Friday, November 18, 2016

The Only Post You'll Need for a Vintage Thanksgiving Spread!

I was going to post this much sooner than now, but life has a way of happening, does it not? Long story short, exactly 2 months ago today, I got sick after eating breakfast one morning and continued to get violently ill after eating anything. It didn't seem to matter what it was. I went gluten and dairy free, which only seemed to lessen the severity. I've had a few tests done, and they all came back completely normal. I am still implementing gluten/dairy free, and scaling back on the alcohol consumption-- like WAY back-- so now I'm back at the point that I can live my life relatively uninterrupted again. Just in time for Thanksgiving, huzzah!

So I guess I'll just get right to it!
(Feel free to save each image or download a single .pdf at the end of the post.)

So, you want a vintage Thanksgiving, you say? Well, look no further! Here I give you everything you need to make it an authentic one. From dinner, dessert and table settings, to hair styles and party etiquette. What more can a well-informed hostess need???

We'll start with a few tantalizing turkey recipes from the November 1964 issue of American Girl Magazine.

The recipes here are intended for the teen to participate in the cooking and presenting of Thanksgiving food, so as to not have such a big turkey or recipe(s) to make that it becomes overwhelming:
I may try my hand at a small fried turkey one of these years...

You had me at "Turkey Jambalaya"!

(I planned on trying a few of them to include in this post, but alas, my life is currently being ruled by my gut. At this point I'm learning how to make substitutions to still be able to try out vintage recipes such as these.)

Going back a few years, here are some mouthwatering pumpkin recipes from American Girl Magazine, November 1962. Too bad they didn't have hashtags then 😁
Your one-stop issue for all things party!

With the exception of the pumpkin soup, these recipes are all pretty much desserts! And tbh, it's taking everything I've got in me to not make every single one, like, right now.
The pumpkin soup sounds particularly delicious on this cold clear windy day we're having!

Pumpkin Pudding?? Yes, please!

The Lemon Cream Frosting could be good on all kinds of things!

Alright! Now, where are we at in this party planning list?

      ✔ Dinner
      ✔ Sides                    
      ✔ Desserts            
  • Table Settings? Let's take a look!

"It's your turn to do the entertaining. And with the holidays just ahead, you want your party to be more than the usual snack-together affair.... you'll want to greet your guests with some table-top magic-- to keep party spirits high and boost your rating as a hostess."
"...the 'right' mood always reflects a friendly hospitality, where the ease and comfort of your guests is first on the menu."

("Powwow buffet"? Nah, not racist AT all... 😨)

(I left the ads in this one because sometimes they're just too fun!)

"...a tempting table setting always tells a guest: 'This is extra-special because you are' --and proves you're a hostess in the know."

At this point, the planning for everything is done-- except for yourself! All of your hard work and best efforts will be wasted if you aren't just as presentable and delicious as everything else, so do not neglect this very important aspect of party planning! So often we put others first and we forget that we are just as important-- if not more so!

Here are a few simple, yet effective, hairdos for the festive day:
"The prettiest and the most effective hairdo, especially at a party, is always the simple one-- clean, shiny, and accented with bows, a bit of ribbon, or an ornament."

And while you're under the dryer to let your curls set, you think it's a good idea to brush up on your party etiquette. Being a good hostess doesn't just end at the food and decorations, and how you present yourself, but also in your ability to put yourself and others at ease:
"Just remember that no one is born with the knack of being a charming guest or hostess. Like tennis, party talk takes practice."

"Never fret about not being the star of the show. Sometimes it's better to be a good audience."

"Party talk should be light and impersonal. It's a time to share your interests-- not your personal agonies."

"With practice, you will hold your own-- and someday soon you may even find that small talk is one of your favorite party games!"

I hope this "guide" for a vintage Thanksgiving has helped, let me know what you think in the comments either here or my Facebook page!

---------> Download a single pdf of just the images HERE

I will leave you with tunes to make your preparations by, because for me Thanksgiving is the official start of Christmas music!
(via Pandora)

Thanks for stopping by, Happy Thanksgiving-- and good luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

1963 Hairdo How-To

First off, I intended on making this a quick in-between-posts post, but like anything worth doing, it is worth doing well. Err, at least well enough. Here you go!

I recently scored a handful of magazines from the 1950's & 1960's from my local used and rare book store, and let me tell you... I am having a hoot of a time reading through them! They are chock-full of interesting articles, advertisements, and tidbits-- one of which I'd like to share with you today.

