Friday, August 31, 2012

Casual Friday Dressing: Full Circle

When my oldest daughter was in her teens, she was accepted into the ballet program of one of the most renowned performing arts high schools in the country. But it wasn't as easy or wonderful as it might sound. Very few dancers make it in the rarified world of classical ballet, and if you aren't blessed with a certain body type, similar to that required of top models or gymnasts, the classes and the competition can be grueling.

Yay for construction at our office and blue rubbish bins
Elle top ~ Kohl's clearance years ago
Skinny jeans ~ Loft on sale
Booties ~ Ross Dress for Less
1928 three-way locket pendent ~ 20+ years old
Assorted bracelets

After a ninth grade year at the arts high school that was tough on both of us, I wanted to pull her out of the program. But she wasn't ready, and her teachers were encouraging her to switch to modern dance. She only wanted to be a ballet dancer. I made the difficult choice to let her return for the tenth grade. At the end of it, she asked to transfer to public high school, along with several of her friends from the ballet program.

Looking back, I'm glad I did not make the choice to leave for her, because I think if I had, for the rest of her life, I would have been the one who destroyed her dreams of a career in classical ballet.

My fave piece of old costume jewelry. I love all the pleats and covered buttons on this shirt.

What is really amazing about her life's journey is that last week she interviewed with the New York City Ballet, and was hired on the spot. Not as a dancer of course, but as a stitcher in their costume shop, an extremely difficult position to find anywhere in the country. Is she over the moon? Yes. Do I get teary-eyed when I think about how full circle her life has come? Yes.

These are the kinda dorky poses I have a special gift for, but you can see the covered buttons on the shooties.

During her second year of college to become a stage manager, she discovered she's a whiz with a sewing machine. Her logical brain, which has always breezed through complex topics like advanced mathematics, physics, and engineering, took like a duck does to water to the ability to re-create period patterns, make new patterns, drape cloth, and solve complex problems in the creation of unusual costumes, like stretchy hair suits. She loves to "build" costumes (you can see her portfolio here), and throughout the last seven years has had the opportunity to travel all over the country to work in professional theaters, even making new flying monkeys for Wicked on Broadway.

For some reason, I think I'm a Power Puff Girl.

And now she's married both her love of costume construction and dance with a job that suits her perfectly, at one of the finest ballet companies in the country that makes all of its costumes in-house. She still dances and has danced plenty since high school, even showing up to one summer theater job to sew costumes, and instead dancing the role of Mr. Mistoffeles in a production of Cats when the dancer hired did not show up. It is very cool to see your own kid whip out those 30-odd pirouettes that highlight the magical cat's role in the musical.

She's come full circle with her art, and landed in the place she was told in high school she could never aspire to, doing something different than she ever imagined she'd be doing in high school, but still a critical and creative part of the ballet world she's always loved.

Are you doing something very different than what you thought you'd do when you grew up?

Addendum: The Teen turned Sweet Sixteen today, in the hospital, but is supposed to get released to come home in a few hours. Her life journey to date has been tough but she's a fighter, and I can't wait to see her go out and conquer the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Foggy

This is going to be a short, possibly miserable little post. But Dear Hubby took the pics, so they're better than usual (have got to find time to order wireless remote for the camera), and the fog made a very cool background.

Loft dress ~ 50% off Loft Outlet, so real cheap
Obi Belt ~ Megan Mae Daily (it has dragons on it!)
Cardi ~ Rue 21 when I took the Teens 
Clifford & Wills t-strap pumps ~ thrifted for under $10, ridiculously comfortable
Cuff bracelet with flowers and rhinestones (yay!) ~ $1.78 Steinmart Red Dot clearance rack

The Teen did get to go home last night, but the Sickle Cell pain event never really resolved. She's had increasing pain today, and unless a miracle happens and this situation turns around fast, we're just waiting for her to say the word regarding going back to the hospital. Of course, it's the last place anyone wants to spend her 16th birthday, but we also don't want her to reach the hours and hours of unbearable pain she endured two Sundays ago before the docs could get her knocked out with enough IV opioids to fell the biggest elephant you can imagine - and half his herd.

