Sonnets & Malt Shop Delights – A Historic Look At Love

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Being the forever hopeless romantic that I am, I’ve always had the tendency to link romance to two particular eras in history, the 1950s and the latter half of the 16th century, more commonly known as the Elizabethan Era. There’s just something about these two time periods that capture a rather romantic image of classic courtship. Today, I’d like to share with you my interpretation of each of these periods in history as I celebrate Valentine’s Day through creating a malt shop themed menu and watching my favorite romantic drama which takes place in the Elizabethan Era; Shakespeare in Love.

When I think of malt-shop menu items, I picture all of the classic American favorites like cheese burgers, milk shakes and French fries. Items that today, you typically have to drive to a fast food chain for to enjoy. But in the old days, this was not fast food. It was definitely not healthy, but it was food that was enjoyed around a laminate table with friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and of course, music playing through a juke box, selected by the neighborhood malt shop’s very customers. While the once popular tracks of the 1950s might now be considered cheesy and dated, there is so much romance captured in those songs that is completely misplaced in music today.

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In preparation for Valentine’s Day, I stood in my kitchen gathering my ingredients for home made sliders and French fries. I decided to have a listen to some of those vintage fifties tracks that represented previous generations. Songs that perhaps were once symbolic of a first dance with one’s sweetheart or the memory of a first kiss.

“See the pyramids along the Nile, Watch the sunrise on a tropic isle, Just remember darling all the while, You belong to me…” You Belong To Me (1952), Jo Stafford

After listening to a combination of 1950s tunes, including Elvis, The Everly Brothers and Dean Martin, I decided to go further back in time to the Elizabethan Era. In this time period, it was William Shakespeare that was the king of entertainment and a master of defining the difference between courtly love and true love.

“Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight ‘till it be morrow.” Romeo & Juliet (1597), William Shakespeare

As I snuggled up to watch Shakespeare In Love after dinner, I realized that Shakespeare’s writing was the jukebox of the Elizabethan Era and the theatre its malt shop. Both eras were emphatic about putting their own mark on romance.

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As I prepared the final elements to my Valentine’s Day menu, I realized that while both eras depicted love so beautifully, there was something quite exaggerated about their portrayals. Today, a simple wink emoji may be our version of romance and songs made up of electronic beats as opposed to life-altering prose may trigger memories of love. Love is not exaggerated in today’s trends. Perhaps that is why I have always associated romance to past eras that had described what love ought to be to such great extents. But, what we have today, I’ve realized, is remarkable. Not the exploration of what love should be, but simply the recognition of what love is: love.

Winter Finds & Favorites

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The past few weeks have been so darn cold that I’ve really embraced being a homebody and have indulged in all the creature comforts needed to stay bundled up indoors. My vintage favorites for this time of year include a combination of both old and new items, but are all on theme for a cozy winter season.

Style I’ve noticed that there has been a revival of turtle necks this winter and I could not be more pleased about that. The look takes me back to the late 1990s. At that time, I remember turtlenecks and Tommy Hilfiger jeans were my go-to outfit. This season, I’ve decided to bring that look back and have bought some cozy turtlenecks in various colors and styles. One of my favorites for this winter is a rose/mauve turtle neck that I purchased from Aritzia. I love that the color is neutral and can go with pretty much anything. I also love the material of this item as it does not get too warm and can be layered with other items. I love styling this item with silver jewelry and black skinny jeans.

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Libations & Fare Walking through the Distillery District late one afternoon, I couldn’t help but wander into SOMA for a steaming cup of hot chocolate and happened to come across their Old School chocolate bars. The recipe is modeled after how chocolate was originally produced with a recipe made up of course cacao and grainy sugar. I decided to splurge and bought a bar to take home. This rich item, though its appearance is not as appealing as say a bold and creamy chocolate bar, is absolutely delicious. It is a great purchase for all those dark chocolate lovers out there and has been my go-to treat on a cozy night in.

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Beauty One of my favorite makeup products this winter has been the Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome from The Body Shop. It has been great for everyday use and what I love about it is that it can act as a highlighter, bronzer or blush. I’ve mainly been using the product as a blush. I love that the coverage is light and the shimmer gives off a natural flushed look. It’s great when you don’t want to wear a lot of makeup as it’s easy to throw on with just some concealer and mascara. If you’re looking for a wintery glow – this is the product!

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Wellness The winter time always has me stocking up on products that hydrate my skin. My hands particularly get very dry at this time of year and I’m so happy I discovered Cake’s Intensive Repair Balm hand cream. What I love about this product is that it’s made up of natural ingredients. It’s gentle, not overly scented, and really moisturizes the skin. I also love that it is not the type of product you need to use constantly for it to work. I apply this product to my hands twice a day and it leaves my hands feeling soft and hydrated.

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Surprise An additional favorite of the winter season is having the time to re-evaluate my living space. With spending so much more time indoors at this time of year, I take the opportunity to make various upgrades and improvements to my home. Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked hard to really reorganize my kitchen. Now that my cooking space is clutter free and tidy, I’ve decided that now it’s time to decorate this new space.

Over the years I’ve been collecting vintage signage and prints and haven’t figured out where to install them. Now that my kitchen is organized, I can’t think of a better place to display them. The tin signs were picked up at different flea markets and the prints are by various artists. I just need a couple more to complete the display on my kitchen wall – any recommendations as to where I could find more vintage prints to add to the collection?

So those are my cozy winter faves for this month. Have you found any vintage-inspired finds recently that have added warmth to this cold winter? Let me know in the comments and have a great week!