July 31, 2012

How I celebrated my (awesome!) 28th birthday

Like the gulls that crowd around the local beaches here, summer seems to fly by as quick as you can blink. I nearly had to do a double take today when it struck me that we'd come to the end of July. Perhaps I'm biased (given that it's the month that I was born in), but I rather love July - even with its sweltering dog days, scorching sun (poor Tony got a terrible burn earlier this month, but thankfully he's recovered quite a bit from it at this point), and scads of insects (I'm looking at you, mosquitos!).

The same sun that can sear flesh in a matter of minutes can also feel as sweet and welcome as a hug from an old friend, and though - thankfully - summer is not over yet, today does mark the end of one of its most wonderful months. As such, before we kick off August anew tomorrow, I wanted to share some of the highlights of my birthday back on the 10th with all of you.

The day began bright and early - and in fact it was gloriously bright out, the rain that has plagued this summer pausing for this particular Tuesday (a birthday gift from the universe perhaps?). My mom and Tony busied themselves downstairs for nearly an hour, sweetly, beautifully decorating the dining room with streamers, oodles of pink and white polka dot balloons, festive place settings, and even a generous sprinkling of lovely little decorative plastic crystals all over the (pink plastic tablecloth clad) table.

Growing up my mom always made a point of decorating the kitchen and/or living room for our birthdays each year, and this being the first one that I'd been back in Penticton for in several years, I adored the fact that she was as keen to festively kit out out house as I was to bound downstairs with the same enthusiasm I used to have as a youngster on this special morning.

We only stayed a moment to admire their work however, as we had a full day in Kelowna planned and were already running a little behind schedule. The drive out there was quick and beautiful, with scarcely a single wisp of a cloud to be seen in the sky.

The first place we stopped at was an charming shop that Tony and my mom had recently been to, but which I'd never visited before, called Dragonfly Quilts that specializes in selling handmade quilts and vintage houseware items.

Fantastic as I think quilts are, as you can imagine, it was the vintage pieces that really caught my eye. The store is beautifully arranged, somewhat by colour and somewhat by type of item, amongst which one could spot everything from a late Victorian era biscuit tin to several different mid-century Pyrex colours and patterns.

Perhaps because I'm used to a.) the astronomical prices vintage pieces often commanded in retail setting in Toronto and b.) because I see what things are listed - and sell for - on etsy every day, I was absolutely pleased by how reasonable the sticker prices were at this shop.

Adding to that lovely factor was the very friendly proprietor, who sweetly complimented me on my vintage style and struck up a conversation about vintage stores (fashion and otherwise) in the area, as well as other points pertaining to a topic that - as you all know - I can talk about until I'm blue in the face, vintage collecting.

We chatted as I took in the shop, which while not overly large, is carefully, wonderfully curated and filled - but not unpleasantly crowded - with a very tempting array of vintage houseware items. Though Dragonfly Quilts doesn't stock vintage fashion per se, they do have a small number of yesteryear accessories, such as gloves and brooches.

Vintage ivory satin opera gloves

A pair of the former (pictured above draped across the radio in our living room), as well as an utterly darling trio of vintage chalkware bluebirds (pictured below) came home with us that day, and believe me, it was tricky to stop at just those purchases, as there was so many terrific, well priced items to be had. Needless to say, we shall be returning to that shop again (especially as there aren't too many vintage stores around these parts at all, let alone ones with such an amicable, enthusiastic staff).

Vintage chalkware bluebird, made in British Columbia image 1

Vintage chalkware bluebirds (smaller pair), made in British Columbia

After that we headed over to my little sister's house for an afternoon visit. I was delighted that she wasn't working that day, as it meant I got to spend time with her on my birthday for the first time in far too many years (this being due to the fact that I'd been living in far flung corners for the past several years, not right here in the gorgeous Okanagan where she resides).

She gave me a darling pair of gifts, both of which I just love to pieces - are using around the clock. I couldn't help but smile and feel touched when she said that she absolutely wanted to make sure she gave me something that involved the word vintage for my birthday, and the set of Minnie Mouse OPI nail polishes does just that.

Birthday presents from Katie, cute pink polka dot towels and OPI Vintage Minnie Minis nail polish set

OPI Vintage Minnie Minis nail polish set

Fabulously, and purely coincidentally, the cute towel and washcloth set she gave me matched the balloons that my mom and Tony used as part of my decorations incredibly well.

As the sun was shinning like mad, we popped into the backyard for a little bit, with my sister's incredibly adorable Olde English Bulldogge, Beau, in tow, where Tony used my sister's Nikon camera to take a really lovely photo of my mom, sister and I (yes, I know, I don't exactly look like either of them that much, but that's ok, I like being the redheaded sheep in the family).

