Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Month in Review: November 2014

Outfits on the Go
popbasic, striped shirt, rose skirt, polka dot shirt,

Mail on the Go
It was a playful month for mail on NFD, with tips on How to Write a Letter Game and a Paris themed Stationary Wishlist! 

Plans on the Go

I took a week off away from the blog to attend the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) conference in Baltimore. It was also a week away from my classroom and a week away from my home, so you can imagine all the catching up that had to be done on our return. Busy is the perfect adjetive for this month! SO, I'm really going to enjoy taking some time at this Thanksgiving holiday. I hope all of you have safe and happy Thanksgivings too!

On the blog, I shared some Things to do in November, and a passage from one of my favorite books from childhood, A Little Princess.  With the holiday season creeping ever closer, it also seemed a perfect time to share some fashion inspiration from the film Meet Me In St. Louis, for this month's Cinema Style! 

Finds on the Go

  • Don't you want to ride down this Van Gogh -inspired bike path?
  • Here are two songs to kick off the holiday season- here and here.
  • Jokes kids make (I hear stuff like this all day long. Smile and nod, people. Smile and nod). 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cinema Style: Meet Me in St. Louis

Judy Garland sings her heart out on a trolley train and all down the streets of St. Louis in this holiday film that follows the daily life of one family. Taking place at the beginning of the 20th century, the film Meet Me In St. Louis might not seem like the most logical choice for fashion inspiration. But taking subtle cues from the movie and translating those into more modern looks will give some stunning results.
classic, film, movie, garland, lace, boater hat, tassels, lace dresses,

Shoes, Dress, Hat, Necklace


All year the city has been anticipating the arrival of the World's Fair in St. Louis, and ,when it finally comes, Judy Garland gets dressed all in white to take in the sites. This lacy number recalls that delicate frock, but the midi-length keeps it classic rather than costume-y. Don a boater hat as a nod towards the fashion choices of Garland's beaus, and the necklace is a subtle echo of the many tassels that often decorated the women's dresses throughout the film.

trolley, trolley song, Judy, Garland, outfit, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

Garland is in the throes of love throughout the movie, and we can watch that love bloom in the iconic trolley song number.  Garland stands out from the other young ladies onboard because she's in darker colors compared to their pastels. But rather than look dour, the colors bring out the bloom of her skin tone and they can do the same for you, as this look easily translates to a modern-day Young Miss! A plaid skirt can pair with a white top. If ruffles seem too much for you (no matter how lovely they look on Garland), tone it down with a plain white button up. A tuxedo jacket gives a modern twist to the look, making it a bit more edgy. Juxtapose that edginess with retro heels and maybe even a straw fascinator that will make you stand out from the crowd. With this look, how could you fail to make every boy's heart go zing?!
garland, classic, movie, film, Meet me in St. Louis, plaid, straw hat, tuxedo jacket,

Shirt, Skirt, Tuxedo Jacket, Shoes, Fascinator

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What I Wore: That Seventies Girl

ankle boots, flare jean, striped shirt, popbasic,
popbasic, flare jean, striped shirt,

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Jeans (American Eagle), Belt (Similar Here), Hat (Similar Here), Bracelet (Popbasic; Similar Here), Boots (Crown Vintage)


Taken before my trip (and therefore before all the snow and bad weather hit- oh, everywhere), this outfit was born from Pinterest inspiration; I don't even have the pin anymore (I regularly cull my "Clothes I Like page." Am I the only one that does that? Is that weird?). Several pieces are new- I'll get to that in a minute- but what I really love is that they are all keep-forever pieces, classic "investments."

All of the new items were off of either my List from this summer or my updated List from this fall. The striped shirt you've seen once before, but it was from The List. Though these jeans are flare jeans, not boyfriend (Wow. Talk about an unflattering cut on me. Good thing flares worked well too), they were on the list. It is so nice to have another pair, even if they are relegated to after-hours or weekend wear. Last, but certainly not least, are the ankle boots. After searching high and low, I finally found black leather boots with a brown heel!!! It was basically like finding the Holy Grail- practically impossible but all the more sweet when I did it. These babies are seriously comfy too, even after tromping around in them for hours sightseeing, they worked for my feet! What is best about all of these pieces though is- as much as I love this laid-back seventies look- these babies just keep getting remixed and remixed.

