Summer 30 for 30 Day 18: 2 + 11 + 24

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Two days of maxis in a row? Do you think perhaps someone is avoiding shaving her legs? Just a thought.

I kinda love this outfit. I wasn't sure it would work to button the jacket up over the ruffle front of the dress, but it does. I feel very boho-yet-put-together in this.

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I'm wearing:
#2 NY & Company ruffle-front black maxi dress
#11 NY & Company white safari shirt/jacket
#24 Antia black wedges

with:
-silver chain and leaf necklace (Ebay)
-lavender, teal, and magenta silk wrapped bangles (Etsy)
-Liz Claiborne faux blue snakeskin belt (thrifted)

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Fitness progress

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As I've mentioned, I've been working pretty hard on my fitness level for the past six months. I joined a gym and have been going fairly regularly. I meant to take regular progress pictures along the way, but ended up more or less forgetting about it for many weeks at a time. Still, I've got a set of three now, and I am seeing progress in my body (though it's honestly nothing compared to how I feel), so I thought I'd share. The first picture is at week 6, the second at week 16, and the third today, at week 25:

Progress picture--week 6Progess picture--week 16Progress picture--week 25

Progress picture--week 6Progress Picture--week 16Progress picture--week 25

Seeing the pictures is really, really helpful. It's motivating, and it makes it really easy to see where I've been. So for those who are on similar journeys, I can't recommend picture taking enough.

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Holy clothes sales, Batman!

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So I dunno if anybody else is having this happen, but I am inundated with clothing sale notifications recently! Seems like all of my favorite retailers are having sales. Since I am conveniently ignoring the "no shopping" part of the 30 for 30, I've definitely partaken in several of them. However, there were a great many things I didn't buy, either because they just didn't make my final cut, don't work for me, or (often) weren't available in my size. Since giving recommendations is like vicarious shopping, I thought I'd browse a few sales and share with you the best goodies I found but didn't purchase myself:

Boden

I have been waiting for Boden's Summer Sale since I first saw the summer line. There are so many things I like in it, and Bodens regular prices, even with the 10-15% discount you can usually get, are steep for me. Here are a few summer sale favorites:


Riviera Dress, $90 $49


Silk Feather Maxi, $240 $74


Sassy Silk Dress, $140 $74


Forget-Me-Not Top, $50 $38


Pintuck Skirt, $70 $46


Swishy Cotton Skirt, $70 $51

Loft

I buy sale items at Loft often--they have a lot of good sales. Right now, everything is 40%, including already on-sale items. Here are a few picks from that section:


Airy Flowers Tuck Detail Dress, $69 $54.99-40%


Smocked Wedge Top, $34 $29.99-40%

Ann Taylor

As is often the case, AT is having the same sale as Loft-40% off everything. Which, once again, makes their sale section really affordable. A few things I saw:


Cut-In Ruffle Halter, $78 $59.99-40%


Silk Crinkle Short Skirt, $78 $64.99-40%


Signature High-Waisted A-Line Pants, $118 $69.99-40%


Silk Shell with Lace Top, $98 $69.99-40%


Asymmetrical Ruffle Shell, $78 $49.99-40%

Not that I'm encouraging you to shop, or anything...

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 17: 29 + 17 + 28

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What, 29? 29? There is no item 29! That, kittens, is because I stood in front of my clothes rack this morning and went "ug, really? I have to wear this stuff?" and decided that it was time to bring in a ringer. I'm using one of my wild-card spots, #29, on this striped maxi skirt. I think it's a good decision.

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I'm wearing:
#29 black and white striped maxi skirt (Nordstrom Rack)
#17 Ann Taylor black scoopneck t-shirt (thrifted)
#28 Naturalizer red flats

with:
-purple wooden beaded bracelet (Anika Burke)
-peacock feather necklace (Forever 21)

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I've been going back and forth for days about what body part to feature for Academichic's Dress Your Best blog event this week. As I tried to decided, I noticed that several of Academichic's posters chose to feature body parts they'd once loved less, including pregnancy-induced body changes and a delightfully uneven face. Coincidentally, I'd been in a discussion elsewhere online about learning to embrace and even love body parts you used to dislike, so I decided that would be a good guiding principle for my Dress Your Best contribution.

From there, it wasn't hard.

I have really big arms. It's hereditary--all of the women in my mother's family have big arms, even the ones who are thin. My grandmother has what my grandfather referred to as "blacksmith arms." She's a big, strong woman and she's got natural guns. Apparently it's a strong gene.

Having big arms is something hard to love as a woman, at least early on. For one thing, nothing about you (with the exception, to a point, of your breasts) is supposed to be big. For another, it's a hassle--shirt-sleeves quite often to do not fit around my upper arms, even in shirt sizes that are otherwise too big. I can't take my blood pressure with the machine at the drugstore, because my arm doesn't fit properly in the cuff. These are small things, but the annoyances add up.

I've never hated my arms enough to try to hide them--I wear sleeveless shirts more than most people do, and certainly more than a lot of people my size do (in part because of the aforementioned sleeve fitting issue). But they've never really been something I fully embraced.

Until now. Over the past six months, as I've spent more time and the gym and lifted higher weights, my arms have changed. They've--no joke--gotten bigger. They've also gotten much more developed musculature, and they've gotten stronger. Suddenly, it's clear what an asset they are. I have a greater natural strength than many, many women. I have the ability to fairly easily build serious muscle. And I like that.

I like that a lot, actually. Muscular arms have always been a back-of-my-mind goal, ever since, as a pre-teen, I saw Linda Hamilton doing pull-ups in Terminator 2. While I know I'll never be built like Linda Hamilton, I've since noticed some other really impressive arms that are more within my reach:


Photo via Fitness Magazine

And so, I'm inspired, today, to celebrate my arms.

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Who needs subtle?

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I'm wearing:
#8 Loft black cotton pants
#20 Ann Taylor black sleeveless pintuck collar top (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedges

with:
-Forever 21 rhinestone and feather bib necklace

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Thrift Share Monday: on the way to Etsy

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I haven't posted many Thrift Share Mondays recently, because I haven't been doing a lot of interesting thrifting! I have been trying to get some of my thrifted stockpile sold or given away, though, which is always an arduous process. I photographed a few things last night to put up on Etsy (hopefully today...), so I thought I'd show you those.

David Douglas carafe
This David Douglas carafe is, by my best guess, from the 60s. Anybody know anything else about it? Looks like it should have come with a warmer, but I didn't find it that way.

