Friday, September 30, 2016

Olive Pigeon

"Feeling Fall-ish"--Friday, 9/30/16

In this post from last October, Tracy talks about starting to get into scarves after moving from Florida (too hot to wear them) to the Midwest.  Here in the Upper Midwest, scarves are doable (for non-exercise-type activities) on all but the very hottest days of summer...and they become something of a necessity as the cold weather sets in. 


I was attracted to this inspiration photo because it has the item that is perhaps the most "summer-to-fall transition" of all the things in my closet--the olive cargo blazer.  I could easily have worn this same outfit with my bright pink short-sleeved cardigan and bright pink ballet flats and looked totally on point for summer.  But substitute olive jacket and shoes for the bright pink and I look ready for the cooler season to begin.  I could look even more ready if I were willing to start wearing tall boots already but no...oh no. 

Black and grey striped skirt (thrifted, Loft), $1.00/wear
White V neck short-sleeved T (thrifted, JCP), $2.25/wear
Olive blazer (thrifted, Maurice's), $0.63/wear
Orange/pink "Moroccan" infinity scarf (Charming Charlie), $2.80/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom Rack), $3.33/wear

Outfit total: $10.01/wear

I have to resist the sense that it is "cute" or "precious" when people in less seriously cold places wear tall boots with bare legs in the fall.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that and it is no more ludicrous than the way I will wear a scarf with a sleeveless shirt in the summer, which seems perfectly reasonable to me.  And because a decent pair of tall boots is something of an investment, I can even get it that people want to get their wear out of them while they can.  I have this reaction but I suppress it, trying to leave my ire for footwear like Crocs, Ugg boots, and basically every flipflop that has ever been worn away from a beach/pool/shower.

Her floral scarf is so gives me a major case of the Wants.  But my scarf is very nice too.  It's a unique print and unusual color combination, but most of all, I like the detail of the bright pink edging, which I accidentally featured to good effect in this close up view.

One close up deserves another.  Here is what a New Zealand red rabbit looks like when he's really getting in your face/camera lens.

In other news...I recently read An Abundance of Katherines, a young adult book by John Green (of The Fault in Our Stars fame).  It wasn't a fabulous can't-put-downer, but I found it amusing and enjoyable to read.  The thing that struck me most about this book was a footnote which asserted that Nikola Tesla was obsessed with pigeons and that he wrote of his favorite pigeon that he loved her as a man loves a woman.  WTF?  I asked Robert to fact-check this statement and he found that it is basically true.  Here is a source that confirms that quote.  So just for you, dead physicist and pigeon fancier Nikola Tesla, I present this photograph of a pigeon at the state fair.

They call me Mrs. Tesla.

And now it's the weekend!  Huzzah!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pink Fade Rabbits

Shades of Pink for the Fall Transition--Thursday, 9/29/16

YESSSSSSS.  More with the multiple shades of pink/burgundy/maroon.  Love it.  This is another stellar example of Jen's classic but a little quirky librarian style.


When I saw this outfit, I knew I had to try it with my new bright pink sleeveless blouse.  The other pieces are staples of my wardrobe.

Bright pink sleeveless blouse (thrifted, Target), $2.62/wear
Blue denim jacket (Liz Claiborne/JCP), $4.61/wear
Burgundy skirt (Nordstrom), $2.61/wear
Leopard flats (Nordstrom), $2.27/wear
Gold/pink peacock necklace (Target), $2.38/wear

Outfit total: $14.49/wear

As for the extraneous peacock pendant?  That's pure Sally.

Last weekend, I started watching the 6-episode British mini-series The Fades.  I can't remember who recommended it (was it you?) but despite some initial concern that it was too much like a horror story and less like a supernatural thriller (which is a fine but real line for me), I ended up liked it and not being scared.  It helped that from the beginning it looked so much like Fallout.  Abandoned derelict building, random dead animals, bad-ass ghouls, gunshots...that's all so Fallout.

