You’re Never Too Old…

Well I’m at my parents place for the weekend, where after months of “gentle persuasion” from my mother, I’m tasked with a hoarders worst nightmare… sorting through and trimming down of things. Specifically, all of the toys, books and school-work from my entire childhood. My propensity for holding on to things clearly has been past down from my parents, and my grandparents before that! My mom pretty much saved three children’s worth of all our school histories, books and toys as well as many special items of clothing. Most of which originated in Washington, USA and came all the way to NZ via a 40 foot container when we immigrated to New Zealand in 1996, when I was 13. So the fact that now my own daughter is lucky to be able to play with classic toys, read books and wear clothing handmade with love and care that was mine, and in some cases even my Mom’s before that – really shows an impressive history of care for preserving the past so it can be enjoyed in the future – over three generations!

However, after more twenty years, my parents have decided to move on and sell the large family home – so some down sizing is necessary. And with it, an end to the endless free storage I have counted on for the last decade or more since leaving the nest! Hence my weekend of nostalgia… although I haven’t actually gotten rid of a lot (surprising much!?), looking through the past is always fun, and thing are definitely more organised!

Now, what this blog post is REALLY about, after that long introduction, is one of my favourite pieces of the past – that was my Mom’s, and then mine, and I will pass on to my daughter. And here she is

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Original Barbie, in all her glory! She was my Mom’s, from 1963 and has stood the test of time amazingly well… considering I played with her as a child also! She is still homed in her original Barbie box and has an enviable wardrobe, from evening wear to swimwear – as well as a wide range of accessories! She has a late fifties/early sixties look and styling, with her short coiffured hair style, red finger nails and lined blue shadowed eyes. The clothing is amazingly detailed and well made, to tell the truth I wish most of her outfits came in my size! The outfit above looks much like the one Marilyn wore as Lorelei Lee in Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953) and the stole is real fur. And of course, most importantly she comes with….

20140928_114809A partner in crime! A very dapper and well accessorised Ken. Here he is in casual trousers, a white button front shirt and sportcoat and a red cap. Barbie is a well dressed housewife in blue and white 50s style day dress, red apron and matching red heels and handbag. Just the thing for doing the marketing! Ok, I confess, I had way too much fun with this… Go Team!!!
20140928_123235Off for a swim… yes those are gold wedge sandals!
20140928_121000A more casual look…
20140928_120220Nightwear… every man needs a monogrammed robe and matching slippers!
20140928_121504A ski date (apparently they used to have skis, I think my younger incarnation may have contributed to their demise… as well as many missing shoes in Barbie’s wardrobe)
20140928_122505And last, but not least (Ken ran out of outfits)… a fabulous evening look!
20140928_123603Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane… and a girl is never too old to play with Barbie!
Lorelei Louise xx

 

Some recent outfits… and an introduction!

Things have been a bit crazy around here lately with kitchen renovations at our house due to start this weekend and some rather ambitious DIY wedding invitations to make and get sent out in the next few weeks! My head is so full of kitchen design plans and wedding tasks, it will be a wonder if I don’t start confusing the two! Of course, I will tell all when these projects are completed 🙂 I can’t wait to share! Design is one of my passions, and I’ve been lucky to get to stretch myself with some very different challenges lately!

But I thought I would just take a few minutes to share a few of my recent outfits. I get asked often, do I dress like this everyday? Well, yes! But that doesn’t mean I “dress up” everyday, or have to get up early to get ready! Just like any gal in the decades past that I love and take inspiration from, I don’t just have one look! I have casual jeans days, days when I just want to be comfortable, no makeup days, bad hair days, days when I feel like being fancy, special occasion days and everything in between! The majority of my wardrobe is vintage inspired, or can be styled in that way. So whether it’s a rushed jeans and headscarf kind day, or a pretty spring dress feeling day… my style doesn’t change! Although, I have many different moods within that… from traditional “ladylike” vintage, to rockabilly and rock n roll, to vintage inspired with a modern twist, to fun and colourful pinup!

So here are a few of my looks from the last couple of weeks!

PhotoGrid_1411455504519Casual day – Kustomville jeans, yellow top from Le Bomb Shop, blue chiffon blouse pilfered from my sister’s closet, shoes and sunnies from Pinup Girl Clothing, hair lovely from Pop That Cassette, vintage lucite beaded necklace, reproduction sparkle lucite earrings from Desperate Beatnik Estsy shop!

