- Sources of Inspiration
- The Fine Print
- And Whatnot
I’ve been struggling with blogger’s block lately. Partially, I’m sure, it’s because I’ve been genuinely busy and have had a lot of Serious Writing to get out the door. I suspect there’s more to it than that, though. I’ve been trying to figure out how to reconcile my (evolving!) blog-mission with my (evolving!) life-mission right now, and I hope you’ll be willing to indulge me just a little … mission creep. It sounds frightening, I know, but I hope it’ll be a step forward in the long run.
I believe (really, a lot!) in the power of our style choices to fashion our selves and deeply influence our experiences. It’s part of why I started this blog: to push myself to think critically about the self I was presenting to the world, and about the ways that outward self did (and sometimes didn’t) jive with the inner reality. To take a little bit more seriously a part of my life that I often didn’t. Or at least, to take it seriously enough to get out of the rut I’d been in as I tried to navigate what I was supposed to be doing as a (slightly) older student in the second half of law school.
And it’s worked, by and large: I’ve pushed my own sartorial boundaries in ways I never would have expected, toppled some serious body image barriers (even while enormously pregnant), made friends in sometimes surprising places, and felt comfortable and confident in my own skin. Along the way, you’ve encouraged, challenged and inspired me, and I hope I’ve done some measure of that for some of you as well. Or at least kept you from feeling like you had to wear 1970s floral smocks for your entire pregnancy.
But while this space is a lot about style, it’s also about identity, both general and specific. Identity in a category: as a woman, in professional life, in academic life, in a region, in a family, as a spouse, as a parent, a thinker, an athlete, a daughter, a friend. My own identity, in my own real set of day-to-day lived experiences actually being all of those things. At once. Not all of which neatly reduce to and find metaphors in what I’m wearing (though it might be neat, just as a thought experiment, if they did).
All of this is really to say, I’m expanding the scope of what you’ll see around here over the coming weeks and months. While I promise not to entirely devolve into posting adorable pictures of my kid (which is fine! As a life choice! Really!), I’ll probably talk a bit more about her and our lives and what I really think about what it’s like to have a baby in law school (some of that specific identity stuff). And I’ll probably have a bit more to say about the broader picture, about professional and academic life, about gender, about working parenthood, too. And maybe even on a good day, some of the things that make up the “spare time” of my life, the extracurricular thoughts and activities that flit in and out of a currently relatively packed existence. Probably, also, there will be some things that are just pretty and enjoyable. I’m not sure precisely how this content will or won’t weave in with outfit posts and some of my ongoing series on personal style development, so I’ll beg your indulgence as I figure out what works best.
As I said, think of it as mission creep, not mission abandonment. This space is and always will be about self-fashioning and the aesthetics and politics of identity, about finding and claiming a spot in transitional times in life, about finding the creativity and joy and self-love for which a serious job should be no excuse. As a result, explicitly style-related content will remain the majority of what you see here. But after more than a year of blogging through a lot of life changes, I’m just testing out a slightly broader lens in examining these kinds of questions. I’m hoping it will give me a chance to push the content you see here a little further in terms of the writing, photography and design, and to provide an outlet for a little bit more of life as I’m living it.
I couldn’t be more thankful for all of you, long- and short-time readers, lurkers, commenters and tweeps, for the way you’ve enriched my days and made what seemed like a slightly zany experiment in stepping out of my comfort zone feel so worthwhile and awesome. I’m looking forward to this new phase, and as always, welcome your thoughts on the kinds of content you’re most interested in, whether via e-mail, comment or 4:00 a.m. tweet.
And who knows, this might even be fun.
Tagged with: meta
- Scarf: Malo, mommed
- Dress: Mandy’s closet sale
- Tights: HUE
- Black Booties: Franco Sarto via Nordstrom’s
- Arm party of hair elastics I forgot to take off my wrist, again.
I’m a little behind these days (can’t imagine why), so these are actually from last Thursday . . . when I got all did up to steel myself for a “challenging” meeting, only to have it cancelled at the last second, leaving me relieved at not having to go, and amused at feeling like a walking style-blogger cliche, all dressed up and nowhere to go. We’ll pretend it made me more productive in the ensuing hours, after my schedule was all shot to hell. After all, don’t these shoes just scream scholarly to you?
