Friday, April 29, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

Happy Friday!  Is it me, or has this week kind of flown by?  This weekend, instead of relaxing and finally catching up on my sleep, or starting to pack for our move (which is just over a month away - yikes!), I'm headed to Ohio for a dear friend's baby shower, and to see my family.  It's been since January, so it'll be nice to see everyone, but not waking up at 6am on Saturday would be nice too.  Just saying.

What are you up to this weekend?

Cardigan: Loft
Tank: Ann Taylor Factory Store
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Privo
Necklace: New York & Company

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trying Something New...ish

A few weeks back when I saw everyone sporting their maxi best over at Everybody, Everywhere, I really admired the looks that I was seeing, but hadn't considered it for myself.  I don't know why I've always had a thing against maxi skirts and dresses.  I had a ton of long skirts and dresses back in the mid-to-late 90's when I think they were in (well, at least I thought they were in!), so maybe I got burnt out on those.  And I've always heard that showing a little leg looks better than not.  I stuck to all of that until I saw this dress while cashing in some store credits and coupons.  The print was so pretty, I had to try it on.  I think shorter dresses may still look better on me, but I honestly don't care - maxi dresses are so comfortable!

Dress, Earrings & Bracelet: New York & Company
Cardigan: Target
Sandals: Unisa, via Piperlime

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Technical Difficulties

I mentioned in my last post that one casualty of our vacation was my camera.  Fella bought it for me for my birthday last year, and it was pretty great for being a handheld not so fancy point & shoot.  I was pretty bummed when he returned from a hike at Yosemite and told me the camera had run up against a rock and was no longer working properly. He tried to fix it, but to no avail.  So, just in time for another birthday, he bought me a brand new camera.  It's an upgrade from the last one, and it's already taken some great pictures so far.  In addition to the last half of our vacation photos, I snapped this one at the Arcade Fire concert on Sunday night.

Arcade Fire
Not too shabby for being up in the balcony (neither was the show - Arcade Fire are pretty awesome live!). The bad news though is that I'm still getting used to the new camera's settings and such for taking outfit photos.  For example, pictures like this happened.

Poorly timed and blurry!  So bear with me.  And believe me when I say this outfit was even cuter than it photographed.

Skirt, Cardigan & Tights: Target
Tank: Ann Taylor Outlet
Necklace: New York & Company
Shoes: Sears (c 2005 I think?)

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Rumsfeld-esque experiment

I don't know if this belongs our style blog, but it's a lifestyle issue, and my ability to wear the clothes I love is tied to my health and fitness.  I visited Minneapolis (very short trip, and I wish I could have met some StyleNation members,* but it was for 48 hours and I had many academic meetings, all fun).  One of my dearest former professors had a rigged standing desk set up in his office at school.  He had a few boxes, some made of wood, and stacked books.  I have been intrigued with the standing desk for a while. You've probably read by now that scientists believe that our sitting intensive lifestyles will kill all of us, no matter how much exercise we do when we're not sitting at a desk.  As I've mentioned before, I am all torso height-wise, which is great for rocking a bikini but awful for sitting.  Most chair and desk heights do not work for me, and like most I slump my shoulders forward.  And I am fidgety and prefer standing most of the time (except in tall shoes), so today I took the plunge.  Here's what I've done so far:

(yes there is a huge blue JOCKEY pamphlet in my junky file box.  It's a coupon for future underwear purchases).
I've been standing a couple hours now and I notice that I can keep my shoulders back more easily.  I sway a lot and fidget more.  I walk away a bit easier to get water and go to the toilet and I can pace when I want to think.  I will take some sitting breaks every so often.  Oh, and I'm barefoot, although I am generally barefoot or at most be-socked in the home. 
I will report back about my Donald Rumsfeld experiment later this week (I go in on Thursday to teach but I plan to park my feet here for the most part).  He's not the only one: Benjamin Franklin and Ernest Hemingway also reported used standing desks.
Would you consider a standing desk?  How do you feel about sitting? Do you have a great ergonomic set up and good habits or do you need something more?

I did have the pleasure of seeing Sal, as she works on campus, for an hour.  It was fun and uplifting.  We talked about bikes, real estate, urban living, style, families.  She is so full of lightness and joy, and had the best shoes.  I highly recommend this. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Happy Easter, Stylenation!  Fella and I got back from our trip to California last night.  The trip was pretty great, save for a broken camera and some nasty food poisoning, and we saw a lot of really cool stuff.  That said, it's good to be back in Chicago, sleep in my own bed again and most importantly, see Jude again!  Here's a few pictures from the trip.

