What I Wore Wednesday 2015: Week 3

Snow.  Snow.  And more Snow.  I get it.  The entire Northeastern corridor is covered in snow.  And it’s not just snow, it’s cold.  I don’t like it for sure.  But when you have “Save the Last Dance For Me” (Michael Buble version) playing all day on Spotify in your office, the day seems a little bit more bearable.  Except when I had to cross campus and go to the bookstore to get hand lotion (I ran out…) Oy.  That was bitter.

But at least I am wearing my “WOLVERINE” wool thick warm cozy boot socks under these boots.  At first the socks were so thick I could barely get these boots on.  I immediately scratched the idea of wearing leg warmers too- these socks go about just as high as the boot itself.  I had to remove my slipper socks that were under the WOLVERINE socks…and then the boots were comfortable enough to walk in without my feet feeling super stuffed.  Thankfully this morning I had a delay at school, so I had time to struggle with my toes staying warm.  I wanted to keep it a neutral palette today, since I was going to another school’s basketball game tonight (shh don’t tell my grad school…) and their colors are gray and blue… so the gray sweater will suffice, right?


My “pondering why it is so cold and why my sweater is not cooperating” face.

And now I’m cold.  But this sweater is really super cool cause it’s got a hood, giving it that blanket sweater vibe.  Note:  this sweater has caused some struggle in the office.  In fact, the other day when I wore it, one of my students was fussing around with it, adjusting, making it look good, when my boss comes in and watches us, asking “What are the two of you doing?”  After watching, he became intrigued and said “Now, that’s pretty fancy…”  Rolled his eyes and walked out.  Hey, at least he was intrigued.


See?  It folds over.  It’s so hard to describe, and there’ nothing like it out there- I’ve tried looking.  I’ve also tried YouTubing this sweater to see how people wear it, but there’s nothing.  Thanks, sweater people for probably only making one of these sweaters, knowing I’d buy it and create a difficulty with it.  I swear, I can never get it right.  One time, I caught the Mr. trying to dive into it- I never unbutton the hood part, and it flips down to make a long loop…I swear we are both over 12…sometimes..


I look like I am ready for 50 shades of gray right?  Cause isn’t white on the gray spectrum?  Wouldn’t it be funny if I actually somehow wore 50 shades of gray?  Is that even possible?  How about 5 shades of gray?  Should I wear it to the theater?  Omg could you imagine?  I’d be THAT person… then again, most of my family/friends wouldn’t put it past me.  Even though it’s been a while since I’ve seen some of them, their response would be “Some things don’t change…”

Did you enjoy the tale of my cooking adventure?  I got a few friends sending me texts asking me if I was kidding.  When I responded “Absolutely not, I’m not creative enough to make that sh*t up.”  Their response: “Of course you aren’t.  Wow, you are a bad cook.”  (Not all of them were that mean, but its a general idea.)  I really think I need help.  Can someone out there help a helpless cook?!


Sweater: I don’t remember but I’ll link some gray cardis (similar, similar, similar)

Shirt:  H&M (similar, similar, similar)

Skirt: Banana Republic (similar, similar, similar)

Tights: DKNY (similar, similar, similar)

Boots:  Justfab (similar, similar, similar)




Happy What I Wore Wednesday.  

What did you wear today?!

Don’t forget to link up.

The Pleated Poppy // Because Shanna Said So // Pump & Pushups //  My Girlish Whims  // Tucker Up // Book of Leisure // Cappuccino and Fashion  //  For the Love of Leopard




Filed under boots, fashion, sweater

Surviving a Mini Meltdown Part 1

Dear Understated Classic reader,

Thank you for being so kind and generous with your love and support. I enjoy your blogs/your stories/your comments, and  I ask for your continued love and support throughout this post.  Do not pass judgement, do not harbor ill will toward me.  Keep in mind that life is a journey, a learning process and we all really screw up.  A lot.

I would not be offended if you laugh, if you snicker, and if you say “Oh that girl needs help.”  I will actually encourage these thoughts/behaviors.  Kind reader, I know we’ve all been there, but enjoy my two-part series which I like to call

“How I Survived Cooking a Turkey Breast: The Clare Version of A Mini-Thanksgiving.”

