I found this cardigan while ugly sweater shopping this weekend. It's long, it's velvet, and it has velcro-shoulder pads. Even better, it was $1.50. Boom. I can't really decide if it's frumpy or fantastic. I don't really care that much, though, because it's incredibly warm. Plus, the gold piping makes me feel a bit like a pirate.
I was totally prepared for epic cold today after yesterday's snow, and it wasn't that cold out. What a disappointment.
For my birthday my awesome roommate got me Christian Dior's Little Dictionary of Fashion. Covered in soft grey cloth, it would make the perfect coffee table book. I'm not really sure what exactly this is a dictionary of; instead of the entries defining different terms, half of them state Dior's opinion of the term, and the other half contain tips for wearing that entry. It's a little disjointed, but quaint, and the illustrations and pictures are beautiful.
I can't do opposites. Ha. My next door neighbor has worked at Nordstrom's for ages, and therefore has a pretty hefty employee discount. As a result of this, she has a lot of clothes, and she cleans out her closet often. When I went home for thanksgiving, there were 2 trash bags full of clothes from her. Normally it's all old, out of date pieces that don't fit right and smell weird, but this time there were a few jems. I snagged a black jersey turtleneck dress, some dress shirts, and a tan floral dress, in addition to these pants. They don't look so bad in these pictures, but they're pretty weird. They're slightly too short, and the flare starts too high up on me. However, they're really comfortable and are a pretty plaid, which you also can't see in these pictures. I couldn't part with such a promising find so easily, so I did some surgery.
A nice thing about plaid pants is that it is a lot easier to cut evenly. I just followed the lines. Plus, the plaid matched on the other leg, so I didn't have to remeasure.
I rolled the cuff up to where I wanted it, pinned it, and slip stitched the hem and the cuff together. If I roll the hem down it looks pretty bad, so I tacked the cuffs up in 4 spots around the leg. They're perfectly long enough. Altogether the project took maybe half an hour.
These are pretty much my new favorite things. I can tell that I'm going to get a lot of wear out of them. They're loose enough that they're very comfortable, but tight enough that I don't need a belt, and they're soft and warm. I was going to ask my mom for winter shorts for christmas, but this worked out so much better, and I don't have to try to explain to her that I like wearing shorts in the winter. She thinks I'm crazy enough as it is.
I've been getting such a kick out of clothes this week. I haven't been doing that good at posting outfits, but as long as I'm happy it doesn't really matter. I'll get all the good stuff up eventually. I was pretty pleased by the trash bags and my loot from them, and then I went shopping on Sunday. There's a place near my house that's similar to goodwill, but larger and cheaper. They were having a half-off everything sale this weekend. I bought 3 sweaters for $5. They're not terrible, either. Once I wash them and they lose that second hand smell, I doubt that I'll be able to take them off.
As you can see, I had a lot of fun this thanksgiving. My sister agreed to take outfit pictures for me. Of course, those can't be done with a straight face. I really think that this is the only pose that ever works when she's my photographer. The rest come out blurry. Like this one:
Seriously, though, I had a great time. It was really nice to be able to spend time with my family. Not everyone was able to make it to my Grandma's but it was still nice to see those who were there. Plus, my grandma is an amazing cook, so I got to stuff myself silly. This dress was a gift and was way too big for me, so I took it in on Wednesday. Luckily, I didn't take it in too much, so I was still able to breathe post-turkey.
What do you think? Do my sister and I look related? Everyone says she looks like my brother.
Pair a fancy party dress with some comfy dancing shoes, and cozy knee socks over pretty tights, and you're ready for anything! Perfect for a night spent reminiscing with old friends, making new memories to savor later.
I love this dress so much. It's at the top of my wishlist right now. I'm watching and waiting for a sale.
Holidays are getting closer, which means that it's time for our clothes to start multi-tasking. There's no reason why a cute sundress can't double as a party dress. I think that blues are particularly easy to dress both up and down. Give it a shot!
Outfit posts have been slow the past week, after one week of solid posting. To make up for my lack of commitment lately, I thought I’d post an outfit with a bit of a back story. This isn’t the usual style-bloggery outfit; this is my marching band under-uniform-uniform. I'm wearing the uniform shirt and shorts, with another tshirt, leggings, long black socks and my chunky marching shoes. I got some funny looks in wendy's yesterday, for sure.
