Book Review: Addicted to Americana

When people ask me “Who inspires you?” they are usually wanting to know who my style icons are. While style icons are great and all, there are some people who really, truly inspire me on a much deeper level than just clothing, and those are the people who are dedicated to historic preservation. Perhaps one of the persons who inspires me the most is Charles Phoenix, the Ambassador of Americana, especially with his books, and he just published a new one, Addicted to Americana.

Charles Phoenix has perhaps one of the biggest personalities I have ever come across, along with being incredibly passionate about history, specifically mid-century America, and that is what makes him so incredibly fun and amazing. While Phoenix is a man of many hats, he is first and foremost a historian, but does it in the most creative of ways, with slide shows. Yes, you read right, slide shows. In his slide shows he shares various images from his vast collection of vintage Kodachrome slides, and if something from one of those slides still exists he tracks it down and goes there. He then shares pictures from these experiences in his slide shows, talking about what it was like to find the location or item, and the people he met along the way. Addicted to Americana follows this same format, making it like a published version of one of his slideshows.

Phoenix’s first book was called God Bless Americana and was inspired by his “Retro Vacation Tour Across the US” slide show, and was filled with images from his vintage Kodachrome collection. With the exception of one book, Americana the Beautiful (another published collection of Kodachrome slides), his next six books were location based, including Las Vegas, Southern California, and Hawaii, which included a combination of vintage images and ephemera. Addicted to Americana is a little different.

Addicted to Americana is a little more personal than Phoenix’s previous books. Phoenix starts out the book with a little background on himself, including his childhood spent at his dad’s used car lot and how he got started collecting vintage slides. The pages that follow are a kaleidoscope of both vintage images of locations from coast to coast, including theme parks, hotels, tourist traps, bowling alleys, World’s Fairs, restaurants, and the wild, futuristic modes of transportation that were dreamed up in the 50s and 60s, while also including contemporary photos of the places and things he has discovered in his slides. Many of these contemporary photos include Phoenix, basking in the mid-century glory he has just found. Phoenix has a masterful way of seeing a vintage image of something and then “playing detective” and tracking it down. His enthusiasm, even in text form, for these places, signs, and cars is contagious, and it instantly makes you want to hop in your car and go to every one of the still standing locations mentioned in the book. Additionally, there are hilarious little anecdotes that showcase Phoenix’s delightful personality, and his unique flair for preservation (my favorite is perhaps his saving of a vintage Sears sign.) These tales make the book all the more personal and enjoyable.

Not only is the book an excellent read, it is a very quick read. I read it cover to cover in one sitting, and the large pictures, and text of varying sizes make for a fun read.

If you love Americana, and are perhaps planning a road trip in the near future, I can’t recommend Addicted to Americana enough. I also highly recommend attending one of Charles Phoenix’s slideshows and buying his other books. You will not be let down in the slightest! You can learn about his upcoming events and buy Addicted to Americana, as well as his previous books, on his website.

Disclaimer: I was not approached by the author or publishers to do a review Addicted to Americana. I wrote this review of my own accord.

Batman ’66 Exhibit

Over the weekend some of my friends and I went to the Hollywood Museum to see the recently opened Batman ’66 exhibit. We also took time to explore the rest of the museum, which is housed in the famous former Max Factor building, a stunning Art Deco masterpiece. So, needless to say, this is a pretty picture heavy post, as it features my outfit, pictures of the Batman exhibit, as well as parts of the rest of the museum.

Being the huge 60s Batman fan that I am, I had to do some sort of themed outfit! Which included late night crafting to make an utterly ridiculous headpiece to wear. I was inspired by my favorite scene in Batman: The Movie where Batman is attempting to get rid of a bomb. The whole scene is comedic genius, and Adam West’s deadpan delivery of “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” gets me every time. Not familiar with the scene? Watch it here!

The Batman ’66 exhibit is made up of toys from the era, a combination of screen-used items, and scree-accurate recreations, as many of the original costumes and props did not survive, and more.

Continue reading to see more of the museum, including a pair of the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe’s famous USO dress!

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Spooky Hillbilly Chic

We’re almost all moved into our new house, meaning we almost have all of our stuff over at the house! But we are far from settled! We’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to blog about an outfit I wore a week and a half ago! Normally I like to blog within three days of taking photos, unless it’s like a road trip or something. But anyway!

