My Vintage Childhood

My Vintage Childhood: November 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In short I'm Making More Time for Me.....

I'm sure we've all experienced life being busy and getting carried away and as a result we let the little bits of self care slide. As much as I try to make an effort with my outfits each day, it's been some time since I've taken the same care each and every single day with my make up.

I've always taken care of my skin but I haven't indulged myself with time for make up on a regular basis since having Cohen. Sure when I have had a rare night out I've made the effort or I've had some extra time on random mornings I've done something a little extra but it's been far from consistent until recently.

For the last three months I've been forming new habits and routines and have been stealing more time for me each morning and evening to take that extra bit of care and pampering and getting back into wearing makeup again. I feel all the better for it too, and my efforts feel matched by my effort in my outfits.

Plain Black Tee - op shopped
Polka Dot Shorts - op shopped
Beads - the sweetest bird of them all
Painted Natural Bangle - by me at the Annie Sloan Unfolded Cocktail Event at ProBlogger
Shoes - retail

I often have people comment on my choice outfits in my day to day running around of errands or at school. The comments are always positive with people saying that they think I always make an effort to look nice. It's nice to hear as I certainly don't dress like most other school mums or most people on the Gold Coast. I always try to wear combinations that are versatile during the day for school drop offs and pick ups, errands and meetings. So the above outfit would see me ditching the heels and slipping on ballet flats to navigate around three kids, car parks and school run.

I've found it funny lately how others have started to notice the effort I've been putting into my make up and making what is a big bold move for me to wearing lipstick rather than playing it safe with glosses. With the kids all getting a little older despite still being young, things are starting to get easier and it's nice to feel more of me emerging again.

Have you always taken time for you?  Have you little the little things slide from time to time or because of children? If you're reading this and you have, take it from me steal some time starting today......even just a few extra minutes and indulge'll feel all the better for it!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

{Recipe} Summer Days are for Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice Blocks......

Summer is certainly on it's way here, with temperatures already soaring most days and the air-conditioning running frequently. As a result of the heat I've been trying to organise some cold snacks and treats for the kids for after school and on the weekends.

The kids have been having plenty of icy cold smoothies, yogurt, fruit salads and I've also been getting creative with some home-made ice block combinations which is something I do every year when things heat up. I make ours at home as Cohen has certain food sensitives to various preservatives and colours, so instead I draw on the bank of things I know that are safe for him to have and create some yummy treats as well as save money.

I recent success and raving favourite from the kids are Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice Blocks which I posted a picture of on Instagram when Sarah and I were making them and there were several requests on Instagram and Facebook for me share a recipe. So here it is it's dead easy.

Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice Blocks

* Can or bottle of Lemonade
* Large Tin of Pears in Syrup
* Thumb size piece of fresh ginger

1. Add 300ml of lemonade to 300ml of syrup from the tin pears.

2. Take half of the pears from the tin and mash them up to desired consistency for your ice blocks. I like ours quite chunky, but you could also blitz them if you wish and then add the pears to the lemonade and syrup.

3. Finely grate a thumb size piece of ginger into the liquid mixture and then pour your mixture into you ice-block molds and freeze.

They are super yummy and zingy with the ginger and they could easily be made into an adult version with some vodka......just don't get them mixed up with the ones for the kids. But heck if you wanted to get a little more fancy you would even quickly blitz a frozen ice-block up for a makeshift daiquiri with a shot or two of vodka.

You can thank me later. Enjoy!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Looking at the Week in Retrospect is Good for Me....

I've been thinking for a while now how much looking back on each day or week really helps me see more and more of what I've done and taken in, especially at those times when days zip by in a blur with the kids.

In the last few months I've been weighed down with numerous challenges which I've not wanted to bring to my happy place here. The things is I never like the feeling and mood that starts to eat at me when issues are constant, but I do my best to see the laughter, light and fun in every day.

Looking back at my days and weeks helps me see how much I actually am doing or achieving when sometimes I actually feel it might not be the case. But the truth is it's okay and I'm okay, I've learnt that sometimes you need to relax and go with the speed and flow with which life throws you sometimes.

