Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blustery Day

animal print skirt cardigan boots
Tank: Forever 21; Cardigan: Joe Fresh; Skirt: Forever 21; Earrings: Francesa's; Bracelet: Stella & Dot; Necklaces: Kenneth Cole/Von Maur; Watch: Vince Camuto; Boots: Wet Seal

Spring is here and so is the rain! Yesterday was soooooooo windy, I was half expecting to fly away like the potential nannies in Mary Poppins. Thankfully I didn't!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

British Royal Tour of New Zealand and Australia: My favorite Kate fashion moments

I love, love, love The Duchess of Cambridge and her wardrobe choices. With a whirlwind, 3 week tour of New Zealand and Australia there were plenty of opportunities to see what the Duchess chose to wear at each event. For the most part, I loved everything she wore (there was really only 1 look that I absolutely did not care for). But instead of posting every single look, let's go with my top picks.

Alexander McQueen separates, LK Bennett Sledge pumps, LK Bennett clutch
Alexander McQueen separates, LK Bennett Sledge pumps, LK Bennett clutch

Hobbs Wessex Dress, Pied a Terre Imperia wedges
Hobbs Wessex Dress, Pied a Terre Imperia wedges

Tory Burch dress, Jimmy Choo 'Vikki' pumps
Tory Burch dress, Jimmy Choo 'Vikki' pumps

ME + EM Breton Top, Zara skinny jeans, Sebago Balas boat shoes
ME + EM Breton Top, Zara skinny jeans, Sebago Balas boat shoes

Custom Jenny Packham dress
Custom Jenny Packham dress

Jonathan Saunders sweater
Jonathan Saunders sweater

Zimmermann dress, Stuart Weitzman Minx Espadrille Wedges
Zimmermann dress, Stuart Weitzman Minx Espadrille Wedges

LK Bennett dress, Oroton Odeion clutch, Alexander McQueen pumps
LK Bennett dress, Oroton Odeion clutch, Alexander McQueen pumps


A huge thanks to the ladies who run both What Kate Wore and Duchess Kate for their non-stop work in posting pictures, identifying all the clothing, shoes and accessories as quickly as possible!

Images via What Kate Wore and Duchess Kate

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blogger Spotlight! CJ's Notebook



As much as I love to talk about myself, I also want to introduce you to some of my fellow bloggers, many of them I consider friends. So today let's meet Chrissy over at CJ's Notebook whom I met when I began listening to Traveling The Vortex. A fellow Whovian, book reader and con attendee, of course we'd be friends!

CJ's Notebook

 Tell us a little about yourself….



            I’m Chrissy from Salt Lake City, Utah. In my responsible-adult-type life, I am a substitute librarian for Salt Lake County Library. I studied English and Literature in college and found that I enjoy analyzing fiction, but not necessarily the kinds of literature that they pick over in academia. I grew up on a cattle ranch in western Utah where we had to create our own entertainment, so I read a lot of books. My voracious love of reading is ultimately where my voracious love of writing started.



What inspired you to first start writing your blog?



            To understand why I started my blog, I have to go back to when I was a kid reading local columnists in the newspaper. I liked their humor and their snarkiness, so I started trying to write my own columns in that style. With the exception of a few that got printed in my middle school “newspaper” - which was little more than a newsletter that my 8th Grade Honors English class put together and distributed twice during a unit on journalism (I actually got called into the principal’s office for something that I wrote because the principal didn’t like what I wrote) - I didn’t really publish those columns. It was mostly just fun to type stuff on the computer. Throughout my time in school, I tried to incorporate that kind of tone in my writing, but I was constantly told it wasn’t professional enough. I tried to write in that boring, bland writing that was prized in “objective” journalism (Ha! Pull the other one!), but I hated it. I’ve never liked keeping my writing in that dry “middle-of-the-fence” crap - I like to pick a side and vehemently defend it (I hasten to add that I never joined the Debate Team. I’m a writer, not a speechifier. I am not clever on my feet.)



