July 31, 2012

Tomato toma-to

Hi friends! We hope you're having a good Tuesday! Here's a whole bunch of orangey-red goodness for you to drool over alongside us! xo
Love the styling of this shoot!
Franziska Frank; Photographed by; Fred Meylan, Citizen K

Cute little enamel polka dot pot!

Such a pretty DIY!

Yet another perfect Modcloth dress!

The most wonderful cathrineholm lasagna dish!

We couldn't do a tomato hues-day post and not include tomato soup! 
photo found on this lovely lady's blog.

July 30, 2012

Tips for hosting an outdoor dinner party.

One of my all-time favorite hobbies is hosting dinner parties (but my absolute favorite thing is outdoor dining and since I live in Winnipeg this always feels like such a fleeting novelty.) Entertaining friends and family is a huge part of my life and I find myself getting more and more excited about doing it the older I get. Now, let me start by saying that I am by no means a "dinner party expert" but I have hosted quite a few over the past few years so I thought it would be fun to share a few tips with you today on how to throw a successful outdoor dinner party:

(please note: the following photos are from two separate backyard parties that I hosted: some are from emery's birthday last year, and the others from I party I threw for my parents' anniversary last week! happy 30th guys! love you both to bits. )
1. Decide on a theme.
This doesn't necessarily have to be anything very specific but it is good to decide on what direction or feel you want your dinner party to have. An example of a more defined theme would be the tiki party that I threw for my husband, Emery, last summer. He has a big collection of tiki mugs and is totally into the tiki culture so I thought it would be fun to make a bunch of different "authentic tiki drinks" accompanied by some Polynesian inspired appetizers for this birthday. This was a more casual event so we didn't actually sit down at the table and eat at the same time, but instead we had people help themselves to appetizers at their leisure. A few other fun theme ideas would be to create French, Mediterranean or Mexican inspired evening. 

If you don't want to limit yourself to such a specific theme, you can should at least decide what type of evening you would like to have: Do you want to have a buffet style dinner or a more formal sit-down one? Do you want to have full place settings or finger-food? Is this a casual, semi-formal or formal event? These are all good questions to ask yourself before you begin planning your menu.

2. Select your menu based on your theme.
This is a very important step because your whole evening is based around the food! This might just be me, but if I am planning an outdoor dinner party I like to try to cook as much food as possible outside on the barbecue, so my menu is definitely effected by whether I can grill it or not. Always make sure that your appetizer, main, side dish, and dessert all compliment one another well. However, this doesn't mean that every dish has to have the same food in common, they just need a complimentary feel.
I always like to try new recipes for my guests so that I'm not always serving them the same thing, however this can be a little risky to do in a dinner party setting. Trying out a new recipe that you have never made before in this type of a setting is way more stressful than going with a recipe that you know you are comfortable with. If I know ahead of time that I want to try something new, often I will try making the recipe  earlier in the week so that I know what to expect and so that I can work out any possible kinks. When the day of your dinner party comes you want as little surprises in the kitchen as possible!

3. Create an inviting atmosphere.
I always want to create an enjoyable dining experience for my guests so I always try to pay attention to the little details. It's good to take into consideration everything from dishes to centerpieces to music. For instance, if i'm having a more casual buffet style dinner I will use my bright retro dishes and play some fun music like Band of Horses or The Shins on my iPod dock, but if I want to create a more elegant atmosphere I will go with a simple classic white dish instead and play some Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra records instead. Simple decisions like that can go a long way in setting the mood for your guests. Also, when dining outside I love to pick some fresh flowers and greenery and put them into mason jars to make cute centerpieces. In my opinion, when you're eating outside you pretty much have to have fresh flowers!

4. Get as much prep work done ahead of time as possible. 
The more you can prepare ahead of time, the easy your life will be. Cooking for a large group of people is way more time consuming than just cooking for one or two, and if you have never done it before you may underestimate how much time it will take, so it's best to just get as much done as possible before your guests arrive. Make everything that you can ahead of time, however there will always be some things that have to be prepared at the last minute so just try to at least get the prep work out of the way, such as pre-chopping your vegetables, grating your cheese, and putting anything that you can into cute serving trays so that it's ready to go! This may not all seem necessary but once your guests arrive, the less mess and fuss you have to make in the kitchen the better! Also be sure to have your table set or if your dinner is less formal, be sure to set out the dishes, glasses, cutlery, napkins, and serving trays that that you plan on using. (If you're not sure which side the fork or knife goes on, take a peek at our post on how to properly set the table.)