Europe Street
We spent the first part of the trip in Hollywood, where above, we went to Universal Studios. My new ride is bolted to the ground, though I'm sure it'd be fun riding along the winding roads and hills of Hollywood.

Santa Monica Pier
After leaving the LA area, we stopped at the Santa Monica Pier for some quality beach time.

We drove along the coast and saw some pretty beautiful sunsets over the Pacific.  This one was just south of San Simeon.

Hearst Castle
We visited the Hearst Castle. It's a pretty amazing place, you know, if you're into giant mansions situated on the top of a hill, overlooking the ocean.

Highway 1
Continuing north, we traveled on Highway 1 along the central coast.  It was gorgeous, but a little terrifying for this midwestern gal to drive on narrow, winding roads on cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.

We stopped in Carmel while visiting the Monterey Peninsula.  It was a little too cold for swimming, but nice to walk along the beach.

Mariposa Grove
Our next stop was Yosemite National Park.  We got to see giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove.  I mean seriously, these trees are huge!

Yosemite Waterfall
Yosemite is also home to beautiful waterfalls, which are especially great to see in April because the snow on the mountains is beginning to melt.

Napa Valley
After leaving Yosemite, we stopped in Napa to visit my brother and some wineries.  Unfortunately for me, I was recovering from aforementioned food poisoning while in Napa, so I couldn't actually try any wine.  But lucky for Fella, he had me to drive him around the region.  The countryside there is just beautiful, but since our camera broke in Yosemite, we didn't get a ton of pictures in Napa.  So shoot, we'll have to go back.

Bay Bridge Sunset
Our next stop was the Bay area.  First we went to Oakland to see the first show of the first ever Railroad Revival Tour. The picture above is the sun setting over the Bay Bridge, as seen from Middle Harbor Shoreline Park.

Golden Gate Bridge
We spent our last day of the trip in San Francisco. We walked the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, and drove across the bridge into Sausalito in Marin County. I was disappointed at the lack of Sausalito Cookies there, but the bridge was pretty cool anyway.

Lombard Street
We also walked up and down Lombard Street.  I have no idea how people in San Francisco deal with all of those hills on a daily basis - my calves definitely got a workout!

I'm slowly getting caught up on all of your blogs since I've had pretty limited internet access lately, but I hope you've all had a good couple of weeks!

Thursday, April 14, 2011



Hello, Style Nation!  While Anne is off enjoying sunny California, I thought I'd break my self-imposed sabbatical.  I've had a crazy busy semester, but it's been productive and good.  I finally feel like I'm reaching something like balance, and towards the end of my third year as a professor and a New Yorker, I feel more confident about my abilities and about belonging.  Like other esteemed style colleagues, I am counting down the weeks until end of term, but we still have a while to go.  In fact, my 13 day spring break starts tonight at 7:40.  I have mountains of grading to do, but I am excited nonetheless. Please excuse my cranky face.  I think I've lost my outfit taking mojo. 
During my "sabbatical" as SFE called it, I spent a lot of time reading (for fun and for the career), writing, writing some more, and eating/cooking. I thought a lot about politics.  I read Your Money or Your Life, and then Blokey and I set up clear financial goals.  We donated some money to progressive causes/Japan.  I re-united with graduate school friends in Montreal and networked with strangers (and didn't die of embarrassment).  I made some good connections at another conference in Chicago.  I go swept up in barefoot-style/forefoot strike running (then screwed up my knees, and now my foot, but I am still dedicated).  I've now been on GAAD since mid July, and thrifted 4 times, a total of $80 (plus some shoes).  I sat around thinking on planes and trains.  It's been a good break.
I've been chatting with Anne about my future on this blog.  (I've had the fortune to visit Chicago twice and we'll go once more in the summer).  I think I will probably continue to blog, but my interest in my clothes has gone down.  I apologize for my sporadic commenting, but I do still read all of your blogs on my Google Reader.  I still like clothes and styles, and I still like looking at your blogs (so fun and so necessary to break up long teaching/writing days), but my participation in Style Nation will probably take a back seat to some of the other things on my plate.

