Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Case of the Disappearing Blogger

Yesterday, we did all of our Christmas shopping.  Ok, not all of it - there were a couple small items that I picked up today on my lunch break.  None the less, considering this is the first year Scott and I have Christmas shopped for both families together, and the first time we've done it all in one day, it was exhausting.  Needless to say, I was wiped when we got home.  I snapped a picture just before crawling into bed.

I'm not impressed with the outfit (#22), but really, no one saw it - I had my jacket on all day!

Also not impressed with today's outfit (#23).  I pulled the shirt out of the laundry, because I woke up on Monday morning to a notice in our mail box that our laundry room was being upgraded, so it would be closed for 2-3 days (which generally means 5-6).  This is when the 30 for 30 comes back to bite me in the ass.

Oh, and did I mention that a load of laundry now costs a full dollar more?  We're getting dangerously close to the $5 mark.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Outfit #20 & #21

Yes - Two Outfits In One Post!!!!

Last night, we were invited out to the local pool hall to... well... not play pool.  It's currently Grey Cup weekend, so I made sure I wasn't wearing any green to show any support for the team representing the province in which I'm currently living. It's difficult NOT being a Rider fan in this province, but I will persevere. Don't get me wrong : I'm not an Allouettes fan either.  I just am more vehemently opposed to the Roughriders.  In any event, I still felt like I was channeling this province by wearing plaid flannel.  That I guess I'm ok with.  It's hard getting dressed any trying NOT to make a statement these days!!!

This morning was First Advent so Scott and I decided to test drive a new church.  I felt the same way about the service as I did about this outfit: uninspired.  Not that there was anything particularly wrong with either, it just didn't make me go "Yes!  That's it!".  I didn't actually want to wear this outfit, but the red shirt I was going for was in the wash, which I had neglected to remember.  However, this is the first wearing of this skirt, so hopefully I'll come up with some ways to wear it. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 19 - Is it the weekend?

This week, I was the queen of procrastination so it's one part punishment and one part scheduling that means I'm working on a Saturday when I really just want to be watching girly movies and knitting (1/2 slipper down, 9.5 to go - my procrastination is limitless).  However, Scott has the next two days off, so we're going to take them off together (especially since we're not good at working from home when the other is playing video games).

The biggest issue I'm finding is that I just don't want to get dressed.  Granted, I still haven't done the laundry which is limiting my 30 for 30 choices (another example of procrastination).  However, I do have 3 unworn items that I can either a) wear or b) swap out for something I do want to wear.  For some reason, neither motivates me.  In fact, I can't even convince myself to get dressed even if I go off challenge.

It's beginning to feel like one of those days in which I convince myself that I can stay in my pajamas so long as I work on my thesis.  Or, one of those days in which I allow myself an extra day off, so long as I get dressed.

However, I must persevere.  On both the thesis and the getting dressed. I chose something that I thought would inspire me academically - a touch of argyle!  I'd seen someone wearing a cardigan backwards in the mall the other day , so I decided to dry it.  I'm not a convert yet, but I think I can try it with some other cardigans.  The back of my neck is a touch chilly, since it does dip lower in the back.  I'm also not in love with the higher neck in the front.  But the blazer does frame the little argyle diamond nicely. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

What's this? Day 18

After a week of frigid temperatures and excessive amounts of snow, Mother Nature is giving us a break.  While I has attributed the not-so-cold walk home from the bar last night to the Snoopy Dance I insisted on doing (Yes, I may have been drinking, but bear in mind that I do indeed enjoy a good sober Snoopy Dance too), it turns out that last night was the warmest part of the day, and that warmth is continuing.

Of course, it's still winter, but I was rather excited to try a mix of tights and socks I'd seen Sheila sporting when the temperatures and snow stopped by her area for a visit.  (Yes, I am insanely jealous that when my weather warms up, I can start trying Sheila's cold weather fashion!!)

And thanks for all the love and advice on the eye!  It's worse today, but I know it has to get worse before it gets better. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trying to Open My Eyes - Day 17

This morning, I was so tired I couldn't even open my eyes.  Or so I thought, when Scott came to wake me up to tell me that our ceiling was leaking AGAIN (due to the idiots upstairs leaving their sink running AGAIN).  Of course, as I squinted blearily at the ceiling, I started to think maybe something was wrong.  Not only with the ceiling, but also with me.  Sure enough, my left eye was swollen shut with an eye infection.  Awesome. It's a fairly common stress symptom with me, so I knew the routine: ice the area until the swelling subsides, then apply a hot tea bag for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours, and if there is any luck, I won't look like a mutant before trivia tonight.  If not, I can always try my hand at using make up to simulate a black eye, and create a story about some awesome bar fight.

But since I have this lovely red, puffy eye, I figured this would be a good time to play around with my camera settings and my clothing.  Rather than trying to down play the red with photoshop, I went with a black and white outfit, so I could do a black and white picture!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Conversations with my self - Day... 16?

