Merry, Merry!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Okay, okay, I'm a day late. Merriest Christmas to you all and your darling families! Christmas eve, we did my family's make-a-gift exchange via webcam with the whole group- us in Houston, my sister in Hong Kong, and rest of the gang at my aunt and uncles' in New Mexico! The highlight of the exchange was the gift created by my mom for my dad- over 30 years worth of family funnies and quotes assembled with photos from the family archives in a bound book. She and I had a riot talking through all the goodies over the phone. Then Christmas morning rolled around. We had a lovely day- breakfast (waffles and homemade lemon curd!) with our neighbors, complete with coffee with a dash of cinnamon and the Christmas Story on loop. And an afternoon and evening with our friends, along with so much food we nearly exploded. So much love, time well spent with people near and dear.

We also gave a family photo a shot. A little squirrely, a little dog yawn, a little cat eye contact avoidance. Not as bad as our last Christmas on our own back in 2008- my merry little gift to you all!

Holiday Look Link Up

Friday, December 21, 2012

Skirt: Target...Turtleneck: J Crew Factory...Blazer: J Crew via Buffalo Exchange...Belt: Target...Shoes: Steve Madden...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

Festive, bright, but not blatant? Huzzah! This blazer may be more versatile than I was expecting it to be.

We had an awesome night with neighbors last evening! We were supposed to do a potluck outside in the courtyard, but the temps are dropping (overnight low of 33!! last night) and we didn't want to freeze our buns, so we aaaalmost cancelled. And that would have been a bummer, so 10 of us and 3 dogs packed into our place, gathered a bunch of tasty food, sipped wine, chatted, and enjoyed each others' company for the evening. What an awesome jumpstart on the holiday weekend! (P.S.- I'm glad the Mayans were wrong.)

So, what have you been wearing or plotting for Holiday Festive Wear? Link it up and meet some new friends! The link's going aaaaaall the way through next week- hook up your day of Christmas look, Saturday party looks, whatever you want.

Here's the rules for the Holiday Look Link Up:
Follow The Perpetual Student's Wife (via Google Friend Connect or BlogLovin')
Link the URL to a specific recent-ish post showing off your favorite holiday themed or holiday party look.
Link back to The Perpetual Student's Wife so your new friends can navigate easily.
Ummm.... that's it! Can't wait to see what you all are rockin' for Holiday Festivities.

Minty Winter White

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pants: Gap Slim Cropped...Sweater: Target...Scarf: Target...Shoes: Cole Haan via DSW...Earrings: Target...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

It's Winter White link up day over at Work Clothes, I Suppose... and I'mma guessin' there's going to be a steady stream of cute stuff going on over there. Check it out! I'm so pumped!

We're doing a Secret Santa kind of exchange at work later today, which I'm really looking forward to. I filled up a really adorable citron/lime-outside-and-white-inside oversized cereal bowl with a little package of homemade cookies for my person. There's a lot of strange senses of humor floating around the office, though, so some odd things might show up.

Speaking of exchanges, we attended a holiday party at a neighbor's place last week and did a Yankee Swap/Nasty Christmas/White Elephant. My guy and I aaalmost ended up with the best gift I've ever seen for this type of game, but lost it at the last turn. It was a box filled with frozen vacuum sealed steaks and potatoes. How great is that?! So creative! What's the most awesome White Elephant gift you've seen? Strangest? Creepiest?

Don't forget to prepare yo'selves for tomorrow- we're donning our favorite Holiday themed look, our best Holiday Party look, our sparkliest snowflake imitation, out most pathetically cozy lounge look and linking them up for the Holiday Look link up. Right here. Tomorrow. Wahoo!

Tales of My Ineptitude

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pants: H&M...Blouse: Target...Cardigan: Target...Scarf: who knows, I've had it for over 8 years...Shoes: Le Sportsac via DSW...Bag: Longchamp knockoff...Earrings: Target

Okay, so baking is decidedly not my thing. We had a video chat with my parents last night while I was baking cookies Round 2 (Hi, Dad!) and I was able to show off my powdered sugar and flour splattered pants, my kitchen in shambles, my inability to stir any of it without slopping all over the place. I tried making a Rolo cookie recipe, which looked right-ish based on all the photos, including the one of a bowl full of glorified batter rather than dough, but the images still showed lumps of cookies on the baking sheet, but mine would not stop spreading. So, I went ahead and made them into fudgey brownies. I even read and followed instructions. This is why I hate baking... Do all the steps right, go through the trouble of properly measuring, and it still fails big time. Forget it! I'll stick with stir fry.

