Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My dog ate my homework and other work excuses that don't work

We've all heard one. We've all said one. A lame excuse. While excuses can be annoying anytime, chronic excuses in the workplace can tarnish your reputation and cast doubts on your abilities.

Excuses that don't work:
  • I was working on [low-priority project]. If you have a hard time prioritizing your work, ask your supervisor when the projects are assigned. If you don't ask, it may be assumed that you should know, and this excuse won't fly.
  • I didn't know it was due yet. A few things you should always ask at the beginning of a project: timeline, budget, and relative priority. Not asking doesn't mean you're off the hook.
  • Most things that you volunteer without being prompted. Making an excuse when you're not being questioned makes you sound guilty. Are you? 
  • Anything that's repeated more than once a month. Chronic excuses send up a red flag. If you are constantly having difficulty getting your work done, then maybe you're in over your head.
Excuses that sometimes work:
  • I'm waiting on [someone else]. Does this someone else know you're waiting on them? What's their excuse? While some folks just can't be prodded along quickly enough, learning good project and people management skills can help you avoid most situations like this.
  • I didn't see that after-hours request come in. Although the lines are increasingly blurred with today's technology, this is valid if you're an hourly employee and aren't required to check in outside of work. If you're salaried and exempt from overtime, it's a little fuzzier, especially if you have a work-issued cell phone that you're expected to check.
Valid excuses:
  • I was working on [higher priority project]. Although any excuse should also be avoided, if a high-priority rush project came in and took up your time, don't drop the ball. At the same time, you shouldn't let progress lapse on lower priority projects if you can help it.
  • Emergencies. While I hope this doesn't happen to you, sometimes an emergency can derail our work. Sudden illness or medical emergencies, death, and personal catastrophes can result in unplanned days off work. 
I've made my fair share of excuses over the years (just ask my mom, she's heard them all). The most memorable one, though, has to be from President's Day weekend my second semester of grad school. K proposed on Friday night and I had an assignment that I hadn't started writing yet due at 5 pm on Saturday. I emailed the prof for a 24 hour extension, which she granted. When I got back to class on Tuesday morning, my prof outed me to the whole class, saying it was the best excuse she'd ever heard. I highly doubt it, but I was glad she was understanding (her son had recently gotten engaged, too).

What's the worst excuse you've ever heard at work? The worst one you've ever used?

Feels like new [outfit]

miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional br monogram top merona target jeans
miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional br monogram top merona target jeans
miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional br monogram top j crew belt rampage wedges
BR Monogram top - 2011 - $15 on sale (similar) / Merona jeans via Target - 2011 - $18 on sale (similar) / Rubbish scarf via Nordstrom - 2009 - $10 on sale (similar) / J. Crew outlet belt - 2011 - $5 on sale (similar) / Rampage wedges - 2009 - $25 on sale (similar) / Emilie M. bag via Marshall's - 2011 - $25 (similar)
[Worn: 08.30.11 | To: Mall and Target, my regular haunts]

Yes, I realize my feet are cut off. It was so easy to find an outfit spot when there was nothing in my apartment. That's why you get a dedicated shoe shot. I also realize I'm not too consistent with labeling [outfit] in my titles. Working on that. Moving along...

I've been in a bit of a funk so far this week, mainly due to the eczema outbreaks. Just when they were starting to get better, our stuff arrived, bringing in all kinds of new dust and dirt from the month spent in storage and the various trucks it traveled on to get here, and aggravating my skin even worse than it was last week. I've been in hiding.

But this blog would suck without outfits, so I came out of hiding for a bit yesterday to stock up on more skin care supplies. Aveeno, Cetaphil, Aquafor, CeraVe, and Cortisone line my bathroom counter, waiting their turn to attack.

This outfit is way dressier than I would have worn in my previous life on a random Tuesday errand run, but I was so excited to have my clothes (and shoes!) back that I had to bust out the big guns (aka, heels). I'd guess that about half my shoes are heels, and it's going to be interesting to try to work them into daily wear.

Do you wear heels casually or just for work and dressier events?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In the moment

Things I'm loving right now:

Nine West at ShopStyle
Nine West Quicken wedges

Lucky Brand at ShopStyle
Camp shirts

Tiffany & Co. at ShopStyle
Tiffany & Co. patent leather envelope (perfect for business cards)

Moleskine monthly notebook, extra large. Considering replacing my trusty pocket Moleskine with this desk one.

What are you loving these days?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Black on black

miami fashion blogger angeline evans final touch top old navy skirt goodwill belt
miami fashion blogger angeline evans final touch top old navy skirt goodwill belt
Final Touch top via Heart Clothing Boutique - 2011 - $34 (similar) / Old Navy skirt - 2010 - $10 on sale (similar) / Belt via Goodwill Superstore - 2011 - $1 (similar)
[Worn: 08.25.11 | To: Write at home all day]

Well, folks, this is it: my last outfit from my limited suitcase wardrobe. By the time you read this, my stuff will be here and I'll be lying on my bed hugging my shoes, one pair at a time.

Things I am most excited to have back in my possession:
  • Bed. An air mattress is not a good substitute.
  • Shoes. I've been stuck on flat ground for a month and a half. I need some height!
  • Desk. I love this thing.
  • Microwave. The oven is just sooooo slooooooow.
  • Sweaters and blankets. Our A/C works...too well for my taste.
Now that we finally have our stuff, I'm slowly unpacking. I really love my apartment, but I can't help but have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that we might be moving in 11 months anyway, so is unpacking completely even worth it? This is my 10th apartment in as many years (four cities, three states), so the vagrant lifestyle is something I'm used to. Nonetheless, I love playing house, so I'm just going to pretend we're going to live here forever and really settle in. Because who really likes living out of boxes?

Do you move a lot? How do you adjust to new places?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Executive Summary | Links for your weekend | 08.26.11

Cute tweezers

I know...I got y'all excited with last week's Freelance Files, didn't I? They'll be back, just not weekly. I've been seeing all kinds of great posts lately, and still want to share them with you, so I'll probably be alternating links and freelance posts. Or not, we'll see.

 It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I'll still be mainly choosing from the past week. Here are some of my favorite reads and finds:
What good reads did you find this week?

All that glitters

miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic monogram tank express jeans
miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional banana republic monogram tank express jeans
BR Monogram tank - 2011 - $15 on sale (similar) / Express low-rise flare jeans - 2005 - $20 on sale (similar) / Target metallic flip flops - 2009 - $7 on sale (similar) / Random rings on a ball chain
[Worn: 08.19.11 | To: Dinner with cousins]

I love these jeans. They have been a standby since I bought them my senior year of college. My weight over the past six years has fluctuated over a 15-20 lb. range, and yet these always seem to fit. Gotta love denim.

They only have one problem: the button eats up my clothes. The roughness or sharpness or something has rubbed little holes through so many tanks and tees that I stopped keeping track years ago. So it is with great risk that I wear these jeans with one of my new favorite tops, which I found marked down to $15 (from $98) at the Houston Galleria. I'm on the lookout for a new pair of go-to jeans that won't eat my other clothing, but nothing has fit the bill just yet. I'm also trying clear nail polish on the button, which I heard helps.

Do you own any destructive clothing? How do you minimize the destruction?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Twice as nice

Mossimo dress via Target - 2011 - $12 on sale (available in blue) / Gap sandals - 2010 - $20 (similar) / American Eagle outlet chain necklace - 2011 - $4 on clearance (similar)
[Worn: 08.17.11 | To: Target]

Ever have one of those mornings when you can't even put your clothes on the right way? I did. As I was about to take this dress off and put it back on the right way, I paused and noticed my reflection in the mirror. My biggest peeve about this dress is how the top sometimes gapes open, and all of a sudden it was a high-necked dress. So I left it. I don't think anyone really noticed, except for maybe the Target employees.

