August 31, 2012

You and me going fishing in the dark

Lazy yellow moon comin' up tonite,
Shinin' thru the trees,
Crickets are singin' and lightning bugs
Are floatin on the breeze Baby get ready.....

Night fishing in Oliver, vintage outfit with koi brooches, Chronically Vintage, image 2

Outfit details

Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Black and white gingham hair scarf
Black sash waist blouse: Zellers
Koi fish brooches: eBay
Orange bangle bracelet: Forever 21
Wood bangle: yard sale (I think)
Black bangle: Claire's
White skinny belt: eBay
Denim capri pants: Nine West
Black bow adorned flats: Payless
Lip colour: Red Apple Lipstick's Red

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

Night fishing in Oliver, vintage outfit with koi brooches, Chronically Vintage, image 3
Night fishing in Oliver, vintage outfit with koi brooches, Chronically Vintage, image 5
 Night fishing in Oliver, vintage outfit with koi brooches, Chronically Vintage, image 1
Night fishing in Oliver, vintage outfit with koi brooches, Chronically Vintage, image 4
There are few people I've ever met in my whole life who work as hard as my husband does. Lest you think I'm biased, on top of his demanding full time job with a multi-national tech company, he runs several successful websites and blogs, and has authored two (terrific) tech books in the past four years (plus he’s also involved with a myriad of other online projects).

For years I've sweetly been telling him that I wished he'd take up a hobby (he had outside interests of course, just not always the time and means to pursue them) and give himself the occasional break from all that diligent work.

Thankfully (because we all know that being a workaholic can eventually wear even the most resilient soul down) this year - in no small part to the fact that we now live in B.C. and have a car, Tony was able to get back into a hobby that was near and dear to his heart when he was a youngster growing up in Italy. As you may have guessed from the title of this post and the grainy night time iPhone photos above, the would be fishing.

In the evenings and on the weekends, whenever possible, Tony has spent much of this (mostly) toasty Okanagan summer fishing up a storm. By and large he's a catch and release kind of guy who enjoys fishing for just about anything and everything that swims in the abundance of lakes around these parts (he especially likes going after carp though, which are not as popular in Canada as some other fish like bass, salmon, and trout, but which he used to fish in Italy and really likes going after).

I don't fish myself (due to my health, I don't usually have the upper body strength or stamina required), but every now and then, I'll have a day when I'm well enough to go out and accompany Tony on one of his trips as his trusty companion while he fishes to his heart’s content.

Such was the case on the gorgeous evening earlier this summer (about a month ago) when we bopped around some of the surrounding areas, stopping first at Yellow Lake outside of town (no bites - but we did see an adorable little turtle and dozens of pretty dragonflies), and then proceeding on to a little lake in the nearby town of Oliver called Tuc-el-Nuit.

There on the tree line shores Tony cast his rod as the sun set and a warm breeze enveloped us. In the spirit of the day, I wore my three koi fish brooches (I madly adore koi!) in the hopes that they'd bring us success. No dice, but it didn't matter, we were just happy to spend a few hours together in the great outdoors amongst some of the loveliest scenery one could ever hope to encounter.

On most of his other fishing excursions he’s fared far better, so perhaps there's good luck in just owning these cute brooches. I'm so, so pleased that Tony now has this fun activity in his life again as a way to help him unwind and relax from both work and the daily grind, no matter if he goes out at 6am or 7pm (the latter of which, as it's usually cooler at night, I much prefer when I'm tagging along).

You and me going fishing in the dark,
Lying on our backs and counting the stars
Where the cool grass grows.
Down by the river in the full moon light,
We'll be fallin' in love in the middle of the night
Just movin' slow... Stayin' the whole night thru,
feels so good to be with you...

(Lyrics from Fishing In The Dark by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

Night fishing in Oliver, vintage outfit with koi brooches, Chronically Vintage, image 6

August 29, 2012

Welcoming harvest season with Cornpatch Meat Balls

There's a radiant, immensely beautiful quality to the light that accompanies these last precious days of August. It glistens like freshly polished gold and envelopes one mind, body and soul, comforting like a warm bath and instilling serenity like the stillest of ponds. When the light takes on this hearty, elegant quality, I am often reminded of childhood days spent at my maternal grandparents' house when I was a little girl, as their backyard corn harvest neared picking time.

