Cheers to All Souls: Our Annual 40% off Sale Is Next Wednesday

The last bouquet of summer included the final flourish of zinnias, dill, okra, daisies, cosmos and nasturiums.

The leaves are falling, the pumpkins are picked, the last of the summer tomatoes have been plucked. The zinnias were clipped for a final garden bouquet. The okra stalks were added to the compost pile. The herbs moved from the garden to the greenhouse and the rockery raised beds are full of autumn leaves. October is waving goodbye. And that means something exciting is just around the corner… our annual one-day-only 40% off sale.

If you are new to the blog or the shop, you might not know that we always host this sale on All Souls Day, which falls on November 2nd every year. Technically a Catholic holiday, we selected All Souls Day not for its religious connection, nor its aura of spookiness (being so close to Halloween), but for the sheer fact that it is one of the few holidays in the calendar year that pays tribute to deceased ancestors. We wouldn’t have a shop full of wonderful heirlooms had they not traveled through other people’s lives, other people’s hands for generations, collecting stories and memories along the way. To us, all Souls Day seems like the perfect day to celebrate vintage style.

It’s also a lovely time of year to start preparing not only for the holiday season but also for the winter ahead where cooking adventures, gift-giving, and craft time await. Autumn doesn’t officially end this year until December 21st. If you’d like to hang onto the season as long as possible you’ll find many fall-favored pieces in the shop that will carry you all the way through…

If you are ready to start gathering ideas for Thanksgiving, you’ll find an assortment of items ideally suited for Turkey Day 2022 and beyond…

Christmas in the Vintage Kitchen always comes in little details. Red and white restaurant ware, a mini Christmas tree, an antique green striped serving plate or a shimmery candelabra that we are sure has seen some magnificent parties in its day. In the shop, you’ll discover a sampling of festive treasures waiting to add a little sparkle to your celebrations…

The sale begins at 12:00am on Wednesday, November 2nd, and ends at 11:59pm that same day. All items in the shop will automatically receive the 40% discount at checkout, so there is no need to fuss with coupon codes or discount names. We encourage you to use the wishlist feature on our site if you have multiple items that have caught your eye. Just click on the heart under each listing title and it will automatically add the item to your favorites list where you can then add them directly to your cart.

Since it is our only sale of the year, shoppers in the past have been known to set their alarms for the moment the sale starts at midnight. If you have fallen completely in love with something in particular, please keep that in mind. New (old) items continue to be added to the shop daily, so stop by for fresh finds leading all the way up to the sale. One of the items coming to the shop today is this set of six vintage Czechoslovakian luncheon plates full of pink, purple and cranberry-colored flowers.

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As always, if you are looking for something that we no longer have in stock or you can’t find in the shop, please send us a message. We’ll be happy to add your name and needs to our waitlist. Having said that, I hope on this year’s sale day you will find something truly magical that makes your heart sing with joy. Cheers to all the old souls. And to all the cherished items that they have left for us to enjoy. Happy shopping!

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas dear readers! This holiday post comes with a (snow) plow full of good wishes for a wonderful holiday packed with unexpected surprises and delights. Ms. Jeannie happened upon this vintage snow photograph in an antique store in the middle of July during one of the hottest days of the year. A cool landscape on that sultry summer day, she knew immediately it was perfect for this season’s holiday post. You can practically hear the sleigh bells jingling.

Taken by William M. Forwood in 1941 in Chestnut Hill, Maryland, this well-balanced barn scene with that Charlie Brown spruce tree reminded Ms. Jeannie so much of the winters spent in picturesque Pennsylvania. It also gave her hope that she might anticipate an equally snowy scene in her own new city this December.

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Alas, fast forward five months to today and our Christmas Day forecast scheduled for Sunday is holding steady at an unseasonably 70 degrees. So the possibility of being wrapped up in a winter wonderland is most probably not going to be our fate this year but that’s okay. We have a whole two months of winter left to go and magic occurs when you least expect it.

Here’s to hoping that your holidays are equally as breezy, and that you keep your eyes out for the unanticipated moments that make this time of year especially inspiring.  Cheers to hopeful hearts and happy holidays!  And a big thank you to William M. for bringing the snow to this Southern party seventy five years later.

Love, Ms. Jeannie

Happy Hour: The Vintage Holiday Cocktail Guide of What to Drink When

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Nothing is more festive than whipping up a round of cocktails to toast the season and spread holiday cheer. Whether you prefer your happy hour hot or cold, sweet or staunch, straight or slushy chances are there is at least one vintage drink that you could enjoy any time any where no questions asked. But did you  know that there is actually an appropriate time and place for some very specific cocktails? Not all are meant to be enjoyed as a prequel to dinner, a post work wind-down or an eleventh hour night cap.  Today we are setting the bar straight and suggesting the most appropriate time and circumstance to enjoy your favorite vintage libation as approved by Amy Vanderbilt, mid-century America’s go-to etiquette adviser.

Eggnog – Only in the Afternoon

Try a Jamie Oliver version here.
Try a Jamie Oliver version here.

