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  1. Well, I have FINALLY gotten into the Christmas spirit. It's only taken me two weeks longer than usual. I've been feeling under the weather lately, plus Ian hasn't been around (we always put up the tree together) so we didn't get a chance to put the tree up last night. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you'll know that we recently adopted a new kitty - or, he adopted us. So we've only put up with lights and tree without the decorations to see if he's going to be nice or not.

    Saturday morning before Ian goes to work we'll put up the rest of the decorations and whatnot. I'm excited to get our home back into the Kitschmas spirit!

    Low of my week: Honestly, this has been a grand week. I suppose the low would be how exhausted I was on Wednesday, but that was due to a positive - swimming 750m & then doing a 45 minute deep-water fitness class. Maybe it was Archie's little accident last night - we put him in the bathroom so he wouldn't attack the tree, but I would have rather cleaned up a down tree compared to what I did have to clean up :( poor little guy...

    High of my week: I've had a damn good week, so there's going to be a few here.
    Entertainment: going to the Vinyl Cafe Christmas show with Ian. We went last year and loved it, so we decided to make it an annual tradition. We got much better seats, and one of my favourite bands The Good Lovelies were the musical guests. It really got me into the Christmas spirit.

    Financal: Well this is more of a month-so-far versus week, but I was elated when I  realized that I put a HUUUUGE dent into my  financial plan, and I'm only halfway through the month. I worked a 12-hour day in November, meaning that I got a pretty big bonus, plus I (finally) cashed a cheque from a freelance project I did. Both of those meant I was able to put $1,200 on my credit card after paying bills, tucking away $600 for Christmas shopping & the wedding. Putting away $1,200 versus the $400 I had budgeted for meant I jumped all the way to my April goal for paying off my credit card debt. Merry Christmas to me!
    I'll let my chart speak for itself here. Check out that last column and compare December to November! 

    I just noticed that the Chequing Balance for December is wrong. Oops.

    A blog post I loved:  Well this is YouTube versus a blog post, but it's how to do vintage curls with a hot iron by PinUpDollAshleyMarie. I don't use heat well (I have lots of burn scars to prove it) but I can't believe how gorgeous her set turned out! 

    Best money I spent:  $70 on getting my hair cut! I love my salon, Mousy Browns - they always treat me so nicely, my stylist Paige is great (friendly without being too nosey) and can cut a great middy! Plus it's close to home and they always send me packing with a few goodies to tide me over the next 6 weeks. 

    Weekend Plans: Finishing up my Christmas shopping, giving my bestie Heather a vintage makeover and taking her to the Jivin' Belles concert

    Hope y'all have a good weekend and a fabulous December! 

  2. Meet the Jivin' Belles!

    Friday, December 6, 2013

    A week and a bit ago, I was delighted to discover that there is a 1940s close harmony group in Edmonton called The Jivin' Belles - and I was even more delighted to meet up with them for a quick chat about their upcoming benefit concert for the Edmonton Humane Society.

    The trio - Emily, Kate and Mallory - have known each other for the past three years, as students at Grant MacEwan University's music program, but have only been singing as the Jivin' Belles for a few weeks. They're accompanied by a piano, stand-up bass, guitar and drums, played by fellow MacEwan students.

    All three say they have an appreciation of close harmony and music of days gone by, and their Christmas repertoire is heavily influenced by Bing Crosby's tunes with the Andrews Sisters from the White Christmas album.

    "I grew up listening to 'White Christmas', and as a vocalist especially I think we're drawn to that tight,synchronized harmony. It's funny, because I'll show that record to some people and they're just like 'meh.' How do you not love this?!" said Mallory.
    "I think there is more precision in having to be in sync with two other people. It's that much more of a challenge, because it is completely synchronized to the millisecond. It's so admirable of the Andrews Sisters, that they were able to get it so exact."

    If you're heading to the December 15th concert, expect a wide open dance floor - the ladies hope that all attendees take advantage of the swinging tunes and get the dance floor hopping. And YES, a 1940s dress code is strictly encouraged (if you need to go shopping, you know who to call).

    The concert is December 15 at 7 pm at the Sawmill Banquet Hall. Check out details, including ticket information, here.

  3. This weekend marked the end of an era in one of the biggest industries in Edmonton's history when the City Centre Airport (aka the Municipal Airport aka Blatchford Field) saw its last takeoff.

    The once thriving airport has been closed to make way for a commercial and residential development (one that I am actually very eager to see), but its passing was marked with several ceremonies and events this week. Sadly I only got to visit one lecture as I was under the weather all week, but I wanted to share some WWII history of this airport, as I think it's largely unknown - both in Edmonton and around the world!

    A small city in northern Canada seems an unlikely player in World War II, but my now-hometown of Edmonton, Alberta was the busiest in the world, with 840 aircraft movements in one day. The airport grew so big that the army moved to build a new airfield north of the city, where CFB Edmonton/Steele Barracks is still located and operates today. During WWII, Edmonton's population grew by 22,000 people!

