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.





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



Last days of Summer

The classic end of summer weekend has come and gone. By now everyone is back in school and anticipating the weather change. Today I overheard a couple girls talking about the imminent return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. Apparently that means winter is coming. Good thing I managed to check off my last 2 summer time goals this past 3 day weekend. B and I climbed a 14er, and I went fly-fishing!

A 14er is essentially a mountain that is over 14,000 ft, and there are 96 of them in the US. 53 of these 14ers are in Colorado, so summiting them is a bit of a thing here. It seems that just about every Colorado resident has “bagged” at least one 14er. So we climbed the easiest one, Mt. Bierstadt (14,065 ft) this past weekend. Man, breathing is no joke at 12,000 ft and above. I survived though with heaps of breaks on the way up. I think I’ve got the 14er bug, so now I’m chomping at the bit to scale a few more of these peaks. Gray’s and Torrey’s Peak will be next!


I managed to squeeze in a little shopping trip yesterday before I met up with a friend to go fly-fishing. Picked up this dress from Forever 21, which of course, on me it’s a shirt. I really like these “dresses” because it guarantees that I’ll never have to worry about bending over or squatting down to pick up a pencil in the classroom. I have a super long torso, so even with high-waisted jeans, the danger of an accidental butt crack slip is always a concern. Please ignore the wrinkles, I’m not an iron or steam type of person. Even with wrinkles, this top is neutral, comfortable, and professional looking enough for the classroom.  Winning. Also, these jeans (and a black pair) are the only pants I’ve been wearing lately, because they’re the only ones that fit me right now. Thanks, summer!






glasses: warby parker – top: f21 – jacket: h&m – jeans: mother denim – shoes: mia


I’m on a countdown to summer. I have actually been on this countdown since spring break! After tomorrow, there will only be four Fridays till the last day of school. I have a couple posts still waiting to go up. Last week I took photos and couldn’t find time to post them. I’ve been busy gardening everyday after school. I totally get the whole “gardening is my zen time” thing. Its physical, it’s quiet, and I get to pull things out by the roots (oddly therapeutic). Bonus: pretty flowers like these!

I bought this cardigan a week ago in store and on sale (as always), and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I had this picture from Pinterest in mind and I was hoping I could copy the look with this cardigan.  I think it falls aesthetically short though with its thick fabric and too slouchy shape (too big for me). No compliments from kids so far either. It does make a good classroom sweater though, since it has pockets. What do you guys think?

madewell memento fringe cardigan4

madewell memento fringe cardigan3

madewell memento fringe cardigan2

madewell memento fringe cardigan

sweater: madewell – t-shirt: zara – jeans: mother via anthropologie – shoes: swedish hasbeens – necklaces: f21

the Seventh Annual First Day of School

Oh hai guys!  It’s been months since I’ve been around updating this blog.  The last spring and summer have been good to me.  Things went fairly smoothly in the spring and I ended the school year on a high note.  Change was on the way!  I decided to give it another year at my school with hopes (and determination) that this second year teaching in Denver would be 100 times better.

It’s fall again, and today was the first of two first days of school.  My school has 9th graders only for Monday, then the rest of the grades start on Tuesday.  This year, I’m teaching Honors Bio and regular Bio.  Also, I’m co-leading a team for the first time ever.  Exciting stuff for sure.  Also, we had a bit of an administration shake up and with that comes an opportunity to re-set the school/staff culture.  Everything is on the up and up this year, I can feel the positive vibes!

On a sentimental note, I’ve been thinking about the first batch of kids I ever had back in SF.  Some of them are now juniors in university and I sometimes like to stalk them on FB.  I read about where they are traveling/studying/interested in and I breath a huge sigh of relief that I didn’t mess them up too much my first year of teaching.  I was so clueless and disorganized.  I’m starting my 7th year of teaching this year, and I’ve learned something new and better each year!

