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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.

update!

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
613.966.3352

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
613.966.3352

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
613.966.3352

day one hundred seventy-six

i was listening to the radio the other day and heard an ad for a mattress company. so what, right? well, apparently they have a pillow expert. is this an actual job? does this person have a business card that actually reads "pillow expert"? i wonder if there is a secret place somewhere in the world that has a pillow school that hands out pillow expert diplomas.

it's probably the same place you go to learn to be a magic carpet rider.

maybe it's just me, but don't you just know when a pillow is good and when it's not? some people prefer a firm pillow, some prefer soft. some prefer feathers while others prefer synthetic fill. some like a small pillow while some like a full-on body pillow. don't you just try them out until you find one you like?

i imagine that in this particular store, you walk in casually looking to set yourself up with a new pillow because the one you currently own is too firm/soft/ratty/lumpy. you are approached by the pillow expert who leaves a faint trail of stardust in his wake. he offers you a tray of gnocchi and marshmallows (his favourite snacks). like a fine storyteller, he explains to you the origin of the hand-picked duck feathers that were bred in an exotic-sounding country specifically for you to lay your head on. he pulls out charts outlining the quality and thread-count of each pillow. you are amazed by the intricacies of the pillow world that up until this point you were completely oblivious about. you buy the perfect pillow hand selected by the pillow expert and go home and feel like you are sleeping on a cloud.

at least that's what it better be like. last time we bought new pillows, i flung my head into each one while they were still on the shelf, and The Husband actually lay down on the dirty store floor testing them out.

fine, point taken. this is the last time i will mock the pillow expert.


*****


today's look while wishing i owned a magic carpet:

flowered dress over dress: remade by me from a skirt donated by coral sproule for this project - thanks! (free)
green tie around waist: from dressing gown (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
613.966.3352

day one hundred seventy-five

it's been a little round of interviews here in the past little while! today, my interview with the perth courier newspaper was published. click here to read all about it...and look at the beguiling face of tenzin.

yes, he wears the pants in this family.

i can't help but repeat how grateful i am to everyone who's supporting this project. you keep me going. we should get together sometime soon and sing a round or two of kumbaya. the countdown's on...only six days to go...

*****

today's look while getting my message out:

grey t-shirt under dress: donated by my sister for this project - thanks! (free)
necklace: donated by my friend vanessa for this project - thanks! (free)
silk liberty of london scarf worn around waist: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $80.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred seventy-four

i stopped buying women's magazines a couple of years ago. i used to buy them all the time, and i'd hold onto them for years. when it came time for decluttering, i'd throw everything out except my magazines. i saw them as a snapshot of the times - the clothes, the stories, the issues. but after a few years, i noticed the trends. they were just so annoyingly predictable.

i haven't picked up one of these magazines in months, but i can pretty much guarantee that any given magazine currently on the racks has titles on the cover like "how to look cool while beating the heat!", "get your body beach-ready in less than a week!", "ten products that will keep you gorgeous all summer long!", "painless swimsuit shopping!", "fake tanner minus the smell!".

lies! lies! lies!

if i had a magazine, i'd tell it like it is. my magazine would be called get real and would have headings like "it's damn hot outside, and chances are you are going to look like a wet cat by the end of the day", "no one will be looking at your juicy lips when you smell like that", "the last time you went swimsuit shopping and enjoyed it you were five. some things never change.", "melancholy reads for the anti-beach set", and "fun things to do rather than getting peed on at the local pool".

hey, sometimes reality bites.

*****

today's look while being bratty:

brown skirt over dress: kilborn's, seven months old ($45)
black tie around waist: found in a bag of wrapping paper (free)
beaded necklace worn as bracelet: stitches ($5 for a set)

grand total:
about $50.08

day one hundred seventy-three

today, i'm going to steer you on out of here and over to the end mark...

steve (the lovely writer of) approached me recently to do an interview about this project. i happen to like steve, so i said sure. he's been a great supporter of this little endeavour, and one day he might even will work for interview. if you want to learn more about the cause and effects of this project, the fashion goings on, the fundraising, and the dresses themselves, you should definitely check it out.

think you already know everything? then go over there and check out some of steve's writing.

because i said so, that's why.

