Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Girls' Day at the Sauna

Academia: I'm happy to report that yesterday was much less stressful than the day before. Our professional development week continued, and I'm having a great time hanging out with my colleagues. We have several new teachers on our faculty this semester, so my girlfriends and I invited some of them to lunch with us today. I think they're going to fit right in, because we had a lot of fun together and everyone seemed to click. I love having colleagues that I like. Nothing breaks up a tough day better than a few minutes of girl talk in between classes, and I have plenty of work girlfriends to talk with.

Sartorial: After dressing for battle two days ago, I wanted to be a little more relaxed yesterday. This was also because our PD sessions are on the other side of campus, about a 20 minute walk from our building, and August in the Deep South is the most miserably hot and humid month of all the months in all the hot places in all the world. No one goes outside unless they absolutely have to, because outside feels like a sauna full of sweaty football players from about 9:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. So for a 20 minute hike in the armpit of a sauna-ed up offensive lineman, I went for floaty cotton and flats. And I seriously considered wearing a bikini today. But don't worry. I only do that during spring break.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Fun Than It Sounds

Blouse, Skirt 

Academia: We started a week of professional development yesterday, which is more fun than it sounds. I also got to break up with an apartment complex that I don't like yesterday, which is also more fun than it sounds. After months of not returning my emails or my students' security deposits, they had it coming. It was way easier than breaking up with a person, because I could do it over email and not seem like a jerk, and like many breakups, I had a back-up apartment complex waiting in the wings. And I didn't feel the need to cry or eat ice cream afterwards. Win-win.

Sartorial: Even though I was breaking up over email, I needed to dress for battle yesterday. For me, that means super-feminine. The higher the heels, the better. I wore a really similar outfit a few weeks ago, and it made me feel so good that I knew I needed to wear it again yesterday. I felt like a professional grownup who could handle an apartment complex breakup in her sleep. Kind of like a superhero. Pencil Skirt Woman to the rescue! Okay, that was lame. It's late and my creative brain cells are zapped. Better jokes tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Party Dress (Okay, Party Skirt. Same Thing.)


Academia: I've been debating the pros and cons of prewriting and scheduling my posts for a while now. On one hand, I really like the immediacy of writing about an outfit the same day I wear it, but on the other hand, rushing home from work to take pictures and post doesn't always produce my best writing. In the interest of having time to write better posts, I've decided to go with prewriting and scheduling from now on. I'll still be posting about what I wear on work days, except Friday's outfit will be posted on Monday, Monday's on Tuesday, etc.

I actually wore this outfit on Saturday. Our program was recently accredited by the highest accrediting agency in our field, so my boss threw a party at her house to celebrate on Saturday afternoon. After a ton of hard work, it was great to spend a few hours drinking champagne, eating cake, and relaxing with everyone. Kind of like a wedding, except no uncomfortable shoes, and more chicken feeding. My boss has chickens. Everyone's kids wanted to feed them. And then were charged by angry, food-seeking chickens. Fun times.

Sartorial: I know I just wore this skirt on Thursday, but it's new and I like to wear new things. I liked it better paired with this shirt than the one I wore on Thursday, and as always, it was like wearing pajamas. However, I learned that maxi skirts aren't great in 98 degree heat, even in the shade of a big front porch. So I'll probably be restricting this skirt to indoor wear until November or so. Which is when summer ends down here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Traveling Pants

Earrings, Bracelet

Academia: It's a Friday with no students. Consequently, I went home at 2:00. Can't beat that.

Sartorial: Today's visual Friend Friday is being hosted by Ashley Getting Dressed, and let me say how excited I am that I did not forget about it this week like I have every other week for the past two months. The assignment was to focus on a favorite piece of clothing, so I chose these jeans. Let's take a closer look:

I got these jeans on sale at Loft about a year and a half ago, and they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever owned. I once wore them on a transatlantic flight. In coach. That's how comfortable they are.

Because they're so comfortable, these jeans have been everywhere with me. Here they are on a salt flat in Turkey:

I was disappointed to find that I wasn't buoyant enough to walk on two inches of salt water.
Here they are at the Sound of Music gazebo in Salzburg, Austria:

I am sixteen, going on seventeen...
And here they are at the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel, California:

We had to wait for 20 minutes while another tourist took approximately 498 pictures of this staircase.
I have a lot of happy memories in these jeans, and for that reason, I will keep wearing them until they are so decrepit that I have to turn them into stylish denim dust rags. And even then, I bet they'll be the best dust rags I ever had.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Maxi Skirt, Maxi Success


Academia: I had the most productive first 45 minutes of work ever today. I arrived at 9:00, and 9:45 I had placed two more students in tourism volunteering positions and gotten an invitation to speak to the hospitality council of my town in the hopes of placing more. In two weeks, I'm going to speak to everyone in my town's tourism industry at once. It's a great networking opportunity for our program, since we place several students a year in volunteer jobs related to their field of study. It was an extremely successful morning.

