Friday, September 30, 2011

Under Control

It's  been too rainy and humid to wear anything but my standard  tank and shorts. So instead of dazzling you with that outfit again (look here if you want to be dazzled), I thought that I would use an outfit picture that reflects the type of clothes that should be worn this time of the year. 

sweater — Linda Matthews (thrifted)
pants — London Jean: Kate Fit (Victoria's Secret)
boots — American Eagle (Payless)
belt — Nautica (thrifted)

Even though I wore this in the spring (on April 26, to be exact) and liked it, I actually think the colors are more suited for the fall. I also tried it with my Dansko clogs — which footwear do you think works better? the clogs or the boots? I think I'm partial to the clogs.

I start my new job on Monday (yay!), so the past two weeks have been really hectic and crazy. My commute will be between three and four hours a day (most will be on the train), so once I start working I won't have a whole lot of time to get things done at home or to run errands. I've been trying to get the things done that need to get done and to run the errands that need to get run (getting an oil change, for example).

You'd think that since I've been unemployed for the past three months that everything would be under control. After all, I had tons of time to do anything and everything. But it didn't work that way for me. Not having a job and not being sure of what the next day is going to bring made it really hard to use my time productively and wisely, or in other words, I spent a lot of time worrying and freaking out. I also worked out in the yard, went through things in the house (I knew that I wanted to move — job or no job), and hid in my bedroom. I didn't, however, do anything that entailed spending money, which meant postponing a lot of things that really needed to get done. Yes oil change, I'm talking about you.

Tomorrow, I'm going out to lunch with a couple of guys from my old office, and I'm getting my hair cut — yay! another thing that I put off until I had money.

I'm really looking forward to my new job — just about everything about it, in fact. I know there's going to be some down sides (my eyes aren't that blue!), but still ... The work is going to be exciting in and of itself, and then I'm going to be working in DC! I'll have a set schedule again, be around people, and even get a PAYCHECK! Woo hoo! And maybe I'll even fall into bed at the end of the day, too exhausted to snack my way through the night.

Another good thing is that I'll be getting dressed up again (good bye tank and shorts, hello heels and long sleeves). I'm really curious to see how I end up dressing for this job. I had to dress "professional" in my old office, but all that really meant was no jeans. This outfit, for example, may not be acceptable for an office located in the heart of DC. Since these khakis (I also have a wine-colored pair) were pretty much a "go to" item (see here, here, and here for other ways that I wore them), that's going to mean drastic changes in my outfits.


I don't think that I'll have the time or the inclination to pop out of a box be silly either ... 

Thank you all for all your good wishes!

Linking over to Thrifty Thursday at Spunky Chateau my bracelet, necklace, belt, and sweater were all thrifted goodies.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Feet that Touch the Ground, or Don't ...

So .... I'm having problems these days. Problems in getting my feet to touch the ground. Every time, I think that I have landed, somebody asks me a question, and I start talking and then it's like I'm being slowly inflated, and up I go again!


Yes, indeedy! Barring any unforeseen circumstance, such as not passing the background check or something else equally as miserable, I'll be starting on October 3.

suit — Rafaella (Boscov's)
shirt — Carlisle (thrifted)
tights — L'eggs Sheer Vitality
shoes — Blowfish (DSW)

I ended up wearing my suit, with my blue-and-white striped button down shirt. I actually felt pretty good in it by the time the interview rolled around (it didn't hurt that the guy who was interviewing me was wearing black pants with a blue-striped button-down shirt — yeah, we were twins). It was tight, but not as bad as it was when I first put it on — oh my! I had stopped eating (not really, but you know what I mean), and went to the gym 3 times a day and doing all the ab machines — the fitness expert told me to come 3 times a week, I thought that in my situation 3 times a day would be a bit better ... hahahahaha...).

In retrospect, these pictures didn't capture the way I felt. I had a smile from ear to ear — I just couldn't help it. I felt so good that I practically danced down Constitution Ave in DC. I had this stupid, silly grin on my face the entire time, because ... honestly? I felt good about this interview. I felt good before going in, and I felt good after coming out. (It didn't hurt that the person, who would be my supervisor, told me that it went very very well.) But still I wasn't my normal negative self.

Today, I sent in all the paperwork for the background check (wow ... why do you always end up feeling like a criminal? At least they didn't ask me to take a drug test — OH MY ... talk about feeling like a criminal! Not allowed to wash your hands. Not allowed to flush the toilet ... It can be so humiliating to just try and get a job these days.)


