Monday, May 31, 2010

Scenes from a long weekend


Again, it's kind of been a while. So this was Memorial Day weekend and it was pretty great, especially as classes are done for me and tomorrow all I do with my students is give them back their finals and feed them [I have baked goods in the oven as we speak], the two days after that are graduation, and then -- apart from having to go to work for curriculum stuff -- summer vacation!

[...not that all of next year won't be like summer vacation, but...]

Anyway, this weekend we had a dear friend visit us for two nights: she went to high school with my husband and settled in Philly, the town we lived in before Boston/Cambridge, so we used to see her a lot when we used to live there. This was the first time we'd hung out with her since Christmas of 2008, when we met up in Athens for a few hours. Anyway, because of her visit, we were able to do many things ... like have a party!

This dress, perhaps the shortest I own, is a hand-me-down. My sophomore year roommate didn't fit into it anymore and she passed it on to me. It's a great summer dress (I've taken it to Greece two years in a row and I wore it the first time I met my now in-laws), but I don't wear it that often because I'm self-conscious about how short it is. Frankly, this is the first picture I've seen of myself in it and, damn! Is it short... But it was just the thing for a warm evening in my new home, hosting friends and colleagues for the first time there.

Today, we went to the New England Aquarium in Boston and I made a new friend.

You've seen this outfit before: I wore it almost identically at the end of April for Greekfest 2010. The only difference is that I added a short-sleeved hoodie over it. (And I'm kissing an enormous stuffed octopus that now lives in our living room). Because of my new boyfriend's tentacles, you can't really see any details of the grey hoodie. Good thing I enjoy making out with cephalopods:

Much better. And that's the hoodie. Not very exciting, I know. But don't we love my new best friend?!

Not a very exciting post, I admit. Thankfully, what with this week being the graduation ceremonies, I'll dress up more and show you some good outfits. Laters!

Red and green dress: gift from a friend
Flip-flops: Urban Outfitters

Navy pants: Gap, remixed
Polka-dotted tube top: Express, remixed
Grey hoodie: Gap
Flip-flops: Urban Outfitters, remixed

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How I wore it: Happy happy birthday, baby!

So yesterday was my beloved husband's (Mr. Boots?) 31st birthday. It was also about 88 degrees in the Boston area. I like both of those things. I'm a total summer person -- I love hot weather, I love haziness, I don't even mind humidity that much. It's also finals week at work, which means that I'm not really doing anything but proctoring and correcting final exams, so... good times!

To celebrate my husband's birthday, I decided to wear contacts and a dress that I got in May of 2004. Actually, my mom bought it for me. I was trying to figure out what to wear to my fifth high-school reunion and my mom went to Saks in New York and looked around. The saleslady suggested a couple of dresses, although my mother thought I wouldn't like them. I fell in love with one and I've worn the crap out of it since. Not just to my reunion, but also to multiple weddings and random summer events. The first big event that my husband and I celebrated together was his 27th birthday four years ago and I wore that dress. I thought I'd pull it out again, as it's pretty work-appropriate -- especially for a heat wave.

(Now the picture below is of me hours after work, coming home from dinner out, so I'm wearing sandals rather than sensible flats)

Aren't my sandals silly? I bought them in Heraklion (Crete) last summer, after railing for months about how stupid Greek summer sandal fashion was. Then I got jealous and bought my own covered-ankle sandals near the end of the summer, so I barely got a chance to wear them. I thought I'd pull them out for the big b-day. 

I like this dress because it's mod and cute and shift-y and makes me feel like a 60s starlet. 

It's also wrinkled.

Alas, you can't win 'em all.

Colorful shift: Saks Fifth Avenue
Silver sandals: little store in Heraklion, Crete

Sunday, May 23, 2010


...Apparently I haven't posted in thirteen days. Oops. [Not that it matters to anyone, as I know for a fact that I'm the only one that knows that this blog exists] But...! But...! There's been a lot of stuff going on that I've had to deal with over the past few weeks and now I'm finally semi-free enough to be able to do other things again!

I mean, for God's sake, I moved last weekend! *Squee!* Yes, I did. My husband and I moved from Boston to north Cambridge. And I LOVE it. Our apartment is enormous by our standards and not too expensive to pay off and there's tons of gluten-free stuff nearby and life is so, so great. 

Also...I officially told my job that I won't be returning next year [I don't know if I've already told y'all this]. So on the plus side, I'm FREE as of three weeks from now. FOR LIFE, if I want! On the other hand, remember how I said that our new place would be relatively easy to pay off? Yeah, well. It might be tougher than we thought. However, my plan is to work part-time and finally finish my damn dissertation so I'll be DOCTOR Boots, not just Señora Botas my new lover! 

Yes, draped artistically over my Rup Candrika [a godsend for lazy Sanskritists] is my new turquoise necklace. And super-new. I bought it on Friday afternoon after buying my husband his birthday present. It was originally $60 and I got it on sale for $27. Sweet, right? This was the exact kind of necklace I'd been wanting for a while, after seeing a similar one on Etsy. I'd kind of forgotten about it, what with all the turquoise crap I own, but then I saw it and it was cheap and... here we are. It's kind of my last hurrah because I have exactly one more paycheck left until destitution. Pretty, no? I wore it out last night on a date with my aforementioned husband, but I can't wait to really show it off.

