It’s only Valentine’s Day but I like it…

Do you know what? I do actually agree with Bridget Jones about Valentine’s Day being ‘meaningless commercial exploitation’ although I wouldn’t go as far as Jenny Holzer who said  that ‘Romantic love was invented to manipulate women’. It’s a date in the calendar that has strayed far from its original significance and one that divides people in their opinions of it.

That said, I love traditions and I love any chance to make an occasion: to decorate a table, cook a special meal and have people nearby that I love. I do believe you should express love daily in a myriad of different ways, and I try to do that. The Dr and I talked about it and neither of us wanted to pay over the odds for a meal and a drink out just because it’s Feb the 14th. We have decided to stay in and cook something tasty together and treat ourselves to a nice Thai meal out at some later convenient date.

Although, having a rare midweek wander around the shops this week, I did get excited when I spied heart confetti for the table, heart shaped cookie cutters and garlands of felt hearts to festoon around the home.

I considered doing a Valentine’s day gift guide blog post, but quickly realised that buying for guys is really difficult and I wouldn’t be able to put together a list of things that I really believed in. That hasn’t stopped me asking the Dr for a gift. Oh no! I’ve requested something basic but pretty, an accessory staple, that if I’m lucky enough to get I will of course share with you.

I think I’m going to go all out on having a quality evening with the Dr. I’m going to treat us to nice things that I wouldn’t normally buy.

Top of my list are these:

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I’m a sucker for nice packaging and that vintage font has me drooling before I even think of the contents. A swift google shows me a long and royal-tinged history – there are not many that can boast they are chocolatiers to Her Majesty the Queen. These chocs are perhaps best described as ‘reassuringly expensive’ hence me never having taken the plunge before. I’m thinking maybe a bottle of something nice too. We have been known to share a bottle of prosecco or cava but have never had occasion to get a bottle of champagne, so perhaps it’s time. I spotted this on offer the other day, I’m going to do some research and buy something nice.

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Although we’ve been together almost 2 years now, it’ll be out first Valentine’s Day together as I was out in the desert last year. I’m super excited just to have quality time with Dr P, and he will have just come back from a two day work trip too. Absence definitely makes my heart grow fonder.

Whatever you’re doing (or not doing!) I hope you have a blast.

It is with a sense of anticipation I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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It’s only a bauble but I like it…

There’s something exciting about decorating the house for Christmas isn’t there? Amid the streamers and holly sprigs and mistletoe, the centrepiece of it all is a Christmas tree. It’s been a few years now since I’ve been involved in decorating a tree and I am beginning to miss it. Dr P and I don’t really have room to put up a tree and we are away for Christmas anyway, but this is the last year I will forgoe a tree. I miss it.

There’s something special about about the act of decorating the tree. As children it was a moment we ( my siblings and I ) looked forward to and relished. Mum would bring the tree home, Dad would get the cardboard boxes (with “Xmas decs” scrawled on them) out of the attic and we would attempt to take shovelfulls of sand out of a usually frozen sand pile to fill the bucket it went in. Once it was wedged in place, Mum always insisted on wrapping foiled paper around the bucket to hide its mundaneness. Then we could start the decorating.

The baubles were always my favourite. Of course lights are important, and tinsel or bead strings help draw it all together but the range of different shiny coloured baubles are the real feature for me.

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I always had a fascination for these concave ones, their tactile nature was perfect for tiny hands to explore. My  Grandad’s tree – which I usually got to decorate too – sported many of this design.

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I found lots of lovely examples on eBay but the prices were shocking. Unfortunately I think it would cost me far too much to deck my tree out in vintage baubles…

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It’s lovely to to have something with so much history as part of your Christmas and I do own a few older baubles, that belonged to my parents, from the 70s. You know these disco ball style ones? Classic!

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Althought the fashionable perfectly styled, two coloured, Christmas trees that you see In magazines at this time of year are very appealing, I’m sticking with my tree, which has a mixture of old, new, traditional, and not so traditional decorations. Some I’ve bought, some have been given to me. They all exist together and many of them have stories. I’m looking forward to reuniting them all next Christmas, hopefully in a new home chosen by me and Dr P.

