Failure – The 30 for 30 Challenge…and other things


A bit of an old school style blog post, so here goes.

I’ve failed the 30 for 30 Challenge.  I actually made it a whole 6 days, but I forgot to take pictures.

What happened?  Well, the Blizzaster and the following Colder-Than-Hell temperatures did a number on my planning.  THEN a whole bunch of unexpected life type stuff happened resulting in events I wasn’t expecting and I also haven’t done laundry in any meaningful way AND we just found  a new apartment which doesn’t require a specific outfit, but did require my attention and time.  So I failed.

Am I just not a Remixer?  I don’t know.  I’d like to try again. So I will when Spring or Summer 30 for 30’s come around, I suppose.

Moving on, I have to tell you I had sort of planned on February being a “month of rest”.  The plan was more theoretical and as such, has also failed miserably.  I am going to Ohio this weekend to celebrate my birthday and hopefully sleep.  I have to leave town to sleep.  But I won’t sleep.  Because I will be wasting time that I could be spending with my family.  As such, I have designated an official Hibernation Weekend.  I came across the idea of the Hibernation Weekend years ago through one of my favorite blogs, Brocante Home.  I have penciled in Hibernation Weekends ever since and that has probably been a solid three years.  I have yet to accomplish one.

Meanwhile, on Monday I turn 30.  I had always sort of imagined my 30th birthday to be a bit of a grand affair.  It won’t be.  I will be traveling most of Sunday, and Monday I will probably poodle around in slippers or something.  Of course not grand doesn’t mean not good.  In fact, looking back over what I’ve written thus far, perhaps Not Grand will be Relaxing.  And that IS Grand.  Oh the irony.


So, my youth is officially over.  Thank God.  I’m an old soul and old souls have awkward puberties that seem to resonate for years afterward.

I’ve got big goals for the upcoming years.  I’m quietly ambitious.  That sounds like an oxymoron.  Maybe it is, but it’s true nonetheless.  The first thing I am going to do is become (mostly) vegetarian again.  I was a vegetarian from 1997-around 2001.  I stopped for various reasons (mostly anchored in laziness), but the guilt has never left me.  I just love animals (and the environment…and ethics…and what I know is right) too much to support the evils of factory farming and cruelty.  So coming up I will return to what was always the right thing to do.  (Both my Father and my Husband probably just sighed very audibly.  Don’t worry, my Men.  Hypocritical as it may be, the looks on your faces and the gratitude for my pecan fried chicken is enough to warrant making it for you a couple times a year.  We just have to at the very least buy the chicken from a non-cruel enterprise.  And my Mac and Cheese doesn’t have meat in it.   I’ll just switch to a sustainable cheese source.  Like this one, my little sis’s summer employer last year, and rock solid Paulding County, Ohio born and bred.  Try their stuff, it is wonderful!)  As before, I promise not to be insufferable.  I just can’t bear ignoring some things that I’ve been ignoring for…dear God…a decade.  Just too cruel.  It was never difficult for me to be a vegetarian, really.  Honestly, when I stopped eating meat when I was 16, it was just about the easiest thing I ever did.  The challenge now will be that I do not expect Will to join me in this.  So, there will probably be some nights where we eat two different things.  That said, he occasionally picks up a few hours at a vegan coffee shop, and loves the veggie burrito at Chipotle, so there is wiggle room.  Also we both hate kombucha.  This isn’t really relevant except that it is a food-related issue on which we have solidarity.  After drinking kombucha I experienced what I imagine it feels like to drink untreated water in Russia.

Happy Bear

So there’s what’s on my mind at the present moment.  Sort of.   Here’s to turning 30 and liking the idea of it!  I need to hurry up and finish this crap Steve Berry novel I’m reading so I can start out my next decade on a smarter note.



A View from the Homefront – Day 2 of the 30 for 30 Winter Challenge

There is a connection...just read on

It really does feel like we’ve been through some sort of battle and now it’s a weird white post-snowpacalytpo world out there.

Of course the real question is, “But what will I wear?!”

Before I get to that, it has been announced that tomorrow is ANOTHER office jeans day.  With the assumption they are doing this for our comfort level, I see no reason not to wear something slightly dressier if I want to.  My be-fri and I are going out for a joint birthday celebration tomorrow (she’s a New Year’s Baby and mine is coming up) so I have to at least try a little, you know?  What kind of a Chicagoan would I be if I let snow get me down?  I ask you. Plus I chose my 30 for 30 items based on the fact that 40 hours of my week are spent at my day job.  I’m running out of casual-wear already!

But, for Thursday, the day after the storm, I took refuge in jeans day and wore the now fashion-blogger ubiquitous gingham shirt.  And today, as opposed to yesterday, I really like my hair (you should also know…or maybe you shouldn’t…it’s filthy.  No way was I going to get my head wet in this weather).You see, I just closed up a production of Kiss Me Kate, a show that had been running since mid-November so the 40’s hairdos are here to stay for me.  I’ve always been a fan, but now it just feels natural.

