Don’t Call It a Comeback

I heard the old school LL Cool J’s song “Mama Said Knock You Out” the other night and it inspired me to pick up my blog again.

Don’t call it a comeback
I’ve been here for years
I’m rocking my peers
Puttin’ suckers in fear

I initially stopped blogging for a couple reasons – I fell into a style rut, I started working out regularly straight after school (time when I’d usually spend blogging), and I felt like I had run out of things to say. I found that I wanted to spend more time outside and unglued from the computer, and I’m generally an introvert. I like to observe more than I like to speak, which I know seems counter intuitive considering my chosen profession.

It’s been over a year since my last post, but I’ve been here this whole time, still teaching, and still putting clothes on my body every morning. I still fall into ruts where I wear the same thing or similar things over and over, but I’ve also had weeks were I’ve been super inspired by a look or an aesthetic that I see on someone else or on the interwebs. Sometimes I look back at my old posts and cringe a bit at how I used to style myself, and other times I get super reflective about how my style has changed over the years. If there is one cool thing about having a fashion blog, it’s the record keeping I have of what I’ve worn over the past 6 years.

I’m still getting regular comments from kids about my sartorial choices, which always makes me miss blogging a bit. Recently, I’ve been fielding an abnormal number of questions from kids about my fashion choices. They range from “where do you go shopping miss” to “Hey miss, nice fit” to “what the ___ are you wearing miss”.  The most memorable comment this past year has been when I wore an Iron Maiden shirt to school at the start of the school year, and a student asked me if I knew the name of the album that was on my shirt. I didn’t, and the kid roasted me a bit for being a poseur. This kid is now one of my favorite humans.

So I’m back! Here is what I wore on Monday. I’m sticking to more and more basic items lately. I figure the less color there is, the easier it is to look put together but still effortless (I hate how overused that word is, but I can’t seem to think of a less cliche way to describe my sentiment). The printed boots and earrings make me feel like I have a bit more oompf to an otherwise plain outfit.

That being said, to me the star of this outfit is the blue shirt/coat/dress thing I picked up last December from COS. I liken it to a french chore coat, and I like it because it gives me a bit of a Bill Cunningham vibe without having the real thing. B says it looks weird, but I love it anyway and that’s what counts right? Chore coats are trending pretty hard right now, everybody from J. Crew to Huckberry (really cool men’s versions!) are carrying one now, and I can’t blame them.  I kind of want a real one in addition to this long wannabe one. I’ve been eyeing ones from Urban OutfittersEverlane and Stussy (I love the bone white color) and Topo Designs but really I am holding out to get one from Carhartt WIP.  I love the 4 front pockets and you really can’t go wrong with the durability of the real thing (work clothes that is) even if you’re just getting it for the fashion. I can’t wait to check out the store in NYC when I go this summer.

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earrings: unbranded, but picked up from a small shop in nashville over spring break – jacket: cos – tshirt: jockey via costco – belt: gap from more than 10 years ago – jeans: uniqlo – boots: madewell

 

 

Snow Day

We’ve already had a snow day here in Denver!  Our last week of school before the winter break was finals week – and we had a snow day right in the middle of it.  Timing wasn’t great, but having a surprise day off is totally amazing.  It snowed about a foot that day.  Now it may not seem like it, but I do in fact have a life outside of my classroom (see my instagram for proof) and I do wear clothes everyday.  I have every intention of blogging more outside of the classroom in 2016, so I’m starting now.  I set up the tripod in the backyard, and stood outside in the snow.  B looks at me funny when I do this, but OH WELL.

I got out of my pajamas on this snow day just to go to the mall for some Christmas shopping.  Basic t-shirt and jeans thing.  It was snowing like crazy, but Denver hardly ever feels all that cold.  It is cold, and it does snow here (lots), but its so much more pleasant and “winter wonderland-ish” compared to the biting, icy, miserable sleet that would happen in New York City.

