‘Tis the season for awesome Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties! If you love the 1950s and 1960s, can’t get enough of Mad Men, and would love to show off your Mid-Century Modern decorations, you should throw a Mid-Century Modern Christmas or New Year’s Eve cocktail party. Here are some suggestions on how you can throw a Mid-Century modern themed party:
Set the tone right away with the invitations you send.
Here are some e-vites that will help set the tone for the party. Be sure to mention on the invitation that it will be a themed party. Since it is close to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, here are some e-vites you can send out quickly from paperlesspost.com
2. Decorate for the holidays and within your theme
Since you are having a cocktail party, guests will be using barware and glasses, so consider updating your glassware and buy new items that will fit in with your theme. Here are some beautiful ideas for toasting at midnight on new year’s eve.
3. Serve drinks, appetizers, and desserts in the theme
Find some fabulous themed recipes online that will take your retro party up a notch! Here are some Mad Men-style retro cocktails that will be perfect. And here are some recipes that you can make to accompany the cocktails you serve from Food Network.
4. Play music in the background that fits your retro theme
Music is amazing for helping to set the mood for a party. Play songs like “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “The Chipmunk Song,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Christmas.” Make a playlist on iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube so you can start the music and keep the music going all night.
5. Play a classic Christmas movie
If you want to add extra ambiance, you could also have a Christmas movie from the 1950’s or 1960’s playing in the background. White Christmas (1954) and Babes in Toyland (1961) would be great choices. This will help put people in a holiday mood, and it will also give your guests something to do and to talk about.
6. Play some games
When the mingling dies down, create some excitement by playing vintage games. Pull out a deck of cards and play a good ol’ fashioned card game. Or look on eBay for classic board games like Yahtzee, Battleship, or Dominoes.
We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season full of good cheer and vintage merriment!
Welcome back to the blog! Decorating your home in a Mid Century Modern way can add a touch of whimsy and uniqueness to your home for the holidays. Here are some things you can do to add a little Mid Century Modern Christmas magic to your home this year.
1. Make homemade Christmas decorations.
There are a few reasons why you should make your own homemade decorations. It may be difficult to find Mid Century Modern Christmas ornaments, stockings, and other decorations in an average store. Another reason to make your own decorations is that was what was popular (and often necessary) to do back then. People were into making their own items back then even more so than they are now. You will also be able to customize your own looks and colors. These decorations do not need to be complicated. Here are some ideas for mid-century modern Christmas decorations from DIY you can make. This DIY Starburst Wreath by PMQ for Two is beautiful! Click Here for instructions on how you can make your own!
2. Opt for a unique Christmas tree.
Instead of picking out a fake green evergreen tree, look for one that is white, silver, pink, or teal aluminum. If it is sparse, that is even better! Trees that were smaller and sparser were all the rage back in the 1950s. If you can’t find an aluminum tree in the store, you can always cover your tree with lots of tinsel, or even spray paint a tree to coordinate with your theme better.
3. Choose designs you will be able to use all year round.
While choosing items to add to your home, it can be really fun to add items that are specific to Christmas and the holidays, but some items can add to your home all year round and be used for other holidays as well. For example, these vintage champagne glasses would be amazing to use for New Year’s Eve and any other special toast:
4. Plan on hosting a party!
Once you have decorated your house in this special way, plan to show it off! You can serve fabulous cocktails in these green wine goblets that just scream Christmas!
Or if you want to bring a little gold to the party look at this gorgeous Vintage Bohemia Czech Crystal Cocktail set.
5. Go all out!
Let your theme extend into all areas of your celebration! Bake cookies for the holiday and sing carols by the piano. Give Mid Century Modern gifts and wrap your presents in fun retro wrapping paper. Make popcorn garlands and gather around the Christmas tree. Have fun with your theme and remember the simplicity and fun of the 1950s and 60s.
Happy November! This is the perfect time to start decorating your home with festive Thanksgiving flair. Here are the top 7 reasons to have a Mid-Century style Thanksgiving!
