Blue? Black? Does it Matter?

Tuesday I went shopping!  I was looking for a myriad of things:

  1. silk blouses
  2. shorts
  3. colored beads for my Pandora bracelet
  4. white shirt
  5. black heeled boots
  6. black shooties
  7. curler clips
  8. iPhone 3 case

I had my day all planned out.  I was going to my local thrift store first to look for silk blouses and shorts.  Then, I would head over to the mall on the other side of town to visit the Old Navy for shorts and a white shirt.  I also planned on walking around the mall and stopping by one of the kiosk’s to look at colored beads for my Pandora bracelet.  Then, on the way back home I wanted to stop at a nearby shopping plaza with a dollar store that sells iPhone cases, ULTA and Sally Beauty Supply to look for curler clips.  And DSW to look for some Fall footwear.

But, Tuesday was not my thrifting day.  I found a few items, but nothing like the major score the last time that I was at the thrift store.  I had two blouses in my hands, but neither one of them were the half-off color of the day and they were both polyester, not silk.  So, I decided to pass.  Some days I am like that.  I did, however, purchase a brand new  (tags still on) pair of navy dress pants originally from New York and Company. According to the tag, they are the Summer Stretch 7th avenue pant–midtown fit, straight leg.  I was a little unsure because they are “petite” but, I was hoping that they would turn out to be an ankle-length cigarette style.  Besides, they were a half-off color so they came to $4.00.  I was willing to take that gamble.

I also purchased a straw cloche hat and a pair of white cotton-y riding gloves.  I am very excited about both of these little purchases.  The hat was a whopping 50 cents and the gloves were 60 cents.  After the thrift store, I continued on my journey to the mall.  At Old Navy I picked up a pair of shorts similar to ones that I bought earlier this summer and totally love, and a new white shirt.  They had a big sale going on, so the t-shirt was $6 and the shorts were $7. It wasn’t quite the haul that I was expecting, but sometimes that happens to me.

I looked at the beads for my bracelet, but didn’t see any that I had to have so I continued on.  I stopped for an Auntie Anne’s cinnamon sugar pretzel and lemonade while I was there, though.  Back on my side of town, I went to a shopping plaza with all sorts of stores.  I got a new iPhone 3 case for $5!  I didn’t find the clips for my hot rollers at either of the beauty stores and DSW only had a smidgeon of their Fall shoes out.  Plus, I am pretty cheap when it comes to things like that!  Investment piece, or no, it’s hard for me to spend over $50 on a pair of shoes.

Wednesday, I wanted to wear my new navy pants.  Luckily, my gamble paid off and they did fit.  I had this shirt out from when I was making outfits last week, and I thought it would be the perfect compliment to my new pants.  Let me tell you something, people, I was operating the assumption that this shirt has navy polka dots on a white background.  But, my BF disagreed with me.  He thought that they were black polka dots.  I held up the buttons and compared them to my new pants.  They looked a little black.  Then, I held them up to his black socks and they looked a little blue.  Honestly, I can’t really tell.  Before the color comparison test I was certain that they were navy polka dots.  But now, my faith has been shaken.

And then it was like my whole world was shattering around me.  I have paired this shirt with red accents so many times and even wore it as my red, white, and blue outfit.  Could I still pair it with navy pants if the polka dots were black?  I was operating in a world of uncertainty.  But, it was starting to get late, so I did it anyway.

I put on these black patent-leather sandals and accented this outfit with a silver bracelet and watch.  And of course, red lips.  But, I didn’t really like the outcome.  Maybe it was lingering thoughts that the polka dots are blue and not black.  Or, maybe it was the neon pink toe nail polish.  Whatever it was, I decided to change up the accessories.

Wednesday July 18, 2012
Polka dot blouse: (thrifted.) Red belt: (thrifted.) Red bracelet: gift from mom. Navy pants: (thrifted.) Silver watch: Fossil. Pandora bracelte: gift from mother-in-law. Red ballet flats: Target.

I liked the new outfit more, even though I can’t say that it will make the favorites list for this semester.

Wednesday, in class, we began the last chapter of the semester: argumentation.  Our textbook makes a distinction between persuasive speaking and argumentation.  Although I understand how and why they are separating the two, I think that it can be a bit hard for the students to understand.  Especially when the goal of both types is to motivate the audience to take action.  Who really cares if you are using motivational appeals or logic and reasoning?  Besides, my tactic is to use both to make sure that you cast a wide net and reach those most people possible.

Also, it gets a little weird at the end because I am teaching them something that they really won’t utilize.  Their final speech will be delivered on next Wednesday and then that closes the book for the semester.  There is no final for this class, so what I am lecturing over they won’t be tested on.  I always keep my fingers crossed that they won’t figure this out, but they always do.  And then I get the inevitable question, Do we have to know this?  I always give one of those frustrating parent/teacher responses of “this will help you in your final speech, and you never know when there might be a POP! Quiz.”

What are your thoughts? Are these polka dots blue or black? Did you like the outfit better the first way or the second? Please leave a comment, I love hearing your feedback!

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Demonstrative Speeches and Leopard Print

Wednesday was a speech day– one of my favorite types of day.  It is nice to be able to sit back and listen to the students deliver their speeches.  Although, it’s not all fun and games.  I still have to evaluate each speaker.  The class does peer evaluations also, but they only have to evaluate two speakers, so the other two they get to sit back and enjoy.  Usually, since I’m not going to be taking center stage as much, I like to take the opportunity to dress down a bit.

And, Wednesday was no exception.  I chose to wear my leopard print tie-neck button up.  I had originally envisioned pairing it with khaki trousers, but when I put the outfit on it was a complete khaki overload.  I’ve paired this top with a black pencil skirt and black dress pants before, so in an effort to style it differently, I reached for my denim colored trousers.  And they worked.  (I feel like I almost always reach for these pants on speech days– it’s about as close as I can get to wearing jeans in the classroom!)  To finish off this outfit, I chose red patent leather ballet flats and silver accessories (again, trying to be different.)

Wednesday July 11, 2012
Leopard print tie neck blouse: (thrifted.) Zodiac necklace: Target. Silver cuff: J.C. Penney. Denim trousers: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Red ballet flats: Target.

The demonstrative speeches were very interesting. The students have to select something that ties in to their program of study or intended career choice, so I get to learn about a wide variety of topics!

Salmon: It’s Not Just for Dinner

After a few rough days last week I really wanted to start fresh on Monday morning.  Alas, that didn’t exactly happen.  Instead, all of the tension that had been steadily mounting erupted into an overflow.  This resulted in a student speaking with the department chair about her frustrations and later that same day, myself going and speaking to my department chair about the situation.  And that is really all that I want to say about that!

We’ve had a break in the weather since last weeks unbearable temps of 95+ and have returned to our normal summer temperatures of mid-80’s.  And I am thankful.  Although those 90 degree days can be nice if you have nothing better to do than go hang out at the pool, they make trying to accomplish anything else–even sleep!– all but impossible.  And, I can’t deny that the decrease in heat and humidity is much better for my hair– I was having a great hair day on Monday which made me super-duper excited.

I decided to wear this aztec-y jersey printed tank top that I purchased a while back from Target.  I knew when I bought it that it was going to have lots of remix possibilities.  I’ve worn it several times and each time I’ve managed to wear it just a little bit differently.  (See here.) I love the color palette, the cut and style, and the fabric– it’s like wearing a super soft t-shirt.  Plus, I can dress it up for school, or just throw it on with denim shorts for a perfect summer look.  If I had to pick one piece that I think defines my Summer style it would be between this shirt and my printed khaki shorts from Old Navy.

This time around, instead of bringing out the yellow-gold hues, I played up the pinks and peaches.  I paired it with my blush colored trousers and salmon-y cardigan.  (For other ways that I’ve worn these trousers see here and here.)  I went with brown shoes and silver-toned jewelry instead of gold.  I also added my wooden bead-bauble-y necklace.  I was a little unsure about the necklace with the ruffle detail of the shirt, so I photographed it both with and without the necklace and (just like last time) I liked it better with the necklace.  It just feels like a more finished product.

Savvy readers will also notice that I have layered my necklaces, again.  This time I am wearing a silver rope chain in addition to the orangish wooden necklace.  This is a styling detail that I am really in love with right now.

Monday July 9, 2012
Salmon cardigan: Target. Ruffled tank top: Target. Wooden bead necklace: (thrifted.) Silver necklace: gift from grandma. Earrings: gift from bf. Blush colored trousers: (thrifted.) Brown pointy toed heels: (thrifted.) Silver watch: Fossil.


After class I spent some time talking to a faculty member about my class and then headed towards the main campus to speak with my department chair.  After a mentally exhausting day I needed to decompress.  For me, this meant stopping at J.C. Penney on my way home to do a bit of shopping.  I did pick up two new items, a sleeveless gold cowl-neck top and a silver cuff bracelet.  While shopping, I remembered that it was a co-worker’s last day at my other job.  I quickly texted another co-worker to see if she wanted to meet up and say a quick good-bye.

She was just leaving work for the day and agreed to meet me in about 30 minutes.  I made a quick stop to Wal-Mart to pick up a card and then met my friend at work.  Sadly, our co-worker had already left for the day.  But, it worked out fine in the end because my friend and I got to spend some QT together have a cocktail and an appetizer on the patio.

Since we have to wear uniforms to work, this was (possibly) the first time that my co-workers had seen me in dress up clothes.  It was fun to see their reaction.  I got a lot of compliments on my outfit, necklace, and shoes.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that it made me feel great–especially since I wasn’t really trying to go there dressed to the nines.  It just so happened that I was having a good hair day and looked polished and put together.

It’s times like these that make me happy that I put in the time and effort to pick out outfits and that I share them with you through this blog.  The idea that the way we dress does, indeed, make a difference is constantly reinforced.

How many times do you run in to an ex, old boss, or former acquaintance and say “Darn, I wish I didn’t look so put together and polished right now?” NEVER, right? It’s usually more like, “Darn, I wish I wouldn’t have ran out of the house looking like this!”

Meet the President Shoes

Thursday night was date night for my BF and I.  Even though he had off some extra days in the beginning of the week for the 4th of July holiday, he spent most of his time off chillin’ out maxin’, relaxin’ all cool.  On Thursday we decided to go to dinner at our local Red Lobster.  For whatever reason, this is not a restaurant that we frequent so it kind of feels a little bit special when we do go there.

Also, President Obama was recently in town and staying at a hotel near our apartment.  We weren’t sure what time he was going to be rolling through town, but we wanted to stick close to home so we could see the motorcade.

We finished up dinner around 8 o’clock.  We thought that Obama would be through around 7:30, but we could see from the window of the restaurant that they had not put up the barricades, yet.  After dinner we left the restaurant and meandered outside.  We walked over to a grassy area and hung out, waiting to see the President drive by.  While we were waiting more and more people started to show up. Most people thought that there were fireworks or that something bad had happened when they saw the “do not cross” police tape.  Several people asked us what was going on and when we told them, they asked when?  But, no one really seemed to know.

Luckily, it wasn’t too terribly hot outside.  All-in-all we would end up waiting about two hours to see the President and his entourage drive down the road.  Sadly, it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.  But, we had reached a certain point where we had invested so much time that there was no way that we were going to leave without seeing the spectacle.  And, because we couldn’t.  They closed the street when he got close.

I chose my outfit more for dinner than to see the President, but that doesn’t make for a very interesting title.  My BF talked me into getting these shoes two weeks ago and I have been trying to create an outfit around them.  I had a whole different outfit planned, but I got makeup on my white shirt and it had to be laundered.

White button-up: Old Navy. Gold necklaces: Target. Long gold necklace: J.C. Penney. Brown belt: Wal-Mart. Jeans: Old Navy. Gold shoes: Payless. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Gold earrings: Target.

I’m layering my necklaces, again.  But, I’m kind of cheating.  I bought this necklace and earring set at Target a few days ago.  Although it looks like two necklaces, it’s actually only one.  Necklace layering made easy! Not that it’s that hard.

