Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dressing Up

"New Floral Scarf Revisited"--Monday, 1/30/17

When I wore this recently, I warned you that you'd be seeing more of this scarf soon.  And so it begins.

This time with red and true beige as the focus and navy as a support act.

Dark red dress (Kohls), $5.76/wear
Beige dress length cardigan (thrifted, Kohls), $1.31/wear
Navy tights
Navy ankle boots by Seychelles, $7.78/wear
Red/pink/navy/beige floral scarf (Lands End), $6.00/wear

Outfit total: $20.85/wear

I still haven't gotten to pattern mixing (I'm thinking polka dots or stripes as obvious first choices) but I'm loving the versatility of this color combination.

If I were a little braver, I might try wearing it with both pink and red in one outfit, but despite thinking it looks cute on others, I can't quite reconcile myself to that.

Would you wear pink and red together?

"Bundled Up Barbie"--Tuesday, 1/31/17

In this post from August 2015, dresses you can wear "now and in the fall" are featured.  You know, or in the winter if you go with leggings and a warm cardigan.

From bridgetteraes.com

I was originally going to wear this with my cream Skyrim cardigan, but I discovered that with a sleeveless dress, the cardigan is hella itchy on the arms (I've not noticed before because I always wear that cardigan with a long-sleeved barrier), so I substituted dark blue.

Sleeveless pink dress (Target), $5.00/wear
Dark blue boyfriend cardigan (thrifted, Laura Scott), $1.50/wear
Black leggings
Tall black boots by Fitzwell, $2.28/wear
Black/pink/blue striped scarf (Target), $2.40/wear

Outfit total: $11.18/wear

This scarf is actually a little bit itchy too--it's something about those metallic fibers, I think, and it makes me a bit hesitant to wear it--but it wasn't too bad with the high necked dress and cardigan underneath it.  It helped that I decided to wear it loose instead of tied around the neck.

For something a little different today, I present a couple of ring-necked ducks photographed at the DNR exhibit at the state fair.

In other news...The Economist recently published a special report on lifelong education that is worth reading in its entirety.  But this tidbit seemed relevant to me and at least a couple of my readers (i.e., over half of them, hah).

Over the past five years, demand for data analysts has grown by 372%; within that segment, demand for data-visualization skills has shot up by 2,574%.

I'm sure on the data viz side, that's from a low base, but still, I'll take it as a good sign.

And for an extra daily dose of cuteness in these trying times, check out this animal tweet off.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Black, White, Olive Weekend

Wearing this color combination two days in a row was a complete coincidence, but since reading significance into random events is a defining human trait, let's go with it.

"Black, White, Olive #1: Neon Zebra"--Saturday, 1/28/17

Olive top, black skirt, and a quilted vest are the key components in this easy weekend outfit.

From alittlebitofcheer.com

I got a little more aggressive in my choices, with a wild zebra print vest and some serious pattern mixing with the addition of a neon polka dot scarf.

Don't be concerned; I am wearing a skirt with this, too.  It just somehow didn't make it into the photo.  But if you've seen me in a knit hiking skirt, leggings, and fuzzy boots once...

Black knit hiking skirt (Patagonia/REI), $2.31/wear
Olive pullover sweater (Kohls), $2.12/wear
Black and white zebra quilted vest (thrifted), $1.69/wear
Black leggings
Black fuzzy boots (Walmart), $2.22/wear
Black scarf (Target), $1.09/wear
Black neon scarf (Target), $2.67/wear

Outfit total: $12.10/wear

Today's photo goes way back to a zoo trip in December 2010...because that's the last time I took zebra pics.  Clearly I need to get my act together and take my new camera to a zoo once the weather warms up a bit!

"Black, White, Olive #2: Professor Barbie"--Sunday, 1/29/17

Yes, this professor is a zoologist specializing in African equids (hence the stripes).  In the field, she tends toward olive linen and bright pink sunglasses, but today she's dressed for library research.  (Or, well, playing Pokemon Go at the mall, but can you really blame her?)

Black and white striped top with shoulder patches (Chaps/Kohls), $2.92/wear
Olive corduroy blazer (thrifted, JCP), $2.33/wear
Bright pink scarf (Target), $1.33/wear
Skinny jeans (JCP), $0.44/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom Rack), $2.31/wear

Outfit total: $9.33/wear

This bunny isn't falling for the "library research" story at all.

