a random post-project day

i used to be the biggest procrastinator ever. it's 8 pm on a school night and i have an entire anthology due first thing tomorrow? sure, let me just get started on that! it's my best friend's birthday today and they live in a different city? that's why there are courier services! i need to read an entire book and report back on it to you in two days? thank goodness for coles notes! it's just how i used to get by. sometimes the procrastinator bug sneaks up on me still but hey, i work well under pressure. plus i've dealt with it for years and have learned how to work all that extra stress and frenzy to my advantage.

all this is to say that i totally understand the procrastinators out there. so when i got another donation for this project three weeks after the six-month project had come and gone, hey, i totally got it. sometimes life - and its more exciting aspects - get in the way. and if it weren't for the procrastinators out there, we wouldn't get lovely little unexpected surprises. see? procrastinating can be a good thing.

so thanks, my friend. better late than never indeed.


yesterday was a special day for me. i visited almost home to drop off the cheque! i met and caught up with the house manager, the lovely laurie morgan, who is pictured here at the left with tenzin and me.

before we arrived, i got a strange feeling. it felt like drunken butterflies had somehow become trapped in my stomach. i couldn't quite pinpoint the exact cause, but the thought of returning to the place i hadn't visited in two years kind of made me nervous. if i'm being completely honest, i was worried i'd experience an embarassing flood of emotions since that is where i spent three of the hardest weeks of my life. the flashes of memories i have of that moment in time are a confusing mess of emotional opposites: scared stiff mixed with comfort, tears mixed with hope, loneliness mixed with elation. but the constant in all of that was the place that gave me what i needed at the time - almost home.

as it turns out, there was no need for my nerves. as soon as i walked through the familiar bright yellow door and saw the warm smile on laurie's face, i was immediately put at ease. the happiness i felt in reaching what i consider the real official end of this project filled me with a feeling of accomplishment. the past few months of personal self-challenge and sacrifice was all worth it.
i - we - really did make a difference.

and as i walked down the stairs away from the amazing home with the bright yellow door, i set the butterflies and the past free...


have you been wondering about the dresses? the shopping? the ugly betty hair? the blog? here goes...

1) no, i haven't worn the dresses. will i ever? it's looking doubtful at this point, but i can't quite bring myself to get rid of them. i believe it's something to do with a symbolism of sorts. their future is still undetermined as of yet. i am just grateful to be able to wear whatever i want again, especially considering the weather here this summer has rivaled the hotness of jordan catalano circa 1994.
2) yes, i've been shopping. as with the great vegetarian experiment of 2009 whereby i still get excited when i eat meat of any kind, my shopping desires have been a bit insatiable. i must constantly physically stop myself from doing it. something about deprivation just sends me into sensory overload when i am able to return to my old habits. i have recently been banned from internet shoe shopping.
3) i finally took my embarassing self-cut bangs to the hairdresser a couple of days ago. ugly betty has left the building for now at least. after washing out my blowout from the other day, i realize that after waiting over a year to cut my hair and paying $30+, i now apparently have the exact same ugly betty style but two inches shorter all over. the hairdresser was very nice, however, and told me my bangs weren't actually that bad - although when i asked how much she charges for just a bang trim, she says it's free since she'd rather do it herself than have to fix a botched job. uh, lesson learned. from now on, scissors are for sewing, making cool paper projects and all non-hair-related activities.
4) and finally, what about the blog? its future, like the dresses, is still a bit undetermined. i have never had an audience for my writing before. i might go somewhere else incognito or i might come right back here when i'm ready to write again. it might be tomorrow, it might be a year from now. hey, what can i say? if you know me at all, i'm indecisive. woman of mystery, yeah that's me.

what i do know for certain is that The Husband can rest easy: i am hailing this as the official end of the extreme personal challenges segment of my life. amen.

day one hundred eighty-one...the final day!

yay! i made it! today marks the end of a long six-month journey. what started off as a fun and slightly frivolous project turned into more than i ever could have expected. i've definitely stepped out of my comfort zone more than a few times...

if you take a look at the total box, you will see that wardrobe dresstruction raised $1305 for almost home! a special thank you so much to the person who pushed me over that last milestone today...amazing! i will be heading to kingston very soon to give them the grand total.

a final thank you again to everyone out there who supported this project with money, clothes, interviews and encouragement. you kept me going and showed me that what started out as a little project could turn into something amazing.

