Birth of a project

I was getting dressed for a friend's birthday party and I didn't know what I was going to put on my body. I looked in my closet and it seemed empty, unpromising. I've had these moments before; everything was old, ill-fitting, or blah. I thought to myself, "Ugh! I have NOTHING to wear!" Then I began rifling through my closet and saw a forgotten shirt I loved and many more, and I realized I was crazy. I had plenty to wear, and plenty to choose from. My closet was FULL of treasures! At that moment I decided I would take a year to explore my closet and to add NOTHING new to my wardrobe.

I would create a NEW outfit for each day in order to maximize my wardrobe and shake up my style.

Basically, I would try to "snap out" of my fashion rut, and appreciate what I have.

It was my New Years' project:
One Closet, One Year.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Freddy's Dead!

First of all, I got an email from one of my New York buds informing me that Freddy's, a 70 year old bar that was hugely important to me post-break-up of my second serious relationship, is closing in the coming week. I am so sad. To think of lovely, dive-y, Freddy's being demolished is disheartening. It is especially so when it is being demolished to make way for yet another billion dollar development project that is promoted by tycoons and fought by the locals. For 7 years many community members in this section of Brooklyn have protested the Atlantic Yards Project, but alas, it seems that Goliath won this time.

When I hear these stories it makes me not miss Brooklyn as much as I used to. On my last visit to New York, I walked from Time's Square all the way downtown and over the Brooklyn Bridge to Park Slope. The city had changed so much, and so much of it was shopping related. Target, K-Mart, Bed, Bath, and Beyond. These stores were stores I did not want to see in the city. I felt like I was an "alien in New York", as Sting said so many years ago. Oh, well, the good old days are gone, I suppose.

Outfit:

I was going with a color theme. However, when I saw the photos I took today I realized that this is a very Fall ensemble. It was chilly today, so I can pretend it was fall! The fashion police will kill me, I'm sure!

Satin Shirt: From friend. I.N.C. I have a friend who is into Feng Shui and color therapy (or something of that nature). She got rid of a bunch of her very nice stuff because the colors did not work for her anymore. Lucky Me! The orange Tracey Reese sweater I wore in Oral Hygiene! (another brown/ orange combo. I better watch it!) However, I am thinking this shirt doesn't work for me, either. It will be in the out pile soon!

Orange sweater: From cousin. Mossimo.

Brown pants: Goodwill.  Moda International.

Jacket: Goodwill. Allegory.

Shoes: Mac & Jac.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pocket Poetry!

Today was Pocket Poetry day at the school I sub at. The children shared poems they loved and poems they had written and it was wonderful!

I felt a little awkward because I was not feeling my outfit. I switched shirts right before I left the house, and I regretted it. That said, again I need to remind myself that my goal is to not repeat, to mix it up, and to avoid all situations that would/will bring additional clothes into my life, be it shopping, swapping, or dropping. That is, friends "dropping" clothes into my life as they have often done in the past. I have not not bought anything new or used for myself and I have also not transferred any shopping urges that I have into the kids' wardrobes. I did buy a few things for Sheena of The Uniform Project at Goodwill. My plan was to send her some things so that she would give me a shout out and help me me plug my blog. I am really bad at self promotion, so that seemed like a good way to go about it. I did pick out some awesome things for her, including these shoes below that I think she would have rocked. However, she, or her people, did not get back to me and tomorrow is the last day. Yay, Sheena! Congratulations! I am really inspired by her altruism and style! She rocks!

Outfit:

Brown Blazer: Walmart. George. I got this when I was visiting my mom in her tiny Massachusetts town. The only store for miles is Walmart. I was working in admissions at the time.

Ruffle shirt: Salvation Army. I got this in high school. Look at this similar shirt I saw in Anthroplogie:
 
Pants: Goodwill. Been wearing these too much of late. Need to put them away...

Shoes: Mossimo. I need to put these away too... 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When's Day?

Oh, the life of a night owl living in an early bird's world! I often wish that there were two shifts in life... Being a teacher completely conflicts with my natural rhythm. I would love to get to school at 10:30 or 11:00 and leave at 5, but I don't think that would be so great for my kids or family life. So, for now I simply live a life that is conflicted. At least in terms of schedule and sleep.

I got a few inquiries as to what the bad news I referenced was, and I can tell you that it was bad news of the world. California, Oklahoma, Gulf of Mexico, you know, that kind of news. News that can make you frown. Thank goodness for Haha. She always turns my frown upside down!