Do you think that the President would have approved of my outfit?

“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda:” Time Wasters

The delay in this post comes from the fact that Wednesday wasn’t a great day.  And it kind of breaks my heart because it was speech day.  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you will know that speech days are my favorite.  I get to see my little birdies fly on their own and really strut their stuff.

But, these little birdies did not.  To make a long story short, my students indicated to me that they were feeling unprepared for their first speech.  In my opinion, they wanted to push all of the blame on to me and say that I didn’t prepare them.  This caused an explosion of feelings within me.  First, I was angry that they could even think such a thing.  Then, I was feeling very attacked and defensive.  (I honestly don’t know how I managed to keep my composure.)

I suggested that we could continue watching video examples and push the speeches back to the next class period.  After about 30-40 minutes of debate my students opted to deliver their speeches that day.  Of course this outraged me even more.  One of my main counterpoints to them not feeling prepared was that it takes us soooo long to get through the lecture material that I cannot spend time doing other activities–worksheets, showing video’s, group work, hands on learning activities, etc.  It’s my thought that they don’t read the chapters and come to class prepared, so when I begin lecturing over the information they have a very difficult grasping it because it is unfamiliar to them.

And Wednesday was a perfect illustration of my point.  They spent all that time discussing their speaking apprehension and telling me all the things that they think I should have done differently and then they gave their speeches, anyway.  So, guess what?  After the speeches I had this whole lecture on MLK’s I Have a Dream speech planned that tied in their homework from the previous day.  But, we didn’t get to it.

My BF picked out my outfit.  When I asked him what I should wear he said “a pencil skirt.”  I took it from there, selecting which pencil skirt (my newly thrifted one), a top (a lovely burgundy silk top with tie neck), and accessories (bronze/gold to match the hardware detail on the skirt.)  My BF did, however, pick out which shoes I wore with this outfit.  Sadly, I really like this outfit and I hate that it was such a horrible day.  (Also, my long-time readers might notice that, for once, I didn’t opt to go casual on speech day.)  What a bummer!

Tie neck top: J.C. Penney. Bronze feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Gold shell bracelet: The Jewelry Superstore. Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

What do you think? Do you ever start out the morning feeling great and then just watch the day start to unravel right before your eyes?

Debby and Wrinkles

This week we’re having  a cold snap in our neck of the woods due to tropical storm Debby.  I mean, if 75 degrees in the summertime is cold.  Of course when the days preceding are in the 90’s the twenty degree difference is bound to make people turn off their air conditioners and put on pants!

And I was no exception.  Sunday night I ironed out the horizontal crease in my thrifted white trousers so that I could wear them on Monday.  Trouble is, I didn’t quite iron out some of the other wrinkles in the material.  When I put the pants on Monday morning I deluded myself into thinking that with a quick spray of Febreze, the wrinkles would just fall out.  It didn’t work.  And I wore them anyway.

I paired them with my blue silk blouse.  The last time I wore this shirt I went with brown and gold accessories, so this time I decided to switch it up and pair it with cool silver and pearl jewelry.  I had some trouble with my shoes, though.  I tried on about 7 or 8 pairs, comparing them to each other and trying to find the best one.  My BF helped for the first three pairs, but then he conceded.  Ultimately, I settled on my blush patent leather wedges because they had silver toned accents and because they have yet to make their blog debut.

Blue silk button-up: (thrifted.) Pearl earrings: J.C. Penney. Camisole: gift from mother-in-law. Pearl necklace: unknown. Silver zodiac necklace: Target. Pandora bracelet and charms: gift(s). Silver watch: Fossil. White pants: (thrifted.) Wedges: Target.

The outfit was o.k.  It looked better in my head.  I wanted to wear the shirt tucked in for a tailored look, but it didn’t look quite right.  Also, the shoes just felt off.  I did like the idea of the outfit, though.  Also, I am layering my necklaces, again.  This is a look that I am starting to really dig.  Lastly, I tried to echo the red-orange toe nail polish with a similar hued lipstick.