*****

today's look while getting all bossy:

blue silk scarf around waist: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $80.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred seventy-two

i have never been good at traditional math. i liken math to a foreign language that i will never understand. i remember one specific incident when i was in grade three and we'd been given a math test. i had no idea what to do, so i thought the teacher would appreciate a lovely pencil drawing on the page instead of some badly-done long division. i drew a robot out of geometric shapes, you know, all art-with-an-ode-to-math style. i put a lot of effort into the drawing. as it turns out, my teacher didn't appreciate it at all and i was reprimanded. this didn't exactly endear me any further to math.

but when it comes to my own version of math, i excel. for example, i can translate my day today into math and come out with the right answer:

1 morning stomachache + 1/2 cup of coffee + 2 pieces of raisin toast + 1 peed-on dress + 1 long day + 1 summer solstice party + 2 plates of food + lots of happy kids + 1 tired kid 1 1/2 hours late to bed - not much night left = 1 very tired me.

see? i can even do fractions. but maybe you'd rather i just draw you a picture instead.

*****

today's look while contemplating implications derived from the effects of quantum physics:

jeans: value village, a year old ($20)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $100.08

day one hundred seventy-one

a couple of days ago, i came across this article. it's so hard to give credit where it's due because i am kind of voracious when i'm on the internet. it's all, first i'm just going to check this site for a second, but then i'm invariably grabbed by the hand and led off to another site, and two hours later i'm sitting hunched over the laptop squinting, contorted like a pretzel, and can't even remember what i was doing on the internet in the first place because, you know, there are interesting things beyond this square glowing object. (that was a convoluded note to self. must ignore the internet more and reacclimatize to reality. and stop interrupting so much. ugh. it's bad-mannered and annoying).

where was i again?

oh yeah, the summer of dresses. i love this idea! go figure. dresses are just so easy and comfortable. there's no matching to do - just add some accessories - or not - and you're done. there was a full year when i was a little girl when i refused to wear anything but dresses, even though in my daydreams i was a wild tree-climbing tomboy.

so just as my six months of wearing certain dresses is coming to an end, i won't be ignoring dresses altogether...just these particular ones.

*****

today's look while wishing a happy day to all the amazing dads out there:

white t-shirt under dress: smart set, about three years old ($10)
green silk tie around waist: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) - thanks! (free)

grand total:
$10.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred seventy

i am beyond words...check out the new total! this one was an extra-special donation in that it clinched my goal with just under two weeks to go! thank you so much to the person who donated today. i am amazed and grateful to everyone who is helping keep me inspired on a daily basis. there are lots of you out there.

now, there's no limit. i'm just gonna see where this goes from here...

*****

today's look while getting butterflies:
blue t-shirt over dress: liquidation world, about a year old ($10)
jeans: liquidation world, about a year old ($3)
bracelet: handmade by me out of recycled zippers (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)
purple headband: made out of a recycled t-shirt (free)

grand total:
about $93.08

day one hundred sixty-nine

i am pleased to announce that the inadvertent but lovely new-total fridays are still on a roll! i came home tired, but a generous cheque in the mailbox put a smile on my face. thank you so much to the person who sent that in. look at the new total!

today is also a special day...it's my amazing sister's birthday today! happy birthday, judy xo

*****

today's look while enjoying my day the positive way:

jeans: stitches, four years old ($30)
vintage blue ribbon around waist: thrift shop (about 10¢)
silver bracelet: secondhand (free)

grand total:
about $30.18

day one hundred sixty-eight

i can't get enough of this relaxation thing. no really, i actually can't get enough. i think the other day must have been a fluke. i just always seem to have my head at least two steps ahead of what i'm actually doing at any particular moment. and that is why i am writing to you tonight from a hammock. because everyone - even people like me who can't do math - knows that hammock = relaxation, right? it's as though the holes were designed specifically to help drain away the worries of the day....

so i should be feeling pretty relaxed, right?

sure, except for that subtle but always-imminent feeling that i might fall onto the ground at any moment. this could be partly due to the fact that i am sort of sitting upright in order to type, so i haven't quite achieved the (literally) laid-back feeling i'm after. also while you're over there, i can't reach my drink. plus there's the fact that i am right now serving as a human appetizer to a bevvy of bugs - but i think everyone's heard just about enough of that out of me this week.

i think this was a better idea in theory. apparently relaxation appears to require quite a lot of effort.

