Weekly Vintage Challenge 1: Reducing Plan

Instead of Resolutions this year I decided to follow a plan of trying something Vintage each week. Every week I’ll do a new “Vintage Challenge”.

Because the New Year is always filled with plans for getting in shape I figured I would try following a “reducing” plan. I’ll cobbled together some of the goodies rom my various books of the time but the majority will come from “Secrets of Charm.”

What stood out for me was how they created a plan that works for whatever the family is eating. You just add or subtract certain things based on if you are trying to reduce or gain weight. In theory this should make the reducing easier for everyone!

I’m going to be posting most of the day to do from this challenge over on my Instagram so be sure to check there if you’d like to follow along on this challenge. I’ll post a recap here when the week is through! Let’s hope there isn’t TOO much cottage cheese and jellied salad in my future.

Sozzled Santas and Christmas Poodles

I am obsessed with Vintage Christmas Cards. The artwork is amazing and the cards range from sweet to saucy! There’s a definite trend of slightly sozzled Santa’s! I shared some of my very favorites over on Instagram earlier today but decided to share some more right here. Pull up your favorite holiday libation and enjoy!

Party Tips: Let’s Go to a Party!

One of my favorite finds is a giant tome (423 pages!) called “A Secretary’s Guide to Beauty, Charm, Poise” from 1962.

That’s right, not only did Secretary’s need to know how to take dictation, write shorthand and fetch coffee they had to do it all with Beauty, Charm and Poise.

This “bible” covers:

  • How to do your makeup
  • How to hold your hands in a feminine manner
  • How to hold your purse
  • How to hold a conversation
  • How to improve your voice
  • How to eat and exercise
  • How to smoke without looking masculine!

And SO much more! I will definitely be diving into this book a lot during this series! There are so many gems. But for now we are focusing on Parties so “Let’s Go to a Party!”

It is considered rude to arrive late when a specific hour is mentioned. True. Especially if the smoothness of the entire event is dependent upon a particular number of people. This would include a card party, a dinner, a shower, etc. In fact, it is good manners to arrive about 10 minutes early. Better early than late.

(I know some people that would disagree with this but let’s go with it…I would add, if you show up early definitely offer to help the hostess).

If the affair is an open house or a cocktail party and the invitation states from “six to seven-thirty,” you may arrive during this time and stay not more than one hour.


You accept the refreshments offered even though you do not eat or drink them. You mingle with the other guests and you keep in mind that the success of the party is as much your responsibility as it is your hostess’s. When it is necessary for you to balance your refreshments on your lap, you do so as carefully as possible. You may assume that anything served without flatware is a finger food. For instance, wedding cake is an item that you eat with your fingers. Be sure to help yourself to a napkin or ask for one. It is wise to keep one hand free to balance your plate so you may have to find some flat surface for a glass. This could be a table or the floor. Be sure that you have a coaster under your glass. Use a napkin or ask for permission to put your glass on your hostess’s mahogany. It may be that she has moisture-proof furniture and therefore doesn’t serve coasters.

If iced tea is served, the spoon will be removed and placed on the coaster provided. If there is no coaster, hold the spoon in your hand until you have asked for one.

Be considerate about using a linen napkin to wipe your mouth. Lipstick stain is hard to remove. Of course, if you have followed all the hints given in the makeup section (oh yes, we will be sure to dig deep in that!!) you will have no problem with lipstick on napkins, glasses, cups, spoons and what-not.

Meeting New People

With more and more women working after marriage, with more and more companies interviewing the wife as well as the husband, with more and more people in the world with whom we will have social contact, the more important it is for us to be “hip” and in the know.

We could stay in our own small world, associate with the same people, do the same thing year in and year out, and probably never make any faux pas. But life will be fuller and more interesting if we expand our horizons, make new friends, and acquire new skills. In doing so, we will make mistakes, but then, we can take heart in the fact that no one is so well traveled or so well informed that she always knows what to do.

In addition to meeting people and learning to introduce them with confidence, we should learn to eat graciously and within the bounds of social usage.

Let’s Leave a Party!

A guests responsibility is to her hostess. It is not necessary to say goodbye to others present unless for some reason or other you must leave early and thereby inconvenience them in some way. Don’t ooze out the doorway, go. Do this immediately after saying something nice to your hostess about the food, the music, the company or whatever single thing you have enjoyed more than any other. Don’t leave it unsaid just because you are shy. Even if you must force yourself the first few times, get the habit of complimenting. Do it sincerely.

This book also covers tips on how to go out to dinner and to the theatre. I’m so excited to share them with you!

Party Tips: How to enter the room with Grace & Charm!

With all the holiday gatherings on the horizon do you ever feel shy, self-conscious or uncomfortable walking into a roomful of people? It can be daunting for even the most outgoing person, especially if you think you’ll only know the host/hostess!

A little knowledge can help you enter gracefully and feel more confident walking into a room of the unknown. So, I turned to my 1954 edition of “Secrets of Charm” to find out how those charming ladies conducted themselves in just such a situation and here’s what I learned.

The first step is to make sure you leave the house feeling AMAZING. Hair, makeup and dress all on-point! Feeling good is the best way to make a great impression. Take one last look in the mirror. Now, forget all about your appearance so that you can focus on others at the party and having a great time! You’ll never be able to relax and enjoy yourself if you’re constantly fussing with an uncomfortable dress or worried that your hair looks odd.

