Birthday Fiesta

Over the weekend one of my friend celebrated his birthday, and with his Mexican heritage he encouraged his friends to incorporate Mexican elements into their ensembles for a visit to Disneyland, and while I never really need an excuse to break out any Mexican influenced garments, I do love a good excuse!

Peasant Top: Pinup Girl Clothing
Painted Mexican Circle Skirt: Found by my dad
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Scarf: ???
Disney D Brooch: Match Accessories
Bangles: Here and there

3 Kings Day Potluck

Over the weekend some friends and I had a potluck. We used El Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day – a day that many within our group actually celebrate) as an excuse for a belated holiday get-together, and opted for a more Latin American vibe, with a Rosca de Reyes and other festive Christmas and Mexican decor and Mexican food.

I hope that 2017 has been treating you all well!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Orange Circle Antique Mall, Orange, California
Patio Dress & Bell Earrings: I don’t remember…
Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
Black Tooled Leather Purse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Succulent Hair Flower: Christmas gift from the lovely Christine (who also does beautiful art!)
Bracelet: Canyon House, Yucca Valley, California
Rings: Various

Sabado en la Plazita

Over the weekend a few friends and I got together for a Saturday afternoon at Olvera Street, dining on delicious Mexican food, peeking into the museums, and shopping the unique stalls and shops along the oldest stretch of Los Angeles.

We dined at Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe, which opened in 1928, and is located within Los Angeles’ first brick building. Afterward we went into Avila Adobe, which is the oldest structure remaining the LA, built in 1818, and is now a museum reflecting the the lifestyle of the early days of California. I also bought myself another pair of the shoes I’m wearing in these photos, except in green. Seriously, these faux tooled (also known as pressed) leather wedges have quickly become a favorite and go-to shoe for me. They are comfy once broken in, and work with so much of my closet.

Also, can I just gush about my dad’s awesome shopping skills for a moment? He spied this beauty of a skirt at an antique mall and sent me a picture of it and followed by calling me to make sure I got the picture text, and asked me if I wanted it. I was in line to me Kylo Ren at Disneyland at the time, and thankful for his call, because this skirt is beyond amazing. Not only is it a spectacular print, it’s in amazing condition and fits perfectly, oh and has pockets! Thanks, Dad!

Peasant Top: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Painted Mexican Skirt: Found by my dad!
Tooled Leather Purse, Earrings, & Bracelet: I don’t remember!
Necklace: Made by a friend
Pressed Leather Shoes: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California

Mexican Tourist Shoes!

For their Spring/Summer Collection, one of my favorite shoe brands, Miss L Fire, came out with a pair of shoes inspired by one of my favorite vintage garments, the Mexican tourist jacket (which some of you know I collect these, with a current tally of 18, with no two alike), and for the first time ever, I actually pre-ordered a pair of shoes. I had been waiting for a somewhat cool day to take them for a spin, as I wanted to wear them with a Mexican tourist jacket, of course! Well, shockingly enough it’s been in the 60s lately here in sunny southern California, as well as windy! So I donned them for the first time to do a bit of shopping in a frantic hunt for a short slip for an upcoming event this weekend.

This is my fifth pair of Miss L Fire shoes, but sadly, the least comfortable of the group. I found the back portion of the strap cutting into my ankle after walking for a period of time. Unlike my other pairs of Miss L Fires, which are leather, these are not, and I fear they may not stretch and become the comfy treasures I want them to be. But I’ll just have to wait and see. I also ordered the cactus shoes from them at the same time, those, which I hope to showcase soon, are a gem, and very comfortable!

Do you own any pairs of Miss L Fires? (I know a few of you do! I’m looking at you, Francis, of Polka Polish!) Or perhaps pining after a pair? Share your thoughts!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Community Thrift & Vintage, Vancouver, British Columbia
Top: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Purse & Necklace: Gifts
Rings & Scarf: I don’t remember…

Up With Downey

Last night Patrick and I tracked down our folding chairs, as they had not been out since our move, and trundled up I-5 to my dad’s old stomping ground of Downey. One of the iconic suburbs of Los Angeles, Downey is lush with Googie architecture and neon as well as rich with unique American history from the mid-20th century, and last night the Ambassador of Americana himself, Charles Phoenix, paid homage to it.

