Monday, January 31, 2011

What I Read This Month

Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Travers, 1958

Written by former Michigan State Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker, published under the pen name of Robert Travers, this novel is a fictionalized account (based on a true story) of a murder trial from arrest through verdict, from the point of view of the defense attorney who was recently ousted from his D.A. position and is trying to start up his private criminal defense practice. Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the early 1950's, the book explores all aspects of the process: interviewing the defendant and deciding to take the case, remunerative agreements, witness interviews and trial prep, finding expert witnesses, a bit of private detective work, legal research, and the trial itself starting with voir dire jury selection right on through to the bitter end. I'm not a criminal attorney, but the legal aspects with which I am familiar seem quite true to life, if a bit quaint given that the case comes to trial a mere 2 months after the shooting occurs. A bestseller when it came out; still a great read today.

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa, 1977

This book has been on my to-read list for quite some time, so when Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year, I decided it was finally time to get around to it. Based on events in Vargas Llosa's early life as a writer, this novel is a comedy set in Lima, Peru in the 1950's, and follows a young radio newswriter in law school who wants to go to France and be a full-time writer but despairs of being poor for the rest of his life. He befriends an odd and slightly senile older gentleman who writes and directs all the radio soaps at the station. At the same time, the narrator begins a relationship with his Aunt Julia who is 14 years his senior. The age difference (an 18-year-old boy dating a 32-year-old divorcee) is quite risque, but it's not as incestuous as it sounds: she's not really his aunt, but rather his uncle's wife's sister, and their courtship is quite chaste. Great style, fun story.

Wide Saragasso Sea by Jean Rhys, 1966

Another book that I've been wanting to read for a while. After re-reading Jane Eyre last month, I dived into this prequel, focusing on Rochester's courtship with his first wife and her early life in the West Indies before Rochester's arrival.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rainbow Tights Week: Pink

My dress has pockets! And it's silk! And it's one of my favorite colors! This dress is new; it was a gift from my boyfriend for Christmas and I've already worn it a few times since then.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Dress: Banana Republic (gift)
Tights: ?? (made brighter by red tights underneath)
Boots: American Eagle
Socks: ??
Bead Necklace: vintage from my grandmother
Cat: Amaretto

My kitty cat:

Friend Friday: Blogging Technology

Friend Friday is the creation of Katy of Modly Chic. Here are this weeks questions regarding technology used in blogging and the process of photo-taking:

1. What technology do you use in blogging? (computer, camera, video camera, tripod, etc...)
I use a Lumix point and shoot camera with a tripod or a gorillapod. I adjust the white balance and the setting for indoor vs. outdoor light. There's not much else I can set that's useful.

2. What computer and online technology do you use? (blogging system, photo storage, photo editing tools, etc..)
My blog is on Blogger. I host my photos on Flickr. I edit my photos using the basic photo editing system that is part of the basic no-frills-added software package that came with my Dell laptop. I basically edit my photos by cropping and adjusting for brightness, color temperature and saturation.

3. What is your process for taking pictures?
Right now, while it's freezing outside, I take my pictures in my house with a tripod before I leave for work. I'm usually in my kitchen or living room, but occasionally elsewhere.

When it's warmer, I take my camera and gorillapod to work with me in the Chicago Loop, and I go outside for 10-15 minutes in the afternoon and take pictures with the gorillapod attached to a signpost or stairway rail.

I have a 10-second and 2-second timer on my camera. I station the camera for the location I want, set the timer, walk into the frame and wait for the picture to take. I check the first photo to see how it came out and make adjustments if necessary. Once I'm getting the framing and look that I want, I just walk up to the front of the camera, reset the timer and go back into my posing spot. If I have on interesting jewelry or shoes or belt, I try to take a few photos focusing on just that area, but more often I end up taking almost all full-body shots and cropping them to focus on anything I particularly want to draw attention to. Mostly I use the 10-second timer, but sometimes the 2. I'd love a timer that's around 5 seconds long (10 is a bit long, 2 is often too short), or better yet a remote.

