Friday, February 26, 2010

My Knit Creation

I love this dress - pure wool, fully lined, and $10.  However, there are two problems with it.  After my winter illness, the dress is too big, particularly in the chestal region. Having spent the day pulling it up (when at my desk) or keeping my lungs full of air, when around my coworkers, I've resolved that the simple inclusion of 4 little hooks on the inside of the dress will allow me to use some removable straps from another dress to keep myself appropriate and comfortable the next time I wear it covered with a sweater.

The other issue is the shoe choice.  I had intended to go for white tights today, until I remembered I wore them yesterday.  I went with navy, to emphasize the navy of the plaid, but then found the brown shoes (which I admittedly wore anyway)  didn't really work as well as if I'd done white or nude tights.  I loved the random pop of colour that I got with my commuter shoe (as I wore once before), but they seemed to casual.  Here is how I've worn it other times in other seasons, to a variety of successes and failures)Any advice?

Also, I'm very impressed with myself.  I had started making this capelet (apparently an Anthropologie inspired piece) after Christmas, but ended up giving it to my sister for her birthday.  I started again, albeit with cheaper materials, and had this very dress in mind when I made it.  I like that it's a bit chunkier to work with the plaid, and that, since it's reversibly, and thus closes with a broach, I can customize the colour and style every time I wear it.  I'm thinking of making a finer knit one for summer.  Any advice on colour?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's true, I frequently lie

All right, so I lied... I'm definitely blogging today.  MY sister even laughed at me saying she knew I'd blog even after saying I wouldn't.  So I'll only partially retract my statement;  I'll be blogging intermittently.

I think my favourite thing about this outfit is the neck line.  I have to wear a slip with the skirt (especially since I"m in tights), and so I usually end up with the super comfy full slip that I then wear to bed for multiple nights of coziness, however, the neck of the slip is higher than the neck of the dress.  My solution?  Work with it... I have three different necklines... the scoop (slip - white), the v-neck (sweater - black) and the cowl (dress - pink).  I did debate whether the outfit needed some accessories in the space above these multiple necklines, but ultimately decided against it.. it would be too busy.

Also, I forgot this dress had pockets.  And I love pockets.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doing what I can

I've sucked at life this term.  While there is some excuse (like sparkly ring on finger distracting me when I type... or my recent inability to fall asleep, and stay asleep for a whole night), for the most part, I just seem to be relapsing into a lazy teenager, and my marks are starting to reflect that.  However, after crying myself to sleep last night, over the fact that my new baby netbook has decided to crash whenever I do something that requires more work than, say, reading fashion blogs, I actually feel somewhat... in control today. 

It's weird the effect that this good mood has had - despite the inability to run multiple database searches, while loading PDFs and editting a word doc, all at once, I've been strangely productive this morning.  What I once thought was a pipe dream - having my work for the day done by 4:30 or 5:00 so I could have some quality (non-tear stained time) with Scott, now seem entirely plausible.  I'm even enjoying the reading that I have to do today. 

Of course, there is always a downfall - I'm definitely going to be MIA for the rest of the week.  While I'm still going to participate in the Wardrobe Capsule challenge again, next week, I only post a summary, and I may disappear again after that... while I do feel like my head may stay above water for a while longer, I'm going to trim out the extraneous duties, to make sure I don't continue this whole drowning process

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cara & Scott's Engagement Tour!

In many Canadian promises, we've created a stat holiday that becomes a reprieve for the dreariness of the time between new years and Easter.  In Saskatchewan, it's called Family Day, and in Manitoba, it's called Louis Riel Day.  While we couldn't hang out with Louis Riel (having been hung some time ago), we definitely decided to visit family, so they could celebrate our engagement before too much more time lapsed.  For the last 48 hours, Scott and I have been constantly in motion trying to see as many people as possible.  We have a couple more people on our list before we head back this afternoon, but we're exhausted.  I think this is the first time I've been not dreading going back to Regina.  Our engagement thus far has really been quite rocky, between people projecting their insecurities onto us, and being so far away from the people that truly do support us, so it was fabulous to be able to spend time with our families and know that they are 100% behind us, and that's all that really matters.