Have you ever worn an item backwards (or upside down or inside out)? What kinds of items work best for this kind of versatility?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Smart risks and looking before you jump

I've had a lot of time to think lately, and a topic that comes across my mind is, "How did I get here?" Simple answer: by car (yes, my humor is that lame). I'm about to turn 28, living in Florida, and trying to make a living as a freelancer. Aside from getting a year older, never in a million years would I have imagined myself in the other two situations. Freelancing has always been an intriguing option, but realistically I imagined myself getting old in a secure office job. A recent article in the New York Times on those that have quit relatively secure careers to follow their dreams, only to be met by unexpected difficulty, also caught my eye and had me questioning, "Did I make a bad decision?"

In general, I am not a risktaker. I've never been sky-diving, cliff-jumping, or tried an extreme sport. My belly flops just thinking about the high diving board at the pool growing up. I'm not scared of heights, but something about jumping into the unknown makes me a little queasy. But there are some things I think are worth it—putting myself out there on a blog, for example, or moving across the country alone for graduate school.

Not all risks are created equal, however. Some questions to keep in mind when you're making a risky move (geared toward career, but can be applied to other things as well):
  1. Am I qualified? This could be an educational credential or just years of experience with a trade or hobby. If you can, try to get some experience under you belt before you branch out full time.
  2. What actions can I take to make this work? Success isn't all that hard to figure takes work, work, work, work, work, work, and a smidge of luck.
  3. How long will it take? Be realistic. For example, if you're opening a restaurant, don't expect a profit in your first year. This will also help you know when to cry uncle.
  4. What is the interim plan? Do you have a second income in your household that is enough to live on, will you be living off savings, or are you looking for a part-time job to meet your basic needs?
  5. What is the worst case scenario? Think about what you could lose if your plan doesn't pan out. Upfront costs, missed payments and risk of default or foreclosure, strained friendships or business partnerships.
  6. How would I recover from said scenario? If you had a career before you took the risky move, would you be okay going back to that career?
Even after taking all these questions into consideration, I still find myself scrambling for words when people ask, "So that's a career?" or "How do you find work doing that?" I'm only one week in and short on answers, but ask me again in a year.

Have you ever taken a risky move that others questioned? How did you plan ahead, and how did it work out for you?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Salute your shorts

Striped sweater via Marshall's - 2011 - $13 (similar) / Old Navy tank as undershirt - 2010 - gift (similar) / Joit cuffed shorts via Nordstrom - 2011 - gift card (available) / Gap sandals - 2010 - $20 (similar) / American Eagle outlet chain necklace - 2011 - $4 on clearance (similar)

Now here's something rare—shorts. Short-ish shorts. I don't think there's any debate over how inappropriate these casual shorts would be for the office, so let's just move on, shall we?

Shorts are a rarity not only on this blog, but also in my life. For nearly a decade, I swore them off completely. A terrible flare-up of eczema on my legs in high school (and the subsequent grossing out of classmates + teenage awkwardness) led to ugly scars, and I've rarely been without at least one flare-up since. For some reason, short skirts never got the ax, but I felt supremely uncomfortable in shorts. It wasn't until my first summer in Davis that I realized the relief they could bring in heat. And by that time (my mid-20s) I was over the fact that people might not be so comfortable with my eczema. It took me a while, but the answer to peoples' questions about my legs is now a simple, "Oh, that's just my eczema acting up."

Have you ever been self-conscious about something physical that was beyond your control? How did you deal with it?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Work it in | Ombre

I'm loving the ombré trend this summer (yes, I know it's been around since before summer, but I'm slow, okay?). Ombré is a technique in which fabric is dyed to gradually fade into or out of one or more colors. While it is a little reminiscent of tie-dye, it is a lot classier, since it generally fades in only one direction (vertical or horizontal) and often pairs the main color with black, white, or other colors within the same family. It reminds me of watercolors and sunsets.

