Thursday, October 30, 2014

Target Necklace Week: Part 3

Green "Gumdrop" Necklace -- Friday, 10/17/14

The purple one was so tasty, I mean pretty, that I got one in green too.  Note that I broke down and wore leggings with this Friday outfit because the high temperature was forecast at 53 degrees.  (It was a good call; I felt quite comfortable at work.)  But not full tights!  Not boots!  Not even socks!  NO.  I refuse to start that nonsense already.

*Green t-shirt (thrifted, Lands End)
*Black/white striped knit pencil skirt (thrifted, Target)
Black cardigan (Walmart)
Black LifeStrider flats
Black leggings
*Green "gumdrop" necklace (Target)

What To Wear to the Thrift Store -- Saturday, 10/18/14

Well first of all, not a necklace.

I wanted to look for pullover sweaters in particular, so I wore a camisole that I could try on underneath close-fitting sweaters and a button-up shirt that I could try on underneath looser sweaters.  I am trying to prepare for winter in my office, which I have been assured is on the chilly side.  I figure it's gotta be warmer than my Skyrim office at home, but nevertheless, some additional layering options are always welcome.

I got rid of several pairs of jeans (i.e., put them in my Goodwill donation pile) earlier in the week and refound this pair that had gotten buried under some ill-fitting ones.  I had sort of assumed that this pair was in the ill-fitting category as well but my practice of forcing myself to try everything on worked in my favor -- I thought these were just fine once I had them on.

*Black button-up shirt (thrifted, Walmart)
Grey leopard camisole (Kohls)
Blue jeans (thrifted, JCP)
Black LifeStrider flats

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ice Storms and Small Multiples

Today at work, I was looking up information on how to make small multiples in Tableau and I came across a blog post that has a nice map visualization of FEMA natural disasters by county.  Before checking out the viz itself, do you have a guess as to what state wins the prize for "severe ice storms" since 1953?  Were you right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Target Necklace Week: Part 2

Purple "Gumdrop" Necklace -- Wednesday, 10/15/14

You may recall this necklace from my review of the book about the guys starving and freezing their way back from a failed attempt to sail to the North Pole.  I still think it looks quite appetizing in this emsemble.

There was apparently a grey pencil skirt, black knit top, purple cardigan idea floating around this month because about a week after I wore this outfit, I saw a post on the descriptively titled Outfit Posts blog that used the same basic formula. (I like my shoes that color block grey and black a bit better than I do the black wedges.  Her cardigan has a shape/length that is more flattering with a pencil skirt, though.)

Black t-shirt (Walmart)
*Purple 3/4 sleeve cardigan (thrifted, Macy's)
Grey pencil skirt (JCP)
Grey flats with black ribbon trim by Louise et Cie
Purple "gumdrop" necklace (Target)

Mint Flower Necklace -- Thursday, 10/16/14

Nope, there are no quotation marks in the name of this necklace because it just obviously is what it is.  I could take the lead of people who put up signs outside convenience stores, etc., and call it the "Big" Mint Flower Necklace but then you might think that I am only calling it big or questioning its bigness.  Let there be no doubt.  These flowers are BIG.

The night before, I told Robert, "Tomorrow I'm wearing my bird shirt with my teal skirt."  He said, "Teal skirt.  So it's a bird shirt with a bird skirt."  Yep.  I wondered what kind of teal (which is a type of duck) the color was named for because I couldn't think of a teal in the US that has quite that shade.  The blue-winged teal has blue, the green-winged teal has green, the cinnamon teal...well, you get the idea.  But through the magic of the Interwebs, here ya go.

Navy/teal/white bird shirt (Nordstrom)
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom)
Teal pencil skirt (JCP)
Light grey wedge flats by BCBGeneration
*Mint flower necklace (Target)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Target Necklace Week: Part 1

I've decided to play a bit of catch-up with my outfit posts, so be expecting a few of them without book reviews.  (I do have some good books to recommend soon, though, promise!)

I created a week of outfits to highlight the necklaces I purchased during Target's buy one, get one 50% off necklaces sale.

