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Monday Meh’s

Posted by Carla teachinstyle. Comment (0).

Monday was a typical Monday in the sense that it is a work day for me.  I have the pleasure of being able to sleep in a bit, but once I get up its all about setting myself up for success for the week.  Slowly, but surely I make sure to re-read the chapters that I am lecturing over, prepare any last minute lecture notes or idea’s, make quizzes to take to the copy center or post online, complete any grading, look ahead to see what is upcoming that I need to prepare for, and pick out outfits for the week.  And, in addition to all of that, I may do some chores around the house—-laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc.  I sometimes schedule dentist appointments, vet visits, and what not on Monday’s.  I may also have to run to Wal-Mart or Target to pick up a few things, get gas, go to the bank, blah blah blah.  I may even try to sneak in a little bit of blogging, making or editing a video, fun shopping, reading, sewing, lunch with friends, etc.

Monday’s are busy days.  But, they are often days that are hard to quantify.  Yesterday, I had a case of the Monday’s.  Even though I had time to do what I wanted to do and Dancing with the Stars and The Blacklist are on t.v. I was just in a funk.  There wasn’t anything wrong, I just felt meh.  Does that ever happen to you?  I just had that feeling of being in the rat race.

Every week is the same.  I do this on Monday, volunteer on Tuesday then work at the bar, do this on Wednesday then have class, Thursday is date night—where are we going to go?  What are we going to do?  Class early on Friday, then a nap, then close down the bar.  Sleep in on Saturday, a bit of time with the BF, close down the bar.  Sleep in on Sunday—how late dependent on visiting parents, doing chores, going here, there, everywhere.  Take a nap around 4, make a nice dinner, watch animation domination, wash, rinse, and repeat.

I am just feeling like I need a break.  Routine is good, but there comes a point where it becomes too monotonous and I feel stifled.  I am feeling that way now.  Plus, the rainy and gloomy weather of Fall does not help my meh mood any.  But, here is what I wore to class:

October 20, 2014 M (m)

Blue blazer: (thrifted.) Silver earrings: gift. Burgundy cami: Old Navy. Printed blouse: Target. Burgundy trousers: NY&Co. Silver watch: Fossil. Silver peacock pin: Wal-Mart. Brown pointy-toed pumps: (thrifted.)

This top is also a great example of a piece that can really be a workhorse in your closet.  Because of the style of the blouse, it is appropriate for work, but also can be worn in everyday life.  When I am wearing it in a professional environment, I pin the layers together so that I am not showing too much.  I also make sure to layer it with a cami or tank top to make it appropriate.  There are a lot of colors in the top to pull from and work with.  For this look, I went with some of the darker tones and paired it with the burgundy pants and navy blazer.  I thought that this darker palette was very Fall appropriate.  I grounded all of the color with brown pumps and small scale silver jewelry.

Work to Play

When I wore this top last week for date night, I layered it over the same burgundy cami, but I topped it with a mustard colored boyfriend cardigan.  The oversized, slouchy cardigan tilted this blouse in a casual direction.  Going with the warm toned colors, I wore skinny jeans and cognac colored flat riding boots.  You can see that for a casual look I am letting more of the cami underneath show.

Here are a few other ways that I have styled this top in the past:

The top row are all casual outfits– I’m wearing jeans in each one. And, the bottom row are all work-appropriate outfits. Do you have a favorite?

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Posted by Carla teachinstyle. Comment (0).

Last Friday was speech day for my students.  This is their first speech and since I only meet with them once a week, they only do a total of 3 speeches.  Because there are only 3 the guidelines are a little different.  They have to have a presentation aid for all of their speeches.  But, we didn’t have time to go over the presentation aid chapter so it’s just a formality.  There were no points to be gained by their presentation aid, just a penalty if they did not have one.

The next time around there will be points on the table for the creation and proper use of their presentation aid, but I didn’t think it was fair to tie points to it when we hadn’t discussed it, yet.  The presentation aid did cause a lot of problems for some of my students, though.  Even though we talked about the best way to practice and one of the tips is to have your aid done so that you can practice with it, many of my students didn’t.  I told them that if they were going to use the projector that they needed to figure out how to work it ahead of time so that they could be comfortable with the equipment and not have delivery problems associated with it.  It’s frustrating because so many of them didn’t listen and they just turned up with their flash drive and expected me to walk them through it and show them how to use it.  That is part of being prepared for the speech.

Those are some of the cons of the once a week format.  There is a lot that my students need to do outside of class and in-between seeing each other.  With my other section that meets twice a week they get reminders more often about what they should be working on and in some respects it is better for the students.  The once a week format is a very advanced way of delivering content and some of my students really thrive in the environment and some of them seem to have signed up for it because they thought that it was the easy way out.

