Friday, January 30, 2015

Cost Per Use

I enjoyed this cost per use analysis (via Already Pretty).

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Whimsical Winter Birds

Bird Barbie -- Thursday, 11/22/15 1/22/15 (no, my wearing a pair of brown pinstriped pants did not actually make me into a Time Lord capable of traveling into the future -- that was a straight up typo)

Another secret sweater vest. Bright pink. Pattern mixing. Sweet birdies. All of the above.

It astonishes me that it took this long for me to pair this black/white blazer with the bright pink pants.  White, black, and hot pink are just an obvious and delightfully bright combination.  (It's even more obvious when you realize that the jacket is lined under the collar with bright pink fabric.)  I grounded this with the even brighter but aviarally (OK, I guess that's not a word) seasonally-appropriate silk sparrow scarf.

I definitely needed something to pump me up to get through my last day at work before the move!

I am still spinning a bit from the fact that my sister and I have moved to new residences on the same exact day (a Friday, about 3/4 of the way through the month, so not exactly an obviously popular time).  Jen and me: separated by space, joined by time.

This will also be my first entry in my new style challenge -- the Behind the Leopard Glasses Pattern Challenge, Day 21: Grid.  Yep, this is happening way out of order because I sort of serendipitously used the primary pieces I had previously been eying for that style challenge in creating this outfit.  No wonder it came together so easily.

Continuing with that style challenge will be interesting because many of the ideas I'd had for it are not fully appropriate to a Snow City....ahem, I mean, Coldville....winter -- because many of the patterned pieces are short sleeved tops.  We'll see.

Black lace-trimmed T (thrifted, Coldwater Creek)
Black sweater vest (thrifted, Foxcroft)
Black/white windowpane blazer (thrifted, Target)
Bright pink Dockers
Pink silk bird scarf (Nordstrom?)
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Wear a Stealth Sweater Vest

In a Brown Study -- Wednesday, 1/21/15

I am unaccountably in love with these pants.  Maybe because they look like the ones worn by David Tennant's (I always want to call him David Tarrant) Doctor Who.  Now if only I had a pair of beige Converse All Stars...

But lacking the sneakers, the matching suit jacket, or the general panache of Doctor Who, I put together yet another brown and beige outfit with these pants.  Oh, and I wore Chelsea boots -- invented for Queen Victoria, popularized by the Beatles.  So if the quintessential British science fiction guy can wear classic American sneakers, this American can wear classic British boots.  It all balances out in the end.

Brown crinkly button up shirt (thrifted, Kohls)
*Brown sweater vest (thrifted, August Silk)
Brown pinstripe pants (thrifted, Chaps)
Beige knit blazer (Nordstrom)
Brown ankle boots by LifeStrides
Gold/clear collar necklace (already forgot!)

Oy, you say, I can't see a sweater vest in your photo.  Ah, that's because it's a stealth sweater vest, in a shade of brown that matches the button up shirt so well that you basically can't tell it's there, except for how a bit of the crinkly shirt fabric extends from the hem of it.

The stealth effect is enhanced with the placement of the necklace at the point where the vest and shirt meet at the neck. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Another pre-move post...

What to Wear After a 3 Day Weekend of Hacking and Packing -- Tuesday, 1/20/15

Really, it was a good weekend in many ways.  We got a ton of packing done on Saturday and Sunday, and Monday I stayed home for MLK Day.  But I pulled an exhaustion trifecta on Monday -- sleepy from insomnia, spent from the physical work of packing all weekend, and that deep body fatigue and ache that comes with illness (a sinus infection).  I wasn't actually hacking too much past Saturday morning (Friday was the worst of that) but I kept the Kimberley-Clark company in the black with the number of Kleenex I used.

So today I was like, Really, I have to go to work?  I was so tired I wanted to cry.  But two things did help -- my car was gorgeous and clean from a marathon scrubbing session on Monday morning (another source of fatigue, of course, but so worth it to see the bright red paint gleaming out from under the winter road grime of Snow City) and I brought some caffeinated tea with me to work.  Oh, and Tam sent me photos of kittens smooshed against glass, and kittens = awesome.

It would have been nice to have an easier project to work on than the one I had, but being so mentally challenged made the day fly by in a good kind of way, even if I was experiencing significant cognitive fatigue by the time I left for home (and had started yawning around 4:00).

But my energy levels revived again after eating dinner and having a conversation with Robert about our weird data issues at work and an article about CLEP tests in Sunday's newspaper. 

