Reel Women: If a Man Answers: re-new your relationship

if a man answers

giambattista tweed dress | coral necklace | obi wrap belt | coral pump

There’s lots of new year resolutions to meet someone new, start dating, finally ask that person out, perhaps break up with this person and “find yourself.” But, there are hardly any resolutions to make a current relationship better. “If a Man Answers” is a one of Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin’s more obscure duos, but it honestly has the best plotline for a new year and a resolution to make a special someone even more special.

After a swift relationship, Sandra Dee’s character (Chantal) falls in love with and marries Bobby Darin’s character (Eugene), a photographer. Soon after the honeymoon wears off though, Darin’s character quickly moves his attention off his wife and onto his next beautiful photography model. When Chantal goes to her mother with her husband problems, her mum gives her a dog training book, telling her to use the tips in the book about training a dog on her husband. Though Chantal is slightly horrified, when she comes home to Eugene falling all over himself over a roomful of photography models, she begins to use the “tricks” in an attempt to transform him. After a few weeks, Eugene is a completely changed man: he’s attentive, willingly goes with her shopping, is romantic, and suddenly back to his old, devoted self.

Chantal quickly realizes however that her mother gave her the book not to train Eugene like a dog, but to train Chantal to treat him as well as she would a pet and transform her view of her marriage. Chantal began to intentionally seek out what Eugene’s needs were, she paid attention to his desires, went out of her way to make him comfortable, asked first where he wanted to go before dragging him to every errand on her list. Made his favorite dinner, greeted him with a smile, and welcomed every conversation they had together. Of course it’s not a Darin/Dee movie unless there is some mix-up to the plot–you’ll have to actually watch it to figure that one out–but even in the 1960’s they hit something right on the head: often we treat our pets better than we do our significant others and then we wonder why they aren’t drooling over our every word, longing to spend every moment with us, and jumping for joy when we walk through the door. Perhaps if we started treating them like our most beloved pup they may just figure out how much we really love them…try it, and see if this year your right now relationship doesn’t need to be switched out, re-newed, or rejected, perhaps it just needs both of you thinking less of yourself and more of the other person as the best dog you ever had.

– <3 A. 

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. 

Guest Pinner: If Nancy Wake Pinned

nancy wakenancy wake repins via | via | Nancy Wake image and bio via

In 2013 America, it’s hard to imagine that there are and were spys. That people endangered their lives, lived in fear, and started everyday not completely certain they would end it still in this world.

Nancy Wake was one of the most decorated members of the French Resistance during WWII, earning the French government’s highest military medal, and England and America’s second highest. Leaving home at 16, she worked as a nurse and then a freelance journalist until she fell in love with the city of Paris and her future Parisian husband. Her subsequent social standing and wealth acquired from her marriage, made her a less than suspicious French citizen and when the war broke out, she became an escort and courier to the Allies, helping hundreds of injured airmen escape to safety into Spain. Her years as a journalist in Vienna showed her first-hand how brutal the Nazi regime was, and her hatred for them overcame any fear she might have felt as a member of the French Resistance. Besides, she wanted to do her part for the war effort, for she never understood “why we women should just wave our men a proud goodbye and then knit them balaclavas.” In 1943 when the Nazis finally discovered her activities, her husband was executed and she barely escaped to England where she joined the S.O.E. intelligence group. Wake parachuted back into France along with other S.O.E. members to set up communication lines, and gather and hide ammunition before D-Day for the incoming American and British forces.

Wake used her femininity as an advantage, knowing, as a woman in the 1940’s, she wouldn’t have been suspected  as the elusive “white mouse” that the Germans eventually knew her as. Her success and courage during the war years has made her a subject of documentaries, films, and dramas about her life. In a 2011 article published after her death in The New York Times, she said she enjoyed the re-made versions of her life except for the ones that portrayed her as having affairs during the war years. Though by her own admission she loved nothing more than “a good drink” and handsome men, she never had an affair because, she said, “if I had accommodated one man, the word would have spread around, and I would have had to accommodate the whole damn lot!” If Nancy Wake pinned, I think her boards would have a poignancy, a drama, and a sense of courage from a woman who knew exactly how far her femininity could get her and when to draw the line against an evil world.

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans and currently serving men and women who will be someday!

**Check out this article too about another WWII female spy and the upcoming movie about her tragic and powerful life.** 

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Barefoot in the Park

barefoot in the park

drop earrings | delia fur circle scarf | hammered bangles | vintage snakeskin clutch | wool bow coat | velvet pillow | lasso pillow | charlotte sofa

Happy Friday to everyone and happy birthday to my wonderful, adorable mother, I love you so much! Thanks for introducing me to Barefoot in the Park and pretty much every other movie that is worth watching.

I love this movie and Jane Fonda’s character Corrie Bratter had to be my November reel woman because you love her but she simultaneously drives you crazy. Her and her uptight, newlywed husband Paul (Robert Redford) move to this insanely small apartment after they’re married that’s about 10 flights of stairs up from the street, leaks snow in from the roof, has a bedroom the size of a closet, and an eccentric neighbor who tries to flirt with Jane Fonda’s mother. Jane is terrified every fight she and her husband have spells divorce, so she’s constantly trying to make the best of their ridiculous apartment, crying inconsolably about their fights, and ending up realizing that perfect isn’t going to happen but that doesn’t mean imperfect means the end of her marriage, and she and her husband figure out sometimes it’s best to just go barefoot in the park and accept that life is what it is and whoever is in it with you, if they belong, is going to figure it out right along with you.

