Friday, November 18, 2011

I Couldn't Stay Away

At least the sun's out

And look, I've totally forgotten how to take a proper outfit photo after just a week off from style blogging! Just as I thought I had everything all figured out, I spotted this dress at Loft. It was half off, and with my $20 "rewards coupon" (which means I spend WAY too much of my money at Loft), it ended up being $20. Stylenation, you know I can't pass up a good deal.


I love the cute lace yolk styling on the neckline and the elastic waist that was just begging to be belted.  And I thought that being 2 neutrals that are already pretty heavily represented in my wardrobe, it'd be easy to work into my rotation.  The problem is the high neckline.  I ended up pairing it with a black boyfriend cardigan that would accommodate the shape of the neckline.  But that's the best I could do.  And you know I need some more color than this.  How would you style this dress?


Dress: Loft
Cardigan: Ann Taylor
Belt and tights: Target
Earrings and Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Born

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheers for the memories

Hello Style Nation.  After Anne's very sweet "stepping back" post, I thought I'd say a few words before I sign off the style blogging world for now.  Since I last posted many moons ago, I feel that my priorities have shifted towards new things.  I still really love style and I read many blogs still (although my ability to comment has gone).  But after some good long talks with the Blokey, accompanied by some money related goals, I've decided to basically stop buying clothes as much as possible, and not blogging helps a lot with that. I pretty much wear black, grey, and other neutrals all the time.  Hopefully still in a stylish way.  One of my grad students, who is a self-declared shopaholic, told me yesterday that I "dressed well."  (I was flattered.  The other students made fun of him).

(A pretty typical outfit lately.  I also wore a knee length pencil skirt, black tights, and 3 year old black kitten heels)

But in addition, I've had lots of new, exciting things that I've been involved with.  Surely you didn't think someone who calls themselves "Rad" would sit on the sidelines during Occupy Wall Street?   This requires multiple, 3 hour (sometimes longer!) "participatory democracy" based meetings every week, in which everything is discussed, at length.  (Did you see the video with Ketchup on Colbert Report?  The hand signals are about right).  In addition to my participation in a couple working groups, I've also recently become an "irregular correspondent" on a Chicago-based community radio program, This is Hell.  Well, it's not official yet, but I agreed to it on air last weekend.  This is all on top of this my usual teaching/research/service, as well as a running regimen.  Lastly, Steven and I are in the midst of a key marital dispute over whether to get a dog (I say yes; he tries not to roll his eyes). 

Hope all is well and I will continue to follow your blogs on Googlereader.  I do not have plans for any additional blogs, but perhaps I'll have a political one in the future.  In the meantime, happy November to all!  If anyone comes to NYC, I'd love to meet up for some herbal tea (which is in the cup above) and many some Caribbean food.

Taking a Step Back


11/09 close-up

I don't know how to say this aside from just coming out and saying it - I'm going to be stepping back a bit from this blog right now.  It's not that I don't like sharing my office style with you all, but I just don't feel like I have a lot to actually write about here.  Sartorially, I've gotten myself into a pretty good groove.  Some may call it a rut, but what I've come to realize is that it's just my own personal style.  I've found it, and since it's pretty consistent, there's less posts where I'm experimenting with new looks or seeking advice on how to wear things.  I'm just happy and comfortable with the way I'm dressing, which is a pretty good place to reach.  Now I have outfit photos just sitting on my desktop, waiting to be posted because I don't have much to say about them.  I'll still be posting outfits, but probably not as often.  Meanwhile, if you need your fill of me in the blogosphere, you're welcome to check out my photo blog, where I'm currently about halfway through my own 365 project.  And because I really enjoy writing and clearly needed another blog, I recently started up a personal blog.  So there you have it.