Outfit:

I am still sticking to my no wash strategy (except undergarments, of course!). However, I did have to wash some pants because I have worn all but one pair of my pants (excluding jeans) and they were all dirty.
I started with the dress, and added on from there. Below,  I've included a photo of Hollis wearing one of my sweaters to demonstrate that there are always possibilities with garments. I forgot to bring a sweater for her today, but luckily I had this in the car. It is the same sweater I wore on Monday. I have been playing with my clothes since I was little. One of my favorite things to do with my mom's turtleneck was to put my legs in the arms, the neck over my torso, and to let the shirt part hang down between my legs. Crazy, I know, but I rocked it!

Dress: From my cousin. Forever 21. If you feel like I say this often, it's true. I think when I did my inventory I had close to 30 items of clothing from my generous cuz! She has a new blog. It's called Viva La Healthy! The dress has a tie belt, so I tied it around the sweater. Seen in Comedy Tonight!

Sweater Vest: I wore this yesterday. Since I had a coat on over it all day, it stayed tidy.

Skirt: Salvation Army. This is a high school find. I often wear it as an under layer. Seen in: Bug-A-Palooza! and Back Up!

Shoes: Mossimo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Things!

Today is my mom's last day here before she heads back to the East Coast. She got to sleep in a bit, spend time with her sister, and then join Richard, Leo, and I at Charlie's school where he was honored in a "Birthday Circle". The Birthday Circle is a ritual where the children in a particular class wish their peers a happy birthday along with mentioning some of the things they enjoy about the person. You are to speak "from the heart", briefly, and kindly. If you don't know the person well, you can always just say "Happy Birthday". Well, the kids in Charlie's class were so kind, so articulate, and so light of spirit it just made me blissfully happy and grateful. He is a lucky boy, and we are lucky to have C-Dawg in our family!


I could go on about some of the bad news I heard today, or I could wax poetic about chocolate, but instead I will move on to my outfit and spare your brain the pain of reading my blabbing, dear reader.



Outfit:

Sweater Vest: Goodwill. Urchin.

Shirt: Forever 21.

Military Jacket: From my beautiful and stylish friend Jamie, proprietress of Academic Success.

Dress: (Worn as skirt) From cousin. Classique.

Scarf: Hand knit by the gorgeous and talented Pollyanna.



Shoes: Mossimo. I am loving these right now. I feel like a 70's star!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Breakdown!

So, after a 3:00 a.m. bedtime, I woke up at 8 in order to get to Leo's school where I had to volunteer this morning (see haggard face left). I actually got a 6:40 a.m. call requesting that I sub, but I reluctantly had to pass because of my obligation to help breakdown The Wonder of Learning exhibit. It closed on Saturday and is making it's way to Chicacgo!

Now, you would think that knowing about my duties today would have inspired me to come up with a cute and functional outfit last night, but NO! I lamed out and threw on my trusty kick around jeans and a shirt that my cousin gave me that I have never worn before. This is exactly what I should NOT be wearing, but I did say that at least 30 of my outfits were going to stink and this is certainly one of them. At the same time, I was doing manual labor, so getting dressed up would have been silly, right?

Last night when I was up working on my not sleeping, which I am really good at, I realized that I am a second generation Los Angelino. That makes my kids third generation. Richard was born here too. Born in the land of perpetual sun and traffic. Lucky we!

                                        
By the way, as I write this Haha is climbing all over me. She has been awake since 9:00 a.m. and has only slept 40 minutes all day. She's still awake as I post this at 10:30 p.m. I took her with me to meet my amazing friend Amy because I thought she would fall asleep in the car. She didn't, and she got very punchy toward the end. Now she is walking around the dining room holding a paper saying "Kitty, kitty, kitty". Also, I had a request to include more photos of Haha bear, so I hope I made my patrons happy!

Outfit:

Polka dot tie shirt: From cousin. Forever 21.

Undershirt: Clothing swap. Old Navy.

Jeans: From cousin. Gap.

Shoes: I started with my Wanted sneakers, then changed into my American Eagle shoes that Ayiko gave to me.  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Black Kids on Bikes!

Today I finally got to go for a "Freedom Ride" with the Black Kids on Bikes! My friend Ayiko told me about it awhile back and we had planned to go last month but we were thwarted by a flat tire. The event was started by a film maker named James Spooner. He is the director of a film called AfroPunk and he said that he started Black Kids on Bikes as a response to other L.A. rides he attended where there would be 80 people and only three of them were black. He wanted to create a space where black kids didn't feel on the outskirts.