Backstage at Kiss Me Kate - I played, appropriately, the Wardrobe Lady. The dress is real 40's vintage! (So are the shoes...but those kids aren't in the picture.)

Another 40's incarnation - this time more subtle. Ha! Except for the evil grin, that is. Gingham - tied at the waist with character shoes at a pickup rehearsal.

So with all that background mumbo jumbo, here is Day 2 of the 30 for 30 Winter Challenge:

Day 2 of the 30 for 30 Winter Challenge

Okay, so I know the photo is, um, lacking.  But here’s the thing, Will took as he was headed out to shovel our car out of a snow bank.  I had no room to be picky.  Also, you’ll notice I can’t take a picture without a cat in it.  I consider him an accessory because I certainly wouldn’t wear him alone.  I show you this photo only to document that indeed I am continuing on with the project.  Better photos coming when William isn’t rushed.  He’s a good photographer.  But not when he’s got shoveling on the brain.

That said:

Cardigan – Zara, Shirt – Old Navy, Tshirt – Hanes (Target), Jeans – H&M, Boots – JCPenney

Bear socks (not visible) gift shop in Cooke City, Montana.  Huz purchased them for me on our ‘moon. 🙂

In total, I have on 4 tops (1 cardigan, 1 gingham shirt, 1 tshirt, and 1 silk long john shirt), 3 bottoms (jeans, long johns and dance tights), plus a pair of bear socks, and boots.  -30 windchill my friends.  What’s funny is, I’ve worn less clothes and felt much bulkier.

Anyway, this outfit feels very “Betsy” to me.  I’m calling it my Winter Victory Garden look.  The hair and cardigan/button-down combo feel a bit 1944 Homefront to me.  Kind of like something my American Girl doll, Molly, would have worn after school.


Blizzaster Preparedness – Day 1 of the 30 for 30 Winter Challenge

I look sort of tired and constipated in the first photo.  I also didn’t do my hair or makeup.  Ah well.  That’s what a blizzard does to a person.

So, here is what I wore for Blizzaster 2011:

Day 1 of 30 for 30

Finn helps out.

I used a vintage feature while photo editing because it reminds me of my parents’ pics of the Blizzard of ’78 in Ohio.

K.  So.  The sweater is a gigantic dramatic one from Victoria’s Secret.  I love it.  I love the drama.  However it’s also completely cozy.

The cords are Old Navy in an olive green.  I love deep jewel tones with neutrals.

The clogs are Candies.  Um.  Okay.  So I actually wore snowboots most of today, but the Candies were part of the concept of the outfit.

In order to remain decent, I put on a black tshirt underneath the sweater.  Otherwise it would have Boob-saster 2011.

I suppose I could have bothered to accessorize, but I kind of forgot because I was so worried about getting to work!

What a start to this challenge!

Still, I think the 30 for 30 is about real life, and this was absolutely a nuts real life kind of day!!!  It’s funny because my day job has a pretty conservative business dress code…that is to say NOT business casual.  But this week of all weeks we have had three jeans days in a row because of the weather.  I chose cords instead because I felt like they would repel snow better than jeans.  I was right!  They dried really quickly, and the texture helped brush the snow off.  I mused on a friend’s blog that a cord skirt might have been ideal (she bravely donned a skirt today).

Tomorrow will present another fashion challenge.  The windchill is supposed to be 30 below zero!!!  I have no idea what I’m going to wear.  Sort of.  I know I’ve got 30 choices!

30 for 30 – The finalized list!


HELLO FROM CHICAGO!  It’s 9:22pm on February 1st as I write this and snow far, snow good.  Snowmaggedon preparation slightly delayed my start to the 30 for 30, but still here is the list.  I guess I’ll have to start a day late, but I think thundersnow is a good excuse!  THUNDERSNOW!!!!

Picking 28 of the items was pretty easy.  It was the last two that were difficult.  I knew that the final three nominees were a tiered flouncy skirt, a vest and a black turtleneck.  I ultimately settled on the turtleneck and vest.  I know my selections are top-heavy…heh….but I don’t have a lot of bottoms…. HA!  Oh my god.  That exact same sentence could be applied to my actual body.

ANyway, with winter still hanging on strong, the flouncy skirt (while fun) would have probably been too impractical for a restrictive challenge like the 30 for 30.  I mean, I’m staring out the window and the snow is blowing sideways…with lightning.  A flouncy skirt is downright dangerous!

