Thursday, January 31, 2013

Going to the Dogs


There are some things about my life that are probably not very clear on the blog. Some of this is intentional; some things I have a sense are private or not relevant  But some are just things I have neglected to clarify. Such as the fact that I'm not sure I've ever mentioned that The Boy and I live in different towns, or that I live with my parents, or that these two facts connect to three very familiar faces you've probably seen around on the blog from time to time! Yup- this post is about to go to the dogs!


Here are the three furriest faces you'll see on Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style): 

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Top Row: Brisco on pillows; Gidget and Max can Get Along; Gidget Enjoys the Outdoors
Middle Row: Max stands; Brisco wants you to throw the ball; Max is impatient for his walk
Bottom Row: Gidget and I; Max; Gidget and Brisco's goofy grins

Max: He's probably the dog most often seen here on Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style). That's because he's actually The Boy's dog and since The Boy is my photographer, Max is often along for the ride with us. Max looks like a long haired daschund, but is actually a mix of daschund and maltese, which is where he gets his hair (poor boy! Everyone always assumes he's a girl!) At about 3 years old, he's a laid-back little dude who is well-trained and well socialized. He gets to go to local pubic schools all the time where everyone coos over him, so he can be a bit of an attention monger when he wants to be. The Boy also likes to play tricks on him a lot. Between all the new people and new surprises, it is no wonder he can be so laid-back. Despite not living in the same house, Max has accepted me into his pack, and now demands a more-or-less constant stream of belly rubs, car rides and adventures where he gets to run about sans leash. 

Brisco: He is my family's eldest dog, at around 4 years old. He's a wire hair fox terrier bred for cuddliness, and it shows. His favorite spot in the house are the pillows on my bed, where he likes to lounge in what I call his "Roman Senator Pose." He would rather have a rousing game of Fetch than food, water or sleep.  You. Just. Need. To. Throw. The. Ball! are pretty much his constant thoughts. Like Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain, his motto might also be "Dignity, always dignity," and he's just as successful as Gene Kelly was in the film about keeping his dignity too. But he tries awfully hard. It is just him and my Dad in a house full of girls, so he's a Daddy's boy, and gets called " Big Guy" a lot. 

Gidget: Our family's other dog, Gidget (named after the movie) could spell her name T-R-O-U-B-L-E! At two, she's just coming out of her adolescence, as is obvious to all who meet her by her rambunctious nature. She pretty much typifies the breed of wire fox terrier (her coloring is what is known as "ginger"); she has two gears: 'full throttle' and 'off.' She, too, is a cuddly one who likes to be as close to you as possible, and if she feels your laptop is taking up too much of your attention from her, she has learned to shut it very effectively!  She likes downy pillows and blankets, and loves to sleep in. She also loves Dutch rubs and wiggling around, but beware! Get her too wound up and she'll try to bop you on the nose! Just like younger siblings everywhere, the older Brisco is the Number One Most Important existence to her. She often annoys him by constantly bugging him to play, and Brisco has found out that nothing hampers his dignity like Gidget nipping at his legs as he runs. 

Gidget is pregnant with her very first litter of pups, which is due at the end of next month. I get to keep one! So a new little superstar will soon be added to the roster of dogs appearing on Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) here very soon! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Letter Writing: Love Letters

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. 


Valentine Musicsheet

With Valentine's Day around the corner, writing a love letter might seem very apropo. Actually though, these are a type of correspondence that can (and should!) be written no matter the date on the calendar. Sure, you might be thinking, "Oh, but Kristian, the guy/girl in question sleeps right next me to every night!" That might be true (or it might not be) and regardless of what your situation might be, you probably tell your significant other plenty how much you love him (or her). But letter writing- especially love letters- take you out of the everyday moment and onto something more permanent. People keep love letters- days, weeks, even years, they are something you have made and touched that the recipient can take out again and again, if they want.

There's no right or wrong way to write a love letter- a post-it on their computer screen? A whole series of envelopes? Or   A message in a bottle?

