Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I Wore: Crazy like a Fox

I'm just crazy about this fox sweater. Find out more by reading my post on Flock Together today!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Month in Review: Best of April 2013

This is coming to you a day early, but I'll be posting at Flock Together tomorrow, so here is The Best of April for Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style). It has been a crazy month of ups and downs, but I love to look back on the things that made me smile or made me stronger.

Outfits That Made Me Smile


Plus: don't miss these fun remixes for cigarette legged pants and blue shorts!

Movies That Made Me Smile

There was a little something for everyone on NFD- when it comes to films at least! Get a dose of romance and comedy with How to Steal a Million, watch The Agony and Ecstasy if you love drama and art, but if you want the thrill of horror see the 1931 classic Frankenstein.

Hair That Made Me Smile

Plans that made me Stronger

It's been a busy month- work on the wedding is starting to ratchet up a level, and for education related work, job hunting season has begun. I also was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, which naturally has (or will) prompted some rather large life changes. In trying to see the silver lining of all this, we talked about what it means to live a Deliberate Life. On the sunnier side, we also did a sister style shoot,  celebrated The Boy's Birthday, and my sister threw me a lovely Bridal Shower!  Plus, little Stella is now eight weeks old- big enough to leave Mama.


Finds that Made Me Smile (Or Made Me Stronger)

  • You all know how I love movies, so it was especially sad to hear that Roger Ebert,  the epic film critic, passed away. He was at times a hilarious writer and other times a very poignant one, but his instincts were almost always 100% correct.  Check here to see what his best written film reviews were.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Film Flick: Frankenstein

The scene is dark, the lightening loud, and, echoing off the dank walls of the laboratory, comes the words, "Throw the switch...Fritz!

It sounds utterly strange to modern-day viewers, but when the movie factories of 1931 gave us one of the first (of many) attempts to bring Mary Shelley's gothic horror Frankenstein  to film, it was not the iconic Igor who was the resident hunchback, but Fritz. When even simple name-changes can be discombobulating, it can be hard to deconstruct such a prevalent tale from today's pop-culture to examine it on it's own merits, but, though the twisted tale is familiar to anyone who's ever danced along to the "Monster Mash,"  Frankenstein, as a film, was groundbreaking horror for it's time. 

Before the movie begins, the director of the film comes out to warn viewers of the strange, nerve-chilling images they are about to see. If they are of a sensitive nature, he advises, they should leave now. Warning administered, the film proper begins. It starts with a funeral and a grave robbing. Frankenstien is collecting parts for his "expeirments," which he performs in a crumbling castle, shut away from the world. On the night of his greatest experiment he gets some unexpected visitors: his old university professor, his best friend, and his fiancee. They have come to convince him to return to the world, but instead get to witness the creature's birth. But what is it-man, or monster? And what ultimate fate lies in store for Frankenstein's creation?

It is easy to see why the film has been deemed "historically and culturally significant"  by both the Library of Congress and the American Film Institute. In the years since other-  and possibly better- re-imaginings of the book have been made. But the iconic scenes of this first film have left their fingerprints on all others since, with a  filming style the horror genre still uses today. The black and white film too lends itself well to some masterful lighting that makes what today's viewers might term an otherwise lacklust film  into something a little more electric (in both the literal and not-so-literal senses!). The lightening filled labartory and the monster's birth were especially beautifully filmed. 

For myself, the film's main flaw is based in the fact that it is only loosely following  Shelley's classic tale. In her story, like in the movie, a man brings a creature to life. However, in the book, this creature has intelligent thought, and is portrayed as sensitive and philosophic. Shelly's creature makes a very deliberate decision to turn to violence. Her story's haunting question seems to be whether it is the creature or the man who is the monster. All that is lost in the movie. From the moment of his "wakening" the creature is a violent, murdering thing, more animalistic than anything else. 

