Can I get an AMEN

Any Moms out there ever fall into the couch after a long day and think THANK GOODNESS that day is over. YUP.

Lunches sucked today.

Consisted of 2 string cheese and a peanut butter sandwich with no jelly. No juice box. Other days there are fabulous sandwiches and thermos of soup, little notes and goodies (rare but it happens)

Everyone was grouchy, including me. Missed deadlines. Forgot permission slip. Ate cereal for 2 meals. Didn’t get out of my pajamas all day.

I have a pre-teen and 14 year old (girls). I love them to death. But sometimes the days are just long. In fact, thinking back I sometimes think the ages of infancy were easier. Of course I can’t say I miss  the smell of baby vomit in the air and dirty diapers. AHHH the good old days.

I do remember struggling to breastfeed as a young mom. It was scary and although they say it’s “natural” and yes, biologically it is, I can say I had a really hard time. I didn’t have the support I needed and I was a single mom. So I crumbled and resorted to bottle feeding and formula. To compensate for my feeling of failure I made sure everything else was perfect. Bottled water only, sterilized bottles day and night, premium diapers, perfect little outfits, homemade baby food. Only the best and by the book. UGH.

I was so uncertain and unsure of myself and lacked the confidence to just “mother”.

I remember one day going to the grocery store, a smaller one…. loading the cashier’s belt with bottles of Similac. And she said ” Oh hunny, You ought to be breastfeeding??”

JEEZ. My heart sank.

Fast forward 4 years later and  a miscarriage.

I was older now and blessed with another little girl. Again I tried breastfeeding and made it longer this time. But still used formula and bottles. I was a seasoned mom at this point and I knew the health benefits of breastfeeding, heard all the information and took notes. Things were easier this go around and I felt more comfortable standing my ground when people asked about how I fed my baby. (As if it was their business)

A few years ago I was shocked to hear that a friend had been harassed for discreetly breastfeeding in public at a local establishment. I guess I didn’t get it. What’s the problem. It wasn’t poor behavior, profanity, etc. It was feeding her baby and she was asked to stop. I was pissed. Why is this happening?

I can’t understand why people have an opinion about something that doesn’t directly affect them. For example, if you aren’t gay why do you have an opinion on same sex marriage. To each his own. Live and let live… get my drift?

“Mind your own biscuits and life would be gravy” as the saying goes.

Normalize breastfeeding

I felt compelled to create this and spread the word. No matter how you feed your baby, it’s ok. You aren’t wrong. You aren’t a failure.

Straighten another queen’s crown. Pat a fellow mom on the back. Give her a hug and tell her she is amazing. We are in this together.

Maybe you aren’t the Mom who throws a Pinterest party. Maybe your lunches suck. Maybe you haven’t showered today ( or in like 2 days). Maybe you bottle feed.

Your child is going to turn out just fine. Mine sure did. They grew to be beautiful, well mannered, A+ students, kind and loving. They aren’t nutrient deprived, they weren’t sickly, they are perfect. Although I’m not a perfect mom, I’m a great mom.

SO ARE YOU.

 

XO Marissa

Thank you to Heather Girard and baby Ean for being perfectly photogenic, easy-going, and brave!

 

 

 

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The ugly past

I make a living off my creativity….  I have good days and bad days. There are days when I think WOW… I friggin rock and others where I feel like I fall short.

Most of the time when I feel like I fall short it’s because I’ve been binge stalking some light and airy photographer’s Instagram feed. She’s got like 4 billion followers and every picture is amazing, styled and magazine worthy.

Why do we do this … as people? As WOMEN. COMPARE?

We need to keep 3 important things in mind.

  1. Social media is a Highlight reel… Most people only show the best of the best
  2. You need only to compare yourself to the person YOU were yesterday.
  3. Everyone starts somewhere

Sooo. Before I started punishing myself today I took out my old Toshiba Laptop (sparkle purple cover and all) and started looking through my old pictures…. It made me happy because, well, for starters pictures of my kids, friends and hunny always make me smile. But, also I saw some of my really old work and I know I have a come a really long way.

I didn’t go to school for photography (infact I thought I wanted to become a lawyer) after a few painful years in a law office and many little side ventures trying to sell my creativity to anyone who would buy it …. (face paint, decorating cakes, selling art, make-up, etc.) I started taking pictures of my kids and wondering “Would someone pay me         ( like just a little) to do this?

