April 30, 2010

Vintage Friday Fashionista – April 30, 2010

{Let the serene beauty and hue of the Aegean sea grace the sides of your face with this striking pair of blue glass and gold toned earrings. Classic Kenneth Jay Lane Avon jewelry from the 80s, these earrings are distinguished and beautiful, yet not so formal that they can’t be worn with any summer outfit you wish. Gold metal and blue glass clip-on earrings, $15.00 US from etsy seller Bad Baby Vintage.}

{Utilizing one of the most classic emollient ingredients in the world, this rich shea butter body polish is ripe with honey, as well as other refreshing, soothing products such as soy milk and jojoba oil. Just the thing to help keep your sun soft after days spent at the beach, out in the toasty sun and perspiring through the long days of summer, this smartly packaged 6.8 fl oz tube of Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish is available directly from Kiehl’s for $28.00 US.}

{Deep gold highlights the classic, feminine cut of this long, flowing vintage summer dress, in the form of both trim and buttons running all the way down the front. Unique and charming, this elegant frock would be an amazing piece to take on a cruise, sun-kissed vacation or simply to wear in your very own backyard all summer long. Fitting up to a 36 inch bust/26 inch waist, this lightweight rayon dress – that’s fit for a vintage goddess – is available from etsy seller Nick and Nessie’s Vintage for $62.00 US.}

{Give your wrists the Midas Touch with this glimmering pile of hammered gold tone metal bracelets. Delicate yet impactful, this stack is the sort of classic jewelry item every gal should have in her treasure chest. Set of twenty gold hued bracelets, $10.00 US from Torrid.com (who are having a BOGO 50% off jewelry sale right now!).}

{A pair of graceful maidens sits leisurely, staring into a reflective pool in this immensely lovely illustration that adorns an early 20th century talc powder tin. Though the tin no longer contains talcum, it is in surprisingly good condition given its age, and could easily be refilled and used on any fashionista’s vanity. Measuring 2.75 inches high and 5 inches wide, this sophisticated vintage tin can yours for $23.00 US from etsy seller This Olde Stuff.}

{Whether in the sun or moonlight, this gorgeous clutch is sure to sparkle like a sky full of radiant stars. Comprised of golden brass hued Swarovski crystals in a classic Greek key design, this dazzling purse features a short shoulder strap and kiss-lock closure to ensure all of your belonging stay firmly put inside. What a grand sight this golden purse from Whiting and Davis, which retails for$247.50 US on Amazon, would make alongside a LBD – or LWD (little white dress) cocktail or summer dress!}

{These sandals are immensely sweet; at once rustic and worldly, made of damask satin and pale straw hued hemp, this pair of vintage summer shoes would look so pretty matched up with causal dresses of all lengths, capri pants, shorts, and breezy skirts. Crafted in Spain, these attractive wrap heel sandals fit a modern size 7 foot, and can be had for $26.00 US from etsy seller Kakalina Rose.}

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When I was quite young, my mom had a Greek friend named Angela. I always thought she was a lovely woman, with her strikingly dark jet black hair, pale olive and cream skin, curvaceous figure, and bold yet melodic voice. Though I knew this lady in the early nineties, she – and generations of captivating women hailing from Greece before her – is the inspiration behind this week’s Vintage Fashionista, whose outfit is meant to transmit a relaxed, beautiful Mediterranean vibe that works wonderfully in any decade.

On the home front, I’ve been a smidge ill this past week (nothing too serious, just flare-ups with some of my conditions) and have thus not been able to make it to many of your lovely blogs. I apologize for that and thank all those who have left comments on posts here recently. I adore you each and will strive to come visit your own fantastic blog very soon!

As April slips away, I watch a silky violet and pale indigo dusk being swallowed by the night sky, and feel eager for the month ahead. Hopeful that it will bless each of us with many reasons to smile and scores of creative inspiration.

Hugs and gleeful weekend wishes to you all, sweet friends!