Okay. I'll be catching up on life (and on blogs and commenting!), but in the meantime, tell me- what's new with you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Letter Writing: The Letter Game



Getting mail is a ton of fun, but, in an increasingly digital world, writing it can sometimes be hard. This blog post series about Letter Writing aims to make it easier.

I'm sure you've heard of epistolary novels, where the story is told through written documents, traditionally through letters exchanged by characters(though journal entries, texts, and even some multimedia components like videos have been used too). But have you ever heard of The Letter Game? The Letter Game is a fun twist on an epistolary novel, where you write as a character in a story to another character in the story. Instead of you writing the letters for both characters though,  it is a collaborative effort. You send the letter off to a second writer who writes back as the character your character was writing to. The exchange both players create as these characters make up the story!

Image from page 198 of "The novels and letters of Jane Austen" (1906)Though many Letter Games might end up being dropped midway (sadly often at a climatic point such as when one character has been challenged to a duel) or end up being silly, many have also become published books! For example, Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot; The Grand Tour or The Purloined Coronation Regalia;, and The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After were all written by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer; Freedom and Necessity, is by Steven Brust and Emma Bull; and the children's books P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More are by Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin.

In the first letter, one player establishes the following: who their character is; the setting; and who they are writing to. Generally, they also explain why characters are writing letters to each other, rather than meeting in person or calling each other on the phone. Quite often the setting can provide this rationale- perhaps your story is set in the past or they in space sending emails? Or maybe it is a character preference- perhaps the character you are writing is addicted to texting and Twitter over phone calls? However things are laid out, the second player must respond within those confines, and write a letter of their own back. Other characters and plot device can be introduced by either writer as time goes by. Though most Letter Games are generally written with each player penning just one letter-writing character, it is possible that you could add more characters sharing correspondence either by players writing multiple characters' letters or by adding a third (or fourth or fifth) player to write letters from these other characters.  Though there are no hard and fast rules, most generally in The Letter Game the characters should never meet, and the writers should not discuss the plot outside of the letters. This latter rule has been bent before, as Wrede explained she and her co-writer did talk about plot once or twice in person, but that it as the exception rather than the norm.

book, wrede, You may want to choose whether it is important or relevant to have your characters use common letter writing structures. Do they start each letter “Dear So-andSo,” and do they include from where or when character is writing (i.e. "At Sotterwhite Manor", or “Later”). Also, be aware of the passage of time for your characters. They may not write for a few days or even weeks etc. Don’t write your partner a “filler letter” that won’t advance the world-building or plot. Time can skip ahead to the relevant scenes for your characters.

This is a game my friends and I often said we would do one day, but never have.  Would you give it a go? 

Further Reading: 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Good Morning, Baltimore!

Food, art, instagrams, jellyfish,
art, little italy, instagrams,
Babe Ruth, art, food, Instagrams Okay, so technically,  I'm not in Baltimore anymore, so it's Good Morning, Wyoming, now. While I'm adjusting back to the sub-zero temperatures here at home, here are some of the highlights of Baltimore.

First, what's NOT pictured- I and my colleague were in Baltimore for most of the last week to attend the National Association for Gifted Children's 61st annual conference (Above you can see a variation of what I was wearing all week, and an art installation in the hotel).  I tweeted about hearing Jack Andraka, the kid who developed a cancer test that works while the disease is in its earliest stages. He's fifteen and the lives his invention will save is probably countless. Color me impressed. We also heard many other fantastic speakers, and got great information about gifted students that will really help take our work to the next level. Like, 90% of our time was at the hotel the conference was in, that really is what the majority of the trip was, but you aren't hear for the teacher-speak. So...

The rest of it.

I had no preconceived ideas about Baltimore, but seems like it showed us a pretty good time. Baltimore is Babe Ruth's hometown! It also has a Little Italy with some truly delicious pastries. We went to a lot of smaller type museums. So I got to see an aquarium with jellyfish (yay!) and  some ancient Egyptian and greek art (YAY!). We ate way too much fantastic food. Work, food, fun, art. Baltimore had a little of everything. So, it's been fun Baltimore. But- gotta admit- being home has it's perks too. I'm off to get puppy cuddles.

P.S. I am working to catch up on blogs and comments, but feel free to share what's been up in your life. I've missed all you online peeps (do we call each other that? No? Then just ignore the faux pas, but share anyway!)
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