If I Had Fashion Sense This Summer

Summer is a time to get those sweaters outta here and embrace the loose-fitting, comfortable warm weather garb.
Although I’ve gotta admit, I love cold-weather clothes, I’m ready to get the shorts out and give my body some room to breathe.
I’m a fan of everything comfortable. Usually when I get home from work, I slip into a soft maxi-skirt or leggings and that’s how I stay for the rest of the night. So this summer, ahem… if I had a fashion sense, these are the things I could definitely see myself wearing.
I’m a big fan of the French Wardrobe. It’s the idea of having a slimmed-down closet, if you could call it that. It’s the principle of having a solid foundation of basic pieces, and then buying no more than five new pieces for each season. It’s supposed to keep the unnecessary clothes and clutter out of your way. And while I haven’t quite mastered this principle, I’m willing to try.
Below are my five picks for this summer. I think they reflect my own style, and comfort, while also staying timeless. In other words, I could go back next summer and wear these again, or even wear them for different seasons by pairing them with different items in my wardrobe, and different accessories. Plus, I’m a lover of neutral colors that can fit any occasion while not being boring. And you can always spice things up with some colorful flats or a bright necklace.
You can click on the caption below each piece to find it online.
  So, what’s on your summer wish list?

Instagram: It’s not just for #selfies anymore.

Ask anyone who follows me on Instagram (@thecalliefox) and they’ll tell you mine has dramatically shifted from shameless selfies and pictures of sunsets to something a little more different. It’s weird to talk about, because I wouldn’t consider myself a photographer in any sense of the word, but I’ve enjoyed taking photos more and more that don’t fall under the typical girly Instagram stereotype.
What I mean is, I’ve been really getting into following more interesting and well thought-out Instagram accounts. I put some of my favorite pictures in here to give you a little idea of what I mean.
This has really become a fun little hobby of mine.  There’s something addicting about finding new users to follow, each with their own style and landscape they typically take pictures of. And there’s something comforting in the fact that everyone is pretty much equal, in the sense that we’ve all just got our iPhones… not some big fancy Canons.
I took a photography class in high school (like everyone else), and I never thought taking pictures with an iPhone could be any kind of art form. But lately, I’ve been changing my mind about that. Below are some of my own snaps.
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My Essentials For A Night In

I might not have the grueling schedule of Angelina Jolie, or the incredibly harsh working hours of a presidential aide, but getting up at 5:30 every morning has been new. I’ve had a variety of jobs that differ than your typical nine to five, but this one is seven to three. And I have to get up at 5:30 since I have about an hour drive to get to and from work every day. This has made my weeknights a little rough, because I’m super tempted to just pass out at eight, but since Kevin doesn’t get home from work until seven, I want to stay up later. 

So, when I need to relax and unwind for the night, I’ve got a few things that tend to settle down my mind and help me turn the volume down on the day. I start by showering, washing my face, and putting on a mask. The current one I’m trying is this super scientific-sounding one from Eclos. It says it has plant stem cells, so I guess it sounded green enough to attract me. Like most clay masks, it hardens after about ten or fifteen minutes, and when I wash it off with warm water, my face feels super smooth and clean. It’s pretty good at getting rid of flaky patches here and there, and giving you that cleaned out pores feeling. 