Overall, the loss of theme weakened the plot for me. However, it is still undeniable that the 1931 movie has made its mark on pop culture, and is still a great choice if what you want is dark and spooky castles, ill-lit and full of murdering monsters.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bridal Shower Invitation


Guess what I'll be attending this weekend?!

That's right: bridal shower! All this getting married business just got a whole lot realer, actual events are happening now. My sister and Maid of Honor is hosting it. Danyon's a graphic designer, so I just had to share the sweet invitations she made (My grandmother let me borrow her invitation. Everyone is being rather hush-hush about the thing otherwise).

She used some blank cards that had serendipitously been purchased and then made the insert, including even writing the poem herself (obviously the contact info was blurred out; it doesn't really look that way). The Alice in Wonderland theme is an especially thoughtful touch. I've been a huge Alice fan since playing the part of Alice in a children's theatre production years ago (Fun trivia moment: my sister and I did children's theatre. She was the Duchess's Cook in this production.)

Can't wait to share some photos of party with you next week too. Have a lovely Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Remix: Blue shorts


We got a bit of a springtime blizzard this weekend; one always happens the last two weeks of April, but hopefully that will be it for the season! In the meantime, let's day dream about sunny skies- or, actually, reading back, the majority of  blog posts last summer seem to be complaining of heat (It will probably end up just as hot this summer, but I'll try to be less repetitive about it!) Seriously though, I did just live in shorts last summer. This blue pair, with it's retro buttons and detailed waist band, was a bit of a splurge from Anthropologie when I had visited a friend in Boston. But as she said, when something fits so perfectly, you sometimes just have to get it! And it was the workhorse  of my closet during the summer months, taking me to concerts, to the mountains, and over hill and dale!

Can't wait to start wearing them again soon!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Leading a Deliberate Life

A few weeks ago, The Boy and I were having a discussion about Leading a Deliberate Life. This is not going to be a post all about money, but to get an understanding of what he was talking about, here's one of the examples he gave to me to about finances (something we are both interested in learning more about. It is never too early to re-evaluate your retirement savings plan). "It's not enough really that I set up automatic payments, so I know everything is getting paid. Then I'm not paying attention. I want to know what money is going to whom for what. I am making a deliberate, conscious decision to understand and know where this money is going to." Now, if you are like me and are bad at remembering bills, you might argue that it gets paid either way, whether you are taking the time to go through the bill yourself or making automatic payments. But it is the act- the deliberate actions- that to The Boy was making the difference. It was this sort of thinking- wanting to be deliberate and active in his choices- that he was talking about wanting to apply across the board in all aspects of his life. Finances, eating habits, exercise,  relationships, and work and time management. This isn't to say that he or I are no good at any of these things, but it can be easy to let things just happen, to slip into auto-pilot, even if only for some little things. We discussed ways to be more deliberate, and honestly, I thought that'd more or less be the end of it. We'd make these changes and some would be harder and some not, and that it'd be what it would be.

Well, Being Deliberate just got a whole lot more necessary.

I went into the doctor's office last week, thinking I had some minor infection or bug. Not any big deal, and I'd debated stoping by the open clinic at all or riding it out. Ten minutes in the doctor's office and I was being told I had Type 1 Diabetes (sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes, or Insulin-Depended Diabetes). Obviously, this is why I've been MIA the previous week; the next few days were doctor's visits.

Let's preface this by saying, there are a whole lot worse things one can be told in a doctor's office, harder diseases or conditions to be living with.  But it is something that is going to constitute some pretty major life-changes. It doesn't look, on the outset, that hard really. In many ways, the best ways to manage Diabetes seems to be healthy living- eating balanced and nutritious meals,  and daily exercises, plus all the healthy appointments you are supposed to do but people totally don't always make (c'mon. You have always gone to the dentist twice a year? What insurance do you have?). Well, and the insulin. And the testing your blood. Four times daily. But it is all with a slight twist- healthy for diabetes isn't the same as for everyone else. And it precludes almost all of my favorite foods. I love bread, and pasta, and dairy, and beef, and (though not healthy) beer and sweet things. Even fruits and veggies are things to be careful about!  It's not that I can't have any, exactly, so I probably shouldn't be bummed, but very regulated. Well, let us say "all things in moderation"  if we want to be positive. But let me tell you, food and I are having a very complicated love-hate relationship at the moment. I miss feeling in control of such things, of being able to choose what I want to eat, when I want to eat it.