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beanie and cardigan: uniqlo – hoodie: threadless – t shirt: threads for thought – jeans: h&m – belt: gap – boots: dr. martins

Don’t be a jerk

*jazz hands* New classroom!! *jazz hands*

Today was day three of seven “school launch” days for staff at my new high school here in Denver.  It’s been meeting after meeting, training, team building activities and orientation.  I barely had time to snap some photos in my new classroom.  I still have to find the optimal place with the best non-yellow lighting in the classroom, but as you can see, my new room is really stinkin nice.  Talk about an awesome science classroom – there is a dedicated instruction section and separate lab benches in the back.  It’s the nicest classroom I’ve ever seen AND, the students get ROCKING CHAIRS.  That’s right, rocking chairs. training day4Today’s training was on classroom management, aka 100% engagement (buzz word alert).  It was actually a nice refresher on methods I’d forgotten about such as various non-verbal cues, anonymous whole class corrections and private corrections.  It made me think about my classroom management style, which has evolved into a very stern, strict, I’m-not-playing-around-so-you-better-check-yourself type of management that some students find a bit rough around the edges and if I’m honest with myself, a bit jerky.  I don’t usually loosen up until second semester when the kids know the routine and know not to test me anymore (for the most part).  So my focus this year in terms of classroom management is, don’t be a jerk.  I need to breathe more, control my frustrations, stay calm, and utilize private corrections more.  One of the first things I taped up on my wall by my desk is my post card of a Barbara Kruger piece, “Don’t be a jerk”.  I love that little postcard – I picked it up at the Hirshhorn in Washington DC in 2012 and it’s been a classroom staple of mine.  This year, it has new meaning.  I used to point to it occasionally when kids were mean to each other, but this year, it’s for me.

Don't Be A Jerk

On the clothing end, it’s really nothing exciting.  I’m still on a basics kick and I’m in love with my summer sandals: the oh so trendy right now Birkenstocks.  B calls them “Jesus Sandals” or “big black boats” and I can’t really disagree with him.  I just got so obsessed with how cute I found then all of a sudden (just last summer I called them the ugliest things ever) when they started popping up all over my Feedly feed of fashion bloggers.  I’ve also retired my trusty Freitag bag for a while.  The plastic smell never really dissipates, and I was getting pretty tired of it.  So I dug out the old J.Crew purse from my SF teaching days.  Still holding up ok for now.  I do have my eye on the also uber trendy Fjallraven Kanken backpack though.  I’m such a sucker for hipster trends.  Sigh.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

glasses: warby parker beckett – cardigan and bag: super old j.crew – t-shirt: madewell – jeans: j brand via nordstrom rack – shoes: birkenstock

Bag Lady/Man

Every teacher is a bag lady/man to some degree. We manage to schlep large quantities of paper, supplies and knick-knacks to and from school regardless of the day. I’ve carried papers home to grade, only to carry it right back to school untouched. Even so, I consider myself a light packer, based purely on the number of bags I bring everyday – one. Here are my bag residents, the stuff that lives permanently in my teacher bag – a little teacher voyeurism.
bagging it

1) beanie – for those really frigid Brooklyn mornings 2) phone – with a card case that carries my ID, credit card and metrocard 3) small pouch for small things like lip balms 4) lipstick of the day 5) sunscreen, for field trip days outside 6) non-scented hand lotion 7) tokyo milk roller ball perfume – for the days when I need an olfactory pick-me-up 8) mirror – to check for boogers and lipstick smears 9) oil blotting sheets – I’m an oil slick by the end of the school day 10) smelly floral hand cream – gives a little zing to my keyboard action 11) various lipshit with color – I need to have a selection at all times 12) gum – so I don’t dragon fire my coffee breath all over the kids 13) headphones 14) first aid kit and tissues – for when “I have a hangnail, I can’t write, so I can’t do my work” complaints 15) baggu bag (llamas!!) – for packing in the groceries needed for the day’s culinary class 16) book of the moment for zoning out on the commute 17) pens/pencils – obviously 18) wallet – for everything else that doesn’t go in my phone case 19) glasses cleaning cloth – that oil slick inevitably ends up all over my glasses 20) sunglasses – unused for the past month or so

bagging it2All this crap and more fits into my daily carry for the past 1.5 years, my Freitag tote bag.  On top of all this, I throw in my lunch for the day, about 32 ounces of coffee in 2 thermoses and a scarf/puffy coat if it’s cold out.