    Edmonton was the start of the Northwest Staging Route, a number of air strips heading north to Alaska created in autumn 1940. The route was chosen for several reasons, mostly to ensure American communication with Alaska wasn’t cut off, and the route was invulnerable to attack. The route also provided safe travel for diplomats travelling between the US and Russia. At the same time, the Americans were building the Alaskan Highway to connect the airports, starting in Edmonton.

    Edmonton’s airport Blatchford Field was the first licensed airport in Canada, and during the war it (then operating as RCAF Station Edmonton, and would later become our smaller commercial airport) was also home to the Air Force Base and training schools. As you can imagine, this brought a lot of airmen to Edmonton from across the prairies.

    (In fact, if it weren’t for the RCAF Edmonton base, I wouldn’t be alive. My grandmother grew up in Edmonton and was a secretary for the Americans while they built the Alaskan Highway. My grandfather joined the RCAF and was stationed in Edmonton. They met at a dance, and the rest is history! In the 1950s, the dairy where my grandma spent her youth was sold to the government and became CFB Namao, and is now a fancy suburb.)

    The Americans delivered fighter and bomber aircraft to Russia via the North West Staging Route, with about 8,000 passing through the Edmonton airport. Many planes crashed, either due to weather, pilot error or mechanical failure, and Edmonton WWI hero Wop May created his own civilian para-rescue team to save men from needless death. Long-range air traffic control was also developed in Edmonton, by having a number of landline phones connected to the Edmonton airfield - crews would call in to Edmonton to see what was happening in their destination.

    Blatchford Field was taken over by the city in 1946 and became a small commercial airport for several decades until our International Airport opened in 1960, but is officially closed and will become a new city development. I look forward to see how the city will preserve an important but overlooked part of our heritage - luckily, the Alberta Aviation Museum will remain open, with a focus on Edmonton's aviation history.

    I've been lucky to visit the aviation museum for a few assignments (here and here), and Ian and I actually had our second date there (and the rest is history!)

    All photos from Alberta Aviation Museum Archives.

  4. Holiday coupon code from eShakti!

    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Hi all! Just a quick blog post to let you know about an offer eShakti is offering to my readers.

    eshakti coupon retro reporter vintage girl shopping

    If you're looking for a new holiday frock, or maybe some warm separates to get you through the long winter ahead, now is the perfect time to check out eShakti. Every new customer at eShakti who uses coupon code LAURIE6NQF on their first purchase will get a $30 coupon! But hurry, the coupon is only valid until November 30. Happy shopping!

  5. Wedding Wednesday: Why November?

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    I totally meant to post this two Wednesdays ago, but life got in the way! Sigh.

    Anyway, in a return to my Wedding Wednesday posts, I thought I would talk about why I am choosing to have my wedding in November - not a very busy time for weddings in Northern Alberta!  I don't know if everyone puts this much thought into their wedding date, but a) it's a pretty big day in your life and b) I wanted to make sure the timing was right. So here is my rationale...

    Not as busy
    Plus, Edmonton in winter is beautiful!
    It seems like there's always that year when everyone you know gets married between May and September and you're at a wedding every weekend. It's also the time of year when prices for wedding related stuff goes through the roof! By having our wedding in November, we've already saved some money on booking things. We've also booked things very early, meaning that we are guaranteed the date we picked (unless something beyond our control happens). The day itself is special to me (more on that later) so I really wanted to make sure it was available.

    That said, we know that there are some people who won't be able to make it because it's November. These days, November = Christmas, so some may not be able to afford it or take time off so close to the holidays, which is understandable.

    FDS (Farmer's Daughter Syndrome)
    I am a farmer's daughter through and through, and when it comes to farming, any day between May to September is pretty much off-limits. My parents already commit to a farm-free weekend in July for the Little Valley Jamboree, so I didn't want to ask them to take another weekend off for the wedding (and yes, there was plenty of talk about just getting married at the Jamboree, but we've picked Edmonton). November means harvest is over and done with, but it shouldn't be too wintery for travelling, outdoor photos, and the like. *knock on wood*

    Sentimental reasons
    This was taken the day after Grandpa and Grandma got married.
    Note the open-toed shoes! Mine are peep toes too.
    As you all know by now, I am a big fan of the 1940s and I am a big fan of Edmonton. Well an important tidbit of my family history happened in 1940s Edmonton - my maternal Grandparents got married! On November 7, 1944, to be exact. Our wedding will be 70 years + one day to their wedding date. The plus a day is simply because we wanted our wedding on a Saturday versus a Friday. Both of my grandparents on my mom's side have passed, so I thought this would be a neat way to honour them. We are also going to incorporate other family and their weddings into ours, so stay tuned!

    Did you have a rationale behind your wedding date, or did you just pick an open day at you dream venue?

  6. Sunday Snippets: Going grey!

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

    I think I'm going to have to start doing my wrap-up posts on Sundays or Mondays instead of Fridays, judging by my track record. Plus it's so easy to wrap-up my weekend once it's done! So TGIFs have turned into Sunday Snippets.