It is an article from a magazine called "American Girl"-- not to be confused with the American Girl brand we all know and love/hate today. Upon a fair amount of oggling (that's my universal word for "Googling", as not everyone uses the same search engine, though it has become synonymous with searching the web. I think it's fair treatment of the term), I came upon very few references and resources to the publication.  But I think it makes it all the more appealing and fun to own these gems.

At first I didn't realize that it was an official publication of Girl Scouts of the USA. I just noticed that it was clean cut, simple, and to-the-point. For Example:

No cigarette ads, alcohol ads, get skinny/rich/smart quick ads, and it obviously has a younger target audience. It is quite refreshing, actually. I remember trying to get into Girl Scouts around 7 or 8 years old, but there must not have been much of a response from my area because it never happened. That, or my mom forgot about couldn't afford it. I *was* already involved in a few other extra curricular activities at the time, and so were my other 4 siblings, so I guess I understand! (My poor mother.) Finding and enjoying these magazines appeals to me in so many ways, and I plan on sharing more nuggets such as this.

And so without further ado, here is a nugget from the March 1963 issue. It is alluded to on the cover as "ways to keep your hairdo lovely longer. . ."

"...when they're pressed for time-- either cramming for an exam or partying or babysitting-- one well-planned hair setting can do away with most of the roller ritual for the week."

"...a smart girl coaxes her hair into a couple of free-flowing variations of the original hairdo... That way she knows she can go anywhere, looking her best, all week long."

It is a regular feature and comes complete with a curler setting diagram in the back:

I saw this and at once thought "I need to share this, then I need to try it!" Now, I am no stranger to curler sets, but lately I have been actually practicing quite a lot, even when I don't plan on going out. My hair is so indescribably thick that I've been needing to hone the talent just to be able to get my hair presentable enough when I actually do go out.

I also think it's fitting that my Mother's name is Debbie and my husband's mom's name is Karen. Quite cute in my book ;-)

-----> Click the photos above to save a hi-res image individually, or save a .pdf version here (via DropBox)

Enjoy, and happy rolling/curling/back combing/hairdo saving!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Still Here After All These Years

Just posting to say that I'm still here, guys! I've been busy with loads of projects, ideas, and just getting through life and taking care of things in general. A LOT of things have happened in the interim, both good and bad (of which I won't go into detail or even mention --that's for another blog for another day), so here's a very bare bones highlight reel:

2013 (November-December)
  • Bought our 1st house 

  • Got our first dog together, a vicious beast named Lucy 

  • Went back to school for the first time since high school 

  • Got a new full time job
  • Got another vicious beast named Mancy 

                                    (insert caption here)


  • aaaaaaaand you're pretty much all caught up!

 So I've been craving another yarny bathing suit project since my first foray into knitted swimwear, but didn't wholly realise it until I recently came across this blog post by Pretty Old Patterns, with the 2nd option having leapt from the screen saying "Knit me! Knit me! I know you have the perfect yarn already!"

(image © Pretty Old Patterns)

I picked out some lovely yarn that my Step Mommy Dearest brought back from Scotland (darker blue, left), as well as some Mini Mochi I bought a ton of through an online sale somewhere (drat for not keeping good notes): 

So far I keep getting held up at the same spot, as you can read for yourself on my Ravelry project page for it. 

I'm at the point of relegating it to the corner while I get through a case of "Finishitis". (It's a word, I promise I'm pretty sure.) Since I've got a lot of time on my hands these days, I figure I'd start finishing projects before I start any more. There's a mantra for ya: "Start Finishing." It's given me a second wind type of elation... finishing projects that have been UFOs (that's yarny speak for Unfinished Objects) for-EV-er has put the wind back in my blogging sails!

It's kind of insane how many projects and recipes I've had on deck for these past 3 years... THREE YEARS. Every time I dive into a vintage book/pattern/recipe/cocktail (<---sometimes it feels like diving in after trying a few recipes I would rather not repeat again), I think "This will be perfect for the blog!" and proceed to snap photos and take notes, then get overwhelmed at knowing how much time and effort goes into a blog post-- even one as seemingly simple as this one-- and just quickly share it on Instagram or Facebook with the tap of a few buttons on my phone and call it good. That being said, I've decided to use this blog mostly for more detailed and descriptive posts, when the benefit of storytelling elaboration is better. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten a project going-- usually from a vintage pattern-- gotten stuck, searched the internet for any information at all in hopes that someone else-- somebody, ANYBODY?! (We are in the "information age" after all, right?)-- has done it before and blogged about it, only to come up empty handed and still stuck and frustrated, hence the start of even more projects. And in this day and age of increasing narcissism self promotion and decreasing attention span (<---- guilty as charged), I figure I'd do my part. 

