Monthly Archives: October 2016

SIA: Neutral Peacock

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Style Imitating Art

Who’s ready for Monday?? I’m still battling a cold that hit me hard last week and I ended up spending most of Saturday afternoon in bed napping. It was glorious!

However, that didn’t leave me much time to snap photos, even though I’ve worn some variation of this outfit approximately three times in the last week and a half. I attempted to get a snapshot for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge but I used the wrong lens and the photos came out blurry and grainy. You can’t even see that my earrings are feather shaped!


Scarf – c/o Moonfish | Vest- Gap (similar) | Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – Paige c/o Shopbop (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Earrings – Le Tote (same)

I went with grays and blacks since those are the main colors in this week’s pick. And, of course, my brown riding boots for the tan/orange accent, See, people have been pairing black and brown together for decades!


I was able to get my brown boots shined at last week’s Shoe Drop event and it really made a huge difference! I’ll be writing a whole post on the experience and the event later this week. Let’s just say, though, I think everyone who attended was pretty impressed and is looking forward to seeing what Shoe Drop can do for them.


Marathon Training This Time Around [Fitness Friday]


I’ve been slacking on writing my Fitness Friday posts. I kept meaning to lump them into my October goals post but that didn’t happen, either. Maybe my slacking at blogging is because I haven’t been slacking at workouts.

As I’ve mentioned briefly before, I’m currently training for the Miami Marathon at the end of January. I’m training with Live Grit and we’re in week 3 of training.

It’s fun, for once, to have someone else give me a training plan. Although I’ve run 4 other marathons I’ve either used a training plan I found online (typically Hal Higdon) or made one up myself. I’ve never marathon trained with a coach or a group so this is a new experience for me!


Illinois Marathon 2013 | Las Vegas Marathon 2011 | Milwaukee Marathon 2011 | Chicago Marathon 2010

However, I’m not giving up my strength training regime until it’s absolutely necessary. Thankfully I have a job where I can hit the gym on my lunch break to do the strength training stuff and I’ve been running before and after work.

Of course, it’s dark before work right now and if my run is any longer than 4 miles it gets dark before I get home. I prefer not to run in the dark by myself, even though Chewie would probably eat anyone if they tried anything funny. Still, I’d rather not take the chance.

Plus, after training for Gasparilla last winter I know I can do my runs on the treadmill if need be so I’ve been doing that here and there instead of running the dark. I’m going to make it work because I have plans for Miami.

So, here’s to marathon training for the first time in almost 4 years!


  • Monday 10/3 – Leg strength workout
  • Tuesday 10/4 – Upper body strength workout + 4.5 mile run
  • Wednesday 10/5 – 3 mile run
  • Thursday 10/6 – Leg strength workout
  • Friday 10/7 – 4 mile run (treadmill w/6×30 second buildups)  + upper body strength workout
  • Saturday 10/8 – 5.3 miles
  • Sunday 10/9 – Rest


  • Monday 10/10 – Leg strength workout + 3.5 mile run
  • Tuesday 10/11 – Rest
  • Wednesday 10/12 – Upper body strength workout + 3 mile run (treadmill)
  • Thursday 10/13 – Leg strength workout
  • Friday 10/14 – 4 mile run
  • Saturday 10/15 – 6 mile run
  • Sunday 10/16 – Rest


  • Monday 10/17 – 3.1 mile run + leg strength workout
  • Tuesday 10/18 – Upper body strength workout + 4.5 mile run
  • Wednesday 10/19 – Rest
  • Thursday 10/20 – Leg strength workout + 4.75 mile run
  • Friday 10/21 – Upper body strength workout
  • Saturday 10/22 – 7 mile run
  • Sunday 10/23 – Rest

Basics aren’t bad

Casual Clothes · Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

In a fit of absolute lack of imagination and total basic-ness, I wore a very simple outfit to work on Monday. And then I photographed it. Because, I guess, that’s the whole point of this blog, right? I’m not aspirational. I’m…realistic? Anyway, here’s what I wore:


Cardigan – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – Old Navy (similar) | Shirt – Le Tote (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman c/o Shopbop (same) | Scarf – c/o Moonfish

This scarf is one of the ones Sarah from Moonfish gave me. It’s so soft and the colors are so rich. I’m actually glad it’s scarf weather again so I can wear it.

Speaking of Moonfish, their next pop-up shop is November 10th-13th at Beermiscuous. Shopping and beer? Yes, please. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make their last pop-up but I’m really hoping to make this one. Why? Because the scarves Sarah gave me when we met hang on the back of my kitchen chairs so I can throw them on on the way out of the door. And the leggings are getting worn way more than I thought. So clearly Sarah knows how to pick good stuff!