Amongst the tomatoes, cucumbers, and grape trees, to the right of my grandma's trusty wash line stood a patch of corn, swaying like starry-eyed teenagers at a school dance, in the breeze that seemed to travel across the towns from the Pacific ocean and land in their humble little Haney yard.

Every year, without fail, when the corn was ready to be picked and enjoyed, we head over to grandma and grandpa's for an afternoon of harvesting and an evening of roasting, a tall bonfire cracking away, and that sublime August heat accompanying every sweet, crunchy, butter drenched bite of corn on the cob.

My grandfather passed away when I was just six years old, effectively putting an end to this lovely annual tradition, which I'm grateful that I got to experience (and can clearly remember) a few times in my life. No doubt influenced by those formative years, whenever August draws to a close, I find myself craving corn more so than at any other time of the year.

Thankfully, even if it doesn't come from my grandparents' backyard any more, there is still a lot of terrific fresh corn to be had in British Columbia, and one rarely has to go further than the nearest produce stand or grocery store to find some top-notch cobs. If you're area isn't famed for its corn, or if you're looking for a corn recipe that can be whipped on a moment's notice any time of the year, then you're in luck!

With a name that can't help but call to mind the changing of the seasons, Cornpatch Meat Balls are quick, filling, and a cinch to make. These tasty little morsels can be made with any ground meat (or a mixture of different meats) that you like (pork and beef are always wonderful together, but turkey or chicken would also be delicious) and have the added fun of being stuffed with tiny cubes of cheese, before being cooked and nestled down into a bed (so hence the "patch" part of this recipe's name) of canned corn.

Vintge cornpatch meat ball recipe, canned corn 
{Perfect for a small family dinner or large crowd alike, this vintage recipe for Cornpatch Meat Balls can be made any time of the year, so long as you've got some canned on hand. Image via Curly-Wurly on Flickr. Click here for a larger version.}

I think this recipe sounds great as it is, but of course you could play around with the seasonings (curry powder instead of the chili would be a yummy idea), vegetables, or other ingredients however you like. If American cheese isn't your favourite, why not slip in tiny pieces of sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, melty provolone, or tangy Roquefort?

This great 1940s dish is pretty much a meal unto itself, though if you're looking to pad out diner further, a salad of fresh greens and mixed herbs in a light, zingy vinaigrette, or alternatively, slices of ripe watermelon or cantaloupe would be a terrific accompaniment.

Corn is a classic, much loved food and one that is as tied to the end of summer as that sublimely lovely golden sunlight, which just happens to share a hue with this excellent vegetable and always reminds me of those last few days of the season before school starts and the ebb and flow of autumn life returns once more.  All the more reason, I do believe, to enjoy as much of it right now as possible.

August 27, 2012

Savouring summer at the Sicamous

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 1

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 4

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 6

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 9

Tugboat Okanagan Lake, Penticton, British Columbia during the summer, image 2

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 5

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 7

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 8

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 3

Frothy water on the Penticton River Channel

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 11

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 10

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 2

Tugboat Okanagan Lake, Penticton, British Columbia during the summer

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 12

S.S. Sicamous Penticton, vintage nautical inspired look, Jessica Cangiano, image 13

Outfit details

Red hair flower with feathers: Arden
Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Silver toned hoop earrings: Claire’s
Czech glass bead and plastic anchor charm necklace: Handmade by me (ages ago)
White cardigan: Suzy Shier
Red ruched neck tee: Forever 21
Vintage denim circle skirt: etsy seller Here Lies Boots Vintage
Red vintage purse: etsy seller I Love Vintage Stuff
Dark blue bangle bracelets: Local annual curling club flea market
Thicker red bangle: Forever 21
Thin red and white bangles: etsy seller Me She Designs
Aqua bangle: Claire's
Red and white stripped wedge sandals: Payless (years upon years ago)
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Antonio Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥

Penticton is a town sandwiched neatly between two lakes. On the south end one finds the smaller of the pair, Skaha, and on the north side the mighty Okanagan, stretching onward for an impressive 135km. While each certainly have their merits, of the two, Okanagan Lake has always been my favourite, and it is certainly where I spent far more childhood days with my toes in the sand and surf alike.

On the far west end of Okanagan Lake, docked and out of water travel commission for several decades now, you encounter a slice of the beloved past in the form of a paddlewheel boat by the name of the SS Sicamous. Once one of the largest ships to ply the waters between Penticton and all other towns and communities along the lake's hefty border, the Sicamous was a vital part of life in the Okanagan during the early days of the twentieth century.

