You Might Vant to Smooze with My Aunt Hilda

Still puffy from antibiotics for my extracted tooth and woozy from pain medication, I was again gifted by the world’s foremost hoarder who coincidently lives in the apartment in my basement and gave birth to my husband in the autumn after the “Summer of Love”(would that make it the "Fall of Love"??)

Today’s treasure: braided leather belt formerly owned by her ex-husband, Doug’s father.

I thought it had a very boho vibe (or is that the hydrocodone talking?) so I paired it with my trusty (and forgiving) Abercrombie shorts, a brown tank and an off white Shmate.

For those of you who don’t know Yiddish I provide the following definition...

Shmate: A rag; a worthless anything, usually a piece of clothing; You're not planning on going out in that Shmate, are you? Oy Vey.

So now if you are ever magically transported to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, circa 1912, you’ll know the language.


Summer of Debauchery

Channeling Holly Golightly

Well, every summer for the past 20 years I have read several books, back to back. Some are bought, others are gifted and others have been sitting on my shelf whispering my name and laying a guilt trip which I am sure they learned from my mother.

Each year I choose a theme, or, to be more accurate, a theme chooses me. A few years ago I did The Rat Pack (Why Sinatra Matters, Yes I am, etc…) a few years before that I was immersed in The African American Experience (Roots, the Color Purple, etc)
So ladies (and Dad) Summer 2010’s theme is… (drumroll)… DEBAUCHERY

Here is a brief review of the books I have read so far and the one I am starting as soon as I hit “Post” this evening.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I have chosen to review this one first as it is my favorite that I have read this summer thus far and the inspiration for the outfit in today’s post which, by the way, I wore to get my tooth extracted this afternoon.
Holly Golightly is by far my favorite literary whore. Truman Capote is an amazing wordsmith. It is almost contradictory to read such eloquent words written about drugs and sex. The book comes with a few extra short stories which are likewise, about sex and drugs.

Some girls

Synopsis…Jersey girl becomes part of a Harem. Now, I don’t like to judge, but I don’t like biographies where the narrator constantly berates the people around them as having few morals when they themselves are doing the exact same thing. Plus, she is so filled with guilt that she has trouble actually depicting what happened to her accurately. The shopping scenes are fun- the debauchery scenes are a little like when you tell your husband about your ex-boyfriend. You can’t pretend that you didn’t like him…but you can’t make him seem like he was THAT much fun.

How to Make Love Like a Portn Star: Jenna Jameson Autobiography

Please do not read this book. It is an insult to literacy.

Last Exit to Brooklyn

Oh my Gosh- This book was amazing- but very gritty. I still feel like I need a Silkwood shower and I finished reading it a month and a half ago. If your favorite book is “The Secret Garden” this book is not for you.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

My mother read this and hated it…my cousin read it and loved it. I am going to decide myself.


Severing My Ties (or Not)

Yes, this skirt is fashioned entirely from ties. Ten, to be exact. I feel so powerful…so competent… so middle managerial.

It’s all a little bittersweet though. It’s a rather sad tale…

You remember when you were a kid and you spend hours daydreaming about your wedding? What colors it would be; which song you and your betrothed would share dance to; what filling your cake would have.

Well, according to my husband men also clock in hours at the fantasy planning factory, but their fantasy is about the proposal.

This was his plan:

He would pay someone to deliver a video to his lady friend’s office. There she would watch a tape of him, in a point of view, shot walking into her office building..saying hello to the concierge…going up the elevator…walking down the hall and eventually knocking at the door of her office with a ring in his hand. At that point he would be at her door and he would actually knock (on her door…not on the tape)and she would open the door and see him standing there with a ring.

Awww. Very romantic, no?

Sadly for him I foiled his plans. I am not sure who he was planning to marry but I am quite certain she has much nicer underwear than me and wears ties to work frequently. Apparently she has a “real job” (9 to 5) and her own office, which indicates some measure of success since she is not in some sort of cubicle. Also, her office is large enough to house a VHS and monitor, which she has need for frequently. Not only that, but she works in an office with a concierge: Wow…fancy.

I teach. I have a classroom full of hung-over freshmen and no office. I have a little space in a shared faculty office but am warned not to leave anything there because it will certainly disappear. Though we do have a VHS and monitor it has not worked since the mid-90s (but perhaps that is only true when in front of a classroom).

You didn’t want her anyway, Doug, trust me. Plus look, I have ties too. I am very corporate.


Lemondrop Petites

Baby Dean, Sam and Carly

Perhaps you are thinking, “Wow, her adorable identicals bear a striking resemblance to Lemondrop Vintage in those pictures that she posted.”

Perhaps you are thinking, “Wow, her adorable identicals bear a striking resemblance to Lemondrop Vintage in those pictures that she posted a little too late for Lemondrop Vintage’s Handbag giveaway.”

Perhaps you are thinking, “Wow, her adorable identicals bear a striking resemblance to Lemondrop Vintage in those pictures that she posted a little too late for to Lemondrop Vintage's Handbag giveaway but perhaps she will be considered as an early entry for Lemondrop Vintage's next Hangbag Giveaway .”



Double Date with a "J & J"

J is such a magical letter. Inclusion into the club is so guarded that it seems that people blessed with the monogram only fraternize within the tribe.

Take my best friend since 7th grade, Jessica: She dated Jeff and when that didn’t work out she dated John. John’s predecessor was Jamie, who she had a baby with, Jade.

John, Jessica’s ex, who I love as much as Jessica and who I still invite to all my parties simply as a representative of my teen years so that my current crop of friends are fooled into thinking I was somewhat normal during the years between 1985 and 1992, married Jennifer.

But it doesn’t end there; another John we know married Jodi, Jed married Jackie (and begot Jenna and Jake) and Cousin Jack married Jessica.

Of course one my absolute favorite J & J couples are featured in today’s blog entry.

Jen is the auteur of Fit Chick 365 be fit. feel great. look fabulous and Jared and I share the same bibliography.

But Jared and Jen are much cooler than Doug and I because they did not sell their souls to the suburban devil when the kids landed.

This is their rooftop playroom (adult playroom- no fisher price toys randomly going off in the middle of the night in this playroom). You can see the Brooklyn Bridge and teh Empire States Building like it is right in front of you.
It is so cool that even if they weren’t awesome conversationalists with a well stocked bar we would still use them for the view.


Top- Superbly versatile but inappropriate to wear on its own American Apparel Spandex Minidress
Cargo Pants- American Rags via garage sale ($2.00)
Shoes – Saks Fifth Avenue house brand
Purse – Carla Mancini – Worth Repeating


Donna Reed By Way of DVF

DVF Coat-dress and Steve Madden Shoes

Dear Donna Reed,

I hope this letter finds you well, though the fact that you died 3 decades ago raises some doubt to that end.

As a modern woman I wanted to thank you for your vast influences and assure you that the style ideologies you embodied have sustained well beyond your days. I am sure I speak for a great many of my fellow 21st century ladies when say that your lessons can be seen in every facet of our fashion existences.

For example;

· Whether your soufflĂ© rises or fails to do so has little to do with whether or not you wear pearls; so wear them.

· Regardless of the activity, heels are always appropriate. Whether scouring the oven, shopping for groceries or darning socks a great heel makes the occasion just bit more glamorous. There are even some kitten heels that are suitable for exercise.

· Me without makeup is simply a rumor. Nobody has any concrete proof and very few people have actually seen it.

· While it is never seemly for a lady to HAVE a beard, it is perfectly fine for her to BE a beard.

· Hard hair looks better in photos than soft hair.

I am dedicating today’s blog to you, Ms. Reed and in your honor I am wearing my eggplant Diane Von Furstenberg coat dress ($2.50 at the Locust Valley Boy and Girls Club Rummage Sale)and almost matching heels (Steve Madden -4.99 at a Mandees that was going out of business)and even though it is a beautiful day I am using my kitchen as my backdrop since, you will be proud to note, I spend 90% of my waking hours there anyway.
Your Loyal Follower,
Beth @refashionrecyclereuse.blogspot.com


Because I couldn't enter a Drag Contest Now Could I?

#5 – 42 Flavors…42 Days

#6 – Enter a Pageant

#7 – Law School

I love my Bucket List. If you don’t already have one you really need to start jotting things down and be sure to leave lots of room.

The “Bucket List,” for those who are neither Jack Nickelson nor Morgan Freeman fans, is the list of things you want to do before you “Kick the Bucket.” Climb Mount Everest? Sail around the World? Eat a Peter Lugars Steak?

For me this list is just an excuse to do things that would otherwise be deemed questionable by my family and friends. I can simply chalk it up to “I am crossing something off my bucket list” and everyone nods their head in understanding, “Oh, ok… Your Bucket List…I understand.”

So, in the interest of logic I decided to embark on #6 before #5 and this past weekend became one of 11 ladies who lost out to Meaghan Castaldi and thus can officially be classified as “Not Mrs. New York.”

To be fair, I could have easily given birth to Mrs. Castaldi, the new Mrs. New York and it wouldn’t have even been a scandal. People would have just said, “You’re an adult now…You make your own decisions.”

To be even more fair, like everything else in my life, I did it my way which the judges apparently were not loving. But boy did I have a good time!

