December 31, 2010

Vintage Fashionista Friday – December 31, 2010 (Special New Year’s Edition)

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{Airy, ethereal feathers combine with a dusty rose hued bloom in this sweetly beautiful decorated hair pin that pops with a delicate layer of lace for just a hint of vixenish allure. “Lovely Romantic Bobby Pin with Black Lace”, $7.90 from etsy seller Ola’s Dream World.}

{Let sophisticated little bejewelled spheres of pave glass add an air of refined, yet still wonderfully playful, glamour to any ensemble (one can’t help but think that they’d make great stand-ins for the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square, too!). “Pave Post” stud earrings, $24.00 from Anthropologie.}

{Should you happen to live in a climate where winter doesn’t quite dip cold enough to redden your cheeks – or if you’d like to keep that lovely, gamine flush going long after you’ve come indoors, reach for this immensely pretty pot of pink powder blush (with its utterly darling Paris illustrated packaging). Bourjouis Limited Edition Vintage Blusher in “Rose Petal”, £4.25 (UK pounds), from Asos.}

{Keep Old Man Winter at bay with this timelessly elegant, wonderfully plush vintage faux fur swing coat. Perfect overtop everything from an evening gown to a pair of black cigarette pants (alla Audrey Hepburn), this silver topper (with soft satin lining) is certain to keep you both toasty warm and marvellously fashionable all season long! “Silver Faux Shearling/Fur Coat”, cut generously to fit up to at least a 44 inch waist, $54.00 from etsy seller Lola Jean Vintage.}

{There are some dresses that steal your breath away and stand as works of art for all of time, and I think this shimmery carnation hue stunner is one such example. With a sweeping full circle skirt, drop waist, fitted bodice and matching bolero jacket, this amazing evening gown would be incredible to wear to any holiday bash, birthday party or even as a wedding dress. “Vintage 1950s Metallic Silver Pink Lace Cocktail Dress”, fits up to a 28 inch waist/34 inch bust, $165.00 from etsy seller Calendar Girl Vintage.}

{When your dress is the star of your outfit, you don’t necessarily want large earrings or necklaces trying to nudge their way into the spotlight and therefore take away from the wow factor of your frock, but that doesn’t mean that you need to keep all your jewels tucked away in their box at home. This whimsically pretty cocktail ring is just the ticket; its charming bow shape is a nod to the holidays, yet still perfect to wear anytime of the year when you want a hit of sparkle on your hand. Betsey Johnson “The Snow Angel Crystal Bow Ring”, one size fits most, $35.00 from Amazon.}

{A dress as magnificent as the one in this post calls for understated, perpetually chic accessories and this sleek satin clutch fits that bill splendidly. Featuring a hint of silvery diamond-like crystals and a versatile strap that can be tucked inside, if so desired, this stylish purse would truly become the LBD of your handbag wardrobe. “Touch Up 1805” black satin clutch, measuring 8.5” wide by 3.5” high, $46.00 from Zappos.} 

{There’s no better day of the year to bring glitz and glamour to your vintage look than the universal celebration that is New Year’s Eve – and what more fabulous way to do that than with a utterly gorgeous, enchantingly glittery pair of (very affordable) high heels like these silvery babies? “Mitzy Women’s Heidi Open Toed Pump” (shown here in silver, also available in black and champagne), available in ladies sizes 5.5 to 10, $22.57 from Amazon.}

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A lengthy span of time has passed since the last edition of “Vintage Fashionista Friday”. In fact you’d have to dig all the way to May 14th of this year to find the previous post in this ongoing series. Yet one of the cornerstones of this blog has been (and will always be) vintage fashion (the very blog template itself that Chronically Vintage currently sports includes buttons in a nod to my love of both vintage style and vintage sewing), and while it’s not currently possible for me to post quite as frequently as I’d like here, I do not want for one split second to let that part of this site (the one devoted to vintage fashion) accidentally fall to the wayside.

Therefore, on this last day of 2010 – a day that means something different and profound to each of us – I wanted to bring back “Vintage Fashionista Friday” as a way of not only celebrating today’s merry festivities, but also to say that I want to reconnect more with the fashion side of vintage blogging as we leap headfirst in 2011.

There’s no sense in sugar coating things, this past set of 12 months haven’t been the best of all time for me. There were rough patches of many sorts, “blogcations” by choice (as a way of recharging my blogging batteries) and those thrust upon me by health problems and unexpected hospital stays. It would be all too easy to lament 2010, to focus on the grey skies instead of seeing the silver lining in every situation. However I’ve always been a glass half full kind of gal, and as such on this very last day of the year, am filled with a renewed sense of optimism and the deeply engrained belief that the coming year will be better on many fronts than the one that proceeded it – so hence the name of today’s vintage fashionista, “Hope”.

