Thursday, February 28, 2013

What I Wore: Bowling Shoes and a Cute Shirt

Bowling-6

What I Wore: Shirt (Jessi of Haircut and General Attitude via Flock Together), Pearls (My Grandmother's), Skirt (Pin-up Girl Clothing), Shoes (Sunset Bowling Rental)


We took the blog bowling- Come on over to Flock Together today to find out more!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What I Wore: Cobalt Blue and Magenta too

BlueWall-2
ColorfulOutfit3 CollageBlueWall-8

ColorfulOutfit2Collage
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What I Wore: Finals Week Chic Top (Modcloth), White Tank (Forever 21), Skirt (Ashley of Southern California Belle via Flock Together), Necklace (Popbasic), Shoes (Montana Vintage)

Yeah, this is probably my favorite photo-shoot in awhile (though with The Boy's photos, I always think he does a bang-up job...). It is a bit out of the ordinary  Not sweeping vistas or snowcapped mountains. It is actually a wall of the Cody Nite Rodeo's ticket booth, which is closed for the long winter season. But, the thing is- February's grey. Sure, there's Valentine's and all the mixed emotions that seems to bring out in people, but really, for such a short month, it can seem very long. These bold colors shake me up and get me excited.  Canary Yellow? Metallic Gold? Deep Magenta? Cobalt Blue? Yes, yes, yes and yes. All in one look- you betcha!

 You've seen me styling this pencil skirt before here, and maybe you have seen the skirt on Ashley of Southern California Belle. She lent it to me via the collective blog Flock Together. This is a more work-appropriate look (though I did switch out the shoes when I was teaching the other day. Peep-toes during recess duty did not sound like the best of ideas, especially when the shoe is vintage!), but there is still some pizazz to it, giving me a bounce in my step!

Speaking of Flock Together- we've got some very exciting changes coming up in March. I don't want to spoil all the surprises, but expect to see some new features and even some new faces- including, possibly, yours! If you haven't submitted anything for our Reader's remix, but are interested; go for it! And don't forget to follow Flock Together on Twitter and Facebook to stay up on all the news.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Film Flick: All the President's Men


It's February and that mean's Oscar Season is upon us. Often culturally enriching and always entertaining, award-winning movies have been voted upon by the academy since the 1920s! Don't miss these Oscar Best Picture Films.


All The King's Men chronicles the investigation that led to the Washington Post exposing one of the most incredible scandals in American history, the Watergate Scandal. Produced in 1976, mere years after Watergate, it takes viewers on the trail with Bearnstein and Woodworth, the two reporters who exposed the cover-up, to tell the story behind investigation. Detailed to the American public for the first time, this movie named previously unnamed sources, and even provided details about Washington Post's most famous source, Deepthroat. In addition to recounting a suspenseful mystery, and revealing previously secret details of a major political scandal, this film also utilizes unusual visuals. A dypanric lens was used, so that the foreground and background could both be in focus, while the middle ground was not. The film also relied heavily on visual clues, filming the reporters' notes, their newspaper articles, tele-typed headlines, and even TV media news reports.

My one bone to pick about the film is that it only covers the first seven months. The ending descends almost too quickly to process what happened, and the remaining months of the scandal are summed up in tele-typed headlines. To make matters even more confusing the headlines are not presented chronologically, but end with the sensational news that Nixon's stepping down. Obviously viewers at the time would have been very familiar with the fall out of the sandal, so this might not have been an issue. In terms of how the story reads to posterity though, the filmmakers assume much in thinking future generations would be as knowledgable about Watergate.


Nonetheless, this film is sure to captivate people, - even John Deere, who was involved in Watergate and would have little reason to care for it, says so. This film won multiple academy awards. For myself, I loved the suspense, the unique visuals, and something more. In today's schools, Watergate, as with most "recent history" is dispensed with because it cannot be presented as cleanly sterile facts in the great morality play textbooks make history out to be. Learning what Watergate really entailed, and the numbers of both people and money involved, gave me a piece of really American history back. This film is a must-see that whispers a warning we should all be wary of.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What I Wore: At Heart Mountain

Sunset-5
HeartMountain3 Collage

Sunset-11What I Wore: Isn't It Iconic Dress (Modcloth), Sweater (Forever Twenty-One), Boots (Gift), Leggings (old), Necklace (etsy; gift)


On my recent Readers' Survey, one of you dear readers said how much you enjoyed Wyoming's scenery and wanted to see more of it. As a matter of fact, getting out and about more has been one of the greatest, if unexpected benefits of starting Never Fully Dressed; we appreciate where we are more. Like most of you, we find it easy to take for granted where we are. I forget that Wyoming is exotic in a sense (or at any rate National Geographic must think we are because the year I subscribed Wyoming and Montana were in the magazine in 6 out of 12 issues). 

