What happened to Chic in Academia??

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Friends, this is a question I’ve grappled with for months now.  While Chic in Academia has maintained it’s momentum on Instagram and Pinterest –  and to some extent Facebook – the blog for the most part has been grossly ignored.

You see, when I started Chic in Academia, I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, full-of-energy post-doc.  I was fresh out of grad school, with two little ones under 4.  Kids with no friends and no activities. Haha!  Now, two slightly older kids in and three years into faculty, I find myself at a loss of time.  My days are filled with meetings, writing, teaching, science-ing, followed by school and daycare pick-ups, baseball, birthday parties, and a slew of other kids and family-friendly activities.  And while I used to be able to get back on the computer to write a blog post or two after the kids went to bed, these days, I find myself instead finally finding quiet time around 10pm.  10pm!!  That’s when I can either A) workout, B) watch tv with the hubs, C) do some more work or answer emails, or D) or write a blog post.  As you can imagine, A, B, and/or C above take priority over D.

Instagram and Facebook have been easiest to keep up with because they take so little time.  I snap a pic that takes maybe 30 seconds to take.  I spend another minute writing out a caption, and then boom, content for Instagram is done.  And, I can do it all on my phone, anywhere.  Meanwhile, for the blog, I have to physically be at a computer to type out the post, edit the text and sometimes the photos, etc.  I also have to usually import pics from my phone because that’s the camera I use for EVERYTHING.  So, it’s a process. And sometime a lengthy one.  Especially when I have a lot to say.

Anyway, in the “blogger community”, there has been a lot of talk about where one should focus one’s effort.  I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Snapchat reported stunted growth and financial losses last quarter (read this, this, and this), meaning fewer people than expected are using Snapchat.  Snapchat is an app that some bloggers/influencers monetize.  Imagine a blogger/influencer whose largest following is on Snapchat.  Now imagine that Snapchat either goes out of business or gets bought out.  Now this blogger/influencer is seriously out of luck!

So, the prevailing theory in the community is that the blog is where one should focus one’s efforts.  If the blogger/influencer owns their domain, then they own all their content and are not subject to the losses and performance expectations of the app the content is uploaded to (eg Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc).  Say for example that Instagram were to shut down operations tomorrow.  I would lose years of content, never to be recovered!

All that to say, I’d like to bring Chic in Academia’s blog flow back.  I haven’t quite figured out how yet, but at least the intention is there.  Perhaps posting once a week will be the way to do it.  How does that sound?

In the meantime, and in case you don’t follow along on Instagram, check out some of the things I’ve been up to lately:

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In brief, I went without makeup, am back to iced lattes (hello warm weather), love the Who What Wear collection at Target, also love Marshalls, figured out how to make homemade donuts, still loving ThredUp, LOVING my new kitchen, love tacos, got a Google Home, got a Gilmore Girls inspired sweatshirt and pajama pants that have become my uniform at home, and – probably most importantly – reminded myself that it’s never too late to start over.  All this in a span of 5 days!!  I’m telling you, it’s just so much easier to document on Instagram than it is to put this all on the blog. 😦 These topics would have comprised at least 10 blog posts.  So, perhaps committing to addressing them over time – in depth – will be the best approach, whilst continuing to provide snippets of my thoughts on Instagram and Facebook daily.

We will see how this goes!  I’m not teaching over the summer, so perhaps there will be a tinge of extra time that I can dedicate to the blog.  For now, check out these other posts from bloggers who do blog on a more regular basis. 😀

The Chirping Moms

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20 Books to Read This Summerhttp://thechirpingmoms.com/20-books-give-mom-mothers-day/

My Life Well Loved

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Busy Mom Whole30 Must Haveshttp://www.mylifewellloved.com/whole30-must-haves/#/

Take Time for Style

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Strawberry Rum Milkshakeshttp://www.taketimeforstyle.com/2015/02/strawberry-rum-milkshake/

Sew Sarah R

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Favorite Workout Playlist:  http://sewsarahr.com/2017/04/motivation-monday-my-favorite-workout-playlist.html

Seven Graces blog

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Kid-Approved Trail Mix: A Rainy Day Activity: http://www.sevengracesblog.com/kid-approved-trail-mix-rainy-day-activity/

Life in the Greenhouse

 http://www.lifeinthegreenhouse.com/2016/09/buffalo-chicken-dip-whole-30-approved.html

And from my own arsenal of past posts:

Chic in Academia

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Life Lessons in Heels:  https://chicinacademia.com/2017/04/26/life-lessons-in-heels/

Geek Chic DIY Chanel USB:  https://chicinacademia.com/2014/07/19/geek-chic-diy-the-chanel-usb/

Hermes Tray DIY:  https://chicinacademia.com/2015/01/22/hermes-tray-diy/

 

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.

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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.  

Walking with Pride

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I partnered with KIWI for this post, however all opinions are my own.

It’s no secret that I love to wear heels.  I think my mom bought me my first pair of heels when I was about 12 years old.  In fact, I distinctly remember what they looked like:  a white pair of faux leather kitten pumps.  I LOVED those heels. The rest is history, and the heel height never got shorter!

As I’ve gotten older, heels have become somewhat of a confidence booster.  My genetic fate proved to not favor my height, thus I remained vertically challenged. Not a problem, however, when you can wear 4 or 5 inch platform heels!  And boy was I good at walking in them!  Occasionally I would wear a pair that made me sound like a clydesdale when walking (aka not graceful), but for the most part, I like to think that I have always been most graceful when walking in heels.

As I have come up in the ranks of academia, I found that I was resorting to heels to help give me confidence I needed when at scientific meetings, when talking to peers, and simply for making me feel like I was “dressing the part”.  There is a stark difference between how I feel when I wear flats and how I feel when I wear heels.  I actually feel SUPER short and self-conscious when I’m wearing flats.  Not to mention, being short and female in a male-dominated field makes it even a greater challenge.  People literally look down at me to speak to me, and something about that body language really gets to me.  Wearing heels, on the other hand, even if they are 2-3″ heels, give me that extra little boost, and they really seem to make all the difference.  It enables me to walk with confidence and pride.

As a result, I have become quite the heel-wearer and thus, heel-buyer.  I have SO many pairs of heels.  They aren’t all expensive pairs, but, because I don’t wear them often, they tend to last longer.  I also know when to be practical and NOT wear heels.  Especially when I know I will have to walk long distances.  So, on those occasions, I like to wear comfy sneakers.  Have you noticed that sneakers also give a little bit of added height??

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All photography by Ron Pride Photography

Between my numerous pairs of shoes, and the 1-2 pairs of sneakers I own, I make sure to take great care of my shoes so that they will last and not easily damage.  My husband swears by KIWI shoe polish, and I have since become a fan of this KIWI Protect-All.  In fact, I carry it in my purse.  Do you remember me getting stuck in the building at work last year because I was wearing a pair of suede heels and I didn’t want the water to damage them?!  Well, I have since become savvy and taken action.  I’m in love with this KIWI Protect-All.  It sprays on lightly, doesn’t have a super strong scent, and in all, works-great to protect outer surfaces, shoes included.

Have you tried it before??  Let me know if you have!  If you haven’t, make sure to check out the KIWI website for more information. For those who haven’t used the spray before, simply remember to 1) shake the can well before use; 2) hold can upright approximately 15 to 20 cm from surface; 3) spray the entire surface evenly and thoroughly; 4) if using on leather or suede, let the leather or suede dry at room temperature. Actually, I bet it would also work well on handbags now that I think of it…  Hmm, sounds like another blog post idea for the future! I’ll keep you posted!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!