It's also mailing week at the office for the annual giving campaign letters, which has not gone easy at any step (I choose to believe it's my work computer's strange Mail Merge reactions). Getting the letter, the spreadsheet of names, giving form, and additional letterhead and envelopes ready and printed has been a mini nightmare. We thought we had a solid letter drafted, a descriptive and clear giving form finalized and lots of labels for the envelopes, but Mail Merge wouldn't print the photo in the letter, the Director changed her mind about the form (we backtracked to juuuuust about the same thing we finished on Friday), we ran our of labels, but had pleeeeenty of clear,  which takes about 72 hours to dry without smudging. Plus, we're out of stamps! I love my new job, I love my new co-workers, but whew! The hazards of a tiny non-profit staff, I guess.

The good news of early Tuesday: We finally have a theme for our benefit dinner in the Spring: Pop Art Soiree! Lots of awesome art historical references to use there, lots of 60's cultural goodies. I can't wait to see a draft of the invitation late this week!

And don't forget, we're doing a little Holiday Look link up this Friday! Prep your party garb or your cozy best and get in a festive mood. I'm so pumped to see what you all put together. But, today I'm linking up with Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday and Rolled Up Pretty's Whatever Whenever Wednesday.

Baking Skillz

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Skirt: Target...Tee: Target...Blazer: J Crew via Buffalo Exchange...Shoes: Naturalizer...Belt: Target...Tights: Gap...Necklaces: thrifted...Bag: knockoff Longchamp

Day two, what I actually wore to the evening Young Professionals mixer last week. Festive, one of the only red articles of clothing I own, a slim olive weave running through the plaid... Meant for Christmas!  PS- do you notice the plaid lined up perfectly on the pocket? Mmm, I love details.

I baked Russian Tea Cakes/Snowballs/Sand Tarts last night. They turned out better than I thought they would, fortunately (the reason for baking at all is to send them to someone... They had to turn out okay). Here's the scoop: I am NOT a baker. I can cook, I can make up dinners from crap we have on hand, I can saute any number of things like a pro. But, I can't bake my way out of a brownie box. Two part problem: As a cook, I have leeway to play with proportion of veggie and quinoa to garlic. With baking, if I use my normal dash-of-baking-powder-in-my-palm measuring method, cookies fall flat. Shocker. I don't "do" recipes. Part two is that my oven is pretty much an easy bake oven. Tiny apartment sized ovens don't really heat things to a consistant temperature.

Is anyone else buying that blame game? Okay, okay, I suck at baking.

Can't wait to see what you all are planning for Friday's Holiday Look link up. Start plotting- I expect a sequin or two!

Buffalo Plaid

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pants: Gap Really Skinny...Sweater: Target...Shoes: LeSportsac via DSW...Hat: Target Men's...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

Welcome to my week of lead up to the Christmas Holiday! I jump started my moderate excitement with a little over a week to go by way of this silly Buffalo Plaid men's hat on Saturday. 3rd day hair makes a hat Saturday a simple choice, and this funny little number I picked up last year before our holiday trip home to Ohio was the perfect holiday tie in (not to mention the addition of gold shoes helped push it along). I even got motivated enough to put up our two tiny 3-footer trees. One using classy white tones with mini bulbs, icicles and my grandma's starched crochet snowflakes. The other with bright glitter mini bulbs and a blue glitter string art on top. We also put up the Peanuts nativity. Peanuts are a holiday "must" around this house.

BTW, did you catch wind that I'm going to do a Friday Holiday Look link up? I've never hosted a link up before, I didn't really pre-plan, it's just kind of my way to hold myself accountable to getting in the Holiday Spirit by way of fashion... and I know some of you all will join me, so why not get festive together?! (Speaking of fun link ups- Bri Marie at Work Clothes, I Suppose is hosting a Third Thursday  Thread Winter White themed link up this Thursday. And I can't wait!)