Behind me, is one such place that a magazine like National Geographic might write about. This beautiful and peaceful place, has a bit of sad history. What you see are the remains of the largest Japanese Relocation Camp in America. This once counted as the third largest town in Wyoming; after the war almost all the buildings were sold and you can still see some out on farms as barns or even housing for migrant workers (renovated, of course!). Why it's sad is obvious, but it is interesting to remember that it was not all sad. Growing up, people who had lived there during WWII would come and talk to our class. Despite the frigid weather, as children they said they enjoyed the people of the community and doing things like joining the scouts! Now the area is working to preserve the memory and history of what happened here; down the road is a museum on the subject, and where I'm standing is a memorial. 

As for the outfit, there's not much to say except that it is in my closet's rotation quite a bit due to its simple and comfortable nature. Can't beat that!

Winners from Firmoo Giveaway

Congratulations Shannon, Danyon, Laura and Holly! I will be emailing you soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Letter Writing: Sympathy Notes

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.

A lot of what we once wrote for the mail is now communicated via a Twitter, a text, an email, a phone call- but here is one thing that should always be sent by mail (and additionally in person, when possible, but always also by mail)- sympathy cards. These are notes that should be sent out as soon as you hear the news, but unfortunately  they can be hard to write because- well, it is never a happy topic to be writing about, especially when one might also be grieving oneself. But, I can say from personal experience that such notes can be of great comfort to those close to a deceased person.

Good Night Open SkiesAs to the writing itself- these notes certainly don't have to be long. They can be as long or short as they need to be, really. If you are uncomfortable writing much, the greeting card industry has many lovely products to choose from; just make sure to still add a few personal lines. If you are choosing to write a bit more than can fit on a card, this is one instance where choosing the right stationary really matters. Most things can be jotted down on any old thing that's handy- post-it notes, lined notebook paper or funny cartoon stationary- but for sympathy notes choose tasteful stationary or good quality, unlined white paper. Also, handwritten notes will communicate a more personal touch in these circumstances than a typed letter will. Some people worry about the language and tone of a sympathy card. It is perfectly acceptable to use the word "death," but if it makes you uncomfortable common euphemisms are fine too. Keep the tone casual, as if you were talking to the letter-receiver. No need to write poems or use formal language unless that is part of your relationship to the note's recipient or part of your profession.

The contents of a sympathy note generally start with acknowledging the recipient's loss, referring to the deceased by name. If you knew the deceased person yourself, you can talk about the specific qualities of the person, and/or choose to share a special memory about that person. It can often be comforting to the recipient to reminisce, and to know that others have warm, positive memories of the person they are grieving for.  If you didn't know the deceased, simply skip that step rather than conjecturing about that person.  In closing, you can feel free to offer help, but make sure it is specific. Asking the bereaved to "call if they need anything," puts the burden on them. It can be awkward enough to ask for help when one is not feeling vulnerable. At a time of grief it is unlikelier still. Instead, offer specific help. For example, if one lives nearby an offer to babysit, or bring over food can be of great assistance.  Whether you live nearby or not, you can also promise to call on a specified day ("I will call to see how you are on Saturday.") However, only make these offers if you truly can follow through.  Also, if the family has asked for donations in lieu of flowers for the memorial, this might be a time to mention such a donation has been made.

There are, however, several things you should not say in a sympathy card. Do not attempt to explain the death or say that it was a positive thing (i.e. "It was God's plan," or even "He was in so much pain it is a blessing he's moved on"). Though you may believe these things are true or that they should be of comfort, people might interpret them differently. Such phrases too often come across as minimizing the person's loss, which is never anyone's intent! Along the same lines, avoid much religious talk unless you know the person and their spiritual beliefs well.  Also avoid saying you know how the grieving person feels; everyone experiences grief differently even if you have also lost a person with a similar relation to yourself. Lastly, though the benediction "sincerely" works in most circumstances, here it might be better to opt for a more personal closing such as "with warmest regards," or "kindest concerns."