But, if you are wanting to put pen to paper and tell a loved one how you feel in a more traditional way, here's some helpful hints:


  • Handwrite it, even if your handwriting is not so good. Just take your time. The personal touch is best. Also, use nice paper. 
  • Jump right in! Tell them straight off you are writing to say how much you love them.
  • Unlike personal correspondence, this isn't about what's happening in day to day life. Nor is it about you. It is about the person getting the letter. What are some traits that they maybe don't recognize about themselves that are wonderful? What little things does this person do that you appreciate (they don't need to be big. For example, The Boy always offers to put tea on for me- in the mornings, before bed, if we're going to watch a film or if he knows I'm not feeling well. I love tea; he knows this. It's small but very meaningful.)?
  • You and this person share personal history unique for just you two. Share a memory you have with them. What did you first notice about the person? What are some big First Times in your lives together? For example, how did it feel to buy a house together, or have a child together? Did a first kiss send butterflies to your stomach? What things have made you joyful, and what times have you drawn strength from this person? Or what about shared jokes? 
  • It doesn't need to be a novel (though I suppose it could be if  you wanted...). It doesn't need to be Shakespeare either (and really let's steer clear of excessive quotations or any attempts at poetry if it is not normal for you to write poetry) It just needs your honest emotions. Like the cliche says, be yourself. 
  • Maybe a flirty P.S. would not be out of place? It could even be little risque... who says that's a bad thing for a love letter? 

If you want more advice on writing Love Letters look here: 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What I Wore: A Golden Skirt

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What I Wore: Sweater (Forever Twenty-one), Necklaces (Stitched+Adorned and Etsy), Belt (Vanity), Skirt (Handmade), Boots (Herburgers)

This skirt may look familiar but don't be fooled! Yes, Ashley, a fellow member of the Flock Together blog has a skirt quite similar to this one. In fact, I wore her skirt on one or two occasions on the blog. It must have been obvious how much I adored it, because my aunt made me this lovely golden skirt for Christmas based on Ashley's.  Thank you Aunt Kim!

This brown sweater, while not handmade, was another gift and has turned into a mainstay of my closet. Brown sweaters go with everything (and so do golden skirts, I'm beginning to think!). What are mainstays of yours?

P.S. Like my hair? You can find out how to make a Pompadour Bun too! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hair How-To: Pompadour Bun



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This is an easy, fun look to create. Keep your pompadour high though, to keep from seeming too Sarah Plain and Tall and more like the famous Gibson Girls of the early 1900s. And remember, I'd love to see any photos of hair attempts or helpful hair tips you've found for this style, so put a link in the comments or tweet it! 

1) Curl hair for extra body

This step is optional, but I like to curl my hair to give it extra body.

 2) Backbrush front section

Backbrushing will give your hair more body to achieve the lift for your pompadour.

 3)Pin front section back for pompadour

My bangs are growing out, so all I did was pin them with bobby pins, laying the hair down against the scalp to get a bit of extra arch to the hair. You can do this with longer hair as well, or you can roll you hair under for a thicker, more supported pouf.

4) Backbrush side section and pin. 

This is the same process as what you did for the front section of hair. Arrange the hair so it connects with the front section to create one pompadour, rather than two smaller ones.

5) Repeat on other side for full pompadour

Doing the same thing on both sides will result in your full pompadour.

6) Brush loose hair in back up into a ponytail at the base of your crown.

You are making a ponytail that starts at the crown of you hair. You may use a tie or not as you wish. Using a brush will help create a smooth and even look for the back of your head.

7) Twist the ponytail

Twist it around your finger to create a rope of hair.

8) Wrap twisted ponytail into a bun at the crown of your head

Wrap the twisted ponytail into a bun at the crown of your head. Use bobby pins to secure it. The bun may fall of its own accord a little lower onto your head, resulting in a slight pouf at the bottom, back part of your head. This is fine as it creates a bit of the puffed up look that is similar to the pompadour at the front of your head. Once the bun is secured you are done!