    I was mentally all over the place this week. It seemed like a busy week and I didn't get any Laurie time, which made me go a little stir-crazy near the end (the PMS hormones likely didn't help anything). Then I went a little nuts over the weekend(s) and did a bunch of cleaning, which in some aspects helped my stress but then I think about how much I still have to do instead of celebrating what I've done. Luckily I took two long walks this weekend to decompress, but I feel guilty that I barely made it to the pool this month. Sigh. Even just sitting here, thinking about all I have to do this weekend and next week makes me want to crawl into bed and never come out.

    Hopefully November will be much better in terms of balancing life out - I am so ready for October to be over.  I'm especially looking forward to going home for a 4-day weekend to spend Remembrance Day with my family. When November rolls around it will be 4 months since I last saw them (which means Ian and I have been engaged for almost 4 months - time flies!) at the Jamboree, but the Jamboree is soooooo busy that it feels like it was much longer than that. I'm looking forward to being able to spend some quality time with my folks, and to let Daisy run around the farm.

    I also know that my eShakti giveaway is over, so I'll be going through the entries soon. I had a lot of entries that didn't qualify, so I'll have to do a lot of moderating. I also forgot to ask people to leave contact information (derp) so hopefully it won't be a pain rounding up winners.

    Speaking of my giveaway, eShakti made and shipped two duplicate dresses, and despite telling me that they would be sending me a shipping label, I haven't seen it. If anyone is my size (roughly 36-30-37) and interested in the dress I reviewed, let me know.  I will happily give it away to the first taker, as long as they pay for shipping (local pick-up is free).  Just leave me a comment with contact info.


    Low of my week: Financially: Eating out three days in a row - supper Friday and Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday morning. It was semi-healthy food (sushi, virgin caesars, taco salad and then pancakes) but there were probably better ways to spend $60! Personally: Plucking out my first grey hair! If that's not indicative of what kind of week/month I had, I don't know what is.
    High of my week:  Going for two hour+ walks on the weekend (including one after a skiff of snow - lovely!); having a very productive Friday at work; coming home to supper already made (meatloaf + brussell sprouts, yum yum!); hanging out with Bee & Heather; meeting our perspective wedding DJs. 
    A blog post I loved:  Urgh, I didn't read to many blogs this 
    Best money I spent:  $16 to go see The Day of the Doctor in 3D next month and $40 on wool stockings. 
    Week look-ahead: visiting my bank to talk about a Line of Credit/overdraft protection; going to H&R Block to get my 2010 taxes sorted (hopefully for once and for all); City & Memory Symposium

  7. On November 1 & 2, the Edmonton Heritage Council and Edmonton Historical Society are presenting a symposium on Edmonton's history called City & Memory and for some reason still unknown to me they've asked me to be on one of the panels.

    I am super excited to be partaking in the panel "Hepcats to Hipsters: Throwback Fashion in Edmonton", alongside Angela from Swish Vintage and Joy, a clothing and textiles curator for the provincial historic sites. We'll be talking about vintage and the unique (or not so unique) challenges and opportunities Edmonton presents to those who dress vintage or have an interest in historical fashion.

    Have I mentioned that I'm super excited? Not only do I get to partake in the symposium as a panel member, I also get to sit in the other discussions happening during the symposium. If you're interested, the full program is here. I'm particularly looking forward to Ken Brown's keynote on Friday night, as well as a few others. Of course, some that I really want to go to are happening at the same time. Where did I put that time turner....

    I hope to see some locals at the symposium! Feel free to RSVP on Facebook, and tweet with #yegheritage and #yegvintage.

    Now, what to wear?!

  8. TGIF: Bring on the free time

    Saturday, October 19, 2013

    Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about how I have to schedule time for fun or I won't do it at all?

    That totally got thrown by the wayside when I picked up a temporary side gig doing some data entry. It was awesome - I'm not going to complain about extra money - but was really draining to come home from work, have a quick supper and then work another 4 hours. To everyone who works two jobs, I salute you! I am very excited to get back into a somewhat normal routine that balances life and work, but that doesn't mean I won't rule out evening work in the future to get my potential business off the ground.

    I think this double working was also the reason that I took Thursday off work to wallow at home with cold medication and the Anne of Green Gables movie series. In the past when I take on too much and have very little me time, I always get sick when it's over and this was no exception.
    I started feeling crappy Wednesday around noon and when I woke up Thursday I knew that if I went to work, I would be unproductive, and just make this cold last longer. It sucks to be sick, but it's actually nicer to be sick at home than at work!

    Other than that, my week was great! I got to hang out with one my bridesmaids twice (once during brunch and on Wednesday when we went to an election rally), had a blast in Calgary with my sister  & brother-in-law to be, and got to spend quality time with Ian, which mostly included him making his poor, sick fiancé supper.

    Low of my week: Being sick. I turn into a really big baby when I'm sick.
    High of my week:  Toss up between hanging out with Heather on Saturday and spending time in Calgary over the weekend.  
    A blog post I loved:  The Guy Who Shrunk His 1950s Hometown - this is some amazing trick photography! 
    Best money I spent:  ~$30 on fast food during our road trip to Calgary (again, it was pretty much all I bought last week!)
    Weekend Plans: Sleeping in, knitting and cleaning my disgusting house!