So, if you’re in Chicago and want to join me for some beer and some shopping, let me know! Or, if you’re free this evening, the 26th, I’m hosting an event at the main Shoe Drop retail location and 353 N Clark Street from 6-8PM. Free drinks, apps and shoe shines! These riding boots are going to get some love, let me tell you. Yes, women need to get our shoes shined, too. And I’m totally going to take advantage.


SIA: In Vogue

Style Imitating Art

Happy Monday, everyone! It’s time to kick off our week with the Style Imitating Art choice by Jen. She chose a vintage Vogue magazine cover and, considering how into neutrals I’ve been lately, I’m in love.



Gray and tan and black and white? Yeah, I think I can do something with this!

Does this image inspire you to create an outfit? If so, don’t forget to snap a picture and send it to Jen at by Monday, October 31st. Or, you know, since that’s Halloween, if it inspires you to dress up as a peacock you can send that photo in, too!

SIA: Not as good as chocolate

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Style Imitating Art

I really struggled this week to come up with an outfit for the Style Imitating Art challenge. I don’t know why, but I just wasn’t feeling that inspired to A. come up with an outfit B. find someone to take pictures or struggle with the tripod or C. blog.

In the end, though, I managed to pull together some basics that fit the color scheme.


Blouse – thrifted Ann Taylor (similar) | Jeans – Henry & Belle (similar) | Shoes – Dr. Scholl’s (same) | Watch – c/o Jord (same)

I had dreams of wearing a tan cardigan or even my blanket scarf but it was 80+ degrees on Monday (when I wore this). I didn’t even need either of those things in my office. And because I was hoping to wear a scarf I totally blanked on jewelry.

Speaking of jewelry, would anyone be interested in attending a Stella & Dot party if I hosted one? Just tossing around the idea but I don’t want to do it and have no one come or people feel pressured.

Anyway, I’ve been debating getting rid of these jeans but I kind of like them with this top and these shoes. And eventually that scarf. Eventually.  In the mean time, you can see how other people interpreted this week’s art over on 14 Shades of Grey.img_1659

Who else remembers Talbots?

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

When I was in junior high and high school I remember my mom going into Talbots a few times looking for “work” clothes. I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait until I had a job where I got to dress up for work in button-up shirts, skirts, and blazers. Well, I got my wish when I moved to Chicago to work at a university. Strangely, I never thought to shop at Talbots.

Recently, though, I was approached to work with Talbots for the blog. Wait, I thought, I don’t work in a business or even business casual environment anymore. I work in a SUPER casual environment. I figured I’d check out the website anyway and see what there was that would fit my current life.

Turns out there’s more than I thought! Boyfriend jeans and sweaters are just two of the options.


Sweater – c/o Talbots (same) | Jeans – c/o Talbots (same) | Shoes – c/o Shopbop (similar)

I chose these boyfriend jeans because I’ve been curious about the style. Still not sure how I feel about them, but they are definitely comfy compared to some skinny jeans. These do run a bit big, though. I’m wearing them in the smallest size but still needed a belt. I also bought them in the longer length but I probably could have gotten away with regular.


The sweater is actually the olive color pictured on the website but it was so sunny on the day I wore it and we took these pictures that it looks a little washed out. I ordered this in a size small and I would say it runs true to size. I’m a little worried that the sleeves will stretch out since I tend to push them up all the time but that’s pretty par for the course for sweaters, I think.


The calf hair on my shoes has worn off in a few spots so I’m looking for a replacement pair. These from Talbots might fit the bill! I’m thinking about ordering them. Never would have thought to check Talbots before now.

Other items they sell that would work for a casual lifestyle? Believe it or not, they sell activewear, too! Like this cowlneck tunic that I would love to have. Or this striped cardigan that would be perfect with leggings and a tee. Yes, I just said leggings.

Long story short, if you thought you could only shop at Talbots if you needed suits and dress shirts, think again. I know I will!

The jeans and sweater were provided to me at no cost via my affiliation with Rakuten Marketing. Links in this post are affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Booties and a Maxi Dress

Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall · Shopping

I received this dress in my latest Le Tote and I LOVED it. Super comfy, interesting pattern, and I figured it would work well for late summer and early fall.

The only downside? I didn’t have the perfect shoes to wear with it for fall. I tried these gray booties but I wasn’t so sure about the outcome.


