This Just In: Lucy Bellwood Strikes Again

…or struck again, I should really say. I may be reporting on these sketches a month late, but couldn’t you call my style timeless?

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The esteemed Miz Bellwood seems to enjoy sketching my outfits on occasion to cool down from drawing ships and boats and schooners and other seafaring things, and I’m certainly not going to dissuade her. She makes me look so sassy! Go see the whole trio of most recent sketches on her Instagram, and then stick around to watch her wrestle alligators. Is there anything that lady can’t do?

Outfit Post: 4/8/15


Button-front: Thrifted (Penguin) — Skirt: Thrifted (CAbi) — Shoes: Thrifted (Born) — Belt: Macy’s — Earrings: Gift from Katie!


For this month’s Literary Stylings challenge, I’ve got a love story. (Aw.)

Well, not just. It’s also a story about medical care, ethics, friendship, and really bad cookies: Acute Reactions, by Ruby Lang. [Disclosure: I’m internet friends with the author, but I was not asked to review this book and I did not receive any compensation for talking about it. I just know a lot of amazing writers.]


I really enjoyed this romance novel–allergist Petra’s professional and personal self-doubt felt very familiar, and her chemistry with former patient Ian was great. I did, however, have to get creative coming up with an outfit for it, seeing as how my one obvious idea (a blue-green dress along the lines of what Petra wears to a wedding later on in the book) was in the laundry basket.


It will probably come as a surprise to precisely nobody that I spent a lot of time in the allergist’s office as a kid. Me and my brother both, actually. We spent years, I can’t say how many, getting weekly shots for our various sensitivities; we’re both beyond needing injections now, but I remember those long minutes in the waiting room very clearly. Even though in Acute Reactions Ian’s allergy is to cats, I first-off went with a floral skirt in honor of the really gross plant reproductive matter that makes my mucus membranes swell even today.

My voluminous button-front shirt isn’t particularly conservative-looking, but as a second piece it was the closest thing I had to Petra’s professional, doctor-y workwear. I can’t imagine her wearing something with puffy sleeves under her lab coat, but what can you do?

Finally, I haven’t worn the heavy black belt seen up above in a while. When I pulled it out of the dresser, it reminded me of Petra’s attempts at rigid self-control and the difficult standards she holds herself up to. Her desire to push away her feelings and be a perfectly ethical doctor, and to prove herself in other parts of her life as well, causes a fair amount of tension between her and the potential love interest, Ian, so why not hold things together outfit-wise with a little restriction?


There are a lot of things to like about Acute Reactions: for one thing, it’s a romance novel where most of the main characters are people of color, which is dismally rare. Admittedly, I’m still a relative newcomer to romance novels, but I can’t think of too many other examples where the heroine is half-Indian, or where the hero is partly Latino–much less both in the same book.

I also really appreciated the amount of story dedicated to Petra’s relationships with her two closest friends Helen and Sarah (also both women of color); between their dynamic and Petra’s professional life, her world had a lot of depth to it. So did Ian’s, for that matter. They both had rounded inner lives that gave the story a lot of realism. Plus, you know, the smooching was pretty great.

So there you have it: Acute Reactions is a dang fine contemporary romance! It certainly inspired me to dig through my closet and put something together. Now then, go check out Gracey’s post on In Zanesville for her own literary style, and also the other folks who linked up. After that, go read a book. Go on, get!

Loads of Links 3/20/15

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image via Junior Scientist Power Hour

Back in October, Jennae from Green & Gorgeous wore an all-gray-everything outfit and it reinforces my feeling that gray is the coziest-looking color.

Brand KTZ had a line at this year’s NYFW that suspiciously resembled designs by Northern Cheyenne/Crow designer Bethany Yellowtail, which follows basic fashion history of Native artists being co-opted by others.

The Shark Lady, Eugenie Clark, passed away in February, and she was an incredible scientist; I’m sorry I wasn’t familiar with her work before her passing.

Cartoonist Abby Howard made two comics about being fat and they are, of course, excellent.

This recipe for baked-in-their-shells eggs with mushrooms from The Furious Pear Pie is going on my breakfast list BUT QUICK.