This picture means a lot to me, as it really drives home the fact that, after so many years away, I'm actually living in the Okanagan again and that I get to celebrate important events like birthdays and everyday moments alike with my family once more.

And here's me (I think my sis took these pics) with my ultra precious canine nephew, Beau (he's almost a year old and just the sweetest, friendliest, wrinkliest thing imaginable), who is making his Chronically Vintage debut here today.

After that our little group split into two parties. My mom and I wanted to do some intensive consignment store shopping, which wasn't of too much interest to Tony and my sister, so the went off to go fishing at nearby Shannon Lake, while my mom and I hit on of our favourite Kelowna consignment stores, called Second Time Around, for a couple of hours (we would have stayed longer, but they close at 5:30pm, which is a rather odd in between kind of time to shut their doors, if you ask me).

Though this shop doesn't specialize in vintage pieces, and I didn't find any pre-sixties items, their prices aren't too steep (higher than say Value Village, but not unreasonable by consignment store standards) and I did pick up several tops, a marvelous grey cardigan with beautiful beading on it (that my mother spied first - stellar find, mom!), and a few purses, all of which were on sale for $2 to $4 a piece.

Once we were done shopping we called Tony to come pick us us, dropped my sister back at her house, and headed home to Penticton for the evening. After a lovely, summery meal (including a big bowl of a gluten-free version of my all-time favourite pasta salad that I'd whipped up in advance the night before), I got to open my birthday presents (Tony and my parents spoiled me with really thoughtful, terrific gifts, some of which I plan to chat about in future posts for sure), and then tucked into a big dish of homemade (by my mom) gluten-free Rice Krispie Squares (which is what I requested when my mom asked me what I'd like for my birthday dessert).

I hadn't been feeling to great the night before and didn't sleep one wink (though I did veg in bed for five hours straight), so by the time time the end of the day rolled around, I'd been awake for something like forty hours straight. Not, mind you, that I really felt tired until after we'd eaten - must have been all the excitement of the day keeping me going.

Hands down this was one of the best, most enjoyable birthdays I've ever had, and I can't begin to thank Tony and my family enough for everything they did to ensure that I had such an amazing time. I hope with all my heart that this birthday represents that kind of year that lies ahead for me, and after such a top-notch celebration, am already counting down the months until my 29th rolls around! Smile

July 29, 2012

Enter to win a $40 gift certificate from Fairyfiligree

As I sit here in the wee morning hours of the last Sunday in July, it strikes me that it's been a good long while since Chronically Vintage last hosted a giveaway. There's no particular reason for that, though no doubt last year's Vintage 365 project and the whirlwind of activity surrounding our move earlier this year certainly factored in.

As there is no time like the present though - or for a present, come to think of it! – today I'm thrilled to be able to offer all of you the chance to win a $40.00 gift certificate to a wonderful etsy shop called Fairyfilgree that's based out of the beautiful country of Malta. 

Featuring a handpicked selection of mid-century clothing, accessories, and jewelry, Fairyfiligree was founded in 2009 a lovely lady named Marika who has a lifelong passion for vintage clothing and jewelry (as evident by her eponymously named blog, Fairyfigree).

Culling items from the sunny, gorgeous island of Malta, as well as her travels to Italy and elsewhere throughout Europe, Marika presents shoppers with a fun, fashionable mix of reasonably priced pieces that primarily hail from the 1950s through to the 80s. Many of her pieces radiate an chic, appealing Mediterranean vibe that help them standout from the etsy crowd, such as the terrific items pictured below.

Fairyfiligree vintage etsy shop giveaway mosaic, Chronically Vintage

{From top left to bottom right: 1960s Polaroid sunglasses, 1970s Italian holiday souvenir scarf, vintage glass bead triple strand necklace, 1980s embroidered cotton detachable collar.}

Giveaway details

This giveaway will run between today (August 29th) and Sunday August 5, 2012. It is open to all Chronically Vintage readers from around the world.

One lucky winner will be drawn at random on August 5th, and announced here in a blog post soon after (I will also contact the winner directly to let them know that they’ve won).

The winner can put the $40.00 gift certificate, which will be provide to them by Fairyfiligree, toward the cost of whatever item(s) they would like  from Fairyfiligree’s shop.

I want my readers to have as many chances as possible to win this terrific gift certificate from Fairyfiligree , so there are five ways for you to earn as many as five separate entries in this giveaway.

1.) Post a comment below letting me know what your favourite item is that Fairyfiligree currently has in stock in this etsy shop.

2.) Add Fairyfiligree to your list of etsy favourites.

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

4.) Follow Chronically Vintage with Google Friend Connect (or let me know if you're already a GFC follower).

5.) Copy and tweet the following line on Twitter: Chronically Vintage is giving away a $40 gift certificate from etsy vintage seller @Fairyfiligree.

