Thursday, April 30, 2009


“Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.”

Charles de Lint (Celtic folk musician and story teller)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Unrelated variables

Some things just don’t go together. Others do. How do we train our eyes, ears and mind to decipher between the two? Who decides that peanut butter goes with jelly, rice with beans and that stripes and plaid (in a general way) should not be mixed?

Why can’t I explore dancehall culture and biodiversity conservation in the same paper? Are there double majors in Interior Design and Biology? Why are theories, disciplines, subjects compartmentalized. I am not. You? 

Does my belt go with that top?

Abstract patterned top - French Connection
Belt - thrifted
Shorts - Old Navy
Silver flats - Coach (not shown)

be good. do better. look your best.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sun Salutation

Still under pressure. Not much time to chatter. Weather forecasted to peak at 90 degrees, but I have formal presentation on conservation by way of protected areas in the Cockpit Country. Hence the cropped blazer over my sun dress.

Silk dress- thrifted
Fuschia tank- Guess
Cropped blazer- BCBG
Bug medallion necklace- Lucky brand

Peep my groups' poster for a proposed Multi-use Protected Area. 

be good. do better. look your best.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dressing under pressure

I walked into work this morning, my director immediately commented, " No way you are dressed like that and you have finals and a huge launch event at the end of the week." I smiled and politely said, while eyeing her attire "I prefer to get dressed under pressure." 

It's a bit odd. Strapped for time, low on energy, yet I am motivated to bust out stylin'. I think.

Shirtdress - The Gap
White cropped pants - Buffalo (my wedding pants)
Straw bag - The Gap
Metallic T- Straps - Steve Madden
Earrings - thrifted vintage

be good. do better.look your best.

Sunday Best (On Monday)

Finals!! Urghh! 
I took a break and went to an outdoor concert at school. Over 80 degrees in Boston in the month of April. Life is good.

Source:  Lili's facebook album

Fuschia tank: Guess
White skirt - TJ Maxx

be good. do better. look your best.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Today was a regular old day taking on Social Capital and Income Inequality (who you know and how much you earn) and Eco-Tourism..again.

My economics professor stirred much controversy this morning with his less than popular view on the irrelevance of sustainability. His argument is that the earth and humans will self regulate or perish. Stop worrying about the unpredictable future he warns. According to him, nothing lasts forever so enjoy it while you can. 

While I am not quick to agree with his entire argument, I find some truth in it. Until, I am fully convinced either way, I'll enjoy my paradox lifestyle of preaching biodiversity conservation and consuming dozens of cotton and silk dresses, like the one below.  I'll buy them used when I can, air dry them to save electricity etc.... at least I am aware of my dilemma. What's yours?

Cotton eyelet dress - Roxy
Silk scarf - Longchamps (thrifted)
Denim jacket - Guess
Bamboo and Straw bangles - gifts
Purple flats - not shown( Nine west)

be good. do better. look your best.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


At the Boston Nature Center today, we briefly talked about how changes , primarily the built environment and introduction of foreign (invasive) species, minimized the need for some of our insect friends along the food web. Do you see as many butterflies and bees as you did as a child? I don't. 

Coincidentally,  Anthropologie, a store I like to look to for inspiration has an Earth Day initiative to bring awareness to the importance  of bees. See here for more details....clink on the 'Read more' link. I think it's really quirky and cute and suits their eclectic image.

It's not too late to do an act of green.

be good. do better. look your best.

It started with field trips

While laying bed thinking about what to wear and buying time because I did not want to leave the warmth of my bed for Economics class. I reflected on how I got into to the field of Sustainable Development. Believe it or not, it started in some  sort of way with my love for getting dressed up and traveling. 

For high school, I went to an all girls catholic school. We wore less than fashionable polyester long pleated royal blue skirts, with a cream shirt and a make shift tie. In the 9th grade when it was time to choose subjects for a "career path" I opted for geography, the only subject that had frequently had all day trips to rural parts of Jamaica where I  became more interested in inequality, class, rural poverty etc. and was allowed to wear t-shirt and denim and ........(wait for it) .....earrings! As a Geography major in college the field trips continued.

Eleven years post high school I am still excited about field trips. Today we are off to the Boston Nature Center for my Eco- tourism class.

So paying homage to my start I backed out a pair of denim for field trip day!
Argyle sweater - Gift from my BFF( since 9th in high school too)
Silk lace sleeve shirt- INC (Macy's)
Denim- H&M
Nude wedges- Nine West
Gold belt - Betsy Johnson

be good. do better. look your best.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pre- Earth Day Style

Every day is the earth's day, but April 22nd is a designated day to draw attention to the challenges facing our natural environment as well as  to celebrate it's beauty.

Join the rest of the world and go to the
Earth Day website to help create 1 Billion Acts of Green. There's the planting a tree, changing light bulbs etc, that definitely help reduce carbon emission and such. The site has options to describe your action. I decided to register that I'm wearing a mostly thrifted/recycle outfit today (not sure what category that falls under)& I'm educating family and friends( you included!). It's important to add that my clothes were air dryed as well. Which means extra points to me for not using the dryer, I also didn't need to iron my clothes since I was careful to fold them neatly.

