Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Happy Purim

The holiday of Purim begins tonight at sundown. I dug out this old photograph of my friend Myra (on the right) and myself at the age of four both dressed as Queen Esther. What doesn't show in the photograph is how beautiful the costume was. Mum made it entirely by hand, sewing sequin bows along the hem of the skirt, and using silver ric-rack to trim the poncho. I loved it so much I continued wearing the skirt as a poncho for years and then dressing a large teddy bear in it when it would no longer go over my head. I don't know what eventually became of it, but I've had a soft spot for blue satin and sequins ever since. And tiaras😀
I baked Hamantaschen this year using a new recipe. The filling is an orange/honey/poppy seed mixture, but the dough has both butter and sour cream. The pastry is yeast-risen, yet it maintains the texture of a rich cake. Recipe Here. I used a different filling, and substituted orange peel for lemon. As the recipe made 36 pieces(!) Mr. ETB took a tray to work, which were well received.

Ten years ago, Danny asked me to bake a novelty cake he spotted in a cookbook. Little boys (and some big ones) do love trains! I improvised one for him with what I had at home (when we lived on the farm it was too long of a drive to just run out for unplanned groceries). It wasn't the fanciest cake, but he loved it, and never forgot that I made him the cake he wanted for Purim. Ten years later, I have a Nordicware pan shaped like railroad cars, so I thought it only right that I re-create his favourite cake. He loved it, but truth be told-I think the improvised one had more charm. I made a short video:
I'm just glad he didn't see this castle cake on the next page as it would have been trickier to pull off with pantry staples! Someday I must make that one, just because.

Since we're showing videos, I thought you might like to see the potato-walk. You also get my teenaged son walking along displaying his belly like a rutting turkey. I've learned not to ask what he's thinking.

Happy Purim if you celebrate it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

All The Smells

 I can finally breathe through my nose again-hooray. To celebrate, here are some fragrances I'm currently making my way through.
Galanos. People think it smells like a cross between Opium and Youth Dew. It doesn't. Galanos is heavy on carnation, oakmoss, and geranium. It is very much an 80's fragrance (it launched in '79) but without throwing everything in like later 80's scents. Galanos is refined, and probably still acceptable in most public places provided you don't over-apply (which you shouldn't do anyway). There is a pungent clove note in Galanos, which can be a deal breaker for some people though in the absence of cinnamon avoids smelling too much like mulling spices. 7/10 because I love oakmoss.

 Ivoire. I learned to like it. Won't ever be love. Unlike Galanos, Ivoire throws EVERYTHING in the bottle in true 80's style. Narcissus kills it for me. Aldehydes, oakmoss, marigold...I should adore it. *shrug* perfume can be funny that way. I still wear it, but I always wish it had a bit more of something, though god only knows what as it already has every note under the sun in it. 6/10 because of the narcissus.
 Balahe. Meowww. Civet, plum, and aldehydes galore. Vetiver, coriander, rose, pineapple...hell yeah. 80's fruity florals were so much better than what we get today. I'm sure the civet has something to do with it, but there's also a good balance with the spices. Anise isn't an obvious note in perfumery these days, but together with the fruit and citrus notes it gives the perfume a distinctive personality. Balahe is strong though, and civet can clear a room, so apply sparingly until you know what the people around you can tolerate. 10/10-80's fumes don't get much better.
 Sweet Courreges and Courreges 2020.
Sweet Courreges is from the early 90's and is an inoffensive aldehyde tempered with peach, civet, and rose. I could do without the vanilla note, but overall it is a pleasant fragrance. I adore some of the Courreges fragrances (Courreges in Blue, Empreinte) but Sweet Courrege is something I probably won't bother to re-purchase once my mini is done. It isn't bad, just not my style. 7/10 for quality. Courreges 2020 is a disgusting, fruity nightmare that should come with a hazardous materials warning. Pear, peach, blackcurrant, cedar, rosewood-it smells like a 90's hairspray. 1/10 because at least the bottle is nice.
Bebe. Meh. It was five bucks at Marshall's so I can't complain too much. Fruity, bit of wood. Not terrible? 5/10 for cute bottle and price point.

In the evenings, I have been slathering lotion on my dry skin, and my favourite at the moment is Sofia Vergara Love. I do still enjoy The original Sofia Vergara, but for a lotion I'll be smelling all night, Love is very pleasant. Strangely, I'm not wild about the spray, though layered with something woody it is okay. Coffee notes are hard to pull off, and although Love isn't terrible, it isn't a favourite. The body lotion seems to be missing the coffee. There's a praline note that isn't too sweet and a passionfruit note that definitely is-such strangeness. I don't think it smells like Black Opium, but enough people do that it is worth mentioning.

