Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Month in Review: January 2015

How has the New Year been treating you? Here's what is looks like one month in on NFD!

New Outfits
January Collage

New Mail
This month's addition to the letter writing series was How to Write an Apology Letter. Meanwhile, I also shared a movie themed stationary wishlist (which would go perfectly with any of the outfits shown January's Cinema Style), and reviewed the latest microcollections from Popbasic. Remember, Popbasic mails lovely new clothes to your door!

New Plans
On the blog, much of January was devoted to sharing a travel log of our trip to Los Angeles over the winter break. You can see all our adventures here. Once we got back to chilly Wyoming though, it has been a whirlwind month for getting back into the classroom and working. It only seemed natural then to share a trend I'd started to notice when it came to my work wear outfits.

Other than that, for The Boy and I, it has been promises to eat healthier, catching up on family and waiting out the winter armed with tea and books. How has the start of 2015 been treating you?

New Finds
Texts from Sense and Sensibility
How to fall in love with anyone
Remember Desk Set? Here are the type of questions they were asked
The universe is even bigger than imagined.
Sammi looks like she stepped out of a fairytale, while Suzanne takes on a preppy fun look
Move over Barbie- Africa has some royal competition for you!
History in living color
Jessica shares her thoughts on selfies. What are yours?
Fashion trends of last century
Ever wonder what Polyjuice potion makes? Butterbeer? Wonder no more!




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Work Outfits

Because I mostly shoot outfit posts on the weekends, it's come to my attention that you don't generally get to see what I wear to work. In fact, you can count the number of times  work wear's shown up on NFD on less than ten fingers (you can see them: here, hereherehere, here and here). This is entirely Too Bad, because 1) there are not a lot of blogs out there that show stylish professional outfits and 2) I love stylish, professional outfits. So, thought I'd change that and share with you a week's worth of What I Wore to Work.
Professional outfits, hepburn, work clothing, teacher outfits,
This past spring, I asked whether any of you subscribed to the idea of a Beauty Uniform. For the uniniatied think of a uniform as a signature style. Basically, your wardrobe utlizes similar pieces and/or colors creating a visual cohesive set of looks. Back in March, I'd said I wasn't quite ready for that, but the funny thing is, not quite a year later, and I find it has happened all on its own.

And I love it.

Some of it is simply practicality. A cigarette pant answers all my needs of staying warm even though I'm outside for longish periods every day (like, as recess and things); and  that I might need to run, jump, kneel, or worse, sit cross-legged on the floor. Plus, who doesn't like feeling like they're Audrey Hepburn? The limited color scheme means most things match with everything else. Having the "uniform" means I sort of know right away what I like, what will work with everything else in my closet when shopping. Currently this work signature style feels sort of tomboy meets Hepburn meets graphic design. I'm actually thinking of developing/paring down to a capsule closet for work (though I'll still admit that I'm looking forward for warmer weather to be able to throw in the occasional skirt too). Have any of you every tried either a beauty uniform or a capsule wardrobe?
Work Outfits

P.S. This also means, I am completely enamored of pants lately, which is probably good, because I think this shows one more pair or so wouldn't go amiss. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Letter Writing: Letter of Apology

Nobody's perfect (or pobody's nerfect as an acquaintance of mine likes to say). It can be awkward to admit this, but people screw up. When it is you screwing up, an apology is needed, and that can be hard. While every situation is different, you might want to consider writing an apology letter to repair things. 

Obviously, this is more appropriate in some cases than others- a minor disagreement might be put to rights with a phone call, and other times an in-person apology is best. But if you are apologizing for a mistake in a business capacity; or if in your personal life there is a long-standing issue to resolve; or you have hurt someone emotionally- a letter may add more weight to convey your sincerity. 

As with any apology, the sooner it is shared, the better. That said, don't dash off an apology unthinkingly. Take your time to write thoughtfully, choose your words carefully, and consider the relationship between you and who you are writing to when setting the tone. 

For an apology to a group of people, or an apology related to your professional work, type the letter and use a business letter format. Be concise and start right off with saying you are apologizing and what for. Explain, as far as you can, what went wrong. Share what you will specifically be doing to rectify the situation. If you are writing about a debt you are late in repaying be especially brief, and share the timeline it will take for you to repay that debt. 