. . . Right. Of course they do.
This dress is yet another attempt to incorporate more pre-loved items into my wardrobe, as I manage the “in transition” nature of my body, my budget and my closet at the moment. I snapped it up from Mandy’s closet sale a few weeks back (along with a fabulous pair of yellow shoes). While the fit isn’t perfect, it’s a great blank canvas for remixing, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of its relative seasonlessness. It’s also a breastfeeding-friendly silhouette that works for both nursing and pumping (easier said than done), which is an added bonus. And come on, the vague shades of the late lamented crocodile hunter that I seem to be accidentally rocking are pretty hard to resist.
(Incidentally, my actual past adventures with crocodiles during the nearly two months I spent here were no joke. It’s a good story. Maybe I’ll tell you sometime.)
- Teal Earrings: Mall vendor
- White Pashmina: Union Station vendor
- Tweed Sweater: Vintage Ralph Lauren, mommed
- Eye-Searing Orange Top: Olian via Nordstrom’s, gift from Mom
- Navy Cords: J.Crew, tailored (narrowly! ba dum, ching!) by yours truly
- Brown Riding Boots: Franco Sarto via Zappos
- Diaper(!) Bag: Storksak “Emily,” gift from parents, tip from Amy
If you were trying to be polite, you might refer to me as a creature of habit. There are less charitable variants. It’s true: much like my parents, I am the kind of person who craves routine, who finds a thing and sticks with it to—and often past!—the point where a reasonable person would explore other options. Often, at some point, I get sick of it and move on to something else, but I can last a surprisingly long time. It’s true of brands (sometimes), tv shows watched while on various forms of cardio equipment (Buffy, The West Wing), breakfast foods (Greek yogurt and maple syrup), and my non-coffee coffee order (tall sugar-free-vanilla extra-foam chai. Vestiges of my dark past as a barista, about which the less said, the better).
It’s also true of handbags. I realize it’s a big sartorial missed opportunity, but barring an extraordinary occasion, it’s rare that I gather the je ne sais quoi to move my stuff from one bag to another to match what I’m wearing. I suspect part of this is because I tend to carry around way, way, way, WAY too much stuff, with some morning organizational fails thrown in there for good measure. Baby m., for all of her enduring charms, helped with neither of these things.
Before and after baby arrived, we researched a variety of “diaper bag,” “non-diaper-bag-diaper-bag” and “non-diaper-bag-non-diaper-bag” strategies for carrying around m.’s necessities when we’re with her. We needed something that had enough separate pockets for all those baby-related things that somehow go missing, and most importantly, that wouldn’t require us to carry more than one bag (this eliminated the “diaper bag follows the child” approach, despite its gender-neutral appeal, because it seemed to result in me always carrying both a purse and the diaper bag, or discovering the next day that I’d left my wallet and/or cell phone in the diaper bag which was now with my husband or our nanny or my mother-in-law.). In news that shocks no one, all approaches have their shortcomings.
That said . . . when Amy tipped me off about the Storksak “Emily” bag, I heard little tiny cherubs rejoicing. It’s a purse! It’s a diaper bag! It has a plushy, ultralight changing pad in it! It has 8675309 pockets! It can be worn over the shoulder or cross-body! It’s large enough to hold a variety of baby pleasing-and-amusing essentials without being have-to-hang-it-on-the-stroller huge. You can still fit it on your shoulder while wearing the baby! It’s a soothing, non-black neutral! Bliss. Bliss in a diaper bag. Not a phrase I really imagined I’d be uttering . . . and yet.
And of course, true to form, it’s the bag I’ve carried 90% of the time since my parents gifted it to me at the end of last semester. By way of explanation, I’ll kick that one to the inimitable Paula Radcliffe: “I had a baby, not a personality transplant” . . .