I am so glad my nose has finally cleared. What have you been wearing this winter? Do you ever like a fragranced lotion better than the liquid?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I'm a Baked Potato

Yes, I know that was all kinds of wrong, but I couldn't resist. The photo is over 10 years old as Danny has long since moved on from playing with Mr. Potato Head. He loved those Potato Heads. We'd sit on the floor of his bedroom giving them silly faces and sinister voices. "Hey kid, tell yer ma she's really hot." He'd fall apart laughing every time. I hadn't thought about them in ages until we made a quick run to the supermarket and saw this...
It brought all sorts of questions to mind (some on the disturbing side). Why is the potato in bed? Does he have the flu? Should he be concerned by all the tins of chili surrounding his bed? Why is he reading a cooking magazine? So many unanswerable questions.
"Pssst, hey kid...yer ma is really hot."

Anyway, I'm still a bit sick so maybe I'm missing something?

In good weather, we have a favourite evening walk that runs about a mile and a half. Past the college, beyond the hotel, and through the parking lot of the bank with the reflective glass walls. I like this route because there's a very tall set of stairs between the bank's parking lot back up to the college. Danny gets irritated when I start humming the theme from Rocky, but if you're going to run up stairs like that, isn't it only right to have a soundtrack? Anyway, a couple of years ago when I started running seriously, I would run up the other way and meet up with Danny by the bank. Catching a look at myself in a puffy reflective jacket and leggings I joked that I "Look like a baked potato." From then on, when we chose a route for a walk he asks if we are doing "The park, or the potato walk." You could look like worse things than a baked potato.

Once, years ago I asked someone a question, (I've long forgotten what it was) and they misunderstood me (thanks, Chicago accent) and began laughing. It turned out they thought I said, "I'm a baked potato." Perhaps I'll come back in another life as a potato...and then some kid can jab plastic pieces into me and snarl, "Hey kid, yer ma is really hot." 

Truth be told, I prefer mash, but don't say that around the sleepy spud at the grocery store-don't want to traumatise him.
Sweet dreams, Spuddy Buddy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Flu in Review

Happy Valentine's Day.

I planned to bake something using my springerle mould, but life (and still more flu-you wouldn't think it possible to get both strains in one season, but yeah) got in the way. I made Danny a Valentine card and bought him the biggest, silliest, frou-frou heart-shaped box of chocolates from Russell Stover instead. He seemed impressed. Anyway, I hope your day was pleasant.
Xerox got a big sprig of millet for Valentine's. Poor guy has been molting, and he's crankier than usual.
 Being poorly doesn't make for the best photos, but hey, we're just keeping it real😀. The beautiful hand-knit cotton jumper wasn't the best colour to wear with such a sickly lack of colour to my face, but it was a delight to wear. It is cropped, but being short, it comes right to my waist.
I think it is 80's, due to the longer sleeves and cropped waist, but the pattern is timeless. There was a woven label which also makes me think it was 80's (they tend to disappear by the 90's). 

 This is another vintage top. I also think it is 80's, but it might be earlier-this style gets recycled every ten years or so. My mum wore shirts like this in the 60's with cigarette trousers. Well, she did until she split a pair rather publicly (AND they were gold lame!) and thereafter swore off them. In the 80's when shiny spandex trousers were having a moment thanks to hair bands I tried convincing her to buy a pair as they were stretchy and no bad could come of wearing them, but she'd have none of it. I guess you don't forget that sort of public humiliation.
 That was Monday, I think. When I bought the blue and black velour track suit Mr. ETB thought I'd lost my mind-but I knew there would be some day when I'd be glad to own it. Perfect attire for sitting on the sofa, watching the Olympics and freezing despite a high fever. I would never wear this outside-I wouldn't take out the rubbish wearing it, but in the privacy of home it is wonderfully cozy.
 We took Mr. ETB to the doctor for a chest x-ray. He's been hit worse by this. We sat outside in the car as I didn't want Danny in a waiting room full of sick people. Thus far, he's only had a fever (fingers crossed). Yes, I am wearing "overglasses" like a 90 year old.
This was today. I put on makeup because we were having our yearly termite inspection and I didn't want to frighten the exterminator. Next year we want to make termite costumes and have blocks of wood to nibble on when they do the inspection. I'll bet you see some crazy shit as an exterminator but not that crazy!

 I bought myself a wonderful pair of earrings for my birthday. As it was the only thing I got, I'm glad I bought them!  They're super-heavy, but I love them. The scarf/shawl is Egyptian tourist tat that is surprisingly well made. Anything purple and teal will be worth buying, in most cases.