Anyway, I'd been curious whether I'd have scary dreams that night (since I watched just before bed) but instead I had a dream that I had two rabbits in a cage in my apartment.  They were peering out intently from the cage and I said, "Sorry, bunnies, you can't come out yet."  (When I related this to Robert with the comment that I don't know why they couldn't come out, he said that I probably hadn't rabbit-proofed the apartment yet.  That sounds good to me.)  The rabbits were not Kate and Leo--they weren't even mini rexes!  Instead they were two very dark rabbits with black fur with chestnut undertones, very much like this pair.  I would watch scary TV before bed every night if it would guarantee pleasant bunny dreams!
Sleepy buns dreaming of keeping humans in a cage?

In other news...Gender-neutral school dress code for the win.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

One Day at a Time

Making Do, Making Great--Wednesday, 9/28/16

Seeing this outfit made me immediately want to buy an olive top so that I could do a version of it.  I loved the combination of black and white striped blazer and white bottoms.  But since I hadn't had any luck finding an olive top I liked, I decided to do a version of the outfit anyway.


In place of an olive blouse, I went with a plain black knit top for a hint of subtlety amidst the Hamburglar stripe action of my blazer, and moved the olive color to my leopard flats instead.

Black and white striped blazer (Nordstrom), $3.93/wear
Black short-sleeved top (thrifted, JNY), $2.62/wear
White skirt (Walmart), $1.71/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom Rack), $3.75/wear
Purple/red/yellow semi-floral scarf (Target), $1.20/wear

Outfit total: $13.21/wear

And to tie it all together, this vibrantly patterned scarf with the touch of olive green.  I think this ensemble is even more to my personal taste than the original inspiration.  Thanks, all stores of America, for not selling an olive top that I like! 

For some more black-and-white style inspiration, check out the twinning rabbits below.  Who is mimicking whom, I wonder?  

In other news...It's been a rough week--underslept, feeling under the weather, more bad news on the job front every single day.  But at work I finished my fifth dashboard of the week and tonight I ate ice cream then watched two episodes of Elementary while lifting weights and I guess I've made it through another day somehow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Neverending Summer Flowers

"Introducing the Disney Floral"--Tuesday, 9/27/16

You know that I am in love with my navy swing top with the white rabbits on it from the Laura Conrad Alice in Wonderland collection at Kohls.  Well, I decided to see if they still had that blouse in the other prints, and what with the shirt being on sale, an extra 30% for cardholders, and free shipping on all orders for cardholders (thanks, Retailmenot), I got it for $12.32.  I admit that it's getting sorta un-seasonal for a light pink floral top but I am going to eke out summer long enough to wear this one a couple times before true Fall (i.e., the beginning of tights season) commences.  A high of 70 F is summery enough for my purposes.

"Affordable teacher outfits" continue to be an excellent source of ideas for comfortable, inexpensive business casual wear.  I had initially planned to wear my navy/diamond top with this, but after purging that snug-in-the-hips item from my wardrobe, I substituted the new swing top instead.  The swing top is quickly becoming a new favorite silhouette of mine.


The result reminds me of a post on Already Pretty in July about "how to be intentional with white."  I think I've done a version of her second recommendation here: white as an accent.

*Light pink floral blouse (Disney Alice/Kohls), $12.32/wear
Magenta pants (thrifted, Target), $0.90/wear
White short-sleeved cardigan (Nordstrom), $1.33/wear
Blue pointy-toed flats (Nordstrom), $2.27/wear

Outfit total: $16.82/wear

Flower season is definitely at an end, but I also have these lovely bright pink flowers to share from a garden at the state fair last month.

Viva l’été!

In other news...My mom and Tam both sent me this article about riding roller coasters to pass small kidney stones.  All the more reason to be serious about my oxalates; I am unwilling to ride a roller coaster with enough wildness to move a kidney stone.

My neverending summer outfit pretty much met the end of summer today.  A high of 60 F [yes, colder than previously anticipated] with cold wind and rain made for a chilly walk across the parking lot after work (and of course I was parked on the far end of the parking lot).  Thankfully I was wearing pants or it would have been unpleasant; as it was, I just got a bit goose-bumpy on my bare arms.  Then I came home to my apartment that was 75 F and quite humid from the A/C (presumably) not having run all day.

