Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The New Professional Gift Guide | Bookworms and designers

Now that we've finally got Thanksgiving out of the way, Christmas shopping is in full swing. This week, the New Professional features a gift guide to help you shop for your friends and coworkers, based on their interests.  The best part: nothing is over $50, and most items are less than $25. What can I say? I don't think a good present needs to cost a fortune.

Today: the bookworm and the designer.

The Bookworm
Aside from a book (great, if you know their preferred genre or favorite author), here are some fun items for a bookworm. If you do know their favorite author, chances are they have a lot of their books already--try a biography (or autobiography) or analysis of said author.


The Designer
It's okay for form to trump function here, since they'll appreciate it. Things with bold typography and lines are great, and a book of gorgeous photos is sure to be a hit.

Stay tuned this week for gift picks for the foodie, sports fan, techie, and more.

What would you buy for the bookworms and designers in your life?

The flip side

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic suit ross shirt blake scott red pumps
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic suit ross shirt blake scott red pumps
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic suit ross shirt blake scott red pumps
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic suit ross shirt blake scott red pumps
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic suit ross shirt blake scott red pumps

The Rundown:
10 + 13 + 25 + 29
Nancy Rosetta circle ring - 2010 - birthday gift (similar)
Black bead necklace - 2010 - swapped (similar)
NYC Color nail polish, West Village (available)

Confession: I wear suits not because I have to or I have meetings. I often wear suits just for the layers.  I am a wimp when it comes to cold.

Exhibit A: I keep my A/C at 82 degrees in the summer if I turn it on at all.
Exhibit B: Even in the summer, I rarely consumer iced drinks. I prefer hot tea.
Exhibit C: As I speak, it's over 70 degrees in my apartment and my foot is in a constant cramp in my fuzzy slipper due to cold.
Exhibit D: I will resort to over-dressing to avoid being cold at my desk. 

What worked:
This jacket and these pants are actually the same color. They're part of a set (along with the matching skirt) that I purchased earlier this year before I went on the Great American Apparel Diet. I think the plaid shirt plays down the formality of the black suit.

What didn't:
The blue nails didn't really jive with the rest of the outfit, but other than that I liked it!

Made it to the second half of 30 for 30!

How do you stay warm in the office?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Playing catch up

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional franco sarto boots target dobby camp shirt forever 21 feather necklace chains thanksgiving justice scarf
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional franco sarto boots target dobby camp shirt forever 21 feather necklace chains thanksgiving justice scarf
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional target dobby camp shirt forever 21 feather necklace chains thanksgiving justice scarf
[4. Target dobby shirt] + [17. J & Company skinny jeans] + [27. Franco Sarto boots] + [Forever 21 feather necklace] + [Justice for Girls scarf]


office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional skinny jeans franco sarto boots gap sweater target pearl earrings
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional skinny jeans franco sarto boots gap sweater target pearl earrings
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional target pearl earrings
[6. Gap sweater] + [17. J & Company skinny jeans] + [27. Franco Sarto flat boots] + [Target pearl earrings] + [Old Navy belt]

Proof that I stuck to my 30 for 30 items during my Thanksgiving break. We went down to Southern California to do the ol' family tour (K's and mine).  He took a small duffel, I took an overnight bag. Generally, I only use a carry-on when it's both me and K for a weekend or myself for about a week (and for all business travel -- it's just easier).  One of the reasons I pack so light is that I have no qualms about rewearing clothes.  Especially when I travel. Hence the shirt swap-out over these two days.  If you have a problem with this, tell it to the round file.

Note: These outfits were not worn to work, but would have made for fine Casual Friday wear.  They're being posted to stay with the 30 for 30 challenge.


Are you a re-wearer or a one-and-doner?

Road Trip Hangover and Make Believe Monday

Happy Monday, folks, and welcome back from the holiday weekend. Three Thanksgiving gatherings and a 10-hour drive home last night means that this morning you get a photo post.

About four hours into yesterday's drive--heading due north, we could see the night coming from the east (dark blue creeping up on the right) and the sun setting to the west (oranges and yellows fading to the left).  So pretty.

The I-5 in the middle of nowhere around 6 p.m. was a parking lot. Wasn't the first time it had happened on our drive, and wouldn't be the last. Did I mention it usually only takes 7 hours to make this drive?