Again, thank you for your laughter, your support and overall sense of sarcastic humor.  Please note, that I really don’t have any idea what I am doing, and I am totally writing a stream-of-consciousness here, no filters, no “should I post this?”  Pure.  Raw.  Sarcasm.  And.  Insanity.

Thank you,


Let us begin, shall we?


The other night, Mr. and I were STARVING.  And for some reason we barely had any food in the house.  So when we went food shopping (on an empty stomach- HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE idea), I thought it would be fun to try something different and get a mini turkey.  When asked I said “Remember, we went out on Thanksgiving and I had sushi.  I may be three months late on it, but can we have turkey for dinner tomorrow (Sunday)?”  An eye roll and a sigh but I eventually received a “Okay, if you think you can make it like your mom does, let’s try it.”

note: my mother is an excellent cook.  I somehow must have been dropped on my head and never learned from her.  She too, rolls her eyes and prays to all that is holy that one day, just one day, I may get this “cooking” thing.


EXCITEMENT ensued.  I was so proud of myself.  Our cart looked so healthy and so Weight Watcher friendly. Produce, lean meats, nuts, healthy snacks, Perrier, and of course my usual chocolate bar.  So excited, that when I got home, I was ready to cook.  I put away all the groceries and started to prep the oven.  I turned the oven on.  (That’s a lot of work, seeing as I NEVER COOK, and had no idea how to turn on the temperature…)  But I turned it on to 500.  That’s right, right?  Nope.  Not even close.

After further inspecting the cold, frozen chunk of meat, I read the back.  Turns out I needed an entire day and a half, or up to 48 hours to defrost.  WHAT THE HECK?  I was lost.  What does it meant to “defrost?”  Does that mean put it in the microwave and hit the defrost button?  Or can I run it under water for like 5 minutes?  Will that work?  So I googled it.  In case you were wondering:

defrost [dih-frawst, -frost] verb (used with object):  1. to remove the frost or ice from:  to defrost a refrigerator; to defrost the windshield of a car.  2. to thaw or partially thaw (frozen food).

That didn’t help.

I asked the Mr.  He told me “Just put it in the yellow bowl, and put the bowl in the fridge.  Guess we are going to have to eat it on Monday night.  Did you not think of this before?!”  Bottom lip trembling, I fought back tears.  How was I supposed to know?!


Not the yellow bowl, but close enough. A 4 inch (I took a ruler to it) roasting stone. Not from Pampered Chef- my family/friends knew better than not to invest in the good stuff for my bridal shower. Sad. That was 5 years ago.

Into the fridge it went.  We had salmon for dinner on Sunday instead… he cooked..

MONDAY MORNING WAS LIKE CHRISTMAS! I was super excited.  Today was going to be “THE” day.  I was going to conquer the world.  I was going to be like June Cleaver.  Nothing was going to stop me.  Except myself.  I was going to finally make strides in the kitchen (if I could even find the kitchen, I never use it…) I was super excited. The day went so well.  The snow was romantically falling gently throughout the day, the birds weren’t chirping, but the day ended up perfectly.

Then I got home.  This is where it went downhill- fast.  I took the turkey breast out of the fridge.  I got dressed into “cooking clothes.”  (A t-shirt and leggings in case splatter, or spill, or disaster).  I washed my hands.  I started to open the package.  I removed that netting.  I tried so desperately hard to get that plastic wrapping off in one piece so as not to disrupt the directions..


THAT WENT SO WELL.  Where the heck did the cooking time go?  Oh right, it went into the garbage.  WHAT?  I thought it was excess skin that just fell off when peeling the wrapper off.  So I had to go back into the garbage, digging through – I think the Mr. must have thought the exclamation of “HOLY CRAP!” was funny, so he somehow was smart enough to throw more garbage out between the time I realized the wrapper was in there, and the time I started to go digging…

Now we are ready to cook!  Right?  Ew no.  This thing takes a while…apparently, you have to remove the netting and gravy packet.  THANK GOODNESS- gravy comes with.  I’ve seen my mom make gravy separately, and I didn’t think to buy the canned stuff.  So we were going to be very dry when eating the bird…thankfully we did stock up on Frank’s Red Hot Sauce when shopping.

