Category Archives: behind the blog

Everyday faves | Rocking chair

It’s time for a new entry in my now-monthly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

Rocking chair

This month, I am shining the spotlight (literally, with my lamp!) on my wood rocking chair. This rocking chair was my mom’s, and I’ve never known my life without it. When I married and officially moved out of my parents’ house, my mom allowed me to take the rocking chair with me, as I was so attached to it. Thank you, Mom! ♥ This rocking chair has continued to fill a special place in my heart — and in our home — ever since. The wood is a lovely dark color, the design is classic, and it is built strong and sturdy. This rocking chair serves as the perfect space to read or simply rock back and forth to meditate and think about things.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, rocking chair

You’ve seen my rocking chair before, back in my post about my work area at home, a little niche off the stairs leading up to our master bedroom. It’s a cozy little reading corner, with my rocking chair, lamp, and my childhood piano stool serving as a side table for magazines and other reading material.

Librarian for Life + Style | My work area at home

I’ve since switched out the cushion on the rocking chair, as you can compare in the pics above and below. You’ll also notice a new addition to this little corner — a tufted storage ottoman! Its light grey color fits in well with the overall color scheme of my little work space, grey and brown tones with accent touches of green and white.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, rocking chair

The past few months, I’ve realized that my cat Ibsen has totally claimed the rocking chair as HIS space. So, really, this post is about one of IBSEN’s “everyday faves.” This is how I usually find Ibsen, snoozing on the cushion:

Librarian for Life + Style | Ibsen's everyday fave, rocking chair

Below is how Ibsen looks when I dare to sit in the rocking chair. He climbs up on my lap and looks mournfully at me. When he makes this face, I totally replay this Puss ‘n’ Boots scene from Shrek in my head.

Isn’t Ibsen’s pinky nose the cutest? (And he knows it!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Ibsen's everyday fave, rocking chair

And recently when I was walking up the stairs to our master bedroom, I found Ibsen in the rocking chair, sitting up with paws out and an imperious expression on his face like he was a king waiting for his subjects to kneel and pet him. (I obliged, after I took pics!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Ibsen's everyday fave, rocking chair

Librarian for Life + Style | Ibsen's everyday fave, rocking chair

Ibsen’s expressions crack me up!

And below is an outtake from a couple of weeks ago that I was lucky to capture of Ibsen mid-yawn. Equal opportunity outtakes on this style blog! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Ibsen's everyday fave, rocking chair -- outtake

Explore more “everyday faves”

Want to explore more of my “everyday faves”? Past posts in the series include:


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

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What I wore to a local fashion show

A friend of mine had two VIP tickets to the 2017 Tacoma Cars & Couture Fashion Show, and I was able to tag along as her “plus one.” 😀 The show took place at LeMay – America’s Car Museum and showcased five couture designers from around the Pacific Northwest:

It was a fantastic show, and last week on my Facebook page, I put together a “Cars and Couture Fashion Show 2017” album of photos from the event, including my favorite designs from the show. So definitely browse that album, screenshot below, if you’d like to see some really cool looks from local designers — whose styles were all so different!

Librarian for Life + Style | Facebook album screenshot of Cars and Couture Fashion Show 2017

Below is a peek at the program from the show — plus my awesome yellow-and-black heels (4 inches!) and my peekaboo vintage book cover purse. My friend and I decided to put in an effort and bust out the heels for the show. We fit right in! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show, closeup of program

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show, closeup of killer heels

Below is a look at the whole outfit that I wore to the fashion show. I’ve worn my yellow-and-black heels with a cocktail dress, as seen here; with ankle pants, as seen here; and with black jeans, as seen here. This time, I decided to be a little bit different and pair them with my wide-leg black trousers. I knew we had front-row seats, so that when I sat down, my whole shoe would be visible. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show

And if that top looks vaguely familiar, but also a little different, that’s because I decided to take the attached front ties on the blouse, as you can see here, and wrap them around my neck to let the ends hang down the back.

