Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Day 12

I am thankful for braces. When I was younger, I had a massive overbite (I could stick my finger between my top teeth and bottom teeth and wiggle it back and forth) plus a huge gap between my front two teeth. From fourth to seventh grade, I had appliances, rubber bands, and braces. (Thankfully no headgear for me!) I've often thought my smile and my teeth are my best feature. I am incredibly thankful that my parents had the opportunity to provide this luxury for me. On days like today when I look like a mess, I can flash a grin and feel content. [Didn't someone once say that a smile is the best accessory?]

I call this my "I have a term paper due in less than 24 hours" look.

Shirt: American Eagle - gift from Mom
Cardigan: American Eagle - gift from Mom
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Old Navy
Smile: c/o braces and my parents
Okay, well it's back to fleshing out in what way expensive taste is a problem for the luck egalitarian, and why the choice/luck distinction is epistemically problematic!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Day 11

I am thankful for pleasant surprises. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, I had a student ask me to write her a letter of recommendation. The first thought that crossed my mind: "Seriously?!" [I am so exhausted and couldn't imagine being able to squeeze that letter in this week.] But of course I accepted, and today, as a token of her appreciation, she gave me the cutest mug ever.

Isn't that so adorable? I love animals, and I get a kick out of stuff like this.

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So, and Rolled up Pretty today!
Here's my outfit of the day:

Occasion: Proctoring an exam
Top, Cardigan, Jeans
: The Limited
Flats: Target
Yeah, that's right, my top is lace and peplum, with a touch of shimmer and shine. I was concerned when I bought it that it was too fancy and formal. I even asked a sales associate how to style it, and she said "Wear it with black pants." Gee. Thanks. (My trouser jeans are dark dark blue, not black, btw). 

Speaking of sales associates being helpful, can I speak my piece? Recently I went to the Gap in search of a particular item I had seen over Black Friday (but decided to pass on). I couldn't find it, so when a sales associate asked if I need help, I began to describe the product.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Day 10

I am thankful for date night. Tuesday nights my husband and I like to go out to eat (usually for Mexican food-- there's nothing like being served chips and salsa immediately after being seated). I'm not sure if you call it a date, because we don't do anything fancy, but we do spend time outside of the house together, eating food, and talking-- without any distractions. It's quite nice, so I'm thankful that we make time for what we call "date night" and that we get to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the week.

Occasion: Attending class
Top: c/o The Limited
Jacket: Shade Clothing {buy here}
Necklace & Jeans: The Limited
: Jennifer Lopez via Kohl's
Boots: Lower
East Side via Payless {buy here}
It was really cold today. I've made the mistake already several time this semester of walking to the bus in flats, and ending up with really cold feet. Without fail, the husband always asks me, "Why don't you just wear real shoes for the walk? If you really want to wear flats, you could just change into them when you get to school." Silly husband. I guess he has a point. {Don't tell him I said that.}

So today I brought my flats along, and changed into them when I got to school. (I just really wanted to wear sparkle cap toe flats instead of boots today.) The room my second class was held in was freezing cold, so I changed back into my boots immediately after class.

Do you ever carry around a spare pair of shoes (or anything else from your closet for that matter)? Is it bizarre to see bare feet this time of year, even if you are indoors?

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Day 9

Can we take a minute to discuss the temperature fluctuation? In the past week, we have the temperature get as high as 70 and as low as 30. It's supposed to drop to 17 degrees tonight, but there's no sign of snow in our forecast. Pooh.

