Category: Vintage

It’s only Dorset Apple Cake but I like it…

That season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is here! It’s my favourite time of year, made quite bittersweet this time around by my return to work after maternity leave. I’m enjoying being back, but it’s been difficult leaving baby with others and finding my feet again after a hiatus at work is a challenge too. 

One of of the best things about autumn is the harvest and the bountiful produce this brings. I’ve a new source of apples this year in a kind work colleague who even delivered them to my door! It’s been a nice distraction this weekend, baking something tasty for teatime.

Although I’m a big fan of the apple crumble, there’s only so much crumble a family can eat, and each year I try to extend my recipe book to include another apple recipe. Last year Eve’s Pudding was the order of the day, this year a Dorset Apple Cake. I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. It was a nice simple recipe to whip up on a Sunday afternoon while Baby was napping. Once the apples were sliced I only had to mix up the cake mix ingredients in one go. Then I spread half of the mixture in a tin, layered with apples, repeated and sprinkled some sugar on top. I let it bake a little longer than the 50 minutes to ensure the centre was cooked and this seems to have been about right.

I ate mine warm with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream, but the Dr had his just as it was. The golden crunch of the outside was a nice contrast with the soft sweetness of the appley sponge. I think next time I’ll add some cinnamon – mostly because it’s such a good pairing and my favourite Autumnal flavour.

What are your favourite autumn apple recipes?

It is with a fondness for therapeutic baking I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only Fisher Price but I like it…

I’m aware my posts are much more sporadic lately and I hardly think I need explain why. Although I was determined not to let that happen, the fact that I’ve just gone back to work following my maternity leave means that the posts might not become more regular for a while yet! I’m still loving and living the vintage but the opportunity to write about it seldom arises.

As as you might expect, I’m taking bubba along for the vintage ride and this has lately manifested itself in the purchasing of a lot of vintage toys. He’s on the move now and interacting with his environment so much more.

As a child some of our favourite toys were the classic Fisher Price toys. We had several of these and many of them had been handed down from older cousins, well loved and bearing surprisingly few battle scars.

They were simple and allowed for imaginative play, could be played with over and over and above all were very well made. It amazes me how many of them still exist – intact and ready for many more hours of play.

Herman Fisher and Irving Price teamed up in 1930 when they decided that world needs more imaginative toys. Their first line of 16 toys was sold in department stores and soon became very popular. Fisher Price went from strength to strength despite a hiatus in 1943 to help with the war effort.

In the 1950s Fisher Price began to experiment with other materials and introduced plastic toys to their range for the first time.

As the years passed Fisher Price kept reinventing itself, bringing out ranges of toys for babies, then baby equipment such as high chairs, then electronic toys and so much more. Recently, they reissued some of their most popular toys – with just some small modifications for today’s market.

Of course, it’s all about this boy. And although he’s still too little for most of these toys, and more interested in chewing them than playing with them, I know they’re not going anywhere. They’re going to be around for many years to come.

It is with a nostalgic nod I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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 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 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 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!

It’s only Little Bird but I like it…

It hasn’t taken me long to fall in love with a retro inspired range of clothing for kids. Albert is just 3 weeks old and I’ve already discovered the Little Bird range of clothes, designed my Jools Oliver and stocked by Mothercare.

I think I like the range because it reminds me of the kinds of clothes I was wearing when I was teeny. Photos depict me in 70s styles, despite the fact I was born at the beginning of the 80s. My Mum, like most new Mums, took all the hand-me-downs she was offered, knowing that you can never have too many outfits in those early days. This meant I was in my cousin’s 70s outfits for the first few years.

It seems traditional to put babies in pastels, but I think I rather like these 70s inspired rainbow brights.

I particularly love these rainbow cot sheets – how cute!

I think Baby G is going to look cute as a little 1970s rainbow…

It is with a nostalgic nod to childhood I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!