Friday, May 30, 2014

What I Wore: Getting Better All the Time

Hell bunny skirt, floral, rose, skirt, red, straw hat, boater hat, popbasic, ruby, new job, teaching job, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, FloralTank-15
Hell bunny skirt, floral, rose, skirt, red, straw hat, boater hat, popbasic, ruby, new job, teaching job, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
Hell bunny skirt, floral, rose, skirt, red, straw hat, boater hat, popbasic, ruby, new job, teaching job, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

What I Wore: Skirt (Hell Bunny), Top (Old Navy), Belt (Similar Here),  Shoes (Old Navy), Necklace (Popbasic), Hat (Similar Here), Purse (Similar Here)

Oh, yes, like the Beatles' song says, "Its getting better all the time!" As has been hinted at, things have gotten pretty crazy around these parts lately- and  for good reason. I am finally going to have a classroom of my own next year! Yes- I got a teaching job! I've known about this for about a week, but was keeping mum until it was official. 

This has been a long journey that I won't bore you with (long story short- I entered college hearing of impending teacher shortages. The recession happened right before I graduated and suddenly it was all about a "glut of teachers" instead), but really, this job seems to fit my strengths and what I can best offer to students and their education best. So, definitely feeling where I am is where I was meant to be. I'll be the Gifted and Talented teacher for all the elementary schools in our district. Not gonna lie- this is going to be a huge challenge, since not only will it be my first year teaching, but I will also be taking classes of my own to get my Gifted and Talented endorsement. In the short term, I'm trying to get ducks in a row to take as many of my classes as I can this summer, but will be finishing up a 12 credit program to endorsement throughout the year. But I am so excited for this coming year- excited to be meeting students; to be making lessons; and to be figuring out what these students need and how to show them that. 

In terms of the Never Fully Dressed,  things will probably be changing, most likely later on this summer or fall. What that will look like, I'm still uncertain. But this is space has become it's own fantastic journey, so don't doubt I'll still be here- Same Bat Time. Same Bat Station.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Letter Writing: Letters of Complaint

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.

The internet has given power to the individual; a blog post, Facebook status or tweet has been known start an avalanche big enough to affect huge corporate profits. But if someone is looking for change on a less monumental (or at least less public) scale, the Letter of Complaint is still something most adults ought to know how to do. When you have a problem or issue that needs addressed, writing a letter of complaint is the first step to getting things fixed to your satisfaction. They can be written to many different people, but most often are to landlords, restaurants, institutions as well as both small and large businesses.
1500 mail boxes, letters of complaint, letters, letter writing series, mail, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
Photo by Alex Bath
Since your letter needs to have a professional tone, have it typed and use a business format. This includes putting your full name and contact information above the letter. Alternatively you could put it below their signature at the end. Either way, it insures they can contact you even if the envelope is lost.

letters, complaint letters, complaints, NASA, Commons photos,
Photo from the NASA center Ames research collection
Most often you will be writing to a customer service department, in which case, it is fine to begin the letter with “Dear Sir or Madam.” If there is no customer service department, take the time to find out who has the authority to solve your problem and write to them. In the first paragraph, state what the problem is. Make sure to include any pertinent details, such as the names of any employees involved, the date and location the problem occurred on as well as any the serial number of any products, names of models of products, what warranties guarantee etc. You may want to documentation such as receipts or photos of damage; be sure to send copies and keep the originals for yourself. Also make sure to mention in writing any documentation you include with your letter. Overall though, be concise; the sooner they know what you problem is the sooner they can fix it.

The second paragraph is where you address what can be done to make remedy the issue. Though tempting, do not ask for either an explanation or an apology. The person you are writing does not owe you the apology nor can give an explanation for the simple reason that they are very unlikely to have been present when the problem occurred. They will fix it for you, though; companies are not out to get their customers!  So do state here what, if any compensation you want be it that  you need is a new model of the product, to be reimbursed or have an exchange of items. Politely set a time limit on the company for a response.14 days should be sufficient.  Remember, this is not the place to say you will taking your business elsewhere as it leaves little incentive to help you; instead treat your proposed solution as a way for both parties to move forward. Thank them for their time spent helping you either at the end of your second paragraph or in a short third one. Sign off with a respectful benediction such as “Sincerely” and include your full name.

Throughout your letter, use a polite but firm tone. Keep things calm, even if you are feeling quite irrate. Likewise, in a first letter of complaint, do not threaten with legal ramifications, even if you think that will the solution ultimately required. However, no need to apologize for complaining; you deserve fair compensation for your time or money you have spent on the other party. If you have not heard from the other party within the given time period, move up the chain of command when writing your next letter. Keep a copy of any letter sent out and any documentation of date delivered in your files in case legal action is necessary at a later, to prove that letters were in fact sent.