In other news...I had a pretty good weekend until Sunday afternoon, when I started getting sick.  I can't tell whether I have a sinus infection or just really bad allergies right now, but I think it's going to be a tough week.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Cutesy Apres-Ski

"Purple Puff"--Friday, 1/27/17

Continuing my jeans + puffy/quilted vest casual Friday streak with a new purple vest.  I was unaccountably cold in my office until about 3:45 this afternoon, so wearing a vest with "insultation: 80% down 20% feathers" was less silly than it sounds.  (I really expected to remove the vest by lunchtime but it didn't happen.)  I was also comfortable wearing this vest while Pokemon walking in my parking garage after work.

*Purple puffy vest (thrifted, Lands End), $5.24/wear
Black pullover sweater (thrifted, Macy's), $1.12/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Kohls), $0.32/wear
Black/teal/purple chevron scarf (Kohls), $2.19/wear
Purple flats (thrifted, Target), $1.05/wear

Outfit total: $9.92/wear

Is it silly to wear this vest with cute flats with bows on the toes?  Probably.  But I just wasn't feeling ankle boots or something more wintry in feel...though naturally I wore all weather mocs outside and changed into the suede flats inside my chalet office because I may be seasonally confused but I'm not actually insane.  

Naturally wearing something this puffy puts me in mind of a lady mini lop with a big, winter-ready dewlap, a being of complete puffy awesomeness.

In other news...This Mathematica-designed database that I am working with on a federal-grant-funded project gets more frustrating all the time.  I think I've complained before that there isn't any kind of data validation on data entry, and that the database inexplicably requires you to do things like, If you entered a date in field A, you have to enter the date again in field B, because the Mathematica program that calculates the performance metrics based on the database performs different calculations on the two fields and is apparently incapable of auto-filling the second field.

So in preparation for the quarterly report February 15, in which the Mathematica program calculates our numbers, I am trying to clean up the database, which has all the usual data entry screw ups of any database plus these extra errors that are because the database is dumb as all fuck.  And when trying to fix the dates for field B so they all correspond appropriately with field A, I started getting this data validation error that meant that I couldn't save the change--a data validation error on other data that had been previously entered and saved by program staff.  WTF?  They decided in the third year of having this database that they needed data validation, but it only comes into play when you try to change the data in other fields?  I don't know.

All I know is that my opinion of Mathematica as a company has nose-dived since working on this project.

It's a good thing I was over my migraine before tackling this problem this afternoon.  Speaking of which, here is a photo of yesterday's Alice-heavy migraine outfit.

100% real outfit, not pajamas

"Off with her head"?  That might have helped my headache...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Headache Blues

I was home today with a migraine (that started yesterday afternoon at work), but I am finally posting my outfit/blog entry from yesterday as my headache has receded just enough to look at the computer for a short period of time.

"On the Grid"--Wednesday, 1/25/17

Black, white, and cobalt (Tardis) blue are a terrific color combination.  I was particularly taken by the grid print top + cobalt bottoms on the right.

From youlookfab.com

My version had to incorporate my grid blazer and cobalt skirt, of course, and I couldn't resist a splash of extra color and pattern mixing with this floral scarf.  While my outfit isn't as modern and chic as the original, it worked well for a random Wednesday work day.

Cobalt blue skirt (eShakti), $4.38/wear
Black short-sleeved T (thrifted, JNY), $1.31/wear
Black and white grid blazer (thrifted, Target), $1.00/wear
Black tights
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $2.06/wear
Black/blue/orange floral scarf (Kohls), $1.60/wear

Outfit total: $10.35/wear

This bunny is a master at seeming very attentive to what is being said around him while taking a nap.  Multi-tasking, rabbit style.  I might or might not have channeled a bit of this approach in a pre-lunch meeting today.

In other news...When I read the following paragraph of this article, I was like, Oh God, that explains so much.

The president spent a part of Tuesday poring over artwork from the White House collections, settling on a portrait of Andrew Jackson — America’s first populist president, who has been invoked by Mr. Trump’s aides as inspiration — to hang in the Oval Office.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


"Thrown for a Loop"--Tuesday, 1/24/17

I am not experiencing a wardrobe slump, but as always, I enjoyed Bridgette's post on the subject...and the white shirt/burgundy topper/skirt I thought was dark grey but I guess is really navy blue outfit on the right.

The blazer with white piping really lends itself to wearing with a white top.  I do not own a fancy bow-tie blouse like in the inspiration photo, so I added my own bit of flounce with a long scarf, thereby mostly obscuring the white shirt but oh well, it works for me.

