The 1950’s Housewife Project: Day One

The 1950’s Housewife Project

I believe I  mentioned this a little while ago, if not on my blog then for sure on my Instagram, but this week I am living like a 1950’s housewife. People have had questions about what that entails, so I thought I’d share my plans with this first outfit of the week (and yes, I’m going to blog every day with my outfits and video updates!) I want to mention that I am certainly not the first person to do this, and a few bloggers before me used a compiled list of advice and schedules from various sources, so I’m using those plus what my own grandma has told me as well as some advice in 50’s books I have to make my own 1950’s housewife schedule.

Cleaning

I sent my grandma, who was a housewife in the 50’s, a list of questions I had for her regarding her daily schedule, her cleaning habits, and more. I have seen this list floating around the internet a lot, and it seems fairly doable to me, but I wanted to hear it firsthand from someone I know who lived through the time. And whose house is basically always impeccable.

I was surprised when she emailed back and said she didn’t really have a schedule, she just did things on the fly and when they needed to be done. This sounds a lot like me, though my house is never clean. She told me that she has always been a last-minute, on-the-fly sort of person, but that she did always make their bed in the morning, and they all ate together with no books or toys allowed at the table.

She didn’t have a dishwasher, so did the dishes after every meal and tried to sweep the floors every day, but didn’t always manage that. She only mopped the floors when they really needed it, dusted perhaps 2-3 times a week, and made her kids have a nap or a quiet time for about two hours a day so that she could have time to herself.

Based on this, I’ve decided to follow a looser schedule than the one I linked above. At the end of this post, I’ll write out what my full day looks like, but for now, let’s move on to the next subject!  

Meals

This is, of course, the most fun part. I bought a 1957 diet book called Slenderella (which you’ll see in the video below) and while I am trying to make up a full day of meals that are actually practical, I’m also choosing a few recipes that will  be… interesting, to say the least! I am trying to follow this meal book as closely as possible. There are three sections – 1200 calorie days, 1500 calorie days, and 1800 calorie days — and I’m following the middle one based on the diet advice in the beginning of the book. At 5’8″ with the allowed 2″ heels on, and desiring to weigh about 150 pounds, this book tells me I should eat roughly 1500 calories a day to lose weight and then maintain that weight.

Surprisingly, it is all very solid advice. It’s basically a calorie reduction diet, full of quite a lot of veggies and good protien, with two choices for breakfasts (dry or cooked cereal with milk, or toast, an egg, and two slices of bacon, along with your choice of juice, and coffee), a long list of approved ingredients for lunches (sandwich, fish, or salad), and then about 30 dinner menus that consist of a soup, a meat dish, one or two veggie dishes, salad, dessert, and always coffee.

My grandma said that they always had meat, potatoes, two veggies, and some form of dessert, as well as milk from their cow, and watered down juice. They were fairly poor, so what they had was frugal, but they survived. The menu plans in this book may be a bit more extravagant than my grandma’s life, but I tried to choose the meals that sounded least expensive and also most practical. I’ll be sharing those meals with you in my videos!

And, of course, I’m making the meals for everyone. Breakfast for my husband and the kids, lunches for all of us, and all of the dinner and dessert.

Beauty Routines

My grandma told me that she didn’t really have a beauty routine other than keeping clean.But I have always noticed that she always wears lipstick, and this is something I’m trying to implement. According to beauty advice online and in my 50’s Brides book, the beauty routine is: get up, and spend ten minutes on yourself – brush your teeth, tie your hair up in a ribbon, splash your face with water, and put on lipstick. Then go about your morning duties and see your husband off to work. After that, get dressed, do your makeup and hair, shower, etc.

Because I have fairly sensitive and picky skin, I’m not going to go so far as to use exact products (such as Pond’s cold cream) but I am going to try to follow the basic routines. I’ll spend ten minutes in the morning making myself a bit less sleep-worn, and then get ready for my day after my husband leaves for work.

There is, however, one bit of advice I found about choosing makeup, and that is to wear eyeshadow that matches your eyes, and lipstick that compliments your dress. So for this week, I’ll be changing up my makeup routine. I won’t be doing the dark winged liner I usually go for, and no false lashes! I will choose browns and greens for my eyeshadows, and lipsticks that match colors in my dresses. I’ll also mimick a more 50’s brow shape, though this isn’t much of a change from the normal.