For more information:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What I Wore: Eshakti Review

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product review, never full dressed, withoutastyle, pink dress, full skirt, wyoming, eshakti,
What I Wore: Dress (c/o Eshakti), Shoes (Similar Here), Bracelet (Popbasic; Similar Here) Shrug (Target), Necklace (Similar Here)

This dress- given to me coutesy of Eshakti- makes one really THINK PINK. 

Eshakti is an international clothing company that "believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolutely best." They have hundreds of different styles of dresses, shirts, and skirts, many of which-like my own- are vintage inspired! But what really makes eShakti stand out from the crowd is their commitment to customized fit and size of their items. These are not pre-made dresses that sit in a warehouse until shipped. Each item is made for you as you order it.This means, that when you order it, you can get things customized. Don't like the length of a skirt? Change it! Want sleeves or a different neckline? What about adding pockets? Do-able, all. Even if you fall for an item just as it is shown on the website (I know I did!), you still need to provide your height. This ensures that when you say "knee-length" a skirt really is knee length. Their sizing and sizing chart gives very specific measurements for a lot of areas, ensuring your purchases are made it fit you. 

I'd actually been following the company for sometime, so you imagine how delighted I was to be contacted by them. I chose this dress in part for it's color. Pink has been slowly creeping back into my closet this past year (with this bracelet, shirt and dress), so I thought I'd help that color a long by diving in with a full skirted number. The color is more vibrant than I realized, but lovely and it's solid color will make it very remix-able, I think. Unsurprisingly, given the attention the company gives to this aspect, the dress fits perfectly. it is comfortable but not too loose. It is also sturdily made and has pockets. Why is a dress with pockets so utterly satisfying? It's not even like I put anything in the pockets. I just walked around with my hands tucked into them all day. It's all about those fun details. 

Sadly, this dress is not currently in stock, but check out the site as they have many gorgeous items. Have you tried the company's items before? Or would you now? 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Film Flick: Daddy Longlegs

Astaire, fred, leslie, caron, daddy longlegs, musical, classic film, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,Daddy Longlegs is sort of the poor man’s American in Paris. An alluring French girl becomes the object of romance for an older American, and there’s even a (too-long) ballet dream-sequence. But, with An American in Paris taking home Best Picture just the year before, perhaps the makers of Daddy Longlegs can be forgiven for assuming that audiences would want more of the same. And, it is still charming, even if it never reaches the heights of artistic or commercial success of its predecessor.

Loosely based on a novel of same name, Daddy Longlegs has Fred Astaire playing an eccentric millionaire who stumbles onto an orphanage in France. After seeing a young woman (Lelsie Caron) with a sparkling personality, but little in terms of prospects, he figures out how to sponsor her college education in America. The only stipulation is that she write once a month to her benefactor, whose identity she does not know. Only some fellow orphans’ descriptions of a mysterious visitor give her clues (and the movie’s title) when they tell her the man had legs as long as a Daddy Longleg spider. Since she never receives any letters back, she assumes that the man will always remain a mystery, but he might be closer to her than it first appears. Heads shake and fingers wag at all those who know him as an older man pursuing a much younger woman, but perhaps love can prevail at last?

Astaire, fred, leslie, caron, daddy longlegs, musical, classic film, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
It was the first of Fred Astaire’s films after being let go from MGM’s contract, and was later cited as a favorite film of his, for the reason that the plot addressed the age gap that existed between male and female leads. It could not have been an easy one for him to film at the time though. His wife died of cancer shortly after filming started. Astaire considered paying the studio back the money they’d already invested in order to get out of the film; the studio considered having Maurice Chevalier take over the role should Astaire back out. In the end though, Astaire decided work was the distraction he needed. Lucky for us as he is the best part of the film; he feigns the fun, even if he likely didn’t always feel it. The character is animated and enjoys life; he doesn’t take himself too seriously and that makes him enormously enjoyable to watch. Since it's Astaire- that makes it worth the price of admission with some truly stop-and-stare dancing (as always with him). Most notable are the Sluefoot Dance, which Astaire wrongly thought would become a huge dance craze, and one where he and Leslie Caron go out for a night in New York. The latter was filmed with no prior practice on Caron’s part. Filming for an Astaire solo dance was concluded earlier than planned, and he suggested knocking the other one out. She merely followed his lead for breath-taking romance.
Astaire, fred, leslie, caron, daddy longlegs, musical, classic film, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