My Make Believe Monday. I went shopping on Saturday and found these black leather flats, which I plan on buying after the 30 for 30 challenge is up since my current pair has holes in the heels. Took a snapshot so I could remember the style name and size (half size larger than usual).

How was your Thanksgiving? How many T-day dinners did you attend?

p.s. Outfits 14 and 15 have not been forgotten or abandoned--they just weren't photographed. Make-up post coming tonight.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Links à la Mode!

links a la mode

Giving Thanks

Edited by: Holier than Now
It's Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and many of us are looking forward to the Black Friday sales - oh wait, I mean spending time with our families and friends! But it's wonderful (and kind of weird) that so many of the people that influence and support us on a daily basis won't be gathered around our table; they'll be hanging around our web address, retweeting our (sometimes) witty comments, liking our latest post on Facebook, etc. Whether or not you celebrate turkey day, as a blogger it's hard not to be full of gratitude for the resources we share on a regular basis. This week, Tickle Me Chic helps ban the blogging blues, Previously Owned does your holiday gift shopping for you, and Make the World a Prettier Place sums up the reason so many of us are grateful just to be alive (hello? fashion!) with a visual history.

Links à la Mode: November 25th

SPONSOR:
Shopbop bags: Burch, Matt & Natt, Minkoff, IRO, Botkier, Gryson, LAMB, Chloe, BE&D, DVF

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful [13 of 30]

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional hm cardigan skinny jeans jessica simpson booties target dobby shirt hm leather mini-duffel premier designs pearl necklace
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional hm cardigan skinny jeans jessica simpson booties target dobby shirt hm leather mini-duffel premier designs pearl necklace
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional hm cardigan skinny jeans jessica simpson booties target dobby shirt hm leather mini-duffel premier designs pearl necklace
Giving the booties another try for my half-day at work Wednesday.

The Rundown:
4 + 17 + 24 + 28
Premier Designs faux pearls - 2010 - free w/purchase (similar)
H&M leather mini-duffel - 2007 - $45 (similar)
Target sunglasses - 2008 - $17 (similar)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I am thankful for:
  • A warm bed
  • My husband
  • My family (and his)
  • Amazing friends
  • My job
  • Two (and a half) days off from my job. 
  • A place to live and a way to get around
  • Having more than 30 items of clothing + shoes
  • And YOU! 
Hope you have a great day full of love and thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The considerate vacationer

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional office etiquette vacation preparation
View from my beach chair. South Beach, June 2010.

Time off from work can be refreshing and relaxing.  Let's face it--we all need a vacation from time to time (which reminds me, I should plan one someday).  But what about those left behind to cover while you're gone? Here are some tips to getting your vacation and keeping your coworkers happy, too.

