It’s only Crofton but I like it…

16cm pan

I wasn’t familiar with Crofton until I saw a post on Instagram – I do find, once you’ve filled up your followers lists with people who have the same interests and obsessions as you, Instagram is a great way of discovering things! 
Somebody posted a photo of some lovely enamelware – a weakness of mine! I assumed it was Orla Kiely, from the design, but it turned out to be Aldi’s new range of homeware, which was apparently introduced this week.

Large decal oven dish

Well, call me shallow, but after I’d given Baby his toast and first taste of scrambled egg this morning (we are all loving the weaning!) I knew what my mission for the day was.

Crofton 3.5L Casserole Dish

We headed to our nearest Aldi and gave the range the once over. I was very restrained and only bought the oven dish – I know I’ll use that, whereas the casserole dish – though lovely – will rarely get any use as I don’t often cook casseroles and if I do, with only two of us to eat them, they aren’t that large! It was tough to walk away with only one piece though: those green decals do appeal to something deep inside my soul!

I looked at some of the other bits in the range, and quite liked this storage jar and the pastel pans too. If you’re a fan of the vintage mid century designs and pastel colours it’s definitely worth checking out as a budget alternative. You may need to be quick though, I’ve a feeling it’ll be popular!

It is with a thrifty head on I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Vivien of Holloway but I like it…

My brother married his lovely fiancée at the beginning of June. They tied the knot in Portmeirion in North Wales, which if you don’t know it, is a stunning location. It was built by eccentric architect Clough Williams Ellis, whose vision for an Italianate village led him to build in this charming valley in North Wales.

It was the setting for 1960s TV series The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan, which has become something of a cult classic.

The wedding was the first big event we’d been to as a family of three and my first chance to dress up post-baby! It was a lot of driving but we were very excited to stay in the beautiful Portmeirion Hotel (just behind Patrick in the photo above!) and explore the village together.

        

The village is beautiful, quirky, charming and really has to be visited, because every nook and cranny holds a delight.

But enough about that. On to the real reason for my post: the dress. And no, I don’t mean the bride’s dress. Hers was very nice but it wasn’t vintage inspired. I decided to go for a Tiki theme as I’d been asked to play my ukulele in the wedding ceremony. I looked through all my favourite websites but this beauty from Vivien of Holloway (http://www.vivienofholloway.com )caught my eye.

I’m a big fan of Vivien of Holloway (my wedding dress was VofH!) and this dress didn’t disappoint. The only thing I find difficult is the sizing. They don’t marry up to high street sizes and you have to try and order from your measurements – but mine never seem to match a size that works on me so I have a lot of ordering and returning by mail order until I find what fits.

The fabric was great – nice weight cotton mix that hung beautifully. I paired it with a green petticoat (also VofH) and some wedges from White Stuff few years back. I find having a baby on your arm/shoulder/hip makes most jewellery impractical these days, so I decided against the bamboo bangles and silver pendant I’d like to have worn! I did of course, put a flower from Claire at Uptown Curls in my hair!

The fit was great, it nipped me in at the waist and was snug across the bust. The halterneck, although not adjustable, worked perfectly. Best of all, there was yards and yards of lovely full circle skirt to skim out over my petticoat.

Later on in the evening I got to sing a number with the band – that’s a pint of water, I promise!

Lovely sister and me, posing in front of the stunning views.

I think I carried out my hula girl duties satisfactorily and a good time was had by all.

It is with hazy summer memories I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Squirrel Confections but I like it…

It’s been a little while. I had assumed my blog might take something of a backseat once Baby was here but I couldn’t have predicted just how all consuming this motherhood business is! We’ve had a little bit of illness, a family wedding and we’ve been battling the intense heat this week, but we’ve survived (and even enjoyed aspects of) it all.

One thing Bubba and I do usually get to do in a week is have a charity shop rummage. In our little part of Southampton there are many charity shops in a half mile radius and we have had quite a bit of success recently. My favourite find is this tin.