*****

today's look while trying to achieve a zen-like state:

black dress under dress: smart set, about two years old ($30)
beaded bracelets: a mix of some from smart set ($5 for a set) and others donated by my friend vanessa for this project - thanks! (free)
grey material around waist: donated by my sister for this project - thanks! (free)

grand total:
about $35.08

day one hundred sixty-seven

have you been wondering how the dresses are doing lately? it's nearly their six-month birthday! they are just starting to show a little wear and tear at this point, but they've held up remarkably well for the abuse they've taken. right now, the long one has a few minor stubborn spots that just won't seem to come out. they are the result of a full head-on collision hug from tenzin to me one night after dinner had been eaten but hands hadn't been washed. sorry, dress, but the hug wins every time. the dress is to the mosquito as the hug is to me.

rainy days like today are good because then spots can at least pass for raindrops.

both dresses are starting to fade slightly, but i guess we all do a bit as we get older. overall, they're doing quite well. i was asked recently if i will ever wear the dresses again once this project is done. i thought about it, and the answer for now is leaning heavily towards idon'tthinksoanytimesoonthankyou. i might even swear off all brown items for a little while. but at least if i ever change my mind, my loyal dresses will be there waiting.

they've put up with a lot - but they've given so much more in return.

*****

today's look while pondering the yonder:

pink cashmere sweater over dress: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
white skirt under dress: the dump (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $80.08 (palindromes are cool)

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred sixty-six

do you see the total growing over there in that box to the right? people, you are coming through for me once again! the final push to the finish line is nearly here! i received another amazingly generous cheque in the mail tonight. thank you so much to the person who sent it through. (and word is, there's another one on the way...)

again, my goal at this point is to raise that number up all the way up to $1000 in the next two weeks. if there is any way you can help me reach it, i would be more than grateful. you know, you could be like one of my best friends or something.  no amount is too small and it's all for an absolutely amazing cause...

*****

today's look while getting exceptionally excited:

flowered top over dress: handmade by my sister (free)
jeans: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
black flats: payless, about two years old ($20)

grand total:
about $20.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred sixty-five

please don't take this personally, but you're really starting to bug me. i know you can't help it. i might even be leading you on a bit, wafting past you trailing the alluring smells of dinner that my husband cooks each night. but then you get too close. you sit with your arms on my back or my neck or my leg. and then i feel the horrible zap through my skin.

you bit me...and now i want revenge.

it's a close race. i swat at you, but you keep lunging back at me. i try a spot of shadowboxing. you win the rodeo prize for sitting on me the longest without letting go.

but in the end, i always win.

take my advice: there are much better birds out there for you to chase.

*****

green tank top over dress: can't remember origin, a year old ($30)
jeans: donated by coral sproule for this project - thanks! (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $110.08

day one hundred sixty-four

do you hear that sound? it's the sound of me exhaling in a rare moment of genuine relaxation. i feel as though i have been short on time lately and long on things to do. but this morning, i won the child jackpot. tenzin slept in until 10:40 am. it was getting so late, i was reaching the point of wondering if i should wake him up. yeah, i know, dumb idea. sleeping babies and all. so i let him keep dreaming and cleared every item of my to-do list, and do i ever feel better now.

although i usually don't condone such things, if you were feeling so inclined you could practically eat off our floors, they are so clean. dishes were done and put away (by me for once)! thank you notes were written and are sitting in actual addressed envelopes ready to go in the mail. a gazebo was moved and a rather large picnic table dragged into it. some fun was had too - some guilt-free tv watching and lots of playing with t in the short time he spent awake today.

did i ever need that. now i'm off to shower. cleaning up to-do lists is a very dirty job.

*****

today's look while off to make a new list:

black t-shirt: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
green material around waist: recycled from an old t-shirt (free)
zipper bracelet: made by me out of recycled zippers (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
613.966.3352

day one hundred sixty-three

i want to tell you about something i didn't know about until now. one of my friends, elizabeth, brought it to my attention, and i'd really like to share it with you in case you haven't heard of it either. elizabeth has a friend who urgently needs a bone marrow donor. you can read more about this in a letter she wrote to the local ottawa newspaper here: http://tinyurl.com/38srjfx

she is trying to get the word out about onematch - a canadian registry for blood, stem cell and bone marrow donors. full disclosure: blood and blood-related topics usually get my stomach a little churny. but then i thought about it from the perspective of someone who is in actual need of a donor.

i've signed up and am waiting for my swab kit. for elizabeth's friend and all the other people out there who are relying on the kindness of strangers, please consider doing it as well. you never know, you might just save a life.

