Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Night Out

The Marine is home. Last night we thought we'd grab some dinner and go to a movie. Instead, because we were running late, we decided on just dinner. Except we happened on to a restaurant with a show and decided to stay for it. Lots of fun! And two dinners out in Ybor City in one week — wow!

Today we're off to the mall. I have some foundation torture devices to return and some sparkly jewelry to buy. Next it will be lunch, and then a matinee of a performing arts school's production of Rent.

Busy, busy, busy! :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Half a Century

The number I am today ain't thrillin' me, but, really, a lot of good things have happened in the last year and I'm happier through and through than I've been in a long time, so it could be worse. And, I had a great day. It's just a number, right? But damn, it's a BIG number. lol

My mom called me, Tyler called me, Alex texted me (lazy slug), the big boss sent me a gorgeous birthday card via interoffice mail from the office where she was today and also profusely showered praise via email about the projects I'm working on and thanked me again for being part of our team, my Marketing coworkers gave me a card with funny little things written on it (one of which was a drawing of a "carb-free" birthday cake, lol) and they all gathered around my desk and sang Happy Birhday, and I got another card from the firm (HR, I'm guessing).

We're in the middle of another big project and I did go in early and stay late, but at 6:00 we threw in the towel and went out for dinner at a great restaurant in Ybor City. I had Chicken Marsala and it was DEE-lish. I just got home, remembered to snap a couple of pics for YOU, and now I'm sitting here in my jammies typing away. All in all, one of the best birthdays I've had a while. Even if I can't freakin' believe I'm this old already.

Then, when I got home, there were more cards in the mailbox, including one from Tyler and one from my sister, and they both compete for funniest card ever.

Alex gave me these earrings, which are Marine Corps Eagle, Globe and Anchors. LOVE them!

And, finally, this is the outfit:

The top is kind of a fail because the bow weighs it down so it still wanted to show more than I wanted which meant I had to adjust all day. The skirt is on the big side around my waist, but wearable for now. That's what I get for cutting tissue and sewing without fitting. Still, the outfit looks pretty good and at some point I'll probably re-make this top so it fits better and retire this one. I do like the style.

And that was my day. The end. ;-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh, the Irony KILLS Me

Yes, that's a neckband and tie on the top. Yes, I said I wasn't going to do it. No, it's not the exact pattern piece — it's actually wider. Yes, I said it would probably choke me and it might, but at least the cleavage will be covered. And it's really not that bad since the fabric is very soft and cool to the touch.

Just sticking a bow at the vee point wasn't going to work without a lot of futzing, and a flower was going to be too TOO, IYKWIM. So, maybe Trudy knew what she was doing. But I actually prefer the way I semi-attached the band/tie better than the instructions, which is a good thing since I didn't exactly have a choice of methods by this time. 

It's attached under the finished neckline with stitches that follow one line of the coverstitching, completely at the back and ending about 3" forward of the shoulder seam. Even I can't tell it's an afterthought and I know where to look.

And, oh yeah, I finished the skirt too. ;-) Easy-peasy sewing but I would still change some things. One, I should've cut the 14 and not the 16. Two, I would narrow the front wrap flap so it ends further away from the sideseam. As is, it's not really very noticeable that this is a wrap (albeit faux) skirt. Three, I would (and did) toss out the bias binding for elastic casing instructions and instead just serge elastic to the top edge, turn under, and top/coverstitch.With a 1-inch waist turndown and a 1-inch hem, the length turned out perfect for me as drafted and hits right at my knee.

I'm still going to curve in the sideseams of the top some more before I call this outfit done, but other than that I made absolutely no alterations of any kind to either piece. Nice. I'll finish the top as soon as I finish typing and will wear the new outfit tomorrow. I like it. It's different than my usual, and it's feminine and pretty darn comfortable too. But, do you think my co-workers notice that I'm really wearing a bunch of different brown skirts or do you think they think I just wear one a lot? It may be time to get off the brown skirts for a while.

I'll try to get a pic of me wearing the outfit tomorrow, but I can't promise I'll keep the camera in focus after Girls Night Out. Maybe I can sneak one in the Ladies room during the day but I already know it's going to be CRAZY tomorrow and remembering to take my cell phone into the restroom may not be top of mind. 