I had never heard of Squirrel Confections but the name and concept delighted me so, that I just had to have the tin, even though its condition wasn’t great. A bit of research tells me that Squirrel Confections produced (and seem to still produce) a few varieties of gummy sweets. My Mum remembers buying them from her village shop, asking the shop keeper for “Some of them Squirrel Sweets”.

As usual, I have no idea where it will live or what I’ll use it for, but… I’m sure once I’ve cleaned it up, I’ll think of something! 

It is with a craving for wine gums, I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Robin’s Nest Emporium but I like it!

It is always pleasing to see a new independent business pop up. We see many come and go as the current economic climate makes it so tricky to survive.

One of the latest ventures on the on the South Coast that caught my interest is Robin’s Nest Emporium.

It is quite out of the way, but well signposted, so bubba and I managed to find it on foot without too much trouble.

Once inside it wasn’t long before I started to spot some tempting items. This Homemaker China caught my eye, but I’m trying to be sensible at the moment, given that I’m on maternity pay!

  

There was some gorgeous Meakin china too. Plenty of nice finds if you’re a ceramic-aholic like me!

  

I would have loved to have taken home either this gymnasium horse or the collapsible village hall seating. I once saw a gym horse being used as seating next to a breakfast bar and it was incredible.

I was particularly taken with this upcycled bedroom furniture – it would be so cute in Baby Vintage’s room, but my sister persuaded me we could have a go at doing it ourselves. She’s nothing if not optimistic!

I have to say, on the whole, I was quite impressed with the prices. Obviously, the Emporium is made up of stands from individual sellers, so the prices vary, but I felt they were generally reasonable.

If you get peckish there’s a cafe which looked very inviting. I think next time we might make our visit a lunch date…

So the real test – did I buy anything? I wrestled with my conscience over the purchase of lots of things, but my treat that day was another vintage milk bottle for my collection. Blue Riband biscuits remind me of my grandad, as he always had some in his biscuit tin.

My verdict is that it’s definitely worth a visit, with a good range of bric-a-brac and furniture, plus some modern retro items for your home, I doubt you’ll manage to leave empty handed.

It is with a wistful longing for a Blue Riband I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Easter 2017 but I like it…

I’m rather late with this post!

Blame my Easter bunny for that!

As I think I mentioned, we had family visiting for Easter which was lovely. We were very spoiled and had some nice meals together. One new addition to my Easter decorations was this lovely pussy willow.

It’s a slight variation on the old ‘Easter tree’ – when I was little you found a branch outside and stuck it in a pot of soil and hung handmade decorations on it. It only cost a few pounds from a florist up the road and I hung a selection of little ornaments I’ve collected over the years on it. We enjoyed it this year, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last next year with little fingers snatching at it!

I hope you all had a lovely relaxing time!

It is with a pair of bunny ears on I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Specs Competition but I like it…

Just a quick post to tell you about my latest venture!

I’ve entered myself into the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year award! Mad, I know –  I wasn’t aware there was such a thing until I saw a link to a friend’s entry. I’m making myself unofficial vintage ambassador and I’m hoping to encourage high street chains to stock more retro frames.

The photo I’m using is one of the images taken by Flo Westbrook (http://www.flotography.co.uk) on my wedding day. My makeup was by MUA Sharon Dawson (http://www.eyecandyhairandmakeup.co.uk/home/4584206349) and my hair by Claire Byrne (https://www.facebook.com/Uptowncurlsuk/). My incredible retro frames are by Retro Peepers (http://Www.retropeepers.com)!

Specsavers are giving £1 to anti bullying charity Kidscape for every entry, so even if I don’t win, some money will get donated to a good cause.

