June 30, 2015

Vintage Link Love for June 2015

Nope, no way, no how, we can't seriously have reached the halfway point in the year already. That seems borderline impossible, does it not? And yet, hard as it may to wrap our lovely minds around, that we have.

I generally like to save my summaries of the year and how it played out until the end - or at least a fair bit closer to it, so I'll refrain from such for now. But I will say that the first half of the year has been truly mixed bag of highs and lows, good and bad, stresses and points of joy.

It hasn't, for the most part, played out how I foresaw in the slightest (for example, we had no idea going into it or late -spring, for that matter, that Tony would be headed to the States for work all summer long). Sometimes that's a good thing, others not so much. It is what it is though and ultimately I okay with where the year is at so far.

I may be singing a different tune come six months from now, though I certainly hope not. I often find the second half of the year to better than the first and really do have my fingers crossed that such will be the case this time around.

Right now though, summer is out in full force (yippee!), there's more sunshine than you shake a beach umbrella at, and my birthday is less than two weeks away - plus I've been listing up a huge storm in my Etsy shop this month, with over 180 new vintage items landing on the virtual shelves there in June alone - so I'm a happy, very productive camper at the moment.

Today on Canada Day Eve (yes, that's a thing - in my books at least! :D), let's take a moment before we launch into July and enjoy some of the fascinating, informative, inspiring and just plain fun stories that have caught my eye in recent weeks. I hope that you guys find them to be every bit as engaging as I did!

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How to turn a t-shirt into a Bardot top: Gemma shows us a dead simple, no-sewing required way to take a run of the mill t-shirt and transform it into an alluring, arguably far lovelier, off-the-shoulder Bardot inspired top. Believe me, you'll never look at a ho-hum tee the same way again!

Your Life On Earth So Far: Tony recently shared this interactive BBC website with me and suffice it to say, history and cool fact lover that I am, I was more than a little captivated by it. You impute your date of birth and then, presto, a whole slew of fascinating information regarding what has happened on earth so far in your life pops up. Love it!!!

How the last American Civil War veterans lived, loved and died: Though I am a Canadian and have no strong family connections (that I'm aware of) to the Civil War, its multi-faceted history, widespread brutality, horrible loss of life, and the nation that emerged in its wake have always fascinated me, as have images like those in this great Mashable/Retronaut post highlighting the lives of some of the longest living veterans from this bloody US conflict.

How a Makeup Mogul Liberated Women by Putting Them in a Pretty New Cage: This in-depth, rivetingly engaging post from Collector's Weekly delves into the life and work, social impact and lasting impressions of beauty industry pioneer, Helena Rubinstein, and will have you transfixed and fascinated from start to finish.

20 truths about being a full-time blogger: My neck practically hurt by the end of this spot on post from The Travel Hack from all the vigorous nodding in agreement I was doing (though I do differ from the author in some areas, such as that a far greater amount of my working time is taken up with writing posts than she says she spends on that area). Whether you're a professional or hobbyist blogger, if you're doing it on a full time level (and perhaps even a dedicated part-time one as well), chances are you'll be able to relate and nod alone, too - big time.

I was given just 15 months to live: One of the most rewarding elements for me of blogging is the fact that it causes my path to cross with such a vast array of people around the world. Many are vintage lovers themselves, but not all are. Some discover my blog due to other topics that I've covered here before, such as places I've traveled to, genealogy research, or medical related posts.

In the case of the latter, I recently had the great pleasure and honour of getting to know a truly inspiring cancer survivor named Heather Von St. James (pictured below with her husband and daughter), who developed pleural mesothelioma and was given just a few months to live. Truly thankfully, Heather beat the odds (and they were stacked against here, big time) and is not only still with us a decade later, but going strong and helping others who affected by mesothelioma and cancer in general. I encourage you to visit her site, read her story, and be every bit as inspired as I was by this courageous woman and her indomitable spirit.

The #1 reason why you never have anything to wear: From the popular mainstream fashion site Grit & Glamour comes this interesting look at what the author thinks in the top reason so many of stand in full of our bulging closets and bemoan that we have nothing to wear. Do you agree with this take on things?