I’ve been in some form of marching band for 8 years. For 3 years I marched with the middle school band in our yearly parade. This wasn’t serious marching, but we practiced hard for it and took pride in our straight lines. Then, I marched for 3 years in high school. We didn’t compete, but we worked hard to put on a good halftime show. We only did one show a year, so by the end of the season it was pretty strong.
Then came college band. The summer before college I switched from flute to trombone. My college’s band doesn’t march flutes, and I can’t stand piccolos, so I needed to learn something new. This was probably one of the best choices that I’ve ever made. The girls that I marched flute with were nice, but I clicked with the trombone section a lot more. Band stereotypes hold out, and I found where I belonged.
Marching in college was a lot different from what I’d experienced in high school. Most of the band members in college came from schools that competed, so they’re a lot more serious about marching. That doesn’t mean that they’re no fun, just that I was behind in my marching skills. That coupled with my new instrument meant that I struggled a bit in the beginning of the season. Eventually I caught on. Our college band puts on 4 different shows a year, compared to the one in high school. That means that sometimes we throw shows together in 2 weeks. Also, all the music is memorized.
There is so much more to marching band than just the drill and the music, though. There are stand cheers and tags, silly and very serious traditions. I’ve loved marching for the last 2 years. However, I think that this has been the last year. I really dislike the way that the band was run this year, and the way that some members were treated. I’m not the only one who felt this way, and therefore the majority of my friends are not returning either, and band is not the same without friends. I know that there would be new people and new friends, but I would miss the old ones too much. Plus, college band is a huge time commitment. We practice 6 hours a week on the field, put in about 8 hours on game days, and also practice individually. As a college kid, I could be using that time to write papers or work. There is a possibility that I will march, but right now, with the season ending yesterday, I’m thinking not.
Despite being a bit disenchanted with band right now, there are so many good things that came out of my experiences.
Friends. I have met so many incredible people through marching band. Some of them I know will be in my life forever. The trombone section has been my family away from home. I know that I can depend on them for anything, and I am so grateful to have them. Friends from other sections are great too. Last year I mostly stuck to the boners, but this year I’ve made so many new friends in different sections. These ties last.
Physical strength. I disagree with anyone who says that marching band is not difficult. In order to march without wobbling you need to keep your core muscles tight, and even simple roll stepping is a workout. Athletics gives the band second best, so we march uphill. Tell my calf muscles that marching isn’t hard after we’ve been practicing 8 to 5 for half an hour. Also, instruments get heavy when you have to hold them up for long periods of time. When I played flute, my arms would get sore from trying to stay parallel to the ground. After 2 seasons with my trombone, I laugh at my girly flute muscles. Holding a trombone up 10 degrees above parallel for the length of a show several times a week means that I have some serious arm strength now that I would have never gotten had I not been in band.
Also, knowing the condition that I had to be in to survive the season meant that I started working out this summer, to avoid the pain that I felt during my first college band camp. I had never really worked out consistently before then, but now that I have been for a marching season, I don’t think I’ll stop. If band has done anything for me, it has taught me the value of exercise. As a result of the effort that I’ve put in, I can make it though a halftime show without my arms trembling. I can get through pregame without having to stop playing because I’m so out of breath. Band has shown me what I’m capable of doing.
Posture. I can stand perfectly straight, and even better, and can hold this posture while walking. I know how to balance myself so that I won't fall over. I've been working on this one for years, and band gave me the tools to get it down.
Mental strength. The band practices when it’s 90 degrees out and the sun is blazing, and when it’s below 30, and the wind is almost blowing us over. I have rehearsed in the rain and in the snow. I have gotten sun burned so badly that I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk, and done so anyway because everyone was sunburned, and I am not special. It sounds harsh, but when it’s cold out, we are all cold. There is no half-assing rehearsal because of conditions, there is no need to complain when we all feel the same way. In band, you endure harsh conditions because everyone else is depending on you to do your job, and they are doing their job for you. There are people in the band who haven’t come to this conclusion yet, but eventually they will. This is probably one of the most important things that I’ve learned in band.
Football! I never watched football growing up, but I’ve had to watch it to be part of the band. After 5 years of being forced to watch and cheer, I’m finally starting to understand how it works. This might not sound like such an important thing, but it’s one of those american culture things that I was always left out of. Now I can at least follow the game enough to participate in conversations about it.
