Friday, September 28, 2012

Skirt: DVF, thrifted...Blouse: thrifted...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange

Pssht, wrapping up animal print week, you knew this skirt would show back up.

This morning begins day one of several during which we get to doggy sit out neighbor's two lady lugs. They're both so tall, so big and I can't wait to spend some time loving on big dogs. Miles is nice and solid, but, let's face it, the beagle's a shorty.

Aaaand, there's more doggy stuff going on 'round the hood. Our other neighbors lost their basset hound several weeks ago. Boston was a wonderfully old-man dog, loved to howl and bay, reveled in butt-scratches, lived to give kisses, but had so many of the old-man dog health stuff to go with it. He is so tremendously missed. Our neighbors pondered a puppy. And then they found one. Guys, there is a lumpy, noodle-y, waddling, droopy, floppy basset puppy here. They named him Homer. He's so unbearably cute. The best part? When Miles mills around the courtyard and starts to sneak into the bushes, Homer chomps down onto his leash and tugs him away, as if to say "Hey! I wanna hang out, come back!" Oh, that and the uncontrolled puppy tail bobble. You know what I'm talking about- when they waddle their way around a yard and their tail looks like a wheat stalk bobbing in the wind.

Boston                                                 Homer

Good lookin' dogs, huh? Our neighbors are so lucky! Mmm, puppy breath.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Skirt: Target...Blouse: Banana Republic, thrifted...Cardigan: Target...Belt: Target...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Bracelet: Target...Earrings: Banana Republic

Snakey, lizardy print. Not whatcha usually think of for "animal print," but a fun derivation.

Last evening was so unbelievably full of catch-up chores. Laundry, dishes, tidying, errands. And an enormous burrito for dinner. But, it feels great to have some of it out of my hair, leaving tonight wiiiide open to take in another concert (Boogaloo's recital) and tomorrow and Saturday available for friend nights. We also get to dog-sit our neighbor's two enormous lab mixes for the next several mornings, a bunch of us neighbors are rotating walk and feeding times so they don't have to go to a kennel. I have always joked that I want my home to be like a menagerie- animals and kids everywhere. This will be our first taste of menagerie madness- taking care of 3 dogs and a cat. No fish or guinea pigs yet.

Speaking of critters, perhaps my Friday look can include dog hair in abundance as "animal print."

Have a great Thursday, you all!

Leopard and Oxblood... And Stupid Computers

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Skirt: Target...Sweater: F21...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Gap via TJ Maxx...Bracelets: thrifted and Target...Pearls: Beijing pearl vendor

Animal print link-up! Lots of link-ups. Check out Marionberry Style's Trend of the Month Challenge, A Little Bit of Lacquer's Work It Wednesday, Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday, Pretty Shiny Sparkly's Oxblood Challenge and Rolled Up Pretty's Whatever Wherever Wednesday.

I'm choosing excitement and positivity this week... we found out last Friday that Boss Lady's contact book problem that we thought resolved itself is not, in fact, resolved. It's back and meaner than ever- not syncing with Apple's crappy new iCloud system, the search function quits working all of a sudden, the display panel gets stuck on one contact and won't display anyone else until you restart the computer... There's maybe one, maybe ten, maybe seventy corrupt contact cards gumming up the works and no way to know which. The Apple Engineer recommended solution: create a new admin user, make a pdf of the contact list and notes and RETYPE, MANUALLY, EACH ONE OF THE 3045 CONTACTS. Why do Boss Lady's computers hate me? Right, because there's a PC from 2005 and an iMac from 2008... and she insists "they're not that old, they shouldn't be having problems..." Um, they are old. And in computer years, I'm pretty sure they're octogenarians. They have every inconvenient right to have problems.

Grin and bear it. And get it done asquicklyaspossible. Darn that need for accuracy.

New Week, Good Concert

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Skirt: Target...Tee: UO...Belt: Target...Scarf: Liberty of London via Buffalo Exchange...Shoes: Calvin Klein via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx

A recipe for easy ohmygoshwhyisitstillhot dressing? Or just lazy? Don't know, don't care. After last week, I'm pretty sure brain-rot and lazy are my reasons. Aaaand, like I mentioned yesterday, Marion is hosting a Trend of the Month Challenge with Animal Print... so started the week off with easy leopard flats, today I move up to stylized leopard kitten heels. Tomorrow, we're going for the gold, and I have some plans to continue the trend for the rest of the week... Will you join me, just for fun?