From a paralegal perspective, I'm lucky that our immigration software is now in The Cloud (EIMMIGRATION Air), so I can use it anywhere, and that I've already worked a bunch of hours this week. So, have laptop, cloud software, and the ability to hold hands, keep docs (doctors and documents) straight, and produce work. And yes, I am very, very tired.

But not too tired to enjoy a good bracelet :)

Plus, very soon I can announce some very exciting news in regard to my oldest daughter, The NYC Costume Technician!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: I'm THAT Woman

Who took her cat to the vet in a cloth recycle bag.

Cut me some slack. It's been 20 years since I've been owned by a cat.

Cropped ankle pants ~ Loft on sale
Pleione cardigan ~ Nordstrom clearance
Impo shooties ~ Ross Dress for Less last year I think
Cami ~ Rugged Wearhouse @$3
Necklace ~ Jada's Jewels
Thumb ring gift from kids; stacked rings from Target

Long story short, while The Teen was still in the hospital this afternoon (they abruptly ejected her about two hours ago, and while she's glad to be home, she's still in pain and subdued), I had to make an emergency vet appointment for Sasha Jane, the blogger swap cat I share with Megan. Don't worry, the kitteh is fine.

I planned to get off work in plenty of time to find the small pet carrier I knew we own. Only a client came by at the last minute, and I got home with just enough time to discover we do not in fact own a small pet carrier. In fact, we don't even have a plain cardboard box. (Because they are all in my car, packaged up with gifts for blogger buddies I have not had time to mail.)

I knew I couldn't take a cat into the waiting room loose, because this must be a recurring problem for the vet. They made it clear when I made the appointment to only bring in contained cats. Gotcha.

In a panic, I spied the pink recycle bag I got as part of my swag from a Susan Komen run a few years back. Sasha loves to play in it, and thought we were playing again when I lured her into it. She wailed her betrayal all the way to the vet, even though I let her out of the bag as soon as I got her in the car. I stuffed her back in the bag when I got there, and then I was that woman, standing at the reception desk, using both hands to clutch my bag closed at the top, with a quiet, bewildered, betrayed cat inside.

They offered to sell me a cardboard box for the ride home, but the sweet vet tech quietly whispered I could get a real cat carrier for less at Walmart.

Got any "I'm THAT woman (or man)" stories to share? I sure would feel less ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Ya Think?

Our firm has computer software to manage our cases, clients, and deadlines. I think the system is a girl, because she sounds like Mary Poppins on acid. I assure you I'm entirely in my right mind. Right before my appointments, she very prissily announces, "You. HAVE. An. Appointment." I think she may have aspirations to make an appearance on Downton Abbey.

Ideology bow tie shirt ~ thrifted @$2
Worthington fully lined pencil skirt ~ $5 jcp. True story.
Franco Sarto shooties ~ Ross Dress for Less a couple of years ago I think
Cuff bracelet ~ Jada's Jewels

Anyway, she also apparently has a very dry wit. Today when I sat down to review my To Do List, I received the following message, "Your To Do list is so long it may not be realistic to have it all on today's list."

Ya think?

Sasha Jane plans to lie about in bed for the day because she doesn't have a smartass To Do list.

Then she suggested moving some things to a later date, but I asked her to leave "blubber hysterically and have multiple panic attacks under your desk" on for today.

The Cairn doing his Ewok imitation because he needs to go to the groomer. 

Ever wanted to smack your computer for being a smartass?

P.S. The Teen is still in the hospital. We are so hoping she'll be out by her 16th birthday on Friday.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: This Old Thing

Or Another Ode to the Awesome Business Nightgown

This may be the shortest blog post I've ever written (go ahead and think "yay!") as I shuck off the work wear, such as it is, and change into jeans for Hospital Time. The Teen is still there, working on improving her lung function and making the switch from IV pain meds to oral ones. Don't worry, she had a ton of Advanced Placement English summer reading to keep her company.

I just wanted easy today, tho' the easiest option would have been to wear my pjs. Boy, am I glad I didn't, as I had quite a bit of client contact today. I also played around with new to me apps and software for immigration legal professionals, PassportCam for my iPhone, and our new immigration software in The Cloud, EIMMIGRATION Air. And you know I turned that whole passport photo thing into a mini-portrait photography session. I'm leagues above the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles for my lovely international buddies).