Cathay platter and bowls
I think I've shown you this Taylorstone Cathay set before--it's a small platter and five shallow bowls (I think they were marketed as "berry bowls"). I love this pattern so much. It is, as far as I know, a 50s/60s pattern.

Pyrex Butterprint Cinderella bowl set
This is a great set--three mint condition Pyrex Cinderella bowls in the Butterprint pattern. I actually bought all three at separate locations and separate times, but they are all similarly unused looking. Pyrex started making this pattern in 1957, but I'm not sure how long they manufactured it for.

Pyrex Old Orchard mixing bowl set
This is Pyrex set in less stellar condition. It's the Old Orchard pattern, and the bowls, particularly the mid-sized one, have visible scratches/wear around their bottoms. I couldn't resist them, though, because they were so familiar to my late 70s/early 80s childhood self. I think my stepmother may have had this actual set, or maybe fridgies in this print? At any rate, they made me nostalgic.

Pyrex atomic carafe
This carafe is also Pyrex, and I think it's again from the early 60s. It's probably my current favorite piece--I just love the shape of it.

I am realizing that thrifting dishes for profit is just not a niche I am going to succeed in, so I'm desperately trying to stop buying more stuff than I can use or store. It's so difficult, though! These pieces are so gorgeous, and so full of history. I hate leaving them on the shelf.

Don't forget to head over to Apron Thrift Girl and check out everyone else's Thrift Share Monday posts!

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 15: 5 + 14 + 24

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Woohoo, the halfway point! I decided to celebrate with an outfit that looked a whole lot better in my head. Subtle pattern mixing, paperbagging a too-big skirt waist...it may just be too much for me.

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I think the sad truth is that this skirt needs to be either altered or retired. It's way, way too big. But I had to try.

I'm wearing:
#5 Anne Klein black with white polka dots full pleated skirt (thrifted)
#14 Apt. 9 pink with white pin dots cowl neck (thrifted)
#24 Antia wedges

with:
-Old Navy pink camisole
-black stretchy belt (can't remember where it's from)
-silver charm bracelets (Ebay)
-antique typewriter key necklace (gift)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 14: 8 + 18 + 28

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I did not want to wear 30 for 30 clothes today. In fact, I didn't want to wear clothes at all. Had it not been for 30 for 30, I would almost certainly be headed to Target in yoga pants with dog hair on the ass. Though they'll never know it, the folks at my Target owe 30 for 30 their gratitude for that.

Instead, I came up with this casual weekend ensemble. Nothing ground-breaking, but a pretty big step up from what I would have worn if left to my own devices.

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I'm wearing:
#8 Loft black cotton pants
#18 Gap black and blue patterned dolman sleeve shirt
#28 Naturalizer red flats

with:
-Lucky charm necklace (Ebay)
-turquoise print headband/head scard (Cost Plus World Market)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 13: 4 + 23 + 26

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When I did the 30 for 30 last time, I didn't do weekends--it was work week only. And so, it took over six weeks to finish. I didn't like that. So, this time, I'm including weekends, at least if I leave the house. Today, I left the house to run some errands and do some shopping.

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I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, tan, gray, and white printed skirt (a total MVP item so far!)
#23 NY & Company green-gray cowl neck sleeveless shirt
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals

with:
-Forever 21 wooden beaded wrap bracelet
-gold owl pendant (Ebay)

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Report from the land of Big Lots

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Someone asked me recently if I was still shopping at Big Lots, and if I was, why I'm not blogging about it.I am still a dedicated Big Lots shopper. I guess I stopped blogging about it because I thought it might be boring? Anyway, I went this week, so I thought I'd give you an update on what I'm buying there these days.


Ritz Crackerfuls
are one of my go-to snacks at work. I keep my cabinet stocked with several boxes at all times. They are extremely satisfying and taste like they are made out of food (except for the bacon and cheddar ones, those are suspect). At my Safeway, they sell for $4.19 for a box of six, though they've been on BOGO a lot lately. At Big Lots, they are $2/box. This past trip I bought six boxes of the classic cheddar flavor.


I recognize the horrible environmental sin of the Colgate Wisp mini all-in-one toothbrush, and I don't feel great about it, but I still use them at work. They work better than mints or gum and I can use them at my desk, rather than hauling a toothbrush and toothpaste into the communal bathroom. At Target or CVS, 8-packs of these little conveniences retail for around $4.50. At Big Lots, they are $1. Oddly, the 4-packs at Big Lots are $1.90. Crazy. I bought 10 8-count packages on my last trip.


I am a big fan of Better Oats brand instant hot cereal--it's another work cupboard staple. It's tasty, cooks quickly (90 seconds in the microwave) and doesn't have unduly bulky packaging. The five-packet boxes I buy are generally between $3.50 and $4 in regular grocery stores. At Big Lots, they are $1. That's a cheap breakfast! I bought four boxes on my last trip.

Mark is a big fan of good glass-bottle root beer, and he's turned me on to it as well. Boylan's, which is family owned and operated in New Jersey, is one of my very favorite varieties. The stuff is generally not that easy to find, but Amazon.com has 12-packs for $39 (outrageous!) and Beverage Direct has 6-packs for $8.29. At Big Lots, it's $.75/bottle. I always pick up at least six bottles.

There are, of course, other things I buy at Big Lots. My last trip was heavy on paper towels, TP, Ziploc bags, etc. But the four items mentioned here are my current regulars. Are you a Big Lots shopper? What have you bought there lately?

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 12: 7 + 22 + 26

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I woke up this morning with what I think of as "free-range hair"--that is, hair I went to sleep on while it was wet and is now huge and unruly. Usually, when this happens, I attempt to tame it, or at least put it up. Today I decided to consider it a style opportunity and dress to compliment it, in as 70s an ensemble as my job and my 30 for 30 choices allow.

And I kinda love it.

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Look at that hair!

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I'm wearing:
#7 Eddie Bauer curvy bootcut jeans (thrifted)
#22 J. Crew sleeveless lavender and white floral top (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)

with:
-Forever 21 True Feathers necklace
-large purple stone pendant (Ebay)
-Forever 21 Gypsy Wrap bracelet (no longer available)
-Exotic Bangles magenta wrap bangles (Etsy)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 11: 9 + 21 + 27

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I put this outfit on intending to use it for my submission to Academichic's Dress Your Best event. With the long straight line of the pants and the high-heeled sandals, I thought the outfit would work very well to highlight my height, which is something I am trying to not only make peace with, but embrace (it's a process, people). But looking at the photographs, I don't think this came off at all the way I'd envisioned. So I'm going to try again later.

