Sunday, May 29, 2016

Long Sick Weekend

I have been quite sick since Thursday evening.  I hope I don't spend the entire long weekend moving slowly and with great reluctance between my bed and my recliner.  This morning I don't seem to have a fever, which is a start.

Yesterday my stomach had improved to the point I could wear real clothes and not yoga pants.

"Cheshire Takes a Hike"--Saturday, 5/28/16

Let me be clear:  There is no mixing of dressy and casual in my outfit.  It's ALL casual.  There is nothing daring about it.  But I will take anything for inspiration to wear my Cheshire striped polo!  Anyway, where the Cheshire Cat is concerned, nothing is exactly safe, you know?


I'm so glad I bought this hiking skirt for our Yellowstone/Glacier trip.  It's comfortable and just a little more visually interesting than your typical plain black casual skirt.  These plaid sneakers are among the oldest things in my wardrobe.  They started out pre-distressed for my convenience and have become increasingly authentic over the years.  I kind of like that they are not in line with the current pristine white sneaker sporty-chic aesthetic.

Black cargo skirt with peplum hem (Royal Robbins/REI), $2.78/wear
Blue denim jacket (Liz Claiborne/JCP), $6.46/wear
Pink Cheshire striped polo (thrifted, JCP), $0.22/wear
Brown plaid sneakers by Rocket Dog

Outfit total: $9.46/wear

What do you make of this plant (photographed at a nearby state park)?  It looks like some kind of seed pods on the tips.  For once I don't even have an Elder Scrolls plant to reference, though it most resembles something from inside an Oblivion gate to me.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Teal and Golden Gophers

Have fun parsing that blog post title!

"Aqua Ruffles Like Waves in the Sea"--Thursday, 5/26/16

When I bought a short-sleeved aqua top during the Goodwill gift card trip (to replace one that I purged after deciding it was too short for many purposes), that made it possible for me to finally put together this extremely pleasing color combination. 


This inspiration is an August 2012 edition of "Outfits on a Teacher's Budget," so it's even more appropriate that I am incorporating a Goodwill shirt and a cardigan I got free from my mom as a hand-me-down.

OK, the shoes are not really "teacher's budget" shoes.  If I'd been creating this outfit with a lower price point in mind, I would have worn the grey leopard flats I bought from 6pm for about $14.  But yay, I'm not a teacher, and yay, I already bought these fancy shoes so it costs me absolutely NOTHING to wear them!

Grey V neck cardigan (Kohls/Mom)
Dark teal skirt (JCP), $1.81/wear
*Aqua ruffle neck knit top (thrifted, JCP), $4.49/wear
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan, $9.43/wear

Outfit total: $15.73/wear

This dark teal skirt is another MVP skirt from the Work the Wardrobe Challenge with 6 wears.

It's very hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that I now live in a place where ducks hang out in the summer.  This was the first blue-winged teal I've seen in some time.

In other news...I don't see how the Golden Gophers wrestling coach will keep his job after it's been discovered that he handled it "internally" when he learned that several team members were selling Xanax to fellow team-mates and other students from a dorm on campus.  The article reports him as saying to the team, "If you have any pills, bring them to my office and I’ll dispose of them, and I’ll give you amnesty."  The article also says that he "ordered suspected users to undergo mandatory urine testing and had them write a one-page essay."  (Yep, because writing a 1-page essay is a proven drug addiction recovery technique!)

One of the wrestlers on the team went the police.  It's pretty sad when a college kid has more sense and integrity than his coach in this sort of situation, but I guess the wrestler didn't have the same vested interest to protect.  As for the university, would the administration have been fine with the coach continuing to cover up and fundamentally not deal with felonies being committed (dealers) and reckless behavior being conducted (abusers) by his players?  If that one wrestler hadn't spoken to the press, would there have been a further cover up?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Floral Finch

"Poor Man's Twin Set"--Wednesday, 5/25/16

I enjoyed this combination of grey pants and matching pastel top and cardigan from last spring's Create28 pastel style challenge.  It reminds me of how my mom often wears pastel tops and cardigans of similar colors together.


I took this opportunity to debut two items I purchased using my Goodwill gift card--a light green top and light green cardigan.  Yeah, they aren't quite the same shade (nobody will mistake it for a twin set) but I figure they go well enough together.

*Light green short-sleeved T (thrifted, Walmart), $2.50/wear
*Light green cardigan (thrifted, Jeanne Pierre), $3.50/wear
Dark grey wide leg trousers (thrifted, Lane Bryant), $0.56/wear
Grey ribbon flats by Louise et Cie, $4.17/wear
Orange/green floral scarf (Target), $4.00/wear

Outfit total: $14.73/wear

And when in doubt, a vibrant patterned scarf with a third shade of green can make the mixed-hues action look intentional or distract the eye.  Either way.