Last night, we went to a University of Houston Percussion Ensamble special concert to pay homage to John Cage. If you're a New Music geek of any sort, you probably know what an impact Cage made on the music community. His best known piece 4'33"is a work that highlights the ambient sounds in a performance space as the musical element for three sections of time that equal 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Sound is music. Music is in everything. Combinations of sounds can come about by chance mechanisms. A percussion piece doesn't necessarily need to be played solely on traditional percussion instruments. Our dear friend, who is a musicology professor at the school, played several small prepared piano pieces on the concert (this means an extraordinary collection of items are inserted into the piano body to alter the sound, like bolts, rubber balls, pint glasses... piano and percussion all in one.

But, here's the highlight: Isabel Ganz, who knew Cage well, sang his amazingly lighthearted Aria. It is written out with basic voice inflections drawn out and color-coded to coordinate with an effect or voice style. She bounced around the stage, sang her heart out, did a cartwheel during the improv sections.... and she's over 70. Amazing woman, brilliant and fascinating. And she is an absolute legend. I can't believe I got to see her perform, what an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime treat that was.

Sorry to geek out on you all, but I think this stuff is fascinating. And I'm SO glad my guy is done with 18th century opera studying... You can't get much further from "classical music" and dive into a breath of fresh air than you can with Cage.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Pants: Zara...Tank: Target...Cardigan: thrifted...Shoes: Nine West Outlet...Bracelets: Bloom Boutique & Target

Geeze, Louise, what a week we had. Dog: Intestinal function slowly restoring. Naughty, high energy back in full force. My Guy: Officially passed both the music history and theory parts of his comprehensive exams (actually, all 5 in their study group did!). Advanced to the next step in a Fall '13 job search, which was a long shot application in the first place. He was asked to teach in the Spring (he wasn't supposed to be allowed to teach and receive his stipend at all during his 4th year. We're SO grateful). Me: Never actually barfed, despite how gut-wrenchingly high-stress this week was, worrying about everyone else. My shoulders are currently docked at my earlobes- I need to find a cheap massage. But, we ate really  delicious grilled meats with our neighbors on Saturday, watched "Revenge of the Nerds" and finally have a tidied up kitchen. We won't talk about the greasy splatters still on the stove. Or the fact that our home still smells like smoked chickens.

But, a lot of things are a lot better. And I'm glad.

My sweet friends, I can't thank you enough for the positive energy you sent out for us last week!

In cheerful news, have you caught wind of Marion's trend-of-the-month style challenge? Linking up Wednesday- prepare yourselves... it's ANIMAL PRINT!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Without too much complaining, just wanted to let you guys know it's been a really crappy couple of days. Overwhelming days. "Really, did that just happen, too?!" days.

I did a good job of sticking up for myself and my family (something I'm really not good at doing) and I left work before lunch to more closely monitor Miles, whose intestinal recovery was not great yesterday.

The rest will do me good, too. I've been a nervous wreck between my poor doggy and my Guy's big tests. (He's feeling pretty good so far!) I've probably slept only three spotty hours each night for the past three nights, shaking Miles awake just to be sure he's not dehydrated or dead, which is a scary thing to have to panic about.

You'll forgive me if I go missing for a few days, right? I'm just going to go nervous barf a little more and sip on soup because it's the only food I can handle.

Thanks for the well wishes. Keep sending out good vibes for my mess-of-a-little-family! We need all we can get.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Dress: Target...Belt: Target...Scarf: thrifted...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Bracelet: Target...Earrings: Banana Rebublic


Friday: Study/ Quiz session from 6:00 - 11:00. Happy Friday.
Saturday: 9:30 - 12:00 Help out at Boss Lady's house for a special tour. Rush to meet up with a girlfriend at the tail end of a conference. Study and quiz more until we had to leave for the John Cage-based Musicircus at the Menil (my guy's electronic piece was played). 6:30 dinner got waaaay stretched out- we didn't go to eat until 8:00, arrived home at 9:30 to a sick dog. 10:00 pm - 7:00 am spent cleaning dog barf and poking him to make sure he hadn't dehydrated completely and dropped dead.
Sunday: Feed sips of water to the dog every 10 minutes to rehydrate him, white rice, white rice, soggy dog food. Ice cubes. All. Day. Long.
Monday... DOOMSDAY. 8:30 this morning marks the beginning of my Guy's comprehensive exams. Eeeek and thank goodness.

I can't even describe how many manic highs and lows this weekend held. I have never been more happy to see Monday come.

And today just has to be good. It's my sister's birthday! Happy Birthday, Bif. You're so very loved!