  9. Folks, be prepared for some more changes coming to this blog. In addition to talking about Edmonton and Alberta's history and vintage fashion, I'm also going to start exploring some personal finance blogging to document my journey of being debt free. 

    Of course, they'll be lots of vintage-flavour injected into this - I won't start talking like an accountant (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course).

    My debt

    I would say that I have some "normal" debt for someone my age  - specifically a car payment and student loan. I have 903 days (or 2.5 years) left until my car is paid off, and about 7 years left on my student loan, though I hope to pay it off quicker after the wedding and my credit card debt is paid off.

    Now my credit card debt is my "bad" debt, obviously, because that is gaining interest like a mofo. I owe about $4,000 - which was built up after I split up with G and I was paying all the rent on my own, during my unemployment as well as vacation. It also doesn't help that my MasterCard balance comes out of my chequings account automatically, because it wipes the balance on my chequing, so if I have to buy something (groceries, gas, etc) I have to use my MasterCard, which just adds on to my balance and more interest. Hooray. Not.

    That's a brief overview of how I got myself into this mess - no one's fault but my own! So, what am I doing to change it? Let me tell you...

    Cash spending
    Being a millennial and all I kind of forgot that there's this thing called physical cash that you can take out and trade for goods and services. Crazy, right?! So I'm going to start taking out money the day I get paid - about $200 a pay check should be more than enough - to cover groceries and other essentials.

    No new clothing/accessories
    Yeah, this one sucks. But the reason I thrift is because I would rather pay less for beautiful clothes than pay full price. The last three items that I bought new* at full price for myself were:
    • my athletic bathing suit (because being broke is also stressful, so I got an alumni gym membership so I can get some meditative swimming time in)  September 27 
    • fabric for my next sewing project (this technically counts as clothing) September 23
    • my wedding shoes (wedding expense, so I'm not sure that really counts, but I'll put it in anyway) August 29
    I guess I am doing pretty good for October, although I did make a $6 purchase at Value Village 2 weeks ago, but that was because I had a $50 gift card and $56 worth of stuff. I wouldn't have gone VV shopping if I didn't have that gift card.

    I'm also going to be cutting back on eating out,  driving places I can walk (I don't actually do that much driving if I don't have to), and so on. It's not going to be fun, but I'll be so relieved to pull myself out of this hole.

    So the TGIF part of this post is inspired by Blonde on A Budget, a Canadian personal finance blogger from BC. I love her weekly wrap ups, and I thought there is no better time to start doing my own TGIF posts than the Friday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! So here it goes:

    Low of my week: Coming into work an hour early for a meeting that I didn't know was cancelled.
    High of my week: Toss up between going to aquasize with Bailey and going to Camrose with Bee to sell some stuff to Imagine and stuff our faces at East-Side Mario's.
    A blog post I loved: Jessica's blog post on why she wears 80s-does clothing.
    Best money I spent: I guess I will have to say the $100 I took out for cash spending, because that's really the only thing I spent money on since last Friday!
    Weekend Plans: spend two whole days with my fiancé in Calgary for Thanksgiving at my sister-and-brother-in-laws-to-be's house! Ian and I have both picked up some odd jobs for extra wedding cash, plus he's been working nights, so I haven't spent more than 30 minutes (when one of us is half asleep) with him in over a week.

    What are you thankful for this weekend?

  10. Fall for eShakti: Review & Giveaway!

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Whooooo boy, this has taken me forever to get up. My apologies!

    I'm here today with another review of eShakti. I am so happy to have eShakti's support, and honestly love their vintage-inspired styles. For those who don't know, eShakti is a online company that offers customized clothing, as well as "off the rack" (so to speak) styles, many of them vintage inspired. The clothing is made in India.

    They've asked me to review their new fall line. It took me a very long time to even figure out what to select to review, as there was so much I loved! A few of my favourites:

    But, in the end, I went with the Ruched puff sleeve crepe dress. My biggest concern when ordering this dress was that it would be a little low cut. I have v-neck top from eShakti and it cuts pretty low. My worst fears were confirmed when I put the dress on for the first time, without a camisole underneath.

    Even after I put a white camisole underneath (oh, how I wish I had a matching olive or navy one) it looked a little strange. I honestly don't know why eShakti cuts these so low! I guess I will only be going with boat neck styles from now on. I think I will sewing a little built-in cami in this one. I can't even install a snap, because then it pulls all funny in the bust.

    Now for some real outfit photos:

    Dress: c/o eShakti
    Earrings: vintage
    Locket: gift from Miss Bee
    shoes: thrifted
    bag: vintage (bought from Miss Bee)
    hat: vintage (gift from Miss Bee)
    For this dress, I understated my height and asked for a below the knee style when ordering, so it actually hit a few inches below my knee instead of just skimming the bottom of my kneecaps.

    The crepe is lovely and flowy, and was actually quite warm. I added in my custom measurements, and the fit was very good! The material washes nicely, and irons up quickly.

    I just love the sleeves! It's certainly my favourite feature. Many of eShakti's previous styles have been very geared towards the fifties and sixties, so it's nice to find some that work for us forties loving gals as well.

    This is also my first chance to show off this beautiful locket! Miss Bee gave it too me as (totally unnecessary!) gift for helping out with some wedding stuff. I just love it!