As time wore on however, railway lines, modern roads, and later the construction of local airports all conspired to help put paddlewheel boats (be they for the transportation of passengers, mail, or goods) out of service in this part of British Columbia. While the Sicamous' fate was questionable for a while after she was put on grounded, thankfully a group of local citizens saw to it that she was permanently docked on shore to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike as a museum and event hall.

Instead of floating passengers up and down the mighty Okanagan, for many years now the Sicamous has served as a local landmark and can be visited throughout much of the year for a small fee (or rented for events). As with most pieces with age to their name (especially those made largely from wood), the SS Sicamous needs an ongoing dose of repairs and maintenance to ensure she remains safe and presentable for all those who come to spend time on her sturdy decks.

For as long as Penticton has been in my life (so pretty much from the get-go), I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Sicamous, and often daydreamed as a child playing mere feet away in the warm waters of Okanagan Lake, what it must have been like to travel on her during her heyday.

It was with no small amount of elation then that I learned earlier in the year that my parent's renovation company, Ricklyn Renos would be doing work this summer on the Sicamous. The reno repairs/improvements they've been making are terrific, and will go a long way in helping to ensure that the Sicamous continues to sit majestically on the shores of Okanagan Lake for many years to come.

While I'd certainly stepped foot on the Sicamous before throughout my life for various events and simply to visit, before this year I'd never had a family connection to one of the area's most impressive and important pieces of history.

With that thought in mind, one gloriously sunny summer day not too long ago, as the afternoon hours slowly burned into early evening, Tony and I hopped in the car and shot some photos near the once powerful paddlewheel of the Sicamous, as well as the surrounding area, including the charming little vintage tugboats that are located beside the great ship they once helped traverse the waters of Okanagan Lake.

These images bring a smile to my face and heart alike, for they capture not only the spirit of summer's golden beauty, but also some of the grandeur and elegance of of the SS Sicamous and a time when water travel was vital to the area's economy, growth, and daily life. Which I'm now honoured to say,  my own parents have had a small role in helping to preserve for generations of locals and visitors alike to discover, enjoy and daydream about - just as I long have - too.

S.S. Sicamous paddle wheel Penticton, Okanagan Lake

August 25, 2012

Saturday Snapshots: August 25, 2012

{There's happiness on their faces for sure, but given the date ('43) and his military uniform, one can't help but wonder what other emotions lurked under their smiling veneers.}

{Given the seats these sweet little girls - and their darling doll - are in, I'd venture to guess this image was snapped at a movie theater, but other spots such as a community centre or school auditorium are certainly possibilities too.}

The only information provided for this photo is, "Dorothy in Florida", which gives us a person and place - good starting points for sure - but beyond that, not being an expert on Florida's tourist attractions in the 50s, I'm not sure sure where this fun shot was captured. Any ideas?}

{The hardworking ladies and gents of the Long Beach Terminal, Fairbanks Yard, during the 1950s.}

{A young couple poses for a snap in their front yard, with mom-to-be on the right sporting a seriously cute polka dot scarf tied in a bow around her neck.}

{If toy dolls, like the one the girls in the photo earlier in this post, are symbolic of mid-century childhood for gals, then sci-fi inspired playthings like the ray gun this youngster is shooting speak volumes of the toys that little boys of the era played with day in and day out.}

{Sporting a lovely floral print short sleeved 1940s dress that I would wear in a heartbeat, a woman stands confidently and somewhat seriously for a portrait that may have been captured in a professional studio or at home with a cloth pinned up as a backdrop. Time however has lost such details, just as this lady remains nameless to us, though her beauty and powerful eyes live on and keep us wondering about who she was and what was on her mind that day.}

{Then as now, a wedding reception just wouldn't be a wedding reception if at least one silly dance didn't transpire! :)}

{Hugs, saddle shoes, cloth pegs, and a star sticker that someone applied on top of this photo at some point, jump out at you as you gaze at these 1940s sweethearts.}

{Four 1950s ladies try their hand at burro riding while on vacation (I'd venture to guess to Mexico). Save perhaps for the woman second from the left, none of the people or the animals seem to be having to fun of a time though. Nevertheless, it did make for a great holiday photo that we're still enjoying decades later.}

{All images above are from Flickr. To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be 
taken to its respective Flickr page.}

♥ ♥ ♥

Part dreamer, part realist, and often headstrong, I've long been a fan of starting new adventures, prospects, and opportunities, be they of the smallest scale or grander than one can even begin fathom at the time of starting out. There are countless things in the world just waiting for us to try them out, on, or for a spin for the very first time.