PhotoGrid_1411113857647Another casual day! No hair and makeup, stripe top from Kmart, red shrug Lindybop, scarf Sourpuss from Rita Sue Clothing, belt and highwaisted black trousers Pinup Girl Clothing, red patent low heels Zierra

PhotoGrid_1410145399169 (2)Another comfy outfit, thrown on after a photo-shoot to go for a wedding dress fitting! My go to herringbone trousers Heyday Vintage, red sweater another borrowed item from my sisters wardrobe (She is overseas, and I have a key muah-ha-ha-ha), Lindybop red shrug, Pop That Cassette hairpiece, Pinup Girl Clothing sunnies

PhotoGrid_1410400352150Love these mustard heels from Pinup Girl Clothing, can wear them all day and they match everything! Vintage orange dress and Banned pineapple cardigan from Rita Sue Clothing.

 

PhotoGrid_1410478352745Vintage black wool dress with silver waist detail, polkadot stockings and Mi Piaci shoes!

PhotoGrid_1410689315517Weekend outfit – Saddle shoes from Mi Piaci, squirrel print dress Pinup Gurl Clothing, cardigan Alannah Hill, cute socks from Farmers and squirrel brooch bought off Etsy! And Bettie bangs!

PhotoGrid_1410731463478The yellow heels again! Vintage novelty print skirt I got out of a $5 thrift bin, all it needed was a new zip! Pagani yellow blouse, fox brooch Etsy

PhotoGrid_1410817239064Jumpsuits are my all time favourite clothing item! I am truly a lazy girl at heart! This is a mall cheapie from Tempt I’ve smartened up with yellow and pineapple accessories 🙂 The scarf I sewed myself!

PhotoGrid_1410992763567These trousers can be styled so many different ways! Heyday vintage trousers with Wheels and Dollbaby top and Alannah Hill jacket. Luxulite brooch, Desperate Beatnik lucite earrings and vintage faux pearls. I’ve been wearing this Mac retro matte pink lippy all the time too, it’s a great shade!

PhotoGrid_1411209635845Weekend casual again (I’m sensing a theme here… comfort lol!), another cheapie jumpsuit, PopthatCassette hair flower, Pinup Girl Clothing wedge black heels with bow and heart sunnies, vintage beads, sparkle lucite earrings Desperate Beatnik, pink lips!

PhotoGrid_1411210183191Off to meet fellow “Pinup Honeys” for dinner! I LOVE this outfit, so many gorgeous colours! Everyday pinup dress from Rita Sue Clothing, mint petticoat Hellbunny, borrowed sparkly blue heels, belt Pinup Girl Clothing, vintage beads, earrings Desperate Beatnik, vintage green gloves, Pop That Cassette hair flower

PhotoGrid_1411342142431Lindybop dress, Wheels and Dollbaby cardigan and Pop that Cassette hair flower 🙂

I try and put a photo and details of what I’m wearing most days on Instagram, so follow me there @vintageaddictdiary for more!

Last but not least… I’d like to introduce my pinup name! I have been of two minds of whether I need an “alter ego” … as I see my “pinup self” as just the regular me! What you see is what you get! On the other hand, I can see how when putting yourself out there in public, it can be important to create a “brand” – to have a name that suits your personality and image, to set yourself apart with a unique moniker, and to separate your public persona from your personal life! I am also planning on entering Miss Pinup New Zealand 2015, and I would like to have a pinup name to enter as! So, introducing….

Miss Lorelei Louise!

My absolute favourite pinup, model, celebrity, actress, of all time is Marilyn Monroe! I have loved her and had a fascination (errm obsession?) since I was very young! So I wanted my pinup name to give a nod to Marilyn 🙂 Since Gentleman Prefer Blondes is one of my favourite movies, Lorelei was perfect!

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Louise is my middle name, after my Grandma and it fit well!

So there you have it!

Until next time,

Miss Lorelei Louise xx

 

Nautical and Nice

Well it looks like we are nearly ready to say goodbye to winter weather and welcome the coming of spring with sunshine, blossoming trees and warmer weather – which always puts in a more positive and energetic frame of mind! And with warmer weather comes my favourite – summer and spring dresses! In this post I review the nautical inspired Francesca wiggle dress from Collectif Clothing – in my view, a perfect dress for spring! I first saw the Francesca dress on one of my favourite blogs Pin Up Persuasion, the lovely Jessica looked stunning in the swing version (link here)! So when I was browsing the Collectif website during their big sale earlier in the year, I nearly squealed with excitement when I saw there was a wiggle version and my size was in stock! I have squirrelled it away until now, waiting for spring and a nice day to wear this little beauty!