5. Have plenty of drink options and garnishes.
Not everybody likes wine or beer so it is always nice to have a few other hard liquor and mix options as well. Be sure to pick up a few different mix options as well as a good selection of drink garnishes (some basic garnishes to have on hand are lemons, limes, mint leaves, cherries and plenty of ice!) Make sure that you also have a good selection of non-alcoholic beverages as well, such as a fruit punch, pop and of course water! San Pellegrino and Perrier also make great additions to your bar. All of these bottles and garnishes would really clutter up your dinner table so it is nice to have a bar or drink table set up off to the side so your guests can comfortably help themselves to the drink of their choice.

6. Get a few after-dinner activities ready. 
This doesn't have to be anything major, but I always find it fun when the host of  party has a few things planned, whether it be a board game, yard games, a card game or even roasting s'mores by a bonfire! All of those are very easy and enjoyable outdoor activity options.

7. Have good lighting ready for when the sun sets.
It feels like summer evenings last forever so often we overlook the fact that it will eventually get dark. When that inevitably happens it's best to be prepared with some low wattage dim lights to transition smoothly into the night while maintaining the relaxing ambiance. Strings of clear-bulb Christmas lights or little twinkle lights work great for this or you could also go the old fashioned route and light a bunch of candles and tea lights. Lanterns hanging in trees and solar lights randomly distributed around your lawn give off a very pretty light too! From time to time I even move some of my cute vintage lamps outside for an extra special event (but I am always careful to check the weather forecast first to insure that there is no rain in sight!)

Another thing to keep in mind is that more bugs come out in the evening (or at least they do where we live!) so it might be a good idea to have some citronella candles and mosquito coils on hand so your guests don't get bitten!

8. Sit, eat, and enjoy!
Sometimes this step can be harder than you realize. Once you get into work mode it's easy to get carried away and caught up in cleaning and fussing inside, but as soon as your dinner is served you've gotta get out of the kitchen, or as my mom would lovingly tell me, "you've gotta let it go." I'm the type of person that once I get on a mission I just keep running with it and working until the job is totally done, but it is also important to be able to separate yourself from your work and sit back, relax, and enjoy. Messes can wait til later (or even til tomorrow, believe it or not!)

I hope these tips help you out a bit or maybe even inspire you to plan a little get together! 
Happy hosting from our home to yours!
XO, Stef

July 29, 2012

Drive-In Restaurants

Ok so we're cheating a little bit with this post seeing as how Drive-In restaurants became popular in the fifties, but they were still going strong in the sixties, so we're saying it counts as a Sixties Sunday post! 

I bet Lutz's Drive In was the place to be back in the day!
You can find the photo from e50e's photostream on flickr right here.

I want this to live in this photo!
You can find the the photo on kocojim's photostream on flickr right here.

I could go for a thick frappe from Richards right about now!
You can find this photo on bayswater97's photostream on flickr right here.

You can see the photo from Phiredog's photostream on Flickr right here.

July 28, 2012

Shaken or stirred?

A mid century bar set wouldn't be complete without a fantastic cocktail shaker!
Here are a few beauties that have caught our eye lately on Etsy:

Shop here:

July 27, 2012

My bicycle makeover!

I bought this bike 6 years ago for $25 at a Salvation Army here in Winnipeg and it has sat (un-rideable) as a display piece in my home since then! This Spring I finally decided to put a little pit of money into it and spent an evening giving it the much needed TLC that it deserved! 
I knew right away that I wanted to keep the original color since it's my very favorite color-orangey-red! The handlebars are my very favorite part but were in really rough and rusty shape! I decided that it needed a new seat, new tires and new grips, and other than that I just cleaned it up! 
I had a budget of $100 to fix her up, and I came in under budget!
Here's what she looked like before:
She was in pretty rough shape, but I saw so much potential!

As you can see, the handlebars were in really rough shape (see left) but I scrubbed them down with S.O.S. pads which took off 90% of the rust and then finished them off with a metal re-chrome paste that I bought at Canadian Tire for around $5.00! I'm super happy with the way they turned out!

