Category Archives: behind the blog

What’s in my (weekender) bag? | Packing for a weekend trip

I’ve done a couple of “What’s in my bag?” kind of posts, including my original handbag post and a more recent evening bag post. When my mom sent me a weekender bag — in time for me to try it out for a Memorial Day weekend visit to my friend Stephanie in Portland! — I thought it would be fun to highlight how I pack for a weekend visit.

Weekender bag

First up, closeups of the weekender bag my mom recently gifted me. It’s striped and on wheels, with a collapsible handle. It also has a zippered bit on the bottom to expand the bag if needed. There are also pockets lining both sides of the bag’s interior.

Librarian for Life + Style | Weekender tote, top view

Librarian for Life + Style | Weekender tote bag side view

Librarian for Life + Style | Interior pockets of the weekender tote

What I packed in my weekender bag

Below is what went into my weekender bag. I like to roll up undergarments inside each outfit, so every outfit is bundled together. Then I just stack the bundles up in my bag or suitcase, and everything is nice and tidy. There are lots of different ways to pack — and I looooooove reading all about different packing tips! — but I have found that this way works for me! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Packing for the weekend

Details:

  1. Outfit for the trip back (floral shirtdress + black leggings, exact outfit previously seen here)
  2. Black sandals
  3. Metallic sandals
  4. Bronze shawl (to layer when cold, particularly on the train)
  5. Toiletries bag
  6. Pajamas
  7. Optional casual outfit (black & white striped tee + red shorts, to wear with black sandals — I didn’t end up wearing this outfit, but I always like to have an extra outfit on hand, just in case)
  8. Casual outfit (grey tee + tan shorts, to wear with metallic sandals)
  9. Travel pillow for my back or neck

And below is how everything fit into the bag, with room to spare:

Librarian for Life + Style | Packing for the weekend

My traveling outfit

Below are details of my traveling outfit, which I wore on the train down to Portland. I wore a grey scoop-neck tunic that my mom also recently sent me, and it’s so soft and comfy — perfect for traveling! I layered the tunic over leggings and my metallic sandals. A fabric belt helped give some shape to the tunic (which is a bit oversized on me) but didn’t feel restrictive.

Below is also a closeup of my accessories. When I travel, I don’t like to wear any jewelry except for one pair of earrings that go with every outfit. These topaz drop earrings are one of my go-to choices when traveling, because they’re so light, and the color is a nice neutral.

When I came downstairs, Sam remarked that it was a perfect traveling outfit, because, as he put it, “It’s cute and pulled together for traveling, and it looks comfy — but when you take the belt off, you’re ready to lounge!” Yep. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel outfit closeup

On the day of travel

And finally, a couple of pics snapped on the day that I travelled down to Portland by train on Memorial Day weekend. (Mom, I knew you’d especially like to see how I’m wearing the items you’ve gifted me — thank you for knowing my style! Love you, Mom ♥ )

And yes, my black + tan + white purse also coordinated with every outfit that I packed. Because OF COURSE. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Weekender bag and purse

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel outfit and weekender bag

What do you include in a weekender bag? Please share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

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6th blog anniversary | Outtakes

Quick reminder that the favorite outfit poll is up for March — thanks in advance!


Happy 6th blog anniversary to me! Hard to believe it’s been six years since I started this style blog. And it’s become tradition for me to highlight outtakes + bloopers on my blog anniversary (I also do special outtakes posts for my birthday in August and for New Year’s), so here are 6 special sets of outtakes. ‘Cause it’s good not to take yourself too seriously. 😀 Enjoy my awkwardness and goofy side shining through!


This is what happens when the elements (gusts of wind, flowers, branches, etc.) work against me! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
SIA interpretation: Dido Belle portrait


This is what happens when I see someone I know in the middle of taking pictures!

Librarian for Life + Style | Oscar outtake

Link to original post:  
What we wore to the Oscars | Viewing party + style recap


This is what happens when I do a little awkward dance in the middle of taking photos. (And one major reason why Sam just keeps taking photos, no matter what.) Seriously, it’s a minor miracle that we get any photos that I can actually use for outfit posts.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
White Christmas style inspiration, take 2


This is what happens when I stretch one leg out. Twice. (Why?!?) I am just naturally awkward, y’all.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
Teal coat + all black outfit + new earrings


This is what happens when I stretch my arms and legs and laugh at the same time.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Link to original post:
SIA interpretation: Dogs playing poker


And last, but not least, this is what happens when I take photos of Sam. What’s good for the goose… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
Sam’s SIA interpretation: Dogs playing poker


Can’t get enough outtakes and bloopers? No worries, there are many more outtakes posts to enjoy!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday FavoritesFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Another day in the life of an academic librarian

I did a previous “day in the life of an academic librarian” post a couple of years ago, when I was working in my previous job and college. That day was a particularly heavy teaching day, so you got a glimpse of the kind of teaching that librarians do.

