Ruth Bancroft Garden: a paradise for cacti & succulent lovers!


Hi there folks…..

Are there still any of you out there?! It’s been a year and a half since I posted here…sheesh!

This past Tuesday, Derek & I visited the beautiful Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, Ca. As huge lovers of desert plants, we were thrilled to find this garden right here in Northern California..where you’d least expect a succulent & cacti paradise!

Ruth Bancroft 1

Mrs. Ruth Bancroft begun planting this expansive garden in 1972, when she was in her sixties, on her husband’s family farm. The land was previously a 400 acre walnut orchard and pear farm dating back to the 1880’s. By the time Ruth moved to the farm, after marrying Mr. Bancroft, it was the late 1930s and the farm was still thriving. She gardened as a hobby and became interested in succulents in the 1950s.

RUth Bancroft 2

ruth bancroft

lovely photo of Ruth Bancroft in her element, from the Garden’s website

In the early 1970’s the last walnut orchard was cut down and the land had been sold to developers who where building the town of Walnut Creek. However, Mrs. Bancroft was given 3.5 acres for a new garden. She turned her large collection of potted succulents and other plants into a permanent garden. It has been open to the public since 1992 & I am thrilled that it is!

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Tina in the Ruth Bancroft garden

Ruth’s collection has matured into such a gorgeous and awe-inspiring garden!

Ruth Bancroft- Herby and Derek

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Ruth Bancroft garden

Ruth Bancroft Garden

Herby and Derek rest in the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Derek & Herby took a seat to take in the view! I really love that they have benches and tables set up throughout the garden, it’s so welcoming. They even encourage you to bring a lunch and your canine pals!

Ruth Bancroft garden

Ruth Bancroft Garden

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ruth bancroft garden

Derek & Herby at Ruth Bancroft Garden

Tina as Cacti Bikini Gal

HOW COULD I RESIST THIS?!? I couldn’t wait to become the vintage cacti bikini babe! Such a cute idea!

Overall, I couldn’t recommend The Ruth Bancroft Garden more, it’s such a charming place. Check out their website for more details and history!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal



Finally got some Freddie’s!


Hey there friends,

I’ve been on the hunt for a great pair of vintage or reproduction jeans for quite a while. I am happy to say that I have found the perfect pair:  Freddie’s of Pinewood Jeanies!  You may have seen me wearing them in my last post that featured photos from my trip to Bodie, Ca.

Freddie's of Pinewood review

I just love these jeans. They are comfortable yet totally adorable. The shape is so flattering but not at all fussy.


I love the look of a cropped & cuffed jean and was happily surprised that the Jeanies were the perfect length on a short gal like me (I’m about 5′).  These are a 26″ waist, which is very true to size for me.


I was worried before trying these jeans that I would have to settle for the “long butt” or “saggy butt” that many high waisted jeans seem to give. However, I think that these actually give quite a cute shape to the rear view area!

rear view: jeanies

side view: jeanies

I was hesitant about ordering Freddie’s jeans online from the U.K. because I wouldn’t be able to try them in advance. I thought all hope was lost until I found out that local  shop owner Marissa of Chick-a-Boom Vintage (in Petaluma, Ca)  carried a full range of the jeans in her shop! I couldn’t wait to get over there & try on some Freddie’s!  She was super sweet and helped me choose the perfect pair.  Oh, and to top it all off, they were considerably cheaper than the online plus shipping price I would have paid otherwise!




I highly recommend Freddie’s of Pinewood jeans and I know a lot of you gals are already believers too. However, if you’re still on the hunt for the perfect pair of vintage style jeans: Freddie’s may be your answer!

until next time! xoxo, Tina

until next time! xoxo, Tina

Vintage Lovin’ Gal

My visit to a real ghost town!


Bodie, California is a truly amazing place.


In the 1880’s this town was booming! Once gold was discovered in 1859 by Waterman S. Body, word spread and people came to settle and strike it rich. By 1879 the population had climbed from about 20 to 10,000!






The Standard Mine yielded nearly $15 million over 25 years. However, once the mine closed in 1941, residents  moved on to greener pastures.

For unexplained reasons, most of the buildings remain completely furnished with the belongings of their previous residents. It is as if everyone just walked away. It is haunting, but also quite beautiful.

inside of the general store, still stocked with goods!

a peek inside of the general store, still stocked with goods!



the pool hall

the pool hall

Herby had a good time too!

Herby had a good time too! (although she has the classic Boxer “sad face”)

Bodie is now a California State Historic Park and remains untouched. Nothing may be touched or removed from the park. Even the smallest pieces of old glass and rusted tin cans remain in the dirt from generations past. All of the photos I took of interiors were taken through old window panes, as entrance to the buildings is prohibited.









an amazing discovery inside of the old bank building!






the lay of the land

‘ the lay of the land



I highly suggest a visit to Bodie. It was such a great adventure! The natural landscape is truly breathtaking and the town itself is amazing.