And, beyond food and other such things, there will be other changes and things to consider down the road.

The thing is- the silver lining- is I can choose to think of it as a way to be deliberate in my actions, to live a more deliberate life.

I only found this out two weeks ago. Obviously, I don't know all there is to know about living with this disease. And in a similar vien, I ask that you be kind in your comments. Though I am happy for them, stories of others' success in living with diabetes (or other conditions), and/or advice are not particularly desired at this time. I debated even mentioning this here, but ultimately decided that for a personal style blog, the personal- the honesty and the vulnerability of everyday life- should come into things. I am sure the trust placed in you will not go unrewarded in your kindness towards me and towards other readers.

P.S. I am very lucky to be doctoring in the right place though. The Billings Clinic is a Mayo partner, and number 5 in the country for diabetes treatment. With luck, I will take what I can get!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Public Service Announcement

Just a heads up, some personal stuff has made this week kind of crazy in terms of updating the blog. Posts will be a bit erratic, but hopefully things will be back to normal by next week. 

Have a good week. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Film Flick: The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Agony and Ecstasy is either an epic masquerading as a two-man character study or a two-man character study masquerading as an epic.

Telling the story of one of the world's most celebrated artistic achievements, the Agony and Ecstasy centers on the painting of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. The film is based on part of Irving Stone's novel of the same name, which in turn was based largely on Michelangelo's  own letters. Sculptor Michelangelo is coerced into working on a commission from the warrior-Pope Julius II. His task? To paint the twelve apostles against the blue ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo balks, claiming he is no painter (in real life, at the time of the commission, Michelangelo had only worked on frescos briefly during an apprenticeship). As the artstic genius struggles with trying to achieve his vision, time wears on and battles loom. "When will you be make an end to it?" becomes the Pope's constant refrain. Of course, we know what becomes of the ceiling. The real story is the intricate and fraught relationship between the two men, and the power art has on us all.

The Agony and the Ecstasy is a film not quite sure what to do with itself. It's sweeping visuals of the Italian countryside, the battles waged on screen, and even the length of the film all seem to point towards this being a grand epic of art, religion, and war. Certainly, the main set- the Sistine Chapel and its ceiling expertly recreated on a sound stage- would indicate this also. Yet, the battles fade to the background as do the other characters (even- or perhaps most especially- the pseudo-love interest of Michelangelo). At it's heart, it is a biographical story centered on the four years or so it took for a masterpiece to be completed. Rex Harrison, despite looking so exactly like himself, gives a fantastic performance as Julius II, radiating the frustration and admiration that must have enveloped many who saw the artist's early potential. Charleston Heston, playing the sculptor-turned-painter, strived for such accuracy in his portrayal that he even put a lead pipe up his nose in order to mimic the famous crooked lines of the real Michelangelo's nose. His dedication produced a character who was taciturn, cranky and agonized, but, as the 1965 New York Times review of the film pointed out, it was perhaps a Michelangelo who lacked the ecstasy and warmth that is evident in the real artist's work.  Despite this, the two actors displayed a real tension between them that eventually bled over into real life. While it is unfortunate that it resulted in Heston and Harrison not wanting to work together again, what it created on-screen was interesting to watch.

The other  major oddity of the film is the length  When one knows the end of the story- that the ceiling is finished-having the tension based almost entirely on the question of when will Michelangelo get done is a bit of a drag. Also, a fifteen minute then-modern-day introduction, where we are shown the artist's sculptural achievements, does not help the speed. Still, despite the way it delays the story from starting, one has to wonder how many people were able to see so many of Michelangelo's works for the first time there, and how seeing them, so large on the movie screen, must has felt.