Upon returning home, I realized there are a bunch of clothes which I haven't yet worn in my 30 for 30... the grey skirt, the black skinny jean, the brown dress pants, the white short sleeve shirt and the black sneakers. The shoes didn't surprise me: we quickly jumped into winter, and since I am rarely outside these days anyway, shoes weren't exactly a "must have" item to begin with.

However, I knew I'd have to start jumping into these items before I got frustrated and gave up.  The skinny jeans were a must, since I still haven't washed my blue skinny jeans that got beyond stretched out. 

I knew the plaid shirt I'd only worn once would be a good idea, since it's cold and snowy here.

But then I got stuck.  I thought: "roll up both sets of sleeves and wear it with a blazer!" but the pinstripe one seemed too formal for a day at home, and the sleeves on the other one don't roll well.

"Wear it with the navy cardigan and mix those neutrals!" But I haven't washed the dog hair off the sweater.

"How about with a hoodie over top?" But the shirt is too long for the hoodie.

And then I realized this challenge is all about wearing things differently, seeing new uses... so while a hoodie normally is worn over a shirt, why not wear it under?  (Plus, it would cover up the food I dropped on it a couple weeks ago, but still haven't washed... is anyone besides me getting the feeling one of these days should be laundry day??).

It's a super casual look, but it's just me and my muse working away in the apartment. 

And on an unrelated note: Hey Canadians - anyone else jealous of American Thanksgiving?  I could really go for some mashed potatos, cranberry sauce and turkey. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 15 - Back to Business

All right, I finally made it "home".  Back to boring corner pictures!

I don't like wearing jeans to work.  Let me rephrase that: I don't like the idea of wearing jeans to work.  I believe that work should be more professional than regular life.  Jeans, then, are more social world than work work.  However, I haven't decided whether I'm swapping out my brown pants for something else, and since I didn't have any tops that were clean that would match, I decided to reach for the jeans I threw in to go with my oxford heels.

Taking these jeans, these heels, and this jacket, I seriously feel like I can take on the world.  I find it so odd that despite my dislike of the idea of wearing jeans at work, my "power outfit" includes jeans.  Perhaps that's a sign I belong in a non-traditional workplace!! (*crosses fingers for a job*)

Despite being in a long sleeved shirt and jacket all day at work, I was freezing.  I'd finally warmed up just as it was time to wait for the bus.  Oh winter, I'm not looking forward to you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And now for an intermission

I can't wear these clothes another day!  Due to a huge weather change mid trip, about 1/3 (or maybe a half, if I'm exaggerating) were no longer weather appropriate.  The remaining number either are way stretched out (my poor jeans!!!) or covered in dog hair (my poor cardigan!!!) or simply just boring to me (hello, 3/4 length white shirt).  I cannot wait to get back to the apartment and the remaining clothes there!  I plan to fall asleep tonight dreaming of the different combinations I can wear!

Because I've just outworn my travel wardrobe, I'm giving myself full permission to wear non-30 for 30 clothes.  Ok, it's not just due to overwearing, but two other important reasons.  First, I was supposed to drive back yesterday, and be working with my full rotation of 30 for 30 clothes today, but the weather stopped me.  Second, since I will be on the highway today in frigidly cold weather, layering tights under jeans (which isn't so comfortable in skinny jeans) and shirts under hoodies is necessary: safety over style!!

While there is a chance I'll get home, shower and put on an outfit, in case I don't, I'll finally get a chance to do the 7 Confessions that Megan tagged me in last week!

1.  I have difficulty not being the centre of attention with my own family.  This week, when my sister, her husband and the baby were understandably in the spotlight, I had to constantly remind myself to be more quiet.  Trust me, I made up for it visiting with Scott's family today!

2.  I'm freaked out by pregnant bellies.  Even my sister's.  I thought I could keep it under control as long as I didn't look at it directly, or, heaven forbid, touch it.  And then I saw it move.  It was kind of traumatic, and Scott is understandably a little concerned about our potential future as parents. 

3.  I spend most of my life wishing I could fast forward 2 years.  For some reason, I always assume life will be easier, despite being fully aware that new problems just crop up.  Fortunately, now I just want to fast forward about 12 months (pausing, of course, for our wedding in 7 1/2 months).  We'll be back in our home province, in the city of our births, and able to see our little niece whenever we want.  Oh, and hopefully by then I'll have a job, too!

4.  Most of my blog posts are written before I even know what I'm wearing.  I usually formulate my outfit as I type.  Obviously, I don't publish until I've decided, and taken pictures in the outfit.

5. I know my allergies are at least partially in my head.  I know for sure that stress exacerbates them, but sometimes I think I react just because I'm expecting to.  The latter generally happens around animals.  Food, I am more likely to not admit I'm reacting because I'm allergic to everything good in life, like chocolate, pineapple and salsa. 

