Thursday, December 30, 2010

Prokopios and I have something to tell you all...

Since we were having lunch with the entirety of my family before my brother and his crew departed, both my husband and I had to wear our new graphic tees (my husband got a t-shirt with Snoopy playing a banjo, Woodstock perched on it, which says "Chicks love musicians"). My favorite stuffed animal, Prokopios, agreed with the sentiment:

Prokopios didn't show up too well, alas...

I think this might be the third time I have a picture of myself with some sort of stuffed animal on this blog. Guys, I think I have a problem. 

Anyways, as I'm not much of a jeans + casual t-shirt kind of girl, I glammed up the look with my pretty grey leather booties, hoop earrings, and a cashmere cardigan for going outdoors:


Can you tell that, after just one day of dressing down,  I'm already looking forward to wearing glammier clothes tomorrow for New Year's Eve? 

Moving on to other delicious topics, many of you in the comments have asked for the recipe of the oatmeal/cheesecake bars I make. I'm glad to share - I got the recipe from the Food Network! Somehow, in a moment of gluttony last year, I signed up for the Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies e-mails, so in December I get deluged with cookie recipes in my inbox. I've made three of them, I think. These are the clear favorites. Voilà the link: the official name is "Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butterscotch Bars" (mouthful!). 

[Let me know if the link doesn't work, people: I can just copy it down for y'all in case there's a problem.]

Any cool plans for New Year's Eve, people? My husband and I will feed his mom and my parents and, if they come, a couple of other guests. It should be pretty low-key, although I'm tempted to dress up to the nines. Hmmm ... we'll see.

And with that, I'm out! Smell you later!

Walrus t-shirt: gift from my brother
Green cardigan: gift from my mother, via Lord and Taylors, remixed
Jeans: Gap, remixed
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How I wore it: family invasion

Today we had a busy-ass day, people. I woke up early to get a run in before preparing for the onslaught of family that came over. Last night I'd made my "world-famous" (at least in three states) oatmeal cookie / cheesecake bars (yup) and this morning I made TWO pastitsios to make sure to be able to feed seven hungry adults. My parents bussed in from New York and my brother and his family from Connecticut and we had a lovely dinner together as well as present-opening, as I hadn't seen my family since Thanksgiving. It was lovely to have everyone, including my mother-in-law, whom my family adores. Because I was basically running around the kitchen, running around the house, running around my niece, and running around my family all day, I wanted to be comfy: here's what I wore -

Turquoise corduroy leggings, comfy Frye boots (still fearing the slushy/salty ground, I'm not wearing the new ones), a beloved tunic, and a soft cashmere cardigan? Yes, please. I've always loved the contrast of turquoise/teal with purple, so I wore my purple sweater on purpose. It was maybe not the most traditional outfit ever seen, but I felt happy and mobile and my parents didn't cringe in disgust (at least in front of me), so I consider that a success.

My brother and sister-in-law gifted me THE most amazing t-shirt ever. I used to wear graphic tees all the time, but then, when I stopped being a freshman in college, I pretty much stopped (except for rock-inspired tees), with a few exceptions. Here's another one:

I mean, right? I've seen this t-shirt somewhere on the internet, but I can't remember where. Can anyone enlighten me? Anyways, yes, this is my new t-shirt. I will wear it, um, all the time. I know I've mentioned my love for walruses before, so I'll just leave you agape at my new amazing article of clothing. 

Try to control your jealousy.

Purple cardigan: present from mom, via Lord and Taylors (New York), remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Teal corduroy leggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylors (Boston), remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How I wore it: venturing outwards

So, um, it looks like we had a blizzard, huh? My husband, mother-in-law, and I were snowed in yesterday (the Greeks went out for a walk and came back bitterly ruing that plan). I didn't go to the gym and I cancelled yesterday's tutoring lesson because I couldn't deal with the idea of walking the five minutes it takes me to get to the subway station, let alone the ten-minute walk it would take to get to the house of one of my tutees. So there was no budging yesterday. Just lemon cookies and roasted potatoes and "2 Days in Paris" (one of my favorite movies of all time - seriously, if you've ever been in a relationship with someone of a different background, you should see this movie because you'll howl with laughter. The scene where Marion's mother hands Jack his ironed jeans, my husband had to explain to his mother that "Americans don't iron their jeans" while I teared up from laughing so hard).

Oy, anyways...

Today is a different picture. I braved the slush and snowbanks to get to the gym and later joined the Greek mother and son duo for coffee before we all came back home. Later today I'll be tutoring and then we'll be going for a seafood dinner. Mmmm... Anyway, the sun is shining and life is looking a little more normal again, despite the now blind (and melting!) snowman that lives on my yard.

Because I thought I'd be out all day and I didn't want to look like a schlub tonight for dinner, I decided to put on actual pants. With a zipper and everything. I also knew I wanted to wear my mother-in-law's Christmas necklace. Here are the results:

Hello, color! As you all know red and black are a favorite color combination for me and once I started building my outfit in my brain, it was pretty much done and done. I'm wearing my old faithful Aerosoles boots, which are actually quite good for slush, because they're super comfy and have a rubber bottom. Also, they're slowly dying, so I'm happy to wear them in less than ideal weather while protecting my Frye babies. 

I went with a flower theme today, obviously. What with the new flower necklace that matches the flower ring, which I always wear with silver flower earrings (also a gift from mom-in-law!), I'm obviously yearning for less snow. Although it's hard to tell in the above picture, I'm also wearing my black flower hair elastic... Here's a detail of the silver flowers: 

The irony is that I don't actually like real flowers all that much. Jewel flowers are fine, though

Check out the sun stripes on my sweater! Melt that snow!

And there you have it. A simple outfit for winter and one that'll keep me comfy while getting me through the good (lobster!), the bad (tutoring), and the ugly (the pavements). Also, since today's lesson will focus on Christmas presents, it's nice to inject a little holiday cheer into my outfit!

