Friday, March 31, 2017

Tentacool for School

Well, we've made it to Friday, and next week is spring break in Coldville...not that I have any time off or anything.  But things are generally quieter during that week when school isn't in session and a lot of people in my building take time off.  Of course, now that I say that, Monday is going to be one emergency after another.  Knock wood it won't be.  In any case, I have a weekend between now and then, to which I say, Huzzah!  Even if we do need to do our taxes and finish taking down the Christmas tree.  (I know, I'm ridiculous.  But it's happening this weekend, I tell you!)

"Vest Week #3: Quilted but Polished"--Wednesday, 3/29/17

I saw some outfits pairing aqua and cobalt blue.

#1:  She wore this lacy blue top and aqua skirt to celebrate moving with her husband into their own apartment over the summer.  Moving house is a lot of work.  Wearing blue and aqua together is easy.


#2:  She wore this "ombre" outfit to meet for the first time an out-of-town blogger who was visiting her home town.  Meeting new people can be stressful.  Wearing a tonal outfit is relaxing.


But then when I tried it myself, I was like, Meh.  I tried substituting a navy skirt for the cobalt one and still a no go.  Then I tried a cream sweater and a navy quilted vest and started getting some traction.  So here is my "lightweight sweater with quilted vest and pencil skirt for work" vest outfit that bears no resemblance to these fine inspiration photos.

Cream pullover sweater (Macy's), $6.40/wear
Navy skirt (Walmart), $3.75/wear
Navy quilted vest (thrifted, Kohls), $1.37/wear
Red/pink/navy/beige floral scarf (Lands End), $4.00/wear
Navy tights + navy ankle boots by Seychelles, $6.67/wear

Outfit total: $22.19/wear

Maybe when the weather warms enough that I'm not wearing tights, I will revisit the aqua + cobalt color combination--I think part of my problem was that the blue skirt + navy tights just wasn't doing it for me.  But for this cooler transitional season, I really enjoyed wearing this outfit.  Of course, a long flowing still-relatively-new scarf can't hurt on that front.

The cream-colored arm in my outfit photo reminded me a bit of the white wing patch of this sleeping (eclipse) American wigeon.

In other news...My favorite part of this comparison is the "mating behavior often observed by a hidden David Attenborough" attribute.

This post is brought to you by Tentacool, a Pokemon I keep hatching over and over again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

All In the Goldeen Afternoon

"Vest Week #2:  Sweater-mint"--Tuesday, 3/28/17

Today's inspiration photo features grey and white stripes + mint.

From Pinterest

These moderate-thickness cardigan style vests that close in the front are nice for the seasonal transition.  I have worn them with blouses and button up collared shirts, but I think a t-shirt is probably my favorite under layer.  I admit that this isn't exactly the most "figure flattering" style, but I like it--it's a very comfortable combination, and worn with a pencil skirt, the extra volume on the top doesn't look too bad.

Mint cardigan vest (JCP), $3.35/wear
Grey/cream striped long-sleeved T (Kohls), $0.64/wear
Dark grey skirt (Walmart), $1.09/wear
Grey tights + grey leopard wedges by Cole Haan, $6.39/wear
Braided pearl necklace (Loft), $6.15/wear

Outfit total: $17.62/wear

This faux pearl necklace worked really well with this outfit, I think.

Spring is definitely in the air!  And what could be more appropriate for that than a couple of grasshoppers passing the time on lover's lane.

In other news...Robert sent this video from the Miami Open, in which an iguana took over the court.  Says Robert, "Advantage: Iguana."

This post was brought to you by Goldeen, a common Pokemon during the Water Festival (ended Wednesday), and the song from Disney's Alice in Wonderland.  I'm not sorry to have our encounter frequency lowered to its base level because she's a frustrating one to catch.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Give Peace a Chansey

"Vest Week #1: Sorta Rowr"--Monday, 3/27/17

From one year ago, this post on "fresh ways to wear red" paired a red sweater with black and grey printed bottoms for the "red with prints" look. 


This is very different from the "red with Prince" look, which I couldn't pull off at all.


Anyway, somehow, my Monday through Thursday outfits this week all have vests, which are apparently my go-to seasonal transition item of choice.  So today we'll feature the classic black moto vest, which I've noticed I like wearing over these lightweight cashmere sweaters.  I put on my kick-ass ankle boots with the silver details and an animal print scarf for some slightly edgy cheetah action.

