photo of two teal and pink leather crossbody bags

Photo by Moose Photos on

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??



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:


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!):


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

Finally, my Adichie-inspired outfit:


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. ❤

yours truly, dr. b (1)


food healthy vegetables potatoes

Photo by Stokpic on

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.


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.


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. 😉


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.


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)


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)