Awareness. Field awareness is knowing where you are on the field in relation to everyone else. It's being able to not only know where you're supposed to be, but also to see how you fit in to the form. Without this a band can't hope to ever be very good. You need to know what's going on around you to accomplish anything. Honestly, this is the skill that I struggled the most with. It didn't really click until a few weeks into this year. Once I figured this out, my marching improved dramatically. This isn't just important in marching band, though. The ability to step back and see how your actions fit into the larger picture is an important life skill.
Memories. I have had so much fun in band. I will always have my memories of horsing around in the stands, making boner jokes and laughing until I cried, partaking in trombone traditions, and countless other little things that have happened.
Trombone! Seriously, this is the best instrument ever. Here’s proof. Without marching band, I would have never had the motivation to learn to play it. I loved the flute, and still do, for concert settings; it’s just not as fun to play as the trombone is. The flute is my safety instrument: playing it helps me to destress. The trombone on the other hand, is a blast. Horn moves, dancing and playing, glisses and and sliding are just so much fun!
I could keep thinking about good things that have come into my life because of band, but I think it’s time to stop. Eventually I will have to formally make a decision of whether to march again or not. Until then I’ll let the subject drop a little, just to see how I adjust to life without marching band. Nothing is set in stone until band camp starts again in august!
I borrow this book from my grandma a while back while doing a school project on american poets. It's a really beautiful book, and it's filled with wonderful poems. There's a little treat on the inside that makes it even more special, though.
It's a note, addressed to my grandpa's aunt, from some friends of her's, dated June 22, 1939. Would you guess by looking at this pretty little book that it is from that long ago? That was a different world; a world where people still gave lovely books as gifts and included inscriptions and could write well in cursive. Sometimes I wish for that world, but then I remember that I have the internet. Below the signature is a poem written by the friend, and it's lovely.
I feel like since this is Thanksgiving, I need to post the big things in my life that I am grateful for, instead of the little things that make me smile.
Family. My family is fantastic. I'm so grateful to have them all in my life. I can't even think of words for how great they all are. They are all so funny and talented and supportive, and I love them all.
Old Friends. I've been able to see a few since I've been home. It's really relieving that no matter how bad I am an keeping in touch with friends, once we're together it's just like old times. I miss my high school friends so much, and I'm so glad that they're here.
New Friends. My trombone friends, my sisters, my roommate and the other suitemates, my knitting friends, my internet friends; they're all really wonderful people that I'm so glad to have met. Really, my life would be so different without them, and I'm so thankful for all of them.
Boyfriend. I love this guy. I don't want to gush too much on the internet, but I really don't know what I would do without him. He's wonderful.
Education. I get to go to college. Lots of people don't have that opportunity. While many people are working thankless jobs trying to make ends meet, I get to sit in a classroom discussing Ideas and learning about things that interest me, and for that I am very thankful.
Food. We're celebrating this holiday of indulgences today, preparing ourselves to eat until we're sick. I'm not entirely sure why we put such an emphasis on over eating. Anyway, I get good food and better company, and leftovers for a few days!
There are certain things in life that I love for no good reason. I watch for opportunities to do these things or use these things, because it makes me feel good about myself. Here's a list of a few:
Cleaning popcorn machines.(I worked in a concession stand for 4 years, and I am the popcorn machine cleaner. I do it better than anyone else, and I enjoy doing it just because I'm good at it. On Friday I got the opportunity to clean a popcorn machine outside of the concession stand, and my life was just about made.)
Wearing sports bras.
Tying my shoes.
Having painted nails.
References to raptors.
This is just a short list of things that excite me. Really it's much longer. What makes you happy?
Tweed: a coarse wool cloth in a variety of colors and weaves; a pretty fabric that automatically makes the wearer look more sophisticated. Often combined with plaid, this is magic fabric that makes men look dapper and women elegant, when worn correctly. There's nothing more versatile than a tailored tweed jacket in the fall. I'm only a little obsessed..
I bought this shirt at goodwill as part of my halloween costume for a dollar. It was kind of a great find. It's really soft and drapes really well, and has some strangely awesome shoulder stripes. I'm in love. It's another one of those shirts that's huge, and works that way.
I'm going home tomorrow! I can't wait to see all the people I've been missing.
We're just about to the season where there are more things happening in one day than there is time to do laundry. Instead of changing for each event, it becomes necessary to find outfits that can easily be altered to be appropriate for family functions, running errands, celebrating with friends, and relaxing around the house. I think the easiest way to accomplish this is with pretty dresses, simple blazers, and comfy shoes. With a good start like this, change can be accomplished simply by switching out accessories. Switching a cozy cowl for day with statement jewelry at night would take this look from comfy-cute to party ready. The Pretty in Pink cast is a great example of this. Their outfits are easily adaptable for almost any indoor situation. (Plus, Ducky is beautiful).