When apologizing to someone with whom you have a personal relationship with, consider handwriting your letter. It adds a more personal touch that will better convey the effort and thought you put into the apology . Start your letter off by stating what the situation is; you don't need to go into a ton of detail as the person you writing to is part of the situation and knows. However, by establishing what has happened, you are setting up the context for your apology. When you apologize say what for specifically. If you don't; it sounds a bit insincere, as if you don't know what you did wrong, and if you don't know what you did wrong there is no reason for the other person(s) to think you won't do those same hurtful actions again. If you feel that both you and the other party or parties are to blame, this is not the time to emphasize that point. Say you would like to take responsibility for your own part in this situation without mentioning the other person's or people's role(s). Now is the time to focus on your actions and not others' actions; focusing on others makes it sound like there were mitigating circumstances and you acted as you did for reasons beyond your control. If you are apologizing, you must take ownership of those actions, even if there was no intent to hurt the other party.   

In most cases, after you have apologized, you should also offer up what you will do to change that situation. How will you act in the future ("I will try to be more considerate of your feelings," "I will make and effort to call if I will be late")? You may also want to ask whether there is something you can do to help repair the damage that has been done. It is a good idea to also state a specific action you will do- maybe ask to meet for coffee so you can apologize in person, for example- and follow through on it. Even if you have asked them for ideas on what you can do, people may be reluctant to take you up on the offer and your relationship may not get rebuilt; if the other party sees you following through on that specified action, they are more likely to realize you are serious in your commitment to repair a damaged relationship. 

Depending on the situation, you may also want to send a gift along with the apology letter. This is can be very effective in helping ton show your feelings, but you do walk a fine line with gift giving, for several reasons. First, always take into consideration your past and current relationship with the other party or parties. Don't send a stuffed bear to your ex;  you don't have that level of intimacy any more. You also want to be careful that your gift does not make it look as if you are trying to buy someone's forgiveness or love. However, a bouquet of flowers along with an apology to your friend after you stood her up for lunch is a way to communicate she is a valued person to you. Your own judgement and discretion should guide you in this area. 

Have you ever had to write an apology letter? What were the results. Please feel free to share below as encouragement and advice for any who may be struggling to write one right now. 

Further Reading:


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, January 20, 2015

What I Wore: Frozen Over

popbasic, lucky, blue shirt, olive sweater, olive, blue,

popbasic, silk shirt, olive sweater, blue shirt, scarf, frozen, What I Wore: Sweater (Zara's), Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Jeans (Lucky Brand), Boots (Similar Here), Necklace (Similar Here)

....And after a week in sunny California, it was back to this. I think the high the day we got back was supposed to be nine, and that turned out to be wishful thinking.  Instead, it never even cracked zero that day. Oddly enough though, most of this outfit originates from California. The silk shirt is, of course, this one from Popbasic,  but the jeans and the sweater were both purchases from this most recent trip. A sweater is a little like brining the warmer temperatures with you, right? 

Well, I guess as compensation, snow and even ice can look pretty from time to time- such as here. The reservoir has begun to freeze over. The cool blues, cold temperatures, and silence set an eerie tone; to counteract it was the rich but subtle color story of this outfit. I'm in love! The deep tones make me feel cozy instead of cold. Along with  drinking tea and read mystery novels: It's the ultimate cozy situation. 

What are your "remedies" for fighting the winter blues? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dog Eared Page: How the Camel Got His Hump

Just so Stories, Rudyard Kipling, never fully dressed, withoutastyle, dog eared page,


In the beginning of years, when the world was so new-and-all, and the Animals were just beginning to work for Man, there was a Camel, and he lived in the middle of a Howling Desert because he did not want to work; and besides, he was a Howler himself. So he ate sticks and thorns and tamarisks and milkweed and prickles, most 'scruciating idle; and when anybody spoke to him he said 'Humph!' Just 'Humph!' and no more.


- "How the Camel Got His Hump" from the Just-So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I Wore: At Art Museums

Popbasic, Hell Bunny, striped shirt,

art museum outfit, stripes, hell bunny,

What I Wore: Shirt (Similar Here), Skirt (Hell Bunny), Shoes (Old Navy), Bracelet (c/o Popbasic)

This is what I wore for a day of taking in art. Somehow, you want to look beautiful to look at beautiful things and this skirt definitely helps me feel that way.