The lotion I’ve been loving is this one from LUSH. I’ve been hearing people rave about this place for a while, and was really looking forward to checking out one of their stores when I first moved to Los Angeles. I’ve gotta admit, when I first walked into the shop, I was intrigued by the stark black packaging and handwritten-like white fonts. The aroma of fresh soaps and bath bombs floated through the air, and I knew I was gonna love that place. But when I checked out the prices, I almost choked on my gum (kidding, I don’t really chew gum). Nonetheless, I was determined to buy a quality body lotion, even if it was a little bit overpriced. The one I picked is this one, called Dream Cream. It boasts a calming blend of oat milk, lavender and chamomile, and to be honest, I can’t really think of a more relaxing combination of ingredients. It’s like sipping tea from the warm bath in a cottage nestled in the hills of England. Or something. It’s really thick, and great for the body. 
Speaking of tea, I’ve been trying to make a point to expand my collection. I’m not a huge tea drinker, maybe because I just forget I have it. But I am a fan of green and English breakfast. But when those get a little too bland for my liking, I like to spice things up. One of my favorites is the Peppermint tea from Trader Joe’s but I was at Whole Foods the other day and a new one caught my eye. It’s this one, from Whole Foods, called Sleepytime Peach. I’m a fan of their Sleepytime variety, since it doesn’t really make sense to have a caffeinated tea after dinner. What I like about it is, it isn’t too sweet, but not too mild. It has a hint of peach and is just all around really refreshing and pleasant. 
Finally, I’ll relax with a good book, do some writing, or peruse one of my favorite blogs. One of my favorites is EssieButton. She and her boyfriend Aslan live in England, and they also have a really great Youtube channel. Sometimes I fantasize about moving to London and buying an apartment just to fill it with Scandinavian furniture, like their really cute place. I just love their interactions, and sometimes they’ll record their weekend trips to various museums and markets. 

Getting up early isn’t nearly as bad when I’ve had a nice, relaxing night where I can wind down and treat myself to some of these things. But as far as falling asleep at 9:30 on a Friday night? Well, that’s something that can’t really be stopped. 

Coachella 2014: At-Home Edition

I went to Coachella for the first time last year, and it’s safe to say it was a once in a lifetime kind of thing. You know, that free feeling of having no responsibilities for three days while listening to a multitude of bands with thousands of other people with a backdrop of gorgeous mountains.
But surprisingly, on the final day when we began driving home (in the middle of a dust storm, actually) I found myself thinking, “I’d be okay with only doing this once.”
I even passed up waiting until the exact moment that tickets for this year’s festival went on sale. I just kept thinking I’d be fine not going again.
But when the lineup was announced and I realized that it actually looked much better to me than last year’s lineup was, I started thinking maybe, just maybe, I secretly wanted to go again this year.
I think the real regret started sinking in when thi
s year’s festival began creeping up. I follow the Coachella facebook page, and they began posting photos of the gorgeous green polo fields being set up with stages, tents and strings of balloons and that endless blue sky. And I’ve gotta say, it added to my regret. And when photos of Coachella began popping up on my Instagram feed when day one began, my full-on jealousy took over.
I pictured myself having one of my normal, laid back weekends like I usually do, and comparing it to that free spirited, all-out amazing weekend I’d had one year ago. I really wished I’d bought tickets.

But to my surprise, things took a turn last night. Kevin and I went out to one of our favorite Thai places, bought some Ben & Jerry’s (Everything But The…) and headed home. We switched on the Coachella live YouTube stream, and wondered if it would just make us more sad that we weren’t there. But to our surprise, the opposite happened. We watched Outkast play their first show in years, all from the comfort of our own apartment. We weren’t straining to see over crowds and crowds of sweaty people. We could hear the entire show perfectly. And for once in days, I was glad I wasn’t there.
I wasn’t holding the urge to pee because I didn’t want to wade through the crowds to wait in line at a porta-potty. I wasn’t battling fatigue because the night before I’d stayed up all night waiting to get into the campgrounds. And my feet weren’t killing me from walking around all day, getting a sunburn.
I was on my bed, eating ice cream with my boyfriend, and watching an Outkast show. And I was perfectly happy.

Tina Fey Should Be The Next Host of The Late Show

David Letterman has been on the air longer than any late night host there is. And aside from the occasional Craig Ferguson, the only late night host I watched growing up. (That could have been simply because CBS was the only channel that came in clearly on our family TV, but that’s beside the point.) There’s no denying a late night hosting gig on CBS every night after the nightly news wouldn’t be one of the most sought-after position by big name actors and comedians alike.