For work:
  • Ombré that fades in or out of a more conservative color is best for the office. Save your eye-blinding brights for the weekend.
  • A colorful ombré shell is a great alternative to a solid and not as intimidating as a print.
  • This pretty tunic would look great loosely tucked in (you don't want to lose the third color!). Toss it on over some skinnies for a relaxed weekend look.
  • An ombré wrap works as a pretty scarf when you're outdoors or as a wrap in a cold office.
  • Ombré looks great on shoes as well...your closed-toed pumps definitely won't be boring.
  • An ombré shirtdress adds a subtle hint of color to your workday (I'd belt this one for more shape).
For weekend:
  • Really...anything goes. Bring out the neon!
  • Ombré maxi dresses are so pretty...the length of the fabric and the watercolor look of ombré remind me of the beach, and you can dress them up for dinner.
  • An ombré manicure might not fly in a conservative office, but it's a ton of fun for weekends of non-office-dwellers.
  • This woven ombré looking clutch is so summery and pretty.
  • Feeling daring? Try your own DIY ombré shorts with this DIY from Pixie in Pumps. Looks so easy that even I could do it!
How do you feel about the ombré trend? How have you worked it into your wardrobe?

Picture above, clockwise from top left: Joie Ombre Tank, Converse dress via Target, Mar Y Sol Ariel Clutch in Espresso/Natural, Ralph Lauren RLX Ombre Linen Scarf, my nails last week (inspired by this tutorial and using Urban Outfitters Grey 4 nail polish).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Freelance Files | Week One

soy latte, workspace, the best $7 iron ever, Lucky Charms, inspiring reads, and my new favorite color
I've completed my first week as a freelancer! What does that mean, you ask? Honestly, I have no idea. I didn't pitch anything, nab any assignments, or make a single penny.
So what exactly did I do this week?
  • Set up my work area. There's not much in this apartment yet, but that's part of the problem...we only have one flat surface to use for everything. This kitchen counter is a workhorse.
  • Set a schedule.Breakfast at 9, lunch at 1. Email breaks at 11:30 and 3. Catch up on my RSS feeds around noon and then again before bed. Errands before lunch if needed. Self-discipline is good.
  • Set the stage for work. Since I've been MIA for the past month, I sent out some quick emails letting folks know I'm back and ready to work. I also got the ball rolling this week on a personal website and researched good publications to pitch to.
  • Bug my movers. I say bug, but I'm super nice on the phone. I don't want to know what they do when they don't like a customer. Our stuff is on its way!
  • Baby my blog. Updated blogroll, more Facebook posts, new features (like this one), and a new URL on the way.
These were all things that needed to be done, even though it doesn't look like much progress has been made. Truth be told: I have stage fright. It's sometimes paralyzing. So I work away at research or my blog or my apartment to be productive in the meantime. Problem is, all that filler work adds up and leaves no time for the work I want to be doing and have to spend time to get.
I hate silly excuses, but I've been using this one a lot lately: I'm waiting for my stuff to come. I'm hesitant to make any commitments for new unknown projects and deadlines because I'm afraid the whole delivery process might be as drawn out and time-consuming as the setting up, moving, and waiting process is. And I want my desk. ETA: Sometime Monday-Wednesday.
Freelancers—What kind of preparations did you make to get started?
Freelance Files is a new recurring feature that will follow my foray into freelancing (and its associated alliterative opportunities). I am not an expert. Do not try this at home.

Seasonal situations and long-lost family [outfit]

BR Factory cardigan - 2011 - $12 on sale (similar) / Mossimo pocket tee - 2011 - $9 (similar) / Black Orchid gray jeans via Renew Denim - 2010 - $25 on sale (similar) / Classified flats via random mall store - 2007 - $10 on sale (similar) / Kate Spade doodle necklace - 2011 - gift (available) / Target earrings - 2011 - $6 (similar)
[Worn: 08.12.11—To: Work from home and to a casual dinner party]

It's summer here in Miami, but you wouldn't be able to tell by this outfit. Of my many, many quirks, one of the weirdest has to be my aversion to blowing cold air. Air conditioning, fans...I just can't handle it without being completely frozen regardless of the reading on the thermostat. I keep my apartment at 78 degrees and still wear pants and sweaters most days while K sits as still as possible to avoid sweating.  I sleep with a sheet and two blankets and sometimes still wake up cold when the a/c kicks on. From what I hear, the difference between summer and winter in Miami is about 8 degrees and a crapload of humidity, so I'm curious to see how the weather affects—or doesn't affect—my wardrobe as the seasons change.