6. Scott and I are cohabitating prior to being legally joined in matrimony.  Yes, most of you have figured that out, if I haven't already said it. However, there are a number of "friends" and perhaps even a family member or two who don't know.  It definitely wasn't in my plans, but I know I wouldn't have made it through the first few months of grad school if he wasn't there to pick up the pieces, and it's reassuring knowing that we'll be entering marriage already aware of each others pet peeves and dirty habits.  Besides, I feel we've already made the commitment to each other (and before God), so our wedding will be a celebration of that, rather than a nerve-wracking day of life changes.

7.  Despite living together, we each stay at our respective parents' houses when we're back home.  One of my favourite things about us is the fact that we recognize that it's ok to miss each other.  We are both very introverted people, and both spent a lot of our lives doing solitary activities, so we sometimes need a little "me" time when we're at home too.  Nothing bugs me more than a couple who are continually joined at the hip, and can't seem to exist without the other.  I think the secret to a strong relationship is not losing yourself in your partner, and being compatible in your individuality. 

I'm not tagging people, since I forget who has been tagged all ready... if you've been wanting to do this but have been waiting to be tagged, consider yourself tagged by me!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 14 - I'm feeling a little flat

When I was training to be a teacher, one of our activities was to present orally and visually  all the cultural, traditional and personal "things" that made us "us".  I decided I would trace myself on a giant piece of felt, and then velcro pictures which represented various "things" about myself.  Yes, I got university credit for this, and yes, it did make me realize I never wanted to be a teacher if it meant doing arts and crafts.*

In any event, my mom has been on my case to clean out the closet in my room at her house.  I don't quite know why: storage is not at a premium in this house.  Feeling rather bored, I did at least open the door, and quickly stumbled upon my fabric self.  Naturally, I knew it would come in handy for this blog!

At the time I'm writing this, I'm not entirely sure what I'll be doing when I wear this outfit, however, it's likely I'll be on the road, either back to "Home A" or heading the opposite direction to "Home C".

I am a little worried that when I get back to "Home A" and my usual picture taking corner, I'm going to bore you all to death after the fun adventures in picture taking I've had this week!. 

*Don't take this to mean I disrespect teachers, or teacher education.  This project was just one more way of making me realize how far out of my interest that career is!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 13 - Green is the colour of spring and wishful thinking

If all goes well, by the time this posts, I'll be on my way to see my little niece (for the last time until Christmas - booo!!).  Of course, plans may not work.  In any event, this is the outfit that I wore when Scott and I took his parents out to celebrate their retirement.  I'm starting to feel entirely limited by the few clothes that I brought with me - but I think that will be the saving grace of the 30 for 30... I have 20 more articles of clothing back at the apartment!!!

I haven't been taking pictures with my footwear for two reasons.  The first, I haven't been varying it all that greatly: it's pretty much only been my winterboots.  Secondly, since I've been wearing my winter boots, my mother would freak if I had them on in the house, given the fact they are wet and dirty.  Understandable, I think!

I do like this shirt with this skirt, even if it's a lot of green.  However, I'm also sure it's a little fancy for the occasion.  I'm 90% sure everyone else will be in jeans and a tee shirt!

Also - Thanks to Styleprint for pointing out my mistake yesterday, crediting Kendi, not Katy with Katy's Friend Friday questions... ironic that the post was about accreditation!  My brain isn't functioning on all cylinders these days, so hopefully when I'm back home on Monday, it will be. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

A little bit Rock & Roll?

All right, the amp pictures were more difficult than I thought.  Apparently when I sit on the amp, you can totally see up my skirt - not the point of this blog for sure!! (oh, wow, that's going to attract some weird visitors from the Googles). 

This outfit isn't all that different from one that I wore to a conference when I was working the reception table in September.  However, I did switch out the red tights for brown tights.  I thought it was rather amusing that Erin from Work With What You've Got said this was her favourite outfit of mine: I kind of felt like I was wearing something she'd wear that day! I miss Erin... hopefully she comes back soon! (And Jane... I miss Jane too!  I get so sad when my favourite bloggers go on hiatus). 

My plans for the day are kind of up in the air - Scott's supposed to be meeting me at "Home B" so we can take his parents out for dinner (they recently sold their business), but the roads aren't that great, so he's still 4 hours away in "Home A".  Of course, this puts our visit to see my new little niece (which was the reason for my last minute drive across the prairies) tomorrow in "Home C" in jeopardy.  These are the days when I really wish we could just afford to fly!!

Friend Friday: Imitation or Copying?

Katy set up this set of questions for this week's friend Friday 

1. What are the 'unwritten rules' about copying content that we bloggers should all abide by?

I think a good rule of thumb is: "if all else fails, attribute it!".  Whether it's inspiration for an outfit, a quirky colour combination or anything, it's polite, respectful and creates a great network between bloggers!

2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when is a post imitation and when is it copying?