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My measurements are 36-29-39 and I ordered the size 10, for which my bust and hips fall into the suggested range and my waist is one inch larger. But as I usually wear my Rago waist cincher with wiggle dresses, I find ordering for a 28 inch waist size almost always fits just right. The Francesca dress fit snugly, but not overly so, with the bust fitting perfectly with no pulling on the buttons. With both a back zip and functional front buttons, this dress is nice and easy to put on! The fabric is 98% cotton and 2% elastane and is medium weight with a little stretch, a lovely comfortable fabric for warmer weather. I love the little details like the soft cream rope style waist belt and the cute buttoned up bodice. The bright red white and blue colour scheme gives the Francesca a nice nautical look without being over the top, so you could accessorise it in a variety of ways!

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Really, this dress deserves to be taken out on a luxury yacht… but seeing that is unlikely to happen in my world, I will settle for taking her out to beachside lunches in the sunshine, maybe a holiday date night and definitely anytime I want to feel in a summery holiday mood! I chose to pair the Francesca with a cloche style sinamay hat, which I have trimmed with matching red ribbon and a cute Pop That Cassette hairpiece! I love this hat because it’s so versatile and can be effortlessly coordinated with any outfit simply by changing the ribbon or clipping on a flower… and keeps that harsh rays off of my face! It is also handy because it makes it unnecessary to do your hair… so my hair here is wash and wear! I have also worn an anchor earrings and necklace to add to the theme as well as some deceptively comfortable patent red Kumfs low ankle strap heels. I would probably wear a flat or wedge sandal if I was actually going to be at the beach though! One has to be able to kick off one’s shoes and feel the the sand between the toes and go wading in the waves after all!

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I love my heart shaped sunglasses, I got these from Pinup Girl Clothing and they add such a cute touch to an outfit!

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Yes, I’m aware these are not the right beach shoes…

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That is my fur baby Oscar, who is a Shihtzu-poodle cross… A Shiht-poo!

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The Francesca dress comes in red and navy and is available now at Collectif in a wiggle style. It also came in swing style (above) which doesn’t seem to be available at present, but may come back into stock or be available on buy/swap/sell sites! I am in love with that nautical bag from Collectif also! I have to say this has become on of my favourite dresses, it ticks all the boxes! I got so many compliments while wearing it! It is nicely made, especially for such a reasonable price. You do have to be a little bit careful not to snag the skirt however, as the nature of the striped cotton fabric means a pulled thread can be quite visible.

Special thanks to my beautiful friend Katy from Bella Rouge makeup for snapping these shots for me at Milford marina!

Hope you all have a great weekend, and for those in the southern hemisphere anyway – Happy Spring! (Northern Hemisphere gals… well, enjoy the warm coats, you’ve had your turn in the sun for the year 😉 )

Natalie xx

 

 

 

Oh My DIY! Pinup does renovations…

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I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now, that I wanted to take the traditional pinup photo somewhere new, and bring together some of the different sides of my personality, with a sense of  playfulness and fun.

This iconic Rosie the Riveter image was the starting point and inspiration to create these images!

I immediately thought of Zandy (Zandy J Photography) for this project as I love her work, and she has taken some great shots of me before (see them here). Not to mention she is so friendly and relaxed and gives great direction…immediately putting those photo shoot nerves to rest!

Once upon a time… a lonely man-less lady wanted to makeover her tired old boudoir….
“Whatever will I do?”, she cried! 
Then she got a clue, put on her big girl panties, threw out the stereotypes, put on her tool belt and got stuck in…

The most important tool every lady needs is a good pencil…

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She hits the nail on the head, every time!

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“Just checking my stockings are still ship-shape”
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” I’ll just jot that down measurement before it escapes my pretty little head…”

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“Hmm, do I have all the tools I need?”

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“Oh! I do get distracted sometimes!”

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She just had to take a short break and survey her handiwork…

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“Oh my, I think that was an electrical cable! Whoopsies!”

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She gives a bracing effort to her sawing…

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“While I’m at it, I’ll paint the fence! Do I have little something on my cheek?”

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After such a vigorous days exertions, a rest and cold beer was in order

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“Ahhhh…nothing like a hard day’s work!”

Web sized N Thomas (13)

 

 

Details and credits:

Makeup  – Katy: Bella Rouge Makeup

Hair – my own efforts

Dress – Collectif Clothing

Petticoat – Hell Bunny

Shoes – Pinup Girl Clothing

Girdle – Rago Shapewear longline open bottom girdle

Stockings – What Katie Did

Cust0m hairpiece  Pop That Cassette

Photography – Zandy J Photography

Hope you enjoyed this post as much I enjoyed creating it! Feel free to like and share 🙂

Natalie xx

Frugal Friday… some recent finds to adorn yourself and your home for less!