When I got to college, I joined the the school newspaper and eventually became the Editor-in-Chief. I gave myself a weekly opinion column that year. The year after, I transferred to a larger university and ended up with a bi-weekly column at that school’s newspaper. I enjoyed having a place to say what’s on my mind and even got some feedback from readers, which I found out that that I liked (even if it was nasty hate mail). But what I didn’t like was the restriction of column space and how often my columns had to be edited down to fit on the page. That’s about the time I discovered LiveJournal and started blogging. And I found my own voice there. I didn’t censor myself or try to be objective and please everybody. I stated my opinion and that was that (I even learned to inject more humor into my writing, which is always fun). My writing style has changed a little over time, but that was where I got my start.



What was your first post? How do you think your blog has changed since you first started blogging?



            My first blog post was on LiveJournal waaaaaaay back in September 2005. It was probably something about “Hey, neat, I have a blog! ... what do I do with it?” It wasn’t very long.  My blog has changed probably as much as the internet has since then. I’ve figured out how to incorporate video and images into it, plus now I have enough of a back catalog to link to other things I’ve written when I want to refer to those things. Plus (and this is key) - I’m on Blogger now, which is a bit more public and less “cliquey” than LiveJournal and it’s more professional. I still have my LiveJournal, but I don’t do anything with it. In fact, my Tumblr probably does what LiveJournal used to do.



            My first post on my current blog was kind of a “Hey, I have this blog too!” It was more of me staking out a claim before really having any plans for it quite yet. I just like to let things evolve as I go along. If an idea for a blog post sounds good and I have enough time to write it, then I’ll do it.



What is something unique about your blog?



            I’m not sure if this is particularly “unique” or not, but my blog is sort of the “core” of all my social media. It’s “home base,” if you will. I wander out onto Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr - but cj’s notebook (in all lowercase) is where I get to do my own “decorating” and make it my own online space. I can personalize the background and headers and fonts and color, plus I can post badges and widgets in the sidebar to let people know what else I’m up to online (it’s kind of funny when I have a list of Sailor Moon manga in my Goodreads sidebar next to my review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier). My tastes in everything are wide and varied and I go through “phases” of what interests me.



For example, last year (2013) I wrote a series of blog posts under a sub-section (of sorts) “Librarian in the TARDIS.” It was in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who where I would talk about Doctor Who stories from TV, audio, and books that I thought were good, but that I didn’t think got enough positive attention. Honestly, I think that blogging project exhibited some of my best writing and I’ve been trying to come up with another similar theme that would command my attention and interest well-enough to generate that kind of writing again. Since then, I haven’t had a regular feature, but just going back to writing whatever I feel like writing about at the time.

CJ's Notebook with a TARDIS and the Tenth Doctor




What is your favorite part about blogging?



            This is going to sound crazy, but I love that I don’t have to answer to an editor or a professor or a boss with my writing. I love to write, but I hate the anxiety that comes with having to write a certain way in order to get a grade or a paycheck. I’ve thought about writing professionally before, but there’s too much stress involved in that. I just love being able to talk about my favorite topics when the fancy strikes me. Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes I write a little. Sometimes all I do is post a video that I think is cool and leave a short paragraph about it and other times I write a long treatise on why it’s stupid that movie studios are splitting up movies based on book series into two parts.



What are your plans for the future of your blog?



            I don’t have any major plans for the immediate future beyond just blogging about whatever I want to talk endlessly about. It’s just a fun thing that I do - a way to express my thoughts and opinions out into the ether and maybe someone will connect with my words, whether in a positive or negative way (and if it’s negative, hope that they aren’t too harsh about it).



If money and time were no object, what is something you’d want to do or somewhere you’d want to go to blog about?



            I would probably blog about the same things I already do, but moreso. Books, movies, TV shows - whatever else strikes my fancy.



Where can we STALK you?




