Sunday, July 12, 2009

Playing Dress Up

Creating a "look" is all about the shoes, though some argue that it's the hair.

Frivolity Warning: Summer Play Ahead

Yesterday, we went to a family wedding; my husband's sister, Giselle, got married. I thought it would be fun to share with you our dress up "looks". Amber is the pretty bridesmaid on the left, then Wendell with a bit of distinguishing gray, and there I am in my oxymoronic Retro look. (I seem to be running from aging by running toward the past.) And there is our subtle son, Alex, looking a bit subdued after his mother patted down some of the hair spikes. (We don't want to freak out Grandma on this "Day of her Daughter's Wedding"- she's a bit like the Godmother-you get the movie reference?)

The wedding reception was held in a romantic Puerto Rican country setting under three large white tents. The tables were graced with tall crystal vases upon which, abundant hydrangeas, pink roses and white daisies were precariously perched. I attempted to take this floral arrangement home. "Alex, Grandma said you can take it." (It is not one of my finest moments but I must now confess that I rushed him to grab it off the table and take it to the car.)
What Grandma actually said was that no one will want them because they weighed so much. Somehow that bit of detail did not sink in. The first attempt to bring the arrangement to our car landed on the reception area's cement floor as the Rock Star-our progeny to the left- tossed it over his shoulder while adjusting to its surprisingly heavy weight. Sigh. It's all a matter of gravity... what goes up (and over your shoulder) must come down. Or cause and effect- a physics lesson involving momentum and all that..."Okay, son, it's not a sack of potatoes or a bale of hay! Be gentle." Through trial and error, we discovered that the arrangement was cautiously balanced on top of the narrow glass flute with florist tape. We were embarrassed. We survived, however, the flowers did not. The second flower arrangement made it all the way home- sans Calla lilies but pretty none the less.

Did I tell you that the cute and quirky French blogger, Marie Reed of Cpaphil Vintage Postcards, inspired my up-do hairdo? I watched the 40's hair tutorial she posted in March and kept it in the back of my mind. When I realized that I needed to "fancy myself up" for the wedding, I decided to modify the look a bit to suit my own skill level. I was supposed to lift the hair in the front to attain greater height but I lost my nerve. Still, I did boldly wear this vintage look, though upon reflection, I did need a tutorial on make up application. (Did you know that I rarely wear make up?) A friend, Daphne of Energize Your Life suggested that I make a French Twist in the back; while another, Mark of The Red Beech Tree, said I should apply false eyelashes and bright red lipstick. I did my best but got lost while pinning up my hair and forgot to pin down the period. What is it?- 40's 50's 60's 70's? What do you think?

My daughter loves me no matter what silliness I get into..although she did say, "Mom you're getting a little Madonna-ish."

Now she wants me to teach her how to make Eggplant Parmesan. She needs to learn to cook her favorites before she goes off to university next year. (Yes, I know, I have been remiss! I should have taught her how to cook much earlier. I just don't like to go through the anxiety of watching my daughter cut food with a knife. Get over it, Cynthia. Okay! I'm better. Back to the event.)

I got a compliment yesterday. My brothers-in -law, Eddie and Albert, agreed that I looked like a movie star. Okay, I blush to confess that they said I looked like Grace Kelly. (I did have on blue contact lenses.) What do you think? Okay! It was dark! What a beauty she was...(I don't think she would try to grab a free flower arrangement. I'm so ashamed.)

I think I look more like the B52s' Cindy Wilson in their "Love Shack" video. I did work at the Sugar Shack during high school... however, it was a diner and not a place to find "love"- though you never could be too sure-with the singles arriving and couples departing-but that's another story...
I had so much fun playing with my Retro look though today my hair is frizzy from the heavily applied hair spray...(I'm thinking my roots need a bit of a touch up. :-) BTW Amber's meal was Delicious. Her first Real dinner prepared at seventeen... :-) My little girl is growing up.
Thank you for playing with me
. I leave you with the B52s who are also celebrating summer with their quirky mixed period Retro looks...


  1. Smiling from ear to ear over here! I dare anybody to stay put in their chair when that song is on any playlist! (In my best Southern drawl) Ms. Cynthia dahling, you looked simply divine. Your hair....and everything else, I might add, looked gorgeous. It sounds like you had a mischievously good time and you even have a little token of rememberance to boot with a story to tell!

    Tin Roof Rusted indeed!

  2. Bogey, thanks for the playful praise. It was a bit of a risk putting this craziness out there. Now all my blog friends and visitors know that I do love a good bout of foolishness. :-) <3

  3. Yep, TOTALLY Love Shack!!! lol....and i love your daughter's "Madonna-ish" comment :)))

  4. You must have received many compliments on that french chignon do. And your daughter is stunningly beautiful as well in these photos. Isn't it fun to get new dos?

