If Only: messenger bags

if onlyif only: messenger bags

1. | 2.| 3. | 4.

I’m starting a new series this week: my “if only” selections for whatever it is I would get “if only”…I had the endless cash flow to get it.

Monday marks the day three dirty little words officially, officially happen for me: back. to. school. Over the summer I was dabbling…taking an online class so I wouldn’t have to take it next spring, studying for and taking three state tests required for the program I’m entering–so I suppose I was getting a good preview, but on Monday there’s no escaping the “student” title. To ease the pain, I’ve been endlessly searching for a messenger bag to adorn my shoulder on my cross-campus treks. Senior year of my undergrad years, I vowed to banish backpacks from my life and I’m no way goin’ back as a post-grad student. I wore a grey messenger bag to shreds that year, toting ridiculously heavy English anthologies to and from class so I’ve been on the hunt for something new. They’re actually rather more difficult to find than I thought though!

If only money weren’t a, uh, rather large obstacle, that Alligator Burberry would be mine…so chic, I think it might even be Bacall-worthy. As it is, I guess I’ll be confronting student-hood messenger bag-less for now: I’d rather gather my books by the armful than strap on the too-painful backpack symbol of school-dom ever again.

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

– <3 A. 

Reel Women: Come September

come septemberAlice and Olivia Colby Rolled Sleeve | Ikebana Full Skirt | Scarf in Mustard Dots | Michael Kors Crocodile Belt | Alice and Olivia Lizard Embellished Heel

There was never anything subtle about Gina Lollobrigida so her modern style translation had to be equally as colorful. In 1955, after her Italian film “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” came out, the movie title stuck as her nickname and she became one of post World War II’s greatest sex symbols. It’s almost Autumn but summer colors still totally work. Sometimes full, A-line skirts are hard to pull off without looking a little too old. Gina did it because, well, look at her. But paired with some sleek heels and a form-fitting top and full skirts still look super chic.

 In Come September, Gina won a Golden Globe for her bombshell performance as the sultry and fiery mistress of Rock Hudson who returns to his Italian villa every September to visit her. Unfortunately for Rock, his butler has turned his house into a hotel and a brood of chaperoned college girls are rooming at his villa. His plans to romance Gina turn sour when the college girls attract their own brood of American boys on a European tour, and Rock Hudson begins to feel responsible for keeping them out of the boys’ clutches and desire “to divide and multiply.” Gina starts to catch on to what Rock is trying to teach the girls and begins to become dissatisfied with her own yearly visits from Rock…come every September. Several fabulous outfits later, a few Bobby Darin original songs, the usual 1960’s romantic-comedy cuteness, and a chase around Italy with Gina in a wedding dress and the couple (of course) gets married.

 Another adorable snippet about this film besides Gina’s gorgeous outfits is that Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin first met while filming Come September and shortly after married in real life. It’s the ultimate reel-to-real life romantic comedy satisfaction.

 – <3 A. 

Smoldering

marie claire augustmuse | cat eyes | volume | more volume | mod dress

 If months have keywords to describe them, August would be “smoldering.” It’s hot. Have you seen Marie Claire’s August issue covergirl? She’s pretty smoldering too. Diane Kruger suddenly popped back into the model-world with this vintage spread. She looks pretty wonderful for 37…I might be prejudice, but I think perhaps it’s her background as a German ballet dancer that keeps her lookin’ so fresh. Black liner smudged into cat eyes, classic 60’s volume hair with a little modern mess added, and a 60’s inspired, lace, mod-dress. I sort of give up doing my “do” in August. I’ve got the mess down but not so much the volume. Blowing out my hair, straightening, curling, and leaving it down to insulate my neck and shoulders in a cascading warm blanket is not reallyyyy what sounds appealing in day after day of triple digits. If I wasn’t a central Cali native though, 60’s stylin’ is what I’d be doing.

Happy Friday everyone! Next weekend is the long Labor Day weekend already…can you believe it? Aside from the 100’s still popping up in my 10-day temperature feed, it is starting to feel just a teensy bit like Fall. The mornings stay dark just a tad later, the evenings cool quicker and when we finally do hit 100, it’s not 9 A.M., but more like 2 in the afternoon. Bring it on cloudy days and chill winds, it’s still August but I’m so ready!

vintage patterns via simplicity | vintage marie claire via marie claire | background image Diane Kruger, Marie Claire, Aug 2013 issue

 – <3 A. 

