The Latest Big Project or… Why I Really Like My Job

Over the past year, I’ve gotten to be a part of 3 specific projects at work that made me go, “Really? You’re going to pay me to do that? Awesome.” You can find #1 here and #2 here. (#2 just won an award that got the whole office really stoked.) While, I usually don’t talk about my day-job, this third project gives me the unique opportunity to share it with you because… I’m blogging on this crazy, cool new blog on, and you’re seriously going to love it!

DIY Made + Remade

The cool thing about working for Scripps is that it’s a really encouraging environment for creatives. We all really like to make things. We’re curious about how things work. We find beauty in the process, we love collaborating, and we really like trading secrets. That’s what Made+Remade is all about. There are several bloggers from inside the office and several others from all over the country, but the underlying factor is that we all really love living the DIY lifestyle.

So, pardon the commercial, but if that sounds like something you’re into as well, hop on over and look around. (I’ve put a link in the right sidebar to make it easy to remember.) My first post is all about finding and caring for vintage costume jewelry, and I’ve got a couple more in the works. I’d love to know if you have any ideas for posts. Is there a question you question you want answered? Something you’d like to fix or a project you’re dying to try? Shoot me an email or comment below!

What sorts of things do you want to DIY?

Style File: Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn, 1942  |  Secrets of a Belle

In honor of Presidents’ Day, I just couldn’t resist sharing a little Style File from a favorite of ours: 1942’s Holiday Inn. It’s the classic story of boy meets girl set to the tunes of Irving Berlin.

Boy falls in love with girl. Boy’s friend steals girl. Boy moves to farm and finds new girl. Rinse and repeat.

Some would call it a Christmas movie, but I think it’s best enjoyed during the month of February: such a short month yet so many holidays! Regardless of when, here are a few things to be taken…

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Old movie sets remind us that cliché can sometimes be fantastic.

The house used in Holiday Inn was the *perfect* New England home. So perfect, in fact, that it was later reused in 1954’s White Christmas. (Personally, my dream house will have those big windows!) However, a few nuances I’d really like to point out are the contrasts between the “girl’s room” and the “boy’s room.” Please note: the lace curtains, hand-painted glass lamps, and chaise lounge, versus the printed drapes and model ship. I’m not gonna lie, I have to go with the gender stereotypes on this one; I’d love to put on my make-up in front of that vanity. (My regular, non-controversial makeup that brings me closer to looking like Joan Rivers than Jennifer Hudson, but keep reading.)

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Find a room that has it all.

Working in the industry that I do, I often hear people go on and on about open-concept floor plans. Personally, I’ll just take this one living room if you don’t mind.

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

When it comes to holidays, overdo it!

Holiday Inn is just that: an inn that is open *just* for holidays. And each holiday comes with some seriously fantastic decor. Take a look…

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Maybe I Should Clarify…

Overdo it… tastefully. Which brings us to the first February holiday: February 12th, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The performance of “Abraham” (obviously not Irving Berlin’s best work) has become so controversial that most channels airing the movie cut it entirely.

Black Face controversy from Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

While the black face makes my stomach ache, it’s interesting to think of it in the context of when this movie was made: 1942. That’s nearly 80 years after the Civil War’s conclusion but just a decade before the Civil Rights Movement really got ramped up.

Also worth noting in this song (and throughout the film) is the fabulous Louise Beavers. You may recognize her because around this time she was in everything! (For instance, she absolutely stole the show in this movie with Cary Grant.)

Louise Beavers in Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Anyway, after Lincoln’s birthday is Valentine’s Day which, of course, is best celebrated surrounded by an overabundance of hearts, lace, crepe paper, and plenty of creepy cupids! As a side note, how glorious is that dress?

We really should work together to bring back “Black Tie.”

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

Finally, in the words of Paula Deen,

“The closer to Jesus, the better we like it!”

Maybe it’s the Southern Belle in me, but don’t you just *adore* the hair and dress for George Washington’s birthday? It’s as if Linda Mason could be Scarlett O’Hara’s 18th century cousin with that hoop skirt & big hair!

Holiday Inn, 1942 | Secrets of a Belle

So Happy Presidents’ Day! Will you be watching Holiday Inn? If so, please remember to celebrate in style!

Style File: Lisa Douglas

Lisa Douglas | Green Acres: Style File #SecretsofaBelle

I am a lifelong fan of Green Acres. I know; you’re shocked! Small town. Big City. Great accents. (Come on, you know you love her accent too, dahling!) So tonight, if you are in need of a little inspiration (to fix up the house or to buy a new outfit), I’m sharing a few lessons I’ve learned over the years from Mrs. Oliver Wendell Douglas.

Your home is your castle.  |  Green Acres: Style File #SecretsofaBelle

1.) Your home is your castle. Wallpaper… art… a leopard print sofa… anything to make it yours!

Have a signature dish.  |  Green Acres: Style File #SecretsofaBelle

2.) Have a signature dish.

Dress properly for housework.  |  Green Acres: Style File #SecretsofaBelle

3.) When working around the house, be sure to wear the proper attire. Lace muumuus and pale pink gloves make any job seem glamorous!