Charcoal cardigan: Gap, remixed
Black v-neck t-shirt: Gap (remixed?)
Red pants: Gap outlet, remixed
Black boots: Aerosoles, remixed
Flower earrings: gift from mother-in-law from a store called (I think) Archipelago in Athens, remixed
Flower necklace: gift from mother-in-law from Christidi, Sparta
Flower ring: Christidi, Sparta, remixed

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How I wore it: drum roll, please

Guys, so apparently there's a snow emergency taking place here in New England? I mean, I knew it was supposed to snow, but I didn't realize how much: I've already gotten an e-mail from my tutees' parents telling me that if I have to cancel tomorrow's lesson to go ahead and do it, etc. Also, since my mom-in-law got in today from Greece, basically everyone in my extended family has been e-mailing to find out if she got in okay or not (she did, right in the nick of time).

So, yes, today we left our house only to go to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law and go back home. Since I knew I wouldn't be outdoors for a long time (and I'd treated them yesterday), I obviously wore my new boots. Their awesomeness is such that it couldn't even be contained in a photo:

I'd like to point out that I used my normal camera settings instead of my amped up indoor settings and, uh, today's photo looks better. Is my camera special? I was debating wearing my sweater dress as a top (fearing it was too long in combination with the knee-high boots) and looking at the pictures, I realize that my fears are correct. A little more leg would've helped the proportions of this outfit. Not that it matters so much, as the boots are the stars... 

For such amazing footwear, I definitely managed to capture the least flattering pictures of them ever. Well, just imagine them as seen above, but awesomer. I love them, people. They were comfy, I wore them for hours (and I was on my feet for most of the time) and no problems occurred. I want to canonize them. My husband wants to canonize them. Frye? I love you.

[Funny story: my sister-in-law received Frye boots for Christmas from my brother! Great minds, eh?]

Anyway, since I'll be wearing these boots every day for the rest of my life, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see better pictures of them when I'm not too rushed to zoom out just a little more and get the whole damn foot in the picture, goddamnit.

My mother-in-law, as is her wont, came to town bearing gifts. She went to the same jewelry store in Sparta (Christidi) where I bought my flower ring and she bought a matching necklace! Behold the prettiness!

Fun, no? I love the silver threads. I can't wait to premier this necklace together with its matching ring. So many outfits churning through my brain! Too much!

So anyway, despite the craziness going on outside, it's been a lovely day and we're excited for the upcoming week full of family and celebrations. I hope all of your weekends were lovely!

Charcoal sweater dress: Banana Republic, remixed
Black leggings: HUE by way of Lord and Taylors, remixed
Red tall boots: Frye Shirley Over the Knees, gift from husband, by way of

Saturday, December 25, 2010

How I wore it - oh, who am I kidding?!

Merry Christmas, everyone! How're everyone's celebrations goin'? Good? Great. Mine, too. Last night my husband and I stayed up till midnight, watching OnDemand documentaries on young male sufferers of anorexia and cults. Because we're festive that way. Then we exchanged gifts. I got the hubs an iPad. He can't stop playing with it. I? Got something else:

It came in a big box

My babies are officially mine!!

Perhaps my favorite logo?

The beautiful back detail

So, yes, I'm a very lucky girl and tomorrow I'll début the boots in all their glory so that we can all judge how they actually look on me. But for the meantime...


This is what I wore to church today. And what I will put on again when our guests arrive in two hours. After I finally vacuum. But since it's cold, a cardigan was involved ... and who am I to resist the most classic of Christmas colors?

I seriously don't know why the pictures are so fuzzy: I won't let it happen again (ha!). Do I just need to bite the bullet and have my husband take my pictures? But it's so awkward! 

So, what's everyone up to? We had a risible Christmas mass at Greek church today (complete with out-of-tune cantors and a priest who couldn't speak Greek!) and, once our guests arrive, we're gonna nosh stuffed peppers/tomatoes, chicken, and roasted potatoes. Yay!

Okay, seriously: off to vacuum.

Green cardigan: gift from mom, from Lord and Taylors, remixed
Cranberry dress: Gap, remixed
Grey tights: Gap, remixed
Boots: Steve Madden, remixed

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

To all of you out there and your friends and family:

I hope you have a great Christmas celebration (if that is what you celebrate) and a wonderful December 25th (for those of you who don't)! May it be filled with friends/family, fun, and food!

Yes, I did wear my hair in two braids today while running errands. Why?

Catch you later! Peace out! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How I wore it: Christmas shopping, round 3

Finally, FINALLY we've finished our Christmas shopping. I think. We had an inspired idea for my sister-in-law on Sunday, so today - having to go to the husband's place of work in order to drop off some library books - we acted on it and bought our last gift. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone and, like, my husband will be all "Where's my gift?" on Saturday.

I jest: his is in the closet.

Anyway, for some reason I wanted to be a fancy lady today, so I basically channelled one of last year's work outfits and became Señora Botas again (although real botas weren't allowed at work, so I was technically out of dress code today):

Guys, when I decide to break out of a winter fashion rut, I really stick to my decisions, huh? Not a long cardigan in sight. Or even tall boots! Or leggings! Although you can't really tell from the photo (yeah, see how well the camera tips worked for me?), my skirt is a grey pin-stripe. I've worn it before (aww, memories! I still remember that day when I had to yell at my Spanish 3 class: it was one of my proudest moments). Although I always regret wearing them after seeing photos, I do really wear the crap out of those booties. They're just so unflattering on my leg! I mean, they just exacerbate their curviness. I will say, though, they're so damn comfortable. And since I'm a bit on an anti-bootie stance these days, I didn't mind wearing them through the slush of my subway commute. That being said, I cleaned them and buffed them upon coming home.

So it was fun to be kind of dressed up today, although I was cold on the way home. I guess pants really are awesome. It's funny, though - even though I wear tights/stockings all the time in the fall/winter/spring (and I did for years), after having to wear stockings every single weekday last year, the mere action of putting on tights this morning kind of made me seize up a little. It was just one of those "ACK, work! No, wait..." moments.

So, peeps, are we getting excited for Christmas (for those of us awaiting giving and receiving that day) yet?! My husband and I are ravenous for the holiday to get here. I want to rip open the box holding my boots, and my husband wants to rip open the box holding his very expensive and super unnecessary toy. Sometimes we open the closet housing all of the season's gifts and gloat. TWO DAYS, PEOPLE!

