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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tulips in Bloom~ A Ruby's Musings Approved Post

When a talented seamstress asks if you would
like to collaborate.. the answer is always YES!  

I honestly can not tell you how much my life has changed since starting Instagram a little over a year ago. Years ago when I was at a cross roads in life in every area, I joined Twitter and it became a life line and it also changed how I saw myself and it even changed my style; the same has happened while being on Instagram. It started out slowly, but over the past year it has influenced not only my style once again, helped me form new friendships, a support system, but even my blog and in a way it has now started me on a road that may become a career of sorts. Over the last few months instead of I buying a product and then reviewing it, I have slowly been receiving offers from very talented people that in exchange for myself trying their product(s)/ creation(s) and being photographed with, reviewing and blogging to spread the word and of course using social platforms such as Instagram to promote. Most recently I received one such offer from Alixis Lupien of Ains & Elke Style Haus . She asked me to pick out a few of my favorite things on her Etsy store site and and colors and she would surprise me with an outfit, in exchange that I blog about and help promote the outfit....I of course said yes, and jumped at the chance!!  A few weeks passed and finally the time had come and I received notification on Instagram that the outfit was ready....I was so excited and once I saw the outfit I was ecstatic!!!

photo via Anis & Elke Style Haus 

Shortly after Alixis shared this photo a box arrived just in time for what feels like Spring has already hit Sacramento weather. Hubby and myself decided to go to the area I love to do photo shoots in the most, Plymouth California, just a short drive away in the scheme of things, but a world away visually from where we reside. Of course the fact that we can also do some great wine tasting doesn't hurt. I originally wanted to do a shoot at Amador Flower Gardens  , where the surroundings would match the skirt, but we got a rather late start, so if we wanted to get some wine tasting in ( priorities) we would have to make that trip another time...but trust me, the wineries certainly offer beautiful backdrops for an even more beautiful outfit. 

Now on to the outfit and the is a beautifully constructed outfit made up of two separates, the Millie Wrap Top in a gorgeous lavender, and based upon a 1950's pattern, and a gathered circle skirt ( with pockets!!) , in the most amazing tulip print, perfect for Springtime. Both are cotton and there is a slight sheen to both. I simply adore the wide pointed collar and the cuff of the sleeves on the Millie top and the fullness of the pleated skirt, even without my normal petticoat, has a grand swish and twirlability to it!! Both pieces are not so "dated" that if you were not into dressing with a vintage or retro spin that you could not wear it out and about, either together or apart. I know that once Spring has passed, I shall be wearing the Millie top with my high wasted jeans, my cigarette pants and even with a couple of my skirts I already own throughout the Summer. I am so in love with the top I wish I could afford a few of them in basic colors to wear on a more regular basis!! The skirt if you were to say wear a simple tank top, or T, could be modernized to suit any style. The fit, and I shall admit I always have my skirts made a smidge big, due to my health issues and fluctuating weight was really about right on the skirt, a hair tighter might have been good, but that was due to my request for it not to be as I just mentioned. The blouse fit as I suspect to be just right, with the exception that I may need a push up bra to fill out a tiny bit more...after having my breast surgery, for removal of my implants, I do not have much in that area unless I do, so I simply do not fill out tops the way I once did...that again is something I might have relayed a bit better, that being said the top looked perfect on despite not filling it out to the breast darts....not a complaint or a subtraction from the construction or finish of the blouse. According to the hubby, I was the only one that noticed. Typical. I will tell you this, that each and every place I went, the two days that I wore the outfit, I received a tons of compliments and at one point when my hubby was taking photos, a woman gushed over the outfit and well I guess me, and whipped out her phone and kept telling me to hold one while she figured out how to take photos on it of me...mind you, she did not ask permission, I would have said yes, but she simply just decided it was ok...yes, that was the reaction to the outfit. Had I been wearing jeans and a T, not sure that would happen. The outfit by Anis & Elke Style Haus demands appreciation and admiration, any woman wearing it seems to demand the same, as would any of the creations available for order. Definitely Ruby's Musings Approved!

Our first stop was at Borjon Winery in Plymouth, a favorite
place for wine and photos. 

All accessories are vintage 

Our next stop was Bella Grace Vineyards , where we were able to taste some fine
wine, sample some olive oil and vinegar and tour a wine cave

Our next stop was at Iron Hub Winery where we had some
great wine and conversation 

We had some time to kill before eating at TASTE, located on
Main St. in Historic Plymouth so we wondered around the historic street
and snapped a couple of photos. 