On to the first of two first day of school outfits!  I picked up this cardigan/shirt/dress thing at F21 last spring.  It’s perfect to keep the chill off and add some interest.  I brought it with me to DC this past summer and my sister thought it was weird, but came around to it.  She ended up buying the same thing for herself near the end of my trip 😉7th 1st day3

7th 1st day2

7th 1st day

glasses: warby parker – cardigan: F21 similar – tank – uniqlo – skirt: jcrew – shoes: sweedish hasbeens

Teacher spotlight: Millie!

New feature here on Teacher Have Lives Too!  I’m not the only teacher at my school that has a life while simultaneously maintaining impeccable (if I may toot my own horn a bit) fashion sense, so it was only a matter of time till I convinced a co-worker to share his/her style posing for me.  First up is Ms. Cruz, better known as “Millie!” (you have to say it with gusto as you wave both your arms in a circle) in our teacher lounge.  Millie teaches US History at my school and she has the. best. dresses. ever.  She is a perfect example of someone who knows what suits her petite frame and style.  She’s so loved by her students that one of my culinary kids snuck out a cookie for her last week!  millie

Millies’s outfit is from: I don’t know because I had a brain fart and forgot to ask

Weekends as a Xiao Yi

Xiao Yi means “little aunt” in Mandarin, and that’s what I am when I’m down in DC.  I try to make the trek down there at least once a month to see my little niece Jojo.  One day she will start calling me xiao yi and I want to be there  so she can put a face to a name.  She only 7 months old right now though, so I guess I’ve got some time.

I hopped on the bus for the 4 hour trip down to DC friday night and met up with this guy.  My old Viking friend Aurora also lives in DC so I took the opportunity to meet up with her and her little man Macaroni for a drink.

down in DC11

Saturday, My sister Kris and I hopped aboard her friend’s boat in Annapolis for a sail around the Chesapeake Bay.  I spent my high school years on the San Francisco Bay sailing with the Sea Scouts, and it feels fantastic to be out on the water.  I’ll take any and all invitations for sailing.  I spent a lot of the day on the boat thinking about how different my life would have been if I had joined the Coasties out of high school or if I had gone to Cal Maritime Academy instead of pursuing biology and teaching.

down in DC7
down in DC8
down in DC9
down in DC10

Sunday was brunch day and auntie time with Jojo.  My sister picked the place and her friend Sean joined us.  We rounded out the afternoon with oyster shooters before dropping me off to hop on the bus for the ride back to Brooklyn.
down in DC5
down in DC4
down in DC2
down in DC3

down in DC6
down in DC

Sean helped me snap a photo of my new Zara sweater dress.  This dress is a bit out of my comfort zone with it’s clinginess, but it’s a weekend and it’s comfortable but edgy-ish all at the same time.   I’m digging Zara lately with the simple lines and colors in their fall line up.   Not too jazzed about the glitter in the fabric, but I guess you can’t win ’em all.

sunnies: knockaround – dress: zara – bag: freitag – shoes: madewell, borrowed from kris


It’s friday night – post teacher happy hour – so I don’t feel much like writing a whole post.  So I have this to marinate upon-

I’d like to frame this blog post with an authentic experience around high order thinking and annotation to encourage rigorous pair-sharing.  Meet Mr. Giraffafant, Ms. Cruz’s sweet old buddy.  Using what you know about genetics and natural selection, compare and contrast key characteristics of Mr. Giraffafant’s outfit with Ms. Schenck’s outfit of the day (keeping in mind one of her many high school nicknames, giraffe).  Be sure to support your argument with evidence and cite your sources.  blooms5   blooms2




scarf: topshop – jacket: uniqlo – cardigan: j.crew – shirt (old) but also seen here on this blog & boots:  anthropologie – coated pants last seen here: bdg urban outfitters


Dip dye stuff has been a huge trend this past year, and I’m jumping on the bandwagon.  I dig the dip dye, and I’m starting to come around to the dip bleach, as long as it’s not so severe.  I really liked this¹ look and even this² one (though I would lump it in the severe category).  I definitely plan on trying out this³ DIY dip dye and this one too eventually.  And just for reference here is a dip bleach.

