Faux Braided Ponytail Tutorial

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm leaving for the Lake today, but I wanted to skip off into the weekend having left you all a little hair tutorial (with the non-braided front and high ponytail from last Sunday). I've never done a video before, never done a tutorial, and my cat was hungry. Please pardon all three.

So, join me and the interrupting Eddie and learn how to Faux-plait your hair, secure it using a super-secret bobby pin trick (maybe not- I am posting this for all the internet to see) for a high ponytail. Follow this part up with a bun, sleek ponytail, messy topknot... Whatever you want! It's your show.

Of course, you're absolutely welcome to ask questions- I'm a messy, messy hairstylist and move quickly with a bobby pin (Darn you, ballet bun!) so I'm happy to clarify. 

Have an awesome weekend and don't forget to check my Instagram feed... It's gonna have a lot of music nerds, card games, lake views and pictures of the dark beer flight my friend and I are sampling. @KateBMcClure!

Computer Troubles

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I am so wiped out today- we had a Dell Computer problem that I tried to fix (DLL kernels or something... What does that meeean?!) and had to call in a specialist... And by specialist, I mean Boss Lady's mah jong friend's son who graciously agreed to help me after I hit a roadblock in the DOS recovery console.

We were here until 9 pm.

And it still wouldn't load.

So I sent him home with the tower so it can take its merry time loading.

Aaaanyway, he did all kinds of DOS look ups and reading through directories and asking the computer to override where it's loading and pulling information from, so I feel a lot less stupid. That's some serious back-door stuff I should never have a reason or need to know.

My stomach has been in knots over this, so I had a fitful night's sleep and pulled on this delightful sweater which has quickly become a grab-and-go favorite. Is it super work appropriate? No, it kind of looks like a sweatshirt. But, with Boss Lady out of town, I didn't really need to look pristine.

I'm getting ready to hit the lake tomorrow. I may post on-the-go, but, more likely I will ignore you all completely. There is the possibility of a few Instagram shots of the goofiness (@KateBMcClure) scattered through the weekend, so check it out (and let me know what your user name is- I love looking though your goodies even if I don't post a ton of my own!).

See you tomorrow for a  brief post before I hit the road!

Pants: Zara...Sweater: Sparkle & Fade via Buffalo Exchange...Shoes: Le SportSac via DSW... Jewelry: Beijing "Dirt Cheap" Market

Dog Party

It was a busy early morning... Boss Lady is going out of town again and we had work to do! Crummy pants, flats and an easy top, it is.

Last night we took part in one of the cutest most awesome things. Our neighbor's Rhodesian Ridgeback turned one, so the neighbors were all invited down to the courtyard for an IronMan themed dog party. Our neighbor built a gate to make the courtyard a dog-friendly enclosure, grilled massive amounts of perfectly marinated meat, we all brought beer to share and spent hours and hours enjoying one another's company outside. Dogs were literally smiling all evening. I love a good dog party.

Pants: Gap...Button-down: Odille, thrifted...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: Le SportSac via DSW...Shades: Gap via TJ Maxx


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ever have a pair of shoes that you start off liking and wind up loving? That's these little snakey peep toes. Of all the animal prints, I've always had a soft spot for reptillian. And in Texas, I need peep toes to make it through summer. Well, I need to be barefoot to make it through summer, but this level of work-appropriate ventilation will have to do. Anyway, moral of the story is that these area  great silhouette, have a nice solid heel (Like these. Oh, snap. Those are cute, too.), and have just enough cush in the footbed to make them okay for all day. Really, truly, all day. I wore these bad boys for a unexpected tour of downtown San Antonio after my Guy, Bromance and I lost the Symphony's performance venue after having a drink post-concert. A mile or so later over cobblestone streets, I was still in shoes and still keeping up with Long-Legs Magoo (my husband) and Zippy Walks-a-Lot (Bromance).

Moral of the story is that I spent yesterday party-prepping in these gems. And by the end of the day, my feet were normal end of the day tired. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

Pants: Banana Republic...Blouse: thrifted...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: Nine West via Buffalo Exchange...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx...Jewelry: Timec and thrifted


Monday, April 23, 2012

We have a Sunday night ritual. There's a Grad Bar on Rice University's campus called Valhalla. It's grungy, totally a dive bar and sells 5 beers at a time on tap from $.95 to around $2.30 (which is awesome). And they're normally local, boutique or well-loved microbrews. My Guy and I started going every Sunday evening during Bromance's hour-long volunteer (that's how they keep it cheap!) bartending shift. The fun thing is each bartending shift is allowed to play whatever music they want, the vibe of the bar changes from hour to hour based on which volunteer is behind the counter.

Here's the rub- our Sunday ritual has become increasingly popular with the music nerd crew. And louder. And the songs aren't changing from week to week. And I am such an introvert that I can't handle the noise and don't enjoy the same music cycle over and over and don't like that I can't talk to people because the crew is too busy yelling song lyrics... the same as weeks before.