On rushed days, I take as little as 5-10 photos. On days when I have more time, I take anywhere from 10 to 30. I have my same few poses that I fall back on, but when I have time to take more photos, I experiment with different poses and movements.

4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?
I tend to fall back on the same few locations near my office or home that I've used before and that I already know will work. Some considerations: good lighting, interesting background, easy maneuvering from camera to posing spot, not too crowded (people walking into the frame gets old quick), and somewhere to attach my gorillapod if I'm away from home. Near home, I'll use my regular tripod.

When I have appointments away from my office (including court), I try to find somewhere near my appointment to take the photos so I get some variation in backgrounds. I do occasionally ask my boyfriend to take pictures if we're out somewhere together.

5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying?
Oh, that's too easy. A new camera. With a remote. Or without. But really, a better quality camera is what I want.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rainbow Tights Week: Robin's Egg

Yet another dress that I love. That seems to be the secondary theme this week in addition to Rainbow Tights: dresses I love.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Dress: Delia*s (thrifted)
Jacket: Express
Tights: c/o We Love Colors from our recent Christmas Blogger Brunch
Boots: Nine West
Bead Necklace: vintage from my grandmother
Brooch: vintage from my grandmother

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rainbow Tights Week: Blue

Another favorite dress. Like yesterday's dress, today's also seems to work year-round, with the appropriate accoutrements.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

work, rehearsal

Dress: H&M
Jacket: H&M
Tights: H&M??
Boots: Nine West
Belt: (thrifted)
Key Necklace: diy

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rainbow Tights Week: Yellow

The premier outfit from Rainbow Tights Week, which in reality was two weeks ago, but on my blog is this week. I love the shade of these yellow tights. This dress is one of my favorites, and seems to work in all seasons if you dress it up right.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

work, dinner at Haymarket

Dress: from Filene's Basement
Sweater: Ann Taylor LOFT
Tights: H&M?? (made brighter by white Capezio tights worn underneath)
Shoes: Joan & David (thrifted)
Gold and Pearl Drop Earrings: gift from my parents
Bangle Bracelet: mix of vintage from my mother and gift from Sabrina
Cameo: vintage from my mother

Monday, January 24, 2011

What I Was Wearing Last January

Some of my favorites from this time last year...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friend Friday: Blogger Authenticity

Friend Friday is the authentic creation of Katy of Modly Chic. Here are this weeks questions regarding authenticity on blogs:

1. Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity?
When bloggers are honest on their blogs, that's authenticity. All bloggers edit and only present portions of their lives on their blogs, some present bigger slices than others, but honesty in what is presented is blogger authenticity.

2. When it comes to your blog how do you infuse it with that true/authentic feeling?
I've never really given a lot of thought to presenting myself in a certain light. Blogging is purely a hobby for me. I post pictures of most of what I wear (as long as I have time to photograph the outfits) and write whatever comes to mind about the outfit or the day I wore it or an item in it. So, I don't really try to infuse my blog with authenticity; it's there by default b/c I don't try for anything else.

3. Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest?
I recently stopped following a few blogs because they became too heavy on posts that I didn't find interesting, such as sponsor posts and giveaways, or other random stuff. Not sure if that's directly related to authenticity on blogs, but I generally follow blogs because I want to see how women dress to live their lives. Magazine editorials are beautiful to look at, but so much of the styling is completely impractical for everyday wear. That's where blogs come in. Reading about as much of people's lives as they care to share is a fascinating perk of following blogs.

4. We can't communicate effectively on our blogs something we don't live in real life... what are some ways you try to live an authentic life?
Something I haven't given much thought to. Hmmm....

