12 Secrets to a Sentimental Christmas

 

My top 12 secrets for 2020:

 

#1              A tabletop vignette of family mementos, gathered from your keepsakes and arranged on a tray, will sweeten your holiday season.

Sweet Groupings

 

#2              Playing vintage music playlists will bring instant holiday cheer to listeners, at any time of the day or night.

     Spotify: Vintage Christmas playlist by Jeremy Griffin

     YouTube: Past Perfect Vintage Music channel

     Pandora: Baby, It’s Cold Outside station

     Amazon Music: Holiday Movie Favorites

 

#3              Festive garland can be made by stringing raw cranberries on heavy thread, then draping over greenery or the Christmas tree, for a burst of Victorian reds.

Garland Threading Kit

 

#4              A juicy beef roast dinner, placed in your slow cooker the morning of arrival for overnight guests, will have your home smelling divine until dinnertime.

 Savory Beef Dinner

 

#5              Brown paper packages tied up with string, made of grocery bags and yarn scraps, will add a timeless touch.

Pretty Little Packages

 

#6              Wearing a gold locket, holding your loved one’s photo, will warm your heart during holiday celebrations.

 Old-Fashioned Locket

 

#7              Playing recordings of past holiday gatherings in the background, while cooking or baking, will fill your kitchen with familiar voices and loving laughter.

Making Baking Memories

 

#8              Arranging snowflake stickers on windows and mirrors will add magic and wonder to any room’s décor.

Snowflakes Kit

 

#9              Rosewater soaps, set by each sink and bathtub, let everyone relive the soft scents of Grandma’s house.

Vintage Toiletries

 

#10           Delightfully spiced fragrance will waft through your home when you simply simmer water with ground or stick cinnamon in a saucepan for  20-30 minutes.

Spice is Nice

 

#11           An unwrapped wooden toy under the tree will surprise both curious little guests and adults alike.

Toolkit

 

#12           Gourmet hot cocoa topped with whipped cream will quickly make you a favorite holiday host.

Godiva Cocoa Mix

 

Coastline of Blue

  Photo by Blink+ "French Riviera"   What makes the French Riviera irresistibly alluring?   This romantic region is second-to-none with its breathtaking scenic views, white beaches, water sports, and limitless recreation. Here on the waterfront in the south...

Family is Forever

"Little girl taking a photo with a box camera" by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Family photos were sometimes layered into boxes or mounted in albums as heavy as the Fall/Winter Sears & Roebuck catalog.   We would pour over the pages, looking for...

Ahead of Her Time

Photo: Andrew Batt Collection / Capitol-UMC Bobby Gentry was never lost. She simply chose to not be found.   Four Decades Later     We miss everything about her... the voice....the look...and the power of her gifts to the world. All we once had was a...

Blow-Up Bop’Ems

      There was a style for every kid: Bamm-Bamm, Bozo the Clown, Fred Flintstone, Popeye, Scooby-Doo, Flipper (the Dolphin), Huckleberry Hound, Bullwinkle, Batman, Frosty the Snowman, Yogi Bear, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Gumby & Pokey, King Kong,...

One Cool Cat

  Everything he touched turned to gold.   Bobby Troup composed, Get Your Kicks on Route 66, famously recorded by multiple artists beginning with Nat King Cole. The song was inspired by a 10-day, cross-country drive taken by Bobby and his first wife, Cynthia....

Time-Out for Tenderness

 Photo by Robert Eklund on Unsplash Children and their pets create bonds, strong and true. Wherever a pet can be added to the family, daily affection and relationships enjoyed by all can be worth the effort required.   Top 10 Reasons   Warmer weather and sunshine...

A Town Once Famous

Pontoon Boat Sunset by Rob Lee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Lake Wobegon is a fictional town created by Garrison Keillor. And while he authored several books from 1981-2014, his radio show, A Prairie Home Companion was his claim to fame.   Anyone born from,...

Hello, Operator?

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash  100 Years of "Ma Bell"   Do you ever miss the feeling of cradling a Western Electric Bell telephone in your hand, holding the handset up to your ear, listening to the voice of your loved one on the other end?   And, how about...

