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7 Things I Need To Be A Better Housewife

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7594c70895d69dad46f18b54f892aac2I want to do things like my mom did. Does it make me a bad feminist or a total lame-o that lately all I want to do is start playing bridge with other ladies and learn how to construct a Baked Alaska? I keep thinking about how much better things seemed a few decades ago, and no, I’m totally not including the women’s or civil right’s movements in my sun-dappled daydreams about house dresses and cocktail parties, but I keep thinking about how life just seemed so much more fun for my parents than it did for me. Do you guys have barbecues with your neighbors? Are you meeting for weekly bridge games with the girls? Are you all playing poker without me and eating cucumber sandwiches? ARE YOU ALL GOING OUT DANCING? I never get to do fun stuff, and lately all the fun stuff totally includes taking a Sunday drive, preferably in a vintage Hermés headscarf and oversized sunglasses.

I Want A Housecoat

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(Image: Pinterest)

Who took all the housecoats? Why can’t I ever find vintage housecoats? Can we blame this on the hipsters? Why aren’t they making stuff like this anymore? How utterly chic are dresses with buttons that are also coats done in amazing patterns that you can wear with heels or sandals and just throw on and look fabulous for the school run? I know if you are a crafty type you can easily sew one of these up and there are tons of cool vintage patters for them but I am so barely able to even hand-sew a button back on. I demand the resurgence of housecoats.

I Want To Learn How To Play Bridge Or Mahjong Or Some Other Table Game

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(Image: Pinterest)

My parents always played bridge with people growing up, and I have no clue how to play Bridge or Mahjong and I can barely remember how to play Backgammon. But I want to learn how to play something that doesn’t involve me getting rid of tiny striped virtual candies on my cell phone. Because having company over to play one of these games usually also involves other fun things like….

I Need To Have A Better Cocktail Hour  

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(Image: Pinterest)

I am a firm believer in cocktail hour, and my kids adore having tiny snacks and a seltzer and juice spritzer with a paper umbrella in it,  but I need to start having cocktail hour on a more consistent basis. That’s right, I need to drink MORE ALCOHOL. I need more alcohol in my life. My alcohol-consumption now includes maybe having a glass of wine or two a week and getting really sleepy, which means my tolerance is way down. I want to learn how to start mixing better and fancier cocktails and making more impressive snacks to serve with them, not just mixed nuts and cheese and crackers.

I Need To Make Things Better Than Cheese And Crackers For My Cocktail Hour

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(Image: Pinterest)

Where is my fondue pot? Did you take my fondue pot? I need to start making fondue again. You probably do too. What could be better than dipping bread and vegetables into cheese? Cheese that has been simmered with wine? Basically, NOTHING. Here are some fondue recipes, and no, DO NOT tell me to go to that amazingly pricey Melting Pot chain restaurant because every time we go to there I leave and smell like someone dipped my clothing into a vat of peanut oil. Barf. I would rather make it at home and not at this chain restaurant. Plus, they never give you enough stale bread cubes for your cheese and you have to ask for more and the waitperson acts all put out by this and COME ON IT IS STALE BREAD GIVE A SISTER SOME DAMN EXTRA STALE BREAD.

I Need More Girdles In My Life

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(Image: Pinterest)

I need to buy more foundation garments and start wearing them, because think what you want about old-school girdles, they are tight, they are hot, they are complicated to get on — they are sexy like whoa. And if you are a mom like me your tummy may no longer be one of your very favorite body parts and girdles suck all that mess in and are way sexier than Spanx. Plus, foundation garments are pretty cheap, and these days they come in all sorts of adorable colors and patterns. I’m totally pro-girldle. I’ll be sitting over here wearing one under my housecoat.

 I Want To Find An Orange Lipstick That Doesn’t Look Stupid 

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Here you go, this is how my mind works, lately I am totally obsessed with orange lipstick. I bought the fancy shamancy J. Crew Face Stockholm lipstick made especially for Jenna Lyons and it looked AWFUL on me. It looked so bad on me that I think my husband actually hid it from me. But I still want an orangey-lipstick like my mom used to wear, and I think it was a Revlon brand. I don’t even know if they make it anymore and finding an orange that looks okay with my skin tone is proving near impossible so I may just haul ass into Sephora and make someone help me. At my advanced age I should have figured this out by now but noooo.

