September 2, 2014

We're going to Vancouver Island for two awesome weeks!

At long last, after at least four months since the first major steps towards our next genuine vacation (aka, not a work related trip of Tony's that I tag along for, but an outright, good, old-fashioned holiday) materialized, I can finally reveal to you today that later this month, we're going to be spending two weeks on Vancouver Island.

We've rented a small, beautifully furnished and equipped private house (via the very handy online service and hotel alternative Airbnb) in Victoria, which will be our base while on Island. A lot of the time there will no doubt be spent in Victoria itself, but we also hope to take some daytrips elsewhere, such as Nanaimo, Duncan, and Sooke - perhaps even as far north as Campbell River, where I've heard very good things about a vintage clothing shop called, rather charmingly, Britches and Hose (though at some three hours away from Victoria, there's no guarantee we'll make it there - hopefully!).

Just as when we headed to Vancouver last spring, I've lined up a few really terrific guest posts from fellow vintage bloggers to keep things active here in my absence. My Etsy shop will also remain open while I'm away from home and new orders are certainly welcome, though it should be noted that they won't ship out until I'm home again in early October.

While I have been to Vancouver Island and B.C.'s capital city of Victoria before, I haven't set even so much as one foot on this large, majestically beautiful Pacific Ocean hugged chunk of land since I was 14 years old - more than half my lifetime ago and I don't profess for the tiniest of moments to know the layout of the city very well. In fact, save for a few major attractions and standout memories from my early youth, there's little I know firsthand about this vibrant city, which makes me all the more excited to hop in the car later this month and hightail down there to quickly learn a whole lot more.

We'll be leaving Penticton on September 22nd and returning on the evening of October 4th. As usual when we go away, Annie will be staying at the lovely dog boarding kennel in Oliver that she just adores and my sweet mother will be house sitting our place and looking after our cat, Stella in our absence.

As Victoria is situated on an island floating out in the ocean off the shores of our province of British Columbia, it can only be reached by air travel or ferry and it is the latter that we'll be floating on to reach our lovely holiday destination. I've always madly adored taking the ferry to the Island and am as giddy about the prospect of doing so as I am about any other element of this trip, which is a much needed breather from the daily grind for both Tony and I.

I (we) intentionally timed our trip to Victoria to correspond with the upcoming annual Victoria Vintage Expo, which is taking place there on September 26th and 27th. I'll be going as a shopper, not a seller this time around, but who knows, perhaps I'll be back in future years with a table of my own. There are so few events like this in our province, let alone ones I'm able to make it to (the few that do exist are are usually located hours away from Penticton), so I'm truly jumping for joy at the prospect of attending one of B.C.'s only vintage expos.

In fact, I'm hopping with happiness about this whole trip. We worked very hard, saved and sacrificed incredibly diligently, and put in a lot of effort to make this trip happen. I'm so glad that we did, because there are few things - even knowing that hitting the road will do a number on my health, as it always does - that I adore, or gain more from, in this world than travel.

Yippee! Hurrah! And three very big - and very excited - cheers! Here we come (okay, in three weeks time), Victoria - prepare to be two residents richer for a couple of weeks and a little lighter on the vintage clothing and jewelry front when we leave! :)

August 31, 2014

Vintage Link Love: August 2014

A few days ago, I posted a little something to this extent on Chronically Vintage's Facebook page, but I'll say it here as well - I've been burning the candle far too much at both ends lately and I absolutely know, and feel, it.

There has been so many exciting changes and launches in my life this year, from my Etsy shop to YouTube to selling vintage in person for the first time (at fairs, etc), all on top of blogging at the same kind of full time pace I have been in recent years, plus of course helping Tony with his/our company (Netrich Media), taking care of and running our household, and all of life's usual going ons.

{I've been burning through proverbial candles - and a few real ones - faster than the speed of light this year! Vintage candle ad image source}

My health and energy levels are feeling this intense surge of activity and physical demands big time, with flare-ups of some of my conditions frequently resulting from it (and various members of my medical care team telling me to take things a heck of a lot more easy). I do think that in the short term, pushing myself so hard, for so long is worth it and I don't mind that this summer has been one of far more work than relaxation for me. Looking ahead to the future though, I definitely will need to pace myself in new and better ways, rework how I balance/spend my time on certain commitments, and quite literally schedule true days off, if I have to, as I don't want to risk potentially extremely serious consequences with my health if I don't.

There is so much that is new in my world that wasn't there in previous years and I think anyone would take a while to adjust to this exciting, extra busy schedule. I wanted this 2014 to be a year of immense change and growth, both personally and especially professionally, and that it truly has been. I've sowed a lot of very exciting new seeds, now the time has come to tend them (instead of doing further planting, so to speak) - and to tend to myself in the process, too.