Red sweater: Gap
White t-shirt (underneath): H&M, remixed
Grey pinstriped skirt: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey sweater tights: Gap, remixed (?)
Grey booties: Aldo, remixed

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Seven ways to live your life

To celebrate my husband's first day of real vacation, I ended up not going to the gym. See how loving I am like that? I myself have something to celebrate as well: on Monday I finished the first draft of the intro to my translation (for the diss) - I still have a long way to go, but it's a huge weight off my shoulders. I still have to edit the thing and travel elsewhere for library stuff, but ... well, in the near future, it will be sent to my advisor! (I fully anticipate him writing back "Nice work, but I was kind of hoping you'd do something completely different, so let's just scrap this one" in the nicest way possible, of course)

We ended up having to run some errands in the vicinity in order to send his grades and buy cat food and groceries. I put on an outfit that didn't involve the grey sweater, but I was too lazy to photograph it. I would, however, like to show you my new-ish earrings!

Aren't they pretty? They were a birthday present from my big brother and his family. Yup, my birthday was in August and my brother gave them to me in September when we finally saw each other, but this is the first time I've worn them. They were bought in an Indian-type store, which is always a safe choice when buying me jewelry.

During the errands, while my husband was busy buying $17 tomatoes at Whole Foods (no, I'm not exaggerating even a little), I dashed into TJ Maxx for a guerrilla strike on some more earrings. I used to love hoop earrings, but when I cut off all my hair in 2004, I thought that my particular silver hoops were a little too abrupt-looking with my lack of hair, so I discarded them in some forgotten jewelry box. I haven't owned traditional hoops since and I've sorely missed having a nice jewelry basic to put on on days like this, when I just want to run some errands. Well, enter TJ Maxx. While we were Christmas shopping on Sunday, I saw these pretty silver hoops and went back for them today:

Look at me all smiley! What could be going on?

Ahh, much better. So there are the earrings. Aren't they rad? I look forward to wearing them for real soon. (Also, check out my pretty necklace from Ioannina, Greece. From a friend.)

Speaking of rad (didja see that segue?). Rad tagged me to reveal seven things about myself. So here goes. A look into the life of Chalkdust and Boots! Eee!

1) I have no head for science. Math, apart from calculus, which I loved, is hard for me. I am, however, an enormous language geek. I speak and/or have studied ten different languages, with differing degrees of success (and I count dead languages because, dadgummit, I had to learn them): Spanish, English, French, Latin, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, German, Hindi, Farsi, and modern Greek.

 This is part of what the "Foreign Language Reference" section of my "General Studies" bookshelf looks like

My native language is Spanish, I'm obviously also probably considered a native English speaker (I learned it at three), I'm fluent in French, I can still read Latin shakily, I remember odd bits of Attic Greek grammar, my Sanskrit is superb, I can speak emergency German in a pinch, I'm quite comfortable in Hindi, I can sing along to Farsi pop pretty easily, and I can banter in modern Greek. Despite all of this, if you put me on the phone with my father-in-law, I stammer and forget everything. 

And here's a cross-section of my reference books for Indian languages in my "South Asian Studies" bookshelf. The scary rust-colored book next to the Hindi-English dictionary is a Prakrit --> Sanskrit --> Hindi dictionary

2) When I was eight, I wanted to be an ornithologist. For, like, six years or so, I was obsessed with birds, especially birds of prey (especially vultures!) and I was the easiest person in the world for whom to buy a gift. When I was fourteen or so, I realized that I'm a huge city slicker and don't like nature all that much. 

3) I have a pretty badass singing voice. The other cool part? I sing in a tenor range. In my last choir, I was actually a tenor II. I was in a really hardcore choir in high school - we went on tour to Eastern Europe and everything when I was fifteen. I dreamed of being in a band from the ages of 17 till, um, now and when I was a senior in college I was actually preparing to audition with a band (they were med students!), but due to dealing with applying to grad school, figuring out a long-distance relationship, and writing my senior thesis, I had to bow out. I still regret that one. I coulda been huge!

4) My husband and I met on the internet. For reals. Before Facebook was all the rage, does anyone remember a site called Friendster? Newly single, I had put on my profile that I was up for dating. My husband, also newly single, was forced to make a profile and look for single women at our university (he got his Ph.D. from the same place where I studied for undergrad and most of grad school). He liked my picture, liked that I was a Sanskritist, and e-mailed me. We e-mailed for a month, met up, and the rest is history. Our parents still think we met at our university's graduate student center.

5) A little more shocking info about my husband and me: we've not even known each other five years (we met in February of 2006). We got engaged a little before being together a year and a half, and we got married less than a year after our engagement. Scandal!

6) My parents, being agnostic, never had me baptized (although they did baptize my brother, the jerk). For ten years, between the ages of 14 and 24, I identified most with the tenets of Hinduism and looked toward that as spiritual comfort in times of need. In May of 2009, a month before our church wedding, I was officially baptized in the Greek Orthodox faith. The baptism was one of the weirdest/most embarrassing experiences of my life. Remind me to tell you the story one day. It involves water boarding and olive oil. And not bathing.

Not what my baptism looked like

7) Despite being a cat-lover, I sometimes dream of getting an English bulldog. I love their jowls!

And now I'm supposed to tag seven others? Okay, here goes. As Rad says, participation is voluntary. Enjoy!

1) Anyone and everyone of Fashionable Academics
2) Ditto for the ladies of Interrobangs Anonymous
5) Erin

And anyone and everyone who wants to join in! Hope y'all enjoyed!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How I wore it: I broke a promise to myself

Hi, all. So, I know you're all gonna be shocked, but in order to leave my home today for tutoring and a Byzantine music concert organized by an old classmate of my husband's (and one of my former students was in the choir!), I wore a very ... familiar outfit:

Pay no attention to the mouse-shaped scratching post hanging from my bedroom door

I'm wearing my new HUE jeggings and, because the streets were a bit slippery (lots of snow yesterday!), my most badass of boots, the blue Fryes. But would you believe me if I told you I had actively planned on wearing something else on my top half? No black tunic or striped long cardigan in sight? Probably not, huh. I originally planned on wearing a light-colored tunic and an Actual South American Poncho (I have a beautiful one from Chile that's super warm). However, upon putting on the poncho, I looked a little too "huaso on an outing," so I went with my safe black top and favorite sweater.