Comps Countdown

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jeans: UO...Tank: J Crew...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: Nine West Outlet...Jewelry: Target...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx

It's nearly the weekend, which for our family means a whole lot of hooey. MONDAY- WEDNESDAY next week- Comprehensive Exams will come and go and I am anticipating a whole lot of booty kicking by my Guy, Bromance, Swarley and the rest of the gang. My Guy is going to melt his brain into oblivion this weekend with music history, theory and musical score identification cramming, I'm going to quiz the crap out of him. I'm going to do very little cleaning, we're going to do a lot of fresh food eating. Eggs, toast and bananas with a tall glass of OJ Monday morning. (Or do you guys have a big test/ presentation power breakfast to share?)

Happiest weekend to you all, do something lovely with your days for me! I'll join ya next week.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Skirt: Target...Tee: UO...Scarf: gift from Katie...Belt: Target...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Bracelet: Target

It's still so hot here! A tee and stretchy skirt is really all I can handle wearing (though I will give a shout out to the earlier part of the week- two nights with the window left open for fresh air!). But, I do have control over using fall colors and warm-toned neutrals, even if the silhouette is still the same as what I've been wearing all summer.

PS, don't take your coffee out for pictures and expect in to stay in your cup if you're bouncing back and forth to your camera to set the timer. Does my car smell vaguely of java due to a desperate hand-wipe on the bottom of my seat because I didn't have napkins? Well, yes, yes it does. And will it be the first or last food item spilled and smeared? Nope, not likely.

A Bright Spot in my Day

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Skirt: DVF, thrifted...Tank: Target...Belt: Target...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: Steve Madden...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange

Every time I wear this skirt, I cycle through the same train of thought- "Holy poop, this skirt is awesome. Dang, I wish it was just two inches longer. Psht, it's a Diane von Furstenberg that some ding dong gave to the thrift store in just my size. In zebra print. It's not meant to be super conservative, so I just  need to shut my face and wear it proudly because it's zebra print. In just my size. And it's DVF. For only $5. Kate, you win."

I always get so excited for Wednesdays, most of the link ups I take part in are on Wednesdays, so I feel like my grab-n-go outfit mojo really gets cooking because I'm so excited about the sense of community swirling around. Between getting fun new pop-ins to my blog and the joy of finding new-to-me blogs through the link ups, it's a good-vibes kind of sunshine and rainbows happy day. So, to all of you, Happy Wednesday and thanks for being such a kick butt group of bloggers. You're all so fun!

Check out Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday!

Study Session

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dress: Target...Cardigan: Target...Belt: thrifted...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bracelet: Target...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange

Pajama Dress for a day full of running errands and hauling sodas over to the office for the first Board Meeting of the season. We're cookin' and moving into crazy planning mode!

I spent my evening last night and my shower time this morning quizzing my Guy on his music history. We only made it through the history of Opera (going back over Romantic Opera a second time), Motets and Madrigals. OVER FOUR HOURS. And, yes, I died of boredom just as quickly as you did. But, for the next week we're doing it every night because I'm a meanie, stickler quizzer and I know it will help him retain information. Wanna see how he's organized himself? A date, piece and composer timeline on enormous pieces of paper. A notebook scribbled long-winded synopsis of the subject, including composers, unique features of their writing style, their important pieces and what makes it noteworthy to the era. A condensed key word version of the information hand-written into a second notebook. So, while he needs to know EVERYTHING about each subject, the essay prompt for the exam may be as focused and simple as "Trace the development of only Mozart's operas." 40 prompt topics, 4 selected for the exam essays. Blugh.

Bear with me while I melt my brain for the week and from here on out, I'll spare you more music story-time. I just won't have much else to say!

A Weekend Well Spent

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dress: Beijing tailor...Belt: Target...Shoes: Steve Madden...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx

My bangs are getting ridiculous. Not short enough to be bangs, not long enough to stay behind my ears.  Most days I can hide 'em. And, today- well... huge honkin' clip. It may be time to try smearing them with coconut oil and see it that helps. I'm getting desperate. But smelling like a tropical island and looking like I took a butter bath for a while can't be all that bad if the end result is long, lustrous, quick-growing hair, right?

I feel like I've been making pretty good use of my time as a bachelorette- lots of quality time with the dog, major kitty snuggles, toilet and tub scrubbing, a heroic dust-bunny round up, open-window movie watching, art studio visits with my neighbor, epic video chats with my family (even my sister in Hong Kong!), rockstar new internet service installations and service tech coordination... But I'm most proud of how frequently I resisted the urge to snack. We won't talk about my beer intake, but I ate only 4 cookies all weekend, no chips, only super watered down lemonade, only one bag of popcorn. Not bad for being alone most of the weekend while cleaning and movie-watching. Both of those lend themselves to snacking. If only I could make a good habit of actually eating a mid-day meal... I need my husband back, food is an "eh, I'll wing it" thing to me and a big darn deal to him, so he holds me accountable to eating well and at close-to-correct meal times. I miss his company, but I miss his internal food-clock more while he's off studying 12 hours each day.