Bright Pink/Crystal "Floral" Necklace -- Monday, 10/13/14

I admit that I really do like the pseudo-suit look of matching colors of my pants/skirt and cardigan/jacket (though I do not try to make it pass as a real suit in situations where a real suit is called for - e.g., job interviews).  And nothing goes with a pseudo-suit like yet another bright pink top.  But this one has lace all over the front so it's different!

*Fuschia lace blouse (thrifted, Avenue)
Black 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Black cardigan (thrifted, no label)
Black pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
*Bright pink/crystal "floral" necklace (Target)

I'm calling it "floral" because I can't decide if it's supposed to look like flowers or if it just looks like that to me. 

Gold "Shelled Pea" Necklace -- Tuesday, 10/14/14

The thing that impresses me most about this outfit is that when I tried on the t-shirt, and decided it was too long to wear with a pleated skirt, I put it on my sewing machine and shortened it.  And BOOM, it's like I have a new shirt to wear.  I have several shirts I've been thinking about hemming shorter, and it seems that doing so when I'm putting a specific outfit together to wear with that shirt is the right time to do it.

The little gold colored beads on this necklace look like beans or shelled peas to me.  Shelled peas sounds more fun in the name of the necklace, though, so that's what I'm calling it.

The last (first) time I wore this skirt, I really thought I'd basically figured out the only way to wear it.  Not so, my friends.  I even wore it with different shoes, which I didn't expect to happen.

*Beige t-shirt (Kohls; shortened by me)
Brown embroidered skirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Brown cardigan (Kohls)
Gold pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
Gold "shelled pea" necklace (Target)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Icy and Not So Icy

Book Review:  In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

5 stars

I don't read much non-fiction, but this book was completely amazing.  In the late 1800's, a bunch of dudes thought it was a good idea to try sailing into the Arctic, breaking through the "rim" of ice up there, and then sailing their way across the hypothesized "Open Polar Sea" all the way to the North Pole (which no one had yet found).  Yep, seriously, at that time, the dominant theory about the North Pole was that it was located on an island in a warm sea that was ice-free and pleasant year-round.  Um...well...since we know that that idea is total and complete bullshit, you can kind of guess where this story is going.  But the details of how the voyage was designed and funded (he spends a surprising amount of time on this, but the main players are really interesting, especially the newspaper magnate who is the impetus behind the whole thing), and what exactly happened to those brave (and foolish) men who undertook this journey--it's well worth your time.  This definitely falls into the "if this were a work of fiction, nobody would believe it" category.  The story is told in an engaging narrative style that maintains the pace of a thriller novel (after the slower initial set-up of the story).

What to Wear When The Last Day of Training Occurs in a Really Warm Room -- Friday, 10/10/14

We shifted locations for the last day of training and being too cold was absolutely not an issue.  By lunchtime, I'd abandoned my jacket.  Luckily, the afternoon was a more free-form thing, and we did not have to be sitting at our computers following along with something the whole time.  So I took advantage of the opportunity to take several breaks to go back to my office and sit in the darkened room and enjoy not being overheated.

We learned during our morning session on security that the security system is fubar and that for reasons mysterious to all parties, we were able to publish to the server but not connect to the server to view anything.  But hey, it was Friday, you know!  And I was not, after days of trying to stay alive by chewing my sealskin boots away to nothing so that I got frostbite on what parts of my feet were not already destroyed, going to eat handfuls of rotten fish flakes that the indigenous people used as fuel not food and then become violently ill from eating something that is not food but continue to eat it because I am so fucking starving literally to death that I can't not eat it even though eating it is probably going to kill me.  So in all, a very successful day.

Purple striped button up shirt (thrifted, Bass)
Grey 5 pocket pants (Rafaella)
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious
* Purple "gumdrop" necklace (Target)
--Not pictured: Olive green military jacket (thrifted, Maurices)

The men of the USS Jeannette would definitely have tried to eat this candy-looking necklace.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Even More Magical

Book Review:  The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud

4 stars

Man, that magician kid is even more of a twit than ever now that he's in a position of authority in the government!  But the obligatory "strong female character" has been (re)introduced in Book 2 of the series, and she's pretty much excellent (of course!).  The demon character seems a little bit less completely amazing seeming than he was in Book 1, and I don't know whether I've simply gotten used to him or if he's being overshadowed by the girl character or what -- in any case, he's still amazing enough.  As a bonus, the plot of this book is stronger than Book 1, I think.  Definitely was an enjoyable one.

