Versatility

I’m just going to throw this out there and say that I shop too much.  I know that I will regret saying that at some point, but it is true.  Now, I am not as bad as some people out there in the world, but I can admit that I own more things than I really need.  But, it’s hard to resist that siren song of new clothes and trends.

So, I try very, very hard to be mindful of the items that I purchase.  And, I certainly make sure that I am not breaking the bank with my spending habits.  But, truth be told, I often buy new things and I am so excited to wear them as soon as I bring them home.  And then I look in my closet and I see all these other wonderful items of clothing that I haven’t even worn yet!  I’m not one of those people who looks in my closet and thinks, I have nothing to wear!  I look into my closet and I think, Ahhh, I have so many things to wear and so little time to wear them all!  Which, could explain why I often change so many times throughout the day.

I also really like the challenge of coming up with different ways to style a piece of clothing.  Sure, some items are easier than others, but that just makes it fun.  And not all of my styling idea’s come from my own mind– many of them are idea’s that I get from fashion magazines, television, Pinterest, other bloggers, etc.  Here are the recent additions from my closet on my last shopping trip.  (I can justify each and every one of these purchases, y’all!)

(Clockwise from Top) Printed Cowl Neck Top: Target on-sale $9, Denim Colored Pencil Skirt: Target clearance $12, Printed Ruffled Tank (magenta/black): Target on-sale $12, Purple and Black Dress: (thrifted) $4

As you can see, I went on a min-shopping trip to Target and the thrift store. The printed cowl neck top has been in stores for a few weeks now, but they just went on-sale for $9.  There were two color options and I chose the magenta, mustard yellow, and cream because I knew it would fit into my closet well.  I could think of a few different ways to wear this top for Fall and for Spring.  I could pair this with my mustard cardigan or a cream-colored cardigan and jeans or khaki pants for Fall.  For a more Spring time outfit, I could play off of the white/cream and wear it with white pants or a khaki skirt.  I could even see layering it under a sweater or a button-down for a Winter-y version.

The second item, a denim colored pencil skirt, has been on my wish list for some time now.  I love the pencil skirts from Target.  I have one in black and khaki and they fit very well and are staples of my closet.  I have a denim colored pair of trouser pants from Target that I get a lot of use out of, and I knew that a skirt in the same color/fabrication would work well in my closet.  Basically, any outfit that I’ve worn with those pants can be worn with this skirt.  Plus, this girl fueled my desire for a denim-colored pencil skirt.  And, it was on clearance. And my size.  That’s like a fashion rule that you have to buy it.

This third item won its way into my cart because it is the same cut and style as this tank top, albeit a different print.  Again, my brain immediately started counting the outfits that I could create with this top.  I could wear it with black dress pants/black skinny pants/black pencil skirt, jeans/denim shorts/denim skirt, or blue pants/gray pants/white pants.  And those are just the bottom choices.  There are a number of toppers that I could wear over the tank top: black cardigan, royal blue cardigan, mustard cardigan, white cardigan, black blazer, blue blazer, magenta button up, white button up, or a black button up.  And, not to mention that I could layer a black tissue turtleneck under it for a Fall option, and a cardigan or blazer over it with the turtleneck for a Winter option.  I mean, that’s worth $12, right?  I knew you’d agree.  This is why we’re friends.

The last new item may have the least amount of remix possibilities, but I have been on the search for dresses.  I mean, with a dress there is barely any thinking involved.  You just pull it over your head and you’re good to go.  I mean, you may want to put on some shoes, too.  I could see this dress as is, with a black cardigan or black blazer, and maybe a black or purple sweater over it, so just the print shows on the skirt.  I could also layer under it with a black v-neck t-shirt or turtleneck.  I can see this with black tights and booties for Fall, or black tights, over the knee socks, and knee-high boots for Winter, or with an open-toed sandal or black wedges for Spring.  I could even wear my purple peep toed pumps with this dress!  The only downfall of this dress is that I don’t currently have a cardigan or sweater that is the same shade of purple, but I don’t think that would necessarily stop me from wearing this purple cardigan with the dress.

In case you weren’t convinced, here are some outfits that I created with the printed cowl neck top.  These first two are casual outfits.  And, the one on the left I have actually already worn.

(L to R) Mustard cardigan: Target. Printed cowl neck top: Target. Skinny Khaki’s: J.C. Penney. Brown boots: Old Navy.
Printed cowl neck top: Target. White jeans: (thrifted.) Brown penny-loafers: Old Navy.

I originally purchased this top with my everyday wardrobe in mind, but after getting it home I felt that the cowl neck top took this t-shirt up a notch and I was curious to see if I could make this piece work for my professional wardrobe as well.  Here are the results: 3 professional outfits with this printed cowl neck top.

(L to R) Printed cowl neck top: Target. Light khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Magenta belt: Target. Brown pointy toed shoes: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Printed cowl neck top: Target. Cream colored cardigan: Old Navy. Brown dress pants: Bitten (Steve n’ Barry’s). Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Magenta button up: J.C. Penney. Printed cowl neck top: target. Denim colored skirt: Target. Brown heeled boots: unknown. Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.)

So there you have it!  Self-imposed challenge, complete.  Oh, and elements from these three dressy items made up my outfit that I wore to class on Tuesday night.  So, stay tuned for that– it’s coming up shortly.

What do you think?  Do you ever play this game when you are buying clothes?  Or do you just go all willy-nilly and buy whatever happens to strike your fancy at that particular moment whether it fits in your closet or not?  Do you make purchases based on how you actually dress, or how you wish you dressed?  Sound off below– I love reading your comments.  And, I wouldn’t mind if you pinned my outfits, either!

-Carla

 

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Clothing, False Perceptions, and Talking

Last night was not everything that I hoped it would be. It started out o.k., but ended on a slightly sour note. Let me explain.  I woke up feeling like a touch of the flu was coming on.  So, I made myself an Emergen-C cocktail (no booze!), and spent most of the day on the couch trying to get over that general feeling of lethargy.  I read the newest edition of Cosmopolitan, caught up on an episode of Rookie Blue, and petted my adorable orange cat, Cosmo.

Eventually, it was time to shower and get ready for school.  After I showered I did take a few minutes to compose some outfits for the coming week– expect lots of Fall-ish colors.  Then, I got ready for class, packed my lunch, and took my outfit photo’s for the day before I headed off to campus.

Once on campus, I went into the adjunct faculty room where I hold my “office hours.”  The problem with this is that this room is absolutely freezing.  Not exactly what I needed when I wasn’t already feeling too hot.  I made a quiz for next week and reviewed my notes for the evening and then I decided that it was just too uncomfortable in there.  I took my lunch bag and ate my dinner outside.  It was much more comfortable out there.  After a while I packed up all my stuff and headed down to my classroom.  There was a class in there before me, so I didn’t get the chance to go in and set up as much as I would have liked.

In the ten minutes before class began, a few of my students were already in the room.  I usually announce to them that “we are having a quiz, and even though class hasn’t started now is a great time to ask any questions that you may have about the quiz, the syllabus, or class in general.”  But, they usually never ask any questions.  They don’t even usually talk to each other.  It’s very quiet and awkward at times.  One student, whom I will call, Eric asked me “if I like quiet before class began?”  I shook my head “no.  I don’t care if you talk.  It’s a public speaking class.”  And still, no one talked.

Once class actually began, I again announced that if anyone had any questions about last week’s material that I would be happy to answer them before the quiz.

No one talked.

Eric asked a general question, “Are we doing well on the quizzes as a group?”  It was a good question.  To which I responded, “Some people do very well, 9’s and 10’s.  Some people do not: 3’s and 4’s.  But, everyone seems to be consistent with themselves.  The students getting 5’s and 6’s get the same score nearly every time.”  I went on to explain to the students that the quizzes are not meant to be a torture device, but a way to measure whether they are grasping the material, or not.  And they can use them as a barometer.  If they are not getting the scores that they want they need to ask themselves, why not?

Are they reading the chapters, carefully?  Are they coming to class and taking good notes?  Are they asking for clarification on terms and concepts that they may not understand?  Are they reviewing the material and studying for the quiz?  Are they focusing on the right material from the chapter– can they identify the most important material or do they focus on the lesser important content?  And lastly, is there something that they need me to do differently?

No one talked.

And then I handed out their quiz.  After I collected the quiz I lectured over chapter 3: finding resource material.  After chapter 3, I started on chapter 4: identifying and evaluating supporting material but we didn’t get to finish the chapter.  We got about 3/4 of the way through.  I always seem to be running out of time in the class.  Truth be told, I would like to forgo the quizzes because they take up valuable class time!  There is so much more that I would like to give to them in the classroom, rather than taking time away for quizzes.  Perhaps I will make their next quiz a “take-home” quiz.

Back to my story.  After class was over, one of my students informed me that he would have to miss Thursday’s class due to a family matter.  He asked if he could take the quiz early.  I explained to him that there is no make-up work, that you have to take the quiz at the time that it is given.  He made some good points, that he wanted to put himself at a disadvantage and take the quiz early, not late.  He also stated that he didn’t think that he should be punished for having to miss class for a family issue.

