Friday, August 31, 2012

Teaching Outfit Featuring LOFT Ballet Flats & Sorrelli Jewelry

CLOTHES: j. crew shirt, loft skirt
JEWELRY: sorrelli necklace & bracelet
ACCESSORIES: j. crew belt from dress, loft flats

Hi ladies! Here is what I wore on my last day of the work week. I have more students this year than I have ever taught (most classes have 35 or more!), but I feel like this might be my best group! For any teachers that struggle with large class sizes, I highly recommend checking out the Kagan Cooperative Learning book. I use cooperative learning teams of three or four students. I just started experimenting with these teams at the end of last year. This was my first time starting the year with students in groups, and I think it actually helps behavior (when paired with enough structure) because it sets a welcoming and trusting tone.

The LOFT ballet flats were worn twice this week and held up well. My right heel feels slightly sore, but no blisters. I might consider buying another pair in black. (UPDATE ON 9/18 After wearing these less than ten times, the metallic coating is already wearing off. See two images here).

If you have not heard of Sorrelli jewelry before, I highly recommend checking it out. Nordstrom was where my pieces always came from, but I am not noticing any on their website. (UPDATE ON 9/10 Thank you to a reader for spotting the new arrival of pieces on They sometimes carry a select few in stores. Here are a few pretty pieces from, which offers free shipping and returns:

TOP: tapestry, andalusia, electric blue, aegean sea, mirage - emerald cut
BOTTOM: mirage, salt water. tropical, meadow mist

Enjoy your weekend!! :)

Related Content

View more of my teaching outfits here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaching Outfit Featuring Banana Republic Factory Dress

CLOTHES: banana republic factory dress
JEWELRY: lagos chain with unknown pendant, judith jack bangle
ACCESSORIES: j. crew belt, tory burch flats

Hi ladies! Today was my second day back in the classroom. So far, everything is going great! I wore this Banana Republic Factory dress for day two. I found it on the clearance racks when Ping and I went shopping back in July. Originally priced at $69.99, it came out to less than $20!

Related Content

See my review of the Tory Burch Eddie flats
More info on the Lagos necklace

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Update: Sperry Top-Sider 'Bluefish 2-Eye' Boat Shoe

You may remember back in July that I was preparing for a trip up to Seattle. One of the items I purchased for the trip were the Sperry bluefish 2-eye boat shoes. Here are the before and after images:

The bottom image is how they look after being worn for most of my Seattle trip, which included running what seemed like miles through the Las Vegas airport, lots of walking in Downtown Seattle, and getting soaked in a downpour while on our way to catch a ferry to Bainbridge Island. I think I wore these too much, because one of my heels was a little sore on day three. I switched to wearing my canvas TOMS on the night of day three. If worn under normal conditions, I doubt that would have happened. Here is an outfit from day two:

CLOTHES: splendid button down, anthro cardigan, ag jeans
JEWELRY: low luv necklace, j. crew bracelet
ACCESSORIES: ray-ban aviators, free people tote, sperry shoes

More Cute Sperry Options

navy nubuck plaid, quilted in black, gold or pewter, linen/oat

black leopard, denim leopard, bahama in black/white or cognac zebra

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TOMS: How to Remove the Tag & How to Wash

I recently purchased the TOMS desert booties from Nordstrom. They are almost a completely neutral wedge. Although not enough to prevent me from making my purchase, there is the blue tag. A reader had suggested to remove the tag with a seam ripper. Not wanting to try my first attempt on a brand new pair of shoes (and still not sure if I will have the guts), here is how my experiment went with an older pair of canvas flats:

How to Remove the Tag

I used a seam ripper and a pair of nail scissors. Now that I see this image, you might even be able to get away with using just the nail scissors.

Insert the seam ripper under each thread until all have been undone. Gently remove tag. Cut the remaining strings.

Padre had a love-hate relationship with the left shoe as I removed the strings from the right.

I missed a few spots, but the strings shown above easily came out. I thought for sure there would be more of an obvious dark spot where the tags were, especially since I have owned these for over a year.

