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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hearts Inspired

Recently I was perusing ModCloth in search of a new dress to wear on a Valentines Day date with the Mister and I was inspired by all of the heart related items that they had, so I thought I would share them with you lovely ladies.

They have a ton of adorable dresses that incorporate hearts into the design, either by the print in the fabric, heart shaped buttons and pockets, or cutouts in the actual dress.

Hearts Inspired

They also have a lovely assortment of tops, sweaters, and accessories that have a heart design.

Hearts Tops & Accessories

And we can't forget about shoes and purses.

Heart Shoes & Purses

I haven't chosen my date outfit as of yet, but I'm sure with such beauties as these, there is one out there for me.  What about you, do you have plans for Valentines Day and if you do, what are you wearing?

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

To go with my "Spotlight On" post for Shirley Temple, which you can read here if you missed it, I thought I would review one of her later films.  She isn't typically remembered for her later work and even though she was only 19 at the time this movie was made in 1947, she was, for the most part, considered a "has been" star.  However, I find this film to be very entertaining and Shirley's performance shows her natural charm and true acting ability.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Cary Grant plays a happy, debonair, indifferent, and slightly naughty bachelor artist who suddenly finds himself the victim of a fanciful high school girl's (Shirley Temple) crush.  Right from the beginning of the film you know that Cary Grant's character, Richard "Dick" Nugent, is full of both trouble and charm.  The movie opens with Dick, a gentleman painter, being brought before Judge Margaret Turner, played by Myrna Loy, after a fight broke out over a discussion of him by two women at a restaurant.  The Judge sees him as a degenerate but is nevertheless forced to let him go, seeing as he's not the only one to blame in the incident.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Later we see him giving a speech about art at the local high school, where teenager Susan Turner, played by Temple, becomes smitten with him.  Susan sees him as her knight in shining armor and able to rescue her from the childishness around her.  Susan happens to be the Judge's young sister.  Oh boy!  This is going to get interesting.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Late at night, Susan sneaks into Dick's apartment wanting to pose as a model for him.  When the Judge comes to get her, bringing the Assistant DA, played by Rudy Vallee, along with her, words are said and Dick punches him and lands in jail.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Margaret and Susan's uncle, played by Ray Collins, is the court psychiatrist and he believes Dick to be an innocent bystander in the situation and feels that if they prosecute Dick, it will only make Susan's infatuation with him worse, so he and the Judge devise a plan.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

The Judge orders Dick to become Susan's boyfriend until her crush has ended, believing that this will make him less attractive to her, if he refuses, he goes to jail.  Having no alternative, Dick agrees with the plan.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

He tries everything to break Susan's crush, including trying to get her interested in a boy her own age and acting like a goofy teenager himself, but it seems to always have the opposite effect.

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

There are some very memorable scenes here.  I won't give away the ending but I can say that as with most Cary Grant comedies, this family film is full of lighthearted slapstick silliness with a bit of romance thrown in.  

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

Grant has great chemistry with both women, Shirley's performance practically steals the show, and Myrna is superb as always.  It never ceases to amaze me how great acting can turn even the silliest of stories into cinematic greats.  Sidney Sheldon won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for this film and even though the movie is outdated and may bother some feminists, I find that the quick dialogue and interesting characters make it a very lively film.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Past Outfits

I haven't shown you what I've been wearing for a while so here are some outfits that I wore the over the last few months.

Freddies of Pinewood jeans

This is my very first pair of Freddies of Pinewood jeans and they are a little tight so I have only worn them a couple of times.   Not really sure if I like them yet or if it's just because they don't fit properly.  I have paired them with a cardigan from Sears which is no longer available but you can find a similar one here.  And a stripped tee from Old Navy which is no longer available.  The snowman earrings came from Avon ages ago and the little terrier pin was a gift from a co-worker.  I have styled my hair using my Glam Time hair extensions.

Capelet and boots

I really can't remember where any of this outfit was purchased except I think the boots came from Shoe Carnival a few years ago.  The dress is a very soft brown knit thats really quite comfortable, usually I shy away from those types of dresses because they can be clingy in the wrong places.  I love the built in cape on the jacket and I have added the belt because it didn't come with one.  My hair was hot rolled the day before and I slept on it that night, so you can tell which side I sleep on, its the side with less curl.