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This was the first little set I ever put together…. this is 2008/09 and my youngest was a baby and I had it in my mind to do a baby cupid photo shoot. Hmmm. Well this is all I have to show you because she was angry and wouldn’t sit at all.

This is attempt #2 . She was a bit older and it was summer. We planned to have a cowgirl them birthday party. these would become the invitations. Please note the wrinkled backdrop, bad crop, poor lighting and red eye. baby syd & katies wedding 511 (2)

All I knew for sure was my kids were cute, I loved them and didn’t want to miss a thing. Plus I was broke so there was no fancy photography happening for us. So I had to get creative. I remember the one time we got a coupon in the mail for Olin Mills in like a K-mart. $100 you get like 4 pictures. Cheesy poses. Generic everything. Blah.

I wanted to get better and so I kept trying. Adjusting lighting, trying natural light, spending more time on the post processing (editing), invested in a better camera, made adorable props….

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Still had some flops… kept practicing. Kept trying new things. Watched videos, took a few online classes. Practiced some more. Became inspired.

Hop to 2018…. and this is what I’m doing now.

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The memories are there …like it was yesterday. I now pay attention to composition, light, my subject, wardrobe, lighting, and I’ve learned to use a camera and photoshop. I can’t believe I have come so far.

So let this be a reminder to be gentle on yourself. Don’t be a so critical and negative of your work.

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fall down and get back up again.”-Nelson Mandala

It’s true. It’s only a failure if you stop trying. So tomorrow is another day. I’m going to shake that little troll (not the friendly kind that sing Timberlake songs) but the nagging, degrading one who whispers and torments me, telling me I’m not good enough or not as good as the rest.

I’m better than I was yesterday.

XO Marissa

 

Sourpuss clothing & fink faces

“Rat Fink” is a term I lovingly use to describe my boyfriend when he takes the last cookie.. lol

But seriously, I love the character and it’s many variations. The original being the work of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, an artist, cartoonist, illustrator, and pin striper. He created the Rat Fink character as the anti-hero version of Mickey Mouse and rot rod /Kustom Kulture folks fell in love, as did I. I know he’s kind of a grotesque creature, but I can’t help but love an underdog.

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Many artists now replicate the work of this genius…and to pay homage to this KING of KUSTOM, I created my own little piece

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I had to put my own spin on it….I’m digging my cute “Betty” Mouse!

I am planning on turning them into cheeky little greeting cards!

BUT…the reason for this post, is a little review on a clothing company that has been around for a long time, but I have only recently been turned on to their line by my dear pin up friend and boutique owner Miss Lizzie Deville. She is quite a lady. She is an outstanding face painter, a business owner, makeup artist, fellow pin up enthusiast and Founder of Vintage for Veterans, a classic group of pin-ups who raise money and awareness for Veterans, a cause dear to me. Kids, pets, and vets will always have a special spot in my heart. More on that later. Here is a link to her page incase you wish to join the cause or purchase from her. She is a distributor for the company and she mentioned I might like their stuff….. like is an understatement. Thanks Lizzie!

I don’t just like…..I LOVE…. wow! the company I am referring to is SOURPUSS CLOTHING …check them out sourpuss clothing. They are a clothing company featuring their own line and also many other popular rockabilly and pin up styles and designers. They have everything from dresses to accessories and everything in between. I can’t wait to order some items from their housewares line! Can you say ATOMIC!

They also have something for everyone, men, women, and children. The classic pin up, the rocking rockabilly, and punk lovers. They offer so many unique styles you can bet it’s easy to find something you love on their extensive site. So be prepared to spend your paycheck…

But that brings me to their prices, I think they are very affordable. The dress I scored retails for $52.00. Very reasonable and well worth it!

I got their “FINK” wiggle dress in medium. Let me tell you it fits like a glove… And not that OJ simpson glove…. I mean perfectly.

It has just the right amount of stretch and hug in the fabric. the darting in the design is placed perfectly. I added a belt to define my waistline a bit more, but truthfully it doesn’t require one. I was so pleased with the quality of the fabric, stitching and design.

The vibrant colors, fink faces and bulging eyeballs turn heads for sure. I had lots of compliments at our local car show.

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There isn’t a man who can control his “rat rod” if he sees a woman wearing this epic dress. It is truly one of a kind.

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A friend snapped this picture of me on my dear pal Karen and her husband Bob’s matte black pickup and it might be one of my favorite pictures ever. I felt lovely.

Thank you SOURPUSS for creating such unique and fun clothing and so much more. You have made a loyal customer out of me! Highly recommended.