Friday, December 14, 2012

Pants: Gap Really Skinny...Sweater: J Crew Outlet...Blazer: Gap...Boots: thrifted...Bag: Longchamp knockoff...Earrings: Banana Republic

I know I've said it, but I'm just not a Holiday Season kind of gal. Thanksgiving came, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and then it went. And my home is still un-decorated, no tree, a minimum of holiday treat-eating, zero holiday treat baking. Anne has had some incredibly adorable holiday decor posts lately, it makes me feel a little bit guilty for being such a Scrooge. Go check her blog out, you'll be so glad you did (her Pin to Present posts are killer!) So, another neutral outfit for me today. And I think I'll force myself next week to post nothing but Kate-style Holiday Looks. Which probably means the holiday-ish aspect of the outfits will be subtle as crap, but at least I'll feel more festive.

(PS, how do you guys feel about the possibility of a Friday Holiday Look link up? I'll host if you're game!)

Happy Friday, you all! Eat something peperminty and send jingle bell vibes my way. I need to get in the spirit!

Now I Know

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Skirt: Banana Republic...Sweater: J Crew Factory...Coat: via Piperlime...Tights: Gap...Shoes: Biviel via DSW...Earrings: Old Navy...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx...Bag: Longchamp knock-off

I was rushing yesterday morning, so I got really crappy photos of this look, but holy poop, the fit of the whole thing was awesome. I usually avoid this skirt because it isn't a tapered pencil, it just drops straight down from my hips, and my personal opinion is that it looks less than stellar at my knobby knees. Duh, Kate. Tights. Solve that ridiculous problem with tone-on-tone tights. And back into the consistant rotation this skirt will go. Anyway, the long, slim, lean pairing contrasted with a fuzzy turtleneck and my favorite makeseverythinglookfashionableandelegant winter coat and I felt ready and confident for my second Board Meeting.

Speaking of- we hosted the meeting at an Elementary school that does a really amazing arts-based after school program every Wednesday evening. We saw one of our staff members doing Djembe drumming and another awesome art teacher doing blind contour drawing with the kids (watch the video and give this a whirl- it's a difficult skill to cultivate). Fun fact: teaching kids to hear and replicate rhythm and drumming patterns reinforces pattern recognition. What else is auditory pattern intensive? Reading. Yup- focus on patterns and rhythm with your kids. It will help with their comprehension and reading skills. No joke. How cool is that?!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dress: BCBG MaxAzaria via Buffalo Exchange...Tee: GapBody...Belt: Banana Republic...Scarf: Gap Men's...TIghts: Gap...Shoes: Steve Madden via Ross...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Bracelet: thrifted

Do you have any completely fabulous articles of clothing that you keep reaching for, but never actually wear because they seem just a little bit too fabulous? Meet my fashionable sweater dress. I'm so glad I got bold enough to wear it out of the house- I kind of can't wait to give it a whirl in the spring.

I attended my first ever Young Professionals' mixer/ Holiday party last evening. I thought I would hate it, and at first I did while some goober chatted me up and admitted that he attends them to try to meet ladies. I did a lot of holding my drink in my left hand, way up near my face. But, then I scooted around the perimeter to search for my boss, who met me there later, and I wound up being invited to chat with a very chill, nice and lighthearted group of late-20-somethings. And they were enjoyable. I'm never ever ever going to be the type to chat up a perfect stranger, but to Samuel NoLastName, thank you for being warm and inclusive and not even a little creepy.

The norm: linking up with Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday, A Little Bit of Lacquer's Work it Wednesday and Rolled Up Pretty's Whatever Wherever Wednesday. Join the fun!

Field Trip

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pants: Zara...Buttondown: Target...Sweater: F21...Shoes: Steve Madden...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange

I had so much fun at the Opera House yesterday! Hundreds of 7th graders actually engaged and impressed by some pretty killer student performances. It was awesome to catch some photos of some of these kids' first trip to a formal performance space, their first time hearing operatic voices, their moment of understanding when they realize no one was wearing a microphone. It's so rewarding to facilitate that kind of eye-opening exposure.

It's a nutty week at work- we have volunteers from the fine arts high school helping us get ready for a pretty major mailing, filing, etc. And a board meeting on Wednesday. And a site visit and evaluation on Friday.

Oh, and some benefit dinner planning. Still waaaay behind on that. What up in your weeks?

