Monday, October 31, 2011

Adventure Camp

Academia: All weekends are lovely, but some weekends are lovelier than others. This past weekend was one of the loveliest. I was supposed to be at a women's adventure camp with my mom and my friend Debra, but it was canceled due to low enrollment. We were all disappointed, but decided to have a girls' weekend at my parents' house anyway. And then Debra had the fabulous idea to spend Saturday at the spa.

OMG, y'all. I'd never been to a spa before. It was sooooooo good. We ate lunch by the pool in our spa bathrobes. We got manicures and pedicures. They had free chocolate-covered pretzels, which was one of the best parts. Debra kept saying, "Yay adventure camp!" and I whole-heartedly agree. Yay adventure camp indeed.

Sartorial: Since I was driving three hours directly from work on Friday, I wanted to be comfortable, and this dress is one of the comfiest I own. I've worn it with every cardigan and jacket I have, so I tried something new this time: the t-shirt under the dress. I was worried that it would look a little schoolgirlish, but I think it worked out okay. And I was comfy in the car, although not nearly as comfy as I was at the spa. Good grief, y'all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Four Hearts

Academia: So I was helping this new student find a dentist today, and when he was about to leave my office, he said, "Before I come here, other Arabic students tell me, 'If you have any problem, Emily can help you. She work with four hearts, not one.'" And that pretty much made my week.

Sartorial: Having four hearts gives me a lot of room to love clothes I probably should have gotten rid of years ago. I bought this shirt in high school and there's a rip in one sleeve, but it's so well-worn and flexible that I just want to keep it forever. Same with these shoes, which are newer but so broken in that  there's a permanent groove for each of my big toes. But I figure that even if I devote one whole heart to these clothes, I have three left for everything else, so my devotion remains.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Work Swag

Academia: A lot of cool things happened yesterday. Cary and I started early with a doctor's appointment that went very well, and we got to have breakfast together before work. Then yesterday afternoon, some visiting professors from an overseas university that always sends my boss and me very nice small gifts brought us some freaking huge gifts. Last time they were here, I got a teeny tiny memory stick. This time, my boss and I both got a digital camera. A DIGITAL CAMERA. A really nice one too - a Samsung ST93. I'm going to play with it over the weekend and hopefully will have some posts featuring free camera pictures early next week. I'll just say it again because it's so awesome: I GOT A FREE DIGITAL CAMERA AT WORK YESTERDAY.

Sartorial: We had to leave for our doctor's appointment at sunrise, which is why my pictures are inside today. But that may be a thing of the past - maybe my new camera has infrared night vision or something! It's also why I'm wearing this outfit; I wanted to be comfortable and wear clothes that made me feel confident, and the combination of this flattering dress and the comfy leggings fit the bill. This was also a great outfit for getting a free digital camera. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Funky Jackie Kennedy

Skirt, Brian's Etsy Shop 

Academia: One of my favorite weekly activities is getting together with our four best couple friends, my sister and brother-in-law Suzanne and Mike, and our friends since forever, Jose and Adrienne, for dinner and Project Runway. We alternate houses every week and we all pitch in a dish for dinner. We're ages behind on Project Runway (we DVR), but we have a great time gasping at the drama, predicting the winners and losers, and critiquing the clothes.

And not it's not just Suzanne, Adrienne, and me who are passing judgement on the designers. The guys have just as many opinions as we do, and it delights me to hear them saying things like, "Yeah, I liked that dress, but maybe with a different shoe," or, "That really doesn't flatter her hips at all." When Project Runway isn't on, we substitute with Top Chef or other competition shows, but PR is my favorite because I love clothes and I love listening to the running commentary from the dude gallery.

Sartorial: We just watched the episode last night where the designers have to consult with men to make clothes for their wives or girlfriends, which prompted an interesting discussion about whether our guys could accurately describe our style to a designer. Mike and Jose did pretty well ("black and white" for Suzanne and "Ann Taylor Loft" for Adrienne), but being married to a style blogger allowed Cary to hit the nail on the head; he described my style as "funky Jackie Kennedy." That's exactly what I try for in my wardrobe.