Overall, it is clear why it never achieved box office glory with it's ponderous pace and a story that was perhaps too-limited in scope for the big canvas of the silver screen. Yet, if you have the time and enjoy seeing what art can do to people, I encourage you to watch and experience both The Agony and Ecstasy -of Michelangelo, of Pope Julius II and of the Sistine Chapel.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I Wore: A Gift


What I Wore: Shirt and Tights (Target), Blazer and Necklace (gift), Shorts (GAP),  Shoes (Old Navy), Purse (Vintage; garage sale)

I'm sure this has happened to you: Someone buys you a gift (and who doesn't like gifts?). "It's so you," they exclaim. You look at it and think....me? It gets worn a time or two- preferably when your thoughtful friend who sees something you don't is present- and then lives in the back of your closet. It comes out every now and then...

Me? You think. Not quite.

Me? No. Still, there's something....

And it all comes together. Maybe you've changed. Maybe the other items in your wardrobe have. Maybe the times have, but all the sudden, you don't want to wear anything else.


That's this blazer. Took me a bit, but it is looking pretty fine now, right?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Letter Writing: Letters of Apperciation

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. 

Sailors reading mail onboard JOSEPH CONRADThink of an letter  of appreciation  a bit like a cross between a thank you letter for nothing-in-particular (or everything in particular, more accurately), and a platonic love letter.  You aren't necessarily thanking  the letter recipient for any one thing or act, but are thanking the recipient for your relationship. Like love letters express your affection for a romantic partner, a letter of appreciation has a goal of telling other people- friends, family members, colleagues- how much you appreciate them.

Too often, we take the world- and people- around us for granted. An appreciation letter reminds those in your life about the difference they make, so get writing! Below are several tips to make your letters of appreciation best convey what you feel:

  • Even before you begin writing, choose nice stationary, and remember a handwritten note will convey more sincere gratitude than a typed one will. 
  • After the date and greeting, start right in with what you mean to say. Remember, you do not need to say "I am writing to tell you..." because they already know you are writing; the evidence is in the reader's hands. Instead start along the lines of "Bob, in the twenty-five years I've worked at X company you have been a supportive boss to me, one I could be candid and open about both with the successes of our department and with any problems that arose." Or "Susie, you have been a great friend to me, always listening patiently, and dispensing good advice tactfully to me."
  • Remember, if you are writing to a colleague ,or if you are writing this letter representing your place of employment to a person or group  that has helped you recently, your tone will likely be more formal. If the person is an intimate, let your words reflect that. No matter who your audience is though, your writing style should sound natural, almost as if you were talking to the person. 
  • You can tell the recipient what qualities you have most appreciated in them, especially if the relationship is personal. People don't always realize what an effect they have on others, and sometimes can't see the good qualities in themselves so obvious to everyone else. Let them know what makes them great! 
  •  If they did -or regularly do- something that brightens your days  feel free to tell them how it affected you and/or your company or event.
  • They and not you should be the focus of the writing. Keep personal news for a more casual correspondence. 
  • You can also reminisce  a little bit about your past with the person. Happy memories can be fun for both you and the letter-reader. 
  •  Though you could probably write a book about how great your friend is, less is more when it comes to sincerity in writing. 
  • Your closing words will vary but "Sincerely" or "With much appreciation  are always good benedictions to close with.