April 29, 2010

Flickr Favourites – April 29, 2010

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{1951 woman from Look magazine by actionlog.}

{Yellow Jar by Leah 3011.}

{Forgetmenots 2010 by currentclassics.}

{IMG_3833 (Super cute redheaded doll!) by Yumi♡.}

{Vintage Car 1 by Kim Naumann – Curiouser & Curiouser Designs.}

{morning after by simple tess.}

{Sarah 05 by paulwrightphoto.}

{New Additions by Love Is...Everything.}

{Dresser Top – Boxes by such pretty things.}

{Vintage Ladies Cabinet Cards by Suzee Que.}

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Few amongst us fail to swoon when a gorgeous pair of shoes crosses our path – and all the better if they’re vintage! Footwear can make or break an outfit, set the mood for a ensemble, draw attention to its wearer or be the subtle finishing touch on a gorgeous look.

Those (like myself) who adore old school footwear will find much to daydream about in the Flickr group that’s in the limelight today: Vintage & Retro Shoes and Boots.

{1. vintage turquoise bow shoes 7, 2. Vintage T-Strap SWEET Pink Summer Sandals Size 7.5, 3. Donald J. Pliner's Right Bank Shoe Co., 4. Carmelletes 1952.}

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Mellow, toasty shades of lemon light and invigorating, tropical sea turquoise waltz through these gorgeous images, whisking my mind off to places of fantastical serenity and quiet contemplation, where everything around me is as lovely as the world created in these marvellous photos.

Come along with me, sweet friends, and escape for a few moments into a universe of springtime hued, vintage beauty filled daydreams.

April 28, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Recipe: Feta Cheese and Mixed Spring Veggie Pilaff

Every season has its enduring qualities and charms, those things that make you wish, in certain ways, that it would linger on indefinitely so that you could continue to enjoy your favourite perks of that time of year. For me, one of my absolute most beloved elements of spring is the return of fresh, young produce at the grocery stores and outdoor markets alike.

Few things in the culinary realm can compare to the sweet, beautiful taste of new spring vegetables and this recipe – one I’ve been whipping up each April and May for at least five years now – positively teams with some of the loveliest vegetables this gentle season has to offer.

{Asparagus can be a tricky vegetable to make looking appealing when illustrated, but I think this charming vintage crate label does a great job of making it appear fresh and very inviting – just as it is in today’s rice pilaff recipe. Vintage illustration via Box of Apples.}

One of the beauties of this dish – as is often the case with pilaffs – is that you have quite a bit of creative freedom with what goes into it. You could, for example, swap out the basmati rice for brown, the asparagus for leaves from young artichokes, and the feta cheese with any variety of chèvre that you’d like.

While highly flavourful, this lovely rice pilaff is not the sort of dish that steals the show. It compliments a slew of foods such as chicken, lamb, baked fish, grilled shrimp, vegetable stews and even curries. Should you wish to make this recipe the centrepiece of your meal, I’d suggest following with a light fruit dessert (such as berry sorbet, poached pears in vanilla syrup, or simply a plate of your favourite spring/summer fruits and a bowl of whipped or clotted cream to dip slices into).

The season for early-in-the-year vegetables is all too short-lived, so while it’s still here, I plan to make this dish and others that burst with the verdant, flavourful goodness of the spring, as seasons – for better or worse – do not last forever.

Feta Cheese and Mixed Spring Veggie Pilaff


• 100 grams (3.5 oz) feta cheese (drained of any brine it may have come packaged in) cut into small cubes

• 300 grams (10 oz) basmati rice

• 700ml (1 ¼ pt) vegetable stock (preferably organic or homemade)
• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1 medium sized white onion, peeled and finely chopped (or equal amounts of shallots or leeks)

• 100 grams (3.5 oz) white, green or purple thin-stalked asparagus, cleaned and cut into small (about 1 inch/2.5cm) pieces

• 1 yellow or green zucchini, cleaned and cut into thin disks (rounds)

• 100-300 grams (3.5-10 oz) of green peas (either fresh or frozen) or if you prefer you can use broad beans (or a mixture of both)

• 6 tbsp (or to taste) of fresh dill, finely chopped (or favourite herb of choice – tarragon and parsley are both wonderful here, too)

• Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste


Over medium heat place a deep, wide frying pan (skillet) or large heavy bottomed pot on your stove top (hob), to which you’ve added the olive oil. Let the oil heat up for a minute and then add in the chopped white onion; cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened and turned slightly golden (but not brown!).

Next add in the basmati rice and vegetable stock, stir the contents of the pot, and increase the heat to medium-high. Allow the pot to come to gentle boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes (or until the rice has just cooked through).

Once the rice is cooked (sample a few grains to ensure it’s cooked to your desired consistency), add in all of the vegetables, stir the mixture well and continue cooking for 3-6 minutes, or until the asparagus and peas (or broad beans) are nicely tender, but not limp (if it’s looking like your pilaff is getting too dry before the veggies have cooked through, stir in a little more vegetable stock or some warm water).

After the vegetables have cooked, remove the pot from the stove top and set it aside (covered). If there is any remaining liquid, the rice should absorb it at this stage.

After five minutes, lift the lid and stir in the chopped fresh dill (or herb of choice) and the feta cheese cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (note that the feta will have its own natural saltiness, so you may find that you’d do not need to add any additional salt).

Bring to the table while warm, with extra chopped dill to sprinkle on individual servings, if desired – or you could top this delicious rice pilaff as I often do, with paper thin slices of tiny new spring radishes.

Serves four people as a side dish or two as a main course (this recipe can easily be multiplied if you’d like to serve more)

Bon appétit!

April 26, 2010

Today’s Vintage Treasure: 1940s Sailor Inspired Jantzen Bathing Suit

{Simple lines and the timeless pairing of linen beige and inky navy blue meld together to elevate this classic 1940s Jantzen women’s swimsuit into something truly memorable.

Channeling the penchant for military inspired details in civilian clothing during WW2, this wonderful vintage bathing suit has a sweet little star and two chevron stripes on the front that are sure to set it way above the crowd at the swimming pool or beach.

This delightfully lovely suit is sized a tad larger (by the sizing standards of the day, I mean) than some vintage swimwear on the market, fitting a 34-38” bust, 30-34” waist and 36-42” hips. If this darling, nautical inspired suit has you hooked, it can be yours for $175.00 US from etsy seller Coronet Weed’s Vintage.}

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Hi fellow night owls (and readers who live in places where the sun is still shinning), how are you all doing as this Monday comes to a close? I hope that each of your weeks is off to a marvellous start. Here the wind has been howling for almost two days straight! Little hisses and loud whooshes alike slamming into our windows, rattling our doors and frightening the poor kitty!

On the plus side though, despite the noisy, blustery winds, the temperatures are slowly starting to climb into the teens and even twenties here once more, which must have been what drew me to this immensely charming bathing suit while on my usual vintage inspiration hunting rounds today. (I can hardly wait until it’s warm enough to actually stick my little toesies into the water without having them turn into popsicles!)

Wishing you each a splendid evening (or morning – or afternoon, as the case may be), and a gloriously lovely tomorrow!

April 25, 2010

Saturday Snapshots: April 24, 2010

"All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own." ~ Edwin Markham

{These darling kids, in their 1950s cold weather garb, are cuter than a snowman and clearly ready to face the winter elements in matching style (I wonder if their mom knitted their lovely scarves?).}

{Four friends (and a tiny doll!) playfully goof around in this smile-inducing souvenir style portrait, which I’d peg to be from the 30s. Given that the plane says "Long Beach", I'd bet that this spirited shot was taken in California.}

