Author Archives: Erin @ Loop Looks

About Erin @ Loop Looks

A Chicago Loop Girl Goes To Work

Popping back in for a moment

Style Imitating Art

Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted and that’s because, well, holidays plus January being one of my busiest months. I’ll share what I’ve been up to but first I want to share the first Style Imitating Art challenge of 2018!

Jen chose a painting by a Pacific Northwest tattoo artist Bismark Pinera. This painting is on the cover of a newly published regional literary compilation, Creative Colloquy Volume 4available online here. (Creative Colloquy is a literary site and community here in Tacoma.) She attended the launch celebration for the new Creative Colloquy compilation, and fell in love with the cover art. She immediately contacted the artist, and Pinera graciously granted permission to use and showcase his artwork for this challenge.

Jen wrote a lot more on her blog, if you’re interested in knowing more about the art and the artist.

I will be doing my best to take a photo of myself in an outfit inspired by this painting and sending it to librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by next Tuesday, Jan. 23rd, by 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) so I can be included in the round-up. I hope you participate, too!

It might be a challenge in more ways than one for me, though, because the rest of my week is a little crazy. I recently hired a new addition for my team at work and I’m both super excited and super busy getting her trained. Not to mention, my side gig of doing customer service, packet pick-up and website maintenance for the F3 Half Marathon is coming to a climax this week since the race is Saturday!!

Then I’m getting out of the cold that is Chicago and visiting my dad in Florida for a few days at the end of the month. Last year I was there to run a marathon but this year I’m just going for a visit.

So, posting might still be sporadic for the next few weeks. But don’t let that stop you from participating in the SIA challenges!

Winter flowers and winter plaid [SIA Post]

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

Do any of you have shirts that you feel are “Christmas-y” but aren’t actual Christmas prints? That’s how I feel about the plaid shirt I’m wearing in today’s post.

Shirt – Old Navy (similar) | Cardigan – Old Navy (similar) | Jeans – Principle Denim (same) | Boots – Sam Edelman (same)

The Style Imitating Art choice for this week features a blue checked shirt with a tan cardigan, distressed jeans, and purple flowers. However, I donated my blue checked shirt a long time ago, I wasn’t feeling like wearing my tan cardigan, it’s too cold for distressed jeans, and it’s totally time for poinsettias, not summery purple flowers.

But I can still put the flowers in front of my face. Because, why not?

I very rarely buy props to use in my blog photos, but I figured why not? I was at the grocery store and they had so many poinsettias. Plus, it adds a little something to my minimal Christmas decor. And it goes with my Christmas shirt that isn’t actually just for Christmas.

Don’t forget you can see everyone’s interpretation of this week’s art on Salazar’s blog on Wednesday. Plus, there’s still time for you to take and submit your own photo! Just snap a picture and email it to her before Wednesday.

Necklace from the Covet Collection from Stella & Dot

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Setting down Roots [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

It’s time for the last Style Imitating Art challenge of 2017! We’ve had some great picks this year and this week is no exception. Salazar choose one of the photos from a series called “Roots” by Spanish photographer Miguel Vallinas, which depicts people in fashionable outfits with flowers for their heads.

She said that she loved all of them and I can see why after perusing some of the other photos and learning more about it here.

I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets this choice. Don’t forget to take a picture of your outfit and send it to 14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com by Tuesday, December 19th so you can be included in the round-up on the 20th.

Muscles and Meals Vol. 3

Fitness

It’s time for another installment of Muscles and Meals! Not sure what’s going on? Check out the Fitness category to see previous volumes.

Sunday

This week started with me on what I hoped was the tail end of a cold. Therefore, I wanted soup! I’ve also been really slacking on cardio workouts. My cold wasn’t bad enough that I needed to lay on the couch and the weather was perfect for running, so Chewie and I went on what my Garmin thinks was a 3.5 mile run and what I think is closer to 4.5 miles.

ANYWAY! For dinner I made Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Very simple and very tasty. I just wish I had added a full cup of rice as opposed to 3/4 of a cup.

Monday

Last week at the gym I deadlifted too heavy without warming up enough and made my back very angry with me. So this week my trainer had me skip heavy deadlifts and do front squats instead.

I’m blanking on the full workout, but it was front squats and foam rolling. Then there were some hip extensions and lateral step-ups. Finally I believe it was sled pushes, decline leg raises, and Romania deadlifts.

Dinner was an old standby that I’ve posted about before: Chicken avocado burgers and zucchini fries.