I think this outfit is a little funky Jackie; the pieces are pretty classic, but the combination of fuschia cardigan, animal print blouse, and aqua earrings is a bit funky. I don't know if this would pass muster on PR, but I liked it, and my husband knows my style well enough to buy me presents, so I say I win.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Waiting for Sweatpants

Bracelet, Brian's Etsy Shop 

Academia: Fall B check-in week started yesterday, so I haven't really recovered from being completely zapped on Sunday. Everything went smoothly, but between registration, special program arrivals, housing help sessions, and the absolutely-must-happen-now doctor's appointments that go with infertility treatments, it was a bit of a long day. I was very happy to have sweatpants, leftovers, and TiVo waiting for me when I got home. And, obviously, my husband. Probably should have put him before sweatpants.

Sartorial: As I've written before, check-in week always requires professional attire, or at least more professional than my department's normal dress code of not naked. I've worn a couple of different variations on this outfit (here and here), but this one was my most career day-ish. I liked the menswear vibe with the girly accessories (hello, red shoes and faux pearls), and I was comfortable enough to last until the sweatpants part of my day. And on long days, getting me to sweatpants is all I want my clothes to do.

Monday, October 24, 2011

In the Trenches

Academia: Y'all, my brain is fried. I wore this on Friday, but since then I've had family in town, a doctor's appointment, a housewarming party at my sister's, and a full day of work on Sunday. It was all extremely interesting and would make a great blog post, but I'm too exhausted to write anything other than blerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

Sartorial: I bought this trench coat in August and have been dying for it to get cool enough to wear it. I've always loved the look of trench coats (they make me feel like Carmen Sandiego), but how much more awesome is a trench coat with pleated ruffles? THIS much more awesome. Seriously, I'm so tired that my writing is entirely dependent on varying font sizes. #zerocreativity #andalsohashtags

Friday, October 21, 2011

Puss in Boots

Academia: Fall is here! A cold front came through on Wednesday, and so the high temperature yesterday was about 68. I got really excited, as you can see by my tights and boots. It'll be back in the 80s by early next week, but for now, the weather is perfect for shaving hot chocolate with out-of-town cousins and snuggling under a down duvet, which is exactly what I did last night.

Sartorial: The theme of this Friend Friday is Halloween. I love costumes, and have nothing against Halloween, but since I live in a college town, all the adult Halloween activities seem to revolve around getting hammered and dressing up as a slutty [insert character here], e.g. the Slutty Pumpkin. I haven't really done Halloween in a few years, so this should be interesting...

  1. Do you have plans for Halloween? What will you dress up as this year? My only plan is to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. I love doing that, especially early in the evening when the littlest trick-or-treaters are out being adorable. I don't think I'll dress up, but I always try to have the best candy on the street. No sketchy paper-wrapped taffy here.
  2. Where do you go for costume and makeup inspiration? When I dressed up for Halloween as a kid, I always wanted to be pretty, not scary. So I got a lot of inspiration from Disney. I haven't dressed up in several years, but wearing a princess costume still appeals to me, so I'd probably still take my cues from the Mouse :)
  3. What was the best costume you've ever donned? When I was six, I decided I wanted to be Puss in Boots for Halloween. So I dressed as a cat, and wore cowboy boots. It was awesome. My inner literary critic was so pleased with herself. I was a character from classic literature! Yes, my six-year-old self had an inner literary critic. But no one got it. Everyone just said, "Oh, a cat!" My inner literary critic was highly offended.
  4. What's the most creative costume you've ever seen? I didn't see this because it happened before I was born, but my mom says that one year, my dad convinced her that they should wear all black to a Halloween party and tell people that they were "shadows of their former selves." Not shockingly, no one got it, and they had to spend the whole night explaining their costumes. I love it though. And now the whole Puss in Boots thing is starting to make sense.
  5. No holds barred - if you could dress up as anything, what would it be? Scarlett O'Hara. I need to wear a hoop skirt and a pretty ball gown. They just look like so much fun. Plus, Scarlett was the queen of refashioning - she made a dress out of curtains long before Maria von Trapp ever thought of doing it. She should be the patron saint of fashion bloggers.
So there you have it, friends. Apparently I'm destined to always want to dress as literary characters, be it the hero of a fairly obscure fairy tale or the original steel magnolia. What about y'all? Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? What have been your best (and worst) costumes?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Church Lady Approved

Academia: Wednesdays are always busy days for me, especially lately. Yesterday started with a doctor's appointment at 8:00, followed by a full day at work. After work every Wednesday, I meet with two other Christian faculty members for a short prayer group; we pray for each other and our students and colleagues. And for the past month or so, Cary and I have been taking a marriage class at our church, which starts right after I get home from my prayer group, so I usually have enough time to run in the door, drop my lunch box, and head out. Wednesdays are always good days for me, but I'm also always ready to fall into bed as soon as I get home.