*****

sweatshirt over dress worn as a skirt: value village, about ten months old (about $10)
grey t-shirt underneath: stitches, about four years old ($5)
black flipflops: old navy, a year old ($1)

grand total:
about $16.08

day one hundred sixty-two

it's really late once again. i just got home after being out at another birthday celebration. june is definitely a birthday month around here. i am way behind on emails, late on posting, the list at the moment goes on and on...this will most definitely be a catch-up weekend.

but look at that new total! thank you loads to the person who generously donated! is this becoming a friday tradition? i think i like how this is going...

*****

today's look while chasing my tail:

white sweater: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
blue t-shirt over dress: liquidation world, about eight months old (about $10)

jeans: liquidation world, about ten months old ($20)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred sixty-one

the last thought i had before my head hit the pillow last night was how amazing it would feel to sleep in. ironically, this morning i jolted awake five whole minutes before i was supposed to leave for work. turns out the alarm was set but the sound wasn't. unfortunately one doesn't work without the other in terms of performing the needed function of waking me up.

i bolted out of bed, disoriented and confused. i slapped on some makeup, ran something through my hair, power brushed my teeth, and threw on the first thing i saw in the drawer. i heard tenzin say "mama" on the other side of the wall. i was torn: go in, say hi and leave two seconds later causing certain upset or bolt up the stairs and out of the house before he could see me. i chose option number two and felt guilty about my choice all morning.

i drove to work blanking out several minutes down the highway which is always disconcerting. how exactly did i get from a to c without remembering much of b? without any of the usual caffeine streaming through my body, i assume. i jolted to when i saw a dead deer lying on the side of the highway. that's two this week.

i walked down the road to mail a letter in the afternoon. i was waiting at a light and after a moment realized that i was humming. out loud. great, now i've become a crazy girl who hums out loud in public.

i came home. the sound of gunshots was ringing through the air. where exactly do i live?! i don't think i will ever get used to that sound. i went outside to take my daily picture. tenzin decided to come with me. he thinks it's really funny waiting for the timer to go off and then having the picture taken. so the sound was gunshot! laugh! gunshot! laugh! the poor hunter was likely thrown off his game. oh well, hopefully we saved a deer.

soon it will be time for bed again. another day is winding down. tonight i will still dream about sleeping in, but i'll be double-checking that the sound's turned up this time.

*****

today's look while in a bit of a fog:

green t-shirt over dress: donated by marci bruyere for this project - thanks! (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $80.08

day one hundred sixty

today is cold. it's the kind of cold that you get in england where it passes straight through your skin and nestles deep in your bones.

one hot meal, one hot bath, one warm sweatshirt and one wool blanket later, the chill has finally gone. it's always strange when june feels like october.

*****

today's look while dreaming of england:

black t-shirt with velcro tab worn over dress (today it spells "one sixty"): next exit, about seven years old ($45)
white skirt under dress: the dump (free)
green hairband: recycled from an old t-shirt (free)brown sandals: aldo, about four years ago (about $80)



grand total:
about $125.08

day one hundred fifty-nine

dear tenzin,

today you turned two.

it's been 730 days since i first met you. 730 mornings that you have made me smile. 730 times we've said goodnight. 730 days where my heart has nearly burst straight through my chest.

i love it when you wave. when you smile. when you run. when you're free. when you hug me. when you learn. when you try.

you have grown from a tiny newborn to a little boy. you have challenged me. you have made me proud. you have amazed me. you have changed me. you have shown me another side to this big strange world. you will teach me more than i will teach you. you inspire me in so many ways. you mean the world to me.

you are small, but you are strong. you are young, but you are wise. you are quiet, but you take it all in while the big world spins around you.

you have changed. you are changing. you will always change.

i love you for being you. i wouldn't want you any other way. happy birthday, sweet boy.

xo,
mama

*****

today's look while lost for words:

black cardigan over dress: fairweather, about two years old ($15)
butterfly print scarf worn on head: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) - thanks! (free)
silver bracelets: secondhand (free)
jeans: liquidation world, a year old ($3)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $98.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred fifty-eight

one of my favourite pasttimes is thinking about what other people are doing right now. like, for instance, at this very moment someone somewhere in the world just:

* was born
* got on a plane to go on holiday
* tried something for the first time
* broke a promise
* met their fate
* committed a crime
* played air guitar
* lost their last penny
* experienced brain freeze
* died
* rode a roller coaster and puked
* made a good decision

or maybe even all of those things in one day.