Clothing

All this week, I will be wearing clothing almost solely from my collection of 1950’s garb. All of my dresses are from the 50’s, and while most of my outfits will be typical housewife looks, I will be trying to get in at least one party look just for the fun of it. Perhaps that day, my husband and I will go out for dinner.

While my shoes and accessories may not be period exact, I will try to mimic 50’s styling as authentically as I can, and wear as much as I can that I have from this period! Today, for example, my dress and headscarf and brooch are 50’s, my earrings are 60’s, and my belt is likely 70’s. The only non-vintage I’m wearing are my shoes, because let’s face it: I doubt I’ll ever own 1950’s shoes with as wide of feet as I have.

I am also wearing as many of my vintage aprons as I remember to wear, to protect the pretty clothes, to have pockets when my dresses don’t have pockets, and just generally because I’ve heard from a few people who remember their mothers in the 50’s that their mothers almost always had aprons on.

Extra Activities

If I have time in the week, I will be trying to do a few things that a 50’s housewife may have done:

  • I will be trying to make a garment. Whether this is a simple skirt or a dress from vintage fabric and a vintage dress pattern, I haven’t decided yet. But I want to make something, and I’m hoping that Wednesday or Thursday I’ll find the time!
  • I have a stack of 1950’s Home Craftsman magazines, and I am going to elicit the help of my husband to possibly make a thing from these magazines. It’s all more home-decor based, so hopefully there’s something we can find to create!
  • While it isn’t in the menu plan from my Slenderella book, I will be making a classic Aspic dish, and also a really odd recipe I found called “Asparagus Loaf”. These, I will attempt to film. Because. Aspic.

The Schedule

So what will my days look like? Here’s a rough idea, though likely I won’t do all of the things every day, or perhaps I’ll do extra on some days.

Get up at 6:15am, or whenever my husband wakes me. Spend ten minutes in the bathroom brushing my teeth, getting my hair tidy (though not necessarily styled), washing my face, putting on lipstick. Make breakfast for everyone who is up, and prepare lunch for my husband for work. Tidy up the kitchen a bit, unload the dishwasher, put dirty dishes in, pick up random toys that somehow always find their way into the kitchen. Make all the coffee. So much coffee.

After my husband leaves around 7:15, get dressed and do my hair and makeup. Daily, I will attempt a different vintage hairstyle and if worse comes to worse, I’ll just put a scarf on it. Side note: one of the beauty tips was “shower at least once a week, but you don’t have to shower that often.” So… I’ll stretch the showers out as long as I can. And I’m a fairly sweat-less, dry-skinned person, so I generally only shower twice a week anyway. Once hair and makeup are done, take blog photos and video so that if my outfit gets messed up later in the day at least I have evidence that I was dressed pretty. Ha!

About 8:30 or so I’ll be done with all of that, so then it’s time to dress my kids, tidy up the living room, and tackle one of the follow things: the laundry, the bathroom, or the kids’ room. And currently, my bedroom is also on that list as we don’t use the room and it becomes a catch-all. I clean for about an hour and a half, or until Evie gets tired and needs a nap.

From 11-12, I’m wiping down counters, picking up random toys, vacuuming if needed, sweeping, folding clothes… you get the idea. Little things that need to be done. Then, it’s lunch time.

From about 12:30-2 is free time, although I found myself picking up extra stuff during this time and only sat for about 20 minutes before I had to start dinner. Yesterday, it was pot roast that was cooking fro 2-1/2 hours, and in that time I also made some weird dessert (watch the video), some carrot… dish… boiled potatoes, made more coffee, did more dishes, and changed because I popped the seam on my dress. (Which is actually because I still haven’t mended the bit that needed to be mended before I wore it the first time.)

At 4:45, my husband gets home and we sit and chat until about 5, which is when I set the table, pour drinks/water/juice/whatever, and finish up any last little bits of dinner. We eat at 5:30, after which I clean up the dinner dishes, put away leftovers, and the kids have bath time or TV time, or reading, or whatever evening activity.

Kids are finally in bed by 7:30, and then… in a normal 50’s housewife’s life, I’d be done and free to relax. But in this life, I’m working on the daily vlog, writing up a blog post, editing photos, and drinking more coffee until about 8:30 when I finally decide enough is enough.

