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.



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



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: 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?

so funny

Its a new year, and we were back in school on the 2nd.  In SF, we usually got a full 2 weeks off for winter holiday.  Here in NY, it’s a “measly” but well enjoyed week and a half.  Woe is me.  I was ready to be back with my kids, and more than ready to flex my humor bone.  B laughs at me my jokes all the time usually.  The only time I ever hear crickets in my class is when I make a silly science pun.   It’s a good thing that I like poop and fart jokes too otherwise I’d never get a reaction out of them.  So I decided to end the first week back with a bang of a t-shirt.  I was breaking the unspoken “teacher professional” dress code at my school by wearing a t-shirt.  gasp!  with jeans.  double gasp!  None of my professionally dressed colleagues said anything, and I got many chuckles from the kids, so whateves.
so funny

This t-shirt is pretty old.  So is the cardigan which is now half the size it used to be thanks to many rounds of washing (everything shrinks for me, even when washed strictly in cold water and air dried).  What is new are the rain booties.  We all know I have a thing for booties, and with the harsh Brooklyn weather combined with my daily trek to/from school, I figured I could justify adding a pair of weather proof booties to my collection.  Also, LL Bean had a 30% off Bean boots promotion one of the days leading up to Christmas, so I jumped on it.  So cute and so New England-ish, no?

so funny

so funny

cardigan: super old from therapy in SF – tshirt: loyal armyhigh waisted jeans: bdg – boots: ll bean – necklace: unicorn crafts – lipstick: coral colours #867, send from australia by B’s mom (it’s pretty awesome)

Last bit – I’m a bread making machine lately since B got me a cast iron dutch oven for christmas.  The easiest classic recipe ever, though I’m on the lookout for flavor tinkering changes (hello sourdough starter!!!).  It’s my cheat day today so I plan on eating this entire loaf.

MMmmmm  Breeeead

basics round up part 1: the booties

When booties are your jam, you tend to stock pile them.  Part one of my closet basics round up, the bootie.

I picked up my newest addition to the group this past week when J.Crew was having their 30% off sale items promotion.  I “needed” a brown bootie in my collection.  When I got them, my sister exclaimed that “they look exactly same as all the other shoes you have!” to which I replied, “no they don’t, they’re totally different!  They’re brown!”

If I were not such a sucker for shopping and spending my hard earned teacher cash, I’d be more realistic and be fine with having one pair of boots that go with everything.  But no, I’m a product of this consumerist American society, so I have 10 – all well worn and in constant rotation.  We all have that one (or many) thing that we get sucked into right?  Well, the first of my many things is…the bootie.  I like small booties and I can not lie.

Even more ridiculous and consumerist, I lust after these, these and these booties.  They will be mine.  Oh yes, they will be mine.

top, then grid in order of age: j.crew aggie bootanthropologie inclined chelsea boot – zara studded cowboy ankle bootecote alexandra suede ankle boot – anthropologie woven clog bootiessteven by steve madden noahh boot dv by dolce vita jamison bootboutique 9 cooper boot – nine west – bp from nordstrom


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

mad easy.

In effort to avoid looking like I was attending a funeral today, I threw in some reddish/maroonish/berryish colored tights.  The tights just happened to match my maroonish booties – a happy coincidence.  To complete this berry theme, the boots and tights also matched my not-so-new-anymore-since-I-wear-it-all-the-time-now Rimmel ‘bordeaux’ lipstick.   Some kid today said that I actually looked a bit “teacher-ish” except for the red tights and boots that elicit a “omg I love your shoes” type response.  So….the trick to looking like a teacher is: bun, glasses, black dress, black cardigan.  Thanks, kid for the fashion advice.  I’ll remember it, because unlike you (for now), I am good at listening (most of the time).

glasses: warby parker – circle scarf and necklace: h&m (I think, it’s hella old) – cardigan: j.crew – dress and tights: uniqlo (last year) – booties: ecote via uo

By the way, my lesson today was on graphing.  As in what is a graph, which is the X axis, how to graph using a table and identifying the independent vs. dependent variable.

Kid: Miss, this is maaad easy!  Why are we doing this?

Thinking to myself: Yeah, it should be ‘mad easy’, considering they’re in the 10th grade.

Me: If you think it’s so ‘maaaad easy’, then why was your graph hella wrong on the cellular respiration lab?

Kid: What’s ‘hella’, miss?

