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  1. 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!

  2. 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! 

  3. 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?


  4. 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.