Burgundy tipped blazer (JNY), $5.45/wear
White long-sleeved T (Walmart), $0.36/wear
Dark grey skirt (Walmart), $2.00/wear
Grey tights
Grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan, $6.83/wear
Burgundy/magenta floral scarf (Target), $5.00/wear

Outfit total: $19.64/wear

Yes, I am wearing this scarf differently from normal...and kind of strangely.  I tied the ends together to make a faux-finity scarf for wearing with another outfit, and when it was time to photograph this one, I didn't feel like untying it, so I thought, What will it look like if I wear it as just a really long loop? 

This mini lop looks sad, but I'm not going to interpret that as a response to my unusual scarf-tying style.  He just wishes he were eating golden raisins right now.  Understandable.

What do you wish you were doing right now?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Disintegration of Soles

"Not As Layered"--Sunday, 1/22/17

From the queen of preppy layers comes this checked, spotted, vested casual outfit.

From respecttheshoes.blogspot.com

I had initially planned to wear a cream pullover sweater, but in the end, it just wasn't cold enough for it.  I know...what??  But we had highs around 40 F from last Wednesday to Sunday, so one layer of vest was enough.  (I even ended up ditching my socks at some point.  WTH.)

Pink gingham button up shirt (thrifted, Company Ellen Tracy), $1.12/wear
Olive quilted vest (thrifted, Relativity), $1.69/wear
Straight leg jeans (thrifted, Bandolinoblu), $0.10/wear
Olive leopard flats (Nordstrom Rack), $2.50/wear
Pink floral necklace (Target), $0.78/wear

Outfit total: $6.19/wear

With an inspiration photo from October 2015 and warm weather that let me dress like it's autumn, here is a shot of fall color at the dog park from last October.

"Monday's Bun is Full of Grump"--Monday, 1/23/17

Today's outfit had some hard to work to do to make me ready to face going to work.  I put my best bunnies on the job, but it was (almost) too much even for them.  I was running the flax oil nausea/fatigue/headache/nasal congestion combination that is more suitable for a sick day than a Monday, but there we are. 

Drapey maroon cardigan (Coldwater Creek), $1.87/wear
Cream/dark green rabbit blouse (Loft), $7.44/wear
Black shutterfold pencil skirt (JCP), $1.26/wear
Black tights
Black captoe flats (thrifted, Skyler), $0.93/wear
Gold crystal stone necklace (Loft), $10.40/wear

Outfit total: $21.90/wear

Good news--I had a project already underway, so I knew what I needed to do and had a bit of leftover momentum toward it from last week, which is always welcome on a Monday.  Bad news--this part of the project sucks.

When I sat down at my desk, I realized that I'd torn a hole in my tights on the left calf sometime after leaving my apartment.  It was that kind of day, you know?

This little rabbit is saying it all.

In other news...This weekend I was irritated because while out playing Pokemon Go, my foot got completely soaked from stepping in watery slush, despite the fact that I was wearing my all weather mocs.  When I got back to the car and checked the shoe out, I found that it was horribly cracked on the sole...just like Robert's pair of all weather mocs that he discovered last week had deteriorated to the point of having a hole in the bottom.  This reminded me of how the first time I wore an old pair of Born rubber-soled shoes to walk to school in Snowville, the soles fell apart entirely en route.  So my guess is that because Robert and I have had these mocs for many years, the soles had become brittle and with the winter Pokemon walking we've been doing recently, the cold had caused the soles to crack. 

I've been meaning to link to this article about the importance of recent graduates' college majors in understanding the Millennial employment situation forever, so now I am. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Coming into the Weekend

"Invested in the Navy"--Friday, 1/20/17

Winter Casual Friday outfit inspiration with burgundy sweater and jeans.  (Shivering optional.)

From shealennon.com

I initially thought about wearing a button up shirt with my sweater, but (1) my sweater isn't really big enough to wear something that stiff under it comfortably, (2) I am increasingly unwilling to fuss with a button up shirt layered under a sweater, which tends to bunch up and generally require a lot futzing, and (3) I have a new-ish navy quilted vest that is a much easier and more comfy choice.  I was really pleased with how this turned out.

Burgundy cashmere pullover sweater (Macy's), $5.33/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Kohls), $0.33/wear
Navy quilted vest (thrifted, Kohls), $4.12/wear
Navy/pink floral scarf (Kohls), $2.79/wear
Leopard smoking slippers by Clarks, $1.72/wear

Outfit total: $14.29/wear

I am especially happy with the subtle pattern mixing here and with how the warm tone of the orange-brown leopard print shoe works with the warmer peach/coral color that appears in some of the flowers.