    I was very excited to solve two style conundrums that day: how to wear this hat (it's slightly too big for my head) and how to jazz up my lazy hair style of victory rolls and a back roll. problem solved!

    So, onto the part you've all been waiting for - the giveaway!

    eShakti is offering THREE gift cards, worth $30 each, to the winners of my giveaway. Sadly, this giveaway is only open to customers in the US and Canada. Also, I apologize for the awkward "Leave a comment linking to Pinterest" option. Rafflecopter only offers Pinterest entries if you upgrade.

    For the mandatory entry, you MUST link to an item in eShakti's fall collection, or you won't be qualified. If you forget, simply leave another comment (however, only one comment will count).

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  11. A much-needed lady date

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Firstly, an apology.

    I've been feeling down in the dumps lately - basically fed up with cliques and drama, and feeling like defaulting to my teenage coping strategies: avoid social interactions at all costs and keep my nose stuck in books. I didn't feel like doing vintage-related things or blogging. I didn't even feel like getting out of bed, in all honesty.

    Even when I had stuff to blog about, I didn't put my heart into it, and instead just slapped the words onto the page. Sorry for that - I always believe that if I don't enjoy writing something, people won't enjoy reading it, but I was writing just to keep content on the pages.

    Luckily, my bestie Miss Bee helped pull me out of my funk, and we resolved to dress up, treat ourselves to a date and have some fun. So over the weekend we went to the market, went shopping, had cocktails and basically got up to our old antics. It was a grand ole time, and just what I needed to get out of my funk.

    First we hit up the South Edmonton Common Farmers Market to get a swack-load of produce. The market was nice and small, meaning we didn't have to wander with our beets and carrots breaking our arms for too long. The food was so cheap and SO TASTY. I love autumn veggies. Bring on the brussel sprouts!

    Shortly after, Miss Bee and I hit up Value Village. We both had gift certificates thanks to my little stint on CityTV, and they were just burning a hole in my pocket. I got a few blouses, a sweater and wool skirt, but the piece-de-la-resistance was my new dome dryer!

    Check out these dishes Bee found!

    And here's my dome dryer. It's not the prettiest (and it reeked like cigarette smoke) but it's better than nothing.

    Note to self: stop going through the housewares section first, or else be doomed to wander VV with atomic dishware and very heavy dome dryers. Like the time we wandered around the store with a coffee table. WE NEVER LEARN.

    After taking forever to check out at VV due to carefully wrapping 49 pieces of atomic dishware (sorry everyone behind us) we hustled over to the newly opened Tavern 1903 at the Alberta Hotel. Built in 1903, the Alberta Hotel was taken down brick-by-brick to make way for Canada Place in the 1980s. I worked beside the hotel while it was under renovations, and is also the new home for my favourite radio station, CKUA. Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!

    Alas, I forgot to take photos of the interior. Sorry!

    Following our lunch, we took some outfit photos. I got some of my outfit, but I want to save them for a review post, so I'm only going to share Bee's. Spoiler alert: she's beautiful.

    We all know that "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" - well, I can say that this gal is MY diamond. She's brilliant, dazzling, and tough! She can help get me through anything, and I honestly don't know where I would be without her.

    Also - we both (unknowingly) bought that dress at the Bettie Page store in Caesar's Palace (also - not the first time this has happened).

    We also grabbed some photos of the beautiful Edmonton river valley. Oh how I wish fall wasn't so short here!

    And then, on our way home, we grabbed a shot of Edmonton's skyline to get a photo of where we were taking the previous photos.

    What a beautiful day!

  12. A very blogger special meet-up in Calgary

    Sunday, September 29, 2013

    I was very excited to head down to Calgary earlier this month for a very special vintage blogger meet-up. Jessica of Chronically Vintage was visiting Calgary from her home in British Columbia, so I asked her if she'd mind if I popped down to meet her & her husband Tony - luckily for me, she didn't mind my hijacking of her holiday!

    Photos by Antonio Cangiano
    We had a lovely day, having lunch and visiting vintage and antique stores, including the always wonderful A Vintage Affair. I was pleasant surprised that Bonnie, one of the owners, recognized me (we've done some messaging back and forth) and invited me back to check out their bridal collection. I can't wait! Despite finding some GORGEOUS things, nothing fit (I blame the giant rueben I devoured at Gruman's Deli) so I went home empty handed. Le sigh!

    I had such a fabulous time with Jessica and Tony - it was such a delight to meet them. They are both just so sweet and kind. Tony even took some outfit photos for me.

    Charles Hymen dress: vintage, gift from Miss Bee Vintage
    My lovely 1940s dress (as well as my handbag) was a gift from Miss Bee Vintage. It was NOS with tags (I hate being the person to take those off!) and is a Charles Hymen. The tags advertised it as crease-resistant rayon, but I don't think they took a 3-hour road trip into consideration before making those claims. 

    I love the little leaf details on the pockets! So great for fall and spring.

