Thursday, February 18, 2010

Professional Fashion For The Working Girl

The end of February is quickly approaching. As a grad student in my last semester in a Master's program, there are only a few precious months left to find a real job ... scary.

I do plan to start a Ph.D program in about a year, but I do want to take a little break from the books. I need a little time to recuperate, and I want to test the waters of the working world before I make a final decision to commit to five more years of school.

The career path I have chosen to pursue is quite conservative, fashion-wise. Economists aren't traditionally applauded for there style-sense.

I love academia. However, I also love fashion and all things creative! I am really trying hard to find work-appropriate clothing that doesn't compromise my love of all that is pretty and unique.

I am really liking the extra special touches in each of these otherwise classic outfits. I think the gray dress would be the perfect backdrop for a great set of necklaces, a fun cardigan or a handmade broach.

I really like the mismatched take on the traditional suit, too.

OK, this last outfit probably wouldn't work so well in a conservative working environment, but look at those SHOES! I want these just for fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting Cozy

I am fairly happy with the design of my first apartment (pictures hopefully coming soon, once I clean up a bit!). The big exception, however, is the bedroom. I can't even bring myself to share it with you all. To be frank, it's highly embarrassing!

I find that whenever I shop for design elements to incorporate, I rarely consider the bedroom because the only people who see it are A. and I. I really want to work on making it a place we actually want to be in. Right now, we avoid it as much as possible.

Here is a sample of some cozy bedrooms I am loving. I see a definite pattern here. It looks like neutral tones with bright pops of color will be the way to go.

I have a white comforter, which is a start..

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Paper Art

(origami crane, tiger , stars, flowers)

Lately, I have been adoring the look of origami. These little sculptures are amazing! I think a mobile of cranes hanging from the ceiling in my apartment would be fabulous. I just might have to take a trip to the craft store for some paper this weekend and give it a shot..

.. the result definitely won't be this grand, though!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Blame it on the Cats..

This week you can find me trying to finish a research paper that, had I been prudent, would have been completed months ago. I have been putting the project on hold for far too long, so it's time to buckle down and tie up the remaining loose ends.

Working from home isn't always the easiest thing, particularly when you have two cats who are all too happy to hinder your progress in any way possible. Princeton is especially astute in this area...

(Princeton on my textbook)

(Princeton in my craft supply box)

Let's hope I can keep him off of my research long enough to have a completed rough draft by Friday...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Grahams and Gifts

This weekend I tried out a recipe for graham crackers, courtesy of the brilliant Deb of Smitten Kitchen. I have made several of the recipes she has featured on her blog, and I adore them all. These little lovelies were certainly no exception..

I am a HUGE cracker lover, but I find that I fill my cabinets with so many kinds that they often become stale before I get around to finishing them. Many of the fabulous foodies out there in the blogosphere have inspired me to begin making from scratch many of the foods I crave from a box. I have slowly begun to incorporate this idea into my daily life, and I am loving the results!

Personally, I had never considered making my own crackers. The process, to my surprise, was quite quick and simple - not to mention cost effective. I had all of the ingredients on-hand for these, and they taste far better than anything you can buy in the grocery store.

I was so excited about these, that I immediately wrapped some up for my neighbor (and fellow cat-lover as evidenced by the box). She brought banana bread over to A. and I earlier in the evening, so I delivered some graham crackers to her as thanks. Really, I will use any excuse to tuck something into these adorable Chinese takeout boxes.

What surprising types of foods do you prefer to make from scratch? I would love to get some more ideas!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nan Lawson

I really enjoy the simplicity of these prints by Nan Lawson. I admire an artist who can use line work so well. Her technique is a style that I was never able to achieve myself in my own work.

I would love the french press print for my kitchen...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Year of Mornings..

I am sure that many people have already discovered this little gem of a book, but if you haven't, you should really check it out..

The premise is simple, yet inspired: two friends, living across the country from one another (in Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine, respectively), captured the quiet moments of the morning hours each day for a year. Each set of photos corresponds to a single day, with one snapshot from the East coast and one from the West coast.

This book first drew me in because the pictures are so simple and serene. I was really excited to see that one of the partners in this project resides in Portland, Maine which is about 30 minutes from my hometown.

A., the sweet boy that he is, got me this book as a surprise for Christmas (along with the Sartorialist coffee table book!). I have only recently become more of a morning person; lately I have been rising at 6 a.m. during the school/work week. The early hours really do have a calm, quiet quality unlike any other time of day. I think the photographs in this book truly capture the beauty of a fresh start...

I like to try to guess which in each set was taken in Maine ... my homeland!

Are you a morning person? What do you like best about the early hours of the day?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Looking Bookish

(Chic ladies in glasses: Alexa Chung and an enviably stylish woman from The Sartorialist)

Maybe it's the nerd in me, but I love the look of thick-framed glasses on a woman. As a specs-wearing lady myself, I am a big supporter of this trend!

(Me and my glasses)

Even when I'm not feeling studious (like right now), I can at least look the part. I think it's time to expand my collection...

It's Love..

(Adorable conversation heart cookies found on Frenchie and Flea)

This has to be one of the cutest Valentine's Day ideas I have every seen. Typically, the holiday doesn't excite me very much, but I love any excuse to give baked goods! Plus, I now have an excuse to buy one of these..

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Princeton, Stella & Magoo

The one thing that I love more than anything in this world is cats...

I don't mind if, for many, this brings to mind visions of a crazy cat lady. I will happily wear that hat! Quite frankly, I'm surprised this post didn't come sooner (not that I have been blogging for very long..).

My boyfriend, A., feels the same way. We adopted these two lovelies from a local shelter a few months after we moved in. They were the two kitties left in what is referred to as the "Long Term Residents Ward", which was the shelter's nice way of saying they had been there the longest without being adopted.

When I look at these faces, I just don't understand how that could be possible!

(Stella Dottie B.)

(Princeton Francis B.)

The employees were so happy we adopted these wonderful kitties that they made an announcement over the speaker that they were "finally going home". It was a really great day for us!

A. and I hold a very special place in our hearts for cats, and we often talk about how we can give back to those who are making a difference. Our Christmas gift to each other this year was a donation to a wonderful non-profit that takes in blind cats and gives them a forever home. The Magoo Room is a sanctuary for kitties who in many cases would not otherwise find loving families.

This husband-and-wife team are amazing, and we were so happy that we could help their cause in some small way.

So, these are our babies! They will be making many more appearances in the future, because I just can't help but share!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Putting the "Pro" in Procrastination

It is Monday evening, which means I didn't return from lecture until 8:30 PM. There is a long list of work I could be doing at the moment - research, homework or studying for the exam I have on Friday.

I have chosen to do none of these things.

Instead, I did this...

That's right, I made enough oatmeal pancakes to last me the entire week!

This recipe isn't fancy, but the result is a filling, delicious, and (relatively) healthy breakfast. These can be stored in the freezer, and they reheat really well in the microwave. I always double the recipe..

Oatmeal Pancakes

Heat 1/2 cup milk and 2 T butter until combined.
Stir in 1/2 quick-cooking oats, let sit for 10 minutes.


2-4 T flour
2 t baking powder
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt

Stir, and cook as you would regular pancakes.

In my freezer, a week's worth of breakfast awaits...

But right now, the pile of school work on my coffee table is calling my name.
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