But of course, when I took a photo on the balcony off the museum’s main level — a view overlooking downtown Tacoma and the harbor — the scarf ends decided to photo-bomb me! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show and close-up of my photo-bombing neck scarf

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show

We took these pics during the intermission — thanks, Christina, for taking photos! — when most of the crowd had retreated to either end, the lobby or the balcony, of the museum’s main level. But there were quite a few style bloggers and Instagrammers there, taking photos of their outfits in front of the cars. I was no exception! So instead of cropping this photo below, I decided to keep it wide so you could see some more of the photo-taking action. (I also looooooved the green-and-black hi-lo top the lady to my left is wearing. I would pair that top with skinny pants or jeans and use every excuse to walk around so the back hem would flare out.) The people-watching at the fashion show was almost as good as the couture itself!

Librarian for Life + Style | What I wore to a local "Cars and Couture" fashion show

Also, a funny story to share with y’all:  I had a nice chat with one of the show’s sponsors, who happened to be seated next to us. He was very nice (and very stylish), and remarked at one time that it was obvious that I was interested in fashion. He gestured toward my heels as proof, and I grinned in agreement. Toward the end of our chat, he asked what I did for a living. His face fell into TOTAL SHOCK when I revealed to him that I was a librarian. After he picked his jaw up off the floor, he was then delighted to learn that I had a style blog. I definitely felt like I was helping represent my profession in a positive way in that moment — and perhaps expand expectations of a librarian’s sense of style and love of fashion? 😀


Can’t get enough of fashion shows? You can also read about my first experience walking in a fashion show earlier this spring

Have you attended a fashion show before? What would, or did, you wear to a fashion show? 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 ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday FavoritesFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Anniversary selfies

It’s our anniversary, y’all! We are celebrating today 16 years of marriage and 20 1/2 years together… and counting! For previous anniversary posts, I’ve highlighted my wedding dress and our engagement photos.

This year, I’m highlighting a collection of selfies we’ve taken over the years. Since my sweetie Sam is the one who takes a majority of the photos on this blog — he’s as much a part of the style blog as I am! — this felt like an appropriate way to celebrate our anniversary on the blog.

Side note:  Is there an official term for a “couples selfie”? Is the term “usie” a thing?

Commence cuteness overload!

Around town..

Librarian for Life + Style | Selfie alert

Portland, OR, May 2012

Librarian for Life + Style | Anniversary floral

Chinese Garden, Portland, OR, Aug. 2014

Librarian for Life + Style | Selfie in front of the Venetian Wall, along the Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Tacoma Museum of Glass bridge, Tacoma, WA, 2016

On the water…

Librarian for Life + Style | Selfie on the waterfront

Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA, 2016

Librarian for Life + Style | Thailand trip, Fall 2010

Phuket beach, Thailand, 2010

Librarian for Life + Style | Visiting Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2014

Librarian for Life & Style | PEI, Summer 2006

Prince Edward Island waterway, Canada, 2006

With animals…

Librarian for Life + Style | Cat selfie

Portland Art Museum, OR, 2016

Librarian for Life + Style | Just a selfie... with a huge rubber ducky!

Tacoma waterfront, WA, 2017

On the train…

Librarian for Life + Style | Visiting Vancouver, BC

On Amtrak to Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2014

Librarian for Life + Style | Amsterdam trip, Spring 2010

On the train to Hoorn, The Netherlands, 2010

On holiday…

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel flashback: Scotland, Spring 2008

Aberdeen, Scotland, 2008

Librarian for Life + Style | Vienna trip, Winter 2009

Vienna, Austria, 2009

Librarian for Life + Style | Amsterdam trip, Spring 2010

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2010

Librarian for Life + Style | Holiday card behind-the-scenes selfie

Holiday card selfie, Portland, OR, 2014

Wearing cute shoes…

Librarian for Life + Style | Shoes selfie

Gig Harbor, WA, 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | His and hers, shoe closeups

Downtown Tacoma, WA, 2017

Wearing cute hats…

Librarian for Life + Style | Garden party selfie

Gresham, OR, 2015

Librarian for Life + Style | Wearing our fedoras at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, WA, 2016

Yep, we’re fedora-ble! 😀 ♥ 😀 ♥ 😀

Early birthday present | Audrey Hepburn hoop earrings

The poll is open to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from June — thanks in advance!

My birthday’s in August, but my mom recently gifted me an early birthday present:  Smithsonian Museum Store’s reproductions of the classic ’50s hoop earrings in Audrey Hepburn’s personal collection. Audrey Hepburn wore these earrings in the classic 1954 film Sabrina — and frequently in real life, too.