Visiting the Getty Art Museum is really unlike visiting any other museum I've ever been at before. First of all, you can pretty much only access the museum by riding up on their tram. As you crawl up the side of the cliff, a pleasant voice tells you all about what the Getty Museum does, what it's missions are (the array of what they do is indeed very impressive) and as you exit the clean, white tram you are greeted with the clean, white lines of the buildings that make up the Getty Museum, and you read that right. Buildings, as in multiple. Something that struck me about southern California is that, with their near constant perfect weather, so many of their buildings are open air. They don't have malls, they have gallerias, and so too, they do not have a colossal museum housing art, but many smaller (but honestly still quite large) buildings. They are very modern in their style too with many balconies, walkways, plazas, and gardens all around- and, from every edge you get a clear view of Los Angeles sprawling out to the ocean below. It is breath-taking, and more than that, the very isolation of the museum means you are completed emerged into this world of art in a way no other museum I think could possibly do (yes, not even the Louvre). You can see The Boy and I with the city behind us.

art, Los Angeles, travel, vacation, This world of art is all free too, which is beyond amazing to me, considering what it is and what the museum does. Even the audio tours we used were free. As for the art itself, for the most part, there's a focus on European Art, spanning from medieval times to the early nineteenth century and then, of course, they have photography (Getty Images, anyone?). There are a few big names- we saw several Monets, and Degas as well as Van Gogh's Irises as pictured below, but the lack of famous paintings does not mean it lacks for quality by any means. As you can see I had many favorites. One exhibit I was especially interested to see was Ruben's tapestries, which were gorgeous but also fascinating to find out about the process with which they were created.  In addition to all the art on display the museum also partakes in a lot of restoration, and conservation of art; in archival and a library and in publications about art. They also have extensive learning opportunities both at the museum and online. Whether you live in the area or not, consider looking into finding out more about the Getty Museum!

Getty Museum, art,
Monet, Van Gogh, Irises, art, paintings,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stationery Wishlist: See You in the Movies!

Movie Stationary

1. Wooden Organizer | 2. Phone Case | 3. Leather Pencil Holder | 4. Hollywood Kisses Notecards | 5. USB Typewriter | 6. Ticket Washi Tape

1. Wooden Organizer - This wouldn't look out of place as set dressing on His Girl Friday, and would be just as useful as a Girl Friday when it comes to keeping your desk organized! 

 2. Phone Case - This case makes a sleek statement with a design wallpapered with caricatures of the greatest stars of Hollywood's Golden Age.

3. Leather Pencil Holder - Understated, but has class. That would describe so many old films, but also describes this pencil holder. 

 4. Hollywood Kisses Notecards- They may be black and white, and they may be iconic, but that don't mean, these Hollywood Kiss Notecards aren't a touch steamy too! (Oh, Clark Gable, be still my heart!)

 5. USB Typewriter - Not a luddite but in love with the aesthetics present in old films? Then this might be for you. 

6. Ticket Washi Tape- Use to be you could get into the movies for a nickel. Nowadays, you can decorate with'em for only a little more when using this tape! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What I Wore: Three Bloggers Walk Into...

jeans, striped shirt, plaid scarf, popbasic, bloggers
plaid, stripes, popbasic, bloggers,
bloggers, popbasic, jeans,
What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Jeans (American Eagle), Boots (Crown Vintage), Belt (Similar Here), Scarf (Target), Bracelet (c/o Popbasic)

You know by now, if you've been reading NFD for, like, even a minute, that I've really been drawn to more classic and simple styles in my personal wardrobe over the past year, and that is definitely what this outfit is (and what I love about it). But it is not a style for everyone nor should it be, necessarily. Many of the wonderful bloggers I have enjoyed reading and getting to know over the years have very different styles-often more fancy styles. Many of the these same bloggers also happen to live in the Los Angeles area.

That's right. I got to meet them (Hooray!) in this outfit (Um...Not so Hooray?Also this was all covered by a sweater because it was cold making it even less hoorayish). Here I was, actually a bit nervous about it-the outfit, I mean. Would this outfit be not just blog-worthy, but blogger-worthy, especially since LA in general has a lot of beautiful people with happening style? But I needn't have worried. The bloggers I met were as gracious and sweet in real life as online. Plus, it turns out that "Being Yourself" is the best accessory, just like your mama told you. Funny, how she really is always right, huh?

Ashley of Southern California Belle invited The Boy, my sister and I along on an outing with some vintage-loving ladies, where we met not only her and her cute and incredibly well-behaved daughter, but also another blogger, who just started up her blog Le Soilel Chic this summer. Another day, The Boy and I caught up with Erica of Sweets and Hearts. Elana of Room 334 was originally going to join us too, but a work emergency changed some plans; next time Elana! Let me just say, Erica is even sweeter than the name of her blog implies. We were laughing and sharing stories in the manner of friends who have known each other for a while which- when you think about it- we have! Ashley, Erica, Elana, and myself were all original members of Flock Together! Just like when meeting Hannah, it was such an interesting experience because it is someone you know, but at the same time you're like Toto pulling back the curtain to see another side of this person.

