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  1. What to Wear: Rain. Again

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    As a kid growing up in rural Saskatchewan on a grain farm, we were taught to never curse the rain - because we never got any and so any drop was a good drop. But here in Camrose we've been pelted with rain, both this summer and last summer, and it sucks. It's too much for farmers now and harvest will likely be a few weeks late, which is just great for our economy, especially after the recession. So I guess that means I can complain now.

    Anyway, here's what I wore today, which was yet another rainy day.

    I'm clearly thrilled about the weather. Knit top and skirt, Imagine Vintage (sponsor)

    I bought new earrings - in pink and in teal. The problem is, I wear teal so much that I have to really coordinate these earrings with the rest of my outfit so they aren't too matchy-matchy.

    I also bought new shoes from Payless. They are so comfy, even without insoles (which I will be getting) and the heel is the perfect height. The lining inside the shoes is cute too!

    The rest of the week is supposed to be sunny, which will be great because I'll be spending at lot of time at the Big Valley Jamboree. This will be my second year covering BVJ, and I wrote a few posts ( here and here) on my other blog as a summary, if you're interested. I'm already thinking about what I should wear. Normally I wouldn't think this far in advance, but I also don't want to be annoyed by drunkies about what I'm wearing or treated inferior (like last year) because of my wardrobe. Any suggestions? You've practically have seen m entire wardrobe.

  2. Saturday and Sunday was the Weekend to End Women's Cancers in Calgary. My mom and Auntie Val, along with five other women, walked 60 km as team Strength in Strides and collectively raised $29,603.25 to go towards cancer research.

    As you can expect, I'm damn proud of them. I drove down to Calgary Sunday morning to surprise Mom and Auntie at the finish line.

    The organizers  keep the route fairly hush-hush - not even the walkers know where they're going - but luckily Greg and his master espionage training pulled through and I made it.

    Afterwards we went to the Wild Rose Brewery and Patio and I got a wicked sunburn where I missed sunscreen (despite my sister-in-law's warnings - no need to say I told you so Meredith) but that's nothing compared to what these guys went through. I am so proud of my amazing Aunt and Mom!

    xoxo Laurie

  3. What to Wear: Interviewing a Pig Racer

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    That's no euphemism. Today one of my assignments was to interview and photograph a man who puts on a travelling zoo called the Down Home Hillbilly Show. He's in town for the Big Valley Jamboree, which kicks off next Thursday. We're doing a special pullout on BVJ, so I was glad to go down to the grounds and check it out.

    Unfortunately, the pigs were saving up for the big race so we didn't get any action shots. But we had this group shot (he calls himself Big Boss Hog, seen here with the Daisy Duke girls):

    Big Boss Hog (Ken Lasalle) and his Daisy Dukes will be thrilling fans of all ages at his Down Home Hillbilly Show during Big Valley Jamboree July 28-31, which includes a celebrity pig race and a chance to meet the animals.  LAURIE CALLSEN/CAMROSE CANADIAN/QMI AGENCY
    And then, because there is nothing cuter than little kids and little animals, I got this shot:
    Colbie Ferguson feeds Chipper the goat, one of Big Boss Hog's animals from his which will be running during Big Valley Jamboree July 28-31, which includes a celebrity pig race and a chance to meet the animals. LAURIE CALLSEN/CAMROSE CANADIAN/QMI AGENCY
    I wore this, since I thought it would fit the bill.

    And that - among other slightly less interesting things - was my day! Just goes to show that there's no assignment too grungy for a nice skirt.

