Sunday, October 7, 2012

Snapshots: Goodbye, Chicago (3 months ago...)

Oh... hello, neglected blog!

In the interest of getting this thing going again, I'll start by dredging up a few saved drafts I never posted.  Here's a big pile of Instagrams from June/July as I said goodbye to my job and Chicago.

My glitchy work pager went extra-glitchy at the end

The view from the employee roof garden at work, my last night on call

The view from a coworker's local wedding reception

End-of-the-year BBQ at a boss's condo.  Fabulous place.

Trying to finish a draft of my research manuscript..

My desk, all cleaned out on my last day

Goodbye to my workplace for the past year!

Packing.  "Shorty Wardrobe" cracks me up every time.

Realizing I own 38 skirts.

Summerfest in Milwaukee!  I adore this festival.

Paul of Mutemath, my favorite band, perched on the barricade.

Filming an outdoor scene for the Super Happy Fun Club music video

Serious equipment for this video.

Late-night food after the video shoot

Unearthed this awesome old Mutemath shirt while packing

I've really been missing Chicago, but I've been back to visit a few times since then, and I know it'll always be there waiting for me when I have the time to make the trip.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Graduation, Polka Dots, and Pearls

I did it!  On Friday, I officially graduated from my Postgraduate Year 2 (PGY2) Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency!  (Never mind the fact that a few projects are extending onward a few days... I'll get there.)

I bought this dress months ago and was originally saving it for a wedding, but I changed my mind and decided that residency graduation called for something fancy.  It came with a belt in the same polka-dot fabric, but instead, I opted to add my own touch with a solid black sash for contrast.  I frequently find myself switching out the belt that a dress comes with - it's a good way to make it look a bit more your own.

I decided to play off the polka dots with simple pearl jewelry, then added a pop of color with a red handbag - not to mention red toenails and just a touch of cherry-red lip stain!  Anyone who knows me is aware that black, white, and red is my favorite color combination, so I was essentially in love with this outfit.  I attempted something different with my hair (gasp) by using a 1-inch clipless curling iron to make soft waves.  Those take some getting used to - I have a few burns to prove it!

The bag is vintage!  I found it a few months ago at a local antiques store which had a small vintage clothing section in their basement.  I love unearthing fun things from where you least expect them.

Dress: The Limited, plus a sash from another dress
Shoes: Bandolino from Famous Footwear
Necklace: The Limited [buy here]
Earrings: The Limited [buy here]
Bracelet: Old, unknown
Purse: Vintage (~1960's)

Below are a few more snapshots from the event.  Congratulations to all of my Midwestern co-residents!

All 14 of the PGY1 and PGY2 residents with Midwestern

With my friend Pearl

Whew!  It took some hard work to get this paper.

Thanks to my lovely parents for all the photos!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Snapshots: Weekend in the City

Yeah, yeah, this will be a mostly-style-blog eventually.  However, a little post just about life can't hurt, right?  Right.

This weekend was one of my last free weekends in the Chicago area before I move, so I pushed aside every work responsibility and spent the entire weekend out and about in the city with my friends.  Every day was full of a fun event or adventure plus a favorite local eatery.  From a show at Beat Kitchen on Friday (featuring my friends in the bands Urbanites and State and Madison) and Tony's Burrito Mex, to the beach and Elly's Pancake House on Saturday, to Portillo's and the new Wes Anderson movie (which was FANTASTIC) on Sunday, it was a blast from start to finish.  I will miss Chicago more than I can possibly describe, but I'll be back often.  A few snapshots of the fun, courtesy of Instagram:

Also, my new favorite picture of my friend Claire and I by the lake:

The Windy City will always have my heart.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sweet Deal: Classy Summer Handbags for Cheap

Before I begin, here's some good news:  In a mere 12 days, I will finally be done with 2 years of residency, thus officially becoming a trained Infectious Diseases clinical pharmacist!  I will then be returning to my home state of Indiana for my big-kid job with a big-kid salary and a big-kid three-bedroom apartment all to myself.  I will have slightly over a month off in between the jobs, and I am very much looking forward to it.  I'm also looking forward to having a bit more time to devote to hobbies again, including this poor sad neglected little blog of mine.  July will no doubt be lacking in business casual attire due to lack of actual work, but I have many a fun summer outfit idea swimming around in my head at the moment, all of which I look forward to sharing.  But I digress...

What's better than a cute summer bag?  A cute summer bag on sale, of course.  Today, The Limited just put several new items on markdown, and I highly recommend you snatch up the following before they're gone.  If the link says "oops", you're too late!

Saddle Shoulder Bag - Was $69.90, Now $20.24 - Buy [here]

I have this bag, and I love it.  The strap is adjustable, and long enough to be worn as a cross-body.  It's also still available in a deep navy, but I prefer the camel brown shown here.

Blue Ikat Tote - Was $79.90, Now $26.24 - Buy [here]

I've loved this bag since they first introduced it, and ikat print is everywhere right now.  However, this is one of those rare occurrences when I resisted buying something - I can't think of a single outfit I have which would look even halfway decent with this - but if you do, buy it on my behalf!

