If Only: Graceful Resolutions

if onlyif only graceful resolutions

  1. How the Devil are YouKeep in touch
  2. Paperclip Dome: Keep it together
  3. Chalk PadKeep a list
  4. Pomdelion BouquetKeep a sense of humor
  5. Backwards in High HeelsKeep reading

I think that list could help 2014 be slightly more graceful even if not for the majority of it. Attempting to be as graceful as Grace Kelly is a slightly ambitious resolution for a new year, but if only this year I keep in touch instead of keeping too busy, keep it together when I do get busy, keep a list to manage all the busy, keep a sense of humor to keep the busy-ness from getting to me, and keep reading to keep the busy in perspective, this year might just be a very graceful 12 months…If only…

– <3 A. 

If Only: I Traveled like the Haynes Sisters

white christmas white christmas

1. Kate Spade Briella Coat 2. Louise Cloche 3. Embellished Collar 4. Bombota in Orange

If only I traveled like the Haynes sisters in White Christmas, my luggage would match my accessories, I’d be in heels instead of fur-lined boots, my coats wouldn’t puff but cinch, and my hats and collars would always be elegant instead of over-stuffed.

 Doesn’t that one scene in White Christmas just make you want to drop everything and run off to Vermont? Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen just look so incredibly pulled together yet comfortable and cozy at the same time I don’t know how they do it. Since we’re all used to the cozy laziness of yoga pants, moccasins, and pull-over, over-sized sweatshirts, when we have to jump in the car for hours and hours, or bake, or run to a million stores, we can’t imagine doing all that and don an outfit worthy of photographing. But, what if we weren’t used to it? What if we really did “dress up” everyday. Wouldn’t “dressing up” just become the usual and feeling put together an everyday occurrence?

I might be willing to try it…but with New Years so close, there’s no sense in doing anything drastic this year.

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Christmas in Connecticut

christmas in connecticut

Lace cardigan | Black sweater dress | Auburn Place Handbag | Highline pumps

This whole return to real life thing is not very wonderful. Thanksgiving week is such a tease, letting you just get comfortable doing whatever your heart desires and then launching you out on the other side with three weeks of high-intensity to-do’s staring you in the face. I vote for the entire December month to be holiday: in my slippers, every-day, all month.

If I did happen to get out of my slippers and get dressed this month, it would be like Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut. She had the best mix of cute and strong, leather and lace, temper and sweetness: Stanwyck plays a journalist who writes articles posing as a housewife on a Connecticut farm. In reality though, she’s a single woman living in a New York apartment who can’t even cook and relies on her Uncle Felix’s restaurant to give her the menus for her articles. When her boss decides to invite himself to her “farm” for Christmas, Stanwyck’s carefully crafted life begins to be reinvented by everyone else and she soon grows very tired of rewriting the truth of her life instead of accepting what she truly wants. It’s such a fun movie and gets you rather excited to reinvent yourself. It’s a perfect Christmas Eve movie: some nostalgia mixed with lots of excitement for a new year and a potential new self.

– <3 A. 

Pulling Off Pumpkin

pulling off pumpkinpulling off pumpkin

images via That Funny Feeling | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | Pillow Talk | An Affair to Remember

Pulling off pumpkin is kind of tough! There’s a shade between Halloween-orange and garish-bright that is hard to find but doing sweaters like Sandra, Audrey’s bright coats, Doris’s accessories, or Deborah’s scarf is a pretty easy formula to follow for making this October color work. **I’m insanely jealous of that handbag behind Doris Day. Doris, where did you get that? Help a purse-desperate girl out?**

I’m going to ask all my lovely readers if they would be patient with me this weekend. I’m heading out of town and won’t be in the proximity of the wonderful world of the web to update VMMV. I could of course plan out some posts and have them timed and ready to publish in my absence, but I’m so looking forward to shutting every connection down that I’ve been sustaining for oh-so-long that I’m not even going to do that. I am planning on snapping as many pictures as I can though to document my expedition and I might be convinced to do a little Instagramming, so, if you’re a follower you can see where I’m off too and if you’re not, follow me!

