Archive for April 2012


Monday, April 30, 2012 10:17 PM

After J and I went to his sister's for Passover, she and her husband repaid the visit this weekend. J's still working weekends, so it was up to me to keep Amanda and Josh entertained. We had a great time! We visited the new Portland Flea-for-All, explored the Old Port and ate lots of delicious food.

Portland is very vegan-friendly, so that was nice for Amanda, who struggles to find restaurants in the Albany area that will serve her something other than sauteed vegetables. She had a milkshake with rice milk, "huevos" rancheros with tofu, and a spring pea risotto with ... well, I don't know how you make that without animal products. I'm happy with the originals, thank you.

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Black cardigan, Banana Republic (eBay)
Pink and orange necklace, Macy's
Gray Pants, Banana Republic
Pink and orange shoes, Liz Claiborne

Purple, I Swear

Friday, April 27, 2012 10:50 PM

Today's outfit is a pretty direct replica of this old ensemble of Kasmira's. The tights are the same, but for some reason I can't get mine to photograph purple; they always appear sort of indigo. It was rainy and in the high 40s today. I hope it will be my last day of tights until, oh, October.

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Red sweater, LOFT (consignment)
Black necklace, thrifted
Houndstooth skirt, no tag (consignment)
Purple tights, We Love Colors
Sparkly flats, Nine West (thrifted)

Put a Belt on It

Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:04 PM

When I started wearing accessories, belts were an easy place to start. For one thing, they're plentiful and cheap at thrift stores. Today's belt served a number of functions. It tied together the top and bottom halves of my outfit, gave me a waist in this boxy cardigan and added a thrifted item to an ensemble in which all other items were purchased new. I don't usually make a conscious effort to include a thrifted or otherwise secondhand piece in each outfit, but it nonetheless feels a bit strange when everything is new — or in this case, was new; the belt is actually the only item here that I haven't owned for years.

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Turquoise cardigan, Target
Salmon shirt, New York & Co.
Brown belt, thrifted
Brown tweed skirt, Urban Outfitters
Brown flats, Bare Traps


Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:30 PM

These colors — which are essentially the same ones I wore yesterday, but with the addition of gray — don't exactly scream "Spring!," do they? Truth is, I don't give much thought to the season-appropriateness of colors or types of clothing, just whether they'll keep me warm, cool or dry enough. I'm pretty sure, for example, that corduroy is supposed to be a fall fabric, but today I topped this ensemble with a corduroy jacket because it was the perfect weight for the weather.

How much does season factor into your clothing choices? Do your fall and spring wardrobes differ considerably, or not much at all?

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Spotted blouse, Macy's
Sweater vest, Gap (thrifted)
Pencil skirt, The Limited (thrifted)
Pumps, Nine West (consignment)

A Sure Thing

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 11:30 PM

I was not feeling inspired this morning, so I turned to one of my favorite color combinations: black, white and red. Meg and Jack White really knew what they were doing. Also, this swishy skirt always makes me feel like twirling.

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Cropped Blazer, Forever 21 (consignment)
White sweater, Gap
Necklaces, thrifted
Pleated midi skirt, thrifted vintage
Pumps, Calvin Klein Dolly (eBay)

Rainy Day Rule-Breaking

Monday, April 23, 2012 11:26 PM

You guys. We just had the most ridiculous rainstorm. It lasted at least 30 hours, and it rained hard — harder than I thought it could do here in Maine. And I'm used to those Florida summer thunderstorms, the ones that come at 3 p.m. every day and sometimes feel like they'll flay your skin off. But those never last more than an hour, and usually more like 10-20 minutes.

So anyway, I knew I wanted to wear pants today. And to keep the hems out of puddles, I violated the principle of Perfect Pant Length by pairing these pants — which should be worn only with flats — with a pair of kitten-heeled loafers. I also pulled my hair back, since it would have frizzed up anyway, and compensated for the somewhat masculine feel of the ensemble with some extra makeup (eyeshadow!).

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Blue shirt, New York & Co. (thrifted)
Red necklace, thrifted
Brown pants, Target
Teal belt, Target
Red loafers, Rampage (eBay)

Deep Frying

Sunday, April 22, 2012 11:08 PM

The other basic cooking technique that I wanted to learn — poaching — is extremely healthy. You can't say that about this one. I wasn't sure what I would deep fry until our winter CSA gave us three pounds of Russet potatoes. They aren't any good for most of the ways I like to eat potatoes, so homemade potato chips seemed like the perfect solution.

I love my food processor. I never would have had the patience to cut all these slices, nor could I have cut them so evenly.

I used mostly canola oil, with maybe a cup of duck fat saved from the bird my father cooked at Christmas. This is similar to the mixture Duckfat uses for their delicious fries, so I figured it would be good enough for our chips.

I followed Mark Bittman's directions from "How to Cook Everything." The oil was supposed to be at 350 degrees, but my thermometer tops out at 302, so I had to test it with the littlest slivers of potato.

Here's an early batch. They were still a bit soft in the middle, so I kept cranking up the heat until the oil just started to smoke. That's when they started to come out right, nice and crispy with a little bit of curl:

I know these look really greasy and gross, but they drained quite a bit on those paper towels. J and I topped them with crumbled Maytag blue cheese and stuck them back in the oven. It was tasty, but not quite as good as the incredible blue cheese potato chips at the Buckhead Diner. Whenever we get a chance to go back to Atlanta, we'll have to stop in for the real thing.

Amber, Warmth

Friday, April 20, 2012 11:30 PM

I've been sitting here for a couple of hours, trying to come up with something to write while catching up on our DVR and watching "Fringe." I will be so sad if that show gets canceled. At the end of tonight's episode, I couldn't believe it was over. I turned to J and said: "Is that it? That's not fair!"