Above freezing temperatures over the weekend melted almost all of the snow on our parking lot at work, which is awesome, but I'm still wearing my snow boots and carrying my other shoes with me so that my nice shoes stay super spiffy.  These snakeskin patterned suede ankle boots are still absolutely pristine because I have yet to wear them outdoors at all.  This outfit was precisely warm enough without being at all too warm for wearing in my office -- it was so perfectly calibrated to the temperature as to be noticeably pleasant (odd as that seems).

White long-sleeved T (Walmart)
Cream cashmere pullover (Macy's)
Grey striped pants (thrifted, Dockers)
Grey/coral scarf (Target)
Grey ankle boots by Seychelles

Monday, January 26, 2015

Live from Coldville!

Woo, Robert and I have successfully moved to Coldville!  Maybe I'll talk more about it when I have more time, but suffice to say, it is a continuing work in progress.  We have closets (mostly--I still have some sweaters/jeans that didn't fit in my closet so I need to get another chest of drawers for them, and there are some things I haven't found yet), we have a kitchen, we have computers with Internet set up, we have one bathroom in enough order to shower in, we have mattresses on the floor to sleep on....but we're very, very far from truly moved in.

It was a tough move because I was feeling really sick on Friday with a migraine and a sinus infection.  Even not doing any of the actual moving of boxes, it was exhausting because I spent from 8 a.m. to almost 5 p.m. on my feet or sitting in a kitchen chair or on my stability ball while the moving happened--not crashed out in my bed, on my sofa, or in my reclining chair as I would have wanted.  In the afternoon, once we were at the new apartment, I was so tired that I lay down on the carpet with my coat over me and took a nap for about half an hour. I was absolutely frigid all day.  Even when it was 70 degrees inside, I had my ankle-length wool coat on and was still shivering.  But a lot of the day it was quite a bit colder inside because the movers opened the windows while they were working (and getting overheated, which I totally get).

I'm feeling better today and finally a little less tired as I got a full night's sleep plus a couple extra hours sleeping on-and-off before finally getting out of bed around 9:30 this morning.  Robert decided he needed to go to work today but I decided to stay home with a personal day, as originally planned, even if I don't get a lot of the serious unpacking done.  Getting caught up with laundry, cooking, and all the normal weekend chores before starting a new work week is going to keep me pretty busy anyway.

Now for the previously scheduled post:

Friday Before a Three Day Weekend and I'm Wearing a Suit Jacket -- Friday, 1/16/15

But that's only because I felt weird about dressing down on the day we were having user orientation on our new data software (even though I wasn't presenting anything and the users were all in jeans and whatnot) and because I really did want to try out another of my 88 cent bargains from the thrift shop.

Yep, we went live with our project, exactly according to schedule, which is kind of a miracle in itself.  The data aren't really quite right (long story) but I get it that for our department head, we needed the credibility with executive management that we could deliver on time more than we needed to get every kink in the problematic data process sorted out before going live with it.  (After all, she was able to tell our phase one users today that we're still working some things out so they shouldn't go to the bank with the numbers quite yet.)  Our department head was pretty much in the very best mood I've ever seen her today after our user orientation session.  What a relief to her to have reached this critical milestone.

Anybody out there have experience with "agile development"?  This is the model we're using, and I definitely have some questions about it.  It's kind of team comprises the "developers," and I guess that's what we are, but I don't think any of us really have experience with anything that people like my sister would recognize as a development project.

So you might be able to tell from the relatively high stance of this blazer, and its somewhat pronounced shoulder pads, it's an older, no, let's call it "vintage" suit jacket, and probably a size larger than I would usually buy.  But for 88 cents, I loved the subtle maroon/black pattern and thought I could rock an 80's style slightly oversized blazer well enough.  And the color matched my awesome ankle boots, so what's a girl to do?

*Black/black striped T (thrifted, Talbots)
*Maroon suit jacket (thrifted, Le Suit, 88 cents)
Black/black striped pants (thrifted, JCP)
Black tooth/claw necklace (Outfit Additions)
Maroon ankle boots by Dolce Vita

Here's a close up of the jacket and top.  Oh what a difference some light makes.  See, it's not black as the photo above would suggest!

I enjoyed wearing basic black pieces with subtle black-on-black stripes -- horizontal on the top, vertical on the pants.  I love the thin fabric of this knit top; I think it will be perfect for wearing under a sleeveless dress once it's a big warmer.  And these boots basically always make me feel like a bad-ass.  Put the boots with the tooth/claw necklace on this outfit and I think I'm out of the primary "matronly and horribly outdated" zone where this blazer would otherwise be perfectly happy to gravitate to.