P.S. LOOKING FOR MORE HAIRSTYLING HOW-TOS? WHY NOT TRY: 
BRAIDED LOOPS // 5-STRAND BRAID // THE BARDOT LOOK //THE GIBSON GIRL LOOK // THE TURBAN WRAP //ROPE BRAIDS // FISHTAIL BRAIDS // POMPADOUR BUN // TWISTED HOTCROSS BUNS  //  TWISTED HALO //  THE MESSY BEEHIVE //

Friday, January 25, 2013

Film Flick: Backfire

A less well-known filme noir, Backfire is a dizzying collage of flashbacks within flashbacks, unreliable narrators, and double-lives where no one should be trusted to tell the truth. Bob Correy (Gordon MacRae) and Steven Connelly(Edmund O'Brien) are vets just back from the war with plans to live the American Dream by buying a ranch together- just as soon as Correy is released from the hospital where he's recovering from multiple, severe back injuries. The long months of recovery should be sweetened by the love developing between Correy and his nurse (Virginia Mayo), but his friend stops visiting, and, while in a drugged state, Correy gets a midnight caller in his hospital room with the desperate message that Connelly needs his help. No one believes any such visitor existed, but Connelly might very well need any help he can get because he's the number one suspect in a murder! The real story cranks up as Correy hears from those close to Connelly in the last days leading up to the murder. Is his friend capable of cold-blooded killing? Or has he in turn been murdered too? As Correy gets in deeper perhaps the better question is can our leading man escape that fate too? 


Warners Brothers has purchased the rights to a story called "Into the Night" in 1946, but most considered the story too unworkable for film with confusing shifts in narrators and multiple flashbacks that made the chronology of the story confusing. By 1948 though, the studio had succeeded in roping a director and script writers for the production. Jack Warner gave them six actors who he felt were "sitting around doing nothing, but picking up their checks" (Jack Warner not being known for his tact). They were all B-list movie stars for a B-movie. Ironically, though the film was finished that year it was not released until 1950, and in the meantime one of the actresses- Virginia Mayo- had achieved fame through another noir  called White Heat. So the tagline for Backfire became "The White Heat Girl turns it on again!" despite Mayo's much more demure role in this film. 


The movie was met with luke-warm reviews; one critic commented that the best that could be said about the actors was "they got the thing done." Personally though, I liked it. Film Noir entices me for the striking visuals and convoluted plots, and though Backfire is hardly the most innovative example of the genre, it  is a solid example of it. The plot is dense, requiring attention, but isn't so far gone as to be incomprehensible, and the unreliable nature of the narrations the main character gets from others' flashbacks keep up the sense of suspense. Like most noirs of the time, it also makes interesting commentary on the disillusionment many vets felt on returning to civilan life. If you are lucky enough to see this film- don't worry watching Backfire will not "backfire" on you! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Letter Writing: Personal Corespondence

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. 



Mail to NowhereYou say the words "Writing a Friendly Letter" and it likely conjures up images of your third grade classroom. Maybe yours even had a nifty poster showing you the layout of such a letter (date and adresses, salutation, body, closing, and maybe even a P.S!). In a world of texts and emails and twitters and-gasp!- blog posts though, does anybody not in elementary school still write letters? 
Well, obviously. It has been classified as a "dying art" by many, but the practice still perseveres, likely because its nice to get something other than bills in the mailbox. Its nice to know someone took the extra time and effort to write to you. Its nice to know someone wants to hear back from you too. Not to get all meta on anybody but we live in a world where we are simultaneously more connected and disconnected than ever. Taking the time to perserve a relationship- not to mention make someone happy- seems worth the extra effort. 

The basics of such letters haven't changed since you left school, so you are already well equipped to write one. The best letters are ones that people have set aside time to write, so give yourself that time. Let your letter be newsy with a mix of the good things and the bad, but make sure it doesn't degenerate into a whole chorus of "woe-is-me." Likewise leave out words of anger, and toe the line so that the contents of the letter is more than mere gossip! Ask questions of your letter recipient  (this also makes it easier for them to write a letter back to you) reply to questions they have had, describe unique or funny experiences  And remember- while sometimes one can divulge too much- the devil is in the details. Your reader will enjoy hearing about your reactions and observations to events more than they would just a laundry list of what you did over the week. 

Many people enjoy making what is often termed "mail art" with decorated pages and envelopes, but personal correspondence can be written on anything- after all you are usually writing to people you know well and enjoy and/or people who will be getting to know you and your personality. Picking stationary you like can fire you up to write more, but any paper or card will do.  It can also be fun to add a bit of emphera such as a newspaper clipping or recipe or ticket to the envelope. 

