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  1. Show 'n' Tell: New spectacles

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Wednesday had a free glasses sale. I'd had been eyeing up a certain pair of Derek Cardigan glasses for a few weeks, so I impulsively snatched them before they sold out. Today (only two days later!) they were waiting for me on my doorstep when I go home for lunch.

    So, in a most slow and suspenseful manner, here they are:

    LOVE this. Mini-screwdrivers always get lost.

    Pretty, black and simple. I like.

    More layers!

    Ta da!

    Aaaand, of course you probably want to see how I look in them, so here you are:

    I'm very pleased with them. I'm not used to wearing glasses outside of right before bed, so they'll take a little getting used to, especially since the frame is a different shape. Overall I'm very pleased. And, if it turns out they aren't working for me, I can send them back to Clearly Contacts within 30 days.

    What do you think?

  2. As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I'm fairly pathetic when it comes to making decisions. Which is why I need your help deciding what to wear for my cousin's wedding, which will be outdoors and around 17 degrees this Saturday. We're getting ready at home and driving there, so I need to wear something that breathes and travels well.

    I've narrowed it down to two choices. #1 is this modern dress by Joe Fresh with Payless red wedges.

     It's summery and light, but is a little wrinkled (I would iron) and might get moreso on the 4 hour drive.

    Dress #2 is this vintage green dress from Imagine Vintage.
    It's out of focus but you get the gist.

    Please ignore the ugly stockinglettes, I had to see what these felt like with nylons on.
    It's a little bit heavier, which might be good if it's windy and is a bit more dressy than the first. The only con is the shoes are a little bit too tight, but generally when I wear nylons they seem looser, so we'll see how that goes. Worse comes to worse I'll wear these to the wedding then run around afterwards to find suitable flats for dancing/drinking. I would be wearing What Katie Did seamed stockings with both, to hide my embarrassing mosquito bites.


    Also, here's what I'm wearing for the rest of my day (biking riding, being lazy in the sunshine before the thunderstorm later.)
    New lippy: Covergirl 305 - Hot Passion

    Hopefully you can't tell, but I stole the boy's boxers to wear as bicycle shorts. ha!

    Please please let me know what you think of my wardrobe choices, or if I should dash it all and wear something else!

  3. One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    Walk or do some form of exercise for 30 minutes a day. This can be as easy as walking the kids to the park or walking to work and back or as intense as swimming 100 lengths, whatever takes your fancy and is dooable.

    I went swimming yesterday! I checked out Lottie's blog to see what my nest post was, and when I saw it was fit I decided to get off my butt and go to the pool. Despite being a former swim teacher and lifeguard, I haven't been swimming in a long time (so long, in fact, that my suit had grown in my absence) so it was a little hard since I was out of shape. I'm also unsure of lane swim etiquette since I would always just go swimming when no one showed up for public swim when I was guarding.

    BUT I had an amazing swim. I was exhausted and wanted to quit halfway through but when I pushed past it I felt  so good. Endorphins! :) I also live really close to the pool, so I want to walk or bike to my swim, as long as it's not too dark to find my way back.

    Like I mentioned above, my current suit (a plain, red Speedo that I lived in for two years) has stretched and is now too big for me, so I'm on the hunt for a new one. There's lots of cute retro-inspired suits out there, but I'm focusing on ones that look like they can actually be worn for intense swimming, not just lounging by the pool (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Keep in mind when looking for bathing suits for chlorine pools to look for ones made with polyester or nylon. Lycra ones will fade and stretch after being in chlorine for too long.

    Enough with the words! Now it's time for pictures.

    These halter swim dresses by Beach Belle  might now be the best for heavy-duty lane swims, but would be perfect for Aquasizes or other water aerobics. At $54 they are also very reasonable for cute swimsuits!

    I love these. Made by Splish, the army style one looks fit for an Andrews Sister but is built for competitive swimming, while the tropical one is perfect for doing a few laps before happy hour. The website also allows you to design your own swimsuit if their varying selection doesn't fit your needs. You can also choose between a poly/spandex blend or a polyester PBT for just $10 more.

    I'm really proud of myself for not buying anything from ModCloth, but these suits might just push me over the edge. They carry a whole line of Esther Willams swimwear, and these are my favorites. The only thing holding me back is the ~$90 price tag. I just can't justify that to replace a suit that was $60.

  4. Wrapup: My history-filled weekend

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    I'm going to pretend like I had a four-day weekend and include my Thursday adventures in with this post. On Thursday, G and I went to Vintage Finds and Summer Wines, a fundraiser at the Camrose museum that combined my love of drinking with my love of history and vintage.

