Friday, April 30, 2010

Week 12, Day 5 - TGIF!

Week 12, Day 5 Outfit: Blue short sleeved BR button down (one that I also have in Magenta and Pink), BR Grey trousers, same shoes as the past 3 days - If you're reading this before I post my picture, sorry...didn't have my camera in my workbag and too lazy to get it from my car...will post the pic later.

Ahhhh, done with work on a Friday afternoon by 3pm (CST) and am now squatting in a Panera Bread to kill some time before my 6pm flight. I'm so excited to be heading home and unwinding from a long week of work. Thankfully, next Monday and Tuesday are light, so I'll be able to ease back into the workweek before heading to Chicago for another training session.

I'm not digging my outfit today...I feel masculine in it - as did I feel on Wednesday with my stripped shirt and pants in a different color look. Perhaps I should donate these articles of clothing as they make me feel less feminine and fashionista-y. I'm also having a bad hair day which is not doing much to enhance my self-evaluated sex appeal...not that it matters as I don't plan on picking any boys up at the bar - I've got one waiting at home :)...actually, one man, and 2 fuzzy boys, and one fuzzy girl waiting at home. I had a nightmare yesterday about my cat, Martini - I dreamt he was put in a pet shelter and that because of our finances or some other reason, could not take him back in. I was then desperately trying to find a good home for him as I didn't want him to end up in a bad home. Hmmm...not sure what that dream meant...likely something to the effect of "you've been sleep deprived, Lilly, and you miss your cats."

After my dinner at the local seafood restaurant last night (which I smartly decided on cooked seafood instead of how fresh can fish be in Ankeny, Iowa anyway?), I drove around and drove past a place like Massage Envy (called Massage Heights), did an immediate u-turn, and headed in to see if they could accommodate me for an hour massage last night - as I am all knotted up from lugging around my heavy work-bag all week. They were able to get me in an hour after I asked, so I spent some time walking around a Pier 1 to kill some time. Before this challenge, you would have found me heading to a Kohl's or TJMaxx and buying additional clothing that I already had some version of in my closet. Not anymore!

My massage was heavenly. I opted for the hot stone "upgrade" and asked for deep tissue pressure...though I was tearing up from what felt like too much pressure at times, I floated out of the place very relaxed and with perceptibly looser shoulders. I did feel "guilty" for cheating on Adam, my favorite therapist at Massage Envy, but he doesn't know how to do hot stone yet anyway. Speaking of Adam, he is a 6 foot 3 fraternity looking guy that leaves you a little unsettled when you first see him. But considering his stature, he has a very gentle massage style. Perhaps it's because he is somewhat oxymoronic is what makes him my favorite. (Mike, if you're reading this, I'm sure the fact that I get massages from him while you are on the other massage bed during our couples massages puts you at ease)...I HEART massages.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Week 12, Days 2 - 4: Travel, travel, travel!

Week 12, Day 2 Outfit (spring chick): Blue Ann Taylor Loft wrap dress, Yellow JCrew cardigan, Joan & David Black Patent Leather Pumps (repeated throughout this post)

Week 12, Day 3 Outfit (weary hen): BR striped button down, Red faux fur belt from Uniqlo, BR khaki trousers, same shoes

Week 12, Day 4 Outfit (fried chicken): Ann Taylor Loft cowl neck short sleeved sweater dress, same shoes (how else can I travel with a small bag for a week of business travel?)

Oi, I'm poooooooped (hence the extra descriptors in my rundown of outfits today, which, btw, are clearly not vegetarian)! 2 days in Columbus in long meetings that at times made me want to poke my eyes out because the client was so "all over the place." My colleagues and I enjoyed a nice dinner after the first day complete with some strong martinis to help introduce life back into ourselves after such a draining day. Day 2 was better, but ended with me being dropped off at the Columbus airport, eating a crappy meal with terrible restaurant service, jumping a plane to Minneapolis and then having a 1.5 hour layover before getting on a puddle jumper to Des Moines and arriving at the hotel around 1A EST. Luckily, on both flights I was without a neighbor, so I was able to spread out and blast my headphones as I watched first season episodes of Glee.

Man, there is nothing to do in Iowa! The best thing I could find around my hotel in Ankeny is a local seafood restaurant...seems interesting, and not a I'm game. I just hope they have outdoor seating. Tomorrow is another full day of consulting and ends with a direct flight (yay!) back home with an ETA of much for a Friday night! At least I have a relatively easy week next week, with only ONE trip to Chicago. I so miss the days when I was working from home for a week! At least I was able to crank out a few more outfits.

Oh, so one major challenge for my fast will be going to NYC in July for a girl's weekend. I'll be reuniting with some close grad school pals and we'll be painting the town red...or at least getting a good dose of girl talk, wine, and shopping in. It'll be interesting to see whether I can make it through that entire weekend without purchasing anything! I guess I can be on the sidelines providing my Tim Gunn critique of how things look on the rest of them. Perhaps I can relax my rules a bit and allow myself a handbag, accessory, or pair of shoes. Readers, can I??

