Sir Anthony the Great

WELCOME TO THE WORLD.Well, all right. Big news: I have a brand new nephew! His name is Anthony and he weighed in a champ at eight pounds even. He’s the first boy for my sister, after she’s had two girls. I’ll post a photo next update, as he was jut born yesterday (the only time that joke can work… why yes, I was born yesterday)!

MID-LATE. — In less exciting news, I’m another year older! I had my birthday last week; the big two-seven. My grandmother insists I’m still “mid-twenties” but we all know I’m pushing late twenties. Thanks for the thought though, Granny.

I invited a dozen or so friends out to eat a dinner on Saturday, but I was unaware that a member of our squadron was hosting a Vegan Party. Sounds delicious… Anyway, that whittled the attendees down to three, but I suppose they are my favorite three. Frank, Devin and of course, Larry, were my birthday party guests at 10 North Main – the four or so hours we were there seemed like just a few minutes. Decent food, good wine and better conversation was to be had. Frank is leaving soon to move to Las Vegas, the lucky so-and-so.

BAKERY BLAHS. — Afterwards, we flocked to a new bakery/coffee shop in town called “Sweet and Flour”. They were open until midnight for a special “pre-opening” event. The decor is your typical brick-and-chandelier fusion, but better and hipper than anything else in Minot, to say the least. After quietly expressing sheer horror over a maple and bacon doughnut and some other kitschy confections, I ordered a flavored cappuccino (not something I usually partake in, I like my coffee or espresso to be just that) and a chocolate birthday cupcake. Larry ordered some mocha creme brûlée (again, ridiculous flavors). The cupcake was practically inedible – it was so dry and tasteless, like sawdust. Now, if you are going to call yourself a fancy “patisserie”, open your business with the basics and do them well. If those go off without a hitch, offer one kitschy treat, like the bacon whats-‘er up there (plus, it’s not an original treat. I think a bakery in Portland offered them first years ago). I found the whole of the offerings at Sweet and Flour wholly ridiculous. Pretty sad when my easy “go-to” cupcake recipe is better than something that is being peddled to me as gourmet, and at said gourmet prices. Man, if I could just open my own restaurant… Some day!

SCIENCE OF STYLE. — I also decided to experiment a bit with a very large and authentic 1960s updo. I know the Mad Men stylings are big right now, but the sad tutorials online yield little more than a modern reinvention of said hairstyles, and don’t explain the proper techniques to achieve volume, like using rats, extra hairpieces, hair anchors, or heavy backcombing. And for Baby Jesus’ sake, get rid of your Bump-It! Useless inventions, if I may say so; always look so phony and flat.

I started with spritzing some volumizer on my roots (Redken volumizer spray). After letting my hair air dry, I sprayed some texturizer (Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo) and put a large roller set in my hair for a couple hours, emphasizing a 90° angle at the roots for maximum lift.

To create the hairstyle, I backcombed the crown and rolled the top half of my hair backwards and tucked the ends under, pinned. I should have used a rat, but the one I have made out of hair and stocking-end was too long to achieve this style. I brought the remaining half that was hanging down upwards and secured where the top half was tucked under. Lots of Freeze-It hairspray was used.

SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION. — Honestly, the all-powerful magical key to 1960s updos: pile hair wherever; pin it wherever. There’s not much more to it than that if you have the basics – backcombing and roller sets down pat.

Notice Brigitte Bardot and Monica Vitti, the European screen queens of glorious, tousled and tall plumage:

My undo came out flatter and more blah than I had hoped, but this is because I didn’t use extra hair pieces in this style. It did achieve a sexy, loose updo, which is in keeping with the attitude of early 1960s Euro do’s. Brigitte’s hair was twice as long as mine, too, hence having to compensate with extra hair pieces. This experimentation has only scratched the surface. Much more research to come – and be perfected – before my trip to Italy this summer!

Speaking of summers abroad (or just in your backyard), I put together two “glamour despite the heat” looks. The sandals are available from Urban Outfitters, and the dress and swimsuit are from ModCloth.



The trick to an extremely retro-styled swimsuit is to accessorize with cute, modern accessories. There is a fine line between chic and costume-y.

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