I brought my camera along with me to try and capture the day. (I really did have this feeling that it was going to go okay.) I had a mini panic attack the day before my interview when I was trying to figure out how to actually get there. The train only comes to my station first thing in the morning, and my interview was at 1 pm. I didn't relish the idea of getting up extra early to catch the train, and then hanging around in DC for 5 hours ... I just didn't want to be a wilted flower by 1 pm.

Driving to another station would have been hit or miss — because of parking issues (the lots tend to fill up during rush hour). I was just picturing myself driving around and around in circles, looking for a parking spot, watching the minutes tic toc by, and getting more and more frantic. Luckily and thankfully, a friend of mine offered to drive me to the Baltimore station. So I drove to her place, and then she delivered me to the station — even walking me in to where I get my ticket (I was such a pile of nerves by that point that I'm not sure if I could have done it on my own).

I got to Union Station in DC around noon, and then it was a short walk — half a mile — to the building where my interview was. I got there with plenty of time, which gave me some time to calm down and cool down. It was pretty warm and humid, and the sweat was just pouring down my face and my back.

While waiting to go inside, I took my first street style photo. I loved this look — the way she had paired long gray knit shorts with boots and a black cardigan.

All in all, a great day!

Thank you all for all your support!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Being Smart and Pretty

I'm reaching back into my picture archive (back and way back) for this post. I'm also going to nominate this picture for Megan and Keely's Remix Week Fashion Challenge, even though it's dreadfully late. I think it works pretty well for the day in which the challenge was to remix a summer dress for fall.

Summer Fall
dress — no label (Fair Trade store)
sweater — Amanda Smith (thrifted)
sandals — Born (DSW)
belt — (thrifted)

This dress is actually pretty easy to transition from the summer to the fall — just add a sweater, and it's pretty much good to go for those summery days that we still get in September. If I was to wear this later on in September or into October, I'd probably scrap the bare legs and wear colored tights and some type of closed shoe, styling it similar to the look that I wore here. I'm really excited that this blue — this cobalt blue — is one of the big colors for this fall, because I have a lot of it in my closet.

And for all you doubters out there who don't believe that I hang onto my clothes forever and ever and ever ... Here is proof positive. Here's a picture of me wearing the same dress for my daughter's graduation. (In fact, I bought it for that occasion.) Those of you who have been reading my blog may remember that my kids all graduated this year (you can read about it here), so you're probably thinking, "That's not that old!" BUT! I wore this when my oldest daughter's graduated from high school back in May 2005, which makes this dress over 6 years old.

I have another, more important reason, for dredging up this picture from the archives. Most people who know me probably consider me pretty outspoken and passionate when it comes to my beliefs — not just about politics, but really about everything. I struggle sometimes when I get into a heated argument, because it's pretty easy to push my buttons and I can end up saying things that I regret.

For the most part, I have tried to keep those tensions out of this blog. I needed some place where I could relax and be easygoing. I can't be serious ALL the time. But still I feel kind of strange sometimes because I wonder who is this person who is paying SO much attention to her clothes. But how do I bring up these more serious issues that really matter to me without losing the lighthearted and fun aspects of this blog.

Today, however, something came in my inbox that I felt that I had to take a stand on and address here. I was asked to sign a petition that was directed at the CEOs of JC Penney and Forever 21 telling them that I will hold them accountable for the clothing sold in their stores and and that they need to make a public commitment to keep sexist clothing for girls from making it to their shelves in the future. I signed that petition so fast it would make your head spin.

What was so bad that I wanted to take the chance of getting all heated up? 
These two T-shirts.

I was appalled and horrified to see them.

My daughter, a scant six years after earning her high school diploma, is now my doctor daughter — she graduated from pharmacy school this past May with a doctor of pharmacy degree. She is now doing a pharmacy residency, having turned down a very lucrative job offer to do so, and earning a teaching certificate at the same time. She is only 24 years old (she's not even old enough to rent a car yet), and she has the world at her fingertips.

She got where she is by doing her homework, and she will be the first to tell you that she did not have an easy time in high school. She worked her patootie off, and received very little recognition — in terms of grades or awards — for all her hard work. Until she went to pharmacy school, that is. And then her hard work paid off, and it paid off in spades.

I know these T-shirts were meant to be funny or cute. I know that. But they're not funny or cute, and I believe that they are even dangerous. In a world where women still earn less than most of their male counterparts, these T-shirts subtly (maybe not so subtly) encourage the mind set that girls shouldn't be smart, and they definitely shouldn't be smart in math or science. And these shirts are targeted to girls at an age where many drop out of those fields.