A post is copying when they are taking a large portion of another post without either making it their own, attributing it to the blogger, or even asking the bloggers' permission. 

3. Taking another blogger's idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is necessary to credit the original source?

Always. Maybe it's my academic training, but taking credit for someone else's work is 100% wrong in my book.

4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other blogs? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?

I laughed when I read this: after all, it was only a few days ago, I asked for input on picture locations/poses after coveting other people's photographers/locations

5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or publication? How did you handle the situation?

Good grief no!  My little blog still has a long way to go in this world!  I really can't say how I'd react, but I will admit, whenever I see a weird referrer in my tracker, I do always fear that someone is using my blog for mockery.  

My sincerest apologies to Katy - I can't seem to keep her and Kendi straight in my head - I blame the fact I'm not blogging on my usual computer, the 30 for 30 remix and my inability to remember anyone's name that I meet in person or online!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 11 - Don't get Caught Lying Down on the Job!

My mother collects chairs*.  She doesn't intend to, they often just magically find a way into our garage.  My father and I have become accustomed to this over the years, but since I've moved out, it's become more of a problem.  Well, maybe not for my father, since he's regained the use of the garage, but more so for me: there are currently 7 chairs in my old bedroom.  Nothing like waking up in the morning to open your bleary eyes to a line of chairs set up like an audience watching you sleep.  I swear sometimes my mother moves them like this on purpose in my sleep.

In any event,  these chairs caught my eye as I was drifting off to sleep, trying to resolve the problem of: "Why did I pack my black over the knee socks if I have nothing else that is black in my 30 for 30???. That morning, I'd seen ML of 20 York Street pose sitting down - something you don't often see in blog pics.  While I was planning on using my dad's oversized amp from his rock and roll days (which I still might), I thought: "If sitting works... what about..." Well, you'll see:

As for the black over the knee socks, I can easily create an outfit if I root around in my mother's closet for a black scarf.  Every woman's gotta have one, right?(Actually, I just checked.  Unless she's wearing it today, she doesn't have one.  Idea for Christmas?!?!?!)

I should also note that simplicity was a must today: as beautiful as the big fluffy flakes of snow may be, the day is going to consist of curling up in a blanket with some knitting, or shoveling the sidewalk. 

*I should also note that my mother refinishes furniture, so this isn't just some weird collection she has. The set I'm currently lounging on has a matching dining room table from her aunt, which is currently in the process of being refinished to replace her current dining suite, which is very 70s, and not in a good way.  And yes, I currently have an addiction to asterisks

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 10 - One third done or two thirds to go?

Disclaimer:  Pictures over the next few days could be interesting. Apparently I forgot that I had stolen my parents' tripod, and thus am limited by random objects throughout their house.  Consider them art pieces???

I'm one third done this challenge, so it's a good time for a retrospective of sorts, yes?

I will say this - when I was given about 12 hours notice that I'd be spending one week away from Home "A" (I'm at my parents - Home "B"... so that's just as "home" to me!!)*, the challenge made packing SO easy.  A skirt? A pair of jeans? A dress? A couple sweaters? A few shirts?  Well look at that - they already all match!

However, there are 2 items that I haven't touched in my 30 for 30 wardrobe, and I'm starting to think that maybe it might be an idea to swap them out.  I'm thinking of the white short sleeved shirt (it's winter: why did I think I needed both a 3/4 sleeve AND and short sleeve in white?? Longer sleeves are always better!!!) and the brown dress pants.  I've got enough skirts and dresses to make it through the few days of work I have, and I don't wear dress pants around the house.  Why did I include them???

I am noticing a lack of dressier shirts within the mix: I threw in my long dark wash jeans that I love to wear with my oxford heels, but no shirt to throw on top for going out to dinner - an issue that I'll encounter in a couple days.

There are also items that I thought I'd get more use out of then I have been: my black skinny jeans and my white hoodie. All right, I spilled tomato sauce on the hoodie, and while I spot treated it, I haven't washed it.  And despite having done a capsule wardrobe challenge to banish the antiquated rule of : "Navy and Black do not match", I still can't get my mind around it.

I think the hardest challenge will be tonight when my mother gets home from work.  Most trips home I make, we head out and do some shopping.  And as much as this challenge is about getting the most out of our wardrobes, I think that rule will fly out the window: after all, my mom is more important**

*No need to be alarmed: this was the type of last minute trip that I had been expecting for a couple weeks, and it was a wonderful "surprise".  The only unexpected detail was the timing of everything: I felt it was important I get to "Home C" (which refers more to a city than a home itself!) asap.  I was originally planning to go back to Home "A", and then Scott and I would both drive to Home "B" (which is in between "A" and "C") later this week, and then onto Home "C" one more time, I decided to just to drive back as far as Home "B" and chill.  And then I remembered the heat in my car died, and my mechanic is still in the same city as Home "B" , so that will draw out the visit even longer.