I spent about 30 minutes with my husband before I legitimately started to fall asleep, and we were in bed by 9.

I have never slept so well. The first day was a busy one, as I also did grocery shopping, walked to my mother-in-law’s, had my mom over, cleaned a house that was a disaster from the weekend, and figured out exactly how I wanted to format the vlog. But as I write this on day two, it’s been a bit more relaxed because I have so much less to clean.

Overall, it’s really motivating. While there are some negative side effects to all of this, that I’ll chat about at the end of the week, it’s really mood-boosting to see that I can get so much done in one day, and I feel less like I’m lost in a sea of never being able to get things done. It takes a lot of work, and I was absolutely sore this morning, but it might just be worth it. Mostly.

I hope you guys enjoy the video and let me know if you have questions!

Side note: while they’re not 1950’s in the least, I will still be using social media and things like… my dishwasher. I don’t want to go that crazy. 😉

Dress, 1950’s vintage from Lotty Dotty Vintage | belt, shoes, and brooch, thrifted | earrings, gift | headscarf, eBay | apron, 1950’s from an antique store.

Vintage swing dress, flower crown, and Rago shapewear

Spring Greens

I realize this is not the best outfit to showcase a new shapewear garment – the last outfit post would have been much better fro that, being form fitting. But last week I finally purchased a Rago shapewear garment from Amazon, and it was delivered the same day as this beautiful dress from Vintage Katherine on Instagram. So of course, I had to wear them both!

I have been wanting to purchase Rago shapewear for a while. I’ve heard good things all around about the longline bra (which Miss Victory Violet has loved) and Skye has praised the shapewear for its ability to smooth and generally make a vintage silhouette look perfect. So after some consideration, I decided to buy the Hi-Waist Leg Shaper, which is supposed to smooth the hip line and stomach. Since I have a baby belly, I’m always looking for things to help bring in my stomach and keep it from bulging under vintage waistlines. While my natural waist is relatively small, having babies has not been kind to my stomach and I’m always fighting to keep my belts from riding up.

After some consideration, I decided to buy the shaper in a 3X; while the size chart says it is for 46″ hips and mine are 49″, I hoped that choosing a smaller size would assist with smoothing everything out perfectly (and maybe pull me in a bit as well!) I was a little concerned that the waist might not fit. I have an 18″ difference between my hip and waist, and often things that fit at the hip are far too large in the waist.

When the shaper arrived in the mail, I immediately pulled it on. And of course, it took a little work to get into. I may have definitely been doing an awkward dance in my room trying to get it up over my posterior end. But once it was up, it was amazingly comfortable and, while it doesn’t pull me in at the waist at all, it wasn’t too big either! No bagginess, it pulls my stomach flat enough that my belts don’t ride up, and, best of all, the legs don’t roll up!

As someone with bigger hips and thighs, this fact is a lifesaver. All too often, leg-shapewear rides up and chafes with all-day wear, but I wore the Rago all day, and no riding up. It didn’t budge at all and I’m impressed! I would definitely recommend this shapewear to anyone looking for a good, sturdy, durable leg, hip, and stomach smoother.

Vintage Katherine

And can we chat about how beautiful this Vintage Katherine dress is? I saw it a while ago in her Instagram shop, but wasn’t able to purchase right away. Since dresses go like candy in her shop, I assumed that it would be sold long before I got to it. And then by chance, I noticed she’d never marked it as sold, and a dress or two of mine sold, and I snapped it up right away!

While it is about an inch shorter than my preferred length, it’s still the perfect dress to twirl into spring with. I felt like a vintage spring goddess, especially after pairing it with this beautiful flower crown Caitlynn of Crescent Creations Events made me. You might remember the crown from Evie’s 1 year photos. Caitlynn was so sweet and made us matching crowns for no reason at all, and I may have to add elastic to Evie’s so she can continue to wear it!

I hope you are all enjoying spring weather. And if winter is still plaguing you, I hope it goes away very soon! Happy Thursday!

