Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dancing Queen

Ok, the belt shifted higher because just before this picture, I was dancing like a freak. I tend to do that at my parents house, I think it's because I can't do that in my place, for fear of tripping over something.

My mom and sister hate the belted scarf. Whatever, I wore it anyway.

I'm seriously so tired... I haven't quite made it back to Regina yet, and I have to say, I'm glad I decided not to try and get there tonight. Sleeping on the road is a bad idea when you're the driver!

And a couple people asked where all the water will go when the snow melts... funny you should mention that!  My home town is currently being transformed. Over the summer, they received high levels of precipitation which raised the water level of the river running through the city. Then, they received high levels of precipitation this winter, as did the states directly below them. As a result, they're expecting a massive flood.  These sandbags (which will all be stacked 2 high) are all over the city. There are 2 major thoroughfares connecting the south end and the north end of the city, and both are now lined with these bags just so daily life can continue at somewhat of a normal pace. Just for a bit of perspective: you can't even see where the river is in that picture. It's pretty weird... and makes me a little glad I will still be away at school when this happens!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't know why, ain't no sun up in the sky, stormy weather

That's right - two weather songs in a row. It's not stormy here - knock on wood, cross my fingers, throw a pinch of salt over my shoulders. After my orthodontist appointment today, I'm venturing into the next-nearest-city to see my adorable niece... and my mother (which is weird - I'm currently at her house, and she's not!)... and my sister... oh, and I guess my brother-in-law. Though I'm pretty sure he's not going to jump on into the girly-ish activities we have planned. Woo hoo!! Addressing wedding invitations! Dress fittings!  I can't stand the excitement. (please note the lack of exclamation mark there... I am being sarcastic).

I was worried about the threat of snow/rain yesterday, so I left about 3 hours earlier than I had planned. However, I had planned to spend those 3 hours doing laundry. I did bring a basket with me, and did that yesterday afternoon, so I do have a fairly large selection of light coloured pajama bottoms, sweat socks and the occasional t-shirt, but I think I'll stick with my original clothing plan.  Remember yesterday's outfit? Add to that a tank top you can't see in that picture, and those are the pieces of clothing I"m working with for the next few days. I did bring another pair of pants, but those are mostly in case my little niece is still in her projectile spit-up stage.

I tried to take a picture of me amongst the unbelievable amount of snow still kicking around this here province, but the fact I had stolen my mother's tripod years ago came back to bite me in the butt, again. It's also a little too chilly out for jacket-less pics, but I toughed it out for you! And while those of you who are used to winter may say: "ya, that's just the drift from shovelling the driveway", it is pretty level through the whole yard.  Eeek!

I suppose I should mention this shirt. I was certain chambray shirts were going to win the first EBEW vote, and I didn't have one. But I lucked out, and didn't need to buy one. However, I was certain they were going to win this time, so I kept an idea out for a cheap one. I found one for $14 at Walmart that I loved. Tuxedo pleating, snaps perfect fit. But I refuse to pay $14 at Walmart. We had to run to another Walmart later that day, and I was still thinking about the shirt. However, it was $16 at that one, and I thought that was a touch ridiculous, so I passed again. On our way out the door, I spotted this one for $5. It was such a good deal that Scott decided that he'd even buy it for me!  It's certainly not quality, it's certainly not going to last too many trips through the dryer, but I've already worn it enough my ppw (price per wear) is well within the acceptable range!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snowflakes keep falling on my head

Yes, I realize the song is "Raindrops keep falling on my head" but rain would be a welcome change to snow. Wait... scratch that. This time of year rain tends to be of the freezing variety, and I've got a road trip to undertake. Of course, the snow is putting that in jeopardy anyway.

Said road trip will kill my ability to blog as regularly as I like. And I have no contingency plan for getting posts up. It's part of my whole: "just deal with it" plan for this blog. I know... it's not a great plan. I like my structure... I like knowing what to expect!