1. Mid-Century items add interest and act as conversation pieces.
Thanksgiving is one of the few times of year when you host friends and family at your home, so give them something interesting to look at and talk about. Items like this vintage mid-century Murano Art Glass Vase would be great conversation starters:
These items add fun and whimsy to every party.
You may find more Thanksgiving items.
It can be difficult to find many Thanksgiving items in the store nowadays, so look for items like this vintage Autumn Leaf serving platter to add to the holiday ambience:
Your relatives will relate to the Mid-Century style.
Your older relatives may have first-hand knowledge of Mid-Century style, and using Mid-Century items will let them feel nostalgic. If they are bringing a dish to Thanksgiving, encourage them to bring it in one of their own unique vintage pieces. They will likely have a great story about the item!
There are unique Mid-Century style items that we just don’t have now.
Items like this vintage mid-century modern cocktail set can’t be found in stores now:
These items are perfect for Thanksgiving and will make serving easier and more fun! Since hosting parties was all the rage back in the 1950s and 60s, most of these items are made for parties and for sharing.
It is easier to mix and match items!
How many people really have enough place settings of one china pattern to use for one event? Most people end up having to mix and match china patterns. Mid-Century modern style barware and serving items are perfect for mixing and matching. By picking the same era of designs, they all coordinate, but then you have the freedom to mix items. These Fostoria Argus Ruby Rock Glasses
would look great on the same table as these vintage striped rock glasses.
Mid-Century items are elegant!
Items like these vintage atomic star champagne coupes are so elegant and add a touch of class to any party:
These vintage pieces will never go out of style!
Vintage items are great because they have stood the test of time and they continue to be popular. These are classic, timeless pieces that will look beautiful year after year!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and check back on the blog in a few weeks when we will give you some great Mid-Century Christmas design ideas, as well!
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I recently came across a meme that accurately describes my feelings about raising my teenagers at this very moment.
Most of the “mom” blogs out there seem to focus on parenting little toddler children. But what about those of us who have managed to trudge through the toddler years only to find ourselves in the quicksand of raising teenagers. And yes, sometimes it feels quicksand-like. I’m being pulled under by their constant mood swings, self-involved attitudes, general lack of caring for anything other than themselves.
Take for my son for instance. He’s 16. He’s been driving for about 4 months now. In that time I have looked for his wallet about 240 times. (For those counting that’s an average of twice a day.) Seriously, I feel like I spent the first half of my marriage looking for my husband’s wallet and car keys and now I am spending the second half of my marriage looking for my son’s. And it’s not that I mind helping him find stuff, but it’s the attitude of it’s my fault because he can’t find something. As if I spend the little bit of free time that I have going around the house and hiding his stuff – ’cause you know, it’s fun hunting for crap that’s been misplaced.
And it’s not just the car keys and wallet. It’s his glasses, his calculator, his homework, his band music. Sigh.
But the hardest of them all is my 14-year-old daughter. I swear there should be a medal of some sort for mom’s who survive raising a daughter. Or at the very least a t-shirt.
I was a sassy daughter. My mother is a saint for having put up with me. How she did it without causing me serious bodily harm I will never know. I mean, when I ask her how she did it she always says she would rather raise a son 10 times over than raise another daughter. I think I will order the above t-shirt for her. She deserves it.
Back to my 14-year-old.
I get that she started high school last week. I understand that she is tired. I am sympathetic to her busy schedule. Volleyball practice everyday after school plus band practice once per week as well as keeping up with homework is stressful. I get it. But man is she mouthy. Even just the simple act of answering yes is sassy. Mothers of teenage daughters know what I’m talking about here. The huge sigh…the eye roll…the yesssss…mom.
Oh, and apparently, my use of silverware and how it may make a small noise while eating is just too much for her to handle. Because you know, it just so annoying!
Maybe it’s the solar eclipse that’s happening today that has my children’s moods going every which way. I sure hope so. All I can do is keep loving them, but man they sure make it hard sometimes. Now I understand what my mom meant when she said I always love you, but sometimes I don’t like you. Ha! I totally get it now Mom!
How do you handle the in’s and out’s of raising teens? Like this post and let me know I’m not alone out here!
