Showing posts from 2017

I'm now blogging at Serene New England!

After a long run I have retired my vintage diet and retro lifestyle blog, Outdated By Design. You can now find me at my new sober, spiritual, simple living blog, Serene New England! I also have a new Instagram account @serenenewengland. I hope to see you there!

Retirement and Renewal on Easter 2017

Hi there! Thank you for leaving such lovely and warm comments and messages in response to my last post! I am fortunate to have such thoughtful and sensitive readers like you!

After a difficult six months--Wayne's best friend passing away unexpectedly, the passing of his mother and ex father-in-law within a few days of each other, losing Timmy, my car accident, the passing of my paternal grandmother, living with a sleep disorder--I have re-prioritized how I expend my energy. Approaching fifty is also a motivator to be more discerning about how I live in each day.Because of that, I do have some good news to share. If you want to go straight to it, you can simply skip over the blue text where I explain more of what is no longer working for me which is what specifically led to my decision.
Blogger is clunky and buggy as all get-out. I don't understand why an internet giant like Google, which owns blogger, doesn't invest in it. I'm all about retro, but this circa 1990s (that…

Time To Reflect

I need time to grieve the passing of my Nana, and also want to take time to reflect during this Holy Week.

Something I'm contemplating is whether or not I will continue blogging here. I'm thinking about starting anew at Wordpress with a new name and more of a focus on sobriety, recovery from addictions, living with mental illness, the healing powers of spirituality, religion and mindful eating. I would explore a lot of the same things I do here like the beauty of Maine but the emphasis would not be on vintage diets and "eating retro." I'm working behind the scenes on a downloadable booklet or two with complete vintage eating plans, something that people have stated they would really appreciate. Ideally I'll find a publisher so I could do a full second vintage diet book. Right now I can't afford to invest the time to write a full-length diet book without an advance, editor, etc. So booklets, one at a time, seems like a nice alternative.

I welcome your tho…

RIP My Beautiful 100 Year Old Nana

I'm so grateful I was able to spend time with her a couple of weeks ago and she got to meet Wayne. I'll miss her dearly!

A Long-Term Recovery PSA

"Why can't you have just one sip/bite/puff?"

Maybe I could today. And maybe I could again tomorrow. Then not again until next year. Then I'd think: Hey! I'm cured! I had just a few sips over the past couple of years! I'll just have a very small sip/bite/whatever. Wow! That tasted great and I really like this moderation thing!

And soon after, or maybe even a slow soon, like months later, I'd be back into it.

Thankfully this hasn't happened to me with drinking for almost 23 years, smoking for 18 years or bingeing on junk food for seven years and I intend to keep it that way. For me that means no experiments. No exceptions. It doesn't matter if it's a "special occasion," "just a toast" or "you'll hurt their feelings." Even a religious setting like a Seder or Communion doesn't change the above for me and countless others.

If this makes me a rigid freak I'm good with that.
"I know people who ar…

Outside My Window & Neighborhood News

We are having an April Fool's Day snowstorm! However, all week they were predicting 8"-10". Then last night and early this morning they revised the totals (in earnest, not a prank) to only 4". Yet we have about 8" and it's still coming down! Plus, to make it more fun, we lost power for forty minutes due to a downed tree on the power lines in my neighborhood. I'm really glad I hadn't yet started to bake that loaf of bread! 
Every year around this time I question my sanity for living in Maine. That's it! This is nuts! WHY AM I LIVING IN THIS CRAZY STATE? Then in the "spring" (aka practically early summer here, ha!) there's no place I'd rather live and that lasts until around this time of year. Also, the little kids across the street help me keep my bad attitude towards the snow in check. They are outside playing and I can hear them giggling and shrieking. They don't need to check in with the calendar to see if their window …

Sunday Celebration With My Centenarian Nana

Wayne and I drove out of town on Sunday for a family reunion. Our first stop was at my 100 year old Nana's new home before we all went to my aunt's house. Can you get over how fabulous she looks and IS?! I mean, I'd be grateful to look like her at any age! AND, get this...she has 20/20 vision. As in when we arrived she was in the process of applying her lipstick without any eyeglasses!

I wonder what Wayne will look like if he lives to be 100?? 

Nana was happy to see everyone and finally meet Wayne! Here she is with one of my cousins. For the record, I was her first grand kid! I thought it was so cute that SHE brought that up to me yesterday, awwww!

I have so few photos of Wayne and me that aren't selfies, so this one is special.

My aunt always does such a beautiful job with cooking and entertaining.

She made the place cards herself.

There is something very special about this portrait of my great grandmother.

She's wearing the brooch that my aunt still has today!

Beauty: A Matter of Balance in Fashions and Foods Lane Bryant Diet Booklet

There was a time in the late 1950s/early 1960s when Lane Bryant suggested to their customers that they be mindful of the calories in their desserts! Beauty:A Matter of Balance in Fashions and Foods is a Lane Bryant diet booklet co-branded with "D-Zerta."

"This booklet is dedicated to each Lady Bountiful who wishes to make the most of her beauty by looking and feeling her best.
"Lane Bryant, famous for fashion leadership, discloses secrets to help you select precisely what is right for your figure type in line, design, and fabric. Also revealed here are hints for enhancing your beauty with charm and poise. 
"Offered by General Foods Kitchens are easy and elegant ways to stick to your weight watcher's menu with a host of delightful recipes--all calorie curbed and made the modern way with low-calorie D-Zerta Gelatins and Puddings."

The booklet espouses the merits of having "feminine curves" and that men are pleased that "1/5 of the nation…

A Bittersweet Birthday

Happy birthday to that kid on the right! Wayne turned 62 today! The boy on the left is his younger brother. Wayne has always loved boats!

I handed him his present a few days ago but told him he couldn't open it until tonight. Was that mean??

Tonight we're having dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant that has been in business since the 1950s. 
Sadly, Wayne's mother also passed away. He said it was OK for me to post that here to share with you. 
I'll post an update on the birthday boy's festivities tonight on my IG.
(You may have noticed that my blog has had a complete makeover. I think it's much cleaner and easier to navigate. I hope you will agree!)

A Walk on Higgins Beach, Scarborough, Maine

You guys! It's in the 50s! This was a selfie I took in my sunroom on my way out to drive to Higgins Beach which is only five miles from my house. Notice there's no snow on the deck behind me! (But also notice the shovel handles? We're supposed to get snow next week!) Here are pics from my walk. Enjoy!

A lone, disc


My church had a book and bake sale this past weekend, so I made my secret recipe whole grain low sugar gluten-free shortbread cookies. My recipe involves over a year of kitchen-testing (and tasting). I was happy to learn they sold out. I also scored some terrific books! The "Who Says We Can't Cook" cookbook is a compilation of recipes published in 1955.

From the Forward:
"This Women's National Press Club Cook Book is not so much a defense of the culinary talents of newspaper women as it is a profit-making venture. We want a clubhouse of our own. With the help of this book, we expect to have a clubhouse sooner."

The beautiful small Victorian book is an 1880s copy of "Selected Poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning."

I made a couple of trips to L.L.Bean. The first was to pick up these two monogrammed tote bags.

I went back up with Wayne the next day to buy him some shirts for spring. We had fun looking at the fish in the pond and aquarium. Acting lik…