And who knows, maybe this opens the door for Rad to finally return to TCC :)

Cardigan: Target
Tank: Loft Outlet
Pants and Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Tsubo

Monday, November 7, 2011

Going the Distance



Dress, cardigan and tights: Target
Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Born

Happy Monday, all! How was your weekend? Mine was incredibly busy. Fella and I both had family visiting from out of town, so it was fun to catch up with everyone. And on top of all of the family time, we participated in the Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k. Fella and his friend ran the 15k, and I did the 5k with a few girlfriends. I did my first 5k back in May of 2010, but it had been so long, I forgot about how awesome it feels to actually finish one. I'm not generally a big runner, so I didn't train as much as I could have. I'm hoping to do another one later this year, and with some actual training, I'd like to knock about 3 minutes off my time. Anyway, the run was bright and early on Saturday morning. It was a perfect day to run through the streets of downtown Chicago, and our reward for finishing was - you guessed it - chocolate!  We received Ghiradelli chocolate squares, hot chocolate and fondue.  Totally worth running for.

Michigan Ave at Jackson, early am
Before the run, downtown Chicago at about 7:15am

Running on S. Michigan Ave
Running along Michigan Avenue

Chicago Skyline
The Chicago skyline at the post-race party

Me and Fella, post-race
Me and Fella after the run

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Can't Stop Wearing This Dress


I feel like I wear this dress a lot, so much so that I had considered making it take a little break.  But apparently I haven't blogged it nearly as much as I've worn it, so at least you all won't get sick of it just yet.  It's a great print in colors that are easy to style around, comfortable and flattering, so I can't help myself.  What piece(s) do you have that you just can't stop wearing?

        06/06/11    08/31/11 


This close-up was intended to show you my brooch-wielding (or my necklace emboobening), but since I'm also sharing my puffy undereyes with the blogosphere, can we talk skin care for a moment?  As in, can any of you recommend an eye cream that actually works?  I've been using Clinique's All About Eyes Rich for a while, and though it feels nice, it hasn't done much for the puffiness.  Before that, I tried Garnier's Skin-Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller and a few others that I can't remember off-hand.  Most recently, Fresh Lotus Eye Gel was recommended to me.  But before I shell out $50 on another eye cream, I want another opinion.

Dress: Target (remixed, as above)
Cardigan: The Limited (remixed)
Necklace and brooch: New York & Company
Tights: Target
Boots: Eddie Bauer

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy (belated) Halloween!



And more importantly, happy November!  How on earth did it get to be November already?  I think I've said that at the start of every month this year.  But really.  Anyway, what did you all do to celebrate Halloween?  Fella and I aren't big Halloween people.  It's a fun holiday when you're a kid, and it's been fun seeing all of my friends' adorable kiddies all dressed up.  And I may be hunting for dog Halloween costumes which should hopefully now be on sale (I've had my eye on this banana costume for Jude and cow costume for Meko). But dressing up as a grown-up?  Eh, it's not for me.  Though we did carve pumpkins and stock up on candy.  On Saturday night, which was the big Halloween party night around here, we turned down an invitation to go out with our neighbors and stayed in and grilled and watched Crazy Heart (I know, we're SO behind on movies) instead.  And above is my not festive work ensemble from yesterday.

Privo purple heels

Cardigan: Target
Tank: Loft
Pants: New York & Company
Necklace: The Limited
Shoes: Privo
Sunglasses: Loft

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween from Meko & Jude pumpkins!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Can We Just Start Today Over?

Closet 10-28 003

Happy Friday morning to y'all! Do you ever have mornings that you'd like to totally do over? Or avoid all together? Yeah, today was one of those. Cara over at City Girl Chicago posted her morning routine today, so I'm going to share mine. This is more or less how my morning goes on a typical office day.