  5. You are a beautiful woman inside and outward. HUGS!!

  6. Braja, I will pass that on to Amber...tell me, did you dance a bit? <3

    Lakeviewer, yes, it is fun to get a new do...of course, I don't usually take risks...though I do remember one time when I dyed my hair orange and then pink ...neither were intentional! Thanks for praising Amber...she's the 'apple of my eye'. <3

    So are you friend. I support your art and your causes right along with you. <3

  7. Oh...this was worth the wait! I wondered what you were up I know part of it had to do with an "Up-Do".

    Loved seeing your family...all knock-outs! And the flower story...priceless memories all...

  8. Oh Teri, I'm sorry about the wait...I have myself on a weekly blog schedule because I tend to over-focus on the blogosphere...also I want time to read other blogger friends blogs. I know that some people post many times a week...and lovely entries...maybe I will get the right posting rhythm, soon. I'm glad you enjoyed my playful post...and thanks for being such a thorough reader. Thanks for being you, Teri. <3

  9. Very nice!I do think your dauhgter would look stunning in that hair style as well.Maybe for a formal event.Dont feel bad about the cooking both my girls dont much like to cook.My younger one more than the older one.She would probably venture the eggplant parmagian.Since iam greek she learns alot about some favorite dishes of hers.Enjoy the new week ahead!

  10. You look gorgeous !! Such a lovely photo of you and your daughter she is a lucky girl and I'm sure that you feel like you're the lucky one. xo S & les Gang

  11. that was a very mispelled daughter, up

  12. You look gorgeous!! I love that look on you and that beautiful smile of yours- let alone the whole picture is stunning! That retro look of yours is a keeper my dear. I've kind of adopted a 50's look by wearing my hair straight down and flipping it out at the shoulders- so cute!You have a beautiful family Cynthia-you all look like movie stars. The wedding sounds like it was a lot of fun as well.

    ...About the B52's- I love them!
    Wonderful cheery post. Thanks:)

  13. Beautiful mum, beautiful daughter oh and the guys aren't bad either!
    How nice to all go dressed up and have fun, even if it was a wedding and not the sugar shack!

  14. Cynthia I love your hair - the retro is fab and I am going to be singing 'Love Shack' all night. I am not sure whether I am thanking you for that though....!! xv

  15. Cyn - you look gorgeous in all these photos and so do your kids - they are so very attractive. Looking at your and Wendell's faces though it is no wonder your kids are so good-looking. This is not schmooze, by the way - I mean every word.


  16. Becky, thank you, I hope you enjoy your week too. When we lived in California, I didn't cook as much because there were so many alternatives...but we're vegetarian and it's hard to find food that's tasty and meat-free-though I'm not particular.

    Amber hopes to be able to make her own good vegetarian food but when she gets to the states, I bet she will realize that there is plenty of excellent take out. Thanks for the visit! <3

    Susan, yes, I am lucky as you are with les gang. <3

    Ms. Lucy, you need a new profile picture with your hair sounds so perky-fun. Thank you for your kind 'movie star' family is also complete with strong personalities. I'm glad I could make you smile. <3

    Fire byrd, how are you? I will be over to visit in a few minutes. Love the sugar shack brought a smile to my face! <3

    Vicki,"Love shack, baby!" Oh, that is in my head and I'm thanking No one at all! Thanks for coming and viewing my humble retro look! <3

    French Fancy, what a charming thing to say. You are so adorable...sending love your way. <3

  17. Cynthia you are so gorgeous! Wow.

    Madonna-ish? I wonder what that means. How great of you to share your party looks here. You're beautiful and so are your children.

    How fun to see the B-52's, too! Thanks

  18. Cynthia,

    I LOVE your up-do and have you heard about all those celebrity shoplifters?! :-) You are expected to take a flower arrangement for goodness sakes - they are party favors. LOL

    Much love to you,

    Mama Shujaa.

  19. Those are great ideas! You all look like a stylish and happy family!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

  20. holà guapa!!
    i smiled when i read your comment and checked at once your retro look...I love it and it suits you really well!
    you know, i always thought the Brigitte Bardot hair styling (like yours) very sexy... about make up, yes the false eyelashes are definitely a must with this kind of hairdo!
    so keep having fun Cynthia!

    ps: your kids look fab too...

  21. love it, love it......I want to try it...waiting for my hair to grow out!