As you can see, in the winter I'm in serious danger of falling into a fashion rut. This happened also two years ago, when I wasn't working full-time either - I LIVED in skinny jeans, tunics, and boots (I didn't own my long cardigan yet). I've now graduated (?) to leggings. As much as I bitch and moan about my last job's dress code, wearing a skirt or dress every day did really make me play with creativity in the winter. Anyways, I'll try to make a concerted effort of, y'know, branching out my options next time I leave my home. 

I also planned on wearing my hair long and loose, as much as I invariably hate the way my hair looks loose after an inadvertent look in a reflective surface. With this sweater, I thought it looked too messy, so I bunned it up. I had also planned on wearing my bright red lipstick. But I thought I looked scary in the mirror, so I wiped it off and put on the nude. 

Dudes, how embarrassing.

Anyway, now that I've gotten the excuses and apologies out of the way, let's talk about my last new pair of leggings: the jeggings I'm wearing. I ... LOVED them! I loved the way they looked, they were super-comfy, and I might never go back to wearing real pants again. I think I'll go ahead and buy them in grey so as to repair my favorite grey jeans that are slowly falling apart. Since I tend to wear skinny jeans almost exclusively with boots (and always with a long shirt anyways), I like the idea of substituting them with leggings, which are cheaper. The thing that did shock me with these jeggings (God! Every time I type that word, I feel my heart shrinking a little more) is that they were way more denim-y than I had imagined, and, um, way less stretchy, unlike the corduroy ones. Putting them on was a challenge, let me tell you. I would've felt bad about myself, but I weighed myself this morning and I've lost three pounds since the last time I'd weighed myself, so I knew it wasn't my fault that these leggings felt mysteriously tight and unforgiving. Once squeezed in, though, I quickly fell in love with the look and pranced around Boston feeling breezy and sassy. 

So, Style Nation (hat tip to the ladies of In Professorial Fashion), here's a pledge that I will solemnly try to keep: the next time I leave my house - for anything other than exercise - I will wear something that does not include this long striped sweater. I might even veer away from leggings! I would promise not to wear boots, but that's just insane. 

*Deep breath* Let's do it.

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Black tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Blue jeggings: HUE, by way of Lord and Taylor
Blue boots: Frye Veronica Slouches, by way of Zappos, remixed

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How I wore it: Christmas shopping, round 2

Yowza, so today my husband and I wandered all around our neighborhood, in three different directions, for Christmas gifts and decorations for the house. This always leads to a bit of tension because I'm a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to decorating, but he gets as excited as a little boy. He's stringing lights on our bookshelves as we speak. Anyway, we got a good gift for my mother-in-law, who'll be coming to visit in a week, but still nothing for my sister-in-law (brother's wife). Dammit.

Since I wasn't going to be seeing any former students or employers (that I knew of), I decided to wear my new corduroy leggings. The rest of the outfit? Is, um, weirdly reminiscent of yesterday's look (y'all are lucky I found my brown tunic, because I was originally gonna wear an outfit which would lead to the potential post title of "At Least I Changed Pants"):

Despite my being a newly discovered Camera Expert (...not), the photo doesn't do the color of the leggings justice. They're a lovely peacock teal/turquoise and I loved pairing them with the subdued colors of my cardigan, boots, and tunic. It was also fun to pull out my old turquoise scarf, that I haven't worn since the summer, I don't think.

Oh, and can we just discuss? SIX DAYS TILL NEW BOOTS Christmas! I don't think I've been this excited for a Christmas since age 10. Oh, boots. They bring out the infantile in us.

Turquoise scarf: From the Indian stall in Prudential Mall, remixed
Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Brown tunic: Gap
Peacock leggings (the color on the box was "Jupiter"): HUE, by way of Lord and Taylors
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How I wore it: Worst. Date. Ever.

Today being Saturday, it was technically my husband's and my day together. However, I had promised one of my former students that I would come to her hockey game at my former place of work today. I was just gonna go by myself, but my husband didn't like the idea of me coming home after dark and he majorly owed me one, so he came along. We travelled for an hour and a half each way in order to see one fifteen-minute period and say hi to my former students. Totally worth it. For me. Then we went to get Thai food at a place that I thought was pretty safe, but I found out that the dishes that I liked technically contain gluten, so I didn't eat anything except for soup. My husband had an appetizer AND a dish. I watched him eat.

[...I ended up buying gummi candy. But really, can you blame me?]


Since I knew I was gonna be cold, what with pleasantly cool temperatures outside and the opportunity to freeze in a hockey rink, I wore my corduroy leggings (the older ones, as I don't think my conservative place of work was ready to see a former teacher in teal pants, Saturday or no, working there or not), my favorite grey boots, and a classic top+sweater combo. Sure, my extremities went numb a couple of times, but I was pretty comfy most of the day (I packed an extra fleece and blanket for the game, but didn't end up using either).

So this photo looks a little better than the usual ones, no? I'll tell you why: as I was enjoying my new hobby of maniacally reading the archives of Sheila's blog, I came upon her link to this page, from Kasmira's blog. For those of you who are too lazy to click, it's some tips on brightening up and improving indoor photos. I'm playing around with some settings and there's a bit of an improvement already, yes? I'll try to improve within the next few days and see how it goes. Yay, learning to use my camera! 

So, anyone out there having a good Saturday? Despite the fiasco of our planned outings, my husband and I had a nice day together and watched "Inception" at home. There was a lot of yelling at the TV. Next up on the movie-renting agenda? "My Name is Khan," which I've wanted to see for ages. Yes, I love Shah Rukh Khan and most Indian cinema. You have a problem with that? The only time I ever had a full dream in Hindi, I was actually chatting with SRK in it. 

