Ten Things Mildred Pierce Taught Me About Life, Love, and Business
April 15th, 2014 by Emily Vallely

I have shared advice from beauty, fashion, and etiquette books, but never from a novel. “Mildred Pierce” written by James M. Cain in 1941 is about a strong woman named Mildred and her road to success and eventually failure during the depression era in Glendale, CA. Mildred has many faults but she was also very smart and determined and I think we can learn from both her mistakes and accomplishments. This book is a super interesting read, with tons of drama as well as a historical insight into the life of a single mother in the 1930s.

Mildred Pierce

1. Sometimes you have to suck up your pride and start from the bottom. Waitressing was Mildred’s last resort, in a desperate moment she decided to put on the apron and serve others. She didn’t realize it at the time, but that one desperate moment was the start of her successful career. There is no shame in taking an entry-level job if you have goals and aspirations and the willingness to learn from others.

2. When starting a new business, keep things simple. Mildred’s restaurant was so successful because she had an extremely simple menu and she didn’t take on too much at once. Sometimes when imagining a future goal we can get a little in over our heads, imagination and dreams are a good thing, trying to accomplish every single goal you’ve ever had will lead to an overwhelming failure.

3. Spontaneity isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes fleeing town with a guy you just met can lead to an entire lifetime of bad choices. Use your head, don’t use “yolo” as an excuse to make rash decisions. Every action has its consequences.

4. If you want to win a man over, cook him a homemade meal. Mildred’s legs and amazing cooking skills got her far in life. And remember, if you cook him dinner at your home, then you have all the power and you owe him nothing.

5. Do not let a man (or anyone for that matter) use you for money. Lending money is a recipe for disaster, you will develop resentment, and end up broke.

6. Know when to let a man go for good, and also know when to let a man back into your life. If Mildred had never married Monty then she wouldn’t have had the heartbreak of watching her daughter steal her man, Bert was the right man all along, it just took them both many years to realize it.

7. It doesn’t matter how poor you are or how screwed up your life is. Hard work and diligence will always lead to a road of success. Mildred was a single mother without a job, but she built a wonderful life for her family, they just didn’t appreciate it…

8. It’s okay to disown your family. Veda was an awful child and Mildred should have cut her off long before she did. Sometimes no amount of love or giving can make a person love you back. Just because you share the same blood as someone does not mean you owe them your life.

9. Be frugal. Pay off your debts, and do not pull money from your company if you cannot afford it. Mildred would have been a very rich woman in the end if she had just been smarter with her money.

10. Hone in on your skills and passions. You may think that because you don’t have a proper education or because you’re a little older that you have no use in the world. But everyone is good at something, and there is always room for improvement. Perfect your talents, love what you do, and the world will be your oyster.

Sources: Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain

My Vintage Raleigh Bicycle
April 14th, 2014 by Emily Vallely

A few months ago I purchased an early 70′s Raleigh Bicycle on Etsy. I actually first saw this bike at The Bicycle Stand in Long Beach, but unfortunately it had already been sold. I found the exact same one online and brought it into the The Bicycle Stand where they assembled it and restored it to perfect riding condition.

Vintage Raleigh

The Raleigh Bicycle Company was originally based in Nottingham, UK and was founded in 1885, making it one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world. I knew I wanted an old bike with character and this green Raleigh won me over.

Vintage Raleigh

Vintage Raleigh

While working in the LA fashion industry a car was a necessity, but since I have started working from home in recent years a bike is really all I need. Long Beach is a very bike friendly city and since I live down by the beach I am very centrally located and can ride my bike anywhere. I think if you can go without a car (even if for a few years) it will really help your environmental footprint. In other parts of the world people only use bikes and public transportation. Southern California has way too many cars and I am happy to not contribute to the overpopulation since it is not absolutely necessary for me to have one. Plus it is a wonderful workout!

Vintage Raleigh

Vintage Raleigh

The Brooks saddle is also original to the bike and is one of my favorite parts. Brooks England has been around since 1866 and they make the most classic bicycle saddles around.

Reclamation Dept

This Vintage East German Grenade Bag from Reclamation Dept goes perfectly with my bike and is the perfect size to fit my phone and a small coin purse. It can also be used as a clutch or you can attach it to your belt! From now till June 30th you can use the code “OHEMV” on their shop and receive 20% off any order!

Reclamation Dept

Do you have a vintage bike? What are your thoughts on riding a bike rather than driving everywhere? Let us know in the comments!

Bakelite Earring Conversion DIY
April 10th, 2014 by Rebecca Canterbury

Not a fan of screw back or clip on Bakelite earrings and/or have a pair that accidently broke? Well here is a quick tutorial on how to change Bakelite screw back and/or clip on earrings to pierced ear earrings. It’s super simple!

Supplies Needed:

-Bakelite Earring(s)
-E6000 Glue
-New earring posts & backs. I prefer the larger plastic backs, they help keep your earlobes from getting sore & help support the weight of the Bakelite. Both can be purchased at a local hobby store like Michael’s or Joann’s.
-Rubbing alcohol & paper towels (not pictured)

Bakelite DIY

Step 1: Gather the earring(s) you would like to either convert and/or repair….

Supplies

Step 2: Gather and get supplies ready.

Bakelite DIY

Bakelite DIY

Bakelite DIY

Step 3: Unscrew the back counter clockwise. This is the same for both screw backs and clip-ons (not pictured). If the back of the earrings is broke (like in the middle picture) simply press down a tiny bit & then start unscrewing it counter clockwise, it will come right out.

Warning! Do not attempt to pull the post out, you will break the Bakelite.

Side note: This is also one of the ways you can tell a pair of earrings is Bakelite, by the hardware. The backs are not pressed in with heat, they are screwed in.

Bakelite DIY

Step 4: Clean off the back of the earring with a bit of rubbing alcohol and a paper towel (not pictured). Just simply get a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel (or cotton ball or Qtip) and clean the dirt and/or residue off the back of the earring(s). Let air dry.

Bakelite DIY

Bakelite DIY

Bakelite DIY

Step 5: Next, get a tiny bit of E6000 glue on the back of the earring post and simply press onto the back of the Bakelite making sure it is centered. Repeat. Let dry overnight.

Bakelite DIY

Voila! All ready to wear! Wasn’t that easy!?!

As always, let me know if you have any questions etc.

xo
Rebecca