Summer is almost over and school will be in session again soon. And while I have mixed emotions about this – yay! for some alone time during the day – nay! for being alone all day! I’m happy to get back to a more schedule routine for the sake of my sanity, but I’ll miss the lazy days of summer for sure.
For me, the worst part about back to school besides having to buy all those annoying school supplies, is packing lunches every. single. damn. day. Ugh! I hate it. Especially since my daughter gets what I like to call “school lunch fatigue.” This is when I pack the same snack and or lunch more than 2 days in a row. It’s a pretty serious affliction. Symptoms include whining about what was in her lunch, complaining that her lunch was boring, stories of the glorious and delicious lunches her friends have and uneaten lunches being brought back home.
So I decided I needed to scour the internet for interesting, tasty, and easy to pack lunches so my daughter doesn’t, you know, like, totally die from the boring lunches I make her.
Oh and I promise I will only share realistic lunch ideas. I mean, seriously, how many kids do you know who are wanting caprese kabobs? Not my kiddo that’s for sure! Not only would she not eat that, I’m looking for easy lunch ideas. i.e. grab some stuff and throw it in the lunch box.
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1. Fruit and Cheese platter – Apple slices and cubes of cheese are yummy and delicious! Add some pita chips or bagel chips for some crunchy texture. Bonus tip: To keep the apple slices from turning brown, slice your apple (Be sure to keep the core) and then reassemble it and place a rubber band around it.
2. DIY Lunchables – These are so fun and you can put anything in them! Try some trailmix, wraps, cubes of cheese, or anything else you can come up with. And you can get some really inexpensive containers that have compartments in them so they are super easy and fast to pack. Like these ones from Amazon:
3. Salad in a Pocket – My daughter loves when I do this. They are so simple add your favorite lettuce and veggies and your done! I told you these would be easy ideas. You can find these in the bread isle and sometimes they are called pita pockets. Like these ones:
4. Cheese Quesadillas – Ok, I admit these take a little bit of planning ahead of time. But you can make a few up at a time and refrigerate them and then they are ready to go. I just take a flour tortilla, spray some pam in my skillet and warm the tortilla until it is browned. Add your favorite cheese – we like cheddar – and then fold in half and continue warming until cheese in melted. Remove and cut into triangles. Tada! Your done! And it doesn’t take much preparation time.
5. The Whatever Lunch – This is something my daughter created and while it isn’t a “traditional” lunch she really likes it because it provides the variety she craves. I take a bottle of water, her favorite fruit of the moment (last year it was kiwi), 1 pack of fruit snacks, a serving of pretzels, and a cheese stick. Sometimes I give her one of those Sargento Balanced Breaks instead of the cheese stick. She really likes those. You can mix and match items to suit your child’s taste but while it isn’t a ton of calories she feels like she’s getting a ton of food!
6. The Tried and True Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich – While this isn’t always the most exciting lunch it is good in a pinch. Plus you can make some ahead, pop them in the freezer and they will be ready to throw in the lunch box whenever you need them. They will thaw before your child eats! It’s genius! Of course, if you are like me and a bit on the lazy side when it comes to lunches you can always buy Smucker’s Uncrustables Frozen Peanut Butter and Jelly Sanwiches. Plus I don’t have to cut the crust of the bread!
7. Hard Boiled Eggs – Now this one doesn’t work for us because my daughter refuses to eat eggs! But, it can be a really super easy and healthy alternative for your lunches. Prepare the eggs at the beginning of the week. Peel them and put in a ziploc bag and they are ready to grab and go.
8. Cheese Stick Wraps – Oh my gosh you all! These are so easy. 1. get a cheese stick. 2. wrap your favorite lunch meat around it. 3. wrap that in a mini flour tortilla. That’s it. Super easy but yummy and fun!
9. Peanut Butter – Everything tastes better when it is dipped in peanut butter! So send your kiddo off with a small container of peanut butter and then put different items to dip into it. Pretzels, celery, pita chips, apples, bananas, tortilla chips, the list goes on! And again, a nod to the lazy lunch packers like myself, you can buy single serve on-the-go peanut butter packages from Jif. No messy spoons or knives to clean up. I’m tellin’ ya peeps it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.