For those unfamiliar with Phoenix, he is a man with a passion very similar to mine, that of the mid-20th century and its stellar signage, killer modern buildings, classic cars with fins reaching toward the stars and everything that is kitschy. He tours the country doing shows featuring vintage slides from his personal collection that he has amassed over the years. He also shares his glorious images and wealth of knowledge in books, such as Southern Californialand and Americana the Beautiful. You can see all of his books, and more by visiting his website. Basically Phoenix is a bacon of hope and inspiration for Americana lovers, as he preaches the gospel of unique American history and preservation, and last night he teamed up with The Downey Conservancy and the Columbia Memorial Space Center to for a presentation showing the unique and spectacular history of Downey. Plus there were two opening bands! The Ameba People, an awesome science themed rock band (seriously think if Bill Nye the Science Guy had a band), who also happen to be the house band for the Space Center (the only museum to have a house band) and The Noble Gasses, where the bass player is also the director of the Space Center, who played music that was originally recorded at Downey Records.

So, what makes Downey super cool? It’s home to some of the most American icons around, including the oldest McDonald’s, Harvey’s Broiler Drive-In, now Big Boy’s, the original Taco Bell, which I’ll talk more about in a moment, and is the location where they built the Apollo capsules!

Now, about the Taco Bell. I know what some of you are saying… “Taco Bell…? Really?” Look. Fast food is one thing that is uniquely American. Fast food was built around America’s love affair with their automobiles and the birth of the freeway system and the legendary road trip, all of that was born here. Fast food is part of that unique American culture and we need to work on preserving it. So, yes, right now, the very first Taco Bell is in danger of meeting the wrecking ball, and a group of preservationists, We Are The Next, is trying to save it. Seriously, check them out, if you are a SoCal resident, and especially if you are a SoCal teacher, as they do work with schools!

And speaking of Taco Bell, it may have had an influence in going for a Mexican theme with my ensemble for the evening. Originally I wanted to do a space theme, but that outfit didn’t come together for the weather, which was an odd mix of chilly, but humid. But it meant I got to break out one of my favorite, and rarely used purses, a Mexican tourist purse! Yes, Mexican tourist purse!

I look forward to visiting the remaining icons of Downey, many of which my dad visited growing up, as he grew up in the Downey, Bell and Lynwood are. As well as the Columbia Memorial Space Center!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Expo
Dress: Albany Antique Mall, Albany, Or.
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: A birthday gift from my friend Lyndsie, the owner of Retro Rejuvenation
Turquoise Bracelet: West of Texas, Redlands, Ca.
Turquoise Ring: I don’t remember…

Saying Hola to Olvera Street

One of the “touristy” things I never did when I visited California before was visit Olvera Street. And over the weekend we finally remedied that.

Olvera Street is considered to be the birthplace of Los Angeles, as it is home to some of its first structures. The first brick building constructed in the LA area is now home to a Mexican cafe, one of LA’s oldest restaurants in fact, Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe, opening in 1928, which we dined at. Avila Adobe is the oldest structure remaining the LA, built in 1818, and is now a museum to reflect the the lifestyle of those living during the early days of California. And of course there are the merchants who sell wares of California’s Spanish and Mexican heritage, including colorful blankets, embroidered blouses, tooled leather purses, and much, much more.

Olvera Street had its heyday during the old days of California, but by the turn of the century, it was quickly becoming a slum, until 1926, when a woman named Christine Sterling walked along the streets. Horrified by what had become of LA’s historic heart, she spearheaded a campaign to restore the area, and save its historic buildings, which were endanger of being demolished. Eventually Sterling succeeded and Olvera Street became what it is today, a place for both locals and tourists a like to reflect on Los Angeles’ history, enjoy good food, and shop the unique offerings.

I came home with a wonderful new peasant blouse and a pair of tooled (although really pressed) leather wedges, which I look forward to taking for a spin soon.