*****

today's look while wondering what just happened to you:

green top over dress: giant tiger, about three years old ($15)
jeans: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)

grand total:
about $15.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred fifty-seven

i've decided that i really should work on my sense of timing. my sense of timing seems to have run off somewhere with my sense of direction. i can't seem to find either of them anywhere. they're probably both hanging out watching me from afar and laughing at me.

i used to have a great sense of timing. if someone asked me to be somewhere at, say 8 o'clock, i would be there right at 8 on the dot. not so anymore. i have completely lost all sense of how long things take to do even if i do the same things on a daily basis. if i am asked how long i will take to do something, my answer usually tends to reflect how long i would like something to take as opposed to the actual time required for me to do it.

some things i can do really fast, like ... (an undetermined time later) ... actually, after thinking that over for quite a few moments, i couldn't think of anything except blinking. not a highly useful skill. on the other hand, there are a magnitude of things that seem to take me forever to get done: washing dishes, making food, anything prior to about 8:00 am. hey, i live in a daydream state.

does anyone have any good tips about how you actually get everything accomplished on time? you know, other than hiring a drill sargeant?

*****

today's look while ranting once again about time:

orange scarf around waist: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
orange necklace: aldo ($10)
red beaded necklace worn as bracelet: gift from an old co-worker (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $90.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred fifty-six

wow, this is a very, very late post. this weekend has been filled to the brim with birthday parties and visitors and a whole bunch of fun. and another amazing donation! thank you SO much to the people who donated so generously. i continue to be surprised and thankful to all of the people who are helping me along the way with this project. i am getting so excited to hand over the final cheque to almost home in just a few short weeks!

the little cutie i'm kissing today is my big inspiration behind this whole deal. my goal is now to reach $1000 by the end of june. only three-and-a-half weeks to go...

*****

today's look while partying it up:

flowered top over dress: handmade by my sister (free)
jeans: value village, a year old ($20)
green hairband: recycled from an old t-shirt (free)

grand total:
about $20.08

day one hundred fifty-five

this weekend is starting off right...another generous donation came in today! i am so excited. thank you SO much once again to the person who donated. check out the box to the right!

*****

today's look while loving seeing the numbers grow:

grey top under dress: donated by my sister for this project - thanks! (free)
green top over dress: can't remember where it's from, a year old ($30)
jeans: stitches, four years old ($30)
purple headband: recycled from an old t-shirt (free)
beaded necklace worn as bracelet: stitches (about $5 for a set)

grand total:
about $65.08

day one hundred fifty-four

one thing i am looking forward to hopefully having at the end of this project is a little more time. just a little. between rushing out to work in the morning to rushing home at the end of the day to rushing around before bedtime and trying to get everything done...well, it all makes me feel like i'm caught in a bit of a whirlwind. each week is whizzing by, and i can barely remember where it's all gone and what i've even done. i try to enjoy the little moments, but i tend to always be thinking about what needs to be done or what i'd like to get done or what might need doing by sometime next week.

i've had a library book out for about five weeks now and i've only read a few pages. i have a sweater that i started making for tenzin back around christmas and it's not even half done. it seems like The Husband and I don't even sit down together until 8:30 or 9:00 each night. and inevitably one or both of us falls asleep about an hour later on the couch. something's gotta change. see? that guy who invented time really is my nemesis.

speaking of which, we have company coming this weekend for a certain little person's birthday, so there's cleaning to be done, a shower to be had, and some final party preparations to be done. if only i could find a few extra minutes...

*****

today's look while wondering if it will ever all get done:

striped top under dress: value village, about ten months old ($7)
jeans: donated by coral sproule for this project - thanks! (free)
pink scarf worn on head: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $87.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred fifty-three

so, i've been thinking a lot about style lately. and generally how i don't have much of one at the moment. my sister and i were having this discussion the other day. there are some people you come across that just clearly have a particular sense of style. you can almost tell what their personality is just by looking at them. (although you should really never do that. judging a book by its cover and all.) anyway, i would like to have more of a distinct style once the whole brown dress is not part of the deal every day. i'm just not quite sure what style it is that i am after. i tend to be very indecisive. how do you decide this or are some people just born with it? any suggestions?

