Archive | July, 2013

On the Road: Rose Bowl Flea Market

27 Jul

I crossed a Bucket List item off a few weeks ago and made a trip to California to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

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I think I saw maybe 30% of the entire market, but let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. The market is held on the second Sunday of every month and it’s an easy early morning flight that gets you there with plenty of time to shop. Or so I thought. I flew in to LAX Sunday morning with the hopes of a celebrity sighting or two, but sadly, no luck. By the time I got my rent car and made my way out to Pasadena, it was 11:00. 4 hours. Should be plenty of time! HOLY CRAP. This place is huge!!

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Arial view. Courtesy of http://www.fleamarketinsiders.com

The market is separated in to sections by types of merchandise. Furniture, antiques, housewares, etc. Booths that sold vintage jewelry, bags, and some clothes were mixed in to the “Antiques” section and there were plenty to choose from.

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You know that sweet Fort Worth one came home with me!

Vintage carpetbags

Vintage carpetbags

I spent about 2 hours roaming around, not willing to commit to buying anything just yet. I mean come on, everyone knows the better prices are in the booths way in the back that cost less. So, I’m about to commit, to go back and find the booths with the Whiting & Davis snake necklace, the fringed leather jacket, the hundreds of tooled leather belts. And then I see this:

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More vintage? Seriously??

Seriously.  I only have 2 hours left and NOW I find this. How did I not know? (Note to self: That map they handed you when you walked in might have been a clue. Just sayin’.) By this time the mild California weather is beginning to look more and more like a Texas summer day with temperatures creeping in to the nineties. Find me a bottle of water and I’m good to go.

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One of at least 20 booths that sold vintage bags

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My friends, you have not seriously flea marketed for vintage until you have flea marketed at the Rose Bowl. Hundreds of booths. Bags, coats, T-shirts, dresses, belts, cowboy boots, even new crap that is “vintage inspired”. (Umm, why??) Kid in a candy store does not even begin to describe the overwhelmingness.

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Vintage T-shirts. 5 for $20.

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This booth was twice as long as you see here. Everything was $10.

I shop, I dig, I bargain, I spend every penny of my $200 cash budget (minus the $8 it costs to get in. Parking is free though). Trust me, I could have spent way more. Finally, by 3:00 I’m exhausted, starving and as I haul my trash bag full of treasures across the parking lot, I can’t quite remember where I parked my rent car, let alone what my rent car even looks like.  Fortunately, my hotel, food and a nap are only a few minutes away and as I drive there I’m already trying to figure out how and when I can come back. Wanna go?

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Do You Muumuu?

9 Jul

It’s July in Texas once again, when the ultimate goals in dressing for the day are:

A. avoid having your thighs stick to the blistering black leather upholstery in your car.
B. figure out how to wear that cute halter maxi dress without a damn bra.
C. resisting the urge to run to Target in your bikini and cut-offs because you need more limeade for the margaritas*.

Yes, we know the people of Wal-Mart show us daily that there are far more major fashion faux-pas than wearing a bikini to Target, but seriously, we are better than that. I once caught my husband coming home from a quick grocery store run after we had been out at the pool all day in his fluorescent Hawaiian print swim trunks and a Tshirt with the sleeves cut off so the armholes went down to his waist. “Seriously? You wore that out of the house??” I was mortified. He was amused, and that Tshirt went in the rag bin the next morning. Who wins now??
So, I bring you, the muumuu. Not the loud, floral, housedress that can double for a tent muumuu, but the classic, true Hawaiian muumuu that will soon become your summer staple.

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The word “mu’umu’u” in Hawaiian translates to “cut off” because originally they were made without a yoke. They were long, simple dresses made from tropical printed fabrics that mirrored the Polynesian feel of the islands. When tourism to Hawaii began to boom in the 1960s, at the top of every woman’s shopping list was an authentic Hawaiian muumuu, and, if she could convince her spouse to oblige, an “aloha” shirt for him in the matching fabric.

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The most coveted muumuus were made out of bark cloth. A cotton/linen type fabric made from the bark of trees common in Asia and the Pacific. Popular brands included Hawaiian Casuals, Malihini, Ui-Maikai and Hilo Hattie, but any brand made in Hawaii is a real treasure.

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So, embrace the tropics and the heat wave, make yourself a mai tai and keep cool in your vintage muumuu. Mahalo!

*bonus! Best Margarita Recipe Ever
1 can frozen limeade
tequila
ice
orange liqueur (optional)
blender
Dump can of frozen limeade in to blender. Fill can to the top with tequila, dump in  blender. Add 1/4 can of orange liqueur. Fill blender with ice. Blend to desired consistency.