Monday, January 27, 2014

Color Blocking in Winter

During the week of snow, I truly enjoyed colorblocking.  It was one of those weeks, were my laundry had piled up and I was forced to dig deep into my closet for new ideas outfits.  I ended up pairing colors together that worked and added tights that didn't distract too much.  And viola!  An easy and very me outfit.

Mint sweater from Target, bright yellow pencil skirt from J.Crew Factory, grey snow boots by Report.

Baublebar necklace, Guess watch

curls courtesy of pipe cleaners!

Who says you can't wear bright, bright colors in the middle of winter?  My idea: mix bright colors with solid neutrals.  That will help balance the outfit and make it more season appropriate.

Miss M

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Intuitive With Color

This post is inspired by a comment left on my blog about mixing black and brown.  Like the reader, I have also come a long way in terms of color.  As a young person, or rather a young teenager, I placed myself in others' limited view of colors and matching.  I am so happy to be free of that.  

As a middle school teacher, I often hear that I don't match or  am questioned: how do you match?  I still remember my first year teaching a self-contained class in my little classroom overstuffed with all boys and one tough girl, when a boy (who later went on to fashion school) asked: "Miss, how do you match?"  
My response, appropriated from Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear: "I don't match; I go."

And that truly is my motto.  People who know me well and have seen me go through the process of putting together an outfit (sometimes quickly, sometimes more thoughtfully), I abhor matching too much.  Strong word, I know, but I prefer mixing things up and having fun with color.  I also prefer not to wear common color combinations such as red/white/blue, save on the fourth of July; orange and black; red and green; even yellow and black, as it reminds me of a bumble bee.  

Lately I've discovered the depths of neutrals: grays, black, navy and brown.  I hardly wear brown, though, because it matches my skin too much; but, I love my brown pumps (worn here and here).  Black is overdone, with reason, but hackneyed just the same.  I love gray, particularly charcoal gray, but navy blue is my favorite; It's like black, but not quite.  I love mixing neutrals together (like here and here) and wearing black or navy with brown accessories.  A brown pair of shoes or purse softens the harshness of all black in a lovely way. But, a brown outfit with black shoes will not work as well.  A brown dress, black tights and brown shoes, yes, but all brown and only black on the bottom is a little awkward.

I also realize that as I continue to mature, and in addition to exploring neutrals, I find myself evolving past my self-imposed color limitations, sometimes by unknowingly and other times on purpose.  I wore red and blue here and in a way here; and black and white here.  I also used to avoid wearing white and black because it reminded me of a uniform. However, I've matured and am realizing that I can wear common color combinations in ways that are me.  Even though I remember the outfit mentioned as black and white, looking back at it I now remember I also wore navy (and black) polka dot tights and brown pumps.  Totally me!

To end, one of my best compliments was given to me by my painting professor during senior year in undergrad.  He said: "You live color and that is evident in your work."  The painting professor also talked about color theory, saying that  some artist people study it, but for me it is intuitive.  And it is.  I haven't taken a painting class since, but I create masterpieces daily as I get dressed, contemplate nail polish colors and explore lipstick choices.



Friday, January 24, 2014

Old Favorites Styled in New Ways

I had a lot of fun with this outfit.  I styled some favorites in new ways-- my denim shirt, blue-green necklace and polka dot skirt-- and I dug into my bracelet collection for colorful arrangement of arm candy.  I also added socks to the mix for a new, different-for-me look.  The result, love love!

I've been enjoying a fuller brow these days<3.  J.crew factory necklaces, MAC half & half lipstick

denim shirt by GAP 1969, J.Crew Factory polka dot skirt, Uniqlo navy tights, J.Crew stripped socks, Steven booties

Guess watch, navy Baublebar elephant bangle, Express beaded bracelet, and some bangles that were gifted or bought on the street in Soho.

slouchy socks over tights, yes I did!

I am playing with color in new ways and it feels great!  Coming up next, a written post on my "color theory."

Miss M

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cords and Sneakers

Work has been crazy busy and I am looking forward to things calming down soon.  Here's what I wore last week to a Professional Development on PBIS, Positive Behavior Intervention Systems.  The PD was actually the only one I've attended in my career that focused on behavior. I really enjoyed it. The more I grow as an educator and develop my educational philosophy, the more I can confidently articulate that I believe in teaching the whole child. Educators often assume that students know or should know how to conduct themselves in the school setting and beyond. But they do not always, and if they do, they are easily swayed by peers. While teaching small classes, I always taught behavior. Now I'm realizing that students in the general education setting also need the same teaching. I digressed; this is an outfit post after all, so more about teaching the whole child another time.