Beading and embroidery

I have had this beaded blouse for years and I must say that it's not holding up that well.  It has several tears in the seams that Im going to have to try to repair.  If I remember correctly I purchased it at TJ Maxx.  The skirt came from Dress Barn but is no longer there, the shoes are about 15 years old and I have no idea where they came from but I have a brown pair just like them.  The flower in my hair was a gift from my D-I-L, my hair was done with hot rollers, and the necklace came from a yard sale.

Stripes and polka dots

This cape was a gift from my hubby and it came from Belk.  I can't find it on their website, but Im sure its still available in their stores.  The blouse is a couple years old from JCPenney.  Im wearing the same flower in my hair again and my hair is just messily placed into a pony-tail.  Not a lot going for me that day, I wasn't feeling too well.

Gold lurex and emerald green

This is the outfit I wore to our office Christmas luncheon.  The top is a gold lurex and can be kind of itchy so it doesn't get worn a lot.  I bought it at a local factory's discount sale.  The skirt is a lovely emerald green with a pleated panel on the bottom back and its old from JCP.  The earrings I have had for ages and the shoes came from a discount outlet store.  My hair was set on hot rollers.

Hand knit sweater

This is a very casual outfit on a dress down office day.  The boots are the same ones from above.  I can't remember where the pants came from, they are several years old.  The top and sweater both came from Charlotte Russe a couple of years ago and are no longer available.  The necklace is my Origami Owl locket that I blogged about here.  And again, I'm wearing my Glam Time hair extensions.

Leather and turquoise

This lovely leather jacket came from Maurices about 5 or more years ago so Im sure its no longer available.  I can't remember where the top came from but the pants are Nike yoga pants and I would live in them year round if I could get by with it, they are that comfortable.  The jewelry is from Premier Designs and the barrette I have had for years and can't remember where it came from.  The shoes are a cute little pair of flats that I picked up at TJMaxx. 

So that's what I've been wearing lately.  The weather here has been so fickle, one day its 70 degrees and four days later it snowed a foot!  It's hard to plan your wardrobe around that kind of temperature change.  What have you been wearing?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kicking The Habit

I have to confess something, I have an addiction to nasal spray.  Actually, the Mayo-Clinic calls it a rebound effect rather than an addiction, but I could not make it through the day without it, therefore, I call it an addiction.

For months I relied on nasal spray to allow me to breathe, it would be the first thing I did in the mornings and the last thing I would do at night before going to sleep.  I kept a bottle on my nightstand beside the bed, a bottle in my purse, and at times would have a bottle in my car.  If we were going somewhere and realized we had forgotten the nasal spray, we would turn around and go back for it or stop and buy a new bottle.  -  I say "we" here because my husband has the same addiction.

Our addiction started with allergies and nasal congestion.  Originally I bought Afrin No Drip Severe Congestion with Menthol.  It worked amazingly at keeping our sinus' clear plus it would give that little extra jolt of menthol to open up your head.  I could use it in the morning and breathe normally all day.  But, after just a few days of using it, I was also having to use it before going to sleep to be able to breath all night.  After a while, I was also having to use it during the day.  If we visited a place with particularly dry air I would have to use my spray.  It became so that I was dependent on the spray just to be able to make it through out the day.

Afrin No Drip Severe Congestion

I was buying 4 to 6 boxes at a time, every few weeks which was getting quite expensive.  The Afrin at our local Walmart runs around $7.98 per bottle so it was at this time that I switched to the store brand equivalent.  You got twice as much product for half the price, and it worked just as well for me, minus the blast of menthol.

During all of this, I never once connected my nasal spray to the symptoms I was having - dryness and stuffiness, itchy nose, sneezing, headaches.  All of these things I contributed to my allergies.  Then, a few months ago, I had a nurse friend at work notice the bottle sitting on my desk and he cautioned me on using too much.  He told me that the way nasal spray works is to constrict the blood vessels which is not something a person with high blood pressure already, such as myself, should be doing frequently.

This made me stop and think about what I was truly doing to my body, but I didn't seriously consider quitting until just a few weeks ago.  I have been having a really hard time sleeping lately and while doing some more research on the side effects of nasal spray, I noticed that sleep disturbances were one of them, along with a whole host of others.  So, I decided it was time and no matter how difficult, I had to do it.