I stayed up late last night (12:30 or so) because my mind just could not settle down after watching the presidential debate (and because Robert and I had a lot to discuss about it).  My officemate also stayed up late reading initials analyses of the debate, so we were a tired duo today.  About 4:00 this afternoon, our workplace lost Internet, phone, and all server connections.  I was all like, Where is Donald Trump's son?  We need help fixing the Cyber!

I could spend all night talking about the debate, but for now I will just say this--it's not very often you get to go to work and talk about the Hawley-Smoot Tariff, you know?

Hawley and Smoot: the Ghosts of Tariffs Past.  Trade protectionism is not a beautiful thing, Donald.

My periodontist is sick so my follow-up appointment has been rescheduled for next week.  Because my gum seems totally healed now and I'm not really worried about the results of the biopsy, that's okay.  I'm just kind of ready to have all this behind me.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Maroon Rabbit Debate

"Chambray Bunny Redux"--Monday, 9/26/16

I liked the chambray blazer/navy bunny blouse combo I wore a month ago so much that I decided to try it again.  This time I paired them with maroon pants as suggested in this inspiration photo.  It was a good day for pants given the high temperature of about 60 F is too cool for bare legs in a skirt (for me).


Of course, one of the big differences between my outfit and hers is that my blouse doesn't contain any pink-red-maroon shades to go with the pants.  In my case, the pants sort of pop against the blue top half rather than feeling integrated with it.

Navy rabbit blouse (Disney Alice/Kohls), $4.40/wear
Maroon pants (thrifted, Lands End), $1.05/wear
Chambray blazer (thrifted, Target), $3.33/wear
White lace infinity scarf (Walmart), $2.07/wear
Nude Rockstud flats by Wild Diva, $4.00/wear

Outfit total: $14.85/wear

I wasn't immediately sold on this combination, but in the end, my love of the individual pieces won me over. 

I also love these bunnies, sitting bun-to-bun.  The New Zealand white in front is forced into a scrunched loaf to accommodate this.

In other news...Are watching the debate tonight?  I am.  I'm kind of terrified but I don't think it would be any better not to watch it, you know?

Updated to add:  OMG.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Twisting

"An Outfit of Omissions"--Sunday, 9/25/16

I liked this round-up of teacher style inspirations featuring a black skirt (perhaps the most basic, ubiquitous garment there is, aside from black pants and jeans).  Definitely some good outfit formulas on display.  I chose to transition this work outfit (with the white with black polka dots top that every fashion blogger seems to own) for the weekend.


Oops, two problems with this photo.  (1) I forgot to put the skirt in it so it looks like I'm planning to run around with my ass hanging out.  (2) The red cardigan blends into the sofa, so it looks like I'm planning to wear the world's narrowest shirt.  Together, these oversights suggest that I am going to be extremely under-dressed.  But at least I didn't forget the shoes--which is a recurring theme in certain anxiety dreams I have.  They usually involve going to school without shoes.  Not a good move for a teacher...or even someone mimicking a teacher outfit.  (It's bad enough that with this White Rabbit pocket watch, it's always 5:05 so I am always late to class.)

Black and white short-sleeved top (Liz Claiborne/JCP), $3.57/wear
Black peplum hiking skirt (Royal Robbins/REI), $2.27/wear
Red cardigan (JNY), $3.90/wear
White Rabbit pocket watch pendant (Zad), $2.48/wear
Cream/gold captoe flats by Anne Klein, $0.93/wear

Outfit total: $13.15/wear

This white rabbit didn't mind the twist that my outfit took.  OK, yep, I have They Might Be Giants in my head now.

Twisting, the cage.

In other news...The rabbits of the world will NOT APPROVE of this, but I thought that the first photo of this post was so cute.  (I would feel differently if I were a bunny, though.)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Big Cat Migraine

"Big Cats Helping Big Cats"--Saturday, 9/24/16

Another weekend, another black skirt + graphic T outfit.  What can I say, I like what I like.  This inspiration photo features a T with "Cheers" expressed in a bunch of different languages, which is more interesting to me than the ever-popular "something in French" type.


My version combines a tiger graphic T with a leopard scarf.  Is there something weird or contradictory about that?

