white and black floral cap sleeved shirt

Photo by Artem Bali on

Do you ever feel like you’ve fallen into an “outfit rut”? No matter how much you shop, or how many clothes you have, you can’t seem to find anything to wear; at least nothing you like. In times like those, I like to use Pinterest as a source of inspiration, and that’s exactly what I did today.

First, let’s back up a step. Over the holiday break, I watched Tidying Up on Netflix. Haven’t watched it? It’s a Netflix series based on the book The Magic Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In fact, the series features Ms. Kondo herself! She guides a number of families through the process of purging and keeping only the things that bring “joy” as I mentioned in my last post. Last weekend, I sold a number of things that had been set aside the past few months, but today I made a deeper, more critical assessment of the items currently in my closet. In the end, I got rid of a number of things, and plan to sell them soon. What I am left with, however, are:

  1. Clothes that fit. Part of my frustration most mornings is that items I want to wear, don’t fit, are stained, require alterations, or simply don’t fit my current body shape (remember I told you that my weight fluctuates??! sigh). That ends today! Or at least until I have another opportunity to go through my closet. Today, I only left items in my closet that currently fit and that I can wear to work. Any items that are worn less often or only worn for special occasions, were moved to my cloffice.
  2. Shoes that fit. Goodness. I love shoes. But there are shoes that are simply not meant for walking around campus or walking more than 5 feet from the car to the door of the restaurant. I put shoes that I don’t wear often in my cloffice (that I love) and shoes that fit and I wear regularly and/or to work, in my closet.
  3. Accessories I wear. Over the years, I have accumulated a number of accessories. Although I wear them from time to time, there are a minute number of pieces that I wear to work regularly. So, only those remain, with the other set aside to either sell or move, again, into the cloffice.

Ideally, I am now left with things that I can reach into my closet for and know that they fit well, and can be paired with other things in my closet. That’s where the search for “pinspiration (aka inspiration from Pinterest) comes in.

I keep a “Career” board on Pinterest, filled with pins that are either outfit ideas or career development infographics. Below are some of the outfit ideas I have on that board that I’m looking towards for inspiration this week:


5 Fall Outfit Formulas That Look Chic AF



Perhaps they will provide some inspiration for you as well this week. By the way, I just picked up a dress at Target in the clearance section today that looks super similar to the one worn by Ahn above. I have a white coat I can pair it with, as well as some slouchy faux suede boots. I’ll try to post my outfit if it comes together the way I am imagining it, but if it doesn’t, let’s just pretend that it ended up looking like one of the ones above. 😉

yours truly, dr. b (1)



Gift Ideas for the Last Minute Shopper

Anyone else scrambling last minute like me for holiday gifts?? Well, worry not, I gotcha covered. I just starting thinking about gifts this week and here are a few things I have come up with for the last minute shopper:

  1.  I personally own this backpack and I LOVE IT. It’s the perfect gift for the high school or college student, for the mom on the go, your professor friend who needs to tote their 13″ macbook and wallet to conferences, or simply for yourself because who doesn’t shop for themselves while shopping for others??

snakeskin backpack

Snakeskin backpack from Target, $34.99

2. I always have a hard time shopping for men – my hubby included – but I love this shaving kit from Target/Harry’s.  I got one for my hubby earlier this year and he loved it so I know the men in your life will too.

shaving kit

Harry’s Shaving Kit, $14.99

3. This is one that is personally on MY wishlist.  I’ve seen it all over Pinterest and Instagram, so you know it’s a popular item this year. I’d love to get it for my cloffice (you know, closet-office) because it has the extra lighting I need to apply makeup etc.  Plus, it’s really just super cute, so why wouldn’t we want it??

vanity gold mirror

Impressions Vanity Mirror, $45.00

4. We own the Google Home, but this Amazon Echo Dot is too good a deal to pass up! It’s a great present for kids too.  You can put it in their rooms or play areas to play music or games with. It’s also a great device for the family overall and a great addition to any party. echo dot

Amazon Echo Dot, $29.99

5. I always feel like you can’t go wrong with pajama’s for Christmas or other holidays. Paired with some cozy slippers and a cute mug, you’re sure to have the best gift around. These are my favorite brand of pj’s and currently available in a variety of styles and only $15 a piece!


Gillian & O’Malley, $15

6. Finally, monthly subscription boxes are one of my favorite things to gift. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving. I personally have this subscription and love it. It’s great for the woman who loves to work out, the woman who likes to wear workout clothes but doesn’t work out, AND the woman who doesn’t currently workout but wants to. 🙂 The monthly subscription delivers 3-5 items a month, usually including at least an outfit, but with the larger subscription, workout gear as well. For a special discount use code CHICINACADEMIA at checkout!

Ellie Activewear

Ellie Activewear Subscription Box, $39.95 per month

7. I’m not sure that you will get these before Friday – although it wouldn’t hurt to check, but they are one of my favorite things at the moment. Everly rings are made with simulated diamonds and are simply gorgeous. They are mistaken for real diamonds every single time I wear them. I have several of their bands and recently got one of their larger rings and can’t say enough about how much I love them. For a special discount use code CHICINACADEMIA at checkout.


Everly Rings, Get any 5 stackables for $175

7. Finally, Tula is a brand I recently tried and loved. I especially love their gift sets because they’re perfect for the person who travels a lot like me! This one in particular provides a nice sampling of their best products. You can also use my discount code for an extra discount, CHICINACADEMIA.


Tula Discovery Kit, $52.00


What other gift ideas do you have?  I’ve posted other ideas on instastories as I find them, so make sure to check them out on my Instagram account. Otherwise, make sure to also check out Pinterest and Facebook for occasional posts!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

Life lessons in heels

**I partnered with KIWI Protect-All spray for this post, however all opinions are my own.  

I have a pair of red suede shoes that I love.  LOVE.  One day last summer, I wore them, not realizing a huge thunderstorm was in the forecast.  Of course it hit right as I was getting to leave my office building for the day.  SIGH.  I waited.  15 minutes passed and I was now running super late to pick up the kids from daycare and after school care.  So, what’s a fashionista to do when wearing shoes that will damage in the rain?  Walk barefoot to the parking deck.  And so I did!

Of course, I’ve learned my lesson.  In an earlier post, I told you about my new found love for KIWI Protect-All® spray and how much I’ve come to love the product.  I’ve since applied it to my favorite red suede heels so that I can wear them without fear of the weather.





Photos by Mary Margaret Smith

Of course, one learns about tricks like using a shoe protector like KIWI Protect-All® spray over time. It wasn’t something my mom used and told me about, for example.  But much like a fine wine, I too am getting better (wiser) with age.  I’ve learned about better ways to take care of my shoes, clothes, among other life lessons of course.  The photos above capture how I feel the older I get. Somehow more confident, caring less about what others think.  Don’t get me wrong, I still very much care about what others think to some extent – I am not yet completely immune – but I am much better than I was when I was younger.

There is a certain swagger that can only be had in heels at times (for me at least), that I feel these photos capture perfectly.  I’ve also become a lot more confident when it comes to my height.  I used to have a major, major complex about being vertically challenged.  The heels I’m wearing here are maybe – at most – 3 inch heels.  I used to wear nothing less than 4″ heels with a platform!  I was nuts for sure.  I also wasn’t running after two boys under 8, haha.  Life has certainly changed.

Anywho.  Did you try Kiwi Protect-All spray since the last time we chatted??  If not, try it and let me know what you think!  I saw it while I was at CVS today and it prompted me to remind you all about it.  Photo_1027

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

**I partnered with Kiwi Protect-All for this post, however all opinions are my own.