Friday, January 29, 2016

Month in Review: January 2016

New Year; New Outfits

New Year; New Plans
The new year brings a lot of people feelings of renews and fresh starts.... but for a teacher like myself it is the middle of the school year, so.... not so "new," ya know? Still, I did share some ideas for getting January started off right with this month's Why Don't You... list, and they are certainly taking about beginnings (and- gulp!- very permanent endings) in this month's Dog Eared Page, A Tale of Two Cities.  If you were looking for books that were a bit less grisly, this month's Rec Five is talking about books on Hollywood's Golden Age.  This month's Stationery Wishlist shared some quirky finds to give your desk sartorial pizzazz. If you want more pizzazz to your wardrobe, why not take a glance at how I remixed this vintage inspired skirt, or think about trying one of these clothing subscription boxes! 

New Year; New Finds

I love the idea of capsule wardrobes but wonder if it really works. Fashion Pas shares her struggles and successes on the journey to a capsule wardrobe.

Whoa! Four new elements have been added to the periodic table!

The fascinating history of bone music

Loving this outfit from Melodic, Thrifty and Chic!

A boy invents something to help his best friend who'd been struck by lightening. The power of human innovation and compassion!

What fairytales tell us about language

Infographic about Sexism in Doctor Who

The satisfying symmetry of Hungarian buildings

  A Girl created a new badge for those who learn about American Japanese Relocation Camps.  It honestly scares me that most Americans are not taught about these, especially in light of the intolerance present in today's politics, because those who don't heed history's lessons are doomed to repeat it. 

Star Wars toys leave our the protagonist of their latest movie because she's a girl. They are surprised people are upset. This may seem like a small thing, because its just toys, but this is how sexism perpetuates.

Relatedly Mattel lost the Disney Princesses  toy line. Hashbro's remodeling of the brand focusses on girls' adventures and talents over boys and make-up! Plus, better body portions. One step forward, right?

And, so many toy-related links, but, BUT- BARBIE NOW COMES IN 4 BODY TYPES AND 7 SKIN TONES. Not sure what I think of this. Good? Bad? Too little, too late? (After all, studies show girls who play with Barbie are less aspirational in their career goals). Still, they are cute.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What I Wore: Winter Mountain Days

flannel shirt, mountain outfit, red lodge,hat, locket, flannel shirt, mountain outfit, red lodge,hat, locket, What I Wore: Shirt (J. Crew), Jeans (Lucky Brand), Boots (Lucky Brand), Locket (gift), Clutch (Le Tote), Hat (Nordstrom)

You know your wardrobe is on the right track when you can wear all your favorites and it just comes together in a perfect outfit. This is pretty much how I feel about this outfit right now. A lot of it is newer purchases, but all chosen very specifically to fill needs that my wardrobe hadn't been able to meet before or to replace items that had been worn out.Take a look at the evidence: This hat is pretty much on my head all the time when at home or out of doors. Who doesn't enjoy a pompom on a hat, after all? Brown leather boots can pair with things my black booties can't and with a low heel are ready for for any sort of adventure.  And this plaid shirt replaces a flannel one I'd had since before this blog began. Though it had served me well (see here), this new one, made of cotton, will be of even more use since I can wear it in warmer weather too.

All this put together and I had the Perfect outfit for a Winter Adventure. Thus prepared naturally, we went to Red Lodge, the place of skiing and All Things Wintery Wonderland. As it turns out, saying the mountain has twenty inches was really being generous though. The town was pretty dead as a result. We found a different sort of adventure that was even better though- the kind that involves food! An old high school classmate had recently opened up a cafe in town and, oh man oh man, is it ever good! Its The Wild Table for any readers in the area and it is a must-visit for sure!

For those of you who are getting or have gotten snow- stay safe and enjoy! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cinema Style: Singing in the Rain

Raincoat, Rain Boots, Umbrella

Singing in the Rain is one of the most iconic films of cinema history, so why not steal some of that style for yourself. Gene Kelly, and Debbie Reynolds knew you can't go wrong with the classic yellow raincoat. This one from Joules keeps you from feeling too kiddy. Pair it with a primary red for maximum effect by adding the rain boots and umbrella for effect. Add these to any old outfit and you too will be ready to be singing in the rain. 