If you are still looking for tips for writing sympathy notes, try reading these blog posts:

Writing Condolence Letters  from the Hospice Foundation
The Art of Letter Writing: The Sympathy Note from The Art of Manliness
How To Write a Sympathy Note
Condolence Letters

LETTER WRITING SERIES: THANK YOU NOTES | PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE | LOVE LETTERS | SYMPATHY LETTERS | CONGRATULATORY LETTERS | POSTCARDS | LETTERS OF APPRECIATION | CORRESPONDENCE CHESS | GET WELL CARDS | LETTERS TO SICK CHILDREN | INVITATIONS | HOLIDAY LETTERS | LETTERS TO SANTA| LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | CIRCLE LETTERS | LETTERS TO POLITICIANS | WRITING TO ADVICE COLUMNS | THE LETTER WRITING GAME | PENPAL LETTERS | LETTER OF COMPLAINT | COVER LETTERS | LETTERS TO PRISONERS | OPEN LETTERS | LETTERS TO FUTURE YOURSELF | LETTERS OF APOLOGY | "OPEN WHEN" LETTERS | FAN MAIL | GOOD BYE LETTER |

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I Wore: Pencil Skirts in Bold Colors

Magenta Pencil Skirt

What I Wore: You Really Dot Me Top and Knee-High Socks (Modcloth), Vest (old), Necklace (Popbasic), shoes (Old Navy)


I'm over at Flock Together, showing off a skirt I borrowed from Ashley of Southern California Belle, and talking about how I need this exact ski- ahem, I mean, a pencil skirt as a closet basic!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hair How-To: Twisted Halo

Hair How-To: Twisted Halo
Twisted Halo Collage
This is a hair-do for longer hair. The end result is a "halo" of hair wrapped around your head. Best of all, it is super easy to do and all you need are bobby pins!

1) Take a front section of hair and twist horizontally across face.


This first section of hair should be your bangs, or, if you do not have bangs, the hair you would use to make bangs. Gather and start the twist off to one side of your forehead (I like up the start of the twisted hair with the outside edge of my eyebrow). You will twist it looses- I only need to twist is once or twice- so that the twisted puff has some volume to it.

2) Add hair and keep twisting along the perimeter of your head


There are two ways to do this. Both will involve adding more hair to the twisted bangs in order to start wrapping the hair around your head. For a more halo-like effect you will want to add all the hair on (this side of your face) that is in front of your ear at once, before going on. Once you've added all that hair, just keep twisting your hair around till you reach the area above your ear.  For a more Edwardian look, add bits of hair with each twist as you go. This will look a little less like a halo and more like a pompadour. I am illustrating this hair-do with the later.

3) Pin above ear


Use bobby pins to secure the twisted hair to the head.

4) Continue adding hair and twisting. 


If you are going for a more "halo" effect, you will gather a sizable chunk of  hair. I would suggest all the hair behind your ear to the middle of the back of your head. Then twist all that hair till you get to the middle of the back of your head, and at that point add all the hair from the middle of the back of your head to your other ear at once. After that, continue twisting till you get above your other ear.

If you are going for the more Edwardian look, you will once again add a bit of hair every twist and continue to add and twist hair until you get above your other ear.

5) Pin above other ear and continue twisting. 


Use bobby pins to secure the hair above your ear. Then- regardless of whether you are going for a halo or Edwardian look- twist the remainder of your hair  all together, so it forms a rope. This rope will be hidden behind other hair.

6) As you bring your twisted rope of hair back to the front, you can tuck the ends in or behind the start of the twisted hair. 


This completes the circle of hair around your head, forming the "halo." You will need to pin this in place. Then add any additional bobby pins anywhere you deem necessary.



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  //   The Messy Beehive //

Friday, February 15, 2013

Film Flick: The African Queen

Febuary is Oscar Season, so we're celebrating with some award winners from years past!


Shot almost entirely on location in Central Africa and starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, it is no surprise that the movie The African Queen is a classic. In fact, it ranks as number seventeen on a list of the top 100 American Films.