The holidays are coming up and sometimes it kinda feels like perfect has to happen. As if, if you don’t paint a picture with your life that resembles the inn in White Christmas or the Thanksgiving dinner in Holiday Inn that everything is going to crumble and every tradition ever created has been failed…doesn’t it sometimes feel like that? This season I’m going to try and enjoy though instead of survive. I’m not going to care if certain things do or don’t happen, if everything looks right, feels right, is right. I’m just going to go with it and if I have to, run barefoot in the park to let off a little stress. 

– <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. 

Reel Women: Bell Book and Candle

bell book and candle vintage stylebell book and candle vintage style bell book and candle vintage style

backless maxi dress | beaded bracelet | cigarette trouser | cowl | tiny wine-y red polish | yellow shift | patent pump |

I’m not into Halloween. Not at all actually. No ghouls, or goblins…and the only witch I’ll watch is the one played by Kim Novak in this movie. Carving a pumpkin is fun, drinking pumpkin lattes…yeah, duh…but everyone’s fascination with Halloween horror is one I’ll never understand. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Kim Novak always played a rather angsty leading lady. She always reminded me a bit of a, well, “deeper” version of Marilyn Monroe…as if Marilyn’s troubled, true-self finally made it past her ditzy, easy-going facade to pose as Miss Novak.

Novak’s style was pretty modern for her era: except for her “sweet” look in Bell, Book, and Candle with the usual 1950’s/60’s cinched waist, flowy A-line, and matching pumps, her normal looks were slinky, full-length dresses, and cigarette pants paired with an oversized top/sweater. She was also far more overtly sexual than many of the leading ladies of her time, yet, she never dipped into the sleezy category. Halloween is notorious for being the one day of the year where anything goes. Every single Oct. 31st, my tiny college town went from middle-class educated, slightly hipster yet completely civilized, to all out slutville in under 24 hours. I don’t know when Halloween became so sleezy, but if I’m going to be angsty and slithery this Halloween, I’d do it Kim Novak’s way: with quite a bit of class.

font and kim novak image via

– <3 A.

Guest-Pinner: If Marguerite Patten Pinned

guest-pinner: if marguerite patten pinnedguest-pinner: if marguerite patten pinned

repins via | via | portrait via

Before Julia Child, Food Network, and Top Chef there was Marguerite Patten: now 97, Patten has been a pro at teaching people to cook well even in the worst of times. Before World War II, Marguerite landed a job for Frigidaire as a cookery demonstrator. During the war, England’s Ministry of Food hired her to host a radio program called “Kitchen Front.” The program focused on teaching listeners how to ration and still have a meal taste good…not wasting even a shred of food during a time where it was very difficult to get many ingredients at all. Post-war, she authored 170 cookbooks…yep…triple digits people, and even at 97 years old, modern foodies are still going to her for advice.

So what does she say about cooking in the modern, not-so-hot economy? Cook in a pressure cooker to save energy, and when you go to a grocery store? Patten describes them as “Aladdin’s cave(s).Don’t go in without making a good old-fashioned shopping list and then stick to it.” But my all-time favorite quote is her opinion about modern convenience foods like pre-made, microwave, save-me-a-minute food: “Basically I don’t like any of them. Though I would far rather people bought them than had a nervous breakdown. But please augment them with fresh vegetables.” Her interview with the UK’s The Telegraph is hilarious. Even though she now suffers from arthritis because she says she was “the idiot who fell between the train and the platform,” she still hates it when people try and make her live in the past in her career-peak years during the war: “what a load of nonsense. Who wants to go back to six months without a fresh tomato? Not me.”

If Marguerite Patten pinned, I think her boards wouldn’t show a shred of regret for the past because it seems she never really looks back except perhaps to illustrate how best to move forward.

Happy Friday everyone! Next week marks VMMV’s first birthday, eek! I can’t believe it’s been a year. I’ve got a special post to share with everyone about what I’ve learned since posting that first painful post. Argh, every blogger says it but its true, with every new month/year of blogging, the early times become a little, uh, embarrassing? If you’ve been with me since then, I love you guys for stickin’ around even though I’m sure sometimes you may have grimaced and groaned. Also, something else I should share, as of last month, I’m a sponsor of Erin James’ sweet blog so check it out this weekend when you’re hopefully in your pajamas too long doing nothing but anything you want :)

bio and quotes via

– <3 A. 

Guest Pinner: If Beverly Cleary Pinned

vmmv guest pinner seriesvmmv guest pinner seriesBeverly Cleary image via | repins via | via | via | via | via | via

 Creative Writing degrees are worth something for sure, but, I’ve always been of the school of thought that writers, like artists, are just sort of born with it. If you’ve got it, you’ve just got it and no amount of instruction, degrees, classes, and practice will make you one if you aren’t. The wrath of English teachers and creative writing MFA’s everywhere may rain upon me but I’m serious! If you don’t have the gift of storytelling, no one can really teach you. You can improve for sure, but excel? Perhaps not. Beverly Cleary I think would agree. She often said in private interviews that she didn’t really study other children’s books, she just wrote from her own experiences. When children would write to her for tips about writing their own tales she would say that when the time came when they should write, if they indeed should, they would find their own way of writing and would “not need tips to guide them.” Beverly Cleary actually struggled in her first few years of school to learn to read. Even though she struggled, she was obsessed with reading and ended up getting a degree in Library Science from the University of Washington, Seattle.  She didn’t write her first book until she was in her thirties, but she would become one of the most award-winning children’s book authors ever with her tales about the adventures of Ramona Quimby.

If Beverly Cleary pinned, I think her boards would be quite inspirational for the self-taught and the self-motivated. If you’re good at something, no lack of opportunity or educational experience can really stop you. Beverly Cleary just read, and read, and read, and then she wrote…very well might I interject…and we still can’t get enough of her.

Happy new week everyone! Mondays really can’t help being a drag, but it’s now officially Autumn and October is just a week away so that’s something to celebrate!

– <3 A.