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 12, Days 1 & 2 - Chillin' & Travelin'

Week 12, Day 1 - lounging around - so PJ's

Week 12, Day 2 - Ann Taylor Loft sage top, BR chinos, BR black wedges - it's spring time!

Yesterday was recovery from Saturday night's hurrah - so it involved sleeping in, breakfast to send off the out-of-town guests, and then getting a good-sized nap to recover from the past 3 weeks of what seems like a whirlwind of activity. I've heard that you can actually "bank" sleep hours or recover them from days of deprivation...hmmm, not sure I buy it, but who knows?

I'm once again on another week of travel (hence the more casual clothing) - Detroit to Columbus to Des Moines and back to Detroit. I decided to once again challenge my packing skills and pack for the whole week in my smallest that the weather is a bit warmer, it's a little easier to get 5 outfits into the I likely won't need to repeat as much as I did a few weeks ago...that and the fact that I don't need to wear any suits for this trip. I'm posting this blog from my hotel bed (yay wireless!) and stumbled across a nice amenity that I've never seen before. At the Crowne Plaza in Columbus, there is a little satchel filled with earplugs, and eye mask, and lavender spray for your pillow. Niiiiice! Or, maybe not so nice if the walls are as thin as paper...which they almost always are at these large convention hotels. Aside from a potential trip to Boston, that should be it travel-wise until BELGIUM!

Mike and I started planning for our European trip yesterday and I'm starting to get really excited for it. Back in February when we decided to go, I was worried about whether I'd be able to hold up with this challenge...but now that I'm almost 3 months into it, I do think I can actually resist! Unless there is some designer article of clothing that I won't be able to get anywhere else in the world, I do think I'll be able to say no! We fly into Amsterdam, head to Ghent (Belgium), spend 2 days there for a conference, then head into Cologne (Germany) for some wine tasting, and then back to Amsterdam to finish out our last couple of days. I CAN'T WAIT! And, in lieu of spending loads of money on must have clothes...I'll instead buy a ton of chocolate to bring back for everyone...oh, and stuff my face with good food. I promise to post on a more regular basis while there as the scenery will likely be a good backdrop for my daily pictures :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week 11, Day 7 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEN!

Week 11, Day 7 Outfit: Ann Taylor loft grey faux wrap dress; Nine West black stilettos

Tomorrow is my friend Jen's birthday (also probably one of my devout blog followers), so we are going out to celebrate with Mike and Lyn and Maggie and Scott. Mike and I are the sole childless couple, so the festivities will begin at our place and then we drop the 3 kids off at "Kiddie Jail," and enjoy a nice adult dinner. Cake will of course be after dinner and after the kids are re-united with their parents.

Today is a great occasion to spin through another one of my many dresses.

Last night we had a BGSU I/O faculty dinner at my advisor's house which is as close to a show home as I've ever seen. They have the most interesting artwork and house layout...perhaps when I reach retirement age, I can look back at our art collection and feel like it's even a fraction of Milt and Lee's. Dinner was, as always, delightful and the company was great. While eating, I talked about my blog and clothing challenge...I received a few chuckles from my dissertation and qualifying exams advisors - both men who probably have no idea how difficult this challenge might be...but they were amused by the fact that I post pictures of my outfits on a regular basis.

I'm still going strong...and almost at the 3 month mark! Piece of cake (well, not totally...but a lot easier than I thought it'd be!).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Week 11, Days 2-6: Court Appearance!

Week 11, Day 2 Outfit: Lounging Around, nothing of interest

Week 11, Day 3 Outfit: BR baby blue rousched cardigan, BR baby blue tank, BR grey pin-stripped trousers, Lovely People black patent leather peep-toed wedges

Week 11, Day 4 Outfit (court day!): Navy Blue Ann Taylor loft dress with striped ribbon belt, same shoes as Day 3 (I'm resourceful!)

Week 11, Day 5 Outfit: back at home, so, lounging around

Week 11, Day 6 Outfit: BR dark khaki v-neck "slinky" shirt, Express Jeans, Joan and David patent leather heels

Whew, what a week (as is evident for my slacking on the daily blog). Monday was pretty uneventful, a much basked in day of working from home and decompressing from the back to back activity that was the previous 3 weeks of this month...where in the world did March and April go?

Tuesday, I headed north to Detroit for an overnight stay with Mike and Lyn, and managed to beg Mike into taking me into court the next morning...just in case the judge asked how I managed to get to court with a suspended driver's license (more on that story later). I ended Tuesday with Happy Hour and getting really "happy" with a few shared bottles of white wine with some co-workers. Needless to say, we were all very "happy" by the end of the night, which left me in a bit of a daze the next day (Great way to make an appearance before a judge!).