Though of course, not every letter sent will (or even should) result in a pen-pal-like relationship, hopefully responses back and forth will result. Manners dictate a letter should be responded to in two to four weeks of receiving it. Longer than that and the writer may forget what they wrote you and/or think you've forgotten to respond. Sounds like a long time, but for me personally, its a struggle. Do what you can, right? The important thing is that with each letter the person receiving it will know you cared enough to take the time to write. 


Want more tips of writing personal letters? Find them here: 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What I Wore: Menswear- Old School Style

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What I Wore: Shirt (New York and Company), Cardigan, Ribbon, and Shoes (Old), Belt (Old Navy), Pants (Yesstyle.com)


I'm back from my "blogging break!" Although I missed reading and seeing all my fellow bloggers' work, it was great to focus elsewhere and now I have a delightful backlog to take my time and go through. Some of you might be getting a deluge of comments from me! 

Here I  am indulging in my love of the androgynous with this menswear-inspired look- just in time for the Independent Fashion Bloggers' Menswear challenge, in fact! I love that it feels like a bit of Old School Prep- a bit of something from a nine-twenties college boy... Or at the very least like I should be reading Ask Jeeves, even if it doesn't look like I employ him! And before you all ask- it was much warmer than it appeared, at least 40 degrees. 


P.S. Like the Menswear look? You might want to check out this outfit Borrowed From the Boys, or this one Channelling Annie Hall


  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hair How-To: Twisted Hotcross Buns



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1) Separate the hair into three sections

Separate hair into three sections. You can tie these sections, or not. Put to side sections over your shoulder and out of the way.

2) Twist Hair and coil twist into bun

Twist the hair around your finger until you get a rope of twisted hair, then, starting at the end, coil the hair in a circle until it is laying snug against the head right at the nape of the neck. This is your center bun. Use bobby pins to secure it into place.

3) Twist and coil second section

Take a side section and twist in a clockwise position (so that that twist will be visible from the side). When you have your rope of twisted hair, coil it in a circle until it is snug against your head. If you are unsure where this side bun should be, use the middle one as a guide. I have my buns just barely touching each other. Use bobby pins to secure it into place.

4) Twist and coil final section of hair

Repeat twisting and coiling with the final section of hair. Bobby pin the hair. Viola! You are done!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Film Flick: King Kong


"Denham is back from shooting another picture, and this time he says he's got something the likes of which has never been seen before- King Kong, The Eighth Wonder of the World!" Who wouldn't recognize that iconic scene of a gaint gorilla on the Empire State Building, a screaming girl in his grip? King Kong tells the story of a movie production crew who sail to a Lost World-like jungle, where they enounter wonders undreamed of. A daring rescue mission must be performed to save the movie's leading lady after she is abducted by the natives, and later by Kong himself. But when all those who survive the terrors on the island are finally reunited, the director, Denham, proposes to capture this beast, and bring him to the pulsing heart of civilization- New York City. Everyone knows how that ends- with a tradegic fall from the (at the time's) world's tallest skyscraper, and the infamous last lines "It wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast."

King Kong stands as a landmark black and white film. Though hopelessly gawky and cumbersome its special effects may seem to some 21st century viewers, they were considered break-through in their day, and are still considered the roots of today's special effects technology  But it isn't bad, watching these effects. To the contrary, as Robert Egbert puts it "there is something ageless and primeval about King Kong that still somehow works." Plot-wise, there is not much character development. Writer Merian C. Cooper first had the vision of a tower ape climbing the buildings of New York City and worked the story out backwards from there.  It is an action flick in the best sense; you never really even notice the lack of characterization because you are too busy watching people being flung to their deaths in tropical, dino-infested jungles! The filming was style was fairly straight forward, largely due to the then-inventive special effects technology used, but effective. Released in 1933, it was also pre-code and if one watches the original release (King Kong was perhaps the first film that was re-released) you can see many of the racy scenes later cut from the film, including the leading lady, Fay Wray having her clothing peeled off by the ginormous ape.  Poor Fay Wray; when sthe story's writer said she was getting the tallest and darkest leading man Hollywood had to offer, she thought she was getting Cary Grant! King Kong has earned his title though as the eighth wonder of the world, and, as a movie, his place at number forty-three on The American Film Institute's Top 100 Movies List. Though a remake in 2005 took Hollywood by storm, I'd recommend the original to all true movie fans. Long Live the King!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blogging Break