Black peplum hiking skirt (Royal Robbins/REI), $2.50/wear
Olive blazer (thrifted, Maurice's), $0.71/wear
Coral tiger graphic T (Kohls), $2.06/wear
*Beige/red/pink leopard scarf (thrifted), $2.99/wear
Nude Rockstud flats by Wild Diva, $5.00/wear

Outfit total: $13.26/wear

As usual, let's ask Google.  And behold, a group of captive leopards is helping a save-the-tigers project halfway across the world with their scat!  No, really...check out this 3.5 minute video with leopards, tigers, elephants, and trained dogs.  The bit around the 2:35-2:50 mark cracked me up.

The rabbit closest in appearance to a tiger is the Japanese Harlequin with all the orange-and-black stripey goodness you could ask for in a bunny.

In other news...Today has been a strange day.  I slept in a bit (yay) and had a late breakfast.  I did some outfit planning/photos so that I'll be ready when I come back from my mid-October trip to the balmy south back to tights weather in Coldville.  I had lunch and was feeling fine.  Then about an hour later, I had a terrible migraine, was freezing cold and nauseated (I expect the latter was from the pain), and my entire body ached.  I lay in bed for about an hour with a bag of frozen veg wrapped in a tea towel on my head, huddled under all my blankets.  I didn't sleep but I did feel a bit better after waking up.  I followed this with one of Robert's home remedies for migraines--tortilla chips with salsa.  It's weird, something about that combination of salt + spice really does seem to help.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Finally the Weekend

"The Prep-Boho Conversion"--Friday, 9/23/16

This "spring has sprung" outfit from 2014 gave me the idea of combining a blue/pink color scheme with a gingham pattern as a last gasp of summer-in-autumn.  (Yep, after yesterday's suitable colors I veered right back into the heart of July with this one.)


Specifically, I reversed the colors to wear my pink gingham button up shirt with blue skinny pants. 

Pink gingham button up shirt (thrifted, Company Ellen Tracy), $1.50/wear
White open weave cardigan vest (Kohls), $2.76/wear
Blue skinny pants (thrifted, Macy's), $4.50/wear
Medium blue flats by Sofft, $3.68/wear
Pink swag necklace (Kohls), $4.66/wear

Outfit total: $17.10/wear

I gave the base preppy pieces a boho twist by adding an open weave cardigan vest and substituting a whole mess of pink beads for the precious pearls, gold bows, etc. in the original ensemble.  The bows on these ballet flats are enough of that for one outfit.  (I am wearing my tiny gold rabbit stud earrings, though, so it's not like I'm missing out on the awwww-sweet element here.)

I'm always amused when my outfit name sounds like an episode title from Big Bang Theory.

Let's continue with the summery white theme and reflect on this Great Egret and its reflection.  The bird was hunting hard in this lake, not merely admiring its beautiful self...though if it did, who could blame it?  (I took about 20 photos of this bird from different points around the lake, but this one was my favorite.)

In other news...I am so tired tonight.  This week has been really tough somehow.  (Increased anxiety around another expected round of layoffs at my job, after earlier having felt that getting through the two rounds leading up to July 1 meant that I was secure for a while, is not something I'm finding easy to handle today.)

In related news...When a pretty cat goes to sleep, the result is...well, see for yourself.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Surgery Update + Rabbit Number Reveal

"Coral Leopard Fall Transition"--Thursday, 9/22/16

I LOVED this outfit that was featured on YouLookFab.  Even though I didn't have the pieces to create it when I saw it, I added it to my Pinterest board in case I ever did. 


And then I bought a coral scarf and realized I could do a version of this look.  Mine has a darker leopard print and a cargo blazer (is that a thing?) in place of a trench coat, but I liked how my rendition turned out.  The bright + dark neutral color scheme seems just right for the first calendar day of fall.  The only thing that could be more fitting is if I were to be holding a pumpkin spice latte...which would even coordinate with my outfit so, yeah.  Of course, I think it's silly that pumpkin flavor/scent/etc. is relegated to the autumn season--viva la pumpkin all year long!

