Friday, November 27, 2015

‘A Good Servant is a Precious Jewell’: Travels in Arkansas

As you all probably know, I was in Arkansas recently for the annual meeting of the North American Conference on British Studies, where I delivered a paper entitled “‘A Good Servant is a Precious Jewell’: Mistresses and Servants in the Early Modern English Elite Household” as part of a panel called “(Re)Evaluating the Social Space of Early Modern Households.”

As you may also know my paper caused me a lot of trouble. I chose to work on a topic that I’ve never really worked on before and so actually researching and writing the paper and trying to make some worthwhile points was pretty tricky. But I am very happy to report that it all went incredibly well. Some of the most impressive and influential social historians of gender, women, and the family turned up to hear me speak (these guys are my intellectual heroes (not to mention being very lovely people who I shared many a meal and drink in the bar with) and I have about 3 shelves worth of their collective works at home) and they all seemed really engaged and asked great questions and complimented the paper. It was great!

With that over I spent the remainder of the conference hearing a lot of other great papers and panel discussions (including a roundtable of women and equality in the historical profession which was both inspirational and made me really angry!). I also had a dizzying round of breakfasts, lunches, coffees, and dinners with colleagues, former professors, etc. It was great to catch up with everyone and especially enjoyed one booze-fuelled evening I had with three very established and senior historians who took me and a friend out and then proceeded to cut loose. I didn’t get back to the hotel until after 2 am!

On the last day, my friend and I rented a car and did a little sightseeing – below are some photos of the things we saw. The most impressive by far was the Little Rock Central High School, the site of forced desegregation in the Civil Rights movement.

Old State House

I'm an Independent Scholar (that means I'm a woman of means) and I'm ready to cut loose at the cocktail reception

Welcome to Arkansas!

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Governor's Mansion

Wandering around the neighbourhood near the Governor's Mansion

Governor's Mansion

Wandering around the neighbourhood near the Governor's Mansion

Wandering around the neighbourhood near the Governor's Mansion

Weekend Reading

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Retiring for the Winter

It was starting to get pretty chilly in the past week but I wasn’t ready to retire this dress for the winter without one final wear…paired with thick tights and a long-sleeved shirt, of course. And a shark tooth necklace and insanely awesome ring. Since writing this post we got hit with a massive dump of snow and I am really glad I squeezed this in one more time!

dress: Winners / shirt: Zara / booties: Primark / necklace: ModCloth / ring: ModCloth / glasses: Clearly Contacts

Friday, November 20, 2015

All the Frills: Friday Prints

I’ve featured this blazer from ModCloth on All the Frills Fridays before but never with me actually wearing it – even though it’s very light weight and really more of a summer piece, I couldn’t resist wearing to work this week on a particularly grey day. The pattern (weirdly, because I’m not usually a huge pattern fan, aside from plaids) just makes me happy!

Weekend Reading:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Need More Green!

It’s really weird that green is one of my favourite colours and yet I actually own one green thing. I hereby make a resolution to buy more green clothes. Look out world!

top: BB Dakota / cardigan: Pins + Needles / pants: Zara / shoes: Target / necklace: Aldo / ring: emitations / watch: Kenneth Cole / bracelet: ASOS

Monday, November 16, 2015

Why I Shouldn't Do Laundry and Other Life Lessons

So I had this blush coloured sheer blouse with beading at the neckline and I loved it and it was perfect. And I took it to Scotland and then, in a jet lagged haze when we got home, I put it in the washer instead of the hand wash/dry clean pile. And I ruined it. So I spent several days scouring the internet and found what I thought was a replacement. Unfortunately it’s not quite the same. It’s baby pink instead of blush, it has a button in the back, and the back isn’t sheer the way the other one was. I mean it’s okay but I’m not going to lie, I miss my old one. Sigh.

top: Sheinside / shoes: Aldo / sunglasses: Aldo / pants: Zara / bracelet: ASOS

Friday, November 13, 2015

All the Frills: Accessories!

Today I’m featuring two of my favourite accessories, this amazing faux emerald ring (I’m a sucker for a good cocktail ring) and my beloved bird skull necklace from Monserat de Lucca. I need to get more pieces like this into my collection.

Weekend Reading:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Classy Pimp

I bought this jacket/longer blazer in Edinburgh. You can’t really tell but it’s sort of a pink and silvery leopard print pattern. I like to think of it as what a classy pimp would wear. Which seems about right for me.

In other news, I'm off later today (technically at about 4 am this evening/tomorrow morning) to Arkansas for the North American Conference on British Studies. I'm not really a fan of the paper I've authored and will be presenting (it just never really seemed to come totally together this time around, but it's not terrible) but I am super excited to be staying with an amazing grad school pal (we're renting a car and have big plans to see the sites!) and a host of other colleagues, former profs, etc. I have so many coffees, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners arranged with people that I'm not even sure how much of the conference I'll make it to!

Anyways, wish me luck....

pants: RW and Co / blazer: New Look / shirt: Dynamite / necklace: Monserat de Lucca / wedges: ASOS

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


It’s fall, and that (to me at least) means fun with layering! It doesn’t come across very well in the photos but my sweater and jacket are both very textured, which made mixing them together super fun.

pants: RW and Co / sweater: Winners / jacket: H&M / shoes: Zooshoo / scarf: Old Navy / necklace: Aldo / sunglasses: Aldo

Friday, November 6, 2015

All the Frills: Halloween

I’m so bummed that Halloween is over. I seriously live for Halloween – I spent months planning my costume (I’ve actually already started thinking about next year's), binge watch scary movies in the weeks leading up to it, and have just about the most fun possible dressing up and hanging out with my friends….most of whom love Halloween as much as me and always put in tons of effort.

This year I went as Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn (after she met the French swordsman who took her head).

As far as costumes go, it was one of my more elaborate as I really wanted to look period in it. I think it came out really, really well and I’m glad I splurged a bit on a historical looking dress (that was actually, even with tailoring, less than $150) from an online retailer. I think it was a good investment that I can reuse for other costumes.

Did you all have a happy Halloween?

Weekend Reading:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Last Minute Conference Work

American Conference on British Studies. Tinkering mostly, but I want it to be as good as possible before I actually stand up in the room full of historians and present it…and then get grilled about it. Conferences are both fun and stressful. Sigh. I'm also plugging away at a set of major revisions to one of my book chapters and working through readers' reports on my recently submitted article (evaluating the feedback, deciding what changes I want to make, doing a bit of additional research, and rewriting a few sections). What this all translates to is that I'm working until 4 pm at my office and then working at home until 11 pm. At least the weather has finally started to cooperate with me and gotten appropriate chilly for me to wear all my fall jackets and scarves.

pants: RW and Co / jacket: Joe Fresh / scarf: Joe Fresh / cardigan: Target / shoes: Primark / top: Primark