SPEC-TACULAR

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This post was sponsored by Eyemart Express, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for helping me to support brands and retailers I love!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit my local Eyemart Express. I’ve owned my current pair of lenses for at least two years now, and while they’re great, I definitely needed a new pair. Specifically, a pair of prescription lens sunglasses. I spend a lot of time at the ballpark and I don’t love wearing makeup when I am there – hello, Alabama summer that melts all makeup away. However, to wear sunglasses I currently own, means I have to wear contacts because I’m blind as a bat without them. Not to mention the fact that none of my current lenses are UV polarized. So off I went!

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The store was pleasant, filled with a variety of lenses. A number of sales associates buzzed around and laughed alongside their customers, as men and women tried on glasses and sunnies. I signed in, waited a little, until my name was called.

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I perused all the collections online prior to arriving at the store, so I already knew what I wanted to try on: the High Street Collection London and LadyBird lenses.

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Ms. Joan helped me try them both on, and I immediately fell in love with the Pearl version of the London eyeglasses.

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With my prescription in hand, she quickly filled out paperwork on my behalf and sent me on my way! “Be back in an hour or so”, she said, “or, we will text you if your glasses are done before then.” UM WHAT? In an hour?? I had no idea my glasses would be done within the hour! I had some grocery shopping to do, so off to my Super Target I went. I browsed the clothing and home section, did my grocery shopping, and was loading groceries in the car when I got the text: my glasses were done. It turns out my eyeglasses were ready more quickly than my sunnies, but my sunnies were done by the time I got to the store and someone was able to help me. For someone who’s always in a hurry and often doesn’t have the time to “return 1-2 weeks later” to pick something up, being able to return within the hour, while having run other errands, was simply perfection.

Today, I ended up at the ballpark for the first time since the fall, and just as I had imagined, I was able to wear my sunnies without makeup and didn’t have to wear contact lenses. The day was cold, but sunny, and I was SHOCKED how well I was able to see through my sunglasses. Having never worn polarized lenses, I had no idea 1) how clearly one sees even when the sun is blasting rays in your face and 2) how awesome prescription sunglasses are given you are essentially getting a two-for-one deal…shade and sight!

Pictured below are the High Street LadyBird frames in black, with Polycarb SV (2 Lens), polarized lenses, and Platinum Pro Plus Poly. Not sure what the first and third things mean, but surely someone at Eyemart Express will. ๐Ÿ™‚

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My second pair, the High Street London pair, are so fun. I’ve never owned a lighter colored pair, but I’ve been inspired to branch out a bit more, so I did!

If you’re like me, then by now you’re probably wondering how much this all came to. Well, as seen above, each pair was $99.95. The add-on’s you get, will ultimately determine what your final price will be. I have a Vision Service Plan, or VSP, otherwise known as vision insurance. Each year, I am able to cover my eye exam and either contacts or glasses. Eyemart Express takes VSP and other types of insurance. This can help offset immediate costs, should that be a concern.

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Eyemart Express has locations all over the US, with three located in the Birmingham area. If you’re in the Hoover, AL area, be sure to stop and ask for Ms. Joan and Mr. Thom. Both helped me that day and were absolutely delightful to work with!

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Feel free to email me if you have any questions about my experience or the glasses/sunnies I selected; otherwise, hope you enjoy an Eyemart Experience soon!

yours truly, dr. b (1)

COPY CAT

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Years ago I read an article in Elle Magazine written by the illustrious

“I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it. If you spoke of fashion, it had to be either with apology or with the slightest of sneers. The further your choices were from the mainstream, the better. The only circumstance under which caring about clothes was acceptable was when making a statement, creating an image of some sort to be edgy, eclectic, counterculture. It could not merely be about taking pleasure in clothes.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Women in academia, medicine, and other fields have similar experiences. They/we are judged for dressing too nicely, for wearing make up, or wearing heels that are “too high”. When I started Chic in Academia, I wanted this to be a place where professional women who did love fashion, makeup, accessories, and the like, had a place to readily access that information, provided by a peer academic/professional woman. I’m hopeful that CIA has done that to some extent over the years, but more importantly, that it continues to reinforce the fact that women can indeed be intelligent, productive, and serious, all while also loving fashion; the two, after all, are not mutually exclusive.

As a result, I too, over the years, have continued to foster that love for fashion and all things related. A few posts ago, I shared images found on Pinterest that I was hoping to use as guidance or inspiration for my own work outfits this week. Out of the outfits shared, I had my eye on one in particular; an outfit by Ahn of 9 to 5 Chic.

I love the simplicity of her outfits, something that I can use in my own wardrobe these days. My life has become increasingly busier: increased workload and responsibility at work; busier school and sports’ schedules for the boys; busier social calendar; and a number of other to-do’s that consume my days. There is something to be said for streamlining a wardrobe. While I agree with Chimamanda, and do still love prints and mixes, ultimately, I think I’m striving to achieve a wardrobe more like Ahn’s. This week, I had a good mix of both Anh-like and Chimanada-like outfits.

First, the Ahn copy-cat outfit. I found the dress on a Target clearance rack last week. Paid $11 for it. I also recently found the heels I’m wearing at a local TJMaxx. Lemme tell ya. They are AH-MAZING. Buttery leather, like gloves on my feet. They are Sam Edelman and also a full size smaller than I typically wear on my feet. Dancing, pregnancy, and genetics have all blessed me with widening feet over the years; feet that until now I’d dressed in size 7 heels, but comfortably fit into a 6W with this Sam Edelman pair. Y’all. All these years, and only now am I realizing that extended sizing had a purpose for me. It was a come to Jesus moment for sure. Goodness. God bless this hot mess express. Ooh wee! Anyway, how close did I get to recreating Ahn’s outfit??