What to Wear While Visualization Templates Don't Pull the Right Data -- Thursday, 10/9/14

Yep, another "magical" day of training, this time discovering that the tables and templates that the consultant put together for us are now working, after he spent the previous evening updating his stored procedures to bring over additional tables into our database.  But now they are giving us the wrong data!  (For example, they pull the value for demographic variable X from the table in the database for X whereas for reasons lost in the mists of time, we store the version of X we care about somewhere entirely different from everybody else in the country who uses this product.)  Still, going from seeing no data on our screens to the wrong data is progress.

I wore this outfit with my navy ponte knit blazer most of the day.  Most people in the training were more bundled up than the previous day -- the consultant added a pullover sweater to his ensemble.

* Heather blue 3/4 length sleeve knit top with floral neckline detail (thrifted, Macy's)
Navy pants (Dockers)
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
* Blue/green/"pearl" necklace (Target)

Shiny!  Sparkly!  (Keep your inner magpie under control while viewing this photo.)

Target had a sale on accessories, buy one get one 50% off, so I bought....well, more than one, more than two.  As you will see in the days to come.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Like Magic

Book Review:  The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

3.5 stars

Accidentally walking through a portal to a parallel universe, being ensnared and englamoured by the Fey--who really do not want anything good for you at all--being rescued by the wizard version of a particularly misogynistic Mr. Darcy, trying desperately to learn enough magic to stay alive and get back's still better than graduate school for the protagonist of this story!  

It has a similar feel to the Deborah Harkness All Souls trilogy, and I thought it was not as good as the first one but better than the latest (last?) one in that series.  [Hah, I just noticed that Deborah Harkness provides the quote on the front cover!]

I also think this one was not as good as City of Dark Magic, a book I read a couple of months ago and enjoyed a lot.  I saw on that Amazon page that there is a sequel out called City of Lost Dreams that is now in my library queue.  (Nice to see an immediate, concrete pay-off to writing these reviews on my blog.)

What to Wear When Learning SQL Server -- Wednesday, 10/8/14

This was Day 1 of a 3 day, all-day training session to support the launch of our new data visualization portal in January.  Spent the morning being chilly in the training room and writing SQL queries on the snapshot of the mirror of our big-ass database.  After lunch (in my office), I put on the black moto jacket I'd worn in to work that morning in the high 30s temps.  Spent the afternoon being less chilly, still writing SQL queries.  (These pants look wonky in this photo, but they're OK, and more importantly, they are super-comfy.)

We discovered all kinds of weirdness with our database that our consultant/trainer would have to deal with that evening.  It was not quite like magic...or maybe it was.  Difficult, quirky, and operating according to principles that we don't really understand, yielding unpredictable and frustrating results?  If that's magic, then it was just like magic.

* Grey/maroon striped button up shirt (thrifted, Kohls)
Grey wide-leg pants (thrifted)
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan
Grey big ball necklace (Macy's)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Straight Up Teen Fiction

Book Review:  Winger by Andrew Smith

4 stars

Like everyone else on the planet, I've been inhaling all the dystopian young adult fiction series featuring "strong female characters" lately (The Hunger Games, Divergent, Uglies) and the occasional one where the point-of-view character is a boy (The Maze Runner).  But I really don't read much (any?) straight up teen fiction.  I came across a recommendation for this book somewhere, and thought, What the hell, I'll try it.  At first, I disliked the main character -- not like the shithead doctor in Summer House With Swimming Pool hated, but did not find him very interesting or sympathetic.  OK, he's a fourteen year old boy who goes to boarding school and plays rugby; he is not the hero of a SF/fantasy novel who is too busy learning spells, defeating evil, etc., to be kind of obnoxious about girls.  And he's two years younger than his peers, so he's particularly immature.  But I kept reading, and the story grew on me.  This book is not very plot-driven, but after I had the opportunity to recalibrate my expectations about this smart yet dumb-ass kid, and I got interested in his relationships with the other students, I was into it.  Even his initially-annoying way of rating the hotness of all the girls he meets at school on various ludicrous hotness scales was kind of funny by the end -- especially once you realize that other than the woman (it is not possible for me to resist calling her matron) who supervises his Dorm For Fuckups, he thinks all teenage girls and women are hot.  There is one scene that is one of the funniest things I read last month.  I almost cried, I laughed so much.  The ending was kind of...meh.  But overall, I enjoyed it, and it was worth my time.