Urban Oasis

Friday, September 7, 2012

Skirt: Beijing tailor...Shirt: H&M...Belt: Target...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Necklace: thrifted...Lips: L'Oreal Vagabond Mauve and NYC Sheer Red

Last day before Boss Lady arrives back in town for the fall season! As much as I enjoyed cranking out projects with no interruption, I've missed some of the madness of having her here. Monday- it all gets nutty again Monday.

I don't think I ever took a photo of our adorable apartment courtyard for you all. The building is a big U shape with a set of doors off either side in the back corners. We re-sodded, added pavers on which to set the picnic table, moved the potted plants around, trimmed the tree, moved some smaller flowering plants. We're all in love with the outdoor space and spend a lot of neighbor hang out time together out there. Speaking of neighbor time, we've been invited to my photog neighbor friend's place for pasta tonight- her husband is the "wine guy" (as in he's so good that he's just saving up enough money to do the certification courses to be a sommelier, but it won't be a huge challenge) at one of the ritzy Whole Foods stores in town.  Um, noodles and well-selected wine? Yes, we'll be there.

Wheeeee, I'm scattered this morning. Have an awesome Friday and I'll see you later!

How to Burn a DVD: a Non-Tutorial

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Skirt: Target...Tank: Banana Republic, thrifted...Belt: thrifted...Shoes: Naturalizer...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx...Necklace: Banana Republic

THREE patterns?! I'm crayzay.

So, my guy got home at a reasonable-ish hour last night (10:00 is reasonable, right?) and was in a foul mood, but he knew watching some classic How I Met Your Mother episodes, drinking a beer and eating a handful of potato chips would do his soul some good. I started to pull out Season One and found discs from Season Two haphazardly shoved in between the cases. He is notoriously awful at putting DVD's away, but this seemed like overkill- three discs from the wrong season shoved in there? Ridiculous. So I called him out on it, as sweetly as I could.

His reply? "No, we had to put those in there- remember, that was the season I made all flamey."

Oh, yeah.

Two years ago, we had one of those cute Ikea multi-tealight holders in front of the TV during wintertime, filled with cinnamon-y candles. We made sushi one evening and our family tradition is to watch HIMYM while eating it, so he tossed a disc in the DVD player, tossed the case onto the top of the media console, bustled back into the dining room to keep cutting and working. Yeah, you probably know the rest of the story... All of a sudden, the fire alarm went off, I ran into the living room to see a flaming dvd case oozing molten plastic all over the console, so I picked up a corner, flung it across the room, hollering for a towel to beat the flames out since I had on no shoes. Crisis averted, but I am now scarred on the top of my right big toe due to a pretty mean molten plastic drip burn.

And that is the story of how I got (yet another) major and exciting scar and how we lost the Season Two case. The funniest part is that my best friend tells me all the time that "He's so smart, but he would totally burn himself on the stove. It's a very specific smart." I don't agree totally- he makes a rockstar stir fry and toasts things with zero incident all the time, but this one really didn't help his case.

Thrifted Skirt Refashion

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Skirt: thrifted and refashioned...Tank: Old Navy...Belt: thrifted...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange...Necklace: who knows?

Thrifted and refashioned skirt?! Ohmygosh, I can't believe I sewed a straight line. Not only that, but I sewed TWO straight lines. You can't see it, but I folded the top down about 1 1/2" and then folded that in half again, sewing along the bottom edge to create the space where the elastic is slipped in. After the elastic was threaded through and sewn to the correct waist circumference, I stretched the elastic and fabric out and sewed another seam along the top edge of the elastic to keep it from flipping and bunching (it's about 1/4" seam around the top, seen above the belt) and to keep the top edge upright. I'm still a little shocked that I didn't need to enlist help or seam-rip out too many poor attempts. Am I getting better at machine sewing? 

Not likely.

By the way, here's how long, flowy, fluttery and 80/90's-tastic it started:

I'm spreading the magic and joy of my handiwork around the internets today: Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday and Rolled Up Pretty's Whatever Whenever Wednesday!

Labor Day Weekend

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dress: Target...Chambray: Target...Shoes: J Jill via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: D&B via Buffalo Exchange

I would talk about Labor Day weekend, but it was kind of a non-event. We hit the Zoo with Natalie and her boyfriend on Sunday morning, helped a friend move on Saturday, I did laundry on Monday evening and watched a lot of Wipeout and altered things. Highlights that are mediocre at best.

BTW, say adios to the fluttery skirt of this pajama dress- I altered the navy version to be more straight and I love it!

I'm a piggy- chips, avocado scooped out, sliced cheese not on top of anything, lemonade... Just keeping it real with you guys.

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