Red pullover sweater (Macy's), $3.55/wear
Black moto vest (JCP), $2.12/wear
Grey polka dot skirt (Kohls), $1.60/wear
Coral cheetah scarf (thrifted), $0.30/wear
Black tights + black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $1.75/wear

Outfit total: $9.32/wear

This sprawling, sweet-faced Polish bunny has a lovely spotted "animal print" too.

In other news...Monday night was quite warm after work (55 F) so we went out for a Pokemon Go walk around 6:50 and it was still light outside even, for a while.  There were a bunch of walkers, joggers, bicyclists, kids on scooters (electric and self-propelled)...and many of them didn't even have doggies with them (as is the case during the colder days when only a dog's call of nature forces most people outdoors).

At one point, I was stopped looking down at my phone when there was this tremendous whistling/buzzing sound as something flew by clearly only a few feet from my head.  I didn't see what it was but assumed that some jackass had buzzed us with his drone.  Before I could say anything, Robert inexplicably said, Woodcock.  I was like, What???  He had seen it fly by us and it was a displaying American woodcock, who does a "dazzling aerial display" to impress the ladies at dusk.

I was wearing a brown cotton jacket and olive green ball cap and Robert was wearing an olive green jacket, so I said, Maybe we were standing so still, he mistook us for trees.  And Robert conceded that we did have a kind of tree/foliage look about us.

Amusingly, about 30 minutes later, maybe 6 blocks or so downriver, we did see a drone high out over the river.  Robert was like, Wait, was it a drone after all?  But (1) he had seen that it was a bird even though it was getting dark-ish and (2) the drone was way louder than the sound of the woodcock--I'd only heard the woodcock's whistling wings as it came directly past me--and of a different quality.  According to David Sibley, it is still not clear to ornithologists whether that sound is purely the air rushing between the three unusually narrow outer primary feathers or whether there are vocal sounds involved as well, though he is of the opinion that it's all wing sounds.

Fun fact:  "This bird is also known as the bogsucker, timberdoodle, hookumpeke, and night peck."

So further evidence, in addition to all the other birds that have appeared and started making noise in the last several days, that Spring is coming to Coldville!

This post is brought to you by Chansey, the friendly, unassuming little Pokemon who is kinda a bitch to fight due to her very high number of hit points.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Carpe Karpem

"Unstoppable Lavender Leopard"--Saturday, 3/25/17

Lauren has been the host of multiple month-long style challenges.  This is the outfit she wore for her December 2014 "Feeling Vest-ive" prompt.  (Luckily the puffy/quilted vest trend continues to go strong.)  Quilted vest and denim skirt is a good weekend formula.

As spring approaches yet the weather stays cold, I move more and more to wearing heavy items in lighter colors, like this lavender quilted vest--it's been a much more useful piece than I imagined when I bought it.  But I've grown kind of tired of wearing it lately, so I think I will send it back to Goodwill.

Pairing the lavender vest with my elephant scarf made a lot of sense (in color terms), but does the leopard print confuse the issue?  Are the leopard and the elephant friends?

Let's ask google!  "Are the leopard and the elephant friends"

--Check out this great, short "animal encounter" post (with photos) of a leopard and elephant meeting along the banks of the Sand River.

--This Central African tale of how the leopard got his spots features King Elephant AND Kalulu the Hare!  (I hadn't heard this story before.)

So...from these links, I'm taking that the answer is no.

Instead of the elephant scarf, I wore the blob necklace instead.

Ain't nobody friends with the Blob, of course.  But like me wearing leopard print, nothing can stop it.

And because we ended up playing Pokemon Go all day in the somewhat-chilly weather, I traded out my thick grey sweatpants (with a big rabbit on one thigh) and all weather mocs on the bottom half.  We walked almost 10 km (over 6 miles)! 

Grey leopard long-sleeved T (Apt 9/Kohls), $3.40/wear
Lavender quilted vest (thrifted, Van Heusen), $1.00/wear
Silver blob necklace (JNY), $1.93/wear
Denim skirt (thrifted, Levi's)
Grey leggings
Tall grey boots by LifeStride

Outfit total: $6.33/wear

Bonus: Here is a cute series of "unlikely animal friends" photos from National Geographic.  (Tiger/black bear head butt!)