1960’s dress, Vintage Katherine | Shoes and belt, thrifted | flower crown, gift from Crescent Creations Events | Petticoat and Rago shapewear, Amazon

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1920’s inspired dress, floral fascinator, and flapper style

All That Jazz

I have never been very inspired by the 1920’s. The preferred body shape of the time was flat chested, straight up-and-down, and about as far from curvy as one could get. With their dropped waists, straight cuts, and mid-calf length preferences, the 20’s held about as much appeal to me as a paper bag. With my hips and bust, I could never fathom trying on anything 20’s inspired and loving it. Straight cuts, on me, look horrible.

Enter this dress. 

I was perusing my local Goodwill, and grabbed this dress to add to a sale post I had going (where I occasionally post in a BST site with any retro inspired or vintage things I find while thrifting, as I find them). It is a size 8, and on the hanger looked far too small to fit me. I usually wear 3-4 sizes larger if dresses have no flare in the hip. My top half is an 8, but my bottom half is usually around a 16. I very nearly just photographed it on the hanger, because it wasn’t my style or my size.

But on a whim, I decided to pull it over my head. It was stretchy, I discovered, and zipped easily, and fits… perfectly. The bias cut and stretchy lining mean it fits me now, and will fit later if I lose weight. The cut also means it is incredibly flattering on my body type, because it’s not baggy and hanging loose in odd places! Count this the first time I’ve adored a 1920’s inspired cut on me!

Silver and Gold

My friend and fellow vintage blogger Skye has noted before that the 20’s were a very bohemian age, during which patterns and colors were thrown together with abandon. Matching was of little consequence. So, though my first instinct was to pair this dress with silver accessories to coordinate with the silver-black beads, I decided to shake it up and grab a vintage gold necklace and my newest vintage beaded bag.  After that, the golden yellow fascinator was a no-brainer! I love the beautiful contrast it brings.

While I’m a coordinate-to-perfection girl at heart, sometimes throwing in a bohemian, wild element is so worth it. The pops of gold really help highlight all of the beautiful details of this dress, and bring it all into the flapper age so well!

I couldn’t stop moving and dancing wearing this dress, as you can see! And while I wish I could perfect the hair a bit more, it was so fun deviating from my normal midcentury look for a more sultry, vampy flapper outfit.

Fun fact: most hemlines in the 20’s were between ankle and calf lenght, with only a brief two years between 1926 and 1928 of shorter skirts that showed knee. Those two years are what we associate with the flapper look, but I think this dress, despite its modernity, showcases more “accurate” 20’s eveningwear attire. Though I’m sure I would not be quite as fashionable in that time period, because my figure is anything but straight. 😉

Now I’m wishing I had a Gatsby party to attend! Perhaps I’ll just have to throw one. Maybe for my birthday next month.

Dress, Pissarro Nights but thrifted (still available online! And they have so many other gorgeous dresses!) | shoes, thrifted | fascinator, from @haileymelise on Instagram | necklace, vintage | bag, vintage/thrifted

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Strawberry Fields Forever (ft Sara from In A Nutshell Blog)

This past weekend, guess who came to visit? Obviously you can see by the photo: my best blogger friend Sara, cohost of the BBRBF Book Club! A month or two ago, she texted me that she might be in Seattle for work, and I immediately got excited. When we met up last year it was as if we were already old friends, and I had been dying to meet up again. Lucky for me, she travels a lot for work! This time she was able to stay over for a weekend, crashing on our couch (or pull out bed), playing with Asa (who is totally obsessed with her and now asks for her every day), and going on blogging adventures with me! It was the best weekend and I’m crossing my fingers that she gets to travel this way again soon.

For our first post together, we originally planned to style our twin Strawberry skirts. Hers is from Tatyana, mine is from Amazon. But when the day came and I tried on the outfit I’d put together, it just didn’t work for me. Luckily I have this 1940’s strawberry apron that I intend to make into an actual dress (it closes all the way in the back anyway!), and I love how we look together!  

There were a lot of bloopers during our photoshoots, which made it all the better. I am not good at stopping my giggles, and Sara is very good at making remarks that crack me up.

What was even more fun, we got to go see Beauty and the Beast together with my mom, and Sara’s wit and giggles kept me from bawling my eyes out. While she enjoys Disney and Beauty and the Beast, she’s not quite the hardcore fan like I am. I teared up several times (and likely will cry this weekend when I go to see it with my husband) but didn’t full out cry the first time around. I am not obsessed with Disney princesses other than just liking the old Disney films in general, but Beauty and the Beast is one story I’ve always been in love with.