A Different Sort of Scarf -- Tuesday, 10/7/14

I read a different kind of book; now I'm wearing a different kind of scarf -- a square silk scarf that I bought at the Goodwill boutique.  It's from the Art Institute of Chicago, and it's way pretty.

At first I was going to wear the navy top and sweater with grey pants, but the scarf has brown in it, so I went with brown pants.  (Pro tip: If you don't know what color to wear something with, let the masters at the Art Institute of Chicago figure this out for you.)  I'm still partial to navy with grey, but I liked trying something different.

* Navy knit shirt (from my mom)
* Navy open weave cardigan/shrug (thrifted, 89th & Madison -- an unfamiliar brand)
Medium brown pants (Kohls)
Brown wedges (thrifted, American Eagle)
* Navy/white floral scarf (thrifted, Art Institute of Chicago)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good (And Bad) Things Occurring in Twos

Two books I started to read but just could not capture my interest:

(1)  The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman -- It really felt like I should have enjoyed this book based on its description and the reviews, but even after reading several chapters, I wasn't feeling it at all.  I liked reading the 1-star reviews on Amazon just now and concur with the general opinion of these reviewers: the characters are uninteresting, nothing seems to happen.  Bored now.

(2)  Summer House With Swimming Pool by Hermann Koch -- I sort of liked his book The Dinner (3 stars), but I could not get into this one.  I think much of the problem was that the protagonist seemed like a major-league asshole without any compensating features like being really interesting or unusual in some way.  He's a doctor who hates people, especially his own patients, and talks about that in a very tedious manner for a good while.  (I was basically repulsed by his repulsion by the myriad ways in which his patients' bodies are imperfect.)  Then he orchestrates a camping vacation with his wife so that he can hit on one of his patient's/friend's wives (a dickhead move).  I couldn't make myself continue reading even to figure out where the whole murder things comes into it.  That patient/friend apparently ends up dead, and the doctor is accused of malpractice, but maybe it was murder...ah, who the fuck cares what this douchebag is up to.

Grey Leopard, A Reprise -- Saturday, 10/4/14

I know these curvy-fit jeans are dangerously close to Mom Jeans territory, but I can't be bothered to care.  Getting jeans that fit my bod is tough, and the whole skinny jeans (and now boyfriend jeans) kick the fashion world is on is not friendly to me. 

I wore the same grey leopard scarf and flats are I did earlier in the week with the blue-green button up shirt and made it weekend-happy with jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a fun jacket.

White long-sleeved t-shirt (Lands End)
Black moto jacket (JCP)
Grey jeans (Kohls)
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious (
Grey leopard scarf (Target)

Scarf and Necklace, A Reprise -- Monday, 10/6/14

I could not resist the opportunity to do my signature "simple necklace with tie-like scarf over a button up shirt" again.

And I'm pairing stripes with dots.  Happy happy pattern mixing.

*Blue/aqua/white/black striped button up shirt (thrifted, JNY)
Black 5 pocket pants (thrifted, Rafaella)
Blue polka dot scarf (Target)
Single strand pearls (Macy's)
Black pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Have you guys been playing this game?  Rick posted a link on FB and I've been addicted to it ever since. 

My high score so far is 17240.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Little Bit Wild

Book Review:  Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

3 stars

I found this book rather difficult to get into, but eventually did get interested enough that I read the whole thing, but it was...I don't know, frustrating in some way.  It kind of reminded me of the Kevin Kline movie Consenting Adults, in which Kline's character agrees to a secret, middle-of-the-night wife swap with his neighbor and oops, the woman turns up dead the next morning.  The plot doesn't work like that in this book, but it has that same kind of "person performs an out-of-character, morally-questionable/wrong risky sexual act and then has all hell to pay afterwards" feel to it.  (And without the compensations of watching Kevin Kline be handsome and Kevin Spacey be psychopathic.)