Planning
  • While you can't foresee every circumstance or project, try to be considerate of general work trends when planning your vacation.  Do you have annual deadlines in October? Then take a spring or summer vacay.  If you aren't quite sure, float it by your boss in conversation by mentioning you were thinking of some dates but wasn't sure if anything was coming down the pipe then. They'll appreciate the gesture, and you won't be known as the guy or gal who left everyone high and dry during busy season.
  • Get your vacation request approved as soon as you set the date for your vacation. This little detail is often so easy, and getting it on you and your boss's calendars early will help you plan projects around the date.
  • Don't remind everyone and their mom about your vacation for weeks leading up to it. You don't have to hide it, but constant harping about vacation can often just remind your coworkers what they aren't doing or getting. In work-related talk, bring it up if it is relevant, for example, at a staff meeting where assignments for that time period are being discussed.
Preparation
  • Get your projects to a good point.  Wrap up the items you can, and note where you are on ongoing projects so you remember the status when you return.
  • Set an out-of-office message in your email and voicemail. Confession--I suck at this part. I get phone calls maybe once a week, so I never change my voice mail, and I sometimes check my email on vacation, so I forget to do that, too.  Usually my vacays are only one or two days (to make a long weekend), but if it were for a week or more, I'd definitely put something up.
  • If you are subscribed to any listservs that go into your inbox, see if you can put them on pause. It is so annoying to be on a listserv where everytime  message is sent someone's out-of-office replies back, and since it's a listserv it goes to the whole group. If you can't find a pause option (usually some kind of hold email you send to the administrating email addy), unsubscribe and resubscribe later.
  • Touch base with your boss on your projects before you leave. This is just common courtesy.  Don't leave your boss wondering if things will get done, especially if you do have everything in a manageable state for when you get back.
  • Organize your desk. Throw away any old coffee cups, and arrange your papers and files neatly so that it's not overwhelming when you get back.
Post-vacation
  • Get settled immediately. Check your emails and voicemails. Get rid of those annoying blinking reminders (anyone else think those red voicemail lights look foreboding? There's gotta be a better color they could use). It's fine if you are behind on your first day back, but don't expect to get any slack after that.
  • Debrief with your boss. Find out if anything new came up, and use this information to prioritize accordingly.  Chances are you have plenty of work just picking up where you left off, but their priority could have fallen if something else has come up.
  • If you like your coworkers, bring something back! Keep it simple and relevant--food is always a good option. My boss has brought back chocolate-covered macadamias from Hawaii and cookies from France. I've brought back candies and gifts from Taiwan, and key lime pie cookies from Florida.  Hey, they had to work while you were off galavanting...give them a taste of your fun.
Real Simple also recently shared their top five things to do at work before you go on vacation. It's your vacation--you earned it. So I hope you take it from time to time. I'm a firm believer that using your vacation time is necessary for keeping yourself sane from day to day.

What do you do to prepare for a vacation? Any tips?

Schoolboy or stewardess? [12 of 30]

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic blazer rockabilly jeans vintage scarf necklace
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic blazer rockabilly jeans vintage scarf necklace
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic blazer rockabilly jeans vintage scarf necklace
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic blazer rockabilly jeans vintage scarf necklace

The Rundown:
3 + 15 + 25 + 29
Vintage scarf - 2010 - $12 (similar)
Artisans Lane Turkish Jewelry necklace - 2010 - gift from mom (available)
Premier Designs crystal earrings - 2010 - $19 (similar)

I call this look "schoolboy chic."  Something about the scarf as a tie and the black blazer with jeans really was very menswear.  Alternately, the scarf tie also reminds me of a flight attendant--good thing I didn't wear this with a pencil skirt and pumps!

I also got new stud earrings! Not during the 30, of course, but a few weeks before. My friend Shawna sells Premier Designs jewelry, and when I found out all their studs have hypoallergenic titanium posts, I was sold. I'm allergic to silver and gold, and it can be difficult to find nice earrings with surgical steel or titanium posts (reason number 572 why I'm hard to shop for).  I ordered these, a pair of pearl dangles, and a jewelry set (which will be a gift). They just arrived on Sunday and I'm loving them (and to be honest, finding it a little hard to let go of that set I bought--so pretty! Someone's getting very lucky this Christmas).

What worked:
The necklace + scarf layering!  I started out with the blouse and necklace, but the expanse of white looked a bit bare, and it was only supposed to be 54 degrees today, so I added the scarf. It goes outside of the collar so it doesn't hide the necklace.  The blue and orange complemen t each other really nicely, too, adding some interest to an otherwise bland outfit.

What didn't:
Not that it didn't work, but I think this would have looked better with skinny jeans and boots than with bootcut jeans. But I wanted to get away from that combo since I've already resorted to that so many times.  What's a challenge if you don't try something new?

How are you getting out of your comfort zone with the challenge? Or if you're not doing the challenge, what's something you'd like to try?

----------------------------------
EDIT/UPDATE
So I totally forgot that Rochelle of Rochelle Approved tagged me to share seven secrets! Not sure if these are secrets, but maybe fun facts.  Here goes...


I have a bad habit of picking off my nail polish. I've read nearly every issue of Sports Illustrated over the past five years (except for the last few, which are sitting on my nightstand).  I love jigsaw puzzles and I have a 3,000 piece one that I haven't finished (yet). I make a killer meatloaf. My favorite movie is Singing in the Rain. I married my first boyfriend. I'm allergic to cats, but determined to get one when we get our own house.