H&M sweater - thrifted
Grey skirt- thrifted
Shell earrings- thrifted
Scarf worn as a belt- thrifted
Gold tiered necklace- thrifted
Shoes - not thrifted(I still have a red flag on that)

be good. do better.look your best.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Montreal edition

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bonjour Montreal

I wore this combo to work in the morning.
Brown  shift dress -  BCBG
Cardigan - Club Monaco(thrifted)
Orange flats - Gap

Since my orange flats is my new staple, I kept it for the 6 hour ride to Montreal and went to dinner upon my arrival. 
Jeans- Vigoss
T-Shirt - J-Crew

There is so much to share about this European-esque city, but time does not permit. Off to the Jardin- botanique!!
be good. do better. look your best.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. Anne Bradstreet

be good. do better. look your best.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Best

I'm excited about this dress. Mr. Husband bought it as a gift when after mixed up all the colors of the rainbow in the washer and destroyed some of my dresses.

Abstract wrap dress - Banana Republic
Nude sling back pumps - Anne Klien
Vintage Suede clutch - yard sale, (circa 1970)$1
Monet earrings - thrifted

Happy Easter, Passover or neither of the above!
be good. do better. look your best.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Eggs Skirt

Where I’m from yesterday was Holy Thursday, today is Good Friday, Sunday is Easter Sunday and Monday is Easter Monday. Banks, schools, etc are closed!!!

Since I am required to be at work today, I decided to wear my 'new to me' Marc Jacobs skirt, that reminds me of Easter eggs. These muted colors paired with brilliant burnt orange flats should make my day of working on public park and green spaces go by faster.

VNeck Sweater – The Gap
Skirt – Marc Jacobs (free to me)
Flats- The Gap (so comfy)
Bag – Vintage Bonnie Cashin/Coach (I AM IN LOVE)
Earrings- Bought them in Jamaica (equivalent $1.20)

be good. do better. look your best

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I'm spring break for the next week and half . Yeah me!! So to kick start this season , I'm doing a bit of closet organization as well as working on my compost project. 
Composting is a gold mine. Everyone who eats can do this. Food scraps (veggies, fruit peels) + dry leaf/branches twigs+ air + moisture+ time = Rich organic material for plants!!!  You eat right? 

I had to keep on my thrifted vintage red enamel bracelet for a pick me up while I mixed up the yukkie stuff.

be good. do better. look your best.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Til the cows come home

Property Description 658 acres

Established in 1638 as a land grant to Samuel Appleton,
Appleton Farms is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the United States. Scenic views of rolling grasslands, grazing livestock, ancient stone walls, tree-lined carriage paths, and historic farm buildings are all part of the legacy of nine generations of Appleton family members kept alive through the work of The Trustees of Reservations.

Blazer: TrinTurk
Scarf: H&M
Denim: DKNY
T- Shirt: Lacoste (thrifted)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1920's Haltered Ego

Halter tops/backs are fun when you live in the tropics. Since moving to Boston, I've learned to remix my countless halter tops, tanks and tube tops. I felt like going monocramatic today and wearing the first cap that ever fit my larger than usual head. With these metallic T-strap wedges, I'm giving off a 1920's paper girl 'tude today. Now if only my Integrated Conservation assignment could write itself, my day would me perfect.

be good. do better. look your best.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flour Bag or Bag of Flour?

I was in the Gap recently to buy a springy looking canvas tote, when I remembered I plan to make a my own very special tote with fabric that tells a great story and is bound to be a conversation starter.

And the story goes…

This past February school vacation week a gang of Heller folks, yours truly included, volunteered on an environmental justice project in Arizona on a Navajo Indian reservation. In addition to the lessons of history, project planning and friendships, I brought home jewelry and a dream catcher. My most exciting treasure however, are the two cotton flour sacks pictured above. Since I was unable to find a piece of rope (used for jump rope/skipping) I received from an elderly woman who was fascinated by my hair, these Blue Bird 20lb flour sacks sufficed. I’m excited about the rare find since they sure don’t package many goods like this anymore. Most importantly it reminds me of my father who used to complain that despite my appetite I don’t weigh more than a bag of flour!! 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

On costumes, culture and perception of style

Saturday night, was another installment of the Heller School’s cultural dinner series. Every month, give or take, a geographic region hosts a dinner and show, that highlights foods and cultural presentations. Last night was Latin America and the Caribbean - CARNIVAL!!!. If you know me well (nuff) I was very involved in the staging.

The event went well. But what struck me most were a few comments on my choice of outfit. I wore a green Lactose polo style T- shirt, a black linen skirt, floral espadrilles with gold accents and a pair of vintage yellow and gold earrings. The colors of independent Jamaica.

Where is your traditional outfit? I thought you would dress up? Where’s your National costume? The expectation was that I would wear some  ‘costume’. I intentionally chose not to wear Jamaica’s so called national fabric, a red, blue and white madras. Not only because it became our national fabric after mistakenly being shipped to the West Indies instead of India, (A friend recently confirmed that the fabric is used  as saris in Madras, India), but it is the color of our former colonial master Britain. Most importantly, fashion in Jamaica is very cosmopolitan. Think New York, Milan with Caribbean edge on sturdy bodies. The wide skirts and frilled tops that are associated with the madras have not been popular in Jamaica since the dropping of the Union Jack (read: British flag).
My annoyance however, is that the folks who asked had a romantic notion of the developing world- ‘costume like outfits” or that the outfits worn are indeed costumes. I hope that made sense. For me, tradition and modern style should co-exist and both have defined my taste. As a child I performed in annual festival in madras and dreamed of being  National Festival Queen. I value the story of my country's relationship with the madras plaid and its place in my history.

Ranting done.

Here a few of my favorite picks from the cultural dinner series. The outfits are not costumes. They are just that. Calling them costumes suggest a narrow minded opinion of style.

be good. do better. look your best.