Tuesday

My trainer decided to destroy my arms with paused bench press, rows, incline dumbbell tricep presses, 3-second tempo push-ups, supine grip tricep push-downs, and TRX skull crushers. OUCH! My poor baby triceps.

Worth it, though, for pics like this

Of course we had ground turkey tacos with roasted green beans for dinner. Tuesdays are predictable.

Wednesday

My day was full of back-to-back meetings and barely any time for lunch so I actually got up early enough to do a 25 minute HIIT workout on my bike trainer before work. I found this one online and I really enjoy it. I’ve also done it on the treadmill and it makes the time go by quickly.

Post-work day I went out for drinks with some of my coworkers. We already had our outing planned when we got some crazy (good) news at work so it ended up being quite a celebratory night! Our office building has a nice bar and restaurant in it so I just ate dinner there. I had salmon poke that, honestly, was WAY too salty. Good thing I had three drinks to wash it down!

Thursday

My gym just started offering a new class called TREADX. It’s 30 minutes of treadmill intervals and bodyweight strength work. I actually really enjoy treadmill classes so I immediately signed up…for the 6:15 AM class.

It was worth it, though.

Of course, I went back to the gym at lunch for my lifting workout! Squats again! This time back squats and foam rolling. Then I had leg presses and goblet squats followed by paused leg curls and planks.

I swear, if I could afford to work the front desk at the gym I totally would. I really like it there.

For dinner I made Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken and Broccoli. I added potatoes and subbed chicken thighs for chicken breasts.

Friday

As I write this I haven’t gone to the gym yet. I have another busy day at work but I’m still hoping to get in there and do my upper body workout. I skipped it last week so I’m behind!

Dinner is going to be pork stir fry. I’ll probably just throw some veggies into a pan, cook up some pork tenderloin, and throw on some stir fry sauce. Done.

What are you having for dinner this week?

All the Celestial Bodies [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

Today we’re doing the round-up of all the submissions for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge.

Source

First we have Jen who, as always, made sure to get the details perfect! Her pants have little tiny polka dots to mimic the stars and her color palate highlights the purples and blacks in the image. And of course she found a swing on which to pose!

Next is Kezzie who wore a shirt with constellations on it! Also, her collar is a unicorn but, sadly, she seems to be hiding a bit. Oh well!

Then is our other co-host, Salazar, who built her outfit around her scarf. Her starry scarf that is also the same colors as those in the image. In other news, I want to steal this entire outfit.

Finally, we have my own outfit. Well, technically two outfits. One fancy, one casual, but both using the same top.

It looks like we all incorporated black and then another accent color into our outfits. My favorite part of SIA challenges, though, is seeing all the different details in each outfit.

Want to show off your own details? Stay tuned for the next challenge which we’ll announce on Monday!

 

Celestial Sparkle [SIA Post]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

One of the reasons I love shopping at Moonfish is that half the time I walk in and Sarah, the owner, hands me something and says, “Go try this on.”

That’s what happened with this black turtleneck. Sure, from the front it looks like a simple black turtleneck (with thumbholes), but wait until you see the back.

Turtleneck – Sundays from Moonfish (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar

I knew as soon as I tried it on  I would be wearing it to the Hendrick’s Gin Turtleneck Club party. The dress code said you had to wear a turtleneck. It didn’t say anything about it needing to have a back.

I also knew that it would be the focal point for my outfit for this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge. I even went so far as to wear it casually to a friend’s house on Friday night and then recreate the outfit in front of my own Christmas tree. Since, you know, it was the tree that inspired this week’s choice.

Jeans – Principle Denim from Moonfish (similar) | Booties – Lucky Brand (similar) | Bralette – (same)

It’s not too late to create your own outfit based on this week’s art choice. And, as you can see, you can take a rather liberal approach! Just snap a picture and send it to looplooks@gmail.com before 7PM central time on Tuesday, December 5th. Then I’ll make sure to include it in the round-up on Wednesday.

My current favorite outfit

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Did anyone do any Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping? Honestly, I didn’t really. Although, I was tempted to buy one of everything at Old Navy because, let’s be honest, that’s really my current aesthetic.

Cardigan – Old Navy (similar) | Tee – Target (same in similar color) | Jeans – Old Navy (similar) | Booties – STEVEN (similar) | Scarf – J. Crew Factory (similar)

I wore this outfit on Black Friday when, yes, we went to the mall near my sister-in-law’s house where I did buy two gifts. But nothing for me!