Twitter: @wildcat_media


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3388664-chrissy (Don’t judge my reading choices - working at the library means I get exposed to all kinds of things I probably wouldn’t have given a second thought to otherwise. Hence, my guilty pleasure of reading romance novels ^_^)

CJ's Notebook

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kate-esq

Blazer striped tee skinny jeans nautical Kate Middleton inspired
Blazer: Merona (thrifted); Shirt: Bass Outlet; Jeans: Charlotte Russe; Shoes: Naturalizer (thrifted); Earrings and rings: Von Maur/Forever 21; Necklace: vintage; Nail Polish: Essie "Spin The Bottle"

I'll be honest, since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began their tour of New Zealand and Australia a few weeks ago, I've been glued to watching what Kate wears to each engagement. I love her sense of style and I want her entire wardrobe (and her hair!) There's only been one look so far I haven't cared for, otherwise she's been fabulous every single time. My look was inspired by the one pictured below when William and Kate visited the Whenuapai Air Force Base in Auckland, New Zealand. You can read and see all of Kate's looks from the tour up to this point at one of my favorite Kate-centric blogs, What Kate Wore.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Good Eatin': The Red Lion Grog House, Indianapolis, IN

Tucked away in the corner of downtown Indianapolis, in historic Fountain Square is a restaurant. From the outside it might not look like much, but inside contains some of the best English style pub food in the mid-west. The Red Lion Grog House hasn't been around long, it's only been open since 2009. But that doesn't mean that they don't know what they are doing when it comes to good food. I discovered the Red Lion in 2011 and it quickly became one of my husband and I's favorite places to eat. The menu contains many of the usual bar/pub staples including chicken wings, cheese sticks, salads and burgers; but it's the English influence is where the Red Lion really excels. With choices like Scotch Eggs, Shepherd's Pie, Bangers and Mash, Bubble and Squeak, and of course, Fish and Chips; there is no shortage of dishes that will satisfy your appetite. And their bar is stocked with plenty of both locally crafted beers but also ones from across the pond; and they also stock some wines, spirits and have some signature cocktails.

The Red Lion is small, so eating during off-times work best if you want to avoid crowds. Parking is also limited in the lot behind the building, but there are other lots and street parking within a few blocks. Also, while considered a pub, the atmosphere is family friendly (and they do have a kids menu). Check out their Facebook page for lunch and dinner specials along with pictures of some of the dishes on their menu.


(L) Fried pickle chips with garlic-dijon aioli dipping sauce  (C) Strongbow English Dry Cider  (R) Deep fried Mac & Cheese bites with marinara 
(L) Fried pickle chips with garlic-dijon aioli dipping sauce
(C) Strongbow English Dry Cider
(R) Deep fried Mac & Cheese bites with marinara

 suit of armor
Seriously, any place with a suit of armor on display is A+ in my book!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Not what I ordered!

tie neck blouse jeans riding boots
Top: ASOS (old); Jeans: Old Navy; Boots: Von Maur (really old); Jewelry: Forever 21/Von Maur

So you remember the other day when I was talking about how spring was trying to make a permanent appearance around here...apparently someone got their wires crossed because this is what I woke up to this morning...

snow in April
That my friends, is SNOW!  Really, it's mid-April. And it wasn't just a light dusting either, these were big, fluffy flakes falling out of the sky. Seriously, I'm moving to Florida.....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Almost there....

Floral Dress Knit sweater riding boots
Sweater: Eddie Bauer (thrifted); Dress: Forever 21 (old); Boots: Von Maur (really old); Earrings: Francesa's; Rings and Necklace: Von Maur; Nail Polish: OPI for Sephora "I'm With Brad"

Spring is slowly (and I mean slooooooowly) but surely taking hold here in the mid-west. We'll get a day or two of really nice weather (like today, 70 degrees and sunny!) and then the bottom will drop out and we're back into the 40's and 50's with rain. I'm glad I'm not one of those people who packs away their winter wardrobe once spring and summer roll around, otherwise I'd constantly be unpacking and then repacking!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday's Treasures: If I was a store...and some shopping tips

Oh Anthropologie, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Seriously, if I was a brand, Free People would be it, but if I was a store, Anthropologie would be it (yes I know, Free People does have store fronts, let's not get into semantics here LOL!). As much I love the clothing in Anthro, their prices don't like me (or my wallet), so for now it's window shopping. Here's some of my favorite finds...

