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Thursday, 30 July 2015

House is a home: Charming Cape Cottage

Hello everyone

Has there ever been a better day to post another beautiful holiday house design? No. Every morning, as I prepare myself, I listen to the radio; and every morning after early news we have traffic report. The lady from traffic patrol kindly reminds us that it is a "holiday season" - so, therefore: there's no better time to post about leisure homes than now..
(and, yes: since it IS a holiday season, bare in mind that the roads will be heavy in traffic, so arm yourselves with some extra patience, and make sure you've got surplus in "on-road" snacks..)

Let's take a look at our house plan:

In case you do care about modernizing a bit (not in a "hipster lifestyle" kind of way, but more in "eco-friendly" and "energy efficient" way - most of markets in housing can provide you with an alternative energy source.. and, YES, indeed.. I'm speaking of solar panels. They may not suit your vintage-ways, but there's more to consider - one of the things is: more you save on energy bills, more vintage dresses and suits (shoes and bows!) you can buy. :)

Here's an interesting quote from 1916 edition of The Ogden Standard:

The nearness of midsummer reminds us that we should, at least those of us who have not as yet enjoyed a vacation, begin to formulate plans for our work-free days. However, in most families some one is usually found who scoffs at the idea of vacations, who declares that if one must work for a living one’s business should not be neglected. This misguided person will go even further by emphasizing the fact that he or she has worked for so many years, yet never took any “time off.”
While such “hard” workers may feel that they are entitled to a certain distinction, people who have any common sense at all do not take them seriously. As far as one’s business is concerned, there are so many clever and able persons all around us that a thoroughly competent substitute will not only carry on our work most creditably if we take a vacation, but may in all probability do that work far better than we are doing it.
The person who toils for years without any “time off” is is foolish indeed. All work and no play is a mighty poor rule to go by, and people who think along those lines will, when it is too late, have to admit that theirs was a positively wrong view to entertain.

An annual leave of absence

The girl who daily takes her place in a busy office or workroom should by all means be granted an annual leave of absence from her duties, and this time should be given over to rest plus a fair-sized measure of recreation. If one commands a generous salary, she certainly should arrange to spend her vacation amid new scenes, as a change of environment is wonderfully invigorating.
However, at the present moment many persons who heretofore passed their work-free time at some mountain or seaside resort must, owing to the high cost of living, forgo such a trip. Yet the really practical one will make this sacrifice bravely, and instead of becoming blue or “down in the mouth” wisely decide to enjoy herself thoroughly, even though she must stay at home.
One can take daily outings that are not only delightful but cost comparatively nothing. For two or three trolley fares a person may travel miles through stretches of wonderful country, just now at its best. And the girl who has not tried it should by all means pack a lunch basket with tempting goodies, get in touch with two or three friends, ask her mother (who also should take a little “time off”) to chaperon the party and spend an occasional day at the nearest shore resort.
A pleasure trip of this kind will more than repay one, especially if she takes her camera along. Therefore, the young woman who must spend her vacation at home may, without any question, have a thoroughly good time.
Not all persons who pass the summer or other seasons at fashionable resorts really enjoy themselves. And if the truth were known, numberless persons who sit around on hotel verandas would give worlds to exchange places with the ones who must toil for their bread and butter.

Vintage staycations

Any business girl whose salary is not overgenerous should not give way to discontent if she must spend her vacation days in her own home town. There, at least, she has friends who will extend to her a royal welcome whenever she calls upon them. Even though she could go to a prominent watering place or mountain resort during her work-free days, she probably would not have as good a time as if she had stayed at home.
She would find out – and this in a very brief space of time – that no one would really care to know her or try to make her trip enjoyable in any way. Fashionable places are, as a rule, overcrowded and frequented, to a large extent, by people who have absolutely nothing in common with the person who must work for a living.
The girl who is blessed with good parents and a home is indeed a truly fortunate young woman, and this truth she should keep constantly before her. She may perhaps feel a wee bit envious of the chum who counts on a vacation at the seashore or mountains, but often one’s seemingly most favored friends are not so fortunate, after all.
Those of us who must spend our vacations at home can, if we will, make the time pass pleasantly, and the surest way to attain this result is to rout envy or discontent from our minds.
Have a great day!
Enjoy summer.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

BURDA Wednesday, March 1958, part II

Hello everyone.