In any event, I noticed a weird tendancy as I was packing for this trip... despite the fact that between Christmas and birthday, I received a number of clothing articles.  In fact, I've probably got a number of items since we moved last September.  Even though any of these clothes would have been suitable, and would still be "new" to friends and family, I insisted on bringing only my newest ones.  Of course, this meant pretty much just recreating outfits I wore last week.  However, despite the boredom of this, the important part was that I felt good in them.

Of course, even though I didnt' take pictures of many of them last week, I didn't this week either

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reader Question

The other day, as we were just coming back from a break in class, I saw that my sister was calling. After debating whether or not to take it, I decided not, but did worry whether it was something important.

After class, I saw that not only did she call, but I had also missed a call from my parents, and there was now a voicemail marked "URGENT". Of course, panic struck, and I barely made it out of the room before I was accessing my messages.

And of course, this dire emergency was not a death in the family, was not a serious injury or illness, and was not anything other than:


Thanks, Deb.

However, my darling sister did provide me with substance for this entry. While I don't profess to be any form of expert (and my sister is very emphatic on ensuring that I don't believe myself to be one), I thought I'd at least put my teaching degree to use.

Reader Question:
I've seen pictures of people wearing cardigan sweaters and belts, and I've never been sure how to style it. What size of belt should I use?

Ultimately, the thickness of belt is determined by the thickness of the sweater. If it's a thicker sweater, go with a thicker belt, to maintain the scale. However, if it's a finer knit, go wild! When I started to mix belts and cardigans, I went primarily with a thinner belt:

However, I have made use of larger belts as well (I've included other sweaters, such as wraps, as well, for illustration):
 And, of course, there is also the option of "belt-alternatives" such as ribbons or scarves

As for whether to button or unbotton, that's entirely up to you, and the look you want... Lately, I've had more luck with unbottoned:

Thanks for the question, Deb!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm getting over it... slowly

I went to get my hair trimmed on Wednesday.  I hadn't had a haircut since August, but the split ends were just starting to form, so I figured I could get away with less than 1/2 inch, and I said "I want to keep most of the length....  Of course, I got the most incompetent hairdresser on earth who not only complained that my hair was too static-y to work with, but also refused to spray or wash my hair, because apparently the dry cut is in.  In any event, my "Trim" was 4 inches of hair loss.  Devastated was the term I would best use to describe my opinion.  While I recognize that it doesn't look bad (except for the unevenness on the sides, which I trust my mother to fix more than I would trust going back to that salon), and it does definitely make my hair look healthier, thicker and have more volume, I was in the midst of growing my hair not just for my wedding (in 18 months - so no huge tragedy there), but also to donate to Locks of Love or similar charity.

In any event, warming up to the valentine's day season, I went with purple today... look forward to red and pink in the coming days.  After seeing a few posts on white tights in the last few weeks, and having bought a pair in fall, I decided I'd try them out... and while I always have a distorted sense of what I look like, and I haven't yet taken a picture, I'd say I was fairly successful.  I needed the white sweater to balance it out, at least in my mind.  I was, however, very thankful, that my supervisor's desired plan of having me working in the dirty dirty stock room did not pan out...


I'm not loving this look.  The hair needs a trim and a style.  The vest looks too formal paired with the jeans, and the red shoes, which I wore to add a pop of colour, seem to come out of nowhere.  This is a very bad way to start out my new challenge.

As you will note, every Friday I complain that I feel over dressed, but insist on wearing some of the more professional clothing I own to work, becuase what good is it doing in my closet? Having watched, for a few weeks, the outfits of some of the other people in my classes, it was almost second nature to take a look at what they were wearing and figure out how I'd wear it to work... why not do the opposite with myself?

So each week, I'm going to strive to take one article of clothing that would normally be relegated to "work" wear and try to make it into a "school" wear outfit.

