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Yesterday, after two very snowy weeks of early March, I felt the first tender rays of springtime warmth dance upon my skin. I took Annie out back and together we played amongst them, both entranced by a sensation that we had very nearly forgotten.

It was a moment of simple, untainted pleasure of that sort we all long for in our lives and it reminded me a great deal of the powerful feelings of warmhearted compassion that myself, Tony and Annie have been incredibly blessed to receive from scores of wonderful people – including many in the vintage community – over the past five months since the fire.

From that horrific day onward, there has been a part of me that had suspected this post would eventually happen. Perhaps many of you saw it coming as well.

What occurred to us on that fateful, (ironically) rainy October night changed us forever. In one fell swoop it rewrote our lives and tore into the fabric of who we were at our very cores.

Though some pieces have been mended, others that remained (now) strengthened, and some are lost forever, we are not the same people we were before the fire. I highly doubt most folks would be, if they went through something similar.

Hardship and challenges make you and shape you. They can break you, too, if you let them. Yet from that very first evening as we stood cocooned in shock and grief, we swore that we wouldn’t let that happen and with your profound help (of every conceivable variety), love and support, it hasn’t.

Though I had, for some time, remained optimistic that I’d be able to pick up here much like before, in the ensuing five months it has become glaringly apparent to me that such is simply not possible.

Too much has changed. Though my love for vintage, my tremendous appreciation for this community, and my passion for rocking old school styles will never waver for a moment, I have come to realize that, as much as it genuinely pains me to the pit of my soul, I need to retire this blog.

Between the continued (very) poor state of my health in the wake of the blaze, the challenging road ahead as we continue to rebuild our lives, and the reality that certain things can never go back to as they once were, I know in my heart of hearts that this is what is right and healthy for me at this stage in my life.

I want each of you to know, and pray that you will believe me when I say, that this decision did not come easily or lightly. I agonized over it relentlessly for months and talked about it with Tony until I the point where I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if he’d started throwing things at me to get me to drop the subject (of course my sweet husband would never actually do that, but I wouldn’t have blamed in the slightest him if he had!).

For the better part of eight years (including the 2.5 for which, before the fire, I had my eponymously named Etsy shop as well; it will not be returning either), this blog was a huge part of my world – just as each of you were.

I adore, care about, and appreciate all of you more than you will ever know. Parting ways, in a vintage blogging context at least, is beyond hard for me to do.

I have had many sleepless nights, shed my fair share of tears, negatively impacted my health further from the stress of debating what to do, rung my hands nearly raw with anxiety, searched the furthest recesses of my heart, and, again, did not get to this point easily or lightly. Please know however, that it is a choice that I have reached for certain. 

Here we are then and there’s no sense in dragging things out.

Instead I will thank you – each and every one of you – for the innumerable ways you’ve enriched my life since Chronically Vintage began in April 2009. We’ve talked, we’ve laughed, we’ve inspired one another, we’ve grown as people, we’ve changed, and we have come to be dear friends.

{You mean the world to me - each of you. Thank you for the great times, the kinship, and for your understanding about my tremendously difficult decision to retire CV. Vintage photo image source.}

In our darkest hour, you were there for me and my family and I will be grateful for your help, compassion and remarkable generosity (including both your monetary donations and care packages) for as long as I live.

The physical gifts you gave me (us) helped me to come back to many important parts of myself. They cloth me, we eat off of them, we even bath with some of your presents (soaps and a beautiful floral print shower curtain, for instance). You often knew what we needed, even if, in our haze of grief, we didn’t.

You took us by the hand and the heart, you believed in us and we have grown stronger in many ways again because of you – just as I have always derived strength and comfort from this amazing community.

While I will no longer be blogging here at Chronically Vintage, I plan to keep this site (which houses just over 1,500 posts) alive for all to enjoy, learn from, and be inspired by.

You can continue to connect with me on social media, where as time goes on, I hope to share an even broader scope of myself and my many different interests – a giant one of which will, of course, forever be vintage.

Thank you all so much. Thank you for the memories, the smiles, the joys, the ways in which you've helped me grow, and countless other things that will stay with me for all of my days. 

I want you to know that you can always email me and that, I hope, should any of you ever find yourself in dire straights, I can be there for you however possible, too. Just ask, night or day.

I won’t say goodbye, instead I will say that I love you. That you mean more to me than I could ever begin to put into words, and that I hope with all my might you’ll understand my exceedingly difficult decision to retire from this blog and to look ahead to other (largely unknown at present) chapters in my life.

It has been a joy and an honour to connect with all of you throughout CV’s life and I look forward to continuing to do so via social media (particularly on Instagram and Pinterest), your blogs, emails, snail mail, and other avenues for a long time to come.

Friendship, much like the appeal of the past itself, is often timeless and so too, in my eyes, are each of you. 

Forever and always your friend in all things vintage,
❤ Jessica
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Hello, my sweet, wonderful friends! How are each of you as February wraps up? It's hard to believe that more than a month has whipped past since my last blog post here (for which I really cannot thank you all enough for your incredibly caring, supportive comments on). And - at the risk of veering into broken record territory - though this site remains very much on hiatus, I simply had to share some excellent news here with all of you.

As many of you know, Tony and I have been searching, ceaselessly, high and low for the past two months trying to find longer term housing (as our current digs were only temporary - especially since the lovely homeowners may convert it to an AirBnb soon and major renos on both floors have been underway for the last two months, whilst we were living here, to make the house even lovelier and more contemporary looking).

To say that this was one of the hardest and most stressful tasks of our entire lives would not be a stretch. The housing (especially rental) market around these parts is abysmal at best and laughable at worst. Think staggering high prices (even for shared accommodations; which was not something we were looking for at all), tons of competition for the few places that surface, homes that were/are often in deplorable condition, and a serious shortage of properties that accept pets.

Around the clock throughout all of January and very nearly the entire month of February, we searched, contacted listings, viewed homes, applied, and continually expanded our search radius as far as nine hours away from Penticton. With each passing day, our stress level rose and our already taxed nerves grew more frayed.

In the end though, mercifully, we didn't have to go anywhere near that far afield. As February started to draw to a close, we were elated and beyond thankful to have been approved and selected by the owners of a beautiful two-story home in the nearby community of Okanagan Falls and couldn't say "yes" quickly enough to their rentership offer.

This house was our favourite of all those we saw and the one we most hoped to be selected for. It checks off our major needs (including having a fenced backyard for our dog, Annie, to utilize), is in a safe, quiet neighbourhood, and is owned by really nice people who live right here in the Southern Okanagan, too.

Our new little community, Okanagan Falls (aka, OK Falls), is a spot that has appeared here in some of my outfit shoots over the years (such as this one from 2013), and which I've always enjoyed spending time in.

We're both delighted to be so close (just twenty minutes away) to Penticton (where we were living at the time of the fire) still and moreover to have a great new roof over our heads. As well as, we hope and pray, the ability to finally stop feeling like we're in a state of topsy-turvy flux and uncertainty (regarding housing) after what happened to us last October.

{Our boxes are packed, we've got a small team of friends and family to help, and tomorrow we'll be hopping from one side of Skaha Lake to the other when we move into our terrific new abode in Okanagan Falls. I truly cannon wait! Mid-century moving day photo image source.}

I've had to move houses really quickly a few other times in my life, but less than a week to pack, switch over services (utilities, internet, etc), get a new PO box, and scads of related things is definitely a new record for the fastest I've ever changed homes and we've not had a moment to even stop and catch our breath since signing our new lease.