I cherish the comments, comradery, understanding, encouragement, and inspiration you have all given me throughout 2010, and cannot wait to celebrate all that 2011 holds in store with you, my awesome online vintage loving friends.

Thank you very much for everything, sweet dears, and the most joyful of wishes for a truly stellar 2011 to each of you!

December 28, 2010

Spotlight on (my darling cat) Stella

Hi sweet dears, before launching into the main subject of today’s post, let me begin by saying happy midst of the holiday season to each of you! I hope that you’re all doing beautifully and that this festive time of the year is going marvellously for you (tell me, did any of you receive any delightful vintage related Christmas gifts?). Thank you very much to those who left holiday well wishes for me on last Friday’s post, as well as to those thoughtful souls who sent emails and Christmas ecards my way. I appreciate all of your kind, fabulously festive cheer very much!

Now, I’m the first to admit that this afternoon’s little post doesn’t have very much to with vintage, yet as this blog is a gateway for my thoughts and a means by which to record of some of what transpires in my daily life, I simply had to share the following with you.

Recently I was contacted on Flickr by a lovely gal who asked if I’d be interested in sharing the story of my rescue cat, Stella, with the readers of her cat-centered website (Love Meow), which has a real emphasis on highlighting the importance of rescuing cats and telling the (fluffy) tales of those who have founding loving homes. I’m not sure how she chanced upon my Flickr stream (perhaps she saw one of my snaps of Stella in a Flickr group or discovered my photos via a keyword tag search), but I was absolutely thrilled that she wanted to chronicle Stella’s life (and several photos of her) with her audience.

{Stella, seen here in one my Flickr photos of her, is the queen of cuteness at our house. She almost always keeps me company when I write posts for Chronically Vintage (she loves to curl up on my lap and try to benefit from the heat that my laptop gives off), and never ceases to make my day better.}

Stella came into mine and my husband’s life in November 2008, and has been one the brightest spots in my life and a constant source of friendship, inspiration, and happiness for me ever since. This point coupled with the chronicle of how Stella became a part of our world comprises the bulk of that I discussed in the story about her that was featured on Love Meow.

I’m honoured that I was given the opportunity to speak for Stella, and that she got to take center stage in a post on such a great kitty centered site. Getting the chance to do so has definitely been one of the highlights of the end of 2010 for me!

December 24, 2010

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,

Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,

Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years

We all will be together,
If the Fates allow.

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

{Charmingly beautiful vintage Christmas advertisement via Calsidyrose on Flickr.}

My very dear friends, on this most magical of festive Eves, I am wishing you and your loved ones, a deeply, splendidly fabulous December 25th, an enchantingly wonderful holiday season, and a truly stellar New Year! 

May this joyous time of the year bring you everything – and more! – that your heart desires, and may you, as the immortally timelessly song (above) says, have yourself a merry little Christmas!!!

With love, thanks & blissful cheer,

December 15, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Recipe: Broiled Green Onion and Cheddar Cheese Puffs

While it’s definitely the season to be jolly, we’ve also reached one of the best times of the year to throw a cocktail party, put on a lavish fete, or simply invite a few cherished friends over for a cozy evening of hearty food and rousing conversation.

Earlier this week my dear sister and I were chatting about foods that might work well for an upcoming wine and appetizer party that she’s holding in a few days. My mind instantly raced to thoughts of soothing, earthy, rich (yet in no way overpowering) autumn and winter flavours, such as dishes featuring root vegetables, warm spices (nutmeg, cloves, paprika, cinnamon), dried fruits, nuts, dense, flavourful breads (walnut, pumpkin, rye); grains (wild rice, barley, buckwheat), fennel, figs, apples, and (given its natural affinity with wine) cheese.

Reflecting on some of my favourite tried and true appetizer recipes (many of which have a delightful vintage feel to the ingredients they include), I knew that I had to share this simple, scrumptious, easy-as-can-be recipe for green onion infused cheese puffs with my sister – and with my readers, as I know many of you have your own upcoming parties to plan menus for, too.