And if you follow me via Pinterest, then this will explain my new Pinterest board filled with style inspiration for this classic style of hoop earrings. This was a popular style in the 1950s, worn by not only Hepburn but also by Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Brigitte Bardot, among others. The first Barbie dolls also had this same style of hoop earrings!

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

And how beautiful is this pink leatherette gift box?! It also comes with an additional card explaining the Smithsonian’s collection of reproducing classic pieces of Audrey Hepburn’s jewelry, as well as a little card, seen below, with an inspirational Audrey Hepburn quote. They made these earring replications with the help of Hepburn’s two sons. Amazing!

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

The pierced versions of these earrings were sold out, so my mom went ahead and got the clip-on versions. The gold pair is lighter than the silver pair, even though it’s slightly larger in size. I will most likely get the clip-on earrings converted to pierced versions, but for the meantime, I’m trying them out as is.

Librarian for Life + Style | Audrey Hepburn earrings, Smithsonian collection

So beautiful! And I think you will be seeing more Audrey Hepburn-inspired outfits this summer… stay tuned! 😀

You can also revisit an Audrey Hepburn-inspired casual summer outfit here and also here. Her style — both clothes AND jewelry — is so timeless and classic!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Thoughts on my style after one year at my new workplace

Longtime readers of this blog (thank you!) will know that a year ago, I changed jobs and workplaces and moved from Oregon to Washington state. I love my current and now not-so-new job and library and campus, and it’s been fun to witness how my new colleagues (who are all awesome and have their own distinctive styles, by the way!) have reacted to and gotten used to my personal work style over this past year.

I’ve been thinking for a while that it might be interesting to capture thoughts — both my own and my colleagues! — on my work style after one year at my new workplace. And as I wrap up the end of my first academic year at my new college — this is the final day of spring quarter! — I thought it would be perfect timing to finally put this post together.

Librarian for Life + Style | Style thoughts after one year at my new workplace

Style inspiration:

Over this past year, I think I have become quietly known as “stylish” amongst my colleagues, or at least known to care about style. Some of my colleagues have shared with me that they look forward to seeing what I will be wearing and have been inspired by my style, which always feels great:

I always look forward to what you will be wearing. You mix it up.

I wish I could live in your closet.

I want to dress like you when I grow up.
(This was a recent comment from a library worker who’s applying to library school! So sweet!)

Conversations and questions about style

And it might surprise my readers, but I usually don’t initiate conversations about fashion and style at work. The exception to this is that I do often compliment a colleague on what he/she is wearing… which does often then lead to conversations about fashion and style. And of course, I’m happy to join in style-related conversations if others start them or ask me questions, which has happened (and more frequently) at work. That’s why I have this blog, so I have an outlet to talk about fashion and personal style! 🙂

A colleague, as I shared in this prior post about my love of pockets, once asked me how did I find so many dresses and skirts with pockets in them. And more than one colleague has asked me for advice on where to find comfortable work shoes, as well as about shoe inserts. I’ve also mentioned my love of thrifting more than once, so I’ve also answered questions about my favorite thrifting stores, both in town and online.

Amusing colleagues with prints, bold colors + attention to detail

I have also often surprised, or perhaps just amused?, a few of my colleagues by my love of prints and bold colors!

These moments remind me of a time at my previous library when I first wore my red ankle pants, and a colleague walked into my office, stopped short, and stammered, “Those are… RED pants.” My response? “Yep!” Paired with a wide smile, of course. 😉

Here are some of the work outfits I remember that made some of my colleagues’ eyebrows go up:

Librarian for Life + Style | Kitty cats + books | Pairing a novelty print skirt with statement heels

I can still remember the double-take and the incredulous tone, “Are those… cats?!”