The Joy of Life

French Countryside by Funky Tee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 The spark that gives us vigor to live in the present moment with a sense of joy is known by the French as Joie de Vivre.   Magazine About the Joy of Living   Melancholy music suspends us in time,...

Rewinding a Fashion Statement

St. John gold Chain Belt by leyla.a is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 A recent trend uses a popular wardrobe accessory in a novel way: the chain belt draped over women's swimwear as jewelry.   Laws of nature dictate summer sunshine warms metal quickly. You decide....

Summertime Strawberry Splendor

"Strawberries" by ewan traveler is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Realistic aromas can waft from vivid strawberry photographs. Peer for mere seconds before your mouth waters and senses rise with a pleasing dopamine rush!   An absolute favorite memory of my youngest...

Zany Xanadu

Vintage Ad #1,868: Xanadu! by jbcurio is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 The most dazzling romantic musical fantasy in years!   Within the film are time travel scenes of the most unlikely culture contrasts seen on the big screen (like the big band era vs. disco -...

For Good Measure

Every tool bench has a tape measure of some kind. Each dressmaker or seamstress has one as well. They're obviously useful collectibles even today.   Luckily, I spent a lot of fun times playing with these as a child when the adults were too busy to care!  ...

A Mother’s Heart

 Shirley Jones by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0   A Mother's Heart: Shirley Mae Jones   She turned down the role of Carol Brady, longing instead to portray a mother like herself:  a working mom with healthy, active children to raise. She got...

Reelin’ in the Years

Sawyer model g view-master viewer.jpg by Junkyardsparkle is marked with CC 1.0   Reelin' in the Years: How View-Master Set the World at Our Fingertips A partnership began in 1938. Soon after, the first View-Master model of stereographic images using Kodachrome...

Bossa Nova Beat

Photo by Pearse O'Halloran on Unsplash    Bossa Nova Beat: The Jazz Genre for All Generations What happened when a band mixed jazz & samba into one single  rhythm, down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, back in the 1950s & 1960s? A new musical genre was born:...

Dining in Style on Route 66

  Dining in Style on Route 66: Tableside Service with a Smile 21st-century décor has not altered the quality of a classic vintage menu and service at one ultra-fine dining spot in New Mexico. Named the best steakhouse in the state, Dinner For Two continues to...

What’s in the Toolbox?

 

Stanley and Craftsman were household names long before any of us were born.

Our grandparents may have owned a dovetailed wooden toolbox like the one you see pictured above.

 

Chances are good that our fathers, uncles or big brothers carried a metal one something like this.

 

 

What toolboxes and tools do you remember?

 

Vintage Tool Treasures

 

And here’s one you’ve gotta see to believe!

 

 

Coastline of Blue

  Photo by Blink+ "French Riviera"   What makes the French Riviera irresistibly alluring?   This romantic region is second-to-none with its breathtaking scenic views, white beaches, water sports, and limitless recreation. Here on the waterfront in the south...

Family is Forever

"Little girl taking a photo with a box camera" by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Family photos were sometimes layered into boxes or mounted in albums as heavy as the Fall/Winter Sears & Roebuck catalog.   We would pour over the pages, looking for...

Ahead of Her Time

Photo: Andrew Batt Collection / Capitol-UMC Bobby Gentry was never lost. She simply chose to not be found.   Four Decades Later     We miss everything about her... the voice....the look...and the power of her gifts to the world. All we once had was a...

Blow-Up Bop’Ems

      There was a style for every kid: Bamm-Bamm, Bozo the Clown, Fred Flintstone, Popeye, Scooby-Doo, Flipper (the Dolphin), Huckleberry Hound, Bullwinkle, Batman, Frosty the Snowman, Yogi Bear, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Gumby & Pokey, King Kong,...

One Cool Cat

  Everything he touched turned to gold.   Bobby Troup composed, Get Your Kicks on Route 66, famously recorded by multiple artists beginning with Nat King Cole. The song was inspired by a 10-day, cross-country drive taken by Bobby and his first wife, Cynthia....