I started out by doing some research on how to kick the habit, so to speak, and decided on two ways that I would try.  One way was to add saline solution to my nasal spray and continue using it.  As the bottle emptied, continue filling it with more saline solution, watering down the nasal spray and weaning myself off of it.  This was going to be my Plan B.  

I decided first I would try only using the nasal spray in one nostril, allowing the other nostril to heal and adjust back to not having the spray.  It would be stuffy and congested but I should be able to breathe through the nostril that I was still using the spray in during this process.  After a while, the nostril that I wasn't using the spray in would go back to normal and I would be able to breathe through it and not use the spray at all, allowing the last nostril to adjust back to normal.

It has been two weeks today since I started the process of only using it on one side and one week since I have used it at all.  I still have some stuffiness and dryness, but it's tolerable and I'm hopeful that in a few more days and I will be back to normal, though I may use a saline solution to help with the dryness and to help clean my sinus'.

I can already tell a huge difference in the amount of sneezing I'm doing - or rather, not doing and the itchiness is pretty much non-existent.  Overall, I am very happy with my decision to kick the nasal spray habit.  Now if I can just get the hubby to give it a go.

If you are considering using Nasal Spray, I caution you to please only use as directed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Spotlight On: America's Little Princess

Shirley Temple
Shirley's mother pin-curled her hair each night, always with 56 curls.

When I was a little girl in the 60s and early 70s, my mom would always make a special dinner after church, usually some form of chicken because that was a treat for us to have, and after the meal was finished and the table cleared, we would all gather around the tv to watch an afternoon movie on one of the two channels that we could get.  This is where I first saw Shirley Temple light up my tv screen.  A darling dimpled, cherub faced girl with golden ringlets that bounced while she sang and danced and kept pace with a long list of grown up actors.  She could do it all, and at the ripe old age of five! 

Shirley Temple at 18 months with ball
18 Months Old

Shirley Jane Temple was born April 23, 1928 and at the age of three was discovered in a dance class and given a small acting job with Educational Pictures in a series of short films called "Baby Burlesks", in which they were all children between the ages of three and five and did spoofs of the adult movies at the time.  Shirley played Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, among others.

Shirley Temple as Mae West 1933
A little femme fatale, 1933

Shirley Temple in Little Miss Marker
Little Miss Marker, 1934

Morelegs Sweettrick, Kid in Hollywood
Morelegs Sweettrick, Kid in Hollywood, costume by her Mother, 1933.

Shirley Temple with Marlene Dietrich
With Marlene Dietrich in 1934

After a few small roles in feature films, she was contracted to Fox where she made a startling debut in the 1934 musical, "Stand Up and Cheer", singing and dancing with James Dunn to the song - Baby, Take a Bow.  Within the first week of the movie's release, Shirley had became the symbol of family wholesomeness.   Her career took off like wildfire and her movies were credited with restoring the Fox Film studio to profitability when it had been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.  There were millions of dollars spent on merchandise with her likeness on it, such as dolls, records, mugs, hats, dresses.  There's even a drink made in her honor.  

Shirley Temple and Father
Signing contract with her Father at Fox Studios in 1934

In all, Shirley made 14 short films, 43 feature films, and over 25 storybook movies, most all of them before she was even a teenager.  In 1935, theater owners voted her the No. 1 box-office star in America, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented her with a miniature Oscar for her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment.  She was six years old at the time, making her the youngest actor ever to receive an Oscar.  In 2002, Shirley was awarded a life size Oscar in exchange for her miniature Oscar awarded more than 50 years before.  Her life size Oscar currently stands at the Fox studios lot where it will remain forever.

Shirley with her Oscar 1935
Juvenile Oscar award with Irvin S. Cobb, 1935

Her box office popularity waned as she reached adolescence, and she left the film industry at the age of 12.  She appeared in a few films of varying quality in her mid-to-late teens, (one of which was The Bachelor and The Bobbysoxer which I plan to do a review on in an upcoming post) and retired completely from films in 1950 at the age of 22.  She was the top box-office draw four years in a row from 1935 to 1938, beating out such great grown-up stars as Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.  

Shirley Temple
I love this darling hat and suit she is wearing.

Shirley Temple 1940s
Shirley in the early 40s

Shirley Temple, The Bachelor and The Bobbysoxer 1947
Shirley in The Bachelor and The Bobbysoxer, 1947

Shirley Temple color photo
Shirley in the mid to late 1940s

Shirley Temple
This is probably one of my favorite photos of her.

