Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Projecting Pretty (In Attitude and Dress)

Girl About Town lipstick by M.A.C. and J.Crew light pink stud earrings.
A co-worker called me on my attitude a few weeks ago, and I am all the better for it.  I was going through a frustration spell, where the patience I'm generally known for had completely dissolved. The children were being themselves, comfortable middle schoolers who want to talk and play as much as allowed. And I, I was being short and snippy.  There was a moment where my usual self was attempting to break through by means of a teaching moment.  A student was being rude, and when I broke down what was happening, I used the word "unpleasant."  That was when my colleague who was close by to overhear the interaction told me that the way I've been lately was also unpleasant.

In that moment, all I could say was "thank you" and mean it.  That was the part of me that knew what was said to be the truth and was willing accept it.  I had to humble myself and listen because how I had been presenting myself really wasn't who I am as an educator, nor who I am as a person.

Of course,there is a reason behind most things.  My work environment has been crazy this year, and I was starting to take on some qualities as means of survival that were unpleasant.  In the time since this interaction, I've reflected on what I want in a workplace and in a school community, and realized that my current placement was not it.  I did the best I could there; but a poor fit cannot be made right just like an ill-fitting shoe will never work without pain, corns, blisters and other unpleasantness.

As I wrap up my eighth year of teaching, it's more important to me than ever that I can be myself at work and be successful.  More about that later.  Here's what I wore on a sunny day in June.

H&M dress, sandals from DSW

What I love about this dress is that it's a zip up.  I realize that when I shop for clothing, I shop according to cut and shape.  Everything is is secondary.  In this case, I picked up this dress because I knew it would be very flattering on my figure.  The high neck is appropriate for work, but the fitted bodice compliments while the flare skirt accommodates.  I can wear this dress comfortably on my bike, as I did on this day.

party on my arm!  Fossil watch and assorting bracelets

With three more days of work, I realize that I didn't even get to have a proper countdown.  And that is exactly how I prefer a school year to end.

Miss M

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Little Things

What a sweltering, muggy day in Brooklyn!  It truly is the time of sleeveless dresses when possible or at least a modest cap sleeve.  I entered my classroom today, after having biked up a hill in my wedges and not-so-breathable dress, and pushed the power button on the air conditioner. When nothing happened, my face fell.  Seriously.  I couldn't.  No, not today, I thought.  There I was under-the-weather, yet present at work. No co-teacher or coverage assigned but open to having a good day.  I let about six kids in my classroom early to take down chairs and one of them, awesome A, got the air conditioner to start. I was so thankful!  I only had about five minutes to set up for the day, and with practically no voice, I needed everything to be ready and easily accessible.

H&M dress, Bauble Bar neon crown jewels collar necklace, Target wedges, Guess watch
I've been sick since Saturday, but I've been trying to put my best foot forward through dress and attitude at work.  This is my second time wearing this classic-cut, navy dress, but first time in this way.

The length of this dress, along with the roomy cut, is perfect for biking.

My students let me know that I "looked sick" the day before, and in all fairness I was.  But when another student said that my usual glow wasn't there, I tried to add some with my makeup this morning.  I'm wearing highlighter around my eyes and fever blush by M.A.C.  Fake it until you make it!

Teaching is often about the little things.  Nuances in teacher tone, planning, preparation, as well as small moments between students and teachers.  It's the little things like when a student notices that you are under the weather and shows empathy. Or when a student tells you the truth as they see it and mean well.  Regardless, it doesn't take much to fully show up to work, dressed, even when under-the-weather.  How?  A dress, neat shoe, statement piece and a little blush.

Until next time,
Miss M

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sporty Chic at Brunch

Ah, Sunday brunch!  It's been a crazy busy week of pursuing opportunities, but that's for another post, so I am just now getting around to posting these photos from last week's brunch.  I headed to a neighborhood favorite, Alice's Arbor, with my big brother and O for a tasty, early afternoon meal.  Here's what I wore:

J.Crew Factory baseball tee, H&M shorts, sandals from DSW, Coach tablet clutch

I just got these sweat-pant shorts from and was dying to wear them, perfect for a relaxed Sunday.  I paired them with a baseball tee, but then added leather sandals and a sturdy clutch to polish off this otherwise sporty look.

Assorted rings from Bauble Bar, Guess watch, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses Girl About Town lipstick by M.A.C
Accessories definitely make this outfit.  I like tat the gold accents-- on the shorts, the jewelry-- further polish this outfit.  Sporty chic!  I look forward to styling these shorts in new ways.