  4. Finishing School: Dreaming

    Wednesday, July 20, 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:
    This week I want you tell me about your dreams. Perhaps you’ve never voiced your dream before, perhaps you think it sounds ridiculous and unattainable. Perhaps you think a miracle is more likely to happen so what’s the point in even mentioning it.
    Tell ME. Leave a message in the comments section or write a blog post and link up with Mr Linky. What is your big dream? What do you dream about doing in five, ten, fifteen years time? In your widlest fantasies (keep it clean ladies!) what do you see yourself achieving? Do you long for a certain type of family life? Do you yearn to be running your own business? Do you wish to be a ballet dancer/pop star/zoo keeper? Do you want to look a certain way? Do you want to be a lawyer/brain surgeon/scientist? Do you dream of having a yoga fit slim, toned body? Are you healthy? In love?
    I want to know what you dram about. If you don’t have a dream then your challenge is to make some time for daydreaming this week and think about your dreams and hopes for the future.
    Another dream of mine is about to come true. My husband and I dreamed about living and working abroad for many, many years and always considered it to be impossible. Once I started dancing West Coast Swing I had wild fantasies of being able to live in the home of West Coast Swing and indulge my passion in the dance and become really good at it (as do many of my fellow dancers). I can not tell you have bloody amazing and much like a miracle it is that we are now moving to California. It was a dream, an honest, outrageous, unattainable dream.
    Dreams come true so get dreaming.

    It's funny that this is the next finishing school challenge because just last night, G and I were laying in bed talking about the future. We have lots of dreams - some that can be shared and others that will probably work better as secrets until we're farther along - and I know we're going to get there eventually. That's not to say that I'm shy about talking about my dreams, it's just that some things are better left to sit and ferment and grow before releasing into the wild. Is that cryptic enough for you?

    I want to travel. I want to spend time with my family and really get to know them. I want to buy some old, dilapidated mansion in the British countryside, the one where I dream about it and find beautiful, old clarinet sheet music and beautiful lace dresses (that one was a real sleeping dream). I don't want so much money that I turn crazy, but I don't want so little that I have to work so hard that life passes me by. I want to be spontaneous - even if it means planning spontaneity (baby steps!)  Most importantly I want to have fun and explore being me. I love dreaming and I love life; it's only going to get better.

    I can still sleep through anthing.
    xx Laurie

  5. Finishing School: Eyes

    Tuesday, July 19, 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!

    I'm beginning to realize how block-headed it was of me to do these in reverse order and also how sloooooow I've been in updating. It seems that now that it's summer I'm busy both with work and also friends, family etc (imagine that). I haven't been swimming since my post about it (fail!)and it seems like I'm only blogging a few times of month instead of every day - and I've only just started this blog. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be even more discouraged. I just need to be more organized and have a rule, like I can't go to bed until I blog, or something.

    Anyway, enough whining and more finishing school. This one I find easy-peasy because I've loved make-up forever (well, after my rebelious teenage stage where I hated it because my mom sold it and wanted me to wear it) and still would fancy doing it more often on other people.
    Your Challenge:
    It was hard to set a challenge for this one as I’m aware that the financial restrictions of some may well inhibit them from taking part. With this in mind there are two parts to this challenge and you can take up one of them or both of them.
    Have an eye test. It is surprising what they reveal. If they reveal nothing, brilliant, at least you have checked and shall hopefully add such a check to your two yearly agenda.
    Wear Mascara every day for a week. If you’re really good you could completely make your eyes up every day for a week. If you already do this then great, you’re off the hook this time. If you don’t then let me know how you feel after the week, did wearing make up and catching glimpses of yourself make you feel better? Did it boost your confidence? Did other people notice and comment? Will you be adding your new found make up routine to your daily routine?

    Like I said this one is fairly easy. I had an eye exam last August so I'm on track for that (plus I just got new specs, as you may remember from a few posts back) and I do my full make-up - base, eyeliner, mascara, blush - everyday unless I plan on not leaving the house.  So I guess I'm off the hook!

    I typically do my makeup the same everyday, with a few variations depending on my outfit. After my foundation and blush, I add a lightening eyeshadow under my brows and in the corners of my eye, a nude shad (actually from a tri-colour blush from Mary Kay, but it doesn't know if it's going on my eyes or my cheeks) all over, then a brown from the same blush in the creases. Then I add eye liner, either black liquid eyeliner or brown eyeliner, depending if I feel earthy or pin-up. Following that I do a few swipes of mascara then I'm done! I add lipstick once I get to work, since I drop G off first and he gets embarrassed if I leave lipstick all over his face (for some off reason!)