Plus, I may have also worn this while perusing a local flea market and then taking in the shops at the galleria. What can I say? How can you resist (window) shopping ;)


Monday, January 12, 2015

Cinema Style: The Big Sleep

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart are one of Hollywood's most enduring love stories; they met and fell in love during Bacall's first film . They were paired again multiple times, because of the chemistry they shared. Though she was several decades his junior, it was always a meeting of equals, a woman taking on a man's world. This is reflected in Bacall's costume wardrobe for their second film together, The Big Sleep, a noir whose mystery brings a private eye into the sphere of a sophisticated and husky-voiced heiress. 
white dress, white vest,

Vest, Bracelets, Watch, Shoes, Dress

Bacall came to Hollywood as the protégée. of director Howard Hawks, and he worked tirelessly on her image. In The Big Sleep, Bacall sings, something Hawks was hoping would become part of her mystique. Bogart's Phillip Marlowe watches in a nightclub as Bacall sashays around crooning in her characteristically deep voice. She's wearing an all-white number with a surprising twist- a white vest that lends a tomboyish air to the evening gown. You can capture that balance of sensuality and boyishness too by pairing a white maxi dress with a more modern, deconstructed vest. A chunky watch can amp up the masculinity of the dress, and nude heels make the outfit perfect for a night on the town or day of shopping. 
Bacall, Lauren, humphrey, Bogart,

Much of Bacall's enduring style actually comes from Howard Hawks- specifically from Hawks' wife, whose was named Slim. The suit jacket Bacall dons in The Big Sleep is a reworking of the one she wears in her first film To Have and Have Not, and both are based on the clothes of "Slim" Hawks. This time, Becall dons a a beret to go with the look. A checked blazer- both then and now- allows  her- and you -to make a statement while keeping to clean, sophisticated lines. Instead of pairing the blazer with a matching skirt, as Bacall does, why not slip on a black bodycon dress that will mimic those same clean lines, but keep things from getting too visually overstimulating? Further modernize the look with on-trend black, heeled ankle boots. 

clothes, checked blazer, beret,

Hat, Dress, Blazer, Boots, Necklace



Thursday, January 8, 2015

What I Wore: in Disneyland!

Popbasic, Minnie Mouse, Disneyland, Castle, Mary Poppins,
Poppins-01
Popbasic, Minnie Mouse, Disneyland, Castle, Mary Poppins,vacation, holiday,

What I Wore: Shirt (Popbasic; Similar Here), Jeans (Lucky), Belt (Similar Here), Shoes (Old Navy), Tank Top (Old Navy),  Headband (Disneyland), Sunglasses (Similar Here)

Growing up my father used to say Vacation meant two things to most American Families: Yellowstone and Disneyland. Now, I don't know if that is true, but what is true is that Disney and the Mouse behind it all are iconic a way that few other things- maybe Coke-a-Cola and the Yankees- are. So, yes, we went to the Happiest Place on Earth for Christmas. 

We assumed that with the holidays coming up, the park would be busy (though, actually, I suspect it wasn't too bad. We did a weekday but one that still fell on a black-out date and went earlier rather than later) and so rather than trying to "do it all" vowed just to hit a few must-dos and enjoy the rest. As it happened though, I think we did most of the things we wanted to, and were able to enjoy the atmosphere. Disney is so good at creating and controlling all its environments- the place was sparkling, not so much as gum wrapper on the ground and even standing in line felt like part of a ride the way they added in things to entertain you along the way! Most of the day was spent in Adventureland, where Indiana Jones was hands-down the favorite ride of the day. Maybe it was because we grew up on Indiana Jones, Tintin, and other adventurers (Tailspin, anyone?) but the ride felt just like you were in an adventure flick breaking into-and barely escaping- a mummy-filled pyramid! We also ventured into Tomorrowland for Space Mountain, and strolled along Main Street USA. Though there were no rides there, it was one of my favorite parts because everything is so charming. Plus, you get to see Mary Poppins, who is, after all, Practically Perfect In Every Way (Bert was quite charming too!). The Castle was done up for the holidays and beyond its gate was a fairytale of a Fantasyland. That was where we whirled around on the teacups (as you can see below). 

I maaaay have chosen this dotted blouse based on what Minnie Mouse's style preferences might dictate. What can I say? I was a Mickey Mouse fanatic as a kid (there may or may not have been Mickey Mouse curtains in my room growing up).  Adding these sweet ears was the crowning touch. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Popbasic Review: Amelie Collection

It's been awhile, but let's talk about my favorite clothing company- Popbasic. They aim to make women's closets full of quality pieces at affordable prices. About once a month they release a new "mirco-collection" which generally consists of three pieces that are sold together for anywhere between fifty and hundred dollars, depending on the collection. There is generally one main piece along with two accesory peices. These could be shirts, skirts, clutches, belts, jewelry or scarves; there's a huge variety. The best part is- it is not a subscription; you can sign up for each collection as you want it. The pieces balance the need for interesting "pop" pieces and basics every closet needs.