Pinup: The Movie: We're I a documentarian (a job that I would actually love to do beyond measure), I would definitely create a doc about the vintage world. I am not however, but thankfully Kathleen Ryan is and she's currently creating a film all about the history of pinup culture and its roll to this day in American society. Check out the exciting trailer for "Pinup: The Movie" (click on the link at the start of this entry) and then buzz on over to their Kickstarter page, if so desired, to help it become a full-on reality thanks to crowd sourced funding.

How To DIY Your Own Vintage Hair Tie: From Bonita's beautiful blog Lavender & Twill comes this terrific, super easy tutorial for making your own (awesome!) vintage style hair ties, like the gem that she created that’s  pictured below.

10 Tips to Buy Vintage Online: This is a topic that I get a lot of questions about and which I've certainly chatted about before, but I haven't compiled my best tips in one super handy post yet, so I was thrilled when I saw that the always lovely Nora had done just that in this great entry. Her "in the know" post is a must for vintage newcomers and veterans alike.

The 20 most influential fashion bloggers of 2015: Though, as touched on above, I wouldn't be one to sum things up quite yet for this year, plenty of blogs and websites already making lists lauding the best of the best for this year. This article from Fashionista.com does just that with mainstream fashion bloggers, and especially since I'm a vintage fashion blogger myself, I found it very interesting to see who made their cut and who was surprisingly absent from this roundup of wildly influential big names in the style blogging world.

The Boyer Sister's New Album Has Dropped: Many of you may be familiar with the sweet, lovely, talented trio of young women called the Boyer Sisters (pictured below) who together run a great vintage lifestyle blog, but did you know that all three of them happen to be hugely talented and very accomplished musicians as well, whose brand new album - a toe tapping, gorgeously sung selection of classic, highly popular mid-century swing tunes - was just released this month? Now you do and now you can download it for yourself. Believe me, you'll want to - it's sensational!

{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.}

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July promises, as this month usually is for me, to be a busy, exciting, action packed one, with plenty of work, but no shortage of fun as well.

Coming in as my second favourite month of the year, topped only by October (Canadian Thanksgiving! Our wedding anniversary! Halloween!), July is a glorious time of the year. It's awesomely warm - which I adore - and almost surreally beautiful. Sandwiched squarely in the middle of summer, it's a merry, blissful time that could happily last forever - or at least nearly so - if such were possible.

{Three massive cheers for July and all the beauty, radiance, and leisurely loveliness it houses. Vintage Vogue magazine cover image source.}

It is not however, so instead, let's all get out there and try to enjoy it to the very fully while it's still here. For as quickly as we have reached the halfway point of 2015, we'll be at the end of the year and up to our perfectly groomed eyebrows in snow and Christmas decorations again, which, I don't know about you, but I'm in no hurry to rush into (at all!).

To all my fellow Canucks, have a truly joyful Canada Day celebration tomorrow - and to one and all, I wish you a sun-kissed, sensationally lovely July from start to finish!

June 29, 2015

Ten fabulous assorted vintage treasures from Buy R Vintage Junk

Yard sales around these parts lately have left much to be desired a lot of the time. In fact, I haven't bought a single thing at any of the ones I've visited so far year and that's saying a great deal right there. Granted, I'm on the prowl for mid-century (and early) vintage and antiques first and foremost, but for the right price, I'll buy newer items, if I need them, too. Nothing has swayed me to dip into my pocket of jangling coins quite yet though and this is definitely the furthest into the season that this has happened before.

Chances are, I will find a few vintage goodies on the yard sale (and flea market) front before the season wraps up in early autumn, but for now, as it so often has been for me over the years, the web is my #1 source of vintage items - not that I'm complaining there, I'm certainly not. It's really, really handy to have such a vast marketplace at our fingertips 24/7!

Sometimes when the yard sales gods are forgetting to smile on me, I turn to my favourite Etsy shops that house a wide range of old school products at reasonable prices. I love shops like this - they're a bit like a mini flea market - or certainly a very well stocked yard sale - in one handy-dandy spot and can be a great place to unearth a treasure (or ten) that you didn't know you needed, but suddenly can't imagine leaving behind.