I'm certainly not complaining though - far from it! This house (I don't have a photo of it yet, but will try to post one on my social media in the near future) is just perfect for us and we can't begin to convey how incredibly grateful we are for it (just as we were to have our temporary home in Kaleden over the winter months).

It is my sincere hope that once we're settled in and unpacked, I can finally allow myself some time to properly rest, recoup, recover, grieve (further), and get a better handle on where my health, life and very future itself are at this stage.

On the exact same day that we signed our new lease, our old house (the one that was destroyed by the fire) was finally demolished (they'd needed milder temps in order to safely do so). Some might see that simply as a coincidence, but to me it much more than just that and stands as the absolute perfect symbol of one chapter in our lives ending and another beginning.

None of knows what the future holds in store for us, but quite literally tomorrow, I know that we'll be moving into our new house and - even though my health is in shambles right now and I've rarely been more exhausted on every level than I presently am - I simply can't stop smiling and thinking positive thoughts about the life that we'll create and live in Okanagan Falls.

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This is not, by any means, the most lighthearted of topics for my second entry of new year, I know, but I feel that in order to proceed forward and start afresh in my life, I truly need to share these thoughts with all of you.

As we sit here just over half of the way through January, it strikes me that it is entirely possible that the complete impact - insomuch as it pertains to our lives in the much longer run - may not have even fully presented itself yet, but again, I want and need to get some of these thoughts and reflections down on virtual paper all the same.

Most of you are aware that three months ago now, in mid-October, Tony and I lost our home, virtually all of our possessions, and our precious cat, Stella, when an arson fire destroyed the entire fourplex that our home belonged to.

{Exceptionally large volumes of water were required by the local fire department to put the multi-home blaze that destroyed our house out on the night of October 13th. It took several hours, but they were eventually successful in quashing the blaze before it spread to any of the dozens of other condos/townhouses in the immediate area. The end result of such though was that on top of the smoke and fire damage itself, our possessions were greatly harmed by water as well, including over five whole feet worth's that was shot into the basement alone - as you can imagine, everything there was a total write off, as was very nearly everything else in the whole house. Vintage image source.}

In the immediate aftermath, shock and disbelief filled our days. Our brains – or at least mine - fluctuated constantly from feeling completely foggy to clear as a bell. Adrenaline fueled us onward for weeks, sleep was elusive (and fraught with nightmares when it did happen), and we absolutely had to focus on tasks like the arduous insurance claim process, getting an approved removal crew into the burned out remains of our house (this step was required for our insurance claim), and buying those day-to-day staples of life that were most pressing and important.

Amidst this chaos, emotions soared, hearts ached, and a sense of disbelief rang out across the crisp autumn air. One day we had a happy home filled with our belongings, I was running my Etsy shop, our pets were both fine, and we were getting ready to celebrate our wedding anniversary the very next day (October 14th).

Then, that night, everything changed instantly when one person's staggeringly malicious, thoughtless and life threatening act destroyed just about everything under our roof (save, thank goodness, for our own lives and that of our precious dog, Annie).

More than mere things themselves, I was struck almost instantly by the haunting sense that I had lost my very identity (or at least a sizable portion of it) - as well as the cocoon of comfort and serenity that I had build up for myself throughout my adult life.

As a someone who does relentless battle day in and day out with multiple severe chronic illnesses and who is frequently far too unwell to leave the house for days, weeks, and sometimes even months at a time, my home was my beautiful sanctuary. It wasn't huge, but it teemed with items of all sorts that brought me incredible joy and peace, inspiration and comfort.

In many ways, it really did feel like a suit of armour that helped, at least in part, to shield me from whatever life threw our way - that is until it vanished quite literally in a (giant) puff of smoke.

I remember, shortly after the fire, sitting on my parent's couch one morning - borrowed clothing hanging from my exhausted shoulders - and being struck by the fact that I felt an unforgettable mix of numbness, gut wrenching emotion, and as though I was witnessing someone else's life unfold before my eyes, as right then and there, my world no longer felt like my own.

{For the first few weeks immediately following the fire, I felt adrift without my usual wardrobe, surroundings and possessions. It was an alien and vastly unpleasant sensation and one that I would never wish on anyone. Thankfully, the more time that passes, the less this feeling takes center stage. Vintage image source.}

Mercifully, though elements of those feelings all still linger, something astonishing happened to help bring me back to myself: all of you.

From your staggeringly generous monetary donations, to your awesome care packages, to supporting us via the surprise of a lifetime that was the private VSS, literally thousands (in total) of caring emails, private messages, and blog comments, and scores of other amazing ways, the vintage community was there to catch me and Tony and Annie alike as we proverbially fell further and further into the abyss of this tragedy.

Your hands and hearts reached out to us. In some instances we didn't know yet know you, in others we'd been friends for many years, and in others still, we might have only been acquainted for a short while, but no matter what, you were there for us.

It was as humbling and touching a thing as either of us have ever experienced in our entire lives and the mere words "thank you" will never feel like enough to express our deepest of gratitude to all of you.

There is a great totality that comes with losing everything (again, virtually - we estimate that we lost at least 99.95% of everything that we had before the blaze and I really want to stress that, of course, while I'm speaking mostly from a first person perspective here, my darling husband Tony lost everything, too, and was likewise hit to his core by such) - especially when it is caused by someone else's hands and comes completely out of the blue.

"Everything" may be an easy ten letter word to say, but wrapping one's mind around - and fully accepting - what that really means in terms of your home and its contents is another beast entirely.

At first - and to a degree, still even now - the closest thing that my brain could compare how it felt to suddenly not be around my possessions any longer was to liken it to being on a holiday and having lost your luggage en route, thus seeing yo reach your destination with just the clothing on your back.

This was no vacation though - very far from it - and as we came came to grips with what losing everything really did entail, a barrage of emotions, thoughts and pain hit us hard. Yet we persevered.

We were alive and unscathed physically by the blaze, we had each other and Annie, and as dark as things were, a voice deep inside of us kept reminding us that there would be brighter days again - we would just need to be patient and keep working hard to make them happen.

Though most of you know me primarily because of my strong ties to, and passion for, all things vintage and I certainly lost a substantial amount of antique, vintage, vintage reproduction, and vintage appropriate items (some categories of which - such as hats, plastic jewelry, and mid-century novelty print skirts, as well as books, magazines and catalogs - continue to pain me more than I could have ever imagined their loss to do), that was not all that I lost by any means.

Some other key categories of my personal belonging included the following:

-A massive supply of scrapbooking, stamping and other paper crafting related supplies (honestly, I had more than I could probably have ever used in ten lifetimes and it was a collection that I was both proud of and extremely grateful for). As well, all of my completed scrapbooks were lost, too. That cuts to the core, let me tell you.

While fortunately I did have photographs that had been uploaded to Scrapbook.com of some of my finished projects, dozens of pages and cards hadn't been shared publicly yet and as my computer and our external hard drives were all destroyed in the fire, so too were the images of I had of these creations.

The loss of my craft room and its contents is on my mind constantly and, as time goes on, rebuilding a new version of it will be an immense priority for me, as crafting is essential to my happiness, well being, and the state of my health.

-A large supply of jewelry making products, tools, and related items including multiple totes full of vintage findings, cabochons, beads, charms, etc.

-A smaller, but still decent sized, selection of other assorted crafting supplies, including items for cross stitching, embroidery, sewing (sewing machine included), and holiday decor making.

-All of my photography equipment - Canon DSLR, lens, flashes, tripods, stands, backdrops, a white box, camera bags, etc. You name it, it was destroyed.