Okay, the story that we've all be waiting for...COURT DAY! So, Mike and I make it to the court house just a little past 8:30 (my scheduled hearing time) and after passing through the metal detectors, step into what I can best describe as the most demographically mixed room of people I have ever seen. You have people of every race, age, socioeconomic status, and demeanor all sitting in the waiting area to make their case before the prosecutor, and then before the judge. Imagine me wearing my trench coat, heels, and navy blue dress, and sitting next to a 19 year old kid with watery red eyes, holes in the knees of his jeans, and half asleep as he waits to hear his name called. After about 15 minutes of waiting, I hear someone yell "Lin, Fun" and think, hmmm, what are the odds that there's another person with the last name of Lin? So I head into the prosecutor's chambers and ask "did you mean Lilly Lin?" This old curmudgeon of a man replies with "close enough. Sit down." So I sit and he barrages me with all kind of accusations..."it appears here that you failed to change your address in 2006 after being pulled over for going 78 in a 55 zone." I reply with "yes, sir, but in my defense, I was never given any instructions as to how to change my address with the court." His reply: "well, that's not my problem is it? You also have a suspended license that you will need to clear with the Secretary of State." My reply "okay, how am I to go about doing that?" His reply: "that's not my problem'll need to find the nearest office to you and settle the matters there. We're done here, you need to testify before the judge now." Blank stare from me followed with "okay, and where do I do that?" He impatiently barks back "out the door to your left." Then he calls the next name. I NEVER! What a freakin' prick. Do note that until I had shared this story with others, I had no idea who this guy that I know he's the prosecutor, I guess I understand why he was such an a**hole!

So, I head into the court room with Mike in tow, and we sit down at the bench closest to the judge's stand waiting for my name to be called. 20 minutes of sheer entertainment then transpires. We hear people getting convicted of being caught with pot (which ended up being the 19 yr. old that I was sitting next to in the waiting area), a woman who obstructed traffic but couldn't speak a word of english and needed to have her translator sworn in to communicate to the judge that she doesn't have the cash to pay her fine (as she is unemployed), a teenager (dressed in Catholic school uniform) and her mother who go before the judge because she failed to stop at a stop sign...who's mother then asks the judge if in lieu of paying the fine, he can sentence her daughter to community service so she (instead of her mom) is punished. The judge comes back with "I appreciate your point, but unfortunately, I cannot substitute community service for a fine without scheduling another hearing with you" to which the mother quickly replies "we'll pay the fine." The judge then chuckles and says "perhaps you can have her so some community service around your house to make up for it." Mike and I both agreed that we could easily get hours of entertainment from just witnessing some of these hearings. I can just see it now, Mike sitting in the back of the courtroom with a box of popcorn, munching loudly, and being called out by the judge "sir in the back of the room, can you keep your smacking down, I am trying to hear the defendant."

Okay, so my witnessing other hearings, I was able to determine that I had the fortune of being assigned to a nice judge...but regardless, when he called my name, I am all nerves and can barely squeak a word out. I state my name, then respond to his statements "it appears here that you failed to change your address and therefore received a fine. Wow (sarcastically), that's a really serious offense (smirk)." I giggle and say "yes, your honor." He then states "okay, I'm going to reduce this fine back to the original amount and waive the late fees which brought your fine up to, wow, $ I'll re-instate the original fine. It also appears that we need to clear your license suspension which involves a $45 fee that will go to the secretary of state." Eat that you mean ole' prosecutor! I happily nod my head and say "thank you, your honor." He ends with "case dismissed." So, I now have one traffic violation for the other speeding ticket and the driving with a suspended license charge...more on that to come in the next few weeks! At least I am back to being an upstanding citizen!

Days 5 -6: Yesterday was another work from home day (ahhhh...) and today is generally light. I have an eye appointment which will hopefully end with me be given the go ahead to wear contacts again. I don't know how people can wear glasses all the time...they are so annoying! Although, my boss did comment on how she liked my nerdy librarian look...hmmm, if they do anything to make me look more professional and older, then that's good to know! Tonight we'll be dining at my grad school advisor's house - which is a real treat because he lives in my dream home and his wife rules at entertaining...oh, if I could only one day be Lee Hakel!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week 10, Days 5 - 7, Week 11, Day 1

Week 10, Day 5 Outfit: Beige Dillard's tunic sweater, Orange BR short sleeved button down, Black BR trousers (that are mis-matched with the black suit I wore last week)

Week 10, Day 6 Outfit: BR brown suit, Dark turquoise Ann Taylor Loft sleeveless v-neck shell, BR brown open-toed slingbacks

Week 10, Day 7 Outfit: BCBG black embroidered sweater, Pink BR sleeveless shell, Firetruck jeans