**And I have a feeling we aren't going to shop for clothes for us, given the "surprise" of yesterday. Come on - if you've been reading the last 2-4 days you have to have figured it out. I'm not allowed to say... one of the people it involves is significantly more private than me, which is fine, but it's SO HARD to control my excitement!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 9 - finally over

Well, I survived the day. I was a little concerned: I was falling asleep at my desk before the solo part of my trek down flat prairie highways and grey skies.  However, some coffee, and a mix of great songs I got to sing along with allowed me to persevere!

I managed to make it to my parents' in less time than expected (I always budget extra time in winter in case I need to slow down and stay safe!!), so I grabbed a quick picture.  I haven't done any colour / brightness/ contrast adjustments*.  I didn't even crop it.  And yes, I know I cut off my feet.  However, I'm dead tired, so this will have to do. **

Another hitch in my day was the fact I re-started Tommy Europe's Bridal Bootcamp yesterday, not expecting I'd be doing a marathon trip across the prairies.  He certainly knows how to push you hard, even when you're just reading the instructions off the internet.  My hamstrings feel like shredded cheese, and I could barely walk after each segment of the trip when I got out of the car. 

Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in.  For a good long time. I'm at my parents' place, in my old bed in my old room, with my near blackout blinds.  No fiancĂ©'s alarm going off at 5:00 am. No noisy radiators.  In fact, after 8:00 am, no one will be in the house at all.  Oh, sleep, how I have missed you!

* Colour adjustment would have shown you I did navy tights and a navy cardigan with this dress.  And ultimately, I've decided even with tights it's a little too short for work.  Considering I was so exhausted when I showed up for work this morning that everyone assumed I was leaving early because I was sick, I'm sure they didn't even notice the skirt.

*If I feel ambitious, I may do a better picture after I've slept.

Lateness - Day 9

Day 9 will be late.  So late, that I'm tempted to tell you that it won't be posted until Day 10.  And I'll probably have to put on Day 9's outfit, take a picture, and then change into Day 10's outfit to take a picture.

Somehow, I'm attempting to
1. Go to work (like my office job) early
2. Leave work early
3. Drive to my parents' place (est. drive: 3 1/2 hours)
4. Jump into my parents' van and drive (est. 2 1/2 hours)
5. Do something I'm not allowed to post on the internet, but is entirely legal (and apparently adorable)
6. Drive back to my parents (est 2 1/2 hours)

All in one day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 8 - Time to Celebrate

 I don't know why I said celebrate, I really have nothing to celebrate at this point.  Last night was only marginally better than the night before. I did finish the project I had been working on for my sister's baby, so I'm kind of glad baby isn't here yet!

In any event, I've been trying to make it through all the blogs participating in the 30 for 30, generally trying to make it through one letter a day.  I've been slowly adding blogs to my reader, and once I've made it all the way through I'll update my blog roll.

Singing "I'm a little teapot"
In viewing all these blogs, I'm realizing how dull my pictures are.  I'd love to have inventive backgrounds, and well photographed pictures, but I'm limited by my basic white walled apartment, a tripod and a timer.  Unfortunately, we're in winter here so outdoor pictures are not ideal.

I have noticed I've been doing a bit of "I'm a little tea pot" since I switch which "White corner with door" I've been using.  While varying poses may work, it can only do so much.

Any advice? 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And the award goes to - Day 7

So tired I fell asleep during pictures!
Between 19 year old boys above us discussing loudly which bar they were going to go to, radiators in desperate need of bleeding (despite the landlord's insistence that they aren't) that sound like hammers hitting cathedral bells, and the fact that Scott's new work schedule that has him working at 6 am has us going to bed at 10:30, I had the worst night of sleep possibly ever.

 I'm fighting to stay awake today.  The all-night clanging means the apartment is delightfully cozy this afternoon, so that isn't helping.  Even the lack of anything on television can't entice me to get to work.  Since my sister is expecting to deliver her baby any day now, I've been working non-stop on my thesis so when she does have it, I can take the time to meet my niece or nephew without feeling that I'm getting behind on my work.  However, she's over a week past her due date, so that means I've been working without break for over a week, as well. I'm pretty sure that the quality of my work is beginning to suffer. Unfortunately, I definitely can't take any time off now: not only will baby HAVE to be born this week, we also have to drive back home for Scott's parents' retirement dinner next weekend.

Needless to say, I'm really wishing that my 30 for 30 clothes weren't as all comfortable as pajamas, and that there wasn't a spare bed behind my desk that just looks oh so comfy!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This Post Is Not About the Clothes (though they are there) Day 6

This morning's fog

The picture in which I have no hair
 I won't lie: I hate winter.  Oh wait, you've already figured that out?  I'm cold in the middle of summer, so any seasons where temperatures are below my body temperature generally aren't my favourite.  It also doesn't help that I need daily exposure to sunlight to maintain my sanity, and winters here are foggy, and dark.  Add to that being away from friends and family, and it seems colder, darker and all the more isolating.  Last year, I at least had a busy enough schedule outside the apartment that I was doing a lot of walking (getting both sunlight and activity) and staving off any sense of cabin fever.  This year, I'm working from home, so no sunlight, no regular activity and no company.  Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to the next 5 months.

