Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog Vacation

Hey y'all. Just stopping in to say that I'm giving myself a blog vacation this week. Between work, infertility treatment, and the busyness of the holidays, it's all I can do to pick out clothes in the morning right now, much less photograph and say anything witty about them. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and need to cut back on commitments for a few days. I'll be back next week and hopefully my life will have de-stressed a little. Until then, thank you so much for reading, and for your patience. Love you all.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Brian's Etsy Shop 

Academia: Much as I love my job, and busy as I am right now, the holidays make it really hard to sustain any kind of momentum at work. I run around all day until around 4:00, 30 minutes before I leave every day, and then find it impossible to get motivated to do anything at all. I can see Thanksgiving right over the horizon and my brain is already shutting down in preparation. It's like it can sense all the tryptophan coming its way.

Sartorial: Pre-tryptophan brain means pre-tryptophan clothes. This is definitely not my most exciting outfit ever, but standing in front of my closet yesterday morning, I just couldn't get excited about any of my clothes and ended up going with comfy pieces I knew would work together. This outfit didn't set anyone's world on fire, but I wasn't naked and two days before a big holiday, that's about all one can hope for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The Poppy Chain Boutique

Academia: I could yammer on about students, the end of the semester, how the writers of my favorite TV shows seem to be conspiring to get every single character on every show pregnant (on behalf of infertile couples who turn to TV for an escape across America, you all suck), but none of that is as interesting as the fact that I'm wearing a necklace that I WON today!

Sartorial: I have been reading fashion blogs forever, and I finally won a giveaway! I'm so excited - I never win stuff! This one was hosted by Whitney and Monica of Ask the Duplex (a truly fabulous blog you should all check out), and the prize was $25 to the Poppy Chain Boutique. I love long pendant necklaces and I never have enough, so I chose this one and Ashley of the Poppy Chain sent it to me right away.

I adore this necklace and wanted to wear something that would show it off, so I went with my blank canvas black dress, added a blouse in the same color as the chrysanthemum on the necklace, and finished it off with my new favorite shoes. I felt so pretty and whimsical in this outfit that you could have cast me in New Girl with Zooey Deschanel, the queen of pretty and whimsical. And hey, no one is pregnant on New Girl yet either, which makes it the perfect TV escape; no pregnancies and pretty clothes are my top two requirements for TV viewing right now. Which is why I love you, Modern Family, and not you, The Office.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Early Thanksgiving

Brian's Etsy Shop 

Academia: One of the very best parts of my job is the opportunity to introduce our students to American holidays. I love wearing green on St. Patrick's Day, putting on a pirate hat for Halloween, and handing out candy on Valentine's Day, but my very favorite holiday tradition at work is our annual Thanksgiving potluck, which was held on Friday evening.

Here are the reasons I love the Thanksgiving potluck:

  1. Sooooo much good food. One of our teachers takes the afternoon off to cook the turkeys for us, which are always delicious, and our students all bring food from their countries. And since our students all have different cultural norms when it comes to punctuality, we get new dishes continually for the first two hours of the dinner.
  2. It's like eating with a really, really big extended family. Our students are all far from home, and they turn to each other to provide the sense of family they miss from the very beginning of the semester. By the time we get to the Thanksgiving dinner, students from different countries are taking pictures with their arms around each other, trying food from each other's countries, and learning words in each other's languages. Being around that kind of camaraderie would make anyone feel good. The food is really just a bonus.
Sartorial: We had a short-lived cool spell on Friday and Saturday (by which I mean it wasn't 80 degrees), which was perfect for an early Thanksgiving. This shirt over a bulky skirt probably wasn't the best choice for disguising the food baby I left the potluck with, but I was warm and I had a belly full of turkey, so honestly I don't think there was much to complain about.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

Have y'all seen this YouTube video, 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes? This is one of the best fashion tutorials I've ever seen. If you live in a colder climate than me and are already running out of ways to wear your scarves, you need to check this out. Here it is:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pre-Bad Hair Day

Academia: This is Wednesday's outfit, and the most important thing I can remember about Wednesday at this point is that I got my hair cut on Tuesday and this was my first time trying it out in public. I just got a couple of layers, which looked good on Wednesday, but were a disaster yesterday. I've had short hair for so long that I'm out of practice doing any kind of styling, but my sister says I need a flat iron and some heat protection products to keep it from frizzing out. Long-haired readers, do you agree? How do you keep your hair looking straight and not frizzy?