Let me tell this using term so popular in TV shows back in the day: Le't's get this show on the roll:

Here's one for the coming summer of 1958
(and all the summers to follow)
our Burda editors give us NAVY.

If you're still struggling with a lot of blue in your life 
(err, like myself)
you can always to "negative": more white, less blue
it's still navy, folks! :)

Please, divert your gaze (just for a moment) 
from the lovely dresses and pay attention to
the hairstyle in upper right corner:
mid-parting.. so, the '60 are near

Even Sissy said "yes" to wearing
summer white.

Knot your way onto summer
with these amazing ideas

Here's a great way to "break" a somewhat sport-ish attire:
give it a "boost" with jewelery

I'm such a sap when it comes to tablecloths
This bird-pattern is done in a cross-stitch, 
and it's subtle and simple look is just perfect
(I would pick a different color pattern, though) :)

Taft... lasts a whole day!
(it does, I've used it)

Here are some solutions for all those "problem" areas
like sloping ceilings.. 
no one wants them, but once you have it - you can go around it
and make it appealing.

"We live under the roof"
ideas for all those who live in apartments on the top of the building.

Kids wearing a dirndl... adorable!

"Your skin - healthy and beautiful"
Tashan - cream with added vitamins 
(production stopped in 1997, I believe)

Hints on fashion

This issue features an amazing "Exclusive model"
red with polka dots,
tight around waist, but gives a little strength to shoulders
Quite the lovely dress.

In case you are wondering
what the "pudding" in bottom left corned might be
I think it's a "spinach aspic"

An "aspic" (the word even we, over here, use in identical form) is a gelatin-meal, and can be made by quite a lot of ingredients. As I've just wrote, main thing to make an "aspic" is the proper use of meat stock gelatin (something I'm yet to master).

Looking like tiny adults
(I can't judge the parents for doing that,
since mine done just the same)  :)

What's in stores, for March 1958
/and the "eyebrow lady" again  :)

Learn how to sew attachments

Embrace your inner cowgirl, ladies..


You're asking me how's work:


I hope you were inspired.. and had a bit of a laugh.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Love Story: Nightmare Journey

Hello everybody!

We're having a breeze over here, folks. :) The air is fresher, and you can feel the wind on your face; making it much, much better for me to do my outdoor activities. 
We should have had it yesterday, so I wouldn't suffer a heat-shock. Apparently, you get a heat-shock when you roam the city streets with bags in your hands, in full sun (really?!). Not everyone get that dizzy and nauseous feeling, some people don't mind the heat at all - my brother, for instance, had no problem at all. So, later in the day he went on with friends, and I got to stay indoors and write my post on making jam for you guise - if it wasn't for my light-headedness I doubt I'd had the time.. so, there is some good in that. 
I'm all better now.
Some good has come out of all (besides the jamming post): I can now be sure that my brother s moving in a clean flat - clean by my standards. :)

And now:
brace yourselves for a whole lot of adventure!

I told you!
Ahhh, my heart needed a bit of a boost. And, this was one of the exciting ones, wasn't it?
Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The day when I was making jam.

Hello everyone

With the heat-wave giving us it's best, I decided to stop with the irrational behavior (working outdoor, unless it's urgent IS not bravery, it's also not to be done on the hottest time in the year) and to spend a moment or two writing you about how I make jam.

Image taken, with respect
(owner in it's bottom right corner)

Earlier this week I was making cherry plum jam. Cherry plums grow all over the place, and most of the people have them in their yards. They are often looked over, since majority of folks here use them to make moonshine (yeah.. homemade beverage high in alcohol content) 

There are two types of cherry plum that are seen most often here:

On the left - the "colored" one
On the right - yellow cherry plum

There is a difference between them, both in taste and texture. Also, as I was soon to find out, there's also the difference in cooking time.
I took me four days to prepare both varieties. Two for each. Since I work full time, I had to pick the plums on one day and cook on another. Twice. :)

