Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 2014 in Review

Merry Outfits

Merry Plans
Things got pretty seasonal for Christmas on the blog with a post about writing letters to Santa; Ten Ways to Help at Christmas; a Gift Guide for Girls and a Gift Guide for Men; an excerpt from the book A Christmas Carol, and even sharing some style inspiration from Christmas Film It's a Wonderful Life. We also shared some ideas of stationary that will help you ring in the New Year!

As for me, I got to follow some of my own advice, and went to California for Christmas! Hope your holidays were Merry and Bright, and that you ring in the New Years well and safely.

Merry Finds
One of the first folios of Shakespeare work has been found!!! (Psst- also, did you know Shakespeare makes your brain more active? Science shows proves it).

Speaking of theatre, Musical Theatre Mash cracks me up

Vanisha shared about her travels in Papua New Guinea. Would you go?

How to pack.

Social Networking's dark side (One word: Linkedin).

Mario dances. 'Nuff said.

Dunya and Olivia share the most British of British experiences: Tea on a double decker bus.

I want to stay in this treehouse!

Technology and art combine in these ballet shoes.  

Dogs understand what we say

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Hey folks! Wishing you and yours nothing but the very merriest over this holiday season. Never Fully Dressed (Without a Style) will be going on holiday too; The Boy and myself will be soaking up some California sun over Christmas while visiting my sister. We'll be back for New Years; see you all in 2015!!!

In the meantime, enjoy this dreamy sequence from The Snowman, and if you need a little more holiday cheer on your screens, why not try one of these holiday movies listed below?

 HOLIDAY INN - Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire dance and sing at a inn designed around the holidays and hope the get the girl.

 WHITE CHRISTMAS - the ultimate Christmas film, this pairs Danny Kayes, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen together as they dream of a White Christmas in Vermont.

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT - This screwball comedy pokes fun at the idealized domesticity without laughing at the women who don't live up to the dream. Love and sleigh rides a plenty here.
 MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET - This film asks- do you believe in Santa Claus?

SHOP AROUND THE CORNER - Anonymous pen friends fall in love without realizing they know each other in real life. They promise to reveal their identities o Christmas, but will the surprise be to much for them to handle?

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS- In this film that brought us classic song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," we follow the daily life of the Smith family in 1904.

 ITS  A WONDERFUL LIFE- This film looks at the life of George Bailey and- with a little angelic help- what life might look like without him. A heartwarming message and a few seductive love scenes to be hard here!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remix: Rose Skirt


We had a weekend filled with severe weather warnings- for high wind. You might be laughing thinking that is not big deal, but with 100 mph wind, it is more serious than it sounds. So instead of taking new photos, I stayed indoors and day dreamed of all the pretty combinations this skirt could be used with!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stationery Wishlist: Begin the New Year Right!

New Year Stationary

1. Calendar | 2. Pencils | 3. Goal-Setting Journal | 4. Wristwatch Post-It Notes | 5. Evil Eye Pencil Holder | 6. Thank You Notes

1. Calendar - Set the tone for your whole new year with a great calendar to see you through the months to come!

2. Pencils - Keep yourself and your work sharp by using one of these new and newly sharpened pencils.

 3. Goal-Setting Journal - Got a New Year's Resolution? Jot it down and keep track of your progress in this notebook. Go on and seize the day!

 4. Wristwatch Post-It Notes - You can use one of these quirky post-it notes to keep you from forgetting any resolutions too.

5. Evil Eye Pencil Holder - In many cultures, the symbol of a single, all-seeing eye is meant to ward off the Evil Eye. What better way to start off your new new year, than by making sure evil and misfortune overlooks you and yours? Go on, and add this charming pencil holder to your desk. For safety's sake.

 6. Thank You Notes - the holiday season often leaves one with many gifts- and many thank you notes to write! Thank your loved ones in style with these geometric notecards.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What I Wore: Black and White

black, white, outfit, winter outfit, sweater, dress, popbasic,
Black, white, sweater, popbasic, white dress, winter outfit,

What I Wore: Sweater (ASOS), Dress (Modcloth; Similar Here), Tights (Target), Boots (Crown Vintage), Necklace (c/o Popbasic)

My wardrobe has really been tending towards the monochrome and black and white looks lately. Not sure if its because it is winter, or if it due to my work wardrobe mostly being in neutral tones, but... I'm embracing it. There's just something about gray days that make the clean and simple looks of black and white outfits feel so right. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I can wear this necklace with these colors and have a subtle piece make a stand-out statement. It's another Popbasic piece and its funny- I wasn't sure I was going to like the necklace all that much, but, as usual, the piece I was most unsure of from Popbasic become my most worn out of a collection!