In striving for the new and unknown, or finally embarking on something familiar you've thought about for a good long while, you expand your horizon, your bank of memories, and ultimately change your life to some degree. Not everything that one attempts will be a ravishing success, nor will you necessarily end up loving or caring about it in the long run. That rarely matters, what counts is reaching, trying, attempting and hoping as you venture through your days.

Sometimes we overthink new beginnings - or the notion of even trying something unknown out for the first time. We may feel like the timing or other circumstances is wrong, and though such can certainly be the case at times, more often then not the hardest part lies not in the details of what is to come, but in having the courage, conviction, and optimism to simply start.

A little earlier this summer I made the decision to finally embark on a project that I'd been bouncing around in my head for nothing less than five years. Do I know if it will ultimately work out, be all that I hope it will be, and become a key part of my world? No, no one can possibly know for sure what the future has up its sleeve, but I'm hopeful and am taking plenty of steps to help this goal come to fruition and then, with plenty of elbow grease and luck, flourish. Though I'll remain tight-lipped about it at this stage as to just what that project is, I can tell you that you'll be hearing and seeing more about it here a little later in the year (if all goes as planned).

Summer has always seemed like an ideal time to start something new to me. Perhaps it's because wherever you look, the world just seems so fantastically alive, energetic, cheerful and hopeful. Whatever the case, if there's anything - be it something as a easy as a trying out a new restaurant you've been eyeing or as impactful as going back to school at the age of sixty - that you've been debating giving a shot lately, from the bottom of my heart I encourage you to take the plunge right along side me, as we enrich our lives together at the same time.


As I know that - like myself - many of you love to pin, repost, use quotes on Tumblr or Facebook and the like, starting today (and for every future edition of Saturday Snapshots from here on out), all quotes that appear in Saturday Snapshots will be images that you can pin or download for your own use anywhere you'd like.

August 23, 2012

Ann's absolutely beautiful 1950s Ladies' fashion scans

Without a doubt some of the sweetest, nicest, absolute most friendly people I've ever encountered in my whole life have been within the vintage blogging community. We're a wide spread, yet close knit group, and the sense of camaraderie that unites us - no matter one’s particular area interest when it comes to the past - is a beautiful and inspiring thing.

From time-to-time one of the wonderful readers of this blog will contact me by email to share vintage images that they've picked up over the years. Sometimes it's a few priceless family photos, others a unique piece of ephemera (from railway tickets to cigarette cards), and periodically I'll find vintage scans waiting, like the awesome gift that they are, in my inbox.

This past spring, the latter event occurred when Ann from the delightful blog Haddock and Dill (mid-century history lovers, be sure to pay Ann a visit, trust me, you'll love what you find!), shared a selection of images with me that she had scanned from the March 1952 issue of Ladies' Home Journal magazine.

These scans depict that kind of sublimely pretty early-50s spring fashions that I can never get enough, bursting  as they are with a bevy of fitted silhouettes, tapered skirts, swingy coats, perfectly coifed hair, elegant gloves, pristinely perfect make-up, and chic hats.

I really do believe that these looks are far too marvelous to keep all to myself, and I've been wanting to share them with you since the moment they arrived.

Today, right in the middle of the week, when a good many of us need a hefty pick-me-up to keep us climbing over the hump that is Wednesday, seemed like the perfect time to do just that. Without further ado, allow me to show you Ann's fantastic 1950s fashion scans.

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952 cover, vintage fashion red coat

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 3

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 1

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 2

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 5

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 4

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 7

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 6

{Hands down this gorgeously feminine pink and black look is my favourite of the lot.}

Ladie's Home Journal March 1952, vintage fashion scan 8

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you very much for thinking of me and sending these sophisticated 1950s looks my way, dear Ann. It was deeply thoughtful of you to do so, and I'm sure that everyone here will enjoy seeing - and garner as much inspiration from - them as I did.