Of course, Caron was no slouch in the dance department either- she had been Astaire’s request of a co-star. With a ballet background, she brings something different to the dancing partnership, and the film in general. In some instances this is more successful than others; a dream sequence becomes a twelve minute ballet dance with some truly bizarre results. Still Caron, manages to mostly straddle the line between seductive and innocent, which is as charming to the viewers as it is to her Daddy Longlegs.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What I Wore: Summer's Return

Shabby Apple, Popbasic, skirt, green, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
Shabby Apple, Popbasic, skirt, green, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
Shabby Apple, Popbasic, skirt, green, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

What I Wore: Skirt (c/o Shabby Apple), Belt (Similar Here), Shirt (Modbod), Shoes (Old Navy), Necklace (Popbasic)

The weather is finally agreeing with the calendar! With things in the sixties and seventies- and most of my neighbors still waiting to start their gardens- it really feels more like spring (and, weather deities, that is a-okay to stay that way!), but summer is almost here for our schools- and for me too! Our students are getting more  squirrely by the day, but there's some exciting job and education prospects ahead of me- that's all I'll say for now, but I'm with them in hoping time will fly by!

Speaking of spring and summer, this skirt is just so quintessentially Springtime, isn't it? Shabby Apple was gracious enough to send it to me last August. Since summer was winding down, it has only been featured a few times on the blog, but there's no doubt it will be in heavy rotation the next few months. It is kind of funny; I've always felt that my closet was one that did not get rotated; it got worn year round. But pieces like this remind me that's not really true- there are somethings beyond the obvious shorts and winter coats that just aren't worn year round. It adds interest to old clothing, if nothing else. What about you? Do you use most of your clothes all year round or do you change things out for spring and fall?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tea Sparrow Subscription Box

If you're a regular reader, it may have come to your attention that I like tea. Actually, that's a bit of an under-statement. You guys, I probably have tea running through my veins in place of blood. With several pots of tea a day, you'd think I might know a bit more about tea, but I'm actually a total novice about different kinds of teas. Lucky for me, Tea Sparrow is trying to change that with their company, the first in North America to send tea in subscription boxes. You can imagine my delight when they offered to send a box for me to try.
monthly box, mail, package, tea, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

Their subscription box is normally twenty dollars, and comes monthly to your door- with free shipping if you are in Canada or the continental United States! Each box contains four loose leaf teas, usually picked on a theme. May's box was to help fight back in allergy season. The teas in the box were: Apeldoorn's House Blend (a black tea with vanilla, ginger and cinnamon), a Peppermint Tea, Freedom Tea (An herbal green and red roobis tea),  and Milk Oolong (a green tea). Each comes in resealable packages, and include a label with ingredients, steeping suggestions, and where you can order more of this tea from. Tea Sparrow sends loose leaf teas from companies all over the world, so many samples come from varied places. Each package contains about ten ounces of the loose leaf tea, so that a box will get you approximately thirty-five to forty cups of tea.

Since the tea choices vary from box to box, I won't spend too much time on my thoughts on each of this month's flavor. The peppermint was my favorite, but all were fun to try, and I was pleased with the variety. We were given black teas, green teas, and herbal ones, so in a given box, there should be something to please everyone. Plus, with an eye towards the coming heat of summer, almost all of the teas chosen for this box were ones that could be consumed hot or cold.  Though what teas are in a box are ultimately chosen by the company, they do hold bi-monthly "teas" where you can vote for your favorite types, making it more likely that one will be chosen. Not only does it give the customer a say, but could create a fun community.

It is such a cozy and fun thing to receive tea in the mail! Sipping each different flavor, I really wondered whether I would purchase a box on my own for future use. Twenty dollars is a great price for most subscription boxes; on the other hand, it might be just a touch steep for forty cups worth of tea. However, I really think I will buy more boxes from them again. Especially if you are like me and don't know much about teas, this is a great way to learn, and the sizes are perfect for that. It is not so much you are overwhelmed with having a ton of a type of tea you don't like, but enough for several cups- whether all for yourself or to try with friends- so that you can really decide if you like the taste or not. It just seems like a perfect way to figure out what teas you like and find new favorites- not bad at all for the price of one Hamilton! However, you can get a full sixty percent off, and get your first box of Tea Sparrow for only eight dollars simply by using this link here and using the password "teas."