This week, I'm stepping back, taking stock and taking a blogging break! I'll be back next Monday, and it will be back to your regularly scheduled program here on Never Fully Dressed. In the meantime, I'm going to be focussing on some work and wedding projects (and maybe even a few things for the blog!). Since several people have asked about the wedding- you can check out my Pinterest board "Retro Wedding" to see what we've got in store for June. I've got a few other fun boards on Pintrest too, so feel free to take a look-see and follow along!

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P.S. I've entered Modcloth's "Year of Dresses" Contest and could really your help- and your vote! ;) 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Film Flick: Dial 'M' For Murder

This is not, arguably, one of Hichcock's most standout productions. There are no airplanes trying to mow people down, no murderers in the shower, nor even scary birds in  Dial 'M' For Murder. It is a much more subtle piece than that, and perhaps that is why it is sometimes considered a second class citizen among Hitchcock films. No, there is little in the way of death-defying action here, but there is suspense and mind games a-plenty in this psychological thriller.

Is there such a thing as a perfect murder? Tony Wendice (Ray Millard), former tennis star, certainly thinks so. He's retired from his job, content to live off of his rich wife Margo's (Grace Kelly) money, after she complains of his job keeping him away. She's lonely- so lonely, in fact, she had brief affair with her friend and mystery novelist Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings); it's a fact she doesn't realize her husband has been aware for sometime.  With unnerving detachment and calm, Wendice seemingly has a flair for planning out murder.  He even blackmails an old college chum (Anthony Dawson) into helping out his plot. But perhaps Wendice should have read more mystery novels, because then he'd know that things seldom go according to plan. Can he pull off his masterful scheme, or will justice catch up to him in the form of Chief Inspector Hubbard (John Williams)?

Dial 'M' For Murder started out life as a Broadway thriller, and it shows, with nearly all the action being contained to one apartment and what lies right outside its doorstep. Rather than feeling stuffy or limited, as sets of plays-turned-movies sometimes can, the limited view the audience has gives the film a sense of taunt drama. We don't know things the characters know of life beyond the apartment walls, but, by always having our eyes on the same scene as character drift in and out, we also know things they do not. This film also has the dubious honor of being the only Hitchcock movie filmed in 3-D, which was a popular fad at the time. This might explain the prevalence of low or high angles as well as the number of lamps placed between the characters and and the lens. Interestingly, 3-D cameras at the time could not focus in correctly on close-up objects, but the director was intent on the first scene of the film being someone dialing the 'M' on a rotary phone. So he had the prop department create a large scale finger and phone dial to achieve this vision. Of more distinction is the fact that this is the first of three Hitchcock films Grace Kelly starred in. An ideal "icy blonde," it was Grace Kelly who objected that no women would bother getting into a robe at night before answering her own home's telephone. So, one of the movie's most pivotal moments happens with Kelly clad only in a slip, adding an extra dose of the thrills to the scene.


The plot might seem, on the face of it, rather soap-opera like. A man tries to murder his unfaithful wife? Yet, as mentioned earlier, in this film, Hitchcock is the master of a much subtler suspense than in some other films. Characters take turns explaining their plots and stratagems, while the audience in turn waits to see which ones will work, which will fail, and who's lies will be exposed. It is this guessing game that keeps people on the edge of their seats. If you don't like mind-games  than this isn't the film for you. But if you do- sit back, tune in, and see what happens when you Dial 'M' For Murder!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

What I Wore: Making a Memory

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What I Wore: Isn't It Iconic Dress (The Pink Owl via Modcloth), Brown Sweater (Old), Harjuka Socks (Modcloth), Shoes and Belts (Old Navy), Necklace (Forever Twenty-One)


I was amazed, looking back over the not-quite-a-year I've been blogging and found- not one shot of Heart Mountain. After all, it's a pretty unique peak, and even with a whole basin of mountains, Heart Mountains dominates the landscape of the area and is mentioned as part of the name of just about every doctor's office, print shop and public venue around. It actually has a rather sad history; it also lent its name to the largest relocation camp during the 1940s, though today only a scant number of buildings still stand as a reminder of this. But despite that, I love it. As my father  always used to tell us, "When you see Heart Mountain, you know you're close to home."