Time-Out for Tenderness

 Photo by Robert Eklund on Unsplash Children and their pets create bonds, strong and true. Wherever a pet can be added to the family, daily affection and relationships enjoyed by all can be worth the effort required.   Top 10 Reasons   Warmer weather and sunshine...

A Town Once Famous

Pontoon Boat Sunset by Rob Lee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Lake Wobegon is a fictional town created by Garrison Keillor. And while he authored several books from 1981-2014, his radio show, A Prairie Home Companion was his claim to fame.   Anyone born from,...

Hello, Operator?

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash  100 Years of "Ma Bell"   Do you ever miss the feeling of cradling a Western Electric Bell telephone in your hand, holding the handset up to your ear, listening to the voice of your loved one on the other end?   And, how about...

The Joy of Life

French Countryside by Funky Tee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 The spark that gives us vigor to live in the present moment with a sense of joy is known by the French as Joie de Vivre.   Magazine About the Joy of Living   Melancholy music suspends us in time,...

Rewinding a Fashion Statement

St. John gold Chain Belt by leyla.a is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 A recent trend uses a popular wardrobe accessory in a novel way: the chain belt draped over women's swimwear as jewelry.   Laws of nature dictate summer sunshine warms metal quickly. You decide....

Summertime Strawberry Splendor

"Strawberries" by ewan traveler is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Realistic aromas can waft from vivid strawberry photographs. Peer for mere seconds before your mouth waters and senses rise with a pleasing dopamine rush!   An absolute favorite memory of my youngest...

Zany Xanadu

Vintage Ad #1,868: Xanadu! by jbcurio is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 The most dazzling romantic musical fantasy in years!   Within the film are time travel scenes of the most unlikely culture contrasts seen on the big screen (like the big band era vs. disco -...

For Good Measure

Every tool bench has a tape measure of some kind. Each dressmaker or seamstress has one as well. They're obviously useful collectibles even today.   Luckily, I spent a lot of fun times playing with these as a child when the adults were too busy to care!  ...

A Mother’s Heart

 Shirley Jones by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0   A Mother's Heart: Shirley Mae Jones   She turned down the role of Carol Brady, longing instead to portray a mother like herself:  a working mom with healthy, active children to raise. She got...

Reelin’ in the Years

Sawyer model g view-master viewer.jpg by Junkyardsparkle is marked with CC 1.0   Reelin' in the Years: How View-Master Set the World at Our Fingertips A partnership began in 1938. Soon after, the first View-Master model of stereographic images using Kodachrome...

Bossa Nova Beat

Photo by Pearse O'Halloran on Unsplash    Bossa Nova Beat: The Jazz Genre for All Generations What happened when a band mixed jazz & samba into one single  rhythm, down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, back in the 1950s & 1960s? A new musical genre was born:...

Dining in Style on Route 66

  Dining in Style on Route 66: Tableside Service with a Smile 21st-century décor has not altered the quality of a classic vintage menu and service at one ultra-fine dining spot in New Mexico. Named the best steakhouse in the state, Dinner For Two continues to...

The Impassioned Italiana

 

(Photo credit: Robert Sullivan)

 

“I was growing up, (and) the ugly duckling was turning into a swan. Above all, the desire, the almost physical need to express my emotions, to translate into gestures and words, the feelings I had built up inside, and that I could still not interpret, were growing inside me. I wanted to dive into a wider sea.” -Sophia Loren from her autobiography,

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life

 

Sophia is a living legend who ardently continues to perform her craft for the camera.

Whose early life story proved she is a survivor.

An individual who radiantly turned the tide of personal misfortune to fulfill her dreams.

And famously became the woman most often considered to be the greatest beauty of all time.

 

My favorite Sophia Loren performances are those with her frequent co-star, Marcello Mastroianni.

 

Please be aware this steamy video is rated PG-13.

Sophia and Marcello – Forever!

 

 

 

Copyrighted Song Lyrics

Coastline of Blue

  Photo by Blink+ "French Riviera"   What makes the French Riviera irresistibly alluring?   This romantic region is second-to-none with its breathtaking scenic views, white beaches, water sports, and limitless recreation. Here on the waterfront in the south...