Once you reach the party, if it’s a large gathering, pause in the doorway and locate your host/hostess. Then, moving swiftly but gracefully go directly to them.  They, will, in turn introduce you to other guess and you will soon no longer feel like the shy stranger.  If it’s a smaller affair your host/hostess will usually meet you at the door and introduce you immediately to anyone you do not already know.

Now that you’re feeling more at ease, take a look around the room and find an empty spot next to someone that looks fun and make your way over! I like to find someone who is wearing an outfit that I love so that I can open with a genuine compliment. “I love your dress!” is the best way to make a new friend!

Whatever you do, do NOT tuck yourself away in a corner. People might not realize that you are simply shy and could think you are just being a bit standoffish. They will leave you alone and that’s not going to be a very fun party.

After a wonderfully fun party do not be the guest that lingers. Find your host/hostess and thank them for a wonderful time and then exit swiftly.

7 secret “me moments” you are missing out on!

If only….

If only I had time for myself. I hear that so often. As a mom it can be hard to admit that we need some time to ourselves. If that wasn’t hard enough we have to FIND the time. But you can. I promise. You just have to look in some rather unorthodox places. I promise, take just a few of these moments for yourself and you will be feeling slightly more human in no time.

When you get up

I know, I know. We need every second of sleep we can get but trust me on this. Set your alarm for a little earlier than usual and take those few extra moments for you. Drink HOT coffee for once, read a few pages of a book, watch the sunrise, do a gratitude list. Whatever makes your heart happy. This is a great way to start your day. You’ll go into it feeling more alive and less like a rushed off your feet zombie. That’s not a good look.

On the ride to/from work or back from “drop off”

Stuck in traffic doesn’t have to be as annoying as you think. Yes that guy honking beside you is annoying but don’t let it ruin your whole day. Make your drive work for you. Try a different route. Seeing new things when you are stuck in traffic is way more interesting than reading that same billboard every day. Press play on a motivating podcast, listen to the audiobook version of the book gathering dust on your bedside table, call a friend and catch up (hands free of course), belt out a guilty pleasure song that makes you feel like you can take on the world – because, newsflash, YOU CAN!

Doing the dishes

Yes, you heard that right. Use some great smelling dish soap and use it as a “spa moment” for your hands. Follow up with some super pampering hand lotion – keep it at the sink so you never forget. Even better, slather that hand cream on BEFORE you put on your rubber gloves. The heat from the water will help the cream soak in and at the end you’ll have soft hands AND clean dishes.Make a gratitude list in your head while you wash.

Lunch at the office

Do NOT eat at your desk. I repeat DO NOT EAT AT YOUR DESK!
Get out of the office. Go for a walk. Get fresh air, window shop, read a book. You have the gift of an “un-booked” hour. Use it. Try a new dish from your fav lunch spot. Heck, try a new lunch spot. Break out of those ruts.

While grocery shopping

If you have the luxury of doing the shopping alone I shouldn’t even need to tell you how to make this a little bit more “me-time” but I will. Listen to an audiobook or podcast on your headphones while you shop. Take your time choosing the freshest ingredients. Choose one new dish or item and change up your normal meal rotation. Buy that Starbucks coffee from the in-store kiosk or nab the free coffee from Trader Joe’s and drink it while you shop. Wait, what is this – 2 hot coffees in one day? Mama you are on FIRE!

Got a little helper along with you? This won’t be “me” time in the strictest sense of the term but we can make it fun! Go into shopping with an adventure mindset and not an errand mindset. Give them ways to help you. Let them get the items off the shelves (within reason of course, a clean up in Aisle 3 is not what we are going for here). Bonus points if you let them use the tiny shopping carts. Make a game of it and before you know it you’ve actually turned a chore into something you’ve both enjoyed. Congrats – you’ve both earned a treat! Another option? Use an online-ordering service. Skip the store and use that hour for something else! You have my permission.

Your Morning shower

Yes it might be a rush to get ready in the morning but you can turn necessity into pampering. Add a luscious new body gel, throw on the deep conditioner. Give yourself a scalp massage! Listen to a soothing mix. If you close your eyes you might just trick yourself into thinking you are in a spa for like 30 whole seconds!

Taking out the trash

You know those few minutes when you step outside, ALONE, to take out the trash? Use them! Enjoy the QUIET! Pay attention to the sights around you. The leaves falling, the flowers blooming, the smell of your neighbors latest dish wafting out of their house (mental note: score a dinner invite ASAP). Remember those gratitude lists, you could come up with one now.

Yes, some of these “stolen moments” may seem silly. I mean, who’s really being mindful while taking out the trash? You – that’s who! But the point is that there are so many moments throughout your day that you can use differently. You just have to think of them a little differently. So, tell me, which moment in your day will you reclaim as a ME moment?

How to Create a Beautiful Morning

Creating a Beautiful Life starts the second you wake up. So many of us wander round bleary-eyed, clutching our life-blood coffee just going through the motions in the morning. How you start your day is so important. What if you could actually love your mornings?

Image Credit – Pinterest

Oh but Beautiful you CAN! That’s why I created my How to Create a Beautiful Morning guide for you. I’m so excited to share some of my tips on how to take your mornings from Blah to Ahh.

Click here to get your copy and then please share your Beautiful Mornings with me on Instagram at @xoxoaudreyjean and #createabeautifulmorning.

Now go have a BEAUTIFUL DAY!