We always seem to be marching forward, so it can be fun to take a step back. Our favorite things this month include the classic, the timeless, and some gems we may have forgotten about!
Retro in the kitchen…
Most microwaves and ovens now have their own built-in timers, but we love the decor of a retro kitchen timer. For $13.49, this timeless design doesn’t require batteries, and it has a magnet bottom for the option of attaching to appliances. It would also be a fun hostess gift for the cooks in your life!
Are you in a dorm room, small space, or just like to quickly boil water for tea and other uses? Don’t forget about the convenience of an electric kettle! Ann purchased this OXO cordless kettle for her son four years ago, and he still has it. His roomates use it all the time, and it’s held up perfectly. Though it’s a little pricey at $83.95, the kettle has a neat look and you may never have to buy another one. Less expensive versions, which still have great reviews, include the Black + Decker cordless for $53.99 and the COOKTRON cordless for $24.99.
When Emily and Ann started cooking together, Ann was surprised that Emily used her old school garlic press so frequently. Ann said her press never really got much “meat” out of the garlic, so she always used a knife to mince the cloves. When in Ann’s kitchen recently, Emily looked at her press and realized she was missing the basket piece, and that’s why it wasn’t working! A garlic press is a great way to keep hands clean and make quick work of mincing garlic. Emily often aims it over the pan and scrapes it right in. Armed with a new gadget that works, Ann is now a fan too!
Any press (as long as it has its parts) will do, but we like the ones with a swinging basket (instead of a third piece) for easy cleaning and storage, like this one for $11.99 on Amazon.
Okay, stay with me here, the classic dinner bell may not be so archaic. We’ve all found ourselves looking outside or upstairs for the kids shouting “dinner is ready!” So why not save our voice and simply ring the bell like they used to! We love this Lodge Chuckwagon Dinner Bell for $17.33, which we saw in a Wirecutter write-up, because the triangle is more streamlined and easier to hang than the traditional bell shape. This would also be a fun hostess or holiday gift for grandparents, parents, and anyone who appreciates a good throwback.
If you’re looking to up your classic cocktail game (or Barbie-fy it?), Malfy Gin Rosa is a stellar addition to the bar. A friend of Ann’s introduced her to pink gin last year after she discovered it on a trip to Ireland, and it was a subsequent hit at a dinner party.
Pink gin was originally used to reference a specific cocktail that was popular in England in the mid-19th century, where the use of dark red bitters gave the drink a pink hue. In recent years, the term pink gin has been used to define a category of gin, where a variety of fruits and flavorings are infused into the gin to produce its signature color.
Described as “delicate and fruity,” the gin pairs well with grapefruit and is lovely in a gin and tonic with a squeeze of fresh grapefruit – and a rosemary sprig for garnish if you’d like to get fancy. It’s equally perfect in this Grapefruit Gimlet, and because the fruitiness is mild, the gin will complement most any gin cocktail.
The pretty bottle and novelty factor make this a fun gift too.
Retro at play…
Bridge, mahjong, and other classic games are having a major comeback – some will say they never went away! We love the idea of gifting a backgammon set, which is currently all the rage, in beautiful bright colors. And when a backgammon set looks this pretty, it doubles as a decorative item. Though this great looking MoMA set is pricy at $115, a more standard set from Target is only $29.99.
Tennis legend Roger Federer just came out with his own line of UNIQLO clothes, which are branded as “modern classics on and off the court.” For those who may not know, Federer is a Swiss tennis player, and one of the best to ever play the game. He recently retired at age 41, but he was a longtime fan favorite for his conduct on and off the court – and for that he will never go out of style!
Retro around the house… A doormat can be ordinary, or it can be a fun welcome to your home. These retro doormats can also be personalized and are available in a variety of themes and patterns including cassette tapes, 50’s diners, and hippie-boho patterns. Depending on the style chosen, the mats will cost about $30 each. Makes for a fun hostess gift or to treat yourself before hosting your own guests!
Talk about the past…
If you have a mutt or are more curious about the origins of your dog and his/her breed, why not swab for a DNA test? Some may say it’s more fun than practical, but there are a slew of DNA tests for dogs at Chewy.com ranging in price from $66 to $166. Why the broad price range? Beyond the standard panel like finding out dog breed origins and lineage, some offer varied extras such as age testing and health condition identification.
Retro Audio/Visual… At this point we probably all have a connection with Harry Potter. Perhaps your children loved it, or now your grandchildren. Maybe you watched the movie series. Or maybe you remember when J.K. Rowling was under scrutiny for her comments about gender and sex? Well now there’s more! In the recent documentary-style podcast, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, the world-renowned author speaks candidly about her path to becoming a famous author and the controversies that have surrounded her.
Groundhog day and a trip back in time, all set in East Village, New York, is a fascinating place to start for Natasha Lyonne in season two of her Netflix series Russian Doll. It’s fun, interesting, and moderately crude (as Natasha Lyonne typically is) and is worth a watch.
In 2023, Lyonne also starred in the hit Poker Face, stylized like a murder mystery of the week, where she plays a character with an exceptional ability to tell when someone else is lying.
👻Are there any blasts from the past you have been enjoying recently? If so, let us know in the comments section below. We love hearing from all of you!