Guest Pinner: If Nellie Bly Pinned

nellie bly repins

nellie bly repinsNellie Bly images and signature via| repins via | via |via | via | via | via

Have you seen the new(ish) Channing Tatum movie Side Effects? I won’t give anything away but I was intrigued–and not just by him because he isn’t in the movie all that long, and that’s all I’m gonna say about it–but when I was reading up about Nellie Bly, heralded as the world’s first (female) investigative journalist, and her primary investigative success “Ten Days in a Madhouse,” I was even more intrigued by this real-life version of that flick **the movie is a little slow but watch it! It’s got some serious twists you won’t see coming**. I stumbled across her by chance ironically right after watching Side Effects and I wondered how I’d gone so long without hearing about this pretty spectacular lady.

In 1885, Nellie Bly read a Pittsburgh newspaper article entitled “What Girls are Good For.” The article denounced female aspirations and education, and 21 year old Elizabeth Cochran wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch denouncing him for publishing such views on women. The editor was so impressed by Elizabeth’s writing voice that he eventually offered her a full-time job writing under the pen name “Nellie Bly.” Readers of the “Dispatch” weren’t as impressed as the editor was though, and Nellie ended up getting the typically “female” topics of gardening, fashion, and gossip to avoid public backlash about a female reporter reporting on topics she couldn’t possibly know anything about. Disgusted by the inane topics she was forced to write about, Nellie turned in her resignation, and, a few years later, landed a position writing for the “New York World.” Because of some investigative work she had done in Mexico between writing for the “Dispatch” and the “World,” Bly was tasked to go “undercover” into a madhouse for women. Nellie feigned insanity, convincing doctors that she should be put into the asylum on Blackwell’s Island in order to investigate the living conditions for “patients” of the hospital. What she discovered was horrifying: While the doctors and nurses ate and lived like royalty, the patients were fed off flour soaked in water, kept tied up like animals, and treated like hardened prisoners. She spent ten days in the asylum and then was rescued by agents from the “World.” Her articles written about the atrocities committed at the hospital resulted in public outcry and new laws mandating better treatment and more money allocated for women at similar institutions.

Her ideas for her articles were fascinating, bold, fearless, and completely unique. In the late 1800’s she proposed that she could travel around the world faster than Jules Verne’s main character in Around the World in Eighty Days. The “World” sponsored her trip and even started a reader guessing game as to what day she would return back to the States in order to keep interest in Bly’s voyage. Bly landed back on American soil just seventy-two days after starting her voyage. The woman was incredible, and not just because it was the 1800’s, but because she had incredible passion for her writing and for writing about things that truly mattered. She was creative, cutting edge, intelligent, and couldn’t be intimidated. If Nellie Bly pinned I’d be all over her boards because who knew what the next thing Bly would do?

bio info via

– <3 A. 

Other Guest-Pinners:

annecollage4   beatrixpotterpinterest   clarabartonguestpinner

  Anne of Green Gables             Beatrix Potter                     Clara Barton 

Reel Women: Beach Blanket Bingo

beach blanket bingofont via | gold crystal necklace | Present and Accounting for Dress | Sevilla Clutch | Carvela Pump

Ever since schools started heading back to session in August instead of September, it’s kind of killed Augusts’ claim to being a summer month but it’s still freakin’ hot and there’s still plentyyy of time for a Beach Blanket Bingo day…or at least a Beach Blanket Bingo evening. This weekend I’m off to have my own beach party with my two redheads for a last hurrah before I head back to teaching next week. It’s been way, way, way too long since we went on a trip together. Those two can get me laughing like no one else can and we have the best of times doing anything or nothing at all. They’re the friends who, though you may not see all the time, when you do get some sacred time together, it’s as if you begin in the middle of a conversation that has continued since the last time you met/talked. Those type of friend-sisters are a rare bunch and I hold on to my two with a death grip, I love them so.

It’s astonishing how feminine ideals can change in just a few generations. Annette Funicello, mouseketeer turned 1960’s “beach party” film heartthrob, died this year in my hometown. If you’ve ever seen the completely ridiculous but adorable “beach party films” she was famous for, it’s rather a huge culture shock if you’re comparing it to current “beach party” films (Spring Breakers anyone?). Annette’s beach style is so chic: high-waisted shorts, button-downs, over-sized sweaters paired with matching colors of cigarette pants, a glitter and mint dress, and bathing suit after bathing suit cinched at the waist and screaming 1960’s glamour. The girls are, by modern standards, uh, well-endowed? They’ve got hips, and boobs, and…they look good! But if you took those girls out of 1965 and popped them into 2013, audiences probably would be disappointed. They’re no Megan Fox. There’s no six-packs or sleek thighs, but there are fabulous outfits, the cutest songs, and some serious eye-rolling jokes that still make me rather have Annette as my muse any modern day.