-Over 600 modern books (and hundreds of vintage ones, too), plus dozens and dozens of crafting and home decor related magazines.

-A substantial collection of Canadian and (to a lesser degree) international Girl Guide and Girl Scout patches, badges, pins, books, uniforms, and other related items, many of which would be next to impossible - due to their scarcity - to replace these days, even if one had Bill Gate's bank account at their disposal.

-A few dozen plush toys (stuffed animals), a few modern dolls (including some Pullips and their wardrobes), and even a few of my childhood toys.

-Oodles of Halloween and Christmas decor (including some family heirloom items), and a smaller array of decor for various other holidays.

-At least three large totes of items from my childhood + teenage years and another couple full of keepsakes, letters, and souvenirs pertaining to my adult life.

-A substantial number of items pertaining to my spirituality.

-Every single item (listed or unlisted at the time of the fire) for my Etsy vintage shop, as well as all of my props, packaging and shipping materials, and every thing else related to my business.

{Like most of us, I had amassed my possessions over the course of many years and listing everything would be quite the task, so I've opted to just focus on some of the key areas here, especially since they're the same ones that I'll be aiming to rebuild collections of from here on out. Vintage image source.}

There are were many other things, too - from family photo albums to 40+ metal cookie cutters, medical supplies to our printer - that were lost, as well scores of the sorts of things that most of us barely even think about on a day-to-day basis, such as toothbrushes, pots and pans, undergarments, vitamins, and countless other items.

As well, in losing my computer and external drive, I lost a great deal of information and images pertaining to my blog, including Word documents that housed hundreds of potential ideas for future blog posts, all of the images I’ve shared here over the years (including photos of myself), drafts of about twenty future blog posts, and research that had been gathered for dozens more.

I want, and need, to mention, that I don't list the physical items above or talk about what I used to own in any sort of (intentionally) bragging or even so-called "humble bragging" kind of way. That is , categorically, the polar opposite of the type of person that I am and I would never want anything that I do or say to come across in that way.

This post is being penning both as a healing tool for myself and, to a degree, for a sense of posterity, as well as to honour, in a way, the memory of those items that were lost.

My collection took a lifetime to amass - a combination of online and in person purchases, coupled with a fair number of items that were amazing gifts from friends, family, CV readers, neighbours, and (in more recent years) blog sponsors, too.

A great deal of what I had was bought on sale and very often even modest items were saved for before being purchased. I never took what I had for granted and was (and still am) immeasurably grateful to have had an abundance of possessions pertaining to so many areas that are near and dear to my heart before the fire.

Given that we were grossly under insured (far more so than we realized before the fire; we would have increased our coverage had we known), we won't be able to replace most of what we lost beyond the bare bones basics of our household needs (dishes, bedding, towels, a table and chairs, etc), nor are we otherwise in an economic position to do so.

This stings, of course, but as I constantly remind myself, once, a fairly long time ago now, I started out with nothing and created the life that I (and later "we") had as an adult.

There was a time when I didn't own a single scrapbooking item, when I could fit all my books into a lone backpack, and further back still, when I was just starting to wear vintage and owned less mid-century pieces than I had fingers on one hand.

Though I never imagined that I'd need to start from scratch again in some many different areas of my life at the age of 32, that I am (doing) and instead of bemoaning what was lost, I am just thankful to be alive and to have the chance to rebuild certain collections over the course of time.

There are many, many factors that will prevent me from most likely having the same sized collections again - at least not for decades - and I accept all of those as best I can.

Some of these factors include things such as that a lot of what I used to own was bought online back when the US and Canadian dollars were on par and (also) USPS postage rates were still reasonable, that there are few to none (depending on the category of items) shops in our town that sell such items, and that that our household budget and expenses are vastly different today than where they were, say, when I was in my mid-twenties. In addition, there is the critical fact that we need to focus our finances elsewhere at present and for the foreseeable future.

It is certainly possible that some categories may never really materialize into collections again (I sense Girl Guide related items may be one such area, for example) and again, others will likely be smaller.

As much as I'd love to go on a giant shopping spree, that isn't even remotely possible. Instead, in what is perhaps a very vintage approved sort of manner, I will gather items slowly and with great though. Each dollar weighed, each purchase contemplated. Baselines, so to speak, of various categories will be - and in some cases, already are beginning to be - established and built upon.

Just as Rome wasn't built in a day (though, much like our old house, it too burned), my future wardrobe and the other areas of my world that matter to me will take time to rebuild.

I am trying to look upon this as challenge as an adventure. A chance to hone in all the more on those areas that matter most to me, to discover new treasures, rewrite wish (and holy grail/unicorn) lists, and not, importantly, feel like I need, by any means, to own as much as I did before.

I loved everything that I had and will miss nearly all of it for the rest of my life, but thankfully in the world at large, there are still lots of most of those types of things to be had and some of them will end up living with me.

We lost so much that night. At first I felt like a fish out of water. My vintage threads were gone, my comfort zone had been obliterated, our wonderful cat's life was taken, and my Etsy business was destroyed. Our lives were on their heads and everything felt out of sorts.

Now, several weeks after the fire, thankfully, a greater sense of order is beginning to enter our world again. We have met - in no small part thanks to the aid of others - many of our basic needs, we have a temporary roof over our heads until at least this March (the search began in full force earlier this month for longer term accommodations, as touched on here), and there is a degree of structure in our world again.

It isn't the same world as before the blaze. That would be impossible. It different. Starkly, extremely different, but it is also positive because we've survived and in time, that survival will, we truly hope, progress to thriving as well.

The unexpected can happen to any of us at any point in time. Tragedy hurts, loss hurts, and devastation hurts. It is important to feel those emotions and not try to brush them off, to live through the process honestly and openly. Yet it is also just as important to believe in the future and yourself. To think positively and focus more on what you still have, then what was stripped away.

There are, and will continue to be, many challenges in our lives that would not have been present if this arson fire didn't occur, but that's okay. We'll tackle them head on, bolstered by the strength of those who care about us and a steadfast belief that we rise up again.

This new year is the ideal time to really begin down that path and I am so thankful that it's here. I have no clue what 2017 holds in store, but I can promise you that it will see us continue to fight, to put the pieces back together, and to reconnect with many things that have been integral parts of our world for a long time now.

{Even when - and arguably even more so - times are tough, there are still valuable constants in our life to focus on and get excited about, and few work better for new beginnings than the annual return of January. Vintage image source.}

Even though my previous belongings are gone, it's awesome that Chronically Vintage and the online community at large that it belongs to are still here. Physical objects matter and there's nothing wrong with that in the slightest, but life, how will fill our days, the relationships we experience, how treat one another, and the way that we lead our lives matter far more.

Thank you for allowing me the chance to share these cathartic thoughts with of all of you here today - very good job, if you've made it this far. I know this wasn't the smallest of blog posts by any means. :)

Here's to 2017 - each day and every hour, the prospects and promises that it holds in store, the many firsts and old favourites alike.

Let us hope that it is not only a good year, but a great one for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world at large. We need it something fierce!

*PS* Thank you very much for as well to everyone who commented on my last post and/or otherwise expressed care and concern regarding my minor surgery last week. I'm happy to report that it went smoothly and that I'm now recovering at home (I'll have my followup doctor's appointment in a few days's time).

My health in general though, as touched on in that same post, is struggling massively in the aftermath of the fire. It took me, for example, more than two full weeks - working in stops and starts, as I could muster the ability to do so - to pen this post. Pre-fire, it would have almost certainly have been written in a single day.

