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That Girl Who Fell in the Parking Lot

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Last week I received a shipment of items that I purchased from target.com.  When the package came it was in the midst of a busy few days so I didn’t get to try on the items immediately.  Finally, over the weekend I was able to rip open the package and try on my new clothes.  I ordered 2 pencil skirts–one in navy and one in khaki and a grey scoopneck cardigan.

I was pretty confident that the items would fit since I am a regular Target shopper, but I wasn’t 100% certain since I don’t own any of the exact skirt that I ordered.  Both skirts fit great, albeit slightly differently even though they are the same style, same size.  I didn’t try on the cardigan, but I am sure it will fit.  Of course when I get something new I want to wear it right away.  So, Sunday evening I planned an outfit with my new navy skirt.  I have been wanting a navy pencil skirt for quite some time, but have never picked one up.  I’ve seen a few in the stores here and there, but never the right color, length, style, or price.  But, I used my birthday money to splurge a little on this skirt.  I say a little because it was less than $25.  A true splurge would have been one from The Limited, Banana Republic, or Ann Taylor which all retail for closer to $100, give or take.

Working with the skirt as my base, I looked for different tops that I could pair with it.  And what do you know, even though I have wanted to add a navy skirt to my collection for while, I had a little trouble composing an outfit at first.  I thought about my navy gingham shirt, but I had just worn it the previous Monday.  Eventually, I paired it with a sort of asparagus-green shell and a three-quarter sleeved flowered cardigan.  I don’t know why, but my BF despises this cardigan and I love it.  I used to wear it all the time, but once I found out that he wasn’t fond of it I started wearing it a little less.

Flowered cardigan: Old Navy. Green shell: gift. Navy Skirt: Target. Nude pumps: Target.

Flowered cardigan: Old Navy. Green shell: gift. Navy Skirt: Target. Nude pumps: Target. Necklace: unknown. Silver watch: Fossil.

This outfit, IMHO, is a quintessential teacher outfit. I can’t exactly say why, it may be the cardigan and the pencil skirt. Or it may be the pumps. I’m not sure. But when I think “teacher” this is the sort of outfit that pops into my head.

My Early College High School (ECHS) students began their demonstrative speeches on Monday. Even though I warned them over and over again, many of them missed several of the homework due dates along the way and got swept under by their speech. After the middle of the semester, things start to move really fast.

After class, I was walking across the parking lot to my car and I fell out of my shoes. I don’t know how or why, but I did. First, was the left one and then the right. For any Sex and the City fans out there, it was kind of like when Carrie fell down the runway. Usually when I walk to my car after class there isn’t a soul in the parking lot, but of course on the day that I fell there were two ladies behind me. They were both very sweet in making sure that I was o.k. I caught myself as best I could and sort of fell on my knees and then plopped over. I scuffed my hose but managed not to tear or run them. The biggest bruise was the one on my ego. But, I stood up, dusted myself off, stepped back in my shoes and walked the few feet to the solitude of my car where I could be alone.

My second class of the day went o.k. My students are working in groups for their next speech and they are all having some struggles with group work. One group was missing one person last Monday and then a different person last Wednesday so they were trying to get everyone on the same page. The second group had the luxury of having all of their members present for all class meetings, but they had 4 people and they had to deal with a lot of opinions. That group had some very strong-willed and outspoken members. The third group had one member who dropped after the first group meeting. I thought that they would be able to get on track quickly, but there are some very methodical members in the group who want everything to be just perfect. Monday, they were missing a member and it was causing a lot of stress for the other two members. Needless to say, tensions were a little high amongst everyone.

Believe it or not, the semester is almost over! Depending on if you count Spring Break as a week or not, we are in week 14 of a 16 week semester. If you don’t count Spring Break, we’re in week 13 of a 15 week semester. Either way, there are 2 weeks left! That means that I will meet with my students 4 or 5 more times and then they have their exam. While this week is sort of a light week for me in terms of prep since my M/W/F students are doing speeches all week, my M/W class is doing group work and then speeches, and my T/Tr class is doing speeches on Tuesday, I have a bit of grading to do! For M/W/F I have to grade their revised outlines, speeches, and note cards. For the M/W and T/Tr classes I have to grade their preparation outlines, speeches, and note cards.