This recipe is wonderfully fast to throw together, can be multiplied to your heart’s content (though you may want to prepare it in batches, as it really is best when served straight from the broiler). You can vary the cheese to suit your tastes and menu (just stick with a firm cheese that has a bit of flavour to it – fontina, gouda, emmental, or gruyere would all make splendid choices if you wanted to try something other than Swiss or cheddar cheese), as well as play with various seasonings and additions (just keep the overall weight of anything you add to the mixture somewhat light, so that the mixture can still poof up under the broiler).

{Yum, yum, yum cheddar cheese pairs magnificently with apple pie – as shown in this vintage ad from 1956 – and it also takes center stage in today’s recipe, where it’s paired with egg whites, green onions, bell peppers, and light seasonings to create a winning holiday party appetizer. Vintage Armour Cheese ad via Vintage Ads and Stuff.}

This classic dish (which is somewhat redolent of another fabulous retro cheese and bread recipe: welsh rarebit) makes a great dinner (or wine tasting) party starter, as well as smashing first course or light lunch when paired with a salad or soup. Give it a try this holiday season and I bet it become one of your go-to Christmas party appetizers as well! :)

Broiled Green Onion and Cheddar Cheese Puffs


• ½ cup mayonnaise (can use eggless vegan mayo, if desired)

• 2/3 cup shredded Swiss or aged cheddar cheese

• ¼ cup chopped green onion (or fresh chives or leeks)

• ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper (optional, but it really adds a lovely crunch)

• ½ tsp worcestershire sauce (could use Tabasco/sweet chilli instead, if desired)

• 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

• Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

• 8 slices toasted hearty brown bread (such as pumpernickel or rye)


Turn on oven and set to broiler.

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the mayonnaise, shredded cheese, green onion, green pepper, worcestershire sauce and black pepper; mix well so that all ingredients are thoroughly blended together. Fold in the (previously stiffened) egg whites and stir lightly to combine.

Spoon an equal amount of the cheese and egg white mixture onto each of the eight slices of bread. Place bread on a non-stick baking sheet and place under the broiler until the cheese and egg mixture has puffed up and turned golden brown (about 4 minutes – watch carefully, as it’s very easy to burn things cooked under the broiler).

Serve cooked cheese puffs immediately (can keep warm under a layer of tinfoil for a few minutes, but the cheese and egg mixture will deflate a bit and the bread may soften slightly – the sooner this dish is served, the better).

Makes 8 appetizer sized portions or served 2-4 as part of a meal

Bon appétit!

December 13, 2010

Announcing the Vintage Twee Christmas ornament set winner!

My-oh-my! It’s a burr-inducing -15°C here in snow drenched Toronto this morning, and let me tell you, if that doesn’t put the spirit of winter into one’s heart, I don’t know what does! On this Christmas card-esque Monday, I had the fun task of selecting a randomly generated winner of the utterly beautiful vintage Twee ornament set draw that has been running here on Chronically Vintage since December 1st.

This terrific contest brought in over 40 comments, saw a flurry of Twitter activity, and I hope helped introduce many of you to the charming handmade, vintage inspired goods that this wonderful UK based line produces.

Without further ado, the lucky winner of this great giveaway was....comment number seven! Huge congrats to the winner, who just happens to be a lovely, highly talented gal named Rosy, whose blog (Sewingadicta) is a joyful place of sewing and vintage goodness (and inspiration) that any old school or craft lover should definitely swing by and check out.

{Here is a snapshot of today’s winner sporting an absolutely beautiful vintage look that she sewed herself (don’t you just adore the classic, elegant pairing of white, red and black?!), from one of her recent blog posts. Happiest congratulations on being the Vintage Twee giveaway winner, Rosy!} 

Many thanks to Alena from Vintage Twee for partnering with Chronically Vintage for this wonderful giveaway; it’s been a sincere pleasure getting to know you and your stellar line of handcrafts!

Thank you as well to everyone who took part in this giveaway! I had a marvellous time reading about the Christmas memories and traditions you shared with me, and very much appreciate your involvement in this Christmas contest. Many congrats again to Rosy, I hope that these gorgeous ornaments help to make your holiday season extra merry and bright! :)

December 8, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Recipe: Cherry Snowball Cookies

Hi, 2010, this is Jessica, care to explain how on earth you whizzed by so quickly? Ok, honestly this year wasn’t always as fast as grease lightning for me, but looking back at any year it almost always seems to have vanished faster than one can blink their mascara coated eyelashes. The particular happening today that made me reflect on just how incredibly quickly this year as rolled past was when I checked to see how long it had been since the last time we had an edition of the “Wonderful Wednesday” post, and discovered that it was way back in the sun-kissed days of early June!