Sartorial: This was the fifth or sixth outfit I tried on on Wednesday. Just one of those days. Cary got home before me Wednesday afternoon and said he could tell exactly what kind of morning I had because of the explosion of clothes I left all over the bed. I ended up sticking with jeans and an easy blouse at the last minute. Kind of how I pulled my hair into a ponytail at the last minute yesterday, because omgfrizzymess. Seriously, y'all. Help me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Sooooo, my internet broke last night. As a result, I have no outfit pictures for you today. So sad. It works out okay though, because I was running so late this morning that I didn't have time to take pictures, my hair is a frizzy, humid mess, and I won't get home until after dark. So I'll just post yesterday's outfit tomorrow, and we'll pretend today never happened, okay?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Academia: The end of the semester approacheth. While this semester is nowhere near as wack as last semester was, the end of the semester always feels like that cartoon guy who always gets stuck in a giant snowball rolling down a hill at top speed. Weird analogy? Yeah, maybe. So I apologize for being a bad blogging friend and not commenting on anyone else's blog this week. I promise I'll get my act together soon, as soon as I stop rolling down this hill.

Sartorial: When life is busy, sometimes it's better just to go with simple clothes, and it really doesn't get much simpler than jeans and a white t-shirt. The blazer and the accessories dressed this outfit up enough for work, but I could have easily paired it with sneakers for after-work activities. And since simple clothes meant I didn't need to spend 15 minutes hemming and hawing in front of my closet, I gained 15 minutes of much-needed sleep before a very busy downhill day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Academia: I've been sitting here for an hour trying to think of something to say about what I did in this outfit, other than "I ran around all day and didn't get to eat lunch until after 2:00." But since I ran around all day and didn't get to eat lunch until after 2:00, my creative faculties are suffering a bit. All I've got is "my feet hurt" and "What up with How I Met Your Mother last night?" So yeah. Sorry.

Sartorial: I wore this ensemble to church on Sunday (I always test-run new outfits at church) and my sister said all I needed to become a stereotypical old-fashioned schoolteacher was a ruler and a bun. I didn't want to go quite that far, but looking a little sterner at work couldn't hurt. Maybe I should start making students clap erasers or scrape the gum off the underside of desks if they don't turn in their immunization paperwork on time. That would be totally appropriate, right?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Anatomy of a Disney World Outfit

Academia: Cary and I spent Friday at Disney World in Orlando. We are experienced theme park goers - Cary actually worked at the Magic Kingdom in college - so today I thought I'd share the essentials of dressing for a day at a theme park. So without further ado...

Sartorial: When dressing for a day at a theme park, there are two major things you need to consider: the weather and your feet. Allow me to break them down one at a time.

Weather: You're going to be outside all day, so it's really important to fully understand the weather of wherever you are. If you're going to Disney World anytime between late April and late October, dressing for the heat is crucial. You really can't overestimate how hot and humid Florida is in the summer. Wear breathable fabrics (think loose cotton), bring a poncho, and above all, don't forget your sunscreen. SPF 30 at least.

We were lucky to be at Disney World in November, which is a lovely time of year in Orlando. High temperatures Friday were around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows around 50. I'm a total wimp when it comes to any temperature below 75, so layers were important for me. I started the day dressed as you see above, took the jacket off in the early afternoon, and put it back on around sunset. We saw lots of other tourists from up North who were perfectly happy in shorts and t-shirts, but this native Southerner would have been miserably cold. When it comes to winter weather, know thyself, and dress accordingly.

Feet: I can't overemphasize how crucial it is to wear comfortable shoes for a day in a theme park. You probably know that you'll be walking a lot, but what you may not be thinking about is how much time you'll spend just standing in line - usually 30-60 minutes for the most popular rides. For me, standing in line is just as stressful on my feet and back as walking, so comfy shoes are key.

I wore TOMS on Friday, and they worked pretty well for me. Sneakers are good too; I've worn my Chuck Taylors in the past. Shoes I wouldn't recommend: anything with a heel, flip-flops, new shoes. Trust me: wear your oldest, most broken in shoes. Exception: TOMS, which never need breaking in.

So there you have it, how to dress for a theme park in two easy steps. Just remember your sunscreen and your sneakers, and you're ready for a day of Space Mountain, ice cream in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears, and congratulating yourself on not buying a hoodie with Eeyore on it. Because cartoon hoodies are never necessary. Even at Disney World.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Academia: I'm writing this on Thursday evening, so just a quick note before I head to bed, because it's been a busy day. Cary and I are in Orlando for a weekend of distraction from our neverending cycle of doctor's appointments, and we're having so much fun that I'm totally exhausted and about to collapse into my oh-so-comfy Disney hotel bed. I'll give y'all some more details on Monday, but for now, I'll just share that a night at the movies (the Shakespeare-didn't-write-Shakespeare's-plays conspiracy drama Anonymous), followed by a root beer float, is an excellent way to distract oneself.

