Author Archives: Nicki

Etsy Roundup: Vintage Coffee Pots and Tea Kettles

Nicki Written by Nicki

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In honor of “Winter Storm Cleon” freezing out a large portion of the U.S. this week,  I thought it would be fitting to spotlight something that keeps us warm and cozy… adorable vintage coffee pots and tea kettles! What’s better than cuddling up with a hot cup of coffee or tea on a cold day? Not much, in my opinion!

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All of these vintage pots are so adorable! I obviously love the style of kitchens from the 60s and 70s. They paid so much attention to detail. Check out that groovy bird one! These beautiful pieces are so bright and fun, perfect for cheering you up on a chilly day.

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I have a weakness for anything with that “atomic age” style from the late 50′s and early 60s. The starburst patterns, the gold leafing, I just can’t get enough! All of these pots are perfect for get togethers or just enjoying a cup on your own. It’s never too late to ditch that boring individual-pod coffee machine! Or just neglect it until that morning you’re super late for work- hey, modern conveniences have their merit, too.

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How cute is that lemon one? If that doesn’t cure your winter blues, I don’t know what will!

 

Fashion Icon: Jane Birkin

Nicki Written by Nicki

Many of you may have heard of Jane Birkin; she’s a cultural icon for sure.  With a new book on the shelves all about her family life with famed french singer Serge Gainsbourg, I thought I’d chat about her just a bit.

The book is Jane & Serge. A Family Album and it’s compiled of photos taken of the family by Jane’s brother, Andrew Birkin. The British-born model / actress / singer caught the eye of noted ladies’ man Serge Gainsbourg on the set of the film Slogan in 1968. The pair instantly became France’s golden couple. They made records, films, and a quite enviable life together in Paris. Jane’s easy-going tomboy style has served as an inspiration to countless designers, stylists, and women in general for decades. Photos of her bangs probably appear in thousands of hair salons everyday, and that mouse-y voice she whispers with on her records is just adorably irresistible.

Although Jane and Serge’s relationship lasted only 13 years, Jane’s iconic style lives on. She even inspired the chief executive of Hermès to create the Birkin bag, arguably the most famous handbag in fashion history. Two of her daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, are artists and muses in their own right as well. That’s one talented and stylish family!

 

Etsy Roundup: Vintage Luggage.

Nicki Written by Nicki

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I’m sure many of you are doing at least a little bit of traveling over the holidays. I love to travel, and I have learned a thing or two about luggage during my adventures. It needs to be spacious, comfortable to carry, and of course, stylish! I find that having a cute suitcase makes me more motivated to pack without waiting until the very last minute. As much as I do love today’s super-light rolling luggage, there’s just something so chic and classy about a good vintage suitcase! They make me think about the jet-set era of the 1960s, when it was considered a glamorous special occasion to fly on an airplane. Passengers would even dress up instead of just throwing on their favorite sweatpants.

So, I thought I would feature some of my favorite Etsy luggage finds to give us all a little inspiration for traveling in style!

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Wether you spring for a full matching set or just maybe a small train case, there are lots of vintage cases in multiple shapes, sizes, and styles for all of your traveling needs. You can even mix and match!

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If you want something more funky, there are a lot of suitcases with great florals and other patterns. I had a similar floral one when I was a kid! These are usually a soft material with a zipper, as opposed to the hard-side cases previously mentioned.

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Traveling with your favorite vintage hat? Or some other odd-shaped item? Try packing it in a lovely vintage hat case! These beauties have plenty of space for say, a fragile or elaborately wrapped christmas gift, and they’re strong enough to keep your valuables from getting smashed. Plus, you’ll look super chic carrying one!

I hope you’ve all been inspired to travel in style this holiday season!

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Nicki Written by Nicki

Earlier this week, we shared Jem’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition, so today, I thought I’d share mine! It is, without a doubt, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This spectacle of sight and sound has come to me through my television screen every Thanksgiving morning for as long as I can remember. I have watched it without fail every single year since I was probably 5 years old.  I even set an alarm to make sure I wake up in time so I can catch the entire broadcast. It signifies to me the beginning of the holiday season, and makes me feel happy and optimistic no matter what is happening in my life at the time.

My love for the parade most certainly developed because of my childhood obsession with the Radio City Rockettes. As soon as I was old enough to figure out I couldn’t grow up to be a pony, I decided I wanted to be a Rockette. This dream was quickly shattered when I stopped growing at 5’2″ at 12 years old and I realized that the 6 feet tall Rockettes could high-kick right over my head. Oh well, they are still absolutely magical. Their synchronicity is unsurpassed- and those outfits! When they wear their Christmas outfits in the parade, it looks like they just busted out of a snow globe at the North Pole! Where do you think Mariah Carey got the idea?