In any case, I am thankful for caffeinated beverages. It's my busiest time of year-- not only do I have one term paper due each week for the next three weeks, but I also have students bombarding me with emails asking to meet with me (in hopes that they can get their grades bumped). It's frustrating, but it's nothing that a cup of coffee or glass of pop can't fix. {In emergency situations: Red Bull}

up close shot {detail} of the pants

Occasion: Attending lecture
bray top: Old Navy {buy similar here or here}
Cardigan: Banana Republic - gift c/o Mom
Scarf: The Limited {buy similar here}
Watch: Premier Jewelry - gift c/o Sis-in-law
Pants: Elle via Kohl's {similar}
Booties: Candie's via Kohl's {similar}

I am not sure whether I am unsatisfied with the process I went through putting this outfit together, or the outfit itself. The inner dialogue with myself went something like this...
1. "Let's go with purple pants today."
2. "What to wear on top? Umm.. a button up shirt. Chambray matches with the purple."
3. "It might get cold. Add a cardigan." (This cardigan is great for layering.)
4. "Hmm... This outfit needs something else. I guess I haven't worn a scarf in a while." (Debated between purple scarf and leopard print. Both coordinate in their own way with the pants.)
5. Scarf, check. Add shoes. All tall boots looked weird. Settled on booties.
6. Grabbed white watch because I always wear a watch, and this one was right next to my phone this morning.
7. Pearl earrings to coordinate with white watch.

I still feel like something is missing. What do you think of this outfit?

[Linking up with Glamamom and  Molly!]

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Days 4-8

Sorry to be MIA recently-- but I've been taking advantage of the break to recharge my batteries for the rest of the semester (or so I hope).

Anyway, I said that I would present the Twelve Days of Thanksgiving, and I'll follow through on that. 

(W) Day 4: I'm thankful for my husband.

(R) Day 5: I'm thankful for friends and family.

(F) Day 6: I'm thankful for Google.

(S) Day 7: I'm thankful for Netflix.

(S) Day 8: I'm thankful for my humidifier. 

I'm still not quite ready to deck the halls, but once I've finished my term papers, I'll be singing fa la la la la like no one else. My work load for these next few weeks is unbelievable. Sigh. Be thankful that you're not in my shoes these days.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunshine Award


I'm delighted to announced that Tiffany of Style Sidebar has nominated me for a Sunshine Award! You should really go check out her blog. Right now. I mean it. She has such a classy work-ready style, but keeps it spicy with some stellar everyday looks. 

So here are my responses to the questions Tiffany asked: 

1. What is your passion? Ah, good question. I've been trying to figure out the answer to that one myself lately. My go to answer is: Philosophy, fashion, and bears. But really I love animals so much (especially puppies and grizzly bear cubs), and I really enjoy working with children. I'm finally old enough where my college students feel like kids to me. I love having fun, dancing to the beat of my own drum, and just trying to make each day count.

2. What is your favorite time of day? Another toughie. It's a tie between bedtime, dinner, and coming home. My days are so exhausting that I look forward to sleep so, so much. I love food and getting to spend time with the hubby, so dinner time is a favorite. And coming home from school/work is the third favorite because I get to see my dogs, and they are always so happy to see me. Even if I've had a crummy day, I can't stay mad when I am greeted by two wagging tails.

3. What was your favorite part of today? Submitting student paper grades. (It's a real load off the shoulders.)

4. If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be and why? Permanently? No one. For the day? Casey Anderson. He has a pet bear, Brutus. (See what I mean when I say I love bears? I really do.) It'd would also be interesting to trade places with someone in the fashion industry, or a celebrity. Although if I traded places with the latter, I'd immediately donate a great chunk of their money to OxFam, Save the Music, and WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

5. What do you want to do in the future? Make a difference in the world.

6. What are three qualities you look for in a friend. A sense of humor, a good head on the shoulders, and similar core values (honesty, trust, respect, consideration of others).

7. What is your favorite book? I don't really have one, so the book of Proverbs from the Bible. Regardless of religious affiliations, it has some really powerful statements in there, especially about wisdom. I guess my appreciation for it is a direct reflection of my philosophical nature.

8. If your life was made into a movie, what would the title be? Heart. (Or "The Driving Heart")

9. What's your favorite song of all time? All time? I don't know. Most of my adolescence: I Want it That Way by the Backstreet Boys. Past few years: anything by Johannes Linstead.