In the meantime, here I am in my nearly 6'4" glory.

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I don't know what's going on with this one, sorry for the pissy face.

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Since I forgot to take a detail shot, these are the shoes:

I'm wearing:
#9 Loft gray trousers (thrifted)
#21 Old Navy floral ruffle-front sleeveless top
#27 A. Marinelli Rayne green studded high-heeled sandals (6pm)

with:
-Exotic Bangles purple and henna striped wrapped bangles (Etsy)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 10: 1 + 24

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Yay, vintage! This vintage 1950s dress is one I put in my 30 for 30 because I've been holding on to it for months, looking for a perfect time to wear it. This forces me to make Wednesday a perfect time! I love this style more than any other in the world, and could quite happily wear it every day.

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Look at that 5 yard skirt!

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And I couldn't resist a motion shot:

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I'm wearing:
#1 vintage 1950s pink print dress (Eons Vintage in Pittsburgh)
#24 Antia black wedges

with:
-Etienne Atigner slim black leather belt (thrifted)
-silver charm bracelets (Ebay)

Day 10 already! Let's look at where we've been:

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What's your favorite so far? Least favorite?

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 9: 4 + 17 + 28

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I hope you all like this outfit, because I'm pretty sure modifications on it are what is going to get me through this 30 for 30. Full skirt + fitted shirt + red flats. It may not be the summer look I cultivated, but it's the one I got!

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I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, gray, tan, and white print cotton skirt (thrifted)
#17 Ann Taylor black scoop neck t-shirt (thrifted)
#28 red Naturalizer flats

with:
-chunky jade necklace (gift)
-circular beaded bracelets (gift)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 8: 8 + 13 + 16 + 24

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I was not feeling it this morning, y'all. It's raining, I'm exhausted after the weekend, and getting dressed was just not all that inspired an experience. Some days are like that.

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I'm wearing:
#10 Loft black pants
#13 August Silk short-sleeved ruffle collar black cardigan (Nordstrom Rack)
#16 Old Navy red and white striped scoop neck t-shirt
#24 Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)

with:
Lucky charm bracelet (Ebay)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 6 & 7

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We had a busy out-of-town weekend, and I have to say, having only by 30 for 30 options while packing made things a lot easier!

On Saturday, we had a memorial picnic for Mark's grandmother, who passed away this spring, followed by dinner at a Spanish restaurant with Mark's parents.

2 + 28

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I was really happy with this outfit. It was comfortable for the 4+ hours I spent in the car in the morning, and appropriate for both the outdoor picnic in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. I felt like I looked really cute, too!

I wore:
#2 New York & Company Ruffle-Front Maxi Dress
#28 red Naturalizer flats

with:
-Forever 21 Boho necklace
-Frosted Williow woodland bangle bracelets (Etsy)

On Sunday, we had a nice Father's Day brunch with Mark's parents, brother, and SIL, and headed back home. I needed something appropriate for a nice brunch in the city that I could still wear in the car, and what I wore worked out OK. I didn't take these pictures until we got home at around 11pm, though, after I'd had it on all day, so it comes off a bit sloppier than it actually was. Earlier in the day my shirt was tucked in, and I was wearing a belt.

6 + 10 + 28

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I'm wearing:
#6 St. John's Bay blue skirt with floral pattern (thrifted)
#10 Loft short-sleeved teal cardigan (thrifted)
#28 red Naturalizer flats

with:
-green tank top (Target)
-Exotic Bangles teal wrapped bangles (Etsy)
-Betsey Johnson charm necklace (Ebay)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 5: 7 + 18 + 24

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I was very thankful for casual Friday when I woke up this morning. Apparently it's going to be warm later, but it stormed last night and was still plenty wet and gray when I left the house, so jeans seemed just right.

This outfit irritates me, because I have that compulsion not to wear jeans with blue shirts. Still, I like more than I dislike about it. I look kinda strange with my hair up, though.

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Emo downward stare!

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And some details:

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I'm wearing:
#7 Eddie Bauer Curvy bootcut jeans (thrifted)
#18 Gap blue and black patterned dolman shirt (outlet)
#24 Antia black wedges (also worn on Day 4)

with:
-Forever 21 Boho necklace (no longer available?)
-blue and turquoise beaded earrings (LBB)
-braided leather bracelets (Ebay)

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Move over Joss, there's a new sheriff in town

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As we've discussed, I have a bit of a thing about TV. And this thing peaks and wanes and I get obsessed with this show or that show, but basically, I love the medium. There are a lot of things I like about it, but the most pressing is serial writing. I love watching characters, plots, sub-plots, thematic arcs, relationships, and everything else develop over the course of a season (or, ideally, several seasons). I like living with the characters, having them in my head day-to-day.

Usually, after I get involved in a show, I start getting obsessed with the creator(s) of said show. More so than the actors, who, no matter how good they are, are just using the material they've been given, I fall in love with the brains behind the characters. The minds from which they came, and through which they exist.

My first and, to this date, most extreme TV producer love was for Joss Whedon. This is hardly surprising--Joss Whedon is a genius. He creates worlds. He populates them with people (and other various creatures) we recognize, no matter how fantastical they get. He makes them talk in ways we wish we could. He's amazing. He's also, from what I can tell, done with television. And it's hard to maintain an affair with someone who is gone. I can only re-watch Buffy so many times.

There have been other, more minor, flings. David Simon (The Wire, Treme) is extremely talented. Nancy Miller (Saving Grace, The Closer) is great. I wasn't a big fan of NYPD Blue, but David Milch blew me away with Deadwood. I have only good things to say about Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Lie to Me). There are a pretty good handful of people making good TV. But I've never had another Joss.

Until now. It has happened again, my people. I am in love with a man's ideas.

And that man is Kurt Sutter.

Sutter, for those not in the know, is the creative force behind Sons of Anarchy, a show I have proclaimed my love for on this blog before. What I didn't know, until this recent bout of obsession, is that SOA is his first show of his own. He worked on The Shield, but previous to that has no other TV (or film) writing credits. It's dude's first go-round, and it's epic. If you haven't watched it, you should. There are two seasons on DVD, another coming out in August, and a fourth season starting on FX in September. Do it.