It is freezing out today. I'm supposed to be dressed up, so I wasn't going to wear my trademark colorful tights. I put these ones on with the intention of putting grey ones on over them, to layer for warmth. I just couldn't cover up the color, though. Instead, I took them back off and put purple ones on underneath. Go layers go. I'm also wearing two sweaters. I have them buttoned together so that they sit nicely. I think it worked pretty well. Also, I'm wearing a blue dress and blue tights, and my coat and gloves are blue. I'm channeling my inner smurf right now.
I had a decently productive day, which is good. I finished reading both A Room of One's Own and Existentialism and Human Emotions. They're definitely both books that I plan on reading again. This is the second time that I've read EHE, and this time it made so much more sense. I can only imagine that I'll understand even more of it in another year or so. That's one of the wonderful things about books. The words never change, but the book always gives you something different. So far, I'm a fan of existentialism. There are things about it that I still don't completely understand, but time will hopefully change that.
I also started planning out my final paper for my humanities class. It's supposed to be answering the question, why is teaching humanities important? At first glance it seems like an easy enough paper, excepting the fact that it is supposed to be 12-15 pages long. The logical way to go about this, I thought, would be to do the usual essay format of reasons A, B, C, and on, until I run out of ideas or reach my page limit. However, this is my 3rd semester with this teacher, and he taught us a very different essay style that is much more complex, and much more fun to write. I did some preliminary planning to see if I could pull off that second type of paper, not expecting to be able to. Instead I spent an hour thinking myself in circles, chasing thoughts around and having idea after idea. Now I'm not so sure that I can fit this into only 12-15 pages. I love brains. They're a good invention.
This weather is fantastic. I'm so glad that it's finally getting cold out. It's time for knitwear!
The internet banding together. Everyone knows that we are a community, and yesterday proved it. Sopa was put down. There will likely be more attempts to rekindle it in the future, so we'll all have to keep working to protect this thing that we love. Also, kind of related to this, the personhood amendment didn't pass either!
Speaking of the internet, when Tumblr was blocked off yesterday as part of the protest activity I didn't know what to do with my life. Tumblr is such a great way to waste my time; it doesn't even feel like waste, because I enjoy it. As long as I'm having fun then I'm not wasting time, right?
Anastasia. I watched it last night with some friends, and I'll be humming that song all day now. Actually, the whole soundtrack is great. It's such a good movie!
One week left until Thanksgiving. I'm going home! I get to see my family and some friends. I can't wait! Also, a little break from school work will be nice.
Knitting time. With Thanksgiving break coming up, I have at least 18 hours in a car to look forward to, with going home and coming back for marching band, and then going home and coming back again. That means 18 hours of knitting time. Hopefully I can finish my sweater in that. I only have one sleeve left!
Good workouts. You know, those days when motivation is there and you're on a roll. Love it.
Being able to walk. I pulled a muscle in my back last week. It still hurts every once in a while, but for the most part it feels a lot better. I'm not hobbling around anymore, at least. The one good thing about injuries is that once you heal you appreciate your health so much more.
My Roommate. About a month and a half ago, mu roommate and I were talking about how some of our other friends. They were roommates last year, and by the end of the year were so angry with each other that they stopped talking, passive-aggressive style. We didn't want that to happen to us, so we agreed to pick a random day to stop talking, to get it out of the way so that we wouldn't have to deal with it later. That day came this week. We didn't talk for 3 hours, and then were practically begging for it to be over. So now we're friends again, and life is wonderful. I seriously love my roommate this year. She's awesome.
Creeping. Another suitemate and I creeped pretty hard this week. We're good at it.
Tea. This is my roommate's fault too. I never drank coffee before this year, and now I can't get enough of it. Sometimes I want coffee at night too, just to have something hot to drink, but I don't want to get all caffeinated right before bed. The roommate introduced me to tea. She has a huge collection of tea bags right now that she said I have free reign over. I already knew that I liked Chai tea, but the jury is still out on other kinds. There are just so many different types of teas that I don't think I'll ever be able to say if I like it or not. I mean, I do like a lot of it, but I feel like I need to be able to say what I like specifically. So far I like chai, and plain tea with honey in it. Yum.