10. What's your favorite scent? In small doses: Sleeping puppies. In large doses: freshly baked bread.

And now for my nominations... 
There are a few bloggers who have founds ways to establish a connection with me, and for that, they deserve all the sunshine in the world. Since I don't really have that to give, I hope they can settle for the Sunshine Award. So, here's to you: Heather of H&K Style Journey, Lauren of Pretty Pieces, Whitney of PolishedandPink, Larissa of C'est ne que de la chance. I hope you answer these same questions and pass the award on to others :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Day 3

"Kate, it's Day 3 of The Twelve Days of Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for today?"

I am thankful for my dogs.

Do you have dogs? Mine bring me so much joy. My husband got Solo (black dog seen below) the day after we had "officially" become boyfriend and girlfriend. We joke that he is the reason we are together-- as taking care of him together brought us closer together. On days that we are testy with one another, we joke that we stay together for the dogs (Nuna is our other dog-- we got her right after Thanksgiving the same year we got Solo). But in all seriousness, my dogs are my babies. [I could talk about them all day, so if you want to know anything about them, feel free to ask!]

Today, the husband came out with the dogs and surprised me while I was taking outfit pictures.

[Sorry that the photos are blurry--
the flash was really intense.]

Occasion: Attending class
Top: Banana Republic - gift from Mom
Cardigan: Target
Crops: Loft - gift from Mom
Flats: Target
Again, I'm seasonally-challenged. Crops in November? Yep. I figure I'll have plenty of time for layers come December January. So I might as well enjoy the weather while I can.

As far as the outfit itself goes, I was going to wear nude heels today, but I just wasn't feeling it. I was feeling like doing a reverse imitation. The last time I wore this outfit, I wore it here, with a red-orange cardigan and a black skirt. One great lesson I learned from J. of J's Everyday Fashion is to repeat color schemes. I decided to rotate the colors, and wear the black on top this time around. Since I don't have a red-orange bottom, I went for the closest I had, which was burgundy (or whatever that color is called).

Do you a favorite way to remix an item of clothing?

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Series of Thanks: Day 2

I introduced The Twelve Days of Thanksgiving yesterday. For the rest of the month, I will be picking out one thing each day that I am thankful for. These are in no particular order, and they do not necessarily reflect the twelve things I am most thankful for. It's just a way to take time - and make time - for gratitude.

I am thankful for The Weather Channel.

Today is November 19th. If it were a typical November day, I'd be dressing in layers. But when I saw that the weather was supposed to be in the high 60s today, I decided to do what anyone would do: Seize the day (or the weather), and thrown on a dress, a cardigan, and a pair of booties. 

So, thank you, Weather Channel. If it weren't for you, I'd look like most of the kids on campus today who were bundled up in their winter coats. (You can always tell on a college campus who looked at the weather forecast that morning and who didn't.)

Occasion: Attending lecture
Dress: Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's - gift from Mom
Cardigan: Old Navy - old - gift from Mom
Necklace & Belt: The Limited
Booties: Candie's c/o Kohl's
What do you think of wearing a dress and cardigan in November? Is it weird to go bare-legged this late into fall, even if it's warm enough to?  

(After looking at some of the other photographs my husband took for me, I may decided against ever doing this again, because man oh man are my legs pale.)

[Linking up with Molly]

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Twelve Days of Thanksgiving

[OOTD posts will resume tomorrow.]

I'm going to go on a rant here. I like the Christmas season, I really do. However, I believe that the Christmas season does not begin until the day after Thanksgiving (but if I had my way, it wouldn't begin until December 1st). So, when I go to stores and see the Christmas decorations and hear the Christmas music over the speakers, I get annoyed. Especially when we've got more than one month to go. Sure, Target can put decorations and whatnot in the seasonal section, but that should be it. 

"Kate, why do you get so worked up by all of this?" 

I believe that when the focus is on Christmas, people lose sight of Thanksgiving and the value of the holiday. To me, Thanksgiving isn't just a time for turkey and football. It's a time for family and friends. It's a time to express sincere thankfulness, and to be genuinely gracious. I honestly believe that some holidays (like Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day) should really be celebrated year-round, in the sense that we should think about the things we are thankful for, and be thankful for them, and we should dote on our loved ones year-round. We shouldn't just be negligent the rest of the year and make up for it on that one day.

I believe that when we are surrounded by Christmas decor and are constantly being reminded of Black Friday, consumerism is at its worst. It has trampled over the spirit of the season, and for what? Getting the latest and "greatest" Apple product? Feeling undue stress trying to find that perfect gift for him, and getting the obligatory gift for her?

I believe that you really have to be the change you wish to see in the world. I wish that we would think more about Thanksgiving, and put Christmas aside until December. Thanksgiving isn't just a holiday, it's a state of mind. So, in an effort to practice what I preach, I present you with an original series: the twelve days of Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for freedom of expression.

I am thankful that we live in a country where we can express ourselves in almost any way we want. We can express ourselves through our hobbies, through our words, through our clothes. I am particularly thankful that I have a job that allows me endless opportunity to take advantage of this. I can read a piece of text, and respond with no restrictions. I can criticize a philosopher for grounding his entire argument on intuitions, or I can praise another for taking an innovative approach to what may seem entirely meaningless or arbitrary to those outside of the realm of philosophy. While doing this, I can dress business-casual one day, and punk chic the next. I can don the latest trends, or put together an incredibly eclectic outfit. I am also thankful for the same freedom on my blog, and in the blogging community.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winter Wishlist

I've finally taken the time to put my wishlist together for this winter. *Subject to change* (of course)

1. Big chunky sweater - no clue where it comes from - if you have any suggestions, throw them my way!
2. Long print cozy cardigan - {LuLu's}
3. Military vest - {Old Navy - no longer available}
4. Black riding boots - {Penny by Sam Edelman @ Nordstrom}
5. Gold spike bracelet - {Aldo}
6. Combat boots - {Troopa by Steve Madden @ Nordstrom}
7. Puff vest - {Old Navy} -not sure what color I'd get
8. Hoodie inset moto jacket - {Forever 21}
9. Camo skinny pants - {Gap}
10. Wedge sneakers - {Candie's c/o Kohl's} - not sure what color I'd get

So half of the items that are on my wishlist I want because I don't have anything like it yet, and because it's so different and so fun (i.e., #5, 6, 8, 9, 10). But obviously I can't (and won't) get everything on my list. What do you think of these items? 

I'd love your opinion on all of these items, but especially #6 & #10 (combat boots and wedge sneakers). Would you wear combat boots and/or wedge sneakers?

What items are on your wishlist this winter?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Floral Work Top: Take Two

When I became a grad student, I also became a teacher. Taking on the task of teaching college students made it apparent how unprofessional my wardrobe really was. Apart from a pair of black pants, a couple of button-up shirts, and some cardigans, my closet was severely lacking what I call "work-ready" clothes. I made do with what I had, but still felt frumpy (poorly fitting clothes can do that to a girl).

I therefore decided to invest in semi-professional (business-casual) attire. Before I knew it, my closet became predominantly "work-ready" clothes. The downside now is that it takes so long to make it through one rotation of my work clothes. Last semester, I taught three days a week, and apart from pants and cardigans, repeated only a couple tops.

I haven't bought any "teaching-only" clothes since.

The last time I wore this top, I wore it with black pants and a black cardigan.
It looked so drab.

{see post here}
See what I mean by drab? Lacking in spirit, to the max. I wanted to make sure that I added some color to the outfit this time around. I actually thought then that the purple belt was the perfect accent.

Isn't it amazing how much different a top can look when it's paired with particular items? I can't believe how different these outfits look, despite that they revolve around the same top. And I can't believe how it just took a colorful skirt and necklace to do the trick. So effortless. Have you ever revitalized an item by pairing it with different items?  

Occasion: Teaching
Top: The Limited
Cardigan: Charlotte Russe
Necklace: Amazon c/o EnyaJewelry - gift {buy here}
Skirt: Target {buy similar here, or here}
Tights & Flats: Target

Linking up with Jenny

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm Bringing Purple Back

My favorite color is purple. Have I ever told you that before? I have a lot of purple in my closet, and yet I don't wear it nearly as often as I should. It's been a goal of mine lately to incorporate items into my outfit that have been neglected. I've been doing pretty well with this goal, so that's pretty neat.