As you can imagine, this situation is currently having a profound impact on my ability to blog or be online in general, and between my health and the continued hectiness and challenges of our lives, my posts here, if possible at all, will be very sporadic and I view this site as still being on indefinite hiatus.

I appreciate your understanding and kindness on this front beyond words.

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In late November, I posted here about the fact that, in the wake of the fire, as much as it pained me to do so, I would have to cancel the annual Vintage Secret Santa, as it was simply impossible for us to conduct as usual under the circumstances.

I announced such with a heavy heart, but took solace in the fact that hopefully it's a fun tradition that we'll be able to revive again here in future years. Little did I know that more than a month before I penned that post, my good friend Barbara (one of the tiniest handful of fellow vintage lifestylers to be had here in the Okanagan region of British Columbia) and Tony had teamed up for what proved to genuinely be one the biggest and most incredibly heartwarming surprises of my entire life.

Together they had taken it upon themselves to contact all those who took part in 2015's VSS to let them know about the situation (re: the fire, VSS being cancelled, etc) and to suggest to past participants, if they were so interested, that they could send me a VSS holiday season gift instead of the usual swap between randomly assigned partners. Mind blowingly sweet of them, I know.

From late October to December 24th, I was completely in the dark about this incredibly thoughtful act - including the fact that Barbara and her husband (also a vintage lifestyler himself) were super kindly allowing their house to be used as the address to which participants in what had been dubbed "Jessica's Vintage Secret Santa" (complete with a private Facebook group of the same name) could send their gifts.

On a snowy, yet sunny, bracingly nippy Christmas Eve afternoon, Tony and I went over to Barbara and Jeff's house for what I thought was simply going to be a terrific holiday season visit with dear friends.

You can imagine my profound surprise then, when a few minutes into our get together, Barbara informed me that a sizeable pile of presents nestled beneath one of their Christmas trees was in fact for me/us and proceeded to let me in on the details of how that came to be and the incredible surprise that had been organized on my behalf.

Tears (of joy), shock, trembling, and gigantic smiles all proceeded on my end as I sat on their (gorgeous mid-century) couch in total disbelief.

I am one of those people who tries never to take anything for granted and who is grateful for every single kind thing done towards/for me, so to know that ore than thirty past VSS participants - some of whom had already, extremely generously, sent care packages our way in the wake of the blaze - had teamed up to give me/us the Christmas surprise to end all Christmas surprises was nothing short of overwhelmingly beautiful in the very best kind of way.

I opened some of the gifts that were sent at Barbara's house and then we loaded up the remainder in our vehicle and I unwrapped them as time would permit over the next few holiday season days.

Genuinely, I am still at a loss for words and cannot, really and truly, begin to thank Barbara and Jeff, Tony, and all those involved enough for their profound kindness, love and desire to help give us not just a "good", but a remarkably wonderful holiday season shortly after we lost everything last fall.

Thank you with all of my heart to each and every person who sent a VSS present our way. Some folks included items for Tony and/or Annie as well and we are so appreciative to everyone for their staggering generosity and compassion – as well as to Barbara (pictured below) who worked tirelessly for weeks to help make this surprise a reality.

Much as with the other (non-VSS related) care packages that we've received, you - our dear friends and fellow members of the vintage community - are helping us to rebuild our home and wardrobes (most of which, for example, the festive outfit I'm wearing in these photos, was created from) to no small degree and we are endlessly appreciate to every single person who has sent anything our way over the past nearly three months now since the fire.

Thank you today, tomorrow, and always.

You truly gave me an unforgettable and magnificently positive holiday season. I will never forget it as long as I live and sincerely hope that we can revive the group based VSS for 2017 and beyond, so that all those who wish to do so can send and receive gifts themselves, too.

{And a shot of Picasso, Barbara and Jeff's adorable cat, who was such a good kitty - never once laying a paw on the presents piled 'round the Christmas tree.}

House hunting

As many of you know, we were very fortunate to find a temporary home quite quickly after the fire, moving into our current digs precisely one month to the day since that fateful night.
As it is indeed a short term rental though, the quest to find something (hopefully!!!) more permanent has begun this month and we've already been into view some places.

The real estate market - both from renting and home buying perspectives - has utterly skyrocketed in terms of pricing here in the Okanagan over the past few years (it's not uncommon for houses to go for 25 - 50+ % more today than they did less than a decade ago) and what little does exist - especially that permits dogs - at a quasi-decent price is snapped up faster than you can say "sold".

We're working with a modest budget and have certain housing needs that must be met, but are certainly trying to be as flexible as possible and do believe that a good match will come our way before we need to leave our temporary rental house.

At the time of the fire we were living in Penticton, in the heart of the Okanagan, which is one of the local areas with the steepest housing costs, so while it is certainly included in our hunt, we have cast a relatively wide net of about three hours in various directions and are diligently searching high and low throughout.

I (we) will definitely be sharing the good news when we do find our next place and hope that such will happen at least fairly quickly. Please keep your fingers crossed for the three of us.

Hospital time again

This coming Tuesday, I'll be going into the hospital again for (thankfully, quite minor) surgery once again. Usually I don't even bring up such small procedures, which are part and parcel to my life as a multiple chronic illness fighter, here, but as I know such will have a further impact on my ability to be online in the coming weeks, I wanted to mention it today with all of you.

Rest assured that this procedure has nothing to do with the fire. It was booked back in mid-August 2016 and should - knock wood - be something that only takes a few weeks to recover from.

In general though, my health has taken one heck of a serious beating in the aftermath of the fire.

Initially I was quite literally getting through each day on a combination on adrenaline, shock and sheer grit, but as more time went on, greater than usual (for me) levels of physical activity persisted, and the continued emotional impact of what had happened to us really started to hit home, my health took a massive nose dive from which it has not really begun to improve (to my pre-fire levels, I mean).

It remains to be seen just to what extent this situation will have on my life and blogging (which, officially, remains on hiatus for the time being) in the long run. I will of course continue to let you guys know here and am trying to give myself as much time to rest and recoup as circumstances will permit (which, to be frank, isn't always a great deal).

Project 365 photo challenge

My health, rebuilding our lives, house hunting, and recently the holiday season have been/are at the heart of our lives right now and will continue to be for quite some time to come.
In the midst of such though, I thought it would be fun to *try* and do a Project 365 iPhone photo a day challenge over on Instagram.

I've taken the approach of pairing each Project 365 image that I share with a quote that fits, to my mind, the image and welcome you to follow me there, if you're not already doing so, to see what I share.

Though, back in 2011, I tried to blog here every day of the year (in an experiment that I called Vintage 365), I've not done a Project 365 before with photos and love that it gives me a chance to share more of my world - the natural beauty of the Okanagan Valley very much included - with all those who tune into my Instagram account.

It will be fascinating to look back at the end of 2017 and witness what really caught my eye each day throughout 2017 (I should point out that, naturally, I do plan to share other none #project365 snaps there still, too).

♥ ♥ ♥

My dear, wonderful friends, as we embrace this first week of the new year, please know that I am grateful for each of you, your support, understanding, kindness, and generosity.

Last year was a doozy for so many of us and Tony and I were, by no means, the only ones to face great hardship. The world in general was put through the ringer, too, and I'm sure that many of us share our immense happiness over the fact that 2017 is here at long last.

Though none of us know what the future holds in store for us, I enter this year with steadfast optimism, determination and hope that it a better, safer, healthier, happier one for all of us.

Thank you again for each unforgettable and poignant way that you've been there for us.

Both myself and Tony want to wish you all a stellar New Year and look forward to connecting with you in whatever ways we can throughout the coming twelve months.