    Shoes: Vintage, thrifted

    Bracelet: Vintage,  The Pretty Secrets

    Tooled leather handbag: vintage, gift from Miss Bee Vintage
    Jessica also gifted me a lovely vintage handkerchief, a beautiful bracelet and earrings that she handmade for me! Be sure to keep an eye out for them in future posts.

    Thanks again to Tony and Jessica for such a wonderful day. I hope to visit them in the beautiful Okanagan soon! 

  13. Routine: setting a schedule for fun

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    I have feeling incredibly uninspired and blah lately, not just in my "vintage" life but in pretty much all aspects. I've felt drained and overwhelmed with the amount of stuff bearing down on me, which just made me exhausted. I wasn't reading, sewing, knitting, cleaning - all of the things that I really enjoy - because I felt like I didn't have time to do it all.

    But my problem is that I wanted (nay, needed) to do it all at once, and all by myself. Silly Laurie. That is not how things should work.

    So I did what I do best, and created a schedule for everything. I created a chore chart based on Apartment Therapy's 20 minute a day recommendations, where Ian and I both have a column. He does chores on even days, I do some on odd days.  I divided up the tasks to make sure we had a equal number of surface and deep cleaning, and laundry, recycling, etc are thrown in on a "break" day.

    Does that make sense? Here's a photo.

    This cuts the cleaning down to a manageable dosage, and it's actually surprising how much you can get done in 20 minutes. I'm sure to some people this seems childish, but it works for us!

    I made our in Google Docs in our shared folder so it's accessible on all our devices,  but will also print it out to hang on the fridge.

    Aside from the chore chart, I've also "booked" nights off for my favourite activities. I can diverge from these days slightly (if I feel like swimming on Monday I won't beat myself up about it) but it gives me something to look forward to and a reason to do it!

    I have a rule that I can't start my hobby until I do my 20 minutes of chores, with the exception of swimming on Wednesday since I go to the pool straight from work.

    Monday: blogging 

    I can blog on non-Mondays, but Monday is the day where I make myself do blog stuff, whether it's posting, brainstorming, figuring out sponsorships, etc etc. I made Monday blog day since I'm most likely to do vintage-related stuff on the weekend. It's a nice way to ease into the week.

    Tuesday: knitting

    Tuesday has always been knitting night with the group of ladies I knit with, so this was a no-brainer. I haven't been in a long time (sigh!) so I can't wait to get back into the habit.

    Wednesday: swimming

    As a former MacEwan student, I get a great deal on alumni gym memberships. I wasn't going to MacEwan this past year because their pool was under renovations, but now that it's back up and running I hope to go more often. Plus, since school is session they always have lanes open for swimming AND it is notoriously empty. I go to work early on Wednesdays (7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.) so I can also sneak out a little early, which is Wednesday is my swimming day.

    Thursday: sewing

    I probably shouldn't have a favourite day, but Thursday is my favourite day :D Right now I'm working on a skirt, but I will also make myself take time in-between projects (both to cleanse my mind and for budget restrictions) to do my mending. Oh, and there's a lot of mending!

    Friday: writing

    I remember reading The Outsiders in middle school and feeling bummed out that I wasn't going to be a published author by 16 like S.E. Hinton. Well, sorry past self, but you're not going to be a published writer before 23 either. BUT I do have lots of ideas for my novel, and I hope if I start dedicating my Friday nights to writing it will turn into something. This is on Friday because, in case I get into a flow, I don't want to sacrifice myself by staying up all night and not performing well at work, or ditch my writing in the midst of a brilliant streak so I can get shut-eye.

    Saturday and Sunday: do whatever the hell I want day(s)

    Yes, I even need a break from my hobbies.

    Do you set a schedule for fun as well as work? What system works best for you?


  14. Wedding Wednesday: Where to Splurge

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Sigh, back from our lovely vacation and into real life once more. I decided it was simply crazy of me to do a wedding post every week for the next 14 months, so now I'll only be doing them monthly - much more manageable!

    My last wedding post highlighted some ways we're planning to save money; now, I'm going to explore some options where it's worth it (in my humble opinion) to splurge.

    Professional photographer

    Surely no one will be shocked by my thoughts on this as a future wife of a professional photographer, but your wedding photos are SO IMPORTANT. They'll be there long after the food is eaten, the wine is drunk and your dress is hung up in the closet for all eternity. They'll be what your kids and grandkids look at for years to come, and they'll be a lasting reminder of your special day and all the wonderful memories that go with it. A professional will know how to pose you, be able to deal with lighting issues and might even have some leads on fun photo locations.

    SO I am begging you, please please please do not ask your uncle with a nice camera to snap some photos of you, and instead go for the professional photographer. It's worth the extra money.