What happens if you put placenta-based beauty masks on your face? Writers Jaya Saxena and Jazmine Hughes bravely found out over at The Hairpin.

Speaking of Jaya Saxena, she wrote about how to be comfortably naked in naked-in-public spaces!

Here’s a brief history of plagiarism in YA over at Bookshelves of Doom.

There are some comments disputing how representative of each era the looks are, but the North and South Korean edition of “100 Years of Hair and Makeup” is still a super interesting one minute of maybe-history.

If you’d like something a little more in-depth to distract you from the impending heat death of the universe, here’s a longform history of Harlequin Romance.

Alex’s best photos of 2014 at Delayed Missives are so, so beautiful. As per uzh.

Guest Post: Business Breakfast

[For today’s Friday Guest Post, please welcome adorable Canadian Rae back to the show! Yae, Rae! -Mia]

Blazer: Target – Scarf: Van Heusen Outlet – Camisole: Old Navy – Leggings: Ricki’s – Shoes: G.H. Bass Outlet – Earrings: Target

I’m also wearing my FitBit and my promise-engagement-wedding rings, which you can’t really see.


Every so often, there’s a day where everything sartorial just seems to go right.

It was my dearly beloved Jeans Friday, but I also needed to go to a networking breakfast, and my coworker attending with me had expressed some denim-related doubts. So as I pinned my hair to the side, SpaceWitch style, and contemplated my wardrobe, I decided that if I couldn’t wear jeans, I could make my leather-ish leggings look pretty fun for a business breakfast. (I’m a social media coordinator, so it isn’t like I was trying to wear this to something involving, like, Profit Margins).


I’m glad selfie-style photos were good enough for Mia’s forefathers (and foremothers, I’m sure), as I have a few of those mixed in with the ones I had my coworker-friend take with my iPhone in front of our storage room door.

“Do you mind if the door’s in it?”

“Nah, doesn’t matter; I look cool as hell.”

Vain as hell, too.


The newest thing in this outfit is probably the earrings or the leggings; ever since I started watching these cool Twitter people and their outfits, I’ve been more inventive with mine – this meant starting to wear earrings, thinking maybe I could pull off leggings, etc. I’ve had the camisole for years and the scarf and shoes for at least a couple. I am also going to be mourning the loss of Target Canada and their cheap blazers.


I felt confident at an event which had made me nervous; I entirely credit the SpaceWitch hair.


Outfit Post: 2/26/15


I have this single solitary picture to show for yesterday’s outfit, so to make it up to you guys, let’s peek into some slices of my life!


First: Dr. Angela Davis giving an incredible talk that I was very lucky to attend.


Second: a single piece of the wonderful packet of mail that Rebekah sent me. I put Nessie right by my monitor at work, obviously.


Third: Flat Tire napping HARD into that blanket, flanked by my leg and some folded laundry. Good night, folks, and godspeed.

Guest Post: Spoon Handles and Schoolmarm Booties

[With another Friday upon us, I encourage you to read and rejoice in this guest post from the vibrant and amazing Anna. And then go read her delightful fanfic, if you’re so inclined! -Mia]


I felt super cute in this outfit. The sweater tunic/dress I got at a shop on north Greenpoint Avenue, during a birthday shopping excursion with fashionable friends; the fleece-lined leggings (which are a marvelous invention) were $6 at Walgreen’s.


I’m wearing brown argyle kneesocks–argyle has been my fave sock pattern since high school, when I used to buy handfuls of old man socks at the Goodwill where I worked. Most of those have developed holes over the past twenty years, and I have no clue how to darn, so I have to toss ’em.


I asked for socks for Christmas, and my mom and my sister, without talking to each other, each got me the same pack of a half-dozen argyle kneesocks in various colors! So now I’m set.


My pendant is a bent spoon handle–Exeter 1913 is the pattern. I got it at the Grassroots Art Museum in Lucas, KS; I don’t remember the name of the woman who made it, but I’m sure she’s never heard of Etsy.