A few people have laughed at me and said I only like SOA because of the man candy. I am not gonna lie--it's got a smoking hot cast (Charlie Hunnam, Tommy Flanagan, Kim Coates, Ryan Hurst, David Labrava--and Sutter himself, who plays a small role on the show, isn't bad to look at either). However, that's not really the point. It's just a great show. It has Shakespearean overtones (undertones?), but doesn't follow Shakespearean plot-lines in that narcoleptic remake way. It has operatically (or at least soap operatically) large plots, but they take place in this microscopically detailed little world. The dialog is fantastic. It's funny. And there guns, bikes, and explosions. Hell yes.

In the past few years, as I have watched more and more TV and paid more and more attention to the TV I watch, I've felt myself moving towards something. When I was immersed in Whedon's work, I really thought I wanted to become some sort of cultural academic, doing textual analysis of these great shows, relating them back to the times and places in which they existed. With this show, though, I finally realized that being a critic, in any sense, is not at all what I'm drawn to. Sons of Anarchy isn't just the kind of show I want to watch. It's the kind of show I want to write. I've been struggling for years to figure out how I fit into the world of writing, where my ideal place is. I've tried a couple of novels, a lot of short stories, magazine articles, personal essays, political essays...but now I get it. I want to write for TV.

I realize that reads a little bit like, "I want to fly to the moon." It's not like you can just start writing for TV one day. But knowing that's the place I think I'd fit is a tremendous relief for me. There is nothing that says I can't write TV shows. Nobody can stop me. I can't promise they'd ever get made, of course, but I can definitely write them.

In the meantime, though, I'm really enjoying the peek into the making of SOA, and particularly into his process, that Kurt Sutter is making available on his YouTube channel in this weekly feature he's calling "WTF Sutter?" People email in questions about the show and he answers them--it's really interesting. There is also a little interview with a couple of the staff writers (here) which I found particularly fascinating. I could be those guys, right?

(All of this was, by the way, my long-winded and only partially on-topic response to Genie's Living Out Loud 29: On Writing).

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 4: 5 + 13 + 24

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So I looked at my clothes rack this morning, loaded with its meager fewer-than-30 items, and groaned. I did not want to wear ANY of this stuff. How long does it take to get sick of 30 for 30? Apparently, for me, 4 days.

But I knew this would happen, and had decided upon two coping strategies for days like today well in advance:

1. Wear old standbys. A day like today is a bad time to try to be creative. Just get something I know works on my body and get out of the house.

2. Cheat. Just a little.

Today, I employed both strategies. Both the skirt and the shoes are old standbys--pieces I have worn a lot and know I am comfortable with. The tank top is a cheat--it's not a 30 for 30 item. I decided at the beginning that since tanks under things are a summer wardrobe staple for me and I wear so many of them, it wasn't going to be reasonable to include them in my 30 for 30 items unless I wanted to wear the same one over and over. So, the rule I set is that as long as I am not going to wear them alone, with nothing over them, tanks are freebies.

And it all turned out OK.

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Plus? This skirt has pockets. That improves everything, pretty much. Which is apparently why I felt the need to smirk about it in this picture.

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I'm wearing:
#5 Anne Klein full polka-dot skirt (thrifted)
#13 August Silk short sleeved black cardigan (Nordstrom Rack)
#24 Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)

with:
-Banana Republic red tank top (outlet)
-Forever 21 Matte Bead Necklace
-silver concentric circles necklace as bracelet (thrifted)

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 3: 3 + 23 + 25

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This skirt is one of the challenge pieces for me in this 30 for 30--I thrifted it recently, and I love it--the silk fabric, the pattern, the drape, it's great. However, I haven't quite figured out to wear it yet. It's navy and white, and those aren't colors I use much, and it's silk, a fabric I don't wear that much, so I am not quite sure how to pair it yet. So I decided to add it to my 30 for 30 set to force myself to wear it.

And I think this kinda works. What do you think?

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In this one, I think I'm trying to show you how impressed I am with myself that it took 3 days for me to pull out the wide elastic belts:

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I'm wearing:
#3 blue and white silk skirt (no tag, thrifted)
#23 New York & Company green-gray sleeveless cowl neck (old)
#25 Aerosoles Women's South Role sandals (Shoes.com)

with:
-cream and blue Forever 21 stretchy belt (no longer available, from what I can tell)
-Exotic Bangles brown and burgundy silk wrapped bangles (Etsy)
-Superhero Chlorine necklace

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Today I love: jewelry from Forever 21

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So I'm a new convert to Forever 21. I know, last person on the planet, right? I have always disliked the stores--crowded, loud, and nothing there fits me anyway. But I started noticed that a lot of style bloggers were wearing jewelry from the store. So I checked it out online. Wow. They have cute jewelry! Cheap! I was skeptical of the quality, but I ordered a bunch of stuff anyway (since I totally failed to read the "no returns on jewelry" fine print).

Well, I love everything I ordered. No, it's not handmade quality, but it's definitely worth what I paid for it, and the stuff they have right now is PERFECT for the laid-back boho look I want to cultivate this summer.

Since I'll be showing you the stuff I bought over the next few weeks, as I wear it, I thought I'd also show you the stuff that I liked, but didn't buy this time around.

Forever 21 jewelry

Forever21 jewelry
$16 - canada.forever21.com

Forever21 wood bangle
$8.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 antique necklace
$8.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 pendant
$8.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 beading bracelet
$7.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 chain necklace
$7.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 antique necklace
$7.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 layered chain necklace
$7.80 - forever21.com

Gypsy bracelet
$7.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 layered necklace
$6.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 beaded jewelry
$5.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 thick bracelet
$5.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 long necklace
$5.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 metal earrings
$4.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 beading bracelet
$4.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 jewelry
$4.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 boho earrings
$4.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 sunglasses
$7.80 - forever21.com

Are there other stores I have been ignoring that I should check out?

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 2: 4 + 15 + 28

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Things are looking much better today! I'm happier with this outfit, the pictures are in focus, and I am even feeling a little bit better.

I like the sorta 80s vibe of this, without going too ridiculously 80s. I am also really loving my new jewelry, which is from Forever 21! I never would have guessed they'd have so much fun stuff, but they really do.I made a pretty big order recently, so look for more pieces from them in future posts.

Also, I wanted to give a shout-out of thanks to Kris at A Thrifty LA Life for adding me to her Go-To 30 for 30-ers list! Kris' blog is a recent favorite of mine, and I am really excited to see how she remixes her mostly-thrifted and totally fabulous wardrobe for this challenge. I definitely recommend checking in on her, and I'll be having a look at the other blogs on her list, as well.