This month I had the great pleasure of welcoming the charmingly named Etsy shop Buy R Vintage Junk as a brand new blog sponsor and goodness, does their delightful array of offerings fall into the fabulously yard sale-esque camp in terms of the diversity that they stock.

Helmed by a lovely third generation treasure hunter named Denise, who is located in Indiana, Buy R Vintage Junk, is chalk-a-block with - to quote the shop's welcome message itself - "Primitive farm finds, burlap feed sacks, vintage lingerie, rusty & salvaged metal, creepy dolls, vintage jewelry, cottage decor, retro kitchen items, old tools and more". Tell me that doesn't sound enthralling!

As a way of introducing all of you to Buy R Vintage Junk, I thought it would be fun to shine the spotlight on ten of their current offerings that really caught my eye. These are the kinds of items that I would always gravitate towards, online or off, and which I hope you'll really enjoy as well.

This gorgeous Victorian silk and straw drawstring handbag is truly gorgeous and still in very decent shape for its age. I could see this looking stunning with all kinds of 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s outfits alike and can't help but think how sensational it would be for the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party in New York state.

There is something about old flour and feedbags that speaks to my inner farm girl (I've never lived on a farm, but I have an inner country lass all the same) so very much, and this great old early 20th century Purina Steers Chow bag is no exception. It would make for such a cool pillow or framed piece of wall art.

I will never fully get why galoshes, by and large, went the way of the dinosaur (save for amongst some of us vintage wearers). They're beyond practical and they look seriously cute, too. Though this pair, at a petit size 5.5, is much too small for my feet, these are just the sort of fit-over-a-pair-of-heels vintage rain galoshes that I would love to add to my wardrobe one day.

If you ask me, most bed linens these days are far too lackluster or run of the mill. I miss the days when each piece was imbued with handmade charm, and love that we can still get that either from creating our own pieces or turning to vintage offerings, such as these splendidly pretty mid-century vintage embroidered pillow cases, both of which feature peach and green butterflies and flowers. So darling!

This vintage kitty cat coin bank is too cute for words!!! Who wouldn't want to stash their pennies away in something this smile inducingly fun? I know that I certainly would!

Perfect for use as a display piece in your vintage kitchen or dining room, this charming mid-century PY-O-MY vintage metal pie pan is sure to be a bit hit with all the vintage and pie fans in your life alike!

Look closely at this immensely lovely circa 1950s cream straw hat, for there on the band, what do you see but a row of matching coloured buttons. How fabulously fun, creative, and cute is that?

Whether you start an instant collection, or bolster your existing one with them, your winter decor will be enhanced by this selection of five elegant, timelessly pretty sparkly vintage rose shaped Christmas ornaments.

Perhaps its my family ties to gold mining, maybe it's because I adore camping, or it could just be because they're so timelessly beautiful looking, but I have always felt drawn to classic vintage metal lanterns like this age worn charmer that was used by the Chicago Bureau of Sanitation.

Long before the widespread vintage crafting scene as we know it today came into being, various books and magazines were produced that celebrated and shared old school patterns with those who were already looking to the pas for creative inspiration, including this wonderful edition of Olde Time Needlework Patterns and Designs magazine from 1973. I can just imagine that awesome designs it must house!

(All images via Buy R Vintage Junk. Please click on the photo of an item of the link in the text below it to find out more it, including that piece's price.) 

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Which of these delightful vintage finds appeals to you most of us? I'm especially smitten with the Victorian hat, kitty cat coin bank, and beautiful straw hat myself.

Buy R Vintage Junk is a relatively newcomer to Etsy, having opened their online doors in August 2014. Their inventory continues to expand and you just never know what yesteryear gem you might discover amongst their digital shelves. If you haven't done so already, be sure to heart/favourite them on Etsy so that you can stay abreast of all the great new (old!) items that Denise continues to stock in her shop.

Though I'm not calling this year's yard sale season a total wash yet, whether things pick up on that front or not, as I've done for nearly twelve years now, I will turn to the web and shops like Buy R Vintage Junk not only during the spring and summer, but all season long.

It's so important that we support small business owners online and as I'm one myself on Etsy as well, I can't help but have an especially soft spot in my heart for my fellow sellers and their awesome vintage wears there.