Thanks Tea Sparrow!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What I Wore: Expect the Unexpected

DogPrint-05 copy

What I Wore: Top (Amy Loo Blog), Shorts (Anthropologie; Similar Here), Wedges (Similar Here), Necklace (Similar Here)

I'm over at Flock Together sharing this dog-gone-great shirt- which has an unexpected twist. Go and check it out! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dogeared Page: Because of Winn-Dixie

I ate my Littmus Lozenge slow. It tasted good. It tasted like root beer and strawberry and something else I didn't have a name for, something that made me feel kind of sad. I looked over at Amanda. She was sucking on her candy and thinking hard. 

"Do you like it?" Miss Franny asked me. 

"Yes ma'am," I told her. 

"What about you Amanda? Do you like the Littmus Lozenge?"

"Yes ma'am," she said. "But it makes me think of things I feel sad about."

I wondered what in the world Amanda Wilkson had to feel sad about. She wasn't new to town. She had a mama and a daddy. I had seen them with her in church. 

"There's a secret ingredient in there," Miss Franny said. 

"I know it," I told her. "I can taste it. What is it?"

"Sorrow," Miss Franny said. "Not everyone can taste it. Children, especially, seem to have a hard time knowing it's there."

"I taste it," I said. 

- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cinema Style: How to Steal a Million

While a Roman HolidaySabrina, and Funny Face all have their undeniable charms, for me How to Steal a Million (Full Review Here) is my favorite Audrey Hepburn film. A bit quirky at heart, it is full of slapstick, romance and fun . As the film starts, Audrey Hepburn is zipping around in a speedy, little car with white helmet and round, white sunglasses. Consider it a cue for what's to come. Her style is still her own, but here it takes on a distinctly stylized and exaggerated quality of the Swinging Sixties. In her thirties, she reinvented herself with the perfect, mod haircut. With Peter O'Toole as both love interest and straight man, she allowed to have some fun, both in her acting and in utterly ridiculous yet glamorous looks. One such is this iconic black lace look- her character's attempt at subtly and intrigue.

Mask, Dress, Tights, Shoes, Gloves, Purse

You could be mistaken for a spy too, and keep your identity a secret behind a lace mask along with matching lace lace dresses and tights. Break up the monochrome look with white gloves- no finger prints that way!- and a cheeky domino bag (after all, with that bag, maybe you can win it big at a casino in Monte Carlo after your art heist is a success).  If you want striking without being quite that mysterious, ditch some of the lace accessories and go more au naturale.

During the film we also get a look at Hepburn's character Nicole's daywear- decidedly less outrageous but still quirky, combining the demure with the mod, and still often in monochromatic color schemes. This outfit of white and cream is perfect for a day to the museum- whether one is casing the joint or merely enjoying the artwork.  The collar of the sweater, as well as the sunglass' frames, give a nod to the mod, while the boyish belt and the dots on the skirt bring the outfit some millennial  flair. 
Sweater, Skirt (Similar Here), Belt, Tights, Shoes, Sunglasses, Purse

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interview on Bon March Couture

So happy to have been asked to share a bit about my blogging experience, dreams and other crazy thoughts on Bon Marche Couture. Thanks Emily; everyone, I hope you hop on over and check it and her out. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Stationery Wishlist: Over the Moon

Moon, stars, stationary, desk items, wish, list, withoutastyle, never fully dressed,

1. Moon Stickynotes | 2. Wooden Postcard | 3. Over the Moon Card | 4. Scissors | 5. Minimalist Tape Dispenser | 6. Astrology Birthday Card

1. Moon Stickynotes- Add some of the fantastic into your everyday with these etheral moon sticky notes.

2. Wooden Postcard- What's dreamier- the idea of a wooden post card of the saying on it? You couldn't wish on a star for something better!

3. Over the Moon Card- The Rifle Paper Co. always has the most delightful cards, but this one has a dream-like quality all it's own.

4. Scissors- These combine utility and beauty with a minimalist design.

5. Minimalist Tape Dispenser - Just as useful and artistic, this tape dispenser would pair perfectly with those scissors!