* * * * *

To answer two recent comments — No, I don't think he who shan't be named reads this blog, but even if he does, there's nothing untrue here. And no, he doesn't pay for much of the kids' expenses. It will be even less once he takes off for Virginia. He IS contributing toward household expenses until we go our separate ways, so that's something at least. But with it comes complaint and guilt trips, so I'm looking forward to that phase of my life being done.

A couple others have asked about my "diet." It's not a diet, it's just the way I eat now and forever. I eat hardly any carbs and that's it, the whole plan (although I did indulge in the birthday cakes at work on Friday since it IS my birthday month even though we're not mentioning that either. Less than 24 hours people! And yes, cakes plural.).

One Down

The top is done. Well, sorta. As you can see, it's way low-cut so I'm going to have to fashion a flower or bow or some other cleavage camouflage before I can wear it. But that's OK because I think, even with the big "cape," it still needs *something* to visually anchor all that fabric. I knew the neckline was going to be close, but I foolishly forged on anyway. I left off the neck tie as I mentioned I was going to do and I'm glad I did because the back neck is already pretty high on me and the additional width of the tie band would've choked me. The length also feels a smidge short, but I think that's really how it's styled and not a fitting issue. Besides, I usually end up scrunching tops up to where this hits on me anyway. That's probably why it feels short — the scrunch factor is missing. ;-)

My coverstitcher got a workout for this project. I used my 5/8" feller to hem the cape edge, coverstitched the joining seam between cape and underlayer, used it to hem the underlayer sleeves you can't see, and used it to topstitch the band seam allowances into the up position. Everything else was done on the serger, which amounts to the sideseams and the shoulder seams of the underlayer.

The pattern is very generously sized. I cut a 14 but could've gone to a 12 or even possibly a 10. Part of this is the pattern sizing, part is the moving target that is my sizing. I can't judge by all the RTW I've bought lately because those sizes have been all over the map too, a familiar lament with RTW that we all whine about.

Overall, though, I like the top. It's quite unique so I probably won't make it again anytime soon, but it's a fast project with pretty results. And the general shape is on trend right now, without being *too* batwing to hide my shape underneath. A good compromise between style and flattery, I think.

Now I'm off to stitch up the skirt.And since it has flaps/panels that need to be hemmed separately, my coverstitcher/feller ain't done yet.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Was that a pig that just flew by my window?

Yes, there is actual activity going on in the sewing room. It's been so long that I can't even remember the last thing I sewed for me. I think it was the plaid Magic Pencil skirt (which still remains an orphan). The skirt and top are all cut out. I'm going to jump out of bed tomorrow and get sewing. It's knits and not too many seams so it should go fast. And they had better turn out nice since I want a new outfit to wear for The Day Which Shall Not Be Mentioned (except to say I'm going out to dinner with some work friends to commiserate … I mean CELEBRATE … and the person who remains at home who also shall not be mentioned can just go suck it. Hah!).

I had to go into work today for a few hours, but I really like being there by myself with my music blasting out of my phone and the rest of the place so quiet. Since I still feel like I'm being paid to just play on the computer, it didn't feel much like work anyway. Plus, I just paid a big Alex-mustang repair bill (new clutch and linkage) and the OT will ease the pain somewhat. A word to the wise: 1965 cars will bleed you dry. ;-) Three candidates to work with me were interviewed on Friday but I don't think we found a keeper yet, so I'll continue to stay very busy. Honestly, we'll *both* stay busy even after this person is hired since there is so much new stuff planned that we're keeping on hold because there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Speaking of fun work stuff, I'm going to be interviewed for a magazine next week — "A Day In the Life of a Law Firm Graphic Designer," or some other more exciting title, as part of the bigger topic of "A Day In the Life" of various law firm positions. Cool, huh? Look Ma! I'm FAMOUS! lol

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Home Sweet (almost) Home

Well I filled out the application, the owner ran my credit, and I passed. Wooo! I'll be signing the lease on Saturday.