And on that note, Buy R Vintage Junk has very kindly created an exclusive coupon code just for CV's readers. Between today and July 31, 2015, you can save 20% off on everything in their shop when you use the coupon code VGT20 at the checkout. Sweet!!!

June 27, 2015

15 of my favourite desserts ever (with vintage recipes for many of them)

With my birthday less than two weeks (yippee!), my thoughts have already started shifting towards how I'm going to spend it and what I'm going to serve up on the menu to celebrate it (sooo many possibilities!).

I've covered such things in various posts here over the years before, so I won't veer into broken record territory here again, but just to recap, between the fact that my diet is wildly restricted due to many of my chronic illnesses that are seriously affected by what I eat, that I'm a card carrying member of team Celiac Disease, have a nasty egg allergy, and, oh, you know, have eaten low carb at least 95% of the time for more than 3.5 years now (doing so is not only helpful in managing my weight, which some of my meds wreck havoc with at the best of times, but which is extremely beneficial, I find, for some of my conditions), planning the feast - very much including the sweet treat - for a special occasion is not something I take lightly.

As touched on in this vintage recipe post last December, if dining with a good number of my family members, I also happily have to keep their own dietary needs and preferences in mind, too, though for my birthday, I'll sometimes make multiple desserts so that everyone is safely covered and then just ensure that the one I'm tucking into is safe for me to consume sans awful repercussions.

Though I've always been more of a "salty tooth" than a sweet too, like most folks, I'm not adverse something on the saccharine side of things every now than then, especially when celebrating an event as marvelously exciting as a birthday.

{Just a few days stand between me and my 31st birthday, so as it rounds the bend again, I've suddenly got my favourite desserts on the brain! Image via Etsy seller Veetzy Innovations.}

The world of desserts is an incredibly diverse and exciting one, which has long been amongst the most voluminous in terms of its scope in the whole wide world. Each culture across time has created anywhere from a handful to hundreds (if not thousands, is some cases) of sugary treats that would set nearly anyone's tummy rumbling at the mere thought. In recent year the hybrid dessert (a mashup of two or more traditionally separate desserts - such as cookie cupcakes, red velvet cake s'mores, or the doughnut croissant lovechild that is cronuts) has caught on like wildfire.

Though there are some such exciting combination desserts I can eat, as I usually have to adapt dessert recipes quite heavily at the best of times to make them safe for me to tuck into, this isn't an area I've been able to explore to its fullest when cooking or baking for myself. Again, though, I do delight in those that I can and always keep my eyes open for desserts that look like they might work well on that front.

With the literal sweetest part of any celebratory meal at the forefront of my mind as my birthday rounds the bend again, I though that it would be rather fun on this last Sunday in June to shine the spotlight on a list of 15 of my favourite desserts of all-time.

I need to state emphatically before we proceed with this list that I cannot safely eat all of these things any more. Some of them have not graced my lips in over thirteen years now, and others have to be heavily modified (ditching the eggs, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, and other ingredients that massacre me ) before I can even contemplate sticking my fork, knife or spoon into them.

Much as I never stopped reading and adoring cookbooks when my diet was forced to make drastic changes though, I haven’t ceased loving these desserts either and just because I might not be able to eat them or consume them in their original form, doesn't mean that they don't still hold a special spot in my heart and memories. The latter of which is something I find always goes hand-in-hand with birthday celebrations, so that strikes me as all the more reason to highlight them here.

As some of these desserts are newer inventions and/or were not common in North America or the UK during the mid-twentieth century (or earlier), I haven't been able to find recipe pages (from cookbooks, magazines, ads, newspapers, etc) online for all of them, so when one wasn't forthcoming in my search, I tried to find an image that related to it in some capacity instead.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the desserts I enjoy (nor is it in any kind of "top favourite" order; the entries here are all completely random), but it does certainly shine the spotlight on some of my all-time favourites and I hope that you'll find some of your own most beloved sweet treats amongst them as well.

1. Dessert pizza: I'll never forget the first time I had dessert pizza. The setting was a Pizza Hut restaurant and I was maybe all of six years old. It was cherry, with crumbly, fantastic streusel topping and oodles of white icing piped across the top. It pretty much blew my young mind and I've been a devoted fan of all kinds of dessert pizzas ever since (the first time I had the apple cinnamon one from them, it did the same thing, too). You can easily make your own at home with any number of toppings, ranging from fresh or canned fruit to s'mores ingredients to ice cream, and each one will have you coming back for seconds for sure!

