Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dress it Up & Dress it Down

I think I made it pretty clear on Monday that it takes tiny tweaks to bring an outfit from casual wear to work wear by keeping the look in the same color family. Look at how lucky you are. Today, we're taking a look at how hats and shoes make a big difference in an outfit's overall vibe. I make things simple. Flats for day, something with a bit of a heel for night. Hats for day, no hat at night. But maybe you wear your sunglasses at night. (If you started singing that song, I love you. If you don't know the song, educate yourself.) If it gets stuck in your head, you're welcome.

Every now and then, I take a look at what images from my blog get the most pins. Everyone's favorites seem to come from my Teacher Wardrobe Series, and this pin has received a bit of love. Anyway, that's not my point, which I am taking too long to reach. The point is that I just realized the skirt in the top right of the picture in this pin is one I recently bought on thredUP! HAHA. What a fun coincidence. I don't know why I told you this information, but do with it what you will.
(P.S. If you want to search the images people pin from your blog, type the following into the URL box: BLOG URL minus the http business. For example, searching pins pinned from my blog would be the following URL:
You're welcome.  

Today, I learned a fun bit of information from one of the science teachers. He told me that they're doing studies right now which show how zig zag black and white patterns confuse sharks, so they avoid them. Apparently, sharks will just swallow up someone wearing a black wet suit (I assume it makes you look like a seal); however, they see the black and white zig zag pattern as "unnatural" and won't attack it. Additionally, poisonous water snakes have the same kind of coloring, which is further reasoning for them to avoid that pattern. Moral of the story? 
You're welcome. Again.

You have so much to be thankful for after reading this post. 

Look #1: Ready for Play

The Look:
Shirt: Mudd via Kohl's 
Blazer: via Marshall's (love this Target option)
Skirt: J.Crew Factory 
Flats: Steve Madden via DSW (similar)
Necklace: The Limited (love this one from Francesca's)
Hat: Target...I think (love this men's version)
Belt: Old Navy

Look 2: Ready for Work

(I love how comfortable these shoes are, so I'm waiting on them in black. I wait until they have a 50% off sale, and they seem to have one once a month.)

Disclaimer: I wore neither of these outfits to work because a cold front blew through town. As a result, I had to opt for black tights and black boots, a look I still loved. 

I also wore the skirt this way:

The wedges this way:

The blazer this way:

Linking up with
* Pleated Poppy (

For the record, my inspiration for this combination came from Tara over at Mix and Match Fashion :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Looking Lucky in Pastels

I love this skirt so much more than I should for a skirt that cost so little (less than $20 coming from somewhere far beyond the big pond) and was "one size fits all." It appears my parents' puppy, Rudy, loves this skirt as much as I do. As soon as I walked outside wearing it, he skittered around my legs and just sat. Ready for his close up. If I could just buy a home with lots of land and manage a dog kennel, I think life would be complete. If I didn't work with teenagers, I'd work with pups. Sometimes, they're pretty much the same thing. (Or smell the same.)

So, I fly out to Dallas on Monday morning. I cannot settle on what to wear. So far, I know we're going to dinner at a really nice restaurant, I have to be on a plane, and I don't know what else. What is Dallas like this time of year? Someone pack my bags for me. I'm at a loss.

Oh, and today is my last day participating in the April Challenge. I wanted to have another look featuring pastels so that I didn't shirk my "give each theme a new post" responsibilities. Plus, I presented myself another opportunity to wear this skirt, and that's always a good thing. I just realized that this look includes so many accidental trends: floral, brights, midi skirt, and pastels. Aren't those just spring things? I think so. Can pasty legs be a new trend? That'd be great.

The Look:
Shirt: Old Navy (exact)
Cardigan: Banana Republic via thredUP -- similar from Target with scalloped edges!
Skirt: some obscure company on Amazon (find a shorter version on Top Shop for $30)
Heels: Naturalizer (SO comfortable!) -- similar by Madden Girl
Belt: New York & Co. (I love their belts.) 

Mom and Dad gave Rudy and his brother, Sammy, hair cuts. As a result, you can see Rudy's eyes much better, and he's a billion times cuter, which I didn't even know was possible. Seriously though, look at those eyeballs. Adorable doesn't even begin to cover it. 