Speaking of things I love- this outfit is my new favorite. It's almost all Christmas items. The dress is the Isn't it Iconic dress from Modcloth and despite being shorter than I realized, it is both comfortable and endlessly remix-able. The Harjuka socks are also Modcloth and provide a cheeky yet slightly risque twist to things. I like the Little-Girl-Grown-Up vibe. The belts remind me of ice cream somehow and were a complete surprise from my mom- good eye, Mother! And, of course, the necklace is the one my engagement ring had been tucked into on Christmas Eve. The ensemble is what I wore when we went rounds visiting everybody on Christmas day to wish them a Merry Christmas and announce things, so already every time I put any of the items on I'm reminded of a good thing. Do you ever tend to associate a memory with the clothes you were wearing at the time? Share about it in the comments; I'd love to hear about those memories too! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Unusual Mail

Uniformed Letter Carrier with Child in Mailbag

My Care Package Lists show some pretty unusual items to mail, but this might be the most unusual thing I've ever heard of-




Looking for some other strange postal trivia? Look no further:


  • Did you know that the Postal Service used to have a "mascot?" Owney the postal dog spent many years travelling the rails to guard bags of mail being transported, and now is the hero of five children's books. You can still see his preserved body at the Smithsonian  surely one of the museums more, um, unusual sites!



  • Did you know there was a National Postal Museum? And their website has a "This Day in Postal History..." series too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What I Wore: Yarn Works

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What I Wore: Scarf ( Yarn Works by Danyon), sweater (Forever Twenty-One), Shirt (Old), Mulberry Pants (Wet Seal), Boots and Octopus Necklace (Gifts), Pocket Watch Necklace (etsy)


You know that old cliche of girlfriends who wear their boyfriends things? Yeaaaaahhhh.... that'd be me right here. But it is not my fault- this scarf is too warm and pretty to resist! 

Yarn Works by Danyon is the newly opened Etsy store of my sister, Danyon (pronounced DAN-yun). She made this for The Boy as his Christmas gift, and he does indeed look very manly yet well put-together with this scarf folded into his peacoat....but it also looks good on me, I think, and its nice and warm. So when I'd borrowed it for warmth on a trip and forgot to take it off after saying good-bye....you know how these things go. Actually, I'm incredible impressed with these scarves and that's not just because she's my sister. The girl works fast when knitting and yet the stitches are all so even and uniform. Um, I would make a mess knitting. Plus, in addition to scarves, she also does headbands and coffee warmers among other things in lots of different stitch patterns and colors. Go on and check her out- you know you want to. 

Just so other Christmas-gift givers don't feel left out- the Octopus necklace was an amazing gift from my friend, Sarah. Is it jus me, or does it have a steampunk vibe to it (What? It is just me? Well, so be it!) And the boots were a gift from my mother, while the brown sweater was one from my father that he picked out himself. Apparently, I've got a very stylish family.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Film Flick: Arsenic and Old Lace



Mortimer Brewster, author of a best-selling book blasting marriage, thinks the last laugh must be on him when he falls for the proverbial and literal girl next door. The hilarity is just beginning though, for the film Arsenic and Old Lace. Marriage beckons, but Mortimer stops in to announce his big news to the elderly aunts who raised him and his loony uncle. Insanity appears to run deep in the Brewster family however, when he discovers his aunts have a hobby that's resulted in nine bodies buried the cellar! And the deaths just seem to keep piling up once Mortimer's fugitive brother (who's uncanny resemblance to Boris Karloff becomes a running joke) and his lackey-of-a-surgeon drop in. Mortimer's got his hands full trying to keep a new marriage afloat, his family secret safe, and stop his own murder from happening.