I wore this up to Billings to do some shopping. Not sure if it was the holiday shoppers or if I'd just forgotten how stressful shopping in Brick and Motor Stores is but... man, oh, man. Thanking goodness I live in the age of the internet. I maaaay have ended up doing all our shopping there instead, rather than face the masses again. Still, we also got to have a lovely brunch and walked the dogs around the park in bracing-but-not-too-chilly weather. A subdued but lovely day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dog Eared Page: A Christmas Carol

Dickens, dog eared page, book, literature, a christmas carol, marley, scrooge
Illustration credit: unknown. Contact me if you know. 
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail...Scrooge never painted out Old Marley's name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the ware-house door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him.

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.

-A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gift Guide For The Boys

Men's Gift Guide

1. Astronaut's Cookbook: Tales, Recipes and More | 2. Chocolate Whiskey | 3. 3D Reel Viewer | 4. Scarf | 5. Cast Iron Skillet | 6. 3D Printing Gift/Giftcard |

1. Astronaut's Cookbook: Tales, Recipes and More -My Boy has a fascination with all these In Space. If yours does too, maybe this book is for them. 

2. Chocolate Whiskey - A little decadent but still manly. 

 3. 3D Reel Viewer - Make this a modern twist on a scrapbook, and remind him of all your favorite memories together. 

 4. Scarf - Whether you man is stylish or in need of some help in that department, this scarf will help, combining form and function perfectly. 

5. Cast Iron Skillet - He gets a new toy for the kitchen and you get yummy food. What's not to love? Remember to have him read the "care of" directions though. Cast Iron does not get "washed" in the sense most cookware does. 

 6. 3D Printing Gift/Giftcard- 3D printing is the wave of the future and, thankfully, more affordable than ever. If you don't want to splurge for your own printer, companies will now print for you, anything you want. Art, accessories, figurines, mechanical parts (The Boy is partial to making parts for his drone). This company not only does plastic in all colors, but metal too! 

Looking for more gift ideas? Here are NFD's gift guides of Christmas Past! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Letter-Writing: Letters to Santa

Santa Claus readings letters: Christmas, Florida
Photo from the State Library and Archives of Florida

One of the best things about holidays are traditions-wether it is making them, or reminiscing about days gone by! A now iconic part of the Christmas Season is a child's letter to Santa. Not only can it be a great tradition to start with children, but a fun way to introduce the art of correspondence with the next generation.

What your child or children's letter will look like depends on the writer's age and abilities, but everyone will enjoy festive stationary! So go pick out some fun, holiday themed paper for the kids to write on before getting started. Depending on the child, you may wish to do a rough draft or "sloppy copy" first, but since this is meant to be a fun activity and not a school lesson, writing just one letter- spelling mistakes and all- is fine too.

Since this is a chance to introduce even quite young children to a friendly letter format, go ahead and start with the date followed by "Dear Santa." Then, encourage your child to write more than just a list of items they want. They could start off by asking Santa a little about himself. What is it like living in the North Pole? Have all the reindeer been well? Depending on the age of the writer, this part could be a sentence or its own paragraph; those younger than second grade often find the physical task of writing a challenge as gross motor skills are still being learnt, but older children should generally be able to write a bit more. Whatever they choose to write, I'd suggest staying away from defenses about wether the child has been "naughty or nice" as that is subjective and could be stressful for your children rather than fun.

 For the next section of the child's letter, talk to them about what they want for Christmas. You probably want to stress being realistic (Santa can't bring back the family pet who passed away; nor will he likely be bringing the entire contents of a toy store), and helping the child prioritize to realize what it is they are actually hoping for. This is a chance for any of Santa's Helpers to find out what is truly the heart's desire while teaching about self-awareness and contentedness; you can also take this moment to share about any beliefs your family holds about Christmas. Then, show your kid(s) how letters end in a salutation, and have them sign their name.