Set in German East Africa at the outbreak of World War One, a Canadian Steam-boat captain and a tea-totaling British missionary are thrown together aboard the African Queen. When missionary Rosie Sayer (Katherine Hepburn) watches as the Germans destroy her home and then her brother dies, she convinces the reluctant Captain Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) to take his boat down treacherous waters. She intends to convert the boat into a missile and torpedo a important German gunboat. What is compelling about this movie is how these two very dissimilar individuals learn to live, work, and, eventually, love one another. Will their patriotic missile equal a naval success or a horrible death by rapids, disease, predators and enemy guns? Danger abounds in the African Queen!

This film provoked mixed feelings. Personally, the plot seemed often slow, despite the many dangers these two people face. However, the acting was superb. My love of Bogart  was born from films like Casablanca and Maltese Falcon; the personality of Charlie Allnut differs greatly from the hard-boiled dick characters of those films. The part really shows Bogart’s  diverse abilities, and it is no surprise that this is the role that earned him his only Oscar. Hepburn was also wonderful. The best parts of the film were the unspoken emotions shown on their faces, whether expressions of burgeoning love or comic scenes, such as when they imitate the animals! Good thing the acting was so good since they are only two characters throughout most of the film. The other real strength of the film was that it was shot on location in Africa, a choice that made the filming extremely hazardous, due to both disease and the challenge of filming on a “boat.” Nearly every member of the cast and crew became deathly ill at one point or another. To find out more about the misadventures this production faced, read Hepburn's memoir about the expeirnce. The book is aptly named The Making of The African Queen: Or How I went to Africa with Boogie, Becall and Hudson and Nearly Lost My Mind. Still, the daring choice that paid off both commercially and critically, as African Queen’s ranking clearly indicates!

Despite these highlights, the plot is not overly engaging. I really had to force myself through this film. Still, for the acting that won Bogart his only Oscar and for the African setting showing sweeping film shots, I would recommend taking at least one trip with The African Queen. 

Looking for other Oscar winners? Try: Gigi | Citizen Kane |

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Film Flick: Dances with Wolves

Kevin Costner earned honorary membership in the Lakota (Sioux) tribe and the 75th place on The American Film Institute's Top 100 Movies list directing and starring in the classic film, Dances With Wolves.

Shot almost entirely on location in South Dakota and Wyoming, Dances with Wolves tells the story of a Civil War hero who longs for the frontier, which he can sense will not remain a wild world for long. When he reaches his station, the farthest outpost of the United States Army, he finds it abandoned, and sets in for a long wait of either returning soldiers or a relief unit. Unknown to him, a series of coincidences leave any trace of his existance on the frontier virutally unknown. The rest of the movie documents John Dunbar's work to make contact with the local Lakota (Sioux) Indian tribe, and the growing relationship that come from it.

I want to stress that this is not your daddy's Western, not a Spaghetti from earlier decades. It's a film that reflected people's changing views on Western Manifest Destiny, on American Indians, and ourselves. It was ahead of its time in that the movie is largely in subtitles while the actors all speak in the Lakota language. In fact, it is renown for its portrayal of a people as just that- people. They are not savages, noble or otherwise, but likewise they are not victimized, nor idolized people. They are human, as is the hero John Dunbar. Some may complain that Dances With Wolves is a prime example of the "Guilty White Man Fantasy" where a white man, whose culture is set to essentially erase or assimilate another culture, comes to love and join the threatened culture. It is a storyline that bothers many people due to fact it often feels as if the movie makers felt the audience wouldn't connect with the threatened culture without a white person, but I disagree in the case of Dances with Wolves, or, perhaps, more accurately, I felt that while the movie did fall into this "fantasy," it did so with a greater purpose. One of the large themes is conflict versus understanding. This is present in the Civil War battles, in the conflicts between different Indian tribes and between American Indians and the settlers and the U.S. Army. Certainly what cannot be argued with is the fact that the Lakota tribe was pleased enough with Costner's efforts that he, like the character he portrayed, earned memebership into the tribe.


