Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How I wore it: startin' over

Woo, people, I am tired! I had two long days of meetings yesterday and today at the new school at which I'll be working. I'm starting to get the slow panic of "Oh, God, how will I juggle all these responsibilities?!" but I know that I'm in a good working environment and that somehow I'll get it all done. My fellow newbies are all sweethearts and the colleagues I met today were all pretty uniformly awesome. I'm super-excited to move beyond meetings and get to actual teaching, but it's also relaxing not to worry about students yet...

I've done a recent couple of a shopping expeditions for maternity clothes. A new batch from Old Navy came yesterday and I couldn't resist but wear one of my new shirts today. I squeezed into an old skirt and was moderately pleased with the result:

Bright colors! I think this t-shirt will probably make me smile throughout the next months as I stretch it further and further... 

I feel pretty confident with the base wardrobe I've compiled so far (little of which you've seen) and there are some things I cannot wait to bust out, which is a good sign. Of course, there will be endless (and boring?) iterations throughout January, not to mention the post-partum days. On the other hand, I can also stretch some of what I already have with the addition of maternity layers and whatnot. Well, we'll all learn and grow together!

In other news, I have to gush a little bit; I know I said that I don't want to turn this mainly into a mommy blog, but I just can't resist. A year ago today, a wonderful, shy little creature came into our lives and our home. Today she's confident, chubbier, playful, sweet, and - dare I say it? - happier:

It's (slightly) blurry Demon-Kitty!

Yes, people, Amalía has been our kitty for one whole year. She's changed both my and my husband's lives for the best. We adore her and can't imagine living without her. I hope that she'll react somewhat positively to becoming a big sister in the winter...

Striped tee: Old Navy Maternity
Corduroy skirt: Gap Outlet, remixed
Brown sandals: gift from a friend (from Costa Rica, I think), remixed

Monday, August 29, 2011

How I wore it: contact

Happy Monday, y'all! And I hope my East Coasters (Kelly? Rad? Cassykins? Anyone else?) survived Hurricane Irene. Up in our neck of the woods, it really didn't affect us, thank goodness. I hope that all of you are safe and sound.

As if to punish/reward us for having given us a terrifying weekend, the weather gods made today sunny, warm, and beautiful out. I also had to leave my house today in order to meet up with a current Spanish teacher at my new job and go over some stuff for the beginning of the year. It was awesome. I wanted to look casual, yet somewhat cool, so this is what I went with:

Too bad I wore this exact same combo last week when I was on campus for a few minutes to meet up with an HR person; fortunately, no one who saw me last week saw me today, so I wasn't judged on the fact that I apparently only own one t-shirt. A t-shirt, by the way, which I regretfully have to retire to "at home only" use because I discovered a teeny little hole under David Bowie's right foot. Alas. 

In other news, I was vexed by how non-pregnant I looked from the front in this picture, especially since I'm at twenty and a half weeks, so I decided to take a side picture, although this won't become a habit, I don't think:

THERE'S my belly!

What do we think of these maternity jeans? I bought them right before we left for Greece in June. They were on sale through Gilt Groupe and I made them mine. Get used to seeing them a lot in the next few months, my friends. I just really hope they can last me throughout the next twenty weeks (they're the kind that go under the belly, not over)! 

So, all in all, I was pleased with my comfortable outfit and especially pleased that it didn't garner me any odd looks on campus. Oh, artsy school with no dress code: I think we're going to get along just fine! 

David Bowie tee: Gap, remixed
Jeans: Maternity America, via Gilt Groupe
Brown sandals: souvenir from a friend, bought in Central America, remixed

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How I wore it: housekeeping

Oh, hai.

I really didn't mean to disappear for nine days. I even had a food post planned, remember? I still have those pictures! I want you all to feel sorry for me with respect to the enormous quantities of food I consumed in just one day!

But instead, I'm gonna tell you what I've been up to. In the six days that my husband and I have been back in the States, we have: gone grocery shopping, gone grocery shopping again, snuggled our cat to oblivion, played with our cat, gone to the doctor's office, gone to an ultrasound, gotten a haircut (me), chosen and bought a car (what?!), and gone to a second ultrasound. And that's not even everything. The sad thing is that many of these events involved cute outfits. The even sadder thing is that I was so jet-lagged once 10 o'clock hit that I just changed into PJs and fell into bed.