Sartorial: Long days require comfy clothes. Good things it was leggings o'clock yesterday! I felt like I colored outside the lines a bit trying to jazz up this black tunic, but I think I liked the effect of the blouse over the tunic. I got a compliment from a sartorially conservative woman at our church marriage class, so I guess it wasn't too weird an outfit.

The church ladies at my church are pretty open-minded, though. Not like this lady. Thank heaven, literally. So their stamp of approval might not mean this isn't weird. What do y'all think? Too far out on a limb? Or just right for international students, church ladies, and all points in between?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Take Me Seriously, Corporate America

Brian's Etsy Shop 

Academia: Yesterday was a pretty typical day for me. A student got suddenly ill in class and I took her to the doctor. I got frustrated and nearly lost patience with a student who came to see me about his eight bajillionth traffic violation (seriously, dude, just obey the law). I took a group of students to orientation at a hotel where they will be doing volunteer internships. I happened across a fair trade store on my way home and bought my grandma a birthday present. You know. Normal stuff.

Sartorial: This is not the most exciting outfit I've ever worn, but I had the orientation at the hotel and all of the hotel people dress like this. I originally had on leggings and a tunic, which were way more fun and comfortable but didn't seem like "take me seriously, corporate America" clothes. I wasn't jazzed about the decision to change, but when the students were told in orientation that they should dress up, I felt good about setting a decent example for them.

Today I'm taking a student to an orientation at a bed and breakfast, so it's definitely leggings o'clock. B&B people are so chill. Note to self: you are too old to say anything is chill. But I'm getting ahead of myself. More on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friendly Inspiration

Skirt, Brian's Etsy Shop, Bracelet 

Academia: It was back to work after a long weekend yesterday, and all in all, it was a pretty nice day. I sorted through the various comforters, pans, and pillows a departing group of students left for the use of future groups, and I took a student to orientation at her volunteer internship. I got to be out and about, which I much prefer to sitting at my desk all day. So all in all, not a bad start to the week.

Sartorial: I have stylish friends, and having stylish friends means having a never-ending source of inspiration for my own wardrobe. My friend Adrienne has this same pink shirt, except in green, and Sunday at church she wore it over a short-sleeved white button-down. I had never thought to wear this shirt over anything, only under, but when I saw how cute Adrienne looked, I thought, I can recreate that!

I wanted to color-block as well as copy Adrienne, so I paired this pink shirt with a red button-down. I ended up liking it, and will probably bust this out again for Valentine's Day, because let's face it, this is a lot of pink and red.

What about y'all? Do you get inspired by your friends? And do you shamelessly rip their outfits off like I do?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Not my best picture ever. My sister took it and she is really tall, so my legs look two feet long. I mean, thanks for taking my picture, Suzanne!
Suzanne and me
Five of my favorite people, and two of my favorite people-to-be. We're all wearing buttons because it was Mike's birthday and Disney gives buttons that say "I'm celebrating!" to anyone celebrating almost anything, except the birthday person, whose button says "It's my birthday!" Everyone we passed said happy birthday to Mike, and someone actually congratulated Cary on Mike's birthday. Welcome to Disney World.
Academia: One of the nicest things about living in the Deep South is proximity to Disney World. On Friday, Cary and I, my sister Suzanne and brother-in-law Mike, and our good friends Jose and Adrienne took the day off and went to the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.

For those of you who don't live within a day's drive of Disney, Epcot is divided into two sections: the futuristic utopia world at the front of the park (where the giant golf ball you've all seen is), and the World Showcase in the back, which is like a sample platter of the world's countries arranged around a lake. Every year Epcot puts on the Food and Wine Festival in October. They set up booths for all the countries featured on the World Showcase plus a ton more, and sell tapas-sized plates and alcohol from each country. So basically, you can eat and drink your way around the world.