With all that circling around my mind yesterday, I spent a good couple hours in my blankie, in front of the TV, eating enough mint chocolate chip cookies to warrant an allergic reaction.  For my sanity, and my health, Scott and I started etching out a plan to keep me sane and allergy free.  While I'm 90% sure Scott decided to propose in the middle of a blizzard last January to keep up my spirits, we decided a more regulated plan should be in place this year.  We're still etching out the details (are mandatory date nights weekly or bi-weekly?  How often are we bundling up and going for a walk? etc. etc.), but today I was supposed to get up at 8:30 and exercise.

I have no excuse: I have a myriad of equipment.  I have exercise videos and computer powered games.  My exercise wardrobe is extensive (despite the fact that I generally just work out in whatever pajamas pants and tank top I find on the floor).  Considering I have an obsession with Tommy Europe (former professional football player turned fitness trainer), and one of his TWO tv shows are continuously playing on Slice, (sorry non-Canadian folks, you can't join my love for him... except on Slice.ca where they do have full episodes... look for Bulging Brides and Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp), motivation shouldn't be an issue.

This isn't a "pity me" post, nor am I demanding encouragement or solutions.  If anything, it's more of a warning: if things go well, you will see things like; "PS - I finally got myself up to drinking 2L of water a day" or "I'm ready to move on to intermediate/advanced pilates".  If things don't go well, that's when you'll see more drawn out posts like this one.  I find writing stuff out helps me be accountable to myself.

But if you have encouragement, advice or stories to commiserate, feel free to share!  After all, life is about more than just clothes!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Princess Skirt - Day 5

I loved layering this dress this summer, and this skirt earlier this fall.  I think that's the only reason why I included the skirt it in the 30 for 30.

This is the first time I've ventured out of the apartment since the snow stuck (that was only Wednesday). I'm not sure why I decided to go with a dress - it's also the coldest day we've had this winter (oh, I've declared it winter. As soon as the snow hits and sticks, it becomes winter... I'm convinced it's not going to melt again).It's hard to believe that just last Sunday it was 18 degress Celsius and now it is -12 degrees Celsius (that's 64 and 10 respectively, in Fahrenheit).  Crazy Canada.

I met with my adviser today on my first chapter of my thesis.  I was apprehensive, because I really felt like I was juggling too many balls in such a short space of pages, but she was very impressed with how well I did... I managed to keep all but one "ball" up in the air.  Of course, the one I forgot was kind of the central argument which will over-arc my thesis, but it's a relatively easy fix. 

Oh ya, the outfit: Scott doesn't like the scarf I chose.  He said it was too much colour.   I do have a solid brown one I contemplated using, but I felt it would just encourage my reliance on solid colours, and my fear of patterns.  I do need a belt with it - the dress looks much more "I'm a 6 year old," especially with the poofy skirt underneath without some way to break up the line. Thoughts?

Friend Friday - Nov 12, 2010

Thanks again to Katy for setting this up!! She said:
Since many of you are participating in the 30 for 30 challenge you might have noticed a trend... more readers and more comments. But of those additional comments have you noticed that at least a handful of them are the generic spam-like 'nice outfit' 'cute shoes' etc... Don't get me wrong I like comments but what's up with that? The thought about this hadn't fully formed in my head until this morning when I read this post on Dressful (http://dressful.com/2465/ fashion-blogs-and-self-promotion-how-much-is-too-much) about blogger self promotion. When is it too much? When are you doing it wrong? Of course that flipped my brain into overdrive and FBFF questions rolled out from there.

Here are my thoughts, based on her topics

Topic: Blogger Self Promotion
1. How do you promote your blog?
I can't say I really promote my blog that much.  I tried adding a link to the comments I post on other blogs, but ultimately, I'm there to see what they say, not tell them what I say.

2. In your experience what has been the most effective form of self promotion?
I think having good outfits, and good writing  are the best way to gain followers. However, you can't deny the the influence of challenges like the 30 for 30 to introduce bloggers to each other!

3. Do you think there is a wrong way to promote yourself and your blog?
I do somewhat agree with the irritation of the "Nice Shoes" followed by "Check out my site" comments.  However, I also know it's difficult being a shy blogger starting out. 

4. When is comes to others pushing their product what annoys you?
I can't say I follow any blogs where it annoys me - of course, maybe I subconsciously only choose blog which don't overly promote a product.