Avatar marathon. Our suite has been watching the first season since Sunday. We're almost done with it. I want to say that it's a fantastic show, but I used that adjective once already today, and have gone to use it on pretty much everything on this list. I type it out, and then delete it; I don't want to sound too repetitive. I really need to work on my vocabulary.
Classes where I want to learn. I fully plan on sleeping in my first class today. The classes after that one I'm excited to go to, though. My last class of the day is on social policy, and it's really very interesting, and the teacher is hilarious.
Being on top of school work. After break, there is one week, and then it's hell week: I have 4 papers due and 3 projects to present. I'm trying to get all of my busy work out of the way this week, and so far everything's going according to schedule. Win.
The US. government is trying to censor the internet. The bill has already passed through the Senate, and the House is opening hearings on it tomorrow. The bill, SOPA, would shut down pretty much all social media sites, along with any sites that share links, which includes the majority of blogs. Please, sign the petition to stop this! If you're feeling really motivated, you might write a letter to your individual representatives too. This is a reality, and it can happen. Our friends the big corporations think they have Congress in their pockets; let's show them that we care!
I wore my favorite fall sweater today, thinking that it'd be cold out. Instead I was sweating, because it was so warm out! Ick. On top of that, now it's pouring rain, and we have a Tornado Watch. Whatever, weather.
I just spent the last hour searching for scholarships online, and I've come up with nothing. There are a few that I can apply for next semester, but that doesn't help me now. Oh well. I also got my schedule for next semester worked out, and I got all the classes I wanted, and I have 3 extra hours for working each week. Go employment.
Jean-Leggings (because jeggings makes me feel like I'm 14): Forever 21
In middle school, I loved Fall Out Boy. Now, I can't stand them, except for the one week every year when the weather drops and it's suddenly cold out. Then I listen to nothing but FOB for a week straight, reveling in nostalgia and singing along to every world, which no matter how much time passes still won't leave my head.
When this song came out, I was big into layering. I work jeans under dresses and multiple shirts, and developed a love for cardigans and scarves. The only jewelry I ever wore were bracelets. I've come a long way since then.
The summer before 8th grade was 2005, the year that this song came out. I was in summer camp at the Y, where I met a girl who loved Fall Out Boy more than I did. We bonded over this cd, listening to it over and over. This week was her 20th birthday. Welcome to decade number 3, Best Friend! My feelings for FOB have waned over the years, but I still love my BFQ like a sister.
I love Molly Ringwald like no other. She has probably been the single most influential celebrity on my personal style. A newer icon is Janelle Monae. I realize that her style doesn't really match the other items on that page, but the clipping fit there well.. Anyway, she's another very unique person with a very distinctive style. While I could never dress head to toe in the same style all the time like she does, I appreciate what she does. I definitely have Janelle days, just like I have Molly days. The nice thing about dressing like a celebrity that has such a conclusive character is that you always know what to do. You know what they would wear, and it makes life that much simpler. No matter what crazy things are happening in my life, Janelle will always look like Janelle, and Molly will always look like Molly.
I made these two cowls, the bottom one last winter, and the top one this fall. The top one was from the Early Autumn 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting, and is by Faith Hale. It's very similar to what I was looking for when I wrote my pattern for the bottom one. I'm really happy with the way that they both turned out. I used Debbie Stoller's bamboo blend yarn for the top one:
I really loved the lace pattern that was used in this cowl. I'm keeping it in the back of my mind to be used in other projects. (Which, if everything goes according to plan, I can show you in a few weeks!) This was a really quick knit. I would definitely recommend it.
As promised, here's the pattern for the larger of the cowls. I really wanted a soft, cozy cowl that included lace, but everything I could find was cabled, or not thick enough for the yarn I had in mind. I wrote this pattern to fill the gap. If I were to do this again, I would probably make it longer, which I couldn't do before, since I had a limited amount of yarn.
135yds/123 m bulky yarn
size 13 circular needles
I used one entire skein of Lion Brand's Jiffy in Country Green.
All odd rows: knit.
Round 2: yo, sl1, k2to, psso, yo, k1, rep.
Round 4: k1, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, rep.
Round 6: p2tog, yo, k1, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, k1, yo, ssk
Round 8: starting 1 stitch before the lace pattern begins, k2tog, so that the first stitch of the lace patt. is included, then yo, k1, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, k1, yo, ssk
Round 1 and all odd rounds: K
Round 2 and all even rounds: P8, Lace pattern 8, rep.
Bo when cowl measures 10 inches tall, or when you run out of yarn.