This picture kills me. He tried crawling up my legs at one point. This point, in fact.

Almost every picture is of me laughing like this.

This pup is Sammy, and I love those ears. He wasn't infatuated with my outfit, but he loves sitting on laps. 

Linking up with
* Style Sessions (

Monday, April 28, 2014

Local Love & Lace

Who is not smitten with alliterative titles? People who wouldn't know awesomeness if it poked them in the ocular. That's who. People who deliberately give their children alliterative names, on the other hand, are being almost as cruel as people who name their child after their surname (Phillip Phillips...really?) Maybe I'm just jealous of people with alliterative names. Who can be sure? 

I am back and in action, folks! If you could have seen me literally whip my head back and forth--not as intensely as Willow Smith--as I typed that, you'd surely want to know me in real life if you don't already. I am SO back that I am showing you two outfits today. Oh me oh my. 

I wanted you to see how I dress up and dress down this lovely lace shirt. Something for work and something for play (or casual Friday for those of us whose places of employment are lucky we don't wear stained sweatpants to work on Fridays...whichever).

This shirt is yet another one of my finds on thredUP, which I am almost as smitten with as I am with alliterative titles. Okay, maybe more. The leather jacket, which looks super expensive if you ask me, was a $25 find on thredUP. Cha ching. I think it's turned into my favorite place to shop. They might as well put me on the pay roll. Feel free to be sick of me talking about thredUP. 

However, if you're interested in a post about how I find awesome things on thredUP, I'd be happy to oblige. Just let a sister know. 

The Look:
Blazer: Express (old)
Shirt: LOFT via thredUP
Skirt: The Limited 
Shoes: BCBG via Boscov's 
Earrings: Local boutique called Sweet Elizabeth Jane (find them on Facebook!)

I keep finding the cutest and really reasonably priced (these earrings were a mere $6) jewelry at this boutique in the downtown shopping area near me. Sweet Elizabeth Jane has the cutest housewares and jewelry and trinkets and skirts and ALL THE PRETTY THINGS. If you're ever in downtown Ellicott City, Maryland, check it out. You'll thank me later. 

I smirk like I know what's up. 

Meet outfit number two, my ticket to bad assery, which autocorrect does not think is a thing. Rest assured that it is. 

The Look:
Leather Jacket: Buffalo by David Bitton (via thredUP)
Shirt: LOFT via thredUP
Pants: Celebrity Pink via Boscov's
Flats: Steve Madden via DSW

After I came up with this week's outfits, I cruised Pinterest, which probably should have happened the other way around. Anyway, I realized that this outfit must have been subconsciously inspired by Ashley; I pinned her look 9 weeks ago. Man, it must have really stuck with my brain? I didn't even have this shirt 9 weeks ago. I must also be prophetic. 

Thanks to Sarah and Lucky B Boutique for making me stretch my brain with their April Challenge
Today's look is inspired by the "local love" theme (this look was as well, but I needed to make sure I didn't double up on my themes.) I am a rule follower to the core. 

For your viewing pleasure, here is another way I've worn the skirt:

And another way I've worn the pants:

I'm nothing if not thorough. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's talk about bats in the cave.

I kept coming back here to write a post, but it wasn't until today that words stopped hurting my face. Obviously, the words didn't reach out of the screen and smack me, but this sinus surgery recovery has been--how shall I say it?--brutal. So, my grand plan to grade papers over break? Totally thwarted by the constant headaches and dizziness; the latter of which has finally begun to abate. My grand plan to whip up some of the best posts this blog has ever seen? Squashed by my sinuses. 

Today, I finally returned to work, much to Jefferino's dismay. However, I needed normalcy. Well, as much normalcy as can be provided by a room full of teenagers.  It is with great hesitation that I say things are looking up, but I'm going to take a risk here. Things are looking up. I successfully disgusted my junior classes by telling them about my sinus surgery and what came out of my face. (Pity goes a long way, folks. Especially in the hands of teenagers.) 