Divided jacket ~ thrifted about $3.50 I think
Anne Klein pumps ~ someone left them at my house. True story.
Nine & CO faux wrap dress ~ real old but like a blankie for work wear
Multi-chain necklace ~ pro'bly under $7 Burlington Coat Factory
Heirloom spoon bracelet, thumb ring gift from kids, tourmaline ring about 20 years old

I'm going to link up to Patti at Not Yet Dead Style's Visible Monday and Monday Mingle hosted this week at MomTrends so I can hang with all the ladies working their style at every age.

What's your fave smartphone app for your job?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wipe Out

It's Saturday night, and I just got home from a long day at our local pediatric hospital, where The Teen has been hospitalized since about midnight last Sunday night with a particularly vicious Sickle Cell crisis. It's been a long week, personally and professionally.

I didn't much care about clothes this week, although with the help of the wonderfully supportive Absent-Minded Professor, we have traded hospital shifts and been able to get some work done at both our jobs. After a year of style-blogging, I think I managed not to look like the Walking Dead at work, with the help of bright scarves, easy accessories, and my new obsession, cropped ankle pants. I even tried to put on lipstick.

It was really important to me to celebrate Colorado paralegal Robin's upcoming wedding. She's one of my friends and fave style bloggers at Frannie Pantz, and invited her reader buddies to participate virtually in her Bachelorette Party. So at almost midnight last night, in the low light of my bedroom, after just getting home from the hospital, I was able to snap one un-blurry photo of my thrown together outfit for her party. I took a page from my friend Ally's book, and brought out the vintage green sequined tank I wondered why I bought and if it would ever see the light of day. Hell, just wear the damn thing and have fun, right?

Who let the dogs out? No one. The dog just wants out.
Vintage green sequin top ~ thrifted $6 (wow, I can't believe no one wanted this, huh? Look for it at future holiday parties everywhere :P)
J. Crew ankle pants ~ on sale factory store (I confess I wore these twice this week, had them on that day already, and have totally drunk the J. Crew Koolaid)
XAppeal Zeena wedges ~ Rack Room
Rhinestone bracelets ~ Jada's Jewels

If you don't see me for a while, I'm working through a phase, not the easiest phase of my life. I've had so many people call me "Super Paralegal" and the "Paralegal's Paralegal" - but have honestly felt like a fraud for much of this year. I want to discuss in a future post what many long time paralegals generally feel during parts of their careers: burnout. Of course, there are high years in a career - and low ones. I've always gotten through the low ones, and can tell you exactly what years they were and what caused them. I know what's caused this one, and am struggling to turn it around.

Oh, and on the personal side, there are so many people who tell me they admire the grace and how I handle being a mom of a child with a serious chronic illness. Well, I could tell you some stories from every long hospitalization we've had where I've felt like the worst mom on the planet. And I can say with absolute utter conviction that The Absent-Minded Professor is a better mom than me. From a logical standpoint,  I can acknowledge that extreme anxiety and utter exhaustion will fell the strongest of people like a tall tree in a hurricane. I worry so much for The Teen who has to live with this incurable and exquisitely painful disease, about her future, her happiness, her care.

A fave pic of The Teen and StepTeen in 2008, with the smiling Corginator

So, that's where I am right now. Struggling a bit personally and professionally, but still kind of gleeful about my vintage sequined top, so there's hope for a light at the end of the tunnel yet.

If you're a blogger/reader buddy, and want to friend me on Facebook, I keep The Teen updates there. We're in the only room in the hospital with an erratic WiFi signal, so updates are only once a day.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: I Found Out Why I'm Not Famous

I also learned a lot about Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB), a fashion blogging community which I'd never paid much attention to before this week, other than noting the occasional badge on the sites of some of the style bloggers I follow. From what I've learned, I'm not planning to try to join, and I don't expect they shall miss me.

Neither my face, my shirt, or my feet were cooperative this a.m. 
I've also discovered my pics are better when someone who loves me is behind the camera.
Loft banded tee ~ Loft Outlet sale
The Limited skirt ~ blogger swap with Megan
Coccinelle flats ~ blogger swap with Megan
Blue beads ~ Rugged Wearhouse years ago
I didn't get a good shot of the great rhinestone bracelets from Jada's Jewels - next time I will!