Original post:  Classic + quirky | Pairing a novelty print skirt with statement heels

Librarian for Life + Style | Pairing orange floral with black

Original post:  Pairing orange floral with black

Librarian for Life + Style | Berry + brown work outfit, with tie belt + new velvet fedora

Original post:  Raspberry velvet, if you please

When colleagues have asked me about how I put together an outfit, they’re often surprised at the level of thought and detail I put into it. I think some of my readers also marvel at this, hah! (Hey, Erin, what’s up? 😉 )

Yes, I really do think through everything I wear, even down to the jewelry, and I’ve written about my thought process behind putting outfits together in more detail here in this post. Putting together outfits and remixing clothing combinations in my head is like my version of crosswords — keeps my brain active and fresh! 😉

Looking professional

My focus on always wanting to look professional at work has been noted, even in recent evaluations from members of my tenure committee (!):

She was dressed professionally, yet casually, and offered a welcoming attitude

She was dressed professionally and seemed prepared to take on whatever the morning had to offer

I appreciate those two comments above because they demonstrate my personal style’s focus on comfort and practicality, and how one’s style and one’s work often intersect. Style can, indeed, impact how you interact with others. If you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing, then others can feel that, too, and perhaps feel more comfortable and confident themselves.

Another colleague remarked once in person,
You always look impeccably professional.

Enjoying style + remixing clothing

Other colleagues have noted that I do enjoy style, and that joy comes through in what I wear:

You can tell you enjoy clothes and thinking about clothes.

Colleagues have also noted the variety of items I wear and that I like to remix clothing:

Colleague:  “I don’t think I’ve seen you wear the same thing twice.
Me: “You’ve seen me wear the same piece more than once, just in different ways. I like to remix items. Like this skirt, which I’ve worn several times to work.
Colleague:  “Huh. You’re right!

This was the outfit that inspired the above conversation:

Librarian for Life + Style | Wearing a tunic dress as a top | Bold red + black

How big IS your closet?

[It’s not actually that large, it’s just well-organized. And I share half of the closet with my husband. See here for a tour of our current closet.]

Librarian for Life + Style | A tour of our new closet

You have the best shoe collection!

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of high heels in new closet

Has my work style changed over this past year?

Hmmm… that’s interesting to think about. I think overall my style has become a little more simplified over the past year. It does rain a LOT up here in Tacoma — even more so than in Portland! — so I haven’t gotten to wear as many “fun” shoes to work as I used to be able to. Also, my job here is even more active than my job was in Oregon — more meetings outside the library, so a lot of walking across campus — so again, that’s impacted my footwear choices.

I’ve also noticed that I’ve been rewearing a lot of my older outfits, especially since I finished updating all my Gallery pages. And I have had an entirely new set of colleagues, this means they’ve never seen me wear those older outfit combos — it’s all new to them! 😉 So on days when I just don’t want to think about putting an outfit together, or when I’m running late or feeling sluggish in the morning, I just look at my Gallery archives and choose an outfit I’ve worn before. Easy!

Sharing the joy of style

I’ve also noticed how a couple of co-workers now seek me out to show me their shoes or clothing items, items both new and new-to-me. That’s always fun, to share in the joy of style by proxy. And I am always appreciative of my colleagues’ style — I really enjoy that we all have distinctive personal styles — especially when it requires fawning over a colleague’s pair of blue suede ankle booties! I’m up for that any day. 😉

And if you’re wondering, dear readers, if I share my style blog with my colleagues, the answer is no, I don’t choose to volunteer that information. A couple of colleagues have accidentally found out themselves about my style blog, by searching for librarians or library style online or through social media. [A couple more colleagues have since found out about the blog, after I wrote the first draft of this post… so… hi there!] I have been style blogging for 5+ years, so I can imagine that this blog pops up high on search result lists when you search for specific keywords like librarian style or librarian fashion. 😀 It’s just kind of weird to talk about the very specific arena of style blogging to those who don’t blog (hence my post about “Why I’m a style blogger, not a fashion blogger“), so I just choose to not make a big deal out of my style blog at work.

Note:  Talking about style in general is different to me than talking about my style blog. I will talk about style with anyone, any time. But outside the circle of basically my husband, my mom, and my good friend Stephanie, when anyone else I know in real life brings up my style blog, I basically stammer and try to change the subject as soon as possible. (And yes, my husband thinks this is a VERY WEIRD tendency of mine.)

Moving on from personal awkwardness… writing this post has also made me realize that I really do need to write some follow-up posts, like revisiting my current shoe collection (I had memorialized my entire shoe collection back in 2012 in this “Just me and my shoes” post), as well as going more in-depth about how I “trick out” my shoes with a variety of shoe inserts.


How do you feel your personal work style is viewed by your co-workers? Do you talk about style at your workplace? Please leave a comment and share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp