Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mid-Century Mom Makes Dinner!!!

I love my sweet 9 followers! Your great suggestions last week made my day, and I had a lot of fun this week scouring the internet for really cool vintage shots of housewives doing housework of all sorts. Expect to see (in the near future) me attempting packing, doing the dishes (in dishwater), ironing, raking leaves, etc. Next spring I will definitely attempt to do gardening, too.

My next question for you is this: What do you all think of when you think of mid-century mom and casual wear? I doubt that back when that women gardened wearing their Sunday best. What would you all suggest I wear when doing more of the menial and dirty work? I still want to be accurate in my depiction of a mid-century housewife, but I cannot imagine Susie Homemaker in 1959 would have worn a wool pencil skirt, heels, and a silk blouse to go weed. :)

I found this image at They have a plethora of images from this time period. Very cool. I chose this image because it most correctly shows what happened here at Mid-Century Mom's house last week when I wore a beautiful shirtdress, an apron, hosiery, and a pair of pointy-toed flats, plus a headband. My kids were even parading around me (although we have no shots of that happening). The only difference? Mr. Dina wasn't in a suit. :) He didn't sign up to me a mid-century man...maybe one day I can convince him to give it a shot...maybe when I serve him a (non-alcoholic) drink, HeidiG. ;)

Now, unlike most chores around the house, I LOVE to cook. So I knew straight away I would have no problem with this challenge. That said, I do normally cook in outfits that I have no need to worry about staining. I love to cook in frying pans and stew pots, and over the years I have received quite a few stains on my outfits from my cooking style (I am very free-form).

I cook well, just maybe not as organized and pretty as some might.

Well, would you look at that??? No stains, no messes, etc., and I am halfway through the meal-making process. WOW! At this point I am smelling the butternut squash soup I am making (from scratch, thank you, Miss Giada, AWESOME recipe). Look at the french bread rounds sitting to the left waiting to be oiled and placed in the oven...they are all lined up perfectly on the cutting board.

And look at my posture. Stick-straight. Lovely. If it weren't for the microwave and the stainless steel EVERYWHERE, Mr. Dina said I could actually fool people into believing I am in the 1950s. So sweet. BTW, the dress is from IDEOLOGY. It is from 2005, I believe. Sadly, Macy's doesn't carry this brand at all...and since I bought this dress at Hecht's (used to be THE department store of the Mid-Atlantic region), I probably will never be able to buy IDEOLOGY ever again. Sigh.

Here is a back view of the preparation process. Look at my very full skirt. So mid-century mom.

Final Thoughts: I found this challenge way too easy. I only took the dress off because it isn't really conducive to nursing a baby. I probably could have worn it all night...and the apron was GREAT at keeping stains away. Huh...I think my apron will get more use from now on. I plan on doing the whole dress up and cook thing more often. I don't know if it was the novelty or the dress, but I really liked cooking even more than usual. Plus the soup, YUMMY!

Ease of being a mid-century mom: 5 out of 5 (5 is the easiest to be a mid-century mom).

Next post will most likely be on me attempting to pack in full-on pencil skirt and pearls. That should be fun. (Maybe???)

(Oh, if you happen across an image of a housewife packing from the 50s or 60s, could you leave the link in the comments? I have a feeling that could be a difficult image to find.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mid-Century Mom Does the Dishes (in Heels)!!!

Oh, you all, you sweet, sweet 8 followers of mine...I am sorry this took so long to get together. I have had the images of me doing dishes in the dishwasher wearing a dress, heels, makeup, and jewelry for over a month now (I did the dishes in full-on mid-century mom gear on my anniversary), but I had the hardest time trying to figure out which image to use as my inspiration. Many of these images are from people's personal stores (either from magazines, family photos, or books) and I didn't want to infringe on copyright law. (I can't afford to...)

But this morning, I discovered that Getty Images lets you use their images, but with a watermark. Well, yippee!!! I don't need an image with no watermark, I just want you all to see an actual photo from the 50s or 60s of a housewife, looking all snazzy and ladylike, doing chores.

I found this image at Getty Images. I love this because even though this housewife is clearly loading the dishwasher, and I am sure her hands are getting all dirty from the used dishes, she is smiling and seemingly excited because she realizes that the dishwasher will SAVE her from having to actually "DO the DISHES." You know, the old-fashioned, do the dishes in a sink full of greasy water, and if you don't have plastic gloves, well, prepare for "dish-pan" hands.

I also love that her hair is perfectly coiffed, that even her apron is pressed, and that her makeup is utterly fresh.

In contrast, when I do the dishes in the dishwasher, I normally have NO makeup on, I usually am wearing either yoga pants or pj bottoms, and my hair is "tousled." :)

But in keeping with the experiment that I want to turn my life into, I did the dishes a la this beautiful housewife on October 13, 2009.

Look, no need to worry about dishpan hands, I can place the dishes straight INTO the dishwasher without stressing that my hands and nails will look ravaged in the end...

Oh, and look there, I am happy and smiling about it. (Much like our real mid-century mom.) I realize that the dishwasher is so easy a CHILD can do it...see CW, right there, helping???

Final Thoughts: Doing the dishes in the dishwasher is EASY enough in heels, makeup, a pretty dress, and nice hair. I suppose that I could do this chore every day all dressed up. I haven't changed my ways (I still frump out when doing the dishes in the dishwasher), but I don't hesitate to do the dishes when getting ready to go out on the town.

Ease of being a mid-century mom: 5 out of 5 (5 is the easiest to be a mid-century mom).

Okay, now my dear 8 followers, I need your help. What would you like me to do next in pearls and a pencil skirt? Do you want me to do the dishes the old-fashioned way or take the kids for a walk in their stroller all decked out? Or would you prefer that I rake leaves looking lady-like?

It is up to you.

By the way, I plan on posting her twice a week (if I can get the images easily enough). My Superfluities will be where the bulk of my posting will continue to be (4-6 posts a week), but when applicable, I will link from that site to this one.

Thanks for waiting...hope it was worth it!