Overall, I found the story and the acting intensely moving and captivating. Even filtered through subtitles, one is aware of the undercurrents and emotions playing out across the scree. This film also has much more historical accuracy than most westerns you'll encounter! The only thing that kind of bugged me, was the movie's ending was made to be intentionally vague. The story themeatically ends, but the character's ultimate fates remain unknown. Still, for a look at the Indian Wars, and the people who fought those battles, this movie provides an emotional and captivaing first look.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Valentine 2013 Never Fully Dressed
It's cheesy, a Hallmark Card driven holiday, I know. But- I do rather love Valentine's day. And yes, I am excited to share it with The Boy, though really, we are disgustingly lovey-dovy all the time (go ahead, ask the workers at our favorite restaurant  It is PDA city. I am sorry.). What I love about Valentine's  is sharing love of all kinds- family and friends as well as romantic. Even kindness towards strangers (this post on the subject seems very inspiring!) My family has always emphasized this with my father getting valentines for all "his girls" (and us for him, of course!). Once he even sent me a rose during school and signed it a "Secret Admirer" so I could seem very cool and mysterious to my peers. Um, but this opportunity to Be Cool went over my head and I told anyone who asked that it was probably my dad. But how sweet of him is that?

What about you? Any cool plans? No matter what the day holds in store for you, know that I have appreciated your presence on this blog; whether you have commented and deepening friendships have resulted or if you've just been a silent readers, thank you.

All that said- Valentine's seems like the perfect opportunity to Talk Wedding since some of you have expressed interest in our on-going planning. The good (amazing actually, I can't believe it!) news is that most of big things- like catering, and the reception site etc.- are done. These are not particularly visual steps so far, so sorry for a lack of visuals. I did get my dress all picked out and shoes are on their way, so maybe more pictures might be forth coming?

Oh- and that photo above? May or may not be one from our engagement shoot. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Popbasic Box Review

A few months ago, waaaay back in October, I won a giveaway from the blog Little Chief Honeybee for a free parcel from Popbasic, brand-new parcel-package-sending company that sends basic and trend items to women all over the world. In the package Popbasic sends you a micro-collection, which will cost between $50.00 and $100.00 each. But what is a micro-collection? It is a set of three items; as I understand it, usually one basic clothing item and two accessories that are trend items. New micro-collections will come out approximately every month. This is not a subscription service where you can sign up for several months at a time. You must sign up for each micro-collection monthly, however this means you are not locked into getting collections you do not like or whose items would be redundant in your wardrobe. You cannot purchase the items individually at this time, nor are there refunds. Both of these are because only limited amounts of the micro-collections are made.


Popbasic Microcollection I



Their first micro-collection is a great example of what they mean by basic items and trend items. They sent me a silk, polka-dot blouse; and two chunky, brightly colored necklaces. All items are of high quality, and the shirt was a good fit- if more boyish and relaxed than tailored. I've already worn the blouse three different ways in the span of seven days, (see one way here)! As for the necklaces- truthfully, if I hadn't won a free box, the necklaces might have kept me from buying this first micro-collection. They are not really my style. However, I have worn them each with different outfits since I got them, and now feel they are a nice compromise between the very on-trend bubble-necklaces, with their bright colors and large size, and a more timeless look . In essence, this first collection was doing exactly what the company intended- it was giving me classic staples while allowing me to try a trend. Something I didn't realize till I got my box was that Popbasic also sends along a small, surprise, beauty item. This month's was some oil tissue paper to soak up greasy spots on your skin.

In receiving this box, I also felt the company exhibited a very like-able element. They have great personality, and personal interaction. The co-founder Madeline Veenstra runs all their social marketing, email and customer care personally. There's a strong community feeling to it. They even send along "style guides," designed by bloggers and other consumers, to help you get ideas.