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

I wish everyone who participates the absolute best of luck and thank you all in advance for taking part in this exciting etsy gift certificate giveaway!

July 27, 2012

How I came to love the Olympics

Growing up, like most people who owned a television, my family certainly watched some of the events that transpired every two years when the Olympics, be they summer or winter, were held, but they - save perhaps for the hockey finals (this, being Canada after all) - were not something that we scheduled our days around or which we got too massively excited about. Sure we cheered team Canada on, and each person had their favourite events, but that was about all there was to these games for me back then.

My husband is not, by and large, a huge watcher of sports. He enjoys rooting on Italy during the Fifa World Cup, and will tune in for the occasional game (especially if it's a playoff game) of one sport or another, but the rest of the time, he's not exactly glued to TSN. A point which makes it all the interesting, and in a way, awesome, that he is a massive fan of the Olympics.

While there are certainly some events that he enjoys watching more than others, it really doesn't seem to matter what countries are vying for the gold in whichever sport, if there's an iconic five ring Olympic flag flapping somewhere in the background, he's all over it. It's thoroughly fun to watch someone who doesn't usually bat an eye over most sports make the energy level of the cast of Glee look unenthusiastic by comparison when his interest in the Olympics swings into full gear.

From the grand opening ceremonies to the very final competition, he's there, watching, admiring, and rooting for the underdogs as much as the winners. It's beautiful really, and it so perfectly captures his caring, optimistic spirit and desire to see others succeed.

The first summer we ever spent together, 2004, as our relationship blossomed with the strength of gold medal weight lifter, was an Olympic one - held in Athens, Greece to be exact, and it was then that I first got a taste of what an big fan of the Olympiad my (soon-to-be) future husband was. After work, we'd jockey our flatmates (we were living in Dublin, Ireland at the time) for the TV remote (there was only one TV in the house) and plunk down with our dinners in front of the tube to watch as many of the events as we could cram into one evening.

London 2012 Summer Olympics vintage inspired poster by Peter Gander

{A wonderfully vintage inspired poster designed for the 2012 Summer Olympics by artist Peter Gander, that’s available on etsy, features the colours of the British Union Jack, and is the kind of piece that you could hang on your wall to keep the Olympic spirit burning in your heart, much as it does in Tony's, long after the closing ceremonies on August 12th.}

I'd never before known anyone who was so into watching the Olympics, and - then, as now - Tony's enthusiasm for the Games (especially the summer ones, which are his favourite of the two) was instantly contagious. In the years since, between Turin (held in Tony's home country of Italy, no less!), Beijing, and Vancouver, I've watched easily three times more Olympic events than in all my life prior to 2004 put together, and have wholeheartedly enjoyed every last moment of it.

Today, as the Games of the XXX Olympiad kick off, I know that I’m in for sixteen days of stats, scores, semi-finals, gold medal competitions, excitement, energy, and lots and lots of discussions about what transpired in London the day before, and quite frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way, for Tony made an Olympic loving convert out of me eight years ago and I haven't looked back once.

To all the athletes taking part in the Summer Olympics this year, from our humble sofa in Penticton, B.C., Tony and I are behind you all the way, cheering you on and commending you on representing your nation in the world's biggest sporting event. No matter what happens on the medal podium, you're all winners in our eyes!

July 25, 2012

Speak of the 1950s deviled eggs

Last month we delved into potato salad with a delicious, ingredient rich recipe from the 1940s. Today we're going to spend a little while with another summertime party, picnic, and cold cut based supper staple: the deviled egg.

Where exactly deviled eggs got their start is hard to say, as foods that included a notable hit of spice or piquancy have been called "deviled" since at least the 18th century, and stuffed/filled eggs have likely existed for that far back (if not longer), given how popular eggs have been throughout many cultures around the world for centuries.

Known, less commonly as salad eggs, eggs mimosa (no relationship to the drink), and dressed eggs, deviled eggs appear in scads of yesteryear cookbooks, and really began to gain in popularly from the 1930s onwards (with, I'd venture to say, the 1950s being their heyday). I'm sure that this is due in no small part to the fact that refrigerators were becoming more commonplace and thus eggs (especially ones that had been prepared with highly perishable ingredients like mayonnaise) could be safely stored in a chilled environment until they were ready to be served.

Much as with many other summertime finger foods and salads, most people put their own subtle spin on deviled eggs, though at its heart this relatively simple recipe remains fairly similar across the board. Hard boiled eggs are partnered with mayo, Miracle Whip or salad dressing cream, various seasonings, and often mustard. A sprinkling of paprika (or for those who like it extra spicy, chili powder) is commonplace, but not always a given.

In today's 1950s recipe for Deviled Eggs, the ingredient list is kept to a relative minimum, but there's no shortage of taste of crowd pleasing appeal here (especially since this recipes lends itself to being multiplied to your heart's content).