    The finished product:

    Sometimes I do like to step out of the box. One day I was feeling particularly sixties so I used  lavender powder and purple liquid eyeliner (both MK) instead.

    ALSO: I am going on vacation at the end of next month and would love to have some guest bloggers, if any feel like doing me a favour helping out. I'd especially love any blog posts that deal with journalism and vintage *hint hint*. If you're interested in guest posting, please give me a shout at laurie [at] I'd also like to start doing more make-up for folks (maybe even hair and photos, who knows) so if anyone feels like a willing model and lives near me, please give me a shout!


  6. Sponsor: Imagine Vintage

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Sorry for being such a patchy blogger, but I'm very excited about today's post. A little while back Peggy from Imagine Vintage approached me about being a sponsor for Retro Reporter! I jumped at the chance, since I love Peggy's shop and want to promote more local and vintage shopping, especially here in Camrose. It's so nice to have a vintage shop just down the street, especially one that is a hidden gem, unlike some of the shops in the city that are fairly well picked over. Peggy is always so quick to help, has so many resources and is always suggesting outfits or accessories.

    Peggy and Imagine Vintage. As you can see, the store is bursting with fabulous vintage fashions!
    Peggy sources about a third of her wares from people in Camrose - with a high senior population, there's always people downsizing, retiring or settling estates - while also heading out to garage sales and on buying trips. She said she stays away from buying vintage online, as she likes to get a good look at the item to check the condition first hand. Almost everything on the racks has been cleaned, repaired and checked-over by Peggy's watchful eye so she knows she can give her customers quality.

    Peggy got into starting Imagine Vintage in a roundabout way. She remembers her days as a teenager in Red Deer, hopping the bus after school to hunt for new treasures at the thrift store. After a year of interior design training, she moved to Camrose and started working as a window dresser at local stores. After setting up a table in a local shop, Peggy decided to expand and move into her current location at Imagine Vintage, just one block south from Main Street in Camrose.

    I first found Peggy about a year ago when I moved to Camrose. My newspaper office used to be across the street from Imagine, and I think one of the first things I said when I got out of my car was "A vintage shop next door? How perfect!" I've always had a great experience there, whether it was just browsing or if I was really on the hunt for something special.

    Here's what I picked up on my latest trip, so you can get a feel for the type of things Peggy has in store for you:

    I love the look of this very tropical, late-70s-does-40s number. It's a two-piece set, complete with a high-waisted short. I can't wait to get out onto the beach with my big floppy hat and matching sunglasses and test it out!

    While it may be a little too warm to think about three-piece suits, I couldn't let this 1960s set sit on the racks for some other lucky duck to snatch up. I love sets because they work so well together, but I love to mix and match vintage and modern and balance my outfit out.

    I wore this tunic the other day with a simple white tank top and black capris and loved it! The bold, bright print needs to be pared with some neutrals, and I chose to wear a tank top underneath so I could leave it partway open and break up some of the pattern.

    This is another great 70s-does-40 look. I could see this sweater pairing great with the 1960s suit, high-waisted jeans or even a circle skirt. The colours are neutral but the texture and detailing pop what some would otherwise consider a very boring sweater.

    I love this purse! I'm unsure of the year, but I love the saddle bag look it has to it. Best of all, it fits my tablet perfectly, which will make carrying around so much easier. I hate hocking around big bags because the bigger my bag is, the more I fill it with stuff, so this is the perfect size for me.

    Scarves! Like most vintage ladies I love me some scarves. I chose a bright yellow one, a green bandanna for watching sporting events and a lovely white floral.

    I love this bracelet. It has such gorgeous details, fantastic bright colours and it in excellent shape. I also love the little 'Made in Canada' stamp on the back, because I wish more and more things were made in our home countries instead of importing from others because it's cheaper.

