“Mum, can you help organise a vintage, shabby-chic, casual yet classy, cheap but not obviously so, intimate sophisticated wedding?”

Cover of Style me vintageBy the time you read this Valentine’s day will have passed for another year and those of us who missed this craze as youths will shake our heads and wonder at the nonsense of it all.  As Joan Rivers said “Don’t talk to me about Valentine’s day. At my age an affair of the heart is a bypass!”

However this year I cannot be quite so sanctimonious as we are embarking on wedding planning  for our daughters’ upcoming wedding, which makes Valentine’s day look like a modest affair.

I am now immersed in the world of  “favours” (apparently it is no longer enough for guests to come along and eat and drink copious amounts, they now have to get a gift as well).  My daughter wants  a vintage theme and no doubt this also means ‘Shabby’ and ‘Chic’.  There are flowers  and bows, bunting, tags and cute little signs galore.  Then there is THE DRESS!

Luckily for her I’m a bit of a dab hand with a needle and thread, (excluding aforementioned wedding dress), so the bunting is cut and ready to be sewn, and there is even talk of doilies….crocheted for goodness sake, and candles in pretty cups.  Secretly I’m rather enjoying the whole thing (apart from the expense) but hopefully with my skill at op-shopping we should be able to keep costs down with an eager eye for vintage cups, lace and whatever fills the definition of Vintage Chic.

The library has also come to the rescue with some great titles:

Cover of Scenes from an impending marriageThankfully we are avoiding the big meringue look of the Gypsy wedding and oddly enough my daughter has rejected my offer of the full on crochet extravaganza that this book encourages!

One little book however has proved to be a keeper. Scenes from an impending marriage: a prenuptial memoir is a graphic novel by Adrian Tomine that manages to capture the amusing  and absurd moments leading up to his wedding.  It gave me hope that we can do this, and keep a sense of humour!

Facebook was actually invented in 1901?

One of the perks of my job is I get to explore the limitless charm of our collection of historical newspapers including the British Newspaper Archive which brought this to my attention….

According to the Evening Telegraph on June the 17th 1901 it was reported in the ladies column that it is  “Quite the latest idea to have a Face-Book“! Maybe Mark Zuckerberg isn’t so clever after all? Without the benefits of online technology in 1901, the ladies were encouraged on visits to friends to draw their face or the face of someone else in the lady of the house’s sketchbook and to put their name underneath it. This gave the lady of the house her very own “Facebook” which one could chortle over the teacups while viewing the varying drawing skills of their friends.

I don’t know about you but I think this idea is perfectly charming – despite my illustrating abilities rarely progressing past stick men. At the end of the day the ladies of the Evening Telegraph have at least come together for a laugh and aren’t discussing their woes by abbreviated texts. Oh for simpler days? Maybe. I sure would missed those funny cat videos though!

Unlock Your Inner Cook with Aida Mollenkamp

Food Network and Cooking Channel star Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen is available for download as an ebook right now. No waiting.


Aida Mollenkamp lays an invaluable foundation for cooks in Keys to the Kitchen. Her comprehensive manual collects more than 300 innovative, contemporary recipes as well as colour photographs, plenty of informative illustrations, a substantial technique primer, and helpful how-to information on subjects as wide-ranging as rust removal, throwing a cocktail party, and knife skills.

For members of the tech-savvy new generation who can’t cook but want to, this essential reference guide makes an ideal starting place and for those already at ease in the kitchen it’s full of “who knew” moments for expanding their repertoire of great recipes.

From February 18th through March 5th Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen is available as a download from Overdrive – no waits, no holds.