Now, the outfit:

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I'm wearing:
#4 Merona black, tan, white, and gray full printed skirt (thrifted)
#15 Gap white v-neck t-shirt (thrifted)
#28 Naturalizer red flats (Zappos or Shoebuy)

with:
-Forever 21 Outback Spiral Bracelet
-Forever 21 Assorted Charms Necklace

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Summer 30 for 30 Day 1: 9 + 14 + 26

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Since today is the first day of the summer 30 for 30, and I want to make a good impression, I thought I'd take arty photos! Just kidding. In reality, I forgot to take the macro setting off the camera and my pictures are very out-of-focus. Sorry about that. Not exactly an auspicious beginning.

But it's not exactly an auspicious outfit, either, so I guess that works. The reality is that I woke up late, I have a cold, and this is what I threw on. It will only go up from here, right?

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I'm wearing:
#9 AT Loft gray wide legged pants (thrifted)
#14 Apt. 9 pink pin-dot cowl neck (thrifted)
#26 Sofft black wedge sandals

with:
-Mossimo white tank top (Target)
-silver bangle (no idea)
-white and silver bib necklace (NY & Company)

Not that you can tell in these pictures, but I also got a really good haircut this weekend, at a new salon. So I'll be reviewing that place later--if you happen to be local to me, keep an eye out for that!

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30 for 30, Summer Style

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I'm doing it again! Kendi Everyday's 30 for 30 Remix Challenge! Starting tomorrow, I'll be making 30 outfits out of the 30 items I picked from my closet, no repeat outfits, no clothes shopping!

I wish I had the photographic talent and was willing to put in the effort to show you the pieces I am going to use, like Kendi and others do, but I don't, so some hasty shots taken on my bed will have to suffice:

2 dresses:
30for30 dresses
1. Vintage dress I bought on my last trip to Pittsburgh
2. Ruffle-front black maxi dress (NY & Company)

4 skirts:
30for30 skirts
3. blue and white silk skirt (no tag, thrifted)
4. black, gray, and tan print cotton skirt (Merona, thrifted)
5. black and white polka dot full skirt (Anne Klein, thrifted)
6. blue skirt with floral pattern (St. John's Bay, thrifted)

3 pants:
30for30 pants
7. bootcut jeans (Eddie Bauer, thrifted)
8. black pants (Loft)
9. gray pants (Loft, thrifted)

3 top layers/cardigans:
30for30 covers
10. teal short-sleeved cardigan (Loft, thrifted)
11. white safari shirt/jacket (NY & Company)
13. black short-sleeved cardigan (August Silk via Nordstrom Rack)

6 sleeved tops:
30for30 sleeved tops
14. pink pin-dot cowl neck (Apt. 9, thrifted)
15. white v-neck t-shirt (Gap, thrifted)
16. red and white striped scoop neck t-shirt (Old Navy)
17. black scoop neck t-shirt (Ann Taylor, thrifted)
18. black and blue patterned dolman shirt (Gap Outlet)
19. purple embroidered front shirt (Converse One-Star via Target)

4 sleeveless tops:
30for30 sleeveless tops
20. black pin-tuck collar top (Ann Taylor, thrifted)
21. floral ruffle-front shirt (Old Navy)
22. lavender and white floral pin-tuck collar top (J. Crew, thrifted)
23. green-gray cowl neckline top (NY & Company)

5 pairs of shoes:
30for30 shoes
24. black wedges (Antia, only repeat from my last 30-for-30!)
25. light green strappy heels (Aerosoles)
26. black wedge sandals (Sofft)
27. green high-heeled sandals with studs (A. Marinelli)
28. red flats (Naturalizer)

I left myself two wild-card slots to add things later that I can't foresee needing now, which is kind of a cheat, but I'm OK with that.

Last time I did this, I noticed that I could have used more shoe options, and that I didn't include enough basic layering tops in my choices. I am attempting to fix that this time. Do you see any holes? Any outfit suggestions? Hit me with your ideas in the comments!


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Unlikely style icons

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I just read Mrs. Bossa's Top 7 Unlikely Style Icons post. After I wiped the tears from my eyes, I knew I had to do my own.

Unintentionally, I assure you, I occasionally channel super-substitute Viola Swamp:

I never quite mean to look like an elephant, but some days I do see a bit of Ganesha:

Then, of course, there are those unfortunate Church Lady occasions...

None of those, however, are as embarrassing as my penchant for the false-modest emo downturned eyes. Oh yes, my friends, I have my Morrissey days.

Who am I missing? Leave me a comment with an unlikely fashion influence you've identified, and I'll be sure to add it! After all, if you can't laugh at yourself, you shouldn't laugh at anybody!

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This is not a skirt.

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It's going to be 100 degrees with high humidity and poor air quality today in our nation's lovely capital. Might as well have stayed in Texas! Since there is really no outfit I could wear to work that would be appropriate for this weather (my workplace frowns on nakedness), I decided to go with something very simple. And definitely to wear a skirt, for air flow. Except then I realized that every single pair of pettipants or bike shorts I own is in the laundry. So I wore pants.

Still, I like how it turned out.

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I mixed my threaded and silver bangles today, for a total bangle count of 22. I am really, really loving bangles right now.

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I'm wearing:
-Ann Taylor Loft Julie wide-leg gray trousers (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor black pleated neck sleeveless shirt (thrifted)
-Antia black wedges (Shoebuy)
-silver and turquoise three-tiered necklace (NY & Company)
-thread bangle bracelets (Ebay)
-silver bangle bracelets (no idea)

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So BlogHer went and featured me on their career page today! As I think that is all kinds of awesome, I thought I'd celebrate by writing a career-focused post I've had in mind for a while.

My educational trajectory and my career trajectory do not, to a lot of people, make any sense. One did not lead to the other in any clear way. They are not parallel. Things have progressed holistically, looking at my resume and can leave some folks scratching their heads, trying to figure out how I got to where I am right now. To me, of course, it makes perfect sense--I lived it, and each small step made did come from the last. From talking to other people my age, I don't think this is all that unusual--both our educational and our work cultures have changed drastically, and the leaps we make from one position, or even one field, to the next, which may seem foreign to people only a generation over, have become both normal and necessary.

As an illustration of how this really happens, and because I've had a few people ask me of late how it is that I came to do what I do (and what it is I actually do), I thought maybe a journey through my resume would be interesting.