The ride was awesome and I met some really great people. We rode from Fairfax up to Sunset, through Hollywood and Loz Feliz all the way Downtown. The weather was perfect, people on the road were friendly, and the scenery was lovely. It reaffirmed my love for L.A. I do love this city. For better or worse. For richer or poorer. Traffic, budget deficits, high rents, failing schools, all of it. It still is my home. 

Outfit:

I needed riding friendly clothes, and it just so happened that I had these biking pants my cousin gave me last year that she had never worn, and I had never worn! Perfect!

Shirt: The good ol' wifebeater. Hanes. I wore these all through my pregnancies!

Black Demi-button down: From clothing swap. Old Navy. I only wore this to cover up my hairy armpits as I got my ride on!

Pants: From cousin. Columbia Sportswear. They have hardware on the side to hold the legs up so they can't get caught in the spokes

Shoes: Airwalk.

Belt: This is from a great 80's dress that I have since let go of. I needed it to hold the pants up as they are a little on the large side!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trails!

We were invited to spend the morning in Griffith Park in the area around The Trails cafe. I had no luck convincing the boys that they would love the scenery and food at The Trails, so I went alone with Hollis. The boys wanted to stay home and play with Legos. Since they rush hither and thither all week, I decided not to force them out of the house, even though I wanted to. I really wanted to.

The scenery at Griffith Park is stunning, and it was also quite a scene. The hipsters were out and in full force. There was a TV actress, a skinny jean wearing femme-boy, bikers, middle-age rockers with their fashionable kids in tow, neo- bohemians, nature enthusiasts, and dogs. I love L.A.!

I forgot to post another poll, but I will add it tomorrow. Although only twelve people responded, it was clear that I was the only person with more than 60 shirts. Oh well, it's still less than Oprah, I'm sure!

Outfit:

Because I spent so much time trying to convince the little dudes to come with me, I had to rush to get dressed. I decided to wear jeans again, and I threw on a shirt I have worn before, but backwards. I didn't think about it too much, but when I got home I started to worry that some people might not think it is a different outfit. It is a little lame, but I have a different sweater underneath, different shoes, and I think the look is pretty different. If you disagree, you can let me know!

Shirt: I got this at a warehouse sale. I took the label off, so I can't say who made it. Seen in: Hey Thursday! I belted it with a scarf my friend gave me long ago.

Sweater: From cousin.

Jeans: From cousin. Gap.

Shoes: Wanted.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jean Time!

I haven't worn jeans since my birthday (13 days ago), so I am wearing them today dag-nabbit!  I have been avoiding them because they are my go-to item, and I'm trying to mix it up, right? My favorite friends, they are. A uniform of sort. Jeans, jeans, the magical suit. The more you wear them the more you- scoot?... I don't know... Moving on.

It is refreshing to go to a parent-teacher conference and to have all of your fears laid to rest. I am happy to report that Leo's teachers had nothing but praise for our little guy and said that he has grown SO much since he first entered pre-school. He is helpful, communicative, social, and they love him! I am so relieved! I guess Leo saves all of his antics for home, which is as it should be!

We are having family lady time right now. The twin mamas (my mom and my aunt) , my cousin (really my half-sister genetically), Haha, and me! I'm going to keep it short on account of this!



Outfit:

Floral Shirt: Salvation Army. High school purchase. Pebbi of California. Seen in My Seventies Style!

Maroon Silk Shirt: Friend hand me down. City DKNY.

Jeans: From cousin. Gap.

Shoes: Mossimo.        



When I was cooking today I turned around to get something out of the cupboard and when I turned back around Haha was standing on the counter. I've included photographic evidence. I told you she has some questionable habits! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Blue Bus!

I am writing my post on the Big Blue Bus! Exciting, I know! I am meeting Richard at his job and we are finally going to see The Wonder of Learning Exhibit. I don't know why we waited so long to go to see it, but it is closing on Saturday. Everyone I know who has seen it has raved about it. As an educator, I feel it is very important for me to see it - as a parent also.

After the exhibit Richard and I are going out to dinner alone! When my mom comes out to visit, we try to squeeze in as much alone time as we can. That way, we don't have to bother Aunt Janine all the time. Actually, tonight the kids have double the fun because they are with Grandma and Aunt Janine (identical twins)!