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In the chaotic mix of the holiday season, I often find that there are moments of almost startling serenity. Perhaps it's a matter of being in the eye of the storm, or maybe, as the classic Christmas carol, Silent Night, reminds us, all really is calm and bright.

It was in the midst of one of these wee pockets of tranquility recently that I was almost overwhelmed with the desire to send out Christmas cards to each and every one of my readers - especially after the staggering outpouring of love and assistance that you guys have bestowed on us after the fire.

Naturally, for a myriad of reasons, such isn't possible - however, I can convey the same kinds of festive sentiments here on my blog, which I hope you'll agree with me is quite similar to classic greeting cards themselves.

In particular, my mind is overflowing with thoughts of what I truly hope that life, the universe and all other forces at play in this vast world of ours - the spirit of Santa Claus very much included - will bring your way during this profoundly meaningful time of the year.

Some of the following 25 festive wishes - one each for the first 25 days of December - are deep and serious, whereas others are more lighthearted and just for fun.

So, my immensely dear friends, please accept this today's post as my holiday season greeting to each and every of you.

It comes wrapped in love and, I hope, really will ring true through the beautiful days that fill the very last chapter of another exciting year.

1. Tons of festive cheer!

2. That fond nostalgia fills your heart, while...

3. You also create amazing new memories this year

4. Quite time to savour and reflect on what this season really means to you personally

5. Peace in your heart, your family, and all areas of your life

6. Lots of opportunities to rock your favourite vintage/repro/rockabilly/pinup/or any other type of holiday attire (adorable Christmas themed novelty brooches very much included)

7. Serene walks taken in the crisp early winter air that remind you of the powerful, though sometimes not instantly obvious, beauty that this time of the year houses

8. The joy that comes with giving a gift or otherwise doing something that truly brightens someone's holiday and leaves a lasting impression on them for years to come

9. A new vintage treasure or two amongst your gifts

10. The ability to still enjoy at least some of the elements of the season with the same sort of wide-eyed wonder you had as a child

11. If you live in a part of the world where such is possible, that you're greeted to a white Christmas on the 25th

12. Zero (or, if that's not realistic, as little as possible) family drama during the holidays

13. May you have at least one - and hopefully many - reason(s) to smile every day

14. Fantastic company (friends, family, SO - you name it!) around you often

15. A powerful sense of contentment in your heart and more blessings than you could ever count

16. That your favourite Christmas songs are the ones you hear most frequently

17. A festive season that is sweeter than all the candy canes, sugar cookies, and hot cocoa on earth

18. Gorgeous holiday light displays all throughout your neighbourhood

19. Reminders of the good old days and what Christmastime meant for the generations that came before us

20. The ability to celebrate the season with your pets and/or other favourite animals in your life

21. Fests that fill your belly and warm your soul alike (with lots of yummy leftovers to enjoy for days afterward)

22. The very best health possible

23. Time to watch at least one or two of your favourite holiday TV shows and/or movies

24. The happiest festive season one could ever ask for!

25. An incredible new year ahead that helps you to grow, develop, blossom (as a person), and follow your bliss all the more

{To learn more about a specific image that was used in today's post, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the unending gift of your readership, your support, your friendship, your encouragement, your care, your inspiration, and unquestionably your incredible help, generosity and kindness throughout 2016.

I treasure, value and appreciate such more than I could ever put into words and am sincerely looking forward to soon launching into 2017 - a brand new year to put the substantial troubles of this one all the more behind us - with each of you.

First though, we have Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's to celebrate. This will be my last post of the year, but I'll be back in January with multiple new entries here throughout that month, as I begin to ease into blogging on a more regular basis once again (insomuch as the continued post-fire related demands and uncertainty - very much including our longer term housing needs - of our daily lives, as well as my health, will permit).

Wherever you are, however you celebrate this time of the year, and whatever you may be doing as we embrace the last leg of December, from both myself and Tony (as well as our darling Miss Annie), merriest wishes, dear friends!

May you your festivities sparkle and shine, and may all these of the things listed above - and countless more blessings - be yours this holiday season.

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First and foremost, goodness gracious, do I miss you guys. Not a little bit, not every now and then, but day in and day out, with all of my heart. Living in a world right now where so many things are completely upside down, unequivocally one of the most bizarre and "outs of sorts" is not being heavily immersed in the online vintage blogging sphere, as I have been for over 7.5 years now.

As many of you know, for the past two years (2014 and '15, respectively) I've - with a substantial amount of help, particularly on the coding back end of things, from Tony - hosted the annual Vintage Secret Santa gift exchange, which has only grown bigger and better each year.

This time around however, given that we are still extremely immersed in beginning to put our lives back together again (including setting up a new temporary renatal home) after the devastating arson fire last month that destroyed our house and possessions, it simply is not possible for us to hold the VSS (which honestly becomes like a full-time job for me from November to February each year).

Having received about twenty-five or so emails and social media PMs in recent days asking if the VSS was taking place - albeit mostly from past participants who weren't aware of what occurred last month - I thought I would take a quick moment here this morning just to formally announce that, as much as this point sincerely pains me, there will be no Vintage Secret Santa 2016.

{I very much apologize, but unfortunately those who wish to take part in the VSS - either again or for the first time - will have to wait until next year to do so, as holding such a large scale online gift swap is impossible for us right now in the wake of the fire. I really do feel bad about this and appreciate your understanding immensely. 1920s Clara Bow vintage image source.}

However...all things willing, I (we) do certainly plan to hold it again come 2017, as a little over a year will have passed since the blaze by then and it is our deepest of hopes that our life will be way, way more on track and settled again by that point.

Though out of sheer necessity, this blog will officially remain on hiatus for a while longer (it's honestly too soon for me to give even a possible estimate of when I'll be able to return to blogging on a regular basis, but am hoping that such will be feasible in early-ish 2017), I do hope to be able to share a much more detailed update post (about where our life is at by then) with all of you here in December.

In the meantime (and always!) though, I simply cannot say thank you enough to each and every person who has, in countless different ways, helped, supported, prayed for, comforted, and cared about Tony, Annie, myself, and our sweet (now officially deceased; her poor little body being found in the charred ruins of our old house on November 6th) cat, Stella.

Whether through our You Caring donation support page, PayPal donations, care packages, emails, private messages, the Facebook page Helping The Cangianos that was set up for us by my good friend Bonita from Lavender & Twill, sending positive thoughts our way, leaving blog comments, or myriad other ways, we have been nothing short of profoundly blessed, assisted and uplifted by what I can only describe as a tidal wave of beautiful and extremely generous compassion.

It has helped us in countless ways and we will be, for as long as we live, grateful to each and every person who has - and who continues to - support us in any positive manner during this staggeringly challenging time in our lives.

We love and appreciate - most definitely miss - all of you and garner strength from your support, as well as by looking towards the future and the time when our lives will be back on track more. It's a long and difficult road, but each new sunrise gets us at least one step closer and that is a beautiful thing.

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It is often said that life can change in the blink of an eye and never in the course of my 32 years has that been more true than the horrific events that unfolded on the evening of October 13th (the very day before our twelfth wedding anniversary).

A little after 8:00 PM that night, an arson fire was set (allegedly) by an eighteen-year old girl who was having a domestic dispute with her mother in the basement of that family's home, which was located kitty corner to our own in the fourplex that we live(d) in.

The blaze quickly began to engulf everything in its path. My husband, Tony, and I were able to rescue our beloved dog, Annie, however, our darling cat Stella - a naturally extremely shy and skittish kitty - hid instantly and could not be found.