1994-1997: High school jobs

I started working "on the books" as soon as I was old enough to obtain a work permit. This isn't all that unusual where I am from, though I did, as time went on, work more hours during the school year than a lot of kids did (though fewer than some). During this time, I had two jobs, both in restaurants. I started out, in both cases, washing dishes and doing prep work and then became a waitress. I was never a great waitress, but I think I became a pretty decent one. Waiting tables remains, to this day, the most physically and sometimes intellectually challenging job I've ever had. Seriously. Respect your wait staff, people. These jobs are no longer featured on my resume, since they hold little, if any, interest to the people who are hiring me these days.

1997-2001: College

I went to a private, academically-rigorous, expensive liberal arts college, where I obtained a degree in the "soft" and "non career-focused" area of American history. And yes, I took out loans to do it, with no clear post-college plan. I pretty much did what nobody wants their kid to do anymore, but at least it was on a fairly small scale (the loans, though they seemed huge at the time, are not that substantial and have never posed a serious problem). Ten years post-graduation, I can honestly say I wouldn't do it any differently if I could go back knowing what I know now. The education I received was absolutely top tier, and how much or little that has to do with my being able to get jobs, I am very sure it has a ton to do with my being able to perform in them.

As a lifeguard, summer 1998
Me as a lifeguard, summer 1998

I worked all the way through college, part-time in during the school year and full-time in the summer. My first year, I had work study funding for a position making copies and entering data in the Residence Life office. My first post-college summer, I moved home and got a job working the desk and cleaning the locker rooms at a community pool. It was a hard gig in some ways--I had to get up before 5am--but it also opened up a new path for me, lifeguarding. I took my lifeguard certification courses that summer and moved into lifeguarding, which followed me through my next two school years as the easiest and best-paying on-campus job I could hope for. I have a vivid memory of listening to the whole Clinton impeachment trial on the radio while watching assistant professors swim laps.

The summer after my second year in college, I got my first "career focused" summer job, as an intern at the county district attorney's office. Before I took that job, I thought I might want to go to law school after undergrad (which was hardly an unusual thing for late-90s history majors). I spent the summer working on some independent research projects (I remember creating a "History of the DA's Office" promotional pamphlet and writing a report on the community court system) and assisting misdemeanor ADAs in pre-trial prep (usually entailing calling witnesses and reminding them of the trial date and time). That summer made it very clear to me that I had no desire to go into law, which was extremely valuable information to have. It was also my first taste of working in a professional environment, where people wore suits and had meetings and carried briefcases, which may seem like a small thing, but if you've never been around it before, it's really not.

My third post-college summer, I took an on-campus job, coordinating the summer rentals of campus facilities for conferences, summer camps, etc. It was a job of convenience, more or less, taken to save me from having to find something else, but it gave me a chance to act as de-facto manager to two junior student workers, which I hated. It was the first and last time I've ever been in any sort of management position, and it has taken me more than ten years to even think I'd want to try that again.

So that's the work history I graduated with. Not exactly a clear career path, right?

Summer 2001: I am a not a teacher

The job market in the summer of 2001 was not great. Despite applying to anything I thought I might remotely qualify for, it took me what seemed like forever (but was, in reality, only about 10 weeks) to find full-time work. In the meantime, I worked as an adjunct instructor at a for-profit college. I taught twice weekly night classes in business English/writing, and put in what has to have been my worst job performance of all time. I was not cut out to teach, and I was not mature enough at 21 to teach students decades older than me. But it crossed another career possibility off my list--I was definitely never going to be a teacher.

Me showing off the tomatoes, summer 02
Dressed for work at the art museum, summer 2002

2001-2002: Arty

When I did find a full-time job, it was one I'd applied to on a "this isn't going to pan out, but I have to try" whim. The position was as an assistant in the education department of a large art museum. My major duties included scheduling student tours of the exhibitions, helping manage the docent program, and providing general back-up to the other education staff members. As time went on and I proved myself competent, I also got to do a little bit of research and creation of educational materials and assist with the teen program. This job was the first one I had that required a college degree. It didn't matter what that college degree was in, though, and I am fairly certain I beat out candidates with art and art history degrees to get the job, though I am not totally sure why.

Though the art museum job was, in some ways, a lot of fun--I loved my coworkers and learned a ton on the job, not about the position itself, but about art and how museums are run, I left it after about a year. The major reason was financial--it only paid $10.25/hr, which was difficult to live on--and there was no real possibility of promotion or any big pay increase without a graduate degree. I toyed with the idea of an art history graduate program, but eventually decided it wasn't what I wanted to do.

Generally, my current professional resume begins with this position.

2002-2003: Admin

The job I got before I left the art museum position was the first, and only, full-time straight-up admin assistant job I've had. It was in another educational program, this one a residency training program at a medical school/hospital. I took the job for the money--if I remember correctly I started at the then-princely sum of $30,000/year--I knew it wasn't going to be all that exciting (and it wasn't). Once again, it was a position that required a degree, but they didn't care what the degree was in. However, during my interview, the director of the program looked my still-sparse resume and landed on where I'd gone to school. I remember clearly how his eyes lit up, and him saying, "You must be smart, you graduated from Reed." I am fairly sure Reed got me that job, even though a connection between an American history degree and an administrative position in medical education is one I can't make.

Once again, after I proved myself able to perform the basic tasks of the position for which I'd be hired (lots of database stuff and some web-site maintenance), I was allowed to move slowly into more interesting independent projects. In this case, I assisted a professor who was working on a breast health education campaign, and another who was doing research linking behavioral health changes to physical health improvements. After a while, a third professor learned about my research skills and enlisted me in helping her examine narcotic prescribing practices in her clinic. The thing I think is important here, and the thing that ties my seemingly useless undergrad education to my career progress, is being both willing and qualified to take on independent research projects, even in areas about which I previously knew very little. Over and over again, this has proved to be one of the most useful tools in my skill set.

2003-2004: Bad grad school decision and the non-profit letdown

When I left the admin position, it was to go to graduate school. After thinking a lot about what I could do next to get into something that I found interesting that would also make me marketable at a higher level than I was, I decided to get a masters degree in public affairs. The future I envisioned was in non-profit management or possibly consulting. In retrospect, it was a decision probably made for the wrong reasons--I was terrified of a life in administrative service, which I really didn't want. I had also spent my previous two jobs working for people with advanced degrees, most of whom had made it clear that without obtaining one of those shiny advanced degrees myself, I wasn't going to get to where they were. So, graduate school it was.