 – <3 A. 

Reel Women: Man’s Favorite Sport

mans favorite sport

1. Tunic in Tomato | 2. Living the Dream Denim Skirt | 3. Magazine Girl Vintage Hatbox | 4. Slingback Flat

 1960’s movies are the best. Where else can you see people camping in sport coats, ties, heels, and belted, white skirts? “Man’s Favorite Sport” is a completely under-praised film. Maybe because it’s not the usual pairing of Rock Hudson and Doris Day, but not very many people say “oh yeah!” if you bring this flick up. But seriously, watch it, because Paula Prentiss makes a pretty great second to Rock’s lead and besides that she’s also a perfect muse for my own trip this weekend into the wilderness–1960s style wilderness that is, which is just how I like it. I didn’t do a complete steal of Paula’s look from this scene **right before she kisses Rock Hudson btw.** I may be inspired by 1960’s films of aesthetic perfection, but real life has told me journeys into the woods aren’t too friendly on white so denim is a bit of a more modern view on that.

In the movie, Rock Hudson plays a “faux” fisherman, working for a sporting goods store called Abercrombie and Fitch (yes, really, same name…haven’t they come a long way in the wrong direction since the 60’s). He’s written a book on fishing but has never actually fished himself, and when Paula Prentiss invites him to a lodge’s fishing competition to promote the store, Rock has to learn to fish and of course a million different, highly improbable, but completely hilarious, events occur along the way. If you read into the title, viewers are supposed to answer the question that Man’s Favorite Sport (?) isn’t really fishing…unless it’s fishing for women. There’s the usual bitchy fiance in the way of the leading man falling in love with the right girl, and the secondary plot of him realizing he really loves the complete disaster girl who is, in the end, actually, completely adorable. And Paula Prentiss, complete with perfectly pulled together outfits, flawless makeup even when emerging fresh from the water, and late-night rendevous in adorable matching pajamas is the perfect inspiration for this summer’s journeys, however short I may fall of that image of perfection.

I’m headed off for a few days for a much, much needed vacation. I’ve completely over-packed, charged my camera to its longest length of picture plaguing abilities, and worked myself into a frenzied excitement for this weekend so I know I’m ready. Next week hopefully there will be pictures to share and also another hint about the blog-launch because I’m meeting with my designer for our first review of the design. Stick around!

– <3 A. 

Guest-Pinner: If Clara Barton Pinned

clara barton repins via Ez Pudewa

clarabartonguestpinnerClara Barton image and bio via | repins via | via |

The only guest-pinner I could think of befitting the Independence month of July was Clara Barton. I think everyone has a foggy memory of learning about her as the founder of the American chapter of the Red Cross somewhere among the forgotten years of elementary school, but what you might not remember is that woman had some serious balls! (sorry, but seriously, that’s the only way to put it).

Interestingly enough, Clara started off her life as a terrified little soul, too timid even to continue in the school her parents sent her to and she even stopped eating, so overwhelmed was she by the interactions she was forced to make at school. But beneath her timidity, Clara was something of a brilliant tomboy. She loved to play with her male siblings and cousins and she was so good with managing children, she opened a school at the age of 17 and taught there for over a decade. When the school board hired a man over Clara to head the school she had been growing to upwards of 600 students following the completion of her own education, she up and quit, and became the first woman to hold a substantial paid job for the federal government in the U.S. Patent Office. Of course, she’s most famous for founding and leading the American chapter of the Red Cross, the first meeting of the organization actually met in her own personal apartment. What I love most about her though is that despite her ambition, insistence on fairness, and the powerful positions she held, Clara never lost sight of the fact that she was a woman and developed her teaching and nurturing strengths to influence an entire nation with her feminine abilities. If Clara Barton pinned, I think her boards would have a beautiful strength because, after all, for some things, only a woman knows best.

clara barton

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Fourth of July! I’ve got recipes and pics to share as soon as I get a moment to get them off my camera and onto this place, oh yes, and happy weekend!

– <3 A. 