- Tweed Sweater: Vintage Ralph Lauren, mommed
- Maroon Maxi Skirt (as dress): Old Navy
- Black Tights: HUE
- Brown Woven Belt: LOFT
- Scarf: Malo, mommed
- Earrings: Lulu, gifted
- Black Suede Booties: Franco Sarto via Nordstrom’s
Ever late to the party, I’ve been on the hunt for a full-ish midi-length skirt since they burst (back?) onto the scene last spring. Admittedly, it’s been a pretty casual hunt: if I were the skirt, I’d have almost zero fear of being captured. My tenuous relationship with waistbands over the past thirteen months has been in part to blame, but it’s probably more generalized pickiness, and a hesitancy towards jumping in on a trend that feels unlikely to suit my proportions. (I am really, really working on feeling all kinds of love for my post-pregnancy body, but there’s a difference between how you feel about your body and how you feel about what clothing items do for it. I recall audibly gasping when I tried on one such pleated number. Holy hip-inflation, batperson!)
When I’m tiptoeing my way in to a new style, I’m always on the lookout for low-cost, low-commitment ways to try something out, so last week, when Terra showed off this neat trick for converting a maxi into a midi-for-short-folks, no scissors necessary, I gave it a go. Like most “x worn as y” tricks, there are some contrived little nips and tucks going on (sweater to cover the fact that I don’t own a strapless nursing bra, scarf to mask any awkward layering incidents, etc), but I’m really pleased with the way this turned out. It wasn’t something I ever would have figured out on my own, and it gave new life to a piece I’d been struggling to wear. And while these booties are not the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever worn, they’ve become my “instant drama” item of the winter, adding a little punch and surprise wherever they go.
Midis on minis: yay, nay, or eh? What are your favorite strategies for dipping your toe into the pool of a new trend? What motivates you to get off the dime and give something a go that you’re skeptical about?
- Blue Patterned Faux-Wrap Dress: Target
- Red Cardigan: Vintage Michael Kors, mommed
- Nursing Tank: Bravado Designs via Figure8Maternity.com
- Black Tights: HUE
- Black Boots: Born, gift from D.
- Belt: LOFT
- Necklace: gifted
- Arm party of hair elastics I forgot to take off
- Sniffly nose: gift from baby m.
The week, David Amsden style: baby m. is doing much better, but like all loving children, has used her newfound giggling abilities to transmit her cold to her devoted parents. My class schedule went through about 24952318 permutations during add-drop week. In honor of the momentous occasion of my last first day of school ever, I wore that red sweater that is (strangely) my power animal, even though it made my nose look even redder than it already was.
This dress is what Amy would call an “accidental Target” purchase: I went in looking for something else, saw it, and was struck by lightning/inspiration/my need for surplice necklines/the effect of too much Downton Abbey on my perception of ruffles and appear to have been overcome. And while I was initially sure I was going to return it (my approach with 95% of impulse purchases), it’s grown on me, to the point that it now feels destined to become a frequently remixed favorite. Or at least that it might become one, once I’ve gotten the baby spitup out of every. sweater. I. own…. In the meantime, I really like the pairing of bright red against the mottled blue, and the decidedly different effect of black boots over the brown riding boots I
overwear tend to live in in the winter. While there are arguments for a black belt, the brown one has a slightly more casual vibe, and one that feels a little bit more me.
Did I mention it’s my last semester of law school, and almost definitely my last semester of school, ever? That I have thirteen weeks left? How did that even happen?
[You'll have to forgive the terrible pun. It was just lying there. Waiting to happen! And I tripped over it.]
While I’m not officially blacked out today in protest of the proposed anti-piracy legislation known as SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261), PIPA (the Protect Intellectual Property Act, S. 968), or the “internet blacklist legislation” (depending on whether you’re the House, the Senate, or the Electronic Frontier Foundation), I did want to take a minute on this internet-wide day of action to say a few words. I promise, there won’t be too many, and I also promise that even though there are words like “law” and “compliance” and “rights,” nothing you are about to read constitutes legal advice or creates an attorney-client relationship of any kind or in any way represents anything that even looks like the practice of law. (Not a jedi mind trick, I promise: it really isn’t, and a vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.)
This post is really aimed at other bloggers, but if you tweet, you update your facebook status, you hang out on google+, you post photos on flickr or instagram, you run a website of any kind, you send content out into the ether of the internet in any form, you’re an internet content provider, and these debates affect you. Not just the people who run the website for the Church of Pirated Content. You. And me. And people who do stuff we care about online.
SOPA/PIPA have been called attempts “to capture a lion that has escaped from the zoo by blasting some kittens with a flamethrower,” but that’s only part of the point. The SOPA/PIPA debate highlights an issue that was already there, lurking within the existing law: bloggers and social media types are (often) internet content providers. And with that great power comes great responsibility: a huge matrix of laws and regulations seek to both regulate us and protect us. Even if Congress does nothing to change current intellectual property law.
So, yes: I wrote my member of Congress, communicating my opposition to SOPA (okay, not so hard: I used to work for him, and I knew he was opposed anyway), and there are a number of great resources out there to help you do that (try these). And whether you support or oppose the legislation, I’d urge you to do the same. But I’d ask a bigger favor of you today, while you’re flipping out when you’re on call in class and can’t look up the cases on wikipedia (or are struggling through a slow part of the afternoon because you can’t do similar research on how titles are inherited by the English aristocracy while watching Downton Abbey, or because you can’t procrastinate on reddit): take a few minutes to educate yourself about your rights—and responsibilities—as an internet content provider, what they are now and how they might change if SOPA/PIPA were enacted.
In disputes with small internet content providers like bloggers and social media types, the “other side” often has a lot of advantages: money, lawyers, conventional media access, shows of overwhelming force. But might doesn’t necessarily make right. You have obligations to play fairly in the great sandbox of the internet, but you also have important rights that are worth knowing about, protecting, and deploying effectively when necessary. And while nobody can do it for you, some great organizations have done their best to get you on your way.
So go forth, friends: boldly, confidently, and, yes, responsibly, and keep making the internet awesome. It wouldn’t be the same without any of you.
- Ubiquitous Black Jersey Dress: Ann Taylor
- Cream Cardigan: Halogen via Nordstrom’s, gift from Mom
- Suede Obi Belt: Garnet Hill, gift from SIL E.
- Black Nursing Cami: Bravado Designs via Figure8Maternity
- Black Tights: HUE
- Black Boots: Born, gift from husband D.
- Necklace: Gifted
- Earrings: Old Navy
This post could also be called “when you are engulfed in mucous,” or “dressing to impress medical professionals.” Much to our chagrin, baby m. has yet another cold (le sigh…). According to our pediatrician, it’s more theatrically spectacular than medically problematic, but it has still made for several quite long and messy days around here. We’re pulling out all the stops (or as many as you can at this age!), and keeping our fingers crossed that she rallies in the near future.
For a long time, black was the foundation of my closet. Then I bought a pair of brown riding boots, and it was more or less all downhill from there. I started cheating on black with other neutrals. I became less and less discriminating, falling hard and fast for grey, navy, and even off-white and camel. Then I got pregnant, and every list of maternity wardrobe essentials and pregnancy style advice I found urged me to build a wardrobe around slim black pants, black tank tops and drapey sweaters and I just rebelled. It was more than 95 degrees outside for many, many weeks of my pregnancy, and I was having none of this all black nonsense.
But now that Baby M. is thankfully outside of my insides (and much cuter for it), and the weather has cooled down considerably, black and I are beginning to reconcile. I still think black plays best when paired with other neutrals, or with other neutrals and an accent color, and I’m still on something of a break from black suits, and I still have to watch the tendency of too much black with my stark-white complexion to appear slightly vampiric. But with those caveats, black and I are making peace. Black, as it happens, can live up to some extraordinary demands, lending instant sophistication and credibility while having an obliging attitude towards spit-up stains, which, come to think of it . . . is a powerful metaphor for the state I’m in right now, don’t you think?
- Necklace: Gifted
- Earrings: Mall vendor
- Grey Cowl-Neck Tee: Filene’s Basement
- Aubergine Cord Skirt: Thrifted
- Black Belt: Ann Taylor
- Red Cardigan: Vintage Michael Kors, mommed
- Black Tights: HUE
- Black Boots (finally!): Born “Mallory,” holiday gift from D.