Here we sit half a year later, snowflakes dive bombing themselves into my balcony, the screeching wind rattling every window and floorboard in my home, and June suddenly seems to far removed that it might as well be on a different planet.

Yet spring will return in a few months, and all years pass at their own unique speed - depending on our perception of time. While I won’t be lounging in any toasty sunshine for a while, that’s not the end of the world. There is much to love, celebrate and derive happiness from in this chilly time of the year – starting with the delicious splendours of holiday season baking!

Some of you may have started whipping up cookies, candied fruit studded cakes, bars, squares, pies, candies, and other treats already, whereas some of us may be holding off until the 25th draws a bit nearer. Either way, if you’re like me, you have a tried and true set of beloved holiday recipes, but also enjoy experimenting with new one sometimes.

In order to revive the “Wonderful Wednesday Recipe” (it won’t appear each week, but fingers crossed it won’t be MIA for six months again either!), I wanted to share one of my most treasured of Christmas recipes with you today.

This delightful, super easy to make (and relatively inexpensive) cookie (which is similar to a shortbread cookie) is one that appeared on my family’s holiday table every year when I was growing up. It’s a simple classic that pairs marvellously with other sweets on a dessert tray, as well as with warm beverages like hot chocolate or Irish coffee.

{There’s no denying that walnuts go splendidly with chocolate cake, as this charming illustration from 1925 suggests, however they can also do wonders for your holiday baking and are a key ingredients today’s Cherry Snowball Cookie recipe. Vintage Diamond Walnuts ad via eBay.} 

Homey, delicious, teaming with glistening little flecks of maraschino cherries, these festive morsels also make for a great last minute cookie when time is off the essence and you know a little in advance that you'll have a peckish crowd to feed (or simply want to bake an extra batch of cookies to have on hand for when company stops by).

Cherry Snowball Cookies

·         Ingredients

·         1 cup margarine, softened (but not melted)

·         ½ cup white (granulated) sugar

·         1 tsp vanilla extract

·         2 cups all-purpose flour

·         ½ tsp salt

·         1 cup chopped walnuts

·         ½ cup (though I’ve gone as generous as ¾ cup and the recipe still came out great) chopped, very well drained maraschino cherries

·         Sifted icing (powdered) sugar


Preheat your own to 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.

With an electric mixer or by hand in a large mixing bowl, thoroughly cream the margarine and white sugar together, then blend in the vanilla. Next add the salt and then the flour in three part increments, stirring well to combine ingredients after each addition.

Fold the nuts and cherries into the cookie dough, again stirring well to combine, and then place the dough (in the mixing bowl or other similar dish) in the fridge for at least one hour.

Remove dough from fridge and form into one inch sized balls. Place balls on an ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet, spacing them at least an inch apart (though these cookies do not spread out much at all, retaining their adorable snowball-esque round shape once baked). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, then remove cookies from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack.

While still warm, lightly dust icing (powdered) sugar over top of all of the cookies. Cool, and transfer to the airtight storage container of your choice (where these cookies should keep for at least five days). These delightful cookies can also be frozen (once baked), and stored for at least two months in a freezer-safe container.

Recipe yields approximately 40-45 cookies.

Bon appétit!

December 5, 2010

Chronically Vintage is feeling very loved

Recently I was contacted by two individuals who wanted to interview me about Chronically Vintage. One person’s questions were centered around my passion for all things vintage (with an emphasis on vintage fashion), the other’s had a bit more to do with what led me to blogging and what blogging has come to mean to my life.

I was thrilled and deeply touched that these two lovely ladies (who each run separate sites and contacted me independently from one another) wanted to share a bit about Chronically Vintage with their readers. I dove head first into answering their interview questions (both parties interviewed me via email) and had a thoroughly wonderful time exploring some of the deeper reasons behind subjects such as what got me interested in vintage, why I love vintage, and what brings me joy as a vintage blogger.

{Feeling especially warm and fuzzy on the vintage home front lately thanks to two fantastic interviews! Charming 1940s photo via Striderv on Flickr.}

Both of the interviews have gone live now, and I wanted to take a moment to share the links for them with you.

Over at website, you can read a good sized interview all about my lifelong love of vintage, some of things that inspire my passion for the past, my thoughts on vintage fashion, and even peer into my closet via a photograph of some of my vintage dresses. 

The second interview was with the absolutely wonderful Kathie for her blog “Just a Happy Housewife”. Kathie quizzed me about topics pertaining to what got me into blogging (about vintage), what I enjoy about blogging, and what I see in the future for Chronically Vintage, for one of the editions of her “Now Featuring” series of posts. 