Today’s “day in the life” post is one of my current job, which focuses heavily on supporting my fellow faculty find and use open educational resources (an educational movement to help bring down student costs by using or creating free and high-quality texts and resources instead of expensive textbooks). But I still get to do all the regular and varied things an academic librarian does — teaching and answering questions on our reference desk and purchasing materials for our library collections — so it’s the best of both worlds! Also in my current job, I have to do lots more outreach and presentations. Every day is like juggling about ten different plates, but it’s a very fulfilling job.

Let’s get started!


5:45 a.m. First alarm goes off, snooze, snooze, snooze.

6:00 a.m. Second alarm goes off at 6:00, snooze, snooze, snooze. (I’m not a morning person.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

The daily alarms set on my phone

6:15 a.m. Finally drag myself out of bed, wash face, put on moisturizer in our half-bath upstairs. Save time by putting on outfit I had set out the night before. I had also set out the night before my corresponding undergarments — socks, underwear, tights, etc. — in a (repurposed shoe) bag on my dresser.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

I set out my outfit the night before

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

I set out undergarments and jewelry the night before

6:30 a.m. Go downstairs to pour myself a cup of coffee. Kiss Sam goodbye, before he drives off to start his daily teaching schedule on two different campuses. In our main bathroom downstairs, put on sunscreen, fill in eyebrows, do rest of makeup, decide on which lipstick to put on. Put lipstick in my little lipstick case to take to work, to reapply after lunch in time for a big presentation I have that afternoon.

7:00 a.m. Feed cats and do style blog linkups while cats are eating.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

But first, coffee

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Packing lipstick for the rest of the day, Revlon’s Super Lustrous lipstick in “Cherry Blossom”

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Feeding the cats in the morning

7:15 a.m. Put on coat, gloves, hat, and make sure everything’s in my tote bag, including my keys, cell phone, chapstick, bus pass, and a book to read.

7:20 a.m. Head out of the house to grab the bus to work. Read my book on the bus.

8:30 a.m. Arrive at work and walk across campus. Greet colleagues and chat on the way to my office in the library.

8:45 a.m. Check Outlook schedule for the rest of the day. If it’s not on my Outlook calendar, it doesn’t exist! Start on tasks for the morning:

  • library instruction prep for a class later that week
  • backup for Reference Desk questions
  • chatting with a colleague from our assessment department who drops by my office to catch up
  • emails emails emails
  • researching survey instruments for college counseling needs assessment and emailing those to our counseling faculty before their planned department retreat the next day
  • updating my tenure e-portfolio to include recent presentations and newsletter write-ups
  • emailing tenure committee members about upcoming observation opportunities
Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

That day’s schedule in my Outlook calendar

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Where’s Jen? Check my door!

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

The view from my desktop monitor stand, which I can raise or lower to sit or stand

12:30 p.m. Lunch. Read book after eating lunch.

1:30 p.m. Brush teeth after lunch and touch up lipstick using magnetic mirror on the inside of my file cabinet.

1:40 p.m. Make copies of handouts for my presentation. Gather up handouts and notes.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Magnetic mirror in my office, for flossing and lipstick touch-ups

2:10 p.m. Head out to first meeting of the afternoon, a monthly faculty forum. I’m first on the agenda, and I’m there to share updates and statistics about OER efforts on campus. I arrive a bit early to set up the computer podium and projector in the room. Upon my arrival, a colleague compliments my outfit and starts clapping for me to go into “runway” mode. I oblige. Hah! 😉

2:35 p.m. Meeting begins. Start my presentation to my fellow faculty, distribute handouts. Answer a few questions. Good vibes all around. One of my tenure committee members also there to observe my presentation, which means one observation down for the term. So efficient! 🙂

3:30 p.m. Sneak in a bathroom break before the second meeting, our monthly Instructional Council meeting. I’m there to distribute handouts while my OER colleague presents to the Council and, if needed, to help answer any questions.

4:30 p.m. Second and final meeting ends. Sam texts me that he’s there to pick me up. Text him back that I’ll be a few minutes because I need to answer a couple of emails that came in while I was out at meetings. See a new email, sent after the faculty forum meeting, inviting me to a faculty chairs meeting to share more info about OER. Print out a couple of documents to work on the next day while I’m working a half-day from home. Gather up my stuff to head home.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Office still life portrait, with my bag of daily odds and ends, keys, folder of documents, and coffee mug (which I refill with water throughout the day)

5:15 p.m. Arrive home. Pause on way into house to take recycles out for trash pickup the next morning.

5:30 p.m. Cook dinner with Sam; we get weekly meals from Blue Apron. Tonight’s menu is a flatbread pizza. Yum!

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Blue Apron meal recipe

7:00 p.m. Sam feeds cats dinner while I head upstairs to unwind and and catch up on blog and social media stuff. Jot down notes about my day for this post. 😉

7:30 p.m. Sam brings me (decaf) tea and a couple of chocolates for dessert.

10 p.m. Make sure alarm is set for next morning. Sleep!


