Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. . .

Hello Readers!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and for those of you who are still on vacation/holiday I hope that the time off from work or school is going well! I know that I am enjoying this time off tremendously!

Christmas really is a wonderful time of the year for many reasons, but to me the two reasons that make the days surrounding Christmas so merry and bright are:
(1) the celebration of Jesus' birth (which, I know, probably happened in the spring time- but still the reason for the season) and
(2) family time

Here I am with my cousins Kim, Liz, and Katie (the star of this post)

Both sides of my family are fairly large in number- especially my mom's side of the family. Every year (almost) all of us gather at my grandparents' house for rich experiences of food and fellowship- but there's always something special about Christmas at my grandparents' house. Every branch of the family brings something to the table with food dishes, gifts, smiles, stories, and warm conversations. Usually the grown ups and little kids camp out on the main floor [the grown up men take over the living room to watch a game (and nap, ahem- dad); while the grown up women stay in the kitchen and dining area] while the almost grown ups and not almost grown ups [the cousins, including me] hang out in the basement. We all come together to get food and exchange gifts. Our two groups don't remain separate otherwise though, we intermingle- but these are just the tendencies.

(Here we are! And this isn't even all of us- we are missing the Quists, Uncle Mike, and Bonnie)

So, there you have it- a (somewhat sociological) glimpse of how my family celebrates Christmas. But that probably isn't why you are here today- you are here today to hear about fashion and outfits, right?

For this post, I chose the outfit that my cousin Katie wore to this warm celebration. Katie is one of the most kind, warm, smart and compassionate people I know. Katie brightens every room that she's in with her smile and charm.

Here she is with a bright smile, and a charming outfit:

Retail Details:
Grey Cardigan: Wet Seal
Grey Lace-Trim Tank: American Eagle
Sparkly Layered Necklace: American Eagle (borrowed from her sister Kim)
Distressed Jeans: Silver Jeans (purchased from Bergner's)
Black Socks: Brand Unknown, but they are microfiber socks, and according to Katie they are really comfortable.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tiffany: The Thrifting Treasure

Merry Christmas Eve Readers!

Last Saturday, on my way to Peoria to finish my Christmas shopping, I decided to stop by the Goodwill by the 150 Bridge to look for fabric for my latest idea. You see, readers, lately I've been playing with the idea of picking up my needle and thread again and starting an Etsy store featuring vintage finds and a few creations of my own. This probably won't happen for a while, but I thought I would get a head start on this idea by visiting a possible source of inspiration: a thrift store.

This summer, for my friend Erin's bachelorette party, we went to this Goodwill to find the lovely old dresses that we wore out on the town (because there is so much out-on-the-towning to do in Peoria). And so, yet again I turned to this Goodwill in hopes that I would find another treasure.

And readers, that is EXACTLY what I found. Peeking out from a stuffed rack of clothes I saw a hint of taffeta and a sparkle of sequins. To my great surprise, both of these eye catching details belonged to the same dress. When I removed the hanger and dress from the rack, I was amazed. Before my eyes I saw a finely crafted dress, with what I believe(d) to be handcrafted details. This was no ordinary dress, and I suspect that it's value may well exceed the meager price that I purchased it for at Goodwill.

Behold: my Thrifting Treasure, "Tiffany":

Tiffany, the Thrifting Treasure

A bit more detail. . .

I tried to look for both brands "Isaacson's Atlanta" and "Jeets" but information is still scarce, which makes me think these brands are no longer in business. Do you know anything about them?

Lace and Silk Taffeta- quite eclectic AND elegant, no?

Finely crafted crinoline/netted tulle

And finally, here I am in the dress! The fit isn't quite perfect for me, but when I open my Etsy shop, I am confident that someone else will love it even more than me!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Megan, The Queen of Scarves

Greetings Readers!

It is almost Christmas- isn't that crazy? The past three days have been a complete blur of occasional blog reading and writing, Christmas movie watching, napping, and avoiding mirrors (my face is still swollen).

Anyways, during this time I've also been looking through recent pictures, and I came across the creative stylings of my friend, and fellow Teaching Assistant and 30 Rock fan, Megan. I've only known Megan since our TA training in August, but I feel like we've been friends since (at least) undergrad- despite the fact that I attended undergrad in Illinois and she attended undergrad in Wisconsin.

Anyways- like many people in my life in St. Louis, Megan is an exceptionally stylish individual. Her color palette- of bright hues, like high-pigment yellows and sweet berry pinks are the perfect narrative elements of her personality: confident, warm, bright, and cheerfully sassy.

In the pictures below, you can see one of Megan's lovely outfits- which I think rings true to her style narrative and personality. Without further adieu- meet Megan!

Megan, striking a pretty pose in her cute scarf and cardi!

Here we are with the statue of Jesus that greets students as they enter our building, also known affectionately as "Touchdown Jesus."