I'm hoping to be away just over 48 hours... though 1/4 of that will be spent driving. I'm even heading out a day earlier than I need to just to ensure that I don't spend 1/2 my time driving.  So it'll be "drive... sleep... study... drive... sleep... drive...drive..drive... pass out in my bed (which I am now re-acquainted with, post-bedbugs, having spent so much time that one week being sick. I'm glad we made up).

And what does one wear when one will be driving? If I really was just following that schedule, it would be sweats and hoodies. But there are coffee breaks with friends... trips to the stationary store and post office... dress fittings... and baby snatching (I mean spending time being the awesome aunt. But seriously... she'll fit in my overnight bag, right? And my sister won't notice, will she?). But at only 48 hours, I should be able to stuff everything into my purse, right?

Ha!

Wish me luck, it's time to go pack!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Apparently I'm popular... with my sister

I called my sister today, during a somewhat spare moment, and she answered the phone yet: "I don't know what you're wearing today." What I didn't tell her was that spare moment was when I was changing to go out for date night, so I really wasn't wearing anything.

I liked my date night look better, so that's what you get!  I try to keep it simpler on date nights... Scott's a "What's wrong with jeans and a white t-shirt" kind of guy at times, so I try not to go avant-garde or anything. See - I've got jeans... and a white tee... and a blazer... and a belt. and a necklace... and boots (oh ya... I didn't mean to have the black belt showing. I need it to keep my pants up, and I was in a rush to take pics, so I didn't remember to pull my shirt down!)


But off I go for my date!  I sure hope he's a keeper!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lists are like stripes because they have lines

1. Sorry - no FBFF this week... I'm typically very in tuned with feminist discussions, but since feminism and my thesis subject (as in person: Margaret Atwood) is commonly viewed through the lens of feminism, and I want to look at her from a different angle, I'm trying to ignore all things gender for a little while.

2. Yes, I will TOTALLY update my blog roll soon. I know I've been saying that for a while, but I keep meeting new people, and I don't know when to say when before updating!

3. To the person I saw yesterday who looked like someone whose blog I've probably stumbled across, and who gave me the same knowing but confused look... "hi!"

4. Today is another one of those times when Time+Cara does not equal "happy relationship". A friend invited me for lunch, so of course I had to say yes, but I also knew that these Friday lunches tend to expand to Friday afternoon, and then the evening is just a write-off. As a result, I have to work out AND get a significant chunk of writing done before 12:30 when the beer starts to flow. I know, I could just not drink, but I swear, I only drink Guinness for the iron content... right. Anyway, comfort won out over anything new and fun... and the stripes are in the tank

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Read Between the Lines

The best part about finding your "lobster" or "one" is that often, you are on the same wavelength. But before you gag over the sappiness, keep reading. Scott and I woke up this morning, turned to each other and said: "Aw crap, you're home all day, aren't you?!?!?"

As much as we love spending time together, we each have times when we draw straws to find out who gets to work from the coffee shop or library just so we have some more "me time". Fortunately, it was pretty easy to divide up our time and our apartment quite well: I get morning shift, and Scott gets afternoon shift. We meet at lunch to switch off, and then again at supper to catch up.

But of course, that meant all my "house based activities" had to be scrunched into the morning. Certain things like "Working out" and "showering" go well together, but something like outlining my essay (that pesky activity I didn't finish yesterday) takes a large amount of floor space (I map out my 25 pages with index cards in my living room) and generally an activity I deal with intermittently throughout the day is not so easy to do in so little time.

With very little precious "home time" on the schedule, I needed an outfit that I could grab and go, and not worry about making it work, and adjusting. It's been a while since I've done this outfit, but it used to be a classic for me.

I think this might be my last wear for this shirt... it doesn't really fit right. It was a hand-me down from my sister, so I've kept it around with the thought: "Well, it's not like it was a bad purchase!"Without the tank over top, it obvious that I don't have the chest to fill it out.  Oh well, shirt... you'll find a new friend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stripes of comfort!

I won't lie: I'm stalling. I should be working on my outline for the last chapter of my thesis and writing its introduction, but that would mean I am almost done this process. And that should mean I know what I'm talking about, which I clearly don't.

Don't be fooled by the bare legs: it's cold here. My solution to this sudden disappearance of spring? Crank the heat, and pretend it's nice out!  The sun is at least shining outside, so that helps.

I also had such a good work out today, the thought of trying to put on tights just seemed too painful. I dropped 10 pounds when I was sick last week, and only about 4 of it bounced back on its own. I think it was muscle mass, so I've been doing a lot of strength training.

I'm also trying to eat 6 meals a day... and I really just feel like I spend my day lifting weights... and eating... and lifting weights... and eating... both of which are better than actually writing!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wind blown Stripes

 It's snowy, and blowy, so I decided to keep the colours to neutrals to express my dislike of this not-over-winter-ness. However, I forgot that regardless of colour, some people see flowers and think: "Spring". One certainly grumpy guy in the elevator admired my optimism for spring (at least I'm assuming he's referring to the skirt, as there was no context to the comment what so ever!).
 
So let's pretend that flowers MUST mean spring, then not only was the pattern inappropriate, the entire outfit was inappropriate for the activities of the day. I spent my morning moving big dirty boxes. If I look harried, that is why!

And look! I'm mixing pattern!  Yeah!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stripe my sleeves

Click to see stripe
First of all - thanks for all the wonderful feedback on the hair, yesterday!  I was going to make a how-to video tomorrow morning before work, but then I remembered that a) I am always running late for work and b) I do better with my hair when I'm not paying attention.  Instead, I found the video again (and it didn't take much work: remember the no heat curling technique? It's the same girl!!).

I'm participating in Stripe Week!  This top has a subtle stripe on the arm.  I tried to make it more obvious by pulling out the purple (the tights) and the burgundy (the hat).

And I'm still in love with this jumper dress thingy...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

All right, let's take on the world

I spent far too much time in bed being sick. Not only is the apartment a disaster, my thesis a good couple days behind in work, but my body also decided to seek its revenge for my inactivity. Apparently lounging at odd angles to get the best view of the TV, then inevitably falling asleep in that awkwardness causes havoc with back muscles, causing me to lie (more ergonomically) in bed for another day.

Me and yoga, we're going to be good friends this week!

This outfit has been sitting in the back of my mind since, well, apparently mid-January. I loved the outfit that Kyla of Blue Collar Catwalk wore. It was something about the bright jacket and wide leg jeans. Of course, I've tried on various days to replicate the look with my bright green plaid jacket, but I just couldn't find the right graphic tee (well, I could. It's Scott's Radiohead t-shirt, but being a favourite of his, it pretty much goes straight from the dryer, to his body, to the laundry hamper). About a week ago, I decided I could still do a toned down version, using a brown jacket. However, the proper day to wear it never emerged (I had it on on Friday as a sign of my optimism that Advil would solve my  problems, but about 2 minutes later I was back into my sweats).

Since it's Stripe Week this week (I actually pulled a couple stripe shirts out of my "give away pile" so I could participate... I promise, they'll go back), I figured I had to throw the outfit in today, since waiting a week would, well, mean it would disappear into the back of my mind.


I also have been doing the "blogger bun" a lot, basically since the start of my hiatus. With the hiatus, and then the illness, you just haven't seen me rock it. My hair isn't quite long enough to stretch all the way up in the back, so I took a cue from someone (no idea who) and braid it up the back. Beats the 17 million clips I'd need otherwise! OH ya, and it's crazy messy because there was an unintended walk in the wet wet snow and wind that I decided just to let it do whatever it wanted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I promise, I didn't disappear in a hissy fit again!

Clothes are just the farthest thing from my mind. It's totally food that's keeping my mind busy. Tuesday, I focused on keeping crackers down. Yesterday was bananas.  Today, well, we've taken a couple steps back and water seems to be a challenge. I have a feeling dehydration has set in so hopefully I'll get over the water thing quickly, or at least will fair better with ginger ale or Gatorade.

The worst part (ignoring the time spent in the bathroom, the agony of my stomach muscles, and the lack of productivity)? A new game for the Kinect showed up just before I got sick.  I don't think my body could handle Zumba right now!

Rather than comments of sympathy and well wishes (which I do appreciate), I'd like to hear your favourite sick day guilty pleasures. Mine is Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup.  Scott's is Campbell's Chicken Noodle. Days when we're both sick we make sure we have a pot of each on hand. I'm sure the salt factor helps to restore electrolytes or something, but I think it's the memories of childhood that help for me! And of course, television is always key to the healing process. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Short Lived Outfit

First of all, thank you for the kind words an support for yesterday's post!  It was such an encouragement!

Scott's been battling a minor stomach flu for a few days.  I figured I was probably safe. I was feeling a little "off" yesterday, but I woke up this morning, feeling fine. By noon, I was doubled over in pain at my desk. Needless to say, I jumped on the next bus home, and crawled into bed.

But not without taking pictures first! (Ok, a picture. And standing up this straight hurt so much I crawled to find some medicine)

Hello Monkey wore her cozy purple sweater belted a number of time over her 30 for 30, and I think I "starred" each time. Since we're quickly running out of time before this sweater will be seasonally inappropriate, I figured it was now or never.

My vague memory of this outfit (which gets vaguer by the minute, as I nap between paragraphs) is that it was comfortable. The tights waistband, the belt and the heat of the sweater didn't help much later on, but I think I successfully made neutrals interesting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Starting back at the beginning

Today would have marked one week of not posting, and a week and a half of not posting regularly. Where this blog stands, I don't really know. I did miss blogging, but in the way that you miss the light flakes of snow drifting down onto your eyelashes when the horrors of the wind and the frigid temperatures of winter have been nullified by the warm sun of spring. It was also a rather busy week, and so being disconnected from at least one facet of technology did make life a little easier.

It was also great to have another weekend almost completely devoid of being "connected".  I assisted with, and presented at a conference hosted by my department and didn't once check my email, my twitter or my facebook from my phone.  And it didn't even cause any twitching this time!

So what did I wear to this event? Exact replications of outfits I wore last year. I knew they worked, I knew I felt confident, but I also knew I wasn't going to document them. 

I didn't document them because of lack of time, or because they were repeats. I just really really really enjoyed the feeling of dressing for me.  And the strangest thing happened: I got giddy as a school girl when someone passed by me at the conference, and said: "That is a great shirt". Not that I don't love the compliments that I get from you guys, it was just so amazing to get an "IRL" (in real life) compliment, especially when my mind was telling me things like: "I can't believe you didn't come up with something new for today".

It's the "new-and-different-must-be-better" attitude that can summarize my reasons for being away.  Whether it's my discouragement from blogs that are barely out of a metaphorical womb before they've exceeded mine in popularity, sponsorships and general recognition; whether it's the feeling that I tend to get from the community that repeating of outfits is plebian; whether it's my instinct of: "omg, I definitely need that skirt, I can't believe my wardrobe is so incomplete," I got tired of feeling like I was lacking in some way.

I've noticed a trend in some blogs I've been following for years that the longer they have been around, the less genuine their outfits feel, and the more costume-y they look - as if they're trying to prove that they are outdoing their old self. The more they claim these extreme styles as representations of themselves, the more I question who they are. There are days when I feel my clothes are speaking for, rather than with me. And that's not why I started this blog.

I started this blog to figure out what I could get rid of in my closet. I did it for me, and I repeated outfits without fear.

A couple hundred dollars of laundry and almost a full 24 hours of ironing has brought me back to my original purpose. So I'm back, with trepidation. I'm making no rules about how I'll reduce my wardrobe. I'm making no rules about the frequency of my posts. I'm making no claims about what things I'll still participate in. All I'm going to claim is that I'm going to dress for me. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cara's Gone Dotty

Ever have those weeks where keeping a blog is just all work and no fun? I've been feeling like that lately, and after being completely unplugged this weekend, I had hoped that I'd been feeling more into it. Nope, not so much.  After skimming a hundred blog posts when I got home, and reading a multitude of tweets (dear people that post the same link to their latest blog post multiple times in one day: get a freaking life), I got more and more drained. Up until I went to bed last night, I was going to skip Polka Dot Day, not blog at all, and just see how things went.

But then I remembered I love Linda. Or Polka dots. Or both. So I thought: "I'll wear polka dots, because I can't go to work naked. I just won't post"... but what's the point of wearing spots if you're not going to do a spot on blogspot about spots?

So you get a post. A little grumpy (have you noticed that trend lately?). And you'll probably get a post on Saturday or Sunday as well. And maybe a couple in between. We'll see. I'm going to cull the number of blogs I read, and tweeps I follow and see if maybe I just am over-blogging myself.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I can do it... I can do it...

The windchill has been hovering between -40 and -30 for days now. I've bailed on plans simply to avoid bundling up. Today, I can't avoid it. I need a new stack of books from the library, and to drop off some paperwork for a conference next weekend. It's days like these when I wish "warm" and "comfortable" didn't mean jeans and a hoodie. How is it that my "warm and comfortable" at home is so much more chic than my "warm and comfortable" going outside look?

Dressing for this kind of temperature should be second hat to me by now after nearly 30 years in the prairies. Even with the increased wind characteristic of my current geographical locale (even when it's calm there's enough wind to mess up your hair), this is my second winter in the province. I have no choice but to blame my current working-from-home situation: it has turned me into a wuss.

Making getting dressed even harder is the fact that my wool sweaters shrank during the great laundry expedition of last month. While 2 were shrank beyond repair, the one that remains in my wardrobe is a touch too small to layer under.

And this post just keeps getting longer because I know as soon as I finish writing it, I will actually have to go and choose something to wear.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Frump-a-lump

It's Wednesday. It's cold. My attempts last night to sleep were somewhat fruitless. I thought I was keeping my negative vibes in, but since Scott (who has the day off) scuttled off to the coffee shop with drawing pad in hand before he even had a chance to eat breakfast makes me wonder if I'm just oozing with negative aura.  It doesn't matter, now, I suppose. It's just me and my books.

I've got a long day of reading. I'd told my adviser that I wanted to tackle my last chapter with a new book. We agreed on The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood is the focus of my study), but I'm finding it a slow slog. Possibly because it's been a while since I've read anything longer than a chapter or article. Possibly because it just reminds me of The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence: equally Canadian). Since I'm still afraid of bed and their related bugs, my reading spot is not stretched out on a bed with nests of pillows, but will be an overstuffed arm chair (I realize the distinction in discomfort isn't readily apparent: please believe me when I tell you that the chair is less comfortable, mainly when one accidently falls asleep with book in hand). The last thing I want is to have a belt digging into my ribs, the itch of a sweater on the arm pit, or a pant leg riding up.

Yesterday was all about dressing for me: Today is all about dressing for comfort.

(Note: in better mood now!! Check out this video and see if you can watch it without smiling - and I don't even know who the baby is!!)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This time, it's all about me

I woke up this morning to hear on Scott's alarm clock (which goes off at 5...ugh) that it was bitterly cold out, and would continue to be all day. Skirts and dresses were out of the question. Even dress pants would be too cool.  This day called for jeans.

Ugh.  I'd already used my "trouser jean" (what I consider my get out of jean-jail-free card) in the last few weeks, and my long darkwash bootcut jeans. Was I really out of jean options? I ignored the question as I drifted back to sleep for another two hours until my alarm went off... for the first time. And the second time. Why not a third time, for good measure?

As I lazed in bed, I thought: "Wait... why can't I wear them again?  What's stopping me from wearing whatever the hell I want? There's no dress code at work. I don't dress for my co-workers. I dress for me, damn it!" (I am a bit of a potty mouth in the morning).

So I wore trouser jeans to work. And even in trouser jeans, I'm needing a cup of hot chocolate to keep the chills at bay after a bus ride. But none the less, I stand by my choice. Sometimes, it's gotta be all about me.

(Oh ya, ignore the hair.  That's what we call "hat head".  And ignore the messy kitchen in the background.  That's what we call "laziness")