In 1945, at the age of 17, Shirley married Sergeant John Agar.  Though the marriage was a troubled, short lived one, lasting only five years, they did have a daughter, Linda Susan in 1948.  

Shirley Temple and John Agar wedding day
Shirley and John's wedding day, 1945

Shirley Temple with daughter Susie, 1948
Shirley with daughter Linda Susan "Susie", 1948

Shortly after filing for divorce, while attending a dinner party in Honolulu, she met Charles Black, a former Naval Officer, who was working for a shipping company there.  She admits that it was love at first sight.  They dated for the next 12 days and on the 13th day, Charles proposed.  He is reported as saying, "The more I saw her the more I realized she was a very unusual comet flying through my sky."  They were married 10 months later, in December 1950, just a few days after her divorce was finalized.  

Shirley Temple with husband Charles Black
Shirley and Charlie Black at The Egyptian premiere, 1954.

Shirley Temple Black and Charles Black 1953
Shirley and Charlie at the Stork Club, 1953

Shirley and Charlie were married until his death in 2005 from a bone marrow disease.  She has said that while they were dating, Charles wooed her with a Tahitian love song, and as he lay dying, she sang the same song to him.  They have two children, Charles Alden Black, Jr born in 1952 and Lori Alden Black born in 1954.  Her daughter from her previous marriage, Linda, also took Black's name.  

Shirley Temple with son
Shirley with  son, Charlie, Jr  - 1952

Shirley Temple with daughter Lori
Shirley with daughter, Lori - 1954

Although she tried to revive her career in the late 1950s, she wasn't able to make a comeback. Both of her television series, Shirley Temple Storybook (1958-59) and The Shirley Temple Show (1960-61) failed to capture enough of an audience.  

The Shirley Temple Show 1960
The Shirley Temple Show

Shirley Temple Storybook 1958
Shirley Temple Storybook television series

Having worked all her life, Temple Black kept busy on corporate boards and humanitarian causes: Her dossier includes 18 councils and associations, including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte Foods, and the National Wildlife Federation.  She also tried her hand at politics and in a special election in 1967, she made a failed run for Congress as a Republican representative from her home district.

Shirley Temple Black
Shirley Temple Black in politics

Her career in diplomacy began when her brother George was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1952.  She got very active on the Los Angeles board, then the national board and finally was a co-founder of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies. 

In 1969, President Nixon appointed Shirley as delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.  In 1974, President Ford made her ambassador to Ghana.  Returning to Washington in 1976, she was appointed by Ford as the first female U.S. chief of protocol, a job that she describes with a thumbs down. A lot of parties for one who doesn't like parties, she explained.  She lasted six months, her tenure ending with Jimmy Carter's election.

Shirley Temple politics
Shirley giving a political speech 

For eight years, under the administration of her co-star in "That Hagen Girl", Ronald Reagan, she undertook another government job, as teacher at the State Department, conducting seminars for ambassadors and their wives.

Shirley Temple with Ronald Reagan in That Hagen Girl, 1948
With Ronald Reagan in That Hagen Girl, 1948

In 1972, Shirley was diagnosed with breast cancer and went on to have a modified radical mastectomy.  After the operation, she announced it to the world, and in doing so, she became the one of the first prominent women to speak openly about breast cancer.

In 1988 she released her autobiography, Child Star, and in 1989, while traveling to promote the first half of her autobiography, President Bush reached her in Seattle and asked her to be the ambassador to Czechoslovakia.  She immediately accepted.

The Clinton years ended her diplomatic career, though she remains vice president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, which she co-founded, and belongs to other groups fostering foreign relations.

In 2006, the Screen Actors Guild awarded Shirley a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shirley Temple SAG award 2006
Shirley at the 2006 SAG awards

Today, Shirley is still living in Northern California, writing the second half of her autobiography and has released The Shirley Temple Storybook Collection, which contains her favorite fairy tale episodes from her television series.  You can buy the DVDs on her website.

Shirley rose to stardom during the worst of times - the Depression - and ruled as the most popular movie star in America.  She won an Academy Award and helped save a major studio from bankruptcy.  Kings and presidents asked to meet her.  She is number 18 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female American screen legends of all time, making her the highest ranked living person on the list.  Child stars come and go, but there is only one Shirley Temple, she truly was America's Little Princess.

{Most all photos came from here, here, here and here}