Alison Gary at Wardrobe Oxygen, and fellow paralegal Natasha at One Woman's Style Evolution, are among the many style bloggers that shared their thoughts about a post written by Taylor Davies on IFB last week. I'm not sharing the link to that post here, because apparently it has been edited considerably since it was initially published.

But in essence Davies stepped in it big time when she tried to start a dialogue about [ridiculous] fashion industry ideals, but instead offended many female bloggers by inferring (in the original article) that lack of fame and success by non-traditional bloggers is due to lack of high-quality images, regular posting, and terrific style. And by non-traditional, she meant not thin, young, or conventionally beautiful. I know too many non-traditional but really beautiful bloggers with great content and loyal followings to believe that their blogs haven't made them household names or rich because they don't work hard on them. In fact, I don't think fame or big-name sponsors matter much to them - they blog for the joy of it.

In my world, I wore shorts and a tee to the office.

I can accept that I fall deep into the non-traditional blogger category, and that by IFB standards, I am not a successful or well known style blogger. But you know what? In terms of what I get out of being a middle-aged and working mom on a limited budget style blogger, I feel successful. I've been gifted with wonderful friendships by bloggers I would have never otherwise met. Reading and commenting on their blogs - and recently starting to pin looks I just love or would like to try - is a highlight of my day. I've been inspired by so many different women to wear my old clothes with more style than I did in the past, and to be more creative and intentional with my personal style. As I rapidly approach the Big 5-0 mile marker, I am more confident and better dressed than I was when I was 30.

I also got a beloved cat out of blogging, but IFB really doesn't care about that.

This may not fall under the category "high quality image".

So this week I found out why I'm not famous, according to IFB standards, and certainly by fashion industry standards, which are so unrealistic that advertisers actually think I'll buy face cream modeled by a 20-year old with razor-sharp cheekbones. Helloooo, Corporate America. I'm more likely to buy face cream from another 40+ style blogger who tried it and recommends it, or favor clothing lines (new or thrifted) I've seen on real women who share pictures of themselves wearing it to work on a regular basis.

As a way to support my fave non-traditional bloggers - and expand the style content in my RSS feed reader - I'd love it if you guys would share the name and link to one style blog you follow that you think others might  like to know about - and why you love that blog. I'll start. Via EBEW this month, I discovered Reading in Skirts, and love me some Mia, because well, she's beautiful, vibrant, original, and pretty darned fabulous.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: A New Watch

That's what I buy when my watch batteries die.

Because most places that replace watch batteries are way outta my way, and then when they are in my way, I've forgotten to bring the watches.

Kenar cardigan ~ I almost GoodWill'd this. What an idiot!
Loft tank ~ Loft Outlet clearance
Loft skinny jeans ~ Loft sale
Vaneli pumps ~ $8 thrifted. You can pet them!
Costume jewelry! Lots! And lots!

It's just easier to grab a cheap watch, so last night I said to the Absent-Minded Professor, "Let's go out and have breakfast for dinner, and get me a new watch on the way!"

To which he readily agreed, because he totally gets me.

Some of this stuff came from the dollar bin at the thrift store. I know, you're shocked.

I head straight to the clearance watch table at Steinmart, and immediately fall in love with a bigass watch with a bigass peacock on it and rhinestones. I long for it with all my heart and soul, and am not even bothered by the fact that I can't actually read the time on it.

What's the craziest fashion accessory you've ever had to have?

Photo Credit: The Absent-Minded Professor (his pics are way better'n mine)

P.S. I'm linking up to Coffee and Cardigans Thrifter Thursday. Today it's the shoes and several bracelets. Tomorrow it could be the whole outfit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: The Day My Hair Died

I have photographic evidence that my hair looked okay when I got to work this morning, but somehow managed to break free of its hair spray chains, and turn into a hot mess by the time I'd driven almost two hours to the North Carolina Bar Association to do the second in a series of online continuing paralegal education (CPE) webcasts paid for by an educational grant from the N.C. State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification.

Express no-iron shirt ~ Tennessee GoodWill during blogger meetup with Megan
Merona stretch skirt ~ Target on sale
LizClaiborne Flex pumps ~ Shoe Carnival
"Bubbling with Fun" necklace ~ Jada's Jewels, love my daily deal email!