    If you too fancy a great haul like mine and are able to come to Camrose, visit Imagine Vintage at 4904-49 ave. Mention my blog and you will receive a 10% discount! For those of you who can't make the trek out here, Peggy tells me she hopes to get an online shop up and running soon, as she has more fabulous stock than she has room for!

  7. Show 'n' Tell: My newest shiny toy

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    All right, since I seem to have a multitude of personalities and interests, I can't seem to keep them all separate. This is actually more of a tech review than anything vintage, so if you click away I understand. However, if you're like me and love gadgets (especially Google) you may want to stick around.

    On July 4, I finally bit the bullet and ordered my Eee Pad Transformer by ASUS (not anus, as my dear sister first read it :p). There were a few reasons I was drawn to the Transformer over other tablets:

    1) It was Android.

    Sorry Apple, but I'm a Google fangirl for life. I have a heavily-loaded Google account, an Android phone (HTC Legend) and I like being able to multi-task and have everything sync up. Also: cutest logo ever.

    2) The reason I chose the Transformer over other Android tablets was its capabilities. What really sold me was the docking keyboard.
    Not only will the keyboard be great for typing up stories on the go, but it also gives it another 8 hours of battery life. Cha-ching!

    3) I also found the Transformer to be very reasonable in price ($549 for the tablet and dock, free shipping from Staples).

    I also am very glad I ordered the table through Staples, which has fabulous customer service. I half-jokingly tweeting about wondering where my tablet was - I knew it would take a while because I'm sure they don't just keep hundreds of tablets in stock - but the StaplesCanada account saw it, sent me an email saying it would be ready for me to pick up in store the NEXT DAY (instead of the originally estimated July 18) and they would be giving me a $100 rebate for the inconvenience. Um, wow!

    So now that I've waxed poetic about this thing, I need to throw in some cons, both about this tablet and the Android system in general. I found the owners manual to be lacking (G & I took forever to figure out how to dock and lock the damn thing) and the cord is sooooo short. I need to buy an extension cord for it actually, because I can guarantee you that it will be rare I will be an arm's length from a plug-in when I need it the most.

    The other thing is most Android apps are currently optimized for mobile phones, which isn't that bad but when I'm trying to read off of Tweetdeck like this, it's a pain in the ass. I hate reading across long lines!

    What will I be using it for? Fun mostly: watching videos in bed, reading blogs and e-books and even playing games. I also don't have a computer anymore (after I sloshed booze all over the Macbook keyboard *sniffle*) so it will be great for going to councils, where I prefer to type for 3 hours instead of hand write (it's faster for me). It's also super light, so when I travel I won't break my back hocking it around. A laptop is just such a ball and chain, you know?

    I'll still use G's laptop for editing photos, writing my blog, working on graphics etc.

    While I still may be in the rose-coloured glasses phase of this relationship, I think it's going to be wonderful. G agrees.

    xo L

  8. My motivation has been in the tank lately (poo poo!) and since it is Friday it's going to be on an extended vacation, so I'm going to do a round-up of my favourite blog posts and articles from this week. (Sorry for the lack of images, but I didn't want to steal photos from anyone!)