After school today, I went for my third follow-up visit since the surgery. The right side of my face is healing quite nicely. The left side, on the other hand, is just hanging onto its relationship with inflammation. Every follow-up visit carries on as follows: doctor straps on his headlamp and sticks a tiny lighted rod up my nose to assess my nose goblins (which breed like crazy following a surgery, FYI). He then proceeds to SHOVE bits of hydrogen-peroxide-doused bits of cotton into my sinus cavities; this step of the process serves to soften up the indelicacies living in my nose. Once the hydrogen peroxide makes the inside of my face sizzle (much like the nostalgic "snap, crackle, and pop" sound of our Rice-Krispies-loving youth...without the entertaining cartoons and sugary sweetness that sinks to the bottom of the bowl), he sticks the world's longest tweezers into my nostril and removes said cotton. Does he shove one piece in? No no. Does he shove two pieces in? No no. He shoves three pieces of cotton in; all of which feel as if they're flicking me in the frontal lobe. He assures me he is not touching my brain, but his middle name might be Hannibal. I can't be sure. 

Sometimes, he sticks clippers up my nose, and I wonder to myself, "How are all of these instruments in my face at the same time? Will my nostrils be forever large? WHAT is he snipping in there? Is this a nasal circumcision? Why am I thinking these things?" All the while, Jeff sits in a nearby chair and periodically grimaces or groans about the things coming out of my face. I think to myself, "God love this man who married me, takes care of me, and is sincerely interested in the things that live in my face." In fact, when I told him that my brother was right about the things I blow out of my face being akin to "bloody cockroaches," he asks me to save one in a tissue so that he can inspect it. Don't worry. I do not plan to fulfill this request. Even I have my boundaries. Boundaries that clearly do not include refraining from telling my readers (who may no longer be my readers after this post) about metaphorical cockroaches up my nose. 

In case you're new to this saga, the ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor had to fix my deviated septum, bone spur, and clean out my severely infected sinus cavities. After the surgery, he explained that my septum was so deviated it had blocked off my left maxillary sinus, making it impossible for the seven weeks of antibiotics to kill an infection that had nowhere to drain. Since my left sinus cavity is still inflamed and he did a lot of poking around in there, it'll take some time for me to heal; however, it's looking much better already! 

I'm finally cleared to work out and use nasal sprays (including my dear friend, the neti pot), but I must still sneeze out of my mouth, an art I've perfected over the past two weeks. After reading this post, if you try sneezing out of your mouth the next time you sneeze, I do hope you'll share your experience with me. 

I think I know how people who can't see until they put on glasses for the first time feel. I can smell the world for the first time. At the moment, air has convinced me that it's made of menthol because so much of it attacks my face at once that my nose feels overwhelmed. If a mouse farted inside the wall, I'd probably smell it. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I like it. Not the mouse fart. The whole actually being able to smell the air around me. 

If you've made it this far, I might as well reward you with some pictures. It's only fair, yes? 

The Look:
Cropped Jean Jacket: LOFT (old)
Dress: Jessica Simpson via Marshall's 
Booties: Old Navy

I wore this jacket in honor of the Looking Lucky challenge and the theme "cropped," but the jacket does not appear to photograph as cropped as I feel it is. I swear I measured it against my regular jean jacket, and it is shorter. If the jacket doesn't suffice, can we agree that booties are just cropped boots? Come on, throw a girl a bone here. I'm wearing a dress with little red heels all over it for crying out loud. (I don't know how that fact helps my case, but I'm throwing it out there anyway.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

I won't talk about my nose today.

I gave my little social media and blog buttons a face lift over there on the right. I know. They look so much prettier. However, dear reader, do not be fooled by my apparent awesomeness. It's just procrastination in disguise. By procrastination, I mean, "I'm finally feeling well enough to grade papers during spring break, but PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME." I am sure the guilt will ensue soon enough because isn't that the life of a teacher? Well, it's the life of this teacher. 