Sister Visit

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pants: Gap Slim Cropped...Sweater: Target...Scarf: mystery asian textile...Shoes: Circa Joan and David

Heeey, who has two thumbs and ran out of time to take photos last Friday? This guuuuy. Sorry for the crappy light, terrible background and awful framing, I just really liked the sweater and scarf combo.

So, my sister was here and we packed a lot of good stuff in over the course of a short 18 hour trip. We visited the Orange Show and I was able to introduce her to some of the lovely board members who are currently working on mosaics for the memory wall in a new park next door. We ate at my favorite burger place- Lucky Burger (we didn't decide to go for a side of fried rice, though). We re-switched my silly lamp after the rocker switch crapped out. We left my sickie husband (the clinic doc told him his tests showed that he really, really, really has the flu) to rest and went to friend day where, shocker of not-at-all-shockers, she fit right into the ridiculous humor of our friends. And this morning, we got doughnuts and kolaches, sipped on coffee and caught up, and wrapped up the visit with a trip to the Rothko Chapel and Menil Collection. Goooood use of our time together.

I'm up and away early to help herd kiddos in and out of the University's Opera House for a special field trip! It's so much fun to see them all excited and engaged by a pretty darn "traditional" art form. Keep your fingers crossed that I get a few good photos!

Family Time

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I have no photo to post today... It's been a pretty packed week, my husband came back to town sick and pathetic, I strolled into work and faced a stolen laptop incident (not any of our active work computers, thank goodness, just an older laptop in need of repair... the criminal is gonna be mad when they find out). And I spent my evening avoiding my laptop, eating crappy lo mein and snuggling my blanket-wrapped dog, so there's that excuse. Anyway, I'm also excited and distracted since my sister is coming into town tomorrow! From Phoenix! The only loser member of my family who still hasn't seen our Houston home in 3 1/2 years! (Of course, this is giving my dad credit for his Sunday at 5:00 pm arrival and Monday at 8:30 departure a few years ago... we still managed to do dinner with my Guy and Bromance and see a friend's string quartet play at a gallery... not bad for an 18 hour visit.) We're going to eat at all my favorite restaurants, walk around our neighborhood, hang out with our Houston buddies since there's already a friend day Saturday going on. So, this sister visit comes right on the heels of my guy getting to see my other sister. So we can giggle and see pictures and be jealous of that visit together. Aaaand, my mom called earlier in the week to inform me that their hotel is booked- they are officially spending three nights in town after Christmas on their way back from NM to OH. Big, fat, family win this month.

What a strange week it's been. I'm so glad to have my Guy home, even if he's a snot faucet. I don't usually miss him when he's on trips, but this one was different. I'm just happy to jump out of that funk with a sister visit.

Back Again

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Skirt: Target...Blouse: Target...Blazer: Express (old)...Tights: Gap...Belt: thrifted...Shoes: Naturalizer

This is from Monday, when I thought I was intended to sit in on a very big deal meeting to ask a potential big wig honoree to join our Benefit. Nope. It was 20 'til the meeting, I went to the director's office to ask about driving together or separate and she was nowhere to be found and responded to my text inquiry with a big fat "No, but wish us luck." Oh, well. At least we got the honoree's YES!

And my Guy is HOME! I picked him up late late late last night after he had a 5 hour layover in Chicago. During which he posted photos to Facebook of his trip. And my mom and I conference-called a viewing of them. He is not a photo-taker, but I'm so glad he remembered to keep the camera out and get some images of the place that maaaaybe could be our next home. I guess we'll know in early January!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Skirt: thrifted and refashioned...Sweater: J Crew Outlet...Jacket: Banana Republic...Shoes: Naturalizer...Belt: Gap...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange

HA! I just realized that my shoulders are pretty much up to my ears in these photos... this look was photo'd just before my Guy left town to interview. And I was nervous. And while I'm grinning in the photos, my body language absolutely tells the story of what I was feeling all of last week.

PS, he feels like he did well, had good interaction with the Dean, had a shared vision of how to teach an integrated curriculum, was asked lots of specifics about his thoughts and opinions on certain things. We won't count on anything, but at least we know he represented himself well. And we'll hear between now and the middle of January. So, not much to do but wait until his flight lands at midnight and go to pick him up tonight. And let him work on writing his dissertation.