    I know, last time I said not to have dinner if you can swing it. But, if you are going to feed people, feed them right! When I went to Tom & Emily's wedding last year in Santa Rosa, whenever people asked me how it was I always gushed about the food first. They had grilled cheese sandwiches served with a shot glass of tomato bisque, pulled pork sliders, delicious cupcakes... I could go on. It was tasty. Bailey and Thomas took everyone out for buffet in Vegas, as well as had a bunch of tasty treats at their reception (including sushi!). Finger foods are fun, but they can get pretty pricy (because of all the handwork involved), so if you're trying to get married on the cheap you may have to cut back in other areas.
    But it's also important to be sure to cater to your guests' tastes. Ian and I will probably be having prairie food, which includes a lot of Eastern European fare -  think cabbage rolls, perogies, roast beef etc - which is awesome because it's also our favourites, and is the stuff we grew up on.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah who doesn't have an iPod or a laptop with iTunes nowadays? The problem with doing your music is that:
    a) you have to do all the set-up yourself (which wouldn't be a problem in my family because we're all a bunch of musicians)
    b) either you or someone else has to be monitoring the tunes all night, thus taking them away from the party. It's YOUR night - let someone else do the work.
    c) part of a DJ's job is to monitor the room and get a feel for the crowd and the mood. If your friend decides he wants to hear a certain song, he can just go up and play it, which could totally kill the vibe.
    But DJs don't have music I want, you say. This is why you should find a group that will do music consultations and will work to get the music you want to listen to!

    This list will be different for everyone. Do you dream of having a wicked first dance with fireworks and backup dancers? Or maybe you want to drive up in the perfect 1940s car. If there's something you really want, go for it  - but remember that some other things may have to be sacrificed for you to get it.

  15. Vegas bound!

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    Hello all! Just popping in to let you know that I'll be away in Vegas for the next week while the lovely Miss Bee becomes Mrs Bee. 

    Bring on the sunshine, heat, cabanas, booze and Thunder From Down Under.

    I'm so excited, not only to go on vacation, but to see my bestest friend marry her love!

    I will probably cry.

    I'll be back with lots of photos, I'm sure! If you're interested in keeping abreast of my wild vacation, follow along on Instagram and Twitter!

    I've never been to Vegas, so any recommendations for food and vintage shopping are gladly received!

  16. Review: Never Let The Crew See You Cry

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Despite Edmonton's Fringe Festival being the second largest in the world (after Edinburgh's), I've never been to the festival before this year, when I got a chance to see Never Let The Crew See You Cry, courtesy of Bottom Line Productions.

    Photo by Edward Allen
    The play, written by Linda Wood Edwards, details the life of the playwright's mother Ethel as a young Flight Line Mechanic for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at 31 Elementary Flying Training School 31 at RCAF De Winton, south of Calgary, during WWII.

    Never Let The Crew See You Cry made me cry, but it probably wouldn't make everyone cry. I cried because it made me happy to know that there are still people out there interested in preserving Alberta's rich aviation history through storytelling. I also cried because it made me miss my grandparents. They met at RCAF Edmonton at a dance during the war, and I will always regret not asking enough questions about what it was like.

    But I feel like this play would have had more impact if it could have been expanded. There were only three actors, but a plethora of characters, and I found the shifts between characters sometimes jarring, as there were no costume changes. I found it hard to connect with the characters and it left me with several unanswered questions: why was Ethel drawn to the skies? Were there any clashes between her and the   other girls? What about the women and the men? Did she ever get a chance to fly?

    I felt like there was too much girly gossip, not enough of the nitty-gritty of war. The most gripping part was a re-enacment of Ethel being honoured in 2001 with a BCATP Pennant (which you can find hanging at the Alberta Aviation Museum), complete with a poem she wrote, "To A War Ace".

    However, I did feel the the dialogue was wonderfully written, with plenty of laughs and plenty of singing along from the audience.

    I truly hope that this play can be expanded - if not for the Fringe, then for some sort of tribute at the Alberta Aviation Museum - or turned into a memoir (I know a great writer/editor who's always looking for freelance work).

     I don't think that there's enough knowledge, especially in Edmonton, of the vital role this city played in the war. Did you know that Edmonton was the busiest airport in the world during WWII? Why isn't this part of our history celebrated throughout the city?

    I was truly honoured after the play to meet both Linda and Ethel and chat with them some more (this is when the crying happened. I sure know how to make things awkward!) and thank them both for sharing their family history with Fringe goers.

    If you're interested in seeing Never Let The Crew See You Cry, you can see it at the following times:
    Mon Aug 19 - 3:30pm
    Tue Aug 20 - 2:15pm
    Wed Aug 21 - 8:15pm
    Fri Aug 23 - 6:45pm
    Sat Aug 24 - 11:45am
    Sun Aug 25 - 1:00pm

  17. BT Edmonton & Value Village Challenge!

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    I was incredibly excited/nervous when an email landed in my inbox from the good folks at Breakfast Television Edmonton asking me to participate in a style challenge to mark the grand opening of Value Village in Sherwood Park (Big thanks to Marie for the name drop!).

    I loved getting a sneak peek of the new store. Sherwood Park thrift shops usually have some gems (I can't believe they had gloves!) and this Value Village is no exception. They also had some really great jewellery, shoes and accessories. I wish I had been able to spend more time browsing, but of course, we were being timed!
    I had such a blast with Sandy Joe and Lébassé - it seemed so much more like 6 gals shopping than a competition. Both of them have great style, and I really liked they outfits they came up with too.