10. Nutella – Ah lovely Nutella! It’s perfect for lunches and so versatile. My daughter loves it in a sandwich. But you can put it on tortillas, send it a container so they can dip stuff in it, or slap it on some bread. Not only is it yummy it’s healthy too! And just like the peanut butter to-go- packages above, Nutella comes in single serve containers as well.
Ok, I’m exhausted just thinking about making all those lunches in a few weeks. What are your favorite go to lunches? Comment below!
I’m back again with another short informational piece about Mid Century Modern Designers – specifically those that designed giftware and housewares.
I absolutely love drinking glasses from the 50’s and 60’s. It was so colorful and fun!
So I thought it was interesting to learn that Fred Press was also an artist who designed more than glassware.
Fred Press was born in October of 1919 in Boston, MA. His parents had emigrated from Russia in the early 1900’s.
He began winning awards for his sculptures in the 1930’s and studied art at the Vesper George School of Art. He and his brother founded Contemporary Arts, Inc. and many of his sculptures were reproduced and distributed through that company.
In the early 1950’s Press moved to New York City and was the chief designer for Rubel and Company. Over the next 3 decades he held this position and really transformed the giftware industry.
He was such a versatile and prolific designer in the 20th century. As you can see from the drinking glasses below his designs were bold and colorful:
I may have mentioned before how I’m not really good in the kitchen. I really try and I always have wonderful intentions of making something perfect and yummy and something that looks like Julia Child made it. The vision I have in my head is this:
Unfortunately more often than not this is the reality:
However, my 14 year old daughter has recently started showing an interest in cooking and baking and has even started watching the Food Network like crazy! Since I am her mom I figure the responsibility of teaching her how to cook falls to me. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE spending time with her and making memories. It’s just difficult when I am trying to teach myself at the same time I am teaching her.
We recently stumbled upon my husband’s grandmother’s cookbook. I absolutely adore it and love paging through and looking at all the recipes, poems, information, quotes, and more that she has written in there!
So my daughter and I set out to pick one recipe and make it today. We decided upon Dream Whip Pie. The Ingredients are as follows:
2 envelopes Dream Whip
2 3/4 cups cold milk, divided (1 cup with dream whip, 1 3/4 cup when adding Danish Junket Dessert)
1 tsp vanilla
1 package Danish Junket Raspberry Flavor
20 graham crackers crushed
1/3 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
After reading the ingredients I figured it was sort of like a modern day Cool Whip Pie! Super easy to start out with. 🙂
Helping me with this baking journey is my lovely daughter, Linnea. Oh! And that’s our dog Spot. He’s 16 years old and still kickin’! He doesn’t help much with the cooking but he sure does like to catch anything the drops on the floor!
First, we had to see if stores even still sold Junket Danish Dessert or Dream Whip for that matter. To my dismay the local Woodman’s grocery store had both of them. Being a modern type mom I decided to buy the already crushed graham crackers rather than crush them all myself. I mean seriously, I don’t want to work myself too hard!
Next I went to the next page of the recipe book and to my disbelief there were no directions! Ok, we can do this…I think.
First we put the 2 packages of dream whip in the mixer with the milk. And I made my first mistake! I put all 2 3/4 cups milk in with the dream whip – you are only supposed to put 1 cup. Sigh.
Good thing I know myself and know I am bound to make a mistake of some kind…so I bought Cool Whip while we were shopping…you know…just in case!
So, I dump out the ruined mixture, put in the cool whip, add some vanilla, add the Junket Danish Dessert Mix (which is just a powdered jello like substance), and the correct amount of milk. Mixed it all up on high for 2 minutes and stuck in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
Next we made our graham cracker crust. Crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup butter, melted and 3 Tbsp of sugar. Mix that all up and put it into a pie plate. Set that in the fridge to chill.
So far so good! The finished product turned out Ok. We topped it with fresh raspberries!
While I wouldn’t necessarily call this an overwhelming success cooking wise, my daughter and I had fun and laughed and made some wonderful memories! Thanks to my husband’s grandmother! 🙂