It should be fun because it's a ritual. But, yeesh. Must it be at the decibel level of a sonic jet? Do you have any rituals that that gone a little awry?

Another Zoo Day

Sunday has become Zoo Day for us- we live a short 1 1/2 mile bike ride from our apartment through Hermann Park to the entrance. I really enjoy going early in the day to see monkeys jumping around, big cat trainings, and phenomenal people watching. Example of the day: little blonde girl squealing her head off after jumping in and out of the fan with water blowing. She loved chattering into the fan but couldn't handle the spray right in her face. Too cute, too funny.

Oh, and I saw the male elephant poop and scratch his butt on a stone wall in the enclosure for 5 minutes. It was awesome.

Jeans: Gap Easy Straight (old)...Tank: Gap...Jacket: via Buffalo Exchange...Belt: Target...Shoes: Chacos...Shades: via TJ Maxx...Bike: Awesome

Unwelcome Excitement

Friday, April 20, 2012

Four points of unwelcome excitement happened yesterday:

I tapped my hot french press carafe on the corner of this sink and a chunk cracked out of the bottom edge. Boo hoo, no perfectly brewed-to-my-taste strong bold coffee for me tomorrow.
I was beyond busted taking pictures again. Who would have thought that the SAME neighbor with his pack of doggies would be coming out (still in PJ's) at 9 am?
A crated sculpture arrived unexpectedly at boss lady's house (we were told there would be a Friday arrival) and the first one of this sculpture's kind came from overseas broken into pieces. I wanted her here to inspect and be witness to the method of packing so she could hoot and holler at the shipper herself if something happened to it, but she'd been moral support at the hospital since 6 am for her grandson's leg surgery. So I hesitantly took on the task of uncrating this precious cargo.
It got hotter and hotter as the day went on and, upon getting the sculpture safely out of the crate and into the house (um, HEAVY.), went back out to help the gardener tidy up our disaster zone. I squatted down to pick up the dozens of screws and when I stood back up my vision went fuzzy then dark, I gripped the stepladder for dear life, hands shaking, body wavering. But I didn't fall. Thank goodness. I swiped a banana and glass of OJ and felt much better.

And I can't handle any more zany for a few days. Here's to a weekend filled with reading and remaining stationary.

Pants: Theory via Buffalo Exchange...Blouse: Gap...Cardigan: Target...Belt: Target...Shoes: Naturalizer

Late Night

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I started grabbing, literally grabbing, at things to wear this morning and I have a few things to say:
1. My hair is a wreck, no judgement, please.
2. This citron tee got little drips of green dye on it a long time ago and it got relegated to weekend wear, which I forgot.
3. Good thing the drips are covered by this awesomely lightweight (slip definitely needed) high-waisted skirt I had made out of crazy fabric market fabric clippings in Beijing.
4. I thought bright on bright with the tee and belt would be fun.
5. It's surprisingly toned down with the maroon cardi.
6. For our late-to-get-up-and-go day, this was a shocking outfit win.

We each had an inadvertantly late night yesterday, My Guy spent late into the night chatting with our neighbors outside at the picnic table in the courtyard, I got sucked into the Spotify game- you know, type in a musician you like, click around on other related artists. Next thing you know, you've wasted  2 1/2 hours adding over 100 songs you've never heard to a playlist. Good use of my time over a good night's sleep.

Skirt: made in Beijing...Tee: J Crew Outlet...Cardigan: thrifted...Shoes: Nine West via Buffalo Exchange...Belt: Target...Shades: Coach via TJ Maxx...Necklace: Target

Wrapping Up

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Well, we've made it to Wednesday. Oi, the week is creeping. I suppose that's what I get for hoping that the weekend will arrive quickly (and with it a pool veg with a girlfriend, a real hang-out with My Guy, and likely a lot of napping). Better still- I need to make it to the end of following week for the yearly trip up to the lake house of one of the Composition Studio professors to celebrate the end of the school year with a bunch of ridiculous and silly composition major dudes. (Big win this year- two significant others and one senior lady will be joining. That's THREE WOMEN!) We'll do a lot of lounging, beer sipping, peer ponging, floating in the pool, kayaking, swinging off the 25 foot high trapeze into the lake and enjoying the Prof whipping unsuspecting new master's students off the tube being pulled by a power boat. Several very prevalent inside jokes were formed last year just over this extended weekend trip.

Ten more days. I can make it.

Oh, yeah- side note: I keep trying out new photo settings and locations (Of course it's still just a tour of the carport area...) and I still can't get it right. Overexposed and a little out of focus- I'll get it figured out eventually. (See that red shed in the background? Behind that is the grassy area and the corrugated aluminum wall. I'm clearly a wimp about getting caught by bystanders and not terribly creative with locations.)

Pants: Zara...Tank: Old Navy...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: thrifted...Jewlery: ASOS, Target, J Crew Outlet

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday and A Little Bit of Lacquer's Work It Wednesday!

