Friday, November 24, 2017

The Joys of Spirit Weeks

It's Thanksgiving break! This is my favorite break of the year. The first 3 months of school are the most stressful for me. Between setting up your classroom, getting your students settled into your routines and expectations, and surviving Back-to-School night and parent conferences, there's just a lot crammed into those first months of school. And if you think about it, there really is always another day off or break in sight after Thanksgiving break.

I thought I would take a second to write about one of my favorite fall weeks: spirit week! I typically use spirit week as an excuse to wear jeans for 5 days in a row, but, unfortunately, this year's theme was Hollywood (or something like that), so it required me to dress up for a few of the days.

Before I give you a rundown of the week's outfits, I thought I would give you a brief soapbox speech about spirit week. I guess it's really brief, because it's basically this: do what you want! If going all in and putting together awesome outfits makes you happy, do it. If the thought of having to put together really cute themed outfits makes you want to run away from home because it's one more thing to manage, don't do it. While I think there are plenty of non-negotiable issues when it comes to teaching, spirit week isn't one of them. Teachers have plenty of situations that force them to fight the temptation to feel guilty or inadequate. Spirit week shouldn't be one of them, Pinterest be damned. Okay--with that speech finished, I'll show you how most of the week went for me.

At our school, Mondays are always pajama day. They tried to mix it up one year, and the people (I'm betting mostly the teachers) rebelled. So, now they don't mess with tradition! I was even more excited about this day because I flew back in from my mom's birthday on Sunday and didn't have to get ready on Monday morning. :)

This is what it looks like when you have to walk to school on pajama day because you forgot that you had called the Uber from school to take you to the airport...I have a few pairs of what I like to call old man pajamas that I usually wear on these days, but it was too warn for flannel PJ's. 

Here are a few options for PJ day. 

I have two or three pairs of these PJ's. I love them because they're perfect for PJ day, and they're also really great for wearing in an older apartment on cold nights...or when your roomie's sister is visiting and you want to look presentable while walking around avoiding getting ready in the morning...or so I hear. 
Tuesday was TV/Movie character day. I was discussing this day with my family over the weekend, and I mentioned that I thought I should be a teacher from a TV show. My niece and nephew both insisted that I should be Ms. Frizzle. 

I took a look online, and found that I needed to look like this:
 Image result for ms frizzle planet dress

So...I remembered a blue dress I had that I thought would work. I printed out some pictures of planets and stars, parted my hair in the middle, and here you have it. My best Ms. Frizzle:

It was kind of funny to watch kids realize who I was.

I only have pictures from one other day--Red Carpet Day (or something similar). I decided that I didn't really want to wear my little black dress and heels all day, so I decided to go for the assistant to the important person on the red carpet. Something like this:
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So I put on my black pants, black jacket, and heels. And then I found every sparkly thing I owned. It turned out like this:

I actually was just discussing the wonder of these pants with a new friend at Thanksgiving yesterday. I own them in multiple colors, and she mentioned that she had them in three colors. The jacket is actually a suit jacket from 10 years ago. The pants that go with the jacket went out of style a while ago, but I kept the jacket for a reason I couldn't explain.

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And here are the magic pants.

I can't explain how comfortable these are! And they hold their shape well.

I'm wearing my Dak Prescott shoes, and I'm going to link a few sparkly pieces here that are similar to the ones I wore.

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This one is crazy expensive, but when it goes on sale, it might be fun for holiday dresses.

Here's another cute option.

Brass-plated crystal necklace

Here's another cute option.
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Here are a few options for bracelets.
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Here's another option.

I love jewelry from Banana and J. Crew because it seems to hold up a bit better than the stuff I purchase elsewhere. I am way too cheap to buy it at full price, so I always just wait for a sale and stock up then.

Okay--I'm off to tackle more of my Thanksgiving break to-do list. Wish me luck...because I might just end up watching another cheesy movie about a woman who finds true love in a small town at Christmas time.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

And Then I Wore All of the Skirts...

I have this weird rule that I don't do the summer/winter switch until Thanksgiving break. I always have those last few outfits I want to wear one more time before sending them to the attic for the winter. But I woke up one Saturday a few weeks ago and declared that I was tired of being was time to get the sweaters out.

I waited another week or so before really giving into fall. And by that I mean, I waited another week before busting out the tights. I guess I started this blog in the spring, so my absolute love of tights never really came out before now. But now you know. I could wear tights every day and be perfectly happy. The pictures below seem to back up this claim.


I love a good winter wool skirt, and both of these are from J. Crew Factory. The one on the left is a few years old, and the one on the right is from last season. Much like my spring/summer skirts from J. Crew Factory, these are cuts that seem to come up each season in different colors. I'm kind of a fan because, as I was talking about with a co-worker, it's so nice to know how something is going to fit and be able to just order online. I do have a bit of a problem with buying too many colorful/pattern skirts, and then I have trouble avoiding the temptation to wear a white or chambray shirt too often. See above for proof.

I also have become a bit of a groupie for heather grey tights. I have this pair from J. Crew (Quick side note: These are super affordable and, so far, have been pretty durable.) Outfits like this work so well for cold days. The boots/tights keep me warm, the cut of the dress is comfortable, and the button down nature of the shirt means I never worry about my extra winter pounds being on display.

Here are a few similar options:
Wool sidewalk skirt in plaid
Look at all the cute colors it comes in!

Wool mini skirt in harvest plaid

Here's another cute option.

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I think this is the exact shirt I'm wearing with the plaid skirt.

Pocket chambray shirt
And I actually own two of these shirts because I wear them so much. Feel free to judge.

I couldn't find the boots of mine, but I found a few options from the same brand. Since my research on riding boots turned up the idea that ankle boots are the way to go, I'm including an option that follows the fashion trends.

Breck Bootie
Ankle boots option

Eadon Boot
I'm not sure about these, but they might be adorable...

Okay--well, I'm off to finish off day one of "do what I want."

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When It's Too Warm for Winter but Too Cold for Summer...

In this part of the country, it seems that there are normally a few glorious weeks that actually feel like this mystical season we call fall.  When I first started teaching, I was broke, and trying to build a wardrobe large enough to survive the year. I didn't have the flexibility to actually have "fall" clothes. It's been a nice perk to be able to buy a few pieces here and there that really only work for this short season. It keeps me from freezing or melting while waiting for the next season to kick in.

Riding boots are my go-to this time of year. I even did a Google search to make sure I'm fashionably allowed to wear them. The verdict is that they're still okay, but ankle boots are slowly taking over their place. So, I guess I'll be looking for ankle boots for next season, but for now, I'm riding (pun unintended, but I'll take it) out the last wave of this trend because it keeps my legs warm. This pair is five years old, and every season I look for, and never find, a suitable replacement. So...I just try to polish them and make them happy. They are a reddish-brown and have a polished look that I love.

Here's one of the looks from my warm-weather-fall days. I decided to play a little with this outfit; I paired my graphic print tee with a little fancier cardigan. I thought it was a fun deviation from my normal cardigan/silk shirt/skirt style. And this skirt is a little piece of heaven. It's an older skirt from J. Crew, and I love it so much that I baby it to try to keep it from getting faded. It's a dark wash denim, is cut like a pencil skirt, and is stretchy. Even though I have a new BR denim skirt I love, I'm still attached to this one.
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This cardigan might work.

And here's another option.

Penguin collector T-shirt

And here are a few options for graphic tees.

Tartan elephant collector T-shirt

Aren't they adorable?

Here is a similar riding boot.


And for another fall outfit option, I present my fall uniform:

The second example of my fall uniform is something I wore about a week later, when it was a bit chillier. This sweater is meant to be a fall/spring sweater. Its loose construction keeps it from being really warm, but it is perfect for a chilly fall day. As is to be expected, I put a chambray shirt underneath. I wore one of my pencil skirts from Banana and, of course, my riding boots. I actually have this pencil skirt in four other colors. I think I've written a love letter to it in the past, but I'll put the link back up on here. It's so versatile and comfortable.   

The boots in this picture are actually a different pair. I got them super cheap off season in the hopes that they could replace the ones shown above, but, alas, they don't really fulfill the same role. They're leather because I have a general rule that I would rather have fewer pairs of shoes but have them made out of more durable material. So I don't buy boots made of man made material if avoidable.

I couldn't find a similar sweater--so sorry, but I do have a chambray shirt skirt for you. Here ya go!

Pocket chambray shirt
Here's a shirt for ya!

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I think this is my skirt.

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Okay--I'm off to continue my day of whatever I want!

All the the next post...

Hi! Good news--I'm not dead. Bad news--I've actually had to become a fairly productive person, and I have to think a little bit to formulate words sometimes due to the sleep deprivation. But the sleep deprivation is only partly due to being a "busy and important person." Part of it might be because of Royal Pains and the weird dreams one has after watching people have strange medical conditions for multiple hours at a time. But I digress.

I decided to take one weekend and do whatever I want. Even just knowing this weekend was coming helped me work a bit harder to get through some school/grad school stuff and made me less overwhelmed. And it's interesting what you discover about yourself when you ask the question, "If given 2 days to do whatever, what would you do?" The answer for me, it appears is:

1. Sleep
2. Eat donuts
3. Read/write
4. Watch terribly cheesy movies
5. Wear athleisure clothing as much as possible and 90's grunge sweaters and jeggings when real clothes are required.

Oh--and 6. Drink chai lattes.

I think this confirms that I am, indeed, a basic white girl. But as I discussed with a few of my students this week, there's a good reason these trends are popular. Chai lattes are delicious, yoga pants are comfortable, and cheesy movies are a break for the brain. There's a perfectly good reason these things are consumed/worn en masse. And I am not going to feel bad about enjoying things that are enjoyable just because they're attached to stereotypes about people like me. So there. Excuse me while I go put my hair up in a messy bun...

Okay--so, all that to say that I have about a month's worth of outfits to show off. I didn't take pictures every day, but I did do what I could when I actually wore something that seemed like a somewhat good idea. The following posts are groupings of similar outfits that transitioned me from warm-fall to full-fledged cold fall. We're not quite at winter yet since I have been able to hold out and NOT wear my winter coat. I am, for no real reason, adamantly opposed to wearing my winter coat before Thanksgiving. Maybe I take those "everything has its season" thoughts a bit too seriously. 

Okay--so clearly I've missed writing over the last month...hence my long post. The ones ahead should be mostly pictures and links with a few tips on things like spirit week and parent conferences...and the need for friends.