Anyway, today I got a second ultrasound of my baby because when we went for the official "whoh-oah, you're [almost] halfway there" ultrasound, instead of finding out our baby's sex, we found out that (s)he is a lazy bum because it didn't want to move out of a corner of my uterus where it was tightly curled up, making it impossible to see if it had a spine, let alone anything else. Today, though, she (the technician was "pretty positive") was agreeably stretched out and we're relieved to know that everything is all right with the world.

Anyway. For that appointment, I decided to dress somewhat fancy. Because I was hoping this skirt would still fit and it did:

Of course, I forgot until after I took the picture that I'd unzipped the skirt upon arriving home...

As you can tell, when I went to get my hair cut yesterday, I decided to opt for keeping it short and manageable rather than start the arduous process of growing it out again. On the one hand, it doesn't seem feasible, both practically and financially, to go get my hair trimmed every month or so, especially as I get less mobile and especially once the baby comes. On the other hand, I like it short. And little hands can't grab at it too easily...

For lounging around at home, I decided to get comfy. While in Greece, the one thing I wanted to buy were brightly patterned, so-called 'harem pants' that I saw some tourists/natives wearing in Athens. My husband was vehemently against it, but on our last full day in Athens, I played the tourist and ducked into a shop in the flea market of Monastiraki. I liked that the patterns I saw on those particular pants were bright and colorful - perfect for a day at home, I thought. However, my husband was so impatient that I got rattled and left (DAMMIT). And then realized that I had the perfect solution at home. Which I had actually bought in India.

Meet my new favorite combination:

SOMEONE needs to get used to posing for the camera again!

... It's a maternity tank with salwar trousers! The beautiful thing about the salwar is that you can pretty much fit three people in there. The waistband goes on for days. So I just cinched it up beneath my belly, added a long tank, and lounged around on the couch and in bed (and in front of the TV, waiting for HURRICANEIRENEPOCALYPSE) for the rest of the day. Practical for the workday or outside errands? No. Comfy as hell and perfect for lying around at home? YES. 

Day outfit:
Black tank: Old Navy maternity
Skirt: Gap, remixed
Turquoise sandals: Nine West Athens, remixed

Home outfit:
Black tank: same
Olive salwar: Fab India, remixed
Flip-flops: Urban Outfitters, remixed

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How I wore it: second verse, same as the first!

As you may remember from last year, yesterday (August 15th) was Assumption Day, which is a huge deal in Greece. We celebrated by going to church in the morning and eating like hogs for the rest of the day. My mother-in-law had done Orthodox fasting (i.e., no meat/dairy products - maybe no olive oil, too? - for two weeks); I was exempt, and no one else had bothered. I celebrated personally by...wearing the exact same outfit as last year:

You can thank my husband for this picture - and for cutting off my feet

Seriously, even the jewelry is the same. The only differences are my hair, my shoes (which you can barely see, but are orange sandals), and the fact that my good-luck amulet is tucked into my bra. Stay classy, C&B! 

On a side note, how pretty is my mother-in-law's garden in Sparta? I didn't have the heart to crop the picture...

Dress: Gap, remixed
Orange sandals: Nine West, remixed

PS - I actually took some pictures of all the food we ate - and used my camera's "food" function! I hope to do a post on that in the near future. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trinkets and Travel

As I may have mentioned a few times in the past, I turned 30 last weekend. When my husband and I returned back to Sparta after our vacation in Foinikounta, my mother-in-law had a lovely and thoughtful birthday gift waiting for me:

A stack of silver bangles held together at one part! I don't talk about this much, but I looooooooove me some bangles. When I spent my summer in India in 2004, I totally came home with lotsa bangles, although I stopped wearing them because they made so much noise. I had a bunch of colleagues at my first job who had gone on a trip to Morocco and they'd all bought awesome silver bangles and I was so jealous... So I'm pretty psyched about this. I've already worn the stack once and they were nowhere near as jangly as I feared, so I will be good to go with this. I don't love that they have the big "Just Cavalli" logo, but no one can really see it when it's on, anyway (as it dangles on the bottom). 

As anyone who has ever read this blog knows, I really love jewelry. In fact, I sometimes wonder if I made a mistake in highlighting my love for boots over jewelry. Because I have loved jewelry since I was sentient. It's all my dad's fault, bringing me back lapis lazuli stuff from Chile every time he went home... Anyway, I do love jewelry. And I love wearing a variety of it. And I also love travel. How do I combine these two loves without hideously combining them? 

In the past, I used to shuck everything into a little leather case no doubt intended for some other use and would inevitably spend at least one morning laboriously undoing the knots in two necklaces that had snarled together. But that hasn't happened in well over a year cuz of this guy! 