5:30am: Alarm goes off. Fella pops out of bed, hits snooze.  Jude snuggles up with us.
5:37am: Alarm goes off yet again. I very slowly get out of bed and grumble about the downstairs neighbor's dog keeping us up all night with his barking. Totally don't understand how my neighbor sleeps through this, or thinks that we don't hear it and doesn't think that it's just a bit rude to let your dog bark for 10 minutes at a time ALL NIGHT LONG (Can you tell I'm really annoyed?). Anyway.
5:40am: Start a pot of coffee. Both dogs run into the kitchen, thinking it might be time to go outside or eat something. It's not. Check email while waiting for coffee to finish. Pour a cup loaded with Bailey's toffee almond creamer, knowing it'll be just the temperature I like once I get out of the shower.
5:49am: Shower, moisturize, blow-dry bangs, suck down coffee.
6:10am: Get dressed in the dark since the sun is nowhere close to coming up this early anymore.
6:20am: Hair & make-up.
6:40am: Wake Fella up, get dogs ready to go on their walks. They don't generally walk very well together, so Fella and I take them on separate walks every morning. We're pretty dedicated dog owners.
7:00am: Feed dogs, make breakfast-to-go, pack lunch, computer, coffee travel mug in work bag. Take OOTD photos even though it's STILL dark out.
7:15am: Fly out the door to walk a mile to the train station.
7:37am: Catch Metra train up to the Northern 'burbs for the first 20 miles of my commute.
8:22am: Arrive at my stop. Proceed to wait for company-chartered shuttle bus to drive the last 9 miles to my office. Keep waiting...
8:45am: Bus finally arrives. It's cool, I didn't want to get to work on time today anyway. Think that maybe I should've driven to work, though that would be bad for the environment and the traffic coming home would make me regret that. Probably should've just worked from home.
9:10am: Finally sit down at my desk, nearly 2 hours after leaving the house and 3.5 hours after waking up. Ugh!

So yeah, I'm a big ball of sunshine today. I am, however, really looking forward to the weekend. We were so busy with house stuff last weekend that I didn't get much time for r&r. I don't have much planned, though we're heading to see Moneyball with a friend on Sunday, and having dinner with Fella's family. What are you guys up to? And what does your morning routine look like?

Tee: Loft
Scarf: Target
Jeans: Old Navy
Sneakers: Converse

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Golden Autumn Day


When I bought this dress back in August, I wondered about other ways to style it than just with some sandals.  The weather has, indeed, cooled off, making way for a scarf and some boots.  I think the dress works pretty well in a fall iteration.  We had gorgeous 70 degree weather yesterday (though with some intermittent rain), but it's cooled back down today and sort of looking like rain.  I kind of miss the warmer weather of August and I'm not looking forward to winter, but it's nice to have more options with my clothes than wearing as little as possible because it's really hot out.  How about you?  Do you prefer warm weather or cooler weather dressing?

Dress: New York & Company
Scarf and tights: Target
Boots: Eddie Bauer
Sunglasses: Loft

Monday, October 24, 2011



Happy Monday, Stylenation!  I'm working from home today, but here's an unblogged outfit I wore last week.  Nothing too exciting to say about it - I was just keeping warm and cozy on a chilly fall day.

Cardigan: Old Navy (remixed)
Tank: Ann Taylor Factory Store (remixed)
Pants: New York & Company
Scarf: Embellish
Flats: born

How was your weekend?  Mine was incredibly busy.  Fella and I went out to celebrate friends' birthdays on Friday and Saturday night, and the rest of the weekend was spent being super domestic.

We finally painted our dining room.  Here's what it looked like when we moved in.  The room's makeover isn't quite finished yet, but here's what the new colors look like.  The trim was a chocolate brown before, which was okay, but I wanted to go a little more bold.  The top part of the walls are Dapper Tan by Glidden, and the bottom is Behr's Ruby Ring.

Dining room

While not painting, I did a ton of cooking.  Cooler fall weather always makes me want to be in the kitchen.  I made chili and cornbread for dinner last night, and pumpkin pie cookies for dessert.

Chili & cornbread

Pumpkin pie cookies

Friday, October 21, 2011

Giving In To... Oxfords


Has there ever been a trend party that you've been super late to?  My most notable one thus far has been leggings.  I remember them being kind of big while I was growing up in the 80's, but it took me until just this year to finally snag a pair.  And now I'm finally embracing oxfords.  Rad has had a pretty sweet pair for a while now (so great, she even wore them to her wedding reception), but they never felt like my style.  I even remember girls at my high school wearing heeled oxfords with their uniforms and again, I liked them, but didn't think they were for me.  I've been seeing them all over the blogosphere this fall, and what finally did me in was Kristen of Low Fat Dressing's post devoted to her 3 awesome pairs of Franco Sarto oxford booties.  I had to have a pair of oxfords, and I finally decided to treat myself.  So after 15 years of admiring the style, I'm finally on board with a pair of my own.  What trend have you spent half a lifetime warming up to?