Family is Forever

"Little girl taking a photo with a box camera" by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Family photos were sometimes layered into boxes or mounted in albums as heavy as the Fall/Winter Sears & Roebuck catalog.   We would pour over the pages, looking for...

Ahead of Her Time

Photo: Andrew Batt Collection / Capitol-UMC Bobby Gentry was never lost. She simply chose to not be found.   Four Decades Later     We miss everything about her... the voice....the look...and the power of her gifts to the world. All we once had was a...

Blow-Up Bop’Ems

      There was a style for every kid: Bamm-Bamm, Bozo the Clown, Fred Flintstone, Popeye, Scooby-Doo, Flipper (the Dolphin), Huckleberry Hound, Bullwinkle, Batman, Frosty the Snowman, Yogi Bear, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Gumby & Pokey, King Kong,...

One Cool Cat

  Everything he touched turned to gold.   Bobby Troup composed, Get Your Kicks on Route 66, famously recorded by multiple artists beginning with Nat King Cole. The song was inspired by a 10-day, cross-country drive taken by Bobby and his first wife, Cynthia....

Time-Out for Tenderness

 Photo by Robert Eklund on Unsplash Children and their pets create bonds, strong and true. Wherever a pet can be added to the family, daily affection and relationships enjoyed by all can be worth the effort required.   Top 10 Reasons   Warmer weather and sunshine...

A Town Once Famous

Pontoon Boat Sunset by Rob Lee is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Lake Wobegon is a fictional town created by Garrison Keillor. And while he authored several books from 1981-2014, his radio show, A Prairie Home Companion was his claim to fame.   Anyone born from,...

Hello, Operator?

Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash  100 Years of "Ma Bell"   Do you ever miss the feeling of cradling a Western Electric Bell telephone in your hand, holding the handset up to your ear, listening to the voice of your loved one on the other end?   And, how about...

The Joy of Life

French Countryside by Funky Tee is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 The spark that gives us vigor to live in the present moment with a sense of joy is known by the French as Joie de Vivre.   Magazine About the Joy of Living   Melancholy music suspends us in time,...

Rewinding a Fashion Statement

St. John gold Chain Belt by leyla.a is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 A recent trend uses a popular wardrobe accessory in a novel way: the chain belt draped over women's swimwear as jewelry.   Laws of nature dictate summer sunshine warms metal quickly. You decide....

Summertime Strawberry Splendor

"Strawberries" by ewan traveler is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Realistic aromas can waft from vivid strawberry photographs. Peer for mere seconds before your mouth waters and senses rise with a pleasing dopamine rush!   An absolute favorite memory of my youngest...

Zany Xanadu

Vintage Ad #1,868: Xanadu! by jbcurio is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 The most dazzling romantic musical fantasy in years!   Within the film are time travel scenes of the most unlikely culture contrasts seen on the big screen (like the big band era vs. disco -...

For Good Measure

Every tool bench has a tape measure of some kind. Each dressmaker or seamstress has one as well. They're obviously useful collectibles even today.   Luckily, I spent a lot of fun times playing with these as a child when the adults were too busy to care!  ...

A Mother’s Heart

 Shirley Jones by Film Star Vintage is licensed under CC BY 2.0   A Mother's Heart: Shirley Mae Jones   She turned down the role of Carol Brady, longing instead to portray a mother like herself:  a working mom with healthy, active children to raise. She got...

Reelin’ in the Years

Sawyer model g view-master viewer.jpg by Junkyardsparkle is marked with CC 1.0   Reelin' in the Years: How View-Master Set the World at Our Fingertips A partnership began in 1938. Soon after, the first View-Master model of stereographic images using Kodachrome...

Bossa Nova Beat

Photo by Pearse O'Halloran on Unsplash    Bossa Nova Beat: The Jazz Genre for All Generations What happened when a band mixed jazz & samba into one single  rhythm, down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, back in the 1950s & 1960s? A new musical genre was born:...

Dining in Style on Route 66

  Dining in Style on Route 66: Tableside Service with a Smile 21st-century décor has not altered the quality of a classic vintage menu and service at one ultra-fine dining spot in New Mexico. Named the best steakhouse in the state, Dinner For Two continues to...