and i have to say an enormous thank you to everyone at almost home - the reason why i started this project in the first place. you provided a home for me when i needed it. you provided comfort, necessities and a place of warmth and generosity. what you do is amazing. i will never be able to fully thank you enough. i hope this project will help towards keep it going for others when they need it most.

you never know where life will take you.

and now - at last - time to get un-dressed...


today's look while saying a final farewell to my dresses:

it doesn't really matter what i'm wearing or what it costs...

day one hundred eighty

wow wow wow...words are not enough...i can't repeat how touched i am by everyone's extreme generosity. just when i think it's all said and done, you go and surprise me with a new total! thank you so much to all of the people that donated to this project today!

i knew the promise of a few rounds of kumbayah would get you all hot and bothered.

so this is the last you'll be seeing of the long brown dress. it's officially going into retirement tonight. if you ever want to visit, it will be taking up permanent resident in the back left corner of my closet in a few short minutes. it's probably not the most dignified end to a life that has brought me so much more than i ever expected, but i'm happy to let it go. i will be sure to glance at it fondly every now and again and remember all the good times we had together.

one more last wear of the short dress tomorrow, and then this project comes to an end...


today's look while bubbling over with excitement:

white skirt under dress: the dump (free)
yellow scarf around waist: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)

grand total:
about 8¢ (just the cost-per-wear of the dress!)

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5

day one hundred seventy-nine

you people are amazing! the total just keeps going up and up! thank you so much to the person who contributed today. you guys are just making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. i could never have done this on my own.

i can't believe it, but there are only two more days left if you want to contribute. yes, i've already surpassed the goal, but every bit really does make a difference. almost home is an incredible place that's obviously close to my own heart, but i want them to be around for all the other people who will need them in the future.


today's look while asking for a last-minute boost:

t-shirt over dress: secondhand (free)
jeans: liquidation world, a year old ($3)
orange beaded bracelet: donated by my friend vanessa for this project - thanks! (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $83.08

day one hundred seventy-eight

to my fellow 401 travellers today:

- to the guinea pig suffering from rigor mortis in the middle lane: okay, i know you weren't really a guinea pig, but you sure looked like one. sorry, but whatever you were, you didn't have a chance...
- to the police car that didn't stop me when i was in front of you going 130: thanks for not giving me a ticket. (especially since you were going at least 150 after you passed me).
- to all of the transport trucks, pickup trucks, construction vehicles and school buses: thanks for entertaining my two-year-old in the back seat.
- to tenzin: thanks for sleeping for half the time. and not crying. and for the dance party. and the singing. when you were singing that one high-pitched duet with prince, your voices blended seamlessly.
- to the truck with the ridiculous racing stripes, the porsche, and the five other cars that nearly cut me off going across toronto: you're obviously making up for what you lack in other areas, if you know what i mean. i didn't give any of you the finger, but i was shouting at you really hard in my head. i hope you heard me.
- to the girls with the massive sorority sticker across your back window: you probably should have spent a little less time talking and more time looking at the road. but you both had really nice hair and sunglasses.
- to the person driving 80 in the fast lane for quite some time: there were a lot of people that were really really annoyed by you. yeah, you were pretty oblivious.
- to all of the cities i drove through besides toronto: thank you for not being as chaotic as toronto.
- to the city of toronto: thanks for not being a parking lot despite the g20. you had me worried, but you pulled through for me after all.


and, most importantly, to the person who donated today:

thank you so much! it was so generous of you! i'm beyond grateful as always. check out the new total...


today's look while spending even more time than usual in the car:

white t-shirt with hearts: secondhand (free)
jeans: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
green crocheted hat: value village, a year old ($4)
brooch worn on hat: jacob, about four years old (about $15)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $99.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5

day one hundred seventy-seven

the total is like a little kid - it just keeps growing! pretty soon it's going to be all embarassed to be seen with me and asking to borrow the car...

i'm a little late announcing it, but the friday generosity trend continued again this week! thank you so much to the person who donated...your contribution put me above and beyond my goal...amazing!

only four more days to go...the sky's the limit...


today's look while sneaking around surprising people:

black t-shirt under dress: old navy, about four years old ($15)
black dress under dress: old navy, about two years old ($30)
material around waist: recycled from a secondhand t-shirt (free)
butterfly-print scarf on head: donated from kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)

grand total:
about $45.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5