Monday, February 28

The Unknown

How many of us are afraid of The Unknown?

     Well, the past few days have been marked by a series of landmark events that have infiltrated my personal, and especially, my professional life.  These events have transpired into a huge wall in which the thing that exists on the other side is called The Unknown.  I, along with many people with whom I am close to, are now facing this wall.  So, now what?
    I've been doing some long and hard thinking about this, and I've realized that The Unknown has almost always taken on a negative connotation.  But do you realize that every morning we wake up, we are facing The Unknown?  And yet that doesn't stop us from going on with our everyday routines.  So why is it that when we are confronted with a hurdle and are forced to face The Unknown, we become debilitated with fear?  Is it simply because we are now cognizant of something that is not a part of our routine and takes us out of our comfort zone?   Or is there more to it?
   To anyone who is currently standing in front of a "wall", I'd like to share what I have been reiterating to myself.  Treat that wall the same as you face every morning when deciding to (finally) get out of bed:  Swing your legs over.  Stand up. Get your bearings.  Take a step forward.  And then another step.  Then, just keep going forward.  Do not let that wall of The Unknown, or your fear of it, diminish your ability to keep moving forward.  The only person who decides who or what should get the best of you, should be you.

     On that note, I'll transition into my last installment of Hope and Melisssa's "Fabulous in February" feature! Thank you ladies for encouraging "fabulosity"!

     #10.  I appreciate about myself that although there are times when I'm afraid, I am still fearless.  I refuse to let any one person or thing get the best of me without my consent.
    #11.  I'd like to think that I'm a rational thinker.  I try to assess a situation (e.g. a "wall"...see earlier ranting within this post) from multiple viewpoints in order to determine my strategy of approach.   Even during times when I've made what would seem like irrational decisions, there was still some depth of thought given.
    #12.  Lastly, when it comes to my friendships, I'm happy to play the role of cheerleader. 

Rah! Rah! Rah!


the pieces:
Sweater Vest - Gap (Fall 2010)
Two Pocket Plaid Shirt - Gap (clearance for about $7), but found here in a lilac color
Khakis - Gap (some time last year)
Ruffled Belt - Gap (clearance for about $6)
(Oh my goodness, I just noticed the trend here!)
Shoes - Vince Camuto "Neven Sand" heels, found here, but scored for only $26 @ Dillard's!!

p.s. Thanks for reading my unleashed feelings.

Wednesday, February 23

Flip Flops in February!

Is it only in Texas...?

      ...that folks can wear flip flops in February?...even January?...heck, I went to the mall once in December and people were wearing flip flops AND shorts!  Thus, I did not feel so bad leaving the house this morning feeling (slightly underdressed but) comfy-comfy in my Havaianas.

    This was the fastest I've put an outfit together in a long time.  For some reason, I was drawn to wear this skirt today.  Really, I did find it to be strange that I ended up wearing it because I've been avoiding it for so long.  As much as I love the strong color and fun polkas, I've had a hard time dressing this thing up.  In the four-or-so years that I've owned this skirt, I've only worn it once or twice, both times in the same way with a black turtleneck, black tights, and black heels.  I've tried to incorp other colors, but this blue along with the pattern just seems so doggone overwhelming.  Today, though, I made a breakthrough:  I wore it with a white top instead! (yeaaa...and the crowd goes wild!)
     Anyway, when I let the skirt fall naturally, it ends up right on my hips.  But wearing it that way makes me feel like an old milk maiden. (nothing against milk maidens, young or old.)  So, to solve that little prob, I hiked up the skirt several inches and cinched a black belt around my waist to hold it in place.  Now, I look like a modern milk maiden.  Yesssss

I'm off to do some Family QT.  Have a great evening!


the pieces:
Sweater - The Limited (2008)
Tee - INC (Macy's)
Skirt - INC, Macy's (c. 2008)
Belt - stolen from another top in my closet
Blue Flip Flops - Havaianas, Gap (Summer '10)

Tuesday, February 22

The Guinea Pig in Stripes & Plaid

Question: Does anyone have a "formula" that you use to put outfits together?

       In my mind, in my bathroom, and even in my closet mirror, this outfit was pretty cute.  And then I reviewed the pictures.  Not sure what it is, but something just isn't right.  The colors? The stripes and plaid?  The fit?  Maybe it's the shoes?  I just don't know. 

      I really thought that I had some rational creativity behind this one.  I try to keep the color/texture/pattern rule in mind when concocting my "creative" outfits. Orange stripes underneath a plaid jacket (that has a little orange in it).  Shoes and belt acting as neutrals.  "Army" green pants providing a contrast to the light hues.  And texture from my wood and carved bracelets.  I thought I was on to something when I put this together.  Even after one of my critics students asked me, "Mrs. C, does that match?", I knew that I was on to something!  (I joke around with them that they just aren't "fashionably mature" yet).  Of course I don't want to be matching! 
I want to be coordinating! 
Just like conjunctions and points on a graph! 
And I want things that are opposite to work together! 
Like George and Wheezie! 

But for now, I'll keep trying new combinations and being my own personal guinea pig.  (A cute one, mind you.)  ;)

And on a casual note, now that Spring is on our heels, maybe this could work for a weekend afternoon running errands...

the pieces:
Jacket - Necessary Objects (old)
Striped Tank - Gap
White Tank - TJ Maxx
Cargo Skinnies - Gap
Shoes - Guess
Sandals - Steve Madden

Monday, February 21

Black, White, & Red on the Bottom...and Fabulous in February, Week 3

Why does the zebra have stripes?

    'Cuz she has style! 

     Happy's three weeks away from Spring Break, so...yea!!!

    This outfit today was a result of a last- ditch effort to wear this top.  As much as I love stripes, I do have to be careful when wearing them sometimes.  I tried to break up the looooong stretch of horizontal lines going across my chest and linebacker shoulders by adding something over it, which turned out to be this cropped jacket.  I wasn't in the mood to wear a skirt, but this one had more flounce and movement that added life to the black/white scheme more than a pair of pants would.  And the red...well, isn't that self-explanatory?  What better way to add a bit of color?  Right?

    So, last riddle:  What's black, white, and red on the bottom?
    You got it.
    This girl!

a close up of the print on the shoes

the pieces:
Jacket - Express (c. 2007)
Striped Top - The Limited (Winter 2008) 
Skirt - Express (Summer 2010)
Shoes - Jessica Simpson, Dillards (2008)

And now, on to Fabulous in February, brought to you by Hope and Melissa.  My fabulosity focuses on facial features (and apparently the use of alliteration; my kids would like that):

#7.  In light of my first FBFF post last Friday, I'm going to take a page out of my book post and start off by saying that (although I've allowed it to become the bane of my existence) I like my smile.  It's a part of me, and that's enough.

#8. I like the shape of my eyes.  I've often had people question where I'm from because I have a "different look" (you can translate that loosely if you'd like!), and I think my eyes may have played a part in their curiosity.

#9.  I've always liked the shape of my brows.  I used to have a thick, semi-uni, but they neaten up pretty well.

Okie dokie.  This is getting tougher.  But I can pull it out for one more week! Until then, I can't wait to read about all the other Fabulous Femme postings out there!

Have a fabulous week!

Friday, February 18

My First Friend Friday

Oohhh...I'm excited!  The more I am exposed to the blogging world, the more I feel like I'm a "blogger"!  So, with that being said, I am taking another step into this new world of mine and participating in the ever-popular "Friend Friday"!  Will you be my friend?

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Not really.  I've had a pretty healthy body image for quite some time now.  I try to not consider the things that I would change about myself as "flaws", but rather as unique features that I need to learn to (temporarily or otherwise) work with.  Sometimes I still get caught up in obsessing about those things, but once I realize how seriously time consuming (and potentially unhealthy) it is to focus on and b**** and moan about a body part or something that I don't like, I decide to try to accept and accomodate it until I am ready to actually enforce a solution to fix the "problem" (i.e. work out, eat better, etc.).
Was that too wordy?  Sorry about that.

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Again, this is where the "obsession" thing can become really unhealthy.  But to be honest, the one thing that I'm most self-concious about mouth.  I've always had, er, full lips, big teeth, and a huge smile.  I am almost always (ridiculously) aware of the way my mouth may look from various angles as well as in relation to whom I am speaking, which, to use the word again, is ridiculous.  I've now gotten to the point where I have accepted my mouth as one of my unique features.  It's part of my package. (Although I still wouldn't mind getting braces!)

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
Well, my image of my body has already evolved in the past four years.  After having P, things definitely changed.  Now, I'm okay with the little pudginess around my waistline, having a fuller face, and not being as fit and toned as I was in my 20s. 

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken?
I seriously considered posting pics on my blog with my head cropped off (see #2 for an explanation), but I thought that would be too impersonal.  If I were to meet any of you in real life, there actually would  be a head on the end of my neck, so why try to hide it?

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
I really believe that a large part of people's negative perceptions of their body (regardless of the sizing number that is on a tag) has a lot to do with how they dress their current size and shape.  If changes were made to the cut, fit, and even shape of the pieces, one could easily see his or her body transform (for the better) right before their eyes.  Before someone considers losing "ten pounds" to look the way they did "ten years" ago, maybe they should take the money that would be spent on diet aids and invest in wardrobe pieces that accentuate the body that they have now.

Thanks for reading and thank you to Modly Chic for hosting Friend Fridays!
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, February 17

Almost Patriotic

Happy Fourth of July!!

Am I too early?  (tee hee!)  Just joshin' y'all!  Really, today I had three people tell me, "If you were wearing white shoes..."

Should that have been a sign that I need not wear these pieces together again unless the calendar reads 07/04/11?

Well, you win some and you lose some. 

I'm almost done with my grading, so maybe (hopefully) I'll have a work-free weekend.  Back to the grind.

Have a good night!

the pieces:
Dress - Old Navy (old)
Tights - TJ Maxx
Shoes - Michael Kors (Summer '10)
Necklace - Kohl's (old)
Yellow Bracelet - Macy's (old)

Wednesday, February 16

Stripes, Ruffles, & Beads

It's Wednesday!

   Hello!  I hope everyone's Wednesday fared well.  This is a quick post as there are bigger (but not necessarily better) things that are beckoning me.  I'm really trying to be creative right now with something short, sweet, and to the point, but I really can't think of anything.'s the outfit:
   Again, I had a direction-less morning.  I wanted to be cozy and comfy and had a hooded sweater in mind, but it just wasn't working out.  In about ten minutes, I pulled out this cardigan (which I bought two sizes larger so that I could get an "oversized" look...does it work?) and coordinated this teal top to contrast with the navy stripes and oatmeal ruffled trim.  I toyed around with the necklace (I liked the orange against the teal) and earrings (which are various shades of green and brown) together since I don't like to overdo it with jewelry.  In the end, I decided to keep both.

Any recommendations on how to improve this look?  A belt, maybe?

   Well, I hope that everyone has a good night.  I'm off to do some grading!  (How many more weeks 'til Spring Break?)
the pieces:
Striped Sweater - NY Collection (Macy's, Winter '10)
Teal Top - The Limited (Winter '08)
Pants - Express (a couple of years ago?)
Shoes - Guess (Ross, recent purchase)
Necklace - Express (Summer '10)
Earrings - don't recall

Tuesday, February 15

Today is Only Bluesday

Ever have one of those days?

     Today is only Tuesday, and I already feel as though I have been run over by a "Tue"-ton truck. (get it?)  Anyway, please don't be fooled by this picture.  Although I'm smiling, my eyelids are so heavy that there were several pics that I took where my eyes were actually closed! 

    It's the last week of the grading period.  For all of you teachers out there, you probably know what this means.  It's a race to the finish line to manage missing assignments, final lessons, quizzes/tests, last-minute (on the students' part) tutoring, gradebook finalization, and more.  Just typing this makes me weary.  Today during our planning time, my brain was so full that nothing else could fit.  Seriously, I had nothing to give and nothing was sticking.

    As far as today's outfit, I really had no idea what I was putting together.  I had zero direction this morning and randomly picked and put these pieces together.  Blue denim skirt. "Electric" blue tee.  And blue/white pinstripes.  Lots of blues.  Not sure if it works, though, but, as one of my dear co-workers states:  "I'm decent, and I'm clean."   Isn't that enough?

    I'm sure I sound like a whiney-baby.  But, welcome to my pity party.  Would anyone else like to attend?


the pieces:
Sweater - Loft (recent sale purchase)
Tee - Express (old)
Banded collar top - Marshall's (very old)
Skirt - Gap (Fall '09?)
Open-toe Booties - Mossimo (Target, Winter '10)
Blue combo python print belt - Express (old)
Earrings - purchased from a jewelry vendor at school

Monday, February 14

Fabulous in February, Week 2

To continue with Hope and Melissa's Fabulous in February, here are three more positive things!

#4. I like my natural muscle tone.  Even when I was, like, six or seven, my muscles were bigger than most of the boys that I knew.  And I could outrun most of them, too.  ;)

#5.  Whenever I'm at work, I make an attempt to always make eye contact, smile and acknowlege people, whether I know them well or not, or even if it's just in passing.  I even do the same in public sometimes with complete strangers.  I just think of it as being courteous. 

#6.  I have the quotation "Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover" on the back wall of my classroom, which is something that I've been cognizant of since I was in middle school.  I'm not saying that I'm inhuman to the point that I never make instinctual assumptions about people, but I do try to make sure that I give people a chance to prove who they are before settling on a final opinion of them. 

C'est tout pour maintenant!
(That's all for now!)

Love in Primary Colors

Happy Love Day!

Here's a little ditty for y'all...

Roses are red,
So is my skirt.
Violets are blue.
Hey! My skirt's that color, too!

Sunshine is yellow,
Just like my sweater.
Now mix in the shoes
To make it a l'il better.

Wrap it all up
With a navy blue bow.
That's my V-day outfit
All ready to go!

I hope that everyone has had a fabulous day!  As my mom would say, "Everyday is Valentine's Day!" (as well as Christmas, Mother's Day, her birthday, etc.)

So this is what I wore for Valentine's Day...

Sweater  - August Silk
Skirt - Gap (Winter '10)
Belt - taken from a pair of pants
Shoes - Guess (purchased from Ross)

And this is what I wore on Valentine's Night...

Lace Overlay Dress - INC, Macy's (several years ago)
Boots - Jessica Simpson "Marion (purchased from TJ Maxx)
Patent Belt - Forever21
Black/Grey Striped Knee Socks - Target

M and I just went out for dinner.  While we waited for the 40-something minutes to be seated, we talked, laughed, and filled up on dinner rolls and Spinach Artichoke dip and Bruschetta.  By the time my meal arrived, I was done for.  So sleepy now.

Did anyone do anything special?


Friday, February 11

School Spirit

Happy Friday everyone!   This is a quick "jeans and t-shirt" post. 

Fridays are "jeans days" for us, but only if worn with a school spirit tee.   Since I find it difficult to do a jeans/t-shirt/tennis shoes look, I try to come up with a versatile look that allows me to show my school spirit, but also allows me to have a cute outfit should I end up "elsewhere" after school on a Friday afternoon...

Here's what I wore today:
"Panther Proud"
School Spirit

Pink Pashmina
Style Spirit

the pieces:
Pink (not purple) Pashmina Shawl - several years old from ?
Four-Pocket Cardigan - Gap (Winter '10)
Jeans - Gap
Wool Socks - TJ Maxx (Winter '09)
Taupe Boots - Target (Winter '09-'10)

So...that's it!
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 10

A Green Sucker

Wanna know the one thing you need to look like a teacher?

     Apparently, wearing specs (for the second time) illicits responses of shock and amazement from my students:
     "Why are you wearing glasses?"  (So that I can see...)

     "How come you haven't worn 'em before?  (Well, I have...)

     "Are those real?"  (Umm...yes...)

     "Mrs. C, you look a teacher!"  (Really?  What a coincidence!)

And it wasn't just the glasses that bamboozled them.....
     "What's on your neck?"  (I think it's called a necklace.)

      "Is that real?"  (A real necklace? Yes.)

     "Are those diamonds?"  (Umm...Sure.)
     Really.  Sometimes my kids just make it too easy!  But I have to say that I'm a sucker sometimes, too.  A sucker for a good deal. 
     For the record, I hate wearing glasses, and I try to avoid wearing green near my face.  So, it would only make sense that I would wear a green sweater and a pair of (prescribed) glasses with green frames, right? 
     I actually do love the color of this sweater, but the arrow that struck my heart was the extra sixty-five percent off of the $19.99 price tag.  Seriously, how could I pass that up?  Even if the color isn't the most flattering... and it takes me a little eXXtra effort to get my arms through the size XXSP sleeves...

     And the pants! Ok, here's a serious question: 
Would you pass up a pair of "final sale" wool trousers that are (1) too big in the waist, (2) have somewhat of an ill-fit in the hips, and (3) have pockets that seem to add an extra two inches to your hips? 

How about if they cost more than $70...? 

How about if, after several price reductions, they end up costing you less than $6!!!  Would you then take the risk of purchasing them?! 

 Well, even if you wouldn't, like I said, I'm a sucker.

By the way, as much as I love these shoes, they actually hurt my feet more than a pair of 3.5" heels.  But.
They were marked down to such a great price that they begged to come home with me.

Nighty-night, all!

the pieces:
Sweater - Loft (recent purchase)
Yellow Tank - Old Navy (old)
Blue/White Pinstriped Scarf - Gap (Winter 2009)
Grey Wool Trousers - Loft (recent purchase)
Flats (w/small wedge heel) - Steven by Steve Madden "Blendi", DSW (Winter 2009)

Tuesday, February 8

What in the Blue Blazers?!

"Does anyone know what a Cold War is?"