I’m really really looking forward to the break. It’s going to be a serious mental health vacation and I’m rather looking forward to unplugging even though lately blogging hasn’t been high enough on my priority list. dang it. After work and homework are done, I haven’t yet figured out how to keep my brain creative enough to maintain my usual blog schedule. This break I’m hoping will jumpstart me again though and also will get me closer to when I can share something so very exciting that I’ve been keeping quiet. Stay tuned! I can’t wait  to share and if I wasn’t escaping I might just slip…

– <3 A. 

If Only: I was a Marc Jacobs Model

if onlyif only: I was a marc jacobs model

1. | 2. | 3. 

If only I were a Marc Jacobs model and I could get his Fall 2013 collection for less than my post-grad tuition costs, I’d choose these three. I’m not exactly sure what he was going for with the I-dropped-my-hair-dryer-in-the-bathtub hair-fro / a-la-Edward Scissorhands perhaps? But beside that, these three silhouettes are adorable. If you look at the complete collection here, the men’s hair is far far worse than what the fem-models had to walk with…like, it’s reallyyyy bad…but some of his silhouettes are perfectly updated vintage. I’m not a fan of his oversized coats, but the patterns, skirts, bags (want, want, want) and easy one-piece dresses are gorgeous. His collections looks very academic which is perhaps why I like it so much…perhaps directing a 4th grade classroom in Marc Jacobs might be a little inappropriate but it seems like you’d feel oh-so in control and on top of things even if after 3 bells, 7 subjects, and 29 ten-year-olds, you won’t be. Looks count for something though…right?

vintage patterns via

– <3 A. 

Just Like Esther

esther williams vintage suits

esther williams vintage bathing suitsEsther Williams images and fonts via | 1950’s belted suit | 1960’s pea green suit | 1970’s striped boy-short suit

The lovely movie star / bathing beauty / swimming champion Esther Williams died last Friday at the age of 91. For all her personal success and beauty though, Esther’s story behind the screen, or, rather, outside of the swimming pool, was actually rather tragic as far as her relationships were concerned. She was married four times: Her first husband, a pre-med student, she supported and even paid off in order to get a divorce from him. Her second, was an alcoholic, and gambled and lost many of her millions from her movie success. By the end of the marriage, he gave her three kids and a steep debt with the IRS for unpaid taxes. Her third husband happily paid for his own keep, but wouldn’t let Esther’s three children from her former marriage attend the wedding or live with the new couple. Her last marriage lasted until her death. When asked who her favorite leading man was in all her movies, Esther replied that it had been “the water” of course, for on and off screen the men in her life didn’t seem to lead at all, and the ones who did led her to break off the relationship.

When I was reading about Esther’s life I wondered how she could get it wrong three times. Weren’t there warning signs? A “jerk-face” sign popping up around the guy somewhere pre-marriage? Is being a celebrity in a relationship just really that hard to find even a resemblance of a “good guy”? I suppose I shall never know but I do know that while I might want to suit up like Esther this summer, I think I’ll steer clear of her man-meter, it seemed to be tipping the scales a bit on the wrong end of “lasting.”

bio info via

-<3 A. 

Life With Mother

mothers day

mothers day vmmvHappy Mother’s Day Week to all of you lovely mothers, but most especially to my own dearest, most beautiful mother. She has always been and always will be my number one lady to look up to, admire, try (very hard) to be like, and look forward to laughing with. I’ve never seen such a tiny woman have so much power: power to love, to teach, to lead, to be content, to follow when necessary, to endure, to create, to learn, to adapt, and to be forever and always my incredible mother. I know everyone thinks that their mum is the world’s best mum, and I’m ever so glad that they do, but I am also happy to announce that I’m sorry, but I think I still have everyone beat. Love you mum.

– <3 A. 

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Guest Pinner: If Mrs. March Pinned

little women vmmv collage

littlewomenvmmvcollage

little women vmmv collage

marmee image via / all repins via

When Louisa May Alcott wrote the character of Mrs. March (or, “Marmee”) for her novel Little Women, Alcott succeeded in creating arguably one of the most beloved mother caricatures in literary history.  Besides being kind, loving, and the stalwart supporter of her four daughters, Marmee also has endless monologues teaching her girls the importance of education, independence, and equality for women, in a time where those things were nothing to aspire to for “well-brought up” ladies. Marmee exuded love and devotion to her husband and family, standing as the heart of one of the coziest, most adorable family portraits ever put to paper. The March family life was simple and rustic yet in its quaint raw-ness, it was overwhelmingly beautiful, for Alcott wrote a story of what family life should be, what motherhood is, and what all girls can be. I think if Mrs. March pinned, her boards would be something to see.