5. Give a shout-out... Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why?
Some favorites: A Daisy Chain Dream, Academichic, Adored Austin, Already Pretty, Between Laundry Days, BlogFashion, Dirty Hair Halo, Fashion for Nerds, Fashion Therapist, Law School Fashionista, My Edit, No Signposts in the Sea, Song of the Exile, Stylish White Female, What I Wore Today. All of these bloggers come across as sharing their real lives in an honest manner on their blogs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year's

My New Year's Eve was quite mellow. My boyfriend and I cooked dinner at home for us and a friend. We had scallops, spinach, salad, too many hors d'oeuvres and a bottle of wine. Our friend was on her way home before midnight to avoid driving after 12 when the roads get crazier.

Saturday, we had our traditional New Year's pork and sauerkraut, made in our new crock pot (my boyfriend won it last spring as a door prize at a dinner he attended, but we only just took it out of the box for New Year's Day), with a side of garlic mashed potatoes (heavy on the garlic). We went out briefly in the evening to check out the sales at our local bargain basement. True to my typical weekend habits, I threw on the same outfit Saturday evening that I had already worn on Friday.

Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Eve dinner at home, shopping New Year's Day

Polo: Old Navy (hand-me-down from bf)
Long-sleeved Tee: Merona
Khaki pants: Ann Taylor LOFT (thrifted)
Red Boots: Franco Sarto (thrifted)
Gold Hoop Earrings: gift from my parents

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas Gifts

This dress was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend. He almost never buys me clothes (I think he got me a tee shirt once) b/c he knows I'm particular about fit, but he liked this dress which was deeply discounted and silk and in a color he knows I like, so he went out on a limb and got it for me. The salesperson told him that this was an excellent style to belt in order to make it more fitted. The top ended up being a perfect fit, and I do love the color. Points to the boyfriend. The earrings were also a Christmas gift this year from my parents.

These shoes have a back story. When my mother was visiting me 2+ years ago, we went shopping and she bought me 2 pairs of black shoes, a pair of heeled oxfords and a pair of suede heeled loafers. After she left, my shoes were missing. I looked all over my apartment, called my mom and asked her to check her luggage, and asked my boyfriend to look in his stuff. Nobody reported accidentally picking them up. I never found them and eventually assumed that they had mistakenly been thrown out with the trash or donated to a thrift store, and I gave up on them.

Fast forward to last month: my boyfriend had moved out of his apartment into his new house this summer, and I joined him here early this fall. Over Christmas break, he was cleaning out some of the last junk in the garage that had just been thrown in there without too much sorting when we moved in. He found a bag of stuff that had come from the back of one of HIS closets, and told me he found a pair of my dance shoes. I was pretty sure all my dance shoes were accounted for, and said so, but he insisted that he had found some black dance shoes. So he brought them in from the garage and, surprise! surprise!, they were these shoes that my mom bought me over 2 years ago that had gone missing before I had a chance to wear them. I was quite excited to find them, and I wore them almost everyday between Christmas and New Year's.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Dress: Banana Republic (gift)
Earrings: Lucky Brand (gift)
Ring: from the Brooklyn Flea Market
Black Tights: ??
Shoes: Nine West (miraculously recovered!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Go-To Christmas Outfit

I wore this outfit several times over the holiday. These pictures were taken the weekend before Christmas when I wore it to a holiday party, but I also wore this on Christmas Eve for the family celebration at my house. Then I wore it again the week between Christmas & New Year's to meet up with some of my boyfriend's out-of-town friends at a wine bar in Wicker Park.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Party

Cardigan Sweater: from Target
Grey Camisole: (thrifted)
Black Camisole: Wet Seal
Jeans: Forever XXI (thrifted)
Scarf: Forever XXI
Boots: Nine West
Locket: (thrifted)
Peace Sign Earrings: World Market

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rainbow Tights Week

I'm participating in Rainbow Tights Week this week with 260 Days No Repeats. I own bunches of colored tights and love wearing them, but this winter I've found myself reaching far too often for basic black, brown and grey. I could use a bit of color. I'm a bit behind in posting pictures, though, so I won't have this week's rainbow tights up until sometime next week. In the meantime, let's take a look at some rainbow tights looks I've worn in the past.