Joining the Barbie Army -- Friday, 10/3/14

But you can tell I'm not Barbie myself (despite the bright pink pants) because my feet are designed to be worn with flat shoes, not high heels.  Those flats may have gold glitter toes, but they are flat.

*Pink/green "watercolor" top (thrifted, Kohls)
Bright pink pants (Dockers)
*Olive military jacket (thrifted, Maurices)
Cream scarf
Cream captoe flats by Anne Klein

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jane Would Never Wear This Outfit

Book Review:  Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

3.5 stars

This is a pretty entertaining mystery.  A Paris-Hilton-esque teenage party girl (called Janie by the press) is convicted of killing her mother, and when she is released from prison 10 years later on a technicality, she decides to investigate who really killed her mom and learns the truth about her mother's past.  The plot is inventive and the narrative is funny, sharp, and clever.  Well, too clever, really.  I mean, yes, we are given to understand that our protagonist spent a lot of time in the prison library reading widely while looking for mentions of a word that she thought was the key to figuring out the identity of her mom's murderer, and no doubt this bright girl picked up a lot from that, but the Harvard-educated author out-did herself at times with language and references that simply did not ring true to the character at all.  Witty pop culture references, even references to 1980s SF movies like Star Wars ("these aren't the drones you're looking for") -- I am totally on board.  But other things were just too implausible.  For example (I wish I had written down the actual quote but this is the gist), the protagonist refers to a bunch of improbable things "sigma-ing up to inevitability."  Instead of using the much more typical language "adding up to," she displays an unbelievably high level of mathematical and conceptual sophistication by referencing the Greek letter used as a symbol for summation.  The author put just a bit too much of herself into her party girl character.  Of course, I much preferred the book erring in this direction.  A mystery novel written from the perspective of a total airhead would not be a book I could finish reading.

The Scarf + Necklace Combo -- Thursday, 10/2/14

How to wear a scarf and necklace together was a reader question last month on the Already Pretty blog, and it was amusing to me to realize that I do not struggle with how to do this.  I mean, I'm not saying I do it in any kind of super-fashionable way; merely that I feel like it is easy to do to my own satisfaction.  (Other things in this category of "fashion-related things some people find challenging but I do not": pattern mixing, wearing flats with dresses/skirts, putting colors together.  Things I do find challenging: how to wear boots, what color of tights to wear, how to wear not-skinny pants/jeans without the '90s and the '00s wanting their bottoms back.)

I really like wearing a button-up shirt with a pendant, pearls, or other subtle necklace in the v of the neckline with a long scarf worn under the collar, tied loosely, and left to dangle sort of like a slouchy men's tie.  And fall is the perfect time of year for this combo so here ya go:

 And here's the whole outfit:

*Blue-green 3/4 sleeve button up shirt (Kohls)
Grey pinstripe pants (thrifted, Dockers)
Grey leopard scarf (Target)
Grey leopard flats by Fergilicious ( [Double dose of leopard, but the shoes are subtle, I think]
Silver pendant (thrifted)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stars and Flowers

Book Review:  Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

4.5 stars

I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would from its general description -- it tells the love story between Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny.  (Speaking of which, what the hell?  Were like all the women who were in involved with writers named Fanny in those days?  John Keats had a Fanny, as did Edgar Allan Poe, and some other people I can't think of right now.) 

I have a vivid memory from when I was quite young of being stuck in bed with scarlet fever and reading Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.  It was kind of cool to read some of the backstory of Stevenson's own weak health and long periods of bedridden misery, which inspired the poem from the book that I remember best: "The Land of Counterpane."

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Wait, What Color is This Blouse? -- Wednesday, 10/1/14

When I bought this blouse, and the first time I wore it, I thought it was navy blue.  I thought so too when I put this outfit together and wore it to work with my navy blue ponte knit blazer thrown on top of it in case I got cool in my office.  But some time during the afternoon, with the bright light coming through the office windows, I realized that it was black, not navy.  These navy pants are so dark that the colors were not very different, but the lighter navy shade of the blazer stood out pretty starkly against the black blouse.  Oh well.

Navy Black/beige floral blouse (thrifted, The Limited)
Navy pants (Dockers)
Gold pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom)
Gold chain link necklace (Ann Taylor)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Those Wacky Australians

Book Review:  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

4.5 stars

Part screwball comedy, part murder mystery, this book centers on a group of mothers of kindergarteners at an Australian elementary school.  Are you curious to find out who died, and how, when the parents descend on the school and get insanely drunk at the Elvis Presley/Audrey Hepburn costume party and trivia night fund raiser?