Dress by Sourpuss Clothing

 

Lifelong Sourpuss Customer

xo -Marissa

 

 

Easy gorgeous nails & a giveaway

Ok. I’m kind of a germaphobe and a cheapskate so going to the nail salon is really rare for me.  

BUT, I like to have my nails look cute from time to time.  With all the art, painting, housework and other crap I do , a regular manicure lasts about 14 seconds. And I have tried all kinds of products both high end and drugstore, and everything in between.

Then comes this game changer! 
This is a drugstore gel nail kit by Sensationail. I AM IN LOVE. ( no they aren’t paying me) 

So the whole kit was about $25.00 , I found it at Wally world ( Walmart) ugh.  Despise that store. 

Anyways.  For the cost of less than one manicure I was willing to try it.  It came with everything you needed to start.  But I also bought a few full size colors to try.  Because I wanted retro colors and I’m impulsive. 

So the process kinda goes like this… FILE and shape nails.  Push back cuticles. Google basic manicure if you aren’t sure. Then use a bit of nail Polish remover to clean nails.  And follow the steps. 

1. Primer

2. Clear top coat & 30 sec under UV light

3. Two thin coats of color.  30 sec UV after each coat

4. Clear top coat & 30 sec UV

5. Wipe with cleanser or Polish remover

super duper easy! 

It stayed for over 11 days completely chip free and looked just as nice and shiny as day one.  Even better is that because it isn’t easily removed with remover, any time I got paint, wood stain, or spray paint on my nails I could take cotton ball soaked in remover and BOOM all gone.  

After a few times I got a little more adventurous and wanted to try some designs and nail art. 
I found that you could put on decals and even use non- gel Polish for small designs as long as you sealed with the top coat and “cooked” it. 

All in all the process is fast.  And I love that, but they are also completely dry after which is so so exciting. Because I can’t tell you how many times I have done my damn nails and they look so adorable and fancy and then either the sheets, my clothes, or hair or something messes them up.  Can you feel me?

I actually enjoy doing my nails now! And spend more time doing nail art because it lasts and there is no dry time. 

Now taking it off is a different story.  Follow instructions and it works but takes a bit. 

I usually just leave mine on so long it will start to peel up around the edges and I can peel that way.  Mind you that is after like 20 days and with some nail growth. It also makes my weak nails stronger so I have been able to keep a nice shape even though I work with my hands a lot.

So I want to gift one of my readers ( there is only one of you , so luck you) lol. 

No really .. I want to give you a chance to win a starter kit.  Comment below if you want to be entered! And on my birthday July 11 I will draw one random winner. 

So it’s my gift to you on my birthday ❤

May your nail art outlast all the b.s. in your life

Xo Marissa

The most adorable thing you’ve ever seen… since Fairy gardens

Ok. So in a house with two girls we’ve done the fairy garden thing to DEATH.

I love the little gardens and have a fondness for miniatures and a love of dollhouses. So it seemed logical to put my affection for vintage and minis together. A marriage of retro, Itty bitty cuteness.

That’s how this mini retro gardens came to be.

Are you dead yet? Squealing. Yup? Ok we can be friends. 

So it started on a trip garage saling with the love of my life.  We stopped at a tiny garage sale run by the most adorable little Japanese lady with a fantastic sense of humor.

She told us that she lost her husband and he was a “collector”. She may have said hoarder. But it was so lovingly I think she meant collector. I hope that’s how my kids refer to me when they are cleaning the shit out of my house when I’m gone. 

Since she mentioned her budget was tight, husband was deceased, kids still living at home… if you know me at all..you know I want going to leave empty handed. And honestly I didn’t need these but I feel in love with the pastel colors, the patterns, and sizes I simply couldn’t resist. Plus they were a steal ! 

I loved these.  And she had hundreds… not even exaggerating! I love the soda shop colors.  So pretty. 

Then I took a trip to Michael’s ( my addiction ) and strolled about looking for retro minis to add.  They have an expansive section for fairy gardens and a dollhouse section so you really could go crazy.  But with one tiny chair costing the same as a regular folding chair I was kind of appalled. So I used my 40% off coupon on the chair (which was $8.99) and got the hell out of there before my impulsive brain talked my wallet into needing more. 

This is what I got.  I made the little pennant flags out of paper, string and dowels. 

Then I had a ureka moment! I needed a retro camper!