Eggnog, the traditional centuries old cream filled concoction that has more recently filled Tom & Jerry bowls for over  five decades is meant to be consumed only  in the afternoon, in cold climates and ideally alongside a holiday treat like fruit cake or sweet biscuits. Even though it is now consumed anywhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Year’s Day is actually the most appropriate holiday for this beverage harking back to the British custom of raising a glass to toast good health and prosperity in the coming year. Never serve eggnog just before dinner. Its high fat content, rich flavor and thick consistency make it too heavy for hors d’oeuvres hour.

Hot Buttered Rum, Glogg and Spiced Wine – Only After Exercise

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Make your own Swedish Glogg with this recipe here.

These are the spirits you want to enjoy after a heavy dose of physical activity in frigid, frosty climates.  Any outdoor activity that has you moving around a bit (shoveling snow, ice skating, skiing, chopping firewood, hanging holiday lights, building a snowman, etc)  is the perfect precursor to a warm cup of spice that will balance your blood sugar and warm your belly. Plus that extra bit of butter in your cup of rum doesn’t seem nearly as devastating if you just shoveled your way out of your latest snowstorm. Like eggnog these contain a rich and colorful mixture of scent and flavor, so you should avoid serving this trio right before a big meal too.  Give yourself at least a three hour spacer between these drinks and dinner.

Tom Collins, Mint Juleps, Rum & Colas, Punch – Only When You Are Not Eating

Find a traditional recipe for a classic Tom Collin here
Find a traditional recipe for a classic Tom Collins here

This assortment of spirits is meant for more sociable affairs where large amounts of food or a dedicated meal are not going to be served. Traditionally in the mid-century days of Amy Vanderbilt’s time such activities included club meetings, card games, dances, open houses, fundraisers and sporting events typically attended sometime between noon and 5:00 pm. They generally followed brunch but preceded cocktail hour. Their light, sweet consistencies were meant more as a refresher  – a spirit to perk your spirits – and keep you feeling lively and engaged in an activity that didn’t revolve around eating.

Brandy, Stingers, Vegetable and Herb Liqueurs – Only After Dinner

The easiest of cocktails. Find the two ingredient Stinger cocktail recipe here
The easiest of cocktails. Find the two ingredient Stinger cocktail recipe here.

All of these drinks fall under the digestif category and should be enjoyed only after dinner. By this time of  night you undoubtedly would welcome a little peaceful calm down. These types of cocktails are like your very own batch of internal elves helping your body in digesting both the day’s events and the day’s food intake. On the body front they help enzymes and organs break down food and on your brain front they help relax your thoughts and settle your spirit for a night-time’s worth of relaxation. There’s a reason why people “retired” to another room for post-dinner brandy back in the days of elegant entertaining. It was the ideal end-cap to the evening for both body and mind.

Find a classic Manhattan cocktail recipe here.
Find a classic Manhattan cocktail recipe here.

So now that we have discussed some drinks that shouldn’t be hanging out at happy hour, let’s look at the little darlings that deserve a  seat at the bar between that much anticipated 5:00pm-7:00pm stretch…

One of our favorites in the land of Ms. Jeannie - find a classic martini recipe here.
One of our favorites in the land of Ms. Jeannie – find a classic martini recipe here.

Martinis, Manhattans, Old-Fashioneds, Daiquiris, Bacardis and Whiskey Sours –

These are the gang you want to spend your time with if a feast awaits in the near future. While they pack punch in the flavor department they don’t overpower your palate, so dinner will taste marvelous. All these drinks contain a mixture of pretty little garnishes like olives or cherries but proper decorum dictates that you should only eat those offered on toothpick or skewer. Amy Vanderbilt frowns on anyone fishing around inside their cocktail glasses with their fingers. No matter how hungry you get before dinner.

Finally, if all else fails and you can’t recall what you are supposed to be enjoying when remember this easy guide… brights and lights for warm weather, dark and moody for cold weather. That means…

top to bottom: Gin and Tonic, Vodka Tonic and
top to bottom: Gin and Tonic, Vodka Tonic and Coconut Rum.

if you are looking at palm trees, pools, heat, humidity, bathing suits and beaches on your Christmas holiday stick to gin and tonics, vodka gingers, coconut rums or anything light in color and topped with citrus. But if your holiday plans take you in the exact opposite direction and your vantage point involves twig trees, frozen ponds, wind chill temperatures, gloves and scarves and snow covered hills then warm up from the inside out with bourbon, scotch, rum, brandy and all the variations that produce colors in the brown, black, red and amber shades.

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Clockwise from top right: Scotch on the rocks, Black Russian, Sidecar

Common sense and natural instinct prevail here in the vintage drink guide. But sometimes we can get so caught up in the novelty of the holiday or the fun of party planning that we forget about proper pairings. We want to try everything. But just like wine and beer every cocktail has its ideal place on the food and activity spectrum.  So this year, follow this guide and you will sail through Christmas and New Year’s feeling snappy instead of sick.

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Cheers to partying like a professional!