Week 11, Day 1 Outfit: Dark blue Forever 21 tunic sweater (I seem to have a lot of these!), BR beige wool sleeveless shell, Silver Jeans

The rest of my travel week in Chicago was uneventful and finished with me really feeling the constraint of my resourceful packing (as you can see from the picture above). Though you've seen all 3 articles of clothing in my Week 10, Day 5 outfit, I counted the orange shirt as my item for the day though I probably wore it 3 times in the past week. There were other outfits that were the official garb for those other 2 days, so in my mind, I'm not cheating! My first day back in the comforts of my home began with a sales presentation to a local client, so I wore a suit...then quickly changed into casual clothes (but kept the top from the suit ensemble on to get the most use out of it). Mike was gone on Friday night, so I used the time to catch up on Glee and veg out in front of the TV with PF Chang's takeout (yum!).

Saturday was spent at two different parties - one a birthday party for Baye, Maggie and Scott's adorable 5 year old princess (the one that I bought the tiara and butterfly wings for). Kid's birthday parties are so interesting. It's almost as if the adults that bring their children to these parties have the kids on a jam-packed schedule and everything runs like clockwork. As soon as Baye was done opening her presents, the party cleared out - kids and associated parents heading to their minivans and getting ready for the next party or event. Kids have it so rough these days with their crazy social calendars. As for me, I, too, left the party to go to a Pampered Chef/Arbonne party and pigged out on some delicious food. I also managed to rack up quite a bill in Pampered Chef products...but again, not nearly as much as I would have spent in one trip to Banana Republic. Mike returned Saturday night so we went out with Sarah and Dave, who we haven't seen in ages, and had a nice pre-dinner bottle of wine at Vino100 and then headed to a local seafood restaurant. I did don another "going out" outfit that evening, but have decided to save it for another time. My outfit for Saturday comprised of a sweater that I have worn only once, and is probably too big for me to keep - so into the donation pile it goes!

Sunday was the first day Mike and I have been home on a weekend day for 3 weeks! So, we began the morning with a yoga class, headed to a coffee shop, and then got massages in the afternoon. My inevitable case of Sunday anxiety set in - as was evident by my bustling around the house trying to clean and straighten everything. I mentioned to Mike that we need to "de-clutter" our lives, and he replied back with "it's Sunday" meaning that he knows the comment is coming from my strange bio-chemical imbalance that causes me to become manic, anxious, and crabby. This usually carries into Monday morning and goes away around lunchtime. Today, however, I think it's a bit better - probably because I am not traveling at all this week and am looking forward to some downtime.

My court hearing for my arrest warrant is on Wednesday. Hmmm...definitely thinking pin-striped navy suit with a blue button-down which I'm hoping will send the "would an irresponsible criminal wear this?" message to the judge. We shall see!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Week 10, Day 4 - Feelin' the Urge

Week 10, Day 4 Outfit: BR black suit (which, to my dismay, I discovered that the jacket and pants are completely different that happened, I do not know, but the camera does not lie!), Ann Taylor blue silk short sleeve blouse with clear buttons (my favorite feature)

Today was Day 2 with another set of executives at a small midwestern bank...this second group was not nearly as intimidating as the first. There were several factors that might have made for this case: 1) I wore a black pantsuit, 2) I was not wearing my glasses (in protest to this dumb eye thing I have going on), 3) did not wear my hair back, 4) was not in a board room complete with 12 person long lacquered table, marble countertops, a panaromic view, and fancy little leather writing pads at each seat, 5) made the client facilitate most of the session, 6) this group of execs was the younger crowd and not the crochety bit that I had yesterday.

Though my session with the client ended early, I was completely wiped by 2pm CST and headed straight to begin the 2nd portion of my Chicago trip and checked into my Hampton Inn. After spending about 10 minutes taking multiple picture of today's outfit (I've discovered that my camera sucks and only produces 1 in 10 shots that are not blurry...anyone who knows anything about photography, please help!), catching up on email, and taking a few phone calls, I decided to call it quits for the day and find a restaurant with outdoor seating - as today's weather was 80 and sunny - a real treat in Chicago this time of year. I found a Gordon Biersch, ate my dinner with a glass of Chardonnay, and was feeling pretty good about the day, especially anticipating being able to get back to my hotel early and watch back to back episodes of Glee. It was painful to be in an outdoor mall with decent shops, on a sunny day, and have to resist all the store windows calling my name...but I did...though I must admit that today was the greatest urge to shop that I've had since beginning this challenge. I did manage to buy a little something - a birthday gift for Maggie's daughter. Stupid me...butterfly wings and a tiara are not exactly the easiest things to fit in an already packed suitcase...I guess we'll find out!