I remember when I was applying to law school (back in the dark ages of the fall of 2008, which is now starting to seem like a really long time ago), D. and I looked at letters inviting me to apply for the Class of 2012, and the date sounded almost futuristic, like some kind of insane fantasy. 2012? That’s when some people think the world is going to end!
And yet, it seems that brave new world has arrived: even though I keep writing checks dated 2011, it is, in fact, January 2012, and my last semester of law school starts in a week. And while I’m not big on new years’ resolutions per se, I’ve definitely got a list on my mind of things I’d like to work on in the coming year:
- Make my last semester of school meaningful. I’m unlikely to ever be in school again, and I want to make it count. Separate and apart from my desire not to have “senioritis” affect my grades and jeopardize 2.5 years of hard work, I don’t believe in doing things halfheartedly, particularly not right now, as my time is so limited on all fronts. I still have some (actually, a lot) of big dreams out there and some things I need to be doing to keep them in the realm of possibility, and it’s worth remembering that. Even without the utilitarian aspects, I want to be intellectually engaged and alive to the moment.
- Get back to running — injury free. I’ve had so many false starts in my running career, but the physical changes associated with pregnancy, childbirth and recovery give me (a) a lot of healing to do and (b) a chance to start fresh. So for 2012, no big races (nothing longer than 10K), no crazy training plans, just safe, measured progress, and a lot of cross-training.
- Go more places with the little one. For a variety of reasons, including a dislike of chaos, I didn’t do a lot of venturing out on the days I was home by myself with Baby m. during the semester. Now that we have a little more help and I’ve picked up the pieces a bit more, I’m hoping I’ll get better at taking her places by myself on my non-working days.
- Go more places… without the little one. True confession: D. and I have only been out together without m. twice since she was born…3.5 months ago. Whether it’s going climbing together or just going to see a movie, it’s something we should do more of.
- Become a radical completionist. As evidence of my distractability, I can’t even begin to narrate what happened from when I sat down to write this and finally finished it. I have a huge to be filed file and a tendency to look at a task, contemplate it and then put it off, whether it’s postal mail, email, blog stuff, cleaning our house, writing, etc. It’s a lousy habit, and one that would restore hours back into my days and weeks if I could kick it.
- Meet my breastfeeding goals, but let them evolve as circumstances require. I didn’t expect that I’d be able to breastfeed, but it’s been a wonderful experience for us in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. It’s also one that’s required some Herculean efforts to make work (about which more later), but which I’m willing to keep doing (in a totally non-judgmental please just do what’s best for your family way!!).
- Honor my physical and emotional well-being…and my desire to get back in shape. This is easier said than done, but I’m working on it.
- Shop sanely and sustainably. I talked a little bit about this in the context of my commitment to thrifting more in the coming year, but there’s more to it than that: thinking critically about wants and needs, making investments that will last, not plunking down cash for things I don’t love and feel fabulous about.
- Be a confident parent and a present partner. Worth it for everyone’s sake. Also some stuff about reducing the amount of clutter in our house — physically and emotionally.
Where do you stand on new years resolutions? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
I should add a brief post-script about this outfit: I have been looking for these boots for ages (thanks, D.!), and they were worth the wait. I still haven’t gotten over my thing about reds and aubergines. This skirt is an exception to the “never thrift things from Target” rule: the fit is iffy, but it’s a good quality garment that seems like it will last a while. Unlike this shirt, which has a spit-up stain the size of Texas on it that refuses to budge. Le sigh…
Happy New Year, friends! I’ve been off enjoying a little mini stay-cation with my extended family, but even though the gates have closed on 2011, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a quick recap of my favorite looks from what has been, by all accounts, a totally fabulous year. This list isn’t perfectly temporally balanced, since there were some serious sartorial doldrums in there, but here we go:
January: School starts again! I find out I’m pregnant (at what feels like long last, but really wasn’t). I am told to wear a suit to speak on a panel and don’t feel like it, beginning an extended search for creative and pregnancy-accommodating suit alternatives. After a few blissful days of not being so, I’m so sick and dizzy that I have a nearly out-of-body experience during said panel, but thankfully no one notices. I go to Colorado to help my SIL E. revamp her work wardrobe.