There’s been a lot of talk about why there aren’t any women hosting late night shows. Chelsea Handler is the exception here, but considering E! isn’t one of the major networks, it’s a little different. I’d like to cast my vote for who should be take over for The Late Show: Tina Fey. And here are my reasons.

She’s got the background. Having started out in Chicago’s Second City improv group, Fey’s got the improv skills needed to be a host. And considering she was hired as a writer for SNL shortly after, there’s no doubt her show would be funny and have the potential to run for a long time. This is someone who was a head writer for one of the funniest, longest-running comedy shows ever. And can we talk about the Weekend Update? Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, both of whm are now late night hosts themselves, started out co-anchoring the SNL segment with Fey. Which brings me to my next point.

We’ve seen her host. Aside from the Weekend Update, a staple segment of SNL, she and Amy Poehler brought humor to The Golden Globes that I haven’t seen in a long time. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Since first hosting the awards show with Amy this year, the two were even asked back to host it again in 2015, and I really don’t see anyone complaining.

And can we talk about all the other awesome things Tina has done? She created 30 Rock, which has won 11 Emmys (nominated for 57. Yeah, 57.) Mean Girls, which can now be called a cult-classic,
other various films, and more.

So, is she busy or something? Call her up. This is my bid for Tina Fey as the new host of The Late Show. Let’s bring women into late night television.

Is Nothing Sacred?

“Nihilo Sanctum Estne? Is nothing sacred?” I had no real idea what those words meant when I first saw the movie Rushmore. But that was back in high school, in my hometown of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. It wasn’t until just recently, since having moved to and spent a couple years in Los Angeles, that the phrase started to take shape. 
LA is the if-you-can-dream-it, you-can-do-it type of place. It’s where dreams come to die, as they say. In Wisconsin, I’d have to wait months or longer for a band to stop by to play either Milwaukee or Madison, and when they finally did, it would either be too late and I’d miss them, or they’d sell out and I’d have to wait for their next national tour. Here, things are different. When I first moved to town, I saw two of my favorite bands within about a month of each other. There was Wilco, at the Hollywood Bowl, and then the Wallflowers at the Fonda. I was blown away that those two things happened in such quick succession. Little did I know, it was only a taste of what was to come. 
In Wisconsin, a day at the beach meant driving to Twin Valley Lake, at Governor Dodge State Park. It was the closest desirable beach. I mean, who doesn’t love the green murky water of a lake? That’s why when I moved to California, I wanted to go to the beach every day. Even in the “winter.” And let’s talk about bars and restaurants. There are so many here, I have a hard time knowing where to start. Which are great, which are sub-par. This weekend 
And this brings me back to that line from Rushmore. The latin phrase, “Is nothing sacred?” And I think I’m beginning to get it. Living in Los Angeles can really make you take things for granted. Where else in the world can you go hiking, skiing, and lay on the beach in the same day? Or claim that every Disney movie was made just ten minutes down the road? 
On the weekends I try to get out as much as I can. I try to go to a different part of town I’ve never been to, or try a new restaurant down the street. But there are those days when I’m happy with sitting back and watching Family Guy on Netflix, and wondering what to do that night.
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live in such a diverse, interesting place, where people from all over the world come to vacation. 
And then I pay my rent, and I remember. 

My Week of Oil Pulling

I first heard about oil pulling from a blog called Fashionlush. No, I didn’t even hear it from good ol’ Gwynie Paltrow first. And judging by how I love me some GOOP (for satirical reasons) that surprises even me. 
But, when I first clicked on the article, I had no idea what oil pulling was. Little did I know, it was a huge internet fad that people can’t seem to stop talking about. 
The concept is this: take a spoon full of coconut oil, put it in your mouth, and swish. For twenty minutes. This supposedly is like sipping from the fountain of youth, with zillions of beneficial effects. All of this while moving some gunk around in your mouth. 
I was hesitant at first, and wondered how on Earth so many good things could come from oil pulling. People talk about whiter teeth, and a cleaner mouth. But the seemingly obvious results didn’t stop there. Some have even claimed the act improves other things like:

  • Alleviates lockjaw
  • Prevents cavities
  • Kicks your hangover to the curb
  • Clears your sinuses
  • “Detoxifies” your blood

Don’t ask me about that last one. You’d get a blank stare. 