I searched in pitch black, chokingly acrid black smoke as thick as oatmeal for her until I could not breath, but she could be found and I had to leave the house or risk losing my own life.

The fire raged on for hours, entirely wiping out all four homes in our fourplex and everything in them.

Tony and I were incredibly fortunate to escape with our lives. We lost everything we owned in this world, save for the clothing on our backs, our phones, a small purse of mine (with my wallet), his wallet, and our car.

Gone forever, a lifetime of items. My vintage wardrobe and collection, hundreds of books, our computers and other electronics, all of my craft supplies, all of the scrapbook albums that I'd made over the years, both of our photography equipment, Tony's fishing and hiking gear, cherished heirlooms, holiday decorations, and every other item contained within the walls of our home.

Included in the mix, all of the merchandise for, and everything else pertaining to, my Etsy vintage shop. Thus, this horrific, senseless crime (the young woman was attested that evening by the police) not only destroyed our home and belongings, in one fell swoop, it obliterated my business and my livelihood.

Both Tony and I shared about fire and its impact on social media quite soon after the fact, so some of you may be aware of this situation already, but for those who are not, I wanted to let you all know here as soon as I could.

This isn't a small bump in the road or even a decent size curve ball, it is the literal definition of a life changing catastrophe.

From the very first social media post, we have had a truly incredible show of support and help from so many friends and family members online.

My sister, Katie, and my good friend Nora (from the blog Nora Finds) quickly teamed up to create a crowd funding relief donation page, which you can donate to here if you wish to do so:

Anything that you can give - prayers, good vibes, and kind messages included - are so incredibly helpful to us - as is sharing about our donation campaign link on social media and/or your blog - and mean more than we can ever put into words.

As well, in one of the most touching things I (we) have ever experienced, another dear friend of mine, Bonita (from the blog Lavender & Twill) set up a Facebook page for those who wish to help us out in a myriad of different ways (including sending care packages).

There are not words enough in the whole world to adequately express the profound gratitude, appreciation and love that I have for everyone who is helping us. I have always known and spoken highly about the fact that the vintage/pinup/rockabilly/similar community was an incredibly close knit, supportive place, but I have been nothing short of floor by the incredible outreach and care extended to us by hundreds in our midst.

Right now we are very fortunate to be temporarily staying with my mom and step-dad while we begin to pick up the pieces of our charred life. Time will tell where we land beyond then.

Our life is in pieces and putting them back together again is going to be a long, long process. But we are alive, Tony and I have each other (and Annie), and we have the astonishing support of so many wonderful people around the planet.

Right now, as we focus on rebuilding our lives, I have to put this blog on hiatus. It pains me deeply to do so, but given the circumstances, I have no other choice.

I plan to return again and resume blogging when possible, but that will likely be for quite a while down the road from now (especially since we are computer-less at present).

I appreciate your understanding on this front and will miss each of you greatly. We will reconnect again. This blog is an integral part of my life and the last thing that I would possibly want is for it to be another victim of this heartbreaking tragedy.

We are fighters and we will persevere. The journey back to normalcy will be long, but we will grow in countless ways in the process, and ultimately, we will be okay.

Your love, support, donations, and immeasurable kindness will ensure that is the case. Of that - much like life's ability to change in the blink of an eye - I am certain.

With every fiber of my being, thank you, everyone. I love you dearly and will return here as soon as I possibly can.

❤ Jessica 

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Outfit details

Camel coloured felt beret: eBay
Gold tone metal and orange enamel earrings: Birthday gift from a dear online friend ♥
Vintage style black cotton capelet: c/o Dolly & Dotty
1950s striped cotton day dress: Stutterin' Mama
1940s style pumpkin dangle brooch: Summer Blue Jewelry
C. 1980s does 1950s tan brown leather belt: (Probably) Thrifted
C. 1950s ruched black gloves: Unknown, had for years (probably eBay or Etsy)
Canvas and faux leather handbag: Tabi
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
1940s style black faux suede pumps: Walmart
Lip Colour: MAC Partyline

Photography by Tony Cangiano

♥ ♥ ♥

...Or at least they do for me personally. :)

Like many of us, I acquire new items for my wardrobe (and periodically part ways with others) all throughout the year, but no matter the season, when I'm shopping for clothing, accessories or jewelry, I'm thinking about autumn time.

My favourite season by a wide margin (though I do genuinely adore, appreciate, and delight in each of them), fall calls to my heart and soul. It is the short-lived middle ground between sweltering and freezing, and here in Canada such is often (at best) a matter of weeks. The notion of a long, mild fall that spans September to early December is virtually unheard of in these northern lands.

Still, even if we're handing out Halloween candy to kids sporting snow suits, I still like to wear autumn coloured, themed and inspired looks for that duration and make a point to try and have at least a few new pieces that fit the bill to the tee on hand well before September rolls into town again.

One such garment, which I picked up earlier this year from Stutterin' Mama is this very classic, very sweet black, tawny brown and white striped 1950s dress (which I mentioned in passing here a few weeks ago). I'd been wanting to add a striped vintage dress to my closet for ages and this charmer was a case of love at first sight for me.

It has elbow length sleeves, a midi hem, a flattering cut, a cute little folded collar, and a colour palette that doesn't just sing with the spirit of fall, it belts it out like Pavarotti!

As I knew the seasons would be changing hands big time while we were in Edmonton, I made sure to pack not only this dress, but a beautiful recently acquired vintage style black cotton capelet (called the Sabrina Glamorous 50s Style Cape Shrug) that I received from Dolly & Dotty, with me on our travels (thank you so much, D&D, for this awesome gift).

On the particular day that these photos were taken, Tony and I had just spent a couple of hours visiting the absolutely delightful Fort Edmonton Park (it's so big and engaging that we didn't get to see it all in that time frame and will definitely aim to return on a future visit to Edmonton), which we both adored.

It was fun, too, as I've encountered here and there at other historical parks over the years, to see fellow park visitors wondering/thinking that I worked there due to my vintage attire.

As a general rule, capelets (aka, short capes) are not something that I wear often, simply because they tend to make my (naturally small) shoulders and upper torso look a lot, lot wider/bigger than it really is. I adore them as a garment though and was willing to take the gamble, so to speak, when Dolly & Dotty inquired as to if I'd like to try out one of their elegant versions.

Given that I don't presently own a black cotton capelet, I decided to take the plunge and am more than a little bit thrilled that I did. Yes, I do see some of that bulk factor happening, but objectively that's rather the nature of capelets, capes and poncho shaped garments in general.

This cape is sweet, well made and endlessly classic. I love how well it partners with longer length gloves, too. Being on holiday, I didn't have my whole glove wardrobe with me, but I did of course pack a few pairs, of which I felt these ruched black ones worked best in the context of this outfit (I don't own a caramel coloured longer length pair, but if I did, I think such would have rocked here, too).

Interestingly, in a way, despite my general reservations when it comes to capelets, of the beautiful garments I've received from Dolly & Dotty this year, I actually think I'll sport this capelet most often of all (as it's so versatile, lightweight and perfect for layering from fall clear on through to spring). Proof positive, if you ask me, that it always pays to revisit styles that you like, but think might not work well for you personally.

We grabbed these peaceful photos at the John Janzen Nature Centre Park that was directly beside Fort Edmonton. The leaves were beginning to turn the colour of Bartlett pears and a definite nip was in the air, so I was grateful to have this capelet over my shoulders as I stood on that small foot traffic bridge.

To the surprise of no one who knows me, I'm sure, I was shopping for (further) new fall appropriate items while on our trip and am happy to say that I found some, including a fabulous Halloween themed Hell Bunny skirt that I picked up at Rowena (which I'm really hoping will appear here on the blog this year - if not, in the future for sure!).