One last pose before we headed for dinner

The outfit was so lovely, that I felt
the need to share it with more of
the world and wear it to run errands
the next day.

I just love that the skirt has pockets

Of course I had to buy Tulips to match my
beautiful skirt! 
A Ruby Retro Housewife tip, cut the stem tips of your Tulips and add a couple of pennies
in the vase ti help keep the tulips upright and from opening too quickly. 
Find Ains & Elke on Instagram as well as Etsy 

Don't forget to visit me on Instagram, FB, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest 
Just look for Ruby's Musings, or if on the web version of this blog, look to the 
side bars for links. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Flipping Over Flipsville

The logo does not even reflect how flipping cute Amanda from Flipsville is
*logo is property of Flipsville

Instagram, which I now have been on just over a year is a wonderful way to find new connections that one might never make on Facebook, tho I LOVE my FB fans, I have been privileged to "meet" some real dolls on Instagram. Recently the rabbit trail lead me to connect with a young woman by the name of Amanda, who goes by "Flipsville" and recently she started a small clothing company by the same name. Each and every piece that I had seen so far, I desire (!) so I was thrilled when I asked Amanda if I could do a profile blog about her and she said yes. So let's get right to it!!! 

Amanda, thanks so much for doing this , so tell my readers a bit of your journey into being a vintage type of gal....

"I always had an affinity for anything older, vintage or just different from what most people liked or wore. Growing up, I was definitely exposed to, and had the influence of past years, as my parents always played music from the likes of Buddy Holly, Elvis, Roy Orbison etc. I am certain it was the music that sparked my love for older generations at a young age!"

The Harlequin print ...a Flipsville Orginal 

Sounds like a familiar story I hear from a lot of the vintage/retrophiles/pinups I have chatted to, do continue...

"During elementary and high school, I always marched to the beat of my own drum and peers definitely saw me as ‘different’, ‘odd’ and even ‘weird’ and I can certainly see why considering I brought my lunch to school in an old tin Elvis lunch box everyday… I didn’t try to fit in, and even if I did I wouldn’t even know where to start! I was not always stuck in the 50s-60s, I tried on many eras even up until today. I went through a period where I thought I belonged in the 80s, and I wore leg warmers, big sweaters, and danced to Pat Benatar in my bedroom, and that phase lasted longer than I am willing to admit! I tried on the 70s for a while when I first moved on my own to Toronto, I hung beaded necklaces and crocheted vests on my orange walls so I could easily pluck them whenever I wanted to pair them with my bell bottom jeans. This was short-lived as I am happy to say, the 70s looks amazing on many people, but not on me. I seemed to be content in the 60s, and had fluorescent pink vintage dresses, a pixie cut, I made a pink and green mod coat, and Frankensteined striped long sleeves onto black dresses to resemble Peggy Moffitt. And let just not mention my all-black-wearing grunge phase, because that should have never seen anyones eyes. I love costume and wanted to work in theater, I designed and sewed my high schools costumes for their productions, so a theatrical element was always underlying in my outfits. Throughout all my times of experimenting with different eras, I always found myself flipping back through vintage magazines from the 50s and early 60s, and collecting mid-century images and felt I the style really did fit who I was."

Musical circle skirt, a Flipsville original
cardigan is by miss ladybug
So it is safe to say you are an old soul, and a kindred spirit,  and that your life and lifestyle was meant to be, and a life long passion....
"Throughout my years of experimentation (I am not done experimenting with fashion but I think I can say the worst is over), I began sewing when I received a pink sewing machine for my 15th Birthday after years of convincing my parents it wasn’t a just phase, and I really, truly wanted to learn. I was, and still am a very petite person, I am only 4’11 so finding clothing that fit was a huge issue, not to mention clothing that fit within my imagination and style demands. I thought if I could learn to sew I could make anything my heart desired, and that’s where I found my passion! Sewing really helped me get through each of my style phases and phases in life in general, I was a teenager who wanted to go fabric shopping, stay at in my room and sew and listen to old tunes, instead of meeting new friends, going to high school parties and awkwardly dating. I was a little jealous of other kids and the fun they were experiencing, but I knew I had time to do that in the future if I ever wanted to, and was very happy with the small group of friends I did have!" 