Sartorial: New skirt! Yay! I got this skirt in the mail from ModCloth yesterday, and it is sooooo comfortable. I'm not really sure how to style it, though. This skirt started the day more fitted, but has stretched out as the day has gone on and now is just kind of baggy and hanging there. The skirt is jersey, and therefore clingy, so I don't want to wear anything too tight and unforgiving, but I also don't want to wear anything loose that will make me look shapeless. What do y'all think?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Color Blocked

Academia: Today was just another quiet day of getting things done uninterruptedly. Except for the part where I hauled 100 pounds of brochures on a wonky-steering cart across campus in the 95 degree heat. That part was not quiet at all, thanks to the ear-piercing squeak the cart developed halfway through our journey together. But the day is ending with a cherry limeade from Sonic, a new skirt from Modcloth (tune in tomorrow to see it!), and a get-together with friends. And without a wonky, squeaky cart.

Sartorial: Since there weren't many people around to see me today (except for the hundred or so people who watched me struggle across campus with the squeaky cart), I decided to give color blocking a concerted effort. I've never been bold enough to really do this before, but I ended up liking how it came out a lot. I think the colors are different enough, but still in the same color family. Is "color family" a thing? You can tell I spend a lot of time thinking/reading/talking about Fashion. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No People and Walmart

Skirt, Brian's Etsy Shop

Academia: Back to work today. It's so quiet without the students. I just worked and worked with no interruptions, and I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. It was weird. I know we're here to serve the students, and I like having them around. But sometimes, it's nice just to get stuff done and not have a line of people at my office door.

Sartorial: I've worn this skirt several times since buying it, and haven't found an outfit it didn't go with yet. Today, I decided to put it to the test and try to pair it with my oldest, scruffiest sneakers, just to see if it would work. I'm kind of on the fence about whether or not it does. But pretty much no one saw me today, except for y'all, so it was a good day to experiment.

Also, how do you like my $4 shirt from Walmart? I normally avoid Walmart because the combination of shelves falling in on me, screaming children, and parents screaming back at them is more than I want to stand on a regular basis, but I was there about six weeks ago, buying thread or glue or something, and these shirts were on sale. I thought, "I like stripes. I like only spending $4. Why not?" I've worn it a bunch since then (just never on a blog day), so I think I've definitely gotten $4 worth of wear out of it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brunch with Benefits


Academia: Another day off today, huzzah! I had to go to benefits enrollment for new hires this morning, but that only took an hour and a half and then I went to brunch with some friends who are also former adjuncts recently hired as full-time faculty. Now I'm at home, watching Doctor Who and waiting for our regular afternoon thunderstorm. Not many better ways to spend an afternoon.

Sartorial: I had one of those mornings where I hated all my clothes, but once I put this on, I liked it a lot more than I expected to. The black and white pattern mixing with the plaid and the animal print shoes was fun, and pairing the lumberjack-looking blouse with a dress and girly shoes and accessories dressed it more than I thought it would. All in all, not bad.

Bonus: Cary and I went to Islands of Adventure this weekend, and more specifically, to Harry Potter Land! We had a great time visiting Ollivander's wand shop, drinking butterbeer, and touring Hogwarts. Pictures follow below:

Watching moving photos in the bookstore window; drinking pumpkin juice in front of the Hogwarts Express 
Posing in front of Hogwarts; butterbeer!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Harry Potter and the Versatile Dress


Academia: God bless my boss for insisting that I take a vacation. So far today, I have slept until 9:30, read, done some laundry, and had lunch with out-of-town friends, the kind of people I haven't known very long but are so energizing to be around that I can tell we're going to be good friends. My soul needed today.

Also, Cary and I are driving to Orlando to go to Islands of Adventure this weekend! It was a last-minute decision, but we thought we needed to escape into something fun, and what better way to escape than to pretend we're going to Hogwarts? I'm going to drink my weight in butterbeer, y'all.

Sartorial: For a laid-back day, I wanted a laid-back outfit. This dress is so comfy and cool, and with a new headband and brightly colored sandals, it's perfect for today. I know I've worn this a million times, but it's just so versatile and feels great on. It can go from laying on the couch to lunch to Cary's work party to the car ride this evening without breaking a sweat. Although it would be kind of weird if a dress did break a sweat. Maybe at Hogwarts.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Raiders of the Lost Updo

TOMS, James Avery

Academia: Half day at work, and a long weekend coming up. My boss is awesome and insisted that I take some days off between semesters, so I'm out tomorrow and Monday. At home, reading more fantasy novels. Watching Indiana Jones melt faces in Raiders of the Lost Ark. All in all, not a bad day.