Dress, Sweater, Pearls, Shoes, Bag

For the uninitiated, Singing in the Rain was filmed in the 40s, but takes place twenty years earlier in the twenties. Today's fashion trends mostly remember the  Twenties' beaded flappers, but if you want a more casual look, you can do subtle nods to that roaring decade. Dropped waists were deriguer then, and that can be seen in the film. This dress has that look, but it can be further accentuated by  adding a long sweater over it. I chose this sweater to add a more modern touch, but it ties into Reynolds' outfit with the lightening shape (and beckons back to the films name- cheeky!) Vintage inspired shoes, a classic Coach purse and pearls finish the look off. With this fun mix of modern and retro, you could spend the rainy day snug in some coffee house or be ready to break out tap-dancing at any minute! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Rec Five: Books About Hollywood's Golden Age


1) The Greatest Movies Ever: The ultimate Ranked List of the 101 Best Films of All Time- There are a lot of great lists of the "All-Time Best" films made by a variety of people. This one isn't composed by the most distinguished film critics, nor is it an exhaustive list. However, it is the one I keep reaching back to time and again because it is more than a list of film names and 3 sentence synopses, and it covers more than just American films. For each film listed, there's the two authors' thoughts on its impact on film and culture, insider info about both critical scenes and the people who made them. Funny, and insightful, if you're looking for a list of movies to watch, this may be it.

2) Classic Movie Crossword Puzzles- The Turner Classic Movie channel releases a monthly TV guide to what it's showing and within each magazine, is always a crossword puzzle for the die-hard movie fan. Gathered within the pages of this book though are all those crosswords they've created and shared over the years. Be prepared- you need to have a pretty extensive list of movie trivia to have a prayer at finishing any of the puzzles, but its fun nonetheless!

3) Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design- gorgeously designed, this oversized book is the one that graces my coffee table. It would be wrong to think it is just pictures though! Taking things a decade at a time, this book moves through the evolution of costume design as a feild in film, as well as looks at how costume influenced fashioned over time, and what inspired some of the most iconic looks in movies. If you like fashion or film, this is a must-have.

4) Classic Hollywood Style- I went all the way to Paris only to come home with a book on Hollywood. But this book is a fascinating read. In fact, it is, hands down, my favorite book on film. Though there are gorgeous and plentiful color images, the real focus of this book are the 50 or so films author, Carol Young, feels influenced style- fashion, architecture, or home design- in the real world. It spans from silent films through to more modern fare such as Bonnie and Clyde, as shown on the cover here. It introduces some films not typically found on "top film lists" because it isn't looking at the best story or the best acting but what caught America's- and the world's eye- on the silver screen and how that all translated back into the real world.

5)Leading Ladies: the 50 unforgettable leading ladies of the studio era, Leading Men: The 50 unforgettable leading men of the studio era and Leading Couples: The most unforgettable screen romances of the studio era- Okay, these is cheating a bit because here are three books, not one. However, how could I choose only one? All made by host of Turner Classic Movies, Roy Osbourne, these books all follow the same format. It lists the top leading actresses, actors or romantic film pairings of the studio era. Each star (or star combo) gets a few pages wherein a page long bio is shared, along with some of their most important films and the most interested film trivia is shared. I'm always looking things up in this trio of books anytime I do a movie review; there's always some new tidbit or piece of information I'm finding! If you like movie history at all, or are looking for more movies to watch beyond the typical "top 100" lists, any one of these books are for you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What I Wore: Adulting

blog-19 SkirtCollage

What I Wore: Sweater (Le Tote), Skirt (Chicwish), Shoes (Gap), Necklace (Inherited)

Confession: I can't stand wearing skirts in the winter. Who knows what changed;  I used to able to manage it.  Now though- no. No tights, no leggings, no knee high socks will do. And this year, winter has been milder than most. So kudos to all you ladies ready to freeze in the name of style, but not this girl.

So, you may be wondering about this outfit then... I found the loophole to no skirts in in winter- this is what I wore on a day I knew I wouldn't need to go outside (and I didn't. Not once. Clever, or lazy? Who can tell!). I wore it on Christmas Eve a few weeks ago when we hosted that family event. I told this to someone and they cheekily told me that was "adulting level: advanced." Besides the fact that it wasn't, really (there were four of us and the The Boy did all the cooking. It really, really wasn't.) This comment sort of made me laugh. The term  is just odd. Is it around because we all feel like impostors who are not "really" adults? Because I also wear sweaters with dogs on them. That's got to be at least a little "young at heart," right?

Confession #2: I love this sweater.So. Much.

 But really, no. It didn't feel like adulting because I am an adult. Sometimes an adult still learning things, sometimes an adult doing things for the first time (For example: this weekend, The Boy and I bought our first car together! We came to this marriage each with a vehicle already, so this was the first big joint purchase of this kind. Thrilling!) But still an adult. Because here's the secret they don't tell you when you're six, or if they did, you didn't believe them: adults are people too, and no one ever has it all figured out. That's what makes life interesting. Now excuse me while I go to work and play with blocks and picture books.....