Turquoise button-up: Wal-Mart. Teal blazer: Target. Silver earrings: gift. Pearl necklace: ? 3 strand pearl bracelet: Elder Beerman. Khaki trousers: (thrifted.) Nude pumps: Target. Silver watch: Fossil.

Turquoise button-up: Wal-Mart. Teal blazer: Target. Silver earrings: gift. Pearl necklace: ? 3 strand pearl bracelet: Elder Beerman. Khaki trousers: (thrifted.) Nude pumps: Target. Silver watch: Fossil.

My outfit was an amalgam of these three pins that I had on my boards.  The common thread here is a khaki bottom, teal or turquoise top, and gold or brown accessories.  From these three idea’s I came up with my outfit on the right.  I started with the idea that I wanted to wear pants and built from there.  I went with a silky turquoise button-up and topped it off with a teal blazer.  I liked the monochromatic look.  To carry that through, I went with my nude pumps instead of a dark brown like in the one photo.  I also switched things up a bit by going with a long pearl necklace, bracelet, and silver watch and earrings.

I liked this look, mostly. The top is oddly billowy and even though the blazer helps a lot, it still tends to poof out and look weird sometimes. Also, I wanted to do something with my hair other than wear it down either flatironed or with a bit of curl from hot rollers, but I don’t exactly love the way it turned out. Usually I am a big fan of my hair, but lately its been disappointing me. I think its time for a haircut!

What do you think? Thanks for reading. Also, drop me a comment down below and share this blog with your friends.

Fall 2014 Gallery

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This semester I am teaching two sections of Effective Speaking. One section runs on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m. The other section meets once a week on Friday’s from 9:00 a.m.-11:40 a.m. Here, you can see all of the outfits that I have worn this semester in one quick and easy location. Click on any photo for a larger view. The photo’s from L to R will be my outfit for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.

Catch Up

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Wednesday was a great catch up day. My students didn’t have class on Monday because of the observance of Columbus Day, so Wednesday was the first time that I met with them this week. Last week they all presented their speeches and so this week was a nice day to bring closure to the first part of the semester and start planning for the next big thing.

I returned all of their graded items–their speeches, peer evaluations, delivery outlines (note cards), and revised outlines. I then had them spend about 10 minutes looking over all of their returned work and then writing a reflection on how they did in the process for the first time. We went over their online midterm and I spent a few moments talking about the questions that they had the most difficulty with, but everyone did well—C or above. This naturally segued us into talking about the assignment for the next speech.

We went over the assignment and talked about the guidelines. I also made sure to mention that because this was a new process the first time around we spent 7 weeks preparing before delivering the speech. But, now that they know the process and we are just going to repeat it there won’t be as much time. They will deliver their next speech 3 weeks from today. That’s half as much time as before.


The inspiration for this outfit came mostly from this pin on my boards.  It is a simple grey sheath dress, leopard print shoes, and cognac/brown accessories.  I wouldn’t normally think to pair grey with cognac OR leopard print so this was quite a novel idea to me.  I had two grey dresses that could have served for the base of this outfit, but I went with the one above because it was most like the one in the inspiration photo.  The other grey dress has a different shape and feel.  I knew that with the weather, I was going to have to layer something over or under my dress, though.  I toyed with my different options and eventually settled on this brown boyfriend style cardigan.  I think that it was a good choice.  I pulled turquoise in with my necklace, also, but in the form of a bubble necklace.  Instead of a gold cuff I went with my oversized rose gold watch.

October 15, 2014 W (3)

I’m still trying to incorporate taking pictures outside into my repertoire. It’s a bit more difficult because I have to fuss with the settings and its more time-consuming, but I think that it will ultimately be better for my blog. Oh, and speaking of blog and other projects that I have in the works, here is my latest video that I’ve posted to YouTube:


Off Duty

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I had it in my mind that I was bringing you a bonus post, but then I realized that I’m not. There was no school Monday because of Columbus Day, so I’m not giving you anything extra, just replacing a professional outfit with two off duty looks.

Orange sweater: Target. Gingham button up: GAP. Distressed boyfriend jeans: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Leopard print pumps: Target.

Orange sweater: Target. Gingham button up: GAP. Distressed boyfriend jeans: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Leopard print pumps: Target.

This outfit I wore a few weeks ago for date night with my BF. I put this outfit together based on a pin on Pinterest. The only difference is that in the inspiration photo they had leopard print ballet flats. I don’t have those, so I went with my pumps.