This is what I wore to the “Photo-op Luncheon. ” You may recognize this as my 5 dollar seer sucker suit, (There's a Seer Sucker Born Every Minute) which I chopped into shorts the day before the pageant. What they served at this luncheon I cannot recollect. In a room filled with women who have each elected to walk across a stage sixteen hours later there was, of course, a considerable amount of leftovers. They really should have offered a choice of air with a side of Sweet-n-Low or lemon wedges over ice.

This is my Interview suit. I love this suit. What is there not to love? I wore it with my Prada satin peep toe pumps with the flower heel that the Ebay gods brought me.
Ode to my New Prada Pumps
Note on interviewing: If the judges ask you why you think you would represent your state well, refrain from saying, "I am the embodiment of New York...I feel that I have earned the right to be smug. What of it?"

For my bathing suit I decided to go all out retro. All the bathing suits in my closet pretty much look like this. It is a great look. Very Betty Page. I think the judges were looking for something a little more current. At least I didn’t go with my first choice…

And finally, my gown: 15 dollars at the salvation army and my inspiration for actually choosing 2010 to be the year I crossed of number 6. You can't tell from the photo, but it is covered with seed beads. You can't tell from the judges table, but it is covered with seed beads.

A final note about hair and makeup. Apparently sitting in the chair of the official stylist and saying, “I want big big hair…make me look like a Texas second wife!!” is not the way to go if you are serious about modern pageantry. Luckily I am not so I told him twice, “BIGGER…BIGGER” whilst the pageant director looked on in horror.

This may have been the most fun weekend I have had in my life. I didn’t win but I didn’t set out to win. I set out to do my own campy spin on something that is already extremely campy. Apparently, from what I learned, people reenter this competition numerous times before winning (the runner up has actually been the runner up three years in a row and two years ago the winner had won after SEVEN attempts at this pageant). The Director asked me if I was going to be coming back next year. I don’t see the point. I have a whole lot of iced cream to eat and some LSATS to prepare for.

And speaking of which, what is on your Bucket Lists?


#6 on My Bucket List

Well ladies, I will be MIA for the weekend. I am off to picturesque Schenectady, NY to cross off something from my Bucket List.


I'll give you a hint...

What do Vanessa Williams, Justin Timberlake and tiaras all have in common?

I'll post all about it when I get back.

Wish me luck!
(I know, I know...shoulders back...big smile...look at the judges)


An Angel's Smile is What You Sell

This morning’s shots came out wonderfully gauzy. Perhaps it was the morning mist; perhaps my Krodachrome was unintentionally set to one of those artsy settings (I don’t know my way around a camera as well as some of you) or perhaps we can simply chalk it up to a dirty lens. But for whatever reason, today’s photos came out incredibly ethereal, almost angelic.

How Ironic, no? Particularly juxtaposed with the ensemble which includes, yes, a flesh colored spandex mini-dress.
This garment reeks of sin. It seems more suited to the backstage of a Bon Jovi concert circa 1986 or perhaps Whitesnake. I am still not sure what possessed me to purchase it, but I recall an early morning trip to the mall with Baby Dean, so early in fact that the only people there we me, various mall workers and a dozen or so senior citizens in sweat suits and Reeboks. I was on a mission. My mission: a flesh colored spandex mini-dress from American Apparel. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it came to me in a dream.
Well, this garment, as trashy and taboo as it threatens to be, has become a staple. I wear it as a shirt. I wear it as a spanx substitute. I wear it with leggings to teach Pilates in...anything but its original intention, a mini-dress, which even in 1986, as a teen, i would not have worn (I was note the jean shorts and bells around my ankle type). Here I am wearing it as a tunic with vintage shorts and a thrifted bolero jacket by Kimchi and Blue.

Note: If you are reading this, Jon Bon Jovi, I apologize but you have lost your chance with me. Even as I write this I can’t believe the words are coming out me but I AM COMPLETELY OVER YOU! I no longer sleep in a room whose walls are plastered with your face, I no longer write:

Beth Bon Jovi
Mrs. Bon Jovi
Mrs. Jon Bon Jovi
Mr. and Mrs. Jon Bon Jovi

on my notebooks and I am not even sure where my denim jacket with the airbrushed logo of your Slippery When Wet album has landed.


Photo Credits - Sam Malone

Today’s photo credits go to the incomparable Sam Malone, four years old, my oldest daughter.

She is tough to work with…temperamental artist type. She has a vision and if you as her subject, have been lucky enough to be selected by her keen eye to be a part of that vision you had better know how to close your mouth and follow orders because there are a million other mommies just like you in this town who would sell their soul to the devil to work with her.

Get on Ms. Malone’s bad side and believe you me you will NEVER work in this town again, in front of the camera or behind.

Now will someone get me my F&%ken sippy cup?