6. Astrology Birthday Card- Whether you believe in Astrology or just like to stargaze, these cards will delight all. (I'm a Virgo, by the way. What are you?)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Remix: Fox Terrier Sweater

dog, terrier, joules, sweater, remix,
dog, terrier, joules, sweater, remix, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
dog, terrier, joules, sweater, remix, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

I've been in love with this Fox Terrier Sweater Joules sent me ever since I got it. And there's so many reasons to love it too. First off, my own real Fox Terrier is just too cute, so wearing something with her on it makes my days brighter. It is also something that goes easily with so many different combinations- especially helpful as here in Wyoming, it doesn't look like winter will ever end... at least I'll look cute when they uncover my frozen remains...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Q+A: Memories of Mothers

Yesterday in the U.S. it was Mothers' Day. It can be a holiday fraught with love for some and anxiety for others, but I think we can all agree that whether it was your mother or someone else, amazing woman have helped to shape our lives, which is why I asked these five bloggers about a time or act their mother did that helped shape them.
MothersQ&A, mothers, lessons, bloggers,

Considering what my own mother taught me, one act that has always stuck out was her choice to go back to school for a Masters' degree. With a full time job, a husband and two elementary school kids, she also found the time (in addition to also coaching a team for my sister and leading my girl scout troop) to do this. At the time, in many ways, this was not such exciting news; it meant several evenings a week with no mom for us, but it left a lasting impact. I look on it now and recognize the importance of- not just continuing to learn- but of being able to initiate change in your life no matter where you are or the circumstances you are in. Most often you will not be able to pull up roots and move somewhere; you have to find change where you are and going back to school allowed her to be able to grow and eventual new career paths. This is something that will stick  with me even as an adult.

Kerry of Mustard Seed Coaching shares: 
One of my favorite memories of growing up was the constant sound of a piano being played. Sometimes this meant the radio, or a record, was playing, but usually it meant my mom was playing or teaching piano. There is a room in my childhood home solely dedicated to our grand piano. When I say ours, of course, I really mean her grand piano. I remember her telling me that it was the first major purchase she made, buying this giant instrument before a car or an apartment. Something about that resonates strongly as it's exactly along the lines of a decision I would make, the kind that derives from one's gut as opposed to doing something 'realistic'. Having a piano in our home blessed me with some obvious things like having a strong taste for classical and acoustic music, and a love for music in general, and being able to sing to live music anytime I wanted. However, it also instilled a few other key lessons like the importance of practicing learned skills, maintaining a passion, doing something you love, sharing those skills with others, and earning money from talent were all lessons that made their way from our piano into my mind and out into my life, where they still maintain today. Our moms do so much for us that it's hard to pick just one thing to note, but for me my best lessons came from the sound of keys being pressed down, music flowing out, and the song continuing on.

Ashly of Happy. Pretty. Sweet. tells her mother:

Thanks mom for showing me what love means.  It took me years to learn that not every child has a mom to turn to when they scrape their knee or have a bad day at school.  I am so lucky.  You love me even when you disagree with the decisions I make, and you support me even when those decisions don't turn out the way I planned.  You've shown me that true love doesn't come with strings, and by always being there for me, you've shown me it's okay to stretch my wings.  I can fly because we are a team.

Ruth the Origami Girl recounts: 
My Mum always surprises me by never saying no to crazy art. Not when it come to making things. When I told my parents we wanted a board-game themed outdoor wedding with Lego cakes, my mum got right on board making prototype iced bricks all year round.
And that made me think of when I was 17 and I bought a wedding dress home one day.
I wasn't engaged and I wasn't planning ahead. I presented it to my mum and said 'I want to dye this black, make it into a ball gown and dress up as Death'. (I'd found it in a charity shop – don't panic about the expense!). She didn't freak out, but proverbially rolled up her sleeves. My mum got out the baby bath for dying clothes, and helped me all summer as I spent hours chopping off that train and sewing it to fit. It's one of the best costumes I've ever made. And I think that confidence that I can make any crazy thing . So I'd like to thank her for never pushing my ideas smaller. This year I'm building a suit of armour for ComicCon in my living room and it's the most complicated costume yet. I can't wait to show her.

Katherine Of Corgis and Cocktails says:

"It's in the past, there is nothing you can do about it, Kasey."  I have many little things I heard often from my mom growing up. Learning to let things go and not get to me was one of the biggest lessons, and something I heard throughout high school that took me awhile to get. My mom always taught me that I cannot control everything, and that dwelling on it is just affecting me in a worse way than it's worth. She always taught me to stand on my own two feet and take control of what I can, but not let mistakes from my past ruin my future. From instilling her own financial genius into me (having an accountant mom is wonderful because she started helping me build credit for later in life at a young age - which I am HUGELY thankful for) to traveling the US with me as I learned to drive, I definitely see how much I have taken after my mom. And I love that - I think my thirst for adventure and ambition come straight from her.