I Need To Start Hostessing More

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(Image: Pinterest)

Mainly so I can start using the verb form of “hostess.” But because my house is STILL being worked on I haven’t had people over in ages, and I love having people over, especially when they have kids who are my kid’s ages so my kids can be kept busy whilst us adults socialize. I’m not talking about ape-ing some awful Mad Men-esque deal, but even just having company over for taco or movie night. Dinner parties are such a old-school thing to do, and more often than not we meet people out for dinner, but I enjoy entertaining at home. So, yeah, you, yeah you guys come over. And bring your vintage Jello molds, we can add vodka and make gigantic Jello mold fruit cocktail monstrosities and play bridge.

(Image: Pinterest)

60 Comments

  1. Erin Murphy

    July 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

    There is a drug store chain (I don’t know which one) that will let you return lipstick just because you don’t like it. Do that, find the right shade, THEN decide on an expensive one.

  2. LET

    July 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    You just made me realize how much cooler than me my grandma is- she still does all that stuff. She has her bridge ladies over all the time, wears classy outfits & throws dinners that rival Martha Stewart’s.
    I can definitely get on board with the dinner party stuff- I loooove hosting (especially when the night features signature cocktails). Too bad we’re in the same boat- our house is a work in progress & our friends aren’t really the hosting dinner parties type.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 23, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Can we just go over to your grandmothers?

  3. Alex Lee

    July 23, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Going to man-jack this momentarily. Things my dad does that I still have to learn:

    1. Garden. I cannot grow plants. I do not understand soil chemistry yet.

    2. Woodworking. This requires large tools like table saws and drill presses. While I am excited at these prospects, I have no room for them.

    3. Fix cars – Checking vacuum levels, timing belts, and head gaskets. Again, more tools/less room.

    4. Golf – actually, I have no interest in golf. If I have $2500 to spend, it’ll be on a drum controller and not golf clubs.

    5. Cigars – non-smoker here. next.

    6. Think Republican – I occasionally read FreeRepublic, just to see “the other side’s” perspective. That’s as far as I’m willing to go.

    7. Run moonshine

    I like Acey-Deucy over Backgammon. Eve, by the time we’re seniors, they’ll have 4 player “Candy Crush vs. Zombies Saga” for us. It’ll be the new Bridge.

    Just kidding about the moonshine thing.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      ‘shine is super hot right now http://gardenandgun.com/article/moonshine

    • Rachel Sea

      July 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      One of my coworkers is from the Ozarks, and his family has been making moonshine forever. They still smuggle it around by pouring it over fresh peaches or apricots to make it look like preserves. Bonus: you get to eat the most amazingly alcoholic fruit when you can get your hands on a jar.

    • Alex Lee

      July 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      I need better coworkers.

      Coworkers with flammable apricots.

    • Rachel Sea

      July 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      You can buy a pound of apricots, a jug of moonshine (or other distilled alcohol), and make it yourself. It’s delicious. I particularly enjoy fresh peaches soaked in a nice smooth vodka. They make the best ever lemonade garnish.

    • Paul White

      July 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      I’ve got a friend that makes cutie oranges frozen in an everclear based mixture.
      So good. So dangerous.

    • Tea

      July 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Cuties, eh? I do it with blood oranges, but they’re wicked expensive at times. I’ll have to try that!

    • Paul White

      July 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      I cannot comment on #7. At all.

  4. Alicia Kiner

    July 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Okay, so I’m not at that advanced age thing you said, but I totally agree with most of the stuff you said on here. I totally need a life outside of laundry, grocery store and Target runs, kids, and yes more alcohol please! lol!

  5. Holly Hobbie

    July 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    a. i own, and wear a vintage housecoat. Actually, i found it on Etsy and bought it as a costume for my Halloween housewarming party. look under “vintage house dress”, etc. and upsize. today’s size medium was yesterday’s large. I wore a 10/12 and needed a (gasp) extra large.

    b. Revlon “abstract orange” lipstick. try it, i love it and orange usually doesn’t love me.

    You’re on your own with the rest.

  6. Emmali Lucia

    July 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I love this!

    So recently I’ve started infusing my own rums (Since you don’t have dietary restrictions like I do you could probably do it with vodka), I paint the jars they go in (I spring extra money for the fancy mason jars that are completely smooth) and one day I’ll spring the extra money to get a sand blaster or glass etcher or whatever.

    Also, if you have an Apple product there is an App called “Mixology” that has a bazillion drink recipes.

    Another app is Better Homes and Garden’s recipe app. Although they don’t have anything like old fashioned home-made chex mix that you could get off the side of a Chex cereal box in 1955 (If you have a friend with a gluten allergy for the pretzels get Glutino and for the wheat Chex just use corn Chex, and be careful with your Worcestershire sauce)

    http://busycooks.about.com/od/snackmixrecipes/r/realorigchexmix.htm

    Or if you want to step it up a notch

    http://busycooks.about.com/od/savorysnackmixes/r/chexsnackmix.htm

    Lately I’ve been pretending to be Martha Stewart, with my birthday in T-minus 2 weeks 6 days I have to be prepared for this stuff!