On that note, let's take a few tranquil moments to relax and have a gander at several engaging, delightful, and flat out interesting vintage and history related posts and stories that have really been capturing my attention lately. It's hard to believe, genuinely hard, that we're sitting here on the cusp of September already, 2015 just four short months away, and that we're rounding up another set of vintage links again (this summer felt so incredibly fast, didn't it?), but that we are, so let's get right to it! :)

photo VintagelinkloveblogpostheaderforChronicallyVintage_zps551f30c8.png

8 tips on creating your own vintage style: Individuality is hugely important to me when it comes to style and that very much includes having your own unique, fabulous vintage style, something that the fabulous Daffny from the blog A Vintage Nerd delved into recently in this handy and helpful post on the subject, which is sure to resonate with vintage fashion newcomers and veterans alike.

Top ten tips for your first pin-up photo shoot session: By way of marvelous vintage and reproduction clothing seller Blue Velvet Vintage's great blog comes a terrific post all about tips for helping you with your first pin-up photo shoot (many of which apply to other types of shoots, too, if doing pinup type photos isn't your cup of tee).

Vintage wear for yard work: Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage has done a wonderful job of rounding up some seriously charming vintage yard work tips and photos (such as the fab 40s look below) that are sure really appeal to many folks as we transition into autumn, a season that often abounds with raking leaves, harvesting produce, pruning summer growth, and hanging festive decorations on the outside of our homes.

My costumer's library: getting started: Though not every one who sports vintage fashions and/or accessories would classify themselves as being a historical costumer (nor do they have to be to enjoy and wear lovely old school styles), many of us - myself included - do have a deeply rooted passion for the costuming arts and frequently read a good deal on topics pertaining to this awesome area of study. To that end, the Witness 2 Fashion recently put out a seriously splendid list of books that be of help to new (and long time) historical costumes fans alike, while also discussing some very insightful points on the topic (such as the importance of often using more than one source when putting together a historically accurate look).

A fascinating look at the not so ordinary beginnings of modern luggage: This fast paced image filled slide show takes a peak at the history of luggage as we know it today, tracing the roots of wheeled luggage, for example all the back to the 12th century. For major travel (and/or vintage luggage) fans such as myself, this post is sure to provide plenty of fun facts that you'll be rearing to share with your neighbour the next time you're on an train, plane or ferry boat.

The top Paris designers of 1954: Ahh, the gloriously stylish mid-1950s! An era I hold near and dear to my own heart - and wardrobe! - and never tire of looking at images of, such as the enchantingly pretty array in this great post from Glamour Daze (including the Dior stunner below), which shines the spotlight on some of the most iconic Parisian designers (and their work) of the day.

Traffic jam stuck in a Belgian forest for 70 years: This story made the rounds on Facebook earlier this summer, but in case you didn't happen to catch it there (or elsewhere), I wanted to share it here today as it is truly a unique, amazing, mysteriously haunting sight to behold.

1900s Life Hacks: Useful skills and information don't generally lose their merit simply because times change and/or other ways of achieving the same task come along. This delightful, you'll-want-to-bookmark-it-for-sure post takes a peak at some particularly handy life hacks from the 1900s that still pass muster today more than a century after they were printed on (now highly collectible) cigarette cards.

Bombshells and Bomb Girls: By way of author and historian (and fellow British Columbian) Elinor Florence comes this excellent, informative piece, complete with oodles of photos and illustrations, on the history of female WW2 war workers that sure to appeal every bit as much to history buffs as it to early 1940s fashion fans (and of course, plenty of us fall into both camps!).

The Way We Eat: This link is to a Tumblr account, not a specific story, but it is too sublimely lovely and well executed not to share the whole thing with all of you. Teeming with vintage images primarily sourced from culinary magazines that have partnering with a selection of beautiful modern photos of vintage dishes (from said types of magazines, such as Gourmet) that have been recreated nowadays, this elegant, tantalizing Tumblr food history blog is a must visit for all those who love gastronomy.

Free download of Hollywood Patterns – March 1941: The immensely talented, sweet-as-can-be Rochelle of the vintage sewing and lifestyle blog Lucky Lucile (who I interviewed here last year), periodically creates and shares free downloadable vintage sewing/fashion related offerings, and her latest is eight pages of seriously swoon worthy early 1940s spring styles that would work splendidly for the coming autumn months as well.

Boola boola and rah rah rah: College in the movies:: This post, which rounds up some of the most iconic collegiate themed Hollywood films over the decades, harkens back to 2011, but it's fairly new to me and as the world is gearing up to head back to school in just a couple of days, it seemed like an ideal not to wrap up today's lovely list on.

