It feels like ages since I shared a recipe on the blog. I’ve still been doing a lot of baking, but mostly for other projects and articles. I thought it was high time I shared some vintage inspired baked treats on here again. Todays recipe is adapted from one I found in a vintage 50s recipe book. These are easy to whip up and quick to bake.

The recipe makes a very thin cake, which is then iced and cut into squares for a delicious snack. These would be great as part of a party or afternoon tea.

Ingredients:

85g Butter

85g Caster sugar

½ tsp Baking powder

15 g cocoa powder

85g Flour

2 Eggs

Milk

Chocolate Icing to Decorate (I make a basic icing by mixing icing sugar and coco powder with water)

Flaked almonds to decorate

Directions:

Preheat oven to 220ºc Grease a baking tray (I used a 9×9″ tin)

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl

In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale.

Stir the cocoa into the butter mixture and beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs one at a time and beast each well before adding the next.

Fold in flour mixture and mix lightly.

Add a little milk as required.

Pour the mixture into the tray and spread evenly.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Pour the icing onto the flat side of the cake coating it evenly.

Sprinkle with flaked almonds and slice once set.

If you enjoyed this, I’m still writing monthly food articles in Vintage Life Magazine. In the latest issue, I’ve been baking with flowers and have featured recipes for a Rosewater Cake and Lavender Shortbread biscuits.

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As an avid collector of original vintage, there are certain brands that get my heart all aflutter. One of these would have to be Horrockses. The brand made beautiful cotton dresses in the 40s and 50s and even dressed the Queen in their stunning ready to wear collection, I wrote a post on her Horrockses outfits a couple of years ago. Even back then the dresses were very desirable and were a very special addition to women’s wardrobes.

The brand have been much discussed and written about a lot in recent years and have been part of some major exhibitions. A few dresses from Horrockses have passed through my hands over the years as a dealer. I’ve even found a couple for under £5 at car boot sales in the past. Online they sell for big money these days and as most are safely stored in museums and collectors wardrobes they are now reasonably scarce.

The main problem for me, is that they don’t really come in my size. The main collection was only ever made up to a vintage 16, which is a modern size 12. So as a size 14 I just can’t fit into them. When this dress popped up on a Facebook selling page in my size, I just had to snap it up. I was especially happy to get my hands on this one, as I was quite familiar with the print, having seen it in books before. Apparently certain shops did stock Horrockses dresses in slightly larger sizes, so they are out there. One day I might find another!

I found this particular print in Christine Boydell’s book Horrockses Fashions – Off the Peg Style in the 40s and 50s. It was designed by Alastair Morton in 1947 and as far as I can tell the dress was produced in 1948. Christine recently wrote a post featuring this design on her blog, which is a really interesting read and goes into more detail than I could on here. In fact her whole blog is a fascinating read if you’re interested in vintage textile design in general.

The dress cost me £75, this is pretty cheap for a Horrockses dress and this was mainly because it has seen better days. The label is missing, the zip is broken and it has a fair few marks on it. Luckily it is still totally wearable and I just adore it. It just goes to show you shouldn’t give up on a vintage item just because it isn’t perfect. I bought the dress from Liz who’s blog Advantage in Vintage is an incredible resource, she also has a ridiculously large collection of Horrockses dresses. Her Etsy store is also a bit dreamy!

I’ve worn the dress with a cropped cardigan from Tu Clothing, which I picked up last year. I’m wearing the Mimosa shoes from Hotter which I got recently, they are a cute comfy wedge that will look great with some of my vintage summer dresses. My basket was a recent £5 bargain from Ikea and my necklace is an original vintage one. I wore the outfit for a stroll around Richmond and a pub lunch with my dad last week.

I wear a lot of modern and reproduction clothing for everyday, as a mum I find it more practical, but it is lovely to wear some of my really special original vintage pieces and now that the weather is warmer, these will be appearing a lot more on the blog. I’ve also been sharing a lot of my everyday outfits on my Instagram over the last few weeks.

As for Horrockses, after its heyday in the 40s and 50s they continued to make dresses into the 60s and 70s, but those classic cotton and full skirts were a thing of the past. The brand name was recently licenced to another company who have made a selection of dresses based on the original prints. The dresses are available on Asos, but are made with duchesse satins and have a lot less fabric than the originals. As dresses I really love them, but I’m not sure they pay a true homage to the stunning original designs. I did think they were worth a mention though, as they would look fabulous for events. Click on the images below to see them in full. (above pic via Pinterest)

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I’m feeling a lot of love for Voodoo Vixen at the moment, their last couple of collections have been so fresh and fun and I like the variety on their site. They aren’t producing the same dresses in lots of different colours, but have a nice selection, with a little something for everyone.