Style Nation, meet my travel jewelry case. I saw it in a J. Crew catalogue last school year (does anyone else feel really wistful when they read a J. Crew catalogue? Everyone looks so fresh-faced and preppy!) and as soon as I had some time to kill while visiting home, I moseyed on over to my local store and bought my own. People, it has been a lifesaver. Okay, I'm exaggerating: a trip/jewelry saver, at LEAST. It is full of nooks and crannies and three different zippered compartments and it really fits everything I would want, even for a long trip like this one. I organize it differently each time and depending on what jewelry I'm packing (which, of course, depends on what clothes I'm packing, duh). 

On this trip, the top compartment (i.e., the one all the way to the left in the above picture) has my necklaces/pendants. These either have big, chunky pendants that discourage their tangling together or chains with links that make untangling easy. I've had a few tangling incidents this summer, and they were all resolved in a few seconds without the use of anything other than my own hands (I'm weirdly good at untangling delicate jewelry - if all else fails, I'll even use a safety pin/unbent paper clip; again, I've been doing this for a long time). Below, you see my chunky turquoise and chunky red seashell necklaces:

Next up, we have my two favorite bits: the strips for (stud) earrings and rings, respectively:

I love these features. Even long, dangly earrings have space to fit. And my rings are doing just fine, hanging out on their own little strip, just sliding around merrily all day long.

The next compartment houses my non-stud earrings (and the gold chain I've had since childhood which is currently holding my mom's baptism medallion, because I would be more nervous if that tangled with anything else: it's quite delicate, hence it hanging out with non-threatening earrings):

Lastly, in the final compartment, I have my carnelian jewelry set. Since it's only housing one necklace and two earrings, it's well-nigh impossible to have tangling issues, even though the many chains and stones and danglies on this set are prone to wrap around each other; but putting the whole set together in isolation has worked a charm so far:

Isn't that fun? The saleslady at J. Crew, a woman from Sweden, said that she used the same case to travel to and from home. And I love my own. I love that it has so much space and is so delicate that you feel your jewelry is super-safe in there (priorities, right, people?). I also love that - since it does have so much space for trinkets - I can always shop for more and fit them in without worrying about loading up my suitcase! In the end, the whole thing folds up to this:

It's about seven inches long and 2.5/3 inches wide. And lightweight enough to toss into your carry-on without worrying about anyone stealing it from your checked luggage - or maybe that's just me. 

Anyway, I've been wanting to feature this lovely little travel case for over a year now and I'm glad I finally was motivated enough to do so. Do y'all travel with a bunch of jewelry? Do you have a fun way to pack it? 

Note: I was no way asked/compensated by J. Crew to write this post. I friggin' love this product and if they want to repay me in gloriously preppy pastel chinos and cute skirts, I would...really like it. But, seriously. I just really like this travel case and it happens to be from that store: that's all there is to it. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Working Girl

As some of you may remember, when I first started blogging (in January of 2010), I was working in an environment where the dress code was rather, uh, extreme in its conservatism, especially for women. We had to wear (every day): a dress/skirt; stockings/tights/hose; and close-toed shoes (no boots). While I did build up a pretty awesome collection of separates and cute skirts/dresses (and an abiding hatred for panty-hose and a greater love for their more opaque cousins, tights), I sometimes really wanted to wear pants and boots. Because I live in New England. And I had to go to work in the winter. 

The day that I interviewed for the job that I will be starting this year, I was informed that the school had no dress code. In fact, one of the male teachers boasted that on sunny, warm days, he often wore shorts, sandals, and a Red Sox tee to work. So you could say that it's kind of the, um, opposite extreme of my last working environment, don't you think? 