    Timely as ever, Retro-Chick posted about motivation - or lack there of - and some very good tips on getting it back. Clearly I need to re-read them. Like her, I've been feeling a bit meh lately - and I can't even blame it on the weather!
    Fleur de Guerre, vintage gal extraordinaire, wrote about being glamorous and some tips for perking yourself up when you're feeling a bit low.
    ReeRee Rockette mused about the names we give our vaginas and the tabboo behind even talking about them.
    Annie Pancake put her lovely dressing table on display and gave fantastic tips for organizing make-up and hair accessories with a vintage flair.
    Ana from Snowangels showed off her lovely vintage bicycle collection, all with names inspired by friendly fowl.
    How To Be A Retronaut showed hauntingly-dystopian photos of the Mothballed Fleet, which are naval and merchant ships abandoned in a bay near San Francisco.
    Lina Sofia wrote about some 1930s fashion history and what to wear when it comes to 1930s evening, day and bridal wear as well as 1930s couture, leisure and day wear. She also wrote about vintage insecurity, a topic that I can identify with.
    I'm surprised that I was interested in the Royal Tour of Canada, but let's face it, Kate looked fantastic. I loved her nude pumps, the yellow dress that almost got away from her in Calgary, and a little knit number that looked positively 30s on her frame. I am also shocked at how great their Highnesses look in their cowboy gear. Hell, Will could almost be a dead-ringer for a Smith boy, one of my Southern-Albertan ranching cousins.
    Well, that's all for now lovilies. I'm off to the homeland for the Little Valley Jamboree tomorrow, so I'm sure I will have plenty to post about when I come home. Toodles!

  9. What to Wear: Passport stress

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    As you may be able to tell by the title, I've gone under a little holiday planning stress - and the planning has barely started. G & I are heading to the Big Apple in August to celebrate our birthdays (I'll be barely 21, thank goodness our time off at work jived with my youth and those silly American drinking laws), which means we have a bit of planning to do.
    The first thing to get done was our passports. I have been done mine for a while - except for a mix-up at the passport office because apparently the gov't considers G to be my relative *huff* - but in typical fashion G left his for the last minute. We were only half an hour late leaving for Edmononton and were able to be in and out of the passport office before my one-hour parking expired. We were down to the minute and of course G had to say some cheeky thing like we had plenty of time, yadda yadda yadda. Thank goodness for happy endings, but I dread the inevitable panic I'll feel at the airport when we leave.

    Anyway, if everything goes to plan and the gov't manages to spell my name right, I should have my passport in two weeks *fingers and toes crossed*.

    So here's what I wore for my half-day at work and stressful, whirlwind day in Edmonton, featuring my other new wrap-skirt from my weekend shopping trip.
    Top: Jean Warehouse | Skirt: Decadence Vintage
    My hair wasn't great since I was feeling sick to my stomach last night and ended up falling asleep in the evening in a variety of places in my house and felt too ill to do my nightly routine. Instead I showered in the morning and did a set of hot rollers, which turned out okay but never as great as I hope. However, I did pull it into something that really meshed with the 60s vibe I've been feeling (I've felt very Mad Men-ish lately).
    Am I really that strange looking?
    Any tips on beating the vacation stress? Don't just tell me to be uber-organized because anything else is NOT an option. I'm the Queen of Organization. :D

  10. Oh, hai guys. Remember me? Sorry for my absence, I was pulled under with work and other random business. Also, I was lacking in motivation (!) which was a reason for me to pull away. I'd rather blog somewhat half-assed than not at all, but that's just the way it went.

    In summary: my cousin's wedding was a blast (Also, I did wear the green dress to the wedding. I didn't take any photos, but hopefully someone did!), work has been busy and I had a great Canada Day weekend working, shopping with Nicole (who scolded me for not blogging!) and hanging out with the boyfriend and his crazy gang of friends. One said to me that I was getting more and more retro everytime he sees me, which I took as a compliment.

    Here's one of the goodies I picked up on my shopping trip with Nicole.

    Took my photos before I remembered lipstick. Oops.
     It's a handmade wrap skirt, made out of some-sort of thick, heavy fabric (I'm useless with guessing stuff like this). Also, it's bright orange and hand-embroidered. Amazing!

    I also forgot to put on shoes and tuck away the dirty laundry before photos.
    Must be Monday.
    Look at that detailing!

    I also have two new vintage bags hanging off my arms, both gifts.
    The camera bag was a yard-sale find from my co-worker (thanks Dan!) and the purse a gift from my mom that she found when cleaning out a relative's apartment after she passed on.

    That's all for now. I have an exciting announcement, so stay tuned.