Video (click picture to watch on Instagram):
This past week concluded my second year as a middle school teacher. Thinking back on the the naive 22 year old I was when I first entered my classroom, much has changed. The way I walked, talked, and dressed is quite a bit different from how I am now. I struggled to find my fit with the teacher
When I first started teaching, I set my mind to dressing like a cross-breed of Ms.Frizzle and Bill Cosby. The end result, as seen in the first semester of my teaching, was nausea-inducing. I had gone out and thrifted vintage skirts and dresses with pockets and wacky prints on them. I was trying too hard to fit the archetype of a teacher that I had created in my mind. It wasn’t until after New Years of my first year of teaching that I decided to sit down and craft my signature style. This is what I came up with it:
My new style consisted of things I already owned and already wore. I wasn’t trying to be someone else; instead I was trying to bring the real me to work every day. My students loved it! They didn’t always understand my matching or the way I put my outfits together but they respected my style and my boldness. They would ask me how and why I had chosen to wear certain items together and I would patiently answer that the silver glitter in my loafers complemented the gray stripe in lapel of my blazer. I’m glad I finally decided to represent my own sense of style. By doing so, my students could see the difference between stylish and trendy. There were times that my outfits missed the mark, but at least I was doing me and not trying to be someone else. And besides, the Ms. Frizzle persona took too long to create every morning. My sense of style was more effortless and natural.
Tip #1. Cardigans are your best friends
Classrooms are cold. At least mine was. Even in my Houston classroom in the middle of March, the A/C in the building would be cranked up so high that I could always been seen with a cardigan on. Cardigans have the magical ability to make increase the sophistication level of almost any outfit. My closet is full of plain cardigan, printed cardigans, light cardigans, heavy cardigans, and so on. I even keep a beige neutral cardigan in my classroom, just in case. A cardigan has a professional air to make your outfit work appropriate.
Tip #2. Layering can maximize your wardrobe
Layering outfits make it seem as though you have a lot of clothes. Layering is a great excuse to wear the same clothes more than once, but in a different way. For example, a printed button down shirt is an ideal layering-agent. Check out the outfit below:
My version of layering:
Tip #3. Keep a pair of flats around
After being on your feet for several hours, you’re going to wish you had slipped those cute loafers instead of your Jimmy Choos earlier than morning. Check out my post on alternatives to high heels. Click here.
Tip #4. Invest in a sturdy teacher bag
A a teacher, any old bag won’t do. A teacher bag is expected to hold papers, planners, grade books, numerous colored pens, and other miscellaneous items. When the straps on my large tote back broke from the weight of my bag, I headed to Target for some well-priced sturdy bag options. Another great choice is a diaper bag. It sounds crazy, but diaper bags are built to hold a lot of stuff. They have many pockets and compartments– the perfect compliment to a teacher lifestyle.
Tip #5. Do the “reach and squat” test
I taught middle school boys, so I had to be especially conscious of my attire. When you check yourself out in the mirror in the morning, be mindful of the range of motions you will be performing throughout the day— reaching, leaning over, and squatting. Students won’t always necessarily tell you if you are exposed. In my experience, they like to whisper and point it out to other students before they finally tell you. You have to be self-aware at all times. One time, I went through an entire class period with my zipper down and no one said a word to me about it. Ironically, the kids were very attentive and into the lesson, or so I’d thought. Lesson: cover up.
Even though I am now transitioning out of my role as a teacher into my role as a graduate students, I will probably dress somewhat like a teacher. I’m most excited to wear shorts and jeans freely again. I’m looking forward to being dress code-less, but at the same time I must admit that the dress code taught me how to dress. Dress codes are not stiflers of style, but instead a challenge to think outside the box while staying in line.
If you’re a professional who has a work dress code, how do you stay within dress code without compromising your style?
Yesterday, I went to Macy’s Trendspotter event. Houston Fashion Bloggers let me know about this event. I thought I’d stop by after work.
Looking at my past outfits of the day (OOTDs), I’ve realized I have been a bit tomboyish as of late. I love polka dot print. I was feeling funky today so I wore my black and white polka pants.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Houston’s new style. Houston is quickly becoming a hip place for fashionable young professionals. Thank you to all those who allowed me to capture their style for my blog.
Special thanks to Macy’s and Houston Style Magazine for putting on the event. Check out the talented people on the Trendspotter = host committee:
Keagan Noelle Stylist, Feyi Omodele Stylist, Jon “Cabby” Caballero The Class Room Men's Boutique, Phillip Adesulu JPR Styling, The Houston Fashion Bloggers, Zoe Jackson-Jarra Stylist, Chigozie Anaele Designer Kachi Designs, DJ Fanci, Ahrif Sarmui Writer/Contributor Huffington Post, Chris Huston R&B/Pop artist, SoutherNewyorker Kavachi, Chris Manfredi Futurist & CEO Connect Strategies, Brittany Sweetnam Stylist, Southern Gents’, Shalanda Turner Live Life in Style Blog, Marquis Trill MC/YouTube Personality, Nadia Palacios Lauterbach & Gabriella Aliberti Mon Venin
We parked the cars and walked a couple blocks to the PopShop Houston event on Spring Street. I felt like I had stepped into Austin. I’ve never seen so many hipsters in one place in Houston before. The Heights is turning into mini-Austin.