There are many places to mail Letters to Santa to, and a trip to any one of these places with your child to send off the letter adds to both the tradition and their understanding of how post works. The U.S. postal system takes letters to Santa as do many department stores like Macy's (Some Macy's stores will donate a dollar to the Make a Wish Foundation for each letter to Santa is receives. Find out more). Likewise, there are several choices for how addresses to send your letter to. Just a few include:
  • Santa Claus, Arctic Circle, 96930 Rovaniemi, Finland. 
  • Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada
  • N. P. S. C. P.O. Box 56099 North Pole, Alaska 99705-1099
Correspondence isn't usually a one-way communication, and letters to Santa don't have to be either! There are several places that help get a letter from Santa back to your child. You can write the letter yourself and send in a self-addressed and stamped envelope inside another envelope to this address:
North Pole Postmark Postmaster
4141 Postmark Dr.
Anchorage, AK  99530-9998

They will mail it from their post office with the proper postmarks. Alternatively, The Santa Clause House will mail personalized letters to your child as Santa too.

For more further reading, try these:
How to Write a Letter to Santa Claus
How Can Kids Send a Letter to Santa
How to Send a Letter to Santa
Santa Letters are a Centuries Old Tradition


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What I Wore: Christmas Strolling

christmas, winter outfit,
Christmas Stroll
popbasic, sweater

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Jeans (American Eagle), Shoes (Crown Vintage), Scarf (Similar Here), Sweater (ASOS), bracelet and necklace (c/o Popbasic)

With the new job and the fact that we are traveling over the holidays, a lot of our Christmas traditions have been a bit more subdued this year. Don't get me wrong- I am pumped as can be for this up-coming trip, but it is strange that December has come and there's no tree in our house nor presents under it. That was why I was pretty excited for this weekend's big event though. 

We went up the mountains to partake in Red Lodge's Christmas Stroll. Think of Red Lodge as the Stars Hallows of the West (and don't deny that you know exactly what that means. With Gilmore Girls on Netflix I think everyone and their dog now remembers where Stars Hallows is). The blog has seen a bit of Red Lodge before (here, here, and here for example)! But, to give you a picture, it looks like a toy town you place under the tree when winter comes and it is covered in snow.There are adorable little shops run by quirky characters,  lots of homemade treats being given out to eat, lots of fires to warm up at and if that isn't enough to keep you warm, everyone has their coziest sweaters and scarves on. 

Or at least, that was my strategy when getting dressed to Stroll. I love the simplicity, the tried-and-true quality of a sweater and button-up combo. The flared jeans just add the tomboy look. The jewelry was a lovely early Christmas gift from Maddy at Popbasic, and if you like them, the mirco-collection (along with an adorable striped dress, which isn't pictured here) is still for sale (I hope imagine my winking face as you read this, but in all seriousness, it would make a good gift for a fashionable gal). 

Between the strolling and the Christmas music we rocked out to on the drive to Red Lodge, it was enough to put me a bit more into the Holiday spirit. Our living room now even sports at least a few decorations. After all, just because you don't have a tree doesn't mean you have to be without a Nutcracker, right? 

What are your holiday traditions (or events) that you're doing this year? I love to see how others celebrate the season! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cinema Style: Its a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life is a Christmas Classic with capital Cs, but its romance is often underrated. So this month's Cinema Style is dedicated to that moment when George Bailey met his fate and first fell in love with Mary. While life isn't all roses (and even when it is, those roses can cause little girls to walk around in the cold and get sick, as this movie shows), whengetting married, these two support each other in creating a truly wonderful life.

Sweater (Similar Here), Pants, Bracelet, Hat (Similar Here), Shoes

After an unexpected dip into the high school pool, the duo walk home in borrowed clothes, which for Jimmy Stewart means a borrowed football uniform. Somehow the moment of falling in love seems so much more genuine for the fact its not perfect, but let's be honest. You could totally rock the look of a varsity sweater. Add some striped brown pants to up both the casual and retro vibes. Then, a beanie would keep you both fashion-forward and cozy as can be while a bit of understate jewelry gives a lady-like touch to this film-inspired look.

Before Mary ended up in the pool, she was dancing with George in a frothy tea-length dress, similar to this one from Unique Vintage. To update the classic shape of the dress, add ankle boots, and a jean jacket. Then, finish things off with a dash of color and flash of gold with your jewelry.

