Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Rustic and Warm Workspace (Inspiration)

My home workspace is small but coming along. It's actually my great-grandmother's sewing machine table turned desk. Quite convenient if I ever get the sewing itch. Admittedly, I really have ended up spending too much of my working time on my couch.

I thought these pictures of warm home workspaces were pretty cool. I would feel pretty inspired at any of these rustic set-ups. Wouldn't you?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beating the Unemployment Boredom

When I was first laid off I was so fine. Better than that, I was perfectly ok. Aside from being breakup sad I lost my job I was sure I would find another within a couple weeks. I puffed up like a balloon and sailed on my hopeful way. But man, I've been slowly deflating. I spend every morning looking for/applying for/following up with jobs, running, cleaning the house, running errands.

But I've had too much time off and let me tell you... it's overrated. The break from the daily work grind was a little peaceful at first - like a forced vacation. I took a week off and just hung out before starting the mad dash to proverbial new job finish line. I even went to New York for some much needed friend time. But now, without some afternoon or evening excursions, it's hard to not slip into a deflated slump. This week I went and did a little capitol exploring with Sam. We had a wonderful time exploring and it was a great way to spend an afternoon!

So if you've been laid off here are 10 tips to beating the unemployment boredom:
1. Email your sister three times a day. Tell her every little thing you do.
2. Walk or ride your bike when doing errands. You have no where to be so stop rushing.
3. Re-organize your entire closet even if you did so two weeks prior.
4. Look up 15 recipes for cooking brussel sprouts and try at least seven or them.
5. Rearrange your bedroom furniture. Hate it. Put it back.
6. Try and dance like Ellen. Also- never miss an episode.
7. Blackmail your roommate into taking a day off and putt putt golf. Flasks optional.
8. Dust your ceiling fan. Lord knows you need to. While you're at it clean you AC vents too.
9. Take a million instagrams of your cat doing cat things. Doing anything really. Then don't stop telling him how pretty he looks.
10. Start that blog you were talking about.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zara Fall 2012 Lookbook

Yes. I could get into this. As far as I'm concerned- any polished outfit you can pair with messy hair is a good outfit. Zara's always been good at allowing us let our edginess peek through don't ya think?

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Wave Commuter Mug

You can't see this Wave Commuter Mug and not swoon a little. Not if you're me anyway. An individual mug perfectly steeped and fresh. Unless you lucked out with an office that just provides amazing fresh coffee (which most aren't that lucky) this is a very tempting purchase. The design also looks pretty fantastic. Pour me another. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Confession

Hello from the girl who has worn the same striped shirt for days and has yet to put makeup on. I have a confession.

In a swift punch of irony -  I (along with my entire department) was laid off recently. Which is why I've been working from home a lot lately. I loved my job and the people I worked with and it hurt surprising much to be let go due to cut backs. It hurt kind of like a breakup with a long-term boyfriend hurts, and that surprised me. I have also been writing and planning and biting my nails for this blog for ages, and now I'm not working! Have I lost my credentials now that I'm out from behind my desk and on the job hunt? At first I thought yes, but as I have stopped wallowing (I was being serious cry baby) I've realized that I am still very qualified to write about this. Job hunting or gainfully employed, I'm still a professional. And lay-offs are just a part of the corporate world.

So here I sit, with the plans to move forward with even more time on my hands to boot. This is a part of the growing professional process, isn't it?

Have you ever been laid off? How did you cope with the news?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Endless Bummer

I know I said satchels are the best bags to ever hit the market but...

I would be all about toting my notebooks and binders and laptops galore around in one of these Endless Bummer totes by Fieldguided. Man, I miss college and having summers free to play. I'm pretty sure every graduate goes through the same rude awakening when July rolls around. What? No three month vacation?! 

Hmm... maybe I should've been a teacher.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Work-At-Home: Pros and Cons

I've found myself tackling a lot of work at home these days. As opposed to being in an office with co-workers, cubicles, managers, and an endless supply of coffee. I've had major caffeine withdrawals but I'm assuming one cup of coffee a day is far healthier than three. Whatever, I guess I'll learn how to deal. I've begun to notice some highs and lows to the work-at-home environment. For example...

Pro: The ability to work for long periods of time without distractions or interruptions.   
Con: No co-workers to casually interact with throughout the day. I may or may not catch myself chatting with my cat more than I care to admit.

Pro: How comfortable my couch is. And loving my desk set-up at home.
Con: Loosing all the desk space the office provide.

Pro: No rush-hour traffic.
Con: Feeling like I never leave the office and therefore, overworking.

Do you ever work from home? Do you love it, hate it, both?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Leather Satchel Round-Up

I'm a big fan of the big leather satchel for a few reasons:

1. It can carry everything - laptop, books, journals, pens, all your work cell phones, a desk lamp. Well maybe not the desk lamp. But seriously, I always feel like Mary Poppins when packing or unpacking one of these things.
2. They have the most amazing men's wear vibe.
3. These babies go with everything and feel effortless.

Anyways, these are a couple of my wishlisted favorites.

Happy Monday, party people.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Office Lunch: Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad

Working downtown Austin means I have pretty much endless options for tasty lunches. It also means I have endless opportunities to spend all my hard earned money on food. After a month of constant lunching out I decided to cool it. My bank account and waistline have been thanking me ever since.

I've tried to make it a habit of cooking at home and bringing my lunch to the office most days of the week. I thought i'd share a few of those lunches and recipes with you here. Capisce? (My word - does anyone say capisce anymore?)

Up today is a roasted corn salad. It's super easy, healthy, and filling. And I've been addicted to it. It also makes a great taco if you just throw it on some rice in a tortilla.

Ingredients you'll need:
1 can of black beans
2 ears of corn (or 1 can, but fresh roasted is the tastiest)
1/3 small red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 radish
Salt to taste

Here's what you do:
Loosen the husk of the corn and rinse thoroughly with water. Place the corn with the husks still wet directly on the oven rack and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until tender). The wet husks will help the kernals steam and be juicy. Once corn is cooked remove from the oven and let cool.

Drain the black beans and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add chopped cilantro, diced onion, and sliced radish. Once the corn cools cut the kernals from the cob and add to the bowl. Add the lime juice and salt to taste, coating the mixture thoroughly. Dice avocado as a topper with each serving. Yum.

And that's it - super fresh, cheap, and filling. What are some of your favorite office lunches?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

About Those Shoes...


You know the feeling. You leave the house feeling untouchable. You know your outfit is fly and it's going to prove to the office that you are the cool kid. Your black trousers are skinny and perfectly paired with an adorable pair of studded ankle-strapped platforms. Subtly studded and a-okay for the office (you even asked your roommate to make sure). You've got this, cool kid. But somehow over the course of the day you find your confidence slowly deflating. Every sideways glance from the coworker two cubes over along with a couple subtle comments on your shoe height while waiting for the elevator have chipped away at your 6 foot tall confidence and left you... well... 5'6" with your shoes kicked off under your desk. Reminds me a bit of the above scene from The Hangover.


Been there. Often. I've also told myself that if my attire is alright with my boss and those I report to, then they're fair game (though I do believe there are appropriate office attire guidelines, but we'll discuss this often in the future).

Is that a bad call? Do you ever feel uncomfortable in your work clothes even if it isn't crossing any dress-code guidelines? Or do you just own it? I'm finding myself doing a mixture of both.

Friday, August 3, 2012


A.L.C. presented an incredibly polished Pre-Fall 2012 collection (I'm late to share, judge me). They always are sharp and have a great mix of flowing dresses and sleek fitted pieces. It made me want to wear a pencil skirt - which normally intimidates the hell out of me. But then again, I'm easily sold when there are peter pan collars and leather jackets in the mix. (Images from

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Introduction

Hi there. I'm glad you're here. If this wasn't the internet I'd offer you a nice gin and tonic and we
could sit on the front porch and talk. I love to talk about things. And gin and tonic.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Julie. My family calls me Spencer. I answer to both. That's me up there posing for an embarrassing mirror picture just because I was proud of my top bun (do you know how hard that was to perfect?). I live in Austin. I like honey whiskey and sweet tea. I listen to a lot of the James Vincent McMorrow and the Arctic
Monkeys. I like to read, watch Modern Family and The Walking Dead, go to live music shows,
and spend time with friends. And if I could dress like anyone it would be Alexa Chung (but I
guess every girl would). I also have a cat but don't classify me as a cat-lady quite yet.

Now that we know a little about each other let's talk about growing up.

 I came out of college doe-eyed, idealistic, and similar to many in my generation - a self-proclaimed dreamer. "It won't be that hard to make it!" I thought. I mean come on- I'm creative, unique, have a lot to offer, and work hard. In my dreams I glided seamlessly into the non-profit field (work for a for-profit or even (gasp) corporate company? NEVER!), enjoyed quick success, and still managed to make time for my own creative endeavors on the side. In my mind, I wouldn't ditch my ideals nor my cool for a day job.

That was in 2007.

This adult world I've found myself in is packed full of hard working, endlessly creative,
ridiculously talented professionals and I'm not as unique as I thought I was. My hard work needs
to be harder work (let's be honest- it needs to be hardest work), I landed a job at a corporate
company and although I like it, finding time for my own creative work has been really

This adjustment into what some people call "responsibility" (whatever that means) is a long
haul and it's difficult. And let's be honest- I'm far from what people would call a normal career
girl. Perhaps it's that dreamer in me but I don't think growing up and succumbing to a career
means I have to sacrifice my ideals, aspirations, or even my so-called cool (I'm having a very hard time trading my skinny black jeans and over-sized tanks for more appropriate office attire).

I know I'm not the only one who's finding herself trying to balance these two things in this
generation of countless idealists. So here at Ripped Tights and Pin Stripes let’s talk about it all. About the good, the bad, the style, the business sleazes, and all about making it work. I believe we could learn from one another.

For all you regulars - this is the major blog overhaul I mentioned a couple months ago. Thank you for your patience and for your reads. I would love to hear your input as things continue to change and grow over here at Ripped Tights and Pin Stripes.