To be fair, the shirts have been pulled off the shelves, but how did they even get on the shelves in the first place?! In this day and age? Forever 21, I can almost understand. But JC Penney? C'mon. I dunno ... just when I think we're starting to get more enlightened, we go back to the dark ages.

You can read more about the controversy here and here.

To sign the petition holding the CEOs accountable, go here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blurred Images

First things first. Today is EBEW (Every Body every wear) Colored Pants Day. So without further ado, here's my entry.

shirt — Old Navy (Old Navy)
pants — Fabulosity (JC Penney)
shoes — Clarks Artisan (hand-me-down)
necklace  bracelets — (thrifted)

I'm so frustrated with my camera right now. I keep thinking that I have it figured out, and then I look at my pictures, just to realize that they are all messed up again. I even tried taking them over again, but they still came out blurry. G-R-R-R-R..

I know these aren't technically pants, but they are colored so I thought they would count. (I was cutting the grass and running around, and it was just too hot in Delaware to wear pants, even for a picture.) They aren't nearly as awesome as the ones that Terri wore here — I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for a pair of Wet Seals — but I still thought this was a pretty good look for me (much, much better than when I wore them here). And it was comfortable!

I tend to wear shorter necklaces, but I liked how this longer one worked. I'm not sure why, but I actually think it's what made the outfit work so well. The bracelets were kind of eh ... I have a simple black bangle — I think I would have liked that better.

 Everybody's wearing colored pants today — go see for yourself.

Colored Pants | Everybody, Everywear

I used all your suggestions and tried on a bunch more tops with my suit today. I'm going to spare you the pictures though. Basically, I'm just miserable in most of my tailored (a.k.a. professional) clothes because they're too tight, and there's nothing that I can do about it at this point. I'm so mad at myself for not doing something about it before now — I knew that I had been gaining weight, and I just ignored it. (I did sit-ups all day long today, but that's not going to help me for Thursday ....)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stuffed Sausage

I have some good and exciting news! Can you guess what it is from my pictures?

shirt — Chico's Design
suit — Rafaella (Boscov's)
shoes — Fioni (don't remember)

So, can you guess what my news is? The only reason that I would wear an outfit like this is ... drum roll, please ... because I have a job interview. I had a phone interview on Friday, and today I found out that they want me to come down for a face-to-face interview. It's on Thursday, and I'm so excited that I'm not quite sure how I'm going to make it until then.

So now I'm trying to figure out what to wear. And the above is the stuffed sausage option. Ignore the shoes because they have definitely got to go. And the bare legs are also a no go. But unfortunately the shirt's no good as well.

And I was hopeful of this shirt. It's a silk shirt, with a black-and-white check pattern, and the arms are three-quarter length, which is usually good for me. (I have this thing about always needing to roll up my sleeves, so three-quarter sleeves negates that necessity.) Unfortunately, I just feel way too constricted wearing this shirt along with my suit jacket, so I need to find something else. 

I don't typically do very well in structured clothes like suits and collared shirts — they're too stiff and unforgiving. I much prefer clothes that flow and move with me, but this ill-fitting suit is entirely my own fault. I have gained so much weight since being laid off that my suit just doesn't fit me all that well anymore. In fact, I feel like a stuffed sausage. Even my feet feel like they're stuffed in my shoes. Which is no way to walk into an interview.

I'm not quite sure why I've gained so much weight. I haven't been exercising per se, but I have been working in my house and out in the yard. And I really haven't been eating all that much. You know what? I'm just going to blame it on menopause.

So what do I wear so that I feel comfortable but look professional? Here is my second option.

shirt — Carlisle (thrifted) 

This shirt is actually sleeveless, and because I don't have to tuck it in, I think I can get away with my skirt being a bit too tight. Granted, I won't be able to take my suit jacket off (and expose my arms), but I should be able to keep my suit jacket on the entire time. (My interview is only supposed to be an hour long, and I'm counting on the building being air conditioned.)

What do you think? This shirt is a whole lot more colorful than the black-and-white check or even a white shirt, which is what I have always worn with this suit. But what do I wear on my legs and on my feet? I'm going to have to walk a bit, so that rules out most heels (I feel wobbly in heels). I like black tights, but would that be too wintry? Decisions. Decisions.

And in the meantime — I'm going to the gym! Better late than never, right?
I still have time to lose a pound or two, right? 