In class we covered chapter 10: delivery.  I’m doing things a bit different from normal.  In the past, I have covered some of the information, the students gave their first speech, then I expanded upon their knowledge with the chapters on wording and delivery.  This way, they didn’t get too apprehensive about delivering their first speech.  But, since this is an 8-week accelerated course, it was a bit if a challenge to fit everything in.  This time around, I have also placed more emphasis on the outline.  I will have collected it and given feedback twice.  The third submission they will receive their final grade.  I think this is good because it allows them to do well on one of their first big assignments.  (Although, I get the feeling that they have a different opinion.)

I tried to give them everything that they needed to prepare for their first speech.  However, I was having some technological difficulties that really put a wrinkle in things!  I had planned to show them two examples of informative speeches so that we could critique them and they could get a good sense of what they are expected to produce.  But, the sound wasn’t cooperating and we only had time to watch the “needs improvement” version of one of the speeches.  I still made use of the 20 minutes before the building administrator got it working, but it wasn’t what I had planned.

What do you think?  Are there times where things don’t turn out the way you plan and you just have to roll with the punches?  Is it something that you are able to do gracefully, or do wrinkles in your day get you all in a tizzy?

P.S. Please go comment on my 100th post so that I can give away this $10 Starbucks gift card.  (I’d really like to reach 10 comments on my 100th post before I reach my 200th post.)

Weekend Edition: Reunion

Sunday, my BF and I traveled about an hour south of our apartment for his annual family reunion.  In the several years that he and I have been together, I have been to this event twice.  Having been there before, I was able to confidently select an outfit that would be appropriate for this event.

First, it is held in the basement of a brick school building.  The room where everyone gathers to eat a pot-luck lunch is not air-conditioned, what-so-ever.  Some people bring an oscillating fan which they plug into the various outlets to help circulate the air.  If it is a sweltering hot day (like in year’s past) it can be almost unbearable in the basement of the building.

Secondly, there are games for the kids outside on the playground and baseball for the young adults and grown-ups.  These two events take place outside in the summer heat (or rain, if that’s the case) with very little shade available.  For those who don’t partake in the kids games or baseball, there is a shade tree in front of the school where they set up camp and sit and catch-up.

Given that this is such a varied event, dressing appropriately can be a challenge.  Sometimes, due to the heat, I have felt like wearing nothing but a swimsuit.  However, that would not be appropriate.  Also, sitting down and having dinner and socializing is one type of event, while being active and playing games is another.

Two weeks ago when I was at Target they had some summer staples on sale.  One of the items that I picked up was a sleeveless ruffled top for $5.  It is one of those basic items that I knew would come in handy, either to wear now in the summer months, or to layer with in the coming months.  Plus, it is casual and comfortable to wear alone, but it can also be a base element in a dressier, work-appropriate, outfit.  And, it was cheap!

Last week, when I was at Old Navy they were having a shorts sale.  In years past, I haven’t worn shorts very much and consequently I have very few pairs.  I wasn’t in the mood to try things on, so I just bought one pair of printed shorts for $10. Even though I didn’t purchase these two items to be specifically worn together, or for this event, it just so happened that they were a match made in heaven!

Sun hat: Target. Gold swirl earrings: Target. White sleeveless ruffle shirt: Target. Gold necklace: J.C. Penney. Brown belt: Wal-Mart. Printed shorts: Old Navy. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Sandals: Target.

I added gold and brown accessories to complete the look.  These included gold earrings, a long gold necklace, a brown belt, a straw sun hat, and sandals with brown, gold, and bronze straps.  I was cool and comfortable all day long– from lunch in the basement of the school, to the playground for kids games, to the bleachers for baseball, and under the shade tree socializing.  And, not to mention that I received plenty of compliments on my hat and my outfit.


I liked this outfit very much! Since I bought the straw hat I have only worn it a few times. Remembering to wear it can be a bit of a challenge. I have also worn it while shopping/running errands and to the pool, once. I was very proud of myself and my outfit! I am also smitten with this red-orange color that I used to paint my toenails. This will certainly be an outfit that I pack for our Florida vacation this coming Fall.