Occasion: Attending Class
Top: The Limited
Scarf: ? c/o TJMaxx
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Wedges: Merona c/o Target
 I realize now that this outfit is so much more simple than anything I've worn this week. It might not be considered 'stylish' but it sure was effortless. This is also probably the most 'me' thing I've worn all week. I've been a jeans and tee girl my whole life, and while I really do enjoy experimenting with fashion, I like to have old favorites like this to fall back on.

Speaking of old favorites, I need a new way to tie a scarf. Did you know that there are more than 25 ways to tie a scarf? And yet, I fall back on the European loop {@ 1:15} time after time.

What is your favorite way to tie a scarf? What are some of your old favorite fashion styles? Is there anything you wear that just screams "this is me!!"?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sparkles and Shine

Today's outfit has been inspired by the following Pin:
                                                       Source: via a journey on Pinterest

The keyword, of course, is inspired.

 [Linking up with The Pleated Poppy]

I really love everything about this look, but I don't have a jacket that color, nor do I have a sparkly top like that. I do, however, have a blazer and a sequin top. 

It's too bad that I didn't snap a pic this morning before I went to school. I swear, this outfit looks so different under natural light (and even fluorescent light for that matter). Also, when the weather forecast called for 60 degrees, it didn't register to me that 60 degrees actually feels warm. So I had to take off the jacket while I taught because it was so hot.

Occasion: Teaching
Jacket: Gap {buy similar here}
Top: The Limited {buy similar here}
Chambray: Old Navy {buy similar here}
Pants: Apt 9 c/o Kohl's
Heels: Anne Klein c/o DSW
I've never layered like this before. This time last year, I would never have done something like this. I probably wouldn't have tried something like this 6 months ago, either. I have a new found fashion confidence, and it really is partly because of blogging. I have also found ways to do so much with what I have. I honestly can't remember the last time I said, "I have nothing to wear."

Has blogging affected you and your wardrobe? In what way(s)?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My First Time Wearing Shorts and Tights

I'm not claiming to have come across some really big fashion secret. I've just found a way to expand my closet and wear something other than jeans. 

Occasion: Attending class
Sweater: Old Navy - borrowed from husband
Necklace & Belt: The Limited
Shorts: Apt. 9 c/o Kohl's
Tights: Target
Flats: Target
I saw these shorts last weekend on the clearance rack at Kohl's. I was unsure about them, since they are actually sparkly (I tried to include an up close photo so you could see), and it seems that sparkly shorts are just for the winter. It will be interesting to see if and how I end up wearing these in the summer. Anyway, once I did a price check and discovered that they were cheaper than marked, and remembered that I had a 15% coupon, I thought that these shorts were worth the $7.48. Immediately I knew I wanted to wear them with tights.

The problem was what to wear on top. Since it was only supposed to be 30 degrees today, I opted for something warm on top. I'm not sure why I chose black, but I did. And for the second day in a row, I wound up wearing a men's sweater. 

I'm pleased with myself that I tried something new, but I'm not happy with how it turned out. I think I should have done a different color top, or worn a colorful scarf instead of the necklace. I tried on a larger statement necklace, but I didn't like the way it all looked together. What do you think? Be brutally honest. What should have I done different?

Would you wear an outfit like this? What do you like and dislike about it? Do you wear shorts and tights? How do you style them?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Men's Clothing and Not-Skinny Jeans

Last spring, I was in the market for a striped sweater. One day, I found a decent striped sweater at the Banana Republic Factory. I bought it, although I was not excited about the fact that it didn't even come down to my belt-line. Later that day, I went to Old Navy. On the way to the fitting room, I saw a table full of men's sweaters on clearance. There it was. A navy and white striped sweater for $7. The one from BRF was $20-some. I grabbed the sweater, tried it on, and was immediately pleased with how well it fit. I bought it without hesitation. (And returned the BRF sweater.)

