I’m Miss World


The weekend after Labor Day weekend usually is a quiet one since most people celebrate the end of summer during the holiday weekend. Labor Day generally commemorates the end of summertime and all it’s festivities as we transition into the fall season. But Atlantic City in 1921 had no plans of engaging in any summertime blues as it planned a way to extend the summer season.

Enter the Atlantic City “beauty contests” as a way to keep the summer heat on for patrons. The plan was devised by some businessmen of the city and they organized a small beauty contest which seven cities of the Northeast United States participated. Each city sent a “beauty maid” to represent the city in the contest. This contest took place September 7-8, ninety-three years ago today.  The happy winner of this 1921 contest was sixteen year-old Margaret Gorman, who represented Washington, D.C. Her prize was a golden mermaid statue and the title “Miss America.”

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Many other beauty contests followed this one which in turned solidified the Miss America pageants we’re familiar with today. I love these photos of the women from this time. They are wearing beautiful pieces from the era and are natural beauties in their own way. One of my favorite photos of all the photos I’ve seen is the one below of Ruth Malcolmson, Miss America 1924. This photo is so raw and natural.

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Here are some additional photos from some early beauty pageants. I love how dolled up they are in the sand and with their sashes! 🙂

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And to celebrate the city that brought us these beauty contests, I’ll be watching one of my favorite shows, Boardwalk Empire, which takes place in Atlantic City. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing that perfect Miss America wave. 🙂

In Memoriam


Here it is, another three-day weekend coming up. The weekend to kick off all the summer weekends. Many cook outs and pool parties are surely planned for this up-coming weekend. But let’s not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. The day for us to remember those that have lost their lives in many wars.

I love patriotic holidays. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love seeing the colors red, white and blue together, the fireworks and celebrations. Although Memorial Day isn’t necessarily in the top of my list of favorites (Halloween, New Year’s Eve and 4th of July are my top three), I do have respect for what it’s about. The act of remembering those that did not make it to through the other side of war came three years after the Civil War ended on May 5, 1868. The Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. 

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It was declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30th by Major General John A. Logan. Many states around the United States declared their cities as the “birthplace.” In 1971 it was declared a national holiday and permanently placing it on the last Monday in the month of May. 

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I grew up with a lot of Veterans. My father retired from the U.S. Navy, my paternal grandfather served in the U.S. Navy in WWII, and uncle on my dad’s side and now my youngest brother were/are U.S. Navy. Another brother was in the U.S. Marines and my maternal great-grandfather served in the U.S. Army during WWI. There are many more going back to the Civil War but those are the closest relatives. So I grew up around this environment my entire life. Always around Veterans and hearing so many stories of what happened while they served their country. Luckily all of those I’ve named survived with the exception of my great-uncle Lynn West who was killed-in-action (KIA) in 1968 during Vietnam.

So to remember and honor those that have died in service, take a moment to pause at at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”


Cheers to Repeal Day!

Happy Repeal Day

Today, December 5, 2013, marks the 80th anniversary of  Repeal Day. The day when America ended it’s 13-year ban on the manufacture, import and sale of alcohol. Though, possession and consumption was still allowed. However, America made it’s “last call for alcohol” on January 17, 1920 when the 18th Amendment went into effect. My mind automatically goes to the scene from Season One of Boardwalk Empire when the patrons at the nightclub are counting down until when the Amendment goes  into effect much like counting down until midnight on New Year’s Eve. What an interesting 13 years it must have been for those that opposed and those that were for alcohol. It most likely was a big reason the 1920s were dubbed the  “Roaring Twenties.” A great documentary to watch on Prohibition is Ken Burns’ Prohibition, http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/. The documentary goes back to the roots of what started the snowball that turned into the avalanche named Prohibition. (Psst, it’s available on Netflix too!)

So let’s raise a glass to Repeal Day’s 80th anniversary!

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Saying ‘I do’ Roaring Twenties Style

This article is near and dear to me because it’s about the day my husband and I said “I do!”  But the primary focus on this article is to go over the theme of our wedding which was in 1920s-style. Also, I’ll be providing tips on how to create the theme if you’re planning a wedding or an event to celebrate the jazz era.

First, I’ll start off on how we came to the decision to have a 1920s-styled wedding. It started when our photographer, Stephanie of La Photographie, suggested I use Pinterest to gather ideas for our wedding. This suggestion was pretty much the tiny snowflake that ended up a huge snowball at the bottom of the hill. Pinterest gave us a plethora of ideas for the occasion. We knew we wanted a vintage wedding and knew it had to be 1950s or older. As I was scouring the interwebs for images, I came across wedding photos that showcased the Prohibition Era. The 1920s has always been an interest of mine but it wasn’t until I started planning an event around it that I realized it was actually a passion that was slumbering in my self-conscious.  I turned to my husband and asked, “What about a 1920s-style wedding?” He looked at me like a light bulb had gone off and said, “I like it!” We had been watching Boardwalk Empire so it was almost like, “Duh, why haven’t we thought of this sooner!” But it wasn’t too late because we were in the beginning stages of our wedding planning. (Note: we planned everything ourselves.)

To begin, I can’t say there is a recommended or specific order when it comes to getting things accomplished when self-wedding planning. And I’m not a professional so I’ll leave it up to them. However, we did think that booking the venue and photographer would come first because it seems those two areas will book up fast, even a year out in advance. We picked La Photographie of Nashville because, well first of all, she’s amazing (you’ll see her work sprinkled throughout my site). She has done photo shoots of all kinds of themes and knew she could capture this era well. We stumbled upon a relatively new venue located in Nashville, Tenn called Marathon Music Works. Originally built in the early 1900’s, the building served as a car factory for the Marathon vehicle. It’s tucked away in the Marathon Village neighborhood. Just a few doors down from Antique Archaeology, which is the store owned by the American Pickers gentlemen, Popcorn Sutton Distillery, Lightning 100, Corsair Distillery and Bang Candy Company. We definitely felt this venue could give off the speakeasy feel.

Since we had crossed off the two biggest to-do items off our list, it was on to two important parts of the wedding: the bride and groom’s attire. I went to one bridal boutique to try on dresses and I’m glad I did this because it made me realize it’s not where I wanted to get my dress. I wanted something unique, whether it was vintage or not. I just knew I didn’t want to spend $1,000+ on a dress I would not be totally in love in and would wear for only a few hours. So I started Googling. I came across a dress on Ebay and the designer was Sue Wong. I researched Sue Wong and discovered she had a flair for the flapper style. Her designs are not particularly flapper replicas but are definitely capable of pulling off for any 1920s event. Plus, the biggest surprise about this find…..*drumroll please*…the price was $130! Not knowing if the dress would fit, I decided to go out on a limb and purchase the dress. I figured if it didn’t fit, I could turn around and re-sell. P.S. the dress fit perfectly! For the groom, we were introduced to a local men’s sophisticated consignment shop, Flip, located in Nashville, Tenn. My husband and I went in and asked if they had any three-piece suits. The friendly staff helped my husband find a classic three-piece navy blue suit. Their professionalism didn’t stop there; they helped my husband fill in with the accessories by picking out a bow-tie and shoes.