Disappointing Fading

I only got to wear my floral knit shirt from Eddie Bauer about three times before it came out of the wash with a bad faded area on the back shoulder.  Grump!  I bought this shirt new, too, so it's not like someone just happened to donate it to Goodwill right before it started losing its color, and I washed it in cold water.  So now this shirt has to be relegated to the "wear only with a cardigan or jacket" pile.  I would just get rid of it if it weren't so damned cute. 

Loving the Long, Low-Knotted Scarf -- Monday, 9/29/14

I wear scarves year-round here in Snow City, but I especially love wearing them in the fall.  I haven't gotten a lot of wear out of this tie-dyed looking scarf ever since I got rid of the olive-ish green shirt I used to wear with it (during my grad school days).  This time I tried it with one of my many bright/dark pink shirts and a bunch of brown, which seemed to fit well with the olive green.

* Bright pink knit top with an interesting collar you can't see here (thrifted, Rafaella)
Brown cardigan (Kohls)
Medium brown pants (Kohls)
Brown wedges (thrifted, American Eagle)
Pink/green/cream scarf (Target)

Simple, Simple -- Tuesday, 9/30/14

I let a pretty jewel tone top/tunic and leopard print shoes carry the day.  (No necklace or scarf -- a rarity!)

*Green long-sleeved knit top with ruched neckline (thrifted, Macy's) [Actually, I wore this last Christmas but didn't take a photo of it, so I'm considering it pretty much new]
Black 5 pocket pants (thrifted, Rafaella)
Leopard print flats (Nordstrom)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5 stars

I just saw this book on BookPage's list of the best reading group books.  I read it a few months ago and it was amazing.  The protagonist is a Nigerian immigrant to America, who becomes a keen observer of racial issues in the US as discussed on her blog "Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known As Negroes) by a Non- American Black," which I totally wish was a real blog, and has a lot of feelings about her ex-boyfriend (now a big shot in London) to process.  

Sick Weekend #1 -- Saturday, 9/27/14

After missing two days of work, I decided to try to put an outfit halfway together for a weekend spent sitting in my comfy chair and continuing to read all kinds of good books.  This was a last hurrah for this t-shirt, which had developed tiny holes near the hem in front. 

Aqua t-shirt (thrifted, Banana Republic)
Blue striped cardigan (Kohls)
Denim skort (Dockers)
Grey comfy mary janes (dating from my 2-mile commute to campus)

Sick Weekend #2 -- Sunday, 9/28/14

Yep, my illness had me feeling blue all weekend.  Ba-dum-DUM.

What goes with blue stripes?  More blue stripes!

Blue/white striped t-shirt (Target)
Denim skort (Dockers)
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom) -- yes, this is like one of my favorite things ever
Blue striped sneakers (Rocket Dog) -- another favorite thing
Wild bead necklace (Macy's)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Worst Cold in Years

I am still trying to get over this terrible cold that I've had for a couple of weeks now -- it's a lot better but I'm still feeling pretty run down.  I haven't had one like this in several years.  It was so bad that I missed a Thursday and Friday from work, slumped around all weekend, and wished I could stay home the following week, too.  Having this inadvertent four day weekend of illness was made easier by the fact that I had a bunch of books from the library to read.

Book Review: The Secret Place by Tana French

4.5 stars

A cold case is re-investigated when a girl at an exclusive private school brings a new clue to the police -- someone at school had stuck a postcard up on the "secret place" bulletin board, proclaiming that she knows who murdered the popular student from the neighboring boys' school who turned up dead a year earlier.  The novel switches between chapters showing the progress of the investigation and the events within the girls' school leading up to the murder.  I'm a sucker for stories set in boarding schools (and the girls in this boarding school are major trouble-makers), so add a murder mystery to the mix and I'm all over it.

The only thing that kept this book from reaching 5 star status for me was that something about the male cop (if I recall correctly, the point of view character for all the police chapters) rubbed me the wrong way, and I didn't find the relationship between him and his reluctant partner for the case convincing or...something.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book a lot, and I think I would have enjoyed it even if I hadn't been desperate for something to distract me from the fact that the entirety of my body from head to stomach was one big sack of mucus.