This is one of my favorite bird photos yet--a blue jay with an acorn in his beak, sitting on the fence in my parents' yard.  (It seems weird to see a photo from December with all that greenery and no snow in the background!)  Aren't his wing and tail feathers amazing?  Blue jays are such pretty birds--they're just so common that we don't always really look at them.  But when you take the time to fully take one in, they're gorgeous.

"Not a Trench Coat"--Saturday, 1/21/17

This was an unusual combination of full-skirted black dress + black moto jacket.

From lindsayliving.com

When Robert first saw me in this outfit, he said, "At first I thought that you were wearing a trench coat."  A long black drapey ensemble can be tricky that way, I guess.

Black faux wrap dress (thrifted, Walmart), $2.50/wear
Black moto jacket (JCP), $1.41/wear
Black leggings
Tall cognac boots by Sam Edelman, $7.91/wear
Red/pink/black peacock scarf (gift)

Outfit total: $11.82/wear

And check it out--you can finally see my new scarf!  (I haven't tried playing up the blue in the scarf in one of my outfits, but I will be doing so.)  You can also see close up that I have some different textures going here with the knit dress and nubby jacket.

One thing I don't have in my look, however, is something so smooth that it makes you want to learn a new word for "sleek."  This mini satin is all about that.

In other news...I thought these photos of Women's Marches across the country were cool.

Predictably, my day involved a Pokemon March instead.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sidewalk Success

"Marooned"--Thursday, 1/19/17

I like to look at outfits women in more temperate climes wear with coats and substitute a blazer or other indoor layer to make it Coldville appropriate.  In this example from December 2014, a black dress + red coat are the basis of a black dress + maroon blazer outfit.

From shealennon.com

Adding a blazer to a dress with 3/4 length sleeves is particularly helpful this time of year.

Black knit dress (Kohls), $5.76/wear
Maroon blazer (Lands End), $3.00/wear
Burgundy/white geometric scarf (Walmart), $2.24/wear
Black leggings
Tall black boots by Fitzwell, $2.33/wear

Outfit total: $13.33/wear

Unlike the inspiration photo, I am not taking a gigantic blanket scarf and trying to constrain its volume.  With dresses, my favorite style is a relatively lightweight, long scarf, tied once with the ends free to dangle. 

Meanwhile, this Polish rabbit is all, Who you calling messy?

In other news...This is just so dumb on so many levels.

The ice was mostly melted on the sidewalks in our neighborhood today (though there were huge puddles of water/slush to be avoided at certain intersections), so we took a nice Pokemon walk--I'm not sure how long, but over 5 km since I hatched a 5 km egg I picked up.  It wasn't that cold either (I mean, in the mid to high 30s, which when you're properly suited up really isn't cold at all because it's not cold enough to make your mostly unavoidably exposed skin freeze).

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Falling Behind

...with blogging, but not falling ON my behind, despite the treacherously icy sidewalks and parking lots this week.  Neither Robert nor I have a mental model for the ground to be enough colder than the air that it can be 40 F air temperature and yet the ground is still icy.

Warning: Slip on Ice/Fall on Ass Zone

The long holiday weekend didn't get photos taken because it was all Pokemon, all the time, thanks to Pokemon walking the local mall.  But on Sunday night, I did snap a shot of my zebra vest outfit to test that my camera situation was copacetic, which it was.  (This Goodwill-purchased vest is homemade and reversible, with plain black on the other side--I didn't realize that it was two two two vests in one when I bought it.  And yeah, that is a sweet little heart zipper.)

"Hounds and Puffins"--Tuesday, 1/17/16

If you have to go back to work after a 3 day weekend, and it happens to the best of us, you sometimes need an extra dose of cuteness to get you through.  I made that happen with my kissing puffins, though you can only see one puffin due to the addition of a jacket this time around.  But the one puffin still carried enough oomph for the day. 

Light grey puffin pullover sweater (Loft), $7.44/wear
Black and white geometric reeds skirt (JCP), $1.88/wear
Black tuxedo jacket (thrifted, Chico's), $0.90/wear
Black and white houndstooth scarf (Target), $1.58/wear
Black tights
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $2.12/wear

Outfit total: $13.92/wear

I love this soft knit jacket, but man does it hold on to fur!  I wore it in the presence of multiple cats over the Christmas holiday, and even though I washed it, I was still finding little tufts of fur all day.  I was very pleased with this outfit, and how a combination of textures and patterns in plain black and white can look so visually interesting.  Plus the neutral color palette lets the orange puffin bill and feet pop.

In a striking black-and-orange ensemble, this Harlequin rabbit is confident and ready for anything.