I tried to explain to him that regardless of whether he wanted to take the quiz early or late it would be at a different time than the rest of the group, and I would have to make that an option for all students and it just gets too difficult to do that and be fair.  I also tried to explain to him that it’s not meant to punish him, that it isn’t a policy that is just for him, but that it is for everyone.  And, I can not play judge and jury on whether one student has to miss class for a good reason or someone else has to miss class for a bad reason.  So, we have the blanket policy that will cover all events.  But, I do appreciate that he genuinely cares about his grade and having to miss class.  But, I think that he is putting too much emphasis on one 10 point quiz, when there are over 1,000 points for the whole course.  One missed quiz will not cause him to fail the class.

He kept going on, even trying to jokingly offer me money, and he finally gave up.  At that point, Eric said to me, “I want to talk, but I feel like you will be mad at me.  You seem very strict.”

I assured him that I would not be mad at him, that I want the students to talk and participate.  I also added that I am strict, but I am also a pretty easy-going person.  To which the other student replied, “So you should let me take the quiz!”

“I said I was easy-going, I didn’t say that I was a push over.”  And then we had to part ways.

This whole exchange makes me feel a little deflated.  First of all, I want my students to take me and the class seriously– I want them to put in the time and effort that this class requires and not try to cut corners.  The quizzes are designed to make sure that they are reading the material and coming to class prepared.  And, if they don’t there is the consequence of doing poorly on the quiz.  But, I do want them to feel comfortable talking and answering questions and letting their personalities come through.  I have to find more ways to engage them in the classroom.

I always just feel this pressure to stand up in the classroom and lecture over the material using Powerpoint.  I do hope that playing Pictionary with them on Thursday will help break the stigma.  I have been wanting to incorporate this for a few classes now, but we keep running out of time.  Pictionary is one way that I help them meet and interact with some of their classmates, and a way that I get them up to the front of the room without focusing on being up there in front of everyone.  It is a very helpful tool in beginning to eliminate speech anxiety.

I also feel that I can help achieve this goal with my clothing choices.  Maybe instead of focusing on being professional and all business-like, I need to focus a little more on outfits that make me seem more accessible.  For me, I think that translates into wearing pants and flats.  And, adding in accessories with more personality.  I think that if I start to show them more of my personality they will start to show me more of their personality.  At least it’s worth a try, right?

Sorry for the long story, but that comes from the writer in me!  But, without further ado, here is the outfit that I wore last night:

Black and grey dress: J.C. Penney. Black belt: borrowed from blazer. Pandora bracelet and charms: gifts. Silver watch: Fossil. Black tights: Target. Black booties: Dillard’s. Black blazer: not shown here (thrifted.)

This is the big blog debut of my booties!  I purchased them about a month ago, and after breaking them in by wearing them around the house, I wore them to a meeting on campus.  The first time that I wore them, it was only for a few hours but my feet were very sore.  I was very upset.  These booties are by Antonio Melani and cost $100.  This is the most that I have ever spent on a pair of shoes, but I was looking at them as an investment piece.  They are made from leather– which is a big plus in my book.  After wearing them to teach in last night, I have to say that they were more comfortable than the first time that I wore them, but I am still not convinced that they were worth the major investment.  Only time will tell, I guess.

I wasn’t as comfortable in this outfit as I would have liked to be.  First, without some sort of cinching around the middle, this dress is waaaaay too 70’s mod/ maternity looking.  I thought that just the blazer would be enough, but I was a little too warm in it, so I knew that at one point I would want to take it off.  I took the fabric belt from the blazer and tied it around my waist so that the dress would look o.k. with or without the blazer.  The other reason why I was a little uncomfortable was because of the length of the dress.  It is longer than fingertips, but it still feels so short!  Even paired with the dark tights I felt like I was showing a lot of leg.  And it just made me feel a little self-conscious. I think that this dress is better with an opaque tight or even leggings.

What do you think? Are there outfits that are “appropriate” by all the standards and rules, but just leave you feeling uncomfortable? Do you have better days when you feel completely comfortable in what you are wearing? Maybe it was because of the impending sickness, the outfit, or a combination of the two that came across to my student that I would be mad if he talked. Whatever the reason for that perception, I want to figure it out and change it, fast!
-Carla

Copy Cat

 

Every semester starts out the same.  I am filled with many hopes and desires and feeling optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead.  But, somewhere in the middle, both the students and I start to wear thin.  Once we get to the end, we are just ready for it all to be over.  But, I have to start thinking about the next semester before the one that I am in is even over!  That is both good and bad.  Sometimes it can be all to easy to just give up on the current semester and turn your attention and focus towards starting anew with the next semester.  But, pulling it together and pushing through those roadblocks shows determination and perseverance.