5. In Dressful's post on this topic earlier in the week she said, "It's impossible to respect someone who wants all the attention, but adds nothing worthwhile to the conversation." Do you agree?
I think I'd need an example in order to actually create an answer for this one.  Is the issue that they want all the attention, or is the issue that they don't add anything worthwhile?  These are two separate problems.  If it's the former, I can't say I've really seen too too much of that.  If it's the latter, might it be a case of them just not finding the right conversation in which to insert themselves? Is it that they have evolved differently on their fashion path than others?  Is it that they haven't evolved at all? 

I will add this - I do like knowing who is visiting my blog, and I do like to check out their blogs to find out more about them.  As long as I can get to their blog through their profile, I'm happy.  And I think I'd much rather have 500 "Nice Shoes - Check out my blog" than even one: "You're ugly"... so I'll just be thankful for any positive comments I do get!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Battling Dehydration - Day 4

helloI've been dehydrated for as long as I can remember.  It's not due to any medical condition, or poor water quality.  No, I just forget to drink liquids.  This week, I've decided to get this under control, and the timing couldn't be better.  Not only have we turned the heat on (sucking out all remaining humidity in our very dry apartment), but I've also developed a small cold which I'm battling aggressively, since my sister is past her due date, and when that baby comes, the last thing I want to do is infect it. The issue with diving head first into a world of planned hydration is the frequent trips to the bathroom.  Not a big deal since I work from home, but none the less, it would not be a day for tights, a stiff narrow skirt, and belt combination.

I love how Sarah from Wearing It On My Sleeves wore her plaid shirt today, but I didn't feel I needed to add a jacket and necklace for another day of working from home.  Since I was already wearing the plaid shirt when I read her post, I decided I'd try tucking in my shirt.  While in the future, I'll be more likely to try this with a looser fit jean, that wasn't in the cards.  However, I'm glad I went with my bootleg jean instead of a skinny jean, I think that would draw too much attention to the hip area.

I forgot to eat breakfast today, so I better run and make lunch before this dizziness knocks me out of commission. But yes, I not only forget to drink water, I also forget to eat.  Some days I'm surprised I've lived this long too.  I'm sure one of these days I'll forget to breathe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And I'm Ready to Give Up - Day 3

helloThe difficulty in the challenge for me is not coming up with new way to wear the same clothes.  The challenge, for me, lies in getting dressed for 30 days.

Last night, I thought: "I should pick an outfit", but instead I watched Family Guy's spoof on James Bond (rather, I fell asleep while watching Big Bang Theory, and woke up during Family Guy).

When I got into bed and couldn't sleep after that, I thought: "I should pick an outfit".  Instead, I decided to throw myself a pity party because, well, anything bad that happened during the week suddenly becomes my fault after 12:00 at night.  You know, like my grandpa needing a hip replacement because I don't visit enough.  Or my car's blower motor resistor going because I left a couple empty Starbucks cups in there. The logics - I don't have them.

It should have come as no surprise, then, that when I woke up to yet another "winter storm" (this time not a winter bomb, thankfully!!), my instinct was not: "I should pick an outfit" but "PAJAMA DAY!!!!"

But I prevailed. I didn't try that hard to do anything all that revolutionary. My hope was that it would feel like pajamas.  It doesn't. However, I am very glad accessories are not included.  This outfit would be so plain without the scarf!  It's still fairly simple, but considering I'm not leaving the house today, anything more would be overkill!  The brooch reminds me of snowflakes, making me hate winter a little less.  However, our apartment is too cold to shower, so the hat is covering my greasy hair!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Work - 30 for 30 Day #2

helloAll right, I didn't go all out on this outfit for work; I could easily wear this to the library or something.  However, it's still completely appropriate for my office environment.   I planned out about 30 outfits, making sure I had 4-5 work outfits, 3-4 "special" outfits, and two mini travel wardrobes, as well as a bunch of every day outfits.  It's kind of awesome because it means asking Scott to pick a number between 1 and 4, or 1 and 5, and then I wear that outfit. 

I'm SO glad that I decided to alter this skirt - it's been indispensable this fall!    This is its first trip to work, though.  I've had a precarious history of clothing and work.  I've never had a situation in which I was told my outfits were inappropriate.  However, the reaction at my current office is much more subdued than in a previous work place, in which my outfit was scrutinized during a nearly daily request for a "fashion show" which was awkward to say the least.  In contrast, I've been finding the lack of commentary in my current workplace to be rather unsettling, especially on days when I've purposely worn something to see how "out there" my outfits can get before a comment is made.  I am, however, betting now that my outfits are going to be a bit more tame this month, something will be said. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 1 - 30 for 30

helloWow - this challenge is huge!  My tracker is freaking out at the multitude of visitors flowing through here!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to check out a lot of the other blogs over the next 30 days... while keeping up with everything else. Sigh.

I decided to go with a blue-green combination since that was my inspiration.  Plus, we're having some unseasonably warm temperatures, which is fabulous for wearing dresses without tights!  Yeah!