I’m a bargain hunter. It’s in my genes. It took me a very long time to be able to fork out for something quality, that costs a bit more, because it’s so deeply ingrained in me to be frugal! However… once I did start spending, I couldn’t stop… and it became a problem! I did one of those online shopping addiction questionnaires and pretty much got the most extreme score. I buy stuff, then feel horrible, I think partly because excess consumerism goes against my core values so much! Soooo, I am attempting to curb my addiction and stop buying things, even pretty things, that I just don’t need! And it’s very very hard. It’s like being on a diet and all you see is CAKE CAKE CAKE! But I think I’m getting better 🙂

So now the old cheap and cheerful purchase fulfils the collector in me, and I’ve always found it fun to hunt down things for less! This post features a few of my random recent finds, and is all stuff that you can go out and buy yourself (well in NZ anyway!).

Today at Briscoes, I got this fun metal bucket for $5… I don’t know what I am going to put in it yet, the possibilities are endless! I love the bright colours and parrots! I also got this vintage style cake tin for $10 (60% off)… I think it will look cute in our (future) new kitchen, and who knows… I am might be inspired to make a cake. They also had a matching range of canisters, for tea, coffee etc.

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The next few things I found at Kmart. I LOVE Kmart! It’s a great place to pick up a few bargain homewares! The quality can be hit and miss (you get what you pay for after all) but it really depends what you are getting and what the intended use it. For something purely decorative, you really can’t go wrong! And, I just have to mention, I bought a genuine leather jacket at Kmart close to 10 years ago which I have worn the hell out of, it still looks great and I still get compliments on it 🙂

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Bird storage bin $12

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Flamingo print tote $3

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Ceramic pineapple container $12

I love the pineapple! You can probably tell I have a thing for pineapples 😉

I’ve had a few compliments on these pineapple earrings… they are only $11 from Lovisa in Westfield Mall. I got mine from St Lukes, and they still had them when I was there around a week ago!

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I have really gotten a thing for brooches lately! They are such a nice way to fun way to add colour and flair to an outfit, and can be the perfect finishing touch! I found these super cute brooches on Etsy, from the seller Renattorize. She has all sorts of different animals and cardigan clips too. My brooches came beautifully packaged and all the way from Latvia! Her items are very reasonable priced, around $10NZ for a brooch and shipping was very inexpensive also. They are much nicer in real life, I had difficulty taking a photo because they are so shiny!

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I may have mentioned before my love affair with cards. Since I can remember, I have collected cards and postcards, they are pretty much the perfect purchase! They cost very little (even the fancy ones!), are a memento of places and experiences you have had, take up very little space and have an infinite number of uses! I see them as mini pieces of art 🙂 I literally pick them up EVERYWHERE. Kitschy, vintage, hand painted, screen printed, trendy, touristy, free, arty, you name it. As long as the image appeals to me! I give them to friends, make scrapbooks, wall collages, hang groups of them framed individually, string them above windows, and just set them on tables. I should probably devote an entire post to my card obsession in the future actually! Here are a couple I have acquired recently, and complete my one of my favourite places in our home, a little reading/wine drinking corner! The left one is from Collected, the right flamingo is from Iko Iko.

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And lastly, I recently discovered the $2 shop on steroids that is Look Sharp! I picked up some ridiculously cheap closet organisers, as well as these adorable shower caps for $3 each! One for me, and one for my daughter…

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Happy Friday everyone! Hope you enjoyed the post!

Natalie xx

 

Joining the Circus… at Glory Days Winter Vintage

Things have been a bit quiet here on the blog… but I have been busy attending events and working on a few projects I plan on sharing with you very soon! Last weekend I flew down to Wellington for an action packed weekend of fabulous events in our nation’s capitol. The windy city lived up to it’s name, and I soon discovered what locals already know… don’t bother with an umbrella, they are about as useful as lipstick on a pig. Also, setting your hair before venturing out, without wearing a plastic bag or similar contraption is a waste of time and effort. No matter how much hairspray you use.

After a crazy night shedding my “virgin” status at my first interactive Rocky Horror Picture Show at the stunning fully restored Embassy Theatre (if you haven’t been to one of these, I highly recommend…it is quite a spectacle an experience that must be lived to be believed!) – I was ready for the highlight of the Wellington vintage lovers calendar – Glory Days Wellington Winter Vintage!

The theme was a 1930s vintage circus and the event was a creation of the fabulous Glory Days magazine team – so I knew it was going to be fantastic! Who doesn’t love a good circus! Especially when “surprises, circus and gin” are promised 🙂 The event was sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin and held at the James Cabaret theatre. Here is my outfit for the day time event, before I ventured out into the icy wind and rain that was the weather of the day!