On my way back from dinner, I decided to pull into a gas station to fill the tank so I don't have to do it tomorrow right before returning the car to the airport and discovered that I had left my credit card at the restaurant. DRAT! So, back to the restaurant I go, and on the way back pull into a Shell to gas up, only to find that all stations are packed and witness what I firmly believe was a drug sale at one of the pumps. I should have honked at the guy and threatened to narc on him unless he either 1) gave up his pump, or 2) shared the loot (are blogs incriminating?).

I am so excited about finally heading home after 1.5 weeks of straight travel, activity, and eating total crap. Though I'm keeping up the pescatarian thing (the veg thing went out the window), I still feel bloated and crappy. The guy that gave me a Thai massage the other day was doing some kind of Ayurvedic technique on my foot and told me that I have digestive issues and should stay away from raw foods and foods with too much air - well, in my avoidance of raw foods, I'm still feeling crappy. I guess the glass of wine I have every day or so does not really help the matter...or the fact that I get little to NO water when I travel and am constantly tempted by cookies. One thing Up in the Air did not address about travel is the fact that you become a bloated cow after eating out every day and sitting in meetings all day. Sure, you walk around in the airport, but then spend 3+ hours sitting on a plane, in the gate area, or at the bar as you pass time with your time-passing elixir (aka, alcohol).

I cannot wait for a week of normalcy - kind of - before yet another full week of travel. Geez...I miss the work from home days, but I will certainly be posting a lot of pictures during high travel time!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week 10, Day 3 - Executives!

Week 10, Day 3 - Outfit 1: Navy Blue JCrew skirt suit, Ann Taylor blue print short-sleeved v-neck top

Week 10, Day 3 - Outfit 2: BR red-orange short-sleeved blouse, Express Jeans, BR black denim wedges (yes, I think you're beginning to see how resourceful I had to be to pack for this trip!)

Today, I had to lead a working session with a group of Executive Vice Presidents of a small midwestern bank. Even though the bank is small, it certainly did not tone down the fear factor nor the intimidating aura off of some of the members. It's hard being a 5'1", small framed Asian that still gets carded when I pull up to a blackjack table or order a mixed drink at a bar. At our annual conference on Friday, I attended a speed mentoring session where two more seasoned practitioners shared stories about how they were able to influence organizational decision certainly helps to have some white hair and a few wrinkles...but some of their points were asking the right questions, walking into the room knowing that you are the expert in what you do even though you may not fully understand your client's business. I decided to go with the conservative navy blue skirt suit over the black pant suit, as in a traditional financial institution like this one, showing leg is actually seen as more formal (probably because we women have to wear pantyhose which can be interpreted as some kind of subservient bondage - don't get me started on my woman's lib tirade!). Anyway, as you would probably guess, within an hour of my day, my pantyhose started to run all the way down to just above my knee, so I took great care to keep my skirt as lowly situated on my waist as possible. I hate pantyhose!

I had a hard time sleeping last night, partly from my nerves around today's session with the big wigs, but also partly because I made the mistake of watching 2 episodes of Glee last night right before bed. I could not get the "Don't stop believing" Journey song out of my head and kept waking up to it. In the past week, I've probably averaged about 5 hours of sleep...but I still seem to be functioning okay. Maybe it's genetics - my brother told me yesterday that he gets 4 hours of sleep a night. Hmmmm...

To stay true to my "make the most out of being in Chicago, even if my hotel is in the burbs" challenge, I'm meeting with a colleague for dinner in the city. Should be fun...and was motivating enough for me to change into a completely different outfit today, though I'll classify my suit as my official Week 10, Day 3 don't be surprised if you see this orange shirt again!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 9, Day 7 & Week 10, Days 1 & 2

Week 9, Day 7 Outfit (not shown): Turquoise short-sleeve linen cropped dress (which comes right above the knee on me, being 5'1" and all) - I may re-enact this look so I can post it when I get back home on Thursday.

Week 10, Day 1 Outfit (not shown): BR Off-White chinos (also seen in today's outfit), Old Navy nude tank top

Week 10, Day 2 Outfit: BR Off-white chinos, Turquoise (?) Ann Taylor sleeveless tee, Reef flip flops (my feet say "Ahhhhhhhh" - stop torturing us with those other things you call shoes!"), White House Black Market jacket (thought the picture with it on looked better than the one without, you be the judge)

Yikes...because my annual professional conference (the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychologists, aka SIOP) bled into the weekend, my days are all mixed-up now! My last post was on Friday (I think) and therefore I'm left with updating my blog for Saturday, Sunday, and today. Friday night was my wild and crazy evening - as was evident by the fact that I woke up Saturday morning still wearing my dress, pantyhose, and earrings. My saintly husband escorted me back home (I was clearly beyond the point of being able to walk the 3 blocks back to the hotel, so we had to cab it). I'd blog more about Friday night, but I really don't remember much after 10:30...which would suggest to me that the 5th glass of wine at the 2nd party is what did me in. One of my clients the next day ran into me and giggled when he said "how are you feeling this morning?" I apologized for whatever crazy behavior I exhibited and he very nicely told me "you were fine, you just fell asleep halfway through a sentence while you and I were talking." Those that don't know me should know that I hardly ever fall asleep on people. I'm usually the one that will squeeze out 50 yawns as inconspicuously as possible to avoid offending my, it was either the lack of food to absorb the alcohol, the 5+? glasses of wine, or the fact that I was just damned tired!