{There is so much mystery to this beautiful, uniquely hand coloured shot. From the fact that this woman is wearing (what were considered at the time to be) very masculine clothes, to the look on her face that seems veer somewhere between uncertainty and coyness, there are so many questions that spring forth from this photo. Who was this woman – did she admire famous women of the day who dared to wear pant in public like Amelia Earhart and Katherine Hepburn or was she, perhaps, an actress spotting these threads for a role?}

{Numerous people gather around a long picnic table in this great slice-of-life shot, in which we see such going-ons as a woman tossing salad, two people exchanging a tidbit of food, and a woman (in an absolutely adorable novelty print skirt) caught mid-bite. I don’t know about you, but this shot makes me want to call up a gang of friends and head to the nearest park for a picnic this weekend! :) }

{A quintet of absolutely, incredibly well dressed women stroll down a street together in this photo from 1932, that really looks as though it could have come from a Hollywood film. Which of these enchantingly beautiful ladies’ looks is your favourite? I think I’m leaning towards the gal in the centre with her leopard fur coat complete with large – almost muff-like – cuffs.}

{A clear blue sky helps to invoke summertime feelings in this pretty 1954 shot of a Pomona (California) County Fair, featuring a very cool ferris wheel with neat "cage" like compartments for its riders.}

{Country charm flows through this great shot of a lone woman in a checkered dress holding a chicken. No background information is provided from this photo, but I’d guess that it’s from the 30s. No matter what year it hails from, this great picture is adorable!}

{He sells seashells by the seashore in this delightful colour snap from 1955 of a man in a uniform (complete with black bowtie) offering up shellfish and "Kold Lemonade" to tourists and New Orleans locals alike.}

{About thirty teenagers huddle around a large fierce looking statue of lion while on a field trip during the 1950s. I love shots like this because they give you a really good sense of what "real" (as opposed to holiday/magazine) kids were sporting during the fifties. From the girls’ cute summer dresses (and curled updos) to the boys’ cuffed shirts, these looks are what many of our parents who grew up during this decade would have donned for a school trip, too.}

{This captivating photo is one of those special finds that makes me long to hang it on my wall, admiring its timeless splendour day after day. Simple, but stunning, this young, lithe couple stare towards the sea, their faces unseen by the camera, making it feel as though they’re entrenched in a moment of quite, intense thought – or perhaps they’re merely admiring the serene beauty of the view around them.}

{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.}

There is much to be said for notion of the butterfly affect as it applies to our everyday lives. The idea that the reverberations something we do has the possibility to radiate outward and have a profound impact on something – or someone – else way down the line. This concept can work both negatively and positively, though of course, the later is virtually always the desired end result.

I feel that this weekend’s quote is the perfect complement to the practice of doing random acts of kindness – simple gestures that are carried out from the goodness of our heart, with no ulterior motives, angles or desires. I believe strongly in doing random acts of kindness, be they for total strangers or cherished friends. Life can be daunting, stressful, trying, unpredictable, and flat out harsh sometimes, knowing that you can bring joy – or help ease the burden – for someone (or more than one person simultaneously) is an amazing feeling. Yet even if you know that somebody’s life is going well, there’s no reason why you can’t do something, no matter how inconsequential it may seem at the time, to make it even better. Deeds done unselfishly from the heart are amongst the best gifts any one can give or receive.

The things that we do in life have an almost funny way or resonating back to us. Some call it karma or fate, but I think that that it has more to do with the fact that we as human beings tend to remember those moments when somebody did something particularly nice for us (or conversely when we’ve been ill treated) and are apt to either return that kindness to same person later on, or to be inspired to do a thoughtful, caring deed for somebody else.

As the poet Edwin Markham wisely reminds in quote above, long before the term "random acts of kindness" had made its way into our everyday vernacular, all that we do (or say) has a way of coming back – often magnified – to us. Things have been this way for countless generations. It was so for the people in this selection of vintage photos, and it is equally spot on for each of us today. Which, if you ask me, is a beautiful thing, for who amongst us doesn’t love bringing kindness to the lives of all we know, and in turn witnessing it flow back to us in beautiful and often unexpected ways?