???????????????????????????????This couldn’t begin to get any more gross.  How people cook is beyond me.  This is icky, slimy, cold, and just plain gross.  Thankfully, I slipped that breast right back into the famous yellow bowl.  And I dissected the gravy packet from the breast.  GROSS.  Cold.  Slimy.  Ick.  I am such a girl for sure.  But I figure, ew this hunk of meat needs some seasoning.  So I coated the bottom of the brown 4 inch pan with olive oil.  (It was infused with herbs and pepper! – Gift.  You really thought I could have figured out how to do that?!)

But wait!  I had to pat this sucker dry.  EW!  What the heck does that mean?  Instead of googling it, since my hands were gross from turkey breast aura, I said “Paper towel pat dry.”  Since that seems logical.  But ew.  This is just getting more gross.  No one told me that cooking was just utterly disgusting.  To those who say cooking is therapeutic, I think you all are liars.

Notice: my overly tan hand.  I used a moisturizer with a tinting effect in it.  Now I look like E.T.  but at least my nails look so cute still.

Notice: my overly tan hand. I used a moisturizer with a tinting effect in it. Now I look like E.T. but at least my nails look so cute still.

This was just getting more gross.  After a few paper towels, and I’m sure, a few facial expressions, this thing was bone dry.  Like I couldn’t sop up any more moisture from this thing onto a paper towel.  I may have used an entire roll… but who is really keeping score here?

I shook some salt and pepper on that hunk o’meat.  At this point, I had spent a good twenty minutes of my own sweat and tears (literally, tears) that I had named it this piece of dinner- “Pain-In-The-Butt.”  Cause to me, it looked like a pain.  And it looked like a butt.  So Pain In The Butt got dressed with some salt and pepper.  As I was shaking the shakers, I was singing “Shake it off, shake it off..”  If only T-Swift would be so proud…  Pain-in-the-butt went into the oven.  FINALLY.


Yes, my oven is somewhat clean. You know why? I never use it. And one time I really did, it was to heat up a frozen lasanga and some sauce spilled and I didn’t know how to clean it up. Granted I was going to clean it while still hot, and then eventually I just forgot to wipe the oven down…

Buh-bye Pain-In-The-Butt.  Hopefully in two hours everything will be perfect.  I can’t tell.  I have no idea what I was really doing anyway.  I shoved that thing in the hot oven (at 325 like it suggested on the wrapper) and set the two hour timer.  Oh my goodness, we aren’t eating til 8pm?  I may just fall asleep and not be able to eat at all…No.  I am determined.  After shoving Pain-In-The-Butt in the oven and then reaching back in to put a tablespoon (that is what TBS means, right?) of butter on top, I set that timer, and waited…

???????????????????????????????…How this turkey breast turned out?  You’ll have to wait for part two of my meltdown… And that won’t be til I eat it.  Cause we both said “Oh my goodness, it is going to be Thursday before we even eat this thing.  Oy.”  And I am so freaking hungry I am even asking myself “Was this whole process worth it?”

…and the world will never know.  This is probably why I am looking for cooking lessons.

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Filed under advice, co-curriculars, how to

The Mr.’s Photography Lesson

Yesterday we talked about how awesome Barrel Oak Winery is.  And how a glass of wine is totally worth driving 45 minutes west into the hills of Virginia…

Today, let’s recap on how I really dress/live on the weekends.  Either in leggings, or jeans.  Or a combination of both (jeggings? I know it sounds weird, but thanks to Lizzy over at Stitchfix she sent me these fantabulous ponte stretch pants that look like jeans but have an elastic waistband like leggings.) I always wear these pants.  ALWAYS.  To work (on casual Wednesdays), to grocery shop, to the movies, to the wineries, to anywhere where there are people…you get my point.