Vintage 1950s Deviled Egg recipe

{A smile-inducingly fun illustration accompanies this 1957 recipe for Deviled Eggs, making it one that's worthy of printing out and pasting into your book of favourite recipes. Image via Charm and Poise on Flickr.}

I adore sweet relish, so I'd likely up the content there a little if following this recipe. If I was in the mood to deviate, I might ditch the ketchup and relish, and swap the yellow mustard for honey, Dijon, or grainy, swirling in a small handful of freshly picked chopped chives, parsley, basil, or tarragon. A dash of Worcestershire sauce can also be a wonderful savoury note to include in the filling when making this classic finger food.

If you like your Deviled eggs to be especially "evil" (aka, sizzlingly hot), you can always toss in a splash of tabasco, chili, or sweet chili (awesome with a little lemon grass) sauce, not to mention cayenne pepper, fresh or canned chili peppers, onions, or hot salsa.

If on the other hand, you prefer an stuffed egg that veers closer to being angelic, forgo the fire and stick with creamy, mild ingredients such as sour cream, French dressing, dill, pimentos, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, finely chopped celery, grated carrot, sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, or shredded cheese (such as cheddar, Swiss, or Havarti).

There's really no limit to the array of ingredients you can plunk down inside of a hollowed out half a hardboiled egg, and therein lies so much of the fun and appeal of this classic, quick-to-prepare, much beloved appetizer which, perhaps due to its name, is more than a little tempting to both make and consume!

July 24, 2012

In which I hold my first guinea pig ever!

To date neither wordsmiths nor science have come up with an adequate method by which to describe or measure how much I adore guinea pigs - diligently as I’m sure they’ve tried. I've always loved these ultra cute little bundles of precious fur, yet somehow the chance to hold one had never cropped up before (I must have been one of only a few kids who didn't either have a piggie or have any friends who did).

Recently however, on one of the absolute loveliest days of a very damp season, Tony and I jumped in the car in and headed a little ways south of town to the charming orchard and fruit stand studded community of Keremeos. We went there will the sole intention of visiting the area's only (as far as I know) petting zoo, because, quite frankly we're two adults who's love of hanging out with snugly, feed-able animals rivals that of any kid on the face of the earth.

This daytrip was unplanned, which worked out perfectly actually, because I think if I'd know about it the night before, I genuinely would not have been able to sleep. Donning my Freddies of Pinewood overalls, a fun fuchsia plaid top, and some sturdy (forties-esque) walking shoes, I couldn't bolt out the door fast enough, my excitement mounting with every mile that ticked away.

We reached Farmer John's Petting Zoo shortly after they opened and were greeted by both a friendly staff and a gorgeous day that included a seriously lovely breeze. Having paid our admission and purchased bags of animal feed, we set off for a couple of hours of some of the best solid fun I've ever, quite frankly, had in my whole life.

Be forewarned, my dears, this post is rich in photos (captured with our little compact camera, not the usual Canon SLRs we use for most shoots) - but with so many ridiculously cute animals everywhere, it was impossible not to get a little snap happy!

Guinea pig leaving its house, Keremeos petting zoo
This petting zoo is terrific, they have a really fun mix of farm life, rabbits, and guinea pigs, such as this darling little fellow - who like most of the cavies there, was busy scurrying all about, with next to no interest in what we humans were up to.

Cute calico guinea pig at the Keremeos petting zoo

Another precious guinea piggie, this one poking out from under a wooden fence, intrigued by a branch that strong winds the night before had knocked down into its habitat.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 3

It took the help of one of the farm’s staff, but after a little while we were finally able to catch a guinea pig, which I lovingly cradled in my hands for a couple of minutes. That look on my face? Complete and total bliss at the fulfilment of a lifelong desire (to hold a guinea!).

Tony and Jessica Cangiano at Farm John's Petting Zoo, Keremeos B.C
How much to do I love guinea pigs you may ask? Enough that, for the first time ever in my life, I’ve posted a picture here which shows a front view of (part of) my teeth. That might not seem like a big deal, but I have very crooked, crowded, unattractive teeth and virtually never smile with my mouth open as a result (a point which I could never even bring myself to talk about online before this post) . The staff member who took our picture kept talking to us as she was snapping though, and as a result the best photo she grabbed of Tony and I – with the massively cute piggie in it – was this one. Trust me, it will likely be a very long time (if ever) before you’ll see even this much of my (absolutely awful) teeth again.

Tony Cangiano holding an adorable black and white guinea pig, Keremeos petting zoo

While I could have joyfully held onto that endlessly sweet little black and white piggie all day, I was a good sport and let Tony have a turn too. Smile

Adorable brown and white fluffy bunny rabbits at the Keremeos petting zoo

There were two areas (located very close to one another) with bunnies in them, the younger rabbits being placed in the same enclosure with the guinea pigs and the older, larger ones in an area unto themselves. These two fluffy cutie pies were chilling with the cavies.