Sweater & Necklace: The Limited
Skirt: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Shoes: Born

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Not-So-Summer Skirt


The last time I wore this skirt, in a pretty similar color scheme in March, I noted that I was breaking the rules by wearing a warm weather skirt while it was still really cold out.  I was such a rebel back then, wasn't I?  The funny thing is, the skirt didn't get worn during the summer at all.  It's one of the many skirts and dresses I have that are too short for summer's bare legs, but I'm totally fine with wearing when it's cool enough to sport some tights underneath.

Cardigan & Skirt: The Limited
Tank: Gap (it's got some cute detailing that you can kind of sort of see here)
Necklace: New York & Company
Headband: Loft
Tights and Sunnies: Target
Boots: Eddie Bauer

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Little Fancy for a Monday

Closet 10-16 007

This outfit feels like it's way too nice for a Monday, like I'm totally wasting it by wearing it to work.  Do you ever feel that way about what you're wearing?  Nonetheless, I couldn't keep passing over this dress in my closet, hoping for something more fun than work to wear it for.  I'm sure I'll get a chance soon, perhaps around the holidays, but in the meantime, it was just wrong to let this dress hang in my closet, unworn.  It's a comfy wrap dress that isn't a neckline offender, though I've covered up the modest neckline with Meko's leopard print circle scarf.  You can see the full dress here, since I didn't capture the detail too well.  The hat didn't make it to work - I'm just sparing you all a bad hair day.  Though sometimes I do wish hats were office-appropriate.  That'd save me SO much time in the morning.

Dress: The Limited
Belt, hat and tights: Target
Scarf: The Limited
Boots: Eddie Bauer

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn Leaves are Brown, and the Sky is Gray


I knew our awesome unseasonably warm and sunny fall weather had to come to an end soon, and it did yesterday. It rained pretty much all day, and this morning, although the sun is shining again, it's dropped below 50. But it's not snowing or freezing, so it could be worse.

 I've been kind of bad about mentioning what item(s) is being rescued for No Repeats, but I have been digging through the depths of my closet and/or unpacked moving boxes. This sweater hasn't seen the blog since February 25th.  I like the space-dyed pattern of it, but the color totally washes me out, so it needs to be paired with bright, bold colors to prevent that.  Similar to how Kristen broke up her all-cream-on-top ensemble with a bold teal scarf.  I bought this sweater before I had a good handle on which colors I should probably avoid, but tricks like this help me dress around that.

Cardigan: Gap Outlet
Tank: Target
Jeans: Old Navy
Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Born

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One More Day in Sandals

Some days there's just not much to say about an outfit. Today is one of those days. I haven't been to the office since Thursday, so I was less than enthused this morning. I wanted to just throw on some jeans, but there's a client visit somewhere in my building at some point in time today, and whether or not I actually cross paths with them, there's no jeans allowed during client visits. A knit jersey dress is a nice back-up, and I'm glad these sandals are getting another wear before it gets too cold for them. And before I throw them out, since they're just about falling apart. It's sad how run into the ground these sandals are, but they've definitely been loved the past 2 summers.

Dress: Old Navy
Cardigan: Target
Belt, Necklace and Earrings: New York & Company
Sandals: Aerosoles
Sunglasses: Target

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I {heart} Fall

Fall foilage

Have I ever mentioned how much I love fall?  The only thing I love more is a fall with sunny, unseasonably warm weather, which allows me to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the season.  And this weekend, I've done plenty of that.


This is a fairly simple outfit, totally copied from Rebecca's post on MinnChic the other day.  The scarf was last seen on Meko.  She totally wears it better, but thankfully, she was nice enough to let me borrow it.

Tee: Loft
Pants: Loft Outlet
Scarf: Limited
Shoes: Puma

Dogs, post-bath

Speaking of the dogs, one outdoor thing we did this weekend was give both the dogs a bath.  There probably won't be many more weekends where it's warm enough to hose them down in the backyard, so Fella and I took advantage of the weather.  They look happy here, but they were less than thrilled about baths.