  22. Cynthia, how glamourous you all look, and you especially - What a beautifully handsome family you are! I scarcely recognised you with your beehive updo, and I love the monochrome on you, with dashes of cheeky colour! You have always been beautiful, and seeing this other, playful side of you is truly, truly delightful - Thank you so for sharing such a divine moment, my dear friend. I am so honoured to know (and love) you! xox

  23. You (and your family) look absolutely beautiful!!!!!!! Love the retro look.

  24. I can only second, third, fourth, and fifth all above who vote : YES to the fabulous retro look ! Sounds like all had a good time, and if you were able to carry the flowers home to, what's there not to love about a day like that ?

  25. Hey Cyn, guess who ??? I had downloaded firefox to get on Facebook faster as opening it with AOL was too slow, Sherry Austin told me about Firefox and it did make it WAY faster. So per your suggestion, I'm here via Firefox!
    YOU LOOK GORGEOUS !!! As well as the rest of the family!I love the idea of running backwards to avoid old age! HA!

  26. oh grace, you look so fabu..... oh so sorry, cynthia (blush blush[well, I never do but...] :) -- did you get all that morse code? :)

    actually you do resemble a movie star from the fifties in that hairdo and makeup but I am not sure who...maybe I should watch the video!! it sounds like a lovely time had by all and you have a lovely family, your daughter looks like a sweetheart and I know exactly how you's bittersweet to say the least, is it not?

    ps: { I always steal the flowers! }

  27. As a parent I have to say one of life's greatest joys is watching our children grow up and embrace life.

  28. Reya,thanks so much for the visit, dear blogger buddy. I think Amber meant or said "Material Girl"...which is probably what she actually said. She was playfully indicating that I was over concerned about my appearance.

    (I do take liberties with the factual truth every now and then if it comes out that way in the retelling but then I guiltily correct myself. Oh noooo!) I hope you take plenty of "treatments" as you mentioned in After the Gold Puppy, and that you continue to feel love bombed! Sending love you way. <3

    Mama Shujaa, so nice to have you visit again! I know that MJ's death had a profound impact on many people, myself included. I thought I might be removed-emotionally-but instead listened carefully to the memorial speeches and songs. I also remembered my childhood because of his passing. I grew up just south of Detroit and Motown. The music (and MJ's) was part of my everyday young girl's life.

    Love back to you friend. <3

  29. Comedy Goddess,

    Lala Ema (My Castle in Spain), as the queen of creating looks, I bow to your knowledge and agree that the false eye lashes are a necessity...and I did improve the make up a bit later...sigh...but it was the weaker end of the look nonetheless!

    I do like the Bridgette Bardot comparison...she was a knock out! :-) You are so right about the FUN...I need a bit more of this summer relaxation play. <3

    Miriam, just get a wig or a fall (-remember those hair pieces that are now available everywhere?) Who needs to wait for the hair to grow out. You might tire of the idea before then. Thanks for the visit and your lively comment. <3

  30. Fhina, thanks for the visit and the celebratory joy you share with me. Your phrase,"dashes of cheeky colour" -no matter how many times I read it-still makes me smile. I know you are the music/fashion maven over there in the UK...and I love your visually pleasing take on the pop world. I love you big heart, Ms. Fhina, and you too. <3

    Sarah Lulu, thank you, dear! I hope that the move went well and I will be over to visit your blog soon. <3

    Owen, smile, yes, the flowers were carried home...heavy though they were! Thanks for the visit and nice words, adventurous Mr. Toad. :-)


    we'll be having fun running backward for the next few decades, won't we?!! I am so glad that you were able to enter (OWL) blog again. This problem with Explorer 8 and Blogger is a pain!

    Love to you. About your last post: May you soon be completely relaxed and healthy sitting on your Writer's Porch, and reading an excellent book. <3

  31. Linda, glad you came over! I know from your Vulture Peak Muse that you are the gloriously intense painter who also knows how to paint a face...your sideline could be the make up expert who is both stylish and creative! See you soon, Sister Flower Power- er Stealer! Love to you! <3

    David, so true. I love seeing the choices that my children make that define who they are or who they want to become. I do have a bit of trouble letting them go their own way. (Attachment and all that!)

    Thank you for the visit.

  32. You all look so glamorous! The smiles win over hair and shoes. Retro is good fun.

  33. Hi Sarah,
    We had fun playing dress up...and maybe it is all about the smiles as you say! Thanks for the visit.<3

  34. Dear Cynthia!

    oh that was so funny and charming and fun! you are absoultly gorgeous, I hope you put that mother~daughter photo in a frame. Is that your family then the first photo? I probably should read all the comments to find out, but I am trying to hurry here before I get the big angry X that kicks me off!!
    thank you for sharing, I am off to take a tour of your island now(so excited!)

    lots of love,


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