The Rockettes really are the embodiment of the glamour of New York City. Their giant smiles and perfectly coiffed hair, their long legs, and the way they seem oblivious to their beauty is just so innocent and refreshing in a time when everything has to be outrageous or shocking to get attention.

I would guess that part of the parade that most people really enjoy would have to be the giant balloons! They’ve had countless different characters since 1927 when the balloons replaced the live animals that they would borrow from the Central Park Zoo. Mickey Mouse, Garfield, Big Bird, Sponge Bob Square Pants– You basically aren’t a successful cartoon character until you’ve made an appearance at the Macy’s Parade!

I wish I could have seen the parade during 1962-1972, when it was hosted by Betty White and Lorne Greene (of Bonanza fame). I guess I’ll make do with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. The most exciting thing for me is that this time next year, I will (finally) be a resident of New York City, and I will most definitely be as close to Herald Square as I can possibly get when that parade comes marching down from the Upper West Side! I’ll be fighting for my spot with my thermos of hot coffee and lots of warm layers for my view of this glorious occasion in the most-loved city on the planet… New York!!

 

Vintage Cookware.

Nicki Written by Nicki

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Yesterday we shared with you Georges Briard’s fantastic pineapple cookware, and with Thanksgiving coming up we figured we would continue with our cookware theme! Today I’ve pooled together some favorites from Etsy. Vintage cookware is so vibrant and fun. It really brightens up any kitchen! This beautiful lotus/diamond pattern (above) was quite popular in the 60s and 70s. I can see why, it’s adorable!

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These pots and pans have the greatest combination of colors and patterns! I’m working on decking out my kitchen with vintage goods, but so far all I’ve got is a green floral Pyrex bowl and a set of cocktail glasses from the early 60s.

This little beauty is my favorite. Anything with a fruit print obviously gets a thumbs up from Seven Minutes in Heaven!

Vintage Fall Fashion.

Nicki Written by Nicki

For a lifelong Floridian, the concept of “fall fashion” and all of the excitement surrounding it has been mostly a lost cause for me. In Florida, our 4 seasons consist of Summer, Summer II, Hell, and Ice Rain (aka January). For years, I’ve been so envious of the girls who get to wear chunky knits and wool knee socks in rich earth-tones. It just seems so warm and romantic to me! Fortunately, I’ll be a New Yorker soon. I’ll probably be a bit late for fall this year, but next year I will be decked out in cozy Autumn threads and drinking pumpkin spice lattes!

It’s super easy to get a great vintage look for Fall. Lots of trends from the 60s are very in this season. So if you’re lucky enough to live in a place that accommodates warm, cozy fashion, go ahead and deck yourself out in a swingy cape, colorful tights, and over-the-knee boots!  If you can’t dig the cape, try a swing coat that’s the same length as your dress. So cute!

Over-the-knee boots are having a serious moment right now. You can find them just about anywhere. A few of my personal faves are here and, if you really want to splurge, here.

I’m also loving this vintage orange wiggle skirt. Paired with tall boots and a swing coat, it would make a great outfit for Thanksgiving dinner! What are your favorite Fall Fashion items? I can’t wait to have an actual Fall wardrobe next year!

 

Record Collecting.

Nicki Written by Nicki

There’s no denying it- I am a music fanatic. I’ve been collecting records since I was about 9 years old, which wasn’t easy considering I was 9 years old in 1992. Vinyl records had all but vanished into thin air, and the shiny new CDs were all the rage. My mom’s small collection of mostly Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin records helped to keep my passion alive for several years, and then in the mid-2000′s, something wonderful happened. Vinyl was back! The world had turned away from the easily damaged CDs, and went the way of the digital download. Suddenly, with nothing tangible to represent their passion, music lovers everywhere began turning to that old, warm sound of a needle on a big black dinner plate. I was thrilled!

Besides the fact that artists were beginning to release their albums on vinyl again (many accompanied by a digital download), one of the greatest things about the record upswing was the increasing availability of affordable turntables. Companies like Crosley started mass-producing record players that not only were in new working order, but had the classic look of players from the 1960s and 70s. Plus, they’re less than $150! That teal one is mine, I picked it up from Urban Outfitters about 3 years ago. In case you’re wondering what that checkered tape is all about, it’s holding a few coins on the back of the needle arm for counter-balance. An age-old problem with record players is that after a while, the arm becomes unbalanced and begins to drag on the record. The coin trick is something my mom taught me on one of her old players when I was a kid. Works every time! One day, I hope to get my hands on a classic record player cabinet- one of the most brilliant pieces of furniture ever created, in my opinion. The turntable, shelving, and speakers are all built in!