I’d better get to that grading!
-Carla

Spirit Week

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Sometime last week, or the week before, I was shopping at Wal-Mart and I was browsing the clothing. I’m telling you, if you are the type of person to stick your nose in the air and think, clothes at Wal-Mart?!? you should think again. I’ve found cute things for reasonable prices time and time again. No, not everything is a winner, but you have to look for the gems hidden in amongst the mom jeans and elastic-waist pants.

The pants that I found were on a clearance rack. They had other colors that were still full-priced, but when I saw these pants for $9 I couldn’t really pass them up. There were two pairs in two different sizes. I knew based on how the pants were made that I might need to size up so that they would be work appropriate. But, I didn’t feel like going into the dressing room that day. So, I put them both in my cart and went about my business. Wal-Mart is so close and convenient that if one pair, or the other, didn’t work out I could easily return them.

In my mind, I remembered an outfit that Jessica Quirk, one of the first fashion bloggers that I started following, had created with a very similar pair of pants. So, once I tried on the pants and deemed both pairs a keeper (yes, even though they are different sizes), I set about creating an outfit with them for Thursday morning.

I couldn’t find the outfit that I was looking for right away, so I scrolled through her galleries and was able to locate all of the ways that she had styled her khaki ankle-length trousers. And, the one that I used for inspiration wasn’t the original one that I was looking for!

image via whatiwore.tumblr.com

image via whatiwore.tumblr.com

This is the original image that I was looking for.  I’ve always loved the simple sophistication of this look.  Even though the pants are J. Crew, I think she looks like she could step out of the pages of an advertisement for Ann Taylor or Banana Republic.  This is the ideal that I strive for when dressing for work.  And, I love those shoes!  I was hoping that my tan suede booties would work in a similar fashion, but they didn’t.  Also, I decided to go in a different direction after another outfit that she created with these pants caught my eye:

image via whatiwore.tumblr.com

image via whatiwore.tumblr.com

This outfit uses the same pants, but different shoes.  In the above photo she is wearing ballet flats.  But, the other elements are simple: denim jacket, sparkly shirt, faux fur collar, and gold jewelry.  I have all of those items in my own closet.  (Although I do have a faux fur wrap, I didn’t opt to wear it.)

Jean jacket: Wal-Mart. Silver sequin shirt: JCP. Khaki ankle-length pants: Wal-Mart.

Jean jacket: Wal-Mart. Silver sequins shirt: JCP. Khaki ankle-length pants: Wal-Mart. Feather earrings: Charlotte Russe. Gold link bracelet: Versona. Red leather bracelet: Souvenir. Gold starfish bracelet: Versona. Brown and gold watch: Festival Flea Market. Brown pumps: (thrifted.)

I tried on a few different pairs of shoes, but ultimately that I liked the contrast of the dark brown best. Also, the shape of the shoe worked well. I was a little unsure about them because I am mixing gold elements with silver, but I think it worked well because the two major elements in the outfit (silver shirt and tan pants) are mixing those two colors. At least that’s what I’m telling myself! I loved this outfit and I hope you do, too.

On Friday, I wanted to wear something that was green and black because it was spirit week at the high school where I teach my Early College High School students. But, the first outfit that I had created used the same kelly green cardigan that I wore on Wednesday. Had I worn the cardigan on Tuesday or Thursday, I would have been o.k. with it. But, I had to veto that idea. Also, I was going to wear black colored skinny-khaki’s until my BF asked if I thought they were work appropriate and made me doubt myself. So, I did a complete overhaul of my outfit and came up with a green v-neck sweater, black trousers, and black ballet flats. I don’t like this outfit at all, but I did have a student comment that he liked that I participated in their spirit week, so that made it a little better.