Did you enjoy this additional peek into a “day in the life” of an academic librarian? Please leave a comment and share! 🙂

What’s in my (evening) bag?

A few years ago, I did a “What’s in my bag?” post, highlighting what I usually include in and organize an everyday bag or purse. (Hint: I like to use a handbag organizer). When I was putting together my Oscars viewing party recap + style post last week, I realized there was an opportunity to create an “evening bag” spin-off of that idea.

First, here’s the evening bag I wore with my Oscars viewing party outfit. It’s one of my oldest evening bags, a black satin clutch that also includes a beaded handle. (FYI, I added the pins to add a bit of fun and whimsy to my outfit, but they were easy to remove.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of clutch and pins

And here’s a peek at how I pare down essentials to include in a smaller evening bag.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of clutch and contents

The items are listed below in clockwise order from top left:

What do you include in an evening bag? Please share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Sewing adventures: Repairing rips in two favorite items

I don’t post sewing adventures all that often, but there’s a pattern to when I do — they occur during break times during the school year! Why? Because that’s when I have time, and the mental energy, to get caught up on sewing projects. 😉 So much of sewing is about the prep work.

For this sewing adventures post, I am detailing how I recently mended rips in two of my favorite clothing items. If I can save or extended clothing by simple repairs, I try it out; and if I don’t succeed, then at least I have made my best effort. And it was a timely post to remind myself how to do simple sewing repairs like mending tears in clothing.

Here’s a video that I found useful in illustrated how to mend tears by hand, using needle and thread:

Repairing my vintage Hawai’ian dress

The first item I repaired is this vintage Hawai’ian dress — the tag actually says “Made in Hawaii” — that my friend Stephanie fashion-swapped with me. I loooooove it, and was totally bummed when I accidentally ripped a bit in the right shoulder.

Librarian for Life + Style | Mixing old + new in a Hawaiian print dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Hawaiian label

Link to original outfit post:  Mixing old + new | Hawaiian print dress

The tricky part about this tear was that it was on both sides of the fabric, front and back, as you can see in the “before” pics below. Plus, the fabric had ripped across a side seam. If the tear had been on the back side of the dress, I wouldn’t have felt such trepidation in attempting a repair. So I went slowly and cautiously with the mending method illustrated in the video above, going through both sides of the fabric with matching red thread. (I was so nervous that I forgot to take photos of my stitches before I pulled everything tight!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my vintage Hawaiian dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my vintage Hawaiian dress

I was careful to choose thread that pretty much exactly matched the orangey-red background of the print. (Side note:  Isn’t this print the cutest?! You can understand why I wanted to save this vintage dress!)

Because the rip was on both sides, I did an extra layer of mending stitching on the back side of the rip, but I just used a simple whip-stitch for that back side and seam.

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my vintage Hawaiian dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my vintage Hawaiian dress

The final step is ironing the edges of the mended repair, so that it is flatter and less noticeable. I am pleased with the final result! As you can see in the “after” pics below, the mended bit is not that noticeable (it’s low on the right shoulder).

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my vintage Hawaiian dress

Librarian for Life + Style | Wearing my red Hawaiian dress after repairing it

Repairing my denim jacket

Earlier this summer, I discovered halfway through the work day that I had ripped the left elbow of my beloved denim jacket, the lighter denim one with the seaming and shaping. I was extremely self-conscious the rest of the day, with my left elbow hanging out and the rip getting wider and wider. (And I had worn the denim jacket over a sports bra, so I couldn’t take off the jacket.)

I’ve had this denim jacket for years, and it’s a VIP in my closet. Here are different ways I’ve worn it:

Librarian for Life + Style | Denim jacket remix collage

Links to original posts:
top left  //  top middle  //  top right
bottom left  //  bottom middle  //  bottom right

Here is a closeup of the tear, which ripped in two spots, up and down AND across. The denim in the elbows is admittedly quite thin at this point, due to the frequency of which I wear this denim jacket.

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

The first step was to iron down the rip so the edges fit together more neatly.

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

Below is a closeup of the mending method illustrated in the video at the top of this post. I started out with the side rip, but honestly, looking back, I think I should have started with the vertical rip first. Live and learn!

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

I then slowly went back and forth on the vertical tear. It looks kinda cool at this stage, doesn’t it? 😉 I also used thicker thread for this repair, due to the thicker denim material.

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

Above is a collage of “after” pics. Once again, you can tell what a difference ironing makes on the end result!

Librarian for Life + Style | Sewing adventures: Repairing a tear in my denim jacket

I don’t know how much longer this mending attempt — or the other elbow — will hold up, so I have to stay realistic. However, if/when one or both elbows go out again, and if the jacket is still repairable, I have decided to try elbow patches. Won’t those look cute? This denim jacket is designed so well, with its structured seaming, that it’s worth saving at all possible costs!

Have you been able to save beloved clothing items by doing simple mending? Please leave a comment and share. 🙂


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp