Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pull me apart, put me back together

Necklace: JCPenney
Dress: Target, worn backward
Wedges: Shoe Carnival

I tried to make tights work for today. I really wanted it to be cool enough to wear tights. I attempted to will the weather into being cooler than usual so I could pull on my navy tights and welcome tights weather. Well, I failed miserably and peeled them off before I even left for work. Besides, my legs are still too tan to be covering them up with tights.

It might not be tights weather, but we have just barely reached the upper echelon of riding weather, so my horse and I are back to our exercise regimen. And I can say that after two days of riding, I am one SORE lady. And I've been on a bit of a curling break (we're between leagues) so if I wasn't out of shape, I sure am now. Awesome! Hopefully someone will hit my muscles with a meat tenderizer and I'll be back in form in no time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The seven things I didn't know about you

Button up: JCPenney
Tank: Banana Republic
Skirt: JCPenney
Flats: Toms

So Audrey tagged me for this thing (btw, are you reading her blog? You should, she's adorable), and basically I should share seven things about me, presumably things that none of my readers know. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm let's see if I can do that!

1. I played xylophone in high school. Have you ever tried marching with a xylophone harnessed to yourself? In the Miss America Parade? For three years? It was painful. But I loooooved it & miss it a lot (I still have my mallets), and if a set of bells didn't cost so much I would definitely have my own set!
2. I was the first kid in my preschool class to learn to read. It was a sign.
3. I never learned to ride a bike without training wheels. I fell once when my dad tried to teach me and never looked back.
4. Similar to one of Audrey's things--I love math, and I actually considered majoring in non-Euclidean geometry before I picked my college. Glad I didn't, but I still love it.
5. I have never seen Titanic.
6. I'm an only child and I was born to be an only child. I have never wanted a sibling, and my mom used to apologise for not having a brother/sister for me, but I finally made her stop because I would have been miserable.
7. When I was in high school I was team captain for my region in the Quiz rally at Championships East for the United States Pony Club. My team came in 11th. I still have the t-shirt!

So with that, um, I tag everyone! Yay!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Red Special

Tank: Old Navy
Top: Target
Skirt: Walmart
Wedges: Target
Nails: butter London Cheeky Chops

What's the deal with that light streak under my bun? I've noticed it in my hair in a few other pictures. Is that something that usually happens? How do highlights happen on the underside of my head? So weird.

Speaking of weird, I recently started receiving Rolling Stone. I don't know why or who sent it, but there it is. I don't really read magazines (though I like Horse Illustrated!) but at work I read Entertainment Weekly. So I started reading RS as well and they have immediately blurred together. Reading two articles on the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, (yet) another blurb about The Help, and soon I'll be reading every recap ever of the VMAs*? Life is HARD, y'all.

*Love or hate Gaga's deal? I loved it myself, it was a riot. & Brian freaking May!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ahead of the times

Necklace: JCPenney
Top: Target
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Target

It is to great to have boots weather. And by boots weather, I mean it was only 90 today and I had about four minutes to get ready for work, so I pulled on a pair of jeans and boots and OUTFIT. That was painless.

Would you all call this colourblocking? I really don't know what colourblocking is and if this is it you can call me Animated Trendsetter because I was doing the solid top + differently coloured solid pants look since I could put my pants on myself.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gold Glove Award

Top: Anthro
Skirt: thrifted
Wedges: Target

Here we go! I almost forgot all about this and I was going to wring about Rolling Stone instead. CRISIS AVERTED

The Art of Fielding was written by Chad Harbach, co-founder and co-editor of n+1. This book combines two things I don't particularly care for, baseball and Moby Dick, and somehow creates this brilliantly interwoven story of the lives of five people and how they are affected by one day, one play, one errant throw. The Art of Fielding manages to breeze through two years and spends the bulk of its time on Henry's junior year, in which he becomes one of the most sought after shortstops in college baseball.

Of course, you could've read all that on Amazon. What did I think? I won't lie, I thought it was difficult in parts--particularly when reading about Affenlight and Owen's relationship, which was frustrating and awkward in a way Mike and Pella's was not. When I read a book I like to see equal attention paid to the details of various relationships, and that of Owen & Affenlight is much more developed than those of Pella and Affenlight (her father), Owen and Henry (his roommate) and Owen and Mike (the team captain). Though honestly, if they'd all been as developed, the book would be over 700 pages long. I wouldn't have minded so much, though, because Harbach is a master of description for the sake of plot advancement; many authors rely on extensive dialogue to further the plot, but Harbach is able to do so while describing a baseball game. Or a drive out of town.

Where The Art of Fielding really shines is in portraying Henry's life, which is wholly inebriated with baseball. I found Henry hard to relate to and stoic everywhere except on the baseball field, where his excitement and personality erupt. I'm not sure if Harbach meant to write Henry that way--I would assume so--but I found that a bit choppy. Henry overall is rough around the edges and struggles throughout the novel, but that's similar to many college athletes, which makes him understandable while still unrelatable--perhaps because I wasn't a college athlete in the classic sense. Overall, though, The Art of Fielding is a beautifully written novel with lovely, nuanced references to today's society, the past, and (of course) baseball. I won't be surprised when there is a holds list on it at my library and it's hovering somewhere around 10 on the NYT bestsellers list.

The Art of Fielding is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available everywhere on September 7th. Libraries I checked are currently showing light holds, but I expect that to change as it nears its release date.

Well, let's hear it. Will you read The Art of Fielding?

Friday, August 26, 2011

The elephant in the room

Necklace: JCPenney
Tank: Target
Skirt: JCPenney
Wedges: Target
Dog: Ellie

Wondering where I've been? Probably not, but I'll tell you anyway. Technically, I've been nowhere different than my daily locations--home, barn, work, grocery shopping, and more very unexciting places. But physically, this week has been extremely hard. Frustrating though it is to admit, I was diagnosed with RA a year and a half ago after a six month dive into constant flares in my hands that feel like a cavity after eating a candy bar. That sharp, searing, suck-in-your-cheeks kind of pain that won't go away until it wants--I get that in the knuckles of my hands. Without warning, I suddenly feel this pain. It doesn't affect my range of motion (thank goodness!) but boy does it hurt.

Fortunately it's mostly under control with medication, but I still do have flare ups. From Tuesday to last night has been a struggle to ignore the pain, and the last thing I felt like doing for the last few days was taking outfit pictures, especially since my outfits consisted of pants + top + flats. Pretty boring. The only thing I wanted to do was burrow my hands in a hole of cool dirt to dull the pain. Of course it is 95 here so that didn't really happen (womp womp) but today has been the first day where I felt more like I could do Whatever and not worry about driving through the pain to get to Whatever. Hopefully this won't happen again--I always hope it won't, and it hadn't since February--but now you know. I'm not perfect, I'm only 99% there :)

I did finish The Art of Fielding while I was out of commission, so if I remember I'll post about that next!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fielder's indifference

Top: JCPenney
Skirt: Gap
Wedges: Target

I'm going to let you in on a secret. A lot of my friends think I know a lot about sports. And I totally do! I know a ton about football (especially football), curling, equestrian, yoga, swimming, gymnastics, and most sports that only appear during the Olympics. But I can't stand baseball. I've been forced into a few Phillies or Red Sox games in the history of my life, and I readily admit that I wish I had not wasted those hours of my life watching a sport I so preparedly dislike.

I'm reading a book right now called The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, which officially comes out next month but because I was lucky and went to BEA I got a signed advanced reader's copy! (The author is a really nice guy!) The Art of Fielding is about baseball, but it's about so much more--five people whose lives intersect and are altered from the course of one erroneous play. It's a book that, despite being about something I hate, so far I love. I won't recommend it YET but I can admit that 200 pages in I already have a deeper appreciation of baseball.

I mean, you won't catch me watching a game unless the Phils are in the World Series again, but at least I better grasp the art of baseball now. (I'll still take football any day though.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Now this is happiness

Cardigan: Target
Top: college
Pants: Target
Shoes: Olson
Broom: club provided
Smile: all mine

Well, here's something a little different. I've mentioned a couple times that I am a curler--I play third in Charlotte's club, which started last March--but you've never seen me in action. Well, you still aren't, but here's a general idea of what I wear when I curl! Fascinating, isn't it? I'm that happy because we were the red team, which won the third event. Which means we came in fifth place of six teams in the final standings, and hey, that's progress from my very first league a year ago when I played second and we came in dead last!

I call them "curling pants" but they're really yoga pants I bought at Target. They work just as well and they were $12 so no complaints here! I have a cardigan/sweatshirt with me for the beginning of the game, since I get cold very easily. Any sort of t-shirt is fine for me (I get so hot when I play even though the air temp is 31 in the ice house!) but I always, always make sure I have my curling shoes. I've received a lot of questions about what I wear on my feet when I curl, and I have to tell you guys a secret--shoes. Seriously, before I bought my curling shoes, I just wore sneakers. The ice has a pebbled texture (treated before play) to add friction to the ice, making it walkable, joggable and playable. It's pretty fantastic--I've done a fast jog and had no worries about falling. My curling shoes are slightly special because I remove the blue pad on my right foot (you can just see it behind the broom) and on the sole of my right shoe is a Teflon pad to let me slide when I throw the stone.

Is your mind blown yet? Fantastic! I just thought I'd share my sweet curling style and maybe open the floor to any comments/questions about curling. I know it's hilarious, but I loooooove playing. I can't remember what I did before curling. It's a crazy good time, and the obligatory socializing/drinking afterward doesn't hurt either!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My name is Judge

Necklace: JCPenney
Top: Gap
Skirt: handmade
Toes: butter London Henley Regatta

I spend a lot of time with television. When I'm not reading/curling/riding, I watch television. On the menu this week is season three of Arrested Development, a show which I have forced upon so many people over the last five years because it is that wonderful. I'm serious, I make people take the first disc from me.

There are many, many different reasons why I love Arrested Development, and why it's been heralded as one of the greatest tv shows no one ever watched, as well as why it's won a basket of awards. Arrested Development reached levels of farce that no other network sitcom has really ever touched, and if there's one thing I adore, it is farce and satire. There are so many details in the show that every time I watch it there is something new to notice.

Another reason Arrested Development is so brilliant is that the behaviour displayed by many characters is simply an amplified version of most families. The stable parent, the drunk sister, the possibly gay uncle, the utterly insane grandparents, the awkward cousin with a crush on you. I could go on. Families are all so strange, and the Bluth family feels like your neighbour's family--you know, that one you think about to make you feel better about your family and how awkward you are. I consider myself akin to Maeby, with some questionable morals but slightly above the mess that is the rest of the family, but still imbued in that mess, for better or worse. Trapped forever, just like me.

Come on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The mayor is in the house

Necklace: gift from parents
Buttons: BEA & work
Cardigan: Target
Top: Target
Jeans: Old Navy
Flats: Toms

Okay. I know buttons are a dumb thing. But today was a day when I really needed something shiny and chintzy to distract from the insanity that was my day. Note to self: do not assign yourself to the most intense AV equipment set-up in the entire building for staff day. Fortunately, AV powerhouse here (that's me fyi) was able to fix the blue screen of death and a crazy webinar log in. Phew! I also became mayor of this room on Foursquare. Sweet.

Though that doesn't make me any less exhausted. I mean daaaaaaaaaammmmmmnn girl I could use a nap. I even got up extra early to get my favourite/only drink from Starbucks, a grande caramel hot chocolate. I am now exactly one Starbucks checkin away from getting a Barista badge on Foursquare! So today was really epic in terms of Foursquare--which means it was epic in terms of my life.