April 11, 2014 F (g)

I’m still feeling a little under the weather, but I don’t think that I have been sick all this time.  I think that I have developed allergies.  I took some generic Benadryl on Saturday afternoon and it made me feel a little better.  Later that evening when it wore off someone gave me an Allegra to try and after it kicked-in, I felt the best that I’ve felt in the last week and a half.  Yesterday, I bought Claritin-D 12 hour on the recommendation of a friend.  Fingers crossed that it helps me to finally feel better.  I’m tired of being “sick.”

-Carla

Time Warp

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Why is it that sometimes time seems to go faster and then at other moments it crawls along?  As I get older, it seems like time moves faster and faster.  That’s how this week (month) has been.  It’s week 12 in my classes and so we are in the final push.  I warn my students about coming all this way and then dropping the ball at the very end.  But, sometimes I need to remember to take my own advice.

As much as I love getting dressed and composing outfits, sometimes I just don’t have the time to devote to it that I would like.  And yet, I still have to put clothes on my body!  On Wednesday morning, I reached for a version of an outfit that I have worn before.  It’s good to have tried and true versions of outfits that you can fall back on when you are short on time.

Green cardigan: Target. Printed sleeveless shirt: Target. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.)

Green cardigan: Target. Printed sleeveless shirt: Target. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold earrings: JCP. Brown ballet flats: Target. Gold and brown watch: Festival Flea Market.

Here are a few ways that I’ve worn this top before:

The first three outfits are more casual in nature. The first two I did not wear to school. In fact, I really can’t because the one dress code rule we have is “No Jeans.” In the third one in the top row, I am wearing denim colored trousers, which are work appropriate. The bottom row is how I’ve worn this top more recently. I think the skirt and boots version might be my favorite. The khaki pants was a spin off of that outfit and this outfit was another version with the same skirt, a different green cardigan, and Spring-y ballet flats. What do you think? Do you have a favorite?
-Carla

Red Accent

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Tuesday morning I tried to sleep in a bit since I’ve been under the weather and I had to work after school at my bartending gig.  But, I also had a lot of stuff to do, so I didn’t sleep as late as I would have liked.  In theory, it seems like I have a ton of time in the morning before class starts at 1 p.m. provided I get up around 9 a.m.  But then I remember that I have an hour commute and I can’t just walk in the minute before class starts, but I’ve committed to my students that I will be available at least 15 minutes before class starts.

And then you have to figure the hour that it takes me to shower, dress, eat breakfast, have coffee, check Facebook and e-mail and then another hour for hair & makeup, pictures, packing my bag for school. etc.  At this point, we are looking at 9:45 a.m.  So, all that time that I think I have sort of goes “poof!”

This dress is one of the 3 that I bought a few weeks back for my “birthday.”  At least that’s what I’m going with.  The first dress was the red t-shirt maxi dress that I wore last Tuesday on my birthday.  I guess that its fitting that I wore the 2nd of the 3 new dresses on a Tuesday, also.  I didn’t plan it that way, in fact, I just realized it!

I wore this dress because it was easy and didn’t require a lot of thought or effort.  I didn’t even do all that much in the way of jewelry.  But, because of the inherent polish of a wrap dress I think I look very put together.  You may think that I look a hot mess, though.  (I hope not.)

Brown and Black faux-wrap dress; Wal-Mart. Gold watch: Target. Gold bracelet: Versona. Red ballet flats: Target. Gold earrings:

Brown and Black faux-wrap dress; Wal-Mart. Gold watch: Target. Gold bracelet: Versona. Red ballet flats: Target. Gold earrings: Target/Wal-Mart?

I didn’t feel overly compelled to get dressed to the nines because I wasn’t really doing much in class. My students are working in groups on their next speech. So, I am basically just there to monitor them and answer the occasional question. While they were working on their projects, I was grading papers and updating my grade book and attendance records. But, I did add a fun touch with the red shoes. I tried this outfit on with my nude pumps and brown pointy-toed heels. Both of those options could have worked, too. But, I thought that the red ballet flat was more suited to the low-key class session for me.

What do you think? Do you like this outfit? Do you reach for a dress for instant polish when you are feeling rushed? Please sound off in the comments below.
-Carla