The last collection I got for myself was the Amelie Collection; it was a gift form the company co-founder and included a striped dressed along with a subtle silver necklace and a rope bracelet.
popbasic, collection, mail,
One of the unique things about this particular collection was how much its design and creation was influenced by the company's consumer base. Popbasic had earlier sold their "Le Breton" striped shirt with an early collection. It was so popular that they were later able to sell it on its own in both the original navy striped and red stripes (both are still for sale at Popbasic too, if you are interested!). However, someone asked about whether a "Le Breton" dress might be in the works. As the weeks worn on, the answer turned out to be "yes!" Social Media followers of the company were asked to weigh in on things like the neckline and sleeve length too. The dress's stripes give visual interest but keep it classic; its made of a material that doesn't wrinkle either. Both of those things mean it is an easy choice when getting dressed for work in the morning. Plus, I think it would look great on a teenager or a twenty-something,but also on a young mother, or one with grown kids. The dress is just versatile and drapes well.  Amazingly, even though this was released in late November a few collections in the large and extra large dress sizes are still available, so go on and snap one up! 

rope bracelet, silver necklace, striped dress,
Along with the dress, this came with two pieces of jewelry. Now, I know jewelry isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I personally love the collections that come with two jewelry items the best. Looking at these can you blame me? Popbasic has released several other rope bracelets in earlier collections, but this is the first with silver links, and is it's thickest bracelet to date too. I've not really seen anything like these bracelets for sale anywhere else, yet they are classic. It is such an easy piece to add to any outfit. Likewise, the necklace sees a lot of wear. Its is small that makes it delicate and subtle, a classy touch. 

waxed jeans, popbasic, red shirt,
If dresses aren't your style, Popbasic released it's Jovial Collection recently too, with it's first pair of pants ( a stretchy, waxed, black jean). I got that collection for my sister who is working to build up her wardrobe post-college. I can't wait to see what they come up with next! 

All photos are curtesy of the Popbasic website. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What I Wore: A New Old Look

eShakti, black sweater, christmas, california, LA,
eShakti, black sweater, christmas, california, LA,
What I Wore: Dress (c/o eShakti; Similar Here), Sweater (Vera Moda), Shoes (Old Navy)

New Year; New Look- or, well New Old Look, I suppose. After my roots grew out crazy long before I could make time to see go to the salon, I said good-bye to being a bottle blonde. Too. Much. Work. Ain't nobody got time for that! And maybe it isn't as drastic as it feels (everyone says it looks like my regular hair color), being a brunette feels grand. Plus, it was the perfect way to start the holiday!

For anyone who doesn't know, The Boy and I had a Christmas in the Sand while visiting my sister in Los Angeles! While you can check out my Instagram account to see what was happening (or the hashtag #calichristmas), I'll be sharing bits and pieces of our sunny holiday adventure over the next week or two as well. On the actual holiday, we stuck our feet in the Pacific at Venice Beach and saw a movie (is it just me, or are they a lot more Serious-with-a-capital-S about movies in Hollywood? We had assigned seating and everything). We dined in a trendy restaurant, and even did karaoke in Korea-town.

Strangely it was cooler than L.A.'s usually perfect weather while we were there, but since it was in the sixties in California and below zero back home, I was over the moon to be able to wear all sorts of things I probably won't be able to again for months! First among them? This dress. It was actually what I wore to fly in. My mother swears by traveling in dresses; says they're more comfy. What do you think? I'm not so sure, but it kept the bulk of my carry-ons down and theoretically the dress less wrinkled. Since layering is always a must when traveling I did throw on this black sweater. Both in the Golden State and in chilly Cody, I've been loving this sweater to death. It just goes with everything! The funny part was, while we raved about the gorgeous weather and marveled about the novelty of being outside without being bundled like a polar bear, all the Californians we met spoke longingly of the snow. The grass is always green I suppose!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

In January, Why Don't You...

MCCALL HOMEMAKING COVER

Photo from McCall Homemaking Cover 1939 via the George Eastman House Collection


Wrap and label your electronics' cords so they are out of sight

Make a Snow Angel

Spritz  lavender scent on your pillows for better sleep

Back up your hard drive

Stock up on birthday cards

Take an Instagram with your best friend


Purge your closet


Make a party for a marathon showing of your favorite TV show

Rock a polka dot

Book yourself a massage

Give your desk space a makeover
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