I was tickled pink to receive not one, but two, interviews centered around Chronically vintage in November, and want sincerely thank both my lovely friend Kathie and immensely sweet Alena from Vintage Fashion Club for the thoughtful, insightful, highly enjoyable questions they poised to me. I think it’s awesome for all bloggers to periodically reflect on what got them into blogging in the first place, what they love about this fun activity, their passions, and where they see their blog in the future. These two interviews really helped me to do that this autumn.

Thank you to both of these great gals for your interviews, and thank you to all Chronically Vintage’s stellar readers as well for making me – and this blog – feel so tremendously loved all year round, thanks to your loyal readership, friendship, understanding, support, and shared love of all things old school, there’s no way Chronically Vintage would be what it is today without all of you!

December 1, 2010

Enter to win a beautiful set of handmade Christmas ornaments from Vintage Twee

We’ve made it, my dears, through the ups and the downs, the rough and the wonderful, we as a collective whole have pulled through eleven months of 2010 to reach today, the first of December. Whatever came before us is now a memory and what lies ahead is the splendour and joy of the holiday season.

To celebrate this most fantastic of months, Chronically Vintage has teamed up with UK based Vintage Twee to bring you the opportunity to win a four piece set of incredibly pretty Christmas ornaments that have been loving handcrafted from vintage materials.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of encountering Vintage Twee yet, this delightful line (which is available for sale on the Vintage Twee homepage, as well as on etsy) specializes in a range of elegant, timelessly lovely vintage home decor, table decor and paper craft items that are marvellously suited to special events such as weddings, holidays, showers, and tea parties. (Should you be after a custom order, Vintage Twee is happy to create the perfect vintage inspired decorative items for any event. Be sure to check out this page if you’re interested in placing a custom order.)

The items from this company (which include such treasures as paper roses, cupcake flags, party favour boxes, and darling paper fortune cookies) are constructed using a range of vintage materials from sheet music to lace, genuine old school love letters to feminine pearls. The general aesthetic of this line is one of traditional English charm and beauty (this pale hues, generous doses of romantic florals, etc), yet the pieces themselves would look perfectly at home in any vintage lover’s abode.

In the spirit of the holiday season, however, this giveaway is for a set of wonderful Christmas ornaments. Each bubble (which measures about 16 centimetres in diameter) is made with exquisite care and attention to detail, and will be sure to add a stellar dose of vintage charm to your holiday decor.

{Please note the actual set of ornaments that the winner will receive may differ slightly from the ones shown in the photos above, as each bubble is handmade from vintage materials which the company often only has small quantities of. However, I’ve been assured that the ornaments you receive will be very similar in every way to the ones pictured here.}

This contest (which is open to visitors worldwide) will run between today and Sunday December 12, 2010, 2010 (the giveaway will officially close at 11:59pm EST that night), with the lucky winner being selected (via a random number generator) – and announced here on Chronically Vintage – the following day.

How to enter

Entering this lovely giveaway couldn’t be any easier, simply do one or more of the following things to gain up to four entries for this great giveaway.

1.) Post a comment below in which you share one of your favourite holiday memories, how you decorate your house in vintage Christmas style, or anything else pertaining to this festive time of the year.

2.) Post about this giveaway, including a link back to this announcement post, on your own blog, telling your readers about this contest (if you'd like to use the photo mosaic above, please right click on it and save it to your desktop). Once you’ve written about the giveaway, come back here and let me know you’ve done so by leaving a comment with a link back to your post.

3.) Become a follower of Vintage Twee’s enchanting blog, which is filled with scores of wonderful posts centered which are around the items that the company produces, as well as a range of great vintage related topics.

4.) Spread the good word about this contest via Twitter or Facebook (you can find Vintage Twee on Twitter or Facebook). Again, be sure to jot down a comment letting me know you’ve done so.

Please feel free to enter the contest however many of the four ways you’d like, just be sure that you let me know about each entry in a separate comment, to better enhance your chances of winning (four comments for example, would give you four entries into the contest, thus four potential chances to win!). Please remember to post a separate comment for each entry!

I’m thrilled that the holiday season is upon us and that we can kick it off with this fun giveaway, which I hope will bring an extra dose of festive cheer to one lucky winner. Be sure to swing by Chronically Vintage on Monday December 13th to find out if your entry landed you in the winner’s seat for this enchantingly beautiful set of vintage holiday ornaments from Vintage Twee.

Thank you very much for entering and best of luck to everyone who enters this lovely Christmas season giveaway!