Until next time,

A Fever in my Classroom

"It's the end-of-the-year fever," Little Miss said after I called her to the front of the room after her class erupted during eighth period dismissal.  "Fever, huh?" I responded.  "I guess I need to get the doctor in here," I added as I thought to myself, because this is not going to work unchecked.  With two more weeks of school to go, it is a bit too early for a teacher to be comfortable with any kind of feverish actions in her classroom.

Ah, such are the challenges of teaching public school in Brooklyn.  While I appreciate her candor and wisdom-- seriously, there's a reason why I call her "Little Miss"-- I know that I have to pull out all my tricks to keep my students engaged, relatively quiet and doing the right thing.

Perhaps it was the rough, longer than usual NYC winter.  Or maybe it's the sudden and complete onset of summer with little warning.  Regardless, the children are ready for recess all day long, and that, unfortunately, is not an option.

In these moments, I have to remember to just breathe.  The fever will break subside, the children will learn how to end their first year of middle school successfully, and we will all celebrate when it gets close enough to the last day of school.

Miss M

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yes, I Wear Stripes!

Every time I wear this dress, a co-worker tells me: you're so bold to wear stripes!  I just smile, no self-doubt in my fashion game.  Yes, I have large hips and yes, I wear horizontal stripes!  This dress is a closet favorite that I purchased at Marshall's last summer.  For this look, I paired it with a bold yellow cardigan to add some flair.  I really enjoyed the warm, mustard yellow and navy against the almost neon yellow.  A wrap dress, or in this case, a faux wrap dress is a must-have for every woman's closet.  It is both flattering, and always forgiving.
J.Crew cardigan, Marshall's dress, Fyre pumps, Ruby Woo lipstick

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Cultural, Foodie Adventure

What a beautiful weekend!  On Saturday O and I had a cultural/foodie adventure.  Seriously. In the span of a few hours, through sunshine and an intense downpour, we ate, pondered over art, ate some more, and thoroughly enjoyed our day and each other.  For our date afternoon, I reached deep into my closet and put together a funky outfit reminiscent of my most truest, stylish self.  An outfit that got me thinking: I should go thrifting and vintage shopping in Brooklyn ASAP.  It's been too long!

My main piece was this Harriet's Alter Ego dress from at least six years ago, worn here as a skirt.  The tied striped top was inspired by a girl I saw on my way home from the gy.  Tie, my top?  Why not!  I liked the pattern mixing, very fun.  The cardigan was a way to go from cooler to warmer temperatures seamlessly.  The clutch was a polished touched to this funky look.  Initially I had my purple cross over, but that was a bit much.  In the end, my purple lip was just the right touch.

J.Crew cardigan, tank, Harriet's Alter Ego African print dress, sandals from DSW, coach clutch, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, Heroine lipstick by M.A.C.
Pattern against pattern against pattern.  Yes!  This mural on a random block in Williamsburg gave me life.  I love when I find beautiful patterns where ever they might be.

 I love the asymmetrical nature of this skirt.  Very fun, and definitely flirty without being too much.

Another mural in Williamsburg.  I appreciate art in many forms in and many places.  Art against art.

 This skirt inspires me to do two things: one, take the African cloth my grandmother gave me in Congo years ago and get some pieces made and two, shorten the long skirts I had made into something more wearable.  I'm envisioning midi skirts, or just below the knee.  As for my cloth, I've been flirting between a structured dress and shorts, or some skirts made.  Will see.

Here I am inside the Domino Sugar Factory after viewing Kara Walker's Subtlety exhibit.

One of the many sugar babies at the exhibit, each made of molasses and dusted with white and brown sugars.

After view the Kara Walker exhibit, I happened across a wedding at the waterfront.  The most beautiful part to me was the openness of the nuptials.  There were people who happened by, who simply stopped to listen to the sermon and bare witness.  Definitely a beautiful, Brooklyn moment. 

Here's the best thing I ate that day.  Fried anchovies, Jersey style AKA with the head on, with a tasty dipping sauce.   I finally made it to Smorgasburg, where I hit up the Bonchovie stand and sampled some other eats.

Here's my best Yelp elite, total foodie photo.  Finally a decent one of me chowing down.  If this day is any indicator of the staycation I'm gearing up for after the school year ends, I can't wait!  Summer in Brooklyn is truly the best.  Even in summer nine, I still know that to be true.

Until next time.