*****

today's look while wishing coco chanel was my fairy godmother so i could just raid her closet:

black cardigan: fairweather, two years old ($15)
purple t-shirt over dress (dyed by me): secondhand (free)
red beaded necklace: gift from an old co-worker (free)
purple headband: recycled from an old t-shirt (free)
jeans: stitches, four years old ($30)
brown sandals: aldo, about four years old (about $80)

grand total:
about $125.08

day one hundred fifty-two

random thoughts from today:

* it is actually malarky that a watched pot never boils. just this morning i watched. and it boiled.
* my wrist has been quite sore for the past couple of days. i'm fairly sure it's due to some previous nerve damage, but i kind of wonder if it's from those cartwheels i was doing the other day.
* if you hurt your wrist doing a couple of cartwheels, does that mean you're starting to get old?
* i wonder if anyone actually ever feels their current age.
* i need to work on my patience level. i get anxious if the computer isn't fast enough, but i still count on my fingers, so it's still faster than me.
* is 34 too old to still be counting on your fingers?
* when it comes to superpowers, i'd rather be able to fly than have x-ray vision.
* the person who invented time was, in my opinion, probably really smart but also likely annoying about it.
* he probably didn't count on his fingers.
* what???????? is up with this?

that's all.

*****


today's look while swinging around:

black dress under dress: smart set, about two years old ($30)
bracelet made by me out of secondhand zippers: (free)

grand total:
about $30.08

day one hundred fifty-one

five months down, just one to go! here's what my dresses and i have been up to in the month of may:

* shared with the class
* did a book report
* told you things you might not know about me
* got something off my chest all passive-aggressive style
* wrote a love letter
* had not one but two potential (perhaps maybe) celebrity sightings
* spent an awful lot of time in the car, talking about cars, and/or looking at cars
* expended extreme amounts of willpower

i can't believe there is only one month left. i am so amazingly grateful for the two generous donations i received this past month. my hopes for the final month are to raise even more money for almost home and to enjoy the final time of this adventure. it's been equal parts fun and challenging so far. please help me spread the word!

*****

today's look while gearing up for the finale:

purple dress? super-sized t-shirt? nightdress? under dress: the dump (free)
jeans: value village, a year old ($20)
butterfly-print scarf worn on head: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)

grand total:
about $20.08

kimberly's deja vu boutique
sommerville centre, 6835 highway 62 north (1 mile off the 401)
belleville, ontario k8n 4z5
613.966.3352

day one hundred fifty

i'm pretty sure i had a celebrity sighting at the garage sale yesterday. by celebrity, i mean a canadian reality show contestant and by sighting, i mean i didn't catch it on film or anything so as to whether it's legit or not, i'll never know.

the person i think i might or might not have recognized was kim cathers of project runway canada. at least, it really really looked like her. i'm pretty sure it was her but with a different hairstyle. i mean, she lives in vancouver and everything, so there's a chance i could be wrong. but honestly, the girl could have been her twin if nothing else.

aw hell, this is sounding a lot like the whole wyle dufresne thing from a couple of weeks ago.

*****

today's look while not sighting anyone at all:

purple tank top: donated by kimberly's deja vu boutique (details below) for this project - thanks! (free)
pink scarf worn around waist: donated by my mother-in-law 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
613.966.3352

day one hundred forty-nine

so i think today probably tops the charts as the one that tested my non-shopping rule the most. we spent about four hours down at "the great glebe garage sale". if you are from the ottawa area or have ever lived in or near the ottawa area, you know what i'm talking about. for those of you who don't, this is one of the single best neighbourhood garage sales around. great neighbourhood: check. a massive garage sale that raises money for charities: check. street after street after street of fantastically wealthy people selling their amazing castoffs for mere cents: check! check! check! this is one of my all-time favourite types of activities to participate in.

the streets were literally crammed with people. parking was practically nonexistent. this is not just a sale but an event. oh, the willpower i exhibited, people. i could barely even look at half of the stuff for fear i would be severley disappointed if i saw the single best thing ever and would have to leave it behind for someone else to buy. as it was, i bypassed some amazing clothes and books. and yes, they probably went to other people who'd better enjoy them just as much as i would have.

of course since there is an upside to every down, i was at least able to go to town a bit picking stuff out for tenzin. after all, he actually needed a few things due to a growth spurt and a season change, so at least i was able to divert my attention a bit to look for things for him. but i've already marked the date down for next year. and i'm getting up early.

*****

today's look while tired from exerting such mass amounts of willpower:

flowered dress over dress: remade by me from a skirt donated by coral sproule for this project - thanks! (free)
grey tie around waist: donated by my sister for this project - thanks! (free)
jeans: liquidation world, about a year old ($3)
brown shoes: aldo, four years old (about $40)

grand total:
about $43.08