I'll be back to a more typical Florida house, with one story. I'm actually looking forward to that. The yard is beautiful - lots of shade, pretty manicured bushes, and many flowering plants in the back. There's even a little "bridge" over a dry stream in the far corner of the back yard. Once I move in, I'll have lots more pics. These are the best I could find on the interwebs. (If you think you have even a little privacy, think again!)

The garage looks wonky in this pic. I guess it's really two images spliced together. Nice long driveway. Plenty of room between houses. And look at this …

… my new neighbor-to-be has a tennis court. lol No. I don't play. You can see a small glimpse of the screened in pool (blue, not like my current black lagoon!), and you can see how deep the back yard is. I can't wait to take the dogs there — they will LOVE it!

I took Alex and his friend to see it this past Tuesday and found lots of good features that hadn't stuck in my brain, like French doors, a jacuzzi, a skylight, a huge bay window in the master bedroom, built-in bookcases in the family room, and more. I'm usually pretty good with details, but when I first looked at this house, I had miscalculated my monthly take-home pay and was thinking it was out of my range so I didn't commit it to memory. But then I realized my math mistake and I kept driving past it, and always had a good feeling. I'm glad I trusted my instincts because it really will be perfect for us. Even the kitchen isn't as horrible as I remembered, but I won't have to live with it long anyway. Alex loved it too. The current tenant was there and she had nothing but good things to say about the house and the owner.

I'm DEFINITELY going to sew something — anything — this weekend because it will probably be my last before I move. Next weekend Tyler will be here and I'll also need to at least start packing. The weekend after that is the wedding. And after that, I'll only have 3 weeks left to get my act in gear. I'm not sure if I'll actually make my target date of May 1, but I'm going to try my best.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Best Laid Plans (or 10,000 words on how I spent my week)

So have I even been IN the sewing room since my last post? Uh, no.

Most of my spare time this week has been spent looking at houses. I think I've decided on the very first one I saw a few weeks ago. More on that in a minute.

I saw a different house last night after work and really liked it. The kitchen was updated and really nice, but there was no screened-in area outside. I don't have to have a screened-in pool but I do want a screened-in something. It's Florida. Bugs. Need I say more? I also decided that pretty much none of my living area furniture was going to fit. I liked the layout of the place, but it doesn't have long expanses of walls for my big wall units. That's not the end of the world because I'd really love to just leave most of my stuff behind and start new, but realistically, that's not going to happen so I do have to make a lot of it work for a while and it would be difficult to do there.

I saw another house earlier in the week and it had a beautiful screened-in pool, a great self-contained upstairs area for Alex, but no fenced-in yard. The fence is a MUST. I want to be able to let the dogs out in the morning by themselves while I get ready for work. I also counted 5 bedrooms when 4 were advertised, which is way too many, and each room had different laminate which was just too weird for me. I know I can't get perfection in a rental, but some things would just bug me forever. That's one of them.

I saw a couple others but nothing really worth detailing. Some people are just hallucinating is all I can say. lol

So, back to the first house. I loved the location when I first found it. I've lived within a 5-mile radius for 22 years. More importantly, so has Alex, and he's not ready to leave his home turf, so it's been a priority for me to find something very close to where we are now. Haha — I just re-read that and since Alex is still 19, he hasn't lived around here for 22 years, but it has been his entire life.

At this house, the pool is screened and self-cleaning, and the front yard is big and gorgeous, set back from the street. The back yard is even bigger, private, fenced, and great for the dogs. It's about an acre total. (Yard service is included in the rent.) It's got 3 good-sized bedrooms, a nice laundry room, wood flooring in the family room, and a fireplace. But it has a butt-ugly kitchen. No, I don't cook all too much anymore and it's only going to be the two of us, and Alex isn't into sit-down dinners much anymore, but still — it's going to be harder to leave my current custom dream kitchen than my current husband (hee hee) so I really, really didn't want to go so far backwards even though I loved the location and the privacy. And, how could I go for the first house I ever looked at without seeing any others?