Recently I’ve found myself developing a taste for what I call “hillbilly chic.” A branch of my love of western wear, and I think best described as if Elly May was more into wearing dresses. So when I spied this dress I knew it fit that bill, plus was the perfect color combo for a spooky visit to Knott’s Berry Farm.

Hopefully not too long will drag between posting again! Plus I have a product review I need to do too!! I hope you’re all having a spooktacular October!

Dress & Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes: Olvera Street
Bangles: Here and there
Leather Barrettes: Knott’s Berry Farm

Sleepy Hollow

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! This move went topsy turvy real fast due to the fire in the Anaheim Hills. I received a few concerned messages about our new home, which was sweet. What was funny is that our soon-to-be old apartment in Orange is actually closer to where the fire is, and roughly three or so miles from where they were evacuating. While we were safe in assuming we wouldn’t be evacuated, we chose to move a good deal of our dearest possessions when the fire was at its worst. Anyway, the point is, this move is not exactly going how I planned. But I’ve managed to eke in a post!

Last weekend Patrick and I along with a bunch of friends went up to Riley’s Farm for their dinner theater presentation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Riley’s Farm is like if you took a small corner of New England and plopped it in the hills of Oak Glen. There are orchards to pick from, a colonial style tavern, and on some days even colonial activities such as candle dipping, tomahawk throwing, and more. It’s both a popular field trip location for schools as well as a place for families to find the perfect pumpkin and pick their own apples. But I just adore their dinner theater productions, and this is the second year we’ve been for Sleepy Hollow.

Please excuse any further long gaps between posts! This move really has done a number on us! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll likely see some Insta-stories of our move process! In the meantime, I hope you are all having a lovely October!

Dress: Red Door Vintage, Redlands, California
Cat Brooch: Match Accessories
Shoes: Target

The Sixth Annual Tiki Day

Sunday was the sixth annual Tiki Day in the Park at Disneyland. Like Dapper Day, Tiki Day is one of the unofficial theme days at Disneyland, and is a time for those who love tiki culture and Disney to come together. I’ve been feeling the Halloween vibes a lot lately and opted for a darker look for this Tiki Day.

One thing I love about this dress is not just its cut, but there are these almost Mickey designs throughout it, and I thought that the Mickey mummy macaroon was a nice spooky reflection of the dress’s print and my Halloween vibes, not to mention it was absolutely delicious!!

Like our visit to Knott’s on Saturday for Spooky Farm, I fully intended to make a new parasol for Tiki Day, but this big news that I will share soon has kept me from doing any parasols lately! So I just used my Shrunken Ned one again, but I thought it worked well with my darker vibes, as he’s a “witchdoctor.” I won’t keep you on the edge of your seat for too much longer! I’m planning to share the news this week. But if you follow me on Instagram, then you already know!

Nani of Hawaii Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Shoes: Re-Mix
D Brooch: Match Accessories
Tiki Mask Ring: Junk for Joy, Burbank, California
Flower Headpiece & Parasol: Made by me

Country Rapunzel

Way back in April, during our road trip to Idaho, I scored a square dancing dress that was absolutely perfect for a Rapunzel Disneybound and I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to wear it. That perfect moment arrived when I was invited to a Disney couples themed Disneybound event! So Patrick, who doesn’t really Disneybound, did his bare minimum to bound as Flynn with a blue shirt, and tan shorts (although I have no photos to show you) and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon at the park.

One of the things we did as a group was ride Kind Arthur’s Carousel and I happened to find a steed that coordinated perfectly with my ensemble!

Hair Flowers: Michael’s
Dress: Decades Vintage Clothing, Salt Lake City, Utah
Petticoat: Amazon
D Brooch: Match Accessories
Shoes: Re-Mix

The Forbidden Zone

It should be noted in advance that this post talks about the ending of the 1968 film Planet of the Apes and contains spoilers.

In the ever long list of places to go and things to do here in California, filming locations are one of my favorite things to go out and visit. The Point Dume Beach, aka the “Forbidden Zone” from Planet of the Apes has been a place I’ve wanted to visit for some time, and we finally made it out there last Saturday, and boy what a day. In the days leading up to our visit I had been doing research on the location as well as rewatching my favorite show, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., and realized that Point Dume was also used in the episode “Bounty Hunters’ Convention”. Then I read that the location is also where Major Nelson finds Jeannie’s bottle in the Pilot of I Dream of Jeannie, another favorite show of mine!

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