2. Ice cream cake: This - in the form of Dairy Queen's classic offering - was one of two staple birthday desserts for me when I was growing up (the other being homemade chocolate cake topped with mountains of seven-minute frosting), especially during the first ten or so years of my life, so it is impossible for my b-day to roll around with my mind racing straight to ice cream cake no matter how old I get.

3. Cherry Pie: I'm a huge fan of pies in general, but with the glorious abundance of cherries that are grown in Okanagan and which are in season at this time of the year, a cherry pie becomes a very natural fit for any July celebration (ditto for peaches and peach pie as the summer rolls on).

4. Nanaimo Bars: Canada has given the world many incredibly tasty recipes over the course of the few centuries, but few - if any - top the chocolate + coconut + custard filling heaven-on-your-tongue that is the mighty Nanaimo Bar.

5. Rice Pudding: File rice pudding under one of those foods that I could happily eat every single day for the rest of my life without growing tired of it. The creamier, the better, but rarely have I met a rice pudding I didn't adore and am always game to try new versions (plus, I love that most are GF right off and bat and many can be made sans eggs no problem).

6. Strawberry or raspberry trifle: Hands down the best English trifle I've ever had comes by way of my paternal Grandma, who would make one or more every summer with fresh picked raspberries from her thriving garden and generous amounts of rich custard sandwiched between the layers of fruit and cake. It, along with potato chip coated chicken and her delicious hamburger pie, were the tastes of summer at my grandparents house when I was a youngster.

7. Millionaire's Shortbread: A rich, crumbly shortbread base combine with tongue pleasing caramel (usually made with condensed milk) and alluring chocolate in this endlessly delicious treat that's served up in bars or wedges and for which anyone you make it for, will beg you for the recipe. I first discovered Millionaire's Shortbread while living in Ireland and have been hooked ever since.

8. Cheesecake: Oh silken, luxurious cheesecake, how I melt for you! Perhaps because I've had such good luck with both baked and no-bake GF, EF versions of cheesecake, it is one of the most common desserts I bake, very much including for my birthday (two years ago I made a strawberry + raspberry version was the after dinner star of my birthday bash).

9. Baklava: Honey, walnuts and/or pistachios, countless layers of pastry - oh my word, what's not to madly love about this classic Greek desserts? Though GF versions somewhat pale in comparison to the real deal, that doesn't stop me from trying my best to replicate this awesome Mediterranean dessert at least once a year (Nicole from the wonderful blog Gluten-Free on a Shoestring has a very good gluten-free phyllo dough recipe, should you be searching for one).

10. Spice Cake: Granted we just kicked off summer, but a great spice cake (likewise for pumpkin pie) is one of those awesome autumn favourites that I could happily tuck into any single day of the year (especially since one's birthday is the perfect excuse to indulge in any dessert you want, no matter what season it is most closely associated with).

11. Apple Crisp: Another fall time classic for sure, but one that can easily be whipped up any day of the year. I love to serve mine piping hot with straight-from-the-freezer vanilla ice cream or chilled with hefty wedges of sharp cheddar cheese (much like many folks enjoy their apple pie).

12. Bread Pudding: Comfort food par excellence! I love all kinds of bread puddings (also known as "bread and butter pudding") and have even come up with some great GF ones over the years, including a version that is a rife on a recipe I invented back in my teen years that marries classic bread pudding with fresh pears, cinnamon, and vanilla pudding (and in the same vein as bread pudding, I flat out adore a great Summer Pudding or Eve's Pudding, too).

13. Chocolate Brownie Pie: If you thought hybrid desserts were a new craze, guess again! Clever cooks and bakers have been fusing two or more sweet treats together for ages now, as this seriously delicious Chocolate Brownie Pie recipe attests to (this is the very same recipe I base my own version off of and can attest that it is immensely tasty!).

14. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: Not only is this a massive mid-century dessert staple, but I find that it's surprisingly easy to make a GF and EF version that tastes strikingly similar to original versions we all know and love. Were I planning a tiki or tropical themed party, this would be one of the first things in the oven!

15. Cinnamon Buns: Bar none the best of which I've ever had are my mom's. You know Cinnabon's offerings - those sublimely scented temptations that make malls smell like pure dessert heaven? Yah, they smoke those out of the water. My mom is an amazing home cook and baker, but nothing, IMO, that she makes tops her cinnamon buns (note, the recipe above is not hers, but I think it looks pretty great, too). If I seriously had to plan my last meal, they would be a part of it (and it wouldn't matter that they have gluten in them, as, hello, last meal, gluten = mute point! ;)). Even the very modified gluten and egg-free version of it that I've been making for years now is still lip-lickingly fantastic.

{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

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Tell me you aren't hungry as a bear after reading all those? Or at least very, very in the mood for something sweet! Which are of these scrumptious eats land on your own roundup of favourite desserts?

I must admit, with having to cut certain foods out my diet entirely for so long now, my mind does tend to gravitate towards things that I know I can still eat and thus isn't as apt as it would have been to list the same things it might have had I penned this post fifteen years ago (back then you might have found entries like lemon meringue pie, creme brulee, chiffon cake, pavlova, root beer floats, doughnuts, angle food cake, tiramisu, baked Alaska, and canolli), but I did let myself branch out still a bit here, as touched on above and it was fun to think about certain foods that I don't often get a chance to any more, unless I'm cooking for others or pining them to one of my many (many!) food related Pinterest boards.

With a touch under two weeks to go until my 31st birthday rolls around on July 10th, I still have time to finalize my birthday dessert or desserts. As is so often the case, there's a few big contenders, but I rarely end up making the final decision until the proverbial 11th hour (and on a few occasions, the literal one, too, on the evening of the 9th). Plus, in the course of putting together this post I came across two great articles 50 of the Best Dessert Recipes of All Time from Huffington Post and 92 Top Rated Desserts from Southern Living Magazine, respectively, that added some new contenders to the list big time!

It's been an age and half since I last had an ice cream cake, so that is well and truly up there, as is trifle, and a classic chocolate cake. We'll see. It will likely come down to my plans and menu for the rest of the day and what I'm in the mood for as I enter the second year of my thirties.

Whatever I make, it will be a treat of the sweetest caliber and one that will satisfy me on the sugar front if not until my next birthday, at least until Halloween rolls around again in just four months (what, I swear I'm not planning every last detail of that day already - nooo, it being my favourite holiday of all time, I'd never do that. Tee-hee-hee :D)

June 25, 2015

Reviewing my (fabulous!) new Dot Dash Dress from Love Ur Look

Outfit details

Vintage royal blue nylon hair scarf: (Probably) eBay
White plastic rose earrings: Claire's
1980s does 1940s/50s red plastic beaded necklace: Gift with purchase years ago
Vintage inspired Dot Dash A-line Dress c/o: Love Ur Look
Royal blue cardigan: Garage Clothing
Red plastic bangle bracelet: Forever 21
Vintage wide yellow bangle bracelet: Thrifted
Vintage white plastic bangle bracelet: Thrifted
Red faux leather cross body bag: eBay
1950s white embroidered wrist length gloves: Unknown, had for years (likely eBay or Etsy)
Nude seamed nude stockings: eBay
Dark blue patent pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Tony Cangiano

There are a substantial number of vintage reproduction and vintage inspired clothing lines that I've had massive crushes on for years now, but which - often because of pesky things like a weak Canadian dollar, shipping and import costs, and/or the items I love most from said brands selling out before I can get to them - I've not yet had the pleasure of adding any of their fine offerings to my closet.

One of those companies, whose offerings I've swooned up many a storm over for quite a while now, is the much adored European brand, Love Ur Look, who put out a modest sized, curated selection of beautiful offerings each year (and have some really commendable ethical business practises, as detailed on their About page).

Thus when I was contacted by them and kindly offered a choice of one of two of their latest warm weather frocks, I couldn't say yes quickly enough. I've been curious for ages now about the fit, quality, silhouette and other elements of this brand's products and let me just say, once I finally had one in my hands, I was impressed!