I don't have any flower photos for you today, but how about a couple of house finches (with a male who looks like he could land on my scarf and totally blend in)?

I like how the female finch looks like she's saying with some exasperation, Harold, I've told you this a hundred times!  And the male finch is like, Huh?

He's really wondering, Who's Harold?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Springtime Cliches + Sugar Data

"Omne Trium Perfectum"--Tuesday, 5/24/16

Stripes + floral + bright pink = be still my heart.  I absolutely adore how this turned out on Andi last spring (even if she did have to do some last minute substitutions, one pregnancy-related).


I used this outfit as inspiration for wearing my new uber-spring-y cardigan.  I mean, the lightweight fabric, light mint-aqua color, the 3/4 length sleeves?  It's made for this.

Navy top with light blue/mint stripes (Target), $2.33/wear
Navy paisley skirt (thrifted, Target), $0.75/wear
*Mint-aqua 3/4 sleeve cardigan (thrifted, Studio Works), $5.24/wear
Gold flats (Nordstrom), $2.38/wear
Gold/clear ruffled collar necklace (Target), $2.50/wear

Outfit total: $13.20/wear

I'm glad it's gold flats season because that makes it easy to follow what I like to call the Golden Rule of Three:  gold shoes, gold necklace, gold hair.  Boom.

This week I'll continue posting some bird photos from our wildlife refuge visit.  Here is a very uncooperative tree swallow.  As soon as I got this quick snapshot taken, he took off from his perch, started chasing a lady, and quickly mated with her in a tree.  He definitely does not have his priorities straight!

In other news...Tam sent this article about the new food nutrition labels, which look like a very nice improvement over the current ones, though I agree that the "added sugars" should be reported in teaspoons (a measure that Americans understand) rather than only grams (a measure that we don't).

I doubt this is going to have a wide impact on obesity rates and all those wonderful Big Good Outcomes that people are hoping for, but I am completely in favor of companies having to disclose what is in their products so that people who wish to do so can make informed choices.  The expectation that many people will not base their decisions on the nutrition information is not a good reason for the information not to be available to those who do care.

I do think it's interesting that the sugar industry is virulently opposed to the new sugar labeling.  If people's purchases aren't affected by the labels, why do they care so much?  Not every player in the food industry opposes it, so I can't believe it's just because it's somehow unreasonably costly for companies to collect the data that goes on the labels, you know?

Of course, we could be wrong about the idea that added sugars are bad for you.  (God knows American nutrition researchers have made being wrong their life's work, pretty much--see the whole "fats are bad" movement, for example.)  My mom likens these things to the following dialog from Woody Allen's Sleepers:

Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

Until then, I am glad to know about the added sugar content of the foods I buy.  I still remember when I found out how much sugar was in the sandwich bread from Panera--ye gods!  I've never eaten a Panera sandwich since then.  (I have no idea whether they've reformulated their bread to be less sugar-laden than it was 10 years ago.)

Do you read nutrition labels?  Do you make decisions on the basis of the information?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Yet More May Flowers

"Condemned Barbie"--Monday, 5/23/16

You know I can't get enough of stripes + floral print.  I liked this sassy yellow combo from a short post about pattern mixing.  Rule #3--"Use your imagination."


I don't have any yellow pants or skirt, so I used my imagination and substituted a bright pink skirt and pink floral top.  I think the result has much the same effect as the original only more Barbie and less sunshiny.  (And pink works better with my uber-pale skin tone, too.)

Black and pink floral blouse (212/Kohls), $5.00/wear
Black and white striped knit blazer (Nordstrom), $5.90/wear
Bright pink skirt (JCP), $1.64/wear
Black pointy toed-flats (Nordstrom), $2.17/wear

Outfit total: $14.71/wear

I was amused to read that back in the day, stripes on clothing were reserved for "prisoners, clowns, prostitutes, hangmen, and all the condemned."  In this outfit I am pattern mixing awesomeness!

These are some flowers I photographed a couple weeks ago at the wildlife refuge.

In other news...After a sort of rough weekend, it was not fun to wake up with a headache again (still?) today, but I had a project to finish this morning that meant calling in sick was a non-option.  So caffeinated iced tea (the magickal elixir) to the rescue!  I had a productive day but was very glad when it was time to come home.  One of the things that sucks a lot about my recent spate of headaches is that I really can't exercise at all when I have one.  Even slight exertion causes exaggerated head-pounding feelings of doom.  I thought I was going to black out at one point this weekend after having the audacity to put a load of laundry into the washer--bending down and standing up straight again is not a happy thing for me at the best of times, but with a headache, it can mean a period of head-splitting pain accompanied by faintness.  Everybody's idea of a good time, no?

