Happy Friday! Today is my last day at my current job and we’re having an appreciation lunch for some departmental liaisons which means I’m only in the office half a day. What could be a better way to end six years here? Well, wearing my favorite bow dress certainly adds some extra joy to a day that will be bittersweet.
Jacket – Langford Market (similar) | Dress – Comfort Me Boutique (same) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – MIA (similar) | Necklace – The Limited (same)
If you had told me seven years ago that I would be moving on to my second job in downtown Chicago and living in a two bedroom apartment in the city with an 8 month old puppy I would not have believed you.
I moved to the city area for this job six years ago and in those six years my life has changed so much. I’ve grown so much professionally and personally. I’ve learned skills I didn’t even know I had. I’ve made more friends in six years than I had in all of high school and college combined.
Everyone keeps asking me if I’m excited to start my new job and the answer is yes! I am looking forward to the new challenge which is not something I thought I would ever say about myself, either. I will certainly miss some of my coworkers and some of the perks of my current job but I’m ready to do something new.
As I mentioned on Monday, I don’t know what the new job will mean for the blog but hopefully you’ll stick around for the ride. I’m sure it will be fun for everyone!
Blazer – The Limited (similar) | Dress – Target via Goodwill (similar) | Belt – Target (same) | Shoes – Bandolino (same) | Necklace – The Limited (same)
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was packed full including:
Leading my first group run with the Chicago Area Runners Association
Going to my nephew’s little league game and my niece’s kiddie soccer game
Drinking way too many beers while hanging out with my family
Going to brunch with my Ragnar Chicago team (that’s a 200 mile running relay, by the way)
Visiting the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago for tacos and tamarind Italian ice (and to marvel at what is basically a flea market)
Passing out for a nap.
And because I’m going to be super busy today attending a conference I had to take these pictures last night. But since I fell asleep and then it started raining we had to sneak them in using the flood lights on the roof.
I think, though, that the lighting makes the red really pop. Of course, pairing red with black and white always makes red pop. I needed something comfortable to wear today and this dress is probably the most forgiving item I own. The last time I wore it I also paired it with a belt but wore a cardigan instead of a blazer. Not sure why I haven’t featured this dress on the blog since then! I’m thinking it needs to become a summer staple.
For Day Two of the Two Pieces, Two Ways remix, Valerie and I are showing you how to wear this snakeskin print top two different ways. Valerie went with a great casual look with a pink accent scarf while I stayed true to my office style but kept the overall look neutral.
Amazingly, I’ve never thought to pair this top with a pair of jeans and my brown riding boots! Adding that to the list of outfits to try for sure. Be sure to visit The Style Files for Valerie’s thoughts on our outfits!
As for my outfit, I almost felt like some kind of office safari guide! Something about all the browns and khakis paired with this belt, I guess. Thoughts?
Shirt – Kohl’s (similar) | Skirt – Target (same) |Tights – Target (same) | Shoes – Anne Klein (similar) | Bracelet – gift | Necklace – The Limited (same) | Belt – The Limited (similar)
Tonight I have a holiday dinner to attend as part of my role in a professional organization (the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, if you must know) and I was a little stuck on what to wear. I like to use the holidays as an excuse to wear all things sparkly but I thought I’d ask on Facebook and Instagram whether I should go with this sequined skirt or my black and green dress.
The overwhelming consensus was the sequin skirt. What I failed to take into account is that apparently Chicago decided to turn into Antarctica and it’s single digit temperatures out there! So, um, I’m a bit cold. Although, a guy in the elevator this morning said, “Look at you! You’re just gonna wear a metallic dress and not care that it’s winter!” So, there’s that.
Also, apologies for the florescent light office photos. It’s just too freaking cold to take photos outside right now!
Shirt – J. Crew (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (same) | Vest – Poshmark (similar) | Tights – Banana Republic (similar) | Booties – Liz Claiborne via DSW (similar) | Belt – Target (same)
Comments I’ve gotten today on my faux fur vest and plaid shirt outfit include “Nice vest!” “You look very ‘Nanook of the North today.” and “Cute vest!” I’m going to go with the idea that the Nanook comment was a compliment. Turns out this is the perfect outfit for the first day with temperatures hovering around freezing while I wait for the train. My core is nice and toasty therefore the rest of me feels just fine.
I recently purchased this skirt from The Limited and even though it’s described on their website as a “mini” it hits me at a perfect length. I bought it a size larger than normal so that it would sit lower on my hips and I suppose it also helps that I’m only 5’4”. But I have long legs! So, if you’re eying this skirt (which is currently on sale) and thinking it might be too short, I’m here to say it’s probably not. And, as you can see, it totally dresses up a Nanook of the North outfit.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had ordered an Old Navy cargo vest (the one linked above) but that I wasn’t sure it was the right fit for me. I even posted a picture on Facebook asking for opinions. See, I knew which vest I wanted. It’s the one that Jen from Librarian for Life & Style had been wearing for a year and it made me drool over how cute it was every single time. Sadly, the new one from Old Navy was just too long on me.
But, wait! Jen is taller than me! She suggested we try swapping them and lo and behold the swap worked! My new one was the right length on her taller frame and her shorter one was great on my short self.
So, in homage to Jen and her amazing vest that is now mine (!!) I present you my recreation of one of Jen’s cargo vest outfits.
And, as promised, my thoughts on Social Media Week Chicago! In case you aren’t familiar with Social Media Week, it’s basically a week of mostly free sessions on all aspects of social media that take place in cities across the world and online. Some sessions are very focused on one topic whereas others are just about social media best practices or, for beginners, how to even use things like Twitter or Facebook.