Other Guest-Pinners: 

houseofmirthpin    littlewomencollage

          Lily Bart                             Mrs. March

Vintage Muse Modern Views: Red, White, and Blue

vintage independence day

Vintage Harper’s Bazaar cover || How come major mag’s don’t have these fantastic illustrations on their covers anymore? Graphic designers are so much more impressive than a celebrity’s face photo-shopped and professionally coiffed to perfection

1. Amaryllis Crochet Dress || keepin’ the 4th classy

2. Bow to Stern Scarf in Navy || around your neck or on your head

3. Polk Dot Bandeau || bandeaued bosoms: very Independence Day I’d say

4.  Ona: The Chelsea Bag|| you didn’t know that was a fully functional, compartmentalized camera bag did you? Yep. that’s the whole point.

– <3 A.

Posts Like This: 

desksetcollage    springfling

     From the Desk Set                   Spring Fling

Guest Pinner: If Clarence Day Pinned

life with father guest pinner

life with father guest pinner

life with father guest pinnerLife with Father repins via | via | via

In the 1947 film version of Clarence Day Jr’s novel Life with Father, William Powell plays the ridiculous, yet wise, often irate, yet quickly made gentle, father of the Day family and a perfect muse for a modern Father’s Day. Clarence Day is an ambitious financier on Wall Street and is something of a faux tyrant in his household, for his wife Vinnie and four sons have learned that underneath his irate and buttoned-up exterior, he’s something of a loving, gentle soul, adoring his wife and unfailingly proud of his sons. If anyone could make pinning a masculine past-time, I’m pretty sure Clarence Day would be the man sophisticated enough to pull it off.

If you’ve noticed a trend from my last few guest pinners, local milk is one of my new favs for pinterest-pinning-pros. She’s got such an organic yet vintage style among her boards that is quite alluring!

– <3 A. 

Other Guest Pinners: 

 houseofmirthpin    littlewomencollage

             Lily Bart                               Mrs. March

Guest Pinner: If Lily Bart Pinned

house of mirth pins

house of mirth repins via local milk

house of mirth repins via local milk House of Mirth “repins” via

 During my senior year of my undergrad years, I studied Edith Wharton’s novel House of Mirth and it’s tantalizingly yet depressing protagonist Lily Bart. Lily loves her upper class life in the early 1900’s yet is tormented by the upper classes’ views on marriage: believing girls of the upper class should maintain their status by marrying a man merely to continue to “live well” instead of because you may love and respect him. Lily turns down proposal after proposal, even from Lawrence Seldon whom she actually loves for she is caught up in the idea that she must marry well, yet is horrified by the prospect of a loveless life. As she slowly begins to reject the upper classes’ view on marriage, attempting to gamble and win her way to the “top” herself, she soon finds the upper class rejects her. She goes from taking yacht tours of Europe and rejecting a future with Lawrence Seldon in the hopes of marrying “even higher,” to working at a millinery, living in poverty, and eventually overdosing on sleeping pills. Lily repeatedly sabotages herself from a potential happy life with Seldon, rejecting Lawrence’s offers of help when he could have helped her, so focused is she on the idea of striking it rich.

Besides the overdosing part I hope, I think Lily’s struggle has been so universally popular even with modern women because we all find a piece of Lily in ourselves.  Like it or not, the archetypes for women have always been the Stepford Wife-type, the selfless mother-type, or the career girl-type. And more likely than not, there’s the desire to be all those types in all of us: Admit it, isn’t that why we love Disney Princesses? Stories about wealthy men falling hard for the girl they cloak in luxury? The reason why we slurp up wedding magazines and sappy fairy tale stories? Maybe you do it when no one else is around, when you’re home alone on the weekend. Maybe you erase your search history after you read one of those stories, and maybe you pretend to scoff at them in public but I know that you have to say yes! We love them! They strike the Stepford in all of us and it’s alluring, glamorous, and desirable. But how many times do we find ourselves falling into the Lily-Bart-trap of sabotaging our own happiness because we are discontent, always looking for more, trying to do it alone, building relationships that look impressive, making judgments based on appearances, growing jealous over comparisons, and holding out for better things when we could be perfectly content if we only looked around instead of always, always forward and upward? The House of Mirth is a satire of course–that’s obvious by its title–but it’s also something of a tragedy because so many times we strive to build our own houses of mirth, hoping that by creating it, joy will come, instead of making our house where there already is happiness and laughter for the most impressive thing in the world is a woman who is completely content with whatever and wherever she is.

– <3 A. 

 Other Guest Pinners: 

beatrixpotterpinterest    annecollage4

       Beatrix Potter                  Anne of Green Gables