Adorable black and white bunny rabbit at the Keremeos petting zoo

I would have absolutely loved to have held a bunny, too, but none of them seemed game for it, so instead I was more than content just to capture photos of them – especially this ridiculously darling little black and white one hiding under a bench.

Cute brown rabbit at the Keremeous petting zoo, Okanagan British Columbia

In the second rabbit enclosure one encountered sweetie pies like this sandy hued fellow, who’s long eared shadow reminded me of the classic shape of a chocolate Easter bunny.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 2

While the rabbits weren’t too keen on being held, they were more than a little happy to take all of the delicious pellets we were feeding them (I wonder if this one liked my pearl bracelets?).

Tony Cangiano feeding a bunny at the Keremeos petting zoo

The bunnies were a little more shy around Tony, but eventually a couple of them warmed up to him and I was able to nab this shot of one inching its way toward his outstretched hand.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 1

As you can see by the wind sock that was flapping around over the guinea pig enclosure, we were sharing our day with quite a breeze. Not that I minded in the least though, it helped make for the best temperature and weather you could ever want for a day like this.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 4

This darling black and white piggie, who was on the verge of giving birth in just a few days, was so sweet natured and friendly. She’s allowed to wander about the farm amongst the visitors and was immensely happy to lap up all the treats we offered her.

Cooper the Mule at Farmer John's Petting Zoo, Keremeos B.C.

Some of the penned animals had names on their fences, and this super friendly mule’s name was Cooper. He was a total doll who just loved having his face rubbed.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 8

Like all the critters, big and small, that we encountered that day, Cooper the mule was also extremely fond of being feed a few handfuls of pellets.

Cute white llama at the Keremeos Petting Zoo

While that day marked the first time I got to touch a guinea pig, it might surprise some to know that it wasn’t my first up close encounter with a llama (my mom and step-dad used to live right beside some people who kept a few and I used to pass pet them all the time on my way to and from walking up the hill to catch the school bus).

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 7

I do believe though that this may very well have been the first time I’ve ever had a chance to feed a llama – or in this case, two shaggy haired sweeties!

Tony Cangiano feeding the llamas at Farmer John's Petting Zoo, Keremeos B.C.

Feeding llamas was also a first for Tony that sunny, wonderful day.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 11

The petting zoo is located just off of main stretch of the highway that runs through the little community of Keremeos (seen in the background here), an area famed – and much beloved throughout the province – for its excellent produce and many fruit stands.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 6

This pony was as cute a button, however he also had a bit of a jealous streak! A second (white) pony was located in the paddock right next to him and the moment I started feeding that one instead of him, he stomped his front hooves against the metal fence, demanding that we feed him again, too!

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 5

Like most petting zoos, this one had a number of goats, all of who enjoyed being feed and petted (which was great because I couldn’t get enough of running my hands through their ultra soft fur!).

Tony and Jessica Cangiano feeding a baby goat at Farmer John's Petting Zoo, Keremeos B.C

And as you can see in this shot, neither could Tony!

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 10

These little pygmy goats were so eager to get to the treats some were head butting each other to reach my outstretched hand first.

Turkey at Farmer John's Petting Zoo, Keremeos British Columbia

As you can imagine, this big fellow wasn’t for petting, but he was still fun to see nevertheless and he certainly put me in the mood for autumn’s return.

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 12

Contently at peace with the beautiful world – and generous abundance of ultra darling animals – around me.

Two cute grey rabbits, Keremeos petting zoo

The petting zoo is designed so that one follows a natural path that leads them past all of the varying critters, but at the same time also allows for easy backtracking if – like me – you just have to go see the bunnies again before carrying on with the rest of the sights.

Brown and white guinea pig eatting, Keremeos Farmer John's Petting Zoo

And, well, if you’re saying hello to the rabbits once more, you definitely better wave a cheerful hi to the guinea pigs as well (even if they’re too busy nibbling away on straw and grass to pay much attention to you).

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 13

Though the sunlight was a tad harsh, the moment I spied an open (to the public) barn with bales of hay and a red rake in it, I just knew I had to pose for a photo…

Jessica Cangiano, Keremeos petting zoo, Freddies overalls, vintage farm girl, image 14

Or two! (That’s me daydreaming about the next time we get to visit Farmer John’s!)

Outfit details

Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12

Blue and white polka dot headband: Arden

White rose stud earrings: Claire's

Fuchsia flannel plaid shirt: American Eagle

Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore

Vintage reproduction overalls (dungarees): Freddies of Pinewood

White socks: Zellers

Black shoes: thrifted (from Salvation Army)

Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace
All animals: their own fur or feathers

Photos of me by Antonio Cangiano, pics of Tony and the critters on their own taken by me, and the snapshot of the two of us together taken by one of the petting zoo staff.