In the interest of transparency, I'm going to speak plainly. I am an extremely shy introvert. Yes, I have done an incredible amount of public speaking since 2008. Yes, I even taught for five years in the local community college paralegal program. Every single time I stand up in front of anyone to talk, I wrestle with severe social anxiety and shyness.

My hair right before it died, or grew an inch, or mutinied.

But somehow the idea of speaking for an hour into a video camera with only an awesome distance learning coordinator and video expert in the room (Hi, Carroll!) unnerved me even more than usual. To the point, that for the first time in many years, I arrived at my presentation destination, only to realize I'd left my speaker's notes back at the office.

I saw all this equipment and wished for a room full of peeps instead.

That's when I think my hair became unnerved, too. It's the only explanation I can find for the difference between my 8 a.m. hair and the picture Carroll kindly took of me right after the presentation. My other theory is that my hair grew during the two-hour drive. It does stuff like that. Getting a haircut and coloring it an even fierier faux ginger have leapt to the top of my priority list, right after buying more Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and teaching the kitteh not to play in the toilet bowl, especially when it's, er, occupied.

It's times like this you wish your mom was around to tell you to brush your hair, or get a haircut 
because your face is so pretty.

Shoutout to my friend and NCBA staffer, Carole, who gave me a cool vintage cuff bracelet she bought for $1.50 at a yard sale. She said she saw it and thought it was me. I love it when peeps do that (okay, it's happened once, but still I loved it), and this bracelet is so awesome. I showed it to everyone who attended the online CPE, but didn't get a good photo of it today. Rats. Look for it a lot in future blog posts, because it's badass (Hi, Ally!) and red.

So what are you guys? Extreme introvert or easy extrovert? Or maybe faux extrovert? Or some other category I haven't thought of yet?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Four Shades of Gray

But I betcha I could come up with 50 if I dumped all my gray separates on my bed and counted them.

Speaking of Fifty Shades of Grey, should I read it? I'm a teensy bit of a book snob, but a girl needs a bit of a literary, ahem, romp now and again.

Loft skirt ~ thrifted last year, still had tags on it
Tahari tee ~ old, likely Marshalls
Storm cardi ~ old, likely Marshalls
Skinny belt ~ likely Ross Dress for Less
Easy street ruffled slingbacks ~ Hamricks (known as the "old ladies" store 'round here. Oh. Well.)
Freshwater pearls ~ Present from bestie, these babies are over six feet long!
Rings, antique; thumb ring, gift from kids; bangle watch, Steinmart

Enough about great literature, let's talk about me. And how lame I am to come up with an all gray outfit for Everybody, Everywhere's monochromatic theme this month. Look, I really tried to do the same color family thing, but that would have meant wearing my red skirt two days in a row, and I'm saving it for tomorrow. I'm doing a webcast, which quite frankly terrifies me.

I just now realized no one will even see my stupid skirt.

Yeah, I had to go there with the black and white.

And yes, this tee is the same make and model as the black one I wore yesterday. I used to take my Funereal Chic very seriously, and buy separates in every single neutral color available. Except white. Me and eating are not good with white.

What color is your fave monochromatic outfit from your closet?

Monochromatic | Everybody, Everywear

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Short and Sweet

That's me. Well, at least the short part.

It's that time of year again, when The Absent-Minded Professor and The Teen head back to school, and I have to get my own outfit pics of my super cheap inexpensive thrifty clothes on most days. As y'all can tell, I haven't completely mastered my camera. In anticipation of some of those snarky commenters in camera forums, yes, I did try reading the manual. I also tried reading my car engine manual, and none of that stuck either.

I set my camera on my desk, and cut myself off. Yes, I think my legs really are that white...
Intriguing Threads skirt ~ thrifted last year
Tarhari tee ~ old, probably Marshalls
Maripe pumps ~ thrifted 
The Limited Obi belt ~ in the $1 range this spring when I was handed a $10 cash coupon

But the Internet is a wonderful place, and I did find some more straightforward tips for grabbing those tough low light and indoor shots that are all a working mom with a seven-minute lunch hour has time for, including using a self-timer (buy a wireless remote, will order this week), opening the aperture wider, and increasing the ISO (which I can now decrease due to blinding y'all with my white legs). Yeah, I don't know what that means, either.