Anyway, as I am on the bus, I will keep it brief, but I did want to say that according to my mom I have always been a night owl. When I was little they used to put me down for the night and she would come and check on me and I would still be up at 11! I guess so much of who we are is nature...

Yikes! I am on the "agro driver" bus. He is cursing at cars and calling people "sons of bitches" as he rides very close to their tails. Fun, fun, fun!


P.S. I finished this post in the car while driving home on the freeway thanks to modern technology! Our car has a power outlet! The future is now!

Outfit:

This was really thrown together last minute as I was running out the door to get Leo. I started with the polka dot skirt, and began pouring layers over it! I added the long sleeve sweater before I left because I was cold when I took my pictures, but just as I was finishing up, the sun came out and it warmed up. Go figure!

Sweater: From cousin.

Velvet Jacket: Forever 21.

Dress: From Friend. Ella Moss.

Skirt: My mom gave this to me when I was in high school. Express.

Shoes: From a little shop in Park Slope circa1999. Janet& Janet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oral Hygiene!

I wish I could say I went to bed early last night, but I didn't. I also didn't make lunches like I should have. I decided I would do it "in the morning".  Famous last words. "In the morning" is just another way of saying "I'm not going to do it". Or, "I'm going to put it off till the last minute." I got up as late as I could to make Leo's lunch (which is pretty easy because he doesn't eat anything), then I decided that I would drop Charlie's lunch off on the way to the dentist, so that I could secure 45 extra minutes of sleeping. They were delightful!

At the dentist, I was met by a new hygienist by the name of Britney. Britney of course had dazzling pearly whites, was super young, and I immediately felt the shame of my horrible teeth. My teeth weren't always horrible (I had no cavities when I got my braces on at age 16), and I won't go into the whole story here, but a visit to the dentist always sends me into a mild depression. However, I am able to snap myself out of it by remembering that there are people out there with serious problems. Teeth are important, but they aren't that important. At this point, I am living vicariously through my children's teeth. They don't have any cavities, and I hope they never will!

Outfit:

Started with the pants and worked my way up!

Pants: Goodwill. Moda International. 

Sweater: Clothing swap or Goodwill. I can't remember.

Brown tank: Friend hand me down.

Orange Sweater: Plenty by Tracey Reese. This was procured at a clothing swap, believe it or not!

Shoes: Mossimo. You've seen them before, but I wanted to show off my birthday pedicure that Richard got me! Thank you, Richard!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Night Owls!

How many people with four children and a full time job and a wake up call of 6:00 a.m. would admit to the world that they went to sleep at 4:00 a.m.? How many people with four children and no drug habit or insomnia or newborn would admit that they went to bed at 3:00? Only crazy people. And only crazy people would go to bed at those times, right? I mean, I started baking cookies at around 1:00 a.m last night (or this morning). And what's crazier is that Hollis was up with me. So I guess she is cray-cray too.

Now granted, it was poker night. I was baking for the guys. Richard's faithful crew of buds come to our house the third Monday of every month. They also have a rotating Saturday night game. Somehow, perhaps because some of his friends are feeling the pinch of the recession, the Monday night game has been ending progressively later and later. When I met Richard the game ended around midnight or 1:00, although he denies it. The last few months it has ended at 3:00 a.m. Consistently. And this a work night we're talking about!

As for me, I got a second wind after my mom and I watched the season finale of DAMAGES. We finished it around 1:00. Then I needed to make lunches for the kids. Hollis, the bad habit baby, woke up and hadn't seen her dad all day, so she sat around the poker table with the guys. This led to a request for cookies, which led to baking, and then it was bath time. Then bed. Bad habits are hard to break.

Outfit:

I had to go to an Earth Day party at Charlie's class. I had a 70's floral dress that was given to me in mind for this, but I realized that it was not nursing friendly. I was in a time crunch after having popped eight batches of popcorn and needing to head out to get Leo, so I started with the idea of "Earth Day" and went from there.

Shirt: The green shirt on the bottom layer is so old I don't remember where I got it from.

White lace shirt: Vintage. Seen in: Casual Friday.

Sweater: Clothing swap. Express.

Skirt: This is that dress I wore a few weeks ago in Mad Monday! that I dislike. I am going to give it to my fabulous Aunt Diane so that she can turn it into something lovely for Hollis. Aunt Diane sewed me many a dress when I was growing up. She was my idol!  I turned the dress backward and tucked the arms down and then zipped it up and tied it at the waist. I like it much more as a skirt!