Saturday was another conference day, and I ended up having to wear a suit because I had "booth duty" for my company. This became quite painful as it was the 3rd straight day standing and walking in heels around the massive conference hotel (not to mention the fact that I was hungover and wanted nothing more than to wear jeans and flip flops). I inserted gel soles into my shoes but it only made the shoes tighter and more uncomfortable toward the tips of my toes. I had lunch with 3 gal pals of mine, 2 of whom I don't get to see all that often. We chatted about the blog, my run-ins with the traffic enforcers in Michigan (I hate them now), and the fact that I've been trying to wear colors that flatter my skin tone. Since two of the other lunch bunch were also Asian, they could both relate to how difficult it would be to tease apart my "tranquil" color (the lighter color of my iris) from my "energy" color (the darker part of my iris). After lunch, we ladies decided to join up with others to partake in the CNN tour. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It's really cool being able to see all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes when filming a news show.

The rest of Saturday was spent with a good friend/colleague that Mike and I bonded with during a VIP trip we were all on. He and his partner (both of whom I completely adore and get self-conscious around because they are both so HOT) took Mike and I to a great restaurant that had a terrific patio - perfect for enjoying the warmer and sunny southern weather. We snacked on what we ended up calling "ass pizza" because the cheese smelled like, well, you know, drank cocktails and a couple bottles of Viognier (chosen by my personal sommelier, Mikey), and just had a great time catching up and decompressing from the conference (or in my case, had a little hair of the dog - and, no, I'm not an alcoholic...I don't think). My brother then met us at the restaurant to take us to his place where I was reunited with my princess niece, Reese, and her extremely well-behaved brother, Ethan. Though I'm still teetering on mommy-dom (and the decision to even be a mommy), those children never cease to make me want one - really bad...only, I could do without the whole baby thing and fast forward straight to when they are 4ish+. By then, they understand that you can't touch an expensive designer jacket with syrupy hands.

Sunday was spent hanging out with my brother and his family, playing a little bit of Rockband, and finding my new obsession - the Fox series Glee. My brother started playing the premier on his tv and I was immediately hooked. Being the technology guru that he is, he then downloaded onto my computer, the entire 1st season, which made flying time from Atlanta to Chicago today go too quickly! After blogging, I am curling up in my hotel bed with my laptop, and one more episode of Glee before heading off to dreamland - which shouldn't be too hard since Mike and I were abruptly awaken at 5:30 this morning by my brother asking if we were ready to head to the airport...alarm clock failure! I've never packed so fast in my entire life!

This afternoon, instead of heading straight to my hotel in the suburbs of Chicago, I decided to make the best use out of my day and headed to the Chicago Diner to try out their veggie menu. What I ordered still wasn't as good as what Mike and I had at the Vegan soul food restaurant, but it was still tasty for being a fake McRib. I did decide to get one of the vegan desserts to go and took a bite out of it after having dinner at a nearby sushi place...and BAM...HEAVEN! I know better, however, than to think that vegan does not equal low calorie! Tomorrow I think I'll venture back into the city and try a raw food restaurant...should be interesting!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Week 9, Days 5 & 6 - Conference Attire

Week 9, Day 4 Outfit: BR black trousers, BR rose colored button down, BR black tunic
Week 9, Day 5 Outfit: BR blue short sleeved, rouched waist dress, Ann Taylor Loft khaki cropped jacket

It's now Day 2 of our annual conference in Atlanta which has been marked with running into lots of old acquaintances, wearing suits and heels, and running from session to session taking in so many that it's all becoming a blur. Yesterday, after the day was over, I headed to a spa with a previous colleague of mine and got a Thai massage. For those not familiar with what a Thai massage is, think "Couple's Retreat" where the yoga guy is intertwining himself with the personal space of the women during their couple's yoga session. It's a great feeling, but you have to be really comfortable with having your personal space completely invaded. He did this one thing where my femoral artery was shut off by him pressing really hard on my quad (which hurt like hell) and when he let go, a rush of warmth and relaxation overtook my leg. I woke up this morning feeling a bit beaten up, but in a good way.

I've updated a few of my friends who I haven't seen in awhile on my blog and decision to not buy clothes for a year. After their wide-eyed "why" looks, they then remark on how proud they are of me and provide the same encouragement I've gotten from others. They inevitably look at what I'm wearing and say "so, you won't wear that again for another year, huh?"