ZOA cardigan too long neglected in my closet. It is gathered like a peplum in back.

It's a crazy week, with tons of litigation deadlines, and many immigration calls regarding Deferred Action. Yesterday, The Teen had a sickle cell pain event that luckily resolved at home, but worried me sick. Oh, and band camp starts this week. More to worry about. And all those AP and honors classes - in science. You'd think it was my homework :o

Bangle watch ~ old, Steinmart probably
Stretch ring ~ Tuesday Morning, I think
Black beads necklace ~ Jada's Jewels, love my daily email

So I don't want to worry about my clothes. I realized there is nothing wrong with all the basic, conservative gray and black items I have in my closet, and they probably do look better on me than many of the last year's trends, because well, let's face facts, I'm short, and lots of clothes and patterns swamp me. This might be the week of the Most Basic Separates Ever.

When your life gets a little crazy, what are your go-to clothes for every day living? (Or working?)

P.S. I'm linking up to Visible Monday at Not Yet Dead Style and Monday Mingle at Bon Bon Rose Girls this week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Neon Pink Sign

I received a lovely invitation to speak at the Wake Forest University Legal Department's annual retreat today. They wanted a reprise of my social media and ethics and cybersleuthing the Internet presentations, only it was a small group and I get sidetracked really easily, so we also ended up chatting about everything from iPad usage to mobile security to Olympic tweets.

The retreat was at the president of the university's "garage".  As I turned onto the street of the address I was given, I looked at the smallish, neatly tended bungalow style houses, and thought, "Hmmmm, the university president's digs must be a bit smaller than I thought. Sweet." (I wasn't the only one who hadn't been there before and thought this, which is the only reason I'm willing to publicly embarrass myself. You can tell I don't get invited to any kind of president's house often. In fact, this may have been the one time.)

Then the street ran out, and I still couldn't find the house number. I really hate to be late, so I got a little nervous. I happened to look down and see the house number spray-painted onto the curb, with a driveway into what looked like a huge forest. Hoping I was at the right address, I slowly rolled down the driveway, to behold a house that was about the size of the last twelve houses I'd passed all rolled up together. Being a complete rube, as you guys know, I had to take a picture.

Then there was the garage. Some of us had trouble finding it. Because it didn't look like a garage. Honestly, it's bigger than my house. So being a complete rube, as you guys know, I took a picture of it, too.

I was so happy to see my long-time friend and paralegal, Melanie Harkey, whom I met in a class at our local paralegal program, back in The Day. We've served on paralegal division executive committees over the years, and even had a little employment overlap in the same firm.

I'm glad she told me I couldn't wear jeans, but that cropped pants were okay. Almost all of the ladies had on cropped pants, although to be honest, I am the only one who looked like a neon pink sign. (I loves these cropped pants, and have worn them here and here, or pretty much every Friday.)

Loft cropped pants ~ Loft sale
Mossimo cami ~ Target sale
Merona Artiste cardigan ~ $11 at Target earlier this year
Amythyst pendant ~ handmade by a friend a long time ago

Hey, you know me, it could've been th' zebras.

For all of my style-blogging buddies, your blogs are a bright spot in my crazy work week, and for all of my non-style-blogging readers, thank you for reading. I hope all of you have a relaxing weekend.

Budget Career Deal: Pencil Skirt Clearance Galore

If your work wardrobe is a little light on colorful pencil skirts - maybe you just entered the working world, changed sizes, or are looking for a little more color in your closet - run, don't walk to your nearest JCPenney (jcp). I know I'm not supposed to be shopping, but I sort of stalked around the mall last night to relieve some stress, and broke my no-shopping ban.

I spent a whole $5 on a fully lined teal Worthington skirt. I'd hang my head in shame, but you'd still see me gloating. Size availability is going to vary widely, but here are a few of the beautiful skirts I saw in our local jcp:

My Worthington skirts have held up through repeated washings, and are great office wear staples. If more of the clearance skirts had been available in my size 2, you can bet I would've dropped more than a fiver in there last night.