Blazer: Esprit
Shirt: Macy's
Skirt: H&M
Tights: Target
Flats: Payless

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane


Well Style Nation, I'm happy to report that my much-needed and long-awaited vacation is finally here!  I don't know how much time I'll have for blogging while I'm traveling, but I can at least share my travel outfit.  I didn't really plan to coordinate with my suitcase, it just sort of happened.

Favorite new green necklace detail


Jude has never been more excited to hop into a picture with me, which makes it all the more sad that he isn't going with us.  Instead, he's hanging out with Fella's parents while we're gone, so I think he'll be okay.

I'll leave you with this, since I'm incapable of flying without thinking of this song.  The Peter, Paul & Mary version is my favorite.

Jacket: Old Navy
Tee: Loft
Skirt: Target
Necklace: Hazel
Shoes: Privo
Suitcase: Going-out-of-business sale at some luggage store in the Chicago loop, c. 2006

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dressing Around a Sunburn


Here's what I wore to work yesterday.  I had a really hard time figuring out what to wear that would cover all of my sunburn, because I got burnt while wearing a v-neck, and a majority of my tops and dresses have some sort of v-neck to them.  I decided a scarf would be the way to go, but of course I had to find a scarf that wouldn't be too itchy.  I should probably just wear sunscreen at all times to prevent this.  If you look, you can see the burn peeking out.  I've been blasting it with Solarcaine to make it a little less red and obnoxious, which actually seems to be working.


I've never  been a fan of leggings and flats underneath a dress on me before, but I couldn't stand to wear tights again after our 80 degree day on Sunday.  It cooled down to 60 and windy, so I wasn't feeling bare legs either.  Transitional weather is so tricky sometimes.

Fella, oblivious to the camera and picture-taking going on

I mentioned the other day that I usually try to take my outfit pictures ahead of time.  Mornings are just too busy and crowded around here.  Fella didn't realize I was taking pictures and hopped into the shot to write a note to our dog walker.

"Hey Fella, you're in the shot"

And this is right as I'm telling Fella he's in the shot.  Oh well.  Have a nice Tuesday, everyone!

Cardigan, dress and leggings: Target
Scarf: Embellish
Flats: Born

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not an Outfit Post

Good morning, Style Nation!  How was your weekend?  Mine was busy.  So busy that I don't have an outfit post for you today.  I typically take my outfit pictures ahead of time, but I didn't have the chance, so I'll just post that later today or tomorrow.  I can tell you that today's outfit is built around covering an unfortunately placed sunburn.  It was 80 degrees here in Chicago yesterday!  It was awesome, but I spent a lot of time out in the sun early in the morning and, being April and all, I didn't think about sunscreen.  I know, that's crazy when you're as prone to burning as I am.  But at least I have a base layer burn going into the trip to California, right?  Or does that logic only work with tanning?

In any event, I mentioned in Friday's post that I was getting my hair cut over the weekend.  I kept the length about the same, but we (as in me and my stylist) decided to make my bangs a little fuller.  So here's what that looks like.

New Haircut

Top: Banana Republic Outlet
Scarf: Limited
Earrings: Loft

Me and Fella

Yesterday I went downtown with Fella and my friend from Ohio so that I could cheer them on in running the Shamrock Shuffle 8k.  This is us killing time while waiting for the train.  I quickly lost the sweater because it was so warm and sunny.  Definitely rare for an April day here.

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Danger of Too Many Zipper Pockets

This is me trying not to sneeze.  Thanks, allergies.

This feels like a pretty dark outfit since it's spring and all, but eh, sometimes dark outfits happen.  It was cold, damp and foggy yesterday, and rainy today, so I'm not feeling brights (although maybe I should be wearing brights to persuade the sun to return). Fella and I are going on vacation next Wednesday, so I feel like I'm just phoning it in for work right now anyway, and that seems to be extending to getting dressed today too.  The exciting thing about this outfit is the flats because they've been missing for about a year.  I swear I've turned the apartment upside down a few times looking for them, and all the time they were hiding in one of the many zipper pockets on my work bag.

What are you up to this weekend?  My best friend from Ohio is coming to town to run the Shamrock Shuffle, so I'm excited to see her.  Equally exciting, I'm finally getting my hair cut and colored again.  It's been since New Year's, which, with short hair, means I'm about 6 weeks overdue on the cut.  I'm happy with the length so I don't think I'm going to get it cut too drastically, just cleaned up.  I think.


This is Jude concentrating really hard on the treat in my hand.


And this is him looking at the camera immediately after sitting.  I'm not even looking at the camera, so clearly he's better at this blogging thing than I am.