    • Alex Lee

      July 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Emmali and I are going into the fancy moonshine business with artfully-crafted mason jars.

    • Emmali Lucia

      July 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      When we start selling can we have an image of you twerking with a sombrero on the label?

    • Alex Lee

      July 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      ABSOLUTELY!

    • Eve Vawter

      July 24, 2013 at 5:36 am

      If you guys don’t photoshop a mockup of this together I will basically never ever ever forgive you

    • Paul White

      July 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      infusing? Huh? How?
      I’m huge into flavored liquors for making cocktails and using in desserts (banana liquor+vanilla ice cream frozen overnight=YUM).

    • Emmali Lucia

      July 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      What you do is you get a big container and about 1.5 to 2 handfuls of whatever to a pint of liquor. You cut up the fruit if you have fruit, or bruise (Don’t smash!) the berries, then you pour the alcohol over the berries in these containers I like to put in some agave nectar but if their sweet enough you don’t need it, shove them in a dark and cool place for a couple days, then TaDa!

      Your banana and ice cream sound fabulous, sounds almost like my chunky monkey recipe that I got down in Cabo

    • Rachel Sea

      July 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      I’d go with simple syrup over agave nectar. The latter is no different than HFCS.

    • Emmali Lucia

      July 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Simple Syrup is also no different than High Fructose Corn Syrup. In fact, simple syrup is more likely to be High Fructose Corn Syrup

    • Rachel Sea

      July 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Not if you make it yourself, or check that the ingredients are cane sugar and water.

    • Tea

      July 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Just adding on to what you said, for those new to it, try looking up a few recipes to check the steep time. Pomegranates, for example, do best with a few weeks. Oranges can be passable in as little as 12 hours, but hit their peak in a few days.

    • Emmali Lucia

      July 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Tea, do you have to be better than me at EVERYTHING?

    • Tea

      July 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Nooo, I come in peace and want to swap recipes! I love to make cordials/infusions/liqueurs/booze.

    • Emmali Lucia

      July 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      So you infuse Earl Grey tea with your alcohol?

      How long for?

      I don’t know what I’d put it in to be honest, I always need a mixer due to this anti-anxiety medication I took years ago and apparently ever since taking it I can’t take straight shots or even really strong drinks.

      So… I like berries and fruit because they go well with sprite or mojitos, I could imagine something like cinnamon would go really well with eggnog or cider for the winter months. Maybe berries would go well in tea.

      Would you like my amazing mojito mix? I mean, it’s fairly average, you just use agave nectar (Which I totally prefer, haters be darned) instead of sugar.

    • Tea

      July 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      It can be as little as 4 hours if you keep the bottle moving every now and then, but it’s best after a day, and gets a little bitter after about 2 weeks. Chai tea is also excellent for this strategy. It’s about 1 bag/teaspoon per cup of liquor, and I mix it with home-made simple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. Straight-up tea infusions (Not earl grey, just plain old black tea, especially with rum) are awesome in lemonade. The chai is also good in almond milk, or real milk, just use a higher fat content variety so it won’t curdle as easily. We make Barenjager/barenfang as well, or Krupnik, which is just honey mixed with alcohol, and I love to add shots of it to my tea.

      My father-in-law does dates and figs in brandy and I hear it’s awesome, but haven’t tried it myself.

      I’d love your mojito recipe!

    • Emmali Lucia

      July 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Mmm, chai tea liquor in apple cider. Yum.

      Anyways:
      2 Table spoons of lime juice
      1 shot of rum
      2 table spoons of Agave nectar (I use like real organic stuff because I live in the most organic friendly state in the US)
      And about 2 tablespoons of slivered mint.

      Add all the ingredients then whisk them around for a while, add soda water (However much is up to you, I usually add about 4oz)

      The blueberry rum goes really well with the mojitos, but I prefer regular old rum.

    • Tea

      July 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Want to trade recipes? I make my own liqueurs and mead 😀 (And aftershave, almost the same recipe) Most of mine are vodka-based, though.

      I’m currently hooked on ginger-infused rum and Earl Grey vodka.