Anthropoligie Quinby and Channeled Dot Dresses
Dress #1                            Dress #2

Anthropologie Pintucked Buttondown AG Stevie Cuffed Jeans Odessa Peasant Blouse and AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans
Top #1 Jeans #1                Top #2 Jeans #2

Anthropologie Ruffle Swing Henley Ecliptic Cardigan and AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans

Anthropologie AG Stevie Ankle Jeans in green

Some shopping tips:
-Mind your undergarments. I know it sounds silly, but the right underwear can make a difference in how a garment looks. Stick to neutral colors, underwear that won't show (i.e. no textures and funky prints), and a good supportive bra.

-Dig into those racks! Most stores typically keep the various types of clothing separated except for possibly the same garment grouped together with all the various colors/prints it may come in. However, I found that Antropologie will have two or three completely different styles on the same rack. So dig in, because you never know what kind of treasures you may find.

-The fitting room attendant is your friend. You know we've all been there, in the fitting room, practically naked, trying on something and you realize that it does not fit at all. So what do you do? Get redressed and go see if they have a different size? No, ask the person working the fitting room to get it for you. It's what they are there for.

-Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Trying on a garment doesn't mean you are obligated to purchase it. So go ahead, try that pair of leather pants or slinky dress! If it doesn't work, no harm done. If it does, you've just expanded your wardrobe in a new and fresh way!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

This is why social media is awesome!

So a few of my friends and I had what we call a Tweet-along this past Thursday night. The guys over at Traveling the Vortex do Friday Night Who, where they pick a Doctor Who story and everyone watches it at the same time and converse over Twitter (as everyone is spread out across the country and sometimes the world). We use hashtags such as #FridayNightWho and #StoryTitle so everyone can follow along with the conversation.

Since the unfortunate passing of Kate O'Mara last weekend, Brittany suggested a somewhat impromptu Tweet-along (in addition to Friday Night Who) with one of Kate's stories that she starred in on Doctor Who. We ended up deciding on "The Mark of the Rani" from the Sixth Doctor's era (and one of my absolute favorite Classic Who stories ever) and after some technical difficulties we got our Tweet-along started.

The funny thing about doing this type of thing is that anything can happen. We're fortunate enough that many members of the Doctor Who family (past and present) are active on social media and interact with fans. Every now and then one of us may tag someone in one of our Tweets if we're watching a story they were involved in, and usually nothing comes of it. After all they are busy people and probably get Tweeted at quite a bit, plus many of them live in the UK so with the time difference they aren't likely to be up when we're watching the story anyways. Every now and then someone will get a response, and this past Thursday I got the best responses ever....


My Twitter conversation with Colin Baker

My Twitter conversation with Colin Baker

If you're confused, that would be me talking to Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor....MY DOCTOR! I saw the messages appear on my Twitter feed and I freaked out! Now I've met Colin Baker at Chicago TARDIS, and if you heard my recap on Traveling the Vortex you know that I freaked out then. It's one thing to meet a favorite celebrity at a convention, because that's what the conventions are for. It's another thing to have someone whom you admire take the time to respond via something like Twitter. It may seems like a small thing to some people, but to me it was and is a big deal, it's been three days and I'm still grinning like the Cheshire Cat.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America - The Winter Soldier

Warning: This review will contain SPOILERS!

Captain America the Winter Soldier movie poster

Two years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is living and working in Washington DC with SHIELD. During a rescue mission saving SHILED agents taken hostage by Algerian pirates, Rogers discovers Natasha Romanoff/The Black Window (Scarlett Johansson) extracting data from the ship's computers onto a USB thumb drive. Rogers finds out that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) had ordered Romanoff to get that data without Rogers' knowledge even though it could have compromised the mission. That USB drive ends up being the key to unlocking a growing threat to not only SHIELD but the safety of the entire planet.

I'll be honest, this wasn't my favorite MARVEL movie (The Avengers is still #1 in my book) but it was still a hit. It contained some funny one-liners, nods to some of the previous films, name drops of some of the other Avengers, and of course a cameo by Stan Lee, all of the things that to me make up a great Marvel movie. Plus the action sequences were top-notch, I was especially impressed with the Falcon. As far as the story, I honestly thought I knew where this movie was going to go: Captain America would be forced to confront his old childhood friend, Bucky Barnes who has been turned into the assassin known at the Winter Soldier. And I figured that Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) was probably going to be on the bad side of things. And I got the feeling that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) would "die" (but in the comics no one who dies ever stays dead) and I was right. However, I didn't not expect to find out that HYDRA has been secretly working its way into the ranks within SHIELD since the end of WWII. Or that Red Skull's scientist right-hand man, Arnim Zola, was living via a computer that housed his consciousness. Although it didn't surprise me to see that Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) from Iron Man 2 was a member of HYDRA, what a creep!