However, I love this outfit so much that I wore it again to work this week. Hey, it’s all different people who are seeing me so they don’t need to know I pulled it out of my suitcase and put it back on.

I LOVE these tees from Target and own them in multiple colors. The booties always get compliments. The jeans are actually jeggings. The cardigan was perfect for a 50 degree day. And the scarf is warm but not too voluminous.

Basically, I love every piece of this outfit and want to wear it every day. Maybe I should have bought multiple of everything during the sales?

Celestial Themed [SIA Post]

Style Imitating Art

Do you put up any December holiday decorations in your house? I don’t always put up my Christmas tree, but since it looks like Jason and I will be home on Christmas Day this year I decided that mine needed to go up.

Annabelle came over yesterday to help me put up my pre-lit fake tree and decorate it with my themed ornaments. I’ve probably said it here before, but all of my ornaments are suns, moons or stars. I’ve been collecting them since I was in high school!

So, for this week’s Style Imitating Art pick, I went to the image site Pixabay and typed “celestial” to see what came up. I got lots of results but, in the end, I decided on this image:

Source

I liked that it had blue, purple, peach, and black as well as some texture. It also reminds me of a country summer night which, to be honest, I could go for right about now. I’m so not ready for winter! Even as I sit here watching a fake fire on my tv, listening to instrumental Christmas music, and looking at my tree.

If you want to participate in this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge all you need to do is create an outfit inspired by the artwork, take a picture of the outfit, and send the picture to me at looplooks@gmail.com by Tuesday, December 5th.

If all goes as planned, my outfit will include sequins! What will yours include?

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Getting Back and Giving Back

Shopping

A few weeks ago my friend (and side-gig boss) Kimberley invited me to attend a fundraiser for Back On My Feet. If you haven’t heard of them, Back On My Feet is an organization dedicated to helping the homeless, initially by creating running groups and training them to run races but also by providing job skills training and other tools for them to use.

Since BOMF is a running organization, the dress code for the event was cocktail party clothes and running shoes!

While I could have rented a dress from Rent the Runway, I went with my trust stand-by: a black silk halter dress from J. Crew that I bought on eBay 10 years ago, back when J. Crew had a wedding dress department.

And, yes, those are my real running shoes. They’re the ones I wore to run the Miami Marathon, even!

As for the event, it was a lot of fun. I’d never been to a fancy fundraiser like that before. There was even a silent auction AND a paddle auction.

In case you’re wondering, fancy dresses and running shoes is the BEST combination for a fancy event. I was SO comfortable.

If you want to be comfortable at your next event, I highly recommend this combination. AND, if you want, you can do some shopping for a similar combo on Shopbop and save money right now during their sale. And then you can donate the money to save to a charitable cause. Maybe even Back On My Feet. Come on! Let’s make cocktail attire and sneakers a thing!

Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Dress 3 

Sneakers 1 | Sneakers 2 | Sneakers 3 | Sneakers 4 

Begins: November 21st, 2017  7:30am EASTERN TIME

Ends: November 26th, 2017 11:59 PM PACIFIC TIME

Personally, I’m always a fan of halter dresses. I know many women aren’t in love with their arms, but I think halter dresses make everyone’s shoulders and arms look good. Even if you don’t have direct overhead lighting that makes every single muscle stand out.

 

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Weaving A New Scarf [SIA Post]

Casual Friday · Office Appropriate Outfits - Fall

Last week I managed exactly one blog post: announcing this week’s Style Imitating Art challenge. Why so little blogging? Well, I was on a work trip to Oakville, Ontario (just outside Toronto) and we worked hard and played hard. Thankfully, I was still able to get my life back on track somewhat this past weekend and managed to get some time in with friends.

That’s where we took this week’s outfit photo: at the entrance to a friend’s neighborhood. The things you see in the suburbs!

For my interpretation outfit, I went with tan and a navy blue accent scarf. I recently purchased this scarf at a local craft show. Not local to Chicago? No worries. You can find them on Etsy from Jaclyn Faye.

Actually, when I first saw this week’s art, I was tempted to wear my cobalt blue top that has a gold zipper. But, believe it or not, I wore that this time last year for an SIA challenge!

So, instead, I went for my tan sweater and my new scarf.

BB Dakota Sweater (similar) | Paige Jeans (same) | STEVEN booties (similar

This past weekend I also went shopping at the latest Moonfish pop-up, had lunch with friends, and finished watching Stranger Things 2.

How about you? What have you been up to recently?