If you want to know more about writing Letters of Appreciation, read these articles:

How to Write and Appreciation Letter
How to Write a Letter of Appreciation 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What I Wore: In a Different Kind of Hell


What I Wore: Tank Top (H&M), Grey Sweater (Wet Seal), Skirt (Leah of We Live Upstairs via Flock Together), Shoes (Old Navy), Envelope Necklace (H&M), Locket (Famly Heirloom; Gift), Necklace (Stitched + Adorned)

Bet I fooled you all with this post's title, but this is not going to be an angry, ranting piece! Seems some days that every other thing in Wyoming is named after Hell or the Devil (what a nice place to live, you must be thinking, but, hey, it isn't half bad, especially if you actually think Hell is Other People). We got your Devil Towers and your Devil's Toenails; your Hell's Half-Acres; and this- Coulter's Hell, also known as Yellowstone! That's right, the general area (which includes but is not limited to present day Yellowstone) was nicknamed Coulter's Hell after all the fantastic stories the explore brought back of steaming ground, bubbling earth and hot, sulfuric smelling geysers and rivers. This little in-town trail gives you only a small taste of all that though, walking you through some pairie land filled with signs that point out local sites. It made for quite the lovely walk to go on before church one grey Sunday morning though. 

Behind you can see Old Trail Town. Old Trail Town is a bit of a local site; it's a bunch of abandoned buildings that form a "museum." It's a bit maudlin; there's several gravestones, a few rotting, musty interiors and a lot of strange taxidermy  such as a two-headed calf and a six-legged cat. But buildings like these are common all over Wyoming and many are still used on ranches. 

As for my outfit- the skirt is a gorgeous blush color and it's on loan from Leah of We Live Upstairs. The sweater is one of my favorites- slouchy and warm, but it is really the necklaces that make this outfit so special. You've already seen this locket that was a gift from my soon-to-be mother-in-law, and the envelope shaped one is where Amos hid my ring for his proposal!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hair How-To: Messy Beehive


1) Part Hair Horizontally along head ear to ear. 

In this step you are dividing your hair in half by parting it, seperating the hair in front from the hair in the back. Use the tops of your ears as guides for the ends of the parts.

2) Twist back section, as if making a French twist, leaving the top part out. Pin or tie.

Take the hair in the back section and twist it, as if making a French Twist. Rather than the tucking the extra hair coming from the top of the twist into the twist, you will simple tie or pin the hair as is.

3) Take a section of hair from the French twist, tie and wrap into  a cone at the crown.

You can use about a two-by-two inch section of hair for this step, no more.  that means, you do not need all the hair from the twist, per say  but you could. Or you could use just some of it, depending on how thick your hair is.  You will tie this section of hair at the crown of your head. Then proceed to wrap the hair around itself; it will form a cone-ish shape. Do not worry if it looks more cylindrical than conical, but it will not affect the over shape too much.

You can backcomb the section of hair that will be used to make the comb in order to get more volume and stability.

4) Take small sections of hair and wrap around the cone. Pin.

This is the step you will be repeating over and over to make the hair-do. Take a section of hair and  wrap it around the cone, hair-spraying and pinning as needed. Ideally each of these sections of hair will be about 2 inch by 2inch squares.You usually will alternate wrapping  hair sections clockwise or counter-clockwise around the cone, but you may end up doing several section in a row in the same direction, depending where there are gaps  or uneven distribution of hair.

For more volume and stability, you might consider backcombing section of hair. For smoother results, use the comb to guide the hair around your head. For added stability, you can use hairspray more.

5) When all hair is in beehive, smooth with comb

Obviously the cone of hair is the beehive. Beehives usually look smooth, even "messy" ones. Smooth out bumps with combing and pins.

6) Hair spray for stability

Give everything one last spray.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Film Flick: How to Steal a Million

How to Steal a Million is a heist film, the type you rarely see made any more these days- it’s a caper comedy! Nicole, played by Audrey Hepburn, is the daughter of a wealthy art “collector” and forger! Turns out, forging great art runs in the family because the jewel of his collection is a famous statuary supposedly sculpted by Cellini, but really by Nicole’s grandfather. Such forgeries would never stand up to the critical scrutiny of twentieth century technology, so selling the statue is out of the question. Instead, her father loans it to a museum only to learn too late that the insurance company requires it analyzed too! Luck comes unexpectedly in the night when Nicole gets the drop on what looks like a burglary in her own home. While Hepburn tries to convince Simon Dermont, played by Peter O’Toole, to set his eyes on bigger sites and rob the National Gallery, where the statue is being held, the man might just steal her heart instead.