Though I wore a suit today, since I'll likely wear it again next week, I decided to make today's "outfit" the dress that I'll be wearing to my company's reception, followed by the BGSU alumni party (always guaranteed to be the wildest one as it runs the latest). I will likely "get my drink on" tonight as I had to be relatively behaved yesterday since I had a client meeting for lunch and was chairing a session this afternoon. I'll, of course, exercise some restraint at the company party, and then let loose as the alumni party. SIOP stands for Severe Indulgence of Partying!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Week 9, Day 4 - Travel Clothes

Week 9, Day 4 Outfit: Dillard's (don't know the brand name) tunic sweater, Old Navy nude tank, Express Jeans, BR black denim wedges (probably another one of my oldest items!)

Two posts in one day...I guess I'm making up for being such a slacker last week! I figured I wouldn't have all that much time to post after I begin traveling to my conference, so I'd get one more picture in. Today, I'm sporting what I would best describe as my Obi Wan Kenobe costume with the long tunic like sweater. Again, going back to The Color of Style recommendation, I'm supposed to wear my tranquil color (the color of the lighter parts of my, that would still be brown!!) while traveling - as that will help me relax into my new environment and likely offset all the hassles you deal with when you fly.
Random thought for the day: Has anyone ever wondered if a female terrorist were to hide a bomb in her bra whether they would make women take off their bras before passing through security? This happened with the shoe-bomber!

Like George Clooney in Up in the Air, I've got going through the security line down to a science. As soon as you are able to scoot up to the metal table where you can begin placing your totes to push forward onto the rolley thingies that preceed the conveyor belt, I grab two plastic totes, place my laptop and shoes in one, and then my work bag and jacket (if it's winter) into the other. Meanwhile, I drag my rollerbag along with me using my right hand as I push with my left the totes that are side by side to each other down the metal table to the rolley thingies and then onto the conveyor belt. I then hoist my suitcase onto the conveyor and wait to make sure everything makes it into the suitcase MRI (my special word for that X-ray thingamabob) as often times, you think it's all in there, and then the TSA person scanning things puts things in reverse thereby shooting all your things back onto the non-rolley part of the assembly line. Like I said, pure science!

While I'm writing in painful detail about the state of air travel these days, can I just share with you my top 5 pet peeves about other travelers? Here goes:

5. People who still have absolutely no clue about the fact that large gallon sized water bottles are not permitted through security...where have you been? Underneath a rock?

4. Obnoxious, overly-confident business travelers who talk on their bluetooth headsets at a volume that people on the other side of the terminal can hear.

3. Fellow passengers that in their rush to get on the plane, completely block the gateway so even when your boarding zone is called, you cannot get through - and then you end up being herded through the gate with the other cows.

2. Ticketing agents who feel the need to announce every little detail about the flight - like, "for passengers traveling on flight ### to ______, I would like to inform you that the plane's restrooms are being serviced because a passenger on the previous flight had an accident on the flight coming in." Ummm...TMI!

And, finally, my biggest pet peeve...(drum roll)...when the exact passengers who were on such a rush to get on the plane, are the first to unbuckle their seatbelts, jump out of their chairs, grab their luggage from the overhead compartment, and then book it to the middle of the aisle, sighing noisily while they wait for the other passengers to get off. If you hadn't been in a such a rush to board the plane, maybe you wouldn't be so ansy to get off of it at first sign of the "ding."

Week 9, Days 1/2 & 3 - Downtime and Crazytime

Week 9, Day 1 & 2 Outfit (don't judge, you know you re-wear things too!): Loungewear: Gap Green velvet hoodie, black Old Navy yoga pants (Sunny the cat once again making a guest appearance...geez, you'd think he could change it up a bit and wear something other than black!)
Week 9, Day 3 Outfit: Blue JCrew button-down, Brown BR trousers, Naughty Monkey stripped peep-toed heels (see previous Week 4, Day 6 post for up-close picture of these wacky shoes!)

Well, Easter proved to be rather uneventful (in a great way) and was spent in a spinning class, catching up on DVRed episodes of Dancing with the Stars and Desperate Housewives (both guilty and embarrassing pleasures), picking up the book recommended to me by my client about finding what colors work best for you, and sipping wine with the hubby on the back porch when he returned from his trip (yep, I was bacheloretting it for the weekend, hence the visit from the gals over the weekend).

This book, The Color of Style, was a bit frustrating to read through as it asks you to identify different colors in your eyes and hair. Hmmm...given that I'm Chinese and that my eye and hair coloring are both BLK in my drivers license, kind of hard to differentiate between black and more black. Upon hard look, however, I did note that I have different shades of brown in my eyes and hair...which makes up for 3 of the 6 different "colors" that I'm supposed to wear. So, when I want to feel energized, I wear...brown. When I want to be tranquil, I wear...brown. When I want to be business casual, I wear...brown. So, the bottom line is that for much of my life, I'll be dressed up like a turd. Nice.