Amanda seen here in her original Sewing Machine wrap top and her
Bernie Dexter jeans

"After I graduated high school I wasn’t ready to go to college, so I moved with my parents from Canada to Alabama for one year for my dad’s job to take part-time costume design classes - and that was definitely an experience! I was struck suffering from an awful eating disorder, which had been in the makes for years - that is a story for another time, but it was definitely relevant to my journey. I was horribly secluding myself from friends and family, but I was definitely on a creative streak to improving my style and sewing and art skills, and perusing flea markets for inspiration. As many negative things happened that year and many years to follow with my health, I am finally in a good place to look back and see many positive defining moments from those times that lead me to who I am today! " 

Amanda and her husband Mamoru  at Graceland in Memphis Tenn.
on their wedding day.

"I moved to Toronto to go to school for Fashion design, unfortunately having to quit school due to health reasons, also realizing the current fashion industry wasn’t for me. I met my husband who is a talented musician and photographer, shortly after when were worked together at a retail store just after he graduated college for Photography and was granted permanent residence in Canada. We went through more style phases together, but we found ourselves in love with the '50s and early '60s after we started watching Mad Men, went to local Rockabilly shows, and collecting records. We got engaged only a year after we started dating, and when my parents heard, they reminded me that when I visited Memphis Tennessee to tour Graceland when I was 10 years old, I announced at the time “When I get married one day, I want to get married here!” so my parents booked our wedding - a small venue at Graceland in Memphis Tennessee and we got married April 10th 2015. It was by then our love and style was for that era was full blown."

Amanda and Mamoru in matching custom made by Flipsville
dress and men's shirt

That's fantastic that you found each other and it sounds like a perfect match. Tell us more about Flipsville, both the blog and now your new clothing venture....
"I started my blog Flipsville earlier in March 2015, as I used to blog when I was younger and wanted to give it another go. It’s been such a great experience and helps me further explore styles and eras and meet other amazing bloggers such as yourself,  for inspiration! I blog about my vintage style, and to me that means true vintage clothing, reproduction clothing, and vintage inspired clothing I make, all of which I add a unique or whimsical touch, and I can’t help but add hints from other eras that I have explored throughout my life. I made Mamoru and I matching outfits to attend events, and got noticed by many people saying how unique it was, and for business cards! Thus I took the plunge and started Flipsville Originals, my small clothing line of Men’s and Women’s Rockabilly clothes I hand-make here in Toronto, that couples can wear together, or individuals can wear too! "

I hope one day to own one of your creations, both something for myself and my husband...and I am sure many others after this are hoping for the same thing. Thank you so very much for doing this Amanda! 

"I wanted to thank you again for thinking of me, and featuring me on your blog! I couldn’t be more delighted. Your posts are always so great! " 

I am so flattered, thank you for that, and I was honored you allowed me to do a profile blog about you and Flipsville/Flipsville orginals. 

To all my readers out there, please go show Amanda some love, you can find her blog with links to her shop and her social connections HERE!  I want to thank Amanda's husband Mamoru for all the wonderful photos, if you wish to find out more about him and his work, click HERE . You can always of course fine ME on FB, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and now on YouTube!! So I hope you will all stay in touch! Let me know what you think in the comments below, spread the word and always know how much I love and appreciate all of you!! 

Till next week....*cheers* 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thyme for Cake

The recent few days has been rather stressful. As some of you know I started doing a YouTube channel. Yep sir-ee I took the leap into vlogging past the 5 minutes I have been posting on FB as a weekly hello to my followers there. It has not been an easy task. From trying to create a banner all on my own, and failing, even with a program, past a basic one. Filming and uploading has not been easy either! I tried filming on my computer, and it kept freezing, or I would look not into the eyes of my viewers, but the camera; so I switched to using my phone, and that is easier, but I can not use my phone turned on it's size to film, I tried, my eyes always go to the little camera..not into the screen...then I found what I thought was going to be the answer, my kindle. I downloaded an editor/movie maker and all went smoothly, until I went to upload to YT, and the program wanted to charge me to upload it. So I gave up on it, as I refused to pay, and there was no other way to take the video and get it uploaded, well that was until my daughter suggested uploading to my P.C. and then to YT....well, we THOUGHT it had gone smoothly to save it in the P.C movie maker, and then when I went back to find it, it was gone and I had already gotten rid of it on the Kindle. Then I went in to Y.T. to edit on of the other videos, the second one, a long one, that I had posted as a way to introduce myself, and clicked what I thought was the proper button, and it deleted the video...the words I spoke after... the tears...the sheer panic attack...not good! I ended up making a late night explanation video and posted it that night, it took 4 hours to upload and process and I stayed up until it was was 3 a.m before I could turn in. 

The next day after sharing with a friend what had happened, a fan/friend said that she had a low quality copy and sent it to me....oh what a God send she was with having done that and last night I was able to replace my original with this copy. Vlogging is not hard, what is hard, my dear lovelies is the filming of ( at least until I find the best way to do it) and uploading is the is nearly a two day process to do it, even a short 20 minutes and under! I hope in time, I will learn how to make it less stressful, I would like to learn how to add a introduction and credits page, music, and learn how to get through it in one take would be nice too LOL !! I enjoy doing it, and the bit of feedback has been very positive and encouraging. I am not sure what I expect from it or where it will go, but as long as there is interest, I will do it.  So what has that got to do with the title of the blog?? Read on!

When I get stressed, I eat, and sweets/baked goods are my go to, but it is truly hard to make it so perhaps it is not so bad for us to eat, my husband and myself, not to mention it rather effects the "bottom line" ....then there is trying to stick to mostly recipes from the 1950's, which were not always the most healthy; they did not shy away from butter. It is a challenge, but it has also been quite fun!  One thing I have enjoyed doing is being able to send treats to my husband's work, where he puts it in the customer lounge, and then the other fun thing is taking a "base" recipe and tweaking it....which is the case for the cake recipe that I am about to share. I took a recipe for a Citron Cake, which called for orange juice, orange rind, and chopped up candied citron, and replaced it with lemon juice, powdered lemon rind ( more on that in a minute) and here is the biggest change, I used minced fresh thyme instead of candied citron.....interested? Let's get started....

Ruby's Lemon Thyme Cake

2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg *
1/4 tsp alspice* 
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening 
1 cup sugar 
2 eggs ( room temp.**) 
1 tbspoon lemon rind* 
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
2 tbspoons of minced fresh thyme 
raw sugar to sprinkle on top. 

(* I used an all in one baking spice, apple pie or
pumpkin spice would work as well...I used a powdered 
lemon rind, but dehydrated or fresh certainly works..
if using dried or powdered , be sure 
 to lesson the amount as they are more concentrated
I used two servings egg beaters to make it healthier .) 

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees 

What to do....

Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt together, cream shortening, with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat eggs ( or if using egg beaters skip this step) , until thick, add to shortening mixture, mix until blended, and then add the dry ingredients and lemon juice alternately. Beat the mixture thoroughly, after each addition. Add the minced fresh thyme. Pour into a greased 8x8 square cake pan ( I used PAM cooking spray, then lined the pan with parchment paper so that it would lift out of the pan easily) and then sprinkle top with raw sugar. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean and or the top springs  back. 

Make sure you really mince that thyme 

What? You have to taste test the batter right? 

Raw sugar is a nice mild sweetness and crunch on top of this
rather savory cake 

You can just see the specks of thyme it is not over powering. 

The cake was the perfect late night snack with a glass of
wine and watching Grease Live that we had recorded. 

All cut up into bite size pieces and packaged up for
hubby to take to work !


I hope you will, grab a piece of cake, a cup of tea and  join me over on YouTube

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Rainbow of Possibilities ~ The Container Store

Organization is key to running a successful

A few weeks ago while scrolling through my FB feed, I saw a post from The Container Store, that was putting out a notice to Sacramento area bloggers to attend a preview event to their soon to be open store in the area, I don't even follow them on FB, so it was just pure luck and also as luck would have it, they are to be opening the mentioned store only about three miles away from me! I never and I mean never go to blogger gatherings, I do not drive much, and I suffer from anxiety something terrible, but something made me email in and bite the bullet. I have been to a Container Store years ago and remember it being a great place, full of possibilities for this O.C.D housewife! I was excited to know one was opening up, and so close by too! So when I got the email back saying I was "in" and that I was also invited to the private party that evening as well, it was exciting and stomach churning all at the same time...but I put the date in my calendar.

After a bit of trouble with my makeup, I was ready to go.