{All images throughout the list of links above come by way of the post that they are displayed
directly beneath the write up of here. Please follow the links provided to learn more about these images.}

♥ ♥ ♥

As summer's days grow shorter and a bracing, beautiful nippiness slips into the breeze, I will be devoting myself  wholeheartedly to my career and passions, but (again) working on pacing and remembering not to burn the candle to the point that the wick runs out entirely. I'll also be, as many of us will, gearing up for a seriously lovely, exciting autumn, both on the online and personal fronts.

From travel plans (more about that here very soon!) to Canadian Thanksgiving, our 10th wedding anniversary to Halloween, picking juicy red Okanagan apples to busting out the seasonal decor (tomorrow - I almost always do so on September 1st), I'm delighted to be welcoming my favourite season back once more and equally look forward to sharing it with all of you.

I sincerely hope that this summer has been a terrific one for each of you and that its last few days fill your life with sunshine, joy, and tons of delicious end of the season eats. It won't be long now until we're up to our eyeballs in pumpkin spice everything, candy corn, roast turkey with all the trimmings, and pillow cases full of Halloween sweets, and while I am a touch sad to see summer wrap up, with each passing day, I'm looking more and more forward to my beloved autumn and hopefully settling into a work/productivity routine that is more conducive to my health and lifestyle.

Here's to a gorgeous, fun filled September and fall ahead for us all of! Remember to always try to hold onto a few your candles, my fellow hard working ladies and gents - after all, you're going to need at least one of them for your jack-o-lantern this year! :)

August 29, 2014

Liven up your Labour Day menu with this fun vintage pasta salad recipe

Labour Day falls early this year - the earliest date it can in fact, September 1st, and as such that means that this weekend is the last before the unofficial end of summer. Soon life will become a joyful hustle and bustle of school books, raking crunchy leaves, baking pumpkin pies, nights that get dark nearly as soon as work as wrapped up, and the switching over of our warm weather wardrobes to our winter ones (or vice versa if you live south of the equator and gearing up to say hello to spring once more). And you know what, a good part of me really and truly looks forward to that, but for now I'm very keen to continue celebrating summer (as I talked in greater detail about in this month's edition of Flickr Favourites) and soak up every last precious, golden sun-kissed moment of it while I still can.

{Instead of viewing Labour Day long weekend as the beginning of the end of summer, I prefer to see it as one last big celebration of all that is great, food very much included, about this fun filled, vibrant, awesome season.Image source.}

This sentiment definitely extends to my menu choices, especially since the Labour Day long weekend has always been one of the most revered on the barbeque and al fresco meal front of the whole season. There's hefty ears of sweet corn, plump ruby red tomatoes, scores of crisp garden greens, early season apples and pears, freshly caught fish, homemade ice cream, and gallons of lemonade still to consume before we don our Thanksgiving finery and tuck into a squarely autumn harvest centered feast once more.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite warm weather eats of all time is pasta salad! I have a dozen or more favourite recipes that I enjoy whipping up as the mood and menu call for, and am certainly not opposed to trying new ones or simply tossing something together on the fly based on what I have in the fridge and pantry at any given moment. It's precisely that kind of spirit which I feel today's vintage pasta salad recipe that originally appeared in a Good Housekeeping magazine ad for Somerset Luncheon Meats channels. It has a little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot of mid-century mealtime fun.

{A tasty hodgepodge of mid-century ingredients comes together in this cheerful, filling 1950s pasta salad recipe, that is sure to find favour with kids and adults alike at your long weekend dinner table. Image source.}

Now, by all means, feel free to forgo or swap out anything that not to your liking. If you're a gluten-free eater like myself and are keen to still use rainbow pasta here, I highly recommend Rizopia's Vegetable Brown Rice Fusilli (which I've found here in Canada at Bulk Barn and online on, which I'm rarely without a bag of in my cupboard for pasta salads just like this. For the mayonnaise, needing to avoid eggs all the time, too, due to the fact that I'm allergic to them, I reach for Reduced Fat Vegenaise (which also happens to be vegan).

Pasta salads are one of the most versatile, crowd pleasing foods around. You can serve them cold, at room temperature or even warm, just depending on what your star ingredients are. They often taste even better the second day after their flavours have been mingling and snuggling up together for a while, and they can be either the main attraction of the meal or simply a lovely, filling side dish.

If you have leftovers, why not stir in some cooked chicken breast, salmon, strips of steak, further vegetables, or cubes of cheese and extend it for a second meal the next day? They can also be stuffed into pitas, wraps, or buns, as well as scooped up onto corn chips, potato chips, melba toast, or wedges of cornbread - all of which children in particular are fond of.

Let your imagination run wild when it comes not only to creating pasta salads, but also with your Labour Day meal choices in general. Take advantage of summer's incredible eats while they're still here, have a second (or third) helping of sweet, juicy watermelon, toss some more burgers on the grill, and relish (food pun intended) the tail end of awesome quarter of the year while it's still going strong.