After reading up about oil pulling, I decided I’d like to try it. Some people even went as far as saying they’re obsessed with it, so it really made me wonder. I’ve been cooking with coconut oil for a few months now, (since my stint of paleoism) so I already had a jar in my cupboard. I decided to give it a go.  

So, I unscrewed the lid, dug my spoon in, and in went the airplane. And I’ve gotta say, it wasn’t as pleasant as I was expecting. Now, after my last post, you may be thinking that all I do is sit around and pick a different popular thing and come up with ways that I can bash it, but not so fast! I’m not saying I hated it. But for the first few minutes, I found it quite unbearable. Aside from the reflex of wanting to swallow the liquid (which wouldn’t do you any good at all, because; bacteria) it simply “felt weird” in my mouth. For the few moments before the hard substance turned to liquid, it felt pretty awkward. But after a while, as the swishing went on, it really wasn’t that bad. I did find myself gazing at the clock every so often, hoping my twenty minutes would be over soon. And when they were, I spit it into the trash (since you don’t want it hardening in your pipes) and was on my way. You’re also supposed to swish with warm water and then brush your teeth, if you were wondering. 

I did this for twenty minutes a night, for an entire week. And although I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m obsessed, here’s the somewhat disappointing part. I didn’t notice the magical effects raved about by Gwyneth Paltrow. But for all I know, she could be using some super authentic stuff shipped in directly from the shores of Bora Bora. She would. 

I will say that my mouth felt very clean, from the moment after, right up until the next morning. I didn’t notice any difference in my mild case of lockjaw, but I will say, generally I already have pretty good brushing habits when it comes to dental hygiene. 

So, although rainbows didn’t shoot out from my mouth (any more than they already do) I’d say the effects of oil pulling weren’t totally life altering. 

Maybe the fault is purely my own. Maybe I didn’t read enough blogs about it. Didn’t buy the right kind (unrefined, right?) didn’t believe in the powers of Miss Paltrow, or didn’t do it long enough. Or maybe, I just needed to believe, simply believe, that it was doing amazing things for my mind, body, blood, and soul.
But if swishing some oil around in your mouth for twenty minutes does something for you, then oil pull away.

Can we just talk about Divergent for a sec?

Can we talk about Divergent for a sec? You know, the hugely popular young adult novel that was just recently made into a major motion picture. First, I’ll back up. I mentioned to my boyfriend, Kevin, that I was interested in reading the book by Veronica Roth. And since he’s the caring guy he is, after a recent trip to the grocery store, he came home and plopped the book in my lap. I was in between books, and had heard good things about Divergent, so I thought, why not?
I immediately began reading it, and a few pages in, and I was drawn in. I can’t remember the last time I read through a book so quickly. It’s young adult fiction, and the font might be a little too big, but hey, I was pretty hooked by the original storyline.
I loved the first person narrative about a shy girl who puts herself out of her comfort zone to fulfill a dream of not living a boring life. Sounds familiar, huh? Yeah, I’ve gotta admit, I really identified with Tris. Aside from a 16-year-old who finds herself saving a dystopian society, I thought we were pretty similar.
I was surprised to find myself finishing the final page of the book just seven short days later. It was the fastest I’d ever gone through a book in recent memory. I was satisfied, inspired, and yearning for more. I thought it was a great book. So, I thought, why not give the movie a try? Divergent recently hit theatres, and I couldn’t help but wonder what the screen adaptation would do to this incredible story still fresh in my mind.
What I’m about to say next, I sort of anticipated. But, it was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. The characters were bland… unresponsive, even. The plot felt like an out of control train, and the overall artistic vision of the film seemed contrived. But let’s back up.
Since I work as an entertainment news writer, I’m constantly seeing interviews with actors who are making the circuit, promoting their new films. And when Shailene Woodely came around, I’ve gotta say, I was excited to see how she played the part. She seems like a relatable, funny, Jennifer Lawrence type of girl, who I thought could surprise me with her talent. But what I saw in Divergent was the complete opposite. She was bland, boring, and plain. And I was so disappointed by this. I felt like tearing my hair out looking at her unresponsive gaze… it just felt like nothing was happening behind her eyes. How much of this is at the fault of the director, I’m not sure.
And let’s not even talk about the other actors. Aside from being nice to look at, Theo James was just your typical hot, brooding hunk. And Eric, who played one of the Dauntless leaders, struck me more as an overzealous crossfit trainer than a dark, menacing bully. At times, I sort of felt like I was watching a Disney Original Movie. You know, like Zenon: The Zequel.
The storyline was a mess. Every plot point was so rushed, it was hard to keep up. (I remember feeling similarly while watching the last Harry Potter.) The training and schooling portion of the story takes up 95% of the book, but in the movie, it seems to go by in a matter of days. And a few important plot points are completely skimmed over, like Al’s major crush on Tris, and his complete unhappiness during training, which subsequently fuels his suicide. Or how about the ending, where Tris and Jeanine face off to take control of the control center? Yeah, that didn’t exactly happen in the book. Just the overall lack of character development left me feeling indifferent toward the classmates. I could have cared less about the film versions of Christina, Will and Caleb. And the absent first person narrative may have been the biggest downfall of this film, in its inability to grab audience members by the heart-strings.
When it came to the dystopian look of Chicago, one of my favorite cities, this movie wasn’t too far off. Although it wasn’t as dark and gritty as I may have hoped (the Factionless looked like background singers in a high school production of Les Miserables), I still thought the marsh where Lake Michigan once was and the towering, deserted buildings looked somewhat convincing. The rows of grey Abnegation houses were almost exactly what I pictured in my mind, so, props for that. But the rest of it was lacking. The costumes worn by each faction were too clean for my taste. Instead of a group of dark, gritty daredevils, the Dauntless looked like a group of EDM-listening RENT cast members. It’s like if someone started singing ‘Seasons of Love’, they’d all burst into song. The Pit at the Dauntless headquarters seemed too safe, and as far as the raging river spraying water onto the railings, making it, you know, ACTUALLY dangerous, was nowhere to be found. All I can say is, if Christopher Nolan had graced this script with his abilities, I might have actually loved this film. But the overall “safeness” of the world created by Neil Burger really let this book down.
Let’s be honest. You will always have high expectations for the movie version of a book to look exactly like what you have pictured in your head. And it never happens (Lord of the Rings being one of the only exceptions, here.) I know one guy who’s such a die hard fan of the J. R. R. Tolkien series, he refuses to this DAY to see the movies, despite how many Oscars they may have won (ahem, 17). He’s content with remembering the books exactly how he has them in his mind. And let’s just say, I should have stuck to that ideal.

So You Want An Internship?

I went to school for radio, television and film at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. When I first got there, I didn’t really know which of the three I wanted to focus on, I just knew I wanted to be in the communications industry in some way, shape or form. I knew I liked radio, and broadcasting, and I knew I liked to write, and I thought the best way to get real world experience outside of the classroom would be, of course, to get myself an internship. But I had no idea how to go about doing that.

It was my sophomore year of college when I decided to start looking for an internship. Everyone tells you to travel as much as you can after high school, so I thought this would be the best opportunity. I began by asking around for anyone with information. Luckily, my mom and dad have a lot of friends in the ‘biz since they used to have a comedy and juggling show. That, and they have a pretty diverse and talented circle of friends.

Luckily, one of my mother’s closest friends had a contact with a German radio station located in Berlin, called JazzRadio Berlin. She put me in contact with the station owner and founder, and he generously offered me an internship with the station after a series of emails.

This just goes to show the power of reaching out to people you already know for possible opportunities. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep in mind. When considering an internship, contact people you know who already work in the field about possible internships. Ask them if the company they work for offers an internship program.

If you don’t know anyone personally in the industry, reach out to people who do. This could be your parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask the people you love… they will most always be willing to help you.

The next piece of advice is to expect to work for free. The grey area between unpaid interns and paid employees is coming into light more and more these days. But I can tell you, both of my internships were unpaid, but the experience I gained from them far outweighed the $7.50 or so an hour I would have made working for them, anyway.

This brings me to my second internship, and my next tidbit of advice. If you really want an internship, and you aren’t getting a response from the company, call them. Over and over.

As my junior year of college came to an end, I felt that itch to get an internship again. I began looking in Santiago, Chile, since a friend of mine also had an internship there that summer. Perusing the web, I came across an English news website called I Love Chile. I saw they had an internship program, so I applied.

When I didn’t hear back from them, and the summer was approaching pretty fast, I began to get antsy. That’s when I decided to just call them. I dialed the 12-digit number and waited. But it didn’t take just one phone call. I called again and again until I finally got a person instead of a voicemail, and told them how much I wanted the job until I got the offer. And let me tell you… that was totally not in my comfort zone. But I am SO glad I did it.

That being said, once you land an internship, worry about money later. I had no idea how I was going to fly to Europe and be able to afford living there for two months for my German internship. But luckily, I was able to work out a living arrangement with the people there. In Chile, it was a bit different. With a little research, I was able to find an affordable program that helped me find a place to stay. They acted as a liaison between people renting out rooms, and tourists and students looking for a place to stay. These programs are often quite affordable if you search around. As far as expenses, you’d be surprised how cheap you can live while abroad. Staying in a hostel or a room for rent is fairly inexpensive, and public transit is your best friend.

I’d be happy to do an in-depth blog about international internships, if anyone is interested.

My internships taught me so much about not only hard work, but the industry I now work in. And seeing two internships on my resumé has definitely helped me land jobs along my way.

So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and ask the people around you for possible opportunities. Don’t expect a big (or any) paycheck when you do land an internship, and be persistent if you don’t get the internship you want.

It’s a tough process, but totally worth it in the end.

What Makes The Life Aquatic Great

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004/Wes Anderson) — The first time I saw this movie, I was with a group of friends who I can most adequately describe as the ‘theatre kids.’ They were the ones in high school who I thought had the best sense of humor, best taste in movies & music, and were just all-around badasses. Forget about the cheerleaders and football jocks, these were the people I wanted to be around. So, you can see where tragedy struck when I didn’t immediately like this movie. In fact, I fell asleep a few times, and even questioned the whole film’s appeal. This was the first time I had seen a Wes Anderson movie, so I just didn’t exactly “get it.” But after the second viewing, I was completely hooked.
If you’re into star appeal, look no further. Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe and Jeff Goldblum are your main cast. But they aren’t just showing up and saying “hey” and walking offscreen. Each performance is unique from anything they’ve done before. I’ve gotta say, I was most impressed with Owen Wilson’s transformation, because frankly, I didn’t think he had it in him. Bill Murray’s character is both hilarious yet sadly earnest, and Willem Dafoe & Jeff Goldblum are perhaps the funniest guys in the whole movie.
But let’s move on to the filmmaking. The movie has this wonderful, warm tone that lends to the almost fantastical theme. I’m always surprised by how, with each viewing, I’ll discover something new. Whether it’s a room in the elaborate set of the Belafonte ship, or an aside quipped by a member of the cast after Bill Murray finishes one of his captain-of-the-ship rants.  And of course, in true Wes Anderson form, the flowery and witty dialogue never really disappoints.
I read somewhere that Wes and co-writer Noah Baumbach sat down in a café together to bang out this script. And if I could be a fly on the wall of any room anywhere in the world, it would probably be there.
This is a movie I can watch over and over and never become bored of. It’s chock full of memorable lines and hilarious physical humor. It’s full of reputable stars who put on quirky performances. And it’s one of those stand-alone films that can never fail to entertain.