...Well, not going to work, because that would be silly.

"One of the Easiest Damned Outfit Formulas: A Brief Demonstration"--Wednesday, 1/18/16

Opinions vary on the place for outfit formulas in one's sartorial repertoire, but I think they can be a nice fallback option.  For example, I bought this scarf from Lands End in December, and when I was thinking of how to wear it the first time, I went with the most simple outfit building method--pick out colors from the scarf and wear items in those colors.

In this case, my new-ish pink sweater was an obvious starting point, and navy was a no-brainer neutral.  Rather than wearing navy boots, I decided to punch up the beige in the scarf with its somewhat richer counterpart in the form of cognac boots.  (And I really like navy + cognac anyway.)

See how easy that is?

Dusky pink pullover sweater (Loft), $6.19/wear
Navy skirt (Walmart), $5.00/wear
*Red/pink/navy/beige floral scarf (Lands End), $11.99/wear
Navy leggings
Tall cognac boots by Sam Edelman, $8.44/wear

Outfit total: $31.62/wear

And I didn't even get to the white or red colors in the scarf.  There will be so many possible variations on this formula...and I haven't even gotten to pattern mixing ideas yet.

In other news...This breeding program seems like a long-shot in our current environment, but I'm glad people are working on the issue.

I can't bring myself to talk about my full reaction to the hearing for Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for Department of Education secretary.  Instead, I will let you see the facts from CNN.

I will just say that I expected her to be a hard-line ideologue with very ill-advised stances on the issues, and she does not fail to deliver on that promise.  However, I did not expect her to be so completely, utterly ignorant of the most basic aspects of American education and federal law.  I don't understand how she doesn't know more about education than she does by sheer osmosis, given that she's been a major money player for so long.  I walked into my job interview for my current position knowing more about K12 education (after a couple hours on the Internet) than she did walking into the hearing.  She wants to be education secretary but she didn't even bother cramming for the test?  My office mate summarized her position along the lines of: The federal government has the wrong policies on education...not that I know what those policies are.

What is it with Trump and his fellow know-nothing mega-rich buddies?  Has their wealth so shielded them from reality that they don't have even the slightest sense that they need something other than their money and some poorly thought-out opinions in order to do these jobs?

It's completely appalling.  I cannot imagine how the professionals in the federal government feel about the fact that they will be working for these clowns...or the fear and dismay that the clowns will destroy everything that the professionals have spent their careers building.

However, I guess the upside is that her idiotic testimony provided the impetus for Robert to comment on her commitment to the right to "bear" arms.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Black and White and Red All Over

"Long Jeans, Snowy Days"--Friday, 1/15/17

In a review of some JCP pieces from September 2015, this black and white top, maroon cardigan, and jeans outfit caught my attention as an autumn casual Friday option.

From pennypincherfashion.com

Instead of a long duster cardigan (because my eye has not adjusted to how a very long cardigan looks with jeans), I wore my cascading cardigan instead...and the White Rabbit watch for extra awesomeness.

And I hoped that by delaying wearing this "fall" outfit until mid-January that I hadn't totally screwed myself over.  Luckily it was only -6 F this morning instead of the -15 F that had been forecast, eh?  Anyway, when I got ready for work, I put on a red peacock feather infinity scarf that my sister had got me for my birthday and relished that little bit of extra warmth.  It looked fab, too.  (I've worn this scarf twice now without photographing it but just you wait...)

Black and white striped top with shoulder patches (Chaps/Kohls), $3.18/wear
Bootcut jeans (thrifted, Target), $1.25/wear
Drapey maroon cardigan (Coldwater Creek), $2.14/wear
Black wedges (thrifted), $0.26/wear
White Rabbit pocket watch pendant (Zad), $2.15/wear
Not pictured: Red peacock feather scarf (gift from my sister)

Outfit total: $8.98/wear

And yeah, I know, this cardigan looks better with skinny jeans.  I'm just enjoying this season's resurgence in popularity of bootcut/flared jeans, and since these are reasonably fitted in the thigh (not ultra tight but also not baggy like wide leg jeans), I think the effect is "flattering enough." 

This black-and-white Dutch rabbit is a seeker after truth and treats, probably not in that order.

In other news...This evening in desperation I took a Pokemon walk around my apartment building.  I have walked the halls before, but today I also tried walking the perimeter of the parking garage, which allowed me to get to the edges of the building and thus access Pokemon on the streets outside and the river better than I can from the hallways with apartments between us.  It was pretty worthwhile, Pokemon wise, and I got in some steps and hatched an egg.