Rainy Spring Day

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rain has moved in again. I love it, but I wasn't expecting it. After checking weather last week to be sure we'd have a clear evening for the Friday outdoor performance, I kind of quit looking at future forecasts. So I snapped some photos yesterday morning in the overcast early light and figured it would be a little dreary.

Nope- thunder and lightning, good dumps of rain and a forgotten umbrella. It could have been worse, but that straightened hair is a huge ha ha ha reminder of how crazy and big my hair gets in moisture. You will not be subjected to a photo of that mess.

Hope your flowers are being nurtured by some good soaking rains, too!

Pants: Gap...Blouse: Banana Republic, thrifted...Sweater: Gap...Shoes: Naturalizer...Necklace: Target

Disjointed Celebrations

Monday, April 16, 2012

Please pardon the crappy photos... We took them inside at 11:00 on Saturday evening after celebrating our friend's birthday. I baked her fudgy brownies to celebrate and managed to keep my white jeans clean. I'm still not sure how I pulled that off. Another celebration from Saturday: I had my water refilled by the same bartender all evening and she gave me a new lime with every top-off... and by the end of the evening, I had a limeade. Yum.

This shirt is weird and I love it. That is all.

Jeans: Gap...Blouse: via Buffalo Exchange...Cardigan: Target...Shoes: BCBGeneration via Ross...Bracelets: Timex, ASOS, Target

My Guy's Orange Show Performance

A smattering of photos from My Guy's performance on Friday night at the Orange Show...

He's in the center of the crowd wearing plaid and is explaining his intentions for experincing the interactive first part of the piece. We were encouraged to walk through the folk art site and experience how the sound changed from space to space- the 11 musicians were scattered throughout and played an excerpts of their part. You heard different combinations and wonderful layers of sound depending on where you were and what instrumentation was near you. 

Flutist at the entrance as we began walking in and horn players on a balcony (I was on a different balcony just above the bass clarinet player). 

After we all spent some time wandering through the site, the musicians filed in and gathered in the drained pool area to perform the piece in its totallity. It was wonderful to hear the groaning notes of the bassoon or the high harmonic notes of the violin mimicked by the metal and moving elements of the Orange Show itself. 

A whirligig and My Guy introducing the electronic piece that was the second work presented. Isn't he handsome?

Celebratory dance party after the concert was over. Our friends are so wonderfully odd. 

My Guy is working on assembling his video and good recordings from the evening- when they're ready, I'll be sure to give you all a link to the videos. 

While getting this performance ready and coming down off the adrenaline high has taken up most of our weekend, we did get quite a lot of purging and Spring Cleaning done today. How was your weekend? Any good stories?

See you tomorrow!

One Down...

Friday, April 13, 2012

The day is here! My husband's big-deal, late-night-rehearsal, stress-like-crazy, awesome-experimental concert is happening tonight. Aside from the massive comprehensive exam and dissertation large ensamble/defense, this is the last big degree hurdle to jump during his semesters of coursework for his doctorate degree. My Guy has really worked his butt off and created some wonderful pieces during his time here. I'm extremely proud of his positive outlook, his diligence, his creativity, and his dedication to doing his best (the dude has retained A's in every class except one (a B+) since he entered his freshman year of Undergrad. And he has spent many semesters with many more classes than he was required to take and took on extra projects and responsibilities just to be helpful to friends and faculty.). He's going to wind up doing some interesting things these next few years... (This is his website if you want to take a little listen to some of his work- I recommend "In Steel" "Now Our Grief" and "Natural Selection".)

He even got a preview write up for the performance tonight, which is awesome.

I don't have much to say this morning, but I'll be back tomorrow with pictures and some other goodies from the show!

PS- I must have had my head down every time we left our apartment for the last week... there's Star Jasmine climbing the tree right at the front of the courtyard. And it's AWESOME.

Pants: Gap Slim Crops...Blouse: H&M, thrifted...Sweater: Banana Republic, thrifted...Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction via Piperlime


Thursday, April 12, 2012

I know that neither these colors nor the boxy silhouette are the most flattering on me, but it sure is fun to wear a nice loud color combination.

Boss Lady is working on a new landscape plan for her home and I am beyond excited about the bits and pieces of conversation I've heard. She had her third meeting with her architect, who is very sweet and cares very much about getting the right "feel" and addressing all of her safety, function and aesthetic concerns. Personally, I'm mostly excited about trimming back and/or removing the scale-diseased blueberry trees just outside of my office window. My morning light is stunted by them and nothing can grow under them since they sprinkle a disgusting black crumble of yuck over the area (gross, I know), so restoring some visual balance and health back to the garden will be a welcome change. I don't know anything about anything for the rest of the plans, but my boss is super creative, so it will become something really special by the end of the process. I look forward to more construction around here (is that weird?)- the commotion is good fun and makes my workdays pass a little quicker for some reason.

Pants: Zara...Blouse: Mossimo, thrifted...Cardigan: Target...Scarf: via TJ Maxx..Shoes: Naturalizer...Jewelry: thrifted

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