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Photography by: La Photographie

Next up on our list: Décor. Nashville Event Lighting was suggested to us by a friend. We like to support local as much as we can and their recommendation came with a positive review. We met with their staff and they welcomed our ideas to help our theme. Their company had the option of chandeliers and we knew this type of décor would help the theme. The staff really listened to our recommendations and visions and we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about them recreating it. For tabletop decorations, we did not want to go with the traditional flowers. During my search, I noticed feathers, especially ostrich feathers, were all the rage during this time. My husband Googled until he found a company Texas that carries these. And the upside, we could rent the feathers instead of purchasing (what would we have done with all those feathers??). Score! Then came to the decision of how we showcase the feathers. Somewhere I came along with the idea of using wine bottles. I didn’t want to spend money on vases and then be left over with them. Wine bottles serve as perfect vases! Luckily I came up with this idea a few months out from the wedding date so I had time to *ahem* collect them. 🙂

Now on to the wedding cake. My mom worked with a woman that baked on the side. I will tell you, when planning an event, word of mouth goes a long way. It’s scary to go out on a limb to use a person or company that you have no idea on their reputation. My mom raved about this woman’s baking and my mom being a trustworthy source, we made our decision to meet with her. Her company is called Sweet Serenades. When we met with her she listened to our theme and came up with some great ideas. The final outcome was stunning! We had a small cake for us to cut into and cupcakes for our guests. See below to see what I’m taking about.

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Photography to the left by: La Photographie. Cake by: Sweet Serenades. Photography to the right by: my husband

Our save-the-dates and wedding invites were created by my husband. He owns a screen-printing company and music promotion company and does a ton of graphic design for his customers and promotion of events. I love what he creates and I’m not just saying that either! We wanted to create something ourselves so it would be exactly what we want and would be special to us as well. So again, Pinterest and Google came in handy. It helped us shape our designs and create some awesome save-the-dates and invites. He bought a quality cardstock from a local art store in Nashville, Tenn named Plaza Art Supply and printed them himself and took them to Kinkos to cut them to size for free with their papercutters.


Photo by: my husband

The accessories and bouquet were areas that came together quite well. I knew I wanted a headpiece and not a veil, since headpieces ruled the head fashion of the 1920s. My headpiece was simple and inexpensive: a necklace I bought at Charming Charlie. My pearl necklace was also bought from Charming Charlie. My shoes were bought at Macy’s and I got really lucky when I found them. I wanted a shoe that was t-strap. And I’m not the type of person that likes to spend hours mall shopping. My mom and I went on the hunt and I scored some beautiful silver t-strap shoes! My bouquet was made by my husband’s sister and her friend. She asked me what type of flowers I wanted to use so as I searched I fell in love with calla lilies. I knew I wanted a color that would contrast with my white dress and discovered black calla lilies. Bingo! They found a wholesale flower warehouse that they were able to save by buying the flowers in bulk. They put a beautiful lace piece wrapping the flowers and accentuated it with a crystal brooch. They also designed the groom and best man’s boutonnière and maid of honor’s bouquet.


Photography by: La Photographie                               Photo by: me

Music was provided via iPod and this was one area that we couldn’t go all out and pay for a twenties-style band. However, we compiled the perfect playlist and it worked just as well for the evening. We did ask guests to dress up 1920s style and we’re happy to say, we had the best looking group of people that could be in attendance. It was so much fun to peek behind the curtain before the ceremony and see everyone dressed up to celebrate with us.

This concludes this article and I hope you were either entertained or given ideas for your wedding or event you are planning. My purpose was to show how we pulled it together to give the self-planner a few ideas on what to do. Wedding planning has its moments of stress, however, planning this entire wedding definitely was the bees knees!

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Photography by: La Photographie

La Photographie: http://www.laphotographienashville.com/
Marathon Music Works: http://www.marathonmusicworks.com/
Sweet Serenades: https://www.facebook.com/sweet.serenades.bakery
Invitations and save-the-dates created by: Jason Galaz of Ad Specialities by Color My Shirt  http://colormyshirt.espwebsite.com/
Wedding officiate: Stephen Seymour http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/unforgettable-ceremonies-nashville/e6090de20fc921a9.html
Bride and Groom’s wedding attire: Sue Wong http://www.suewong.com/public/index.htm and Flip http://hip2flip.com/
Nashville Event Lighting: http://www.nashvilleeventlighting.com/