It’s so easy to live in these pants, they look like leggings!  Toldja!  And besides, I’ve been on Pinterest too much lately, and this totally seems like something you’d find on my “Casual Attire” pinboard.  This is the same pinboard that I linked up for Lizzy, so when she styles my next box, she gets a strong hint of what I am really looking for. Hopefully this whole “dressing clean” thing is going to pan out.


The other night I went to the #BloggerSceneDC event at The Gryphon in DuPont Circle.  “Parties with a Purpose.”  But I didn’t go just to learn about blogging, I went to have fun and meet other DC bloggers.  I LOVED IT.  But the Mr. hated it.  Even though he didn’t go, he has been hearing all about it and how I need to step up my blogging game, blah blah blah.  So when at the winery, I had been snapping away (my instagram had pics of it) and then realized I had my actual camera in the car!  So I told him we had to step it up.  He, the photographer that he is, had no idea what I meant by that, but I gave him some hints on how to take some pictures.  Clueless, I think he got some good shots.  Although I think he should probably give me a warning when he was about to actually take the picture.  My facial expressions are not on par with where I should have been…

For example…


See.  Told you.  He really should have given me warning.  But kudos to him for even taking the pictures.  I was freezing anyway, cause, well, it’s now snowing in the DC metro, and this was that awkward “calm before the snow” day.  I tried to act warm.  To all the bloggers that take outdoor pictures, I give you mad props- I am a weakling, for sure.  But I guess it works when he did this…


What an artist!  Okay, not really, but he knew that I am obsessed with this set of Jamberry nail wraps.  And in retrospect, I probably should have gotten myself some more of these- these were the November Sister Style Exclusive.  (Meaning, this was the monthly exclusive, and they’ll never ever bring it back.  Or will they?  They should…) Props to him for not telling me what he was doing this time, and just snapping away.

I think we’ll get the hang of this blogging thing… or will we?

Sweater:  H&M (similar, similar, similar)

Scarf: gift (similar, similar, similar)

Bag:  Coach (similar, similar, similar)

Pants:  Stitchfix (similar, similar, similar)

Boots: I forgot (similar, similar, similar)


Happy Monday.  live this week in the front row.


Filed under advice, clothing, fashion, stitchfix, weekend

Weekend Recap: Week 2

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Like I said last week, I am not a glamorous person.  In fact, I consider myself to be the complete opposite.  Very plain, very boring, but obsessed with life.  I love to explore, travel, people watch, do things.  I can’t get enough of exploring the area I’m in, and the surrounding suburbs/countryside.  What’s awesome about living in the DC metro area is how in 45 minutes, you could be in hill country Virginia at any winery you choose.

This weekend we traveled out west to Barrel Oak Winery.  I love BOW, not only is it an exclamation for dogs, but the winery is completely dog-a-holic.  Dog paintings on the walls, wine lovers bringing their best friends to hang out, even SPCA donation buckets at the counter.  Made me want a pup, for sure.  But Barrel Oak is more than just the dogs.  A few months back, I posted on Instagram my morning brunch of bagels, mimosas and poinsettias.   They use their sparkling wine to mix, and for $6 a drink, unlimited bagels/condiments, fruits and newspapers (NY Times included!  We all know how hard that is to find in “Washington Post” territory!)  Needless to say, add this place to one of my favorite NoVa locations!


Granted, we’ve totally been here a few other times prior to Sparkling Brunch Sundays, and this weekend, but let’s face it, once you are hooked on a fun place, you know you want to go back.  The Mr. signed up for their newsletter, and found Sparkling Brunch Sundays, so we went.  And the other day, he found a coupon (Amazon Local, Livingsocial, or Groupon, I couldn’t remember) that was $45 for $100 worth of a Barrel Oak day.  Sounds like a deal to me… I love spending a day at the winery!


Not a Barrel Oak picture, but this is a typical spread that we bring to the winery. I forgot to take a picture at BOW of our “winery spread” but this is pretty spot on accurate.