Dress – Le Tote (same) | Necklace – Le Tote (same) | Shoes – H by Hudson c/o Shopbop (similar) | Jacket – Velvet c/o Shopbop (same and on sale!) 


Even though the dress has gray in it, I wanted to wear it with brown/tan booties. However, I don’t have any! I have my cheetah wedges but I wasn’t feeling the pattern mixing.


Thankfully, though, Shopbop is having a sale and I’ve got my eye on a few pairs!


The sale ends at midnight Pacific Time on Wednesday, October 14th. So, you can bet I’ll be walking on over to my computer ASAP today to order a pair (or two!) of booties. I’ve linked to my favorites at the bottom of this post.


One last thing before I go

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Summer

As I ran through my neighborhood last evening I noticed that so many of the restaurants still have their outdoor seating up. We hang onto summer for as long as possible here in Chicago!

So, in that spirit, here’s an outfit I wore last month before summer officially ended.


Top – The Limited (similar) | Jeans – Old Navy (similar) | Sandals – Seychelles (similar) | Necklace – Le Tote (same)


Crazy how just one thing, a necklace, can take a simple outfit up a notch, right?

For fall, though, I’d probably just add a cardigan (maybe in cobalt blue?) or wear a black sweater and black ballet flats. Too bad I already sent this necklace back to Le Tote!

I’m waiting just a bit longer to bust out my riding boots, though. I have this weird self-imposed limit where I won’t wear them until the high for the day is under 60 degrees. For now I’m wearing flats, occasionally booties, and sneakers. I have a feeling the boots will be coming out soon, however.




SIA: The Chocolate Girl

Style Imitating Art

Happy Monday! Thank you for all your congratulations on Friday’s post. I really appreciate it. I think I’m still riding a runner’s high. Either that or it was watching all 40,000 people running the Chicago Marathon yesterday. I’m really excited to be marathon training again!

Speaking of highs, isn’t it true that chocolate has some kind of property that activates the pleasure center of our brain? It’s probably similar to what happens in a runner’s brain when they get a runner’s high. At least, that’s my attempt to segue into this week’s choice for Style Imitating Art: “The Chocolate Girl” by Jean-Étienne Liotard.


Salazar chose this week’s art and, to be honest, I’d never heard of it before! But, apparently it’s the logo on Baker’s Chocolate. Which I also always thought was called Baker’s Chocolate because you use when baking. No idea until just now that it’s actually named after a person….named Baker.

And this is why I love our Style Imitating Art series. I learn so much about art AND the people who participate.

Want to be one of those people? Just snap a photo of an outfit you wear that’s inspired by this painting and send it to by next Monday, October 17th. It can even be a selfie or a flat-lay. Or just take a picture of chocolate. That totally counts, right?


Redemption in the form of the Hero 10K [Fitness Friday]


Remember how I said on my Park Ridge 5K post that I have more fun when I just run and don’t worry about my time? Well, the Hero 10K I ran on Sunday was proof.


This was my third time running this race (and every time it was thanks to a giveaway from Valerie) and it’s still one of my favorites.


I love wearing my costume. I love the course that goes through the Indiana Dunes park (not the dunes themselves, though. Thankfully). I love the small town feel and, I have to say, the fact that I win an age group award because the race is so small.


First place in my age group (and second woman overall!)

I had zero expectations for this race. I ran my 10K PR at this race last year but since I’d been 5K training and not 10K training I didn’t think I had a chance of doing anything too spectacular.

Not to mention the liter of beer I drank the day before.

Anyway, the weather was cool but still a bit humid. It was really windy on the beach but once we got into the wooded areas there was no breeze. Still, I was having a good time dodging puddles and admiring the leaves. Lots of people commented on my costume and cheered me on when they realized I was in the top five women!


I swear I’m having fun

There was another woman who passed me in the last mile but for some reason she didn’t show up in the results (I think she accidentally registered as a male) so I’m still claiming second woman!

You know what I get to claim? A new 10K PR!


See, I told you I run better when I don’t put any pressure on myself. I got myself a 20 second PR and I am still stoked about it. I suppose that’s a pretty good start to marathon training, don’t you think?



  • Monday 9/26- Leg strength workout
  • Tuesday 9/27 – Upper body strength workout
  • Wednesday 9/28 – Rest day
  • Thursday 9/29 – Leg strength workout
  • Friday 9/30 – Upper body strength workout + 20 min HIIT on the stepmill
  • Saturday 10/1 – 3 mile run
  • Sunday 10/2 – Hero 10K