Monday, February 13, 2012

On being classy

This year for a new year's resolution (which I don't really buy into, except that it really is the time of year that I need to make changes in my life) I decided that I really could benefit from classing it up a bit.
I turned 25 this January, and I am realizing that I derive a lot of my anxiety from what I think other people think of me. I realized that I could get a lot of confidence if I trusted my decisions, and felt good about myself.
I was also have been thinking about pairing down my belongings, especially in my closet. I feel like you don't need a lot of items, if the ones you have work together well, and you look good in them.
So the first thing I did was go through my closet and get rid of anything that I wasn't sure about: things that don't fit me the way they did in my imagination, or things that don't really match anything else I wear. A lot of brightly colored things went, too.
It's easier to put together outfits now, because there's not a lot of stuff that I shouldn't be wearing, tempting me. I receive more compliments now, and my self confidence is more steady, because I don't have so many doubts about myself.
Here's a few key things that help me look classier every day no matter what else is going on.

Red watch band: I always wear a wristwatch, but switching to a red band really makes it stand out, especially when I'm wearing all black, at work. I feel that a watch calls attention to the wrists, which are elegant and ladylike without the potential for sluttiness or silliness.

Pearl Earrings: Mark really wanted to get me some jewelry for christmas. I almost never wear any jewelry, although I do have one pair of mother-of pearl dangly earrings that I remember about once a year. They are too dressy for most outfits though, so I don't end up wearing them enough. Mark wanted to get me something more simple that I could be comfortable wearing even to work. We went to Claire's (I know, super classy), and found a simple pair like these, while they were having a sale.

Basic 3/4 sleeve ballet-neck tees: I often roll up my sleeves, which stretches them out, so I would probably wear 3/4 sleeves every day of my life, if I could. The wide scoop neck on this is comfortable and, since I have to wear an apron over whatever I wear at work, this lends the slight hint of class without being flashy or uncomfortable. I now own three of these in various colors. At work I wear them it with skinny black pants that are a little short, and black mary janes.

Accessories: Everybody needs a few things to keep them comfortable, but it is possible to chose these for fashion as well. I have a cream pashmina style scarf that looks good wrapped loosely around the neck of just about any outfit. it is thick enough to keep my neck warm on a cold day, but light enough to never make me sweat. I also have a pair of sunglasses, like these, but a light rosy pink. They would also be great in red or white.

The only thing I'm missing is a really classy everyday shoe. I have these to wear to work, but they get kind of gross, so I don't want to wear them outside of work. I'm thinking about getting a second pair for that, but it seems like kind of a waste of money.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Processing Wool for Moths

I was not careful after acquiring a moth-eaten sweater around christmas, and I'm afraid moths might've gotten into some of my stuff. I have so many woolens, that I can't put them all in ziplocks in the freezer, and I don't have my own washer, so although I have washed them all by hand, the solution I've finally come up with is this:
soak as many woolens as possible in hot water in a bucket, without any agitation. after some soaking, place on a plate or in a bowl in a clean microwave until steamy. If you have a thermometer, you could try to make sure the sweater gets up to a certain temp, but I'm not entirely certain what that temp is. 170 maybe?
I slide the heated sweater off the plate into my waiting canning pot. It's a Tamale steamer, so there's an insert with holes in it, perfect for draining wet sweaters.
Once the sweaters are cool (not just cool enough to touch, but room temp. hot wet wool can be ruined easily), squeeze the moisture out of them gently, and hang/lay flat to dry as you would normally.
Now the thing it, what to do with wool pants, shorts, with metal zippers? They can't be microwaved.I'm hoping I've gotten everything important, and I'm going to just wait and see.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


We have lived in Austin for almost a year, without riding our bikes almost at all. (admittedly part of that is that we hardly ever go out in the first place)
Last weekend, we had houseguests that we tried to show around the city, and since they had been driving ten hours a day, they wanted to walk it. And I was amazed at how walkable it was. In my mind it was a lot bigger, but in reality we covered a lot of ground quickly, no parking fees, no driving in circles looking for a spot. (and Mark and I are quick walkers, so when alone, we could probably cover a lot more distance)
Now I want to go out and walk/bike everywhere. Betsy finally got a bike, so we can bike places together. I pulled out our map and found a safe way to get to her house.
Now I need to get some better brakes/handlebars. What I have right now is neither safe nor comfortable.
Deciding/agreeing on what to get, though is tougher than it should be.