The weather was wine-tastic.  It was a little too chilly to stay outside with the fire pits (and it had been raining the night before, so the wood in the pits was wet, and I was the one that told the Mr. that wet wood is probably not good fire wood.  I have no idea about that stuff, but I made myself sound super intelligent…) so we wandered on in and just went straight to the tasting counter and started our day.  What a great fun staff.  The servers really love their job, and love sharing their passion for Barrel Oak wine to the common-folk (me).  Our server was impressed that we were somewhat knowledgeable about BOW (semi-frequent visitors) and how I just LOVED LOVED LOVED the wine.

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Their wine was absolutely fantastic- different and unique compared to a few surrounding wineries.  After a tasting, I knew that the “Norton 2013″ was their unique “stand out” wine.  (Typically in the NoVa area, wineries are similar- import their grapes from down in Southern Virginia, and press/make the wine in NoVa).  The “Norton” was grown on site, and make completely unique to the rest of their varietals.  The tasting was fantastic, very different finishes, noses, and overall flavorings. Unique.  And a dog barking every once in a while added to the atmosphere.

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I love love love the Norton.  So much so, after we tasted, we each got another glass of Norton to enjoy while eating our “winery spread” and relax.  We ended up purchasing three bottles (their “BOWHaus Red, BOWHaus White, and Norton) and just had such a relaxing, warm (wood burning stoves) and therapeutic (everyone’s dogs on leashes but pet therapy by either looking at the dogs, or petting them and getting a few hand licks!) time.  If you are in the area, definitely add Barrel Oak to the list.

What did you end up doing this weekend?  Did you drink some wine?

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Filed under advice, weekend

Thursday Thoughts: Week 2

This week I’ve been in full swing- email, posting, writing, conversing with second-semester seniors who are in that “OMG I AM ABOUT TO GRADUATE AND HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING WITH MY LIFE” panic mode, doing my daily day-to-day activities, and living the dream.  (Okay, really just being present.)  With all this craziness, I am putting together a collection of the links/videos/articles that I’ve been sent to either “make me laugh” or “share the news” or “OMG enjoy.”

This is a thing.  Red Velvet and Oreos have finally joined in union.  This may be dangerous, and may be the only thing I eat for the next month.  I may have to stock up for the Apocalypse- as these limited edition bad boys may disappear before I really get to enjoy a box.  (The Mr. and I buy a thing of them, by the time I get to the box, half are gone cause  SOMEONE had to do “quality control.”)  Hopefully the Mr. finds these repulsive.  I know I won’t…

Gaming for 3 days straightReally?  I mean there are times where I binge watch shows (specifically now FRIENDS), but I can’t imagine doing anything but game for three full days.  No wonder why this guy died, after 3 days of gaming, I would have either died or passed out too.  But I also pass out when I go three hours without talking to anyone…even if it is talking to myself.  (Call me crazy, but I need noise.)

Coco Goes to K-Mart.  My newest youtube subscription.  If only everyone was this passionate about cleaning up trash on the side of the road, and that upset that your specific flavor of tea doesn’t exist anymore, the world would be a much better place, for sure.  After all, I too get pretty cranky if I don’t have my hazelnut creamer in my coffee, but for some reason, that’s a different story.

House Gone.  I love my husband dearly.  But if he were to ever pull this in his future “demolition man” escapades, I may just flip.  Could you imagine this?  You come home to…nothing?  You think, “Okay, well I am going to work, good luck with demo today, sweetheart.”  And you come home and DANG.  House is gone.  I don’t know if that is funny, or would piss me off, but I could tell you that that is one heck of a story to tell one day.

How to define the outer V: Tutorial.   Z from Macshadowcombos has become my new favorite beauty blogger.  If my hubs hears “Hey there Gorgeous!” one more time, he will somehow block me from watching youtube.  She always is “defining the outer v” of the eye with darker shadows, and no matter how many times I go along with the video in real time, my outer V never looks like hers.  More recently, my outer V has become almost a “cut crease” look.  Not really that attractive, if you ask me.  So thankfully, I have watched this video a bunch of times, and have practiced with her a few extra times too.  Now my outer V looks stunning, no more Cleopatra-esque cut crease.