Ummm, why don't we just focus on the fact that I used to dream in Hindi and forget about the other part of the confession?

Happy weekend!

Striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Black top: American Apparel, remixed
Corduroy leggings: HUE by way of Lord and Taylor, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Friday, December 17, 2010

How I wore it: tangled up in blue

Hi folks! It looks like it'll be another gluten-free pizza night over here. I feel bad for having a house full of groceries and not cooking, but the one thing my husband requested for dinner we don't have, he's coming home late, and I'm just feeling a little under the weather. I'm wondering if this is why my week has been so horribly unproductive and all I've wanted to do is nap. Oh, well.

Anyway, because I've been feeling so almost-sick, it was nice to have my sole French tutee brought to my home again instead of schlepping to her place (which...isn't that far). In our next meeting, I'll have both girls again, and for a full hour, at one of their houses, but for now I was quietly grateful to have her brought to me. And what better thing to do than to snuggle into a warm, wool shirt that belonged to my dad?

OHMIGOD! Where's my hair?!

Oh, there it is - I just braided it! Hmm. I'm actually kind of amazed at how neat this braid looks. Figures I didn't leave the house today.

Anyway, back to my outfit. I wanted to wear my navy blue pants out of vanity. The last time I wore them was for my doctor's visit, at which time I saw a pretty shocking number on his scale. I've been eating super healthily for the past three weeks or so, trying not to indulge in candy (my big weakness), and controlling my portions more level-headedly and I already feel more myself and I know that I've lost several pounds since the visit. I'm not particularly interested in chronicling my "Chalkdust goes without gummi bears and Reese's: finds gum poor substitute" epic in this forum, but I will say that it's nice to fit into my pants normally (for me) again.

So, long story short ("too late"), I wanted to wear my navy pants to show them who was boss. And, because I want to be all snuggled and warm, I wore my dad's old wool top. Ahh, monochrome. See how easy life can get, folks?

(I promise I'll wear something more interesting in the near future. With boots, even!)

I thought I'd share a little blog love today. As I mentioned yesterday, my husband and I are both very homesick for Greece, odd for me, as I've only spent one Christmas/New Year's in Athens, so it's not like my soul yearns to celebrate the holidays there (as it does for my husband). Our last visit "home" this summer was a little tense and full of family/home obligations, so we didn't really have the most carefree time we could've there - I think that's why we (or at least I) am dreaming of going back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, this is what suffices for the moment:

  • Fashion Architect - Lopi's was the first Greek style blog I ever read and I remain faithful to her years down the line. She has an interesting eye, strong opinions, and wonderful accessories. If you haven't gotten to know her yet, GO.
  • Life in Athens - I kind of want to be best friends with Thalia. She goes to cool style-blogger events, always has a smile on her face, and stages great photo shoots. She also has successfully (almost) completed a year long NOT shop project. I...don't have that stamina. 
  • Life Full of Fashion - Elena has the life. She wears beautiful clothes, has an infectious writing style, and goes to all sorts of wonderful events in Greece that I can only watch from afar in panting, drooling jealousy. 
  • Ordinary Style Pulse - joanaddicted is anything but ordinary. This stunning beauty simmers in beautiful photographs that show her beautiful life, beautiful environment, beautiful friends, beautiful inspirations, and beautiful photo shoots. If I were creative in anyway, I'd want her to be my muse. And it's her blog alone that's making me reconsider chopping off all my hair again in an attempt to be as devil-may-care as she. 
So there you have it, people. While these might not quite substitute for a week's stay in Athens, they're definitely a lot cheaper and easier to navigate. 

... In the meantime, I'm gonna go look at some airplane ticket prices and start planning for the summer...

Navy shirt: dad's old, remixed
Navy pants: Gap, remixed
Moccasins: Minnetonka, remixed 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How I wore it: zebra and camel

So for those of you following at home and breathlessly wondering how my outdoor runs are going, today I learned that I can go running comfortably in 25-degree weather. Thanks, hard core running gear!

After a tough day of "working" on my dissertation intro (which is weirdly coming to a close...), I left the house under the flimsiest of excuses. I had a $15-off coupon at Lord and Taylors and I wanted to use it. Plus, I needed a new lipstick. What better reason could there be to put on a skirt, go into the city, run my errands, and meet my husband to go grab dinner? Sure, I was wildly overdressed for a casual dinner at Wagamama's, but it felt nice to get out of pajama pants. I wanted to wear black with a flash of white and tobacco leather. I planned to belt the whole shebang with a tobacco belt, too, but it didn't end up working:

Isn't my kitty SMALL?! Awww...

It's okay. I liked the way it looked, even without the belt. My husband and I have both been very homesick for Greece (is it still homesickness when it refers to your spiritual home and not your hometown?), so I definitely wanted to wear the boots I got for Christmas in Athens exactly two years ago. [NINE DAYS TILL FRYE!] Also, wanna hear about the long black skirt I'm wearing? Okay, here you go:

I've had that skirt for fifteen years. FIFTEEN. When I was fourteen and a freshman in high school, my choir director ordered us to get a long black skirt for concerts (yes, I was in a serious choir in high school, and no, we weren't like 'Glee': we performed world premiers and went on tour.). Unfortunately, my mom was out of town, dealing with her own mother's death in Buenos Aires, so it was up to my dad and me to go shopping for a long black skirt. We tried a bunch of stores one weekend, including Express, but we couldn't find anything plain. We ended up finding this skirt (the brand is Westport Ltd.?) in a Dress Barn and I've had it ever since. It was a major staple in my wardrobe during my formative years. I didn't only wear it to choir concerts; in the summers, I'd pair it with Birkenstocks, my mom's 70s polyester shirts, and lots of silver jewelry (why, yes, I was a major hippie wannabe at 15 - why do you ask?). I took it to college and wore it a bunch, but I haven't really used it in ten years or so. Well, this summer I decided to bring it home from NYC and I'm glad I did. It was kind of awesome to wear it again. 

WHY didn't I have it last year?!