When I got the job, I started thinking about what I personally would wear to work day in and day out. I do tend to wear skirts and dresses a lot when feeling "professional" (especially that the bad taste of the other place is finally out of my mouth), so I was pretty sure I'd mostly be going in that direction, but with the added pizzazz of my awesome (if I do say so myself) boot collection. Not to mention the relief of wearing pants/jeans whenever I wanted. I figured out these personal rules for myself:
  • Each element of the outfit must be suitable for going to work: i.e., nothing torn/dirty/booby/obviously inappropriate, etc. Pants/shirts/dresses/skirts/jeans/etc. that fit into these categories are A-OK, although I'm probably not gonna wear my Lady Gaga racerback tank tunic to work. Although I'd probably be allowed.
  • No leggings as bottoms (within this I count jeggings and their corduroy counterparts): I don't want to dress like my students. As you know, I always wear leggings with butt-covering tops/tunics and usually with boots, so it's not like I'm exposing that much to the world, but I think that for my own standards, it's too casual for a teacher at a school. Especially since some people sometimes assume that I'm a student IN high school. 
  • [I will, however, consider maybe wearing my corduroy leggings with tall boots (and a long sweater) on days that it's ridiculously cold and humankind should really not be out on the streets, let alone on a school campus. Oh, and wearing normal leggings under a dress/skirt for warmth is okay: then they're like tights]
  • Shorts are right out. I don't wear 'em in the summer (when I do, they're my husband's) and I don't think I'm ready to teach the subjunctive while rocking my winter shorts over boots over thigh-highs over tights. Save it for the weekend, Chalkdust. 
Aaaaaaaaaand that's pretty much it. As you can see, it's not an exhaustive list (and let me again emphasize that these are my own rules for my own wardrobe and I would never judge someone else who feels comfortable wearing this to work). I was pretty satisfied with these fluid guidelines, though, and felt comfortable enough to make it through a whole year of teaching in all sorts of cracked-out Massachusetts weather.

Then I found out I was pregnant. And, judging by how my belly grew this week alone (seriously, between Wednesday and Thursday, I turned into another person), I'm gonna be pretty big by the time school starts in September and a behemoth by the time winter break rolls around (baby's due in early-mid January). And suddenly some of my rules seem tougher to maintain because I'm not sure how much leeway my current wardrobe has. Granted, I'm sure many of these problems will be solved once I buy some more maternity clothes because I literally own: two tank tops (one of which I hate and is staying in Greece), a dress, and a pair of jeans (win!), not to mention a bag of my sister-in-law's (and her sister-in-law's) maternity hand-me-downs. So I know I need a few more versatile pieces and I'll feel a little less nervous about going out and about in the (professional) world. Also, I love me some loose jersey dresses, so I'm sure many of those will serve me well throughout the first half of the school year. 

But what about some of my other rules, specifically with leggings? Won't those, at some point, be the most comfortable pants I own that I can still pull on? If I wear a long-ass sweater/tunic/shortened dress and some cute boots, won't they just look like really thick, opaque tights? Will I have to rethink my rules?

Style Nation, here's where I'd love it if you weighed in. What say you to my sudden quandary? Can I wear leggings as pants (with all my usual stipulations of butt-coverage) to work at an artsy high school? Do you have any other suggestions for a lady whose body will be changing constantly as she heads on to work? Have you been pregnant and worked while doing so and have some tips? Do you have strong opinions about professional wardrobes and will set fire to your retinas if I dare break those rules? I'd LOVE to hear from you! Lemme have it! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

*blink, blink*

People, so much has happened in the nine? Eight? Many. Days since I last posted. Sal cut her hair (dammit, Sal! I was so ready to grow it out again and now you've filled me with doubt), Kelly is back (yay!), and S had her baby (awww!). And I haven't even caught up on all of the Style Nation happenings. Whew. Thank goodness I'm bored at leisure here in Sparta and have all day to dick around on the internet if I want. Between marathoning 'Mad Men' because my husband and I finally discovered it, starting from season 1 episode 1 and WHY didn't we do this EARLIER?!

Whew. Okay. Sorry. Heat wave. In the meantime, while people were cutting their hair, and emerging again, and having babies, I spent almost a week here:

Try to control your pity for me, people. I know it's easy to feel sorry for me (I can feel the number of my readers dropping, one by one...).

Anyway, yes, my husband I spent six days in the beach town of Foinikounta, on the coast of the Ionian Sea, in the province (?) of Messinia. It was hamazing. And relaxing. A lovely place to spend my 30th birthday (see what I did there?!) alone with my husband before reemerging into the world of family and responsibility...

Why, yes, that is a sandy beach overlooked by a Venetian castle. And someone's car. Taken in Methoni.

Anyway, we're back in the land of plentiful internet, so I'll try to be a little more quick on the updating from now on. Although, with 'Mad Men,' I can promise nothing. NOTHING.

Style Nation, I've missed you. But, almost just as importantly, I've started missing my home in the US, my other clothes, and my cat. It's hard to believe that next week, in nine days, in fact, I'll be seeing all of those things. Crazy times.

When it gets too crazy, though, I'll try to remember how I felt then, when my husband took that picture on our first full day of the trip. Notice how he artfully cut off my growing belly. Way to document, guy.