I really loved the casual nature of the park as well. Once you pay to enter ($7) you’re basically on your own. There are no guides or paths. You are free to wander and explore as you wish.

Hope you all are out there enjoying the summer and having adventures of your own!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Vintage photos of fashionable folks!


I love gawking at the clothes of glamorous movie starlets in black and white and models in vintage magazines, but seeing photos of “regular” people of the era really sends me.

I bought these lovely photos recently at an antique shop and just adore them! The clothes are fantastic and the people are just adorable.

aren't they great?

aren’t they great?

These folks were the first to catch my eye, they seem so happy and in love! The photo is undated, but judging by her hairstyle and clothing I’d say it’s definitely from the 1940’s. Her dress is gorgeous and has some great ribbon detailing.

the happy couple

the happy couple

Next is a family photo that is also undated, but I’m guessing forties. Her outfit is a dream! I love the coordinating separates and her hair bow. Her husband is a classic workin’ man with great suspenders. The twins are a bit creepy, but cute in their matching outfits. My favorite part is the shadow of the photographer in the bottom corner!

vintage family photo

Glenn Bentzer/Bentzen (?), Marion, Frances, Patricia

family close-up

family close-up

Next is this gorgeous thirties gal! Her floral dress, white shoes, sun hat and finger waved ‘do are to die for! I like to believe that she’s on her way to a glamorous lawn party.

springtime beauty

springtime beauty

Finally, my favorite of the bunch is this photo of young gals at a High School graduation in 1941. Every one of these ladies has their own unique style, from demure to chic. Check out the shoes! *sigh*

The back of the photo reads:  “Alice Pelter, Anita Block, Meriam Cadish, Anna May. Dorsey High School Graduation- June 1941.”

graduation gals

graduation gals

The two girls on the right are my favorite! That matching set on the far right is a dream, I wish I could see it in color. The gal next to her has wonderful shoes & an adorable button down dress. Here’s a close-up on them:

simply gorgeous!

simply gorgeous!

The final photo is a landscape shot that reads:

“371 Imperial Limited, in Fraser Canyon.”

"June 10 '36"

“June 10 ’36”

Hope you enjoyed checking out these great photos, I know they sure make me smile.

Until next time, friends…



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Western dirndl & red tooled leather!


Hello again friends,

I’ve got an outfit post for you today, featuring a few things made by me and some other great vintage goodies.


This is the third dirndl skirt that I’ve made using the instructions in Gertie’s book & I’m sure I’ll make more! They are so easy to make and comfortable to wear. I highly recommend giving it a try, if you haven’t already.

western skirt

I found this great western print cotton at my local fabric store and knew it had to be mine! I think it works perfect for this style of skirt.

IMG_3708  western skirt

The blouse is an old standard of mine that I found in a little antique shop in Florida. I just love these cotton button-up blouses, I wear them with everything!

IMG_3721 IMG_3715 western skirt

The shoes (oh, the shoes!!) are red tooled leather wedges that I picked up on my last visit to Los Angeles and I ADORE them! I’ve dreamt of these very wedges for years now, so I am really loving them.


The finishing touches to this outfit are:

tooled leather belt (thrifted in Nevada)

1930’s (?) burgundy sunglasses (thrifted)

hair scarf (my grandma’s)

wooden earrings with carved horses (vintage)

cactus felt pin (made by me)

burgundy tooled leather handbag (vintage shop in Arizona)


vintage basket purse (birthday gift from Mom)

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It was a challenge keeping Herby (my adorable boxer) out of these photos, so I had to let her get in on a few at the end!

IMG_3741 IMG_3740



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Up in the Redwoods…


A few weeks ago Derek & I went up to the Redwoods (a few hours north of us) to do a bit of sign work. While there, we couldn’t help but take in some of the gorgeous sights!

Derek demonstrating the human to bear size difference...yikes!

Derek demonstrating the human to bear size difference…yikes!


one-log house

“One-log house”. This is just as it sounds, a huge log that was hollowed out and made into a house. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there and you can’t even peek inside! However, I looked up some photos and it seems pretty cute on the inside. 

I made a friend!

I made a friend!

one armed lumberjack...he was huge!

one armed lumberjack…he was huge!

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We stopped alongside the highway and hiked down to the Russian River! It was beautiful!

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One last blurry, out of the van window shot for the road.....

One last blurry, out of the van window shot for the road…..

We had a great time on our brief visit to the gorgeous Redwoods of Northern California. I highly recommend a visit!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

Rose Garden Gals


The ever lovely Mary Van Note & I had a wonderful day picnicking in the springtime sun and taking in the sights of the Berkeley Rose Garden!

Tina & Mary picnicwildflowerstina & mary picnictina picnicmary van notepicnic timetina picnicpicnic fun

The Berkeley Rose Garden is a gorgeous garden in the Berkeley Hills that features 3,000 rose bushes and 250 varieties of roses! It was completed in 1937 and was one of the first Civil Works Progress Projects built under the WPA.