P.S. I'm not bragging about my size. It's no picnic. It's kind of like being a 12-year old boy. Peeps don't really make skirts for 12-year old boys.

Practical Paralegalism received no goods or compensation in exchange for this post.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: I Don't Wanna Talk About It

Oh, boy, this day, it was a long one, with extreme ups and downs. Let's just leave it at that, and thank God it's Friday Eve. I did have a lovely Cosmopolitan and Thai food with the Absent Minded Professor tonight, but going to Walmart afterwards kinda killed the buzz.

I bought these mustard-colored jeans on sale at Loft before the self-imposed shopping ban. I wore them today, because I am not supposed to wear jeans to present at the corporate legal department's retreat tomorrow. Which is kind of like waving red jeans at a bull, but I'm all about respecting other peeps' dress codes. They volunteered cropped pants are fine, but I'm fairly sure they are hoping I don't show up in the zebra ones tomorrow.

The breeze did not do nice things to my hair.
Max Studio blazer ~ thrifted
Loft skinny jeans ~ on sale
Loft white tank ~ on sale
Lia Sophia convertible necklace ~ friend's party last year
XAppeal Zeena wedges ~ Rack Room
Yellow hinged bracelet (my fave in the whole world)  ~ Kohl's on sale
Miscellaneous bangles from Loft sets broken up

My light top and blazer did not fair well in this shot, but I really likes the mustard hogging the show.

I probably should have added at least four more bangles, darn it.

Finally, Dear Hubby's cat, Tux, expressed his displeasure at the flavor o' canned food served today. To say he was pissed is really putting it very mildly.

I know I've asked this before, but I have lots of new readers (hey, all y'all!). Can you wear denim anything to work?

Budget Career Deal: Cropped Power Pants

One of my supervising attorneys, the lovely and talented Helen Parsonage, almost never wears pants to the office. So my jaw dropped when she walked in yesterday morning wearing one of this season's hottest trends: cropped pants.

New York & Company cropped pants

And she was wearing them to court, which is the seal of approval for the latest trends in conservative offices.

Her very chic pants reminded me that I received an invitation earlier this week to speak at a legal department's corporate retreat. I was told the dress code would be casual, "Absolutely no jeans, but cropped pants are okay!" See cropped pants are cropping up everywhere. Sorry, I had to go there.

Helen's are from New York & Company, and are described as "power pants" online. She bought two pairs during the buy one pair, get one pair free sale.

So I went imaginary shopping and bought these:

Aw, man, I might have to go the New York & Company at the mall for realsies, tho'...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Twinsies!

Finally, either my imaginary menopause or the summer heat has let up enough to break out a jacket. I've had this thrifted Talbots jacket since early spring. It's been a bright spot in the closet, demanding a trot out to the office, but has been scorned as too hot.

Talbots jacket ~ thrifted
Loft dress ~ Loft Outlet
Fabric Flower Brooch ~ JKW Jewellery
LizClaiborne Flex Pumps in faux snakeskin ~ Shoe Carnival
Ring set ~ Target; Earrings ~ Wilmington NC street vendor

My husband, The Absent-Minded Professor, got dressed for work in a different city, but when he came to pick up The Teen this afternoon, we discovered we matched, much to the amusement of my co-workers. Hey, the couple that color-coordinates together, stays together, or something like that.

Hubby had to buy a new shirt last night on the fly; he did real good!

Our law firm is located in a historic house, and has a great front porch with rockers locked down to prevent wandering away. When we went out at lunch to grab some quick outfit pictures, we found my co-worker and legal assistant, Shannon, rocking both terrific neutrals and some stress away.


I completed a couple of projects for the North Carolina Bar Association Paralegal Division today, and it felt great to check them off my to-do list. With the Paralegal Division Council annual retreat coming up at the end of the month, I've got to get better organized.

The Teen: Add faux pearls to a basic tee and flats, stir well, and create chic.

But what I think I really need the most is a vacation. I realized I've only been out of the office for a couple of days here and there all year. When you work in fast-paced, high stress environments, it's important to schedule time away to recharge. My favorite getaway is simply walking on a beach with my dogs.

A little art created with free Picasa photo-editing software. This paralegal can't afford Photoshop, so all the wrinkles are real.

Where is your favorite place to relax?