Yesterday was the big day, of course as my life always seems like a scene from the I Love Lucy show,  even with getting up early and working on getting ready in plenty of time, I screwed up my makeup in the final step, and had to 100% redo it, and in less than 30 minutes, get dressed and make it there....I somehow managed the make up, and quite pleased I had a couple of minutes to spare, I left. The drive was a quick one, but even tho I did make it there without much of an issue, or so I thought, it turns out all the drive ways and ways to get in were blocked off, construction. I had to go back out onto the main road, and make a U light. I go up to the left hand turn to the shopping center, blocked off. I drove to the next intersection, no turns two or so miles later I found a place to turn around, and get on the right side of the street...I missed the first drive and lucky me there was another drive, and it was open, otherwise I would have been doing it all over again!! I was directed where to park and I headed in. Once in, it was a kid in a candy store moment...I can see why they call it a " a grown up's Disneyland", 25,000 sq. feet of glorious organizational goodies! I found my way to the seating, signed in, grabbed a complimentary lunch box ( tasty sandwiches, with pasta salad, chips, a cookie and even a "cutie" ) , my bottle of water, the promotional folder and a lucite gift box with a gift card in it, and took a seat. I was one of the few ladies who did not already know each other. The front row was all from one interior firm that also has a blog, the row behind me all knew each other, and the two ladies to the side of me came together as well. The hostess for the gathering, Sonya Oliver, the marketing manager and event specialist for the area introduced herself, and then had each of us do the same....time for the nerves and shakes to kick in, but I got through it; I am getting better and faking it till you make it. Sonya was a bright and bubbly gal and she proceeded to go over the history of the coming about of The Container Store ( really very interesting, you should look them up and read up!) , as well as their mission statement for employees and the store, and their successes...then it was tour time....let the eye candy begin!!!

Sonya, our hostess was quite the
joyful and jubilant lady...putting us at ease,
was hard to get a photo of her, she was so animated!

Now, I only have my little old android phone to shoot with, and thus can not even do this bright, open and beautiful store justice, and as we were all trying to take photo's and keep up with the tour, it was not possible to photograph everything, if I had it would be enough for a months worth of blogs! So instead I decided quickly to pick a theme...I at first was going to go for the girly aspect, concentrating on everything for the closet, from hat boxes to purse fillers, and of course racks and bins and hangers to jewelry organizers, even little boxes for your patterned stockings. Instead, I decided to just photograph all the wonderful, bright, cherry and smile worthy products....hence the title of my blog today. So sit back and gaze up the indoor rainbow that is The Container Store...I will go grab a cup of tea and meet you back here in just a bit.  

Have you caught your breath yet?? I know right? The Container Store is not just about containers,  or even organization, it is about making your life, every area of it, easier.  There is not just containers for everything, and I do mean everything, there is "tools" needed to do your chores, there is tools for your kitchen, your laundry room and bathroom, mudroom and more. There is even the wrapping paper and bows to wrap it all up in if you want to make someone else's life easier, and more organized, and then the shipping materials to package it all up in if that someone lives out of town. No area of life has been ignored. I could easily spend hours and thousands of dollars there. The only real draw back, the only negative I can say about The Container Store is that coming home, looking at what I thought was a reasonably organized home, is anything but. I wish I could hire someone from there to come and make over each and every part of my home here....maybe one day! This is not the end of the story however, there was still the private party to attend! 

When Sonya mentioned the amount of people that had r.s.v.p'd , approx. 1400, I felt my stomach rise to my throat, and I felt very green! I thought of backing out and mentioned not coming out loud, but I decided once again to fight against the urge to stay home, and of course my husband who these type things does not bother, would be by my side. The event was to have valet parking, catered food, free alcohol and live music with dancing.... and it was a reason ( as if I need one) to get all dolled up and hubby promised we would not stay too long and would go for a quiet dinner to celebrate our 32nd dating anniversary ( yep we celebrate dating and wedding anniversaries)  so I drank chamomile tea all afternoon and got all dressed up, RE-did my make up ( that is a whole other story for another day...maybe on my new YouTube videos), and we left for the was not any easier getting to the front door, the traffic was horrible, and so after a few tricks and turn abouts and merging in, we made it to the valet parking and headed in.  We were greeted warmly, again by Sonya, given our name tags and headed in where we quickly received our complimentary bubbly, chatted with a couple of bloggers from earlier in the day and  went off to explore and sample the food and enjoy the was a big shindig for sure, even the local news and local city magazine was there, they even took our photo...which felt like a really big deal! 

After we had made the rounds, and sampled a bite to eat, we said our goodbyes, and it was off to a nice quiet dinner ( after a brief stop at home to once again touch up my eye makeup..I tell you it was the worst day for that...normally I can go all day and into the night and my face looks flawless...not my day!) at Melting Pot to celebrate our 32 years as a couple, before heading home and falling into bed...exhausted, but glad for the experiences of the day...except the makeup snafoos.