    For $35, patrons wandering around to the different buildings at the museum and tasted up to 78 different types of wines, beers or spirits, all while taking in the museum. It was my first trip to the museum, and needless to say it was a rip-roaring time. I also ran into several people I knew, which is always fun.

    This is the only photo of alcohol I happened to take. I really liked the design (and it was delicious).

    The rest of the time we wondered around the museum grounds. One building had lots of WWII stuff:
    I love wartime posters.

    A paper license plate, Canadian ration booklets and canning sugar coupons. 

    But this one was my favourite - a replica building of the Camrose Mail (now the Camrose Canadian, where I work) from what it was like in 1906. One of these days I'm going to ask the museum staff if G and I can come in and do a photo shoot.

    Next time I complain about how slow my Mac is at work, I'll just remember that at least I'm not typesetting a whole newspaper with a linotype machine anymore. 
    The wine tasting night was really fun, and even though I was wearing a normal work outfit for me (pretty much this one sans flower) I got lots of compliments on my outfit. I think a lot of people thought I was dressed up for the event so they were pretty surprised when I said I dressed like this every day. One woman also came up to tell me and G that we were a beautiful couple. I also had a very nice talk with a lady about how no one cares how they dress anymore and she encouraged me to keep dressing vintage.On the days that I feel silly and out of place I hope I remember that!

    I had a very lazy Friday and Saturday, aside from G beating me in his first move of Scrabble ("Steamed", for a whopping 74 points. I tell you what, I was mighty steamed after that. I've only won Scrabble versus G once.) and watching the second episode of The Supersizers Go, where the food was mostly pies made out of animal heads. Lovely.

    Sunday Gme, G and our friend Ryan packed into my car and headed down the road to Wetaskiwin's Reynolds-Alberta Museum.  It's a machine/aviation museum and it was awesome I may not be a big machinery gal, but as someone who grew up on a farm I recognized a lot of machines, especially this one:

    Oil Pull Rumely - Burns Kerosene at All Loads
    This is a Rumley, a line of farm tractors built between 1910 and 1930. I'm not sure how old this one is. The reason Rumleys are so special to me and my family is because up until 2008, we had one of our own:

    1912 Rumley Oil Pull 30-60
    Our Rumley was bought in 1914 by our Great-Great Grandpa Callsen and brought to Canada. My Grandpa sold it to a machinist, who restored it in the memory of his wife. It's now fully restored and running.
    Since I have a bit of family history attached to these tractors, I couldn't resist getting some photos taken.

    I could tell this Rumley wasn't as old as ours because it had a seat. 
    Also: these things are massive.
    Eventually we carried on and continued to climb onto machinery like the rabble rousers we are.
    Do you see that face? This is why I don't let G drive. And just look how terrified Ryan is. 


    I'm starting to perfect that smoldering pin up look.

    In my hometown in Saskatchewan, it wouldn't be uncommon to see a kid driving that to school. 
    TTFN, hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

  5. Finishing School: Glamour

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    My challenge today is for you to spend one morning making the effort to look glamorous and see how different your day is. Do that manicure, spritz that perfume and style your hair. See how long this REALLY takes you and think about whether or not it would be really that hard to do more often.

    I bet it isn’t, like anything, once you make things routine they become easier and easier. This is all about making time for yourself, making yourself a priority in your day’s routine and making an effort so you feel better about yourself. It may sound silly but it’s surprising how an extra ten minutes added to your day adding make up and a good hairstyle end up making you so much more productive. It’s all about confidence and I don’t believe there is a women alive who doesn’t feel more confident when she knows she looks her best.

    Don’t forget to link your posts and let me know how you get on.
    As I sit here with my animal crackers, my pedicure and manicure drying and with Breakfast at Tiffany's on television, I feel pretty glamorous. Today was my day off, so I spent the day just laying around the house and being lazy.
    I was make my best effort to look my best, even if it's just another day at work. I haven't bit my nails in two weeks and I think they're the longest they've ever been. If I keep up this manicure business then I think I'll be able to stop. When my nails are pretty I want to keep them pretty - and when they're all bitten up and chewed I just don't bother. I've very proud of myself and even put a picture of my nails on Facebook for my mom to see.

    Even though I was staying in all day I decided to still do my hair. I tried hot rollers again and while it doesn't give me the same effect as an overnight sponge set, it's still better than my strange straight-wavy air dried hair I normally have. This YouTube video has become really popular on the Fedora Lounge and may become my new go-to hairstyle for lazy days.