♥ ♥ ♥

I tell yah, on the awesomely enjoyable, ultra adorable animal filled scale, days just don't come much more fun than this, and I absolutely know that there will be many a trip more to the Keremeos petting zoo in our future - especially when the overwhelming urge to spend time with a guinea pig strikes again! Smile

July 22, 2012

Twenty 1940s and 50s real world wedding photos

Every now and then I mull over the fact that I haven’t been to a particularly large number of weddings in my life. Somewhere between 7 and 9 of them, I do believe, to date. There are several factors behind this tiny number, such as that I come from a relatively small family (and am the oldest grandchild and first degree cousin, so my siblings and all of my cousins have yet to marry) and that my group of real world (aka, off-line) friends is quite compact, too.

Add to that the matter that I’ve moved numerous of times over the past decade or so, rarely settling down in one province (or country!) for too long, and thus not always building up a large group of friends and acquaintances. Toss in that I usually work from home (therefore making the kitty and husband my primary coworkers), and that my health often keeps me from joining social activities (sports teams, civic groups etc), and I can easily see why the number of wedding I’ve been do has to cross into double digit territory yet.
Not that I’m blue about this point or anything like that, especially since I know that several family members are, or will soon be, now old enough to contemplate marriage, if they so desire, and thus it’s likely that they’ll be more weddings for me to attend in the coming years.

Which is a very good thing because, you see, like many a gal, I rather adore weddings. I cherish the emotions that come with attending the nuptials of someone you care about (or even a stranger, really), the traditions and rituals of the ceremony, how each couple puts their own spin on things, and the sense of bliss and endlessly possibility that so often radiates from the bride and groom’s faces.

Then of course, there is the wedding dress, the colour scheme, the cake, the flowers, the jubilant mood, the speeches and toasts, the music, and the first kiss. It’s all rather magical and fantastic.

I do not, as of yet, have any weddings to attend this season, however I cannot help but find myself, on this serenely sun-kissed Sunday morning, yearning to take part, either as a guest or in the wedding party, in a wedding today.

Unless I crash one though (which I’d never do!), that won’t be happening though. No worries in the least, there’s always the next best thing (or third best, if you work in order of one’s own wedding, then being a part of someone else’s), and that is looking at vintage wedding photos.

Flickr is ripe with yesteryear wedding inspiration, and so it was there that I turned to find a trove of heartwarmingly wonderful, deeply beautiful 1940s and 50s photographs of real world couples celebrating what was, no doubt, one of – if not the single most – important days of their lives. Some weddings were lavish, others highly humble, and many (then as now) fell somewhere in between.

These images speak volumes unto themselves, and so I have not added my comments below each one (as I usually do with vintage photo filled posts, such as Saturday Snapshots). Their allure and appeal is only heightened by the fact that, upon looking at them, you can write the story of these lovely couples yourself in your mind.

{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.}

Whether you’re attending a wedding a week this summer, just one, or (like me) don’t have any penciled in yet, I hope that you enjoy looking at these terrifically charming, perpetually special shots as much as I did – and that, should you happen to be planning your own marriage in the near future, you’ll be able to draw more than a modicum of inspiration from these timeless vintage wedding photos.

Here’s to the elegance, excitement, and wonder of weddings, and to all those lucky, gorgeous summer brides out there this year!

July 20, 2012

Like something straight out of a League of Their Own

Vintage 1948 bus in Summerland, B.C.

1950s red and white gingham dress, Mission Creek Park vintage photo shoot, Jessica Cangiiano, image_1

Outfit details
Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Red and white polka dot headband: Claire's
Red rose stud earrings: Claire's
Red vintage plastic bead necklace: gift with purchase from an etsy seller
White button front blouse: Reitmans
Cute gold toned poodle brooch: eBay
Red and white 1950s gingham sundress: etsy seller JanesVintage
Red vintage belt: unknown (probably off of a different 1950s dress)
Red lace trimmed pettiskirt/crinoline: Pettiskirt Style
Thicker red bangle bracelet: Forever 21
Thin red and white bangles: etsy seller Me She Designs 
Vintage straw clutch: thrifted
Nude seemed stockings: eBay
White pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red layered over top of Clinique's Raspberry Glace
Photography by Antonio Cangiano

♥ ♥ ♥

That was my first first thought when I spied this fantastic vintage bus parked off to the side of a narrow road in Summerland, as we headed out to Kelowna on the day we snapped the photos for my red and white Canada Day photo shoot (if this outfit looks familiar, that's why).