We met Laura, the owner of Birds on a Wire, and I she was very sweet . Laura was a teacher, like Bunmi and I, and we were surprised to see that Birds on a Wire was a non-profit. Head over to her blog to see the story behind her shop (it’s a good one!). Her jewelry display was creative and chic. I loved the necklaces hanging from the branches and the door-knocker necklace.
Outside there were vintage business trailers all over the place.
Height of Vintage
We stopped by PhotoMoto, a vintage truck with a photo booth set up inside with props included. We paid $5 and got a set of two photo strips.
I stopped in the middle of the street for some jumping pictures. I’m a little rusty.
Special thanks to Bunmi for the great pictures!
Thursday (My Birthday!!)
I was showered with love and kindness on my birthday. I didn’t get to do every single thing on my birthday list, because I feel under the weather, but I had a great birthday. I am thankful for my friends and loved ones.
Happy Birthday to me!
Next week on May 2nd, I am turning 24 years old. I usually don’t make a huge fuss over my birthday but this is going to be my last birthday for a while in Houston. I need to spend it with the people I love, doing things I enjoy.
I am the type of person who loves birthdays but I spend most of my time planning for others and making sure people enjoy their birthdays that my own birthday often gets overlooks. This year, I’m not going to wait for someone to surprise me or throw me a party.
This year, I’m going to avoid those incredibly mundane birthday dinners. I’m using my extreme over-planning skills to plan myself the most epic birthday week I can think of. Why? Because I can finally admit to myself that I deserve it.
Here’s a peek at the schedule (below). Click on the picture for the Google Doc for the birthday week lineup. Yes, it’s that serious.
The document will be updated periodically, with times, prices and locations in the document.
If you’d like to see new places in Houston, feel free to come with us. All you need to do is comment with an RSVP on the Google Doc. If you have any events you thing I should add, let me know!
** warning: when you see the Google doc, you’re going to think I’m anal retentive. I am, about certain things. I hope you enjoy my birthday as much as I do!
This Sunday, Tribe of Judah (Braeswood Church’s Young Adult choir) led worship to the congregation. It was awesome and anointed. We were rocking the house upstairs in Worship. Although Tribe of Judah only ministers once a month, it’s always a blessing to minister to the church. I thank lead Pastor Steve Banning for allowing us to serve in this capacity. I equally thank our fearless leader, worship Pastor Zeke Listenbee, for rallying us up and empowering us to form Tribe of Judah. We have grown so much as a group and it shows every time we minister.
I especially enjoyed this Offertory today. “All I Have To Give” by Mali Music Covered by siblings- Adaeze Onyenezi, Chisom Onyenezi, Arinze Onyenezi
Video credit: Cheryl Rideaux
After church, we got lunch with some church family:
THIS is why I love my church. Community. We recently started renovations on our church sanctuary and at first, I thought we would lose some members because of all the changes. Instead, our seemingly “mega” church has shrunken in size. It has become more intimate and I’m meeting people I never knew went to Braeswood Church. I have become enamored with the pastoral staff, whose love for God’s people has made the transition seamless. Going off to graduate school will be a little bittersweet because I am loving this season of growth my church is in. I am glad God allowed me to be here for such a time.
Over the weekend, I decided to be social and went to Skyzone with some friends. I had a blast.
Skyzone was pretty cheap ($13 for 60 minutes). We started in the main trampoline section. I have come to the conclusion that I might have missed some essential Trampoline 101 lesson during my childhood. The kiddos made the flips look effortless, but the minute I landed my floppy over-the-shoulder flip, I realized the perfect flip is the result of courage, flexibility, and pure athleticism. I was missing 2 out of 3…heck, all 3.
I somehow got peer pressured into playing 4 asthma-inducing rounds of dodgeball. I don’t even have asthma and I felt like asking for a pump. It was a lot of fun; I was the last (wo)man standing in dodgeball twice (despite the fact that I can’t throw to save my life, I can dodge like Leo in the Matrix).
We ended our fun at the foam area where I did a dive into a pool of blue foam. It was nice watching people’s techniques, or lack thereof. The latter was more entertaining to watch.
When I got to school on Monday, a student told me he saw me at Skyzone. I sincerely hope he didn’t see me during my fail flips.
SUGAR LIPS APPAREL
I was so excited when my flowy white dress cam in fro Sugar Lips Apparel!! It was adorable and perfect fit. I had no place to go in it, but just looking at it made me want to go out and take it for a spin.
Then I got word from Vicki from Houston on the Cheap (great blog for Houston freebies/inexpensive fun) that I’d won 2 tickets to the Houston Web Awards. I brought my bestie Jessica with me. Although I was thankful for the opportunity, I didn’t love the award show. I didn’t see even one fashion blogger represented. The crowd was also a little older and most of them already knew each other, so mingling was a little awkward. All that aside, I loved the way this dress turned heads. I got a lot of compliments on my earrings, which I made myself a couple years ago out of a couple bangles (bracelets), some lace, and some earring hooks.
At the Houston Web Awards:
If you’re interested in hearing more about Sugar Lips Apparel, click the Sugar Lips button on the right side link bar (the picture w/ the skirt).
I have been sampling all types of cuisine this summer. Strangely enough, as a Houstonian I have had limited exposure to Mexican food. In the month of June, my Mexican food consumption was at an all time high.
Honestly, I can’t remember the names of the restaurants or even the names of the meals. All I remember is that each of them was delicious.
Yes to Mexican food, all the way!
Perhaps I enjoyed myself a little too much this month. My waist beads were fitting a little more snuggly heheh. It’s all good though. I do it for the love of good food.