TOPS (15)

  • White tee
  • Black tee
  • Steelers tee (the Super Bowl finds itself nestled right in the thick of things)
  • Plaid flannel shirt
  • Blue button down
  • Yellow striped boat neck
  • Blue gingham shirt
  • Tie-neck blouse
  • Navy Cardigan
  • Grey Sweatshirt
  • Leopard Cardigan
  • Cowl neck sweater
  • Black shawl collar sweater
  • Red & White sleeveless blouse
  • Black Turtleneck


  • Velvet blazer
  • Grey vest


  • Tweed jumper


  • Pin-striped skirt
  • Denim mini


  • Black pants
  • Camel pants
  • Skinny jeans
  • Green cords


  • Clogs
  • Brown riding boots
  • Black oxfords
  • Black high heeled knee high boots
  • Tretorns
  • Brown peep toes

I’ve already discovered that my winter skirt situation is paltry.   I surprised myself by picking only 1 dress for the challenge.  I don’t have any auditions scheduled for February, and my winter work dresses are in flux.  One is too big, and I’m beginning to wonder if another is even appropriate for work at all. Still, I may regret this decision.  I’m concerned my selections may end up being a bit safe and frumpy.  Ah well.  We shall see.

The rules address accessories as any item that can’t be worn alone, as it is.  As such, I have a couple camis I may throw into the mix.  These particular camis are not items I would ever wear alone out into the world.  I’m also not counting snow boots because I change out of them when I get to destination.  Except maybe for running errands.  Agh.  Maybe it’s cheating but I live in Chicago.  They are very nearly attached to my body and I’m not counting appendages as items in the 30 for 30.

One thing I am very much looking forward to is significantly abbreviated laundry.

My personal rules:

I am not counting workout clothes or dance rehearsal clothes.  However, NON dance rehearsal clothes will be included in the 30 for 30.  (The workout clothes stipulation is included in the actual 30 for 30 guidelines.) I think I am going to include lounge and cleaning wear in this stipulation. I’m not going to bleach something in the bathroom with a nice sweater on, you know?

As I said before, snowboots and puffy down coats aren’t going to count.  While certainly, I often choose a coat around my outfit, lately I just choose it based on the temp outside. THUNDERSNOW!  Jackets under coats, however, do count.

Anyway, I will probably do a weekly rundown on outfits as opposed to a daily post.  So off I go!  I know what my outfit for tomorrow is already.  One word:  Cozy.  THUNDERSNOW!

The 30 for 30 Winter Challenge

Fashion Post

I’m considering entering Kendi Everyday’s 30 for 30 Winter Challenge.

Here are the rules (per Kendi):

1. Pick 30 items or less from your closet. Shoes are included, but accessories and jewelry are not.

2. Remix the 30 items into 30 different outfits.

That’s it! Well not entirely so..

3. Don’t shop for 30 days.

Why in the world would I add insult to injury, you ask? Because of two reasons: 1) so you’ll learn to shop your own closet and 2) so you’ll appreciate it. So many times I’ve run out and bought a new dress for one event or I bought something because I felt lacking and not what was in my closet. Obviously, this is not the best solution to a problem. I have found that when I limit myself with shopping, with 30 items, I become so much more aware of what I have versus what I need. By the end of the 30 days, I am ready to shop, but with new eyes of what I really need.

I actually already signed up, and will probably do it, I just have a few hesitations.

1.  My photography skills are abysmal.  I’m also hard up on well-lit professional looking backgrounds.

2.  I will have to convince Will to take pictures of my outfits shortly after he wakes up.

3.  My laziness.

Still, one of my goals for the year is to look at my closet more imaginatively.  In the spirit of things, I’ve created a Polyvore set with my intended 30 for 30 items.  (Ignore prices or labels.  Some of these items I own, some of these things just look like items I own.)


Betty Paige print T-shirt
115 GBP –
Cotton tees »

Petite 3/4 slv leopard print cardigan
75 GBP –
3 4 cardigan »

Oldbury Classic Shirt
$69 –
Slim fit tees »

36 White TShirt
28 GBP –
Logo tops »

Ambsn Haggar Shirt
$40 –
Plaid tops »

Black bird print top
30 GBP –
Tie blouses »

Pinstripe suit trouser
30 GBP –

Sienna mid-rise skinny jeans
$44 –
Faded jeans »

$169 –
Knee high heel boots »

SmackyGlam Oxford Bottie
$64 –
Sparkly shoes »

Cotton V Neck Cardigan
25 GBP –

The total count is:

4 tees

4 sweaters

3 shirts

3 skirts

3 shoes

2 cardigans

2 blouses

2 pants

2 boots

1 hoodie

1 vest

1 dress

1 jean

1 cord


30 items

The challenge I think will really center around office wear and rehearsal wear (workout wear is not included in the 30 for 30, so if I have a dance rehearsal I will wear dance apparel).   Due to my two-job life, I usually end up wearing two different outfits per day with complete different requirements for function.

Once I nail down the actual items I will be using, I will post.  Let me know if you are joining in!