Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Black Dress & Green Accessories

Not long ago, this dress fit me better, so I feel a little sad that the top looks and feels looser than it has in the past. Since I began a pretty restrictive diet as a countermeasure to two solid months of antibiotics and steroids, I have lost probably 8 pounds that I didn't need or want to lose. (Honestly, I just want to feel better, and I'd rather change my diet than take more pills. After all, medication is what landed me here in the first place.) I am even trying to eat more often. Luckily, my doctor approves of the diet and even gave me a blog to visit for tips on gaining back some weight while cutting out foods that could cause me harm right now. In fact, he printed out the main page from the blog and handed it to me. The solution? Eat more fat (coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, eggs, etc.) to replace the lack of sugar and carbs.

Quick recap of what I'm not eating in an attempt to kill an overgrowth of yeast in my body: sugar of all kinds (even fruit, except for lemons and limes, for a short while), processed foods, peanuts, most dairy (except yogurt), rice, corn, pork, potatoes, beans, fermented foods, and pretty much anything starchy/high in sugar. (Essentially, all "trigger" foods are out of my diet.)

Quick recap of what I am eating: almonds, walnuts, buckwheat, quinoa, vegetables (and lots of them), fish, chicken, eggs, turkey, beef, coconut oil, avocados, lots of spices on foods, lemons, limes, plain yogurt high in live cultures, olives (in water, not vinegar), and oat bran. (It's amazing how many recipes I've found to match up with these ingredients.)

By the end of August, I will reintroduce some foods in small doses like some vegetables that are more starchy (ex: sweet potatoes), low-sugar fruits (ex: blueberries, strawberries, and green apples), and beans.

The diet has been manageable for the past month until Mother Nature and all of her cravings hit me today. I think I hallucinated pizza at one point. Know that this cute outfit and I hung out on Monday. Today, it was all about the sweatpants, ugly hair, and an HGTV marathon when I wasn't napping. At least I know I possess a willpower something fierce. I need to channel that same willpower when I'm shopping.

A big shout out goes to my husband who has tirelessly researched foods to eat and ways to help me through this journey. In fact, he's eating all of the same meals with me and offered no complaints when I asked him to go grocery shopping today and buy feminine products for me. (He even knows exactly which kind to get.) What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. Yes, he is.

The Look:
Dress: Target (similar, inexpensive option)
Sandals: Franco Sarto via TJ Maxx (exact)
Belt: Target (similar)
Necklace (with a little cut out shaped like Maryland): Lou Lou in Georgetown (lots of options at this Etsy shop)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Story Time: Country Girl in the Big City

When the school system in which I teach was hiring me for their county, a most interesting thing happened. You see, it all started with the crazy messages that Dad creates for the answering machine. When the new answering machine arrived and I was in elementary school, I still remember Mom, right before she left for a PTA meeting or the market, telling Dad, "Now, don't you dare go right upstairs and make a stupid message for our machine. I mean it, Danny." Like a small child you put the red button in front of and tell not to touch, Dad scurried (as much as a man who's 6'6" can "scurry") upstairs the moment she closed the front door behind her because he had the perfect message in mind.

For years, the message ran, in his most impressive "redneck" voice, something like this: "Howdy, this yars the ________. We can't come to the phone right now. We're outside sloppin' the hogs and feedin' the chickens. Sure would like to know why y'all called, so leave a message after this thing makes that little ol' beepin' sound." When the school system called my parents' house where I lived at the time, we still had this answering machine message, the same one that people would actually call back our house again just to hear it another time. As a result, the manager in charge of hiring me wrote a special note in my file: "may encounter adversity." Why? He thought I was some country girl from the back 40 who was coming to the big cities of Howard County, Maryland (which is a joke in itself, I might add).

When I called him one day to say that Mom was coming with me to sign paperwork, he thought my shitkicker and overall-wearing (not cool at the time like it is again now) hillbilly of a mother was coming to check out the town and make sure it was safe for her baby girl. All of this truth came out, and I explained that Dad is an extremely eccentric man; I am from a county affectionately nicknamed "Cow County," but I'm not a farm girl despite how many times I watched Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies (SO.MUCH.NICK.AT.NITE.)

Several years later, when Jeff and I were adopting our sweet puppies, Roxy and Squirt, the adoption lady called my parents' house for a reference. Once again, someone heard this message on the machine. She hung up and did not leave a message; in fact, she called me, asking whether or not I gave her the wrong number. And, once again, I had to explain my Dad's eccentricities to a stranger. Four of us lived in that house for a long time, but I am the only one who not once but TWICE had an interesting experience as a result of Dad's voicemail creativity. And people wonder why it's impossible to embarrass me.