So, would I pay for this service myself? The answer is- maybe. Not for any bad reasons! The quality of the items, the taste evident in the micro collection, and the exemplary service cannot be doubted! I also love the concept of brining quality, basic items to people. There are three factors that would probably influence my decision to buy another micro-collection. I've been attempting to shop smarter and more consciously,  and that means trying to get more items like these into my closet in place of  cheap, trendy ones. Surprisingly, a lot of basic classics are really hard to find (tracking down a blue check shirt took months, and I've yet to find the perfect chunky, white sweater), but basic items are, well, basic. Occasionally, items they have in the collection might be something you already own (for example, I've seen sneak-peeks of a few micro-collections on Popbasic's social media, and already have a green maxi skirt like the ones they show). My second consideration would be the "trend items." I mentioned above, that the necklaces were not my style. Having two similar items I was unsure about would make it harder to buy an entire micro-collection. However, I've already noticed future micro-collections have more variety; three different items (even if I'm not so sure about one) would definitely make me more likely to buy! The last consideration is the one you're probably thinking of now- price. Fifty to one hundred dollars isn't exactly cheap, but- if these are truly closet staples, they are timeless. It is worth it to get quality that will last you.

Basically (pun intended), yes, I definitely will be buying another micro-collection. Maybe not every one, but some of them, as the items I want to build my wardrobe make their debutes in the micro-collections. And that is, after all, how the company wants you to use their services. Have you bought a micro-collection from Popbasic? Did you love it as much as I did?  Would you buy any of their upcoming micro-collections from them? Share your thoughts and opinions here!

Disclaimer: I won this box through a contest; the Popbasic company did not give it or any other compensation to me in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in it are my own. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What I Wore: Popbasic Polka Dot Shirt

Oddfellow-9
Popbasic1Collage
Oddfellow-5
Oddfellow-7

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic), Vest (Maurice's; Old), Skirt (Buffalo Exchange), tights (Old), Shoes (Famous Footwear), Hat and Necklace (Gift), Glasses (c/o Firmoo)


Can't put my finger on what exactly it is, but this outfit has a very Seventies feel to me, and a rather fun and funky sort oa a feeling too. Do you ever feel like your clothes have certain "vibes" or "feelings" to them? No? Just me? Alright then....

Way back in October I won one of the neatest giveaways at the blog Little Chief Honeybee- a free box from a brand-new company called Popbasic. Last week was their big launch and this shirt- among some other things- found it's way to me. To find out more about Popbasic and their non-subscription services tune in tomorrow for the full 4-1-1. For today, it is probably enough to know I've already worn this shirt three different ways and have plenty more ideas, so you'll be seeing these polka dots again! It is- as the company name implies- a good basic. What are basics of your closet? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Firmoo Giveaway

If you've been online at all in the last three months  chances are you've heard of Firmoo.com, one of the world's largest online eyeglasses retailers. They've been reaching out to bloggers and trying to spread the word about their services. I've talked about my experiences with them here. Firmoo specialize in inexpensive, quality eyewear for both prescription and non-prescription needs- and they want to give YOU a free pair of eyeglasses! 

firmoogiveawayOne lucky person can win a free pair of fashionable eyeglasses (prescription or non-prescription!) from Firmoo today. But one prize is not enough! Firmoo will also be giving out several vouchers, worth $30.00, to be used on any of their designer frame eyeglasses! It is easy to win either a free pair of glasses or a voucher.



Here's how to enter:


  • -Head on over to Firmoo and then leave a comment telling me your favorite pair
  • -Don't forget to include  your email address so I can contact you

Additional Entry Opportunities (leave a separate comment for each entry)



  • Follow this blog with GFC or Bloglovin -- leave your display name, please! 
  • 'Like' Firmoo on Facebook
  • Share on about this giveaway on Facebook, re-blog and/or tweet about it.
The giveaway is open internationally. You do not need to be a user or have a blog. the giveaway will end in a week on February 18th, 2013.  Contest prizes do NOT  include shipping.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Film Flick: Citizen Kane


It's February and that mean's Oscar Season is upon us. Often culturally enriching and always entertaining, award-winning movies have been voted upon by the academy since the 1920s! Don't miss these Oscar Best Picture Films.
It's February and that mean's Oscar Season is upon us. Often culturally enriching and always entertaining, award-winning movies have been voted upon by the academy since the 1920s! Don't miss these Oscar Best Picture Films. It's February and that mean's Oscar Season is upon us. Often culturally enriching and always entertaining, award-winning movies have been voted upon by the academy since the 1920s! Don't miss these Oscar Best Picture Films.

Citizen Kane is almost universally considered to be the greatest movie of all time. At least, it certainly made number one on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Movies List. Now, maybe you are one of those people who, despite its exalted place in film history, are skeptical. I was. In fact, I was under the impression it was about a heartless, power-hungry newspaper man and war monger who ends up dying alone. Not the type of story to draw me in- And, well, it is about that, sort of, but not at all in the way you'd think.