I opted for the Dot Dash A-line Dress, because it is both incredibly cute and also quite different than any other frock I currently own. Being short and curvy, I often steer clear of all, or predominately, white dresses and, really, garments in general, but I had a feeling that the cut and use of primary hues on this dress would help "save me", if you will, there and thankfully such was definitely the case.

You guys, seriously, I am ridiculously in love with this dress. Permit me then for a moment to extol some of its many, many virtues:

-Length: I just barely squeak in at 5'2" and where the hem hits here on me is my favourite length for a dress (or skirt). A little past mid-calf, but not quite ankle grazing - what is often called "tea length". It's long enough to add a crinoline underneath, though there is already a bit of one built into the skirt (as you can see in a couple of the snaps above), so you'd likely get a lot of fullness if you added more tulle beneath this relatively wide skirt. I could not be any happier with the length of this dress on me.

-Sleeveless: While I rarely bare my arms completely in public due to reasons of personal modesty, I flat out love it when dresses are sleeveless because it means less bulk when layering, something that I’m always conscious of given that my upper arms are not my best feature in the slightest.

-Matching fabric belt: Though there are no actual belt loops on this dress, it comes with a thin belt made out of matching fabric. If you didn't want to wear it around your waist, you could easily utilize it as a skinny hair tie/scarf instead, if so desired (or forgo using it entirely).

-It has pockets: I love, love, lovvvvvve it when dresses or skirts have pockets and this charmer includes two at a nice, natural hip height. So handy, so practical, soooo appreciated!
-Crisp colours: Though the fabric that this dress is made from is quite thin, thanks to the fact that it's 100% cotton, the colours on it are fabulously sharp, vibrant and beautiful.

-Awesome neckline: Seriously, this has to be one of my favourite necklines on any garment I've ever owned. From the wide shawl meets sailor shaded collar to the built in panel of red and white striped fabric, this neckline is fun, flattering, and fabulously unique.

-Fantastic nautical vibe: From the primarily colour palette of blue, red, and yellow set atop snow white to the mid-century modern-esque design of the pattern itself (which somewhat resembles highly stylized bunting flags) to the striped fabric at the neckline, there is such a charming, super vintage-y nautical vibe at work here that I just adore!

-Fit: I love the fit of this dress. From the bust to the waist to the arm holes, it fits me excellently and is quite true to size, in my opinion (plus its a-line shape is very becoming and would work well on most types of figures).

-Price: At £56.00, this dress is still within the reach of many folks and is what I'd call middle of the road in terms of price point for cotton vintage style dresses. Considering the built in tulle underskirt, awesome pattern, tea length skirt, exciting neckline, and warm weather versatility of the frock, I think its price is very fair and would genuinely have no problem paying that myself, had I purchased this dress, instead of receiving it as a review gift (thank you so much for it, Love Ur Look).

As you can no doubt gather, I am smitten with this dress. I wore it for a family get together at my sister's house on Mother's Day, to antiques & second hand auction last month, and am slipping it on more days than not when out running errands or just bopping around, as Tony and I were doing on the sunny afternoon recently when we captured these photos in the delightful little nearby town of Summerland (which, despite its proximity of less than 20 minutes from Penticton, we had somehow, entirely unintentionally, never done a shot in before).

It was a glorious late spring day - one of those days that you wish you could put it a jar and let out again come the dark evenings of January, when summer feels like it might as well be on another planet. To embrace the warm weather, I teamed this darling Love Ur Look dress with a vintage royal blue head nylon scarf, royal blue cardigan, a trio of plastic bangle bracelets, a red vintage necklace, my trusty white plastic rose earrings, wrist length white 1950s gloves, red cross body/shoulder bag, and dark blue pumps.

If I could only wear one vintage reproduction/inspired dress this summer, this gem from Love Ur Look would be it. It is perfect for the sun-kissed months and would come with me instantly, were I packing for a warm weather vacation anytime of the year. This is my first item from this popular UK line, and I wholeheartedly hope that it won't be my last - as I am beyond in love - quite fittingly give the brand's name - with this marvelously fun Dot Dash A-line Dress.

Do you own anything from Love Ur Look? How has your experience been with this wonderful brand's offerings?