I was so close to putting a deposit on the house from last night after weighing pros and cons, but decided to call house #1's owner (not really the owner, the my-age nephew of the out-of-town owner who's acting as his go-between, but it's easier to just say owner) before I did. I was honest with him and told him it was between his house and the one from last night. His would win, except for those horrific green Formica counters. I asked if his uncle might be willing to split the cost of new counters with me. He told me to forget about splitting the cost of new counters because his uncle was already planning to completely update the kitchen - counters, cabinets, appliances, etc. Well, as you can imagine, that sealed the deal. Let that also be a lesson — it never hurts to ask. And lesson #2, most men are not detail creatures. You have to force it out.

So now we're going over the fine points and I will meet the nephew tomorrow to give him my formal application and deposit. Tentative move-in date, May 1. Good god, I have to start packing like yesterday.

So, did I start packing? No. I had important shopping to do. Industrial underwear, remember? Holy cow - trying on shapewear which requires contortions to even get on is so NOT fun. Having to do it multiple times because you have no idea what size you are anymore is even less fun. I gave up in the middle and bought 3 that I was pretty sure would fit based on the too-big ones. Plus by that time I really had to pee. They do fit, but I've decided I'm keeping none of them and not wearing anything under my dress other than pantyhose and a bra. Control top PH is all the "shaping" I want. The industrial shapewear just squishes me in ways that make the dresses (yes both teal and red) not fit as well. And let's not even mention the ordeal a visit to the Ladies would bring on. Or the comfort level of a hook and eye crotch. If I wanted a bra in my crotch … I should just stop there. ;-)

I did find a Vanity Fair balconette bra for $12. It's perfect for under the teal dress - no straps peeking. I'll probably never wear it again because it's got those stand-up at attention formed cups and I hate those, and do not need them, although, I'm losing more in the boob department than I thought I would. I've gone from a 42DDD to a 36D now. I thought I was still a 38DD this morning so before I found the keeper bra I had to try on a bunch of 38Ds that were hilarious on me. Pretty soon it's going to be GOODBYE FBA. Hahaha!

If only my thighs would disappear at the same rate as my boobs. As you'll see in a minute.

Since I was already in Macy's, I decided to have a look around for casual clothes. I wasn't expecting much since my last trip to Macy's was a huge bust. No pun intended. But I learned that UPSTAIRS is where I need to shop, not main floor. Again, I hit the mother lode. I may never sew again. Everything fits and the stores are filled with MY colors. Have I mentioned how much I love orange and other bright hues? And it's instant gratification, baby. Does anyone want to buy a fabric stash? JUST KIDDING! My sewing desire will return. Probably at the exact time I start packing up the sewing room.

So, here's what I bought. All of the capris are snug, on purpose. They are a size smaller and I plan to be wearing them for the next 4 months at least. They will fit better in a month. I even bought a second pair of white in TWO sizes down, because they were only $27 each and I know I will kick myself if I shrink out of the whites and don't have a back-up plan.

White capris, $27, which do nothing for my thighs but this is Florida and white capris are The Law. But this is also after 5 minutes of wearing. They are denim and I know they will stretch out some. Jeweled turquoise print top, which I was willing to pay $49 for but I was surprised by a sale price of $36.

I love casual clothes with built-in jewelry.

Same $27 capris but in denim. Darker is definitely more slimming, but also more hot. And not in a good way. Print tee, $20, which is textured but you can't see that. It also goes GREAT with the orange skirt I bought a few weeks ago.

Different brand of capris, $36, although I did also buy khakis from the same line as the white and denim above. These are snugger in the thighs but will also stretch out after 20 minutes. The top, $18, is smocked around the neckline but that wide smocking - what's it called? Bonnie?? Are you out there?

You can't really see much more detail here, but I tried.

So, as you can see, my thighs are still holding on to their girth, even though the scale continues to move downward. I could live with my much flatter but still not flat tummy just the way it is now, but damn, I wish those thighs would go away. It's just not gonna happen. I've always had them and always will. All I can do is work to tone them up, and the pool in my soon new house will do just that. I'm looking forward to jumping in it every night after work. I don't need to be presentable after I get out and there will be no one around to see me in a bathing suit since Alex works most nights and the dogs don't care. In fact, they'll probably jump in with me. lol

I'm hoping to finally get into the sewing room tomorrow, but I can't promise. My life is about to take off again and it's exhausting.