Mental note: replace ‘hella’ with ‘mad’ from now on.

this is my basics jam

My style sensibilities have been changing…and it’s veering closer and closer to a uniform of purely neutral basics.  It’s like I’m heading back to white rice territory, after years of trying to make the most interesting and complexly flavored fried rice out there.  I’m cutting out the fluff and I’m crawling back into my comfort zone, the safety of neutral colors in classic cuts and fits.  It makes getting dressed much easier, faster and stress free.  You can never be too over dressed or underdressed with basics, otherwise the point of having basics would be defeated. Right?   On this note, I just got back from shopping for basics at the most basic of stores with zero creeper hipster appeal, Uniqlo.  The moment I walked in to the store today, I was thinking, yeah, this is my JAM!!  I had just left Zara, which assaulted me in all its trendiness with everything black/army green/oxblood and covered in studs/mean animal faces/leather sleeves.  Uniqlo with its stacks of logo-less, glitter-less, graphic-less, simply cut clothes was refreshing and welcoming.  This is what I picked up today, all of course at teacher-friendly prices.  For more of a basics guide, check out this post by refinery29, where they pick apart the basic basics, through the ages.  Technically, I fall into the 30’s category, but can barely afford the 20’s category.  Big poo.


Boring?  Or classic?  Either way, these items came home with me because they went perfectly well with what I wore out shopping today.  My everyday basic outfit, jeans and a tshirt, with my going-to-be-with-me-for-the-next-10-years-just-like-my-other-one-was Freitag bag.  The boots come and go, get swapped out with black flats, flip flops or converse, and some days lipstick gets thrown in the mix too.  For the most part though, this is it: my everyday basic outfit.

glasses: warby parker – t-shirt: alternative apparel – belt: gap – jeans: madewell – boots: ecote via urban outfitters


I’m forever discussing the weather – It’s cold (40˚’s) now in New York.  Due to Hurricane Sandy, our school’s boiler is out, meaning no heat.  I can see my breath in my classroom in the mornings. Thanks to my trusty space heater,  the 4-5 layers start coming off by the afternoon.  Today is PD (professional development) day, no students.  Instead of classes, we talk about rigor, final products and incorporating reading, writing and speaking into math and science, in a way that may or may not leave time for the math and science itself.  I started the morning off with 5 layers and ended the day with just 2.

puffy coat: marmot – jacket (on sale now in stores): co by urban outfitters – cardigan and belt: j.crew – flannel shirt last seen here: uniqlo – jeans: madewell (same jeansdifferent wash) – scarf: unknown/crossroads – sneaks: converse

Flushing Love

This sweater (on sale now at Urban Outfitters) has “non-utilitarian” pockets, which means I like it that much more.  No picture of the back, but there is a “non-utilitarian” zipper up the back also.  B and my other boyfriends laughed at the uselessness of them, so I had to prove them wrong by sticking my hand in them at least once.  The warm mustard yellow color makes this an automatic favorite sweater, but the scratchy and itchiness of this sweater puts it the “suffer for fashion” category.

sweater: urban outfitters – tank: target – belt: j.crew – jeans: madewell – bag: freitag – boots: boutique 9

Flushing is my favorite place in New York so far.  Amaze-balls asian foods from Taiwanese street stuff to western chinese lamb dishes, to tingly hot spicy everything.  I already think it’s awesome and I haven’t even begun to explore the Korean section.  The hour long train ride out there is worth it without a doubt.

Bonus points: my best friends Sandy and Nelson are in town!

P.S.  Frankenstorm is on its way in.  B, being the survivalist he is, has us well prepared.  NO SCHOOL tomorrow!!!! woot woot!

Bad Dog!

Took Bambi on a walk today, and she immediately stated acting like a butthole – ie. growling, snarling and trying to attack other dogs.  She has serious small-dog-asshole syndrome, that I’ve never been able to break.  My newest tactic has been to try the Gentle Leader.  All it’s done so far is make her look even crazier when we pass other dogs, which in turn makes me look like the crappiest dog owner ever.  I’m not a bad dog owner, I swear!  She’s just a crazy mean old chihuahua.  See below, Butthole Bambi in action on a normal everyday walk.

Her being a butthole on our entire walk soured my mood, which then soured the mood of the aussie, B.  Not even my new scarf fixed things and I had a squeeze out a smile for this photo.  

hat: f21 – glasses – warby parker – scarf: madewell – jacket: urban outfitters – t-shirt: hanes – belt: gap – jeans: hella old j. brand – bag: marc by arc – shoes: adidas

PS.  I’ve had Bambi for about 6 years now, and she’s been this way the whole time.  I’ve tried everything under the sun to train her, from dog whisperer style to pack walks to muzzles to hired expensive trainers.  Nothing has worked, so I’ve resigned to just accept her for who she is – a mostly sweet cuddler who loves squeaky toys but hates all other dogs and children.  And before you pass judgment on me for naming my dog Bambi, she came from the rescue with a gag-reflex name: Barbie.