This post is brought to you by Magikarp (and Robert's pun).  We have been pretty diligent the last couple weekends about seizing the 'karp.  On the sweatpants wearing day noted above, we walked around a large park with a river and waterfall, which was an Eevee nest but also had a lot of Magikarp.  The weekend before, we walked around a different large park that was a Magikarp nest.  With the Water Festival increasing the probability of encountering water type Pokemon in all environments, we've seen a bit of an uptick in Magikarp catchable from our apartment or along the river outside.  So it's been a good time for Magikarp catching (or what Tam referred to recently as "fishing").  I even caught a shiny Magikarp this weekend! (I was sad to read in those articles that Magikarp no longer hatch from eggs.)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

You are Feeling Drowzee

"Casual Navy Friday"--Friday, 3/24/17

For this outfit, Imogen recommended keeping your denim "dark and distressing free for the most professional look"--check.  But I fell apart on the "button up shirt" and "blazer" aspects of this combination. 


Oh well, the head of my department was wearing Crocs on Thursday (!) and a (male) coworker was wearing olive cargo pants with olive Chucks on Friday (which looked awesome) so I think what I came up with was perfectly acceptable for my office.

Long-sleeved navy striped top (Joe Fresh/JCP), $4.40/wear
Navy quilted vest (thrifted, Kohls), $1.65/wear
Flared jeans (thrifted, Lane Bryant), $0.13/wear
White/blue/yellow floral scarf (Target), $1.71/wear
Navy ankle boots by Seychelles, $7.00/wear

Outfit total: $14.89/wear

I didn't wear any of the dark cognac accessories from the inspiration photo either, so here's a cinnamon rabbit to make up for it.

In other news...OK, you all are familiar with the Internet sensation Maru, right?  The box-loving cat with the name that is so fun to say (try it right now with lengthened vowels and see what I mean: Maaaah-rooooo).  If not, oh my God let's change that right now.  If so, this video needs no more introduction than for me to observe that Maru is now in the Guinness Book of World Records for most views of an animal on YouTube.  And that's fighting some stiff competition, right?  Enjoy this "retrospective of Maru's paradoxical life."  (Thanks to Robert for sharing this link.)

This post is brought to you by Drowzee, a common Friday afternoon work companion.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pop Goes the Weedle

"Pink as Night"--Thursday, 3/23/17

I have two inspirations for a light pink blazer + black and white dress + tall black boots outfit.  First, a woman in a cool hat wondering if that car is her Uber or what.


Second, a blogger/teacher with a big smile.

Instead of a dress, I wore a black top and black polka dot skirt in my version of this outfit.  And because it's a day that ends in -y, I added a scarf to it.  This scarf has a leopard print on one half of the length and a floral print on the other half (it's not a reversible scarf with two patterns; both patterns show up side by side), but I arranged the scarf so that the pink/orchid flowers are most prominently displayed.  These brilliant touches don't happen by accident, people.  There's strategy involved.

Light pink blazer (thrifted, Kasper), $3.37/wear
Black short-sleeved top (thrifted, JNY), $0.87/wear
Black polka dot skirt (Walmart), $1.61/wear
Black leggings
Tall black boots by Fitzwell, $2.02/wear
Light blue/orchid leopard-floral scarf (thrifted), $1.75/wear

Outfit total: $9.62/wear

In other news...The Victoria Beckham collaboration with Target has a collection called Clever Bunny with several obviously Alice in Wonderland themed pieces (for girls).  A person could die.

But instead of dying, let's enjoy this Dutch motion shot.

Plus a couple of brief research notes from the Harvard Business Review with nothing revelatory, but some interesting comments on how to be happy at work and the importance of quiet time

I thought the life phase findings in the happy-at-work research were pretty predictable from Carstensen's work in Socioemotional Selectivity Theory.  Here's a brief synopsis of that theory, which I think has a lot of explanatory power.

This blog post is brought to you by Weedle, one of the strangely most difficult Pokemon for me to catch (relative to its combat power) because I can never get my curve ball tight enough to hit it in the center for an increased catch probability.  I always hit it on that damn head spike instead.  Robert describes a Weedle breaking out of a Poke ball as "pop goes the weedle."

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ekans Out a Living

First, a shout-out to the birthday girl reading this blog. Happy Birthday!

"Disney Alice Barbie"--Tuesday, 3/21/17

Today's Reverse Inspiration is two outfits that contain aspects of mine--light pink patterned top, grey bottoms, a hint of light blue.  However, the "gentle, sweet-looking" vibe of the imagined owner of this wardrobe does not have anything to do with me.