The movie starts with the famous line " Rosebud," which turns out to be the last word of Charles Foster Kane. What follows is a reporter's investigation of the man's life to find who he was as a person, and the meaning of his mysterious last words. As the reporter visits those still living who knew Kane best, his life is revealed in fragements ultimately showing an idealism and need corrupted over time. It is, essentially, a the same story told from multiple perspectives, each leaving out and adding in things, to create differing impressions of a man whom some once thought important.

Critics pegged the movie as an unrelenting parody of the newspaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst. Certainly, Hearst, a contemporary and personal aquaintance of the filmmakers, saw it as such, lambasting it in his many papers, and other news outlets. In later years though, some thought the story followed another's life more closely- that of the director and star Orson Welles', giving the movie an eerie sense of self-prophecy. Citizen Kane's editor, Robert Wise, explained, "I saw the film again...when they had the fiftieth anniversary, and I suddenly thought to myself, well, Welles was doing an autobiographical film and didn't realize it, because it's rather much the same, you know. You start here, and you have a big rise and tremendous prominence and fame and success and whatnot, and then tail off and tail off and tail off." Others have been kinder to Welles. They have commented that, though there were similarities between the fictional Kane's and reali-life Welles' lives, Welles was nothing like the movie protagonist, because Welles never railed against his life tragedies, and furthermore Welles had true artistic ablities which Kane lacked. Hearst was not the only person who would feel insulted by the film though. Both today and during the film's initial release, Orson Welles was trumpeted as a sort of one-man band- the man who wrote, directed, and starred in the greatest film of all time. However, the script is actually credited to two men, Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz. The latter often felt his work on the film was not acknowledged and, in fact, reports that he was the only one to write the script that ended up on screen.




From a personal stance, I am honestly not sure I've ever seen anything like Citizen Kane, before or since. The camera angles and lighting seem unsually for the time, and still seem unique today, even counting in film noir. More extreme angle versions can be seen in Orson's later film, The Third Man, but in Citizen Kane, the filming treads that delicate line of interesting and bizarre successfully. Likewise, the story's episodic, fragmented nature works to keep the mystery from unravelling to quickly. Perhaps one of the greatest technical achievements of the film is the astounding aging make up. Suffice to say I was wrong. This movie really does deserve its title of "greatest." Instead, I'm only amazed now that more people haven't seen it before. Whether this is a tale based on Hearst, Welles himself, or merely a creation of the writers' own imaginations, it is undebatable that this is one for the ages, a tale that remarks on the nature of power, and the need for love. It leaves us all wondering what our own "Rosebud" might be.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What I Wore: a Forties' Look for a Millennial Looker

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What I Wore: Checked Shirt (Mango), Pants and belt (Old), Shoes (old), necklace (vintage)


As promised, another "work outfit." The location might be making the checked shirt seem more western than it really is. In person, this look really has more of a 1940's vibe that I love thanks to these high-waisted, wide-legged pants and big thick belt. I suppose one might run the risk of short-waisting themselves, but with high heels my legs seem to go on forever and my waist has never felt so tiny and nipped-in! Yet I can move about comfortably in a variety of situations (a must for a substitute teacher since you never know quite what sort of situation you are walking into!), and the retro feeling is subtle. The last thing I want is feeling like a walking history lesson for the students. Instead, it is as the title implies: A Forties Look for a Millennial Looker.*

Our very Spaghetti Western-like location is The Holiday Inn's Buffalo Bill Village; Its closed for the season.  I've actually never really been when it is open for business (it really is very touristy), but when my mother first moved out here to go to college (she eventually married my father- her professor!), she had an Old Time Photography business in this place. You know, those places where you dress up and they take a picture in black and white or sepia? Of course, it's been many years since she sold the business and the business has since moved to new locations, but as corny as it can be such a photo still sounds fun, right?

* By the by, Does generational studies fascinate anyone else? I love the term "Millennial" for my genration more than Generation Y or Digital Natives. The former is not very descriptive of the age group and the latter is really more appropriate to our children, I think. But Millennial gives a very accurate description of when the generation came of age.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Blog Anniversary!

