Pygmalion {Saturday Night at the Movies}

Collage for Pygmalion Saturday Night at the Movies ModernRetroWoman.com

Before there was 50 Shades of Grey, there was Pygmalion.  In the original Greek myth (and I’m kind of paraphrasing here), Pygmalion was a sculptor who created a beautiful woman out of ivory and promptly fell in love with the sculpture (if that doesn’t out-kink Christian Grey, I don’t know what will!).  Aphrodite took pity on the dude and brought the ivory sculpture to life and they lived happily ever after. 

Well, of course, the idea of a man creating the perfect woman caught on like hotcakes and there were various versions of it over the years.  The modern era’s most famous version of the story is the musical My Fair Lady, starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.  What a lot of people don’t know, based on comments I’ve read, is that the musical was based on Pygmalion, a play by George Bernard Shaw that was first publicly performed in 1913.

Fortunately for the Glam Pack, the 1938 film of Pygmalion, starring Leslie Howard as the arrogant language professor Henry Higgins and Wendy Hiller as Eliza Doolittle the “guttersnipe” flower girl who is the subject of a bet as to whether he can pass her off as a duchess or not, is in the public domain and free for us to watch during our Saturday Night at the Movies!

 You can watch Pygmalion on YouTube here if the player doesn’t work

 or download Pygmalion from the Internet Archive.

Pygmalion movie poster courtesy of Empire1000 on Photobucket.

May Flowers Then and Now {Friday Find}

May Flowers Then and Now {Friday Find} ModernRetroWoman.com

Do you remember the children’s saying, “April showers bring May flowers?”  This seems to be more true this year than in the past few years.  At least when it comes to fashion, that is.  Today is May Day and clothing stores seem to be filled with retro-inspired feminine flowers.

A year ago, I confessed that I don’t wear vintage clothes.  Instead, I prefer vintage inspired clothing.  So, when I saw the Talbots dress (#3, above) in the catalog, it reminded me of the dress from a 1957 Ladies Home Journal (#1, above) and a Florigene dress (#2, above) that had recently been showing up in my Pinterest feed.  But if you like the Talbots dress, you better hurry, they didn’t have my size and then, while I was taking a quick break at work, I saw that my size was in stock again, but by the time I got home, my size was gone again.

I’ve seen this dress in person at my local Talbots and it is an ideal dress for those of us that need to look professional yet captures the essence of the two vintage dresses perfectly.

Chicken Finale {Vintage Recipe}

Chicken Finale Vintage Recipe ModernRetroWoman.com

I first posted this updated vintage recipe for Chicken Finale in the summer of 2008.  At the time, I had bought four whole chickens because they were on sale for buy one, get one free.  You see, I had the realization that smart mid-century (as well as modern) homemakers would cook a chicken and then use the leftovers in other dishes the rest of the week and I went a little bonkers cooking chickens so I could have the leftovers.

But you don’t have to cook an entire chicken to enjoy this casserole.  Just take advantage of what is on sale to make your favorite chicken dish with enough to have leftovers to use in this very filling and budget stretching dish.

The original recipe is from a 1958 Good Housekeeping cookbook that was only 39¢ when it was new. It called for green pepper, which I didn’t have, and butter or margarine, which The Mister was cutting down on. So, I looked in the fridge for “typical casserole ingredients” and came up with this adaptation.  We liked it so we stuck with it.

If you like tuna casserole, you will like Chicken Finale, too!

Note: This recipe was originally posted on July 11, 2008.  I am reposting it to take advantage of modern blogging and digital recipe card technology.

Chicken Finale
Serves 4
Use up leftover chicken in this tasty and filling vintage recipe for Chicken Finale casserole.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups noodles
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 cup frozen peas and onions — thawed
  4. 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  5. 1 can cream of chicken soup — undiluted
  6. 1 cup cooked chicken
  7. 1 cup fried onions (canned)
  8. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
  3. In oil in skillet, sauté mushrooms, peas, and onions, until mushrooms are tender; add soup, chicken, and noodles.
  4. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Pour into casserole dish.
  6. Mix fried onions and Parmesan cheese together. Sprinkle over casserole.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes until the topping is crispy and the desired shade of brown.
Notes
  1. If you can't find peas and onions in one package, substitute 1 cup of peas and 1/2 cup of pearl onions.
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Poultry and Game Cookbook, 1958
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Poultry and Game Cookbook, 1958
Modern Retro Woman http://modernretrowoman.com/
 