Which is exactly what we did. It was a perfect day; the weather was gorgeous and Epcot is not so full of awesome rides that you would ever feel guilty about spending a whole afternoon meandering and eating, instead of standing in line. We just moseyed around, which was great for all of us - the pregnant members of our group because they needed to rest more, and the non-pregnant members because it gave us more time to drink our sample-sized beers in between booths.

Sartorial: When I go to theme parks, I dress for comfort over style. There is nothing worse than getting to 3:00 in the afternoon at Disney World and having sore feet, because you paid $80 to get in and there's no way you're leaving before nightfall, even if you feel like amputating your feet would hurt less than continuing to walk around.

I have found myself in this boat too many times, so when I got dressed on Friday morning, I picked clothes that could stand a long car ride and a long day of walking: wide-leg comfy jeans, breezy blouse (it's still in the mid-80s in Orlando), and TOMS. This is probably not my most stylish look ever, but I didn't want to cut my feet off at the end of the day, so I count it a success.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Fall" in the South

Academia: I'm taking the day off today (Epcot Food and Wine Festival, yay!), and yesterday was the kind of easy day that segues so wonderfully into a long weekend. I started the day with a good doctor's appointment, and then I spent the afternoon out of the office - working, just not at my desk. Besides being out enjoying the sunshine, it was nice not have to nag anyone all afternoon. I was thoroughly relaxed by the time I got home, an unusual feeling for the end of a work day. It was very nice.

Sartorial: Today's visual Friend Friday is hosted by Iris of 260 Days No Repeats, and the assignment is to dress in a quintessentially "fall" outfit. Here in the Deep South, fall happens for about three weeks in December, definitely not October. It's still in the mid-80s in October, and that's a huge improvement over September, when it was in the mid-90s. By mid-October, we're all sick of being hot and we're ready to wear fall clothes, but the weather just won't catch up. So for me, a quintessentially "fall" outfit is like this one: it looks cozy and warm, but the blouse is paper-thin and the pants are very breathable, so I can stay cool while pretending I live in a state that has all four seasons. Seasons we actually have: A Sauna in Hell, What New Englanders Consider Summer, and January.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nothing to Note


Academia: So I'm racking my brain trying to think of anything interesting I did in this dress. I mean, there were interesting things: I talked to my doctor on the phone, Cary and I went to the marriage class we're taking at church, but none of that is really sharing-details-on-the-blog-appropriate. So y'all will just have to be bored today. Sorry. I'm going to Epcot on Friday, so I promise I'll have more interesting stories soon.

Sartorial: I know the French pigtails don't scream "I'm a college administrator," but I just love wearing them. My hair feels so adorable in them, and it stays out of my face all day. And I liked them with my comfy dress and shoes too; it was a rainy day, I stayed up too late last night, and it was just the right kind of nondescript day to be cozy and have cute hair.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIth a Little Help from My Friends

Academia: I was thinking yesterday how lucky I am to have the friends I have. As I've been dealing with the funk I wrote about on Monday, my friends have risen to the occasion 100%. Yesterday I was feeling kinda bad, but my friends were there to cheer me up at every turn. I had lunch with my sister, and Brian came over and he and Cary made dinner for us, and then I talked to my dear friend Debra for two hours after Brian went home. I felt so much better at the end of the day. My friends are always awesome, but yesterday just reminded me how awesome they are.

Sartorial: I felt a bit like Indiana Jones in this outfit, which, as I've written about before, is every academic's secret dream. And where would Indy have been without his friends? He would have been eating poisonous dates, trying to lift the Ark out of a snake pit by himself, and probably getting shot by Nazis more than once. I wouldn't be in quite the same dire circumstances without my friends, but I think dressing like someone who would made sense on a day when my friends were really there for me. Thanks, guys.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

EBEW: DIY (It's Acronymtastic!)


Academia: Here's what I wore to work yesterday - no Columbus Day off for me, y'all. It's not a holiday my university celebrates, which I guess makes sense; we should probably be celebrating Leif Ericson Day, or European Settlers Were Pretty Jerky to Native Americans Day. But a day off would have been nice. Oh well.