 Dress, Boots, Bracelets, Necklace (Similar Here),  Jean Jacket

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gift Guide for the Girls

holiday, ideas

1) Sweater  |  2) Leather Gloves |  3) Bobby Pins |  4) Mini Emergency Kit |  5) Book |  6) Dachshund Graphic Pillows | 7) Tea Pot |

1) Sweater  How can this sweater fail to bring happiness to all who see it? Not only is it warm and cosy, but in the long winter months after Christmas, this gift will be giving cheer every time its worn!

  2) Leather Gloves Form and function combine with a good pair of leather (or pleather) gloves, but it is the sort of thing a person might not think to splurge on for themselves. So keep someone warm and stylish with a gift like this!

  3) Bobby Pins It'd be pretty impossible not to say "Oh wow! Yay! Hooray!" when you see these. The bobby pins will provide a subtle bit of spunk and personality into any look. So go on, gift these, and put a smile on someone's face.

 4) Mini Emergency Kit She may not be a boy, but she (and we all) can certainly  follow their creed to always be prepared. This mini-emergency kit makes it easy- and stylish- to do. Kits come in a plethora of styles and patterns, and can be tailored to every type of person's need- mom, teacher, bride, pet owner - and, well, the list just goes on!

 5) Book  There is nothing like curling up with a good book. This book is 100 Ideas That Changed Film. But if she's not into the movies, why not try a book on another subject? Maybe art or fashion?

 6) Dachshund Graphic Pillows -  Go on the hunt for a household item that will remind them of their four-legged friends.

 P.S.  This store also has a great selection of doggie inspired wares! 

 7) Tea Pot  What could be cozier than this buffalo check teapot under the tree? Add in some loose leaf tea, and you've given your friend the perfect way to start their Christmas breakfast!

Need more inspiration for Holiday Shopping? Try these gift guides here. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

10 Ways to Help at Christmas

In a flurry of packages and lights and feeling of having too-little time, it can be easy to lose sight of what the season is all about. But this time of year can be a hard one for many; luckily there are many easy ways to help!

Collecting for Xmas  (LOC)
Photo via The Library of Congress
  • Toys for Tots is another way to get presents to children in need too, don't forget!
  • Other great charities to help this time of year are One Warm Coat which works to get warm coats to those who need them. Similarly, Project Linus gets blankets to traumatized children, terminally ill children, and children in need.
  • There are many elderly who are isolated and lonely during the holidays, and even those with families to help care for them can be experiencing stress ad anxiety over the holidays. Be Santa to a Senior aims to help bring Christmas cheer. Much like Toys for Tots, you can buy a requested item as a present for participants which are hung on trees. You might also consider donating to your local elderly care organizations, hospice organization or Meals On Wheels.  Another way to help is to make cards for local nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals (though please always check with these institutions to see what is and is not acceptable to give for healthy and safety reasons). 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What I Wore: Gamine

vest, blazer, skinny jeans,
gamine look
What I Wore: Jeans (Gap), Shoes (Crown Vintage), Shirt (Similar Here), Vest (Similar Here), Coat (Similar Here), Scarf (Similar Here), Bracelet (Popbasic)

Do you know what the word "gamine" means? As in, have you ever looked up its definition. Its a girl with mischevious or boyish charms. Well, I'm owner of a Marauders' Map, so I don't know about mischief, but boyish? This outfit? Yeah.

And you know what?

I'm in love with that fact. With the  vest.  With the whole look, really. The outfit is equally at home out to dinner or lounging around the house. And it's be equally right if I strode along the streets of Paris, or rode up to the mountains. The best part is, except for the boots (which were on The List), all of the items are ones I've had a year or more. Yes, I've done the culling of the closet thing in the past few years, and certainly haven't stopped shopping as The List is proof of, but... Not gonna lie. I'm feeling pretty content with my closet, even as I feel my style is evolving.  Versatile basics have seen me though all that, and will continue to do so, I'm sure.

So, what about you? Ever try to put on some "boyish charm?"

Monday, December 1, 2014

In December, Why Don't You...

Christmas Lights, Channel Gardens, Rockefeller Center
Hop on a plane for somewhere warm

Decorate with an  Advent Calendar

Meet a friend you've already "met" online

Wander for a night to take in the holiday lights

Get a shawl to ward off the cold on winter mornings

Twine boughs of pine along your banisters

Reorganize your wrapping paper

Bag up nonperishables for a food kitchen

Dance on New Year's Eve- even if only in stockinged feet at home

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