Sartorial: I needed to be comfy for the car ride, the walking around, etc., so I went with slouchy boyfriend pants, a t-shirt, and TOMS. Today (Friday) we're heading to the parks, so more comfy clothes are in my immediate future. Stay tuned on Monday to see what kind of clothes work for a day of standing in lines and walking. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Escape and Oxfords

Academia: Just a quick post today because as you read this, Cary and I are heading out for a few days of don't-worry-be-happy escape from our lives at Disney World (which, if you've been reading long enough, you can guess is within fairly easy driving distance from where we live). I'm writing this on Wednesday night and we're trying to pack and clean, so all I have to say is yay Disney, and check out my new shoes!

Sartorial: I happened across these oxfords at Payless earlier this week and had to get them. I've been looking for the right high heeled oxfords for months, and when I saw these, I knew they were the right ones. I'm not quite sure how to style them other than with skinny jeans though. I think I can wear them with a dress and tights, but what about without tights? Will they cut my legs off and make them look short? It's still 80 degrees here, so I need a tights-less option. What do y'all think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mother Knows Best

Academia: So I think all the hormones I'm taking to get pregnant are prematurely turning me into a mom. And I don't mean the mom of a baby, which is what you'd think baby-making hormones would do. I mean the mom of teenagers who make the same mistakes over and over and need to be nagged.

Yesterday I fussed at an 18-year-old student who had gotten his eight jillionth traffic ticket. Normally I just help my students pay their tickets, but this kid is ridiculously horrible at following traffic laws, so I pulled his friend who speaks better English into the office and got him to translate the mom-like tirade I went on, complete with, "Seriously, another ticket?" and "You still don't have a US license? You're lucky you didn't get two tickets!" I got a sheepish smile and a promise to hightail it to the DMV, but I have a feeling that a repeat of this conversation is in my future.

And then another student fell off his skateboard and I had to spend the afternoon at the infirmary while he got treated for a sprained ankle. Jeez, I really am a mom.

Sartorial: Half my outfit came from Loft, which can lean towards middle-aged mom-ish if you're not careful, but I think the Cambridge t-shirt and animal print flats jazzed it up enough to not make me look like the mother of teenagers yesterday. You know, in spite of all the nagging that went on.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Legs

Academia: Thanks for your kind words yesterday, y'all. I feel like I keep e-melting down and y'all keep cheering me up, so thanks for bearing with me. My mom told me yesterday that when you're going through something hard, like infertility or the death of a loved one or losing your job or breaking up with someone, you just have to keep living, and do things that distract you and make you happy. Writing this blog and knowing y'all makes me happy.

Sartorial: Another thing that makes me happy is wearing purple tights. Horrible clunky segue, I know. Just humor me. Today is colored tights day on Everybody Everywear, so I pulled out this lovely pair and they made my legs feel cheery all day. I wore this exact outfit more than once last winter, and it's one of my favorites, so y'all can definitely expect to see it again.

Colored Tights | Everybody, Everywear

Bonus happy things: The creme-brulee-sized sweet potato pie my friend Melina brought me at work yesterday, the new Three Musketeers movie (so cheesy, so fun), and these two spoken-word poetry performances that my friend Debra emailed me yesterday. She says the first one is for fighting the good fight and the second is for feeling good, so if you need to fight or feel good (and who doesn't?), check them out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Infertility, You Suck

Hi, y'all. I don't have an outfit photo for you today. Cary and I found out over the weekend that our first attempt at getting pregnant through infertility treatment was unsuccessful, so I spent most of the weekend laying around in pajamas, not looking cute, and certainly not taking pictures of myself.

So as not to be a total bummer, though, I leave you with this video. I dare you to watch it and not laugh. And then not run out and get yourself a cat, because cats may be aloof and occasionally smelly, but they will never do this to you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recommended Reading

Academia and Sartorial: It's Homecoming weekend at my university, and when you live in a town that owes its entire existence to a university, Homecoming tends to shut everything down. The university, all of the schools, and many businesses are closed today for the Homecoming parade, and there's a big pep rally tonight. Cary and I are skipping all of that because 1) we've done it all several times before, 2) our football team kinda sucks right now, and 3) my grandmother's 80th birthday party is tomorrow. So we're at my parents' house for the weekend instead, and this is what I wore yesterday for work and the drive down.