While Cap, The Falcon, and the Black Widow manage to foil HYDRA's plans (as the good-guys always do!), SHIELD ends up in shambles, essentially disbanded as most of the world thinks that Fury is dead. Fury heads off to Europe to try and take down the remaining HYDRA cells. Cap and The Falcon go off to find Bucky with Cap hoping he can fix him and bring his friend back, and Romanoff has to cover her tracks as all of her secrets have now been made public. Meanwhile, in the mid-credits scene we find out that a HYDRA lab lead by Baron (Wolfgang) von Strucker, is trying to capture the power from Loki's scepter and that they are holding the twins: The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, captive.

It'll be interesting to see where the storylines go from here as SHIELD has been a constant presence since the beginning. If you watch Agents of SHIELD (I do!) it'll also be interesting how the dismantling of SHIELD affects Coulson and his team as they've done a good job of tying the movies to the TV show and vice versa. I think we'll get some respite in "Guardians of the Galaxy" as it seems to take place off Earth, which I think will be a fun change of pace, but then it will all culminate into next year's "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (which is now in production). 

The action is there, plus there is some swearing and I'm pretty sure I saw the side of one of Natasha's boobs due to her outfit's zipper pulled a bit too far down, so this might not be one you take the younger crowd to (although there were several kids in the theatre when we went). Like I said, this wasn't my favorite, but it was still the quality I've come to expect from these movies. I probably won't see it again in the theatre, but it'll definitely be added to our collection when it comes out on DVD.





All images and video provided by Walt Disney/Marvel Studios

Friday, April 4, 2014

15 Random Questions...

I'm stealing this from Michelle, who stole it from Alissa, who stole it from Buzzfeed

1. What's your wallpaper on your phone and/or computer?
On my phone, my lock screen is me and Colin Baker from Chicago TARDIS  (unfortunately Paul McGann and Peter Davison get cut off)
Peter Davison Paul McGann Colin Baker
 When my phone is unlocked it's me and Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman

On my computer at home it rotates through various Doctor Who related images

2. When you walk into a bar, what do you typically order?
Probably a hard cider of some sort: Woodchuck, Reds, Angry Orchard...I won't discriminate!

3. What's the one word you are guilty of using too often?
Literally, I use it (literally) way too often ;-)

4. What's the last thing you searched for on Google?
The Cincinnati Museum Center, they're the last stop for the Diana, A Celebration exhibit. My mom saw it in Lousville but I didn't get to go, I smell a road trip!

5. Who is the last person who called or texted you?
My husband telling me what our car insurance company said about replacing his windshield (which got a great big crack in it thanks to some random piece of metal that got kicked up by a truck on the highway).

6. What was the last awkward situation you were in, and how did you handle it?
Ummm, I plead the 5th...

7. When is the last time you went to a theater?
I think when we went and saw "Saving Mr. Banks". Looking forward to "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" this weekend!

8. What TV show should everyone be watching?
Marvel Agents of SHIELD, it's still finding its footing but it's sooooooo good!

9. What is your TV guilty pleasure?
I barely watch TV so I don't really have one (not having cable helps!)

10. What is the one food you cannot resist?
Bacon....or doughnuts....or a doughnut with bacon

11. What is the first CD you bought?
I think it was the soundtrack to "Yellow Submarine", or a Backstreet Boys CD (don't judge!)

12. What music are you currently listening to?
Metallica....I blame my husband

13. What movie makes you laugh the most?
Clue, so much quotability!
Clue
  
 14. What drives you absolutely crazy?
Oh that's a loaded question isn't it? The biggest thing is people who seem to be living their lives with their head stuck up their rear end, you can't be on autopilot!

15. A secret:
I own a copy of George Michael's "Faith" album






Images: Me/Buzzworthy/GifSoup