Large Floral Tote - Was $74.90, Now $29.99 - Buy [here]

Is your old beach bag dirty and shredded like mine?  Toss it and replace it with this beauty.  It's made of a canvas material, but it's pretty enough to be used for either work or play.

Like what you see?  Hop to it, they won't last long!

As I have mentioned before, I am in no way endorsed by The Limited - they just happen to be my favorite store, and consistently produce items I am in love with. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Menswear Inspiration? Just Go(tye) For It.

A few weeks ago, I went to see the extremely talented musician Gotye and the equally amazing songstress Kimbra at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.  I attended the show (which was incredible) with a few good friends, and decided that the occasion called for slightly fancier concert attire than I would usually choose.

I had just picked up my Missouri pal Devon from the bus station, and she was kind enough to photograph me near the venue, thus giving me the classic "brick wall background" that is so prevalent in all the style blogs I revere.  Baby steps...

I was shooting for a sleek, menswear-inspired look with this outfit, while still keeping some feminine detail.  I got these adorable heeled oxfords on sale from Nine West, but was having trouble working them into styles until I tried this. The combination of dark denim and the heeled lace-ups elongates the bottom half, which is tough to do when you're only 5'4".

I barely had any time between work and the show to get ready and my hair was bit worse for wear, so I pulled it to the side and used the "sock bun" approach to make it tidy, then added the flower.  Silver accessories played off the shine in the top and the shoes.  Although I broke my own concert rules of "no heels over 1 inch" and "don't wear too many layers", I'm quite happy with the overall effect and I actually stayed comfortable through the entire show.

Top: The Limited
Blazer: H&M
Jeans: The Limited
Shoes: Nine West
Necklace/Earrings: The Limited
Bracelets: Charlotte Russe (silver feather) and my mother (chains)
Ring: Old Navy
Purse: Mossimo from Target

I'll leave you with a look at the fabulously ruffled dress that Kimbra wore, and I'd be remiss not to also provide you with a shot of the handsome Gotye.

Just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard their song "Somebody That I Used to Know", here's the (painted and not-quite naked) music video:

P.S. - Yes, I am extremely aware that this poor little blog died for awhile.  Until the end of my residency in June, posting will continue to be extremely sporadic.  I have very good intentions of seeing this through, but since it's just a hobby, I have to focus on my real job for the time being and will just post periodically for now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Animal Print to Work? Yes, Yes You Can.

It's a common misconception (at least in my opinion) that animal print has no place in the professional/semi-professional setting.  I believe that it most certainly can be done, if you pick the right prints and class it up a bit.  Observe:

Of course, the use of animal print is all within reason.  Would [this] fly in my work setting?

As cute and fun as that is... no, it would not work.  The key is in picking the right animal print - stick with natural, more neutral tones (neon cheetah isn't going to cut it) in a flowy, blousier fabric/style to soften the print even further.  Here's an example currently [available] from The Limited:

For my outfit, I chose to belt my top and wear it with skinny black dress pants from Banana Republic.  To bring out some of the other tones in the top, I wore gray flannel low pumps with a shiny black heel from Nine West and grabbed a gray and black bag.  My necklace is actually a long single strand, but I twisted it like the pearl bead necklace from [yesterday's post].  Put it all together and you've got a sleek look with a touch of wild, a touch of shine, and all class for a day at work.

Top: The Limited
Belt: The Limited
Pants: Banana Republic
Shoes: Nine West [buy here - on sale for only $31.60!]
Bracelet/necklace/earrings: All old, unsure

Sunday, February 26, 2012

From Blah to Ooh-Ahh: Temporarily Transform a Long Single-Strand Necklace

I don't know about you, but I'm never quite sure what to do with a long single-strand beaded necklace.  Sometimes they work fine on their own, but they usually just end up looking too long or too plain to me.  I'll knot them at the bottom sometimes, but if the beads are too large, it just ends up looking awkward.  More often than not, I end up putting the necklace back on the hook and going with something else.

I was absentmindedly playing around with one of my necklaces the other night, and came up with a quick temporary solution to the drab single strand.  I'm sure people probably do this all the time, but it was new to me.  The solution?  Twist!

- Hook your fingers in each end of the necklace and twist in opposite directions until you have a fairly tight twist.

- Drape the twisted strand around your neck and hold the ends in front of you.  Transfer both ends to one hand (you should have little loops at the end to hang on to).

-With your other hand, grab a safety pin.  Yes, a safety pin.  I'm sure there's a more attractive way to do this, but this was on the fly - if you're hair is down, nobody will notice anyway.  Fasten the safety pin through both loops - it should be able to tuck in between beads so it'll close.

- Rearrange the necklace so your temporary clasp is in the back, and you have a brand new necklace that looks nothing like how it started!  When you're done wearing it this way, it goes right back to its former self so you can wear it however you want.