That’s all folks.  Interesting?  meh?  Did you lose a few brain cells looking at another “what’s in my bag” type post?

weekend

Is there a better day than today for some SF love?  I don’t normally watch/care about football.  But today I’m rooting for the team from my hometown, the San Francisco 49ers.  That is, until they become the Santa Clara 49ers.  Happy sunday, everyone.  Here’s hoping SF fan’s don’t burn down the city tonight.  SF love

nine

necklace: unicorn crafts – tshirt: h&m – jeans: bdg – boots: steve madden

Beans and the Met

B and I took a trip to the Met yesterday for the first time since we’ve moved here.  The place is huge.  After 2 hours, we saw maybe only a third.  The exhibits are pretty amazing and I love how there is a mix of both modern art and archeology.  Next week, we’re hitting up the MOMA.

met

beans3

I broke in my Bean boots yesterday and they’re pretty awesome.    Also, check out this post by Kim France of the blog Girls of a Certain Age.  It pretty much describes my wardrobe mentality, a philosophy that I adopted a year ago and am getting more and more extreme with.  I wear the same stuff (or variations of the stuff) over and over.  Which begs the question, how can I write a fashion-oriented blog when there is no variety? I’m still thinking about that one.

bean boots

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scarf: arrived in a care package from B’s mum in oz – coat: uniqlo – bag: h&m – t-shirt: threads for humanity – jeans: bdg – boots: ll bean – necklaces: f21, my mom – wrists: my popo (g-ma), j.crew, mainsai (holiday prez from B)

teacher outfit reliables

A thin cardigan:  warmish, thin and drapey.  Cardigans keep you warm during prep and cover up your arms so you don’t feel too naked in front of the kids. They also cover any arm jiggles you might think you have when you are furiously trying to get through a lesson before the bell rings and you’re writing like a mad woman on the board. Definitely aim for something not so thick and bulky that you end up dripping with sweat before you get a chance to breath and remove layers.  Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

J. Crew: this on is currently on sale at $50 (with extra 30% off) which brings it to $35.  It will last a long long time (3 years and counting of weekly wear for me) and is the perfect amount of open weave vs. warmth for the classroom.

Uniqlo: can’t go wrong with Uniqlo.  Great price and quality that compares to more expensive brands.  $19

Stretch skinny or straight black jeans: slimming, easy, stretchy, and comfortable.  Black jeans are simple and basic enough that they match with everything possible and allow you that extra time in the morning to just grab your coffee mug and run so you can get to class early and prep. The color also makes them professional looking enough – they’re not sweats and they’re not blue jeans.  Boom, profesh. Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

Uniqlo: black skinny fit tapered stretch jeans. Normally priced at $50, you can usually wait for them to go on special at $40

Madewell: more expensive, but really soft and will hold their shape. $99

Forever 21: inexpensive, washes well, and durable. $10

Button ups: sleeveless and sleeved (for winter, the only time it can actually get cold in a classroom even with 35 teenagers fogging up the place). A dressed up (professional) version of a top with room for your pits to vent/breathe.  Helps to have armpit breathing space when you’re doing your daily song and dance in an effort to keep the teenagers “engaged” with the lesson.  I mean, lets face it, not all kids find the functions of the golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum fascinating.  But they will find my mimed rendition of protein synthesis at least mildly amusing.  Miming takes a lot of energy, and as we all know, a by-product of work is moist pits.  Some reliable, tried and true and fairly affordable options:

Uniqlo: see above.  $30  Classic cut (not too slim, not too manly boxy)

Madewell: on sale now, only in lime green.  Wait till other colors go on sale, then get-em while they last.  Durable and roomy without making you look like a box on top.  $40

Black ballet flats:  This should be a big duh.  They’ll help you survive the day even when kids are too busy talking about the latest cafeteria fight to even acknowledge your presence at the front of the room.  They’re comfy enough without being sneakers, and … bonus points for being able to slip them off during staff meetings so you can give your dogs a breather rest.  Some untried and  possibly sucky but fairly affordable options:

BDG at Urban Outfitters: on sale now at $20

Forever 21: $25

frye

Frye: my personal splurge, 2 years ago.  The leather stretches out over time.  $149

Watch: the bigger the face, the better, so you can check yourself when you’ve been rambling for too long about how “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”.  One I like but don’t have, nor am I willing to shell out the cash for just yet:

Nixon: I like men’s watches – big.  $125

So, fellow teachers, did I miss anything?