Edited to add: I'm linking this post to Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, because, really, when you dress for an interview you definitely want to be visible. 


Thank you everybody for all the kindness regarding my recent basement fiasco and just all your wonderful and thoughtful comments. I'm hoping that with this interview that maybe my luck will start to change. That sentiment in itself is kind of scary — I'm afraid to hope too much. What if it all comes to naught? And along with those insecurities is the struggle to just stay on track. I have the best of intentions, but I just can't seem to get my rhythm back. Every day seems to throw a different curve ball that needs some readjustment to get over the plate in the strike zone. (Is that a mixed metaphor? or is it just hackneyed and clich├ęd?) I'm quite envious of those of you who are able to do it all, and seemingly without a misstep. I'm grateful to you all — the feedback and warmth that you have expressed is encouraging, and I appreciate it ever so much.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Then Came Irene ...

I have a lot of black clothes. A lot. I don't know why that is — I don't think of myself as a dark and gloomy person, which is what I associate black clothes with (ever since I watched the "Fades to Black" episode of Roseanne, where Darlene stopped playing basketball and started wearing all black).

tank — (Cost Co)
skirt — Express (Express)
boots — Haley by Faded Glory (thrifted)

And I can't even claim that this affection for brown and black clothes is because bright colors don't look good on me. I found that out when I wore pink and blue here. It was probably because I just wanted to blend into the background and not stand out. These days, however, I am finding that it's not all that bad to be noticed, and it's actually kind of fun to get the hairy eyeballs.

So, here's a way to wear black and STAND OUT at the same time! The trick is to wear boots with a tank top — together, the two are completely and totally incongruous.

One caveat about this outfit ... I liked it, but I have to say that I'm worried that I'm too much of an old lady to wear it ... how depressing is that? Just when you're old enough to have some fun, you're too old to enjoy it.

This outfit is actually my entry for Megan and Keely's "Old Favorite" Remix Challenge, in which we were challenged to take a favorite piece of clothing and wear it somewhat differently than we had before.

My skirt is my "old favorite." It's a simple cotton blend, with a drawstring waist (which lets me slide it up and down on my hips to adjust the length). I've had this skirt for ages. In fact, I liked it so much when I got it that I went out and bought another one — just like it. Yeah. I actually have two of these skirts. It seems kind of silly when I think about it now.

I haven't been blogging that long, but I've still worn this skirt a number of times, in a number of ways, and in different seasons (winter, spring, and summer).

I had the best of intentions to finish Kayla's 21-Day Challenge, and then move on to Megan and Keely's Remix Challenge for this week. But what is it they say? "The best laid schemes of mice and men"? or is it "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" (and by the way, I had no idea that this quote is attributed to John Lennon)? maybe it's even "Life's a b*tch, and then you die." 

Or wait -- I've got it!
When it rains it pours! And I mean that literally.*
Regardless of the quote, first Irene and now Lee have wreaked havoc, to say the least, on my life and put a damper on my plans to do much of anything but go into crisis management mode. I had (and yes, HAD is now the operative word) this beautifully finished and carpeted basement. I have been getting ready to move, so I have been packing up things that I don't need and storing the boxes in my basement, because I thought they would be safe and out of the way. In the 15 or so years that I have lived in this house, I have never had a drop of water in the basement.

Well that was before Irene decided to make her ugly way up the coast and dumped over 10 inches of rain overnight (and this was on top of the 6 inches of rain we got in one day the week before).

Now, I have moldy walls ...

wet carpeting, and soaked and disintegrated boxes ...  (I'm sparing you the picture of my mountain of boxes that are now on my porch, getting even wetter ... )

And of course nothing is covered by insurance, because it's an act of God. or whatever. Honestly, I just wanted to cry, which I did a lot of. But I have also been hauling a helluva lot of boxes back up the d*mn steps, trying to salvage what I can, and get everything dried out. And that is a lost cause since Lee has decided to add insult to injury as he makes his s-l-o-o-o-w and ponderous way, dumping rain and more rain, on the waterlogged Northeast.

Between the rain, the extra work, the damage to my basement, and the expense that it will entail to repair said damage, my heart has just not been into dressing for the occasion, taking pictures, and blogging ... Hopefully, with this post, I'll be able to get back on track a bit.

*Everything in my house right now is damp. My clothes are damp. My bed is damp. My floors are damp. My papers are damp. My doors are so swollen from the rain that I can barely shut them.Yeah. I'm pretty miserable.

Head on over to Megan Mae Daily to check out how ladies are remixing their clothes. 

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