That being said, this is actually a pretty dressy casual look for me (I put on earrings)! I've mentioned before how boring I dress out of the office, but you really don't want to see that, do you? There are a few examples in my road trip pics (ok, the Utah one is pretty dressy, too. See pics here). Why did I dress up for a day of working around the apartment? I had to be presentable for a dinner party.

You see, my mother-in-law's cousin lives out here, and even though they haven't seen each other in over 20 years, our contact information was passed to him through K's great-uncle, and we were invited to a casual dinner get together with him, his wife, and their friends. Being unfamiliar with the hosts and the fashion protocol for a "casual dinner party," I played it safe with gray jeans, flats, and jewelry.

Five hours and three servings of bobó (a traditional Brazilian dish) later, we finally headed home with full bellies and happy hearts. They may have been lost to us all these years, but wow, was it good to find some friendly faces. We went to church with them last Sunday, lunch after church, and are headed back there tonight for dinner. In just one night, we went from knowing no one in Miami to having a warm and welcoming family. It feels good.

What makes a new city feel like home to you? Does it take a while or are you an easy adapter?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Suitcase living | 36 days and counting

As you've probably heard by now (since I certainly haven't accepted this fact quietly), I've been living out of my road trip suitcase for 36 days, since July 13. This was not the original plan.

The original plan was to be as comfortable and cool as possible for 17 days through a heat wave, and work in a few cute pieces for the blogger meet-ups. We planned one laundry stop along the way (at my brother's place in Houston), although we could always pop into a laundromat if needed. Aside from a day trip to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, the rest of the trip would mostly involved strolling around and eating, so nothing too strenuous.

3 graphic tees (1 not shown), 4 solid tees, 8 tanks/camis (mostly undershirts, not to be seen alone), 1 silky tee, 1 tube top
3 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts
2 dresses, 1 smocked tube dress, 1 skirt
1 hoodie, 1 drapey cardi, 1 knit blazer, 1 vest, 2 scarves (1 not shown)
2 pairs of flip flops, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of glittery flats, 1 pair of TOMS

 Total count: 37 tops, undershirts, coverups, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and scarves
(also packed but not really part of the daily count: plenty of undergarments, a half slip, 2 swimsuits, 1 pair of sneakers for hiking the Carlsbad Caverns, 1 pair of socks--to wear with the sneakers--and all my jewelry)

What went wrong:
  • It was too hot to wear any sleeves (even short ones) for most of the trip.
  • Forget about closed toed shoes (my feet need to breathe even when it's cold out).
  • Tube tops/dresses only work when you also pack a strapless bra.
  • The lighter colored shorts were way too small. I'm not sure why I even still have these (but these are the only two pairs of shorts I own).
  • Oh, and the rest of our stuff is 16 days late and counting (they technically have until the 25th, a date I'm keeping a close eye on).
All of this resulted in 10 of the items above never even being touched during the trip. What a waste of space! All of those tanks and camis were pretty redundant, too.

How I'm coping:
  • Luckily, the climate here is pretty mild (I'm pretty used to it already), so many of the items that didn't get worn due to the heat are back in the rotation now.
  • I've purchased a few pieces from Goodwill or on sale to spice up the mix: a sequined top ($15), a striped sweater ($13), a pleated skirt ($6), a green belt ($1), a new pair of earrings ($6), a new necklace ($8), a brown purse ($25), and an ombre dress ($15). Since I have a whole closet full of stuff coming, I don't want to shop too much (especially since we just took--and paid for--an almost three-week-long vacation...wallet says ouch!). I'm on the lookout now for a pair of wedge sandals to round out my tiny shoe selection, but other than that I'm done with shopping for a while.
  • I've pulled out all of my jewelry to help accessorize (during the trip I only had a few essential pieces in my luggage, the rest was stashed in the car. I can tell you that now that it's all out of the car. :)
 Have you ever had to limit your wardrobe for an extended amount of time (by choice or involuntarily)? What was the situation and how did you get through it?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Husband's day off [outfit]

miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional final touch top express jeans gap sandals
miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional final touch top express jeans gap sandals
 Final Touch top via Heart Clothing Boutique - 2011 - $34 (similar) / Mossimo tank via Target - 2011 - $9 (available) / Express low-rise flare jeans - 2005 - $20 on sale (similar) / Gap sandals - 2010 - $20 (similar)

Ever since we got slightly settled in (aka got the air mattress pumped and some ready-to-eat food in the fridge), K has been hard at work prepping for his new job! He is a college prof (hence his hesitance at being pictured on the blog), and school starts next week. Last week, he only took one day off...our anniversary! So what did we do?

Lunch at the Crepemaker
Haircuts at the Hair Cuttery (a traditional back-to-school errand)
Our near-daily Target trip (picked up a cheap iron so he's not all wrinkly on the first day of class)
Dinner at the Oceanaire (my mouth waters just remembering it...yummm)

I went along and got a trim, too, just to ease the growing out from my last cut. Then we got all spiffed up for our anniversary dinner. 

miami fashion blogger angeline evans the new professional converse dress target glitter flats
 Converse dress via Target - 2011 - $15 on sale (available online, but not on sale) / Classified glitter flats from random mall store - 2007 - $10 (similar) / Target earrings - 2011 - $6 (similar) / Kate Spade doodle necklace - 2011 - gift (available) / Gold plated leaf bracelet made by my friend S - 2010 - gift (similar, but mine has a chain and clasp on the underside)

Everything seems to happen for us in late summer (August and early September), probably since we've always been tied to the school year somehow. Eight years ago I met a cute fellow-resident-assistant in the dorms at UC Irvine. Four weeks later, he asked me out. Four years later, I moved back to California from NYC to marry him and was whisked off to Northern California. A little over four weeks ago, we left the only state he's ever known to start a new job and a new life in a new city. While it's certainly bittersweet to be so far from home and our friends, I love that we get to share this adventure together, just the two of us. There's something wild and romantic about getting our own little corner of the country to call our own. Don't get me wrong--I love my family and his--but I've always had an independent streak that has kept me from settling down or moving closer to my family. Miami, this unknown spot, barely touched by anyone else in our lives, is ours, and I like it that way. [end gushy rant]

Do you prefer living near friends and family or do you like to stake out your own spot?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Moving to Miami Tour 2011

17 days
11 states
4,100 miles
13 hotels
3 blogger meet-ups
Kileen, Ashley, and me at Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas

Me, Andie, and Sarah at the Columns Victorian Lounge in New Orleans

J, Melissa, and me at Panera Bread in Orlando

I love my husband (I really do), but I have to say one of the highlights of my experience was meeting these ladies face to face (come on...17 days of just the two of us requires a little bit of variety). K was nice enough to tag along and play photographer, too, so that we could get these pics. Thanks for coming out, ladies! It was great to meet you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's in the bag? [IFB Project]

Emilie M. faux leather tote from Marshall's for $25
(one of my Miami usual bag just isn't a good shape for the iPad).

Confession: I love "what's in your bag" posts. I've been looking for a good excuse to do one, and just this weekend the latest Independent Fashion Blogger Project popped up in my reader. So here you go!

  • Moleskine planner. See planner search here.
  • Envelope for coupons, receipts, and other notes.
  • Wallet. Found at Urban Outfitters a few years ago. Space pen, bobby pins, and hair ties go in the clasped compartment (there's also a snap side with the card/cash areas and a zippered coin holder, see inside pic here).
  • Sunglasses and over. Sunnies from BR Factory, case is from an old Michael Michael Kors pair of glasses that I have since scratched and tossed.
  • Umbrella and plastic bag. For the daily rainstorms.
  • Lotion and lip goods. There's a lipstick and little mirror in that green case.
  • Cell phone.
  • Keys, parking pass (the black card in the side), coin purse. Also holds my blog biz cards on the other side.
  • Knit blazer, or any other coverup. For air conditioning.
If I'm wandering around and plan to sightsee or stop and hang out a bit, I'll also toss in my iPad and little PowerShot camera, too.

Check out all the other bag ladies (and maybe gents) over at the IFB blog.

So what's in your bag?

Mix, don't match [outfit]

miami fashion blogger angeline evans vintage scarf old navy skirt gap sandals
miami fashion blogger angeline evans vintage scarf old navy skirt gap sandals
miami fashion blogger angeline evans vintage scarf target earrings
Recycled plastic graphic tee - 2010 - swapped (similar) / Mossimo tank as undershirt - 2011 - $9 (available) / Old Navy skirt - 2010 - $10 on sale (similar) / Gap sandals - 2010 - $20 (similar) / Vintage scarf via Bows and Arrows - 2010 - $7 (similar) / Target earrings - 2011 - $6 (similar)

If I could go back and do one thing differently when packing for the move, I would have nailed down some outfit ideas before I started tossing clothes into the suitcase. Then I would have been able to wear this skirt more. You see, it has this drop waist, and it sits sort of low on my hips. Most of my newer tops are also on the longer and looser side, and when shapeless meets shapeless (and you're on the road without a belt), you get major sad face.

Now that I'm indoors more and out of the heat, my graphic tees have made a comeback. They tend to fit a little more snugly and end a little higher up on the hips, making this skirt look a little less frumpy. Graphic tee + skirt is a little too reminiscent of my 19-year-old self than I'm comfortable with, so I tossed in the scarf and earrings for good measure. Even though the colors of the scarf seem to have no relation to the colors in the tee, if you look closely there's a similar grayish blue and red-orange tinge going on. Plus, no one's looking at the graphics on the tee closely enough to try to figure that out, right?  Perfect for my breezy day of shopping the Goodwill and getting stuck in a rainstorm and sloshing through 3 inches of water to get to my car. I love you, Miami summer.

How do you dress up a basic or too-casual outfit?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Road Trip 2011 | Photos from the phone [Part 3]

Austin, Texas [Day 10]

Houston, Texas [Day 12]

Baton Rouge, Louisiana [Day 15]

Miami, Florida [Day 17]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Starting fresh in Florida

Top via Marshall's - 2011 - $13 (similar) / J & Company jeans via Renew Denim - 2009 - $40 (similar) / Target flip flops - 2009 - $8 on sale (similar)

I'm baaaaaack! I hope you enjoyed my guest posters in my absence. We are safely in Florida, slowly getting settled in our apartment, finally back online...and still waiting for our stuff to come from California, where it is still sitting in a storage space. ETA: maybe by the 22nd, maybe not. In the meantime, I'm making do with my road trip clothes, although I have made a few additions since we arrived (like this sweater).

One of the first things I noticed about Miami was that even in the summer heat, there were definitely more women in pants than in shorts. I realized this while sitting in the nice, ornate lobby of my new residential building in my shorts, tee, and sandals, fresh from the road trip, while I watched stylish pants-wearing women walk past me in and out of the building. I quickly realized why...two letters: A/C. It is nearly freezing in just about every building. I have my apartment thermostat set to 78, and when I walk out into the lobby to check my mail or toss the trash, I'm hit by a cold front. So after a few days of novice shorts-wearing, I think I've finally gotten the hang of Florida dressing (for now, at least).

I'm still in transition mode, so here's what to expect for the near future: one last phone-pic photo post tomorrow, more road trip pics to come on the Facebook page, recaps of my blogger meet-ups on the way, a post about living out of a suitcase for a month and counting (a real-life 30 for 30), and regular outfit pics. Further down the pipeline will be a more holistic evolution of the blog to align more with my new freelance endeavors (versus the office bent, though professional advice will still play a large role on the blog). Hang with me folks...we'll get through this together!

So...what did you do this summer?