Samantha of Banged Blonde remembers: 

I was raised by a single mother, so there's plenty to discuss in that regard! One thing though about my mother that I will always be thankful for and value the lessons I learned from are the many camping trips she took my sister and I on.  With two young girls and a beagle, my mom would set up the tent, chop all the wood, make dinner, and build the fire. Watching her do all these activities with what seemed to be an inexhaustible amount of energy just instilled in me this great sense of female empowerment. I'll always cherish those camping trips. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Film Flick: Sunset Boulevard

Art imitates life- or is it that life imitates art? Both are true of the iconic Sunset Boulevard, a film noir that paints the Hollywood life in such bleak terms that left some moved and others cursing in the wake of its star-studded opening night. While still at the premiere, Louie B. Mayer ranted to Wilder that “You have disgraced the industry that made and fed you!” while Barbara Stanwyck knelt to kiss the hem of the lead actress’s skirt.
The film opens with a body floating face down in the pool. As we start at the distorted face, the dead man begins to recount what had brought him there- to that moment, to that house, to that end.  Joe Gillis was a down-on-his-luck screenplay writer, whose car was about to repossessed. When trying to get away from the repo men, he stumbled onto an old mansion that is not as deserted as it looks. Within its opulent walls lives Norma Desmond, one of Hollywood’s most glittering stars back before talkies came to town. Now, nearly twenty years later, she explains, “I am big. It’s the pictures that got smaller!” 

Alone, except for her strange butler Max, and searching to regain the adoring love and adulations she once knew, Desmond requires Gillis- and only partly to help with the hack-eyed script she’d been writing to relaunch her career. Just as Gillis was becoming ever more enmeshed within Desmond’s bizarre world, his own big break looked to be right around the corner…
Norma Desmond would be the role she would be forever remembered for, predicted Gloria Swanson’s good friend George Cuckor. This may have sounded odd to the actress since Gloria Swanson had been a queen of Hollywood in its silent film heydays. She had survived the transition to sound, but the glamorous image that had been so carefully cultivated throughout the nineteen twenties had been what ultimately ended her career when the Depression struck. This was the chance to get it back.  “If they want you to do ten screen tests, do ten screen tests! If you don’t, I will personally shoot you!” Cuckor had threatened. In the end, Swanson did the the tests and got the part, though it would not lead to a comeback. In real life, Swanson had been down to earth and money savvy, but the way Desmond’s and her careers so closely mirrored one another, meant most assumed their personalities were the same as well. This uneasy similarity may have been played up when many of the posters, photos, and other paraphernalia of Swanson’s real life career became the props and set dressing of the film.

Swanson wasn’t the only one from which the film was drawing it’s real life inspiration. Almost everything from the drugstore Gilis buys smokes at to the bed Desmond sleeps in, were real places in Los Angeles and real items owned by stars and former stars. Eric Von Strohiem, in this film playing the part of Max, had once been one  of Hollywood’s biggest directors before his epically disastrous film, Queen Kelly ended everything.  Ironically, that film had starred Swanson, and clips of it can be seen in Sunset Boulevard. The absurd script Norma Desmond is writing  bears a passing resemblance to it as well. Other actors and Hollywood big shots are name-dropped or even have cameos.  Perhaps most iconic of all was Cecil B. DeMille, the director who had launched Swanson’s real life career, and in the film inspired that infamous line “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”
And you’ll be ready for it too; it’s a film for the ages that everyone should see at least once. So, go on. Hop in your car, and take a trip down Sunset Boulevard.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What I Wore: On a Ship

hat, chambray, popbasic, necklace, menswear inspired, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
hat, chambray, popbasic, necklace, menswear inspired, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

hat, chambray, popbasic, necklace, menswear inspired, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, What I Wore: Shirt (Old Navy), Cami (Forever 21), Necklace and Bracelets (Popbasic), Hat (Vintage; Similar Here), Pants (59th Street; Similar Here), Shoes (Old Navy)

It's a metaphorical ship. Let's make that clear right away. I can count the number of times this land-locked girl's been on a boat on one hand.

Still, it has been wet, and foggy-and now even snowy- around these parts. Which just evokes certain things- the smell of camp fire smoke gone out, the feel of wool blankets, the taste of tea, and how utterly easy slouchy outfits like this one are.  Days like this are when the longing-filled music of the 60's folk revival scene get played. That's where the post's title comes from.

 I rarely use song lyrics (this might be the only other case) but the words of one song inevitably draw me in: There is a ship / It sails the seas / It's loaded deep, as deep cam be / But not so deep as the love I'm in / I know not if I sink of swim.