I attended 8 sessions through out the week including:
1. Confessions of a Community Manager
2. Good Habits of Successful Social Media Managers
3. SEO Strategies for PR Social Media
4. Boost Your Business with Social Media
5. Social Media 101 for Nonprofits and Community Organizations
6. Social Media & Internet Marketing
7. #ThinkAgain: Revised Social Media Disclosure Guidance
8. 9 Beautiful Tools That Will Help You Become Internet Famous
My favorites were definitely numbers 1, 2, 3, and 8. Why? Here’s what I learned.
7 Things I Learned at Social Media Week
1. I need to learn what Facebook Pixels are. I Googled it after session #2 but am still confused!
2. If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load then your Google SEO rankings go down. Use Page Speed Insights to test your own website. A score lower than 70 means you need to do some revamping!
3. Don’t forget to mobile optimize your website! WordPress definitely has an option for this. Use it! Google will eventually start penalizing websites that are not mobile optimized when indexing them.
4. Google prefers branded and partial match “organic links” when indexing. There are three types of links:
Branded links – Brand name or website is the term that is linked
Example – “Loop Looks announces the 7×7 remix” where “Loop Looks” links to looplooks.net
Partial match – The link anchor includes several words or terms
Example – “Great fall looks include faux leather so check out these awesome 5 faux leather outfits.” Where multiple words link to a website or post on the topic that you are using as your SEO term.
Exact Match – Only the search term is used as the link anchor
Example – “Great fall looks include faux leather.” Where only “faux leather” is linked to the website or post.
Try to use Branded and Partial Match links, especially in press releases or when posting somewhere else to drive traffic to your blog. You can use a service called Remove’em to look for those exact match backlinks that Google may consider “spammy”.
5. Use Tweriod to determine the best times to tweet so that your followers see them!
6. A good Twitter background picture should be left-side heavy and 2340×1200 pixels in size.
7. Tell your story on your About page. People want your story, not just your product! I will be updating my About Me page to explain why I started this blog.
Not all the sessions I went to at Social Media Week were that great, though. A few I felt that I knew more than the presenters I don’t even do this for a living! In fact, after one of the sessions I looked up a tool the presenter recommended and discovered it had been discontinued in July! Oops. Not all of the sessions were a great match for my current interests either but in most of them I walked out with at least one interesting tidbit. For example, did you know that the people who run the Twitter accounts for alcohol companies can’t reply to or retweet accounts where they can’t figure out how hold the person is? They basically have to be super-sleuths and guesstimate using pictures you post on Twitter to determine if they can interact with you! Fascinating.
Anyway, if you’re at all interested in the field of social media I definitely suggest you check out a session or two either in person or online. You never know what new piece of information could come in handy!
Shirt – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – Banana Republic Outlet (similar) | Belt – The Limited (similar) | Cardigan – Nordstrom Rack (similar) | Shoes – Vince Camuto (same)
So, it’s Thursday. It’s actually the third Thursday of August. Do you know what that means? It mean’s it’s time for the Third Thursday Threads link-up at Work Clothes, I Suppose which this week is geometric prints! I admittedly wracked my brain trying to figure out if I had anything geometric and all I came up with was this shirt. I suppose I tend to gravitate towards smaller prints. Or less abstract prints? I don’t know. Regardless, I think this is the only vaguely geometric top I own.
Although, come to think of it, if I own patterned tops they’re typically polka dots or stripes. Or leopard. Funny how we tend to get in a groove, huh?
Are there any patterns that are overly represented in your closet? Any that don’t show up at all?
P.S. I honestly did always hate geometry. In fact, when I took it in high school our teacher said if we had an A in the class before the final then our final exam score wouldn’t count. I worked my butt off and got that A. So I didn’t study for the final. And got a D on the exam. Thank goodness it didn’t count! That’s the lowest grade on anything I’ve ever gotten in my life.
P.P.S. You might also notice something different about my hair. Yep, I got it cut last night! Shortest it’s been in almost 5 years!
Dress – NY & Co (similar) | Belt – The Limited (same and 40% off plus free shipping for The Limited fans on Facebook) | Necklace – The Limited(same& also 40% off) | Sandals – Old Navy (similar) | Earrings – The Limited (similar)
The Limited is having a killer sale today! Want to learn how to make the most of your money? Vote for me! I’m over on Chippmunk talking about the great deals I get from The Limited and I would love it if you voted for me! Not only is it awesome blog exposure for me but there’s chance I could win a $100 gift card. And you know I’d pick The Limited and show you how to get the most for $100! Just click on the “Love it” button. And, yes, you can vote once a day!
Although, to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about maxi skirts and dresses being as comfortable as yoga pants. Actually, with both I always have the underwear question (yes, I’m going there too). I feel like no matter what kind of underwear I put on you can see some kind of panty line. Maybe this means my maxi dresses and yoga pants are too clingy or they’re all being manufactured by the same company that made the see-through Lululemon pants. I don’t know. But I do know I always feel a bit self-conscious in both maxi dresses and yoga pants. Which is too bad because this particular maxi dress is great for when it’s hot outside. A little bit of a hi-lo cut, a crocheted back but enough coverage everywhere else to wear it to work.
Sometimes you see an outfit on someone and you think, “That works, but I don’t know why.” That’s what I thought when I saw Rachel from Suburban Style Challenge put a striped shirt with her patterned a-line skirt. I immediately thought about putting my black and white striped shirt with my purple, black, and pink pleated skirt. This skirt has no white in it but yet the two seem to go together.
Already I’ve gotten two compliments on this outfit. One from my husband who told me it was cute and another from a worker who said she liked my “dress”.
I think it’s because this outfit has repeating bands of color but they are separated by a large section of solid purple that your eye is tricked into seeing it as a cohesive outfit. Also, for anyone who is afraid of horizontal stripes, wearing a belt at your narrowest spot (typically your natural waist) will keep you from feeling like the side of a barn.