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!

It’s only a Handmade Gift but I like it…

Back in the summer I decided to hand make some of my Xmas gifts. I’d been told by my midwife to be organised this Christmas, in case Baby came early.aeeiving in Christmas Eve, Baby G didn’t actually impact on my Christmas preparations too much, but I was all ready just in case!

I have a vintage sewing machine which I’m slowly getting to grips with. It’s rather temperamental and I’ve had it serviced and looked at a few times during this project, making it rather a lengthy job to complete for such a small item.

Cloudy man was a present for my sister. She likes things with clouds on them and I thought this little plushie project was quite cute with his little welly boot legs. I got the pattern from Miss Daisy Patterns (https://missdaisypatterns.com/cloud-baby-free-sewing-pattern-tutorial/ ) and found it super easy to follow – even for someone like me who’s pretty hopeless at sewing! The only thing I changed was using those little mirror sequins for the cheeks. I had them in my sewing box and thought I’d use them up. Cloudy Man was very well received and now lives on my sister’s bed.

When we got our first VCR (quite late to the party – in about 1990?) we only had a few videos to watch, one of which – for some reason – was the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. We watched it a lot, had favourite characters, loved the songs, found certain scenes dull (fast forward!) and can all quote much of the film verbatim. This gift was for my brother – a quote from the film and the signature shirts worn by the brothers. I’m quite proud of this as I used a cross stitch generator for the lettering, but made up the pattern for the shirts myself.

I like the trend for displaying cross stitch patterns in these frames. It’s rather quaint and somehow fitting. I made a couple of others for family – just silly quotes. They’re very simple to do, but satisfying.

It’s such an old tradition to hand make gifts. You do need to allow time, I started my projects in the summer, but still ended up putting finishing touches to them in December! I always think it means so much more knowing someone has gone to the effort of making something from scratch. They’re often very well received and result in a sense of achievement you won’t get from buying all your presents in Primark. Go on – give it a go!

It is with a smug smile I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Vintage Babygro but I like it…

It’s not often you get to pass things from one generation to the next. Especially in these times of disposable goods and cheaply bought Primark specials. My Mum and I were most delighted this week to pop my little man in a babygro that was bought for my brother. It’s a Mothercare one and still in pretty good nick. Uncle Sam says he remembers it well and we thought Albie looked rather snazzy in it.

It kept him warm on our first jaunt into the city centre on the bus. It’s obviously good quality and robust enough to last a few more washes and wears.

I wonder which of Albert’s outfits I will be able to keep and pass on…

It is with a plan for a future wardrobe I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Bathroom (3) but I like it…

The great bathroom remodel of 2016 is complete!

The ceramic checkerboard tiles on the floor look great and the silver grout really sets them off. The subway tiles on the wall look  classy, so pleased I chose them.

I have fulfilled a long held dream and I have a roll top bath! It really is lovely and so comfy too. I have had a quite a few baths – and to be honest, whilst pregnant it was a real treat to have soothing soaks in my gorgeous new tub! It has a raindrop shower above it and the builders sealed the bathroom floor so in the unlikely event we have any spills or floods the floor timbers and electrics are safe! I love my bath caddy (a gift from Sam and El) and it’s currently housing my Christmas bath ballistics from Lush and Albie’s ducks.

My vintage cistern has come into its own when combined with a nice Burleigh toilet bowl and mahogany seat. It looks better than I could have hoped and love the fact it cost me a tenner! I bought this copper basket to store my toiletries in, and tucked a black towel in front so it doesn’t look messy. I continued the copper theme by adding a copper posser as a loo roll holder.

Another incredible eBay find was this lovely and bargainous sink – £10. It’s in perfect condition and my builder said it would have been around the £200 mark when new so I’m very happy. I love the chrome towel rail at the front. This ladder works rather well and fits perfectly into this nook next to the sink.

This vintage sheet music was also from eBay a while back and I’ve been saving it. I love the fact it’s a Howard Hughes film and the ‘Underwater’ theme makes it perfect for my bathroom. The light pull was left by previous owners, with a clean and polish it looks great.

A mirror and shelf and I think we’re done. These were both eBay finds that my brother put up for me when he came to meet Albie.

It was a long time in the making and cost more than we’d hoped but it’s well worth it and will be the family bathroom we wanted – I can’t wait to bath Albie in here when he’s a bit bigger, singing songs and playing with his bath toys!

It is with a rubber ducky in hand I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!