Well, I'd initially planned to wear this outfit for the first day of spring, but that fever thing on Monday delayed the outfit for a day.  No problem, it will still be spring for a while.  For me, sartorial Spring/Summer (where there are no more tights!) doesn't start until mid-May.  Will this bright, cheerful outfit make me forget that I'm still getting over the fever thing while I brave re-entry to the workplace?  No, but that's OK.  I don't expect my clothing to work those kinds of miracles/induce a fog of utter forgetfulness.  If I can keep myself on the Barbie/Alice and not Oscar the Grouch end of the spectrum, that's good.

Light pink floral blouse (Disney Alice/Kohls), $3.08/wear
Bright pink velvet blazer (thrifted, Old Navy), $1.40/wear
Dark grey skirt (Walmart), $1.20/wear
Grey tights
Grey ankle boots by Seychelles, $4.83/wear
Aqua infinity scarf (Target), $1.67/wear

Outfit total: $12.18/wear

It's nice that this blush pink blouse has bright pink flowers on it--that makes it easy to mix and match with the approximately 8 million Barbie-hued items in my closet.

"Pink and Grey, Continued"--Wednesday, 3/22/17

When it works, it works.  I think pink + grey is my absolute go-to color combination for this early spring season when tights are still a necessity.  This was an easy way to wear my pink sweater again, and the scarf with pink/coral/red/whatever birds managed to go with this dusky shade just fine too.

Dusky pink pullover sweater (Loft), $4.13/wear
Grey tweed skirt (thrifted, Ann Taylor), $1.07/wear
Grey leggings
Tall grey boots by LifeStride, $5.26/wear
Grey/black/red birds scarf (gift)

Outfit total: $10.46/wear

This chinchilla bunny is beautiful in shades of grey.

In other news...The duck video at the bottom of this post is just...whoa.  (Thanks, Robert.)

This post was brought to you by Ekans.  Most of the Ekans I have were either hatched from eggs or caught in my parents' driveway, but I have surprisingly gotten some here in Coldville as well, even in the winter when it doesn't seem like a good time for any kind of snake to be out.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Second favorite quote from Wednesday's developer meeting:  "So send fluffy bunny thoughts my way."  If she wants fluffy bunnies, she's come to the right person.  She will be getting some fluffy rabbits photos by email.  Muahahahaha.

"Lucky Rabbits"--Friday, 3/17/17

For a day of green and luck, how could I not wear the green rabbit blouse, right? 

Cream/dark green rabbit blouse (Loft), $3.72/wear
Denim skirt (thrifted, Levi's), $0.45/wear
Dark green blazer (thrifted, Target), $2.00/wear
Blue/green pearl statement necklace (Target), $2.69/wear
Black tights
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $1.79/wear

Outfit total: $10.65/wear

I was very happy to have a chance to wear this green blazer with the black lapels again while the weather is cold enough and the color doesn't seem too opposed to the overall Easter-y pastel vibe of spring.  I think of this as an autumn piece, but I really should wear it more in winter, too.  It's funny--because of the black details, I think of it as being not terribly versatile, which is ridiculous because I wear black in winter all the time.  In this outfit, I think the hints of black on the blazer made the black tights + boots look a bit more intentional than the reality of "well it's Coldville so of course I've gotta be wearing tights and boots of some sort and I'm not really going to invest in dark green tights and boots it is!"

In other news...If you haven't gotten enough of the sexism at Uber and in Silicon Valley generally, here are two articles worth reading.  I found the discussion around the effects of unconscious-bias training in the Atlantic article fascinating for obvious reasons.

Lately, I can relate to Sammy in this comic.  With me, this experience is often followed by "Waaaah, why did I do that?  Robert, fix it!"

This post is brought to you by Nidoran (female).  She's a kind of rage-y rabbit, so I like to feed her razzberries to calm her down before catching her.

Speaking of rage-y bunnies, check out this Regarding the Secret Life of Rabbits comic:

Yep, I can relate to that one, too.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Best line from today's developer meeting:  "Because I am also guilty of not being Sally."

"Sparkly Barbie"--Wednesday, 3/15/17

I've been trying to get some good wear of this velvet blazer while it's still on the cold, not-really-spring part of the seasonal spectrum.  And if this thrifted piece is momentarily on trend for winter, all the better.  I go back and forth with this scarf--I like the look, but those metallic threads make it a little bit on the scratchy side.  I discovered that it wasn't so scratchy when I wore it with a velvet blazer, so that's a bonus.