But have I mentioned lately that I love my job! ?? :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Very Quick Sunday Update

I managed to do only a few things on my ambitious list, but the cammi purse was one of them and it's now done and boxed up ready to ship. Whew!

I also went to see Act of Valor with Alex and one of his friends last night. It was a good movie, but not quite as good as I was hoping for. Hard to explain, but there *was* a lot of hype to live up to. Still, mega kudos to the actual SEALs both in the movie (uncredited to protect their identities) and not. Special Forces do so many things that we never know about, but we would surely know and feel it if they weren't there.

Semi-related, someone (Meredith?) asked where Tyler will be deploying. Sometime around June after pre-D leave and then pre-D training, he'll be on a ship, not boots on the ground, so that's safer and makes me happy. But I won't say on the blog exactly where they're headed because military families are not supposed to give out troop movement details and I will, of course, honor that. But his final destination besides floating around on the ocean should be an interesting and fun adventure for him and I will certainly share more details when he gets back.

I didn't do any of the alterations I have lined up, but they'll keep a while longer. Why do we stitchers HATE doing alterations so much? lol Instead, I went through my pattern pile and picked out some I want on the short list. Unfortunately, it was still about 20 patterns and there's no way I will make them all anytime soon. But a girl can dream.

I did decide what's next and tomorrow night I will press the pattern pieces (hi Carolyn!) and do some preliminary tissue fitting to decide on a size to cut. All the reviews say the pattern runs really big so some sort of muslin/tissue will definitely be in order.

The pattern, you ask?

Photo "borrowed" from

I want to make the cape version on the left, but without the neck tie, and I also want to make the skirt. I haven't picked out fabrics yet, but I'm hopeful the stash will cough up something suitable. And not a hairball. ;-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pictureless Planning Post

Today, I MUST finish sewing a cammi bag and key fob. They have been hanging over my head, gobbling up my sewing mojo. What's sad is that the bag is already cut out and it's one of my easier patterns so it really won't take that long. It's just procrastination rearing its ugly head. After that, I think I'm going to suspend the cammi bag sales because I will soon have too much to do to take on additional projects.

If I clear that off the sewing table table … no … WHEN I clear that, I'm going to tackle some alterations on a couple of me-made dresses that I'm not ready to give up on and which I'll want to wear soon because our temps are definitely getting into the 80s now. The alterations will not be hard — just sewing straight up the sideseams into the sleeves. They just need to be done. If those go well, and fast, maybe I'll be inspired to fix up some of the projects on my ironing board, none of which is too difficult, just not exciting.

After that, I need to put some casual tops on my radar. I'm running seriously low on things to wear AFTER work and I have lots of nice knit prints so I do want to make them, not buy them.

Plus, there's shopping for wedding undergarments, house hunting, laundry, going to a movie, grocery shopping, thinking about packing, and more to do. Last weekend was a bust, but I really needed to do a lot of nothing after working so hard and so long, so it's OK. But this weekend, I need to get stuff done.

What's on your weekend schedule?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Random Ramblings

1. I should make this a weekly post. I love to ramble. Hah!
2. I love my job.
3. You didn't think I could go a week without saying that, did you?
4. My job has also been posted to various recruitment place.
5. Well, not MY job, but for a co-Me.
6. In other words, there's enough work in this position for two people and so another is being hired.
7. I can attest to the workload.
8. It's weird to see one's job description written down all official-like.
9. The big boss gave me two movie theater ticket coupons today.
10. For all the extra work on last weekend's event.
11. Awesome, right? See #2, above.
12. One of the attorney attendees also sent over a big box of HUGE gourmet cookies to Marketing for a job well done.
13. I snagged one.
14. For Alex.
15. But I forgot it and my movie tickets at work.
16. Because I stayed late to polish up a Powerpoint presentation for the even bigger boss.
17. If you're looking for rental houses, realtors don't call you back.
18. It's very frustrating.
19. How am I going to find a house if I can't look at any?
20. I visited my sewing friend in Finance this morning.
21. I was wearing entirely Debbie-made, and she loved it.
22. She's really nice and I do miss chatting with her everyday.
23. I think we'll become friends outside of work, in time.
24. We have many other things in common too.
25. She touched my cardi and flipped it to see the inside, like all we sewers do to one another.
26. It cracked me up.
27. Thankfully I had used matching serger thread.
28. This time.
29. I miss sewing.
30. But I haven't bought any fabric to make up for it.
31. That's an amazing accomplishment.
32. I'd only have to pack it.
33. And 14 zillion other things.
34. I'm 3 lbs away from losing 10 lbs this month.
35. And getting to a number I haven't seen in a very VERY long time.
36. The Marine is coming home for 2 weeks at the end of the month.
37. He'll be going to the wedding with me and Alex.
38. And then he'll return to base to get ready for ...
39. Deployment.
40. Ugh.