Brown leopard dress (Lands End), $7.50/wear
Olive blazer (thrifted, Maurice's), $0.83/wear
Coral lace infinity scarf (Walmart), $2.07/wear
Orange flats (Payless), $0.77/wear

Outfit total: $11.17/wear

I think the orange and coral are close enough in shade to work together (especially divided by this expanse of leopard print) as an accessory bundle.  I could have worn black pointy-toed shoes, like in the inspiration photo, but decided to let my matchy-matchy instincts carry the day.  #bookend'd  (#zaboo'd)

For another striking brown/black pattern, check out the fur on this mini lop. 

In other news...I went to the urologist today for my 3-month-post-kidney-stone-surgery check-up to review the results of last week's imaging and find out whether I will need another surgery.  The good news is that "surgery would be unnecessarily aggressive at this time."  I will go back in 6 months for an xray (at the same time/place as the urologist appointment, not a separate hospital thing) and we'll see how I'm doing then.  The imaging did reveal one small kidney stone but it's unclear whether that is a new one or a fragment of the one they blasted in the surgery.  In any event, fingers crossed that all goes well for the next 6 months!

Thanks to all who guessed on the rabbit photo number.  I have 645 rabbit photos prepared, so the winner is Jen with her guess of 600 photos.  Congratulations, Jen!  Here is your prize ;)

Are you guys ready for the weekend?  I am!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Raining Cats and More Cats

"Simple Fall Florals"--Wednesday, 9/21/16

I love this bright summer color combination, but I don't have a green floral blouse.  So I decided to make a late-summer-transitioning-into-autumn outfit using the basic formula of floral top + pencil skirt + nude shoes, but in darker tones.


I started with this pretty blouse I got for 88 cents thrift shopping with my mom last Christmas.  I love the jewel tones.

Teal/burgundy/black floral blouse (thrifted, JNY), $0.44/wear
Purple skirt (JCP), $5.95/wear
Double strand pearls (Macy's), $3.63/wear
Nude wedges by Cole Haan, $6.00/wear

Outfit total: $16.02/wear

For some reason, I decided to wear it with purple, even though strictly speaking there isn't purple in that print.  The dark burgundy comes close to purple, but obviously my burgundy skirt would have been a better match.  Oh well, I guess I was going for "tonal similarity" rather than "matching" and the result works well enough for me.  (But I still do want to wear this with my burgundy skirt.)

Here are some more purplish flowers, seen at a local nature preserve a couple weeks ago. 

In other news...An article on the free-time paradox.  Not anything ground-breaking there, but a nice basic discussion.  (I had not heard the term "leaky" as used in this context.)

It is almost continuous lightning outside right now.  We had a clap of thunder a few minutes ago that not only scared me (not difficult) but also scared Robert.  It doesn't seem that windy, but standing in the doorway of the balcony, Robert got pretty wet quite quickly.  It's supposed to be all rainy for the next 4 days.

Pink, Blue, and A Lilac

A Different Color Combination--Tuesday, 9/20/16

Let me be clear:  This outfit is straight up magnificent.  I don't even care that it's from a 2012 blog post--this color combination is timelessly awesome.  When I saw it on Pinterest, I got excited about the possibilities of wearing my blue and aqua paisley cardigan (a lovely piece that I want to wear in a new way) with bright pink.


Enter my excellent new bright pink sleeveless top with the nice flow.  I think it worked out very well with the cardigan, and with a modern-retro statement pendant.

Blue and aqua paisley cardigan (Coldwater Creek), $5.60/wear
*Bright pink sleeveless blouse (thrifted, Target), $5.24/wear
Aqua skirt (JCP), $2.50/wear
Bright pink flats (Payless), $0.62/wear
Silver/teal peacock pendant (Target), $3.17/wear

Outfit total: $17.13/wear

I veered away slightly from the pure cobalt + pink color combination by playing up the aqua in the cardigan with a matching skirt.  And while I loved the way her pink top acted as a color pop against the white and blue, I did get matchy again with the shoes.  I'm happy with the results, though--pink, blue, and aqua are a nice combination.