Bright pink velvet blazer (thrifted, Old Navy), $1.75/wear
Black short-sleeved top (thrifted, JNY), $1.05/wear
Black space dye skirt (Old Navy), $1.11/wear
Black tights
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $1.84/wear
Black/pink/blue striped scarf (Target), $2.00/wear

Outfit total: $7.75/wear

"Blue Boyfriend"--Thursday, 3/16/17

For today's Reverse Inspiration, here is an example of how navy and a light blue/teal color work well together.


I'm not comfortable showing very much skin above the knee at work, so this dress is a "tights only" piece in my wardrobe.  It works pretty well as a winter/spring transition dress because it's a pale (spring-like) color that goes with every shade of tights I own.

Dark blue boyfriend cardigan (thrifted, Laura Scott), $1.00/wear
Light blue sleeveless dress (Kohls), $4.00/wear
Navy tights
Navy ankle boots by Seychelles, $7.00/wear
White/blue/yellow floral scarf (Target), $1.71/wear

Outfit total: $13.71/wear

This scarf is proving remarkably versatile--I guess I wear navy and/or light blue more than I think I do.  Thanks, Easter Bunny!

Rabbits show how well a mix of neutrals works.  (Not something you're likely to see me display.)  With bonus points for the added texture of the grey rabbit's fur against the bars of the cage.

In other news...This post contrasting the fashion world's idea of winter layering with real winter layering was amusing.  Outfits featuring those spindly sandals are not my favorites under any circumstances, but combined with big turtleneck sweaters topped with faux fur coats, etc., against a backdrop of snow...should we laugh or cry?  Bloggers who feature these kind of ludicrous outfits should be forced to wear them while doing my old 2 mile doctoral program commute in January as a penance.

Today's post is brought to you by Slowbro.  On recent cold, windy Pokemon Go playing nights, I have felt like a Slowblo due to how much the weather has made my nose run.  But at least it's been warm enough that it wasn't physically painful to take off my gloves and expose my fingers directly to the air when blowing my nose, so it's better than it was a month ago!  (Also nobody is currently biting my tail.  But "grudgingly swim" is the only way I would swim at this stage of life...unless "refuse to swim" is an option.  Not a fan.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pokepun Go

Let's play catch-up, OK?

"Zoo Clown"--Monday, 3/13/17

First there was Style Clown.  Now with this crazy normal stripes + zebra stripes combo, I have entered Zoo Clown territory.  What to wear on a Monday with no meetings and even your office mate is on vacation for the day--something brash to help compensate for the minimal caffeine in your diet without unduly terrifying your co-workers.  In the afternoon, I actually did switch this reversible vest over to the plain black side to tone things down a bit.

Cobalt blue pullover sweater (Macy's), $5.71/wear
Black and white striped skirt (thrifted, Target), $0.31/wear
Zebra quilted vest (thrifted), $1.12/wear
Bright pink scarf (Target), $1.20/wear
Black tights
Black ankle boots by Sam Edelman, $1.89/wear

Outfit total: $10.23/wear

"Dressed Up Birdies"--Tuesday, 3/16/17

After Monday's weirdness, this outfit looks even more professional and subdued by contrast.  It's an unusually thrift-free outfit; maybe I'd always look like a Real Working Adult if I made a habit of wearing only new clothing?  (Nah.)

Burgundy/mint birds blouse (Loft), $12.50/wear
Burgundy skirt (Nordstrom), $1.99/wear
Light grey blazer (JNY), $1.47/wear
Grey tights
Grey ankle boots by Seychelles, $5.00/wear
Braided pearl necklace (Loft), $7.18/wear

Outfit total: $28.14/wear

I call this blouse "burgundy" but it's somewhere in the burgundy to purple range with a touch of mauve thrown in.  In my world, this mean it matches burgundy, purple, and all related colors.  Convenient.

In other news...This is why we really try not to have cold or snow days in Coldville.

My mom sent this article, which shocked me--not because politicians would use lottery money to reduce other education funding, but because her home state has made this illegal and has a process in place to hold them accountable when it happens.  In Texas, the governor and legislature just take all the money that isn't nailed down by federal law.  The Texas lottery was sold as a way to increase education funding but it's only ever been an offset that produces no net increase in funding.

This is the introduction to a series of posts with terrible Pokemon puns, some of which I can attribute to Robert, who continues to display an unrivaled and effortless mastery in this area.