The same week I started graduate school, I got a job at a small non-profit advocacy organization. This job was contingent upon not only my having an undergrad degree, but also my being enrolled in a master's program. The job was good, in the sense that it allowed for my primary responsibility to be doing things that I'd always had to fit in before (i.e. research and writing), but bad in that it paid very little and the organization was really badly managed.

By the time I was a year in both grad school and non-profit work, I wanted out. I didn't like either one. Both felt futile and hopeless and fake and I was tired of being broke and of feeling like I was making terrible decisions. As luck would have it, everything was about to change.

2004-2006: Becoming a tech writer

Towards the end of my first year of grad school, a good friend of mine was readying to leave her job as a technical writer to adopt a child. Knowing I was unhappy with what I was doing, she offered to recommend me for her job. Though I had no previous tech writing experience, I had a decent mind for tech stuff and a lot of other writing experience. She thought I could do the job she was leaving easily. It also paid extremely well, at least in comparison to anything else I'd done. As in, twice as much. And it was flexible. I went down to part-time school and took it.

This was really where things changed for me. Technical writing wasn't something I'd previously considered, or even really known much about it. Neither had I ever considered being a contractor, rather than a permanent employee, which was the case for this position. But it worked out well--I found I could do the work easily, though there was some learning curve, and I really enjoyed making so much money. For the first time in any position I'd held, I felt like I was being treated as a competent professional. Even if the work didn't move me on any level,

I'm not sure if this position required a degree or not. I suspect that if I'd been applying without a personal connection, it would have. However, if I'd been applying that way, my complete lack of tech writing experience would probably have sent my application to the trash anyway.

2006-2008: Becoming a grant writer

While I was working as a tech writer, and finishing my graduate degree, I started doing some minor freelance side work on grant applications. This started out as kind of a fluke--someone I know needed an editor and knew I was a good writer. I also took a couple of short course/workshops on the grant process at my grad school. I had also been involved, in an editing and writing-suggestion capacity, in grants Mark had helped his boss submit during his pre-doctoral technician time. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the grant process, and thought it might be a better direction to take my career in, since I had given up on non-profit management and wasn't sure how far I could take tech writing without actually becoming a programmer, something I had no interest in. I also wanted to finish my grad degree, since it was only a couple of classes and a master's thesis short, but my scholarship had run out, leaving me needing to pay for the remainder of my classes myself. The solution I found, and I think it was a good one, was to find a job at the university, so I could take advantage of their employee tuition reimbursement program. The job I found? Grants and contracts specialist for a newly formed science center.

I got this job on the strength of my freelance grant writing experience, which was still pretty thin, technical writing experience, and nearly completed graduate degree. It was another position that required any undergrad degree, but I know I competed against people who had more relevant educational backgrounds. Once again, Reed came into play--the director of the center was familiar with it and thought highly of it, and of me for having graduated from there. More even than that, though, I suspect I got this job because I could speak with intelligence and interest about the work the center was doing. That I have to attribute completely to Mark, who is in a related field.

Though this job turned out to be more frustrating than not, taking it was a really good career move. It positioned me to get a lot more freelance grant writing work, and to gain really important insight into the financial aspects of granting, particularly on a federal level. I learned a ton in the two years I was in this job and it's one that gets highlighted on my resume. It also allowed me to finish my master's degree for free.

2009-2010: Back to tech writing

I returned to technical writing in 2009, working with the same people I had in my first tech writing job, though on another project. I made this transition for financial reasons, in part, but also because I knew the job could likely come with me when we moved, allowing me to telecommute for my first year or so in Virginia and not have to worry about finding a job here right away. The project on which I was hired to work was basically created for me--the customer only wanted to do it if they could get me back, which gives me a good feeling about the work I did for them in my first tech writing stint. The move was a start one--it worked out just as it was supposed to and allowed me a much easier first year in Virginia than I would have otherwise had. It also bolstered my tech writing experience enough so that I felt comfortable applying for straight tech writing jobs when it ended.

I never stopped writing freelance grants, though, and have in fact done more and more of that as time as gone on. I feel like having both of these lines of work on my resume gives me a much greater flexibility when looking for work, and I think it's smart to keep my finger in both for the time being.

Suit 3: Banana Republic
Interview suit, 2010

2010-present: A new tech position

As my tech writing telecommuting gig wound down, I began to look for a job here in Virginia, which I've written about on this site as it has unfolded. I started looking for both grant and tech writing jobs, and the first position I was offered, which I ended up declining because it was too far to commute, was a grant management position. As it turns out, though, tech writing jobs are a lot easier to come by within reasonable commuting distance of my house than are grant writing positions--those tend to be more focused in the city, and they are also a lot more competitive. Though I have a pretty decent grant writing resume built up for most of the country, by DC standards it's not much. So, the position I ended up in, and am in now, is a tech writing job.

Right now, however, I am actually working three jobs. I have my 40 hour/week tech writing gig, which is as a contract employee, through a medium sized tech contracting company, to a very large national company. Then I have my freelance grant writing, which ebbs and flows. To give you a size of that scale, I wrote 12 grants last year. Finally, I still have some freelance contract work with the tech writing job I telecommuted on, as they found another, small project for me when the full-time project ended. All of these things are good to keep on with, in terms of resume building and deepening my skill set to make myself more employable whenever it's next needed.

This turned into a long post, but I hope you found something useful in my story. The biggest point I am trying to illustrate, I guess, is that jobs that don't necessarily seem to have much in common may in fact share a lot of the same necessary skills. I'm also coming out strongly on the side of taking your undergrad education seriously, even if it's not in a discipline that leads to employment in a straight line--as you can see, mine has proved to be very valuable. The other thing is that it's possible, and may in some ways even be ideal, to move between fields, especially early in your career. You don't have to be stuck.

I honestly don't know where I am going next. I'd like to go back to school someday and do something totally different. I'd also like to have a go at my own freelance business, doing grant and maybe even tech writing projects under my own shingle full-time. Neither of these is a financial stable proposition, though, and right now financial stability is the most important thing for me. In the future, when that changes, I can easily see myself going in yet another new direction.

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Dressed up, summer style

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I am leading a meeting at work today, so I wanted to appear professional. However, we're into 90 degree weather now, so a lot of what I'd normally consider for professional clothing is right out. This is the compromise I came up with, and I won't lie--I love it.

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Isn't this last picture funny?