Shoes: Mossimo. I love these shoes! They are very comfortable.

Belt: The sweater came with a skinny patent leather belt, but I couldn't find it. I grabbed this one from a different skirt.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Stolen Moment!

I was part of a super fun secret project today, but obviously, I can't talk about it. I look forward to sharing about it later, but for now, mum's the word! I am not sure why, but I have been out of the swing of things with my posting. I took pictures earlier today while waiting for Charlie to get out of school, but once we got home it was too busy for me to post.

While I was in between my undercover project and Charlie's dismissal, I took some time to walk by myself, eat by myself, and read one of the dozens of magazines I have in a pile waiting to be read. I also have a stack of books by my bed, and a list I keep in my head. One day, I will read as much as I want. And travel. And sleep!

After Charlie was born a group of my friends and Richard and I formed a book club. We actually read several books, then we crashed and burned because we kept picking poorly. It was fun while it lasted and maybe we'll do it again one day. One day...

Outfit:

Shirt: Goodwill. scott. Seen in: 5!

Dress: Goodwill. YA. Seen in Iron Lung Goes To Roscoes!

Pants. Goodwill. I've worn these about 5 times now!



Although it's not much for style, I can often be seen trolling the streets in my white visor!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Horror!

I am ashamed of myself! My outfit cries out "Horror, horror! You wore that out in public?!" Not only did I wear it out, but I have to put pictures of it up on the internet as a permanent record of bad taste.

I don't know why, but once again I was in a pajama mood. I knew I was going to the beach to hang out and that comfort was in order, so I grabbed some things that I knew I had not worn together. I was going for tones and textures, but when I saw the pictures I took, I realized that I walked on the shores of Malibu looking like a hot mess! Oh well, live and learn! For those of you who have never seen this blog before, please see Back Up! to know that I am not a total style loser. I like that outfit.


I took the kids out to "The Bu" to spend time in nature. I was happy to head out because in addition to seeing the kid's godfather Josh, my friend Wendy joined me with her adorable son. I've known both Wendy and Josh since I was 12. That's 25 years of friendship, which makes for the kind of comfort and ease one needs in order not to go crazy when their children start acting a fool and having meltdowns. When we got back from the beach, we were going to hang out for a while, but it was quickly nipped in the bud when all of the children had some form of behavioral Tourette's syndrome. Josh, our ever gracious host, was completely understanding, and Wendy and I piled the kids in the car and headed home accompanied by a chorus of wails and complaints.

I promise to save the pajama days for when I am truly ill or incapacitated from here on out. We saw a sea lion surfing the waves today and a bad outfit pales in comparison to that!

Outfit:

Shirt: From friend. Forever 21.

Long sweater coat: Goodwill. Rabbit. Rabbit. Rabbit. Seen in In The Dumps!

Pants: These were given to me by my "painless" mother, Maia. She is my best friend's mom and she is a wonderful woman and brilliant life coach! She has always passed along wisdom my way, so I am happy to walk in her pants!

Shoes: Fit Flops.

I've included some cute photos from the day!






Saturday, April 17, 2010

Music, Music, Music!

With my mom and aunt here to babysit last night, Richard and I managed to stroll through the front door at 2:00 a.m. with no problems and no guilt. We had been out to see our talented friend Mason Reed play along with some other very gifted musicians. If you click on Mason's link you will hear him sing with one of last nights' performers, Elle King. She was amazing and the song they sing together is quite lovely and sad.

I am going out again tonight to see my friend Maura sing with the band Vibrasol. She is a talented gal on the go and I am so excited to see her rock the house! This means I will have seen live music three days in a row! Could I ask for anything more?

Outfit:

I wanted to stay in pajamas all day (could it be the 2:00 a.m. bedtime?), but I already did that twice on this blog, and I didn't think I could get away with it again. I opted for a pair of items that felt like pajamas and looked pretty close. I was feeling good and groovy until I remembered that I was supposed to go out tonight and that I might look like a total looser if I showed up in the outfit I choose. In light of the fact that I don't want to "waste"outfits, I decided to try to go bohemian. I figured with the right accessories I just might pull it off, and, I just might keep my jacket on all night!

Brown Shirt: From cousin. Mossimo.

Pants: Goodwill. These pants used to be a jumpsuit! Seen in Day of Rest and Sunny Sunday!

Slippers: Old Navy.

Shoes: Mossimo.

Jacket: Hand me down from my BFF Pollyanna! Forever 21.