy was okay! When I returned to the Rio around 1:30 am, Big Daddy was fast asleep. I washed my face, changed into my Pjs and went to bed!

Day 5: Sunday, the 8th: Big Daddy and I wake up and I call my parents to wish them Happy Easter and Happy Passover. Even though Passover began on Friday at sundown, I ate leavened foods! I am sorry, I couldn't help it!

For breakfast, Big Daddy and I have mimosas along with our usual fare (pastries too!)

Sunday is the pool party day at Viva. Before heading to the Orleans, Big Daddy and I have a Thai lunch at the Aria. Everything from the Thai iced tea to the drunken noodles was delicious! We finish our lunch and make our way to the Orleans.

When we arrive, the line for the pool party was huuuuuuge!! We realize we would be waiting forever so Big Daddy and I go back to the Rio.  Later on, we change and get ready for our big dinner at Aureole in the Mandalay Bay.

Here is the famous tower of wine that makes Aureole famous. The wine list is so big, it is on an iPad!

Big Daddy and I arrived early for our reservation so we have drink at the bar:
After our drinks, Big Daddy and I are seated and we have a fabulous meal! Then we return to the Rio to change out of our evening attire and into more casual fare. I wear my leopard top paired with my Freddies capris and my black Remix wedges.

Big Daddy and I head over to the Orleans and met Kim for a bit and then he and I do some late night dancing!

I wanted to stay out all night but since we had to go home the next day, we return to the Rio so we can pack and go to bed.

The next day is Monday the 9th. Big Daddy and I finalize our packing and get ready to check out.
I am too lazy to do anything special with my hair so I quickly blow dry my bangs and I put the rest of my damp hair into braids:
 Here is an overall view of my homeward-bound (blurry) outfit. A 50s black and white dress with a black patent, Target girls' belt:
Here is how it should look like:

We do a quick once-over to make sure we leave nothing behind and head to the airport.

After flying all day, we arrive back at Dulles airport at 12:00 am. I am tired and feeling like I am coming down with something! I want to go home even though Viva was over too fast!

So, there you have it! I had such fun and it was so wonderful meeting you all! I cannot wait for VLV 16!

Watching History Over My House!

This is Space Shuttle Discovery on the back of a huge NASA 747 flying directly over my house at 9:46 am. I am on my back deck in my vintage house coat and chiffon nightie yelling like a nut on a roller coaster.

After being retired last year, Discovery was transferred this morning from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida to the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia. The Center is a division of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

As a kid in the 1980s, I used to love watching the Space shuttle launches on TV. I was mesmerized by the idea that something that big could fly into space. There was even a time I wanted to be an astronaut (like most kids I am sure). "Space Camp" was one of favorite movies.

So, here's how the whole scene played out on my back deck:

After waiting a while for Discovery to make its appearance, I start wondering, "Are they sure it's going to fly over?"
All of a sudden, I hear something! Yes, here comes Discovery!
And there it goes:

I am so excited I don't care that I am outside in my house coat!
Nevertheless, after 20 years, the space shuttle program has been retired. I am sad it is over but I am glad I had the honor of witnessing an era come to an end.