Cardigan & Flats: Target
Tee: Gap Outlet
Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Old Navy
Watch: Fossil

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Post Needs a Title


Do you guys ever get something new and shiny and you just can't wait to wear it?  Over and over again?  That's how I feel about this necklace.  While Rad was off at her conference this weekend, our friend C. and I did a little local shopping.  We went to Hazel, a wonderful stationary and jewelry shop in the neighborhood, just so I could get a birthday card for a friend and a note card to send my pen pal Grandma.  I ended up buying Fella a new watch to replace the one he lost last weekend, and decided I'd treat myself to this necklace too.  I know, wasn't I just saying I'd cut down on the shopping?  It only cost $17, and look, I've already worn it twice!


I wore this outfit last night on a date with Fella.  Like good Chicagoans, we went out for some Italian beef and then saw The Mountain Goats and Megafaun in concert.  Fella really loves the Moutain Goats, but a lot of people don't seem to have heard of them before.  I told C's fiancĂ©e over the weekend that we were going to see them, and his response was "Is that a band?"  It'd be cool if we were seeing actual mountain goats too, but a band is good.  I really like them because their music is full of great piano, which was even more awesome live.

Cardigan: Loft
Tank & Jeans: Gap
Necklace: Hazel
Shoes: Puma


And here's what I wore to work today.  Don't mind the odd, windy photo.  I had to scurry out of the alley pretty quick, since some landscapers were coming through.  Not embarrassing at all.  Anyway, I ended up switching to my black heels because I felt like these shoes made my legs look stumpy.  Or maybe I'm just not ready to see my legs just yet.  Don't get me wrong, I'm wearing nylons to ease into bare legs, but it's weird seeing my legs in anything but dark tights.  I'm sure I'll get used to it.


Cardigan: Ann Taylor
Dress: Target
Necklace: As above
Shoes: Clarks Indigo

Monday, April 4, 2011



Happy Monday, Stylenation!  How was your weekend?  Mine was super busy, but definitely a lot more fun than last weekend.  I'm working from home today because I've been sick for the past few days, so this outfit is a leftover that was just hanging out on my computer.  I do a lot more outfit photos than I do posts, which is handy for days like today, where I'm not planning to wear anything more fancy than my pajamas.


Top and new trouser jeans: Gap
Scarf: Old Navy (also seen in Kristen's scarf collection)
Shoes: Puma
Earrings: New York & Company (remixed a LOT)
Fella's gym shoes: New Balance (he's training for the upcoming Shamrock Shuffle 8k, so our apartment is full of running gear)

Basketweave Scarf

But wait, there's more!  I started a beginning knitting class a few weeks ago, and yesterday was my final class.  I'm bummed that I won't have that to look forward to every Sunday morning, but I can always hang around the knitting shop anyway.  Or find a local Stitch 'n Bitch group.  In any event, I finished my very first project!  I wish the scarf were a bit longer, but I think I can work with it come next winter.

Basketweave Scarf

The last cool thing that happened this weekend - Rad visited!  She was in town for a conference, and was able to fit some hanging out into her schedule.  We ate a lot of really good food, our friend C. and I took Rad to a Zumba class on Saturday morning, we went out for German food and polka, Rad went running with Fella and Jude, and yesterday Rad and I baked up these yummy whoopie pies.  We'd normally spend our time together shopping, but since we're both trying to cut back, we decided to bake instead.  A nice, delicious alternative.

How was your weekend?

Whoopie Pies

Friday, April 1, 2011

Play Ball


If you've been thinking we haven't had a party at my office in a while, you'd be right!  Today we're celebrating the start of the baseball season with a baseball-themed lunch and, much like Hawaiian shirt day, we've been encouraged to wear baseball related things.  Of course, I could just wear Fella's Cubs jersey and call it a day.  But that wouldn't be very Anne-like, would it?  I mean, how do you get a cardigan over a bulky, mens jersey?  I don't think so.  Instead, I'm representing my hometown team, the Toledo Mud Hens.  Complete with a cardigan, shiny shoes, and fun jewelry.  Who says baseball can't still be a little girly?


Jude's been a little absent from the photos lately, but he joined in today's shoot.  And he even brought a prop!  Actually, I think he was hoping to trade me his bone for some of the Scotcheroos that I made for work.


Cardigan: Target
Shirt: Bought in Toledo, OH
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Privo
Earrings: Hazel (remixed)