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My yellow hat with netting is genuine vintage, purchased from the lovely Susie from It’s Deco Darling on Etsy. Earrings and brooch are lucite reproduction by Luxulite. Bangles were purchased from the vintage lovers mecca at Hunter’s and Collectors on Cuba St in Wellington. Faux pearls are from a vintage shop in Sacramento. The fabulous vintage beaded cardigan was my Nana’s and I feel so special to be able to wear it still and that is has remained in such perfect condition after five decades! The floral dress is the iconic Birdie dress from Pinup Girl Clothing and I am wearing a purple Hell Bunny petticoat underneath. My purple bow heels are from Mi Piaci, one of my favourite places to find cute and comfortable vintage style shoes!

Arriving at the James Cabaret, wet and bedraggled (with an umbrella that looked like it had been put through a shredder), I was immediately transported back in time to the magical world of a 1930s carnival! Just inside the door, a strongman waited and a vintage style ticket booth manned (wo-manned?) by a mysterious looking fortune teller. Stepping inside the venue proper, the visual delights continued. Not to mention the authentic aroma of roasted coffee, caramel apples and something indefinably delicious. Claire Gormly, organiser extraordinaire and the talented Glory Days team had outdone themselves in transforming the venue! Vintage circus props, including a “genuine” wolf-man and other freaks of nature dotted the space, and the walls and stage were draped to re-create the feel of the big top. Stall holders were dressed in circus theme and circus performers mingled with the crowd who had braved the weather. A few brave souls even ventured out into the rain to give the strength test and coconut shy a gamble! Possibly also for a caffeine hit from the delightful retro coffee caravan parked just outside.

There was also some fabulous entertainment on offer throughout the day. Performers from the Wellington Circus Trust wowed us with their gravity defying, bendy and sometimes just plain beautiful range of acts – even the cutest 4 year old caped tumbler you ever did see. All presided over by the magnificent and hilarious MC, a bearded lady!

My gorgeous friend Grace was lucky to have a vintage hair and makeover at the Pamper Parlour by the talented Michelle Parish. Her transformation!

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Unfortunately I was busy enjoying myself and I didn’t get many photos, but you can check out the albums of all the fun on Glory Days Winter Vintage page here!

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Wolf Man

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After a very entertaining and enjoyable morning, we returned home for a well needed nap and to get ready for Winter Vintage part 2… the evening event! I love dressing up so putting together costumes for a vintage circus theme was so much fun! I think we may have done TOO good a job getting into the spirit of things… we got asked if we were performing when we arrived! In fact, when I was putting together my costume, my four year old got the impression I was actually going to Wellington to JOIN the circus, and she proudly informed my family, who got a bit of a giggle. Because unfortunately the only thing I can do with a hula hoop is stand with it and look pretty… coordination is not one of my strong points.

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circus

 

All of the stalls had been cleared away after the day time event leaving ample space for mingling and dancing!  And the decorated venue looked just as stunning at night. We were treated to a yummy gin cocktail when we arrived which was well appreciated! The night kicked off with a surprise operatic performance by the beautiful Clarissa Dunn, an ethereal, magical beginning which really set a special tone for the night’s festivities. The first band to take the stage was local Wellington fold band, Eb and Sparrow. You can check out their webpage here. The band is fronted by the gorgeous and talented singer-songwriter Ebony Lamb. As a big fan of the classic country genre, especially female country greats like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Skeeter Davis, I am always very excited to discover new bands which invoke the same feel. Eb and Sparrow did so in spades, as well as having their own genre crossing sound! I am definitely going to be following this band and getting my hands on their new album!

The next act really got people up and getting their swing on! The Wellington Shake Em on Downers played a fantastic set and really made me wish I knew how to dance (see previously mentioned lack of coordination)! You can check out their Facebook page here. It really was a phantasmagorical (real word did you know ha!) evening, with fun people, great music and the gin flowing! Here are a few photos of the night, be sure and check out the link above to the Glory Days Winter Vintage page to see more!

Thanks so much to the hardworking Glory Days editors Claire Gormly, Rose Jackson and Natasha Francois as well as the rest of the Glory Days Team and all the other fabulous contributors for putting together this fantastic and magical event! If you haven’t subscribed to New Zealand’s very own vintage lifestyle magazine, jam packed with interesting and inspiring content… head over to the Glory Days website here!

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I have a few exciting posts coming up, like my Facebook page to keep up to date 🙂

Natalie xx