Hair: side braid with Prisila Mecha Raku Ekusute in Otome-Maki Long

Peter Pan Collar: handmade by me using Chic Steals Pattern A1101

Batwing Ala Mode Golden Yellow Top: Volcom (a recent HauteLook purchase; also avail. here)

Black Large Silicone Slap Watch: Acczilla

Clear plastic tote with chain handles: c/o Nordstrom Rack, received at their local Grand Opening back in September

Long-sleeved black top: UNIQLO HeatTech

Tummy-covering tanktop: Victoria’s Secret

Skinny dark-rinse jeggings: UNIQLO

Amrit Boot in Black: NineWest

Monday was my first day back at school for my classes, which I’m attending part-time again this semester.

At this rate I’ll have my Certificate by the end of Summer; if I do a full load of classes in Spring I could be finished by then.

This semester I’m taking PowerPoint (Why?! I continually ask myself…but I keep seeing jobs posted that require applicants to know it, so I figured I might as well take it and learn the program, Intro to Maya (3D modeling; ugh), Advanced Flash Website Design, and Advanced Multimedia Design, which is the class I’m most excited about.  Hopefully this class will help me tie everything together and take my design and animation portfolio to the next level.

I was drawn to this bright mustard-colored swingy sweater the instant I saw it on HauteLook…and was so surprised to see it was by Volcom.  (I could do without the extra branded tags on the front and the back announcing this, though;-)  They do good stuff!  Paired it with my new favorite: my faux fur leopard oversized Peter Pan collar from the Chic Steals DIY downloadable pattern I just launched (A1101).  It took all of 20 minutes to make, and I’m just loving it as an accent for the cold Winter months.  Even just a small Peter Pan collar like this really helps keep the neck warm!

This past year and a half I’ve been struggling with an ongoing health issue that’s caused me to put on weight, especially around my middle…which I’m feeling really self-conscious about.  (I’m on a higher dosage of meds now, so maybe that will help, though nothing really seems to.)  In Japan it’s quite common for young women to wear haramaki (“belly-wrappers” as translated straight-out) during the Winter months to prevent their midsections from getting chilled.  (Or even the Summer months!!)  The Japanese believe that stomach issues and many illnesses are caused by the body’s midsection (around the tummy) getting chilled, and advocate keeping that area warm with a soft cotton or fleece loop of fabric, worn under the clothes…or sometimes on top of clothing.  In the U.S. (since we don’t usually ascribe to that belief) you can buy tummy covers (like the Shirt Extender by Blush Accessories) to simply cover and smooth that area (and sometimes make up for the length that some shirts just don’t have).  Also you can find them in maternity wear to cover the expanding pregnant belly.  [I also found HaramakiLove, a company that sells the traditional Haramaki-style covers stateside as well (though their website looks a bit iffy, they do also sell on Etsy)].  Since the shirt I was wearing on this day was a bit too short for my ever-expanding midsection, I went Haramaki-style and layered a long tanktop over it, which kept my tummy warm and nicely-covered…and made the whole outfit a little more appropriate (hopefully).

I snagged a pair of these Amrit boots from recently ($50 on sale!).  I’m feeling inspired by the 70’s recently…and was feeling the need for a pair of mid-calf boots with a chunky, lower heel, that were loose on my calves.  When I saw this advertisement, my heart just stopped:

When I wear them with tucked-jeans they don’t seem to be as loose in the calf area as in the photo, but that’s okay. (or are they really wider at the calf area in the photo above??)  I really love the shape of them and preferred the brown boots, but was sold out.  (Though they’re still available on  I also found that these boots are insanely hard to get off my feet.  Insanely.  They’re like suction cups for the feet – no kidding!!  The shoe part is very stiff; the upper has no “give” to it and remains quite rigid in its angle, so it’s tough to walk in.  I’m hoping they will loosen up with wear, because if they remain as stiff as they are now, the pitch to the shoe is too far forward, so I’m slightly off-balance.  I’m disappointed that such a nice-looking boot could have such hidden design flaws.  Though the heel really “cups” the foot and makes the bed of the boot comfortable to wear, the cup part (the counter) is too tight to the shape of the foot and also has no give, thus creating this strange suction effect.  Maybe I should have gone a size up…?  Hopefully my pretty new boots will just get better with wear!!

Tomorrow I will head to school for my first Maya class and install myself in the computer lab for the day to take care of homework. Hope everyone’s having a great week!


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