This outfit I wore to dinner and a movie with my BF this past Thursday. We went to see Gone Girl and had dinner at a local restaurant. I had this amazing fig and goat cheese flat bread for dinner that I can’t get off my mind. And, the movie was pretty great, too.

I didn’t realize it until my BF commented on it, but this outfit looks a lot like my uniform for the bar. I was a bit bummed when he made the reference, but it’s kinda true! Oh well. It didn’t help that I wore my hair up, too.


Curious Cat and Gold

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Yesterday was a “fun” class day.  I think that I have better results with my Fri. students when I have them actively involved in doing something.  I’m not sure if it’s because we meet at 9 am or the nature of the individuals, but they are hands-on learners.  I like coming up with different activities for them to use the material that I am teaching them.

Today’s class was very easy– there was little to no new content.  They took their first in-class quiz and then we talked about a simple 8-step process for practicing the type of speech that they are delivering next week.  They’ve had other quizzes, but they normally take them online instead of in the classroom.  When they take them online they are open-note/open-book but in the classroom they are from memory.  I like to mix it up and have them do a little of both.

Afterward, we watched some videos of speeches and practiced evaluating.  I played the introduction of the first speech once, and then stopped it so they could think about it.  Then, I played the whole 5 minute speech through.  The way that our evaluation form works best is if you are evaluating each section while the speaker is delivering it.  However, you have to be able to tell when the speaker is in the different sections.  I think that they can take a lot from this exercise as a listener and a speaker.  They’ve now seen first hand how difficult it can be to determine when the speaker is in main point 1 and when they are in main point 2.  I am hoping that they write clear and specifically links to help their audience out.

Then, we go through the evaluation form one item at a time and talk about what they speaker said or did for each one.  Then, we evaluate how well the speaker did.  What I have to impress upon them is that there is a certain amount of subjectivity involved.  They may like someone’s attention grabber while it may not work for someone else.  But, if the speaker has one, they should at least earn some points.  The trouble is that the videos came with a textbook that I’ve used previously and it doesn’t follow the criteria of our text exactly, so these speeches wind up earning B’s or C’s when they are otherwise A speeches.  But, it does help my students to really listen critically and analyze whether or not something is there and how good it is if it is present.

After we discussed each item I gave them a short break and then we watched a 2nd example.  I didn’t stop the 2nd example at all, I just played it from start to finish.  They had a little more difficulty than I would have thought picking out the main points and what not.  But, that is the whole reason that we are practicing and talking about what they should be listening for.  We didn’t talk about the 2nd one nearly as long as we talked about the first one because it has some of the same missing criteria for our text and therefore earns a similar grade.  I handed back their graded outlines, which I know that they were all eager to get back.  Many of them thought that they did worse than they actually did and while watching the speeches I could see the wheels spinning for most of them about their own speeches and ideas that they had.

I purposely left about 20 minutes of class time so that they could talk to me about their outlines if they had questions.  Since we only meet once a week, it can be very difficult to have one-on-one conversations with my students if they aren’t able to come early or stay late.  I am available to meet with them other times, but that is the only time that some of them come to campus.  It worked out well, many of them came to see me one by one to ask what something said, or what I meant by what I wrote.

Black cardigan: Target. Black tanktop: Old Navy. Bronze belt: Old Navy. Gold and Black Jacquard-like skirt: JCP. Black tights: Wal-Mart. Black booties: Dillard's. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Gold Earrings: Wal-Mart?

Black cardigan: Target. Black tanktop: Old Navy. Bronze belt: Old Navy. Gold and Black Jacquard-like skirt: JCP. Black tights: Wal-Mart. Black booties: Dillard’s. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Gold Earrings: Wal-Mart?

When looking for something to wear for Thursday night date night, I was browsing my Pinterest boards and I came across a pin that I’ve been trying to re-create for awhile. It is a tan/brown/gold sweater, dark belt around the natural waist, leopard print pencil skirt, black tights, black shoes, and an animal stole around the neck. I don’t have a leopard print skirt, but this gold and black Jacquard-like skirt is very similar. The trouble is, I don’t have a top in the right shade of browny/gold to pull it off. I was going to wear a gold cardigan with a black tank top underneath of it, but when I put it all together it didn’t look right! So, I went with a black cardigan and black tanktop instead. Almost every time that I wear this skirt I go with a black top and I wanted to break that mold! I did, however, go with black tights instead of nude legs and I wore a different pair of black shoes than I normally wear! So, that’s something. Here is a link to my one item; many ways post featuring this skirt.