The dress in today’s post was an instant favourite for me. It breaks my rules a little as I never wear black, but I was completely drawn to the gorgeous oversized flower print and although this is from their winter range it is also perfect for both spring and summer. The Mabel dress is a classic fit and flare style with lots of lovely details.

The dress is made from a silky polyester with a slight stretch to it, which makes it sit really nicely on the body. The gathered detail at the waist adds a little extra details and gives the dress a slightly empire feel, while still being quite a classic 50s shape. While the ruffles cap sleeves have more of a 70s look. Whatever era you’re going for the dress is super flattering and comfortable to wear. 

I was really happy with the length of the dress, which sits perfectly on the knee with me, as I’ve mentioned in other dress reviews I like my skirts to be on or below the knee as its more vintage appropriate and on me, looks a lot better.

As I mentioned in my last Voodoo Vixen review, I find most of their dresses come up a little on the large side and where I’ve gone for an XL in the past I’ve sized down and gone for a L. I’m so glad I did as this sits perfectly on me and I think the larger size would be a bit too loose.

I’ve worn the dress with a flower crown and Hotter Donna shoes. The fun florals and lighter coloured shoes are perfect for transitioning the dress from winter to spring. I also think it would look great with red jewellery and accessories to bring out the darker flowers in the dress.

As well as this gorgeous dress and the Gabriela dress that I featured last week, there are also a lot of new arrivals on the Voodoo Vixen website at the moment, which I can’t wait to try.

*Thank you to Voodoo Vixen for sending me this dress for the purposes of review. All opinions as always are my own. 

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In the winter I get stuck in a bit of a style rut. It’s just so much harder to get dressed and I often find myself reaching for my comfy jeans and not making so much of an effort. I love colourful clothes and although you can make them work in the colder months, it is harder to find tights and shoes that they work with. Now that the warmer weather is just around the corner, I’m all excited for dressing up and feeling the sun on my skin. Here is my first Spring wishlist of the year and it’s a real celebration of all things colourful.

1. Roses and Stripes Sweater – £32 – Voodoo Vixen

2. Sun Jellies Bag – £10 – Collectif

3. Delores Top – £25.50 – Collectif

4. Peggy Sue Skirt – £22 – Lindy Bop

5. Jasmine Plimsoles – £18 – Cath Kidston

6. Vera Skirt – £25 – Lindy Bop

7. Lulu Hun Ann Heels – £42.75 – Collectif

8. Punky Pins Anchor Necklace – £14.75 – Collectif

9. Cocktail Print Audrey Dress – £30 – Lindy Bop

11. Pink Bead Necklace – £10 – Collectif

12. Catarina Pencil Dress – £57.50 – 



As well as wearing lots of beautiful vintage dresses and skirts, I love practical clothes that I can wear to run around with the kids. I thought it would be nice to share some of my casual everyday outfits on here, because I definitely don’t get dressed up every day! One of my favourite casual outfits is my Collectif Denise dungarees with a comfy jumper and a pair of converse. I wore this outfit for a muddy walk with Rob and Lila and not only was it comfortable it was also nice and warm on a chilly winter afternoon.

Collectif DungareesI love that these are a slightly more glamorous twist on a classic dungaree shape, with their sweetheart neckline and fitted shape. The dungarees fasten with a side zip, which gives them a really nice fit.

Collectif Denise DungareesThey are made from a stretch denim, so they are really comfortable and easy to move around in. They’re absolutely perfect for days spent outdoors, or for a cute casual look. I’m looking forward to wearing them in the summer with a little white tee and a pair of sandals.

Vintage style Dungarees^ When your kid makes you giggle while taking outfit pics!

I went for a size 14 in them and they come up pretty true to size. If in doubt, use the size guide on the Collectif website.

My hair has finally got long enough to wear it up more, so I wore it in a simple bun with pinned up plaits at the front, which only takes about 5 minutes to do and makes a simple style a bit more vintage.

Let me know if you’d like to see more of my everyday casual outfits alongside my usual ones and I’ll see what I can do.