    The segment aired today on BT, but of course I have the hookup for you good people who don't live in Edmonton to watch it. I can't embed it (urgh) but here's where you can watch part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

    Photo by my darling friend Funmi. I look like a monkey.
     To tell you the truth, I didn't watch it. I'm very hard on myself and I know that I would just cringe and fret over every little thing that came out of my mouth and every style choice I made (and am anyway - I am good at remember what makes me feel like crap) so I'm just putting it here for other people to "enjoy".

    Best screen grab I could find of the outfit 
    If you like my outfit, please vote for me - voters could win a $50 gift card to Value Village. Sadly, the contest is only open to residents of Alberta :( Sorry non-locals!

    If I win, I will get a $500 gift card to Value Village - can you imagine!?

    I'd also like to thank the folks at Value Village for letting me take the dress home with me! I fell in love with the gorgeous print and was heartbroken to think I'd have to leave it behind.

  18. Wedding Wednesdays: Where to scrimp

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Wedding Budgeting Part 1: Scrimping

    According to my research, the average Canadian wedding costs $22,000+ (not including honeymoon). Ian and I are attempting to have our wedding for more than half that. So far, our projected budget is ~$13,000, including what my parents have pitched in but not including food.

    Obviously, you need to start out with a reasonable budget that you can stick to before you start getting too far into planning.

    So, where are we looking to save?

    Wedding gown
    The part where we will definitely be saving a lot of money is on my dress. As Blog as my witness, I am aiming to keep my whole look - dress, shoes, underthings and accessories - under $500. I'm doing my own hair and makeup, so there'll be no cost there. I have a few dresses - both vintage and reproduction - in mind, all under $300. Everything else I buy I will be buying with a mindset of "will I wear this again" in order to make it worth every penny.

    The flowers

    Did you know that you can get 100 roses at Costco for $115? Or, even on the slightly-more-expensive-but-really-not scale of things, 40 lilies for $150? Ian loooooves Costco, so it will definitely be our pick for flowers, and we'll just make up bouquets and arrangements a few days in advance to the wedding (I find that Costco flowers also last a long time if you take care of them). Red and ivory roses are elegant and vintage without being overbearing.

    Skipping the name change
    I know, I know, it seems like such a little thing to save money on. But, in Alberta, it costs $120 for just the document to legally change your name - it doesn't cover any costs incurred by changing your name on your credit cards, identification, passport, etc etc. That and I am pretty attached to my last name, so I don't want to give it up that easily. I mean, I'll change my name on Facebook, I'll answer to my married name etc. But I might hold off on legally changing it until the expensive things (license, registration, passport) are closer to expering.

    One venue

    Hopefully, we will be able to do our wedding and reception in one venue. This obviously cuts down on rental costs as you only have to pay rent for one venue, only have to decorate one venue, only have to direct people to one venue etc. If your venue has separate spaces for ceremony and reception, then even better!

    Don't have supper
    If the majority of your guests aren't out-of-town, maybe you'll be able to swing it so you don't have to feed them. I know that this is really where bills rack up - especially if you do just finger food! We aren't able to do that, but it is an option - just let your guests know they're not getting food so they don't show up starving! Another option is to have your wedding in the evening (after supper).

    What are your tips for saving money when planning a wedding?

  19. Wedding Wednesdays: Get Organized!

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    It's never too soon to start planning for a wedding. Well, OK, maybe starting planning before you're engaged is a bit too soon but once that's all said and done, you can get a jump on it.

    Since I know nothing about planning a wedding, I'm taking a lot of hints from this infographic I found on Pinterest.

    I've created two Pinterest boards: one where I'm pinning general vintage wedding related stuff, and one secret board where I'm pinning stuff directly related to my wedding. Even though I'm going to be blogging about our wedding in the next 15 months leading up to it, most of it I want to keep a surprise! How on earth did people plan weddings before Pinterest anyway? 

    We've already started our planning and organization by creating a shared folder on Google Drive and having all of our wedding stuff in there. If there's something I don't want Ian to see, I can unshare that individual document. This way we have all our stuff in one place and we won't lose it, and we both have access to it, even though most of our planning happens with me taking the notes.

    We also have a physical wedding binder for all the important hard-copy documents, keepsakes etc. The key in all of these thing is that they're accessible to others, and easy to keep up. I share my Pinterest board with my Matron of Honour, and the Google Drive and binder with Ian.

    We also share a Google Calendar to note wedding-related appointments - and, of course, everything is colour coded the same!

    To give you an idea of where we're at: in the 3 weeks we've been engaged, we already have a date (next November), we have appointments booked for venue viewing and commissioner meetings and already have a decent budget laid out. I've also asked my part of the bridal party to be involved.

    What are some things you used to keep organized when planning your wedding?

  20. Whoops, I'm a day late. Let's just hop into the time machine and pretend it's Wednesday for just a moment.

    As I mentioned last week, I got a chance to visit the Weddings Through Time event at Fort Edmonton Park over the weekend.

    Ian and I weren't able to stay for all the weddings and events happening, but we did manage to catch a bachelor party, a fur trader wedding and reception and some pre-wedding prep going on around the park.

    I was bummed that I couldn't catch more weddings, but Fort Edmonton Park has let me snitch some photos from their Facebook page.