I end up humming it at random points through out the day, lazily stirring tea perhaps or waving good bye, but always there, at the back of my mind, letting me dream,  perhaps even of summer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Popbasic Interview

One of my favorite things to get in the mail is a package, and there's none better to get it from than Popbasic, an innovate company that aims to help women build there wardrobe one basic at a time. Previously, Popbasic only sold their "micro-collections" of three items, which changed monthly. Starting this May though, some individual items will be available for purchase- and by May, I mean today! You'll be able to purchase their Le Breton- a classic striped shirt. To celebrate, I caught up with Popbasic Co-founder and CEO, Madeline Veneestra, to talk a bit about their new permanent collection. 
Navy, white, stripe, striped shirt, permanent line,

Was having a permanent line always in your and Coen's plans for Popbasic? If not, what brought about this possibility?

 It wasn’t always part of our plans, however we quickly realised that so many people had missed out on key pieces and it made sense to bring those back as permanent items. Trend items can come and go, but basics are always needed.

 What has been your favorite thing about starting a permanent collection? 

Dreaming up all of the different colorways we’re going to introduce! It’s been so difficult to hold myself back and remember to keep the basics, well basic. Though we have a few exciting ideas up our sleeves for our pop pieces.

cluctch, leather, latte, navy, white, stripe, striped shirt, permanent line,
Are there any different challenges you foresee- or have already experienced- that differ from what your company does with their monthly micro-collections? 

My problem will be in deciding which pieces to release into the store first! Though we’ve tried to do this in chronological order.

Will having the permanent collection change anything in how your monthly boxes of micro-collections are run?

Not at all. There will be a more permanent schedule going forward, with permanent pieces coming out towards the start of the month, and micro collections available mid month.
Navy, white, back view, popbasic, permanent line, stripe, striped shirt,

How permanent is permanent? Will the items in your line be there for the foreseeable future or once they are out of stock, will ladies be out of luck? 

The items will always be part of the permanent range, however as we introduce them they will only be available for pre-order for 7 days. Once those have shipped, we’ll continue to restock the items. Though as always, we can’t determine demand perfectly, so we may sell out from time to time!

 Those who follow along on Facebook might already be aware, but you have plans for expanding your permanent line! Can you tell us a little what that will look like over the next year? 

We have lots of fun things in store for our Popbasic community! First up, our Le Breton will be back in our original navy stripe. We’re also introducing it in a fun red stripe for June. Next off the bat, are our Basic Tees in original Grey and Ink. Something that I know a lot of gals having been waiting for, are our Leather Clutches. We’re bringing back our original colour, Latte, as well as Ink, Peach, and Cobalt blue. Last but certainly not least, our Silk Blouses will be back in a few basics, and some very fun pop prints.
Grey, gray, marle, shirt, popbasic, permanent line,
Your Gwyn Collar Necklace, originally from one of your earliest boxes, made a reappearance in April's Ashbury collection since it was so popular. Will other pieces from past micro-collections be likely to pop-up in future boxes, or are they more likely to make their way to your permeant collection now? 

Accessories are more likely to make an appearance in future micro collections, rather than our clothing items. Though fun takes on previous pieces might pop up. For example, we have a Le Breton Dress in a micro collection this year!

 Why a striped shirt- in the permeant collection or at all- and what is you favorite way to style it :)

 A striped shirt is the easiest way to look pulled together and feel comfortable at the same time. I certainly won’t argue with a French woman in regards to style. My favorite way to style our Le Breton is with my skinny jeans and ballet flats. For a dressier look, I like to wear it with my black high waisted flair skirt from J. Crew and my black knitted infinity scarf.
red stripes, stripes, popbasic, permanent line,

Thanks Maddy for sharing these insights; congratulations with your permanent line!

In love with their clothing yet? If so, you can find their store here, and you can also follow along with their social media presence, with their facebook, twitter and blog.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What I Wore: On My Own

wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, joules, fox terrier, sweater, white dress,
wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, joules, fox terrier, sweater, white dress,
wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, joules, fox terrier, sweater, white dress,

What I Wore: Sweater (Joules), Dress (Modcloth; Similar Here), Shoes (Old Navy), Leggings (Target), Necklace (Popbasic), Watch (Modcloth; Similar Here), Bracelet (Lulu Frost)

This outfit seemed pretty apropos for my week. I'm going solo this week as The Boy is in Chicago for a conference. And, well, when I say "solo," what I really mean is, it is me and the dogs. Spoiled as they are, they always take center stage, but I have a feeling that will be even more the case here. 