How to Wash

After attempting several Google searches for how to remove TOMS tag, I came up with no examples of it working. But I did stumble across this blog post on how to wash a pair of TOMS. Here is what I did:

I used a very small amount of gentle detergent. I chose the handwash setting with cold water on my washer. This equates to 48 minutes on medium spin. I let them dry outside in the sun for about ten minutes before bringing them into the shade. The temperature was over 100°.

Before washing.

I promise this is the after image! Not much of a difference on the surface. The smell was lessened a bit. The only way I can think to explain the change is by saying it was as if I had only worn them five times rather than thirty. Regarding the fit, they felt just like they did when I first received them.

This is an image of them right after coming out of the washing machine. The inside of the left shoe showed some puffiness, but it went back down after it dried.

TOMS Sunglass

Since we are on the subject of TOMS, I noticed that they are selling sunglasses. I am pleased to see they offer a few polarized options. The "One for One" for this product is: Every pair purchased will help TOMS give sight to one person in need—through medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses or sight-saving surgery.

top: navigator (polarized), maverick, sandela
bottom: windward polarized, beachmaster (polarized and fun colors), classic 102

Hope you are enjoying your week!! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

LOFT Reviews: Work Pants, Top, and Ballet Flats + $20 Off Pants

ballet flats, marisa ankle pants, stripe 1/2 sleeve tee, zoe straight leg pants

stripe 1/2 sleeve tee, xxsp

I should have gone with an xxs. The length of the petite is too short on me to be worn as a work top. This was returned.

Measurements before wash/dry: 15.5" side length, 18.75" bust, 19.25" width

zoe straight leg pants, oo
metalic flynn ballet flats in pewter, 7

Both of these are keepers. I like that the pants hit just below my ankles because I can pair them with either flats or heels. Extra bonus, they are machine washable. There is another style that looks similar in bi-stretch, but it is dry clean only.

Measurements before wash/dry: 29.75" inseam, 8.25" thigh, 14" waist, 13" leg opening

UPDATE Here are images of the pants when folded under at the seams. This makes them 1.5 inches shorter. A big thank you to the reader who pointed out that the pants looked a little long. When I went back to try them on, I also noticed that there was some extra fabric in the thighs. After a few wears, I will make the decision to take them to a tailor or not.

marisa ankle pants in doubleweave cotton, oo

These were returned. The thigh was too big. The shorter inseam combined with the larger circumference looked odd. If you like this color, the marisa skinny ankle pants might be a better option. See the marisa pants reviewed by Chloe.

Measurements before wash/dry: 26.5" inseam, 9" thigh, 14" waist, 13" leg opening

Current Offer: take $20 off all LOFT full-price pants

Related Content

See more of reviews of LOFT work pants by Ping

Saturday, August 18, 2012

TOMS Desert Bootie

toms desert bootie

We stopped by Nordstrom today so my husband could check out the men's department. While he was at the register, I walked over to the shoes to see what was new. I really liked the look of these TOMS. I can see them working with jeans, tights, or bare-legs. I can also appreciate when there is no hardware on shoes. However, there is the very obvious blue tag on the back. I wish those were not there. As for the fit, there were no size 6.5's of this style, but I was able to determine after trying on a 6 (could not easily get my foot in) and a 7 (a little loose), that a 6.5 was probably going to work. Unfortunately, the sales associate that was supposed to be helping me was odd. She seemed inconvenienced and not willing to provide extra assistance. She did not even offer to order the 6.5's and have them shipped to me. It was very strange. But since I usually feel snubbed at the Nordstrom shoe department in Vegas, this came as no surprise. So rather than give her credit for the sale, I just ordered these myself in a size 6.5 in taupe suede.

j. crew macalister wedge boots, in calf hair

I have been curious about these J. Crew boots. Going back to my comment about hardware from before, I like that these are so neutral. When shoes are adorned with gold or silver, it makes it more restricting when accessorizing. I have been trying to stay away from shoes that have metal details, but it is often difficult to avoid.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