Anyway, I know I can't "cheat" the Looking Lucky challenge and double up any of the themes, so I bring you yet another look inspired by the theme "geometrics." I must confess, however, that Geometry was the only class in which I landed a C. Ever. Proofs befuddled me no matter how many times the teacher explained it. Though I think I should add that this particular teacher previously "taught" my rapscallion of an older brother. In truth, she had him in only homeroom, but he terrorized her quite effectively. For fear of narcs, I will not divulge the tomfoolery in which he engaged that may or may not have led to her eventual admittance to an institution. As such, when she taught me, I think she took one look at me and thought, "oh, damn," which may be why she seated me so close to the door that one forceful sneeze would have shot me into the hallway. 
It's very hard to pay attention in the back of the class. I should know.

So, how are we feeling about white pants? And wide-leg white pants no less? 

The Look:
Shirt: Old Navy (similar from Target)
Scarf: Banana Republic Outlet from Momma (I like this green and white floral one.)
Necklace: The Limited (really inexpensive at Body Central)
Shoes: via DSW (splurgespendsave)
Pants: New York & Co. (similarbootcutskinny)

I look so much sassier in this picture than I really am.

Linking up with
* Favorite Fashion Friday
* Style Elixir's Fab Friday
* Charming Fridays

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pickles Solve Everything.

When Mom "babysat" me for a few hours the day after my surgery last week, I popped up from the couch (okay, at that point, there was no "popping up" of any sort, but I digress) and declared, "I want a pickle. I don't know why, but every time I feel like poo, I want a pickle. I talked to Jeremy [that's my brother] and he said he wants to eat only pickles when he's sick. They're like a magic elixir." What did Mom say in return? She feels the same way about pickles. And the pickles can be only dill pickles; no other will suffice. We share pickle sick cravings it appears. Of course, one must be careful not to consume too many pickles because that can induce another type of "sickness." And that kind of "sickness" makes me want to unfriend myself and run as far away from me as possible.

Another weird observation for you: sinus surgery might have helped with my complexion. I know this is so odd, which is no surprise coming from me, but, as Mom said, my face doesn't look so "angry." I had a lot of inflammation/redness on my cheeks, which we're thinking might have been because I had snot stuck in my face. My septum was so deviated that the snot couldn't run away inside my face, so maybe it was trying to run away outside of my face? I don't know. Either way, my face is looking and feeling so much better already. No, I am not looking forward to the follow-up appointment when the doctor will suck more things out of my face on Friday, but nothing can be as bad as the unpacking process. If women were ordered to give birth through their noses, I would venture to say that's exactly what the unpacking process is: things far too enormous are exiting holes far too small. You're welcome for the imagery.

Sorry for going on and on and on and on the past few days about my sinuses, but I think this post brought back the funny. Aren't you happy to read me in my true form? No? Well then, let me distract you with a pretty outfit.

Also, would you mind telling me how you feel about this skirt on me? It has pockets (HELLO!?), and I love its length/color, but I am wondering if it looks too voluminous on me? It's definitely my size, but I'd love to know if it works for my bottom half.

(At least my stalker is cute?)

The Look:
Cardigan: New York & Co. (gift from my sister in law--I love this cardigan! I wish I didn't search for a similar one online because now I want ALL of these.)
Top: Old Navy (navy & white from Target)
Skirt: Poshmark (lions79 has a cuuuute closet) but it's J.Crew (similar)
Heels: J.Crew Factory (exact)

 Look at me bringing sexy back.

I'm linking up with these cool cats today:
* What I Wore to Work:
* Look What I Got (for cheap):
* Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday:

Seeing Spots

Typically, Jeff remains cautious about commenting on something that I'm wearing (smart man), so if he actually says something, then I know he's being honest. After Mom took pictures of this outfit, Jeff declared, "I really like those pants." Any man who encourages crazy prints and bright colors as much as I do is clearly meant to be married to me. 

When Sarah promoted the April Challenge, I immediately thought of these pants for both the cropped and geometrics themes. THEN, when Marissa and Heidi posted their Pantone Challenge, I realized these shoes would be the perfect pop of dazzling blue color for this outfit. Ah, I love it when things just fall into place. 

Thank you to all of you who have sent me get well wishes. I am so glad I chose to get surgery over my spring break because it gives me ample time to recover. However, one can watch only so much TV before wanting to run around furiously in circles. I am going STIR CRAZY. I am about to make friends with the spiders or actually begin conversing with Ellie, my elephant-shaped humidifier. Luckily, two of my colleagues are coming to visit me today. 
Talking to humans is preferable. 