February and March: I go through a phase of not straightening my hair, get elected Editor-in-Chief of my law journal, and complete another 30-for-30 (while only cheating a little bit to account for an emergency lack-of-pants). After a few scary first-trimester moments, a switch to a new OB, and a lot of being really, really sick, we finally tell people I’m pregnant.
April: I go to New Jersey for a moot court competition and it snows (snows! And I have to go back this year!). I speak on lots of panels during which everyone else is wearing black, white and grey. My mum takes pity on my dwindling closet and gifts a number of maternity and non-maternity items my way, starting a long dialogue on dressing the pregnant body in the workplace. I swoon (and agree!) when Sal dubs this “the prettiest maternity dress ever.”
May: I sit my exams and start the first of two summer associate gigs. I attempt to navigate the tricky waters of being pregnant as a summer associate, in a large-firm, large-summer-class, mixed-age environment. I develop an obsession with closely analogous warm-color pairings, even at work, that lasts most of the year. At 20 weeks pregnant, I finally have to give up running and climbing, but I’m able to stay active throughout the rest of my pregnancy. We take a hypnobirthing class from this fabulous woman, and I feel the baby move for the first time.
June: I finally finish last semester’s papers (thank you(?) usual and customary extension). I get to work on a class action defense and do some amazing pro-bono work before wrapping up job #1, and getting ready to start job #2. I participate in Dress Your Best Week, finding things to celebrate about my increasingly-foreign body as the mercury frequently tops 95 degrees, breaking records and (occasionally) my resolve to be well-behaved about being pregnant in the summer. I reach a state of zen-like acceptance about empire waists, fall in big love with a funky white blazer and can’t stop wearing a pair of nude wedge heels. Grades are released and the “let’s panic about clerkships” season begins in earnest.
July: It’s still hot! I wrap up the working part of my summer at job #2, but not before finishing some wild research involving the jurisdiction of tribal courts (seriously). Three days before I’m supposed to finish working, at 32.5 weeks pregnant, I get in a car accident coming home from work and D., mom and I spend a long night watching a fetal monitor in L&D. Thankfully, everything’s fine, beginning a long series of calamitous events (including, to wit, an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood and multiple 24+ hour power outages in 90 degree weather) that fail to shake baby m. loose from her cozy uterine hiding place. I start making lists of everything that needs to be done before the baby is born, and kind of freak out a little.
August: We take an impulsive, last-minute trip to North Carolina for A2. and A3.’s wedding, relishing the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. On the way back, we spend the night at an inn in Durham that seems like it might be a cross between Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Psycho. I turn 27, wearing a dress also worn by Emily Deschanel on the Bones set (squeee!). We celebrate hitting the 36 week mark by walking 7 miles, and I feel like a superhero. Despite hopes of an August 1 move date, D.’s start-up is still based in our house, meaning I get to be 8217432987 years pregnant . . . with an audience!
September: We wait. And wait. I celebrate my last first day of school, to the hilarious tune of people who didn’t realize I was pregnant last spring audibly gasping when I walk into meetings. I finally find some pants. The baby locks and loads herself into my pelvis such that I can’t sit or lie down comfortably, and then stays put. I go to doctor’s appointment after doctor’s appointment where my OB swears I’m having the baby this week, but despite some significant progress, “active labor” never materializes. Less than 100 hours before my due date, I interview for a Very Important Appellate Clerkship, and (admittedly) fall slightly to pieces about not getting it (it’s okay. Journey, destination, etc.). As my due date comes and goes sans baby, I try to find some humor in wearing my first-trimester skinny jeans. And even though at the time, I swore I didn’t really look that big, did I? I . . . did. Finally, after 4.5 weeks of prodromal labor and more than 40 weeks of pregnancy, I sigh with relief (and some trepidation) when my OB says it’s time to induce, and baby m. enters the world on September 23, 2011. After a week, we leave the house as a family, with a whole new set of challenges. D.’s start-up gets some office new office space, leaving us alone in our house for the first time in more than a year.