I tag...YOU. Share something in the comments!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dear Monday [11 of 30]

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional gap outlet pants j.crew shirt striped belt leaf necklace sally hansen touch of mink nails red pumps
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional gap outlet pants j.crew shirt striped belt leaf necklace sally hansen touch of mink nails red pumps
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional gap j.crew shirt striped belt leaf necklace sally hansen touch of mink nails

The Rundown:
1 + 19 + 29
Gap belt - 2010 - $10 (similar)
Sally Hansen Touch of Mink nail polish - 2010 - $8
Leaf necklace (via Vanity Lounge Salon @ Girls Night Out) - 2010 - $22

Monday. How I love and hate you. Each morning you promise me a new start and the possibility of new opportunities and adventures in the new week ahead. Each afternoon you challenge me to keep my head up and set a good start to the rest of the week. And each evening you laugh at me cruelly, taunting me with the reality that there are four more days just like this to follow.

Sometimes you are better than that. Sometimes you are worse. Today you just...were. You came, and hung out, and will be moving on shortly. We didn't have any conflict, but we didn't have an especially great time, either. I guess we both came out unscathed, which is pretty good in my book.  Maybe it's because you know there are only two days left of workweek left and you don't have as much to say.

Do you ever get offended by the bad rap you get? Garfield, for one, seemed to have it out for you.  You don't always deserve it. Is that why you act up every once in a while? If I were nicer to you, would you be nicer to me? I guess it's worth a try.

Thanks for letting me get through today, Monday.  See you next week.

What worked:
This outfit is very similar to this old one (one of my first!).  I do love that outfit, and it definitely captures my style, but I can't post the same outfits over and over again, now can I? This get-up does have my favorite proportions--a wide leg, a fitted top with some arm showing, and a pointy toe. The skinny belt is also balances out the volume. This shirt is a bit baggy, so the rolled sleeves are a must to balance that out.

I did branch out a little this time and tried a necklace outside of my shirt collar. I've seen it done a bunch online, especially with larger necklaces like this one, and I have to say, I like the look.  Really lets this necklace be the star (isn't it fab?).

What didn't:
Lots of wrinkle potential today, but I think I survived.  It was also an iffy hair day--I felt like an asian male pop star (you know, the ones with the bangs?). Need to come up with more styling ideas.

How was your Monday?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Make Believe Monday | Winter nails

Ok, so this is sort of a cheat Make Believe Monday post. No, I am not running out of things I want (does that ever happen)? I already have nice nail polish colors, which I sometimes actually wear. But here are some new colors I've had my eyes on this winter. They range from subtle darks to bright candy colors.  

Some tips on wearing painted nails in the office:
  • Nail length.  Keep it on the shorter, tidier side. Find a shape that works with your nail's natural growth.  A mainly straight, subtly rounded cut works well for most hands.
  • Manicure maintenance. No one likes a chipped manicure.  Keep yours fresh by applying a light top coat every other day. I like Sally Hansen's Super Shine Shiny Top Coat.
  • When in doubt, a nude or neutral color or a non-shimmery dark are your best bets, as opposed to bright colors or those with shimmer and sparkle.

Check out Cubicle Chic's rundown of nail polish colors for the office for more ideas.

Do you ever wear colored polish to work? What are your favorites?

Lumberjack hack [10 of 30]

office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional ross plaid flannel shirt skinny jeans franco sarto brown boots urban outfitters two-finger ring casual friday
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional ross plaid flannel shirt casual friday
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional ross plaid flannel shirt skinny jeans franco sarto brown boots urban outfitters two-finger ring casual friday
office fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional ross plaid flannel shirt skinny jeans franco sarto brown boots urban outfitters two-finger ring casual friday

The Rundown:
7 + 10 + 17+ 27
Urban Outfitters double-finger ring - 2010 - birthday gift (here)
Random chain necklaces - collected over the years from who knows where (I don't!)

I know I'm posting this late, but this was my Casual Friday outfit. Is it sad that I didn't realize I'd worn three of these items together already in my remix until I was writing this post? I am really struggling with this challenge, partially because of the weather and my intense unhappiness with the early nightfall, but mostly because of my own poor choices. This is why I do a lot a projects myself--I have no one else to blame but me. And I don't like blaming myself, so I just brush it off. Came up with a list of 20 more outfits this afternoon, some more adventurous than others...we'll see how well I stick to my planned combos (judging from last time I did the 30 for 30--not very well).  Cross your fingers for me, okay?