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dog Eared Page: A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickinson 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Clothing and Style Subscription Boxes for Women

Wantable has been mentioned on several other subscription box round ups, as they offer a multitude of services, including boxes of accessories, and intimates. Recently, they also added both fitness wear and a clothing style box option. Their clothing box option, called a "Style Edit" essentially functions just like Stitchfix and other clothing subscription boxes- except that they send only clothing with this box, no accessories (since, obviously, they have entire other boxes for that). Once you sign up, you must fill out a style questionnaire.  One of the things I noticed about the questionnaire was that it was very visual, with almost all questions accompanied by a picture. You specify sizes and then share if you dislike, like or love different options. Make sure to be specific. They will only send you things you have "liked" or "loved," but if you fly through without disliking anything, it makes it hard to decipher your style. One other thing I noticed about this style questionnaire, was that it asked a lot about preferences for types of fabric, especially for synthetics, leather, faux leather, fur, and  faux fur, etc.   Once you have filled everything out, a box will be curated for you and your preferences. In a box, you get 5 items, and will have 5 days to decide if you want to keep the items. You return what you do not want. You only pay for what you keep. Like with Stictchfix, Wantable's Style Edit you are charged a twenty dollar styling fee that is nonrefundable. However, if you keep anything, the twenty dollars is applied towards your final purchase. If you keep all items, you get 25% off entire purchase. Lastly, it is important to notice that this is  a monthly subscription, but you can take a month off as needed.

Dress of the Month Club
If you love a more vintage aesthetic, then this subscription may be for you! Each month, Unique Vintage, one of the largest sellers of reproduction," vintage-style" clothing, will send members one vintage-inspired dress. It is fifty dollars a month, meaning you will generally be getting a discount as the majority of their goods sell for more than that, and all you have to do is indicate your size. You will want to check the sizing guide, as not doing so has resulted in unfavorable results for past clientele, but even if you don't love your dress that month, you can return it with free shipping. You then can put your credit towards the next month's dress. This is one subscription where you don't get much of a say in the type of clothes that you are sent, beyond size and a general guarantee that it is vintage inspired, but variety is the spice of life. If you like past decades' styles at all, this club should be a big hit.

Portabollo Style
This is not strictly speaking a clothing subscription, but this has to be one of the most unique subscription boxes to add a stylish flare to your closet.  By subscribing, you are getting 3 completely unique vintage items that are all sourced from the famous Portobello Road in London, and its stores and market. It is 35 pounds a month to subscribe for those in the UK, and 48 pounds (so... whatever the exchange rate makes that month to month), and you get 1-3 items whose total value will equal that which you paid for it. So, it might be three items of all equal value or one more expensive item. You can be sent purses, scarves, or jewelry which are curated by their stylists.  Obviously, no box will be alike and you can't guarantee everything will be something you, personally, love, but if you like vintage or special items, this seems like an amazing way to get those sorts of pieces!

Bungalow Clothing
Like Stitchfix and other, similar subscriptions, Bungalow Clothing brings you pieces picked for you by a stylist. When you sign up, you fill out a style questionnaire, including your likes, dislikes and sizes. Items are chosen from high end retail brands that match you needs. You are sent a box of five items and may return any items you do not like. Both shipping and returns are free. You are only charged for what you keep and, unlike many clothing subscription companies, you are not charged a styling fee. Beyond a few promo photos, there are not a ton of photos of the kind of clothes they like to send, but presumably each costumer's needs would be different anyway. If you are looking for a chance from Stitchfix or even just want to try a clothing subscription but don't want to waste month on a styling fee, this might be the place to try it!

Gwynnie Bee
This company offers a similar service to that of Le Tote (which I've reviewed before here and here), but its services are aimed specifically at women who wear size 10 or higher. This subscription service charges a monthly membership fee. Once you are a member, you are able to rent out clothes. There are different plans which allow you to have out a certain number of items at a time. Within one month, you can rent out and send back clothes as many times as you wish. Membership plan fees are based on the number of items you can have "out" at a time. Plans range from $35 a month being able to rent one item out at a time to $159 a month in exchange for being able to have 10 items out at a time.  Shipping is free, you don't need to worry about laundering items you rent and you can keep an item as long as you want. You can even purchase an item you fall in love with (and you buy it at a discounted price!). Their selection, stylistically, seems to be more varied than Le Tote, and they have a wide range of sizes from an US 10 on up.