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I'm wearing:
-Dana Buchman silk patterned box pleat skirt (thrifted)
-New York & Company white Belted Scoop Neck Safari Shirt
-Ann Taylor royal blue camisole (outlet store)
-Sofft navy blue suede heels (Zappos)
-Liberty of London for Target skinny brown leather belt (thrifted)
-Ling Glass stained glass pendant necklace
-two sets of silver bangles (can't remember where they're from)

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Another day, another maxi dress

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Still working on my new summer style. Work appropriateness is going to be a problem, so I'm going to have to moderate things a bit. I think today is a pretty good middle ground.

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I'm wearing:
-New York & Company Ruffle-Front Maxi Dress
-Loft short-sleeved teal cardigan (thrifted)
-Sofft wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)
-Etienne Aigner narrow black leather belt (thrifted)
-New York & Company Three-Panel Fringe Bib Necklace

As always, I wish this dress were longer (a true maxi), but I like it anyway. And I love the necklace. This cardigan desperately needs some friends, unless I am going to wear it three times a week all summer. Anybody seen any nice, lightweight, short-sleeved cardigans that come in fun colors anywhere? Please leave me a comment!

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Summer style, take 1

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This morning, I made an attempt to put together an outfit following my new summer style ideals and...came up pretty short. I'm telling myself that this was just the first try and I'll get better.

Also, I have no idea why I am posing so strangely in these pictures. Nice to take them outside, though!

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Yeah, like I said. First attempt. These jeans do nothing for me, but they are the closest thing I have to jeans that fit, so I should probably do something about that. I do like the jewelry. The scarf didn't last--it slipped off before I got to work.

Baby steps towards new style, y'all!

Wearing:
-J. Jill trouser jeans
-Old Navy cowl neck gray tank (thrifted)
-Aerie turquoise camisole (thrifted)
-Sofft wedge sandals (Nordstrom Rack)
-vintage silk scarf (thrifted)
-Coldwater Creek bead and brass necklace (thrifted)
-gold interlocking hoops necklace (thrifted)
-turquoise beaded cuff bracelet (not sure)

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My summer style plan

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A few months back, I posted about the type of style I'd like to have for spring. The style I was drawn to then was very ladylike--cardigans, kitten heels, charm bracelets. While I still like that style, I am craving something very different for summer. Something almost opposite. I thought I'd give you a peek.

This is how I would like to dress this summer:

Floor length maxi dress
$28 - tillys.com

Floral print dress
$20 - tillys.com

Tribal print dress
30 GBP - axparis.co.uk

Old Navy flower top
$25 - oldnavy.gap.com

H M printed top
9.99 GBP - hm.com

Naturalizer wedge heel shoes
$59 - endless.com

Nine West open toe shoes
$53 - nordstrom.com

Clutch bag
$25 - papayaclothing.com

Kirra straw bag
$30 - pacsun.com

Necklace
$38 - anthropologie.com

Hive Honey leaves jewelry
$18 - piperlime.gap.com

Chain jewelry
$14 - nordstrom.com

Sparkle jewelry
$34 - bloomingdales.com

Dangle necklace
$19 - unique-vintage.com

I want my summer style to focus on comfort, breeziness, and pattern and color. I love the idea of an army of maxi dresses, worn with colorful, fun jewelry. I want to feel free.

Here are some ways my summer style ideal is a change from the one I had for this spring:

1. I am sick to death of skinny jeans--bring on the flares!
2. No more subtle color--make it bright!
3. Forget about that attempt at preppy (argyle sweater vest?)--I'm a hippy at heart.
4. No more inspiration from the 50s--let's take some from the 70s.
5. No more blowing out my hair, I am going to wear it wavy and natural or throw it up in a messy summer bun.
6. Less jewelry is not more. More jewelry is more.

Basically, I want to make my summer style a whole lot less martini and a whole lot more cold beer. What do you think? What are you lusting to wear this summer?

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A hot day and a wrap dress

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So I run late. Not, like, I ran a bit late this morning, but I run chronically late. Not horribly so--usually just a few minutes--but late, all the same. And it's especially bad getting ready for work in the morning. I can't remember the last time I felt like I was out of the house on time.

So the easiest thing to wear when you are running late? A dress. No need to coordinate pieces! And a wrap dress in a drapey synthetic, like this one? Can literally be picked up off the floor and thrown on. Don't ask me how I know.

Wrap dresses can sometimes be an issue for me--I love the idea of them, but for them to work, they have to wrap in the right spot, and my extra-long torso sometimes keeps that from happening. This one, though, a random thrift find, is perfect.

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Now, let's talk about something else having to do with dresses (and skirts) and hot weather. You know what I am about to say, don't you? Yep. Inner thigh chafing. If this is has never happened to you, consider yourself very lucky. If you are like me, though, it only takes one hot day in a skirt to remind you that yes, your inner thighs do touch each other, all day long. And the result is NOT pretty.

People have lots of different methods for combating this issues. I have a friend who swears by a liberal application of avocado or other oil to the problem zone. Another suggests the Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel. A third swears by baby powder with cornstarch. I'm not a fan of any of these options, just because I don't like to apply extra stuff, I have really sensitive skin, and I am afraid it will rub off after a while and I'll chafe anyway.

So, for a long time, I went with another tried-and-true method, which I am employing today: bike shorts.

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Bike shorts are good because they absolutely stop the issue, and they also provide a bit of a girdle type action--like minor league Spanx. Plus they keep you from exposing anything the world doesn't need to see if you aren't the world's most ladylike dress wearer. However, they have one major drawback, as far as I'm concerned--they're hot. They tend to be thick, they're spandexy, and when it's really warm, they stick to you in an unpleasant way.

Which brings me to my #1 way to deal with this issue, which I've seen heralded on other fashion blogs before (I know Erin and Audi have sung their praises): pettipants.

What are pettipants? Basically, they're a short, split, slip. They come in a wide variety of price ranges and levels of embellishment, but the basic, 2 pairs for under $10 version shown here works just fine for me (or I thrift them). They solve the chafing problem without sticking to you, and they also feel a little bit more polished than bike shorts. I love them to death. If you wear a lot of short skirts, or are petite, you can even go for the snip-it version, which is build for length customization. Cool, right?

Any remedies for horrible inner-thigh chafing I haven't mentioned? I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing, but I'm still curious to know how you deal with this issue.

And finally, what I'm wearing:
-Bisou Bisou wrap dress (thrifted)
-Ann Taylor camisole (Ann Taylor outlet store)
-Softspots purple suede wedges (Shoebuy)
-Champion bike shorts (thrifted or Target, I can't remember)
-multi strand turquoise and silver necklace (New York & Company)

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