Monday, March 5, 2012

In for a Return and Out With Shoes

I stopped by Dillard's on the way home tonight to return the three dresses I'm not keeping. My bank account sighed in relief. On the way out, I tried on 6 pairs of party shoes and left with one pair. I've pretty much decided that strappy ain't for me, both in comfort and in flattery. The end of a work day in heels is a good time to try on new shoes. If they feel good then, they will feel good all night at the wedding.

And, yes, I've heard the anguished cries against my sheer black hose thoughts. Truthfully, black wouldn't look good with these shoes anyway. But sheer black hose are 1980s? Really? I'm not convinced. So now I've got to find some sparkly NUDE hose that both fit my thighs and stay up all night. I'll probably go undergarment shopping over the weekend and pick up some then to try.

These shoes are a lot more sparkly than they look in the pics - the "body" of the shoe is silver metallic texture and the front thingie is covered in rhinestones. The heel and platform are silver. I will probably look at more shoes because I was really hoping for something more decorated but these are pretty and comfortable and if I don't find anything else I like better, they will be just fine.

The big boss is taking us out to lunch tomorrow, for some relaxation and laughing now that the big weekend event is over. We're going back to the Hyatt. It was nice last time and we had a great big private table. Word is they have a fajita bar on Tuesdays. Yum! And good for me since I can eat everything except the tortillas with no guilt. I'm down another 2 lbs since last week and I don't want to stop the momentum. Now that I'm THE graphic designer, it's up to me to come up with the "awards" in the morning. I started them Friday, actually, since I knew they were coming. Good thinking, 99. (If you get that, you're old like me. Yes, I'm looking at you Belinda!)

And hey — look what was delivered to me today!! I'm SOMEBODY! lol Now I need to make myself a business card holder.

And, finally, I'm curious — did anyone else receive what was essentially spam from McCall's? An ad for skin care crap? How exactly does that relate to sewing? I would unsubscribe but then I'd miss the pattern sale notices. Which might be a good idea after all. ;-)

That's it for me tonight. Time for some DVR vegging and planning tomorrow's outfit, with shoes I can walk 5 blocks in.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Still Thinking

I think this one might be it. I tried on the finalists again this morning and this one definitely fits the best front and back, except for all that bra hanging out the top. Plus, it has a little shoulder coverage which is good for someone of my ADVANCED AGE. OMG, 23 days people. The only thing I don't like is that it kinda smushes the boobage. But I have enough that I can spare some smushing and still have boobs. ;-)

I really like the black ruffle tier dress too, except the neckline isn't as good on me as this one or the red one. And I didn't realize it, but this teal dress is also on sale and I only paid $55 for it. (I was in a shopping stupor and not really looking at price tags.) I can keep the red one and this one and still be under $100. Amazing. I just hope I find somewhere to wear the red one because it has no sideseams so it can't be taken in later. I just hate to return it because at just $35 it's almost free, you know? ;-) At that price, I can just wear it around the house a few times and be happy.

Here's what I'm thinking — First, sheer black hose. I don't want to go barelegged because (1) my legs are incredibly pasty, (2) pantyhose sucks in the gut, and (3) I think sheer black hose are sexy. Really, more for #2 because I can always go buy a tan. Then again, maybe I can find an industrial Spanx-like full body shaper torture device. Then, black or silver shoes with lots of sparkle and height. Something very sparklie at the neck but costume, not real. Sparklie earrings but demure, because too big will be over the top with a blinged out necklace. My sister has a collection of lipstick purses (evening bags/clutches) and she'll bring me one to use so I don't have to worry about that. I also bought a ruffled black shrug last night for $30 that I could easily make for $10, but whatever. Now I won't have to and I'll have something to throw on for the A/C if needed.