Anyway, Mom accompanied me to Baltimore City yesterday because I needed to visit one of the professional buildings. If you don't know Baltimore, though it has its allure and charms (I met my now husband in a dance club there almost 10 years ago), then you should know that Baltimore makes a name for itself with its impressive number of murders per capita. Like everywhere, however, it has its redeeming qualities and not-so-bad parts of town. On the ride home, GPS took us the shorter route, which did not translate to the safer route. In fact, many of the houses were boarded up and the loveliest of individuals frequented the streets. As Mom stared at a boarded up house, commenting on its "shaggy curtains" and "light coming through one of the boarded up windows," I scolded her severely. "DO NOT ENGAGE. STOP LOOKING. LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD. IF YOU MUST, LOOK WITH YOUR EYEBALLS BEHIND SUNGLASSES, NOT WITH YOUR HEAD TURNED." She asked why and I responded, "you're looking into a boarded up window. You don't know what's looking back at you." She kept her head straight the rest of the time. I guess that's what the "country" taught me.

I now understand why my high school Chem teacher told us that if we were somewhere we shouldn't be at a time we really shouldn't be there, we need to pull our hoods over our heads, rock back and forth, and chatter incoherently at a trashcan. No one messes with a crazy person.

Now that I shared story time with you, I will share with you an outfit I wore while signing the offer we put in on a house last week (an offer the seller accepted, I guess I should add?).

The Look:
Dress: Some designer for Target via thredUP  (similar options: $, $$, $$$--$20-70)
Cardigan: Target, Mossimo brand (I finally got another one to replace the original I killed from wearing too much.)
Shoes: via DSW 
Necklace: H&M via Poshmark shop
Purse: via Marshall's
Sunglasses: gift from Momma (LOFT)

Monday, July 21, 2014

What I Wore & Did: Hanging Out in Georgetown

So, as you might already know, I met up with Whitney last week in Georgetown (Washington, D.C. for those of you who aren't familiar with the East Coast). Since I'm a native Marylander, it was not my first time in DC, but my first time in Georgetown. I'm in love. As I drove into the city, I ogled the beautiful homes lining the streets--none of them the same, all of them exquisite. I told myself that getting lost wouldn't be such a bad thing because of such a great view.

As for Main Street Georgetown, HELLO, CUTENESS. When you look up Georgetown "shoppes" online, it will appear they offer about ten stores. Oh, no. They have everything, and the stores are all so deep. It's like entering hundreds of Narnias. Before shopping, however, we stopped for lunch at Pinstripes, which also boasts locations in Illinois, Kansas, and Minnesota. Seriously, this place is the best place I have ever ordered food, and most of you know how many food allergies I have. I ate the maple glazed salmon with avocado salad and quinoa; they let me do butter instead of a maple glaze. On top of the great food, it also offers bowling and bocci! Indoor bocci pits? Whaaaaat? I loved the restaurant so much that when our friends from New York visited, we took them there for lunch on Saturday. These friends are serious foodies, and they raved about the food and atmosphere. Win. We all high fived at the end of the meal.

Meeting up with a fellow blogger for the first time is sort of like preparing for a first date. When Whitney said the same thing to me at lunch, I knew we'd be forever friends. We both changed outfits about five times before settling on what we'd wear for our outing in Georgetown. SO MUCH PRESSURE. I opted for this skirt with a black shirt and my giraffe necklace. When Whitney and I went into Aldo, the sales girl said she had the same skirt that Whitney also has in another color. I remarked that I would love it more if it had pockets. She said, "that's weird. Mine has pockets." I decided to investigate that very moment. And what do you know? IT HAS POCKETS. I have owned this skirt for an embarrassing amount of time not to notice that the pockets were so well-sewn shut that they existed at all. Clearly, Whitney is good luck.

Here's what I wore on my two trips to Georgetown in one week. 

She exists in real life! And she is even more adorable and sweet in real life. I loved her denim vest and midi-length dress!

Our favorite New Yorkers. (I opted for my Converse this day.)

Thank you to the random dude who took our picture after looking at me in the most dead pan of ways and saying, "No" after I asked him to take a group shot. You got me, dude, you got me. 
Oh, we did not mean to dress up as if we were getting professional pictures our coordinated outfits in the park. We're just that good. Naturally.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Making Real Life Friends out of Blogging Friends: DC Edition

Now, what you see here is not what I'm wearing today. I wore it some day of the week some week ago. What teacher during the summertime actually knows the day of the week? Not this one. Especially since this summer is the first one I haven't worked summer school or curriculum writing. Freedom feels so good...even if the corners of my mind feel paralyzed by the reminder that I have 41 letters of recommendation to write. 