Time with special friends are always the best and last week my dear and best friend of over 30 years Shannon and I headed out for dinner to my most favourite Vietnamese restaurant I've been going to for years, Can Tho at Runaway Bay, which has had a new fit out. The restaurant now has this funky old world vintage industrial Vietnamese feel to it, and the food is as spectacular as ever. We had such a good time and it was just what I needed to have..... some kid free time.'

Dinner with Shannon came at the end of a very long day, as I had spent the day on a road trip out towards Ipswich after being invited by Renee of Née Say to her grandparents home who are moving. Renee's grandmother has lived in the same home for 80 years, and she has kept loads of amazing things. I came home with even more amazing vintage children's books and comics from the 1960's amongst other things.

This past week has also seen us have some of the hottest November days here in nearly 50 years. Time outside has been limited because of the intense heat (40 degrees) but we've made the most of gardening, playing, water fights and general faffing about both indoors and out and polishing off the rest of my Lemonade, Pear and Ginger Ice-Blocks (recipe coming this week).

That's my week in retrospect a pretty joyous one filled with the most important things in my world, time and love with friends and family,......oh and of course the treasure hunting,


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Decorating Has Officially Commenced.....

I'm calling it and saying Christmas decorating has officially started here, despite the tree, lights and decorations still all being in the roof waiting for Ben to get up there and bring them down. I'm so excited that the first Christmas decoration in place around home is my fabulous find yesterday.

For years I have been longing for a fabulous Christmas nutcracker but have never been willing to pay the extravagant prices I see on line from England and United States. But yesterday my longing and patience paid off when I stopped at just one more garage sale when I nearly wasn't going to.

He is certainly going to be a special Christmas keepsake which I will be looking forward to bringing out each year. Thank goodness for the little birdy that sat on my shoulder and told me to stop at just one more garage sale.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

My 5 Top Tips for Thrifty Christmas Shopping for Non-Vintage Lovers......

Christmas is ahead and present plotting and planning are well underway for most families. When I was growing up Christmas in my family home was a pretty humble affair, there wasn't any extravagance or excess.

Christmas presents never consisted of the hottest new toy on the market, but rather things that were practical and useful or encouraged learning or physical activity. Gifts were accumulated by my mum who hunted down bargains and sales and diligently put things on lay-by. As for any other gifts they were often second hand items like bikes, a see-saw and a basketball hoop that were freshened up or made by my very handy dad.

What were your childhood Christmas's like?

Now as a parent myself I sometimes find it a challenge to prepare for Christmas with children who are lot more knowing about the world and what's popular. I generally weigh up their needs and wants and try to give them a Christmas that is filled with things that follow this little rhyme: something they want, something need, something wear and something to read.

Surprisingly Christmas is the one time of the year that sees me do more retail shopping then any other time of the year, because quite simply not everything can be purchased secondhand and nor should it always be in my opinion. Not to mention that not everyone on my list likes vintage and retro items, and that's perfectly fine it's a personal preference. So in the months leading up to Christmas I go into super bargain sale hunting mode to get Christmas organised on a budget.

I use all my thrifty, crafty and bargain hunting know how to give everyone on our list something that is right for them. So if you're looking at every way possible not to blow the Christmas budget yourself, here is my top five ways I shop, and things I do to make it a little easier:

* Buy gift cards in smaller amounts like $20 and $50 throughout the year when I have spare cash, for stores I know people like my in-laws like. Then closer to Christmas we purchase actual presents on the gift cards for them. For us it's like a forced savings, as we don't often shop at some of these stores for ourselves, so there is no threat of the money/gift cards being used for something else.

* Lay-by, lay-by, lay-by, I'm still old school and would much rather paying something off being held in a stores storage room then pop it on a credit card or blow the cash budget in one week. Putting on a lay-by when there is a sale can stretch your dollars further, but be careful with clearance items as often they can't be placed on lay-by and need to be purchased in a limited time to gain the savings.

* Online shopping, I stalk online deals and sales websites like nothing else to buy items at far less then some physical retail stores. I often find that some of the major websites have flat rate shipping because of the volume and diversity of items they deal in, which makes it a cheaper way to shop.