We had lunch at Culver's a couple weeks ago. Danny had the fish sandwich, and I insisted he order onion rings and fried cheese curds so I could, "sample" them. They were delicious, as everything at Culver's is. They're more expensive than other fast-food places, but worth it. They're not paying me to say that, but if they wanted to hire me as a Cheese-Curd Ambassador or something, I'd be open to it😜Mmmm, deep fried cheese.
Kinda beige, but sometimes that works.

Outfit Particulars:
home-sewn (by someone else)polyester dress-long gone vintage shop
Vintage handbag-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage Naturalizer shoes-Thrift World
Vintage necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Gerige tights-Walgreen's
A tiny drop lasts all day...and I can still smell it with a stuffed-up nose. It isn't for everyone (carnation, coriander, oakmoss and a shit tonne of geranium) but if you like this sort of thing, you'll love Galanos.
 A couple of pretty bouquets.
Seafood shopping with a shark...
 ...a new (vintage) wool skirt...
 ...My favourite handbag... to me boots, all things to make me smile.
Waterfowl at DeSoto Wildlife Refuge.
 Double cherry (tinned and dried) tea ring.
Cinnamon buns. All baked by Danny.
And a curry, because you can't live on cinnamon buns. Or can you? Let's ask the shark.
"Hell yes!" There you have it. 

 I will leave you with a pair of owl baskets I couldn't resist.
Hooo loves you?
awww, you know hoo!

I hope to get over this never-ending flu soon and hopefully have a more coherent blog post for you. If you've read this far, THANK YOU. 

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Let's Go shopping!

Haven't done one of these posts for a while, so I think we're due.

This Fishpool Hoard brooch from Nomads With Baggage is a wonderful museum replica piece. Alexis is a terrific seller, and I have been so happy with the many items I have purchased from her.

This Flapper Comb from Deb at Cheap Frills on Etsy is another phenomenal deal. I've bought two combs from Deb (and other items) and I can assure you, she's a great seller with a particularly good eye for combs. She's also the fastest shipper, ever!

This Circle Skirt Dress from 1860-1960 has a fab print. I have bought so many pieces from 1860-1960 and they're all treasures! If I ever win the lottery, I know where I'm shopping first.
This Copper Bracelet from Ms. Vintage Treasures is not only beautiful, but a fantastic bargain as well. I have been pleased with the brooches I purchased from this shop and it is taking a good deal of willpower to keep from buying this bracelet. Gosh, I love copper. 

This Cicada Brooch from Maisonette de Madness is a cheerful little good luck charm. I have happily forked over my cash to this seller time and again for wonderful pieces you won't see everywhere. Your purchase will arrived wrapped up like the perfect yourself! 

These Miller Studio Chalkware Fish from Do You Remember When are a steal at $15.00. They could use a small touch-up with paint, but that is reflected in the price. You can spend five minutes with a pot of paint for that price! I bought my Barn purse from this seller and it arrived quickly and well packaged. 

Fancy a bottle of L' Heure Bleue?  This1967 bottle is a great deal at $189.99 from Etsy seller, ODONA. I am a happy customer, and can verify that the quality and prices of their perfumes are excellent. Guerlain lover that I am, this is sadly one of the fragrances that is too sweet on me. If you can wear it, this is a bottle worth snapping up. 

Is Faberge more your style? Emily at The Nine of Cups has a perfume concentration bottle of Aphrodisia in a metal presentation box. I've been collecting perfume for years and have never run across one like this. You know when you order from Emily it will be perfect and shipped in a flash. 

This Pucci Knock-Off from seller Olive You Vintage is one of many NOS shirts and sweaters she has for sale. I purchased a 50's nylon top and an acrylic 60's cardigan. The prices are great, but did require several washes to get the "storage" smell out. This is reflected in the prices and really, a bit of fresh air is all they needed for clothes that hadn't seen the light of day for decades. I've purchased from her several times now and you honestly can't beat her prices. Do look around the site if you need larger sizes-there were several extra large sweaters last time I looked. 

Someone Buy This Suit from Past Perfect Vintage. At $55.00 it is practically stealing from yourself to not buy it. I have no idea why it hasn't sold as it is in excellent condition and in a larger size. I'd buy it myself if I didn't already have a nearly identical one. For heaven's sake-someone please go buy this!

This dress I bought-click the link to see a better picture of the Owl and the Pussycat print. at $31.00 USD it was too good to pass up. 

Anyone out there have any 
steals or deals to share? Leave the links in the comments.