Embrace modern conveniences.  |  Green Acres: Style File #SecretsofaBelle

4.) Don’t be scared to embrace modern conveniences… be it an electric coffee pot or a Grabwell Washer.

Keep the romance alive, dahling!  |  Green Acres: Style File #SecretsofaBelle

5.) Finally, keep the romance alive, Dahling!


Bewitched? More Like Possessed.

Lawd have mercy, it has been one of those weeks… or months! Work has been busy (lots of cool stuff happening), Husband will be done with his MBA in a little over a week, and the holidays are just around the corner. And while all this is super exciting, I’ve gotta tell ya, I’ve been a little crazy. Thank heavens for a very patient husband!

Anyway, when I saw this collection of pics of the bewitching Elizabeth Montgomery, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.Do you ever have weeks when you’re pretty sure you have multiple personalities? Please say I’m not the only one!

Classic: Gone with the Wind

Clark Gable reading Gone with the Wind

Do you have a copy of Gone with the Wind in your library? What about the movie? If your answer is ‘no’, take a lesson from Mr. Gable. I stumbled upon this picture the other day, and I just love it. I read Gone with the Wind over Thanksgiving weekend my 7th grade year and totally fell in love. I remember watching the movie when I was really little. I was haunted by the imagery and taking mental notes on how Scarlett O’Hara got every man in the county wrapped around her little finger.

Recently, I watched the movie the film again and was reminded of how poetic it is: the text before each scene, the gorgeous settings and costumes, and the beautiful cinematography that was so far ahead of its time. Anyway, for your Tuesday inspiration, please allow me to share a few new things I picked up during the first 20 minutes or so of this viewing:

1.) Well brought-up girls take naps in the afternoon.

2.) It’s bad form to show your bosom before 3 in the afternoon.

3.) “With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.”

Google “Vintage Thanksgiving”

Go ahead; I’ll wait. If you do, you’ll come up with several weird/wonderful gems including but not limited to…

When I first read this one, I wasn’t sure if it was the girl speaking or the turkey. I’m not even going to mention the phallic shape that a friend pointed out to me. Nope, not going to mention it.

Come on, kids! Let’s play with Plucky one more time before he goes into the oven. Side of salmonella, anyone?

“Quite a dish herself.” Ummm, wow.

Hello, Gorgeous… Let’s Have a Glamorous Monday!

It was on this day in 1929 that our very own American princess was born! I couldn’t resist a little bit of a celebration. So in lieu of random links today, how about a little advice from Princess Grace to get our week off on the right foot?


The Paper! You never know when you may fall in love with a prince and be whisked off to a foreign land.


Tea with your closest friends this week!


Gold! I will never stop swooning over Frances Stevens’ gilded ensemble from To Catch a Thief.


High Society! It’s my very favorite Grace film, and later today I’ll post a Style File from the 1956 musical.

DIY’s Great Wreath Rivalry

Alright readers, it’s competition time! Recently, I had the unique opportunity of doing a couple How-To’s for’s Great Wreath Rivalry. Now, by simply *pinning* one of the 12 How-To’s on the site, you can be entered to win COLD HARD CASH.

Click Here to Start Pinning Wreaths. 

If you just want to see my How-To’s:

(This one is not part of the comp but still super cute.)

Click here to see how to make my wreath with vintage children’s book illustrations.

and then…

(This one you should pin… lots.)

Click here to get the super simple instructions for this card display wreath.

A Little Daydreaming

*This Dress the Part was inspired by a *lovely* layout (see p.90) in the Sept/Oct issue of Lonny Magazine.

It’s Fall Break and Sophie has snuck off to the North East to spend a weekend with her beloved grandmother. She’s packed an old trunk with just what she needs (a few books & a stylish outfit–the necessities!) in hopes that she might sneak some of grandma’s beloved treasures back home with her.

As with any stylish college girl, Sophie is never without good literature. On this trip, there are three books packed away in her chest:

Franny & Zooey : for American Lit, of course

the Capote classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s : to celebrate 50 years

and a little David Sedaris for a touch of comic relief!

Kate Spade Cardigan & Earrings She couldn’t resist the built-in corsage and bows. //  Pink Hunter Boots In case she needs to muck around in the pumpkin patch.

clockwise from the top:

Grandma was so sweet to give Sophie this old Avon peacock perfume bottle that has been on her vanity for ages. (You can get your own on Etsy, I’m sure.) //  These hand-painted Japanese figures from Grandma’s trip to the Far East in the 60s will look perfect atop Sophie’s mantle. (Etsy) //  Grandma taught Sophie a new stitch to practice. (She’s planning on taking a cue from Design Sponge and making her own calendar to dress-up the wall of her apartment.)  //  Sophie is never without a bottle of wine. Her current favorite? The Velvet Devil and, to top off the bottle, these Hofdame bottle stoppers from Anthropologie. //  Sophie has been lusting after this pink lamp for more years than she’d care to count. This time, it’s finding it’s way into her chest… after all, what are the odds of Grandma going into the guest room any time soon?  //  Sophie couldn’t resist sneaking a few of these wool blankets into her chest for a cold winter’s night back at school. (I saw these on Etymologie last Fall.)  //  Every girl needs a monogrammed pillow! (these little lovelies are from Jonathan Adler)

Happy Daydreaming!