  7. CherylLage

    July 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Revlon Goldfrost Coral. When they discontinued that shade, my mom went to every Revlon purveyor and bought all her pin money would afford her. Wonderful memories. 🙂

    Great piece.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 24, 2013 at 5:35 am

      I love the term “pin money”

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  9. TngldBlue

    July 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    This reminded me of my fabulous grandmother who even in her 90’s never went without fierce red lipstick, bejeweled her housecoats, could whip anyone’s ass in pinochle, and could turn a can of beans into a delicious 3 course meal in 30 minutes or less. Also, I suspect her morning tea was often spiked with vodka. They don’t make em like they used to.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 24, 2013 at 5:35 am

      YES! I love this so much

  10. Rachel Sea

    July 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    My wife and I meet up with two other couples every Tuesday night for movie watching, or games, or bbqing, and wine (always wine). If we do not make a particular point of socializing, it doesn’t happen, but with this standing date we almost always get out at least once a week, and our friendships are so much closer for it.

  11. Shelly Lloyd

    July 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I love the old fashion bridge and cock-tail nights. Too bad most of my girl-friends think that sort of stuff is dorky. When we get together is is for movies or going out to an up-scale bar. Which is fun, but one day I would love to host a 1950’s style bridge night. Complete with fru-fru dresses and post-depression glass high-balls.
    I swear, the picture of the glasses in the article makes my fingers itch to get a hold of them.

  12. Lacey

    July 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Kiss Me Coral by Revlon is amazing. 😉

  13. Shelly Lloyd

    July 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    This article has inspired me to make a new board at pinterest: Stuff from my imaginary 1950’s household 🙂

  14. Lisa

    July 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I have to go on a lipstick hunt for my grandmother every so often. I’m pretty certain that Revlon’s Moon Drops Hot Coral is what she’s currently using.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 24, 2013 at 5:34 am

      I pretty much think the very best thing ever might be “Grandma lipstick”

  15. SusannahJoy

    July 23, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I always want to have people over too. And I would love Bridge! I love every other card game anyway! Lately I’ve been on a Spades kick… Sadly, my husband never really wants to. Sure, he’ll say he does, but then he not only does nothing to make it happen, he comes up with excuses for why it’s not a good night. So a few weeks ago I texted some local friends and asked the neighbor to come over for chili, and then told him. And it was awesome. And people actually brought stuff! Which I totally wasn’t expecting. Whatever beer they had in their fridge, insanely good cornbread, a bottle of some crazy Korean liquor, it was amazing! I swear most people are just looking for an excuse.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 24, 2013 at 5:34 am

      I am so coming and I am bringing cookies

  16. Courtney Lynn

    July 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Check out the Retro Wifey page on FB! It’s awesome! She seems like such a cool chick, too. I feel the same way. I love a lot of things about the mid-century but I’m glad we are not where we were in terms of racism, sexism and homophobia. We still need some work in all those areas, but it’s a work in progress.

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  18. Katie

    July 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I read this line really fast and thought it said “It looked so bad on me that I think my husband actually hit me.” And I was like ohmygosh.

    Meanwhile I want to do all of these things also.

    • Eve Vawter

      July 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      hahaha I am so laughing abut this but yeah, domestic abuse over lipstick choices is a bad thing 🙁

  19. historychick79

    July 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    One of our favorite things to do each year is hosting New Years–instead of paying a fortune to be out with drunks we don’t know with questionable food (and finding babysitters too!), everyone with kids comes over. We cook a fancy dinner with our best china, top notch drinks, play board games, the kids entertain each other. Then at midnight we can run outside and see the fireworks from our street, and head to bed; people stay over if they need to. So far with us wrestling with young kids we’ve made a bit of a joke about it and insisted on pajama attire to contrast with the fancy dinner. But this year I’m tempted to request dress up attire; I need a new LBD and a reason to get one now that all the weddings appear to be done….but yeah, we slack off for most of the rest of the year outside of the occasional bbq and movie night. Society isn’t really social anymore, ya know?

    • Rachel Sea

      July 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      All of my family’s formal dinners require pajamas (we will make people change if they show up in street attire), because after a nice big meal, you want to be comfy when you dose off on the couch.

  20. kmeghan

    July 26, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    My great aunt used to send everyone out on a Saturday afternoon, strip and clean the house naked. No housecoats for her! I wish I could do my hair up in a bandana like my mom used to when she would hard core dust. I may have to start doing that!

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  22. Lisa

    October 9, 2014 at 12:44 am

    I dress vintage and love all things 40’s and 50’s’ (other than racism, sexism, war, etc…), I’m a housewife, and I’m a feminist. As long as you are choosing it and not forcing it on someone else it totally works with feminism. 🙂

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