For now, I’ve got a pretty nice shelving cabinet to keep my current collection. It’s of course full to the brim, so there’s some spill-over. When my husband and I were in Paris recently, we hit the mother-load at a record store called Vinyl Office. We stocked up on early reggae records and french pop from the 60s. We even got a hefty discount for buying so many at once!

Here’s my favorite record in my collection- not necessarily because of the music, but because of the story behind it. I was minding my own business in a record store in Orlando, and who do I see but Fred Schneider of the B-52s! He autographed this B-52s single for me. Look closely- he wrote “wooo nicki”! Best autograph ever.

Nicki’s Semi-Vintage Wedding.

Nicki Written by Nicki

On October 5, 2013, I married the man of my dreams. We had a (very!) small ceremony at Memorial Park in our hometown of Jacksonville Florida, and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Our style was very much vintage inspired, without feeling to costume-y. Nearly everything was DIY with a touch of vintage flair. My AMAZING bridesmaids made all of the decorations and details by hand, even our bouquets! Instead of a fancy wedding cake, I had a local pastry chef recreate my famous pink lemonade cupcakes (my husband’s all time favorite!), and instead of birdseed or rice, the guests threw rainbow sprinkles at us when we made our exit.

The main reason we chose this spot for our big day was our tree. When we first met, we went on a picnic at this very spot, and carved our names into the oak tree. As the story goes, we were having our picnic and looked over at the tree, seeing that someone had already carved “Steve” into it. We figured, “why not finish it?” So obviously it’s a very special spot for us!

When it came to planning the motif for the wedding, I knew I didn’t want anything that felt too “new” or pre-packaged. A lot of weddings seem to feel forced, like everyone is uncomfortable and putting on a play. We wanted something more authentic to who we are, so we went with a more “whatever” kind of attitude. We chose a pastel color palette, even thought it was technically fall, of mostly minty greens and aquas with a few blushy colors for pop. No one matched, and all I told my bridesmaids was “wear something mint”. They both picked out adorable short-length dresses, and I also went with a short dress. At 5’2″, finding a long gown is quite a challenge for me! Without even planning it, my bridesmaids and I were decked out in dresses and shoes all from ModCloth, an online shop that specializes in new clothes made with a vintage feel. My amazing aqua fascinator was a perfect vintage Etsy find, both of our wedding rings are vintage (mine has “June 6, 06″ engraved in it- that’s 1906!), and at the reception I carried my grandmother’s vintage beaded clutch. My hubby also looked totally mod in his suit from Topman, black and white loafers from Delicious Junction, and heart-print shirt from Coton Doux!

I couldn’t imagine a more perfect wedding, and it would have been impossible without my bridesmaids Adrienne and Michelle, my friends Jenny and Pricilla, and of course my incredible husband, Steven.

all photos by Dennis Ho.

Fashion Icon: Mary Quant

Nicki Written by Nicki

Several fashion houses have their iconic styles, images immediately conjured upon mentioning their name. Coco Chanel has her little black dresses and quilted handbags,  Christian Dior has his nipped-waist hourglass frocks, and Jean-Paul Gaultier has the (in)famous cone bra. When it comes to the 1960′s mod movement and “swinging London”, there is just one designer who defines and embodies the colorful, liberated look of that amazing time. Mary Quant and her Vidal Sassoon fairy haircut completely overhauled the look of young women everywhere. Most importantly, she had an integral part in popularizing a staple piece of clothing that has never gone out of style since its 60′s inception: the miniskirt!

Mary Quant’s use of bright colors and bold patterns put her right in the middle of the mod scene in London, with her shop, Bazaar, helping to make King’s Road a fashion hot-spot. She got the attention of all the most popular it-girls and models, including Twiggy and Patty Boyd, who were often featured in her ads and seen just hanging out in Mary’s punchy designs. Her miniskirt, named after her favorite car, was intended to be a liberating piece of clothing; something a woman could run for the bus in. Mary paired the skirt with colorful graphic tights, sharp haircuts, and mod makeup to create an irresistible look.

Mary wasn’t just a behind-the-scenes type of designer. She could always be spotted wearing her own fashions; she seemingly was designing for herself and girls like her. Even though she’s no longer designing, she’s still sporting great style and that signature crop at 78 years old. Her cosmetics line is still wildly popular in Japan, and you can always recognize anything Mary had her hand in by her signature daisy logo. Plus, all girls everywhere should be thanking Mary Quant for a modern miracle- she invented water-proof mascara! So next time you’re crying over your boyfriend while wearing your favorite miniskirt, remember who to thank. Mary!