All the same, I’d be very happy to find something like this in my stocking this year 😉

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It is with Christmas tree-envy I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a Gift Guide but I like it…

You cannot bury your head in the sand any longer. Christmas is fast approaching whether you like it or not. And I do like it as it happens. We’re big into Christmas in my family and we all love buying, wrapping and giving gifts.

One of my favourite places to buy gifts in recent years is http://www.folksy.com. Folksy is a marketplace for handmade things and it’s based in the UK. I love handmade things. I like the originality of having something no one else will have. I like the fact something has been designed and sourced with care and love. I like the fact my money is going to support an independent craftsperson.

With this in mind I’ve compiled a little list of gifts that can be bought from Folksy – a gift guide if you will.

I’d start with these lovely festive hair clips from Butterfly Kisses ( https://folksy.com/items/3881246-Tartan-Reindeer-Hair-Slides ):

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I just love this patterned clutch from Jiggle Ma Wiggle (https://folksy.com/items/6533699-ladies-wallet ):image

I think these simple but perfect pearl earrings would be a stylish accompaniment to many of my outfits. Find them at Deborah Jones Jewellery (https://folksy.com/items/6523959-Pearl-earrings-sterling-silver):

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As far as I’m concerned any item from Amy Laws’ ( http://www.folksy.com/items/5774021-SALE-Dusty-Pink-Ice-Cream-Dress ) shop would be more than welcome, but right now I’m choosing this gorgeous summery number, to keep me going through the dark months until I can bare my flesh again!

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And, I’m sorry, there’s really no point me pretending to be all sophisticated. What I really want for Christmas is one of these bauble headpieces from Hatastic (https://folksy.com/shops/Hatastic/collections/234712 ) I own several of their pieces already and I bought one of their ‘Hen’ headpiece for my sister to wear on her Hen do. Their stuff is just great: fun, affordable and completely unique!

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Of course these gifts can be for others… Or, you know, why not treat yourself? I might just do that.;-)

It is with a mischievous grin I say:

Its only vintage but I like it!

It’s only the Festive Season but I like it…

Do you know I am so loving being back in the UK and having seasons? Literally, consciously loving it. And of course, we are fast approaching the party season. That time when there are lots of social events. Well, if I’m honest, I’ll have a couple of things and none of them very big or posh. But still. I’ll have a work do, and, not having worked there very long, I kind of want to make a statement. The work do is a chance (in my mind anyway) to show the side of you that you don’t really show so much at work. I want to be vintage, I want to look nice, I want to be me.

So it was time for a little online shopping. This is my round up of frocks for the party season – hold on to your hats!

For starters, I’d head over to What Katie Did and grab myself some shapewear – probably this underbust corset to give me a nice smooth silhouette. ( http://www.whatkatiedid.com/product/687/vintage-1950%92s-satin-glamour-zip-underbust-girdle)

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Collectif ( www.collectif.co.uk ) has a few treats in store for us, of course:

 Dolores dress polka red new

This Dolores red polka dot wiggle dress is fun and perfect for parties.

 Dolores Doll Cherry Stem Black New

I love, love, love the Dolores Cherry Stem and I could wear a big poofy petticoat too!

As for Lindy Bop (http://www.lindybop.co.uk ), this Grace swing dress in cranberry is so cute with the little bow! It reminds me of a line from Mad Men about a Joan Holloway dress where her bow makes her look ‘like a Christmas gift’. I mean who doesn’t want Joan as their style icon?

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I also adore this Myrtle halterneck – it would seem I’m all about the red this year! The shape of that bust and the button detail is just delish!

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I’m also drawn to this black silk number called Gina. I’ve never a had black dress but this looks so luxuriant – I’m sure I’d feel a million dollars in it…

Lindy Bop Gina

Of course, if I was looking to spend a bit more, I’d love a Vivian Of Holloway (http://www.vivienofholloway.com ) dress and this black satin with purple stars number would be very charming.

VoH purple stars

I thought writing this post would help me find a dress, but actually i think it’s made it harder to choose! What would you go for? Or have you spotted some more delights on your travels?

It is with a dress-addled brain I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!