¹ I love this look (and this blog) and I’m seriously going to recreate it one day.  ² Amazing blog and I want to steal her design sensibilities. ³ I love Wit & Whistle paper goods and now I love the blog.  I bought B this card for Valentines day this past year, and I really love this one also.  Super cheeky and “awww” inducing stuff.

This dip dye tank is by a label called Willoughby.  As in John Willoughby (Maybe not, but who cares) from Sense and Sensibility, one of my favorite book to movie adaptations of all time.  When I tried this on at Anthropiologie, all I could think about was this scene:

tank: anthropologie (on sale now) – skirt: hella old DKNY – tote: freitag – sandals: worishofer (I swear they were just on sale, but not anymore)

Dekalb Market

B and I rode our bikes over to Dekalb Market today.  The weather has cooled a bit and I’m getting used to riding my single-speed (no more jello legs).  I know I need to stop comparing NY to SF, but the Dekalb market is a larger version of the Proxy Project in Hayes Valley.  It’s pretty cool and I love the design sensibilities of a “mall” out of old shipping containers.  Salvaged materials, an urban farm, artisanal foods, an Etsy pop-up with a vintage tool shop and you’ve got yourself a thriving hipster mecca.  We overheard some dude with an epic beard lamenting the presence of a jump-house and screaming kids–> “there should be an adults only hour or something if they’re going to make this cool”.  Like B says, at least they’re in a cage.  I really wanted to buy a bike basket/Bambi holder from this shop (seriously cute stuff), but alas, the weight limit is 12lbs.  Bambi is a fatty.

I have been on the search for a great pair of denim shorts for a while.  Granted, I need another pair of shorts like I need a hole in my head, but I want a good fit with a high waist to offset my freakish long torso/short appendages proportions.  These fit the bill, and they’re not ridiculously expensive.  Normally BDG stuff is made for stick-like teenage girls and aren’t made to fit my birthing hips.  Surprisingly enough though, these do.

sunnies: f21 – tank: madewell (on super sale last weekend, similar here) – shorts: BDG from UO – shoes: vans – bag: freitag – nails: revlon scandalous

little victories

I have a student who is super shy.  So shy and unsure of herself that all year, she has barely said more than a few sentences in class.  I was also a very shy kid, so I can empathize with her.  Well, this shy kid had to do a solo power point presentation last week on the integumentary system.  She could have chosen to do a mini-book project instead, but alas, she opted to challenge herself and speak in front of the class, all by herself.  The day came, and she froze on the spot.   Really froze!

My class, as good as they are, kept encouraging her with “Don’t worry C__, you don’t have to be shy in front of us” and “you can do it C___, just pretend we’re not here at all” and other supportive things.  Still didn’t help.  She was still standing there frozen with large eyes.  I suggested that everyone in the class turn around so that C_____ wouldn’t feel like all the eyes were on her, every single student whipped around in their seats and stared at the wall.  After a 3 minutes of tortured silence, C____ began to speak, read her note cards and did her presentation, switching slides for the backs of heads.  It was a mini victory.  I wanted to hug each one of my 5th period students that day and stick them all in my pocket so that I could pull them out routinely and tell them how proud they make me.

On an outfit note, I bought these black jeans this past weekend at Uniqlo in NYC.  Love that store.  Cheap, good quality basics with a touch of designeyness (I just made up that word).  Just when I plan on moving to the only US city that has a Uniqlo, they announce that they’re opening one up in SF.  Bah.  I  have two paris of the same jeans, black and blue, mid-rise skinny tapered.  They are super stretchy, thick, super comfortable and holds its shape well for at least 3 wears.  All for $40.  Can’t beat it.  other than the jeans, my teaching outfit was pretty boring and basic.  T-shirt and jeans.

glasses: warby parker – jacket: h&m (old) – v-neck: thread for thought via nordstrom rack – belt: gap – jeans: uniqlo – shoes: bass – bag: j.crew