I’d love it if you’d vote for me, and maybe even share it if you feel so inclined! Just click on the link and like my photo!

https://loveglasses.specsavers.co.uk/entry/entry-46378-tgz060ctc0br

It is with a winning pair of specs I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Lemon Possett but I like it…

Suddenly Spring is here and it’s nearly Easter! My little man is gorgeous but he’s quite the time waster! Between playing with him, snuggling him and the actual job of caring for him (not to mention the amount of cleaning and laundry he contributes to) I don’t seem to have time for much else!

We have family visiting for the Easter weekend which I’m really looking forward to. I like spending holidays with family and it seems all the more appropriate now I have a little one – I want him to know and cherish his extended family, so it’s good to start early.

I’ve been menu planning this week and chose a rather drizzly day to try out some recipes.

I decided it was time I tried an old favourite – Lemon Possett. I first heard of this in an episode of The Box of Delights. After an icy dip in a river, one of the children asks the maid if she can make him a possett to eat. Having done some research it seems the possett has changed a little over the years. It is definitely vintage – dating back to medieval times when it was a warm milky drink, whereas today it’s somehow become a smooth creamy dessert.

It’s a very easy thing to make. Just three ingredients, only a few minutes of preparation – and allow a few hours to chill of course. I used James Martin’s recipe (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lemonpossetwithlemon_85812) but there doesn’t seem to be much variation in methods. There are a few different flavours – I plan to try the orange and the rhubarb versions!

I served it in my Woodsware Iris teacups with a little shortbread biscuit on the side. Really rather pleased with the overall look. It would be a very good dinner party dessert as it can be prepared the day before, the flavour is lovely and the silky texture makes it feel like a luxurious desssert even though it’s quick and easy to make. For some reason, light, citrussy flavours seem apt for Spring, making it a perfect addition to my Easter meal.

It is with a menu planning head on I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like It!

It’s only a Charity Shop find but I like it…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – my little man and I have been busy! Here’s a little round up of the charity shop finds I’ve had. Turns out that maternity leave is a great chance to bag vintage bargains! This stripy Hornsea flour shaker is in lovely condition. I haven’t decided if I’ll keep it or not. It’s a bit 80s for me but at 99p I couldn’t resist!

This little jug was only 10p in a charity shop that was having a sale. Couldn’t resist it, and the bubbles in it might show that it’s quite old. I do love coloured glass.

I once saw a teapot, sugar bowl and milk jug in this Poole Pottery Twintone on a car boot sale and I didn’t buy it. Are you ever haunted by things you didn’t buy? I am. Not this time! I love the colours (ice blue and dove grey) and the shapes of this set. 

I also found this cute vintage mirror for a fiver. It’s now hanging in my downstairs bathroom. Baby and I are off to rummage tomorrow so I’m hoping to have a few more bargains to blog about soon.

It is as a satisfied customer I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Bread and Butter pudding but I like it…

Ok, so it’s not a luxury pudding, it’s not stylish, it doesn’t even have a fancy name, but I think it does have merits. It makes good use of a staple most of us have languishing in our cupboards, it is warm, stodgy and filling and it quivers and squeaks gently on removal from the oven. It’s been a sturdy, thrifty classic bake for many a year now.

The recipe I’m sharing today is the slightly sophisticated relative to the basic bread and butter pud. We always just made it with milk and eggs when I was a child, but this one contains a whole carton of cream. We just had sugar and raisins for flavour whereas this recipe adds the zest of an orange to cut through the richness of all that cream. This is how it looked pre-oven:

It is Mary Berry’s Mother’s recipe ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_mothers_97161 ) and who am I to argue with such a lady? It was a lovely rich alternative to my usual recipe and the addition of orange zest was delicious. I sprinkled light brown sugar on top, which formed a nice crust.

The Dr and I disagreed on whether it needed to be served with custard. I said no, because it had all that cream and those eggs in it, surely forming something akin to custard? I always feel it’s a pudding that can stand on it’s own two feet without accompaniment. What do you serve yours with?

It is with a dessert debate still raging I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!