Frank Capera attempts to work his usual magic in turning hit Broadway play, Arsenic and Old Lace, into a hit for the silver screen. And like his hapless hero, he succeeds- sort of. The film never  quite gets away from feeling like a play, even despite a few added extra scenes that take place beyond the Brewster family home. Lead actor Cary Grant, normally a consumate comedian,  seems a little off his game here too. He still manages to be funny, if a bit stiff, but it is the rest of the cast- Brewster siblings (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, and John Alexander), and the brother and his friend (Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre)- that provide the real laughs. Although there are one or two over-played bit that can make the film drag a bit, for the most part the viewer can expect the slapstick and zany hi-jinks to provide some good laughs.



If today this comedy might seem a bit hokey or tame, no one can deny that the film's heart-filled with the oft mocked "Capra-corn"- was in the right place. Made during World War Two, this film was shown to the men fighting overseas before being released domestically, and Grant also donated his entire salary from this film to help the war efforts. Another heart-warming tidbit of trivia about Arsenic and Old Lace? Some twenty years before the filming, Jean Adair had helped nurse sick vaudeville actor Archie Leech- and Archie Leech, for those not in the know, became the man better known as Cary Grant. What could be better than a movie with friends? Find out for yourself when you watch Arsenic and Old Lace.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What I Wore: Making Resolutions

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What I Wore: Dress (Modcloth), Shrug (Ruche), Leggings and Leg Warmers (Old), Boots (Famous Footwear)


A few days in and how's everybody doing? 2013 treating you all right? Some of you are probably several days in now with your New Year's Resolutions. Anybody got those? I love to hear about people's list of goals and resolutions!

These past few years I haven't done resolutions because I'm doing a "Day Zero Project," also sometimes called  "101 Things in 1001 Days." It's pretty much what it says on the tin, 101 measurable goals to be completed in 1001 days (a little over three years). I like the slightly longer time frame it gives because something are goals that might take a bit longer to get organized, yet its not so long your goal becomes relegated to a pipe dream. You can find my list by clicking the link in my sidebar. Its funny though, because when I wrote the list (waaaay before I ever had this blog), I was in a train by myself heading from Budapest to Vienna, and I was at such a crossroads where there were a lot of paths open to me and I wasn't sure exactly what my life would look like. My 1001 days will end in 2013 (only days before we get married actually!), so it makes me reflective. Its actually the 101 list I've done; I didn't complete the first one, but felt I learned a lot from it and was excited about this one. My current list I've modified as my life changed and a future took shape, and I've learned lots from this one too. The new year definitely has me renewing my commitment and excitement for the list too! 

I've a few other, vaguer goals including the usual- more regular exercise  more (and healthier) planned meals at home. But I'm also looking at what I want to do to continue to improvement my blog. I got lots of ideas, but one was showing more outfits I might wear to work. The above outfit is one I'd wear to teach in. Kids love the whimsy of the glasses necklace, and I can move around in it comfortably- wether its kneeling down, sitting in tiny chairs, charging around a cold playground or running a hot projector. BUT I still feel its profesional and grown up while conveying my sense of style. Perfect substitute teaching outfit. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mini Care Packages

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I love the idea of mini-care packages! Little figurines, game pieces, interesting labels, erasers and small shiny things... I grew up in a home full of these things, so there can seem to be an art to the interestingly placed items. If nothing else, they should bring a smile or small laugh to the receiver  and if they get thrown out or passed on, no harm done.

Be aware though- if you are sending this fun mail as a package, the U.S. postal system (and likely most postal systems) require packages be of a certain size in order to put proper postage on them. So you may need to put these cute little surprises in manila envelopes. Or, if the package is less than 13 oz. try you luck mailing it as regular mail! If an item is 13 oz. or less you should be able to mail it with a stamp.
minipackage2 Collage

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Month in Review: Best of December

December's been a crazy month, filled with lots of a funs and several different blogging adventures! Earlier this month, I guest blogged over at Dusana's style blog, Cuddly Cacti. In turn, she and several others shared their Gift Guides ,and a series featuring classic Holiday Films helped us celebrate the holidays on Without a Style!

Don't forget though- Now that Christmas is over it's time to get to saying thanks; here are tips for writing Thank You Notes.
  DecemberCollage

I also showed off some wintery weather outfits when snow came to Wyoming with flannel and with polkadots. I also shared What's in My Bag? Romance has also been in the air. The Boy and I went to a Christmas Ball, and, in case you missed the announcement yesterday, we got engaged! 

The propasol



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