Sartorial: Today is DIY Day at Everybody Everywear. I am not crafty at all and never make any clothes by hand, so I had to go with the only pair of pants I've ever hemmed on my own: these jeans. You can read all about the epic battle I fought with my antediluvian sewing machine here, but here's a quick summary: the jeans were about five inches too long when I bought them (why do retailers think all women are 5'10"? How many women wearing a size 4 really are that tall?), and I had a sewing machine, so I attempted an invisible hem. After about five hours of messing up, ripping out seams, crying, cursing at my sewing machine, and accidentally stabbing myself in the foot with a pin, I had hemmed jeans.

The good news is that these are now my favorite jeans. They're so comfy, and while they were a bit pricey and took a lot of effort to get to the right length, I've worn them so much that the cost per wear is probably $2 or less by now. I'm not particularly inspired to get the sewing machine back out and make my own clothes or anything, but if I ever need to hem another pair of pants, I know now that I can.


Monday, October 10, 2011


Academia: I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Being sick, stress at work, and the toll that infertility takes on a heart have all been wearing me down over the past few weeks. Every life has times like this, but being the middle of one is definitely funk-conducive.

Luckily, I'm married to an excellent destroyer of funk. Sidebar: wouldn't "Destroyers of Funk" be a great rock band name? When I got home from work on Friday, Cary told me to pack an overnight bag and hop in the car, and he drove me to a tiny seaside town not far from here, where we checked into a Victorian bed and breakfast for the night.

It was really just what I needed. We walked down to a seafood restaurant on the water for dinner and ate out on the deck and watched it get dark. We fell asleep early and slept hard all night, and had a delicious breakfast in the morning. We sat out on the upstairs porch and read until checkout, and then we walked downtown and visited the tiny town's tiny museum. Then we drove home and read and napped all afternoon. It was a perfectly refreshing 24 hours, and while it didn't erase the difficult things happening in my life right now, it did make me feel better. Sometimes, just feeling better for a little while is the best and only thing you can do about a funk.

Sartorial: This skirt is pretty much the cheeriest article of clothing I own, so it was just right for a funk-busting night away. I didn't know what the evening would hold when I got dressed Friday morning, but apparently I'm a bit sartorially prescient. Or at least I was on Friday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Trendsetter (Or Not)


Academia: Nothing to note, except a big apology for not replying to any comments over the past week or so. The combination of being sick, having family in town, and the normal busyness of life has turned me into a bad blogger. If you've left me a comment and I haven't replied to it, or commented on your blog if I normally do that, I promise that I will catch up over the weekend. Y'all are awesome, and your comments mean a lot to me.

Sartorial: It's Friend Friday, and topic this week is trends. I wouldn't consider myself remotely trendy, so this should be interesting. Here goes!

  1. Do you ever see a fad hit the stores and immediately dislike it? Has that fad ever begun to grow on you? Yes. When leggings came back a few years ago, I hated them. They reminded me of everything that was wrong with early 90s fashion, and every girl on campus wore them as pants. But then I started to see them paired with tunics and minidresses, and I realized that they were way more comfortable than regular pants, and I loved them.
  2. Has the popularity of a certain piece of clothing or line ever convinced you to try on something (or purchase something) you dislike? Maybe when I was a teenager, and my top fashion priority was blending in, but not in recent memory. I don't wear things I don't like. For example, I have never owned a pair of Uggs.
  3. Have you ever changed your mind about a trend after seeing it around for a while? Well, there's the leggings example I gave in #1. But I also have started to like color blocking more than I used to, especially close colors like pink and red or blue and green.
  4. Do you feel a certain pressure to have specific items in your closet because everyone else does? Not really. Like I said, I tend to just buy what I like. But I do get inspired by seeing other people wear trends that I didn't think I'd like at first. For example, I wasn't sure at first when wide-leg jeans came back in, and then I saw a bunch of other bloggers wearing them and really wanted to try them myself.
  5. Be honest, what did you think of the Missoni line? Did you grab any items? Is it worth the eBay prices? Honestly, I liked some individual items, but Missoni isn't really "me." My first reaction was "whoa, that's some loud print," and then I saw some pieces that some blogger friends bought and thought those pieces looked pretty good on them, but I still wasn't really motivated to run out and buy any for myself. So for me, no, it's not worth the eBay prices, but I see why it would be for someone whose personal taste lines up with Missoni's look a little better.
So those are my thoughts on trends. What do y'all think? Do you consider yourself trendy?
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