 

How to be Mysterious

Glamorous Whole LIfe Makeover: How To Be Mysterious ModernRetroWoman.com

Image courtesy of Audleigh on Flickr.com

 

I long for the old days of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, stars who had real glamour and mystique. We only knew so much about their lives; the rest was a mystery. —Pixie Lott

In the comments for my last post on the importance of being mysterious, the question was raised about finding the balance between being authentic and being mysterious.  I want to clarify that I don’t think being mysterious means being fake.  But, I don’t think we have to expose every bit of ourselves up to the light for examination in the name of authenticity.  I don’t walk around naked so that people can see what my figure really looks like.  No, I try to wear clothes that make me feel beautiful.  It’s the same way with the rest of your life–just because it is authentic, doesn’t mean it has to be exposed.  So, here are my ideas on how to be mysterious while also being authentic.

 How to Be Mysterious

  • Self-edit your social media– The next time you feel the urge to rant about something on social media, stop.  The next time you want time you want to let everyone know you are at Joe’s Fast Foodpalooza or standing in line to see a movie, stop.  Except for your inner circle of friends and family who worry about your health, you don’t need to let people know that you are at Iron Woman Gym.    Change your privacy settings on your smart phone so that your social media apps don’t automatically send out “check ins.”  (Although this is a conversation about being mysterious, turning off the location feature on your apps is also an important safety strategy since it gives strangers information about you, too)
  • Stop venting–A quote came through my Pinterest stream about how most people don’t care about your problems so we should stop telling them to others.  The actual quote was a bit harsh but the underlying message has some truth to it.  Stop complaining about things to people outside of your inner circle unless you are ready to take action to correct the problem.  Remember: A glamorous life appears to be free of problems.  It isn’t.  But others don’t need to know and you want to be known as being mysterious, not as a complainer.
  • Keep your own counsel–Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you have to say it. I’ll admit that I’m struggling with this.  My work at the university requires a lot of relationship and trust building so that faculty feel safe sharing their fears and frustrations with me.  I have become aware that I mirror other people’s stories with my own “connecting story” that enables them to know that I understand what they are going through.  But I’m doing it more often than I need to do.  There is a time and place for it but not all the time.  I’ve been reflecting upon the story of Christ’s birth to remind myself that it is okay not to provide a mirror or connecting story in every conversation. In the Scriptures,  Luke 2:19 points out that Mary kept all of the events in her heart and meditated on them.  If anyone had a reason to talk about what was going on, it was the mother of Christ.  But she just kept her thoughts to herself and pondered them from time to time (Although, to be fair, can you imagine how that conversation would go?  There’s really not a lot of room to say, “You’re kidding!  That happened to me, TOO!” when you’re talking about mangers, shepherds, and angels filling the sky…)
  • Really listen to others–You’ll be considered a great conversationalist if you ask questions that enable another person to talk about themselves instead of looking for an opportunity to talk yourself.  I think listening and hearing others has become a lost art.
  • Be a bit more formal in your interactions with others (but not in a pretentious or creepy way)–One thing that jumps out at me when I watch television shows and movies made before 1965 is how formal people are with each other.  They address people they don’t know by their title and last name.  Maybe it is time that way of interacting with others is brought back  (I know, I know…you extroverts are just being friendly by calling people by their first names but it kind of freaks us raging introverts out a bit…we need to warm up to you a bit).

Those are some ideas that came to my mind.  Do you have any others?

Be Mysterious {Glamour Goal of the Week}

Be Mysterious Glamorous Whole Life Makeover Goal of the Week ModernRetroWoman.com

Grace Kelly image courtesy of Vintage-Retro on Tumblr.com

 

It’s the unknown that draws people. 

E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

I’ve been thinking a lot about the role being mysterious plays in leading a glamorous life.  You see, when my elderly father-in-law fell and broke his hip two months ago, I immediately began telling everyone who would listen all of the details. But, this past weekend, I remembered what Virginia Postrel said in The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion* regarding how glamour’s power is in the hidden, the shadows, and the unseen.  When the reality is shown in the light of day, glamour melts away.

For years and years, we’ve been told to be “authentic,” to let it all hang out, so to speak.  In the process of showing our authentic selves in the light of day, we lost the power that comes from being mysterious.

So, my Glamour Goal of the Week is to reclaim that power by trying to be more mysterious.  Who is with me?

 

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