So, up next is the hunt for shoes, underwear, jewelry. Not necessarily in that order. Finding the right undergarments is going to be more work than finding a dress. Don't you hate that?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dress Pics

I'll keep adding to this post as my pics get delivered to my email. Keep in mind that I will NOT be wearing brown tights and I will have on better undergarments and great shoes.

Nice color, too blah for this black-tie wedding. Weird shoulder pads. Gold buckle at the side waist that you can't see here. I did try on the print dress in the background but I forgot to take a pic of it. It was OK, but not a favorite. Pretty print, though.

Gray lace with sparklies, #1. This one has boob spillage, but I like the cap sleeves. Not a keeper.

Gray lace with sparklies #2. Better boob coverage. I finally decided against this one because many of the beads/sparklies were already literally hanging by a thread and it seemed like this dress caught on everything near it. I decided I didn't want to worry about unraveling the whole night. And now that I see both, the other one actually looks better, but I think that's just a difference in shadows/light.

Black dress (pic lightened) with ruffle tiers edged in sparklies. This one is too wide at the shoulders. A size smaller is better. LOVE this dress. It has great movement and is more waist-defining in person than it looks here or on the hanger. This one surprised me. It's a finalist so I bought it and will decide whether it's The One or if it's being returned.

Teal, what my sister and I have termed "Venetian Blind" dresses. Good fit. It's another finalist, so I bought this one for the interim.

Black surplice sequined bodice. Too hoochie. Way too scratchy. Did not buy this one.

Black lace surplice bodice.Venetian Blinds waist/skirt. A finalist, I bought this one.

Cute dress. Too casual for black tie. Too red for me. I'm making faces at my sister. ;-)

Second sparklie bodice black dress. Cute, but OMG those sequins HURT. No freakin way on this one. I bet they don't sell any to anyone who tries it on.

This makes me look like I'm actually going to be that age I'm going to be this month. Uh, no.

What a dump.

Pretty dress. But prettier on someone else. There's a lot going on there and I don't want to try to pull off all that.

Carmen Miranda called. She wants her dress back.

I did like this in the store and bought it as a finalist but the more I look at it, the less I'm liking it, although the one I bought is a size smaller and fits better in the boobage. It's not a halter back, but it would definitely require a specialized bra.

Love this dress. A smidge too tight and I'll have to sew bra straps into place or something. But get this — it was only THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS on sale. Regularly $150. I'm keeping this one no matter what I wear to the wedding. And I may end up wearing it. I'm pretty sure I'll lose another 5 lbs. before the wedding. I've lost 6+ the last couple of weeks, since I've been back on the wagon 100% instead of 95%. 

And that's it. Whew! Can you tell the Venetian Blinds are a Thing this year? They're kind of weird, kind of cool. Some flatter, some are hideous, and you can't tell until you put the dress on.

Dress Shopping

I decided I'm buying the dress for the wedding. While it would be fun to sew something fancy, the truth is my time is limited and do I want to spend precious sewing time making something I'm probably going to wear just once? (Answer: No, I don't.)

On the way home tonight, I stopped at Dillard's on the advice of two of my younger co-workers. I asked them where I should shop for a dress that wasn't too young or too old and they both almost shouted Dillard's, and at the same time. I used to love Dillard's but the last time I went, it felt very stuffy. I'm glad they suggested it and made me go again. My wallet? Not so glad. lol

I spent HOURS trying on a ton of dresses. Many I needed a smaller size — yay! I took cell phone pics and sent them to my sister in Virginia and we texted and pic'd back and forth, which was almost as good as her being with me. It was fun!

I've sent the cell pics to my home email and will upload the pics in the next post. It's going to take a while so keep checking back or wait until later to see them all. I'll add comments along the way.

I'm also going to have to go special bra and shoe shopping. That will wait until next weekend. I'm pooped. lol