Our friends, Smiley and Steel, have bought a new place on the other side of their lake.

It’s still on the sunset side of the water, which is great.  Even more exciting?  It has two bathrooms.

Smiley is in bathroom heaven.

Practical Man and I have 2.5 bathrooms in our way-too-big-for-us house but, even though we are toilette superior, we still sigh a little when we think of Smiley and Steel.

We too aspire to be waterfront dwellers on a mission to buy extra toilet paper for a newfound plethora of commodes.  But, we (I) have a 1974 Boler travel trailer, 1970 Fiat 500 and assorted retro and practical things (him) to coddle and protect.  There’s not usually a lot of space for this kind of large-vintage-objects-and-entourage hoarding nonsense on your average waterfront property.

So, we went to live vicariously through/oogle Smiley and Steel’s new bathrooms on the water.  They have been busy trying to get the phone company to install on the sunset side of the lake, finding the coffee pot and grimacing at the wallpaper borders on the walls.  It was a perfect excuse for me to create a vintage care package.

I took my inspiration from that vintage, “bid on my sandwiches and I might be your girl” tradition:  a boxed lunch.

Vintage, plaid metal cooler

A tisket, a tasket, my vintage metal bask…oh wait. it’s a cooler, not a basket.. I think that means this classifies as vintage AND practical!.

While a boxed lunch auction is certainly a retro notion, in true 21st century fashion, I barely made any of this boxed lunch…er, dinner, myself.

First, Practical Man cooked up a batch of his moan-while-you-eat-it, slow-cooker Goulash.

You can’t be shy with this stuff.  It’s really good and when something is really good like this is, sounds of ecstasy sometimes erupt spontaneously.

But, we’re all in this together so it’s okay.


P-M uses smoked paprika, instead of regular, in his recipe. It’s why I married him.

Plus egg noodles.  Does anybody eat eggs anymore?  Or noodles?

They seem very vintage, somehow.

noodles in a vintage bowl

Glorious pile of carbs

Then, I made my kitchen sink salad, named thus because I basically put in whatever I feel like.  Heirloom tomatoes (no, they’re not going “off”, they’re supposed to look striated and interesting like that!), spring onions, peppers, cranberries, sunflower seeds, feta…and more.  The pumpkin seeds that I throw in happen to be my favourite.


Did you know that pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, the same ingredient in cooked turkey that makes you nap?  If you’re suffering from insomnia, try 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds one hour before bed.  I had some as a snack one day without realizing the whole tryptophan thing and whoa Nellie.  I had to go to bed at 3:00 in the afternoon!  I do NOT need that kind of help since I’m already part Rip van Winkle.


For dessert, I made some of my “world-famous” brownies.  Brownies are my one claim to domestic fame and when I arrive off the plane in Europe, the first thing friends say, with a tone of desperation in their voices is, “WHEN are you going to make brownies?!”.


This whole pile might add up to breakfast for Smiley. At least, I hope so.

I know friends don’t count and Europe isn’t the world.  Kindly don’t shatter my “world famous” delusions.

I packed things in assorted vintage Tupperware containers (Good things come in fun, retro packages, haven’t you heard?)

I cozied everything into a vintage, metal picnic basket/cooler.

Please ignore the leftover bottled salad dressing (not vintage unless you count balsamic as vintage because it’s aged).

tupperware containers in vintage metal cooler

Don’t they look like they’re all friends in there?

I was wishing for some sassafras.  That seems like something that belongs in a vintage boxed lunch.   Even though I don’t really know what it is.

So, sans sassafras (but with some plain old sass), care package was complete.  Delivery successful.

Congratulations, Smiley and Steel on your new home!

If I could have sourced it, I would have also loved to include the perfect house-warming gift:  rainbow-hued toilet paper.

There’s nothing like blue, pink or green vintage toilet paper that coordinates with your furry toilet seat cozy, wallpaper, kleenex-box cover, and rubber, stick-down non-slip flowers in the tub to say a truly vintage, “Welcome Home”.

It’s bathroom heaven.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2013.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my latest book.