Next I attacked this bad boy with the same products and it cleaned up perfectly!

Next came the fun task of taking the entire bike apart, starting with the busted up seat! 
After it was all apart I gave it a good scrub down, and even bust out a toothbrush to get a good clean!

I found the seat, handlebar grips and new tires on Amazon.
Tires: $14 They are sold out of the size I ordered but have other ones here.
Total cost: (including chrome paste and a box of S.O.S.) $60!

Not bad hey? She's still far from perfect, but she's ride-able and I love her to pieces!

xo, Erin

July 25, 2012

When Decades Collide!

We love stumbling across amazing online vintage stores, and When Decades Collide is one of those shops you don't really want to share just so that you can selfishly keep to yourselves, but we couldn't resist spreading the word about them! The fact that this amazing shop is run by two sisters makes us love them even more! 
Meet Candice & Vanessa, the super adorable duo behind "When Decades Collide". 
You can check out their website here, and shop over here!

The perfect striped dress for Summer! Click here for a closer look!

Not for sale, but couldn't resist this adorable shot!

The colors! The print! That collar! Get a closer look here.

Another great collar! Click here for more info!

The neck detail is incredible on this one! Click here to take a closer peek!

This one sold already, but we can see why!

Love love love everything about this photo! That dress is perfection, as is the styling!

Now do yourselves (and your closets!) a favor and go and check out their shop here.

July 24, 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow.

This hues-day we couldn't decide on just one color, so here are some fun colorful photos for your afternoon viewing pleasure!

These brightly colored vintage bus passes are totally incredible!

Love the colorful retro prints on these adorable little glasses.

The prettiest car wash we ever did see.

We don't know how to knit but these cute pastel knitting needles are making us want to learn!

This rainbow yarn wall art is too cute for words.

footnote: original photo source of the last photo is unknown. please let us know if you know where it's from. thanks lovelies!

July 23, 2012

Hey guys! Wanna sponsor?

August is just around the corner and we would love to work with you to promote your blog, shop, or independent business! Our stats have been growing rapidly over the summer so we will be adjusting our rates slightly come September, but for now they will stay the same as the previous month so if you are interested be sure to reserve a spot quick! Our XL spot is sold out until November 2012, but we still have large, medium and small spots available!

Here is a closer look at the breakdown of our stats as of  July 23rd, 2012:
1,954 Bloglovin' followers
2, 291 Facebook followers
2,222 Twitter followers
1,830 Google followers
3,671 Pinterest followers
We also received almost 80,000 page views last month! Woo! Thanks guys!

For more detailed information on sponsorship please check out our page here.
Also, please don't hesitate to contact us at ohsolovelies@gmail.com if you have any questions!

Thanks lovelies, we look forward to working with you!

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Christen! We will email you with more info!
For the rest of you, thanks for entering the giveaway and be sure to check back later because we will be doing a call for sponsors!

July 22, 2012

Totally tiki!

It's time to learn about tiki bars! 

The words "tiki culture" refer to the Polynesian style bars and tribal art that started to pop up in America in the mid 1930s. When American soldiers returned home after World War II they brought back a huge South Pacific influence along with them and tried to achieve a similar feeling in America. A number of Polynesian themed restaurants and tiki bars started opening up across the United States, which were based off of the ones in the South Pacific however the American ones were quite a bit more kitschy (which we have no problem with!)

Don the Beachcomber was one of the first restaurants to open in the states and the interior was decorated in a very beachy tribal style, which meant that there were plenty of torches, tropical flowers, rattan furniture, wood carvings and dim lighting. The menu consisted of exotic South Pacific cuisine and more importantly they served very strong rum & punch drinks served in the now iconic tiki mugs and glasses.

There aren't many original authentic tiki bars still standing today, but if you do stumble upon one in your travels you are in for a treat! (I had the privilege of checking one out last year in L.A. and it was even better than I imagined!) A good solution to the lack of tiki bars nowadays is to start your own little bar at home! Here are a few mugs and glasses currently for sale that will either start your tiki bar off on the right foot or that you can add to your ever-growing tiki collection!

Shop here:
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Happy mixing, lovelies!