I think that for Fall semester I am going to have to be more proactive and schedule a massage, or three, during those middle of the semester weeks that are particularly challenging.  I experienced the same thing with the Fall ’11 and Spring ’12 semesters.

Since Monday was the second to last day with my students I wanted to wear something that was a little more professional and classic.  And what better than a crisp white button-up shirt and khaki skirt?  The inspiration for this outfit comes from dual sources: Pinterest and my BF.  When I asked him what I should wear on Monday he said, “a pencil skirt and button up shirt.”  Which, is pretty much his standard answer.  (But that’s o.k., because it is one of my favorite outfit formula’s, too!)

I could have embellished with different jewelry, but since I’ve gotten this J.Crew knock-off bubble necklace I have only worn it once.  I wanted to wear it with contrasting colors of coral and salmon, but that didn’t pan out a few weeks back.  Although my outfit is very similar to the inspiration photo, it isn’t quite the same.  I chose to go with gold hoop earrings and my gold watch, while the inspiration photo pulls in more pops of turquoise with the bracelet and clutch.

Monday July 23, 2012
White button-up shirt: J.C. Penney. Bubble necklace: E-bay. Gold hoop earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Brown pointy-toed shoes: (thrifted.)

On Monday, I finished discussing Chapter 14: argumentation.  We discussed fallacies in reasoning and talked about how and why the textbook makes a distinction between persuasion and argumentation.  Then, I gave them a clean copy of a student’s outline and asked them to go through it and grade it using the same grading sheet that I use.  This is the activity that I tried a few week back that failed, miserably.

This time, it worked a little better.  Sadly, they finished the first one quickly, so I thought that they would have time to do a second one, but they were just able to finish it.  This way, each student received two peer-review sheets for their outlines and my preliminary grade sheet.  I should have left more time for discussion about the grading, but I think that it was still helpful–both for the students to practice giving and receiving feedback.  And, it was a dramatic improvement upon last time, so I am going to place it in the W-in category.

Wednesday will be my last day with these students.  Although I am glad that it will be over– it was a tough semester, it’s always a bittersweet ending!  They are required to dress professionally for their final speech, and I will be taking it easy in student wear–re: jeans and a t-shirt.  It’s a bit of fun little role reversal.

What do you think?  Do you like my interpretation of the inspiration photo?  Do you try to re-create outfits that you see on Pinterest, in magazines, or on other people?  Where do you draw inspiration from?

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!

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!”

All About the Bling!

Last Saturday, I received my knock-off J. Crew Bubble necklace in the mail.  I purchased it off e-bay for $15.  There were several retailers to choose from and a myriad of colors available.  I chose a turquoise/minty color.  They also had a hot pink one that I was really fond of, but I wanted to just order one to start with in case it wasn’t everything that I had hoped it would be.

Sadly, I do have to admit that my longing for this necklace is due to its popularity with other style bloggers that I follow.  I have seen this necklace on nearly every one of these girls and hundreds of pins on Pinterest.  I have also read a handful of DIY posts on this iconic necklace, and even tried to replicate it myself.  (It didn’t work.  I was very sad.)

But it felt like Christmas when it came.  And I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that on Monday I wanted to create an outfit that hinged on this necklace.  First, I paired it with a white button-up shirt and a coral knife pleated skirt.  However, I couldn’t find my wide brown belt to finish off the look, the shirt wasn’t staying tucked in to the skirt, and the skirt was more sheer than I seem to recall.  I knew that all these little annoyances would make me uncomfortable and that is something that I just won’t put up with.  So, I changed.

Instead, I wore this mod-looking dress that I thrifted a while back.  The navy, white, and mint seemed perfect for a warm summer day.  And, it was a near match to my new necklace!  I accessorized with a tan and gold belt, nude pumps, and a gold watch and hoop earrings.  To top off the look I added some coral lipstick.  I actually wore a white short-sleeved cardigan over the dress while teaching–my classroom is air-conditioned, thank goodness, but I neglected to take any photo’s with the cardigan on.  Mea culpa.

Dress: (thrifted.) Necklace: e-bay. Belt: (thrifted.) Gold earrings: Charlotte Russe. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Nude pumps: Target.

Do you ever do that? Do you create an entire outfit around one piece or accessory? Sometimes, I find it easier to build an outfit when I have a starting point. I think the next time I wear this necklace, I want to wear it with contrasting colors.

“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?