Verdict:  This jacket isn't going to be one I go to all the time, but I found it both comfy and just a little bit dressed up as well as very easy to wear with black, and there are times that's just what you're looking for.  I feel like I've already gotten my 88 cents worth out of this purchase; it's all extra from here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What to Wear When Giving Your Boss a Heart Attack

All About the Scarf -- Thursday, 1/15/14

I woke up and felt like crap -- a developing sinus infection, I think -- and really did not want to go to work.  But I did because I needed to meet with some people to figure out what we're doing at a training session the next day.

This was a remarkably simple and comfortable outfit to wear in our over 30 degrees F (!!) weather.  A long-sleeved T, a jacket, a silk sweater, no base layer.  Amazing.

I cannot get over how much I love this scarf.  I love the pattern, which has an Art Deco-esque feel to me (not that I really know what that means, to be fair) and the color combination.  And it's the perfect length for a casual-yet-classy drape around the neck look.  (Not so long it drapes into the sink when you brush your teeth after lunch, either.)

*Light blue long-sleeved T (Kohls)
Brown quilted jacket (thrifted)
Light brown trousers (Kohls)
Brown/black/blue silk scarf (thrifted)
Brown ankle boots by LifeStrides

Oh, as for the boss heart attack -- our department director came by when my group was strategizing in the late afternoon about the training on Friday and said how awesome it is that we have our project up and running, etc., and how great all the visualizations look, and said in a lighthearted way, maybe we should copywrite these.  And I said, Yeah, before [the consultant company we're all unhappy with, who provided those terrible visualizations of two circles, etc.] steals them!  I was joking and, the idea that after all the crap we (and especially she) has put up with from those people, and how bad their stuff has been, and everything...the idea that they would piggyback on our work really got to her.  She was like, If that happened, after everything, I'd come down on them like... and she couldn't even finish the sentence.  In that moment I realized that she is not just unhappy but a couple steps away from a Taz out / Hulk Smash on those guys.  And since she is not a generally rageful person from what I've seen over the past 9+ months, the situation with the consultant is likely even worse than I thought.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What to Wear in a Long Meeting

Stripes and Florals AGAIN -- Wednesday, 1/14/15

OK, the meeting was only 3 hours, but that's still quite a bit of time.  I was warm enough and quite comfy in an outfit that's basically jeans, T, and cardigan.  (The warmth factor was helped significantly by the fact that it got up to 20 degrees F!  Yes, 20 degrees above zero.  The Festivus miracles just don't stop.)

I had an unexpected bonding moment with a co-worker over how much we both hate wearing turtlenecks, although he doesn't mind ties and I like scarves -- the critical aspect being that both of these can be adjusted and loosened.

Oh, a funny thing.  We spent quite a bit of time in the meeting convincing our project manager that we could have an emergency around the data to our new visualization software project that could require an immediate intervention from our IT department.  The project manager also updated us that one of the IT people supporting the project was deeply unhappy with the SQL written by our consultant because it was very vulnerable to hiccups.

Then we tried looking at one of our visualizations and the data didn't appear, which was weird because my officemate and I had just been working with it the previous afternoon and it was working fine.  Turns out that due to a combination of a 3 minute interruption in server connectivity overnight while the SQL was running to update our data and the poorly written/vulnerable code supplied by our consultant, two variables were not written to our dataset, which broke the visualization.  Have I mentioned our go-live date is tomorrow??

So how's that for a great example of the shoddy work from our consultant creating an emergency which the IT department needs to immediately step in and fix.  And kudos to them, they did.

I don't know whether I've mentioned that the visualizations developed by the consultant were so crappy that we (most of whom have had no training or experience in the software) have been developing our own from scratch rather than try to salvage their junk.  I kid you not when I say that several of the consultant's visualizations are one circle representing the percentage of our population who are Whatever and another circle representing the percentage who are Not Whatever.  Yep, just two circles sitting next to each other.  ARGH!

That's pretty much what they look like, for reals

So it's now become clear that both the visualization side and the data side of this consultant's work has been sub-par.  Sad.

But I'm not sad to have worn stripes and floral print together to work again.  If it ain't broke....wait and the overnight data refresh will break it.  Until then, pattern mix to your heart's content.

*White/grey floral T (Kohls)
Grey/black striped cardigan (Kohls)
Grey 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Black scarf (Target)
Grey ankle boots by Seychelles