    I already have my daily glamour routine down pact - set hair at night, hair and makeup in the morning and out the door. On days off, in between laundry and cleaning the house, I touch up my nails and whatnot. There's barely a day that I don't try to look my best. Not because I'm a vain and despicable person, but because it just makes me feel good. 

  6. Review: My favourite secret weapon

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    I have a confession: I love cleaning.

    I'm not as crazy as Monica in Friends, but sometimes my chest gets a little tight when I see my house in an utter mess. I'll leave the dishes overnight if I'm too tired, but sometimes when things all pile up I go bonkers.

    I have family coming by to visit me today so I made sure my apartment was in tip-top shape. The worst part of it was probably the bathroom, but it was one of the easiest to tackle thanks to my secret weapon: Borax.

    The most common brand of Borax is 20 Mule Team Borax, named so because it took teams of 20 mules to haul the Borax out of Death Valley in California. They've since done a redesign of the box to give it more of a modern appeal (!) but I still have the lil cowgirl version at my Walmart.

    I love this design! The little mule she has is so cute!
    Plus, it totally looks like my little sister.

    It's been a home cleaning staple for 100 years because it's not a one-trick pony: Borax can be used in laundry (it brightens whites and colours wonderfully), for deodorizing and for getting rid of tasty tub scum, the purpose I was using it for last night.



    Isn't that awesome? It takes a little elbow grease, but it works better than anything I've ever used before. I'm not sure if it's because this is a new tub and I've been cleaning it lots or if it's because it works like a charm. Also, since Borax is found naturally, it's great for those who want to get away from those harsh chemical cleaners that have all sorts of strange, unpronounceable names. While Borax is still toxic if you eat a large amount of it, it's no where near as toxic as bleach. Plus, I can say sodium tetraborate without batting an eye. 

    The only thing I dislike about Borax (because nothing is perfect) is that you have to rinse it really really well. Borax is a very gritty powder, which makes it great for scrubbing, but if it doesn't rinse away then the powder will dry and be sitting on your toilet seat, tub or bathroom counter. Rinsing it out of the tub is easy enough but it's a little harder to get it all off of the sink cupboard. My advice is to wipe it all off, then twice more to make sure you've got it.

    A box of Borax costs me about $6 and is well worth the price when I can use it practically everywhere in my house. I even made a Borax sprinkler jar last night to make it easier to use on the tub (when you pour it out of the box it tends to just be a big clump - this way it can be even).

    Now go out, buy a box and see the difference! It will replace your bleaches, your stain removers, your toilet bowl cleaner and your deodorizers, all for less than $10!

    Edit: I'm also a guest blogger at Retro Chick today! Head on over to read about using modern clothes in a vintage-inspired wardrobe. 

  7. Review: The Supersizers Go Wartime

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Hello, I'm back! Sorry for the unscheduled hiatus, I had a bit of off-line catching up to do for work and household and whatnot. But now I'm back and with a review of The Supersizers Go.

    I know this first aired in 2008 but with the Internet and YouTube it doesn't really matter, we can watch it now. My friend Ryan passed The Supersizers Go onto me and G and last night we watched the first episode.

    The premise of the show is a food critic and comedian live a week in the diet of a certain era, playing the part with complete wardrobe and home makeovers. Before they embark on the diet they go to a high-end medical centre and get their fitness and health levels tested to see how fit they are before and after the diet.

    I was really excited for the first episode, Wartime, because I'm trying to learn more about what life was like in WWII with rationing and other restrictions. While I learned a lot from this episode, I have to say the hosts lacked respect for the era. I understand that it's supposed to be funny, but seeing them mock the clothing made my heart hurt just a little. Maybe they were trying to lighten up such a dark time in history but I just didn't like their approach.

    It's definitely worth a watch as I learned tonnes. I liked seeing the creativity of home cooks in their recipes and loved the fact that vegetables weren't rationed at the time, meaning you could have all the greens one would want. As someone who's not a big fan of bread(!) I wouldn't have minded giving it up, but I would have missed coffee something terrible. A great resource to learn more about Victory Gardens and rationing is The Home Sweet Home Front.

    I'll continue watching this first series and probably will delve into their next series The Supersizers Eat as they have an episode on the 1920s.

  8. I'm really sorry for the recent blogging hiatus. I've been busy with work and life, but I promise to return to RR soon!

    xo Laurie

  9. Inspirations: Vintage on video

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Since it's my day-off I'm still in my pajamas, so I want to share some of my favourite inspirations from YouTube.