Also, can you imagine how much turquoise jewelry I now own? I informed my husband that I would have to rethink my entire summer turquoise-jewelry-packing strategy and he was more than a little stunned when he asked me, "You have one?!" Bien sûr. I can't just go around packing everything for a two-month jaunt to Europe (paid for already -- I just won't shop. Or eat.)! Trust me--there will be a strategy. And it will be awesome.

Anyway, those are the three biggest things going on with me today. I'm sorry for not writing more. Hopefully I'll be more on a roll this week and the coming ones.

Much love!

Monday, May 10, 2010

How I wore it: Puritan!

My God, is it just me or is this Monday totally soporific? This afternoon all the kids were like zombies, as am I at the moment. It didn't help that we're going through a cold snap and the weather is in the mid fifties at its warmest: we all got very spoiled by the nice spring weather over the past couple of weeks.

Anyways, remember how in my last post I talked about the awesome Banana Republic dress I bought after my first day of work? I decided to wear it today just for y'all.

Despite what my facial expression may imply, I feel like a million bucks in this dress. I think it's simple, chic, professional, and -- dare I say it? -- even a little bit sexy. I like to wear it with grey tights and black shoes (oh, if only I owned grey shoes that I could wear to work! Next year, my sweets, next year...). So who here has read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? There's a scene where Francie's colleagues compliment her for wearing an all-grey outfit and she says that her inspiration was from an old show she saw and one of her friends says of her idea, that "it's cute!" I think I've been inspired by that quotation buzzing around in my head for years -- I really like all grey outfits. As y'all know. The girls in the book also joke about Francie being a little Quaker. So this is my version. And I'm not in Brooklyn in the beginning of the twentieth century. Oh, well.

Pretty, right? I love the sleeve length and the folds at the neckline. I wish that its waist were a little more defined. My problem is that I bought this dress a size larger than I really am. However, either I gained weight or Banana Republic thinks that "business wear" is another term for "skanky," because everything in my "actual" size was so. Freaking. Tight. So sometimes I feel as if this dress isn't fitted for me as perfectly as it could be. The big things I would change is the draping over my bum and the folds at the waist.

Let's talk about jewelry. My ornaments today were a silver necklace with a matching bracelet:

Aren't those pretty? (And isn't the dress' subtle pattern pretty rad too?) I love the juxtaposition of the thin strands of silver with the tangled, delicate ball chain. These pieces of jewelry were a gift to me from a boy. Who is not my husband. Awkward. But true. My college boyfriend gave me this necklace/bracelet set as a gift for our two-year anniversary. I assume they're from Amman, Jordan, his hometown.

What are thoughts on wearing gifts from an ex? Pro or con? I don't do it very often -- this ex gave me some extraordinary pieces of jewelry that I used to wear a great deal, but now I wear them less both because I have so much other stuff that I can choose from and my taste has changed a bit and also out of respect for my husband. Then again, I never take off my two most precious gifts from my husband (wedding and engagement rings), so he doesn't have much to complain about. He himself, on our first date, mentioned that he had given his ex-girlfriend some jewelry that he really liked and he hoped that she hadn't stopped wearing it out of bitterness. I mean, my ex has given me a Palestinian keffiyeh that I used to wear constantly, but now I don't because a) Boston is not that liberal and b) because that really is kind of a slap in the face to my husband ["Look! I'm wearing a Palestinian symbol given to me by my Palestinian ex-boyfriend! As clothes! And it's also making a political statement while matching all my clothes perfectly! Don't you love me in it?!"]. But jewelry is kind of fair game in my view. I mean, another ex-boyfriend gave me a necklace that I do. Not. Wear now, because he's a member of a kind of established cult and I'm not and no one needs a reminder of that. Anyways, back to actually classy jewelry... I've winnowed out most of my ex' jewelry from my collection except for the pieces that are really beautiful to me and I wear them sparingly, so... I think I've struck an okay balance.

Back to my dress... I sometimes feel like the stereotypical "sexy librarian" in this, what with the glasses and the retro awesomeness. So remember, kids: stay in school...

Grey dress: Banana Republic
Grey tights: Gap
Black flats: Me Too, by way of DSW, remixed
Silver jewelry: Gift from an ex-boyfriend

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How I wore it: is it summer yet?

Not a very exciting day, alas -- however, this was one of my staple outfits for the entire school year and I'm sure I'll wear some iteration of it again before classes end in one month:

Black top? Check. Grey (pinstriped) pencil skirt? Check. Interesting tights? Check. Boring flats? Check. While this might not have been the most interesting of outfits, it was nice to feel "classic" and relax without worrying too much about my clothes.

... Especially as I had to yell today. About once every couple of weeks I have to yell at one of my classes and try to whip them into shape. I last yelled at one of my classes about two or three weeks ago. It was one of my advanced classes and, boy, did they deserve it. Today it was one of my classes of boys who were just being so dumb that I had to let them have it. I feel if you have to ascend to the highest heights of guilt-inducing teacher rhetoric [according to one of my other students who overheard me from the hall], wearing a classic dark outfit helps.