Lastly, I must discuss my week of yoga.  I practice at 8:15pm.  It takes about 15 minutes to get  from my apartment door to the studio door.  I get to the studio at 7:50 so when the 6:15 class gets out, I’m one of the first people in the hot room when the instructor cleans up the floor.  I do this to get my “spot.”  I love to stare at myself in the mirror (weird, it’s the only time I really do like staring at myself in the mirror) and I get legitimately pissed if I am not in my “spot.” I found this beauty on Instagram- forgot who posted it, but it rang true the other night when there were 75 other yogis in the room.  Which, I finally reached the clarity breakthrough- even though there were 74 other hot sweaty people in the room (remember, I do Bikram), I felt as though it was me and the instructor’s words, not the actual physical being of the instructor, but literally just me and her voice.  I felt so empowered, so strong, I had to share with the world, I am getting the hang of this thing…


Happy Thursday, my friends.  See you tonight at the BloggerSceneDC event!


Filed under co-curriculars, weekly wrap up

What I Wore Wednesday 2015: Week 2

Remember when “On Wednesdays we wear pink?”  When I had read an article last year (okay, a few weeks ago…) celebrating the 10, 20, 25 year anniversaries of movies, I had a been hit by a brick wall.  “Mean Girls” turned 10 last year.  I thought back to where I was 10 years ago, and wow.  I had immediately to shake it off (T-Swift style) and realize that I need to grow up.  That’s where the 3-day weekend and a closet overhaul comes into play.  I had to realize that “Fetch” wasn’t going to happen, that Regina George does not dictate the dress code of high school, that the “Plastics” are a subset of high school culture, and well, everything would be better with a cake baked with rainbows and smiles… (SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE)….

…clearly I need to grow up.  I can recite the lines, I look forward to October 3rd every year, and sometimes, I am convinced my students like seeing me outside of work like Damien comments about Ms. Norbury.  But that’s so in the past.  10 years ago.  I need to step away from the Pink Wednesdays and become a grown up.  If I am to role model behavior, I probably should stop trying to make “fetch” happen…

Back on today’s “What I Wore Wednesday 2015″ series.  Last week I wore all black cause I ranted about being clean.  Today’s rant is about “Mean Girls.”  To the average normal reader, I am not crazy, this is how I live my life.  Spur of the moment, whatever comes to mind, whatever mood I’m in kind of person.  And today is Wednesday, and I always subconsciously think of the movie… To tie it all together- I had to grow up, have Eva help me with my current closet and pick out things that will work.

Here is today’s “Things that will work”  It’s navy and black.  Two colors that I would have never really thought to put together until Eva made me…


Dress: Stitchfix (similar, similar, similar)

Sweater: Gap (similar, similar, similar)

Tights: DKNY (similar, similar, similar)

Shoes: I don’t remember but they sure are super comfortable (similar, similar, similar)


Happy Wednesday.

Don’t forget to link up.

The Pleated Poppy // Because Shanna Said So // Pump & Pushups //  My Girlish Whims  // Tucker Up // Book of Leisure // Cappuccino and Fashion




Filed under clothing, dress, fashion, stitchfix, work

UC Coming Attractions

There are times when you get into a rut.  Trust me, I know. I’ve been in a neutral/gray/black/white rut for a long time now.  To the point where I own 50 shades of gray.  Just call me Anastasia..(I reread the book just in time..)  So I took the three-day weekend to really revitalize.  Remember, Sunday I was spending the day all nice and cozy with tons of coffee and Anna Karenina so yesterday I thought to myself: “I need to be a little productive today.”

I called my blogger buddy Eva over at From Farm to Fab to help do a closet consultation. All excited, she raided my closet.  Made me try on everything, the stuff that fit, the stuff that didn’t, and tried to push me out of my element.  She prepared me for the next few weeks at work.  Told me that all I need is my black tights, black blazer and black booties, and these outfits will be complete.  So here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come here…

…links to be coming along with the individual posts.  Today’s just a quick snippet, (the 90 second trailer) for the rest of the month.  See you all tomorrow for What I Wore Wednesday: Week 2!


1 Comment

Filed under clothing, dress, fashion, work