– <3 A. 

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annecollage4         beatrixpotterpinterest

  Anne of Green Gables                    Beatrix Potter

That Redhead

vmmv collage

vmmv collageTwenty-one years ago that redhead was born and about a week and a half ago  we celebrated her birthday with lemon-drop martinis, a spaghetti dinner, and a bouquet of chocolate-dipped strawberries. I have so many years upon years of memories with her. Not very many people are blessed with friendships like these that last from the baby, childhood years into the strange, early adulthood years, and if they last that transition, then baby, there’s no killing this bond. Not only is she beautiful, successful, and hilarious, but she is also kind, thoughtful, and loving, and, dearest Reagan, we love you!

 – <3 A.

 

Emma: A Surprisingly Modern Marriage

emma images via mollands.netBesides Pride and Prejudice,  Emma is perhaps Jane Austen’s most beloved novel and definitely her most humorous. Emma herself, despite being labeled a “heroine that no one would like but myself (Austen),” is actually rather endearing as she bumbles through acting as matchmaker for the small, country town of Highbury.

Austen usually takes quite the heat for her seemingly old-fashioned “girls only” novels about quiet, domestic life of the nineteenth century and romantic tales of “good girls win.” Emma especially, as the daughter of a wealthy gentleman with little to do but parade around Highbury trying to marry off her less-well-to-do neighbors couldn’t seem much further from a modern woman. Yet, out of all of Austen’s heroines, Emma is the most modern, the most forward-thinking, and the most independent–a fact that perhaps caused Austen to say that Emma would be a “heroine that no one would like but myself” for Emma, like Austen herself, was indeed well ahead of her time.

So how is Emma so modern? Think about it, she’s the only one of Austen’s heroine’s who isn’t obsessed about getting married. Of course, she wants everyone else to marry, and she at times (falsely) believes she is in love for rather ridiculous reasons, but, for the majority of the novel, Emma has no interest in tying the knot herself.

The most incomprehensible thing in the world to a man, is a woman who rejects his offer of marriage

image via mollands.netEmma already has status, wealth, and security–all primary inducements for women of the nineteenth century to scramble to be wed at the first opportunity, and she has no interest in changing her circumstances. Emma could essentially be her own, independent woman and she is very happy being just that. When she finally does marry, it is not for any of those reasons, instead, she marries purely for love when she discovers that her friendship with Mr. Knightley, who isn’t her superior but is in fact her equal in wealth and circumstance, is actually much more than just a friendship. Even after they are married though, Emma doesn’t give up any of her independence. It is Mr. Knightley who moves into her estate so that she can continue to care for her ailing father. Modern? Powerful? Independent? I think so. In the novel, Emma did in fact achieve what modern women seek in their relationships: equality and independence.

A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter

image via mollands.netYet, though equal in wealth, and retaining her voice within their marriage, Emma’s relationship to her husband couldn’t be further from how how many modern women view equality for Emma and Mr. Knightley’s “equality” wasn’t a competition, it wasn’t a “I can make that much money too” race, and it wasn’t a “who is busier and more important” challenge. It was simply respectful equality: A partnership instead of a battle of the sexes where each understood one another’s different roles without falling into the modern train of thought that different roles = different worths.

Emma entered her marriage with Mr. Knightley not because she found his wealth and status attractive, but because she admired and respected him. he had wisdom, was rational, and had a strong sense of morality. He treated everyone fairly and kindly, whether they were poor, elderly women, or wealthy, independent men. Ten years her senior, Mr. Knightley brought a wisdom and moral compass to their marriage and though he often reprimanded Emma for her naive, romantic ideas, he did not think less of her and she did not lose her sense of worth. While he brought wisdom, Emma brought cheerful optimism and a fervor for life, and together, they created a perfect balance. Emma didn’t lose anything when she married. She was still essentially herself: respected, loved and was loved, had a voice, and, with Mr. Knightley, created a surprisingly modern marriage.

Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives

quotes via emma, austen, penguin books / images via

– <3 A. 

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