I'm linking up, you know, since it's Wednesday. Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday, Rolled up Pretty's Whatever Wherever Wednesday. Join the fun!

The Sad Truth

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pants: Zara...Blouse: Banana Republic Outlet...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: Circa Joan and David via DSW...Bag: Naturalizer...Necklace: Target...Bracelet: thrifted

100% honesty? I spent last evening missing my husband (who feels like he rocked his interview, by the way. We'll hear about decisions between the middle of the month and the middle of January) and watching movies on YouTube. Mostly Disney movies. Okay, just Dumbo. Twice. And I cried my eyes out watching Mrs. Jumbo waiting for, no, craving her baby as all the other mothers received their delivery from the storks. And a tear rolled down my face when he crashed into the pyramid of elephants and waved his sad little broken flag out of the flap in the fallen big top. And cried like a sap again when he goes to see her in confinement. Three themes emerge here: 1. I cry too much. 2. I need to be a mother. Yesterday. 3. Disney, in the early 40's, could illustrate more emotion and sorrow and in a faceless elephant trunk than most modern day actresses will emote over the entirety of their career. Pathetic.

Just keeping it real, y'all. P.S. I did not actually hang up and put away any clothing that's been sorted for three days now. Like I said, just keeping it real.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Jeans: H&M...Sweater: F21...Shoes: Steve Madden...Clutch: grift from Katie...Bracelets: thrifted

First Holiday-ish season party! On Saturday, our friends hosted a ton of people for a night of eating Zeppelins. If you've never heard of them I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. I'll tell you about them in a minute. First up, please excuse the lousy cell phone photos of these awesome jeans (they have a double side seam and I bought them two sizes up so they wouldn't be skin tight) and absurdly awesome gold sweater. Grounded with cognac leather shoes and clutch, I think it was just the right balance for the holidays. Oh, and the sweater was oversized- this gets relevant in a minute.

Zeppelins. The simplified description is a Lithuanian potato dumpling. Imagine preparing for around 20 people. Peel around 70 pounds of potatoes. 70. Pounds. Juice the potatoes, setting aside the pulp. Pour out the potato juice once it's settled a little. Scoop the starch out of the bottom of the bowl and mix with the pulp. Now take a patty of the super starchy potato and put a ball of sausage inside, covering it completely with potato. You should have a potato-shaped potato dumpling. Boil for around 45 minutes.  Top with bacon and sour cream and stuff your face.

If you are able to make it through three Zeppelins, you're a beast. I made it through only one this year (they were oversized, for sure). If you get through four, you've tied the record. And if you over-do it, they'll sit like a starchy rock in your stomach. Just in case, I wore a forgiving top to disguise my potato-baby at the end of the meal. Aaaand, for fun, here's a song in Lithuanian about the Zeppelins.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pants: Gap Really Skinny...Tank: Target...Jacket: H&M, thrifted...Shoes: Biviel via DSW...Earrings: Target...Necklace: Target

Is 4 1/2 hours straight of catching up on shows via Hulu too much? Eh, whatever. I'm alone. And I was glued to the internet for tracking my husband's flight anyway, so...

That's all. Lame. Happy Friday!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Pants: Gap Modern Boot...Tee: GapBody...Jacket: Armani Exchange via Buffalo Exchange...Belt: Target...Shoes: Cole Haan via DSW...Scarf: mysterious textile from Thailand...Bag: Naturalizer

Well, my husband is officially MIA for a few days. I was up at 3:00 to take him to the airport, which was definitely overkill- he was the first person at the gate by a long shot. But, he's safely en route and geared up for a big adventure.

And I'm buckling down for a few days filled with cleaning, running the heater full blast, obsessively checking email for an update from him, and copious critter snuggling. Because that's what you do when you're alone, right?

Sending my Guy off and away got me thinking about plane rides. What are your air travel traditions? Favorite music? Best sleeping method? I really only have one "must do" for plane travel. I listen to Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. If you aren't at all familiar with Steve Reich but like 20th Century Modern Music even a little bit, you'll love this. Hop onto Spotify, look this piece up and passively listen to it in the background all the way through. It's weirdly serene and light for how driving and repetitive the score is. And it's long. Perfect for a low volume airplane nap score. Also excellent for the post-road-dinner evening driving shift during a road trip.

Seriously, go look it up. You'll thank me later.
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