     Here's a smile for ya:  This was a question I posed today while my students were studying events from the 1960 decade that will integrate with the novel that we are reading.  In one class, I have a student who is the quintessential teacher's pet (but not in a bad, overbearing way).  He always raises his hand with fervor, volunteers his assistance at the drop of a dime, and even likes to sit next to the teacher's desk.  So, today, I called on him first to answer the above question.  And with every energetic bone in his body, he eagerly (and seriously) answered:

"A cold war is... a war... that takes place... somewhere... where the temperature is freezing cold!"

You can't help but to smile at that!

     And smiling I am!  I'm smiling because I am so excited to participate in Everybody, Everywear's style item for this month: the Blazer! 

Classic Blazer | Everybody, Everywear

    I haven't worn this navy blazer in years,  but after going through other options in my closet, this one prevailed.  What was once part of a pant suit (these are not the pants that go with it) and has always needed some alterations, this blazer has now been reinvented as my "boyfriend blazer". (I may just have to start wearing this more often...).  As far as the rest of the outfit goes, the gingham top was purchased as maternity wear during the summer that I was pregnant, and after a few years of being folded on a shelf, it has now seen the light of day again.  The pants were already ankle-length, but I rolled an extra cuff to make the outfit less suit-y and more cute-y. I tried to be a little creative by creating a contrast with not one, but two belts, and after settling on the shoes (which tend to look beige or green-ish, but can still be neutral), I was happy with the end result.

Hopefully, I can keep smiling through the rest of this week!

Happy-Almost-Wednesday Everyone!

the pieces:
Blazer - The Limited (c. 2002)
Gingham Top - Lola (can't recall purchase site)
Pants - Gap (Summer '10)
Shoes - Steve Madden Luxe "Gisele" (DSW, 2008)
Brown Belt - Forever 21
Green Belt - Express

Monday, February 7

Fabulous in February, Week 1

Now that I have been able to purge (see previous post for today), I would like to end my night of blogging by participating in Hope and Melissa's Fabulous in February.  So, without further ado...

#1. I am my biggest critic.  This may sound like a bad thing, but I enjoy challenging myself with tasks and opportunities that test the limits of my comfort zone and even my abilities.  Being my biggest critic allows me to constantly push myself to never feel settled.

 (Wow, this is actually a little more difficult than I thought it would be.)

#2. I try to attack life with creative spin.  Whether it be with my lesson plans, my outfits, or even my methods of parenting, I often make an attempt to find a new way to do things.

#3. When it comes to a personality analysis, I'm right in between being an introvert and an extrovert.  I love the fact that I can enjoy my own company, as well as think and act independently of anyone else's judgement. But when it comes to working in a group, I aim to be a #1 team player.

So, those are three!

Apostrophes and Catastrophes

Ever heard of a "floating comma"?

     So with two of my classes today, we were supposed to be reviewing the use of apostrophes (aka "floating commas" to some students).  What should have been just a review, turned into a small catastrophe.  The source of confusion came about while reviewing how apostrophes are used to show possession (e.g. Shelley's keys). One young lady kept confusing the plural possessive case (which requires the use of an apostrophe) with the plural form of nouns (which does not use an apostrophe).  While trying to clarify her confusion, she would retort with a "What if" question, which eventually led to the confusion of several other students.  Anyway, after several minutes of trying to guide my pupil out of her haze of "Whatifs", plurals, and plural possessives, we were finally able to get through the lesson.  I figured that after those few hurdles, the class ended on a fairly good note.

....  Until the bell rang.

    The following is a brief exchange that happened between myself, a really sweet young lady who is always attentive (we'll call her Sweet Sally), and a sarcastic young man who would rather give a quip rather than a straight answer (we'll call him....Sarcastic Simon; he also opted not to take notes during the lesson):

Me: "No one may leave unless you are the Student of the Month."

Sweet Sally: "Remember, we have two, so you mean the 'Student of the Months'."

Me: (smiling) "Actually, Sally, you would say 'Students of the Month'."

Sarcastic Simon: "Where would you put the apostrophe to show possession?"

All I could do was dismiss them.

    The only other catastrophe for today was this outfit.  It was not until I viewed the pics that I realized that 1.) the "sweatshirt" is not very flattering, 2.) the pants aren't that flattering with the "sweatshirt", and 3.) the whole get-up looks as though I'm wearing pajamas. 

Or is that "pajama" with an apostrophe and an s?  (sigh)

Does anyone else have a Monday funny?

the pieces:
"Sweatshirt" top - Gap
Trousers - Banana Republic Outlet
Tank - The Limited
Gladiator Sandals - Jessica Simpson
Bracelet Watch - Anne Klein
Studded Wrap "Bracelet" - (aka a belt) Gap
Mixed Chain Necklace - The Limited