    As most vintage lovers already know, LisaFreemontStreet is the best YouTube channel for those wishing to learn more about hair and make-up from the days gone by. She also does some great product reviews and takes requests for styles. One of my favourite things about Ashley is that she's self-taught, meaning that you don't need to be an expert at hair to follow her videos! (She also picks great music to go along with her videos.) I picked a random introductory video to showcase above, but if you haven't been to her channel please go now! You won't regret it.

    GlamourDaze is a channel I just discovered yesterday and I'm already madly and deeply in love with it. All videos on the channel are archived vintagebeauty videos and are perfect for those looking to get the most authentic look. The video above goes through the best hairstyles for the varying face shapes. I also love the narration. The videos in the collection range from 1920s to 1950s, so it's also great for getting a grasp of the evolution of style!

    Another great make-up, hair and fashion channel is ElegantMusings by Casey. While a lot of her hairstyle don't work on me because I have much shorter hair, I still love her clean, crisp vintage look and how she can make vintage work for everyday, which is something I know I struggled with in my first few months of dressing vintage.

    Do you have any suggestions for vintage videos on YouTube that I should be following? What are your favourites? Let me know below!

  10. Finishing School: Hair

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    One of my favorite vintage blogs is Lottie Loves, run by Brit-turned-California super-mom Lottie. One regular feature of her blog is Finishing School, where she alphabetically runs through goals and post challenges for her followers to complete. Since I'm late to the game, I am going to start posting backwards from the latest, starting with O and then try to catch up. She posts them one a month so if I'm on the ball I will catch up in no time!

    Your Challenge:
    When was the last time you went to a hairdresser? If it was too long ago then please consider going asap, again, I appreciate that money is a factor and quite possibly time too, however, that two hours is such a good investment when you consider how fabulous and amazing you feel when you come out. The confidence a new or refreshed hairstyle brings is amazing.

    However, I try very hard not to set you challenges that do not require you to spend money as I know this is not possible for many people right now. Therefore my challenge to you is:
    To spend five minutes each morning, for a week, styling your hair. This may involve brushing it and using products to tidy it up, it may involve trying a new updo or simply adding a pretty hair slide. Whatever it is try something different and make an effort. Leave your house in the morning knowing you have spent five minutes on your hair and feel great about it.

    As ever, tell me how this goes. Did you try out a new updo? Have you invested in a new shampoo? Have you brushed your hair for the first time in two years? Did you get yourself to the hairdressers to remove the dreadful home bleached job?

    This post has great timing as I've just visited the salon today. Funny how that worked out ;). I think the last time I went to the salon was January - wayyyy too long!

    My hair was thick that it had trouble drying overnight in sponge rollers, even though I was working in small sections. I have very thick hair anyway, so I just needed a thinning, shaping and a few layers.

    I had a particularly damp set when I woke up, so I shoved a beret on and made a hair appointment for this afternoon as soon as I got to the office.

    Thank goodness for stolen boyfriend berets.
    Luckily it was another dreary day so I didn't look overdressed.
    Smile, you!
    My hair feels so good after the cut. I didn't particularly liked the way she styled it but I can't wait to see the results tomorrow. Since the style felt more poufy than what I was comfortable with, I did my favourite go-to hair fix: throw it back with some bobby pins and stick a flower in for good measure.

    That's better.
    In the foreword of her post, Lottie also mentions trying not to shampoo everyday. I've been trying to cut back but I find this one is very hard for me. I have thick hair that traps a lot of gunk throughout the say and can feel very greasy by the end of the day. It also smells, itches and doesn't seem to hold curl as well. I have dry shampoo but also find that is has a harsh, aerosol smell to it as well.

    I won't wash it tonight because it was washed at my appointment, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

  11. What to Wear: Walk in the Park

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Today I had a wonderful, lazy day. I was supposed to go flying with some little kids for a story, but it was postponed due to weather. The weather was strange all day - when I woke up to see if the event was still happening it was grey, then when I woke up again at 11 it was sunny then at noon it started to rain then later on it was sunny again. I didn't get dressed until about 1 pm or so because I didn't know what I was doing because of the weather.

    Eventually G and I decided to go for a walk in nearby Jubilee Park.

    Look, I painted my nails again! 

    My legs are gross here, don't look.

    Dress: $20 (H&M) | Belt: came with another dress | Cardigan: Joe Fresh
    Socks: H&M | Shoes: Thrifted | Sunglasses: Ardene's
    We didn't go on a long walk, just around the park and back by the lake so we could try to get some shots of the swans.

    I also would like to share some photos of my handsome boyfriend. He was all dressed up last week for the Alberta Party leadership convention so I got a few photos of him when he came home.

    Ow ow!