I am enjoying my newish highlights!  And I am growing in my brows, they will soon be beautifully thick:-)

J.Crew Factory sweater, Old Navy chambray shirt, Gap cords
I'm loving my Gap 1969 thin cords. Love, love!  I also have them in hunter green.

I didn't realize I wore red and blue together until looking at these pictures.  I think the gold accents made it okay for me.  I typically avoid wearing certain color combinations that remind me of popular things, such as red and blue or orange and black.

J.Crew pave link bracelet, Guess watch
Yes, that's a snowman on my nail:)

Vince Camuto gold wedge sneakers

Happy Friday!
Miss M

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sometimes a Detective

On a recent morning, I had to put on one of my many hats.  Forget Miss M, I was Detective M.  

It was one of those days, having just retuned to school after a twelve day vacation, and I turned my back for ten seconds to edit something on the SmartBoard.  While I didn't see it happen, I knew immediately what happened. Or maybe I did see it-- they do say that teachers have eyes behind their heads.  Either way, I turned back as the class erupted with laughter.  That real bold laughter of sixth grade students returning to school after a vacation, no longer newly minted, but offically and comfortably middle schoolers.

It was then that I saw the candy, a purple Now & Later, on the floor in the front of the room by a student's desk.

"We are quiet in 3...2... and 1."  Maybe the students heard it in my voice, the it where they understand that I was not having it that day, because they quieted and returned to work.  "Until I find out who threw this, I will be keeping you all for detention tomorrow (nothing like Fridaay detention!). Before you leave here today let me know any information you have."

Whole class consequences do work, especially when it comes to getting information.  One student told me: "I think it was that side of the room.  So-and-so 1 or So-and-so 2." I wrote her name down. "One of you will be excused for information."

Then I looked at where the candy was and thought about trajectory.  With that I walked to the opposite corner and took a chance when I reached into So-and-so 1's  backpack and pulled out an open pack of Now and Laters. A match! I took the pack walked to front and said: "I found the culprit. You are all now released from detention, save for," I paused to look in the direction of the So-and-so 1, "the person who threw the candy."

I am truly a detective by necessity. In addition to investigating situations, I analyze handwriting (for neutral and questionable reasons), I ask "friendly" questions to gain information and I use reverse psychology to influence situations.  I can tell what a child was doing without even looking at her. I can hear things better in my classroom than I can in general, especially whispers. 

It's important that students see the teacher solve things especially when she didn't actually see it.  Half of the battle of everything teacher related is perception.  Maintain positive perception, and you're one step closer to maintaining classroom control. 

Miss M

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Acceptance is Key-- Happy 2014!

Acceptance.  That is my word of today.  Some of the hardest moments in a teacher's life, is accepting the fact that vacation is over and back to work she goes.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my twelve-day vacation, and though it's hard to accept that it's over, I must.  The only other alternative is being miserable right now and being unprepared tomorrow.  So, yup!  I'm back to teaching sixth graders in Brooklyn tomorrow at 8 AM.  I will be prepared, I will be dressed and I will be present.  

With that said, Happy 2014!  Here's what I wore today:
my name necklace is back!  It's been broken for a year, but O revived it and I grateful.  I'm wearing a bit of MAC's Heroine lipstick with a gloss over it.  I heard Heroine is scheduled to be re-released tomorrow!!!!

H&M navy sweater; olive green, un-sweatpants with zipper detailing from J.Crew; coach Madison bag, and my Vince Camuto sneakers.
I have been living in these gold, wedge sneakers this winter.  I even wore them to work once.  Love love!  They inspire me to create a sneaker collection.

I spent my day at the movies-- I saw Her with Joaquin Phoenix-- and did a little shopping.  I bought an eyeliner kit from Sephora that I am so excited about.  I will be trying it out tomorrow for my first day back to work.  I also got my favorite nude lipgloss, called perfect nude.  From there, I hit up Whole Foods for some skin and beauty favorites.  I love their glycerin soap-- my skin is super sensitive so aside from makeup, I prefer natural products.  I also got coconut oil and food-based vitamins.

I was feeling so inspired once I accepted tomorrow that I even cooked!  I made baked chicken with minced onion and garlic, mushroom rice and sauteed spinach.  Time to eat! 

Miss M