So expect more from this blog than in years past (5 posts in 5 years?? I mean, come ON). Though, you can throw those delusions of grandeur weekly post expectations right out the window. I'm not sponsored or have my own tv show. Yet.

In the spirit of being a living, walking & breathing contradiction, here's a totally modern podcast about the early days of Hollywood: You Must Remember This 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Call of the Sea! Or, How I Spent the Last 3 Months of My Days & Nights

I am damn proud of this thing.
I swatched, I gauged, I casted on, I persevered. 

Knit mostly in the evenings after dinner while relaxing with my Husband as well as in the hours after he went to bed, 3 months later (1 day shy, actually) I have my very first hand knitted bathing suit taken from a reworked original 1920's pattern!

(Here's a very accidental glow-y photo
from a smudged lens, though I think it works!)

This is a huge deal for me, considering that in the 7+ years I have been knitting, I have *yet* to make a single sweater, pair of socks, or even a fraxin'* scarf! All of those "typical knitter" type projects just bore me to hell and back. I'm also 100% sure it has to do with the fact that I'd rather crochet that kind of stuff anyways-- much faster, easier, and more fun overall to just crochet something even remotely substantial!

Although, knitting vintage patterns has its own kind of reward... I feel more connected to the past, and in my own experience of just leafing through them, I wish a time machine would appear and suddenly take me there wearing the outfits I wish to have been magically knit for me. (If you couldn't already tell, I have very specific craft related time warp fantasies.)


Update: I wrote this post last Summer and am just now realizing that I never finished it. I have worn this many times since then and will have plenty more to add to this project <3

Friday, July 19, 2013

Adventures In Vintage Cocktail Land Pt. 1

Today was just another day. Until I realized that it was Friday. And then things got good.

Dishes? Done. Laundry? Knocked out. Thirst? Banging on the roof of my mouth like a downstairs neighbor that fusses over every little sound from above. So I did what any respecting vintage-loving housewife would do.

I got out my Calvert Party Encyclopedia from 1965, put on the swanky tunes of the time, and got to work shaking and stirring. NBD.

First up, we have the "Around The World" cocktail.
Not sure what makes this worldly, but I was hoping to find out.

I measured everything to exacting amounts, and loved right away the neon-ness of the color! (No, that's not a word, but yes, I used it anyways. It's my blog and I can use made up words if I want to.) The photo isn't doing justice to the vividness of this green. If I could choose a word, it would be "toxic" green or "radioactive" green. Apropos to the era, wouldn't you agree? Just say yes, and we'll move on.

Cheers, my friends!

Sipping, tasting, pondering...

It's a moderate winner!

The green creme de menthe makes it a bit syrup-y, but that's not entirely a bad thing. The pineapple is really interesting with mint, not something I would think of or expect to be put together. I think I would have loved these in my early 20's (jeezus I feel old just saying that), but nowadays I would definitely top it off/thin it out with some club soda. Also, there is nothing "worldly" about this. More like "otherworldly"-- the neon-ness (there's that word again!) makes me feel like I'm drinking some kind of alien libation you'd see on Star Trek the original series. All in all, not a bad drink to make when you want a color show and a flavor play.


Next I have another gin-based drink called "Attention", from the same book.

I'm sensing a theme here. Though I didn't know what that was until I started stirring the drink. As would be expected when recreating vintage recipes, there were substitutions that had to be made. Ansone or Abisante are clearly in the anisette/absinthe vein, and Pernod did just fine. Creme de Noya is likely just a different spelling of "Noyaux". Check and check.

As you can see, this drink is red.

Like, REALLY red. And this, my friends, is the theme.
The accidental theme. Toxic/Radioactive/Atomic, if you will.
(I also think it is fitting that it looks like I am raising a glass to Heisenberg.)

Not sure what to make of it.

Taking the plunge...


This is really, just....attention-getting for sure. I thought the "Around The World" was thick and syrup-y, but this one was just. too. much. It wasn't even the gratuitous amounts of Pernod or Vermouth, because I drink Absinthe using the traditional preparation and I really do love me a wet Martini. Luckily there was enough room to top it off (and I mean all the way off) with club soda. And even that was just a desperate fix. I would prefer to abandon this recipe entirely, but if I were to "fix" it, I would scale back the Creme de Noyaux to 1/4 and Pernod to at least 1/2, and scale up the gin to at least double. Because that's how I roll.

More tunes to shake your drinks to (and anything else you've got): LittleMissLounge