After all that, I've got nothing to say about my outfit, except: warm colors for a warm day.

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Peach cardigan, Target (thrifted)
Tan tank top, J Crew
Skinnies, Celebrity Pink Jeans (consignment)
Brown flats, Bare Trap

Daytime Sparkle

Thursday, April 19, 2012 10:51 PM

My beaded and sequined belt wasn't the only bit of sparkle at my office today. The woman at the desk next to mine, who is known for for being a stylish lady — especially in comparison to other people in our company and our field — wore a top with black-on-black sequined stripes. Two sparkly garments are almost a party, right?

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Navy dress, J Crew (thrifted)
Sequined belt, thrifted
Gray tights, Old Navy
Gray pumps, Nine West (consignment)

A Sweater Vest and a Shirtdress

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:28 PM

This will probably be the last time you see this dress for several months. As I mentioned the first time I wore it, the skirt's a bit scandalous without tights. I can layer another skirt over the dress, as I did here, but a second difficulty is the empire waistline. A sweater vest solved the problem of the dual waistlines today, but that's just too much layering for warmer weather. This one will have to wait until it's tights season again.

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Pink shirtdress, Express (thrifted)
Gray sweater vest, Gap (thrifted)
Brocade skirt, Old Navy (thrifted)
Silver belt, Old Navy
Sparkly flats, Nine West (thrifted)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012 11:27 PM

It's warm again, perhaps for good this time. I felt bad for the runners yesterday, but the warm weather made for lovely spectating. Today, I pulled out this skirt for the first time, after picking it up four months ago. It gave me crisp, lightweight cotton and a print that, as I realized this morning, resembles ice cubes.

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Peasant blouse, Old Navy
Tank top, Target
Print skirt, SDII (thrifted)
Mary Janes, Classified

Marathon Monday

Monday, April 16, 2012 10:16 PM

Although we loved seeing J's family and some of our mutual friends on Saturday and Sunday, the main event — our real reason for going to Boston this weekend — was today, on a block of Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. Our friends Doug and Val live in an apartment just before Mile 22 of the Boston Marathon route, and they have a little shindig each year to watch the runners and wheelchair racers go by.


First came the wheelchair racers. I have never seen such amazing arms. 

This truck, with the clock reading 2:06:49, preceded the leading women. In the background, on the balcony and along the Green Line tracks, you can see just a small portion of the hordes of Boston College students who were drunk by 10 a.m.

The woman who won, Sharon Cherop, is in the middle here. She beat the woman on the right by two seconds, and the woman on the left finished third. 

Several groups of reservists trudged past with their packs. I suppose these folks were representing the Syracuse University ROTC. Toward the beginning of the race, most of the runners kept close to our curb to take advantage of the shade, so we got a good look at them.

The Syracuse folks blocked our view of the first man to pass. This guy was the second one we saw, but he finished 10th.

Much later in the day, when runners streamed by in thick packs, these neighbor ladies handed out water and salt.

J, meanwhile, cheered them on. You can see how they're moving somewhat slower by now. I liked that some runners and walkers had their names on their shirts or arms, so we could single them out for special encouragement.

And here we are with Val and Doug, some of our favorite people in the world. Doug and J were best friends in elementary and middle school, but then they went to different high schools and didn't have much contact during college. We reconnected with the two of them — high school sweethearts — shortly before their wedding, which was a couple of months before our own. Amazingly kind-hearted people, they make such a positive impact on their community through their work, and they are perfect hosts, to boot. I've known them for less than two years, but I am so glad to have them in our life.

Same Difference

Sunday, April 15, 2012 5:17 PM

I spent a little bit of my Saturday afternoon shopping. I had to pick up my laptop, with a new logic board and repaired disc drive, from the Apple store at the Maine Mall. While I was there, I ducked into a few stores, but the only place I found anything interesting was this necklace, which I picked up for about 70 percent off.

I also found some really cute flats in similar shades of pink and orange, but there was a massive shoe sale going on, and they were sold out of all sizes between 5.5 and 9. Fortunately, I found some beautiful pumps in the exact same colors at my next stop, DSW. They were on clearance, so with a $10 off coupon, I got them for less than $25.

And then when I came home, I parked near the consignment store Find, where I picked up this skirt. I knew I wanted to wear my new purchases immediately, other than the pumps, which had I higher heel than I usually like for weekends. J and I are in Boston, visiting family and friends. I wore the necklace and skirt (and my favorite black flats) for dinner with J's family last night, then switched out the sweater and ditched the tights for today. I love that the majority of both outfits is actually the same, but they feel almost completely different.

Pink and orange necklace, Macy's
Black v-neck sweater, Target
Pink cardigan, Banana Republic (thrifted)
Houndstooth skirt, no tag (consignment)
Black tights, We Love Colors
Black flats, Ecco

Time to Eat the Chametz

Friday, April 13, 2012 11:30 PM

This week, I ate parsnip soup, braised potatoes, salad and leftovers of the matzoh ball soup and chicken and vegetables from our Seder. Someone brought brownies to work today, and I distracted myself with the last piece of the flourless chocolate cake. By tonight, I was so ready for Passover to be over. So we went to Cinque Terre, where I ate crostini, focaccia, fresh tagliatelle and biscotti. Thank goodness for chametz.

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Boyfriend blazer, Banana Republic (thrifted)
Patterned top, New York & Co.
Art Deco necklace, thrifted
Gray cigarette pants, Old Navy
Black boots, Aerosoles