Of course, a sweater is still necessary.  It's not the most creative outfit, however, I figure if I start simple, I'll have lots of room from which to build, right? 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 for 30 Clothing Preview

helloAre you joining in Kendi's 30 for 30 challenge?  It's too late to join with the 337 bloggers officially doing the challenge, but you should definitely try it on your own!

Right now, I don't think it will be much of a challenge, my 30 pieces can easily last me a month. However, making each outfit unique and interesting is where the challenge lies.  I won't like: I included a couple pieces that will be great for the days when I'm travelling across the prairies (I've got 2 trips to the neighbouring province's capital city planned over the next 30 days), writing another chapter of my thesis (which will be right around the final 2 weeks of a challenge... that was poor planning!!), and shlubbing around on days when it will inevitably blizzard.  I consider myself fortunate in that I only need 4 professional outfit, and the rest are casual rather than trying to got multiple professional and multiple casual outfits out of many of the same pieces.

I will not be counting camisoles / tights/ scarves/ accessories, nor will I be counting any winter wear (though you will note that both pairs of boots I've gone with are good to -15 degrees Celsius. It's been super nice today, so I'm already wondering if I'll regret that). I'm not so much worried about the "No Shopping" rule, though I'm giving myself permission to shop a) to replace the brown fishnets that got destroyed the last time I wore them, and b) to go Christmas shopping for others, not myself.

And without any futher ado, here are my clothing selections
1. Black sneakers
2. Black oxford heels
3. Black boots
4. Brown suede loafers
5. Brown retro style heels
6. Brown boots

7. Brown plaid pants
8. Black skinny jeans
9. Blue skinny jeans
10. Blue bootcut jeans

11.Green corduroy skirt
12. Brown full skirt
13. Blue jean skirt
14. Tweed skirt

15. Green cotton dress
16. Patterned Zara dress

17. Navy cardigan
18. Green crocheted sweater
19. White hooded jacket
20. Navy sweater
21. Brown cardigan

22.Black pinstripe jacket
23. Corduroy blazer

24. Red plaid shirt
25. white short sleeved shirt
26. Red wrap
27. Green Gap Vneck
28. Navy and white striped shirt
29. blue embroidered shirt
20. white 3/4 length sleeve shirt

Since the closest thing I had done to this is Jane's Capsule Wardrobes, which lasted a week.  As such, I've learned that making sure you have a colour scheme is always good, so I've gone with blue, green and red.  While I'm a little afraid to try green and red together (Christmas much?), I love how Hillary has been wearing blue and green together lately, so I had to try it!! Most of the colour ideas I pulled out of the Zara dress, but of course, made the green more green!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Goin' to the Thrift Store, Ya!

There are a few items of clothing that have entered the "Maybe" pile for the self help, but I think I've come to terms with the following seven items.  Here are my complaints about the following
1. Blue Embroidered Tunic
This shirt is good in theory, but the embroidery ends too high (giving the saggy boob look), and the stiff cotton doesn't allow for proper drape.
2. Teal Boatneck shirt
This was a much loved shirt, but the neck has stretched out, and was rather cheap, so repeat washing revealed that shirt front and back were not cut at the same degree off the bias.
Replaced with: None needed - I had another teal shortsleeved shirt already
3. Blue Jean skirt
Well, the ties were a little odd, since they don't really work with belting. Of course, part of that was due to a lock of belt loops.  I always meant to stick up the bottom hem, but never got around to it.  Plus, the shape is too narrow, and rather than accentuating the hip, it kind of removes any curve I might have.
Replaced with: Shorter, more A-line jeans skirt (included in link above)
4. Black jean skirt
The shape of the skirt works a little better on this one, but it's too short - even before my original plan to stitch up the hem.
Replaced with: Nothing, I've got way too many black skirts, and maybe it's past the time in my life that I can get away with wearing this
5. Pink Sundress
This dress, sigh.. It made me look pregnant, so I changed the waistline It helped a bit, but then it became obvious that length was all wrong for me. I was going to just turn it into a skirt, but plans for that never went through.  Finally, I figured it had been 2 years that I'd been fighting with this dress, maybe it wasn't meant to be. 
Replaced with: Nothing - having not really worn it that often, there will not be a hole in my closet from it. 
6. Brown Nikes
I had a pair of these in grade 7 I think it was.  When I wore through them, I bought this pair.  However, I must have been wearing super thick socks, because these are very definitely size 7.5, and I tend to be in the 5-6 range.  Any walking beyond about 10 minutes, and it becomes obvious that they just don't work for me. 
Replaced with: Sigh... I hope I can find another pair exactly like these that are in my size.
7.  Brown boots
I impulse bought these thinking they'd be great for hitting the bar.  I just never felt comfortable with them.  I think I'd be more interested in them, if the calf wasn't so form fitted.
Replaced with: I guess my new winter boots. 

PS - Check out Colette's awesome ModCloth Give Away!!