August 21, 2012

It was a dark and stormy night at Polson Park

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_10

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_8

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_5

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_1

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_4

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_7

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_3

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_2

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_6

1950s novety print tobacco shop vintage dress, Jessica Cangiano, Polson Park, Vernon, image_9

Outfit details

1940s flower adorned white straw hat: etsy seller JLVintage
Faux pearl earrings: Claire's   
Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Pearl necklace: Birthday gift from my husband ♥
1950s novelty print cotton dress: eBay
Olive green gloves: eBay or etsy
Orange bangle and cream/stone bangle: both from the local curling club’s annual flea market
Olive green and taupe bangles: etsy seller RecycleBuyVintage
Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro
Black seemed nude stockings: eBay
Black pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

♥ ♥ ♥ if one would expect anything else from this usually soggy summer! But I'm getting ahead of myself here - first let's chat about Polson Park, the location where the vintage outfit snaps in today's post were taken.

Located right at the beginning of the lovely Okanagan town of Vernon (which is a bit north of Kelowna), Polson Park is a sprawling spot made up of numerous hectors of green grass, a community bandstand/stage, a pond, playgrounds, a creak, the local Community Arts Centre, and several other interesting sights and activities, including a very user friendly network of walking paths.

Founded over 100 years ago (in 1908 to be exact) Polson Park is one of, if not to my mind, the most beautiful and inviting community parks in the whole Okanagan. In fact, I'd venture to say it's my second favourite park in the whole province (Stanley Park in Vancouver ranks first), as it's a wonderful oasis of greenery and community life in the middle of a rather arid, desert-like environment. Oh, and it has swans, which I adore to no end.

On the day we visited earlier this summer however (Tony's inaugural visit and my first in well over a decade), the darling swans were no where to be seen (which was a tad ironic as I'd been telling Tony for years about how it was famous for its beautiful swan population). What was everywhere however, was scads of rain and plenty of storm clouds. The temperatures were low. So low in fact, that had the wind been stronger, it would have felt rather akin to the freezing day we encountered back at the start of May.

This visit was an impromptu one, spurred on by the (local) wanderlust that often comes over Tony and I when we get in the car, so we arrived fairly late (around 7pm, I think)  in the evening, and decided to chance our luck with the rain. It stopped just long enough for us to grab some photos in two spots: a charming stone wishing well and a darling little wooden bridge that spans the creek that runs through the park.

It should be noted that I love the 1950s dress I’m wearing here. I mean really, really, really love it. More than just the fun, somewhat quirky tobacco shop themed novelty print, it is the cut that endears me to it something fierce. It's rare that I put on a dress (be it new or vintage, though I do have better luck in this department with vintage frocks) and fits me like a glove.

The shoulder seams fall where they should, the waistline hits me at my waist, the hem length is perfect, the bust doesn't pull or (alternatively) abound with excess fabric, and the whole dress just feels right (if that makes sense). If I had the skills and know-how to do such a thing, I'd be mighty inclined to make a pattern from this dress and sew about seven hundred of them in varying hues and fabrics (in the meantime, I’ll just keep tossing pennies into that well and wishing for tons of vintage dresses that fit this splendidly right off the rack).

After a few minutes on the bridge, the rain started pouncing down again like mad so we hightailed it to the car, drove around Vernon for a little while (being so late at night - by small town business hours, that is), before heading back towards Penticton.

Hopefully we'll get back up that way considerably earlier in the day sometime soon, as I know Vernon has at least a couple of antique stores, as well as some thrift shops, that I'd just love to visit - hopefully on a sunnier, warmer day. Though when it comes to the prospect of old school treasures, I like to think I can stare down anything Mother Nature wants to throw at me and live to tell (blog) the tale! Smile


August 19, 2012

Have you seen the latest issue of Vintage Lifestyle Magazine?

If you have, then you may have noticed that on page 46 there just happens to be a photograph of someone you might recognize: me!

I've been a big fan of Vintage Living Magazine - a South Africa based online vintage fashion magazine that excels at delivering sublimely pretty and very inspiring images and articles with each new issue - since they launched at the end of 2010, and usually flip through each digital version with a cup of mint tea in hand, kitty on my lap, and swoon after swoon being heard as I devour each page.

As such I nearly jumped through the roof with happiness when, recently, I was contacted by the fine folks there and asked if I'd like to submit some photos of myself to be considered for publication in an upcoming issue. They opted for one that many of you may recall from last spring, that was shot in an beautiful apple blossom filled orchard in East Kelowna.