Anyways, I bought this grey pinstriped pencil skirt on September 1st, my official first day of work. Right after a new teachers' faculty meeting, I went straight to Banana Republic before hitting the gym and bought two outfits: a gorgeous, sexy grey dress (also worn constantly, although not yet featured here) and this skirt. It's become such a basic staple that I kind of can't believe I haven't owned it for ten years. The pencil shape is fun, I love grey, and pinstripes give it a sort of authority that I can't always achieve (unless I'm yelling at a class!).

Behold me awkwardly perching on my desk:

I'm such a dweeb.

Black t-shirt: H & M, remixed
Grey pinstriped pencil skirt: Banana Republic
Grey patterned tights: Gap
Black flats: Me Too, by way of DSW, remixed

Monday, May 3, 2010

How I wore it: State of Emergency

Now I don't know if y'all have heard, but Boston and much of its surrounding suburbs is in a state of emergency due to water. A water main break occurred on Saturday, so both in Boston and in its suburb where I work, we have to boil our water if we want to drink it / use it for food, or just use bottled water...which is running out. Anyway, this doesn't affect me at home too much, as I'm okay with boiling water [and drinking wine], but over at work it's pretty heinous. The weather is humid and hot right now, so the school buildings are like ovens -- nor does it help that the heat was turned on today. Add that without having any water fountains, and we've got recipes for fainting, which is precisely what I felt like doing today.

Now you all have seen this outfit before, but I jazzed it up a little to make it more summery:

Yup! A white t-shirt! And tucked in! Since I almost always wear my shirts untucked, people never get to see the cool, contrasting stripes of this skirt's waistline, so I thought I'd go the other way around this time.  I didn't add much else: my summery mustard flats and a crapload of turquoise jewelry. Because really, what says summer more than white, linen, and turquoise?

I also decided to have a wild rebellion on my legs:

No panty hose! Scandal time!

One day I'll tell you all about my job's dress code and why I think it's ridiculous.

White v-neck t-shirt: H & M, remixed
Linen skirt: Gap, remixed
Mustard-y flats: Nine West by way of DSW, remixed

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How I wore it: a master builder

Today was off to the new place again to finish building our Ikea stuff: we now have five new bookshelves and the majority of a couch... we just need new bolts [thanks again for not including the instructions in our package!]. The weather turned to true summer weather today (and for much of the coming week!), so I celebrated by wearing sandals and a tank top and my favorite summer pants:

Although you can't see the details, those pants are actually seersucker, striped light blue on white. They are my favorite non-jean pants. I bought them on the same trip where I first bought my infamous tube tops and I didn't wear them until my second date with my now-husband, the first official dinner date. I love them madly: they're cool and comfortable and perfect for travel. I'm already thinking of what to pack over the summer [for Germany and Greece] and these pants will probably make the cut. Because I love them.

Notice also my Birkenstocks. I was a hippy wannabe many years ago (fortunately it corresponded with my brother studying at Berkeley) and I still show off my hippiness-at-heart by wearing Birks. They're my favorite walking sandal and I genuinely think they're pretty. I had a traditional brown pair for eight years, but the monsoons in India killed them, so I went without for a couple of years until I found this black suede pair which I love. LOVE.

Here I am ready to put yet another bookshelf together...

Shoes and pants off, husband's cargo shorts on. Let's do this thing.

Normal outfit:
Black tank: H & M
Seersucker pants: Gap
Black Birkenstocks: via Tip Top Shoes in New York

Worker outfit:
Khaki cargo pants: my husband's, bought by his mother at a discount clothing store in Sparta

How I wore it: a maker of furniture

Today my husband and I spent all day at our new apartment, putting together some new Ikea furniture in preparation for the move in two (*aaah*) weeks. It was back-breaking and tiring and awesome. I didn't have time to take a shower, so I pulled on my comfiest skinny jeans and one of my faithful tunic "dresses." The weather was gorgeous, really summery, so I didn't have to glam up with boots, but rather my moccasins.

Not that exciting, but just the thing for putting together a couch that came without instructions... thanks, certain Swedish furniture company.

In the morning and evening, it got a bit breezy, so I pulled on my standard light jacket:

You know you've always dreamed of looking up my nostrils. Isn't my jacket adorable? My husband bought it for me from H & M for Valentine's Day last year. It's so comfy and I wear it all the time in the spring. I took it with me to Hamburg last summer and it was perfect for Germany's rainiest city (which can get quite cool in the summer) -- prepare to see it a lot this coming summer for my 2010 Hamburg trip!

Well, I stayed up late planning lessons and now it's time to get, like, six hours of sleep...on a Saturday night [or rather, Sunday morning] ... gotta love "weekends."

Blue jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Olive tunic: American Apparel
Argyle socks: Gap
Moccasins: Minnetonka, via Lord and Taylor's, remixed
Grey pleather jacket: H &M, gift from husband