I wrote my own version of the fairytale in my teen years, played Tale as old as Time on the piano at four years old (shortly after having watched the movie for the first time), and scouted out every version of the movie I could find (including the 80’s TV show.)

I had so much dread when I heard they were making a live action version. I wasn’t sure whether they’d cast the right people, make the dress perfect, do a big enough library, a grand enough musical… I was so afraid it would be ruined!

But everything about it was perfect. Perhaps my one nitpick, and this is fairly small, is the autotune used on Emma Watson’s voice. I wish they would have had her lip sync to someone with a stronger voice rather than autotune the voice she does have. But I liked her overall, so I’m not too annoyed by it. Everyone else was absolutely perfect in casting; Luke Evans was an even better Gaston than I could have imagined, Dan Stevens rose above my expectations to play the perfect Beast (and that reveal at the end!!!), and Josh Gad was a great LeFou. There was not one miscast person, in my opinion!

I had planned to wear a dress from Amazon that mimics the iconic yellow dress, but when it came time to wear it, I discovered the dress doesn’t quite fit right! So I ended up just wearing a vintage dress I’d gotten that week that I was eager to wear, and my Disney Beauty and the Beast pin instead. Not every outing can be a perfectly matched theme, I guess! 

Hopefully come Saturday I will have figured out some sort of Belle inspired outfit, though, because I dearly want to see the movie dressed like my favorite Princess. Though it won’t be quite as special because Sara won’t be with us. 😉

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast? What did you think?

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Vintage parrot sweater, vintage sweater skirt, and blogging more

Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.comBirds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com

Birds of a Feather

I almost didn’t post these photos today. This morning I was thinking that, since it’s the first day of spring, I would put on a floral dress in spring colors and be a vintage spring vision. But this sweater called my name. And then as I was taking photos and reviewing them in my camera, I started to feel extremely insecure about the silhouette. I rarely wear fitted silhouettes or waistlines that are lower than my natural waist, and what looked awesome in a mirror seemed to look a bit clunky and odd on camera.

I started to feel bad about my figure and my clothing choice, and the sun left, and it threatened rain, and I figured today’s photoshoot would just be a bust.Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com

But then as I opened up the images in Lightroom and began to edit, I gave myself a pep talk. I noted how cute the sweater looks, and that I like my makeup, and my tiny waist, and by the time editing was done I was feeling good about it all again so here we are! Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of looking at yourself and saying “you ARE a cute human shut up brain pointing out the burger-baby-belly.”

Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com

Lately I have been thinking about how I used to post outfits five times a week, and that I really miss that habit. While I certainly have more things to think about now than I did when I was posting every day, I still think that it’s doable if I lessen my expectations for each post. Is daily style something you all would be interested in, given that I may only post one or two shots of daily outfits (and longer posts from weekend photoshoots) along with minimal text? Or do you prefer the longer posts and more photos?Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com

As silly as it sounds, blogging is what helps me get “dressed up” most days. If I’m not blogging, I’m in yoga pants, and I really want to break out of that habit. It’s not hard to wear a skirt or dress daily, and I don’t own much that can’t be easily washed. But if I don’t have to take photos, sometimes I forget that getting dressed like this is a form of my personal self care, and I just don’t bother.

So, would you all be interested in shorter, quick daily-outfit-snap posts mixed in with my longer more “professional” photoshoots? If so, I may start trying to do that again! I need to have less expectations of what I “have” to do blogging. I often get hung up on not having the right detail shots, or not being in a fancy location, or not getting enough full body shots for a post, and that’s just silly! Blogging has always been a fun way to share my style, so whether or not I have all the shots I’m “supposed” to have, I would love to post more. Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.comBirds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com

This post is a good example of a photoshoot that didn’t get every shot I usually take; I didn’t photograph ANY detail shots in my frustration. Cropping is all I have for details today!

Please let me know if daily style snapshot posts interest you!

Vintage parrot sweater bought online | vintage headscarf and earrings, gift | bracelets and vintage sweater skirt, thrifted | shoes, Chelsea Crew (here)Birds of a Feather | eyreeffect.com

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