I think I hindered myself with this vest.  It was a present from my parents, and admittedly not something I probably would have purchased myself, having not made enough use out of the vest my sister and brother-in-law got me last year.  However, I find that presents are a good way to expand my fashion sense, so I thanked them kindly, and have since struggled to make it work.  I did adequately well pairing it for work (not pictured:  but with trouser jeans and a button up shirt).  However, not being able to firmly identify the "me" way to wear this didn't help my attempt to try to change the way I usually wear it.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Stacy and Clinton say that comfort is a four letter word.

However, I think they'd agree that as far as comfort AND fashion go, I did all right today.

I haven't been feeling well the last couple days - at first it was a stomach ache, and I slept that off.  However, then this pounding headache set in.  I tried eating.  That didn't help.  I tried drinking lots of water.  That didn't help.  I tried sleeping.  That didn't help.  While I'm not entirely opposed to the use of pharmaceuticals to address illness, I am hesitant to drug myself.  Evidently, if my body is telling me it hurts, there is something wrong... taking a pain killer won't fix whatever is wrong!  However, I'm about to leave to go do a seminar on the faulty mothers in Adam Bede, and despite being a grad student, this is only my third seminar... and up until now, I've only really had a 50% success rate.  Given this nearness to failure (all right, I did decently well on the other seminar... just not as well as I did on the first), it wouldn't surprise me if the headache is stress related.  As such, I'm undecided... if I take an advil now, I won't be fighting the pain during the seminar.  However, maybe just doing the seminar will relieve the stress, and then taking an advil wouldn't have been worth while...

In any event, while I may not look all that professional (not that we are required to), at least I'm comfortable. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Getting business done

It's been a slow transition in my work place since I switched over to working for economists instead of analysts.  I no longer have a general idea of what I'll be doing beyond grunt work.  And sometimes this grunt work involves lifting large boxes and carrying them through the building.  At least that's what I did last week.  So this week, I assumed it would be much the same, so I wore jeans.

And then ended up being in conference calls all day.  While jeans are acceptable for conference calls, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed - if I knew I wouldn't be loading boxes in the catacombs I would have stepped it up a notch. 

I also have a problem with these jeans - I love that they're the right length to wear with heels, but I hate that when I'm done work, and want to do something later on not in heels that I have to roll them up or change into a different pair. 

PS  - note the hand in the second picture - I have my ring back!  They basically had to melt it down and custom build it for my little fingers - yeah!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sunshine on my window makes me happy, like I should be!

There is one decided benefit to working the opening shift at the writing centre where I work.  While my apartment has a glorious eastern exposure, and I've arranged it so the sun comes streaming in on me while I'm at my computer in the mid-afternoon, I'm rarely home during that time.  However, my office has a wall of westerly facing windows so I get a stream of light on me as my brain kicks into gear for the day.  (Yes, it happens AFTER I've arrived at work, but after two months of only being up one or two days a week before 10, I don't think that's really surprising). 

Of course, since I've been lazy / super busy and thus haven't had the luxury of that thing called time to take legitimate pictures, I've been webcaming it from the office between appointments.  The sun wasn't so nice this morning, so not only is the picture quality subpar, the lighting is quite abysmal.  Maybe once I get used to getting up... All right, I do have a couple hours off between work and classes, so maybe I'll start pulling a Hillary, and take pictures in the stack at the library! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I can't say I was motivated out of environmental concern. I can't say I was motivated out of concern for the condition of my hair.  My recent decision to give up washing my hair every day spring from my poor skin's need to not be subjected to the drying effects of daily showering during cold, dry winters.  

While my hair has already begun adjusting to the less frequent washing by becoming actually less greasy than usual, the issue has become what to do with my hair on the second day of this two day cycle.  While throwing it upin some fashion has become necessary, there is one main detriment:  it is nearly impossible to wear a toque and an updo simultaneously. 

And winter in Manitoba is cold.  And bitter.  And it chills us to the bone.  (Sorry, I had to).  While everything worked well during that nice thaw we had, the blizzard brought with it a cold front that isn't as bad as we're used to, but definitely nippy on the ears. 

While I'm certain I can knit my way out of this predicament (with some creativity in some form), for now, I alternate between freezing my ears on the way to school, and ruining my hair on the way home.