What worked:
I love this cozy flannel shirt...it's yellow, it has zippers, and it has cool black snap buttons (on the sleeves, too).  I played up the tough look of the shirt with a handful of chain necklaces and my double-finger ring.

The white shirt underneath was for warmth and to layer some sleeve action.  Dani from No Guilt Fashion and I apparently had the same idea on the same day (and we're not the first, it was probably some lumberjack in the prairie days).  Check out her long-sleeve under a flannel outfit here.

What didn't:
It's hard to tell from the pics but the buttons are a bit strained in the bust. I think this shirt shrunk. Oh well. I still love it. Flannel makes winter so much more bearable.

What is your favorite cozy winter fabric?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sponsor The New Professional

sponsor the new professional advertise giveaway email thenewprofessionalblog@gmail.com for media kit and rates

Executive Summary | Links for your weekend | 11.19.10

Crocheting! Love getting to snuggle up in knits in the winter.

In case you don't know by now, I'm a little obsessed with the weather.  I watch it on the news at least once a night (sometimes twice), have two weather apps on my phone, and when conversation veers toward weather talk, I get excited.

By the time you read this it's probably disgustingly cold in Sacramento compared to what it was like just this Monday, when it was a balmy 78 degrees.  By Sunday it's supposed to get into the 40s with rain.  Hopefully this will get me to buckle down and start my Christmas cards and gifts this weekend, after going bridesmaid dress shopping with my friend Cari, that is. I just love going out and trying on clothes.

Wait, this doesn't count against my 30 for 30 shopping ban does it? Or the Great American Apparel Diet?  I didn't know it was coming, and although the wedding isn't until June, I certainly can't wait until March to order.  Oh well. It doesn't count. That's my call.

Before I rant on even more let's just stop for a second and get to some links:

Style and fashion
Career and office
  • While I love my home office, I also really love offices tucked into closets and other nooks (it would help if my apartment actually had an closet). I'm especially loving this office in a closet, done on a budget, no less.
  • I cannot believe 2010 is almost over, but I am super-excited to shop for a new wall calendar for my cube.  First stop: etsy...check out the calendars they featured this week!
  • After 10 hours at work, another 2 hours out with the gals, and coming home and talking to the hubs, I've spend the last hour and a half blogging. It's nearly 1 a.m. and the alarm goes off in six hours. Am I crazy? Sure. But if you're a Gen Y woman, chances are you're crazy, too.  Ms. Career Girl tells us why.
  • After three years with the same company, I've seen many people come and go. Luckily my boss is a constant, and I love her for that. If you're not so lucky, and your awesome boss leaves, take A Career Stylist's advice for a smooth transition.
After hours
  • Many of you have commented on my built-in bookshelf.  Get the look without the hassle with bookshelf wallpaper!
  • I've been (semi-successfully) trying to kick a years-long caffeine habit (tmi--my stomach and coffee do not get along), so I drink tons of tea all day long.  Usually about 6-8 cups worth. I need this cup.
  • Love gift-giving but hate the waste that packaging creates? How about giving gifts in boxes that the recipient can reuse later? Apartment Therapy shares their favorite resources for reusable gift boxes.
What good reads did you find this week?

Office to out, casual edition [9 of 30]

office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans gray ruffle dress banana republic blazer franco sarto boots girls night out
office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans gray ruffle dress banana republic blazer franco sarto boots girls night out
office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans gray ruffle dress banana republic blazer franco sarto boots girls night out
office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans gray ruffle dress banana republic blazer franco sarto boots girls night out

The Rundown:
17 + 25 + 27
Gray ruffle dress - 2009 - $63 (replacing item 20) (similar)
Vintage braided belt - 2010 - $7 (similar)

So I tried on about eight different outfits this morning and resorted to switching out my black Target dress for this ruffly gray number.  I haven't worn that one yet, and to be honest, I was iffy about including it in the first place.  It was a pretty quiet day in the office, but I had tix to Girls Night Out at the Citizen Hotel tonight, so I knew I had to look cute to meet up with Ashlee, Kari, and Coco.

Let me tell you a little about this gray dress. It is absolutely fabulous.  It cost more than I would usually pay for a dress. It is the softest sweater knit.  It actually used to be dress length once. It is also machine-washable. And even though I am careful to air dry flat, it has shrunk. But it does make quite the cute tunic, doesn't it? And I have other plans for it in this remix (already faring better than the black Target dress).

This is the casual version of last week's office to out ensemble.  Somehow this blazer keeps working itself in.

What worked:
This outfit was comfortable, modest, and snazzy enough to transition to a night out.  What's not to love? No accessories even needed.

What didn't:
The sweater kept sticking to my jeans--maybe I should wear a slip next time? Might be a little odd over jeans...

How do you compensate or remix clothes that change shape or shrink? What about when they stretch?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is eight enough?

office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans old navy sweater tweed trousers enzo angiolini peep-toe pumps swapped belt american eagle necklace
office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans old navy sweater tweed trousers enzo angiolini peep-toe pumps swapped belt american eagle necklace
office fashion blogger the new professional angeline evans old navy sweater tweed trousers enzo angiolini peep-toe pumps swapped belt american eagle necklace

The Rundown:
9 + 14 + 30
American Eagle necklace - 2010 - $7 (similar here and here)
Studded belt - 2010 - swapped (similar)
Target earrings - 2010 - $5 for a set of two (similar)
Nancy Rosetta circle ring - 2010 - birthday gift (similar)

What worked:
This is one of my favorite sweaters, which I usually reserve for evening or weekend wear.  I added it to my 30 this time because I figure with the bright color and stripes, it'd be a great way to spice up an office outfit.  And I think I was right.  The long-ish sweater and loose trousers would have been a bit frumpy had it not been for the belt.

What didn't: 
Hmm...I'm just going to go for it and say nothing, really.

My hair is long enough for a ponytail!  A small one, but a ponytail nonetheless. Today was my attempt at back-combing the top/back to give it a little pouf, but I don't think it held well.  But I'm going to keep trying.


Quick tip--to keep a studded belt from flipping out, put a glue dot (not to be mistaken for a dot of glue) on one of the studs that would be hidden under the flappy part, and press the flappy part (yes, that's the technical term) onto the glue dot. Do not put the glue dot on the leather part of the belt. Just a little tip from me to you.

What are your tricks to keep flappy belt ends in? Do you tie them, rubber band them, or do you have your own method?

Bloglover | Tips for keeping up with your reading

There are over 337 participants in Kendi's 30 for 30 challenge and I've subscribed to just about every one of them in my Google Reader (the bundle RSS feed really helped). This is on top of my hundreds of blog posts that I read each day, including non-challenge fashion blogs, local blogs, food blogs, design blogs, and social media/publishing/industry blogs. I thought today I would share with you all a little about how I keep up and some tools I use to keep track of everything I'm reading and commenting on.


Google Reader
Many of you may be familiar with this handy dandy tool. Here is what my Google Reader looks like tonight:



Some Google Reader features I live by:
  • Categories.  As you can see, I have quite a few categories. Some blogs are in more than one category. This make it easy for me to prioritize what to read first.  If I want to find a specific blog, I can just click on the plus sign to the left of a category for a list of all the blogs within.
  • Stars/keep as read.  I star items that I want to keep or consider for my weekly links.  While I will often catch up on blog reading on my lunch break, I don't want to abuse my work computer so I try to save posts I want to comment on for later.  That's where the "keep as read" button comes in handy (not shown in photo above).
  • Expanded and list settings (seen above in the blue bar, right aligned). There are some categories that I skim, like social media, where blog posts can often get repetitive, or sports, where I just want to get the headlines.  I can glance through those quickly in list mode (shown) and then mark all as read when I've read all I wanted to read.  The blogs I want to read, like fashion, remixers, or local blogs, I put on expand, which shows all the content that comes through the feed.  Some blogs do limit how much comes through on the RSS feed, presumably to entice people to actually click through to their site (confession: I usually don't).
  • Subscribe via address bar (see graphic below).  Did you know that when you're on a site with an RSS feed, a little shortcut appears that lets you add the feed to Reader without having to find the RSS URL and cutting and pasting?
  • Google Friend Connect/Following. When you subscribe to an RSS feed in Google, it doesn't show that you follow the blog on their Google Friend Connect (see the widget in my right column with all the thumbnails? That's the Google Friend Connect.) But if you're already following a blog through Google Friend Connect (or want to do that instead--I love letting other bloggers know that I'm a follower that way), it brings those subscriptions right to your Reader.  It's the last category titled "Blogs I'm Following."  Sometimes it takes a few refreshes for a new blog to show.
Another great reader that works with your Google subscriptions is feedly, a Firefox plugin (although it may also be available for other browsers) which also include social media sharing tools in its reading pane. You can choose from neat magazine like layouts there instead of just the lists like Google Reader.  They went through some design and functionality changes a while ago and I couldn't really keep up, so I went back to Google Reader and have stayed there.

You can also subscribe to blogs through other web services like Bloglovin', Networked Blogs, and Blog Catalog, although their selection may be slightly more limited than everything that has an RSS feed (but you can find the New Professional on all three).

coComment
This has got to be one of the niftiest tools, and for me it was like a dream come true (well, almost.  wish, more like it).  It is also a browser plugin (for IE and Firefox) that keeps track of your comments on most blog posts and platforms!  Check it out:

How cool is that?!?  It even has a little icon in your browser that changes when you have new unread comments.
so meta--you can see this post in progress

It doesn't work with Disqus-powered comment systems (which generally sends you responses to your comment via email anyway), and a few others, but it works well for all the Blogger and Wordpress-powered blogs I read. It's always nice to know if and how people respond.  And then if I see something I want to say in follow-up, it's easy to click right through back to the post and reply again!  You can also choose to stop tracking conversations if a post is getting too many comments or if you were just waiting for a reply and already got one.  There are some other features to coComment, but I haven't really explored it much past comment tracking.  The tracking is web-based and you have to have a log-in, but if you forget to log in and have already commented on a few blog posts, when you do log in (in the same web browsing session), it can usually detect any comments you've made and asks if you want to import them into your conversations.

Okay, so really I only had two tools to share, but these really help me stay organized and on top of my blog reading.

What tools have you found to help organize your online reading?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gray and pearly

office fashion blogger the new professional gap outlet dress swapped merona tweed blazer enzo angiolini nude pumps piperlime urban outfitters two-finger ring j crew brooch pearls
office fashion blogger the new professional gap outlet dress j crew brooch pearls target earrings
office fashion blogger the new professional gap outlet dress enzo angiolini nude pumps piperlime urban outfitters two-finger ring j crew brooch pearls
office fashion blogger the new professional gap outlet dress enzo angiolini nude pumps piperlime urban outfitters two-finger ring j crew brooch pearls
office fashion blogger the new professional gap outlet dress swapped merona tweed blazer enzo angiolini nude pumps piperlime urban outfitters two-finger ring j crew brooch pearls

The Rundown:
22 + 23 + 26
J. Crew Ribbon bow pin thing - 2009 - $7 (similar here and here)
Urban Outfitters double-finger ring - 2010 - birthday present (here)
Pearl necklace - 2007 - wedding present (similar)
Target faux pearl and rhinestone earrings - 2010 - $5 (set of two: these and plain silver balls) (similar)

What worked:
Today was probably the last we'll see of summer weather (although I'm sure I thought that during our last mid-70s spell earlier this month).  By Sunday it's supposed to be 50 degrees and rainy.  Oh well.  This was my last ode to summer. I grabbed these pumps during the Piperlime birthday sale.  While they're not really "nude" on me, they're nude enough, and they're a great height and comfy.

Hemlines are always a debate in office-appropriate fashion, and I have to admit that this is the shortest skirt I feel comfortable wearing to work.  And today wasn't exactly the best day to wear it. I knew we had a special all-staff meeting this afternoon, but what I didn't foresee was taking photos of it...I ended up kneeling and bending all over the conference room trying to catch the keynote speaker from different angles.  I think I managed okay, though.

What didn't:
The slight A-line of the skirt (as opposed to a straight or pencil shape) and the empire waist gives the dress a bit of a little girl feel, and the fun bow didn't really do me any favors on that front. I think the pumps really toned that down, though.

What are your thoughts on "cute" in the office? What items or styles do you feel give off a too-cute vibe, and how do you work around that?