The recipe?
There's no secret to that. I'm always using the same old (oh, so truly old!) cook book recipe, and I believe that it's all right, since it has never turned out wrong - and it has been done by multiple generations of women, from the both parental sides of my family.
You firstly wash the jars, and finish the washing by rinsing them in hot (hot, hot) water. We don't cook the jars, honestly ladies - no need for that.. but, if you fear your jars just might not be squeaky clean, by all means: boil away. :)
Then you wash your plums and remove the pits. I like to mush mine with hands just to get the feel of how much water they are giving away and THAT tells me how much sugar I need to put. The rule of thumb being: if you feel a lot of bursting going on while you're mushing - you need more sugar. Then I take a modern device into action. I admit: I use blender - I love my jam homogeneous. :)
Oki-doki. Here's the trick: pectin costs money. And, why waste your dime when you can just blend some apples with your other fruit? I use about 200 grams of apples for every kilo of fruit. And I blend that all together.

This poster is OBLIGATORY :)

Now comes the sugar. Most of the recipes call for WAY too much sugar. I use 300 grams of sugar for every liter of blended mush (no better name for it). :)
Sugar gets it's turn first in our home. We cover it with just a bit of water, enough for you to JUST be able to mix it (and you must use large, long wooden spoon - do not ask me why.. it's how it has always been done over here). Sugar is caramelized, by the point of "mad bubbles". How should I best explain this? You know that children's toy..

The "bubble maker"
(dip into mix of water and dish washing detergent and 
blow your bubbles away)

Yes, that's the "tool" we use. Dip in sugar and blow. If your getting bubbles, your sugar is ready to receive the mush. 
Then what?


Then you prove yourself worthy of your family name

Standing tall for many hours.
Ladies (and gents):
Don't be foolish... and 
DO NOT put your head over boiling jam 
(you can, however do your obligatory "selfies" while it's still warming up
(like this deranged woman in the photos is showing)  :)

And, in my case: I had total of 9 liters of fruit and sugar mixture, divided in two, since I don't have stove large enough. It took me two and a half hours to boil it down to it's half; which is pretty much the aim here. 

Day four of making jam.
Way in the back, you can see the first batch 
(made two days before this one)
in it's lovely jars.

Knowing when it's done? Sure, easy, done in two ways:
1. Run your wooden spoon on the bottom of your pan, if you can see the jam splitting up (my grandma used to say: Moses split the sea, we're slitting the jam) :) .. it the split is evident - you're done
2. Take a saucer and place a small amount of jam onto it, and watch if it's moving around as you shake the saucer (shake gently, folks). If it's not runny, and if it stays in place - you're done. 

Size does not matter
as long as there's jam inside :)

Before spooning jam in jars, I like to mix it up a bit more, off the heat. I do that so that the steam comes out, and therefore I reduce the risk of something cracking. Then I spoon the jam in jars.
We don't use lids. We prefer cellophane. And we do that "after the crust has formed on top of jam" - in translation: tomorrow. :) Two layers of cellophane, and we place labels between them, in that way we don't have to get all messed up by glue (me, yes.. mom, I can't use glue and NOT make a total mess.. fine, I admit that). And also, by putting the label between two sheets of cellophane, you don't risk it getting scraped off by friction of smeared off by grease..

This was literally my look
when I placed all my 14 jars of jam on the shelf
(yellow one made 6 jars, and got really sturdy,
colored one made 8 jars and is more lava-like)


Before I go, here's something
that we make if all else fails:

Cheap, simple - frugal!

I hope you stuck around to the end.
Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

My little cookbook, part I

Hello everybody.

Without any intention to actually post about cooking and kitchen, I have stumbled upon this little booklet (while searching for interesting ideas about pantry organization - blame the beginner) :)
The book is child-safe, but I think none of us would be harmed by taking a closer look. Even if we do not learn anything new from these images - it just so adorable.

I've split it in two.
Today, we're looking at Part one:

I've told you it's worth a while. Nothing may be learned from here ..but I'm the first to admit that I haven't got anything like this as a child (no home economics class in my country, it was canceled few years before I started school). To me , this is a precious gem, and there's no shame in letting you know that I find this to be a studying literature.
How about you?
Have you, at least, enjoyed the puzzles?