Want more subscription boxes? Why not look at: Subscription Boxes, Subscription Boxes II,   Subscription Boxes III,  Subscription Boxes IV,  Subscription Boxes for Women, Subscription Boxes for Men, Subscription Boxes for Reading and Writing,  Nerdy Subscription Boxes, or these subscription box reviews. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What I Wore: Trying on a Different Self

work outfit, leather leggings, popbasic,wishbone bracelet, pink tunic, What I Wore: Tunic (Le Tote), Waxed Pants (Popbasic); Wishbone Bracelet (Popbasic), Black Bracelet (Le Tote), Necklace (Popbasic)

I was never a tunic gal, but this pink one might be changing my mind... for a day, at least. But really, one thing I'd never have guessed about "renting" clothes, as you do with Le Tote, is how much more willing I am to try different things, whether it is a color or a cut or a style. Some things you know right away won't work (I'm looking at you boxy, modern looking top that makes me seem  five months pregnant). Other items, it takes time to figure out. Sometimes how an item looks in the mirror is really different to how it feels- and most importantly are the differences in how it makes ME feel about myself when wearing it in front of a mirror or "in action," so to speak. Its an old story: everything starts off all fine- and then you notice it riding up, or getting wrinkled, or - or you just feel not quite you. I've bought clothing in the past where that's happened, even from other subscription companies. The main difference between those companies and Le Tote being, that while you can try both companies' items on at home, Le Tote lets you wear them out and about in your everyday life. You really get a feel for the clothes. Anyway, I liked this tunic lending itself to a modern,  but still work-appropriate vibe. It was fun to try on a bit of a new persona as well, even if the tunic did ultimately get returned. Still, it is great how clothes can help you be a slightly different version of yourself, making you happier, or more confident

Monday, January 11, 2016

Remix: Orange Print Skirt

One might be tempted to think an item clothing has limited possibilities due to its color or its print, but this skirt is here to prove to you otherwise. With its admittedly loud orange tones and the vintage print, I'd initially been a bit hesitant to add it to my closet. I love a vintage/retro look, but if that's all a piece can do, its seeing limited time off the hanger. Plus, it is a skirt, so its more of a warmer-weather piece.

While not much can be done to make it more wintery- a skirt is a skirt is a skirt, after all. However, finding complimentary colors really opened up the possibilities of remixing. Plus, adding basics in those contrasting colors kept things from getting too kitschy with the vintage print.  I've only had this skirt a few months and even though there's already four different ways I could wear this, I'm sure there's more remixing possibilities to come.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Stationery Wishlist: Quirky Finds

1. 7 year pens | 2. USB Cord | 3. Puffin Card | 4. Dog Stapler | 5. Notepad | 6. Positive Planner | 7. Pig Bookend

1. 7 year pens - Sometimes even the smallest things can give a hint of your personality. That's beauty of design- and of these 7 year pens!

2. USB Cord- We use them for everything, might as well get pretty ones, right?

 3. Puffin Card - I've a weakness for Puffins and here a crazy bird mixes with the dignity of gold foil. Sigh! Perfection.

4. Dog Stapler- I'm not sure if it is the most practical stapler I've ever encountered, but who cares- put a dog on it, man!

 5. Notepad - To Do Lists are always more fun on pretty paper.

 6. Positive Planner - I use Google Calendar a lot, but there is something very appealing about how this visually lays out your whole week for you. As a teacher, it might be especially nice to see a week's worth of lessons laid out in one glance (and cheering you on, in its positive way!)

7. Pig Bookend- There's been a few famous pigs in literature- Wilbur of Charlotte's Web foremost in my mind- but let's face it,, golden, bookend pigs are both charming and also really, really weird. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What I Wore: Think Pink!


What I Wore: Shirt (Le Tote), Pants (Mango), Belt (Vintage; Similar Here), Necklace (Similar Here)

We're back to work this week as school starts back up, so it seemed a proper time to show off something to wear int the work place. Though, to be truthful, I spent much of our time off working on lesson plans, and The Boy spent even more time on work. We are workaholics, for sure, but it has gotten to the point where we are definitely planning to get out and away for Spring Break! Still, I'm excited for a new semester and new units for the kids. Last semester we really focussed on technology, the human body and Shakespeare; this upcoming unit, we're taking on the Stock Market, engineering bridges and The Maker Movement. I'm pumped and ready to go! 

On a more sartorial note- this blog title comes from Hepburn's Funny Face, but despite the advice, pink is not a color I wear very often. I guess it helps to think out of the box, sometimes... 

Monday, January 4, 2016

In January, Why Don't You...

Fred Flake and Flo Coine; Frank Thompson and Mrs. Matheson -- ice skating  (LOC)
Photo from the Library of Congress

Try a daily planner

Netflix-binge a new show (and make a recommendation in the comments, please!)

Use all your best dinnerware- just because!

Make a bath bomb- and use it

Cut your hair

Paint a room in your house for a fresh feel even in winter

Pair The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with some Turkish Delight

Wear some costume jewelry

Go on an ice skating date

Put a shovel in your car, in case you need to dig out snow

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