As our first anniversary is approaching in June, I realized that, though we've both been away from home since the marriage, this will be the longest at seven days. I like my down-time (extreme introvert here), but still, that's a bit of time. I'm trying not to be down about it- Chicago is pretty cool and conferences are a blast after all, so I'm excited for him. Instead, I'm framing it this way- this week will be focussing on getting projects done, cleaning, and taking the time to call old friends, maintaining those relationships too... And maybe a visit or two to the library, but- let's be real here; what is any week without a visit to the library? 

And, Boy, if you are reading this, remember- When you see Heart Mountain, you're close to home. It's something my dad always told us growing up, and along with that other truism, home is where the heart is, I hope that is true for you this week as well <3

Monday, May 5, 2014

(Last Minute) Mother's Day Gift Guide

mothersday, mother, mom, gifts, presents, stitch fix, gardening, pinrose, perfume, books,

1 Pinrose Scent Gift Set | 2. Recipe Box | 3. The Art of Cheese Making book | 4. Stitch Fix | 5. Gardening Stool | 6. Patricia Wexler Skin Care Products

Yikes! Have you seen a calendar? Mother's day is this Sunday? If you're anything like me, this is a surprise. While trying to plan out a menu for mom or wrangle a reservation, why not pamper her with a little gift? It's not too late! All of these gift ideas can be yours; some may require a little fast shipping will be in order, or they may be as simple as printing a gift card, but she's be sure to love these. 

Pinrose Scent Gift Set  - This unique perfume company creates scents that change over time! Each scent (and scent-within-a-scent) is complex and subtle. To add to the novelty, their mother's day gift scent will mail your mother not only a gift card, but a sample of all of their perfumes and a notebook to write what she thinks of each one. That way, she can try them all and then choose which she likes best! If you have a mom who loves getting mail or trying new things, this might be a perfect fit.

2. Recipe Box- I saw this and instantly thought of a lovely lady I know who fed a table of six or seven on a regular basis for years. This whimsically decorated box would make cooking even more of a pleasure for the mother who is a gourmand.

 3. The Art of Cheese Making book- My mother loves to make things- soups, sewing projects, cheese, wine, mushrooms- you name it. If there's a woman in your life who has a passion for hobbies, why not enrich that passion with a book on the subject?

 4. Stitch Fix - You may have guessed I like subscription boxes, but not that my entire family does too! My mother's tried Stitch Fix several times with great success (arguably with even better success than me. All her stuff from them is so cute!) They do gift cards, which make for quick and easy gifts. Or, if clothes are not your mom's thing, why not try one of these other subscription boxes?

5. Gardening Stool- With spring in bloom, now's the perfect time to aid your mother's garden. This handy tool works both as a tool kit bag and as a place to sit. Save mom from aching backs when she's pulling weeds with this!

 6. Patricia Wexler Skin Care Products- My mother swears by Patricia Wexler, and, really, is there anything more luxurious feeling than well cared for skin?

Friday, May 2, 2014

In May, Why Don't You...

Lilacs, succulent garden, red shoes,
Photo credit: decor8holly via flickr
Wear red shoes

Cultivate a succulent garden

Splurge on new stationary

Visit the dog park

Call your mother

Hide a lavender sachet in your intimates drawer for a fresh scent

Take a book outside to read

Hang new curtains

Test your puzzle prowess with Sudoku

Gather sprigs of blooming lilacs for the house

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What I Wore: Like a Spy

black, monochrome outfit, popbasic, spy, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
black, monochrome outfit, popbasic, spy, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
black, monochrome outfit, popbasic, spy, wyoming, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,
What I Wore: Sweater (Similar Here), Skirt (Popbasic), Shoes (Old Navy), Necklace (Popbasic)

It's May, guys. I feel like there ought to be color, April showers bring and all that, right? Pastels and florals- that's Fashion's spring. Aaaaand.... here I am.

In all black.

Like a spy.

I say that to make it sound all cool, and maybe make you think I go around life with James Bond film scores playing in the background (which, no joke, they were while I wrote this, but in general...not so much), instead of saying "all black like a funeral." But the truth is, I really did feel cool in this outfit, even if it seems to contradict our need for warmer weather. It's hard to go wrong in black anyway, but the play of different textures kept it interesting, allowing for that monochrome color scheme to make my statement for me.

More recently, I learned another trick from a TED Talk for gaining a quick boost of confidence, which is to stand or sit in powerful poses for about two minutes. Think Superman's iconic stance- feet wide apart and firmly planted with hands on hips. Any stance where you are firmly grounded and taking up space will lower the chemicals in the body associated with stress and will boost up testosterone- the chemical that stimulates confidence- temporarily. Try it the next time you need to be interviewed, talk to a group, or lead a meeting.

What makes you feel more confident?
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