A year ago today, Never Fully Dressed (Without A Style) was born with its very first outfit post! You can find that first post in the archives. It is pretty awkward and embarrassing to look at now. I've learned so much about blogging, and all the skills that come with it. I've also made blogging friends and gotten to know all of you, dear readers! For those of you who've stuck with me and those of you who've stumbled on Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) on the way- Thanks for all that you do. Below are some of the year's favorite outfits, and favorite posts. What a crazy, fun journey it has been!

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Top Row:  White Dress | Mustard Sweater and Shirtdress | Flannel and Black Skirt |Striped Skirt | Owl Sweater and Black SkirtSixth Row: Golden Skirt and Slouchy Sweater | Mustard Sweater and Hat | Blue Check Shirt and Blazer | Gingham Dress and Red Cardigan | Black and White Outfit

Fifth Row: Owl Sweater and Mulberry Pants | Flannel shirt and Jean Shorts | Menswear Outfit | Mustard Sweater and Floppy Hat | Green Shirt and Jean Shorts

Fourth Row: Pink Shirt and Wish Magazine | Brown Skirt and Hair Scarf | Boho Top and Beehive | Retro Sweater and Gingham | White Shirt and Full Skirt 

Third Row: Blue Shorts and White Top | Green Shorts | Yellow Shirt and Blue Shorts | Coral Shorts | Gingham Dress

Second Row: Red, White and Blue | Brown Skirt | Floral Circle Skirt | Yellow Shirt and Jeans | Skirt and Bowler Hat

Bottom Row: Blue Dress and Boater Hat | Golden Skirt and Blue Shirt | Red Jeans | Stripes and Green Shorts | Annie Hall Outfit


There's also been a lot of fun personal milestones and fun adventures I've shared on the blog this year:

And in case you missed them- here's some of my most popular posts:


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What I Wore: Bowler Hats Are Cool

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What I Wore: You Really Dot Me Top (Modcloth), Skirt (Old; H&M), Bowler Hat (The Hat Shop), Shoes (Old Navy), Scarf (Yarn Works By Danyon)


You know how every blogger has this tendency to complain about taking outfit shots in the cold (Yeah, I'm one of them too)? Well, The Boy and I found the solution to all our chilly photo-taking woes: an outdoor fire! I love outdoor fires anyway, despite being rather terrified of fire (no joke, I refused to learn how to light matches till I got my first apartment and had a gas stove that you had to light. The oven also required a match to light the pilot. Never did bake much there...), but they are the best in the just-slightly chilly weather, so you get the sensation of being both warm and cold at the same time.  I mean, I'm kinda being a baby because it was fifty degrees up in Billings when we went photo shooting and so that might not really qualify as chilly per say,  but these are also sheer sleeves. So there.

Billings has been really making an effort in the last five years to reignite their downtown scene, and now there are all these "Alive after Five," hip, trendy places next to art galleries (art galleries that have items that are not just Western Art even. A revolution in Montana and Wyoming, practically!), cafes and the theatre(s.) This, and the fire pit across the street are by two such bars. I love wearing my bowler hat there because it makes me feel like I fit in and am all hip and trendy too.

Yeah. Such a poser, I know. But it IS a bowler hat. Bowler hats are cool.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Readers' Survey



With my "blog-versary" coming up in just a few days, I have been wanting to check in and check up- how has your experience reading Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) been? What can I do to make sure this next year of blogging is the Best Year Ever? Let me know; take the survey below!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Month in Review: Best of January 2013


2013 got off to a great start here on Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style), and here's why:

Great Outfits


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A Golden Skirt  | Menswear- Old School Style | Making Memories

I also shared a favorite find of mine over on the Modcloth Blog. Go take a peek to see a favorite vintage dress!

Great Mail

A series on Letter Writing continues with a post on  Personal Correspondence and writing Love Letters

Great Hair


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Great Movies

For movies we watched two different mysteries- Hitchcock's suspenseful Dial 'M' For Murder and film noir Backfire.

Great Plans

As you might now, we're in the middle of wedding planning on the blog. For those of you interested, I showed off my  Retro Wedding Pinterest Board. And if you haven't seen it yet, my Twitter Page  got a rockin', nerdy make-over.
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Great Finds



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