My Vintage Childhood

My Vintage Childhood: November 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gran's Christmas Shortbread.....

Shortbread and Christmas are a big deal around here. As far as Ben is concerned you can't have Christmas without shortbread and by shortbread he means shortbread made by his Gran or from her recipe.

Not only is the making and having of shortbread a big deal here with us, but it extends to Ben's parents and his brother's family too.

It's become a Christmas tradition with Ben's family that his mum and dad, along with his brother and his wife and ourselves that we all attempt to cook shortbread for Christmas using Gran's recipe. Every Christmas we test each others and try to lay verdict on who we think duplicated Gran's Christmas Shortbread the best.

Although Ben fancies himself as the professional taste-tester on this matter, it really is Ben's mother that declares the winner as it is her mum who has handed down the recipe. It kind of makes her the authority on the matter since she has many more years than any of us enjoying Gran's Christmas Shortbread.

So now that I've shared a little of our Christmas crazy and tradition with you all, I thought I'd share a little more with you and give you:


So if you're looking for a quick, inexpensive but thoughtful last minute Christmas gift, homemade shortbread, made with love is hard to beat, when gifted and wrapped up sweetly (perhaps in a sweet vintage biscuit tin).


210 grams of softened butter
90 grams of castor sugar
270 grams of plain flour
60 grams of cornflour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
  1. Cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Gradually work in the sifted flours, salt and baking powder.
  3. Remove from bowl and flatten out until it is approximately 1cm thick and cut bust out your Christmas cookie cutter.
  4. Bake in a moderate (180 c) oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake enjoy and be merry and when the days leading up to Christmas are all a little crazy, pop the kettle on and sneak a shortbread or two and unwind.

Do you have any Christmas baking traditions or competitions with other family members?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tips For Sourcing Vintage On Road Trips.....

You know what's fun to do sometimes? Head out a little further afield then your normal thrifting stomping grounds and take a road trip.

We like to head off on family fun days as we call them and get out of town. As long as we all get to do a bit of something for everyone to be happy, we're all good.

For me I'm happy to op shop and treasure hunt of course. Ben likes some open space or a field where we can stop and he can fly his remote control planes and helicopters for a little bit. As for the kids they're happy with a bit of everything but as long as they get to have a run around and burn off some energy they're happy.

With all of that being said, I believe there is a key to out of town thrifting and treasure hunting adventures with the family in tow and ensuring it's a successful and fun time for all. So I'm going to share some tips and advice.

  • As much as hitting the road and seeing what happens is fun, I like to plot and plan (even loosely) our out of town trips to maximize treasure hunting opportunities and have the day run smoothly around the kids. At least even with a loose plan if we come by other adventures and opportunities along the way we can take a detour and if it doesn't work out we have our plan to return to.
The kids keeping themselves amused on an out of town road trip.


  •  I research online and investigate what op shops and vintage boutiques are in the areas we will be passing through. I go as far as phoning stores to see if they are open on a Saturday or Sunday (if that's when we're travelling) and what their opening hours are.
  • I do even more online research and I check out Gumtree and other community pages to investigate what garage sales are on that might be of interest as well as markets, fairs and community days.
  •  I check out Google maps and our intended destination(s), if I've found op shops, boutiques or garage sales to investigate along the way, I check out each location in reference to one another. From that I come up with a loose plan of where to stop and when, this saves doubling back in a town or area we're not familiar with.....the goal is always to minimise frustration on a fun day.
  • Snacks and drinks, they're handy for everyone and are crucial with kids.....guaranteed thirty minutes into the trip someone will be hungry.
  •  My in search of list, which is a list of goodies I'm on the look out for that includes need, wants, customer requests, stock and fantasy items.
  •  Notebook and pen, to take notes of places, things and other destinations to investigate at a later date.
  • Packing supplies like bubble wrap, newspaper and boxes to pack up delicate finds that I want to ensure will travel home safely. Blankets and towels are handy for furniture items that need protecting.
  • Bags, totes and a market trolley, because you never know where you might end up on treasure hunting adventures and you'll need bags or a trolley to lug around your sweet finds.
  • Camera or camera phone, because we're creating memories where ever we go.
It's also handy to have something to read on road trips, especially if the kids fall asleep, I can play catch ups with my reading.

  • I get chatting with locals about other places like op shops, markets, fairs and so forth to check out in the area. Unless you're from the region you've traveled to, you often find that there is out of the way places and events that are more than worth checking out that can turn up some amazing little finds, that aren't widely publicised. 
  • I always keep and eye out for noticeboards, flyers and brochures on shop counters that publicise community events, fairs, car boot sales and the like that are coming up. You'll be amazed how many other fairs and markets are out there happening that you never had an idea of. I collect them and note dates in my diary for reminders and for yearly planning and future road trips.
Seeing things we wouldn't normally see on a recent road trip, an emu farm with thousands of emus, kids loved it.

The above is more than a fair idea of how we try and make the most of out of town treasure hunting trips. If we have the kids in tow, a lot of consideration is taken into keeping them happy and enjoying themselves. We stop to have walks, plays, and look at interesting things we see along the way as well as ensuring we take car activities for them to enjoy. But more than anything we make the most of the time together, and being out and about and seeing things we wouldn't normally see.