I did put some of the author's suggestions to practice yesterday as I dressed for an office day (though you can't tell, I was wearing brown pants) and also as I packed for my back to back trips - first to our annual professional conference in Atlanta, and then to Chicago for two separate client meetings. I have serious issues with checking bags because Murphy's law dictates that the moment I check my bag for back to back business trips, the bag will inevitably get lost and I'll spend the next week trying to track it down...and will end up having to buy clothes which will break the "fast"...hmmm, maybe I should check my bag (wink). So, because I am not checking a bag, I have substantially streamlined my packing down to 2 business suits (both black, because that's my "formal" color according to The Color of Style), 4 blue-toned shirts (which is my dramatic color), 1 rose colored short-sleeve button down (which is my romantic color), a couple of dresses for the different "going out" events I have scheduled during the conference, 1 pair of jeans, a couple pairs of slacks, yoga/exercise/pajama gear, and TWO pairs of shoes, aside from sneakers and flip flops (this is a real feat, because I have been known to pack upwards of 7 pairs just for a 3 day conference). Thankfully, I'll be staying with my brother over the weekend and will thereby have access to his washer/dryer so I can refresh things before heading into the second segment of my trip. So...stay tuned for some more interesting pictures this upcoming week - as you'll see me churn through 7 more articles of clothing!

One other note, you'll see that I'll be sporting my glasses for the next week as I have somehow managed to get a "rug burn" on the cornea of my eye which feels like I have an eyelash stuck somewhere on my eyeball that I cannot get rid of. Back in college, I did a study on whether glasses make someone appear more attractive and smarter. I found that for men, it didn't make a lick of difference, both in terms of attractiveness and intelligence. But for women, those wearing glasses were perceived as being smarter but less attractive. So...given that I'll be attending a professional conference, I guess it's perfectly fine for me to appear smarter, albeit uglier. Maybe if I wear my hair up, I can channel my Sarah Palin ego and insert the word "ya know" into every other sentence.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Week 8, Days 3-6

Week 8, Day 3 Outfit: BR black tuxedo dress, black patent leather Joan and David heels
Week 8, Day 4 Outfit: Ann Taylor Loft "denim" suit, black BCBG slingbacks
Week 8, Day 5 Outfit: Hot pink J Crew camisole, Black Express Dress Shorts, Nine West black stilettos (and Lyn Cummins making a guest appearance)
Week 8, Day 6 Outfit: BR gold sleeveless dress shirt, Express Jeans, BR taupe patent leather heels

Yes, I know, I'm WAY behind on my blogging! Sorry about that...but it's been a pretty jam-packed half week. Quick recap of this past week:

Week 8, Day 3: Dinner with the CEO - yikes! For that evening, I decided to wear another little black dress (yes, I know I have a ton of them...that's why I'm on this challenge, right?). The dinner was very nice and not as high pressure as I imagined it to be (wine definitely helped). I was able to resist land meat and had the fish...I think my week of "vegetarian" definitely went out the window...but I'm definitely sticking to pescatarianism and vegetarianism when I can.

Week 8: Day 4: All-day client meeting at my company's, I donned a business suit (but one that looks like denim as this was a less formal meeting). Spent the whole day with the client and then 3.5 hours driving back home. That morning, during breakfast, I was chatting casually with the client and learned that there is an expert out there that can "do your colors." Basically, the person profiles you and tells you what colors are most complimentary to your skin tone, personality, and "style." We talked about how, in some ways, this can help address that "I have nothing to wear" phenomenon that we ladies often experience. Case in point, even though I have loads and loads of clothes, I still run into that issue, though sooner or later, the feeling maybe legitimate given that I'm trying to burn through my entire wardrobe! Maybe I should have my colors done...but that would require me to re-stock my closet...hmmm, I guess that'll have to wait until this challenge is over.
Week 8, Day 5 & 6: Ladies weekend! I had some girlfriends from Detroit come down for a Girl's weekend. From wine-tasting, to tapas, to viewing Sex and the City episodes, to spa time, to seeing Wicked (the musical), to ending our jam-packed 36 hour stint of time with a dinner at a local seafood restaurant, I'd say we certainly accomplished "having fun!" When giving a tour of the house, two of the women who have already seen the house mentioned to the third that she had to see my closet to fully understand why my shopping habit needs to be addressed. And her expected reaction - "um, yeah, you have a lot of clothes." Yup...and getting "richer" each month by restraining myself. Now I'm back in my "fat clothes" to accommodate the bulge that managed to develop from excessive eating and drinking...ahhh, gotta love elastic waistbands!