Back to the present, the reason why I wanted to use my Lord and Taylor coupon was because I wanted to stock up on more HUE leggings. I definitely wanted more corduroy ones because they're super warm and toasty. And ... I decided to bite the bullet and buy jeggings (a word I HATE, even more than "booties"). This is what I bought:

While I kind of hate myself for buying a product that's called "Jeanz," I'm pretty excited for these new leggings. While part of me also hates myself for buying two pairs of leggings that are practically the same color, the *ugh* jeggings will be super-versatile and a good replacement for my ripped up blue skinny jeans (that were regretfully left behind in a dumpster in Athens). Also, my favorite grey jeans are slowly dying as we speak, so ... well, we'll see how these guys do as jeans replacements. As for the teal corduroy leggings? I just love this color, as you can probably guess. I used to have an awesome pair of teal bellbottoms and I would love to own pants in that color again. How cute would they look with all my boots? ALL OF THEM?!

I also bought a new lipstick today. For a little over a year, I've been pretty loyally consistent with my Urban Decay nude lipstick, but it was down to a mangled stump and I wanted a super-nude matte color this time. I asked a nice lady in Sephora for advice, and - bamboozled by her gushing enthusiasm over my eyeliner application - bought a nude lipstick by Make Up Forever. The color is called Matte Flesh, I think; I rather like the results:

Oh, what? You can't see any color on my lips? GOOD. That's the point. The lipstick is my lip color, just a little more

So there you have it: old skirt, new leggings, new lipstick. Wow. What a productive day. 

Good night!

Mm, who's that girl?

Black top: H&M, remixed
White t-shirt (underneath): H&M, remixed
Black skirt: Westport Ltd., by way of Dress Barn in, um, 1996? 
Boots: Gift from my husband from a shoe store on Ermou Street in Athens, remixed

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How I wore it: Brrrrrrrrrrrrr! (and my pet!)

Hi all! So, it seems to have gotten officially Cold here at Chalkdust and Boots headquarters. There is even talk of snow in the near future! Crazy, right? However, despite the frigid temps, I managed to leave my house rather more than I bargained for today, including a morning run planned solely for the purpose of trying out some new cold-weather running gear (which all held up admirably). So, I now know, with a mixture of optimism and dread, that I can run very comfortably in 27-degree weather. Woo-hoo.

Because of scheduling, my usual Thursday Spanish tutoring session has been moved to Tuesdays for the next couple of weeks, starting today. Joy. Let me tell you, what with my yearning to be hibernating, it was tough to leave the house in order to teach that little angel (I feel like calling a 6-year-old a "little horror" on the internet would be a little harsh...oh. Oops.). Anyway, I just went with comfort and layering today:

Just your basic black outfit + grey boots but with a little addition of a maroon cardigan. As I think I've mentioned, I own three identical cashmere cardigans (purple, green, and maroon) and I wear them constantly every fall, winter, and spring.

... Yup, yup.

I thought, because my outfit is so basic today, I'd introduce you to an accessory that I try to wear as often as possible (and wore today), especially when I'm lookin' nice. Meet my fancy ring!

Trust me, my fingers are much more aesthetically pleasing in person. Anyways, isn't that ring a beaut? My parents bought it for me in the late spring of 2006, as a present for successfully completing my Ph.D. qualifying exams and becoming ABD (All But Dissertation). [I bet they didn't think, four and a half years down the line, that I'd STILL be ABD] They'd been looking specifically for a sapphire ring because my mom had one that I'd admired since I was a small child. She decided that, if they didn't find one they liked, she'd give me hers. But they found this one (which is actually prettier than hers - both she and I agree), and on super-sale, and had it waiting for me when I made a triumphal return home to NYC from Philly in May of 2006, mere weeks after the exams.

[A nice side story to this anecdote is that I brought my husband home to meet my parents for the first time on that very trip. They fell in love with him too and thusly the ring has a lot of positive connotations and happy memories tied into it.]

Anyways, that is one of my studlier pieces of jewelry and I love it dearly. It almost always elicits a comment and what most amuses me is that - since I wear it on my left hand, due to wearing my wedding rings on my right - I often get asked in disbelief, "Is THAT your engagement ring?!"

So ... I feel a bit remiss about something. I've been reading Sheila's blog compulsively since the weekend and noted that she often has pictures of her cutie-pie cat in her posts. In a short comment conversation, she noted that she'd look through my own blog to look for pictures of Amalía. And I realized: I'm a horrible cat-owning blogger! I barely have pictures of my adorable kitteh up here! I mean, apart from when I introduced her and the odd posts where she sneaked into the picture, there is no photographic evidence of Amalía on this blog. So ... to get us through the long winter nights, without further ado, here are some cute cat pictures:

 Kitty taking a nap on the couch! 

Kitty in husband's dresser!

Kitty sitting in a shallow box!

And, for those of us suffering the cold weather ...

Kitty wrapped up in husband's fancy scarf! 

So there you go, people. I know no one asked me to put pictures of my kitten on this blog, but I wouldn't want y'all to think that I'm not a crazy cat lady. I am.

Oh, I am.

Maroon cardigan; Gift from mom, via Lord and Taylor
Black shirt: Tony's, a boutique in Old City Philadelphia, remixed
Black jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of
Sapphire ring: Gift from parents
Cat: Mine, all mine [from Animal Rescue League of Boston].

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How I wore it: Christmas shopping, round 1

Folks, we're officially under the two-week mark for Christmas and I CAN'T WAIT. In just thirteen days, I'll be allowed to touch my crimson Fryes again! [Don't worry, I'm all about giving, too - Mr. Boots is getting such a good present that he reacted like a hyperactive puppy when he got a hint as to what it could be]

While, actually, we're on the subject of giving, let me just segue nicely to tell y'all that yesterday my husband and I did our first round of Christmas shopping for members of my family. My father, brother, and niece are all taken care of. We need to order some stuff for my mom and figure something out for my sister-in-law and make a choice for my mother-in-law, but we're in pretty good shape. Yay! Anyway, because we knew we were going to be out spending money all day yesterday, we watched the temperature with eagle eyes. Fortunately, we're in a bit of a warm spell right now (highs in the mid 40s yesterday!), so I decided to celebrate by not wearing pants:

Apologies for the hair: I didn't notice it was so messy till the photos were snapped

I'm in shock about a couple of things from this outfit. A) Can you believe that I haven't worn this dress in about a month? I honestly think the last time was Halloween. I mean, over the summer and last year at work I wore that dress at least once a week, if not twice (in the summer). But in completing-dissertation phase, the dresses sit quietly in the closet. B) Why did I never think of layering this top under this dress? I could've forsworn my constant cardigan and looked cute with an ersatz long-sleeved dress and no one would've been the wiser! C) This is the first time I've ever tied the bow from the dress' sash on the front (barely visible because of my black on black) and I'm really glad I tried that. I lost a bit of the nice natural pleating that the dress boasts, but I also didn't feel as if I had a huge knot in the small of my back every time I sat down. 