I kind of love that I get to play tourist in our new home. One of the reasons for moving was that there is simply so much to do down here that we could never fit it all into a vacation. I also love that I can return to these locations as often as I want. Do you enjoy playing tourist in your city? For those who have visited LA, have you made a visit to Olvera Street?

Blouse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Skirt: Rummage sale
Nude Fishnets: Oroblu, Nordstrom
Purse: Antique Alley, I think…
Charm Bracelet: Found by my dad
Ring: Expo, I think…
Brooch: Some antique mall along the coast in Lincoln City I think…
Shoes: Miss L Fire

San Diego Finds

Well, we are home from San Diego! What a trip! It was lots of fun, but I’m certainly glad to be home. I was planning on my “haul” post to be my last post about San Diego, but it seems y’all are just too impatient to hear about this vintage shop I’ve been hinting at on my Facebook and Twitter pages! So here we go!

I was delighted to find out that San Diego had a decent number of vintage shops and antique malls to visit during my stay. Three out of my four full days in San Diego I spent shopping with Carla of Tiny Angry Crafter. When shopping out of town, I have to be pickier, especially as we were flying back, and I loathe checking bags, but being pickier was a little bit easier as my wallet was on the slim side after two days at Expo, so I really didn’t come home with much, but boy did I want to! I wasn’t finding too much on day one and two, but on day three I fell in love. And let me tell you, if I had a bottomless pocketbook and drove to San Diego, I would have bought basically the entire store. What is this shop you ask? It’s The Girl Can’t Help It.

The Girl Can’t Help It is quite possibly the best vintage clothing store I have ever been to. It really encompasses everything a vintage shop should be, and carries items some of us only dream about. We’re talking novelty print skirts, amazing tiki dresses, true felt circle skirts with fabulous appliqués, adorable shorts, western wear, even showgirl outfits! Of course there are frocks galore, and they are stunning. There is also a plethora of Bakelite and jewelry, jaw-dropping hats and purses. There’s even a men’s section that is spectacular. Nearly every piece in the shop is a showstopper! And all of it is real vintage. Most (like 99.9%) being from the 1930s through the early 1960s, with the occasional 20s piece, 60s mod dress or 70s band tee. All of the items are in immaculate condition and the prices reflect the condition and rarity of the items in the shop.

I chatted with Gail, the shop owner, for a bit, as she shared her passion for vintage that spans the decades. Before opening the shop in San Diego, she had her business in London for 25 years, then relocated to California and has catered to some of the Hollywood elite among the avid vintage lovers and collectors.

Also noticed the shop were some of Vivian of Holloway items, including dresses, tops and shorts. Talk about a brilliant business move. I can’t tell you how often girls unfamiliar with vintage come into vintage shops wanting that perfect 50s sun dress with a full skirt, only to realize that very few still exist, and if there is one, it’s not in their size. Having vintage repro at the ready is super smart.

While I would have loved to have walked out with the entire rack of western wear, including the two gorgeous sets on the wall and much more, I instead walked out with only a (much needed) black blouse.

I especially love this black blouse as it has puff sleeves, which means it will pair well with some of my Mexican and western themed pieces.

If you aren’t in the San Diego area, take a peek at the shop’s Etsy page, where you will find over 200 items! You can also like The Girl Can’t Help It and find out more on Facebook.

So what else did I buy while in the fair city of San Diego? Here is the haul!

I scored another much needed piece – a red peasant blouse! I also found an extremely comfortable Hawaiian (that was $8!). Buffalo Exchange on 5th Avenue.

I picked up this wooden sombrero and metal charm bracelet at Ms. Vintage. Which I simply had to purchase as it matches my wooden sombrero necklace!

I found this Disneyland Hotel shot glass at Newport Avenue Antique Center. It’s a little worse-for-wear, but I love it.

I also picked up a tie for Patrick. This hand-painted hula girl, with fringe skirt was too good to pass up, even with its issues, at $15! La Mesa Antique Mall.

There are a few more posts about San Diego headed your way in the next few days!