A screenshot of the page I'm on in Vintage Lifestyle Magazine

{A screenshot of the page I was a part of in the most recent issue of Vintage Lifestyle Magazine. Click on the image to be taken to the magazine, so you can enjoy each scrumptiously lovely page yourself.}

This photo is one of my all-time favourites that Tony has taken of me, so I'm especially touched to know that a part of both of us got to be included in such an estimable publication. I'm not sure who the stylish gal is beside me on the same page, but it looks like we share a similar style and would likely hit it off big time.

If you're not already a reader, I definitely recommend you check them out. This beautiful, truly high quality publication is completely free to enjoy online, and is bound to become one of your favourite digital reads, too.

I wholeheartedly appreciate being featured in Vintage Lifestyle Magazine, especially since I just found I out I was a part of this issue last week, on a day when I felt quite ill and truly needed the kind of pick-me-up this wonderful news brought my way.

Thank you, Vintage Lifestyle Magazine, you've made me one exceedingly happy vintage loving gal!

August 17, 2012

There's just something about August

...That seems to ensure I fall ill during some part, or all of, the month each year.

The causes and culprits are often different (or at least a bit variable from year-to-year), but after being quite sick with a bad flare-up of one of my GI conditions for nearly two weeks straight now, I woke up this morning and was struck my how many Augusts pasts I've been in a similar boat (which might be a coincidence, but worth noting nevertheless).

Interestingly, my next thought (and please don't read anything morbid or foretelling into this, I'm not implying such) was how, in a roundabout way, that reminds me of an interesting point I discovered quite early on in my life as a family genealogist. It seems, I found, that when adding names and dates of death to my tree, if the person was middle aged or older, and lived prior to about 100 years ago, there was an exceedingly high chance they passed away during the winter.

At first I thought this much just be a bit of a string of coincidental dates of death, but time and time again, with names (from various bloodlines and folks hailing from different areas of Europe and North America) spanning centuries back, it became very obvious that that a much larger percentage of people passed away during the winter than throughout the rest of the year.

I've tried researching this point to see if others have noticed in their own trees, too, but haven't yet found too much out there on the topic. Of course not everyone in my tree perished at the first sign of snow, but if we think back to the world as it was two or three (or more) hundred years ago, it makes sense that those who might have already been weakened by illness or age succumbed during the coldest, roughest months of the year (when, to boot, their diet was often less healthy and/or plentiful than during the warmer seasons).

Extreme temperatures, no matter which side of the scale they fall on, can be hard on even the most rugged, healthy, and able-bodied amongst us, and are certainly trying on many with weak immune systems and/or serious health problems.

For those who are curious, I noticed that the season in which one passes away has become more varied (at least within my own family tree) over the past hundred to a hundred and twenty-five years ago, no doubt a point that coincides with advances in medicine, as well with other improvements (better indoor heating systems, plumbing, etc) that society has undergone in recent years.

There are many, many beautiful elements of summer and August that I adore, some of which you've certainly seen me wax poetically about in posts here over the years, but the fact that August tends to me I'll put out of commission for a hefty chunk of it, is not one I'm keen to sing praises about!

August 1944 cover of Woman and Home magazine, vintage woman riding a bike

{Beautiful flowers, bright days, outdoor excursions, warm weather fashions – all points to adore about August. It’s odd propensity to make feel ill, not so much! Vintage 1940s Woman and Home magazine cover via totallymystified on Flickr.}

Oh well, it's Friday, and I’m hoping (though I strongly suspect it's a pipedream this week) that I might wake up feeling oodles better tomorrow and be up for some garage saling this weekend. That sure would be great, as I haven't gotten to nearly as many over the last two months as we did throughout May and June, and I’ve have been missing it fiercely.

Today though, I'll just ride out another day of feeling less than stellar, enjoy the sunshine that's flooding through the window, and look forward rather eagerly to September's return! Smile

August 15, 2012

Cool la la, it's Magic Florida Lime Icebox Cake!

Has this summer been the absolute toastiest one of my whole life? Thankfully, no, but it hasn't been the chilliest either, especially now that we're well and properly half way into August, a time of the year that is more than a little bit famous for its sweltering temperatures.

Given that many of us are presently watching the mercury climb so high it makes scaling Mt. Everest look like hopping over a molehill, I thought you might enjoy another fantastic ice cold vintage recipe today. This one from 1957 just happens to feature my all-time favourite citrus fruit, the humble, wildly zingy little lime.