What to Wear When Almost Passing Out During an End of Day Meeting Before Going Home and Crashing for Four Straight Days -- Wednesday, 9/24/14

I was all ready to leave for work when I realized, um, I might want a sweater or jacket or something this morning because it's a little bit cooler outside.

I got to my closet and immediately remembered, oh yeah!  I have that beige jacket with the blue and medium brown checks on it that I was very dissatisfied with in my all-beige outfit and that I've been wanting to try styling with a "pop of color" as Jen suggested.  A turquoise sweater is definitely a lot of color.  Let's give it a shot!  Here's a wrinkly version of this outfit (photo taken when I got home from work):

My verdict:  Success!  The jacket works when it's not bogged down in a billion shades of beige and nothing else.

Turquoise short-sleeved sweater (thrifted, Eddie Bauer)
Brown linen skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor)
Fish charm necklace (Ann Taylor)
Rose gold ballet flats (thrifted, Old Navy)
Beige jacket (thrifted, Ann Taylor)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Blog Post Format

I have been trying to keep track of the books I've been reading so I figured I would add regular mini-book reviews to my outfit posts for an almost complete documentation of my life.  Add to this mental collage an Excel file, the dashboard of a BMW 325i, a scene from Torchlight 2, a bowl of Dad-style broccoli slaw, then move to Facebook to see my rabbit photo, and you're about 80% of the way there.

Book Review: You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

4 stars

It's fundamentally mild psychological thriller/chick-lit.  A privileged female psychotherapist with a "perfect" family has just sold a book about the lies women tell themselves about their relationships/marriages.  You know where this is going, right?  But getting there is an interesting enough ride.

A Long Black Pencil Skirt for Summer -- 9/22/14

I was very pleased with how this outfit turned out.  Simple, comfortable, and pretty.  I'm reaching the point where I have enough clothes, of the right types, that it's easy to match things up.  For this one, I decided I wanted to wear the new blouse and everything else came together in a snap.

* Black/white/blue floral blouse (Kohls)
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom)
Black pencil skirt (thrifted, Briggs New York)
Blue buckle flats by Sofft
Light blue and silver necklace (JNY)

A Double Dose of Meow -- 9/23/14

I think the only time I've worn this peplum top was at my cousin's wedding (the same one where I wore the painted waste-canvas skirt).   I'm not sure why I haven't worn it again, but I suspect that I was concerned that it was too small because it's at least one size smaller than I usually wear in tops from Target.  But when I put it on, it fit fine and felt very normal, not uncomfortable at all.  Weird.  Well, I'm glad I finally managed to wear it once before the cold weather hits.

Black peplum blouse (Target)
Leopard knit skirt (Kohls)
Black belt (Kohls)
Black tooth/claw necklace (Outfit Additions)
Nude captoe flats by Clarks

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Surprising Revelation

Although Big Bang Theory does not give the audience very much information about Leonard Hofstadter's father, one thing became clear to me on Friday at work.

Leonard is obviously the son of this man...

Leonard's supposed father (his mother's husband) is an anthropologist, but it would appear that his biological father is a psychometrician. Makes sense to me.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

More Pencil Skirts: Part 3

That title is a complete lie.  There are no pencil skirts in this post.

Slouching Toward the Weekend -- Fri., 9/19/14

I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and find that it's suddenly become wintry outside, so I am trying to hit some favorite warmer weather items before that happens, including these surprisingly awesome ankle pants.

* Black/white knit top/tunic (thrifted, Kohls)
Black knit ankle pants (thrifted, Eileen Fisher)
Black LifeStrider flats
* Gold sparkle collar necklace (Kohls)

Bunnies! -- Sat., 9/20/14

It's the weekend and my Alice t-shirt was clean, so that makes life easy.  I wore it with jeans and these silly rabbit socks.

Bunny socks: they're not just for Easter anymore.

Note: these are clearly not magical bunny socks like you would find in a Fate/Torchlight kind of game.  The Legendary Ankle Socks of the Hare would give you a major speed bonus.  These socks just keep your feet (not too) warm and look cute.