Anyone know where I can get a sweater, cardigan, or blouse to match the gold threads in this skirt for around $15?!? Help a girl out!


First Round Speeches Fall 2014

Posted by Carla teachinstyle. Comment (0).

Yesterday was the first day of speeches for Fall 2014! Because I meet more often with my M/W class, they kicked off the speeches for this semester. My FRI students will be doing their first round next Friday. I had two days blocked off for speeches, this Wednesday and next, but I only had 9 students who met the minimum criteria to present their speech.

We were able to hear all of the speeches yesterday. I won’t meet with my students on Monday because of Columbus Day, but they do have to complete their take home midterm and turn it in online by the end of our normal class time on Monday. When we meet again next Wednesday we will be turning our attention to the second informative speech: the demonstrative speech. My students often struggle with this speech more than any of the others, so I am going to have to be on the lookout for that.

I’m proud of all of my students for their effort on their first speech. There were more A’s earned this time around than in any of my other semesters! I have truly been blessed with a great group of students who are eager to learn and very capable.

The weather is consistently in the high 50’s, low 60’s and I am starting to pull out more of my layering pieces–long-sleeved t-shirts, lightweight sweaters, cardigans, blazers, tights, and boots. On Wednesday, I wanted to wear something that was a little more low-key than usual since it was speech day. But, I think that I wound up wearing something on par with my normal level of dressiness! I either wanted to wear a skirt or dress with tights and flats OR trousers with ballet flats. But, this is what I went with:

Coral cowl neck sweater: gift: NY&Co. Black and silver earrings: Target? Silver watch: Fossil. Black and white trousers: JCP. Black Mary Janes: Wal-Mart. Faux leather jacket: Target.

Coral cowl neck sweater: gift: NY&Co. Black and silver earrings: Target? Silver watch: Fossil. Black and white trousers: JCP. Black Mary Janes: Wal-Mart. Faux leather jacket: Target.

I planned to wear a thin black belt at my natural waist to marry the light pastel sweater with the black and white trousers, but it just wouldn’t sit right. The sweater is a thin material and when belted it showed every lump and bump of the waistband of my pants and camisole underneath. So, I went without the belt. I liked the way that I am mixing a very soft and feminine piece with a piece that I think is “harder.” To carry this even farther, I went with my faux leather jacket instead of my grey peacoat jacket that I have been rocking lately. I also went with different accessories!

I was torn between going with gold-tone jewelry or silver, but I thought that these black and silver earrings helped to marry the bottom half of my outfit with the top half. Ballet flats just didn’t look right with the wide leg opening on these trousers, so I went with a low-heeled mary jane. Here are some other ways that I have worn this same sweater before:

You can see that I usually pair this sweater with trousers and always in a light shade—khaki, tan, and blush in these top 3. The first time I wore it I paired it with a denim colored pencil skirt and I’ve worn it casually with jeans and brown ballet flats before. How would you style this sweater?


Feeling Fall: Orange and Brown

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Monday I prepped all day for the week ahead, but I definitely did not get done as much as I wanted to.  I think because it was a cold, grey, and yucky day outside that I just had trouble getting motivated.

I did, however, pick out an outfit that screamed Fall.  What else can you do, right?  I wanted to wear flat riding boots and tights since we were watching videos during class, but I ended up going with something a bit more dressed up in the end.

Orange sweater: Target. Leopard print button-up: (thrifted.) Bronze feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Oversized gold watch: Target. Brown pleated skirt: (thrifted.) Dark brown knee-high boots: Target.

Orange sweater: Target. Leopard print button-up: (thrifted.) Bronze feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Oversized gold watch: Target. Brown pleated skirt: (thrifted.) Dark brown knee high boots: Target.

Because students often learn well by seeing someone do something and then doing it themselves, we watched video examples. Also, this gives us the opportunity to discuss what we are looking for when filling out the evaluation form. I am not trying to get the students to rank the introduction the same as me, but I am trying to get them to listen critically for the 4 elements in a complete conclusion and then evaluate their merit. I’ve really been trying to teach them that we need to determine something is there, if it is right, and then if it is good or bad.

Also, this hopefully helps to iron out the kinks of evaluating so that I don’t have some students who evaluate too high and others who evaluate too low. I want them to be in the sweet spot! I also announced their take home midterm. It has crept up rather quickly, but this is week 7 for my college and we are half-way through! As much as I like to think about that, it also means that there is only 7 weeks until we are in the middle of December, YIKES!

Do you like this outfit? I’ve worn the top half before, but the first time I went with a black cotton and leather skirt. This time I went with a brown skirt and brown boots. I am not sure which one that I like better. Thoughts?