Here's the skinny

Cardigan: Anthro
Top: American Eagle
Pants: JCPenney
Flats: Toms
Fingers: butter London Victoriana

Is my silhouette obvious enough in this outfit? Skinny black pants, short cardigan, curvily cut shirt. Embracing my body shape (as opposed to hiding it) has not been easy. It's been very hard to figure out how to dress for my shape, since even though today's society claims to be attracted to curves, rather than straight lines, it's quite difficult to find clothing built to fit curves correctly. And I say curves regardless of weight--being fat doesn't make a person curvy, and being curvy doesn't make a person fat. A size 2 can be curvy and she is going to have exactly as difficult a time finding pants that fit right as I do.

JCPenney (not to love on them anymore than I already do) is a little different--they have curvy fit pants that actually fit right, which is wonderful in a strange way because most of the time even then the curve of the pants falls in the wrong way, ends too soon or is too baggy down the hip. Whatever. So why not take a chance of skinny black pants (that were $7)? I almost feel like I'm wearing leggings. I don't do the skinny leg very often. But when it fits right, it's worth a try. Or...maybe I look stupid, but I don't care! That's how half my outfits turn out anyway :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to school

Necklace: wapa on Etsy
Cardigan: Target
Dress: Anthropologie
Belt: Target
Wedges: Target

Today was the first day of school for many wee youngsters in Cardiganland, and I for one am overjoyed. If you are in school you are not asking me if we have Saw VII in; you are learning and that is good!

To celebrate back to school, I spent approximately 12 seconds breathing a sigh of relief before realising that work is no less busy, there are no fewer messes to clean up, the world is no less loud. Back to school doesn't really change anything, it just slightly displaces the turmoil of daily life. Fortunately I kind of like the turmoil of daily life, and when a head of bouncy blonde curls comes to my desk tomorrow around three, I'll be just as bemused as when those curls sprung in at ten in the morning. I'll see you then, youth of America. (And no, we don't have Saw VII.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

RR: style this dress

I know from experience that there are some clothing items everyone seems to own, and most of them come from Target. Target does a great job at spitting out basics with a twist, so it was no surprise that reader Jessica (Jessica party in the house!) has more than a couple of the same Target items I wear. She asked for some ideas for remixing my gray and blue striped Mossimo dress, which I adore but admittedly have had some problems remixing myself. Before we splash into my ideas from today, here's how I've worn it in the past:

Click on them to go to the entry!

So essentially very time I've worn it I've done a top underneath, a belt, and maybe some tights. I'm surprised I haven't worn it with a cardigan over it yet because that's standard fare for me. Time to remix this sucker!

Here's what it looks like plain.

Dress: Target | Toes: butter London Henley Regatta

While I'm not uncomfortable with the deep v of the dress, it's definitely inappropriate for work, so I usually wear something underneath. Fair warning, I'm not always doing that in these pictures. Anyway, here are my ideas!

Top: JCPenney

Wear a top underneath. I really like how this looks, especially since this top has a neat collar and the sleeves are longer than the sleeves of the dress. It's a little...half lawyer, half hobo. I like it. I wore a cardigan underneath it too, but I didn't like that quite as much. Maybe because it was 85 outside.

Wear the cross ties in the back. I didn't think of this until I pulled the dress on to do something else and the ties ended up in the back. It makes the dress a little plain and is a good slate for accessories.

Top: JCPenney | Necklaces: JCPenney & Anthro | Cat: Abigail

Wear it backward. I'm all about wearing things backward, and this dress is no exception. Because of the cut of the back you'll have to wear something underneath, but this option offers a totally different neckline, which is great with a boatload of accessories.

Sweater: Anthro

Wear it as a skirt. Get a chunky sweater or a button down, belt it, and you have a completely different look. This is probably better for fall/winter but I will definitely be wearing this outfit when cooler weather comes around!

Skirt: Boden

Wear it as a top. I about peed my pants when I saw this picture because a) I look awesome and b) my outfit looks awesome. I love this particular pairing, but I think this dress would look great with a lot of different skirts. I also thought the cross ties would make things awkward but they actually look nice with the skirt. I'll definitely be wearing this combo (albeit with a camisole) to work.

So there you have it! Readers, any other suggestions for Jessica (and me!) on creative ways to wear this dress? The more the merrier!