Sartorial: My hair isn't quite long enough for a blogger bun, but it is long enough to pin under in the semblance of a bun. It's so hot out, and while I like having longer hair, I don't like it getting sweaty on the back of my neck, so I'm exploring the world of updos. Thoughts on this one?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Skirt, Earrings

Academia: Hi everyone. Thanks for your support yesterday. It means a lot. I'm still feeling pretty crappy, though, so I don't really have much to say. I think I'm going to give myself a mini-vacation from blogging this week. I'll still post my outfits tomorrow and Friday, but I won't write too much. Hopefully, I'll be feeling better on Monday and can come up with some thoughts that are more interesting to read about. Thanks for your patience.

Sartorial: I wore this to new faculty orientation today, plus a blazer that was too hot to wear outside for pictures. I felt professional but still fashionable, and got to check out our university's provost wearing a seersucker blazer, which was just fabulous. And he's a middle-aged math professor - not a traditionally stylish demographic. Well done, provost.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No Outfit Today

Sorry, guys. Cary and I had a bad appointment with our reproductive endocrinologist this morning, and I just don't feel like talking about my clothes today. We were supposed to undergo intrauterine insemination this month, and when we went in to get checked out to make sure we're in good shape for that, the doctor found that I reacted too well to the medicine they've been giving me, and would be at risk for high order multiples (like quadruplets or more) if we tried to get pregnant this month. So now we have to wait another month, possibly longer, when waiting even another day feels too long. We're really disappointed, and my clothes just did not make me feel better today. I'll be back with a regular outfit post tomorrow, but tonight I need to eat ice cream and watch TV.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dorky and Proud


Note about bracelet: Tunie was my grandmother, and this bracelet was from a pre-my grandfather boyfriend :)
Academia: It was suuuuuch a quiet day today. I went to work for six hours, where I filed some papers and responded to some emails, and then I went to the library, which is one of my favorite places to be on a hot summer day. Other favorites: the beach, the movies, and the United Kingdom. After the stress of the semester and our ongoing treatment for infertility, I needed some escapist fiction, so I found myself in the  fantasy/sci-fi section.

I've spent years trying to convince myself that I am not a fantasy novel reader, imagining all fantasy novel readers to be Renaissance Faire-going, sword-owning, cape-wearing people. And then I realized that I've read Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings like 18 times, I watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, and my first celebrity crush was Han Solo. Not Harrison Ford. Han Solo. Since there's pretty much no way anybody besides me was convinced I wasn't a dork already, I went ahead and checked out two fantasy novels. And I'm halfway through the first one already - The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card. And I love it.

Sartorial: One of the things I love about not having students around is that I don't have to dress up. Yay for sneakers at work! But if I ever wear a cape on this blog, please e-slap me. Capelets are okay though. Not the same thing at all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

All Day Dress

Academia: Today was commencement day! Yay! End of the semester! Yay! I'm blogging so late because we celebrated the end of this insane term by going out to dinner with Cary's parents and Brian, and then going to see The Help. I will have some more coherent thoughts about it later, but to sum up, it was very faithful to the book and I loved the book. It was a wonderful way to wrap up the term.

Sartorial: This is what I wore for commencement. I always try to dress professionally for work, but commencement is a chance to be a little dressier and more festive than normal. This dress makes me feel awesome about my body, and it's conservative enough for work-related events. I switched out the heels for flats for the rest of the work day and the movie, and I'm pretty sure I could have pulled off sandals too. Versatile is one of my favorite things for clothes to be.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easy, Breezy, and Hopefully Beautiful

Brian's Etsy Shop

Academia: Today was an easy peasy day. The students were just taking their exit test, so all I had to do was send some final stern attendance letters, rate some writing tests, and take a couple of students to a volunteering orientation at the hospital. After such a hectic semester, a slow day was just what I needed.

Sartorial: For an easy day, I wanted an easy outfit. A breezy skirt from college and a t-shirt were just right - I stayed cool and it was the next best thing to wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Nothing too special, but I was happy in my clothes, and that's pretty much all I want from my clothes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

End of Term


Academia: It was the last day of class today. Hooray! Amid the lawyering some of my students tried to present me with (as in "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I don't deserve this grade because..."), I had one very bright moment that reminded me why I put up with the lawyers.

I had to ask a low-level student to help translate for an even lower-level student in a personal situation. There was really no one else around to do it. We were chatting while waiting for parts of the situation to resolve, and in very broken English, he said that he felt like he learned more than English this semester. He said he learned to respect other cultures and points of view, and he learned that Americans do love their families, unlike what he heard at home. He learned that his culture is not the only one that matters. And he was so eager to learn more. "Here I learn experience, teacher," he said. I'm so glad I have this job.

Sartorial: In high school, I distinctly remember wearing pajamas to take my AP American History exam. I'm a long way from high school, but the end of school still makes me want to wear pajamas, or at least what feels like pajamas. Enter this dress and leggings. With cute flats, dressy enough for work, but they're stretchy and bendy and feel like pajamas. I'm lying on the couch at 9:45, still wearing them. I love my pencil skirts, but I peel those off as soon as I get home. Pajama-clothes are where it's at.
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