And the shoes! These are my wedding shoes. I can’t walk in thin heels, and I had no desire to trip walking down the aisle, so I got these schoolmarm booties instead. They’re Born brand, and I think they’re a half size too small, so I don’t wear them often.

Guest Post: Professional Bull Riding

[Hey, it’s a Friday! Well, it’s Friday here, I don’t know about your time zone or moon year. Anyhow, let’s have a Western-style guest post from my most cow-tippin’ friend, Edie. -Mia]

Every year, Professional Bull Riding comes to town and what started as “We have GOT to check this out!” has now become a yearly tradition. I live in a city surrounded by farm and ranch land and PBR is as good excuse as any to see a slice of life completely foreign to me.

(PBR isn’t like bull fighting in Spain, in case you’re horrified right now! Cowboys stay on a bucking bull for as long as they can and earn points for the length of time they stay on and how well they do it – the goal is to stay on the bull for 8 seconds. The bulls get points too, for bucking off the riders and for how quickly. Sometimes the bulls are even bigger celebrities than the riders…they made a big deal about Bushwacker’s retirement after this season. After I went a couple times I did some research on the animal ethics of PBR and I was comfortable with continuing to spend my money there. I would understand if you disagreed.)

Please excuse the selfie-style mirror-and-phone pics, I am not as adept as Mia with an awesome camera & remote set up. [Ed: I would never speak ill of selfie-style outfit photos! If mirror-and-phone pics were good enough for our forefathers, they’re good enough for me.]

Being somewhat bereft of true cowgirl clothing (see above: city girl), I tried to pull together an outfit that leans towards “rancher chic.” It mostly involves finding a button down and jeans. I do own two plaid button downs but since I’ve worn them to the past three PBR excursions I wanted to find something new this year.


The shirt is from the Banana Republic and one I wear to work on occasion. I don’t love it; the pink plus the pintucking make it a little too feminine for me, but it ended up being just right for dinner, PBR, and drinks afterwards. The jeans are new from Uniqlo – I was NOT expecting them to be quite so skinny, but they’re actually the most comfortable jeans I own thanks to a lot of stretch. They’re the only ones that I don’t take off as soon as I get in the house. Not the easiest to put on/take off, however (which may have something to do with it….). The boots are from Ralph Lauren. I hemmed and hawed over them for awhile because they were more than I had spent on a single pair of shoes in a long time, but I’ve worn them nearly every weather-appropriate weekend since then so: good decision, E.



Southwest-inspired jewelry seemed right for the occasion, so I wore my silver and turquoise Kokopelli earrings and silver Kokopelli bracelet. I got these as a teen on a family trip to Arizona and I’m impressed I chose souvenirs I still wear as an adult. I normally really love useless tchocktes. The necklace was a gift from my mom from a local artist’s shop in my city, and the bracelet is from when I was a kid. I recently got it fixed and I’m really happy I did; there isn’t much that comes with my name on it so even though I didn’t wear it for a decade, I’m glad I dragged it around two states and four cities.

So that’s rancher chic! My job has me interfacing with ranchers more and more, though, so by the time PBR comes around next year, I may end up with legit boots and maybe even a cowboy hat. I’ll keep you updated!

Outfit Post: 1/24/15


Dress: ASOS — Cardigan: Thrifted (Target) — Camisole: Thrifted — OTKs: Sock Dreams (Heather Over the Knee Stockings in Bark) — Flats: Thrifted (Born) — Earrings: Target




Okay, but you guys. Going to see Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit in San Francisco with my buddy Jessica turned out to be one of the best things we could have done with our Saturday. It’s an excellent play done excellently. Come for the Lansbury, stay for the ghost wives!


Late last year I got my first ponte skirt from ASOS, and I liked the weight of the fabric so much that I decided to spring for a couple other ponte garments, including this dress. This was its first outing, and I think I like it!


The fake-wrap detail is the next best thing to actually having a wrap dress, and the color is great. My main concern is that the cap sleeves are just the eensiest bit too tight and give me the impression that my bra straps are continually falling down. Otherwise, though, I was pretty comfortable–which is good, because I had more important things to worry about. Namely, Angela Lansbury doing ridiculous dances 100 feet away from me.