Happy New Year!!

Happy new year dear readers!!!  May this year be filled with happiness, love, and success for you all!  I am excited for what 2014 has in store, both professionally as well as personally.  I am also excited for some upcoming collaborations that are in the process of being established for my blog!  😀  More details to come soon!

It’s been 30 whole days since my last blog post!  Can you believe that?!  In my defense, I have been busy with work-related activities; specifically, writing (manuscripts and a grant)…you know, my bread and butter.  Well, let’s just say my bread, because I don’t really care for butter. 😉  In academia, you must publish or perish, so I have been actively trying not to perish!

Anyhow, being that it is the first day of the year, I wanted to make sure I posted today and also remind you that I had some unfinished business pending with some of you!!  You may or may not remember that I was to announce the winner of the book ‘Lean In‘ giveaway the first week of December.  For those of you who missed out, read up on the giveaway here!

Well, what had happened was…  Haha, just kidding!  Seriously, though.  I had planned to give away my personal copy of the book.  Then, I decided, why not try to get books for ALL the readers who commented on my blog post??  How Oprah of me would THAT be??!

So…guess what??  If you commented on that post (I also have a list, if you need to make sure), THEN:

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 9.46.35 PMExciting, right??!!  I was able to negotiate getting books donated for all those that commented, so it is no expense to me OR you!!

Anyhow, I wanted to make sure to get this news out on the first of the year…you know, to help get your year started off right. 🙂  Email me at chicinacademia@gmail.com to claim your book!  Books will be mailed before the end of the month.

Finally, I want to take a moment to thank you all again for your continued support and readership!  2013 was an amazing year for my blog, so I can only imagine how much better it will get in 2014!

Cheers to you all and Happy New Year!!!!

Why I blog…

With Thanksgiving just a day away, I want to tell you all how thankful I am for your readership and continued support!  I so appreciate every time you read my blog posts, every click on my links, visits to my website, and follows on Instagram!  You have made my little blog a happy success, and I have all of you to thank for that!!

I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with you one of the things I enjoy most: that is, all things related to fashion: bargain shopping, style, clothes, shoes, beauty products, you name it!!

I have to tell you, it has been a scary process making this blog public and putting myself out there for the world to judge.  I thought: What will people think? Will they like what I write? Will they find my content interesting or even worth reading?

Then, I read Sheryl Sandberg’s recent book, Lean In.  Have you read it?  If not, keep reading for a chance to win your very own copy!  One of the things she mentions in the book is that as women, we are often afraid to ‘lean in’ and take chances.  To take steps that may scare us, but that can lead us to success.  So I decided, why not??  In the words of Sheryl Sandberg, “There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around.”

And so began the adventure.  Sure, some of you may have read my blog posts, or even just noticed that I was posting on Facebook about frilly topics and wondered, “Why, with a doctorate, does she have the need to talk about such superficial, non-important things?!”  Well, my intention was dual-purposed:

1.  I enjoy fashion.  I do.  I love to see it on runways, in magazines, to wear it, to talk about it…I just truly enjoy it!  As a result, I have also always wanted to go to New York Fashion Week.  I learned, however, that to get invited to one of those shows, you either have to know someone in the business (I don’t), have a ton of money to buy tickets outright (according to my husband, we don’t, lol), OR be part of the press (aha!!)!!  And, guess, what??  If you’re a blogger, you are considered ‘press’!  So, I began a blog!!

2. Second, it is important to me for people to know that, as a woman – specifically a woman scientist – it is more than okay to like fashion; no, to love fashion, and that it in no way takes away from who I am as a researcher, as an intellectual, or as a professional.  It is simply an added bonus. 😉 Afterall, since when did being fashionable and being intelligent become mutually exclusive??  Perhaps even considered contradictory by some?  I am here to tell you, and show you, that they are not.

On most traditional fashion/lifestyle blogs, you will see pictures of women posing in amazing clothes, shoes, etc.  I LOVE to follow these blogs, and often wished that my blog would take on that form one day as well.  Then I realized, if that were to happen, my blog would no longer be MY blog, but merely a reflection of other blogs out there.

So, for this blog post, I wanted to present you with my vision.  To show you that intelligence can be a fashionable accessory – our BEST accessory.

To achieve this task, I recruited the very talented, young (literally, young…I’m talking high school student young!), Mariana Pimiento, to take my pictures.  We ‘leaned in’ together and this was the result.


Stilettos and books…a fashionable combination, right? Shoes (Paris Hilton, pink soles, $25, Nordstrom Rack, Old).


Wearing my signature ‘hair in a bun’, dressed in couture, while reading Baby Rothman.


A true, blogger-style photo.  Dress (Tadashi Shoji, $30, PeppermintPark.com, old)/ Necklace (Paris market, gift from BFF, more info here) / Bag (Chanel Medallion Tote, $waylessthanretail, eBay.com) / Tights (Hue, Nordstrom Rack, old) / Earrings (Francesca’s Collections, $8, old).


Same details as above. 🙂 Belt (Lotus Boutique, $10, old) and car (MBZ, 10 years old!).

A change of shoes...oxfords...the high-heeled version! Shoes (YSL, $waylessthanretail, eBay, old)

A change of shoes…oxfords…the high-heeled version! Shoes (YSL, $waylessthanretail, eBay, old)

Isn't this just a beautiful pair of shoes?!  Fashion and books...a fabulous combination!

Isn’t this just a beautiful pair of shoes?! Fashion and books…a fabulous combination!

On my coffee table, often yes, fashion magazines and nerdy, scientific books and journals. ;)

On my coffee table, often yes, fashion magazines and nerdy, scientific books and journals. 😉

A  few last thoughts to close. This blog, as well as related content on Instagram and Twitter, are a reflection of my life, and the things that interest me as a woman – a mother, a wife, a scientist, a ‘fashionista’, and a newbie blogger. Thus far, it has provided a fun, creative outlet; a hobby that doesn’t require leaving the house, and that I can work on after the kids have gone to bed.  Further, writing this blog appears to even be helping my scientific writing!  Score!!  I do hope that you will continue to join me as I venture on this journey, where fashion and smarts harmoniously co-exist.  It has been a fun ride thus far!!

Finally, to reward my readers for getting through this super wordy blog post – but to also stay true to my mission, and keep you smart and informed – I am giving away a copy of the book Lean In!  Don’t worry, you don’t have to do anything crazy!  Simply, comment on this post with your thoughts on my blog in general, what you thought of this particular blog post, or anything else that you may fancy!  A winner will be selected at random, one week from today.  Good luck to you all and thanks again for reading!!

Stay Chic!

marianaA lover of fashion from a young age, Maria Pimiento began her business at the age of 15.  Her favorite things to shoot include, fashion runways and editorials.  She also loves to travel and take road trips with family!  Born in Medellin, Colombia, Mariana enjoys photographing people of diverse backgrounds.  Mariana captures the essence of beauty through film.  Sneak peak of photos on Instagram and on her personal website.  Make sure to also check out her Youtube channel, The Mstudio, as well as her latest project, ProjectBare!

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Did you know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM)?  Well it is! According to Wikipedia (you know, the bearer of ALL knowledge), “NBCAM was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs).

The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.”

As an epidemiologist (and no, I am not a skin doctor…I do have a doctorate, but am not a skin specialist, ahem!), I often think in terms of numbers (yay, numbers!!).  The following statistics come from the American Cancer Society’s ‘Cancer Facts & Figures, 2013’:

New cases:  “An estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the US during 2013; about 2,240 new cases are expected in men.”

Deaths:  “An estimated 40,030 breast cancer deaths (39,620 women, 410 men) are expected in 2013. Breast cancer ranks second as a cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).”

Although much progress has been made with regard to breast cancer prevention and control, much remains to be done.  You can help by becoming informed, spreading the word, and helping any way you can to advance our science and other efforts to help fight the battle against breast cancer.

For additional information on signs/symptoms, treatment, survival rates, etc., consult the full report here, or visit www.cancer.org, and/or consult with your doctor.


To bring it back full circle to topics related to staying ‘chic’ in the workplace, I’ve put together a collection of pink items to help you both raise awareness, as well as help raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!  Portions of sales for items listed with an asterisk go towards funding the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  The ones without an asterisk were, well…cute. 🙂