To put it simply? This dress was a winner for me. Coupled with colorful tights and comfy tall boots, I was very happy with my Saturday choices. 

Because I was wearing colorful tights, I decided to give in to my matchy-matchy instincts and wear turquoise jewelry [I don't have any jewelry in teal that I know of]. Behold! 

Exciting and not too obvious... which means there's something missing. Hmmm, what could I do to punch this up, especially since my wool coat is grey? I know! A bright scarf!

How 'bout them colors? This scarf was hand-knit for me by a good friend from grad school. I love that it incorporates turquoise (the reason I wore it with the earrings and tights), orange, white, purple, reds, etc. in bright, contrasting colors for a loud, non-subtle effect. It was just the accessory I needed to punch up my outfit while wearing a coat over it. 

The rest of the day was spent in a state of febrile excitement. We decided to finally use a cocktail recipe book we'd received years ago, so we bought some liquor and started mixing some tropical drinks. Because we were so tired, though, we ended up falling asleep of the TV (sense a theme?) with barely our second drink started. I forced myself awake to watch "SNL" a few hours later to see Paul McCartney and then I dragged us both to bed. 

Um, do you think we need to get out more?

Multicolored scarf: Gift from friend
Black dress: Gap, remixed
Black shirt (under dress): H&M, remixed
Teal tights: Gap, remixed (?)
Boots: Madden by Steve Madden, remixed
Turquoise earrings: Banana Republic, remixed
"Turquoise" ring: Accessorize on Ermou Street, Athens, remixed
Turquoise pendant + chain: gift from Argentina from my uncle

Friday, December 10, 2010

How I wore it: nothing ventured, nothing gained

So today's outfit is so boring that once I took a good look at the photos of it, I debated not posting it. But then I thought, "screw it" [or something coarser] because this blog is about my actual wardrobe, not only about my choices when I'm only looking "interesting."

Anyway, today dawned perilously cold for this exaggerator, but - due to a fluke in scheduling - I didn't have to leave my home (apart from a shivery visit to the gym)! My regular two-student French tutoring session was reduced to one girl this week and her mom suggested bringing her over to my house for a shortened lesson so that the mom could take advantage of some grocery shopping in my neck of the woods. Sa-weet!

While I spent the majority of the day in PJ pants and a fleece bathrobe (epitome of sexiness, yes? I should've gotten a snap of that), I thought that maybe I should change so as not to horrify this twelve-year-old too much. So I slapped on some make-up, an old pair of pants, and called it day:

Are you feeling the excitement here? YEAH! Before I moved to New England, I didn't know that Nantucket red pants were such a thing here. I bought these pants in J. Crew (sold as "pomegranate" to girls) my first year of grad school and was delighted to find out later that my older brother had the exact same pants (he's also a transplant to New England, although for far longer than I), which he called "Nantucket Reds [though I just call "pink"]. Fast forward to last year, at work, when I see that ... a lot of dudes own Nantucket reds. And, on top of that, they aren't only sold in J. Crew! Who knew?! And also? They're super-preppy. Because my school last year was a) super traditional and New England-y and b) super draconian with the dress code, I actually did see my fair share of male colleagues wearing these. The dress code for men was that they had to wear: non-jean slacks, a jacket, and a tie. As you can imagine, this pretty much translated to khakis + navy jacket. So when some lower-school teachers did pull out the old Nantucket reds for work? It was like a riot of color for the eyes. Ahhh, my old job. Every day I thank God that I'm not working there anymore. Especially on days that I wake up with 14 degrees and I pull on a pair of pants. Good times.

Oh. Back to my outfit. I've always liked pairing these pink pants with black (le shock!) and I did nothing different here. Of course I'm gonna stay well within my comfort zone when in the comfort of my own home, n'est-ce pas?

Anyway, I need to figure out my evening plans. There's a very slight chance that my husband and I might go to a colleague's holiday party, in which case I would change into something more... fleece-oriented. Can I wear gym clothes to a party? Also, we planned on making something at home today, but in the morning (while at the gym, now that I think about it), I had a huge craving for pizza, which is only slightly unhealthier than what we were planning to cook. Of course, my husband forgot his cell at home, so I have no way of knowing if we're going to the party or if he disapproves of pizza. And he's apparently not checking e-mail, either.

... Doesn't this glimpse into Chalkdust and Boots' Friday nights just make you giddy?!

Have a happy and warm weekend, everybody!

(PS Fifteen days till Frye!)

Black shirt: H&M, remixed
White t-shirt (below): H&M, remixed
"Pomegranate" pants: J. Crew
Moccasins: Minnetonka, by way of Lord and Taylors, remixed

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How I wore it: good lovin'

Today was a delightfully low-key day, although too much of it was spent outside for my liking (the highs today were about ten degrees lower than they've been the last couple of days!). My husband had to go to another doctor today to check out why his throat gets all hurty so often. Because we weren't sure if they were going to stick a camera down his mouth, I went with him in case of local or general anesthesia. Because of this, I had to cancel my tutoring gig today! So, boo, no tutoring money today, but, yay! Skipping out on tutoring a difficult 6-year-old! Plus, the appointment was low-key, they didn't do anything to him, so we were home early and I cooked a shepherds pie for the first time. Yay Thursdays!