October: Two weeks after M. is born, I go back to school, where one of my classmates hilariously asks where I’ve been the past two weeks. My mother-in-law watches M. while I’m in school, and we struggle to figure out nursing, pumping, and sleeping in a way that produces maximum family sanity. I get the baby blues but don’t have time to think about it (not a strategy I recommend). I meet some great mom friends, online and off. I’m tired.
November: I’m still tired, but it gets better. I cave and buy myself some mom jeans, and feel much better for it. I start belting again, and discover the miracle of a boxy sweater-jacket. I test the limits of winterizing summer favorites and extending maternity wear into my post-maternity life. The idea of the end of the semester starts to wear on me. M. starts to smile for real, and we celebrate the best Thanksgiving ever, visiting with family and welcoming yet another baby cousin. I finally start to feel a little better, until I mess up my back over the holiday weekend (which turns out to be not a huge deal, thankfully). M. starts a nanny share with another family, and we breathe a sigh of relief as the arrangement seems to work out. Finally, after eight weeks, breastfeeding starts to seem manageable, and I’m glad we stuck it out.
December: The semester finally hurtles to a conclusion. I spend a week at home alone with M. while D. is on a business trip the first week of finals. We breathe a huge sigh of relief when the semester ends, in a bit of a state of disbelief that the stars have aligned for us to get through it in one piece. I spend a few days at home with nothing on my to-do list. I meet up with Amy, Tania and M. of An Epic Battle in High Heels. We celebrate the holidays with family and a napless but beloved infant. Before we can believe it, it’s 2012, a year that seemed like it might never come.
- Navy & White Houndstooth Faux-Wrap Dress: Thrifted! (Banana Republic)
- Black Tights: HUE
- Brown Riding Boots: Franco Sarto via Zappos
- White Nursing Tank: Bravado Designs via Figure8Maternity
- Necklace: BeadleBop via Etsy
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and that your return to work or school (or dawning comprehension of same) wasn’t too brutal this morning! We had a whirlwind week of visiting family members (mostly mine, and an increasingly large group), a drop-in from Emily and Chris, and . . . a long time trying to put the house back together afterwards. But, baby m. got to meet her cousin, my brother’s sweet daughter a. (cue “Our Children” from Ragtime, big love and big sappy tears), and her great grandmother (my mother’s mother), which was both deeply moving and surprisingly hilarious (who knew age and disinhibition could be so correlated?).
I’ll be back later this week with a much-belated 2011 wrap-up and some thoughts on the coming year, as well as a long-awaited redesign. I hope you’ll pardon our dust if you notice any funny business going on while I’m making some changes on the backend, and I’ll do my best to keep downtime to a minimum.
In the meantime . . . this outfit. Although many bloggers I know have outstanding thrift karma, I’ve struggled to get as much mileage as I’d hoped for out of our local thrift stores, even as I’ve had good luck sourcing second-hand items on eBay (see, e.g., most of my maternity wardrobe). I’ve always been frustrated by this, so in 2012, I’ve vowed (okay, vowed is a strong word) to make more of an effort to incorporate the previously loved into my wardrobe as both my body and my style continue to evolve. Happily, my renewed sense of commitment was rewarded with an unexpectedly good haul last week. This dress (which is from the days before vanity sizing at Gap, Inc. brands, which may qualify it as vintage!), two skirts and two pairs of pants found their way into my closet for under $30. I don’t know that I’m making a huge political statement or saving oodles of cash or doing much about the overall amount of clutter in my house. I am, however, reminded that my sartorial needs are not nearly as urgent and specific as the PTB would like me to believe they are, and that my zone of “make it work” moments is larger than I often think it is. And that’s probably a lesson worth learning, whether or not I’m taking a stand on any kind of broader agenda. So, here’s to what I hope will be a year of great thrifting, and to less time spent sucked down the rabbit hole of online shopping. (Except maybe during 4 a.m. feedings. Cut me a little slack, right?)
What are your best thrift tips, or your favorite haunts? What motivates you to thrift?
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