Berkeley Rose Gardenrose garden galsrosesrose gardensmell the rosestina rosemary hat

Mary wore a gorgeous lavender 1940’s floral day dress with off-the-shoulder ruffles and a button back,  white espadrilles, adorable wicker purse shaped like an umbrella, cute vintage sunglasses and an AMAZING magenta felt hat!

mary rosemary roses

I wore a lovely 1950’s floral day dress that I bought years ago at a little vintage shop in Hawaii; 1940’s navy peep toe shoes, my 1920’s/1930’s sunglasses and a white wicker purse that was a birthday gift from my mom.


mary flower hat

peek-a-boo! Mary’s hat helps her to blend into the floral surroundings…

rose tina

tina dresstina & mary

I had such a great time frolicking around with Mary, wearing our pretty dresses and smelling roses! I can’t think of many better ways to spend a beautiful spring day!


Vintage Lovin’ Gal

(Thanks to Mary Van Note for these photos!)

A nite of feathers, art deco and film noir: Maltese Falcon at the Paramount


This past Friday I attended Classic Movie Nite at the GORGEOUS Paramount Theater in Oakland. The movie of the month was the fabulous film noir The Maltese Falcon.

I was joined by the wonderful and glamorous Mary Van Note and our gents (you can spot a quick glimpse of Derek below, but Mary’s fella Ben stayed behind the lens).

Paramount Theater

We gussied up in gorgeous feathers, provided by Mary (you can buy the one I’m wearing in her etsy shop!) and our forties best. It was great fun and the movie was wonderful! Humphrey Bogart can do no wrong in my eyes…plus he’s a total dreamboat.

Enough blabbing…..feast your eyes on the jaw-dropping beauty of this theater!!

Paramount stageParamount waiting roomParamount- Tina DerekParamount golden ladiesParamount- TinaParamount- MaryParamount entry Paramount- Tina close upParamount- Mary close upParamount- Tina's hairParamount mirror shotParamount couch

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Paramount Theater in Oakland, don’t pass it up! It is truly breathtaking. They offer tours as well as events such as the classic movie night.

What a wonderful night!!

Thanks to the lovely Mary Van Note for these photos and her boyfriend Ben for graciously photographing us in a crowded theater!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

My birthday: exploring a Chinese ghost town and other adventures…


Today is my 29th birthday!

Derek & I always celebrate by taking a drive to explore new and interesting areas. Today we headed out to Locke, California. Locke is located just off the Sacramento River, about 60 miles from Berkeley.

Locke is a small town that was built by Chinese farm workers in 1915, when the Chinatown of  a neighboring town called Walnut Grove burned in a fire.  The town was a hub of activity for the Chinese community from the 1920’s thru 1940’s. There were several restaurants, bars, stores and even a movie theater where they showed black and white films in the twenties!

Today there is not much activity left in this small town. In fact, I only saw two business open on the main street. It is sad to see the town so empty, but it is in good hands as it has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Now for the photos…….

Locke, Ca

Derek, strolling the streets

Derek, strolling the streets

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Hey…there I am!

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Derek made a friend.

Derek made a friend.


favorite picture.

We also drove through a town called Isleton, Ca. It had a lot of interesting buildings, some of which were obviously Chinese businesses as well. The town was more happenin’ than Locke….but not by much.

(Oh, we peeked through the windows of the local Dry Goods store and saw STACKS of deadstock clothes & hats!! It was all locked up and we couldn’t determine the era of the items, but I’d LOVE to get in there and shop! Perhaps next time we’ll try to find someone in charge.)

Here’s a bit of Isleton:

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I had a great day exploring these interesting towns with my honey and even came home to some birthday goodies in the mail! Today was a good day!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal

The most amazing blouse ever made.


Vintage lovin’ friends, be warned.

You may faint or at least swoon a great deal at the sight of this glorious blouse.

vintage bow blouse

Isn’t is lovely?

I tried this blouse on at the San Francisco Vintage Expo & it was love at first sight. I had to have it.

Luckily, the price was reasonable so I jumped on it.

vintage bow blouse collar

I love this double collar. It’s so interesting! The bottom one is tacked down & the top collar is free.

vintage bow blouse close up

Those bows! Those buttons! Oh dear….

vintage bow blouse belt

Check out the lovely matching belt…sigh.

Now for a peek at the back! (via horribly lit photos…..)

vintage bow blouse: back

The back buttons all the way up & this is the only way to get into the blouse! I amazingly buttoned myself into it one day, but  having an assistant is quite helpful.

vintage bow blouse: back detail

Here I am wearing the blouse on the second day of the expo with my lovely pal Mary Van Note!

SF vintage expo

(Thanks to Christina of Skirt Chaser Vintage for this photo!)

Until next time friends, keep your eye out for those special vintage treasures…you never know when you’ll find the perfect piece!



Vintage Lovin’ Gal