If I were to pick a coordinating bunny, I think this Lilac rabbit would be a good choice.  I like the soft pink-grey color with a hint of brown.

In other news...An interesting article about an infrequently addresses cause of college tuition increases (with a nifty table showing differences in state colleges by state).

And if you dare, check out footwear this horror show.  (If your eyes melt out of your head, blame Robert, he sent me the link.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rabbit Numbers

"The Boho Paisley Overlord"--Monday, 9/19/16

The Reverse Inspiration options are slim pickings for this one.  I guess wearing a black vest + black skirt is not a thing, except for a be-furred Olivia Palermo.


It all started with this paisley top, part of my interview suit shopping collection, that I am trying to wear different ways.  I chose the necklace and ballet flats next, then finished it off with the summer-casual-suit-substitute of black skirt and vest, a combination I haven't tried before.  (Clearly I need to keep working it to improve the quality of the Reverse Inspirations.)

Green/blue paisley drapeneck knit top (JNY), $5.00/wear
Black shutterfold pencil skirt (JCP), $1.58/wear
Black open weave cardigan vest (Kohls), $2.21/wear
Blue/green statement necklace (Target), $2.96/wear
Bright blue flats (Payless), $1.33/wear

Outfit total: $13.08/wear

I continue to be a huge fan of these cardigans and cardigan vests/sleeveless cardigans with the open weave stitching.  It's an easy way to make an outfit look more "finished" to my eye without a lot of unwelcome warmth.  They are adding a more boho-lite aspect to my style that works for me, especially in these laid-back warm-weather days, when paired with more classic, structured pieces.

And here is another black twosome that looks great together--a black Satin and a black Netherland dwarf.

In other news...An interesting profile of an ethnobotanist who is searching for new antibiotic inspiration in the field of traditional plant-based remedies.  (Field, haha.)

I have completed editing, compiling, and documenting my state fair rabbit photos--those left over from the 2015 fair as well as the new ones from the 2016 fair.  How many photos do you think I have prepared?  Closest guess wins.  (Assume that the rabbit photos do not reproduce themselves.)

I'm not sure how after waking up at 8 a.m. that getting ready for the day, eating breakfast, getting a haircut, getting fitted and buying bras at Nordstrom, eating lunch, making a Target run for a new fan (this is the second one we've replaced this summer) and random stuff, and taking a 1 hour nap got me to 4:30 yesterday afternoon, but somehow it did. 

Note that it did take over an hour to get my hair cut--the hairdresser gave me an inverted bob that wasn't what I was expecting and that took her longer than she expected--but the final result looks good.  It's been years since I've had an inverted bob.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Read This Book

"White Rabbit Pattern Mix"--Sunday, 9/18/16

Today we are carrying forward an outfit inspiration chain with a striped blazer, long open scarf, and necklace.  The inspiration photo is over two years old but I think this is a timeless combination.


Wait, did I say timeless?  Sorry to rub it in, White Rabbit.

Black knit hiking skirt (Patagonia/REI), $2.73/wear
Black/brown/blue/yellow Art Deco silk scarf (thrifted, Adrienne Vittadini), $2.80/wear
Black and white striped blazer (Nordstrom), $4.43/wear
White Rabbit tank (Disney Alice/Kohls), $4.00/wear
Gold ruby heart necklace (gift from Mom)
Mustard flats by MIA, $0.93/wear

Outfit total: $14.89/wear

However, this white rabbit has all the time in the world.

In other news...This guy would probably be better of thinking of bunnies than relying on that tea to calm him the fuck down, in my experience.

I am not even going to bother doing a half-assed book review for a book I devoured this week--I think I might have read the whole thing in under 24 hours.  You should just get it and read it for yourself.  Yes, you, whoever you are.  It has a survivalist reality TV meets medical apocalypse premise, a likeable but somewhat complex female protagonist, a basically perfectly paced plot, chapters that alternate between past and present timelines in a way that totally works, and good writing.  There is almost nothing not to like here, people.  (I say "almost" because people in survivalist mode will eat things like squirrels, slugs, and...well, certain cute fuzzies.  At least there are no graphic descriptions of the latter.)

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

What are you still doing here?  Go get that book!