* When and where possible I make gifts and or have them made for those who appreciate that type of thing, I also exchange services. I'm not the most proficient sewer and I can't knit or crochet for the life of me, but I have loads of friends who can. Doing some trading of services with friends I can have lovely goodies made for my loved ones in exchange for handpicked and sourced vintage goodies for their loved ones.

* Share shipping and postage from other online retailers with friends and family. If you have friends with like minded interests and shopping habits and you're intending on purchasing from the same online stores sometimes it's worthwhile investigating shipping weights and charges. It can be far more affordable to place a bulk order and pay one shipping charge rather then multiples orders.

Finally for those who really do appreciate a thrifty approach or vintage treasures, I make it my mission to give them what they desire. In my crazy head I often think it would be so much easier to shop for everyone else in my life if they loved vintage as much as I do or a thrifty approach, but the reality is we all have our preferences and that's completely fine.  So I do my best to take as much care in buying all those I love and care for, things they truly would like whether it be retail, thrifted or vintage.

What does your Christmas shopping look like? Would there be outrage if you were to give a thrifted gift to a member of your family? If you shop retail for Christmas what are your approaches for making it an affordable Christmas?

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thirfty & Vintage Dining Room Changes.....

It has been a long time since I've shown you any changes around home and over the last little while we've been chipping away at making changes and improvements. Everything here is always a work in progress from painting to decorating, as we have do things in stages and on budget when we can!

I can't believe I haven't shown this to you all but earlier this year we updated the chairs for our dining table, as Ben wanted something more comfortable and the original chairs we had that matched the table had vinyl that was starting to split and wear. The chairs themselves were still structurally fine, but we decided to sell them to someone I know who likes to revamp old pieces, doing so allowed us to fund some new to us comfortable yet retro dinning chair.

They don't match our table but we're completely fine with that, it's about piecing together a home that is eclectic and has personality. Our dining area has also seen a big goodbye to our old dying retro buffet, and replaced with a modern cubed storage unit which I bought of eBay for a third of the price that sell for retail. If you click on the link above you'll see what our old dining chairs and buffet looked like.

Later on down the track we are wanting to replace the cubed storage unit again for a long Eames buffet but neither Ben nor I are wanting to do that until the kids are older and aware of the care that one needs to take around things sometimes.  When I get that Eames buffet I want it to in impeccable condition and I want it to be a forever piece to be handed down. For now the cubed unit helps marry together Ben and I's modern and vintage tastes.  So I'm now trying to decorate the unit with vintage and unique finds that tell a story about us as well. I'm still in the process of filling this unit up and playing around with things, as it's an addition that only came this week and Fraser's busy hands need to be taken into consideration with what will be going on the two bottom rows, for now square baskets are looking like our best option. As for the the square that's free beside my lovely retro glasses, it's likely going to be some liqueurs.

Finally one of he other biggest changes that has happened has been me saying goodbye to my much loved chair. I know close friends reading this will be shocked because they will know just how much I love the chair I had and how often I have threatened to drag it out of the house if ever there was a house fire. But for various reasons concerning the kids and further changes we are wanting make around home, I made the decision for him to go a new home. Instead this lovely has joined us too!

Our new to us chair is far more practical for this room and a lot less of a hazard with the kids on my old swivel rocker. I'm rather in love the shape of this chair and it still has it's original fabric which will likely be redone in time. The little occasionally table is also a score from this week, which I picked up for coins.

We still have got a lot to change in this room and it's a case of slowly does it, there's the painting of the feature wall (where the cubed unit is with the starburst clock) to do and we've got new pendent lighting to go in and other electrical work to do. We are also wanting a huge rug for under the dining table, but the size we need if we purchase retail is a fortune, so I'm hunting down bargains, sales and discounts not to mention trying to find something perfect and second-hand if we can. Finally as this post goes live I'm waiting to hear if we have been successful on a bid at a deceased estate auction for a desk that compliments the style of our dining table. If we are successful it is going in the left hand corner next to the cubed unit.

This whole decorating with vintage and melding it with modern whilst being thrifty at the same time is a work in progress, you've got to be patient to get things just the way you want. There's no going out and buying a whole decorating suite retail fix for people like us.

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