Fun Stuff: Friend Friday is all about books today. I love to read, so I'm really excited about this. We're supposed to share either our five favorite or five that we've read recently. I'm going with my five favorite. In no particular order, here they are:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I've mentioned before on this blog how much I love this book, but I'll say it again. This is the best book ever. It has everything you'd ever want in a book. I named my cat after one of the characters. It's that great.
  2. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. I'm counting the whole trilogy as one book, since that's how Tolkien wrote it. Best part: Frodo and Sam's final climb up Mount Doom. It's such a great trilogy that I hate to say there's a worst part, but here it is: the Council of Elrond. Five minutes in the movie, fifty pages in the book, during which the plot completely ground to a halt.
  3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I know it's not politically trendy to like Ayn Rand right now, but I really loved this book. Beyond the philosophical message of the book, which is definitely interesting whether or not you agree with it, it had strong characters and a great plot. And now I know what "Who is John Galt?" means, so I feel like I'm on the inside of an inside joke when people say it.
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. It was hard to pick one Harry Potter book above the rest (shout-out to Prisoner of Azkaban), but Deathly Hallows really had it all: a fast-paced, heart-pounding plot, a killer battle scene, a make-out session inspired by house elves, and formerly tame characters being total badasses (what's up, Neville Longbottom and Mrs. Weasley). Plus, the whole book (and really the whole series) was a wonderful reflection on love and death, and the power the former gives us over the latter. Definitely not just for kids, y'all.
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read this book approximately 587 times when I was a kid. Really, every little girl should read this book. Even though it's 150 years old, what it has to say about young women and how they relate to each other and the world still holds up.
So there you have it, y'all. My five favorite books of all time. There are tons of books that I love, but these are the five that will stick with me for the rest of my life. What about y'all? What are your favorite books?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sister, Sister

Sorry about the pictures today. I wanted to see if I liked the flash settings on the new camera better than without the flash. I don't. 

Also, I'm still trying to figure out the appropriate amount of zoom.
Academia: A pretty normal day at work, except I got to have lunch with my lovely sister! My sister is a nanny, and as the child she nannies for gets older and my future niece or nephew gets closer to being born, her work hours are becoming more flexible, which means that we can have lunch once a week or so. It's such a nice break in the middle of the day and I love having the time to catch up with her. Living in the same town as adults is great.

Sartorial: After wearing a fancy dress and heels on Tuesday, I swung in completely the opposite direction yesterday and went as cozy as possible - boyfriend pants, slouchy cardigan, and TOMS. Perfect for a slightly chilly (for the Deep South) November day, and for sister lunch time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

$40 Anthropologie Dress!

Brian's Etsy Shop 

Academia: The title says it all, y'all. Part of my weekend of relaxation included going to a fancy mall to ogle the designer clothes and jewelry, at the kind of stores that wouldn't put a toe in my rural college town. I didn't expect to buy anything, but when I went into Anthropologie, my favorite store to drool all over, I found this awesome dress in the sale room. It was marked down from $140 to $40, approximately what I would spend on a dress at Target. Anthro dress for Target price? Yes, please.

Sartorial: There are a lot of things I love about this dress. First and foremost, the circle skirt. I went to the bathroom at work just to spin around in front of the mirror at least once yesterday. Second, the color and the pattern. I never knew I loved kelly green and black, but I do. Third, did I mention the price?

I felt so pretty in this all day, and I got a lot of compliments, which was really nice. I'm pretty sure I can dress this down or up, and it can transition between seasons by adding or taking away tights. Expect to see a lot of this dress, y'all. I love it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Drink Up, Me Hearties, Yo Ho

Brian's Etsy Shop. Also, my angry pirate face. Arrrrr. 
First pictures with my new, free camera! What do y'all think? 

Academia: One of the very best parts of working with international students is getting to do cultural holidays reaaallly big. Like, wear a costume to work on Halloween big. I haven't dressed up in the last few years, but this time I figured, how often to I get to wear a costume? Exactly never. So drink up, me hearties - I decided to go as a pirate.

All the students seemed to think it was fun, albeit a little weird, that I had dressed up, but the reactions from my colleagues were way more interesting. My friend Victoria saw me in the hall and at first glance said, "Oh, are you a pirate?" Then she looked closer and said, "Oh my gosh, are you a really cute pirate?" Why, yes. Yes I am. I mean, aye. Arrrrr.

Sartorial: Honestly, I decided to be a pirate because I already had or could borrow the pieces of the costume. I've worn the tunic, t-shirt, leggings, and boots in normal, non-piratey outfits, but the addition of Brian's jewelry and Cary's Jack Sparrow hat (he uses it as a thinking hat in his classroom) took the whole outfit from cozy fall ensemble to buccaneer chic. I didn't have the Jack Sparrow eyeliner, but I felt quite swashbuckling all day anyway. Avast! Arrr! Yo ho, y'all.
Blog contents © Academia Sartorial 2010. Blogger Theme by Nymphont.