I have a feeling it's going to a headache-prone week because we have rain expected more days than not (and rain usually = headaches).  But maybe the rain will keep the pollen down?  I don't know.  I am holding out hopes that the upcoming 3 day weekend (!) will compensate in some way for my recent headache-so-not-much-fun experiences.

But on a much more positive note:  My school friend L.--who is probably my oldest friend in the sense that we were best friends in elementary school--has been in the ICU for a couple of weeks now with a life-threatening systemic infection.  But she is no longer in a coma! 

I have had the old Smiths song "Girlfriend in a Coma" stuck in my head, and it's been frustrating that I haven't been able to tell L. how funny and irritating that is because she is the one person I know who would really get it.  (Our friendship has been very strongly marked by our shared interest in music--watching MTV, visiting music stores, going to clubs and concerts, exchanging mix tapes, and all that.)  Have you checked in with mid-80s era Morrissey lately?  Back in the day, I just thought he was an adult.  Now, it's like, Holy Hell, he is a kid!  (OK, he is a very youthful looking 28 in that video.  Still.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Neverending Headache

"Lapin Poisson Distribution"--Sunday, 5/22/16

I liked the combination of bright pink + patterned top + gold necklace + jeans + shiny flats because it is easy to see how to use my French rabbit top in a similar look.


In this case, I put my beloved lapin with a bright pink cardigan vest for a little French boho action.  And if you were concerned this wasn't silly enough on its own, I added a fish charm necklace to ensure it meets the standard for weekend eccentricity.

French bunny top (Macy's), $0.98/wear
Bright pink open weave cardigan vest (Kohls), $5.52/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $0.19/wear
Gold fish charm necklace (Ann Taylor), $4.34/wear
Black/blue sparkly flats (thrifted, Target), $2.62/wear

Outfit total: $13.65/wear

And even though I'm extremely wary of Target shoes, I could not resist these sparkly flats at Goodwill.  So far, I'm not regretting the decision.

No heels were destroyed in the making of this photograph.

This distribution is almost embarrassing to share because of what it communicates about the number of tops I own.  Oh well, it is what it is...and it is showing that I wore 54% of my tops only once and another 21% twice during the Work the Wardrobe Challenge.  (It's also a degraded image in the sense of the most recent xkcd comic.)

But if you look carefully, you'll see that there are a few tops that got relatively a lot of wear (worn 5 or more times during the year).  I think it will come as no surprise to you that my lapin top was one of them.  Indeed, this was my MVP of the shirts category, worn 7 times. 

In other news...It hasn't been a very good weekend.  I have had a headache since Friday evening and while it hasn't been stick-my-head-under-a-pillow-or-die levels of pain, it's been consistently very unpleasant with occasional forays into dire.  It was a beautiful weekend for birding but given that the very high level of tree pollen we're having is a major contributor to my headache, the idea of going outside--let along going outside and then looking through binoculars (shudder)--was a non-starter.

Last night I was feeling so bad that all I could do was sit still in a dark room and watch Downton Abbey, which apparently puts my body into a state that the Fitbit cannot distinguish from sleeping.  This morning, I had to manually adjust it to "no, I went to bed at 10:30, not at 8:07."

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Matrix, Wardrobe Version

Dressing Like a Tan Rabbit--Saturday, 5/21/16

Finally, the return of the rabbit dress!  This time worn with a denim jacket, as shown by these lovely bloggers.

#1--Andi shows us a denim jacket with a beige/black patterned dress.


#2--Kate shows us a denim jacket with a patterned dress featuring her favorite animal, bears.


So clearly the denim jacket + beige/black patterned dress featuring my favorite animal must happen!  My blue denim jacket is a really dark wash, so I decided to try it with my black denim jacket instead.  Works for me!

Beige/black rabbit dress (eShakti), $8.75/wear
Black denim jacket (JNY), $2.66/wear
Tan captoe flats by Clarks, $3.33/wear
Art Deco silk scarf (thrifted), $3.50/wear

Outfit total: $18.24/wear

Isn't this outfit a bit reminiscent of a tan rabbit?

In other news...Because even on the weekends I cannot resist the allure of Excel, I've spent the day working on an outfit generation matrix and using it to plan future outfits.  Sometimes my geekiness in this area surprises even myself.