Anyway, despite my running over a screw that lodged itself into my tire (thank you, Jeff, for fixing it) and waking up with some bizarre allergic reaction (thank you, Allegra for helping a sister out), I refuse to have a case of the Mondays today because Whitney from Whitney a la Mode (girl, I have no idea how to put an accent mark on that a) and I are meeting up in Georgetown for lunch and shopping! Guys, I'm finally turning one of my blogging buddies into one of my real-life friends! 

I do meet people in the weirdest of ways. I met my husband in a dance club. I met one of my good friends in sixth grade because I laughed as she exasperatingly exclaimed to another student, "D-O-G. DOG. How hard is that?!" My laughter made me an instant friend. Jeff and I met one of our very favorite couples to hang out with when we went on a trip to the Bahamas. (We went to their wedding in NY, and they're coming to visit next weekend!) I made a friend at the nail salon; we plan to attend a yoga class together. Meeting Whitney is sort of like finally coming face to face with your pen pal from elementary school; you have spent a lot of time getting to know each other through words and pictures before finally hanging out in real life. I sort of wish I met my elementary school pen pal. I wonder what ever happened to her? 

I'm sure you'll see Whitney and me instagramming our real-life meet up. Until then, enjoy my nautically-inspired, two-weeks-late, fourth-of-July outfit. Three cheers for me.

The Look:
Top: Old Navy
Shorts (they're blue and white pinstriped): New York & Co.
Flats: Sole Society 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Theme Week: Same Accessories, Different Outfit (Finale)

Ah, the end of my self-imposed theme week that featured the same accessories with different outfits. Would you say it's a theme worth repeating? It actually makes remixing a heck of a lot easier. Is that weird? Would you think taking the same outfit and using different accessories is more helpful than taking the same accessories and making different outfits? I don't know. I just know that changing up the outfit to match the accessories made my life easier than I anticipated. Plus, it was fun to find "different" color pairings. (I could have been more adventurous, really.)

What really made me think of it was the fact that I had this same shoe and necklace pairing with a previous outfit. I included it as the final image in my collage. I thought, "hmm...I wore these together before. Will they go with all of the other outfits I have planned?" Indeed, they did. 

Which look was your favorite? Do you typically let your accessories dictate an outfit or is it the other way around?

Click on the links to view the original post.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Theme Week: Same Accessories, Different Outfit (Part 4)

 Forgive the onslaught of pictures, but I really like how this outfit turned out. You forgive me, right? I decided to wear these shorts with this top a looooong time ago when I saw this pin, but it did not come to fruition until now. Isn't that how it always happens? I don't know if orange and green are a typical pair, but I really like them as you can see here.

Seriously, if you bought a pair of orange sandals, would you have expected to pair it with SO MANY things? I can still think of many, many more. Way to go, orange sandals. Way to be team players.

In other news, Mom and I went to Babies R Us to buy my friend a gift for her shower this weekend. Somehow, I managed to leave the store with a little Mickey Mouse pull out couch (and swim shoes...and crab pajamas) for my niece. I mean, really, who expected me to say no?

And then Mom and I went to Nordstrom Rack. Mom bought me a dress for my birthday in August since Jeff and I are headed to Vegas to celebrate. I got myself the prettiest aqua dress that I imagine will be perfect for chaperoning homecoming. (Seriously, it's summer time, and I keep thinking about school!) And I finally found a black and white striped maxi skirt. I wanted to buy about 319 more lovelies, but self control (and not blowing a budget) are important (and sucky) things. 

The Look:
Top: New York & Co. 
Shorts: Old Navy 
Sandals: Franco Sarto (similar by Nine West)
Necklace: Old Navy (similar on Etsy, and another)

I'm glad I have a pretty good shot of the back of this shirt. Exposed zippers aren't everyone's taste, but I love them. 

Linking up with Summer Style

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Theme Week: Same Accessories, Different Outfit (Part 3)

Yesterday, I went with a casual look and these accessories. Today, I decided to go a little more formal. I think I'll wear this outfit to a baby shower (and gender reveal) this coming weekend. Maybe I'll throw on a navy cardigan just in case it's a tad chilly inside. Can we agree that navy, white, and orange make for an unexpected, but lovely combination? Since I'm talking to myself here, I say yes, we can go with it.

The Look:
Dress: Old Navy (another pretty white one at Old Navy)
Sandals: Franco Sarto (similar by Nine West)
Necklace: Old Navy (similar on Etsy, and another