Archive | October, 2011

Birthday Suit

31 Oct

There were a few points last week where I thought I might have an “omgbirthday” melt-down.

You know, the kind that happens when you pluck 2 grey hairs out of your curly, ginger hair-fro.  Or the moment when you start to realize you need to do x, y, z because you are, in fact, a grown adult.  Maybe even, perhaps, you have a student to politely inform you, “Miss B, 25 is REALLY OLD.”

But, by the grace of God and some much needed retail therapy, I made it!  I survived!  And I grew a year wiser, too!

After sweating my face off for 2.5 hours with my yoga family, I celebrated life with my actual family at a painfully delicious restaurant.  As if that wasn’t enough, I finished the day around a bonfire, eating cheesy nachos and strawberry cake with my closest of friends (minus a few,  miss and love you Kels and Jeff!).

A birthday post would simply be insufficient without a cameo from the woman who brought me into this world.  Thanks, ma, for putting up with my shenanigans, bizarre idiosyncrasies, and putting me in my place regularly.  I couldn’t be the headstrong, passionate person I am today without you.

Details:: green cotton shirt {F21}; scalloped sueded skirt {F21}; purple tights {gift}; brown leather boots {thrifted}; my favorite scarf {thrifted}; blue woven bracelet {homemade gift from Stanci!}


My Birth Week

29 Oct

What.  A.  Week.  I survived my first ever parent-teacher conferences, and cried only 2 times!  I’d consider that a success.

Wednesday of this week was our Fall Hoedown.  Many a chicken dance was danced*, cupcakes were savored, and the candy flowed like the salmon of Capistrano.  After the exhausting festivities, we retired to the classroom for a few remaining minutes of celebration.

A few of my gutsy students beat-boxed, as promised, for my birthday.  I did a few rounds of the worm for them.  And finally, after much begging and pleading, they made me sing for them.

You see, I sing for them on a regular basis.  Usually, it’s somehow intertwined within the curriculum or lesson that day.  Sometimes not.  So, as I quickly combed my jukebox brain for a school-appropriate tune, only one came to mind.  As I sang the first few words, my kids reluctantly joined in.

It was one of the most precious moments of my teaching career, because in my mind, we sounded just like this.

At that moment, it really didn’t matter how freakishly long my week had been.  Or how much I was desperate for a vacation.  I was celebrating my birthday with 22 kids who had become my reason for doing what I do.  Kinda the best gift ever.


*Ps, I totally learned how to hula-hoop after 25 years of attempting to learn.

Hips don’t lie

26 Oct

Being an early bloomer is a very odd experience for a girl.

I vividly remember getting teased on the playground, solely because I looked a heck of a lot less like a 10 year old, and more like a middle schooler.  I mean, I felt like a kid on the inside, but looked like a grown up on the outside!

Or so I thought.

Looking back at pictures, I realize how ridiculously young I was AND looked.  I essentially gave myself a complex, as we often do when we’re “different”.

I remember having this same feeling on my last birthday when I saw a photo of myself.  In the picture, I was positively glowing, as the Kansas City skyline framed me.  It was the perfect picture to reflect the inward joy I was feeling.  Yet, as my eyes scanned over the photo, I was inwardly critiquing the way my shirt fit, how my makeup looked, and finally, how enormous my hips were.

“Oh, dear God, are they that big in real life?!”  I think I even asked it out loud.

Feelings of embarrassment and shamefulness came welling up in me once again, just as they had on the playground 14 years before.  But rather than deleting the photo and succumbing to the self-conscious habits of 24 years of life, I reacted differently this time.

I posted the heck out of that photo.  It ended up on my old blog.  And even on Facebook, too!  I refused to be stifled by my insecurities.

So, in honor of approaching my 25th year of life, which I’m convinced will be the best year yet, I will again embrace the hips that let me do this, and this, and this.


Details:: crochet cardigan {thrifted}; coral tank {Old Navy}; jeggings {Kohl’s}; golden belt {thrifted}; denim cork wedges {Payless}; watch {Kohl’s}; vintage wooden bracelets {gift from Gran} 

My life in Heels

24 Oct

Last spring, as I was enjoying my weeknight ritual of internet perusal, I stumbled  upon Andrea wearing the most adorable heels.  Her snapshots presented her prancing about Chicago in 5-inch-platform, wooden heels.  They were the kind of shoes that make you “uggggh!” out loud.