Because of the crazy temps, I layered a lot. But this is what my bottom layer looked like (before fleece, jacket, scarf, gloves, and hat):

What up, Medusa-hair? What's not pictured in this picture: the layering tank I wore under the sweater and the knee-high socks under my boots/jeans. I'm not kidding about being a cold wuss, people. 

Anyway, this is as basic as an outfit gets for me, back in my preferred colors. It's really not that exciting. However, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: that black turtleneck sweater you see me wearing up there? 

That's the first piece of black clothing I ever owned. 

Let that sink in for a bit and then I'll explain.

Okay, so my mom bought me that sweater when I was in sixth grade, 11 years old (it was enormous and cowl-necked in those days and it also stretched a little with me), but under protest. We were going sweater shopping in Saks and for some reason I was really into cowl necks (early 90s, woo!). I already had picked out a beige number and then I saw a similar black one, and asked if I could try it on. My mother was unusually hesitant. It wasn't that she didn't like the sweater, not at all. It was that in her traditional Spanish/Argentine upbringing (my mother's quite older, too), black was not bought for young girls unless they were in mourning. And I, obviously, was not, but my mother just couldn't imagine buying a black garment for a girl my age ... just ... because. However, I did get to try it on and despite her misgivings, my mom did admit that the irony of the whole thing was that black looked really good against young skin. So it came home with us. But I always remember that story as being one of the few moments where I really got to bump into the otherness of my mother's background. 

Of course, the funny thing of it all is that in high school, just a few years later, I was gently teased by some teachers and younger students for always wearing black (although it was far from the case). I guess my mom had to accept the fact that she had a native New Yorker daughter. 

Well, fast forward, um, eighteen years from that long-ago shopping trip and I still have the sweater. I rarely wear it and have no idea what it was doing in my dresser, but I found it the other day and resolved to wear it soon. Today was the day. 

But can you imagine? The first black piece of clothing I ever owned. Me! 

Black sweater: Saks Fifth Avenue
Grey jeans: Bulldog by Urban Outfitters, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How I wore it: faculty luau

Today was another arctic day, folks. I swear, my body seems to be going into hibernation: it is NOT having this weather. And it's only going to get worse. Oh, I'm a ball of sunshine in the winter, I am.

Ironically enough, though, my husband's institute had a faculty and staff party today with a Hawaiian theme - because nothing says "Hawaii" like Boston in December ... right? Anyway, I decided to kind of make a big thing out of it and use it as an excuse to dress up a little - I even wore my contacts! I also really wanted to wear my Fluevogs, and well ... I really like how it all turned out:

Finally, FINALLY you get to see a decent action shot of my hair elastic with black rose that I've tried so hard to showcase here (only didn't) and here (super messy). See? Every once in a while I clean up nicely!

Anywho, I did like this outfit a whole lot and I was overjoyed to wear my 'Vogs out on the town - this was their first time venturing out of the Cambridge city limits! I was, for some reason, a little timid about how bright they were and wearing them in public (I don't know why I get so self-conscious - it's not like I'm going to be the victim of random violence because of disapproval toward my yellow boots, yet I can be super-timid about these things), but I think they really made the look. Especially since, being named after an operetta singer, they were the most appropriate shoes I have for visiting a music-based institute.

Also? I wasn't so bothered by them this time. I mean, yes, I was relieved to take them off when I got home, but for the first time, I also felt as if I could've gone several more rounds in them. Well played, yellow boots. Well played. I'm now actively trying to figure out when and how next to wear them. Any suggestions?

Charcoal sweater dress: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey tights: Gap, remixed
Yellow boots: John Fluevog, remixed

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How I wore it: reunion of cousins

Hey, all!

Wow, although I posted two days ago, it feels like longer to me. Hmm.

Anyway, folks, Boston? Is now officially COLD. I'm so not used to this. Because our fall was so low-key, when the temperature ventured into the 50s and then 40s, we all I thought, "Okay, it's cold, but I can handle this! Bring it on, winter!" Well, winter brought it. Temperatures hovered at the freezing point today and with this (let's face it) rather innocuous display of cold weather, I'm already grumbling. I can't even think about going for outdoor runs (at least, not until I get used to this weather again) or even leaving the house for long periods of time. What I mean is that it's cold, yo.

However, I did have to leave the house today in order to have dinner with a long-lost second cousin and his new wife (and my husband). This young man is from Chile, as is all my father's family, and I'd met him about eight or nine years ago when he stayed in New York for a few weeks one summer. We hung out a little bit and I took him and his friends to the Museum of Natural History. Anyway, he was in the States with his wife and visiting Boston, so we met up for seafood downtown. This is how I dressed:

Ahh, what a relief. After a week of deliberately not wearing fitted pants/leggings tucked into tall boots to avoid falling into a rut, it felt heavenly to wear this outfit - in my traditional colors, too! Black and grey - is anything more comfort-inducing (at least to me, that is)?

(Oh, and can we take a minute? I LOVE those grey boots, people. More than life itself. I think they and my Christmas boots are going to be the obnoxious popular kids of my closet. The blue Fryes are going to be on the verge of almost-popular. My Greek boots and the Steve Maddens will be the artsy kids, while my suede pairs and the traditional black leather heeled ones will be the social outcasts. The grey booties will be the lovable and reliable jocks and my yellow Fluevogs are definitely the foreign-exchange students. Um, can we make this into a sitcom?)

Anyway, dinner with my cousin and his Spanish-Swedish wife was great and it was wonderful to see how my own husband understood much of the conversation taking place in Spanish. Have I ever told y'all what my deal is? Well, my father is Chilean and his family has been in Chile for generations. My mother is Argentine, but her parents were both Spanish. I was born in the US, but my first language was Spanish and I didn't learn English until I was in preschool. There's my deal.

So now you know more about me than you ever needed to know! Aren't you glad?! And for added benefit, here's a special hilariously ludicrous outtake that I kind of like more than my actual outfit photo!

Note the blurry monster-hand and the lack of neck

Grey and black striped cardigan: Banana Republic, remixed
Grey tunic: American Apparel, remixed
Black leggings: HUE, via Lord and Taylor, remixed
Grey boots: Frye Paige Huaraches, by way of, remixed