Do you have any tips for out of town treasure hunting adventures?

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Year 12 Formal Flashback, a Look Back 20 Years On....

In August of this year I headed off to my 20 year high school reunion and had an amazing time catching up with old school friends. Tomorrow sees year twelve students in Queensland finishing up their schooling with their final day, with thousands of them chomping at the bit to celebrate with schoolie plans and events.

It's quite crazy to look back twenty years and think wow that was us (my friends and I) fashions were different, times were different and schoolie celebrations (if you ever hear the news reports these days) were a LOT, LOT different.

Pre-digital days, these pics had to be scanned. Gosh how times have changed some things get better with age and time for example photographic technology and myself I like to think.

These were my dates and I, on our formal night! I know what you're thinking......DATES!!!! Before you get carried away two of these three boys are childhood friends I've known since year one of primary school. I've always been one of the boys to this crew and I still am, but I'm more the lovable sister now, that they like to give a hard time and tease when we can all get together. My bestie Shannon who you've been introduced to on the blog, is part of this crew, but he got nabbed quick in the formal date partnerships, hence why he isn't pictured here, but he was certainly a huge part of our post formal celebrations.

When I started dating Ben in May of my final year of high school, Ben was quickly advised that he had to meet the "boys" and if he didn't get along with the boys and accept there was nothing else to our friendships, our blossoming relationship wouldn't last.

Ben is a year older than me and graduated the year before I did at different school. He was sweetheart to dress on the evening of my formal in something complimentary to myself just to nab a photo with me before I headed into my formal dinner. He then joined us for post-formal celebrations later.

I'm happy to say the "boys" and Ben all accepted one another and got along like a house on fire, which meant we just had another "boy" in our crew and fun times. We have all had some wonderfully crazy and fun times over the years, and if I think back to our post formal celebrations twenty years on I still have the boys forced to keep certain behaviours hush hush between our crew. Some things are just still too embarrassing to mention beyond our crew.

What I realise though, twenty years on is that I'm incredibly lucky to have such friendships in my life that have always been honest, true and and faithful in protecting me all of these years. My bestie Shannon and I catch up all the time (he is Fraser's godfather), but as for the other boys it's harder these days with us spread out, married, kids, running businesses or regularly jet setting. But the same thing remains that it doesn't matter if we haven't spoken in the longest time because as soon as we see each other, we are all picking up where we last left things.

If I could give any advice to school leavers at the moment, it would have nothing to do with career or work. It would be a plead to not be fickle with friendships, make sure you hold on to those ones that have stood the test of time through your schooling. Be honest, true and faithful to those connections. Do what you have to do to stay connected through tertiary studies and work, because as you emerge into your adult life and you feel a little lost along the way (it will happen, it happens to us all), these are the friends that will ground you in those changing times and will remind you that not everything has to change.

How long has been since you graduated? Care to share a picture? What advice would you give to school leavers of today in these different times?


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Injection of Fun in The Everyday.....

Monday to Friday the everyday here involves the same same of morning routines and getting Cohen ready for school. With the slight change in the week when Sarah has kindy days and Fraser has family day care.

Regardless of the everyday and if it means I'm hanging at home with Sarah and Fraser (because it's not their days in care), I try to injection some fun or difference into my outfits.

Polka Dot Tee: op shopped
Denim Skirt: op shopped
Polka Dot Braces: op shopped
Rainbow Shoes: design, painted and gifted by a dear and talented friend

I'm not one of those people who loves housework so whatever I can do to injection fun into my day when doing housework I will. I certainly wouldn't wear one of my beloved 1970's maxi dresses to scrub showers. Instead, with the vast majority of my wardrobe being thrifted I throw fun basics on and ham it up with some difference and cheek.

Denim and white is a classic combination considered by many, but I say throw on some polka dots. I say add another pop of colour to the the denim and white, with some red braces with white polka dots for some fun and attitude. Suddenly I'm donning a classic look, with  a bit of spunk.

Spunk factor added with the happiest hand-painted sunshiny, rainbow shoes in town.

Wearing basics can be fun and brighten your day, by adding some quirk. Basic never has to be boring.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blue and Black and Throw on a Hat....

When I op shop my eyes always scan racks for patterns before anything else in a hopes my eyes will fall upon some especially groovy sixties or seventies print that I must investigate before anything else.

It's the only must do I have when checking op shop clothing racks and then once any vintage has been sussed out, I scan and flick through racks for colours that pop out to me and pieces whether they be modern or vintage that I think would work with my wardrobe, style or lifestyle.

Cobalt Blue Cotton Overalls: op shopped
Black Plain Tee: op shopped
Beads: garage sale
Hat: op shopped
Sandals: retail
Sunglasses: prescription 

I recently thrifted this cobalt blue soft cotton overalls and thought it would a lovely breezy addition to my spring and summer wardrobe that would fit those days when I'm channeling a little inner hippie and boho vibe.

It's an easy lazy day wear, with some beads thrown on and my newly op shopped hat, that I bought on a brief op shopping out with my mum recently. She laughed at me wearing the hat around the shop whilst I continued to shop and when bought the hat she suggested that it's something an old woman would wear. 

Why thanks mum, I'll take that as a compliment.