 

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Dress, Target recent clearance item (similar) / Coat, Tahari via TJMaxx (similar) / Shoes, Sam Edelman via TJMaxx and Amazon / Bag via Amazon

Second outfit inspiration came from Pinterest as well. Refer back to this post to see if you can figure out which of the outfits I shared inspired the following:

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Sweater Marled via Marshalls (similar) / Skirt Halogen via Nordstrom Rack (one in size 4P via ebay) / Heels Forever 21 (similar)

I also came up with on my own (hello, I too got skillz!):

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Coat Tahari via TJMaxx (similar) / Dress via Trilogy Threads (use code CHIC10 for 10% discount) / Boots via Zara

Finally, my Adichie-inspired outfit:

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Coat via Forever 21 / Top via Zara / Bag via Amazon / Pants via Forever 21 (similar)

There are some who say that how you dress affects how you feel and how others respond to you. In fact, that is exactly how I feel. If I have a presentation to give, I gain confidence from wearing something that fits well and that feels “put together”. Looking less-than-put-together feeds my insecurity; especially in times when stress and insecurity may be at all all time high (e.g., before a big presentation, meeting, etc). Thus, an attempt to pull together an nice outfit, and give my confidence a boost, is not a bad thing to implement, in my opinion. My friend, and fellow girlboss, Michelle of Gold Dust & Sugar Lust agrees:

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Do clothes affect how you feel or how you feel people respond to you? I have to say that we all should feel free to wear what we like and what makes us feel comfortable, without fear of judgement, especially when our work should speak for itself. However, if you’re like me, and you love fashion, and it helps to add a little boost of confidence, know that you have a whole tribe of other girlbosses behind you – cheering you on and complimenting you on those bright colored lips and pattern-print clothes, or that monochromatic outfit that screams fabulosity. โค

yours truly, dr. b (1)

ROMAINE CALM AND MEAL PLAN

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School started back up last week and while mentally I was beyond prepared and ready to get back to a normal schedule, it turns out that realistically, I had slowed down significantly over the break and felt like I was hit by a MAC truck after the first day! One of the things I had failed to plan for was…food. I hadn’t planned out meals for the week, nor did I do enough grocery shopping to get us through dinners, school snacks, and lunches for work. I shared my struggle on social media and my social media tribe came to the rescue. Cue: Meal Planning.

While I have meal planned in the past, meal planning for me seems to work much like working out for most of the world’s population. You do it for a month, but eat out enough times during the month, and everything goes out the window. Well, this time, I’m determined. I managed to meal plan most of 2018, so I somewhat have the hang of it now, but have some new resources that I think make me a meal-planning ninja!

A dear friend of mine reached out and said, “Have you tried meal planning this way??” and sent me a printable, fillable PDF to play with. I was intrigued. She shared this post with me, and WHOA. Hello, epiphany! While I’ve heard of and practiced meal planning before (let’s all acknowledge my triumphs of 2018), I hadn’t really thought about it in the context of saving money. I mean, DUH! It only made complete sense once I read through the article, but now I’m consciously thinking about it and implementing meal-planning as a money-saving practice.

So, I took action. For months, perhaps YEARS (2 at most), I have had this menu planning board sitting at our coffee station.

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It literally JUST.SAT.THERE. Doing absolutely nothing! I have commitment issues when it comes to altering things around the house, so I didn’t necessarily want to commit to chalk or chalboard markers on this board. Thus, I did the next best thing: I ran to Target and bought narrow Post-It notes, and went to town with a black Sharpie. Done.

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Don’t worry about the blank wall space above the coffee-maker; a super cute coffee sign is en route from Etsy as we speak. I got this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Not bad! I grocery shop Saturdays or Sundays, so I haven’t yet figured out what’s happening meal-wise this weekend, but I’ll likely give it some thought Friday night or Saturday morning, until I get into a routine. This week’s menu was based on things we already had in the fridge and or things that I knew I could make based on what I had in the pantry. Shockingly, based on my inventory, and using the tips suggested by The Budget Mom, all I bought this weekend were 4 cans of pinto beans, 3 cans of black beans, a bottle of creamer (which btw has saved me a ton since I no longer go to Starbucks before work every morning), and a gallon of milk. THAT’S IT. For the whole week!! I’m SHOOK.

That efficiency and low-budget grocery shopping prompted me to organize my snack drawers and pantry pronto. It helped get rid of items that were expired or near expiration, and remind me of recipes that I’d planned to try that hadn’t gotten around to trying. Y’all, I am in it to win it.

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I have a board on Pinterest for recipes, and in case you’re wondering, YES, I have a board on Pinterest for almost every facet of my life. I plan to draw inspiration from that board, but also work with the meals that I know my family loves. On Friday’s we love to have pizza. Little Caesar’s pizza is only $5, the kid’s love it, and it’s one of the “healthiest” pizza’s out there to eat. Winning on all fronts here, friends!

Ernieways, I’m super pumped about this. We’re trying to live more eco-friendly lives at home (more on that to come), but also be more mindful about our money and budget. Here’s to doing that and more in 2019!

yours truly, dr. b (1)