Retail Details (Megan):
Light Brown Boots: Born, purchased at Younkers (also known as Bergner's, Carson Pirie Scott, and Bon-Ton)
Medium Wash Jeans: The Gap
Light Olive-Green T-Shirt: H&M
White Cardigan: The Gap
Yellow, Pink, and White Scarf: Younkers

Retail Details (Me):
CZ Necklace: Juicy Couture
Raspberry Pleated-Neck Sweater: Martin & Osa
Charcoal Belt (one of my best investments): Ann Taylor
Light Grey Lace Cami: Gilly Hicks
Dark Rinse Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch
Light Brown Sliver Heel Boots: Ann Klein, purchased at either Macy's or Bergner's)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wisdom Teeth DisAssembly Line

Hello Readers!

I probably won't post any new outfits for at least the rest of the week, because I had two of my wisdom teeth removed yesterday and I look quite atrocious! My mom said that the swelling isn't too terrible, but I think that is what moms are supposed to say to their daughters after the trauma that is wisdom teeth extraction.

The experience began in a slightly depressing waiting room with my mom- surrounded by a few other moms and daughters- even one from the same town as us! After a few minutes of exchanging pleasantries, and waiting in uncomfortable chairs (for how expensive the surgery is- you think the office could afford some decent chairs/couches!), my time came.

While I am by no means a medical professional, I think that it is important to listen to your body. In this case, I had two wisdom teeth that were impacted (and growing into my jaw), and two that had already erupted. My dentist recommended that I do what was right for me, but that I should consult the surgeon about my decision to only have the impacted teeth extracted. When I spoke to the surgeon, he said "well, that's pretty stupid- but it's your choice."

Hold on- that's all? Shouldn't he talk to me a bit more? Apparently not, because that was all that he said. Aside from the time that he was hammering out my teeth, that was the only time that I saw the surgeon. The whole experience made me feel like I was just a part on an assembly line:
-Wait in the office for 20 minutes
-Allow 5 minutes for anesthesia to set in (no time for questions or concerns, or instructions)
-Perform surgery
-Shove patient's throbbing face and mouth into an x-ray (and say rude things)
-Allow 5 minutes in the common recovery room (no time for questions or concerns here either, even if the patient is shaking and crying uncontrollably from the pain)
-Rush patient out of the office

*I should add, also, that it was snowing when I left the surgeon's office, and that I was not permitted to leave the office in a wheelchair. Instead, I left the office leaning heavily on my mom while treading upon a slippery sidewalk. Thanks a lot Dr. Assembly Line! If I ever decide to get my other two wisdom teeth removed, rest assured that you will be last on my list of preferred surgeons!

Thankfully, my post op recovery at home has been much better than the 5 minute "recovery" time I was given at the surgeon's office. Thank you Mom!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Monday Ever!!!

Last Monday was the last day of Special Occasion speeches in both of my sections of Public Speaking. The last day of speeches. . . the last day (of the semester) that I would need to get to work early to print evaluation sheets, check out and charge a video camera and its accessories. I wasn't in the best of moods when I arrived in class (stress, lack of sleep, etc), but the first speech of the class would change the rest of my day and turn around my attitude for the rest of my week.

One of my students chose to commemorate our particular class, and during her speech she said many wonderful things, and thanked me for my efforts AND presented me with flowers and card from the ENTIRE class. A bouquet of flowers, and a card! This was something that I never expected to receive as a teacher- but my students caught me by surprise!

When I began teaching, I dreamt of not only giving students skills and knowledge as communicators- I also hoped that I could create a meaningful experience of community and learning, and my student's speech confirmed that my dreams became a reality!

Thank you to all of my students in CMM 120 for an amazing semester!

Retail Details:

Sterling Silver and CZ Necklace: Juicy Couture
Light Grey Cardigan: Banana Republic
Light Blue Shirt (under the cardigan): Banana Republic
Navy Blue Skirt: Anthropologie
Grey Tights: Jessica Simpson (Macy's)
Silver Flats: Nine West
Roses and Card: Courtesy of my students in CMM 120, Section 16

Monday, December 6, 2010

Emily the Smart and Stylish!

Why hello readers! Happy December!

I would like to introduce you to my friend, fellow grad student/TA, and office mate, Emily. She is very stylish, super smart, a great listener, and she is a blessing to me, and to many, in so many awesome ways!

Emily also attended the conference that I blogged about in earlier posts (for the National Communication Association's annual meeting, this year in San Francisco), and packed a suitcase full of cute outfits. Emily was gracious enough to strike a pose for me in one of my favorite outfits from this trip, and I am so glad to feature it in tonight's post!

So. . . without further adieu- here is her outfit!

Retail Details:
Stunning Locket: a present from her 21st birthday, from her mom
Dark Grey/Navy Jacket: Old Navy
Brown Cross-Body Purse: The Garage (a Montreal-based store that Emily purchased while in Buffalo, NY)
Maroon and White Top: Daisy Fuentes for Kohl's
Black Knit Jodhpur Pants: LC for Kohl's (Lauren Conrad)
Maroon Mary Jane Pumps: Merona for Target

Thanks Emily, for the inspirational outfit!