I've always enjoyed the taste and scent of lime, perhaps in part because I tend to favour the underdog and/or less common ingredients, and lime (though popular in classic Key Lime Pie and wedged into bottles of Corona), doesn't get a massive amount of play in Canadian cuisine.

While others were die-hard fans of varieties such as Dr. Pepper and Raspberry (both admittedly terrific, too), as a youngster my Lip Smacker's flavour of choice was always lime, which came wrapped in a pretty, sparkly green tub and was so invigorating to dab on my lips before heading off to school.

Today's 1950s recipe is every bit as as refreshing and gorgeously scented as that was, and unlike like lip balm, you are thoroughly encouraged to tuck into a generous portion of Magic Florida Icebox Cake!

1950s frozen icebox lime pie, vintage recipe

{While the text on this awesome 1950s frozen lime pie recipe is a definitely bit on the small side, fear not, if you click here you can see a larger version - which is a very good thing, because I think every citrus fan the world over should get a chance to cool off care of this scrumptious treat sometime this month. Vintage recipe image via Charm and Poise on Flickr.}

Though this recipe is bit more like a frozen pie or what's sometimes referred to just as a "freeze", I have no qualms with calling anything sweet that you make a pan a cake during these crayons-melting days of mid-August.

If you're not too keen on lime, or would simply rather opt for another citrus flavour, I'm quite certain that you'd have marked success if you gave this recipe a spin with lemon (especially Meyer Lemon), orange, blood orange, tangerine, pink grapefruit, mandarin orange, or yuzo (adjusting the type of frozen juice/lemonade concrete used as needed).

Perhaps it's the associate that one makes in their mind with this tranquil hue and mint, but there's just something instantly cooling about the sight of seeing soft, sweet green, such as the colour of this classic citrus infused icebox dessert.

One bite in and you'll no doubt be feeling considerably more refreshed, too, especially if you're slogging through the tail end of the dog days of summer right about now and really need an easy, completely delicious frozen dessert to help get you through until autumn returns.

August 14, 2012

Mother may I?

...Use your garden to take vintage outfit photos in. Yes? Thank you!

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 4

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 6

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 3

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 9

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 11

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 5

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 10

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 2

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 8

Jessica Cangiano turquoise and white 1950s dress, garden vintage photo shoot, image 1

Outfit details

White hair flowers: Arden

Adorable sterling silver and Swarovski crystal kitty necklace: gift from my husband ♥
Silver coloured heart earrings: Claire’s

Grey shrug sweater: Sears

1950s turquoise gingham wiggle dress: etsy seller Adeline's Attic Vintage
White skinny belt: eBay
1950s blue gloves: eBay

Aqua hued plastic bangle bracelets: Claire's

Skinny white bangle: etsy seller Me She Designs

Skinny grey bangle: etsy seller RecycleBuyVintage

Nude seamed stockings: eBay

White pumps: Payless

Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace 

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

♥ ♥ ♥

My parents have an absolutely beautiful garden in their backyard, which they've loving cultivated since moving their current home a few years ago. Spring after spring, they've continued to build and decorate their yard (complete with a thoroughly awesome little stream that one turns the water on or off for with the flick of a switch), and it is a sight to beyond - and enjoy a spell of serenity in - for sure.

While over visiting one (surprise, surprise) rainy day, between downpours and before tucking into a meal together, Tony and I popped into the backyard to snap some photos against a wall at the base of their deck that is festooned with gorgeous tangerine-coral hued honeysuckle. Given the rather generous sized white bloom in my hair, it made oodles of sense to partner this look with a floral background.

This wonderful 1950s dress, which I bought a few months ago from Adeline's Attic Vintage (which is run by the marvelous lady behind the blog Tea with the Vintage Baroness), is a definitely favourite for me, as it combine three things I just adore: the colour turquoise, plaid, and a streamlined silhouette. Though it's technically a tad too big for me, all it takes is a little fabric folding in the back and a belt to make it look like like it's my perfect size.

The rain quickly struck up again a few minutes later, so it's a good thing that we took advantage of the brief lull while we could. Not having a proper garden of my own and loving flowers dearly, it is such a glorious treat to spend time in my parent's enchantingly pretty backyard, where floral colour combo inspiration and tranquility both abound in (gardening) spades.