William Wyler thirteen years earlier had directed Hepburn’s movie debut, Roman Holiday, and surely the chance to work with the iconic actress again factored into his choice to take on directing How to Steal a Million. But it is not the same Audrey Hepburn of Wyler’s earlier film that appears on screen this time. She is still effervescent and charming, but at 32 she couldn’t be the same as that wide-eyed princess traipsing about Rome. Nor should she have been, or needed to be. Instead, she is a grown woman sporting a chic sixties look. Her clothes are still Givenchy (with one very important exception where even the film’s characters quip that Ginvenchy can take the night off), but they are so very mod, and utterly perfect for her lithe shape. The role of Nicole is quirky- perhaps sometimes trying too hard to be so- but opposite Hepburn, Peter O’Toole is at his most charming. Indeed, he rather “steals” the show! As an added bonus, though the romance in the film takes a backseat to the humor, I felt these two had more chemistry than many other leading men opposite Hepburn provided.

There is no real danger or sense of tension in the film, but if what you want is some frothy concoction, something to make you smile, or something to pretty to catch your eye, this film is it. Though slightly long (over two hours), nearly the entire second hour is filled with the actual heist. Hepburn and O’Toole will be sure to delight you, when they learn How to Steal a Million

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What I Wore: Cigarette Pant Remix


Earlier in March, the Flock Together Blog had a style challenge- wearing pants! As funny as it sounds, when you think about it, it seems you are far more likely to see a blogger in a skirt or dress than pants! Actually though,  I wear pants quite a bit, and these are my very favorite pair to wear. The minute I slip them on, I feel like Audrey Hepburn and who doesn't want to feel that way? When I wrote about the 20 Basics for Every Woman's Closet , pants appropriate for a workplace environment was one such item; these are mine. On the blog, these are four of my favorite looks. I've worn them for more menswear inspired looks, and for work place inspired ones; I've worn them with heels, flats and boots; with belts; with suspenders, and with hair up and hair down. No matter what I'm wearing them with though, they make me feel svelte, and gamine. This pair was from the Asian company 59th Street, found via Yesstyle.com, but look into your own closet. Are there are any pants there that maybe can inspire you to show off some leg in a pant?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What I Wore: Sister Style


What I Wore: Shirt (Tulle via The White Cupboard), Jeans and Belt (Gap), Shoes (Old Navy), Necklace (Gift)
What She Wore: Shirt (Tulle via The White Cupboard), Necklace (Old), Jeans, Boots, and Belt

Over the weekend we made the trip all the way down the state to Laramie, home of Wyoming's first (and only) University. We were there to visit my sister, as well as help someone to move and visit old friends (UW is also my alma mater). Boy, it was a busy, fun weekend filled with  good weather, good food, good company... and good clothing! 

Twice the girls= twice the photos = twice the fun, right? 

Allow me my sisterly prerogative and let me tell you, my sister, Danyon, is gorgeous with her curly locks (as if you all can't see for yourselves)! So when we both walked out of the White Balcony in Ft. Collins with Tulle shirts and sweaters, well, a photo shoot was just calling our name! These were taken in downtown Laramie on a footbridge that spans the train yard. The Boy and I have done a previous photo shoot on this bridge too; you can see it here

P.S. Danyon is a graphic designer and she also has an etsy shop Yarnworks by Danyon. Got knitting or design work you want? Let her know :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

In April Why Don't You...


photo credit: Jaÿa via photopin cc

  • Buy a luxurious and gorgeous robe so you feel pretty from the moment you wake up
  • Eat a yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Donate books or magazines to a library or nursing home
  • Make a terrarium
  • Organize your closet
  • Watch Doctor Who
  • Challenge someone to a game of Backgammon
  • Pull your pearls out of the drawer and wear them
  • Have a tea party 
  • Reread a favorite children's classic
  • Write a friend a letter of appreciation
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