Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Month in Review: November 2014

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

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

Plans on the Go

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

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

Finds on the Go

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cinema Style: Meet Me in St. Louis

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

Shoes, Dress, Hat, Necklace

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

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

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

Shirt, Skirt, Tuxedo Jacket, Shoes, Fascinator

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What I Wore: That Seventies Girl

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Letter Writing: The Letter Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further Reading: 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Good Morning, Baltimore!

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

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

The rest of it.

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

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Dog-Eared Page: A Little Princess

book, except, frances hodgson burnett, never fully dressed, withoutastyle,

"Things happen to people by accident," She used to say.  " A lot of nice accidents have happened to me. It just happened that I always liked lessons and books and could remember things when I learned them. It just happened that I was born with a father who was beautiful and nice and clever, and could give me everything I liked. Perhaps I have not really a good temper at all, but if you have everything you want and everyone is kind to you, how can help but be good-tempered? I don't know"- looking quite serious- "how I shall ever find out whether I am really a nice child or a horrid one. Perhaps I am a hideous child and no one will ever know, just because I never have any trials."

"Lavinia has no trials," said Ermengarde, stolidly "and she is horrid enough."
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett 

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hey all! I'm leaving- Wyoming and the blog- for the week to head to Baltimore and the National Association for Gifted Children's annual conference. I'm excited as can be and ready to learn! You can keep up with the adventures on my Instagram. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite reads around the internet lately. What do you think of them?

Civil Air Patrol Base, Bar Harbor, Maine  (LOC)

If Ariel and Eric got married in Real Life

And, because you can never have too much Disney- here's Princesses with realistic waistlines

Some gorgeous fall style from Jen and Suzanne

Inside the Secret World of a Geisha

Keeping the Faith: How childhood affects church-going

Some tips on creating a mix-and-match wardrobe

Why Fashion Blogging Isn't Dead Yet

these 6 things are harassment- I find it sad we need to clarify this but sadder these things happen

Women Rejecting Marriage Proposals in Western Art

Did you know sign language had accents?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What I Wore: Polk Dot

Polka Dots, popbasic,
PicMonkey Collage
preppy look

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Here), Jeans (Gap), Shoes (Old Navy), Sweater (Similar Here), Necklace (Similar Here)

A few months ago, I'd noticed a certain word had creeped into my blog comments too other stylish ladies- effortless. That look seems so effortless. Effortless and chic.  You pull that off so effortlessly. But, someone pointed out- what's wrong with effort? What's wrong with looking like you put time and thought into your clothing, especially, since I and the bloggers I was commenting to obviously had blogs, it was obvious we cared about what we were wearing and thought it of at least some importance. Well, it got me thinking for sure, and striking the word from my vocabulary.
The thing of it is- I still am so drawn to that sort of look. The "these things may have not seemed to go together, but actually really work well" sort of look. The laid-back, fancy-yet-casual look. The bohemian yet bourgeois look.

And you might be wondering why I'm mentioning this at all because this outfit? Is not really any of those things. It is polished, and if it is a touch tomboy, it definitely a lot more on the preppy side. And that'd be my point exactly. Just as much as I'm still drawn to the effortless seeming looks, I love these that you can tell have thought behind them, that look pulled together but still easy to live in. In fact, I've worn  iterations of this outfit several times both at work and at home since finally getting a white polka dot shirt!

The shirt is one of several items I've recently bought off of my List of items I've bee looking for (P.S. here is my List updated for fall/winter). It is funny because I used get choice paralysis when shopping quite a bit and dither about a purchase until the item was out of stock- and then occasionally do an impulse purchase I'd regret. But (ironically) my getting dressed lately has been more effortless because I've been knowing what clothes I want in my closet, and everything in the closet goes with one another. That is the sort of effortless I can get behind!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Stationery Wishlist: Paris is Always a Good Idea

Stamps, envelopes, card, journal, calendar, stationary, desk accesories, mail, letters,

1. Stickers | 2. Paris Calendar | 3. Merci Beaucoup Stamp | 4. Paris Journal | 5. Bonjour Card | 6. Phone Case | 7. Envelope | 8. Stamp Set

1. Stickers - These French phrase stickers will make any package seem like it arrived straight from the ChampsChamps D'Elysee.

2. Paris Calendar- This calendar will make it seem like it's always April in Paris!

 3. Merci Beaucoup Stamp- Send your thanks off with a bit of flair with this stamp.

4. Paris Journal - Keep your thoughts, daydreams and travel plans in this journal.

5. Bonjour Card - You won't have to write "wish you were here;" your friends will just know it when you send them this gorgeous card.

6. Phone Case - Won't you love saying "Bonjour!" when you answer this phone? (Actually, the French might typically say "'Allo" when answering the phone. And the Italians say "Pronto" while the Czech say "čau" from the Italian word ciao. That's your language lesson for the day.)
7. Envelope- So you may not really be sending anything "Par Avion," but this nostalgic touch will be sure to bring joy to the person you send it to.

 8. Stamp Set- Personalize any mail you send with stamps- like these Paris themed ones that will have everyone packing their bags for a long holiday in Provence.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What I Wore: For a Perfect Weekend

rose skirt, midi skirt, pink shoes, button up shirt, striped button down,
popbasic, pearls, roses, pink and red,
popbasic, lost, weekend, midi skirt,
What I Wore: Skirt (Hell Bunny), Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Necklace (local boutique; Similar Here), Bracelet (Popbasic; Similar Here), Shoes (Loly in the Sky)

I have been daydreaming of this combination of clothing since last spring when this skirt first came into my life. But then it got hot.  And then it got busy. So... this is the first time I've actually been able to wear it. There is something very satisfying in an outfit coming together as you envisioned, but I'm sure it's just preaching to the choir to tell you this. It was actually cold enough for me to have to exchange the skirt for jeans for a bit on Saturday, but once it warmed up in the afternoon, I was right back in this floral beauty. It's a statement piece for sure, but considering the number of times it has been on the blog- and how that is just fraction of how often I wear it- it just goes to show that you will use what you love.

Anyway, wearing this look left me with a feeling of a certain... je ne sais quoi. But it felt perfect for a perfectly good weekend. We got out of town to have Adventures on Saturday- complete with brunch at our very favorite cafe. It was crowded enough that despite the said chill in the air, we had to eat outside and, though neither I nor the Boy ordered the Elvis-inspired PB&J French toast, the food was just as delicious as remembered. We shopped (I got several things from The List! And, boy, does that list make it so much easier to know if an item is what I want or not), and wandered bookstores, and generally just did as we pleased. Then on Sunday it was quite the opposite. I never even stirred from the house. We cleaned and worked and put life back in order for the coming week. As November promises to be even busier than October with two- count 'em two!- work-related trips, and an online graduate class, feeling ahead of the game now means I'll likely  just be able to keep my head above water later on.

What were you up to this weekend? Partying? Laying low? Adventures? Something in between?

Monday, November 3, 2014

In November, Why Don't You...

London - British Museum - canon t2i
Photo credit: Vulture Labs
Visit a museum

Reread a favorite novel

Attend a bonfire

Donate to a food bank

Learn your mother's famous lemon meringue recipe

Start a gratitude journal

Enjoy a cup of cocoa with toast

Go to a craft fair

Learn to knit

Send a bouquet to someone who's sick

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