It's not terribly uncommon to encounter vintage cars, especially around these parts (where scads of classic car enthusiasts reside), but it's not every day that you run into an old bus just sitting their by itself on a field and house lined street, and I knew instantly that I wanted to grab some photos with it.

"How old do you think it is?" Tony asked as pulled up. "I'd peg it to be late 40s or early 50s, but I'm not an absolute expert on vintage bus models", I replied as we hurried to get the camera out before the sky overhead started pelting us with the rain it was promising to release any moment.

Before the water started tumbling down we got in a couple of photos, which I was pleased as punch about, as I've always been a huge fan of the movie A League of Their Own, yet haven't had a chance before to pose with a bus that very easily could have hopped right out that terrific baseball movie.

As it turns out, the bus had a paper tapped up in the front window with its date on it: 1948, so my hunch was correct (love it when that happens), it was from the late 40s.

Though the rain prevented us from making a full on shoot out of this location, it was still an absolute blast to spend a few moments in the company of such a streamlined, beautiful piece of yesteryear automotive history.
As we launch into this (somewhat sunnier) Friday, I hope to have another fun adventure or two to share with you in the near feature, and am sending out scores of wishes to you each for a thoroughly awesome summer weekend ahead!

July 19, 2012

25 reasons to love summer

Summer has a certain allure, a heady magic, a gleaming grandeur and tantalizing beauty to it which can neither be ignored nor forgotten. Though some like it more than others, few amongst us can wholeheartedly say that they despise the third season the year entirely, for amid the points that may wear down our nerves, there is bound to be at least a few simple pleasures, sunshine illuminated joys and beloved memories that we wouldn't trade for the all world.

Perhaps because it's when my birthday falls, when I was proposed to by my husband, because I cherished the two month break from school as a child (like most of us did!), or due to the fact that a part of me truly adores feeling the permeating heat of June, July, and August sink down to the core of my soul. Whatever the reason, I have a deeply rooted passion for summer and often (both during and at other times of the year) find myself reflecting on some of my favourite elements of this marvelous season.

Twenty-five is but a drop in the bucket when it comes to the countless number of things, experiences, moments, and pleasures of this hot, lengthy, wonderful season, but it provides ample space for a diverse roundup of reasons why I cannot help but wear my heart on my sundress sleeve when it comes to this glorious time of the year.

1. The scent of air-dried laundry flapping gently in the breeze.

2. Brightly hued pedicures poking out of vintage peep-toe shoes and sandals.

3. The serenely melodic chirp of crickets wafting across the evening air.

4. How every day seems to hold the possibility of turning into an unforgettable adventure.

5. Picking cherries fresh off the tree and devouring them by the sweet, gorgeous burgundy juice stained handful.

6. Wearing all of your favourite vintage warm weather fashions.

7. The endlessly sublime wonder that is a gorgeously warm summer breeze.

8. Pulling up and settling in for an awesome night spent at a drive-in movie theater.

9. Building towering sandcastles (and making sand angels).

10. Outdoor marshmallow roasts, and by natural extension, the unending  fabulousness that is s'mores!

11. Falling asleep in a hammock.

12. Messy, refreshing, completely fun water balloon fights!

13. Wrapping yourself up in a thick, fluffy terrycloth towel after a great swim.

14. How more people than usual seem to be a good mood - and how easy it becomes to make new friends under the amicable light of the summer sun.

15. Open air concerts enjoyed while laying on cozy blankets.

16. Making entire meals out of ice cream, gelato, sorbet, Italian ice, or any other frozen, sublimely sweet treat that your heart desires.

17. Having a blast with your favourite pool and beach toys.

18. Nights so warm you can still wear bare sleeves at 12am.

19. Wild summer thunder and lightning storms that waltz feverously across the horizon.

20. Hitting as many yard sales and outdoor flea markets as possible!

21. Quenching the incomparable thirst that summer brings with an icy, delicious classic summer drink.

22. Curling up under a shady tree with a book you've been yearning to read for ages.

23. Any kind of getaway with the word "trip" in it (road trip, camping trip, etc).

24. Playing the terrific Italian classic that is bocce ball.

25. Knowing that, even here in (most parts of) Canada, it's very unlikely to snow anytime soon!

Vintage actress Ellen Drew sitting on a diving board with an inflatable pool horse toy

{Beautiful 1930s and 40s actress Ellen Drew sitting on a diving board with a very cute summertime classics, and #17 on our list today, an inflatable pool toy in the shape of a horse. Image via carbonated on Flickr.}

♥ ♥ ♥

It was so hard not to keep going for another twenty-five or fifty more, but we'll cap the list here for now...after all, there's always next summer during which to celebrate even more reasons why this season shimmers, shines, and endears itself to our hearts.

I hope that many of these entries are amongst your personal favourites as well, and would love to hear about some of the other things that top your list when it comes to why you adore the roasty-toasty days of the good ol' summertime.