April 23, 2010

Vintage Fashionista Friday: April 23, 2010

{In the days before each of us kept cabinets full of hair care products (for most modern things like mousse, gel, shine serum, and hair spray had yet to be invented), hair nets (usually in the same colour as a woman’s hair) were often employed to help hairstyles keep their shape and stay in place. While a hair net itself is a bit utilitarian looking, the packages they once came wrapped up in are anything but boring! Many abound with beautiful artwork and colours that instantly invoke thoughts of a bygone era. This particular hair net was made by Wearwell (isn’t that name delightful?) and is constructed of real human hair (as many were before elastic nets came into use); it can be had for $8.00 US (which the enchanting artwork on the package alone is worth, in my opinion) from etsy seller Coming Up Roses.}

{Timeless beauty exudes from this dainty pair of earrings, which are made up shades that call to mind the sea on a cloudy day a spring meadow during the rain. Comprised of glass and metal to form a shape that seems at once both like a star and a flower, these tiny earrings measure 1/4 of an inch in diameter, yet would lend a sizable amount of elegance to any outfit. They can be yours for $28.00 US from Anthropologie.com.}

{Though this delicate white cardigan is not that terribly old (it has a tag attached that I’d peg to be from the 70s), something about the feminine details (such as the ruffle adorned neckline) and peplum at the waist instantly made me of certain suits and blouses I’ve seen from the 1930s. I love the idea of pairing this cardigan with the dress below and letting the fern leaf pattern poke through the oven-weave design of the sweater. This 100% acrylic cardigan fits up to a 36” bust/30” waist, and can be yours for $22.00 US from etsy seller Raleigh Vintage.}

{Hues that seem to invoke the very essence of a stormy spring sky dance across this immensely lovely 1930s silk dress that the seller found in Prague. Ferns in black and white are set atop a deep, almost inky teal hue in this understatedly elegant, yet still wonderfully fun, dress with its gently curving neckline, long sweep and short sleeves. In very good condition (save for a tad bit of fading under the arms), this classically styled vintage frock fits up to a 37” bust/29” waist, and is available for $238.00 US from etsy seller BabaVintage.}

{Soak away the day’s worries in a tub scented softly of lotus flowers, mandarin leaves and jasmine, delivered via Dead Sea salt that is enriched with an extra dose of althea, all the while gazing dreamily at a sublimely pretty, floral patterned package that’s redolent of something from an old time apothecary. Available online from Amazon for $9.00 US, this enchantingly lovely package of Claus Porto Madrigal Water Lilly Bath Salts is one of those products that almost seem too lovely to use (almost!).}

{A grand sort of refined elegance swirls through this incredible antique handbag which hails from the period between 1910 and 1920. Bedecked with turquoise beads and featuring a coppery-gold hued metal chain handle, as well as an exquisitely pretty, artfully ornate clasp (latch), this black purse would be a spectacular treasure to take with you on your most special of evenings events – or perhaps even to use for a wedding. Priced at $95.00 US, this charming purse is available from etsy seller Frocksmith.}

{Recreated to mirror a genuine 1930s pair Oxford swing dance shoes, these modern day heels could easily pass for the original deal. Made by Aris Allen, whose entire line of vintage reproduction dance shoes – for both men and women – is enough to make any old school footwear lover swoon! These black lace-up swing dance shoes (which sport a 3 inch high heel) would look gorgeous with a wide array of vintage outfits, and are available in ladies sizes 5 to 11 (including half sizes), for $64.95 from Dancestore.com.}

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This Friday has been one of the loveliest in recent memory. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, what made this day so glorious was the wealth of sunshine the poured through every window, recharging my internal batteries in a way I really haven’t felt since last summer. It’s simply amazing how much more energy I have when the sun is out! Do you feel the same way too?

My sweet dears, I wish you each a majestically lovely weekend, teaming with joy and oodles of fun!