Naturally, as a teacher, I need 5-inch heels to complete my professional wardrobe, right?  Thus, the hunt began.

I searched high and low across suburbia, but alas, solely Hush Puppies and pointy-toe pumps abounded.  My last hope was the ever-reliable Forever21.  And at a price point of 28 bucks, these impractically adorable heels were mine!

Buuut, there was a catch.

You see, up until that point, I’d worn a mere 2-inch mini-heel.  So, three inches taller?  And platform?  If Andrea could do it, so could I.

I began wearing these ridiculous heels all around the house.  Time to do some dishes?  Let’s do it in heels!  How about brushing my teeth?  You guessed it!  I’d put on those obnoxious heels.  Pretty soon, what was once an awkward hobble and shimmy, became a prideful stride and stomp.

As I walked toward the president of my college on graduation day, beaming from ear to ear, I wasn’t only proud to finish my degree.

I was proud to have mastered the art of walking in absurdly, monstrous heels.

Details:: wrap dress {F21; $23}; grey woven tights {TJ Maxx; $3}; patterned scarf {F21; $6}; belt {came with dress}; suede wedges {TJ Maxx; gift}; watch {Kohl’s; $50}; rings {all gifts} 

A weekend recap: I got my groove back, got sick, got real

23 Oct

There is no fashion post today, unless you want to see my weekend uniform, of course.

Don’t worry.  I’ll paint a visual for you!

It may or may not consist of leggings as pants, an extra-long yoga tank, over-sized off the shoulder yoga sweatshirt, and knock-off Uggs.  If I’m feelin’ snazzy, maybe I’ll top it all off with a colorful infinity scarf.

And just because I know you’re dying to ask me, I’m not telling you whether or not I wear this exact same outfit, all weekend long, non-stop.  That’s frankly none of your business.

Anyway, before I head back into my classroom for the duration of the day, I wanted to thank you, faithful reader, for keeping up with The Chic Teach.  You sat by and listened to my drone on about my lingering obsession with the 1980s.   You put up with me in sickness and in health.  And you even listened to me get mushy with my feelings.

Essentially, you’re all I’ve ever wanted.  Let’s stay together forever, mmkay?

You can take the girl out of the 80s…

21 Oct

I’ll never forget 9th grade picture day.

It happened to fall smack-dab in the middle of my bizarro 1980s fixation.  As Corey Hart owned my Napster account and Say Anything blared on repeat,   neon track jackets swelled out of my ever-growing, “vintage” wardrobe.

I was, in every sense of the word, obsessed.

 My high school BFFs.


Eventually, I traded up from Napster to iTunes, and from polyester tracksuits to vintage suede.

But these legwarmers?  You can pry them out of my cold, dead hands.  Because you can take the girl out of the 80s, but sometimes you can’t take the 80s out of the girl.



Details:: sweater dress {Kohl’s; $4}; golden tights {TJ Maxx; $3}; patterned scarf {F21; $8}; belt {Kohls; gift}; legwarmers {Target; $6}; vintage pirate boots {Thrifted; gift}; owl earrings {gift from student}

Time for Some Mushy Gushy

20 Oct

As I alluded to on Monday, if you’re not a fan of talking about feelings or hearing about the mushy gushy, then feel free to skip this post.  Fashion posts will resume, as normal, soon.

I’ll keep it brief.

On Sunday, it felt as if my mind and heart were being pulled in 39 opposing directions, and I was one giant cluster of confusion, stress, and general disorganization.  It was the kind of thing that even a visit to the makeup counter couldn’t fix.

I know, right??

I attempted to stifle my racing thoughts, smothering them with more work, task lists, and endless dinner dates.  It wasn’t until I was sitting behind my desk, cutting out laminated signs, when it hit me.

What the heck, exactly, is my purpose for doing what I do?  What is the bigger picture, of, you know, LIFE.

And I realized, I had no flippin’ clue.   I’d begun to loose sight of my intention for existing.  It’s too easy to get caught up in the go-go-go, meetings, planning, and enjoyment of life, it’s easy to forget what the heck I’m actually here to do.

So, naturally I journaled approximately 10 pages of grossly personal feelings, made a necessary but crappy phone call, and began to get my life back in order.

And now I have life completely figured out.

Just kidding!

But at least I have a giant leap towards focusing my 999 miles-per-minute brain.