July 17, 2012

Honoured and ecstatic to be Va-Voom Vintage's Blog of the Month

In the world of vintage bloggers there are certain people that quickly become beloved household names, especially if their sites are chocked full of excellent posts, inspiring images, thoroughly talented tutorials, and sublime sundry old school fuelled offerings. One such blogger, whose site I have adored since the moment I first laid eyes on it back in 2009, is Brittany Sherman of Va-Voom Vintage.


Brittany from Va-Voom Vintage


A self-described mommy, housewife, crafty gal, and vintage blogger (not to mention all around gorgeous, friendly, wonderful and incredibly stylish person), Brittany (pictured above) offers readers a deeply appealing blend of all those elements of her life and many more, and as a result is an absolute must-read for anyone who finds one or more of those descriptions applies to them.

I've been a major fan of Va-Voom Vintage for ages, and was over-the-moon happy - and more than a little honoured - when Brittany contacted me recently in regards to being featured as her July Blogger of the Month.


Needless to say, I couldn't type "yes" fast enough! Yesterday Brittany published our interview, which I must say, she did a cracking job with. You can read the the interview here: Blog of the Month: Chronically Vintage.


Thank you scarcely begins to cover how grateful and over-joyed I am to be a part of this awesome, inspiring, beautiful vintage blog - especially, to boot, during my birthday month, which just makes the honour all the more meaningful for me.


Brittany, you and Va-Voom Vintage are the absolute bee's knees, and I am so incredibly touched to be your feature blog this month. Sweetest thanks!!!!!

July 16, 2012

The intrepid urban explorer

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 7

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 4

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 1

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 10

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 6

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 2

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 11

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 8

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 3

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 5

Jessica Cangiano, vintage photo shoot, vintage teal shirtwaist dress and floral scarf, image 9

Outfit details

Prescription eyeglasses: (frames) Venus Eye Design V-12
Faux pearl earrings: Claire's
1950s floral print scarf: eBay
Vintage turquoise blue shirtwaist dress: eBay
Skinny white belt: eBay
Vintage yellow gloves: Jardin Antiques in OK Falls (first blogged about in this post)
Dark purple vintage box purse: yard sale (for only a $1.00!)
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
White pumps: Payless
Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace

Photography by Antonio Cangiano

♥ ♥ ♥

Hark, what is this? A sunny day, can it really be? If you too have been feeling as of late like you’re about one Home Depot lumberyard trip away from buying all the requisite materials for an arc, you’re not alone. We’ve seen such an unseasonably large amount of rain over the past two and a half months that I’m starting to wonder if summer proper is going to show up at all this year.

Though those sublimely sky high temperatures that the Okanagan is famous for have, by an large, continued to elude us so far, we have had a few days that were either warm and/or sunny weather, one of which was the afternoon when Tony snapped these shots of me in our yard just before we headed out to run some errands and enjoy one of our lovely little drives around town (for the sake of sightseeing and because we both find driving to be relaxing).

As I got dressed that morning I felt like I was an in an adventurous mood. I could see a breeze rustling strongly through the trees outside, and as the sun finally beat down on the soggy grass, I felt like I could have packed a truck and embarked on a trip to some distant (and presumably much drier) land – say perhaps, the Sahara desert or the Andes Mountains of South America.

I knew I wanted to wear a scarf, but (for a bit of a change as of late) not on my head, rather draped across my shoulders. To match the spirit of the sun, I opted for numerous pops of colour in this outfit, from the turquoisey-blue shirtwaist dress (which, I just love, makes me look a tad taller than I really am for some reason – hurrah!) to the snow white pumps and belt.

At first I put an orange belt with this outfit, but the longer I stared at it in the mirror, the less I liked it with the scarf, so off it went, replaced by this skinny white number (I do definitely foresee wearing the orange belt/blue shirtwaist dress combo one day though, as I really liked how fun they looked together).

Once the look had come together as a whole, I suddenly felt like I was channelling Katharine Hepburn a little. Not any one role specifically, but just elements of her looks over the years, such as the high collar on the dress, the subtly practical appearance of the whole outfit, and the scarf knotted over one shoulder.

And the more I thought of the marvelous Ms. Hepburn, the more that feeling of wanderlust burned in my soul. While no jaunts half way across the globe materialized, we had a splendid day bopping around town, running errands, venturing down uncharted (ok, technically just un-visited by us yet) streets, and lapping up the beautiful weather with the same enthusiasm as a kitty going at a bowl of milk.

We might not have a thousand and one stamps in our passport, but by golly, we’re getting to know Penticton and the surrounding Okanagan towns and communities pretty darn well, which I’m pleased as punch about. After all, there’s much to be said for being urban explorers in one’s own backyard – especially when you happen to be blessed with the first sunny summer day in ages!