J. Crew Fitting Room: Dot Popover, Cords, & Tillary Purse

jacquard dot popover, 00
classic mini in double-serge cotton, 00

I was so close to ordering this blouse with the free shipping deal going on. I was not as enamored with the item once I tried it on. I will keep an eye out for a steep enough sale price.

toothpick cord in neon fuchsia, 24R

If you are in the market for colored cords under $100, J. Crew has this style in six colors online. Not sure about the fit on me, though. The waist was fine, but it seems a little too tight on my legs.

tillary purse

I have been stalking the Tillary purse in bright mint (shown above) this entire week. It finally popped back up online today and I purchased it immediately. The other three colors are newer and still full price online. However, I spotted these today at the Las Vegas location for the sale price of $109.99. There were at least five of each color. Seeing them made me so excited to receive mine in the mail! The leather felt so soft. UPDATE: I received a shipment notification 13 hours after I made my purchase. That was fast!

Free shipping with code FREESHIP. Ends Sun., 8/19

Related Content

My review of the anchors aweigh cardigan

Thursday, August 16, 2012

J. Crew Cardigan in Anchors Aweigh + Free Shipping

J. Crew is offering free shipping until Sunday, August 19 with code FREESHIP. I asked customer service what time sale items were re-stocked online. Her answer was continuously. So if your item is currently sold out (which is seems so many are!), you have until Sunday to keep checking.

Below is the Anchors Aweigh cardigan in a size xxs. The fit was fine, but I decided to pass because I needed to stick to my shopping list.

New Arrival Tops Under $100

peter pan collar tee, houndstooth sweatshirt, dotted popover

New Arrival Cords Under $100

tootpick, bootcut, matchstick

Final Sale Belts

chevron belt, two-tone belt, striped belt

skinny leather belt, patent leather skinny, braided belt

Hope everyone is enjoying their week! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oat Bars with Walnuts and Cranberries

Despite my very poor baking skills (I usually burn cookies), I wanted to give Ellie Krieger's energy bar recipe a try. I was slightly nervous because I have always heard how precise baking needed to be, and here I go leaving out three ingredients: figs, ginger, and dry milk. Despite their absence, I was successful with my initial batch. Since then (sometime back in April or May), I have been making these about once a week. For all you non-bakers out there, this should be easy for you! Plus, the prep time takes me less than ten minutes.

Ingredient List

     1 cup oats
     1 cup bran cereal
     1 cup walnuts
     1/2 cup dried cranberries
     1/4 cup whole wheat flour
     3/4 tsp cinnamon
     2 eggs
     1/4 cup honey

     yields 9 bars

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking dish with non-stick foil. Place the dry ingredients in a food processor for about ten seconds.

Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse a few times, then mix until a clump forms. About ten seconds.

Place the mixture on your foil-lined dish. Using your hands, spread the mixture about 1/4 inch thick. You know you have been successful if your mixture is really sticky and somewhat difficult to maneuver. Try not to let the edges taper too thin, as this causes them to burn.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from pan. About 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 9 squares.

Ellie Krieger suggests storing in an airtight container for three days or individually wrapping pieces to freeze for up to three months. Personally, I have eaten these up do day five.

>>> Click here for printable recipe

Notes and Tools

  • I use the Cuisinart 14-cup food processor
  • I like to store foods in glass containers with lids. I picked up a few by Pyrex from the HomeGoods Store. Macy's has a great deal on a set of 10 glass Pyrex dishes
  • I am starting to use a combination of 1/2 cup All-Bran and 1/2 cup Cracklin' Oat Bran. The one time I tried using strictly All-Bran, I did not like result. I probably did not put enough honey in the mixture AND added a bland cereal. The result was dry and not as tasty.
  • I am really tempted to replace the current nut and dried fruit I use with macadamia nuts and dried pineapple!

What would you change to make this fit your unique tastes?
Let me know if you try this recipe or your own variation!

Related Content

Why a recipe post? See my introduction to this summer segment here
View all recipe posts

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