Fall's colours and the imagery - from pumpkins, such as those in the beautiful Summer Blue Jewelry vintage inspired brooch that I'm sporting here, to leaves to apples and scarecrows – are “me” through and through.

They bring me joy in all forms, very much including the wearable type, and I love that a season I plan, shop for, and dream about all year is here again. Especially when I have fun new-to-me pieces to wear like many of those featured into today's seasonal ensemble.

Are you a fan of fall's colour palette and/or iconic imagery for your own wardrobe as well? Do you find yourself shopping for any one season more than the others?

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It's scarcely a state secret that I love novelty jewelry (see, well, the vast majority of my outfits here over the years :D), and it's probably even less of a surprise to anyone who knows me and my blog that I live for Halloween (seriously).

When those two passions combine, it's accessorizing bliss in my books! And with the explosion in recent years of independent and smaller sized jewelry lines that cater to those with old school leanings, it's been tremendously exciting to see a slew of sensational Halloween related bijoux hit the (often virtual) shelves as of late.

Add to the mix genuine vintage pieces that were either designed specifically with Halloween in mind or which can fit the bill in a heartbeat (e.g., bat, spider and autumn leaf themed items) and the modern gal who adores looking to the past for her wardrobe choices is practically spoiled for choice - especially since a lot of these types of items can be had for relatively reasonable rates that don't have to break the bank for most folks.

So many fantastic options now exist in the vintage inspired/vintage reproduction/cute handmade Halloween jewelry field that it was genuinely hard to cap this list of festively fun finds at "just" 31 different items (one for every day that October houses).

That I did though, opting for a diverse range of pieces, not a single one of which exceeds $40.00 USD, which means that, hopefully, you can pick up at least one or two of your favourites and still have enough left over to treat yourself to plenty of pumpkin spice lattes this fall. :)

31 awesome vintage, vintage appropriate, 
and handmade Halloween jewelry finds

1. From the workshop of wildly talented designer Kirbee Lawler comes this enchantingly beautiful laser cut acrylic brooch depicting a redheaded witch sporting a glittery crescent moon on her pointy black hat. Swoon!!! $27.33 from Kirbee Art (it's also available in a fab green skinned version as well).

2. Luxulite designer Katy really goes all out when it comes to her marvelous Halloween creations - much to the unending delight of fall jewelry fans everywhere. In addition to a slew of fabulous brooches, she also offers up festive necklaces and earrings, such as the stylish jack-o-lantern themed demi-parure (you can also purchase just one of the two pieces individually, if so desired) shown here. $34.64 from Luxulite.

3. No doubt like many others the world over, my jaw all but hit the ground when I saw Erstwilder's exciting new Halloween jewelry line this year, which includes this deeply cool "Full of Woe?" Wednesday Addams inspired brooch (as well as eight other October 31st perfect offerings). $34.95 AUD from Erstwilder.

4. Equally fantastic for Halloween themed outfits and those worn at other times throughout the fall (if not all year 'round, too), this charmingly pretty mid-century vintage orangey-red thermoset plastic autumn leaf necklace is a dazzling piece that can be dressed up or down to your heart's content. $25.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

5. Whether you prefer the primarily black or the mainly orange version - or adore both equally - these cute laser cute acrylic jack-o-lantern pumpkin dangle earrings with their heart shaped eyes are a definite must for any Halloween jewelry lover. $18.00 from I'm Your Present (who stock a wide range of Halloween themed jewelry and fashions - I'm also quite partial to their spider web earrings and trick or treat bunting necklace).

6. Rocking an illustration style that instantly calls to mind artwork from turn of the last century Halloween postcards and decorations, this sophisticatedly sweet black enamel and copper hued metal bat pin is the perfect piece to sport on your lapel (or hat, handbag, hairscarf, etc) now and leave on for a dose of spooky fun long after the last jack-o-lantern has been snuffed out for the season. $10.00 from Cat Coven.

7. What could be more seasonally appropriate - or versatile - than a beautifully sweet stretch bracelet made of smiling jack-o-lantern polymer clay beads and elastic cord? In fact, I'd be tempted to buy multiples and stack them or wear one on each wrist for even more pumpkiny fun! $13.32 from By The Shed.

8. From popular French vintage inspired jewelry line Glitter Paradise comes this enticingly lovely black and white Ouija planchette brooch that is sure to appeal one's Halloween adoring spirit (see what I did there? :D). $16.20 from Glitter Paradise.

9. Sporting a colour palette that instantly evokes thoughts of fall and Halloween pumpkins, this fun mid-century orange and white polka dot plastic bangle bracelet would look awesome as part of many different costumes and festive ensembles alike. $18.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

10. Marry your love of all things vintage tiki related with your passion for October 31st care of this splendidly adorable handmade jack-o-lantern pumpkin brooch, which is crafted right here in my own country of Canada. $14.79 from Back To Betty.

11. What has these charming old school style black kitties all agasp? Could it be how amazing you'll look when you rock this fashionable vintage inspired hand painted black resin charm bracelet? (That's also available in a coordinating necklace.) $22.00 - $26.00 (depending on bracelet length) from Charcoal Designs.

12. From the shop of fellow vintage fan and fashion blogger, Laurie Duncan, comes this wonderfully adorable little handmade felt bat face lapel pin (that would look so charming pinned to a hat or snood as well!). $10.00 from Happy As A Lark.

13. Show off your festive spirit with this cheerful - and appealingly vibrant - black and yellow 1940s inspired Happy Halloween necklace that includes bone shaped beads and a crescent moon name plaque. $26.65 from Viva La Lux.

14. Summer Blue Jewelry's Halloween offerings always knock it out of the ballpark and this off-the-charts cool Eye of Newt Potion Bottle Brooch is certainly no exception. Check it out and then make sure to browse through the rest of this talented jewelry designer's old school inspired Halloween themed creations. $26.00 from Summer Blue Jewelry.

15. If hearing the words "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice" sets your heart aflutter, may I suggest this wonderfully well priced "No Feet" shrink plastic double ghost brooch inspired directly from Tim Burton's 1980s classic film. $6.34 from Sayonara Baby.

16. Hi there, hot stuff! Whether you're looking to channel your inner she devil, an ancient sun/fire goddess, or sport a candle shaped costume for Halloween, these alluringly pretty sparkly red glitter and gold tone metal flame shaped vintage earrings are for you! $12.50 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

17. Seasonally related novelty jewelry abounded in the 1980s and early 90s, and a very decent amount of it is still available in the second hand market today, often for a total song. Case in point this smile inducingly cute bat and pumpkin brooch from the eighties. $6.00 from The Little Wicked One.

18. Cute, kitsch and very fun, these dazzling 1950s inspired confetti lucite coffin shaped earrings are just the thing to sport for an evening stroll through your favourite local graveyard. $19.44 from Miss Vaudeville.

19. Jazz up the fall time necessity that is layering with some yesteryear pinup girl style when you slip on this stylish sweater guard. $13.00 from Abbie's Anchor.

20. Big, eye-catching and marvelously fun, this generously sized resin ring (embedded with real candy!) stars a smiling jack-o-lantern is sure to be a treat to wear! $15.75 from I Sew Cute.