The Look:
Top: LOFT (gift from Momma)
Pants: New York & Co. 
Necklace: Poshmark shop
Shoes: via Kohl's (I really do love these shoes.)

Cute little Rudy (a.k.a. Rooster)

After looking at the front of his head, can you see why we nicknamed him Rooster? So much fluff on the top of his head. 

I also wore the top this way...

The pants this way...

And the shoes this way...

Also linking up with 
* Pleated Poppy (

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pajamas in Disguise

I wore this outfit two weekends ago to visit Mom and Dad. Boy, is this dress comfortable. It's made out of sweatshirt material. Unless you try to wear it in the dead of summer, how could you go wrong?  I think we can all agree that any item of clothing that feels like pajamas without being pajamas is the best item of clothing. 

Today, I am still recovering from sinus surgery. Since Jeff had to go back to work, HGTV is keeping me company. Mom is coming over soon, too. Hopefully, she can braid my hair for me because mustering up the energy to "do" my hair just to sit on the couch seems like a large waste of time (though I have plenty of it right now). 

For now, I am going to sit here in my robe and see how deeply I can imprint my butt into the couch. 

The Look:
Dress: Old Navy (last year)
Booties: Old Navy
Scarf: Christopher A. Banks
Necklace: Francesca's (I really do love their jewelry.)

Today, I'm linking up with some lovely ladies:
The Modern Austen & Literate and Stylish's Pantone Challenge
(Today's color is Paloma, which is a cool gray.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let me show you my hot pants since I'm not too hot.

So, this past Thursday, I had sinus surgery. The doctor had to fix my deviated septum, bone spur, and clean out my completely clogged sinus cavity. After the surgery, he told Jeff what was happening inside my face. Apparently, my septum was so severely deviated that it totally blocked my left sinus cavity, making it impossible for anything to drain. Essentially, I was on antibiotics for seven weeks for no reason because the infection couldn't clear if it had nowhere to go. He tried to aerate the passages next to my tear ducts, but there was too much inflammation. He found a lot of "diseased" tissue, among other disgusting things, in my sinus cavity.

Today, the doctor unpacked my nose. OH MY GOSH. I do not want to gross you out, so I will not give you the details. All I can tell you is that I cannot believe what came out of my nose this morning.  It was like something from a science fiction movie except this was real. I am almost certain he poked me in the brain at one point. Luckily, Jeff was there to calm me down. The pain was so severe (even with one Percocet and one Tylenol in my system) that I started shaking. Jeff sat in front of me and rubbed my legs and held my hand the whole time. 

Seriously, this weekend was miserable, but Jeff makes the best nurse. He even washed my hair for me. He stayed up for 33 hours straight after my surgery because he insisted on watching me while I slept. He wrote up a schedule for taking pills and fixed me something to eat every time I had to take more medicine. I think I fell in love with him all over again. I avoid being overly sentimental, but I just cannot help it. He went above and beyond the call of duty for me. One of the best parts of this weekend was spending so much time with Jeff. He slept on the floor beside me. We watched a LOT of TV together. And not once did I worry about grading papers or doing work. 

Oh, and it feels pretty glorious to breathe again. 

Currently, I am sitting here in yoga pants and one of Jeff's shirts (mine hit my nose and cause quite the discomfort when I try to put them over my head. I'm special.). I don't think anyone needs pictures of that mess, so I am showing you another outfit I'm thinking about packing for Dallas. Thoughts?

I was inspired by both the Pantone Challenge (radiant orchid is today's color) and April Challenge ("fringe" is today's challenge). 

The Look:
Shirt: The Limited
Blazer: Express
Pants: The Limited
Necklace: Francesca's (I thought this necklace qualified as "fringe")
Shoes: via Kohl's
Belt: The Limited 

I also wore the pants this way...
(I guess I stuck with the same color scheme?)

I stuck to a more neutral palette with this look.

I also wore the blazer this way...

And this way...
(Yes, I have had hair colors other than blonde.)

Today, I'm also linking up with 
* The Style Record (
* Mix it Mondays (