I took a small piece of 2×4 which I cut. If you don’t have a saw or they scare the shit out of you, Lowe’s will cut wood for free.  

I then used my belt sander to round one edge.  This will take a bit of work but you can do it with sandpaper. Maybe I will sell these on my etsy shop?? What do you think. 

Anyways, after I got it looking the way I wanted it, I painted and decorated it.  Added button wheels and WHA-LA. So stinking cute!

Now I just filled the planters with dirt, mini cactus, and sand.  This is all optional, but a garden needs at least one plant, and I kill anything that isn’t a cactus. But a little flower or tiny tree would be super cute. 

I am now addicted to making these and will probably have to pawn them off on friends. Oh well.  I think they are adorable and I would love to see yours.  I’m fairly certain no one reads this, but if you are and you make one, please share it with me! I would love to see what you come up with! Instagram: marissaperkins711

Here’s a couple more close ups:

Happy crafting! 

Xo Marissa

The Story of a Rat Rod

Rat Rod [rat. rod] (noun); Fun, low budget, traditional, rusty patina, built with junk yard parts, built to drive , not to show. ( built especially to show in my opinion)

I always think when I’m meandering through the isles of cars at a car show ….. I wish this car could talk. What kind of story would it tell. Who has been making out in the back seat. Have you heard any good gossip?

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Don’t get me wrong I love a fully restored hot rod, glossy paint and all. But that rusty patina on a rat rod makes me swoon.

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Maybe it’s the creator inside me, that falls in love with the repurposed parts and inventive ways they pieced her all back together. I guess it’s because they could have passed on her with all her baggage and all the work she would need to restore her and left her in a heap in the junk yard. Maybe that’s a metaphor for a damsel in distress, Like I was once upon a time.

Hey, that’s got me thinking…. maybe one day when I restore my rat rod, I’ll name her “Damsel in Distress” ….hmmm.. Nah. sounds too weak. How about… ” I don’t need a man to save me, I saved my own damn self.” ( Too long?)

It seems like every part on a rat rod has been reinvented.   I guess anyone can order stock parts, right?… But to weld & fabricate a one of a kind piece of art like a    “Vehicular Frankenstein” is just so cool.

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Every little thing takes perfect planning and ingenuity.

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Each part is like a work of art. It is truly personal. Not to mention they are taking something that was beyond salvage and repair and making it whole again. With blood, sweat, tears, and I’m sure a fair amount of cussing.

Every last inch is covered with special personalized touches. An eight ball shifter, awesome license plates as floor mats, custom hood ornaments, mirrors, seats, etc. Most of them are fabricated from bizarre items. It makes every vehicle one of a kind just like the owner.

I have heard so many interesting stories from the owners too. Like a fire fighter who redesigned an old fire truck in tribute to all firemen and women. It was glorious. And every detail was perfect. the pin striping, the FD logo on the doors, the dash board was upholstered with old turn out gear. It was amazing.

I love a rat rod with a good story.

It’s the stories in life we remember, so go out and make your own.

XO

Marissa

 

 

Car show season Yippeee!

The thrill of an upcoming carshow is something that can always turn my day around.

I was in a real funk yesterday. I’m experiencing allergies for the first time in my life and it stinks. Makes keeping your eyeliner on point a real pain in the A**. Especially that crisp wing.

My eyes are watery, itchy. Throat hurts. Headache. You get it.

I happened to see an ad for a car show and it totally turned my day around. I knew the makeup wasn’t going to happen, so I threw on some cat eye sunnies and my red lipstick and got my minpin (mini me /pin up) ready to go!

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BONUS: It was taking place at Fat Cats (link) one of my favorite little food joints in town. Yummy fresh seafood, fried to perfection and HUGE portions of really great ice cream. It was going to be a binge day I already planned it.

There was a great turnout and perfect weather. I couldn’t stop smiling. I’m not sure if it was the carb coma, the oldies music, the people chatting, folks of all ages just enjoying the night, or what it was.

There is something about a car show. People seem friendlier. Happier.

Here are some of the pictures on my minpin! She’s a doll and received lots of compliments, which made her smile even harder. She made the shine on those cars seem dull. The hair do had gone through hours of playing before hand , so don’t judge the fly-aways.

I will own a classic car one day can’t decide if I want an old mercury or a ford truck

These two would be my choices if money wasn’t an issue. Until that day, I will enjoy taking pictures of other people’s babies.

Do you guys dig classic cars? What would be your dream car?

Do what makes you happy!

XO- Marissa