21. Fabulous for autumn time now and Canada Day come July, this elegantly pretty c. 1970s - 80s does 1940s/1950s terracotta ceramic bead and gold tone metal maple leaf dangle charm choker necklace is a sophisticated piece that would make for a great addition to any vintage, pinup, rockabilly, boho, goth or modern wardrobe. $16.00 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

22. Decked out with some seriously wonderful mid-century inspired artwork, this attractive hand painted jack-o-lantern themed wooden bangle bracelet is just the thing to wear solo or partner with your favourite fall hued Bakelite pieces. $18.65 from Lady Jo Bangles.

23. Fans of cute enamel pins the world over are sure to squeal (meow) with delight over this adorable little kitty ghost offering, which is clearly a specter that's far more sweet than sinister. $8.00 from Em & Sprout.

24. Equal parts adorable and eerie, this charming, very vintage looking skeleton dangle brooch is sure to bound a shiver of delight down your spine! $21.98 from Mrs Polly's Lucite.

25. Aww! That's what I said when I first laid eyes on this darling glitter resin finger ring. We often associate bunnies with spring, but as this creative piece of handmade jewelry attests, they can work splendidly for All Hallows Eve' as well. $15.00 from Hypnotic Sweet Treats.

26. Owls and October go together like Halloween and caramel apples, so why not celebrate this festively appropriate avian critter in chic old school style care of an oversized articulated pendant necklace like this 1970s charmer. (Currently on sale at the time of writing for) $29.00 from The Best Vintage Clothing.

27. Boasting colours that match the two most common ones seen in Halloween pumpkins these days, this delightful pair of 1950s - 1960s orange and white cluster bead clip-on earrings even somewhat resemble a mound of piled up pumpkins to boot! :) $10.50 from Chronically Vintage on Etsy.

28. With a very vintage looking style and a seriously cute face, this Scared Pumpkin Necklace is just the statement making piece of jewelry you need to let your love of Halloween shine through in any outfit. $31.97 from You Make Me Design.

29. Be a total glamour ghoul when you rock this eye-catching twinkly glitter Bride of Frankenstein head shaped brooch that's done up in a nighttime perfect combo of black and gold. $13.00 from Poison of Choice.

30. Enchantingly elegant and perfect for all sorts of Victorian, Edwardian and gothic style looks, this beautiful black floral lace choker necklace is sure to have you swooning nearly to the point of needing a 19th century fainting couch. $10.99 from Blue Velvet Vintage.

31. What list of vintage inspired, Halloween perfect jewelry would be complete without including one of Creep Heart's magnificent offerings, such as this precious pair of dancing skeleton kitty dangle earrings. $29.95 AUD from Creep Heart.

{To learn more about a specific item featured in today's post, please click on its image or the link in the text directly below it to be taken to its respective source.}

♥ ♥ ♥

...Must refrain from buying every single item above! :D Halloween themed jewelry, accessories and fashions one of those "shut up and take my money!" situations for me, and I'm not complaining in the slightest.

My October 31st approved wardrobe selection has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years in no small part thanks to some of the sources included in today's fun vintage shopping post (many of which offer multiple Halloween themed pieces, so it's definitely worth checking all of their shops out in greater detail).
I'm sure, too, that as time goes on, I'll continue to buy from more and more brands that I haven't yet shopped from before, while..
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Is there, really, any more iconic fruit when it comes to autumn time than the age-old, wonderfully nourishing, and splendidly healthy apple?

Pears, my second favourite fruit (raspberries take first place, if you're curious - though the fruit that I eat the very most of in a given year would have to be strawberries, which I also adore), come close for sure and indeed, the two often go hand-in-hand.

Yet it is the apple - be it tart and green, mellow and golden yellow, juicy and red, or sweet and garnet hued - that takes top billing and which is as tied to fall as harvest moon, pumpkins, crunchy jewel toned leaves, and the return of chilly nights.

Apples are an amazing fruit. They're rich in both antioxidants and fiber, and can provide a lasting sense of satiety - as well as being a truly delicious food. In addition, apples have been an integral part of our collective human history for millenniums now, having factored into the the mythology, religions, and legends of a good many cultures, spanning the ancient Norse and Greeks to the central role they play in the Christian bible as well.

{Apples, glorious apples! We've been enjoying them for countless generations now and continue to reach for this good-for-us food with gusto the whole year 'round, but have a particular passion for them, naturally, when fall arrives and they're at the peak of their growing perfection. Vintage image source.}

Few amongst us are without both personal memories and elements of a cultural identity that relates back to apples.

We have expressions aplenty that include this juicy round fruit (such as, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree", "As American as apple pie", and "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"), associate them heavily with education (including the classic practise of leaving the gift of an apple on a teacher's desk), and have been eating (and drinking - apple cider or Calvados, anyone?) them in countless recipes for many, many centuries now.

Apples are a fun, cheerful fruit and one that is tied heavily many fall time celebrations, including both Halloween and Thanksgiving (the Canadian version of which happens today this year). They're perfect "as is", and yet work equally in both sweet and savoury dishes, too.

Over the years I've shared several different vintage recipes that included apples (such as Rosy Apple Pie, Creamy Gala Apple, Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup; and Maple Syrup and Apple Bread Pudding topped with Sugared Apples) and thought that in celebration of the fact that autumn's return is a mere ten days away, I would roundup some of the most mouth watering, classic, cutting edge, and/or unique apple recipes I've ever encountered online.

Each of these dishes is a stellar treat that puts the season's abundance of apples - of which there are thousands of different varieties the world over - to good use.

Naturally, they can all be made at other times of the year, too, but as I'm a firm believer in eating, and cooking, with an emphasis on the very foods that each season presents us with, now seems like the ideal time to delve into not one, not ten, not thirty, not even fifty, but seventy-five flat out magnificent apple recipes that are ideal for fall.

1. Mini Apple Berry Crumble Pies

2. Apple Pie Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Syrup

3. Cranberry Granola Spiced Apples

4. Apple and Sage Roasted Chicken with Pan Juices

5. Apple Cream Cheese Braid Danish

6. Baked Stuffed Pumpkins with Israeli Couscous, Sausage, Apples, Onions, and Cranberries

7. Warm Spiced Apple Galettes With Whiskey Caramel

8. Stacked Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

9. Apple Pie Bourbon Shots

10. Sticky Caramel Apple Buns

 11. Coriander-Crusted Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples and Caramelized Onions

12. Apple Pie Tiramisu

13. Grilled Cheese with Bacon, Apple, and Sprouts

14. Apple Nachos

15. Baked Apples with Marshmallows and Mexican Chocolate

16. Cider Scalloped Potatoes with Smoked Gouda

17. Apple Spice Cupcakes

18. Apple Cheddar Quick Bread

19. Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls

 20. Apple Brownies

21. Mini Apple Pie Cheesecakes

22. Cornbread and Apple Dressing

23. Rustic Apple Cake

24. Brown Butter Glazed Apple Pie Scones

25. Apple-Sage Marinated Smoked Turkey

26. Apple Fritter Bread

27. Pork & Apple Burgers with Pickled Red Cabbage

28. Apple Pie Caramel Apples

29. Beet and Apple Soup

30. Honey-Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

31. Apple-Cheddar Waffle Panini

32. Homemade Apple Pie Jam

33. Old-Fashioned Apple Cookies

34. Gluten-Free Bourbon Bacon Apple Crisp

35. Stuffed Apple Cinnamon Sticks

36. Apple & Walnut Cake with Treacle Icing

37. Apple Cinnamon Rice Pudding

38. No-Cook Spiced Apple Chutney

39. Apple Pie Fries

40. Taffy Apple Pizza

41. Sausage, Apple & Leek Pie

42. Cheesecake Stuffed Baked Apples

43. Apple Pie Tacos

44. Ginger & Caramel Apple Puddings

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