Montrose Harbor

I also went on 3 bike rides this weekend, logging close to 35 miles!  Above, was a ride down to Montrose Habor on Friday.

International Friendship Garden in Evanston

Yesterday Fella and I took a 17 mile ride up to Evanston and back.  Here he is above, in the International Friendship Garden in Evanston.  It's just beautiful, though definitely a trek to get up there.  We decided that, should we get another nice Saturday, we'll pack up some snacks and just ride as far north as we can.  And probably take our bikes home on the train, since I don't know how much I can ride beyond 20 miles or so.

River Park

Here's some pretty flowers and plants in River Park on Chicago's north side.  I don't think it's technically one of the city's prairie areas, but it reminds me a lot of what I've seen in prairie habitats around here.

Sunday morning skyline

And this morning I took a ride down to the lake, hoping to see some of the Chicago Marathon.  The northern edge of the route is just west of where this picture was taken, but alas, I didn't see any marathon runners.  I did, however, see a pretty, somewhat hazy city skyline.

How are you enjoying fall?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Plain and Simple


What would the Midwest be without unseasonal weather?  After a week of rain, cooler temps and gray skies, this week has been sunny, gorgeous and warm!  I'm trying to fit in sandals and bare legs a few more times before it gets too cold for that.  I have two pretty simple outfits here because I just haven't felt like putting a lot of effort into dressing for work this week.  It happens.  I bought some new tops at the outlet mall over the weekend, so I was eager to mix them in.  And wouldn't you know, they go pretty easily with black bottoms.



Tee: Loft Outlet
Pants, Cami and Necklace: New York & Company
Sandals: Aerosoles

Cardigan: Ann Taylor Factory Store
Tank: Loft Outlet
Skirt: Target
Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Tsubo

Monday, October 3, 2011

Date Night and Girls Weekend


Greetings, Stylenation.  I've had a busy few days since my last post!  On Friday (above), Fella and I had a date to see the Fleet Foxes play downtown at the Chicago Theater.  They're one of my favorite bands, and they definitely didn't disappoint.  If you haven't heard them before, they're described as "baroque pop," and have kind of a 60's vibe to me.  They're a band for music nerds like me - their music incorporates things like tempo changes, key changes, complex harp-like vocal harmonies and themes borrowed from gospel and folk alike.  So yeah, I'd recommend checking them out.

Top: Target
Cami and Earrings: New York & Company
Jeans: Old Navy
Scarf: Loft
Boots: Rampage

Chicago Theater

Fleet Foxes
(more pictures from the show posted here)

On Saturday morning, I drove to Frankenmuth, MI, a small city known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria," to meet one of my girlfriends, who currently lives in Cleveland, for a girls weekend.  We went to high school together and were roommates together when I first lived in Chicago, but now that we live 6 hours apart, we don't get to see each other too often, rarely without at least one of our boyfriends in tow.  We enjoyed a weekend of spa time, good eats, adult beverages, dips in the hotel hot tub, beautiful fall weather and outlet mall shopping.

Covered Bridge on the Cass River

This is the Covered Bridge over the river.  Next to the bridge is a shopping center, complete with a spa that we visited upon arriving to town to kick the trip off with some pampering.

Horse & Buggy on Main Street

The downtown tourist district, which lies along the Cass River, is laid out like a small German town, full of cute shops, markets and restaurants.

Say Cheese!

Getting cheesy.  I remember this cheese block from trips to Frankenmuth as a kid (because most kids growing up in Northwestern Ohio go there at some point).  And it's even older than me - my mom was able to drive up to Michigan to meet me for lunch today, and she told me about girls trips she and her sisters took to Frankenmuth before they were all married, and all of the goofy pictures they have with this block of cheese.  So that mouse is pretty well preserved.

Wine and Chocolate Tour

On Sunday, we took a wine and chocolate tasting cruise on the river.  It was amazing!  They paired 5 delicious locally made wines with all kinds of tasty treats.  I may have come home with 4 bottles of wine and about a pound of fudge.

Maypole fountain

All in all, it was a pretty great weekend.  And we're already looking forward to another girls trip next year.