The first time I put it on, my husband asked me, "Are you wearing men's clothing?" 

Umm. Yeah, I am.

Occasion: Attending lecture & office hours
Button up shirt: Tommy Hilfiger c/o ?
Sweater: Old Navy
Necklace: The Limited
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Candie's c/o Kohl's
One thing I've learned from blogging is that there is nothing wrong with wearing men's clothing. The trick is to pair it with more feminine items. Hence the pink shirt underneath and the flame orange necklace.

I was originally going to wear this outfit (or something like it) with skinny jeans, but all of a sudden I became really worried... "I think these skinny jeans are not skinny jeans, but actually jeggings." I believe that jeggings should only be worn with tops that are long enough to cover the bum, and this sweater does not do this. (I grabbed an old pair of not-jeggings, not-skinny jeans jeans and called it a day.)

{If you click here, you will see the skinny jeans/jeggings I am referring to (scroll down past the purple and green jeans), and you can decided for me what they are.}

This all got me to thinking... Where do you draw the line between jeggings and skinny jeans? At what point are skinny jeans no longer skinny jeans, but actually jeggings? (And vice-versa?) And really, when is it absolutely necessary that your bum be covered by your top?

Linking up with Molly

And Jenny

Friday, November 9, 2012

You Buy it, You Wear it

I'm really getting a kick out of prints lately. I found this top on the weekend trip to Kohl's. When I saw the price tag, I was interested. When I saw that there were some threads coming undone, I knew that (possibly) meant an additional 15% discount. {Did you know some stores will give you a discount if an item is 'damaged'?-- I'm still not sure what constitutes as damaged or not, but I always ask just in case.} With a 15% coupon from my email, this top came out to $7.80. Not too shabby.

Occasion: Teaching
Top: Lauren Conrad c/o Kohl's
Cardigan, Necklace, Pants: The Limited
Heels: Anne Klein c/o DSW
I know what you're thinking. "Kate, you're getting a little carried away with the shopping this week."  My shopping buddy suggested that if a week had gone by and I still hadn't worn my purchases, to take them back. She said, "My policy is that if I buy something, I wear it right away. If I haven't worn it after a week, I take it back." What do you think about this strategy? I probably wouldn't own half the clothes I do if I knew of this strategy (and lived by it) two years ago.

I should probably follow her advice, since I have a pair of ankle booties that have been sitting in my closet for a month, and I have yet to wear them. But when I got them, they were $25. I returned them though, since I didn't wear them after a month. Then I re-purchased them for $20. And again, some time went by, and I finally decided to exchange them for the black ones. Then one night I decided I had to have them, and went back to get them. For $15. This weekend I saw that they have been marked up to $25. Sigh. What is a girl to do?

Should I just return them for one last and final time, or bite the bullet and force myself to wear them? What would you do? Have you been in a predicament like this before? And how would you style them?

                                                          Source: via a journey on Pinterest

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Clearance Racks

I stumble upon a lot of "advice" on other fashion blogs. I frequently remember what was said, but rarely remember who it was said by. I say "advice" because one blogger told her readers not to shop in the clearance section, because you'll only find the stuff that nobody else wanted. {If you were the one who wrote this, I mean no offense.}

This past weekend, I went to Kohl's and JCPenney to find some burgundy tights. I didn't find the tights there, but what I found was a whole lot of goodness on the clearance racks. Two of the items I bought are featured today.

Say hello to my $3.25 top and $8.33 jeans.

Occasion: Attending class
Top: JCPenney
Skinny jeans: Elle c/o Kohl's
Flats: Jennifer Lopez c/o Kohl's
Are the clearance racks the first place you go when you enter a store? They always have been for me. My mom was so good at finding amazing discounts for me growing up. I must have finally inherited the gene. Can I get a woot woo?!

What's your take on clearance racks? Will you buy something just because it costs a few bucks? Or does you steer away because the clearance racks are just "full of the stuff nobody wanted to pay full price for"?
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